Sewing pattern height – a chart

Sewing pattern height - what height patterns design for

Everyone’s body is different. We come in all shapes and sizes, which can make it challenging to find a sewing pattern that fits your body. Luckily, some indie sewing patterns design for a particular body type. For example, Sewaholic Patterns are designed for pear-shaped women, Cashmerette Patterns for curvy figures (cup sizes C–H) and Skinny Bitch Curvy Chick Patterns (SBCC) for petite ladies. Each size is designed for a particular bust, waist and hip measurement, but not every company provides the sewing pattern height.

Sewing pattern height - a blog post about the height different sewing pattern companies design for, including a chart

I’m nearly 5′ 8″ (172 cm) and I really haven’t given much thought to the height that patterns are designed for. I’ll be sewing more pants (trousers for you UK and Aussie sewists) so I’m looking more closely at height; then I can make any pattern adjustments before I cut my fabric. I recently finished the Mimosa Culottes by Named Clothing, a Finnish pattern company that designs for my height. I liked the length on the model in the photo so I didn’t make any changes to the length.

Named - Lexi A-line top and Mimosa Culottes

My next pair will be Megan Nielsen’s Flint Pants. I discovered that she designs for a height 5′ 9″ (175 cm) so I trimmed one inch from the length on my pattern piece before I cut my muslin. This experience made me want to find out what height pattern companies use for their designs. And of course, I thought, why not make a chart of all the companies whose patterns I’ve sewn or are in my stash? So that’s how I selected the list of companies. – with the exception of Cashmerette, whose patterns I don’t yet own, partly because I’d have to do a significant small bust adjustment. (I’m an A cup.) So this is by no means a comprehensive list. But I will be updating it. If you are a pattern company and would like to be added to this list, please contact me and send me a link to your size chart, height and cup size you design for.

As far as I can tell, the Big Four (Butterick, McCalls, Simplicity and Vogue) all use the same height for misses (5′ 5″ to 5′ 6″) and petite (5′ 2 to 5′ 3″/157 cm to 160 cm).

The chart includes links to each company’s body measurements/size chart (if they have one or a link to a pattern with the size chart), the height they design for and the cup size. I don’t know what cup size the Big Four uses so I left that blank. I’ll fill it in when I find out.

Sewing Co. Size ChartHeight: inHeight: cmCup
100 Acts of Sewing5′ 5″165C
The Assembly Line5′ 6″-5′ 7″168-170
Blueprints for Sewing5′ 5″165B
Burda women’s regular5′ 6 1/4″168
Burda women’s petite5′ 3″160
Burda women’s tall5′ 9 1/4″176
Butterick-misses5′ 5″-5′ 6″165-168
Butterick-petites5′ 2″-5′ 3″157-160
Cashmerette5′ 6″168C-H
Christine Haynes5′ 6″168B
Closet Case Files5′ 6″168B
Deer and Doe5′ 6″168C-D
Friday Pattern Company5′ 6″168B
Helen’s Closet5′ 6″168B, D
In the Folds5′ 7″170B
Itch to Stitch5′ 6″168A-DD
McCalls – misses5′ 5″-5′ 6″165-168
McCalls – petites5′ 2″-5′ 3″157-160
Megan Nielsen5′ 9″175B-C
Merchant & Mills5′ 6″168D*
Named Clothing5′ 8″172B
Paprika Patterns5′ 7″170B-C
Paper Theory Patterns5′ 7″170C
Pauline Alice5′ 5″165B
Pipe Dream Patterns5′ 5″165
SBCC Patterns5′ 1″155Varies
Sew DIY5′ 10″177C
Sew House Seven5′ 6″168B
Sewaholic5’4″162B
Simplicity-misses5′ 5″-5′ 6″165-168B
Style Arc5′ 6″168B
True Bias5′ 5″165C
Vogue-misses5′ 5″-5′ 6″165-168
Vogue-petites5′ 2″-5′ 3″157-160
Wiksten5′ 7″170B

*Merchant & Mills says their patterns are not tailored/fitted so they don’t really design for a particular cup size but if they had to say, they say D.

Not all of the indie designers include this info on their websites so in some cases, I contacted the companies to find out. They graciously answered my queries within a few days. I hope you find the information useful.

Sewing pattern height is an interesting measurement but it’s not the most important one. Patterns can easily be adjusted for length. The critical measurements are bust, waist and hips. The finished measurements are also very helpful when it comes to pants and skirts. When I make skirts or pants, all I first look at the hip measurement to pick my size. What measurements are the most important for you when you choose a size to sew?

Note: This post was originally published on May 1, 2017. I’ve been meaning to update it for a long time. This update was spurred by Michelle (@michellegw) who helpfully sent me height/cup size of some additional indie patterns in her collection. Thanks, Michelle!

Sewing pattern height - chart listing Big Four and indie pattern heights that they are designed for (Christine Haynes, Closet Case Files, Deer and Doe, In the Folds, Named, Megan Nielsen, Papercut, Paprika, Style Arc, and more)

 

Author: Chuleenan

Chuleenan sews, collects hats and shoes, and is a fabric addict. She is also the organizer for the Bay Area Sewists Meetup group.

35 thoughts on “Sewing pattern height – a chart”

  1. Funny I had always read that Burda regular sizes were designed for 1m70, not 68. They design for a B cup, but the plus sizes (say 46+) are for a D cup, so you might want to buy the same pattern a different size range according to your cup size, if you are an intermediate size, or grade up or down a bit.

    In any case the big 4 design for a B cup (except of course for the patterns deliberately designed to offer a range of cup sizes

  2. Wow, I had no idea patterns were designed for a height of only 5’6” – I’m 5’10”, no wonder normal skirts are often mini skirts on me!
    By the way, I’m Australian and we definitely say pants rather than “trousers” here!

  3. Such a useful list!
    Thanks for putting it together 🙂

    As my luck would have it,
    The one I was looking for was Simplicity.

    They design their patterns for
    Misses and Womens: 5’5″ – 5’6″
    Misses and Womens Petite: 5’4″ (and under)

    Thought I’d share it in case you want to post an updated list, ever 🙂
    (I was redirected to your site from Cashmerette blog, in their article about fitting workshops.)

    Many thanks again!

  4. Hi. Good list. I thought you would have included Burda given they’re made for taller girls?
    As well as having Petite, Regular & tall sizes??

    1. I’ve been adding to the list. I started out with companies whose patterns I’ve sewn or designers I’ve met. It’s certainly not a comprehensive list. I will keep adding to it. I will certainly add Burda. I thought I added the petite measurement for the Big Four, but I guess I forgot! SBCC (in the chart) designs for petite figures.

  5. Very comprehensive post Chuleenan, being into sewing industry from so many years, weird that i have never heard of SBCC. Thanks for giving me a new term. I have been sewing on Megan Nielsen patterns.Will check out other patterns for tall girls.

  6. Thank you!!! I hadn’t heard of SBCC before – I’m still too short for them, but that’s so much closer to me than everywhere else :).

    1. I’m too short for them, too, Dott–only 4’6″! But I’ve been sewing for 60 years, and am pretty good at shorening patterns by now!! Still, it would be nice not to have to take so much out in the lenght!

      What does SBCC stand for, anyway? Are they in the US? Guess I’d better do a search!

  7. Thank you for this list! I’m 5’9″ and primarily sew Big 4. Will check out other pattern companies based on tall women.

  8. Huh. What’s the deal with Papercut’s 5 inch range? Did they say? I’m 5’8″+ and while their pants are generally only an inch shy, their tops are 3+ or more, so I agree with their weird range given, but it’s so weird.

    1. Hi, I asked Papercut about the height range and they said: “The problem with height measurements is that everyone’s proportions are still very different. You can have two people at 170cm tall, but their torso and leg proportions might be very different, affecting the fit of every garment. So a better way to gauge fit is to always use the finished measurements stated.”

      This is a good point. I think I need to do a follow-up post on proportions.

      1. What a strange reply. What do my, or anyone’s, proportions have to do with their huge 5 inch range? Yes, yes, finished measurements and all that, but we are talking about their base sloper model, not mine, and their base has a 5″ discrepancy. I love their patterns, but it remains a bizarre response. I’ll have to go look at their patterns now… I wonder if their bust/waist/hip ratio is all over the board too, or if they at least stick to the same ratio throughout. Or do they have petite versions and something is just being lost in text conversation here? I’d never think to look for petite options.

  9. Thanks so much for the info about the pattern companies! This is incredibly helpful!

    1. Glad you found it useful. Maybe a chart listing pattern companies that cater to a specific body type could be another blog post or chart.

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