Madison On The Go Education

August 18, 2012
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How to choose your correct size for sewing patterns

September 5, 2014

How To Choose Your Correct Size

Before selecting your pattern size from the Standard Body Measurement Chart (left), please read the following on how to correctly measure yourself.

How to Choose Your Correct Size:

1. Measure Your Body

Only basic body measurements are needed to determine your pattern type and size. Remember to wear proper undergarments and shoes when measuring. Also, make sure the tape measure is held snugly and firmly (not tightly) against your body and is always parallel to the floor for circumference measurements.

For Misses’ and Misses’ Petite:
BUST- Measure around the fullest part of bust and straight across back (1)
CHEST- around body above fullest part of bust (2)

To determine your cup size you will need two measurements:
BUST: Measure straight across the back over the fullest part of the bust.
HIGH BUST: Measure across the back, high up under the arm and across
top of bust.

Deduct HIGH BUST measurement from BUST measurement for the difference. Using the DIFFERENCE measurement, find your cup size on the chart below. 

Cup Size Chart 
DifferenceCup Size
Up to 1" (2.5cm)A
Up to 2" (5cm)B
Up to 3" (7.5cm)C
Up to 4" (10cm)D

WAIST- around body at natural waistline (3)
HIP- around body at fullest part—usually 7-9" (18-23cm) below waist (4)
BACK WAIST LENGTH - from the most prominent bone at base of neck to the natural waistline (5)
HEIGHT- measure (without shoes) standing against a wall

For Junior, Women, Toddlers, Children and Girls:
Take the same measurements as above, except eliminate Chest measurement.

For Men and Boys:
NECKBAND - around base of neck or buy shirt pattern by ready-made size (1)
CHEST-around fullest part of chest (2)
WAIST- at natural waist over shirt (3)
HIP- at seat or fullest part of hip (4)
SHIRT SLEEVE - from back base of neck across shoulder around bend of elbow to wrist (5)
HEIGHT- measure (without shoes) standing against a wall

2. Select Your Size Category

Compare your height and body measurements to the measurement charts to select your size category.

3. Select Your Pattern Size

Pattern size is determined by your circumference (width) measurements. Again, refer to the Measurement Charts to select the size corresponding to the Bust, Waist and Hip measurements closest to your measurements. Here are some tips to help make your size selection easier:

  • For Dresses, Blouses, Tops, Vests, Jackets, and Coats, select size to correspond with your Bust/Chest measurement. Adjust the Waist and/or Hip, if necessary. If there is more than 2"(5cm) difference between your Bust and Chest measurement, select pattern size by your chest measurement, because you will achieve a better fit through your shoulders, chest and upper back; adjust the Bust if necessary.
  • For Skirts, Pants, Shorts, and Culottes, select size to correspond with your Waist measurement. Adjust the Hip, if necessary. If your Hips are much larger than your Waist, select the size closest to your Hip measurement and adjust the Waist.
  • When purchasing a pattern that includes a Blouse, Jacket, Skirt and/or Pants, select size by your Bust/Chest measurement and adjust the Waist and/or Hips if necessary.
  • If your measurements fall between two sizes, consider your bone structure. If you are thin and small-boned, choose the smaller of the two sizes. If you are larger boned, choose the larger size. Personal preference may also influence your size selection depending on whether you prefer a looser or a closer fit.
  • For Maternity patterns, select according to your measurements before pregnancy.

Color Code newsletter excerpt

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This month, I wanted to share a great question that was sent into me by one of our Certified Color Code Trainers. Her name is Lisa Hall, and she does an amazing job. Recently, a participant of hers who had attended a Color Code training in the past asked the following question after learning about the Character Code.

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Debbie Nelson
Debbie Nelson

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