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Size charts

We use the European (metric) system of measurement in our pattern design. The sizes of children’s clothes are based on the child’s height (cm). Women’s and men’s clothes are based on the German sizing system. You can study the size charts and instructions for taking measurements by size groups.

GIRLS 128–170 cm

Size cm 128 134 140 146 152 158 164 170
1. Chest measurement 66 68 71 73 76 79 82 85
2. Waist measurement 59 61 63 64 66 68 70 72
3. Hip measurement 70 72 75 79 82 85 88 91
4. Back waist length 31 32.5 34 35.5 37 38.5 40 41.5
5. Arm length 44 46 48 50 52 54.5 57 59.5
6. Outside leg length 78 82 86 90 93.5 97 100.5 104.5
7. Shoulder length 10.4 10.8 11.2 11.6 12 12.4 12.8 13.2

Download fill-in size chart (PDF)

Size charts in inches (PDF)

Measuring the child 

For taking the measurements, you’ll need a tape measure and a length of firm tape that is placed round the waist. You can sew a waist tape for this purpose of a strip of cotton folded in four (finished width 15 mm). Place the tape horizontally round the child’s waist and secure with a safety pin.

The child should stand upright with a relaxed posture with the arms hanging free at the sides.

The measurements are taken on top of underwear (panties and a light camisole) close to the body, yet not too tight. It is advisable to take the measurements in front of a mirror so that you can see the position of the tape measure behind the child.

Height of the child:
With the child standing up with the back and heels against a wall, mark the height at the top of the head on the wall using a straight angle (e.g. a book). The height of the child is the distance measured from the floor to the marking.

1. Chest measurement:
Horizontal measurement round the body with the tape measure running over the chest and shoulder blades.

2. Waist measurement:
Measurement round the waist without the waist tape.

3. Hip measurement:
Horizontal measurement round the seat (the fullest part of the bottom).

4. Back waist length:
Distance from the most prominent vertebra at the base of the neck to the lower edge of the waist tape.

5. Arm length:
Distance from the tip of the shoulder to the wrist measured over the elbow with the arm slightly bent.

6. Outside leg length:
Distance from the waist to the floor measured from the lower edge of the waist tape.

7. Shoulder length:
Distance from the base of the neck to the tip of the shoulder.


How to choose the correct size

The measurements in the chart are taken on the body.  The patterns include the necessary allowances for ease of movement.

Children’s pattern sizes are primari­ly chosen according to the child’s height, and the pattern measurements are then adjusted to correspond to the child’s other body measurements. Take the measurements on top of thin underwear and compare them with the size chart. 

Note! The patterns in sizes 128–170 cm have been designed for a pre-pubertal child’s figure and so do not take into account changes in the female body shape associated with puberty.

What does the pattern size indicate?

OTTOBRE design® magazines use the European sizing system, in which the clothes sizes are based on the child’s height.The other measurements that affect the fit of clothes are given in our size charts.The pattern sizes are expressed in centimeters in increments of 6 cm, usually starting at size 50 cm.

The size number means that a size 140 cm pattern, for example, is the best fit on a child whose height is around 140 cm and whose chest, waist and hip measurements correspond to those given in the size chart for that height.

The most important length measurements to be checked against the size chart are the arm length, the outside leg length and the back waist length.

Does the pattern allow for growing room?

Besides the design ease and the amount of ease that works for the intended fabric, the patterns include the necessary wearing ease.

The patterns do not have a built-in allowance for growing room. However, we occasionally add features to our designs that extend the life of the garment.These include turn-up sleeve or leg cuffs, or adjustment buttons on shoulder straps.

When a child grows 6 cm, which corresponds to one pattern size, the chest, waist and hip measurements only increase by 2–3 cm. If the child’s measurements correspond to those of the size chart, it’s not advisable to add any extra for growing room except perhaps to the length measurements of the pattern.

How to choose the correct pattern size?

For a start, it’s essential to take the child’s measurements carefully. Measure the child’s height first, then find the pattern size in the size chart that corresponds closest to the height.

• If the child’s height (e.g. 137 cm) falls between two pattern sizes, choose the size by comparing the child’s chest, waist or hip measurement with the corresponding measurements in the size chart. If the difference between the measurements is only ± 1–2 cm, there is no need to adjust the pattern.The bigger pattern size (in this case 140 cm) will work well!

• If the child is slightly slimmer than the size chart measurements, choose the smaller size (in this case 134 cm) and add 1–2 cm extra to the sleeve length and to the hemline of a shirt, or 2–3 cm to the length of pants legs or to the hemline of a dress. Adjust the sleeve, hemline and leg lengths when you try the garment on the child.

Please read our article Pattern Adjustment in the OTTOBRE LAB section of our website. The article tells you how you can easily adjust patterns to fit the child’s personal measurements.

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