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This archived content is from Mary Wilkins’ sewing and quilting message board “Sew What’s New,” which was retired in August 2007. It is being provided by “Sew What’s Up,” which serves as the new home for many members of “Sew What’s New.”
From: abcameo
Date: 03-07-2005, 12:52 PM (1 of 19)
Venting: This is the second Vogue pattern I bought that had screwed up sizing. It's my own fault, but I thought I was being extra careful when I checked the sizing but, in my defense, have you ever heard of a Size 10 skirt with a 25" waist or a Size 10 blouse with a 32-1/2" bustline? C'mon. Size 10, from what I've seen, is more like a 28, 29 or 30" waist and 34-36" bust in real life. These days, the sizing is also inside and not even on the outside of the pattern which doesn't help.

I was so disappointed when I finished my the skirt--which I wanted in a generic medium size. Now, I'm wondering if I should even bother making the top--it isn't going to fit anyone but a teen or someone very petite. I was hoping to match the top to another skirt (with good sizing!), but the small top isn't going to match the medium size skirt unless the person has a pear shaped figure.

Patterns aren't cheap these days, that's for sure. I scribbled a few light notes on the envelope so I don't think I can exchange it for the right size, and it's probably beyond the return date anyway.

This really puts me off. Has this been happening to anyone else? I now know Vogue patterns are sized ridiculously. Should I be extra forewarned about any other brands? :bluesad:
User: abcameo
Member since: 11-02-2004
Total posts: 131
From: Dede
Date: 03-07-2005, 12:58 PM (2 of 19)
When I'm interested in a Vogue patter, I always open up the pattern. If the supplier won't let me do it then I simply don't buy it.
User: Dede
Member since: 03-23-2001
Total posts: 469
From: Magot
Date: 03-07-2005, 03:03 PM (3 of 19)
In England a size 14 has a 36" bust, 28"waist and a 38" hip.
A size 10 is bust 32" waist 24" and hips 34 1/2"

Did you just hit a sizing difference between continants? I find I have to ignore what is says the ready to wear size is and go with the measurements. Vogue are quite parsimonious in their ease. Other companies I have used I have found that the 14 (measurements as above) is quite large on me and I have a 31-32"waist.same boobs and bum as the pattern. The ease is quite impressive. I don't think that Vogue screwed up the sizing - it is the same as other pattern companies here - but slipping a wrong 'un on you in the shop!

But what a gyp, all that work for a useless garment.
love and kisses, Jan
Cells a Speciality
DNA to order.
User: Magot
Member since: 12-22-2002
Total posts: 3626
From: SummersEchos
Date: 03-07-2005, 05:22 PM (4 of 19)
Open the pattern and go by your measurments, not what size you would wear or think you would wear. Then I usually go by the biggest part of my measurments. I bought a Vogue for one of the Vintage dresses I was making for a wedding. I had to do so many alterations, so it fits me, but I love that dress and it was worth it. I happen to love Vogue patterns, once you figure out your size.

User: SummersEchos
Member since: 09-29-2004
Total posts: 884
From: AndreaSews
Date: 03-07-2005, 06:36 PM (5 of 19)
The hindsight is probably getting on your nerves by now, but.... before cutting the fabric next time, try pinning the pattern pieces together and then hold them up to yourself to see how well it goes around. Depending on the pattern, you might even be able to make a few adjustments of your own prior to cutting the fabric, and then you'd end up with a custom-fit garment. I recommend doing this with all patterns, even if you're sure you have the right size, just because, well, bodies will vary.
User: AndreaSews
Member since: 02-18-2005
Total posts: 1007
From: paroper
Date: 03-07-2005, 07:32 PM (6 of 19)
Actually, yes I have heard of those sizes. They are posted on the back of the envelope for comparison with actual measurments. This is an unfortunate problem with comparing ready to wear with patterns. The pattern sizing has not changed since the late 1960's when "New Sizing" was introduced and the patterns were adjusted to reflect the sizing of most ready to wear products. Prior to that, the patterns were even smaller. The changes have come in the Ready to Wear Market where we have a lot of vanity sizing.

Vogue and Butterick have always been the pattern companies whose sizes have more nearly matched the sizes plus ease posted on the back of the envelopes and in their pattern catelogs. When I was sewing professionally, my customers bought their own patterns and brought them to me. I wish I could count the number of customers who told me they wore a size 0 or 3 ready to wear who wore a size 8 or 10 in pattern sizes. The two types of sizing just cannot be compared, at least until you get into the larger sizes where they start to more or less. Many of my customers have been very upset when they found out, after taking measurments that they should buy such a large size, but they have to remember that no one can see the size inside the dress or on the envelope but the people who are priviledged to see them...and that is usually the customer, maybe a saleslady and possibly a seamstress. In the meantime, if you purchase and sew a pattern by measurments given, you have an opportunity to have a much better fit than ready to wear because there is such a fine difference between sizing and you have an opportunity to "tweak the fit".

Pattern companies like Simplicity and McCalls seem to be abandoning the charts and adding a lot (sometimes too much) ease to their patterns. Butterick patters are (hit and miss) doing some of the same. I agree that if you can look at the pattern in the store and check the sizing (which is FINALLY printed on the pattern pieces so that you don't have to measure the pieces), you are much better off since many stores no longer will allow you to trade patterns. Use your measurments compared against the size chart to start, then check the paper patterns to make sure that you agree with the amount of easement allocated. Using this rule of thumb, I hope that you'll give Vogue another chance. They have some lovely patterns with very nice techniques.

Bernina 200e, Artista V5 Designer Plus, Explorations, Magic Box, Bernina 2000DE & 335 Bernette Serger, Bernina 1530 Sewing Machine, Bernina 1300 DC Overlock (with coverstitch)
User: paroper
Member since: 02-03-2004
Total posts: 3775
From: Skye
Date: 03-07-2005, 09:41 PM (7 of 19)
The actual measurements are also listed in the back of the catalogue. However for the amount of ease you do need to check the pattern piece to see the actual finished bust/hip measurement. The pattern usual descibes whether it is a fitted, semi fitted or loose fitting style and that might influence your selection. Sandra Betzina Fast Fit book has the amount of ease etc associated with thses fits . Also remember that the big four select bust size on your high bust measurement and that they size for a B cup so if you are a bigger cup size you might have to do a FBA, supposedly the rule for your bottom half is your hip measurement but I have a big difference between my waist and hip measurement and find if I fit the hip I can fit another half me in the waist I have been buying New Look and Burda patterns because you get ALL the sizes and can do some flat measuring before you start.
I have a gripe about vogue patterns instructions especially the very easy vogue, minimal instructions and when the material is a knit the technique will scream home made. No mention of the use of sergers and who uses facings in a knit T shirt? and hand sew the hems in knits - I dont think so - just my pet peeve with Vogue. Having said that I do like them for style anf bought 3 last weekend Spotlight had buy one get 2 free promotion - Yes :bg:
User: Skye
Member since: 09-28-2000
Total posts: 233
From: auzzi
Date: 03-10-2005, 02:12 AM (8 of 19)
Sizing has never been consistent. Pattern companies usually conform to the same type of numbers, but there are variations. It pays to check their Measurement/Sizing Charts before purchasing. Ready-wear sizes vary from manufacturer to manufacturer, and country to country.

Read this article for more information:

Choose the Correct Pattern Size. You can't rely on your ready-to-wear size by Susan Andriks

"...sizing in the ready-to-wear industry is not consistent and most of us fit into a wide range of sizes, depending on the designer or manufacturer. Designers frequently use what's called vanity sizing, which adds inches to each size. What might have been a size 16 a few years ago, for example, is labeled a size 10 or 12 today.

...To fit comfortably, a garment must have ease built into it: Wearing ease is the minimum amount of inches added to a pattern so that you can move in the garment, and design ease is the amount the designer added or subtracted to create a particular silhouette. Ease allowances, found at the back of the pattern catalogs, may vary slightly from company to company and in some cases the ease allowed may affect the size pattern you choose."

Among the major pattern companies, however, sizing is based on a standard set of body measurements, which are provided on each pattern envelope and at the back of the pattern catalogs."

Compare these charts:

...........................6...........8.......... .10............12...........14........16........18 .......20........22
Bust....................30 1/2.....31 1/2......32 1/2......34...........36........38........40.......4 2........44
Waist..................23...........24...........2 5...........26 1/2.......28........30........32.......34........37
Hip.....................32 1/2......33 1/2.....34 1/2.......36...........38........40........42....... 44........46

size (US) ....................................2 - 4 ........6 - 8 ..........10 ........12 ....14 ....16 ....18 ....20
bust ........................................32 - 33 ......34 - 35 ........36 ........38 ....39 ....41 ....43 ....45
waist .......................................24 - 25 ......26 - 27 ........28 .........30 ....31 ....33 ....35 ....37
hip .........................................34.5 - 35.5 ..36.5 - 37.5...38.5 ......40 ....41.5 ..43 ....45 ....47

There are two types of ease - wearing ease and design ease. Wearing ease [~2ins] allow you to get the item on and off, and wear it [of course!]. Design eas, on the other hand, is connect to the designer's idea of how it should look, "flow" and appeal to the wearer.

On the the back of the pattern, the description indicates the amount of design ease included in the pattern

MISSES' EASE ALLOWANCES [every size allows ~2 ins to get the item on] #
.....................Dresses, Blouses, Shirts, Tops, Vests .........Jackets* ..........Coat* .............Skirts, Pants, Shorts, Culottes
Close Fitting ..............0 -2 7/8" .......................................not applicable ............................0 - 1 7/8"
Fitted .......................3 - 4" ....................................3 3/4 - 4 1/4" ....5 1/4 - 6 3/4" ............2 - 3"
Semi-Fitted ................4 1/8 - 5" ..............................4 3/8 - 5 3/4".....6 7/8 - 8" .................3 1/8 - 4"
Loose Fitting ...............5 1/8 - 8" ..............................5 7/8 - 10"....... 8 1/8 - 12" ................4 1/8 - 6"
Very Loose Fitting .........over 8" .................................over 10" ..........over 12" ...................over 6"
*Lined or Unlined
# Dresses, Blouses, Shirts, Tops, Vests, Jackets and Coats around the Bust Area. Skirts, Pants, Shorts and Culottes around the Hip Area

Vogue V2847 is described as "MISSES’ DRESS: Close-fitting (through bust) slightly flared dress in two lengths" - in other words, the ease is skin-tight, but able-to-breathe across the bust

Vogue V2851 is described as "loose-fitting SHIRT-JACKET, semi-fitting JACKET, close-fitting TOP AND loose-fitting PANTS have waistband plus a very loose-fitting PANTS" - in other words, over-sized SHIRT-JACKET, neat-shaped JACKET, skin-tight, but able-to-breathe TOP AND comfortable PANTS with a waistband plus baggy PANTS.
User: auzzi
Member since: 10-28-2003
Total posts: 56
From: MaryW
Date: 03-10-2005, 07:03 AM (9 of 19)
This is a common problem for everyone. My daughter is a perfect size 10 with no alterations. She is one in a million to be sure.

So frustrating for anyone who doesn't know about the ins and outs of sizing and buying patterns. The pattern companies should really try to do some extra educational work to guide people towards the proper pattern size.

I think they should have guidelines to buying patterns stated on the back of each envelope. Something along the lines of what SummerEchos and Paroper said along with a good definition of ease. What measurements are important with the garment featured.

I haven't bought many patterns lately. I must go look at some Vogue, I haven't even looked in ages. Seems I lean towards the independents lately.
owner/editor of Sew Whats New
User: MaryW
Member since: 06-23-2005
Total posts: 2542
From: emorrow
Date: 03-12-2005, 12:53 PM (10 of 19)
I love Vogue patterns for their style and pizzaz, but the last time I took the measurements seriously I ended up with a dress that was ENORMOUS through the shoulders! For some reason, patternmakers think that as one grows larger, one also grows taller and attains the proportions of an Egyptian statue.

I find it helps to buy patterns by the high bust measurement and tweak the rest. Also, Barbara Deckert's "Fitting Plus Sizes" is a great help. Her method involves a lot of measuring, but the one garment I've made using her system fits perfectly in every way. I'm currently working on an Issey Miyake pattern, taking it from a size 18 to a Vogue 24 (if they actually printed patterns that size).

Such a feeling of power over the size police...I love it :bg:

User: emorrow
Member since: 02-26-2005
Total posts: 13
From: SummersEchos
Date: 03-12-2005, 01:47 PM (11 of 19)
Something I find helpful when having to sew for people that I can't really get them to understand the whole concept of the difference of RTW and pattern sizing, is the back of a clothes catolog. Now it isn't a perfect fit like our true measurments, but is sure does help. I use JC Penney's measurments from the RTW clothes then compare them to the pattern measurments. I also use this when I am working with customers at JoAnn's. I show them what size they normally by then show them what the RTW people say their measurments are. Then show them what the pattern company say they wear. It makes more sense to them and eases the pain of I do not wear that size! It is of course not a true guide but sometimes helps in understanding that the two are different.
Just my 2 cents.

User: SummersEchos
Member since: 09-29-2004
Total posts: 884
From: Hogmami
Date: 03-12-2005, 02:24 PM (12 of 19)
That is a good idea. I will have to save my next catalog. By the way, Summer, Where in Michigan are you at?
User: Hogmami
Member since: 09-30-2004
Total posts: 800
From: SummersEchos
Date: 03-12-2005, 11:55 PM (13 of 19)
I am near the Detroit area, Shelby Township.
Glad you liked the idea

User: SummersEchos
Member since: 09-29-2004
Total posts: 884
From: blanken6
Date: 03-19-2005, 11:45 PM (14 of 19)
I am very petite and usually buy my clothes in the kids section at the store. When I sew, the pattern companies according to my measurements say I should be in an adult size 10 but when I make them, they float on me. When I make them in a child size 11, it's perfect. I usually size down a size or two for my customers when they ask for something to by sewn unless they are like me and then I pull out my kids stuff. They are confused at first, but when they put the clothing on, they are much happier than when they have to go the store. And then to throw the whole thing off different pattern companies have different sizing, try explaining that to a customer who wants to buy a pattern. They do like to hear they are in a smaller size though! :wink:
Proverbs 31:10-31
User: blanken6
Member since: 08-11-2004
Total posts: 41
From: paroper
Date: 03-20-2005, 01:47 PM (15 of 19)
There is more to pattern sizing than just numbers and measurments. The patterns are designed for the different stages in a woman's life. The junior patterns have less curve including less bustline the way that most young maturing ladies are built. Misses sizing is designed to fit ladies during the prime of their lives with a well-proportioned figure. Their figures are more developed while woman's sizing is meant to take care of the time when women's figures change again...around menopause where the waist naturally gets a little fuller and things shift. The half-sizes are proportioned for the unique needs of women who are all over more "compact" in their build. Overall, I think of Butterick and Vogue sizing as lending them more to very young women who are somewhere between mature and junior sizes (more like young career or college age), not only in sizing but design.

Bernina 200e, Artista V5 Designer Plus, Explorations, Magic Box, Bernina 2000DE & 335 Bernette Serger, Bernina 1530 Sewing Machine, Bernina 1300 DC Overlock (with coverstitch)
User: paroper
Member since: 02-03-2004
Total posts: 3775
From: Sewhappie
Date: 03-20-2005, 06:55 PM (16 of 19)
My question is this, do they run true to size or do they run on the smaller side of the sizes? I have to make a jacket for the myself and have not use a Vogue in YEARS!!! I plan on making up a dummy pattern first but wanted to know if I should up size or down size my measurements on the pattern.
User: Sewhappie
Member since: 10-27-2001
Total posts: 1427
From: paroper
Date: 03-20-2005, 11:11 PM (17 of 19)
Vogue sizing is usually pretty true to the measurments on the envelope plus proper easement. That being said, I have to say that in terms of easment, with the other major pattern companies, Simplicity, McCalls, and more recently Butterick (in that order) are getting a little generous with their ease. Since McCalls, Butterick and Vogue are owned by the same parent company, I expect Vogue to also go that direction. However, most pattern companies now post the measurments of the individual and the critical measurments of the actual pattern on the back of the envelope.

Bernina 200e, Artista V5 Designer Plus, Explorations, Magic Box, Bernina 2000DE & 335 Bernette Serger, Bernina 1530 Sewing Machine, Bernina 1300 DC Overlock (with coverstitch)
User: paroper
Member since: 02-03-2004
Total posts: 3775
From: Sewhappie
Date: 03-21-2005, 02:23 PM (18 of 19)
thanks, I will double check my pattern before I cut it up.
User: Sewhappie
Member since: 10-27-2001
Total posts: 1427
From: mommydionne
Date: 03-24-2005, 03:35 PM (19 of 19)
I have to jump in here b/c vogue is one of my favourites. I'm slim (well used to be :re: baby #4 is only 4 months old and the pooch is still there on the belly) and have very little bust so they fit me. My mother hates them, she is short and busty. But in regard to the sizing, I just finished a pair of vogue pants size 10 and they fit perfectly, my old navy jeans are size 4 and fit a bit snugly now if that can give you an idea regarding sizing.
I have recently found the other patterns of the big 3 left are not as fitted and tend to hang on a small frame. ie going for quick sewing and leaving out darts etc that give the garment its shape. I avoid patterns marked "easy" b/c of this too, a lot are sack like :bluesad:
User: mommydionne
Member since: 01-08-2004
Total posts: 838
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