If you're like Tiff and I your children are not the "average" size for their age, which means when you use one of our patterns and make it the "average" size it may not fit properly. We're here to show you how to properly adjust our patterns for the perfect fit!
If you're a seasoned seamstress, you are probably very familiar with how to modify your patterns properly, but if you are still somewhat new to sewing then this may be all new to you and is *hopefully* something you will be excited to learn about!
Let's start with a pattern like Penny's Patchwork Twirly Dress. With this specific pattern, we need the bodice to be approximately 2" wider than your child's chest so that it can fit over their head and shoulders. We don't want it to be any wider though because its just not gonna look right with the fit.
So for all our examples, we're gonna say our daughter is a 3T due to her height, but really thin and after we measured her chest, she was the average size of a 12-18 months old. What do we do?
We would definitely suggest cutting our bodice pattern pieces to be the 3T length and the 12-18 mos. width as pictured above. We would then continue making the rest of the dress as a 3T since we need the length and its all gathered anyway.
Using the same example child, how would you do a peasant dress? We would actually suggest doing it the same way: 3T length on bodice and sleeves and12-18 mos width on bodice and sleeves. So which arm cut-out would you use? We would suggest using the 3T arm cut out. Here is where it differs a little...
If we're making the Marissa's Perfect Peasant Dress, it's okay to use the 3T lengths for the skirt portion because it's all gathered and there are no defining pieces. That being said, if you mind it being a little extra twirly then definitely use the 12-18 mos. widths.
If we are making a dress like Jewel's Stripwork Peasant Dress, we would definitely recommend using the 3T lengths with the 12-18 mos. widths as it may look different using the 3T widths and gathering them down to the 12-18 mos. bodice width.
What about a fitted bodice? This is a little tougher. If it's shirred like Anna's Sweetheart Halter Top, it really depends on your shirring abilities. If you can shirr well, then I would just make it a 3T and put the shirring a little closer together so that its a little more tightly gathered. If you're new to shirring or haven't got the hang of it on your machine yet, I would suggest doing it the same way as we explained it in the Penny's. The advantage of keeping it the 3T length and width is that if your child does fill out a little but doesn't grow any taller than you can get some extra wear out of it!
What about a fitted bodice like Sophia's Open Back Ruffle Dress that uses elastic in the back. This one is a little easier. I would definitely suggest cutting out the 3T bodice and using the 12-18 mos. elastic width...maybe even the 24 mos./2T elastic width. It might be a tad bigger with the 24 mos./2T but you will get more wear out of it.
Now onto Charlotte's Corset Top pattern. This is one that you HAVE to measure your child for. This pattern's specifically made for the exact average chest size and they are listed in the pattern. Even if your child fits 3T in everything its good to still measure; "measure twice cut once!" This is not a good look when it is too big. So what if, once again, our child is 12-18 mos. chest size but 3T length? Use the 12-18 months widths and 3T lengths for everything. When we cut out our pattern piece, we will be using the 12-18 months.
Kiki's Extra Ruffled Top is shirred so I would follow the same directions as I gave for the shirred tops above. In this case, we can just used the 3T lengths and widths. If you do make the bodice the 12/18 months width, then we should definitely follow the same rule for the ruffles and connector pieces.
What about tops that are shirred all the way around and not just in the back like Helen's Maxi Dress? I would definitely suggest doing the 12-18 months width with the 3T length. The good thing about these dresses and tops are that they are really, really wide so they can stretch a lot and be worn for years. If you were to make it just a standard 3T size, then it may not shirr small enough for your child. If you make it the 12-18 months though, it will still have plenty of room to grow with your child.
I think I pretty much covered all of our bodices, dress styles, and top styles. Any top or dress pattern you can purchase of ours will fit under one (or more) of the above descriptions. If you have any additional questions feel free to email us at CreateKidsCouture@gmail.com as we are always here to help! In the upcoming weeks we will be continuing this series by helping you figure out how to modify sizing in pants and rompers. Fun.....
Shannon and Tiffany