As I’m finishing up writing my new book, the last of the major tasks is to finalize the patterns. That means taking each pattern that I’ve developed that requires a paper pattern–there are eight of those in this book of 25 projects–and grading them to include multiple sizes. Patterns are developed in a single size, then modified beyond that to fit a whole range of sizes in addition to that initial one.
It’s a somewhat complicated process, and I don’t mind telling you that this time around, I’ve asked a professional to help me with it, rather than me tackling it all by myself. There’s still plenty of pattern-testing to be done, minor changes here and there, and the nail-biting that goes along with hoping every dot and every notch is just right, but it takes a load off my mind to know that I won’t be going it alone.
What I’m wondering, though, is what it is that all of us are looking for when it comes to pattern sizing. I think when I first started sewing what I most wanted was less ease–which is to say, I wanted the patternmakers to stop assuming I was an octogenarian who wanted sixteen extra inches of fabric around my body regardless of the style of the garment. To a certain degree, I think we’ve seen that happen in patterns over the past ten years: there seem to be more fitted styles and more accuracy in the sizing than there used to be.
What else, though? Will you guys help me out with this one? Tell me what it is YOU’RE looking for in pattern sizes when you purchase a sewing pattern. Are you looking for more sizes per envelope? Or fewer (less paper to fold back up)? Do you want a wider range of sizes, from tiny to plus-sized? For pattern sizes to be closer to off-the-rack sizes (rather than couture sizes, which they usually are, meaning that while you might wear a size 4 in store-bought clothing you wear a size 10/12 in sewing patterns)? Would you prefer all your patterns to come one-size-per-envelope, or do you really like that you can get multiple sizes in one package? I’d really love to hear–because I think I know what you’ll say, but I’m not sure, so I’m hoping I’m right. And if I’m wrong, I’d love to hear that BEFORE these new patterns are published!