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Blending Sizes To Customise Bodice Fit

Just like when we sew for ourselves, often our children will have measurements that put them into several size categories.  It can be tricky to know what size to make to still get a good fit.

The method I often use is to blend sizes.  This blog will give you a brief rundown on this technique, which can be used to customise bodice fit of the Bow Peep (issue 1) and Posey Dress (issue 2).

Of course please remember to make a muslin (practice go) with your blended pattern before cutting into your good stuff, as further pattern adjustments than that covered in this article may be required for your child.

The easiest way to show you how this works is with an example:

4 year old girl, 105cm tall, chest 55cm, waist 58cm.
I look on the measurement chart for my pattern and see that this child’s height is similar to the size 4, however she has a size 3 chest and a size 6 waist.  If I make her the size 6 bodice and simply cut the size 4 skirt the bodice will swim on her – the neckline will be too broad and too low and it will fit poorly everywhere else.  If I make her the size 4 bodice it will be too tight and uncomfortable at the waist.

Picture Picture Picture Picture Picture Picture STEPS:
1. Print out & assemble the pattern.

The line for the size that corresponds to this childs height has been coloured pink in our example.

2. Mark the chest and waist points on the pattern, for the sizes your childs waist and chest measurements correspond to.

In this example our childs chest is equal to the size 3 for this pattern and her waist is equal to the size 6 for this pattern.

So we mark the size 3 at the chest (green x) and we mark the size 6 line at the waist (yellow x).

3.  We now want to move the waist point vertically so that it corresponds horizontally with the waist point that matches our childs height.  If we don’t do this the bodice may be too long or too short for our child.  If that sentence didn’t make sense don’t stress – continue reading through the example and it should come clear!

3a. Draw a vertical line on your pattern through the waist point you marked in step 2.

In this example it is the yellow line.

3b.  Draw a horizontal line across your pattern starting at the waistpoint that corresponds to their height.

In this example it is the pink line.

4.  Move the waist point you drew in step 2 along the vertical line you drew in step 3a until it intersects with the horizontal line you drew in step 3b and mark the new waist point.

In this example it is the pink x.

5. Join the new waist point you drew in step 4 to the chest point you drew in step 2 .  If the side seam is curved you will need to draw a curved line.  If the waist line is curved you will need to adjust it as well.

In this example it is the pink line.

6.  Cut out the rest of the bodice according to your child’s height.

Children grow and their shape changes so quickly that it is important to always recheck your child’s measurements and compare them to the sizing chart for the pattern you are making before blending.

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