The little guide to tailor-made sewing is bigger and better!

Hello, Hello!

You may not know, but Maison Fauve offers you a complete guide on our site to help you adapt your sewing patterns: the short guide to tailor-made sewing to which we recently added new chapters. But let's start things in order...

Sew your wardrobe

The pleasure of sewing your wardrobe lies not only in the idea of creating your garment but also that this creation fits you perfectly.

At Maison Fauve, we offer you sewing patterns graded from 34 to 52 (6-24 uk), for a height of 1m65 to 36. The gradation process will involve an increase in "size" but also in height as we go up in sizes. The testing phase will ensure consistency in proportions, drape and expected look, whatever the size. And if necessary, take the elements that a "classic" gradation does not take into account: such as not becoming oversized in the middle in large sizes, adjust the position of the waist line, consider the accuracy of the volumes. The work carried out during the testing phase will result in the final pattern, considered on numerous body types. Our patterns are featured on a number of women during the shoot. The choice of size for our models is made using the pattern size table, and the finished garment measurement table which is now available for all our new patterns.

Know how to choose your size

It all starts with choosing the size. You have two tools to help you:

  • The size table: it tells you the recommended size according to your measurements

  • The finished garment measurement table: it provides you with information on the dimension of the garment once sewn. For patterns designed for warp and weft fabrics, the measurements do not take into account the possible elasticity of the fabric.

The values of these two tables are different, because it is necessary to take into account the ease, that is the extra cm which will allow you to be comfortable in your garment. The ease value is easily calculated by subtracting the body measurement from the size chart to that of the finished garment. It will be very high on deliberately loose clothing (like the ease at the waist and hips of the Mia dress, or that of the oversized Pam coat) and lower on more fitted clothing like the Manhattan jacket.

To begin, I recommend analysing the garment. If you are sewing trousers, the chest measurement is not taken into account when choosing the size. If you are sewing a fitted jacket, the ease has been designed so that the garment is comfortable, there is no need to oversize if your measurements correspond to the table, but you should not choose the smaller size if you are between 2 sizes. If you are sewing a dress with a large size, the ease will be very generous on the hips and the waist and the chest will be the value to favor. Observe the presentation photos of the models to see the proposed drape.

Example of a jacket, with the Metropolis sewing pattern in 42:

  • The chest gradation value is 96/98 cm

  • The value of the finished garment chest measurement (and buttoned) is 108.2 cm

You therefore have an ease which will be more than 10 cm. The Métropolis jacket is a mid-season jacket, it will allow you to wear a medium-thick sweater underneath without any worries. The garment fits normally.

Example of a straight blouse with the Skyline shirt in 38:

  • The chest gradation value is 88/90 cm

  • The value of the finished garment chest measurement is 108 cm

The comfort value is 18 cm, which is consistent with the flexibility of the model which is not intended to be adjusted. You should not undersize the garment by taking a smaller size.

Example of trousers with the Brooklyn pattern in 44:

  • The gradation value is 76/78 cm for the waist and 104/106 cm for the hips

  • The finished garment measurements are 90 cm for the waist and 111 cm for the hips with closed pleats and 121 cm with open pleats.

The ease is 12 cm for the size. The set of pleats allows a minimum ease of 5 cm (but the pleats are not stitched all the way to the pelvis) and a maximum of 15 cm (but the pleats are not designed to open completely). We therefore end up with an ease of around 12 cm for the pelvis. The pattern offers generous ease, which is why we explain that if you are between 2 sizes in the grading chart, you can use the smaller size.

In all cases, and even more so for slightly complex projects such as a jacket or lined coat, a jumpsuit or even trousers, we recommend that you sew a toile.

Sewing a toile, what is that?


Fashion houses systematically give their collection fittings before the shows. The know-how and accuracy of the pattern is undeniable. But the idea is to dress the women who walk in the clothes and whose fit will be perfect, adapted to each person's body shape.

The toile will be the “test” version of your garment. You choose an ordinary, inexpensive fabric, and you sew a draft of your garment: there is no need to sew the finishing elements such as ruffles, decorative tabs, patch or piped pockets for example, and you skip the lining . The idea is to validate your choice of size and identify any adjustments to be made. You can draw marks on it and retouch it if necessary. And you will take these modifications into account to add them to your pattern.

The other situation for which the toile is essential is when you have difficulty choosing your size because you are between several sizes in the gradation table, especially for pieces where several measurements are essential such as a long dress with a fitted waist, trousers fitted at the waist, a jumpsuit, or even if you are not of the indicated height. We have everything to support you under consideration for a number of scenarios! 

A free guide to tailor-made hand made clothing

This guide aims to support you in adjusting your patterns. It is a free sewing pattern method which we have tried to make as accessible as possible thanks to diagrams.

A sewing pattern will never be suitable for all body types: for example, the height of the bust is not necessarily identical between two women of the same height and the same size in the table. The position of the chest may also vary. And of course, our guide has been designed for all seamstresses who need specific adjustments:

  • Strong chest deepening (FBA)

  • Adapt a trousers pattern

  • How to grade a pattern between sizes

Etc, there are a total of 19 chapters to answer many questions!

Download the guide

What's new in our free sewing guide

  • How to adjust the position of the chest darts on jackets, dresses, blouses, so that the chest is perfectly fitted on the garment

  • Move a shoulder seam to have a perfectly positioned sleeve head

We will continue to improve our guide to accompany you on your sewing journey make sewing even more accessible and enjoyable, whether you are a beginner or more expert seamstress.

We hope you enjoy our guide!


Looking forward to sewing some of your beautiful patterns. I discovered your patterns from watching “SoSew Mad”. Thank you for the sewing guide.

Kathy 23 May 2024

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