Monday, November 5, 2012

Sureau Sew-along: Choosing Your Size and a French glossary

Hello, my dear sew-alongers!
For our first day, we're starting easy: today, we're taking our measurements and we're choosing our size accordingly.


First of all, you will need to take three measurements of yourself:

  • Bust: measure the fullest point of your chest. This pattern is made for a C cup, so if you are more or less busty, we might need to make some adjustments later on.
  • Waist: the narrowest point of your torso, your natural waist, it's usually just above your belly button.
  • Hips: measure the widest point of your hips or, if you're like me and have a big derrière, the widest point of your bum.

    If you have someone to help out, that would be best. If you don't, use a mirror to check that you're holding the measuring tape straight.
    Wear tight clothes, like a fitted camisole and leggings, or even just your underwear. Be sure to wear the bra you plan to use with the finished dress (or a regular bra). Stay straight, don't slouch and don't hold your breath while taking your measurements.

At this point, I like to write down the measurements I just took (I use this cute chart). Then, using a pencil, I circle on the size chart the numbers that match mine more closely. If you're between two sizes, choose the bigger one.
If you find that you're not one size all over, don't worry! It's perfectly normal, and we'll see how to deal with this when we trace our pattern.

If you're European, you'll notice that the sizes are quite similar to ready-to-wear clothes.
If you're not used to metric measurements, fear not! Eléonore and I have prepared a chart with converted measurements (this is more or less you what you'll find on translated Deer and Doe patterns when they'll be out).

You can also download the chart as a pdf here.

Finally, I put together a little glossary to help you mostly with the pattern pieces, but also with the instructions. You can download it here.
This glossary is just a little support; if you follow my posts, you won't need to translate the instructions. I'm hoping to cover everything you need to know from the booklet.

I'll see you tomorrow to talk about fabric!
In the meantime, come join our Flickr group if you haven't already! I have neglected the group a bit until now, but I promise I'll be more present from now on.


  1. I'm so excited it's finally here! I'm a bit ahead and have cut out my toile, it turns out my French is worse than I thought, I can't make head nor tail of the first instruction :-(

  2. And by the way that Glossary pdf is SO helpful! Thank you so much!

  3. Estoy encantada con el comienzo de este cose conmigo!!. Yo tengo que estrechar el busto, ya que mi copa es A.

  4. I'm in the awkward position to confess that the pattern is way to small for me... If i measure right beneath my belly button the tour de taille is 88cm, that means that size 46 tiny for me...What happens now?May if i take the measurement above belly button? It's 78cm so i'm size 44.

  5. I'm so sorry Marilo, I'm terrible with prepositions... I meant ABOVE your belly button, I corrected it now! It's the narrowest part of your torso (you can see it in the image as an example), so it should be 78cm in your case. Are you ok with the other measurements?

  6. I don't speak a word of Spanish (sorry! XD ), but from what understand, you might need to adjust the pattern with an SBA (small bust adjustment), which we'll cover next week. Definitely make a muslin!

  7. I'm really glad you found it useful!
    Don't worry, we'll cover how to sew the muslin on Friday!

  8. Uf! I'm relieved now! I thought that might be a misunderstanding because the waist of the dress seemed a bit high, in respect with the belly button. So i'm 44, and the rest is 42 (bust) and 40 (hips). I cover three different sizes...interesting!

  9. I just ordered my pattern last week (I'm so last-minute :-P), I hope it arrives in time to participate! Also, I have some fabric and buttons set aside to make a Darling Ranges Dress, I think that Sureau looks pretty similar so I might just use that pattern instead. Would you recommend one over the other?

  10. I was wondering if you knew when the english version of the Deer & Doe patterns would be out, as if its soon I might wait to buy the english translation :)

  11. I used google translate and then worked out the bits that it couldn't translate with my own recollection of French from school!

  12. They are similar in design, but they have so many differences! The Darling Ranges has pockets, but it requires to sew many buttonholes (which I don't enjoy sewing), and it has a deep neckline (I had to raise it). The Sureau dress has a more fitted waist, I like that it has a side zipper, I feel it's more versatile to alterations, but because of the bust gathering it might require more fit alterations.
    Ahah, it's like asking me to choose which one of my children is my favorite. I'd say it really goes down to personal preference, look at some finished versions of both dress and try to imagine which one you'd like better on yourself. If you can afford it, I don't think you'll regret purchasing both :)

  13. We should ask Eléonore that, I just know the translations are being revised, but I don't know how long it might take in terms of print and shop organization... Sorry!

  14. Thanks for the advice! I really do like both, so maybe I will keep my fabric and use something else for Sureau. I started a Darling Ranges about 2 weeks ago, I was in a rush because I wanted to wear it for my birthday so I didn't muslin it and just trusted the pattern envelope measurements. Bad idea. I now have a half-finished dress that is a size too small. I might try to finish it, but I'm pretty sure that the buttons will be pulling over the chest, which is weird because the measurements matched me almost exactly. Anyway, live and learn!

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