How to Choose Your Size

Depending on the pattern you’re working with, you’ll see that it has either a size chart that runs from 1-10 or one that runs from A-F. The A-F range is organised just as other patterns are, with all the sizes nested on one pattern sheet. This range is drafted for a B-cup, but we only use this range for non-close fitting patterns where the cup size is of no big consequence. The 1-10 range is organised a little different. This has to do with the size chart and drafting methods that we have chosen. You can read about the why of it in this post. Here I’ll show you how you can find the right pattern sheets easily.

When you open your download, you encounter a few things:

  1. a folder that says ‘size 1-7’,
  2. a folder named ‘size 6-10’
  3. a file called ‘Choose a Size’.

This last one is the file that you should start with. Because we use two blocks for drafting our patterns, we end up with two sets of patterns after grading: 1-6 and 7-10. The two blocks are drafted with different proportions, so they cannot be laid on top of each other after they have been graded. The size sets overlap each other in some areas, creating a Burda-like puzzle. We don’t want to give you tracing nightmares so instead we have put the two sets on two pattern sheets.

The disadvantage of this is that if your measurements spread around 6-7-8, you won’t be able to draft between sizes. To solve this problem we have given both sets an extra size. So 1-6 have an extra 7, and 7-10 have an extra 6. You are now able to choose the right size and draft between sizes if you are in multiple size columns.

Onyx: Choose a size

The ‘Choose a Size’ file explains how to choose a size based on your Bust measurements. It has a decision tree that you can follow so you end up with the right pattern sheet. Basically, you start with Bust measurements, and if you are a 6 or 7, you then choose a pattern sheet based on your Hip size.

One extra note: The first set, 1-7, is drafted with a B-cup. The second set, 6- 10 is drafted with a C-cup. The idea is that less people will have to do an FBA, and that if you do, you have a better fitting pattern to start with.

Helpful links in case you need an FBA:

If you are between sizes, go for the larger one. You can always take it in. Unless you are working with a knit fabric, then you should also take the stretch percentage into account, as explained in the instructions for your pattern.

I hope this makes things clear regarding how to choose a size for any of our patterns. Any thoughts or questions, let me know in the comments!

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  1. My shoulder is only 14″ and bust C bust. How do I pick a size? Do I pick a small size for shoulders and do a FBA. Do I get a size to fit my bust and then do adjustment for narrow shoulders and figure out the sleeve somehow? Thanks for your reply.

    1. Hi Barbara, the best solution is to fit the shoulders and adjust for the bust. This is a much easier adjustment than the shoulders and sleeves.

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