Dear readers (well, I’m not someone who can pull off calling people “darlings” so there you go — “readers” it is), I hope that wherever you are Sunday morning didn’t wake you with the ironic synesthesia of blinding snow cackling into your ear, “so you thought it was spring, sucker!”
My coping strategy was to go to Joann’s and give in to the McCall’s pattern sale that was just ending. Here’s the thing though: all my attempts to fit patterns from the Big Four to my body above the waist have so far ended in failure. Maybe I lack the courage and the stamina required to fiddle with calculating just how many sizes I should go down so as not to swamp my shoulders in fabric, and then with properly muslining, and making further adjustments… but really what is the point in suggesting the wrong size to your customer to begin with?
It doesn’t seem to be just a question of how different bodies are since I have yet to come across a sewing blogger or pattern reviewer saying that making a garment up in the size suggested for their body measurements worked out fine.
Given that shoulders are actually pretty hard to fit correctly — never mind re-size if you’re starting with a size that is too big — what point is there in not giving any measurements for the shoulder area on the envelope (not even for a suggested size), not to mention giving almost no information about finished measurements on that envelope? And I haven’t even gotten to those 4″ of ease in the bust… Have you met anyone who wanted 4″ of ease in a fitted garment?
I did come across some very helpful advice about fitting patterns from the Big Four. Most helpful perhaps was a video on choosing the right size from Susan Khalje. (Sadly, it’s impossible to link to directly — you need to scroll through the homepage to find it.) This post on Nancy Zieman’s tips is also great. What is perhaps most interesting about them is how the advice really just goes against all those “suggestions” you will find on McCall’s, Vogue, Butterick, and Simplicity pattern envelopes…
So I will definitely go back to the drawing board with fitting these patterns. I really can’t stand having a collection of seemingly untouchable, dead-end patterns, since, as you can see, I am having a hard time resisting the siren song of big sales on them.
Advice is, of course, most welcome, but so are your stories about fitting these patterns — success stories and fitting nightmares alike. Please share!