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Topic: Plus sized Bridesmaids Dress Patterns?  (Read 1660 times)
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« on: September 04, 2006 12:36:28 PM »

I have sort of a dilema here and hoping someone can point me in the right direction. 

Last night my aunt (who is only a few years older than me, we are very good friends), phoned me and sounded upset because her friend is getting married and wants her to be a bridesmaid, but the other girls are very skinny and tall, whereas my aunt is the opposite.  She needs a bridesmaids dress that will be flattering and asked me to make it for her.  I said of course I would.  The problem is that most of the pattern companies don't make formal wear patterns in her size.  If I have to I will buy one and work off it, enlarging it as needed, or I will draft my own. 
The only problem with that is I don't have experience working with plus sized fashions or drafting, so it will be very difficult, and a big learning experience.

Does anyone know of a site that sells plus sized formal wear patterns in sized bigger than simplicity or the other big companies?  I tried a google search but couldn't find anything.   I may be able to get her measurements if needed,  but she lives 4 hours away so if she measures herself it wouldn't be exactly right since she doesn't have experience sewing.  Hopefully it wont be too hard to do this, she will have to come to my city for a few weekends before the wedding and we will have to work round the clock while she is here to get it made to fit perfectly.  I don't want her to be upset about this issue, she doesn't understand that her shape is just fine the way it is.  Neither do the pattern companies I guess.  I am practically fuming that they don't go up to her size.

Thanks for any help you can offer.

Michelle Giordano

francie pants
« Reply #1 on: September 04, 2006 01:02:29 PM »

yer really gonna need her measurments to make sure you've got the right size babe.  can you get her to go into a dress shop and get measured?  i had my bridesmaids go into formal shops and get measured and then mail me the cards for me to give to my dress shop.  from what i understand, its very standard practice and free.  i wear a 24 in most clothes but according to the patterns, i'm a 30!  so thats why the actual measurements are essential. 
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« Reply #2 on: September 05, 2006 06:59:19 AM »

oh yes, I can measure her soon, just not today!  She will be coming to my city sometime in the next month or so after she clears the idea with the bride so we can start with measurements and pattern shopping.  the wedding is in about a year. 

The biggest size I saw on simplicities website was 32, and even with their practice of adding 10" of ease I think its still too small.   I will definitley be making a muslin of her dress first, maybe two times, I want her to feel like she has a dress that is made in heaven, because none of her other clothes fit perfectly, and everybody deserves something perfect!

francie pants
« Reply #3 on: September 05, 2006 03:10:48 PM »

also, tell her to wear the underwear she'll wear for the wedding.  its amazing how different you measure after you put on yer slimmer shorts and good bra.  i made the mockup of my wedding dress before i had my corset finished.... i might as well have made an entirely new dress after all the alterations.
« Reply #4 on: September 05, 2006 05:43:39 PM »


I think this one is lovely...


Simplicity.com   pattern nos 5973, 5207, 4664, 4478,4242


I was looking at patterns this weekend and it seemed to me that there were several in one of the pattern catalogs.  It might have been the Simplicity but I thought it was McCalls.  If so, they have not been loaded on the site. 

Although it is quite possible that she could be larger than a size 32, I've got to tell you that is a pretty large size.  You may be surprised that it does fit.  This is a great site for basic pattern alterations.


Also there are some great books that could almost certainly be found in your local library for pattern alterations. 

"Sewing for Plus Sizes, design, fit and construction for ample apparel", by Barbara Deckert, Taunton Press, 1999

"Vogue Fitting, the book of fitting techniques, adjustments and alterations", Harper and Row, Copywrite Butterick Pattern co, 1984  (This has probably been updated.) 

"Fantastic Fit for Every Body, How to Alter Patterns to Flatter Any Figure", Gale Grigg Hazen, Rodale Press, 1998

There are many other good fitting books and guides out there.  These are just a few I had in my library.  Don't check it out just by the title.  Some of the books just give information on choosing flattering lines for your figure.   

« Reply #5 on: September 05, 2006 08:33:47 PM »

There is an online pattern site that makes absolutely huge patterns. They are OK but last I went there I wasn't overwhelmed with the designs.   I don't know that you will need it but if you do, contact me and I'll try to locate the link for you. 
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