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The pattern envelope usually carries a chart that lists standard bust/waist/hip measurements and the corresponding pattern size you should cut. This is a good starting point, because a pattern size 6 may correspond to your department store size 4, so act accordingly. To figure out how a pattern will fit, however, the important information can be found on the pattern pieces themselves, usually in a chart located on the main front piece of a garment. This chart tells you the finished measurements of a garment. So if you decide, based on your body measurements that you are going to cut the size 6, look at the finished measurements for that size. I may have a 32" bust and be a size 6, but if the pattern is meant to fit big then this chart might list that the finished measurement of the garment is 40" around. If you would like a closer fit, go down a size. For a looser fit, go up a size. To get a feel for how something is going to fit, hold a tape measure around your corresponding body part and imagine what those 40" will look like on you. This is good advice for a looser pattern like my Geometric Blouse.

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Burdastyle

http://burdastyle.com//techniques/adjusting-patterns-to-fit-your-body/technique_steps/2