Question about picking the right size

by SundayDriveDesigns on July 6, 2013 · 9 comments

in Vintage Sewing

Hi All! I’m wanting to sew up Gertie’s bow tie blouse but I can’t seem to figure out what size I need to make or at least start with and then size up or down, depending. My measurements (as I’m not a small gal) – bust – 40″, waist – 38″ and hips – 40″ and if I go by the sizing she has for the patterns in her book: for the bust I would choose size 10, for my waist, size 16 and for my hips size 6. I think the heat might be frying my brain because for some reason I just can’t seem to figure this one out and I’m sure there’s a simple answer to it all.

This post was written by...

– who has written 4 posts on

SundayDriveDesigns's posts / SundayDriveDesigns's website

{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

Maggie cawthorn July 7, 2013 at 3:29 am

I’m no expert but I think you are going to have to adapt the pattern. I would start with the correct bust, add approx 1 1/2″ to each side of the waist and you may need to take the hips in by 1/2″ on each side. Might be worth trying a muslin. Good luck


jenables July 7, 2013 at 3:34 am

since it is a blouse can’t you go by your bust measurement and make sure you size up the waist as needed? seeing as there isn’t too much difference between your waist and bust that may be fairly easy to do, one word of caution(I have the book but haven’t made the blouse myself yet) I have heard the neckline can be quite tight on this bad buuoy, so make sure to measure your pieces in the neck and Measure your own neck before you cut :)


SundayDriveDesigns July 7, 2013 at 10:45 am

Thanks guys! That helps me a lot. Fortunately I have always started with a muslin because you just never know what kind of stuff will come up during construction. Jenables, I noticed the neckline was made for what seemed like a doll sized neck. All your comments have been a huge help! Now let’s see if I can get the muslin done while the chicken is cooking and the laundry is in the wash :)


Stephanie July 7, 2013 at 1:14 pm

The neckline on that pattern is extremely tiny! I always start with a size that fits my shoulders/bust and go from there because that part is hardest to adjust.


Jessamyn July 8, 2013 at 7:43 am

The general rule for sizing is, for tops, go by bust measure, for bottoms, go by hip. It’s always easiest to adjust the waist!


Jessamyn July 8, 2013 at 7:46 am

Oops, but there is an exception: size full skirts by the waist, because the hip will take care of itself.


Leanne July 8, 2013 at 8:55 pm

Take your upper chest measure. Go by this. It’s the only thing that cannot be easily adjusted in a commercial pattern. Oh and a sewing book on fitting adjustments might be helpful. You can find many in your public library.


Diana @SewPenguinuity July 14, 2013 at 7:18 pm

I’m so happy you asked this question!!! My measurements are very similar to yours and I’ve been dying to make clothes for myself other than elastic waist skirts but the thought of where to start first made me want to cry! Now I feel like I have an idea on where to start.


Azna July 27, 2013 at 12:41 pm

Please show your blouse once it’s finished! I’m mustering the courage to tackle it myself. I’ve even gotten so far as to trace the pattern but as the front and back pieces didn’t make sense to me it didn’t even go as far as a muslin. I’m rather new to sewing so that’s probably why I’m not getting it. Will make an attempt though, as I really like the look of it.


Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: