Choosing your size and adapting your sewing pattern

Hello, hello!

At Maison Fauve, summer was a studious one and we did our back-to-school homework. You may not know it, but on our website we offer you a comprehensive guide to help you adapt your sewing pattern sewing: the little guide to made-to-measure sewing. And we've added even more chapters. But first things first...

Sewing your wardrobe

The pleasure of sewing your wardrobe lies not only in the idea of creating your own garment, but also in the fact that this creation fits you perfectly.

At Maison Fauve, we offer graded sewing pattern couture from 34 to 52, for a stature of 1m65 in 36. The grading process will involve an increase in "size" as well as in stature as you go up in size. The test phase will ensure consistency in proportions, fall and expected look, whatever the size. And, if need be, to take into account elements that a "classic" gradation doesn't take into account: not oversizing the shoulders in larger sizes, adjusting the position of the waistline, considering the rightness of volumes. The work carried out during the test phase will result in the final pattern, which can be considered for a wide range of body shapes. Our sewing pattern are presented on several women during the shooting. Size selection for our models is based on the pattern sizing chart, and the finished garment sizing chart, which is now available for all our new models.

Choosing your size

It all starts with choosing the right size. You have 2 tools to help you:

  • The size chart: shows you the recommended size according to your measurements.

  • The finished garment measurement chart: this gives you the size of the garment once sewn. For sewing pattern designed for warp and weft fabrics, the measurements do not take into account the possible elasticity of the material.

The values in these 2 tables are different, because you need to take into account the "ease", i.e. the extra cm that will enable you to be comfortable in your garment. The ease value is easily calculated by subtracting the body measurement on the sizing chart from that of the finished garment. It will be very high on deliberately loose-fitting garments (like the waist and hip room of the Mia dress, or the oversized Pam coat ) and lower on more fitted garments like the Manhattan jacket.

To begin with, I recommend you analyze the garment. If you're sewing pants, the chest measurement is not a factor in choosing the right size. If you're sewing a pressed jacket, there's no need to over-size if your measurements match the chart, but don't choose the next size down if you're between 2 sizes. If you're sewing a full-figured dress, you'll need a generous amount of ease on the hips and waist, and the chest will be the best value. Take a look at the photos of the models to see how they fall.

Example of a jacket, with the Métropolis sewing pattern in 42 :

  • The gradation value of the chest is 96/98 cm.

  • The chest measurement for the finished garment (with buttons) is 108.2 cm.

You'll be more than 10 cm more comfortable. The Metropolis jacket is a mid-season jacket, so you can wear a medium-weight sweater underneath. Model fits true to size. 

Example of a straight blouse with the Skyline shirt in size 38:

  • The gradation value of the chest is 88/90 cm.

  • The chest measurement for the finished garment is 108 cm.

The ease value is 18 cm, which is consistent with the flexibility of the model, which is not designed to be fitted. The garment should not be undersized.

Example of a pair of pants with the Brooklyn pants in size 44:

  • The gradation value is 76/78 cm for the waist and 104/106 cm for the hips.

  • The finished garment measures 90 cm for the waist and 111 cm for the hips when closed and 121 cm when open.

The waistband is 12 cm wide. The set of pleats allows a minimum ease of 5 cm (but the pleats are not stitched to the pelvis) and a maximum of 15 cm (but the pleats are not designed to open fully). This brings us back to an ease of around 12 cm for the pelvis. The model offers generous ease, which is why we explain that if you're between 2 sizes in the gradation chart, you can use the smaller size.

In all cases, and especially for more complex items such as lined jackets and coats, overalls and pants, we recommend that you sewing a canvas.

Sewing a canvas, in other words?


Couture houses systematically give their models fittings before the shows. The know-how and accuracy of pattern-making is undeniable. But the idea is to dress the women on the catwalk in garments with a perfect fit, adapted to each woman's morphology.

The canvas will be the "trial" version of your garment. You choose an ordinary, inexpensive fabric and sew a draft of your garment: no need to sew finishing elements such as ruffles, decorative tabs, patch pockets or piping, for example, and you omit the lining. The idea is to validate your choice of size and identify any adjustments that need to be made. You'll be able to draw markings on it, and touch it up if necessary. Then you take these modifications into account and transfer them to your pattern.

Another situation for which the fabric is indispensable is when you're having trouble choosing your size because you fall between several sizes on the gradation chart, particularly for pieces where several measurements are essential, such as a long dress with a marked waist, pants pressed at the waist, a jumpsuit, or if you're not in the indicated stature. And we've got you covered!


A free guide to made-to-measure sewing

This guide is designed to help you adjust your sewing pattern. It's a free sewing pattern method, and we've tried to make it as accessible as possible with the help of diagrams.

A sewing pattern will never suit all morphologies: for example, bust height is not necessarily identical between 2 women of the same stature and height in the chart. The position of the bust may also vary. And of course, our guide has been designed for all seamstresses who need specific adjustments:

  • Strong chest deepening (FBA)

  • Adapting a trouser pattern

  • How to graduate a pattern between sizes

In all, there are 19 chapters to answer all your questions!

Download guide

What's new in our free sewing guide

A few months ago, we organized a major survey to find out what your needs were, and how we could better support you in your couture projects. Many of you thanked us for making our guide available, and pointed out 2 adjustments that were missing: 

  • Adjust the position of chest clip jackets, dresses, blouses, so that the chest is perfectly supported by the garment.

  • Shifting a shoulder seam for a perfectly positioned sleeve head

They are now available in this updated guide! This improvement work is the first step towards the content we'll be able to create thanks to your numerous feedbacks. We'll come back to you in September with all the results of the questionnaire, and explain how we're going to continue to offer you free materials that will make sewing even more accessible and enjoyable, whether you're a beginner or an expert sewer.

A great discovery from our guide!

1 comment

Good morning,
Thank you for your explanations. I made a perfect blouse Tilda thanks to them.

dubois November 02, 2023

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