"How do I choose a size?" This is one of the questions we often hear from women who start sewing for themselves from PDF patterns.
Each body is beautifully unique. No matter the size. The thing is, our bodies have a shape (which often isn't the one we like the most, right?) and we should pick a size that would better fit that shape. The biggest problem is when you look at the size chart and you don't fit one size but multiple sizes... (I know, I have been there!)
So, does your bust, waist and hip measurements put you into different sizes? How should you pick a size on a PDF sewing pattern?
Take your measurements carefully.
Unless you sew for yourself every week it is best to take new measurements every time. The pattern's size chart will tell you which measurements you should take.
Don't forget: no clothes on (only underwear) and no need to add ease!
Now you need to go the pattern's size chart and locate where (in which sizes) your measurements fall.
Pick a size based on the most important measurement for that pattern.
Look closely to the pattern's design. If you are making a loose top the waist and hip measurements are probably not that relevant so you can pick the size based on the bust. If it is a fitted dress than you need to consider all three measurements.
In this case you will need to grade between sizes by drawing a new line from the bust size line to the hip size line, or from the bust to the waist and then from the waist to the hip size line. When you are in between sizes, you can simply draw a new line between the two size lines.
If you are making a skirt or pants, then pick the size based on your larger measurement, either waist or hips and then you will need to take in a bit where there is excess.
Make a muslin.
This is a very important step when sewing for yourself. It allows you to check if the size you picked is the right one or the line you drawn between sizes is correct. You will be able to make any corrections before cutting your precious fabric.
It usually takes little time (since you don't need to finish seams or add closures) and it ensures that you will have a great fitting garment.
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