How to buy the right pattern for your body type

Have you ever bought a pattern that seems perfect for you on the cover but what you end up with when you’re done sewing, not so much? It can be tricky to find the right pattern for your body type.

It happens to all of us.

You’ve got this wonderful, well-drafted pattern. All the seams go together, and the instructions are great. But looking in the mirror, you think your garment looks like a wreck no matter how many times you press it.

Why can’t you rock the look effortlessly, like the model on the cover image?

Who else to blame than yourself? So you think something’s definitely wrong with your sewing. Or worse, your body.

The not so secret “secret”

The key to those gorgeous photos is called “stylist.”

For each image you’re hankering, at least 3 people worked hard to make the model, her clothes, and every single photo look mouthwatering.

Unless you have your own stylist, a make-up artist, and someone to walk next to you with a spotlight (and probably a fan too) all day, it’s tough even to come close.

Who looks that flawless in real life anyway?

How to know if the pattern is right for your body type

It’s a big question, but not as complicated as it seems. One way to determine whether a pattern is for you or not is by asking a few questions.

Plot your destination

Analyze the pattern. Consider the end result and how you want the finished garment to look on you.

Have a good look at the pattern photo.

  • What is it that attracts you to this particular outfit?
  • Is there a detail that speaks to you more, or is it the overall outfit?
  • Would you wear it in real life?
  • Does it fit in with your lifestyle?
  • Do you have something in your wardrobe to wear with it?
  • On what specific occasion would you wear it?

Jot down your thoughts.

Gather the facts

Study your body. That means taking and noting your measurements. And having a good look at yourself in front of a full-length mirror.

This can be scary. We’re taught by society and fast fashion brands to look at our bodies with criticism and judging ourselves as less if we don’t look like [add supermodel name here]. So thoughts can easily run amok.


Your body, in any shape or form, is a fact.

It’s a body (fact). It’s yours (fact). You live in it now (fact).

Unless you’re a nudist or living in a climate suited for bare skin, you’ll have to dress it from time to time. Shelter it from the weather. Obey the law in most countries. And conform to social and cultural expectations.

So do it. You got this.

Stand in front of the mirror and look for the facts.

  • Is your body round-ed or square-ish?
  • Elongated or compact?
  • Straight or curvy?
  • Asymmetric or balanced?
  • Where’s your widest and most narrow part?
  • What part is your favorite to highlight and embellish? Dressing up with the nicest fabrics?

Write down your facts.

Put it all together

Get your list of features, details, and facts. Then, summarize what you think is important with the finished garment, like proportion, fit, and details.

  • Does the pattern have the right measurements for you?
  • If not, can you easily alter it, or do you need to look for another similar pattern?
  • Does it have the right features for your taste and style?
  • What parts can you put an extra accent on? Is there something you want to remove or downplay?
  • Do you have fabric, notions, and supplies at hand, or is it time for shopping?
  • What tools are required apart from your sewing machine?
  • When do you need to be done? Can you schedule some sewing time in your calendar right now?


Evaluate if this pattern is for you and write down your design decisions. Then, plan how to proceed and fill the gap between what you have and the result you want.

Consider this

Don’t avoid patterns you love the look of but don’t think suit you because you’ve read some “advice” in a random article.

Even if you have to adjust the pattern, for example, to fit an apple shape; ditch those ancient style myths and take an analytical approach instead.

Give it a try.

Because you can sew any pattern
and wear any garment you’d like

With any body shape, form, or size. At any age. In any color you love.

Dress to be you. Express your personality. Highlight the parts that you love. Connect how you feel on the inside to how you want to show up in the world. Celebrate your being with beautifully handmade clothes. Enjoy a wardrobe you love and that loves you back.

This is why we sew.

Sew great!