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kids sewing pattern hell

I sew all the time, but lately I've been running into an awful fact: it is really hard to measure kids for a sewing pattern. It's hard enough to measure an adult, but with the kids patterns there is WAY more variation, and to make it worse, the pattern companies are not helping. at all.

Last year I sewed my 3-year-old a bunny costume from a simplicity pattern. The size was way off, it was for kids but even the smallest size was too big, it was HUGE on her, way too long, dragging on the floor, we had to sew/pin it up all over the place, totally weird. But she loves it and I figure she can wear it for a while.

This year I wanted to make my 1-year-old a sheep costume. mccall's patterns were on sale at joann's and I liked 6105

I was like okay, lesson learned from last year, get the size right! Usually you buy a pattern and it contains sizes 1-4 or something, so I vowed to lay it all out and measure the heck out of the pieces to make sure they'd line up with parts of by kid.

BUT guess what... this pattern contains one size and one size only.

And you buy the size based on only a breast and waist measurement - every inch difference is a size you go up.

This is a baby! She's like 80% squishy fat, how the hell am I supposed to get a waist measurement within 1 inch when I know full well that the most important thing about this pattern is to not have it too long and dragging on the floor? I want a length measurement, somewhere!

I started to grab a size, tear open the pattern, and unfold the whole damn thing in the store so I could measure. I mean I can easily measure the distance between her shoulders and the floor, and there's a pattern piece that makes that run, that's what I'd like to know the length of! But of course that piece was buried, because the package includes the pieces to make an entire zoo of baby costumes (in that ONE size). So I said fuck it and walked out.

Seriously McCall's, waist measurement of my baby within 1 inch? really? has anyone designing these pattern packages ever seen a baby?

I give up. I'll just make a big rectangle out of fur with arm holes and call it good. boooo.


I had a promising exchange this morning with @McCallPatternCo on twitter in which they informed me to simply contact customer service with my query. I almost had to backtrack this whole rant to say sorry, because they're right I should contact them directly before smack-talking on the internet like a crazy person right?

So I emailed them a polite inquiry about the finished length of this pattern, and quickly received this response:

> Thank you for your email concerning McCall Patterns. Whenever possible we try
> to provide our home sewers with the information they desire. Regrettably no.
> You will need to use the measurement chart to determine the size; toddlers are
> size according to chest and waist.
> Cordially,
> Laurie

Well that went well.

Well McCalls, I also work for a big company so I know sometimes the social media folks and customer service department don't exactly sit by each other, so no harm done. But you did get my hopes up.



( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
Jul. 6th, 2014 11:52 pm (UTC)
I made a dress for Penny last spring. In size "12 month." It would fit a plump two year old. At least it didn't run too small, I guess. Maybe she'll wear it next year. Or the one after.
Jul. 7th, 2014 12:36 pm (UTC)
kid sewing pattern hell
Hi! We are forwarding this blog post to our consumer services department so they can make note of your concern.
Jul. 7th, 2014 02:30 pm (UTC)
Re: kid sewing pattern hell
wow, thanks mccall's!

to your credit, I'll admit I ranted on my blog before actually contacting you to inquire about this length measurement that would come in handy.

I still think, for all your customers, measurements like that should be printed on the packaging.

But for a quick fix you could also send it to me at spacefem@spacefem.com
Jul. 7th, 2014 07:45 pm (UTC)
Hi! We pulled a pattern to check the measurements, and you're right, the height info is not included on M6105. (This is going to be noted in our next quality assurance meeting, btw.) Here is a link to toddler measurements on our website: http://mccallpattern.mccall.com/toddlers--pages-584.php. ) Also please note that measurements are always included in the back of all pattern catalogs.

Tip: Be sure there's enough ease in your height measurement to include sitting and the diaper factor.

We hope this helps! Please share a photo with us of your daughter wearing the finished costume. It is an adorable pattern, right?!

Sorry for any inconvenience,
Your friends at the McCall Pattern Company
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )

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