Patterns for Pirates grades to a true curvy, hourglass, 5’5″ frame. Often times, one’s measurements may not fit within one size for bust, waist and hip and in order to keep the intended fit of the garment, grading sizes is needed. Is it always necessary to grade sizes? No, but depending on the fit and ease of the item, it may be worth taking the extra step to custom fit it to your measurements. Unsure if you want to grade? Check out the Shirt Fits Explained post as it may help you decide if you are comfortable with a different fit. For some of the looser cut tops like the Everyday Elegance and Relaxed Raglan, grading up a size for waist is likely not necessary as they are straight cuts from the bust down. But a top like the Layer Me Up, that is very fitted to the body would fit the best if graded to your measurements/size. Be sure to measure yourself prior to sewing! Our measurements tend to fluctuate without us really noticing, so I try to measure myself every couple of weeks to be sure I am still sewing the same size my measurements put me. Not sure where to measure? Read this: How to Measure Yourself. Below is the size chart for reference.
Now that you have determined your size and if you’d like to grade, how do you do it? Below are a few examples of grading for a larger waist and hip size. Any adjustments should be made to both the FRONT and BACK pieces. Do not be discouraged if your measurements put you within different or larger sizes than ready-to-wear store bought clothes as pattern sizing does not translate the same. Our bodies come in all shapes and sizes, and we are all uniquely beautiful. The beauty of sewing for oneself is the ability to create an item custom fit to you.
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