CHOICE OF THE KID SIZE
p&m® patterns are sized from standard measurements for children of a given age. These measurements might not match every child of the given age. Before any cutting, please check your child’s measurements against the measurement chart below. These measurements are also available on the back of each pattern enveloppe and on each PDF pattern. Checking this out will ensure you choose the right size.
CHOICE OF THE WOMAN SIZE
p&m® patterns are sized from standard measurements for young ladies and ladies. Before any cutting, please check your measurements against the measurement chart below. These measurements are also available on the back of each pattern enveloppe and on each PDF pattern.
Checking this out will ensure you choose the right size.
CHOOSING THE RIGHT SIZE AND FITTING A PATTERN
p&m sewing patterns are sized from standard measurements that are given in the Ladies’ size chart and Children’s size chart . Your measurements or your child’s might not match those standard measurements and that is perfectly fine!
TAKING BODY MEASUREMENTS
In the charts, you will find a (non-exhaustive) list of major measurements and what they do represent to help you taking those measurements accurately:
- Total Height: from the base of the heel to the top of the head,
- Bust: the fuller part of your chest (at nipple level),
- Waist: the smallest part of the torso,
- Hips: the widest part of the pelvis,
- Waist to knee: from the waist down to the knee joint,
- Arm length: with the arm slightly bent, from the top of the shoulder through the elbow down to the wrist,
- Bust Height: from the nape of the neck to the apex of the bust,
- Biceps: the widest part of the upper arm,
- Thighs: the widest part of the thigh
The person being measured must stand upright. A measuring tape will be the only tool needed to take body measurements, it shouldn’t be too loose or too snug around the body and should follow the natural curves of the body.
The key measurement of a garment is the prime measurement from which a garment is constructed and the one we shall use to determine which size to choose for a well-fitted garment. If the pattern needs fitting, this key measurement shouldn’t be altered. However, the other measurements can subsequently be altered.
The key measurement varies according to the type of garment and such key measurement must be chosen according to each type of pattern.
For tops like jackets, blouses or dresses, the key measurement will be the bust. For bottoms like pants, shorts or skirts, the key measurement is the hips.
For instance, if we had to determine the right size for a blouse, we should compare first the standard bust to the person’s bust. If the other measurements have to be modified (e.g. waist, hips, sleeve length…), the pattern will be modified without altering the bust at any cost since it’s the key measurement of the pattern.
FITTING THE PATTERN
Grading between sizes
If your measurements are across the size chart, you may have to grade between those sizes i.e. drawing the pattern pieces again, following the various sizes you need. Grading between sizes will help in sewing a garment that will fit the intended person.
For instance, if a woman whose height is a size 38, with, say, a 38 bust size, a 40 waist, and a 36 hips needs a dress, you will then have to grade between all of these sizes to get the right fit for her dress.
In this instance, take care to alter both front and back, to have your pattern pieces perfectly match.
GRADING AN INTERMEDIATE SIZE
Measurements can fall exactly between two sizes. Instead of sewing a garment that will end being too large, you can easily extrapolate the pattern and draw the intermediate size that will fit better.
On the base pattern, join all the corners (“cardinal points”) of each of the pattern lines (neckline, shoulder line, armhole line…) across all the sizes. The lines you get are grading lines for the sizes of each of the pattern lines.
On these lines, determine new cardinal points (corners) for your intermediate size: they stand exactly between the two sizes. Draw the new size by connecting the corners.
Repeat the process for each piece of the pattern.
You can even grade up or down. You just have to measure the value between two sizes and trace it onto the grading line. For instance, you now can have size 18M and 14Y for the 2-12Y children patterns or sizes 30 and 48 for the 32-46 adult pattern.
Cependant, attention au type de modèle dont vous souhaitez extrapoler les tailles !
However, extrapolation depends on the type of pattern! For babies, you can apply this method only for dresses, skirts or blouses because our patterns do not take nappies into account.
For young ladies, our children patterns have not been created to take developing bodies into account, so please apply this method carefully.
SEWING A MUSLIN
Before sewing a garment in “good” fabric, you should always check that the cut and drape of the garment fit, especially for the ladies’ patterns. It’s also very important to know if the person can move with ease and comfort. The aim of a muslin is to check if the pattern needs alterations.
Muslining is sewing a test garment in a cheap fabric, the drape of which is similar to the good fabric’s. It should be quick to sew i.e. you should only sew the essential pieces of the garment, while following the shaping instructions carefully (seam allowance, gathers, pleats or darts).
All the steps that do not partake in checking the cut and drape once the garment is worn can be skipped. As such, you don’t have to add seam allowances on the muslin pieces that can be left raw (e.g. neckline for a blouse or dress), or serge/overcast pieces. No need either to hem or any finishing. You can close the garment using pins instead of sewing buttonholes or zippers.
Once the muslin is done, put it on and assess the fit, noting all the flaws and what could be done to eliminate them. Do not hesitate to manipulate your muslin to find your solution to get a better fit.
If you don’t want to sew a muslin either because you don’t have the time for it or you think that potential flaws won’t be so annoying, you can alter it afterwards, but keep in mind that the final result won’t be optimal.
POSSIBLE ALTERATIONS BASED ON THE MUSLIN
Lengthening or shortening a pattern piece
To lengthen a pattern piece, trace a horizontal line halfway from the bottom/top of the pattern piece:
- under the bust line for a top,
- under the crotch line and over the knee line for bottoms,
- under the armhole line for sleeves.
Cut the pattern along this line then open the cut to the desired amount you want to add and draw the piece again.
To shorten a pattern piece, repeat the process, but overlap the two pattern pieces by the desired amount then draw the pattern piece again.
Do the same alteration on both front and back pieces.
Modifying the ease
As stated in the glossary, ease is the amount of space added to a pattern piece to allow for comfortable movements.
- If the garment is too large, cut a size down in width: re-draw the armhole curve to join the side seam of one size down.
In this case, re-draw the sleeve cap so that the armhole and the sleeve cap still match. Re-draw it by connecting the armhole line to the size below.
Measure both the sleeve cap length and the armhole to check that they match in length. Do not forget to subtract the seam allowance to get the right length!
- If, on the contrary, the garment is too tight, cut a size up in width: re-draw the armhole curve to join the side seam of one size up.
As instructed above, re-draw the sleeve cap so that the armhole and the sleeve cap still match. Re-draw it by connecting the armhole line to the size above.
Measure both the sleeve cap length and the armhole’s to check that they match in length, measuring them without the seam allowance.
Modifying the armholes
If the armholes do not fit, they should be modified.
- If the bottom of the armhole is too low and/or the bust is visible from the side (for a sleeveless blouse/dress), raise the underarm by drawing a new underarm line higher on the front and back pieces by the amount needed x;
- You will adjust the sleeve cap by the same amount x you took off from the armhole.
- On the contrary, if the bottom of the armhole is too high and it impedes movement, lower the armholes by drawing a new underarm line lower on the front and back piece by the amount needed y.
- You will adjust the sleeve cap by the same amount y you added to the armhole.
Modifying a gaping neckline
A gaping neckline can be altered. Here is Ivanne Soufflet’s own tutorial on how to alter the pattern:
Pinch the excess of fabric on the front neckline to assess the amount to be taken off. Note this amount (must be the same on both sides of the neckline),
- On the front pattern piece, mark A at ½ of the armhole and B at 1/3 of the neckline. Draw a line between these two points,
- On the neckline, mark C which is above B by the amount of the excess. Draw a new line between A and C,
- The area in red is the excess to take off. Cut this area and put it aside. The front piece is now made of two parts.
- From A, pivot the top part over the bottom, aligning the cut edges.
- Draw the neckline again to smooth the small indent on the neckline.
- You can also draw a new facing using that new altered front piece.
Here are some solutions to try and alter a garment that might not fit. There are many others! You can find books with valuable knowledge in book stores if you are interested in this subject.