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Projects & Patterns

Pattern Roundup: Plus-Size Patterns

Check out a selection of designs for curvy figures.

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In the past, there was no such thing as plus-size patterns: Commercial patterns were available only a limited size range, which alienated curvy sewers. Anyone outside the “average” had to make extensive changes, often redrafting an entire pattern to achieve a good fit.

Nowadays, there are independent pattern companies devoted to creating patterns for plus-size sewers, such as Cashmerette, Colette, and Skinny Bitch Curvy Chick (for petite plus-size women). The commercial pattern companies have gotten onboard, too, and now usually offer pattern lines that fit women of all sizes. For example, extended sizes often are included in patterns sold by Simplicity and BurdaStyle; McCall’s has the Custom Cup Size line; and Vogue offers Today’s Fit by Sandra Betzina.

Check out the Curvy Sewing Collective website for more information about plus-size patterns. There, find an extensive list of pattern companies that produce curvy patterns with links to their websites and information about their size ranges. Curvy Sewing Collective also has reviews of plus-size patterns from many companies, as well as resources for sewers, including recommended books, information about sizing systems, and more. Their “Same Pattern Different Bodies” section shows how patterns look on different body types, as sewn by members of the site, with information about their measurements, changes they made to fit, and their thoughts about the pattern as a whole.

For advice on altering pants to fit your shape, read “Everyone Can Have Jeans that Fit” by Sandra Betzina, from Threads #111, Feb./March 2004.

Read “How to Choose Fabrics for Plus-Size Sewing,” an excerpt from Sewing for Plus Sizes by Barbara Deckert, for information about how fiber content can affect garment longevity and comfort.

If you’re a Threads Insider, “Fitting Plus-Size Sleeves” by Kathleen Cheetham can help you achieve a good sleeve fit using any pattern.

Click “Launch Gallery” below to view 15 plus-size patterns for any season.

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  1. terriw91 | | #1

    Great article on the growing availability of pattern designers offering expanded sizes for seamstresses. I'm a bit disappointed in the photo gallery, you had an opportunity to show pattern design options for plus size bodies, but chose the pattern example photos of the pattern mostly on slimmer/ standard body types.

  2. jcull | | #2

    I completely agree with the comment above except I wouldn't call those stick-figure models "standard" by any means. Also, please re-evaluate what you think plus-size measurements actually are! See the Burda party dress size range for example - the largest waist measurement isn't large enough for a standard size 1X garment. Ugh.

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