The other day I was having a conversation with someone I care about. She was excitedly telling me how she was beginning to sew for herself again and buying patterns.
“You know they go up about two sizes from your ready to wear. So if you are __ in RTW you will be around __ size in a sewing pattern.” I mentioned.
“Ahg!” She gasped. “I can’t be that size.”
My heart broke a little when she said that. Didn’t she realize her shape didn’t change but the different companies use different systems? A woman’s size, whether she be young or old, seems to be something that stirs up great emotion and struggle.
My struggle was slightly different than most, since as a budding 14 year old I was interested in GAINing weight so I wouldn’t look so much like a holocaust survivor. Forced by a disease to count the carbohydrates of everything that came near my lips I wasn’t complaining when I did get to eat. I was more embarrassed about the bruises on my arms from checking my blood sugar than I was about my hair or clothes. I would get angry when I had to run laps to bring down my high blood sugar instead of getting to visit and eat ice cream with friends in the evening.
One of the blessings of living as a Type 1 Diabetic is the detachment I can view my body with. It is a piece of equipment I must use to get through my life. Unlike my car or my house which I can’t trade in, or paint whatever colors I want, My Body is something I can decorate however I want, changing whenever I feel like it. And my “Size” is merely a set of measurements that tells me how best to decorate. They are part of a complex math equation and when I get them correct I can create beautiful things!
My friends, I care about you and want you to feel as beautiful as I know you are so let’s sit down and have a serious chat about our body measurements and sewing patterns. So put on your best bra and undies, grab a tape measure and lets get the first part of the math problem correct by taking accurate measurements of ourselves.
Here's a few links to the beginning measurements we'll need:
BurdaStyle with pictures and explanations.
Simplicity with clear picture and instructions.
Threads with a printable chart and comprehensive measurements.
Vintagegirl on choosing a pattern based on full or high bust measurements.
So now you have your homework!
Monday we’ll have a little history lesson on how sewing pattern sizes came to be and tips on how to choose the correct “size” vintage pattern for you!
Wednesday, we’ll take a look at what some modern pattern companies have to say for themselves and whatever else I dig up that is interesting.
Until next time, keep rolling with the wind!