How to understand your pattern size

Pattern sizes can always be a little confusing. The size you pick will depend on the brand of pattern you are using. I really struggled with pattern sizes when I started sewing. So I wanted to put together a list of top tips for finding the pattern size to fit you.

  1. Do NOT use a dress size from a shop bought garment when choosing a pattern size. The dress sizes on a pattern are NEVER the same and you will end up with an ill-fitting garment.
  2. Never be put off by the size of pattern you have to use – it is never the same as the size of garment you would usually buy.
  3. Always use your exact measurements when choosing a pattern size. The standard measurements are in inches for Bust, Waist and Hips.
  4. Always use the measurements provided on the pattern for ‘Finished Garment size’ otherwise the garment will be too big. Don’t use the measurements provided under the pattern sizes.


  1. When you find a size that fit you for a particular pattern – stick with it!! You will learn which sizes in which pattern suit you best. Don’t change the pattern size you are using just because you think you should be a different size.


Some patterns are ‘Multi-size’ patterns, which allow you to choose a different size for your bust, hips and waist if your measurements don’t fit to one size. I have found Simplicity patterns use this in most of their patterns. This allows you to get a pattern that fits you much better with minimal altering.



Hope this helps 🙂  If you are enjoying my blog,  follow me!!

Love Heather xx


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