Hadley Sew-Along: Selecting your Size

Today we’re going to talk about selecting your proper size. The first thing you’ll need to do is get some measurements. The three measurements needed to select your size are bust, waist, and hip, and with the Hadley, the most important measurement is going to be your bust. This is due to the fact that it’s the most fitted section of the garment, followed by the hip. The waist is rather unimportant here because of the A-line shape of the top.

For the bust measurement (1) you’re going to measure around the fullest point of your bust, wearing whatever type of bra or undergarment you plan on wearing under your garment. It’s a good idea to have someone help you take your measurements, especially the bust, if you can as having your arms up and holding the tape can affect the measurement a bit.

The waist measurement (2) will be at your natural waist. On many people this is the smallest point of your torso, though on me, it’s pretty much a straight shot from one measurement to another. If you fall into my category a good rule of thumb is your waist is generally where you hands want to end up when you put them on your waist if that makes any sense. It’s also where you bend from.

The hip measurement (3) will be the fullest part of your hips and butt. Typically this is approximately 7″ below your natural waist, though on others it can be lower. You want to make sure you get around the full circumference so you don’t end up with tight hips!

Once you get your measurements you can select your size on the size chart. If your measurement falls between two sizes, for instance if your bust is 34.5˝, you’ll want to round up and choose the next size up.

If you fall into different sizes for each measurement as in the illustration above, you can either go with a straight size of the largest measurement or blend between sizes to get a better fit. For the Hadley we do recommend blending if you fall into this category though because the design depends on a well fitting shoulder and bust. As I mentioned above the waist is the least important measurement. The measurements above are my personal measurements so what I would do is blend from a 6 at the bust to an 8 at the hips and omit my waist measurement entirely. Since it’s still a smaller number than the bust of hip I’ll be just fine doing that.

If you’re a straight size and don’t need to do any pattern adjustments you’re good to cut your pattern pieces. If you fall between sizes as I do, or need to make an adjustment, we’ll have more about that in our next post!

Hadley Sew-Along: Selecting your Size | Grainline StudioHadley Sew-Along: Selecting your Size | Grainline Studio

6 replies on “Hadley Sew-Along: Selecting your Size

  • sasafras1959

    Hi Jen Will be starting the Hadley soon but need help choosing the right size. Could you assist please? Full Bust 43.5 (High Bust 39.5), Waist 37, Hip 47. I know I will need an FBA and will do many muslins to get it perfect…should I start with a size 18? Thanks, love love your patterns!

    • Jen

      I would probably grade from a 16 to 18 between the bust and hips, then do your FBA on that. I think if you start from the 18 at the bust it might end up a bit large after the FBA but really the only way to tell is to make a muslin unfortunately. This is just a guess on my end, but if it were me that’s likely what I would do.

      • Sandra

        Thanks for the prompt reply. This is exactly what I did for the Willow. I have made about 30 Willows by now experimenting with different fabrics and learning more about fitting/FBA’s. All this knowledge can now be directly applied to all your patterns since they are consistent in size. Muslins are the only way to go…sewing is an art sprinkled with some science. Thanks so much.

    • Elizabeth G Jones

      Hi sasafras. We could almost be body doubles! I’m 44″ fb (39.5″ hb) -37′-46″ and I love the fit of my Willow Tank in a size 16 with a 1.5″ FBA. I made my 1st Hadley (with sleeves) in a size 16 with no FBA based on the finished measurement chart and it is still roomy enough look be considered semi fitted. I’m going to make it again as a tank and I’ll size down to a 14 and try a FBA.


Leave a Reply