So here goes! This was the most alarming of her many questions:
Are the sizes on a pattern really the size you think it is? How can you be sure w/ out cutting everything out and ruining your material?
First, PUT DOWN THE SCISSORS!
If you don't, you can use string and a ruler.
Measure yourself over your undergarments. Take measurements at three places: Bust (around the fullest part of your breast), Waist (the smallest part of your waist), and Hips (around the fullest part of your hips) Mine are 33, 27.5 and 36 (how is that for honesty?) I know this can be a little scary, but honesty is the ONLY policy in sewing your own clothes.
Ok so write this down
and run off to the pattern store and go wild!
Look through the catalogues and find yourself a wonderful pattern. When you go to find it in the drawer, flip to the back and pull out your little scrap of paper with you numbers on it. Look on the pattern where it says "Body Measurements" there you will find those 3 measurements; bust, waist, hips. It will look something like this:
Now, the measurements on the back will most likely not be exactly the same as yours, so pick the closest ones. I usually go with the bust size. For instance a size 6 (in a sewing pattern) measures 30.5, 23, 32.5. (not even close to my real measurements even though I wear a 6 in store bought clothes) So my real measurements give me a size 12 (34, 26.5, 34.5) almost twice the number you look for at the Macy's lol! So don't get scared!
Ok once you have found your size according to the pattern you chose, flip that envelope back to the front and see if at the top where it says SIZE, your size is listed. This is important because patterns are not returnable!
If you are making a shirt the hip measurement won't be as important as the bust and if you are making a skirt the bust won't even be listed, so get as close as possible to the measurements that matter.
Underneath the measurements and size you will find the yardage you will need to make your size.
If you aren't sure or if you are two very different sizes, go for the bigger size. It is easier to take away than add fabric!
If you have any questions of your own that you would like to pose to me, or if this is totally confusing,
Please feel free to email them to me! firstname.lastname@example.org