I have a middle school sewing class starting again this week and I always like to start off with a little discussion about body measurements. While it is so important to work with accurate measurements when you sew, this can be a really sensitive topic with tween girls. I put a  handout together a few years ago for camp and it always makes for a great ice breaker with the girls. Basically, I show how measurements for home sewing patterns were originally done by age: a size 8 was for an eight year old child, a size 16 for a sixteen year old. Today this is not the case, plus we have S,M,L,XL and other creative sizing methods. I always tell the kids that their measurements are their perfect measurements and that the ones on the patterns they buy are only to be used as a starting point.

After we talk about measurements and review how to read a tape measure I have the girls partner up and fill out a measurement chart. Then we date them and I remind them that when they grow and their measurements change so they will need to make sure to remember how to do the exercise!

I thought I'd post the handout for fun today and also in honor of one of my mentors, the late Betty Williams who's sewing pattern archive I spent years playing with and organizing.
File Size: 3941 kb
File Type: pdf
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And a few days ago my friend Miyong posted an article from the NY Times about the history of sizing. Read the article, 'One Size Fits Nobody: Seeking a Steady 4 or a 10' by Stephanie Clifford here.

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