It has short sleeves, and is a little more modest in the cleavage area. It seems to be a simple wrap top with an empire waist, and it skims the hips with only a little stylized gathering in the front. I think that's the key for a plus sized maxi dress -- excellent drape without a lot of bulky gathers. The link you posted from Size Appeal had a very similar skirt design, too.
You could start with a pattern like Simplicity 3699, which already has a wrap top with an empire waist, then lengthen the bottom part of the bodice into an maxi-type skirt. It could work -- and I think it would look good.
Hope that helps give you an idea for a workable design!
I haven't sewn it yet -- but it's surprisingly modern looking, and it has a bootleg option. It looks super simple to sew -- no fly or waistband, but no elastic. It goes up to 22, which seems like a 20W RTW from the measurement chart, but depending on the ease, it might work for you.
Good luck! (Pants drive me nuts, I'm a petite plus, too.)
Wow! I hadn't checked the Texas boards in so long that I had no idea what was going on.
I would love to participate in a craft fair this summer -- but I am a newbie to the whole craft fair thing. Would a first timer be welcome? I'm not a stranger to crafts or business...just not the two together. *wink*
Please keep us updated...I'm excited to hear about this.
This is a sticky question, because sewing pattern sizes mean next to nothing in the real world -- they don't correspond with ready to wear sizes at all (and ready to wear sizes aren't the same from brand to brand, either). And the measurements they list on the envelope for each size seem to come from some nether world of oddly proportioned women who cannot bear clothing to touch their skin! Every single time I've made something according to the "size" guide and my measurements, it was far too large for me.
But knowing your general size and height, I would say that you would likely SWIM in plus size patterns. If you have really broad shoulders, though, this would be the way to go -- knowing that you would need to shorten the backwaist length and that sort of thing.
However, if you have a smaller frame, you could probably use the larger sizes of the misses' patterns -- although you might need to alter the waist a little larger, and use the "petitable" fold up markings if the pattern has those.
I would suggest that you check the finished garment dimensions on the pattern back against measurements of some similar clothes you already have that fit you well.
I really understand your dilemma, though. I'm 5'3" and about a 16 ready to wear, too -- and I go back and forth between the two types of patterns. I've found it depends on which set of alterations I want to do...but the "regular" patterns usually win because I'm too lazy to alter armholes!
Good luck! I'm not familiar with this particular pattern, but I really like the kimono look -- it's very flattering, too.
You could have all invitees bring their favorite novelty mug (like they would for their desks at work) and serve drinks that way. That would also save cleaning up (or trees/plastic, if you normally go the disposable route), come to think of it.
You could play "Pin the Lost Benefits on the Boss," and make up slips of paper with things like "dental plan" and "five extra vacation days" to pin on a big boss picture. And serve finger foods more like vending machine foods -- individual packs of M & Ms, little bags of chips, that kind of thing.
You could also give everyone a stick on name tag with a job and character description when they arrive, like "perky receptionist," "tightly wound accountant," or "abused temp."
Be sure to put yellow sticky notes in the goodie bags, too...
Man, I wish I'd thought of this theme for my partner's birthday party. But we did "Snakes on a Cake," so that was pretty darned entertaining, anyway.
I recommend The Yestermorrow Clothes Book: How to Remodel Secondhand Clothes by Diana Funaro. It's out of print, but you can still find copies of it here and there. True, it's really wacky and dated-looking (dig the models' lip gloss -- holy cow, the lip gloss!), but it has some useful suggestions for real reconstruction techniques that go beyond "cut the t-shirt like this." It has detailed instructions for all sorts of things, like cutting down sweaters, turning dresses into skirts -- that kind of thing.
A lot of it was geared toward making vintage clothes wearable again (I mean, things that were already vintage in the 70's), but the techniques could be used to revamp any kind of clothes, and could inspire you to look at things from a different creative perspective...if nothing else.
Don't lose hope...things are a-changin', slowly but surely. For instance, have you seen the (readymade) clothes at Torrid? They started out all punk and goth, but they have definitely expanded into more mainstream plus size fashion trends. I have a light blue sundress from there that I love. Looking through their website might give you a few ideas...
I also think Simplicity has a selection of "junior" plus patterns now, too. They might be smaller through the bust than "standard" plus size patterns, but look a lot less like schoolteacher clothes.
One of the tricks I like to use is to look at a standard pattern and think of how I can change it. Maybe a standard dress pattern could make a great sundress with a couple of alterations -- like leaving off the sleeves, or shortening the skirt. Also, the right fabric makes a lot of difference. Look at formalwear patterns, too. Who says that they have to be floor length and made of satin? Use a nice stretch cotton twill, leave out the boning, and voila: sundress. Simplicity 5275 looks promising. Imagine view C without sleeves in a nice retro print. Sweet.
Hope that helps! (A lot of us have been through the same sort of thing...)