Silhouette Patterns: Choosing My Size

I ordered two Silhouette Patterns from the Starter Pack.  Was not expecting them for at least a week and was pleasantly surprised when they arrived USPS 4 days later. I spent the gap between ordering my patterns and receiving them watching a few videos and discussing my project at Stitchers Guild here.

I also took measurements of several garments and my slopers and in the effort o hold myself accountable published those in a previous blog post.   When my patterns arrived, I compared my measurement chart to the finished garment measurements on the back of the envelope.  I promptly blanched.  I’d forgotten how different Peggy’s sizing is.  Normally my size falls in between regular and plus.   I buy size 16W stretch jeans (the manufacturer recommends a size 14 for my hips). Tops are 16/18 or if only full sizes are available I chose an 18. I know with an 18 the hips will fit but the shoulders will fall off my own. I reason that I’d rather my shoulders droop a little than that the garment hem will climb up around my waist.   I buy XL except for slimmers where I buy a 2x only because I want to breathe. For some reason the manufacturers think when we buy slimmers we want an old-fashioned corset instead of a little flesh containment.  My pattern size is usually larger across the shoulders and XL across the hips. Except of CLD patterns– the only pattern line that thinks a size 44 hip is small. I was tracing a size 38 bust 42 hip for Otto and Burda (maybe why I’m having problems with fit since the chart shows those are way too small. )  My point is, I’m at the high end of Regular but not large enough for Plus sizes and my preference for a little more ease definitely affects the size I choose.  I was totally blown away — remember I blanched — when I saw the recommended size was 7W and 8W.  I was not expecting to top out the plus sized charts.

Then in one of the videos I was watching, rewatching, Peggy explains that the W sizing she uses was a result of JC Penny Saks and I think one other department store doing a study and developing a sizing for the small boned person who had added weight.  Light Bulb! A 7W suddenly makes sense. I’m usually at the top of the sizing range because of bust and hip circumference. It might make sense that I’m at the top of the W range because I’m small boned but have accumulated some padding.

Just to be sure, I measured two more T-shirts whose fit I particularly like. Oh and I measured  according to the instructions in Peggy’s Jacket Sew Along video. So much easier to do it her way. I was folding my clothes in half. Trying to insert one sleeve or leg in the other and then measuring half the back and half the front.  Peggy just lays the garment out flat and measures across at the appropriate point. I measured 2 Tee’s in like 5 minutes. Might have been less but I had to write it all down. My measurements did change slightly.  Looking at the back of The Sweater Set 195, I’m between a 5W and 6W across the bust. Between 6W and 7W across the waist.

A few days ago, one of SG’s members fit the Pillowcase as Peggy often illustrates and posted her results here with a link to her blog. (I know that I’m making you click-through multiple links, but I don’t have her permission to reference or republish).  Most interesting to me is that she took the Fitted Pillowcase, converted it to a paper pattern and used the paper pattern to compare with a Silhouette Pattern much the same as I usually compare my sloper with paper patterns. Now that was enlightening. So once I had determined the recommended size, I compared my sloper with 195.

I found that my sloper was closer to the 6W except at the shoulder and neck

My sloper is 3/8″  wider at the neck edge. Also disconcerting

when the armscyes are aligned (above) the shoulder is more than an inch longer than my sloper. While examining the side seam at the underarm, I couldn’t really decided if I should be using a 7W or if that was accommodating the bust dart and wouldn’t be needed with the lower french dart.

Comparison’s above used the B cup.  I did try the C cup which didn’t seem to make any difference other than adding more width in the center. (I don’t think I need more.). I also compared with the 4, thinking maybe it would be better around the neckline. It was so far off.  I’d have to add oddles of ease to the side seam. Oddles.  I’d rather work with the W first and if that doesn’t work make a 2nd muslin for the 4.

So I’m tracing size 5W across the shoulders; swinging out at the underarm to the 7W.  Unless you tell me otherwise. I hope I’ve made the pics clickable to a larger version. Please let me know what you think.

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3 thoughts on “Silhouette Patterns: Choosing My Size

  1. I think that you are on the right size track. Actually I wonder if your shoulders/neck could be cut a 4w. I do think you have a small frame with tummy padding. To me all the other parts are slim. I think that tummy part is what gives the wrinkles when you get them. I do think you are headed for aome well fitted garments. These last groupings have been so much better.

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  2. Your test garment will tell the tale. Try not to overthink and just experiment. It may take a few muslins and tweaks with draping (on your body) to the test garment.

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