June 20, 2008


Can someone explain the bust/hip indicator pattern symbols. (The round circle with a cross in the center with measurements for each size of multi-sized patterns. Threads Magazine gives this definition: This symbol indicates the bust point, waistline and hipline measurements.
and the Vouge Sewing Book gives this definition: Bust and hip indicators Circle with enclosed cross. These handy pattern notes give finished measurement of garment all around at hip and bust. Bust symbol is generally located at point of bust. Hip symbol is located at hipline (about 7 in. down from waist). Refer to bust and hip indicators to quickly determine amount of ease in pattern.

I know that these are good definitions, but they are still not really clear to me.


  1. I wish I could help but I am lacking pattern fitting knowledge. Totally.

  2. Hi Faye,
    These measurements are just the garments finished size at those points. So for example if you have one of those marks at the bust with some numbers next to it for different sizes then if you made the pattern up as is with no adjustments the finished bust would (should!) measure the number corresponding to the size you made.
    These are useful to help you determine how much ease the designer has put into a pattern. You can compare these finished measurements with the body measurements on the back of the envelope. So say in the example above, the bust point in your size said 40 inches on the pattern and the actual measurements for your size said 34 inches, then you can easily see there are 6 inches of ease in the bust area. You can then decide whether this would be a good style for you, whether you would need to make any adjustments or whether to make a different size even.
    The points themselves also show you where the bust, waist and hips are - if you have different proportions you may need to make adjustments to move these points - say you had a long torso then your waist is not going to be in the same place as the pattern.
    Hope this helps!

  3. Great question and response.

  4. Faye .- so far indicates that this circle refers to the play that gave the pattern. For example, a blouse is about 5 cm. Slack (measured contour chest + slack comfort). The slack depends on the model and whether this tight or wide. Greetings, Paco



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