Off-Topic: An analysis of why commercial patterns fall short in fitting standards

Having a hard time fitting patterns? Learn more on how patterns are made, a history of pattern co. and more.

Retro Glam

Ms. Debra Lee McLendon wrote her Master of Science thesis on the topic of why commercial sewing patterns fail to meet the fitting needs of most of the population here in the United States. As a former patternmaker and designer she is well aware of the shortcomings of commercial patternmakers and pursued this topic in her graduate work.

When I used commercial patterns I was never, ever satisfied with the fit, even after alterations were made. Even now as I read posts and blogs about sewing, I can see how different patterns, even those from the smaller independent companies selling online, can give different bloggers and forum members the same problems. With the high cost of patterns this should not be.

Not everyone has the time to devote to drafting their own patterns and this should not be the only alternative.

Iā€™m still working my way through the almost 160ā€¦

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  1. OMG! Jill have you read this yet? I am 50+ pages in and am engrossed. I have learned so much just about the history of pattern making. Thank you for sharing this.


    • I read the whole thing. It is fascinating. Especially how they use data from 70 years ago! And how we all are supposed to have high round butts and wash board abs. It’s crazy! I wish every sewer would read it. Retro glam has some good stuff.


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