Don’t Fear the Numbers

It’s amazing what you can forget when you’re in a hurry, isn’t it?

This is how much progress I make when in a hurry.

I know I have to grade (enlarge) 99% of all sewing patterns, so normally I pull them out and get right to grading. What I forget every time, in my eagerness to make a new garment, is that I need to carefully analyze the pattern’s technical aspects first.

That’s right, sewers. Virtually every time I wish to sew, I must first iron/flatten the pieces and measure every part of them. Next, I have to compare the body measurements for the size in question to the garment measurements recorded, and then based on how much ease is in the design, decide how much ease I want for my own make.  (See also, “The Extra Work of Extra Large“.) Then I have to grade up to those measurements. Then I have to walk all of the new seam lines to make sure they match. And then and only then can I begin to cut my fabric. There is no, ‘my measurements were a 10 so I cut it out and sewed it!‘ for me.

rough estimate
This is what my ‘drawing board’ looks like. Do you like my “pattern weights”?

I won’t show you my pattern pieces wadder, but suffice it to say that I was almost done tweaking the bodice on Centaurée before I realized I had no clue what I was doing. Back to the drawing board …

On the plus side, this pattern is immaculately drafted. Really, really well done. But there are no garment measurements anywhere to be found. Now, if you fit into the size range offered, I really feel that the drafting is good enough that you do not need to know garment measurements. If you are larger than the size range offered, well; please consider the below my gift to you.

small peek
Wanna check my math?

Deer&Doe Centaurée garment measurements, size 46 (all #s are approximate w/in 1/4″):

Bust: 39 3/4″

Waist: 34 1/4″

Hip: 54″ (8″ below waist seam)

Center front bodice length: 8″

Side seam bodice length: 7 3/4″

Center front length: 29 3/8″ (8″ center front bodice length + 21 3/8″ center front skirt length)

Center back length: 48 3/8″ (7″ center back bodice length + 48 3/8″ center back skirt length)

My next Centaurée post will have “action” shots, in the meantime enjoy today’s title song!


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  1. You are awesome! That is a heck of a lot of prep work and I am seriously in awe!

    I have admired this dress but tend to stay away when I am on the very cusp of the largest pattern size offered. Why? That makes me feel like it’s designed for a much slimmer body type. And I’m apparently too lazy to grade patterns.

    Sad. I know. I have become spoiled by my “known” adjustments to the Big 4 (getting there with Burda).

    Can’t wait to see the follow up!

    1. Thank you! I am 100% stubborn about getting what I want. :p I think your thoughts are right on the money; sewing patterns are designed for a slimmer body type — but only because that’s mental limit of the designer! Not because the pattern can’t work for a larger body.

      //gets off soapbox //

      That being said, it’s a shame Centaurée doesn’t go up to your size because you would look darling in it.

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