Article: Multi-Size Patterns
If bodies were in exact proportion, no alteration would ever be made on a pattern. Fitting into a perfect size, top and bottom, is extremely rare. Most people are one size on top and one to two sizes larger on the bottom. Altering the pattern before you cut out saves both time and frustration later.
Multi-sized patterns make pattern alterations a snap. If a pattern is multi-sized, this fact is usually indicated on the outside of the pattern envelope. In addition, multi-sized patterns are obvious once the pattern pieces are lying flat. Three or more outside edges are marked on the tissue pieces.
To determine which line to use, refer to the measurement chart on the backside of the pattern envelope or inside on the layout sheet. Find the measurement closest to your bust measurement and circle it along the line which indicates bust. Repeat the process for waist and hip. It is not inconceivable that each of your measurements falls into a different size. No problem. On a piece of paper, make a note of what size your measurement falls in each category-bust, waist and hip. For example, you may measure a Size 10 in the bust, Size 14 at the waist and Size 12 at the hip.
Prepare the pattern as follows, using a colored felt tip marker. At the bottom of the front and back bodice, trace along the size which corresponds to your back waist measurement. If the garment extends beyond waist, lengthen or shorten back waist length above the waistline.
Usually, a lengthen/shorten line is indicated on the pattern. Begin at the neckline, shoulder and bust area, tracing over the pattern size indicated by your bust measurement. Begin crossing over to the next size about 2″ down from the bottom of the armhole. Aim for the size your measurement falls under at the waist. Stop tracing at the waist. Shift the action down to the bottom of the pattern near the skirt, jacket, blouse or pant hem. Trace over the size line which corresponds to your hip measurement. Trace this line from the hem to the hip (7″ to 10″ away from the waistline depending on how far down the widest spot your hip measures from the waist).
At the hip begin crossing over to connect to the size line indicated by your waist. If you have a tummy, don’t cross over to waistline size until 2 ½ ” from the waist at the side seam
After tracing the main pattern pieces in this manner, continue with the smaller pieces. The armhole of the sleeve will correspond to the size traced on the armhole of the bodice. If your multi-size pattern comes from Simplicity or Vogue, you might want to trace one pattern size smaller in the front upper chest area, specifically on the front bodice armhole and front sleeve cap, the area from shoulder dot to underarm marked by one notch on the sleeve. These patterns tend to run large in the upper chest and will fit better using this method.
After all lines have been traced, cut pattern along these lines. Compare desired length to the garment finished length as indicated on the back of the pattern envelope. Shorten or lengthen pattern below the hip to alter. Usually a lengthen/shorten line is indicated on pattern. Smooth out cutting line on side seam. You will now be “cutting to fit.” Proceed with lay-out instructions.
For more information, watch Sandra’s FREE video, “Finding Your Size On The Pattern”