Beginner Sewing Tip #1

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October 18, 2012 by magpiemenina

There are certain things that, whenever you are learning something new, tend to be learned the hard way. This is especially true in sewing.

There are also times when I don’t have anything to post, or when the projects in the works are not quite ready for the blog.

In salute to these things-learned-the-hard-way, I’m instituting a new category on beginner sewing tips. The posts will be brief, but they will also (I hope) be useful if you are beginning to sew and don’t want extra hassle or disappointing garments. Feel free to ignore these if you are an experienced hand with the sewing machine (or if you don’t sew).

Please feel free to comment or submit your own tips in the comments. I’ll be going along at a slow posting speed for these.

Beginner Sewing Tip #1

The size on the pattern envelope does not correspond to the size of ready-made clothing from retail establishments! Know your body measurements when selecting a pattern!

Sometimes it might. HOWEVER, you should always check. Know your bust, hip, and waist measurements (and the measurement from the nape of your neck to your waist or from your waist to your heel for bonus points). Take these measurements with you so you can purchase the correct pattern. Most patterns are sold with four or so sizes listed. Knowing your size is important because 1) you need the size to know the yardage of fabric to purchase, and 2) you want to cut along the correct size lines when you cut out the pattern pieces.

The measurements that define a given size in ready-made clothing fluctuate. Pattern sizes do not necessarily follow the sizing in ready-made clothes. I have found in my own experience that Vogue patterns (a division of McCall’s) are especially tricky in this regard, and have actually had to exchange the pattern at the store for the next size-up package because the sizing pushed me into a number I had never before approached in other patterns or in ready-made clothing.

The sizes are on the back of the envelope, along with yardage information and necessary notions. Also, as a side note, the sizing numbers may not make you feel very good (I’m a size WHAT?), but, remember, they are just rather randomly-assigned numbers.

More tips to come!!


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