You might be in for a surprise.
My recent lecture to Elizabeth - you're not a size, but a measurement - is only effective if you are the measurement you think you are. Otherwise, it's just a random number as the size assigned by the pattern company.
I thought I had a 35.5" bust. Maybe a 36 on a good bra day or if I'm PMSing. I generally fit into a Big 4 size 12 with little alteration. Occasionally it's been known to be a bit tight in the boobage if I'm trying to make a fitted shirt, but fitted shirts and I have always had issues. (I love them but look like crap in them, for the most part). You can see some of the many shirt patterns who have tried - and failed - to move successfully into my closet.
McCall's 5522 recently caught my eye. It was one of Patternreview's Best Patterns of 2009, and has 30-some positive reviews. That kind of an assortment of bodies has to be on to something. Plus it's one of their patterns drafted to 4 different cup sizes. I bought it. In sizes 2-12, since I'm a 12.
Which, according to the envelope, is a 34" bust. Oops. So I'm a 14? Well, I can draft up a size. No biggie.
I grab the measuring tape, wrap it around my chest. 37.5"? WTF? When did that happen? Did they grow? At 46? Did I shape-shift? I've always been fairly broad across the back and working on my house and in the yard seems to have done more for that than going to the gym. But still - 2 inches?
I measure everything else - waist, hips. They're within a half inch of where I left them. I haven't lost any weight in the past few months, but I haven't gained any either. I'm the same solid 140 I've been for the last couple of years, and - I thought - the same general shape.
Stomping out of the workroom, I ask he who should notice these things. "Have my boobs gotten bigger lately?" Look of complete mystification. "No."
So were they always bigger than I thought they were?
I go back and face my dilemma. Thougth I was 35.5", turns out I'm 37.5". Pattern is for 34". Even at my most optimistic, the pattern would have gaped (if it had fit at all) and I would have blamed the pattern.
Because I know my measurements.
Have you measured yourself lately?
Bottom photo is of my recent new patterns: the Jalie scarf tie top, McCalls 5522, and my first two Colette patterns - the Sencha blouse and Oolong dress. McCalls 5522 (adjusted to my new measurements) is up first, in an orange plaid. Be afraid. Be very afraid.