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Topic: plus size alternative clothes patterns?  (Read 5994 times)
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« on: March 23, 2004 07:59:55 AM »

I'm about a US size 18 (UK 22) and I'm finding it hard to find patterns that I can use with interesting fabrics to make alternative looking clothes.

Does anyone have suggestions? And why are so many plus size patterns actually styles that are quite unflattering to the plus size body shape?

Perhaps my problem is one of visualisation?



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« Reply #1 on: March 23, 2004 10:00:36 AM »


I feel for you, Lloer, as I have a plus size bum.  I've found fabric cut on the bias is more forgiving than along the grainline and there are  patterns out there specifically for bias cut.  Vogue has a line called Today's Fit by Sandra Betzina that is purposely sturctured to make for a more flattering fit for the curvier shape.  I've never sewn any of her patterns as they seem to call for better sewing skills than I posses at the moment.  Butterick have fast and easy patterns and Large sizes section. Try www.mccall.com for ideas.  Good luck.
« Reply #2 on: March 23, 2004 10:35:03 AM »

I know there are some pattern companies that specialize in plus patterns (like Petite Plus Patterns).  Have you searched on http://www.patternreview.com? If you have some patterns from one of the major manufacturers that you like, you could search for them and see if any curvier sewers have tried them out and what they think of them (many of them have posted pics too, so you can see how the finished product looks on someone a little bigger than the size 2 fashion models they use in the pattern catalog).  I think you have to sign up before being able to look at the reviews, but the membership is free.

Also, have you checked out that book Taunton publishes on sewing for the plus-sized figure? I don't know if it's available in the UK, but the website is http://www.taunton.com/store/pages/070395.asp

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« Reply #3 on: April 08, 2004 11:57:08 AM »

I draft a lot of my own patterns (cos I'm damn short, curvy and all that) you may want to look into some books to learn haw to draft your own patterns (or if you have something in mind I have no problem with drafting patterns for people for a low price)

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« Reply #4 on: April 08, 2004 12:43:05 PM »

Drafting your own patterns is a great suggestion! Also, learning to grade commercial patterns (there was an issue of Threads that had an article on the subject, as well as numerous books) is great, especially if you like retro patterns.  I have a ton of vintage patterns that are way too small, but I trace them and grade them up and then do my usual alterations (in my case, shortening the waist slightly and increasing the cup size).  

By the way, if you need to do alterations as well as grade up or down, a good hands-on primer is to make a sloper using one of the sloper patterns sold through the major pattern companies (it's usually listed in the very back of the pattern catalog).  Here's info on slopers: http://www.sew-whats-new.com/sewinglessons/sloper.shtml.  I've been sewing forever and made my first sloper just a few months ago; it was so enlightening! I wish I had done it when I first started sewing.

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« Reply #5 on: April 21, 2004 12:02:33 PM »

I'm about a US size 18 (UK 22) and I'm finding it hard to find patterns that I can use with interesting fabrics to make alternative looking clothes.

Does anyone have suggestions? And why are so many plus size patterns actually styles that are quite unflattering to the plus size body shape?

Perhaps my problem is one of visualisation?


Lloer I have found the same problem. I enjoy alternative clothing but don't want to pay the outlandish price for plus size clothing when I can make it. I have found that playing off a bas pattern works for me. So when I buy a butterik patter I just use it as a base, like a pant, it is very east to make that into a flared leg or add bondage strap rings... I just make sure when Im doing it my own measurements are always on hand for me to compare

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« Reply #6 on: May 04, 2004 11:51:09 AM »

Don't forget to check the costuming section of the major pattern books.  They have some great patterns in plus sizes that can be adapted for regular wear.
« Reply #7 on: May 04, 2004 12:42:24 PM »

Visualization can do a lot.  I'm a pretty average size, but almost ALL the patterns look doggy to me but when I fix them up in cool fabric and add my own touches they look cool.

I guess most of the patterns are directed towards older people (because the big pattern companies haven't figured out yet who's doing the sewing!) and so a lot of times they're pictured with a too-big fit or an ugly fabric or some dorky details.  

So I don't have any specific information, but I can say that if you can find a basic pattern that's pretty close to a style you like you can probably snazz it up with some cool fabric and trims.  Sometimes just that will do it.
« Reply #8 on: May 05, 2004 09:31:12 AM »

Lloer, I too feel your pain. That's one of the things I like about Vogue patterns - even though they're usually difficult to sew, they all have the little symbol system that shows you what body types their patterns are suited for. The sizes also don't always go up very high, boo.

Anyway. Learning to alter patterns will help a lot, although it can be challenging. Get yourself one of those clear quilting-type rulers, they help a lot, as does having one or two curve guides. Most fashion sewing books have tips on how to alter patterns.

Once you've learned a bit about the process, you can go through the "junior" style clothing patterns - they're usually more hip and interesting, if a bit too trendy sometimes. Burda patterns often have good aesthetics as well.
« Reply #9 on: May 05, 2004 09:41:53 AM »

I love the idea that someone posted on here about making your own clothing manniquin out of your body shape. I think you could make tops and skirts that flatter. I too have a problem with cool clothes for my size. Apparently big girls all like granny clothes and pastels.  Tongue
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