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Measurements needed for a surprise gift! 
30th-Apr-2014 08:35 am

My friend and I went to the Angelic Pretty Booth at Sakura-con, and she was absolutely mesmerized by sweet and classic lolita. She had never seen anything like it before, and she was rendered speechless by it. Her expression, those wide star-struck eyes; I knew and had shared that face when I held my first piece in my hands. It was love at first sight. She didn't have the funds at the time to buy one right then and there, and went away empty handed. I'm going to sew my friend her first jsk and blouse set/op (not sure yet), and it's going to be a total surprise! Unfortunately, it being a surprise, I don't have her measurements on hand. I do know that she's usually an American size 00-0-2, depending on the brand. She's very petite as well at 5'3".

I've done this before, but they've all been around my size, American size 16 or higher. This is going to be a challenge for me, so like anyone approaching a problem like this, I'm going to ask for advice. Are there any other lolitas out there that are as petite as she is, and willing to lend me their measurements for this project? Shirring is a given here, so a range is just fine. Are there any complaints about certain dress types that you have, or construction issues you have found given your body type? Please share, as I would love to see that look in her eyes again, and this time know it was all hers. : )

30th-Apr-2014 04:30 pm (UTC)
I'm quite petite, I normally wear a (europe) size XS/S and I'm 5 feet I believe. personally, I always check the total lenght of the dress or skirt (for me it's between 90-95 centimeters for dresses, 50-55cm for skirts) and sleevelenght is important too (60cm max). When I'm sewing something, I don't really use any seams to make more room for the bust, as I'm quite flatchested. it's not really needed. I also like lacing and waistties, because if something is too big, I can always tighten it. the lenght of the bodice is also important to me, I normally use 37cm from shoulder to waist. I have a 78cm bust (bra size 70/75A in Europe) and 61cm waist.

I hope this helps a bit :)
30th-Apr-2014 05:00 pm (UTC)
I used to be a UK size 4 - 6 which would be an American 0 - 2 I believe.

At that time I had a 31-32 inch bust (78 - 81cm) and wore a 30B bra size (narrow back), 22 inch waist (56cm) and 32 inch hips (81cm)

[has a little cry about how she'll never be that thin again]

I'm 5 ft 3 too - but I have a long torso and short legs, so sometimes regular t shirts and stuff are a bit short on me, but jeans are always too long. I just measured my skirts and the ones that fall just above/on the knee are all around 50 - 55cm long, but if your friend has longer legs you might want to add a little to that?

Shirring is always useful, but I actually prefer to have lacing because I'm pretty flat chested (even though my waist is 25- 26 inches, my bust is still only 33 inches) and it helps to be able to bring it in at the top!
30th-Apr-2014 05:01 pm (UTC)
Btw I think it's a lovely idea to make a dress for your friend =]
30th-Apr-2014 05:42 pm (UTC)
I'm taller than your friend but probably about the same clothes size. My measurements are 29/20.5/32. I find myself needing to get clothes altered if they are 'one size fits all', as I have a very small bust and waist. I agree with Cemetery Dreams that lacing is useful. :) Really nice of you to do this for your friend and I'd love to see a picture when it's finished!

Edited at 2014-04-30 05:47 pm (UTC)
30th-Apr-2014 06:11 pm (UTC)
If her US off the rack size range is 00-2 and she's buying standard brands targeted at adults, she's probably around a 32" bust, 24" waist, give or take. I'm the same height as your friend but my average size is a 4. The bodices on western dresses are usually too long for me unless they're meant to be a little high waisted, in which case they hit me at the waist. 5'3" is the border between petite and standard clothing, so a 5'3" woman with a short torso (like me) will often wear petite bodices, but a 5'3" woman with a long torso will usually wear a standard size. Unless you can sneakily measure some of her clothing you'll just have to guess on torso proportions, but you might want to err toward cutting it slightly shorter than standard. A slightly high waisted dress is more flattering than low waisted dress.
30th-Apr-2014 06:57 pm (UTC)
I'm probably about the same size as your friend. I'm just about 5ft, 3.75 inches tall; and like her, I usually wear a size 00-2 in Misses, and about a 3 (Medium) in Juniors. Currently, I've got a 33" bust, 25.5" waist.

When I sew dresses for myself, I usually use a 10 or 12 in commercial pattern sizes, or a size M or L in the Otome no Sewing Books. I try to go for skirt hem lengths between 21 and 23 inches. Waist ties, corset lacing, and shirring will all help your friend wear this dress better. Seeing as your friend is petite, just about any style of Lolita dress should look good, but take caution in how long you make the bodice. I find some brands like AP to be a little (annoyingly) short-waisted on me, but others like JetJ and Meta hit me just right.
30th-Apr-2014 06:57 pm (UTC)
I'm a similar US size, but about 5'1". My measurements in cm are 80-60-84. I would second the idea of shirring or lacing; if something is too loose at the torso on me, my arms make it look disproportionately wide, even if it's only a few cm of loose fabric. Also try to make sure the skirt isn't too long (which isn't too much of an issue since she's taller than I am), as a skirt that hits too far below the knee will dwarf her. The two dresses I own that I think fit me best are both 88 cm long with ~52 cm skirts, but since she's taller you may want to add 1-2 inches.
This is such a kind thing to do! Good luck!
30th-Apr-2014 07:52 pm (UTC)
That's a big size range... I consistently wear a US XS/0 and I'm 5'5" with 32"-25"-34"
Maybe you should snag one of your friend's fitted blouses next time you're hanging out at her house (and she goes to the bathroom or something so she doesn't notice you borrowing it ^^).
My shoulders/ribcage are pretty narrow so placement of straps/shoulder seams is an issue. Of course, this is a part of a dress you can easily alter later, but something to keep in mind when sewing smaller sizes (I have friends with my measurements who have much larger ribcages/broader shoulders). I also have a long torso, so a readymade that has a 25" waist for the average torso won't fit so well because it will be on my ribcage. All of these issues could perhaps be avoided by "borrowing" one of her fitted tops for measurements!

Edited at 2014-04-30 07:58 pm (UTC)
30th-Apr-2014 08:45 pm (UTC)
As a small person I would LOVE a present like this if it fitted me! I tend to find that shoulder measurements and arm measurements are the biggest problems so if I were you I'd make a jsk to reduce risk.
Why not try talking to her about "Ooh, you're so small, I bet you would fit Mary Magdalene!" and she'll be like "what's that?" then you explain how it's basically the smallest-sizing brand and most people don't fit it, then steer the conversation towards getting her measurements "just to see if MM would fit".
30th-Apr-2014 09:34 pm (UTC)
I'm 5'1 I usually wear XS-S pants size is a 0 my bust is 30in, waist is 24in and my hips are 30in.
30th-Apr-2014 10:52 pm (UTC)
I'm also a 5'3" who wears 0 to 2 in some shops, but I've noticed body types can be all over the place within that range. For example, I'm a 34" bust, 26" waist, and wear a 32DD bra. I second the above comments who suggested borrowing a blouse or tricking her into "window shopping"!

If you aren't going to measure her, I really suggest you go with a partially shirred OP, since a blouse (unless it's a fully-shirred blouse) needs to be much more tailored to fit right. Finding blouses that fit right is awful.
30th-Apr-2014 11:18 pm (UTC)
I'm 5'2" 31-23-31 and corset lacing is a godsend. Also, pay attention to her other proportions if you're going to custom-fit: does she have wide or narrow shoulders? A small or large ribcage? Is she broad from the front but disappear when she turns to the side?
30th-Apr-2014 11:29 pm (UTC)
That is so sweet that you noticed that she is interested while At Sakura-con. I'm always recovering from surgery every time Sakura-con comes around so I never get to go.

I'm 5' or 5'1" at the most and the biggest issues I have when sewing a jsk from a pattern is the bodice length. I usually have to take off about 2 inches from the bottom of most of my bodice patterns since the waistline ends up too low if I don't. Another issue I have when sewing a dress is that the pincess seamed patterns I use create too large of a bust area. I'm only a 32" bust and if I follow the pattern, I end up not filling out the dress. Maybe pick a pattern that has straight seams in the front with lacing in the back since it can fit a range of sizes. My measurements are 32-28-36 so there can be a wide range of measurements even if she is small. Shirring is hard to deal with when sewing for my size. It is difficult figuring out the negative ease and can sometimes make my chest look even flatter. I still have a half done jsk with shirring that I was working on and I've given up even though I have a dress form.
Jsk straps tend to be an issue with me too. One jsk that my mom bought me had buttons on the inside of the back panel and button holes in multiple places on the straps. I like it since I can adjust the straps to the length I like or even do a cris cross back.
1st-May-2014 02:37 am (UTC)
I petite as well. I'm 5 feet and sizing is weird for me. I have a 34 inch bust and 24 waist, so for me, it usually an issue with my bust. In American clothing, I am a size 2 or 4 when it comes to tops, but size 0-2 when pants. I am guessing it mostly depends on the measurement of her bust and waist. You can use some stretchy fabric to ensure your're not too far off. The bust can vary, but the waist, at my best guess, is 24 - 26 inches.
1st-May-2014 11:15 pm (UTC)
I'm a size 6 so I can't help you but I just want to say that I think you're an AMAZING FRIEND. :D
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