Patterning Fitted Garments

Goal: To produce a pattern for a fitted garment from only 4 initial measurements.

Target Audience: new to moderate experianced sewers

I did not develop this.  I suggest looking at the original source of “Cotehardie Construction from Extant Pieces” created by Mistress Mairghead de Chesholme (Jacquelyne Aubuchon) found at

For the purposes of this class I have rewritten the instructions in a manner to generate a more generalized fitted pattern that can then be directed in a variety of directions.  It is also my go-to first step in drafting patterns for use in making historic clothing for newcomers, including many unfitted garments.

In pattern drafting in the SCA there have been several techniques that have been taught over and over though the years.  Techniques of draped and pinned fabric or the duct tape pattern can be used to produce a fitted garment pattern.  Both of these do require the presence of the person during the patterning.  If you want to try to generate a fitted pattern without the victim present, your options are more limited. 

The technique herein described is not absolutely fool proof, but it has great advantages.  Using the 4 measurements of chest, hips, waist and total height, you can get fairly close to a fitted garment.  I have used this several times with people that I have never physically met and essentially remotely fitted a garment.  The pattern it produces is generally within 5-10% of the true value from my experience, and gets close enough to minimize excess fittings.    I have been using this for many years to make all manners of garments, from the cotehardies taught in the class I learned this process from, male cotes and cotehardies, Burgundian gowns to many less fitted garments like loose cotes bliauts and tunics and even over garments. If you can pattern the fitted garment, you can figure out how big a loose garment has to be.


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