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The three rules of fashion sewing? Measure, measure, measure! If you’ve handmade your own clothes, you’ve likely discovered that fit can be finicky. You may wear a small in a store bought shirt but a large in a sewing pattern. Save yourself the time (and fabric!) by determining your digits beforehand. Here’s how. First things first, when taking any measurements, be sure to wear comfortable undergarments and breathe normally. Ensure your measuring tape is snug, but not tight. Your bust measurement determines the final pattern size for tops, dresses, vests, jackets and coats. To measure, pull the tape under the arms and across the fullest part of the bust. Ensure the tape is straight across your back and front. Your waist measurement determines the final pattern size for skirts that aren’t fitted in the hip area, like our Great Fit Gored Skirt (IJ744). To measure, wrap the tape around the smallest part of your torso, roughly between the bottom of your rib cage and belly button. Again, keep the tape straight across your back and waist and stand naturally. Your hip measurement determines the final pattern size for pants and most skirts. To measure, wrap the tape around the widest part of your hips and butt. You might need help from a friend on this one. If you fall between sizes, choose the larger size unless you’re small boned and prefer a closer fit. Measure yourself every six months to account for fluctuations in shape and size. All of our patterns include all sizes for that design. Most include a sizing chart to help you determine which size to use with your measurements. If a sizing chart is not included, check the website's sizing chart page for additional information.