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5’4 and under..please stand up!

Cherrypops | Posted in General Discussion on

Hi all,

I would like to know who here fits this category. 5’4″ and under.

  • What styles of clothing do you choose to wear?
  • What types of fabrics do you prefer to wear for tops, dresses, jackets, pants etc?
  • What fabrics flatter you the most?
  • If making your own clothes from patterns which companies do you choose from? Do you opt for the Petite Range/ misses/ women’s?
  • What alterations have you made? RTW or Pattern Pieces.


All comments appreciated.

CherryP ….. I am 5’4″.





  1. katina | | #1

    What an interesting question - has pulled me up short, must say and no pun intended! I'm 5'1" and have just realised that it's my height that has driven my clothing choices all these many years.  Will have to think more about your questions, but for starters, I have LONG ago stopped trying to adjust patterns to fit me correctly. I paid a fantastic seamstress a lot of money to make me muslins and then paper patterns of several styles of pants, blouses/shirts, jackets and a basic dress. It was worth every penny. I can buy petite cut jeans easily enough, but sew my own dress and casual pants. I use linen, linen/cotton, silk, wool and cupra rayon, as well as hand-wovens. I love Indonesian textiles and use quite a bit of Japanese fabric, particularly indigo dyeds for jackets. I keep my trousers narrow at the ankle - bootcut, etc don't flatter me; ditto sleeves. I have very narrow shoulders, but have become increasingly pear-shaped! So, to sum up: I keep my styles simple and concentrate on super fabrics; I also knit many pieces.

    Sorry, I hope that wasn't TMI.


    1. Cherrypops | | #2

      Hi Katina,

      Thank you for thinking about and replying to my question. I appreciate your input. It was exactly what i hoped for and more. Please, do have more of a think in regards to my questions and add to this discussion when time permits.

      I am glad you can wear RTW petite cut jeans. For me the waists on these styles gape at the back and I still need to alter them as I have a 27" waist. I have to take in the hipster fashions also (34"). Some hipsters I can get away with a belt or scarf tie. And then there is the hems, always need to take them up.

      I am a stylish mum who likes wearing ladies fashion which has quality fabric and a good fit to the teenage styles which are a better fit, but skimp on quality. It doesn't suit me.

      I keep a close watch on current fashion and what styles would suit me and of course what fits. When necessary i buy. It's good to purchase every now and then.

      I will be making my own jeans and pants etc. to fit me. I have made my own skirts, dresses for myself are next. I have made my mum a dress, she is 5'2" and small chest, narrow shoulders, and pear shaped. Mum's dress turned out great.

      I like many fabrics but i sew with, linen, cotton and cotton knits and the woolens for winter jackets, with faux fur. My hubby loves the japanese fabric and keeps asking me to make something for myself with it, maybe one day.

      Now, knitted clothes I have to buy, I cannot knit or crochet. I have tried.

      I hope to read more posts from the ladies here. It is a very interesting topic.

      Height matters!



      1. katina | | #3

        Thanks CherryP

        This is a great discussion. I'll certainly add more later.


        1. WandaJ | | #4

          I'm 5'1" and adding pounds by the year! The later I hope to reduce, then comes the alterations...I've always concentrated on non-trendy clothing. I wanted my own look, even when in high school, as I did not want to be or look like everyone else. Most of my clothing are of a classic cut, jackets, dresses and pants. My thinking has been 'what if this goes out of style and you cannot afford more clothing - then what are you going to wear?'

          Adding to that, I remember one of my teachers in jr high told the girls, '...always keep a little black dress, pumps, a pair of pearls and nice purse, you can add to it and make it from there...' I noticed over the years that my grandmother did just that, and she always looked elegant. She was 4'11" and about 120 lbs, if that.

          All in all, I do look for better fabrics, natural fiber, in various colors and not too many prints as the later adds to the bulk. I try to buy the best fabrics as my money will allow, and I am an avid shopper for markdowns on good clothing (exp: Ungaro Jacket $4.99!!) .As I type this I glanced around the area of which I'm in as my computer is in the area where my clothes are stored, and I feel I have a wide range of garments (more RTW than I'd like to admit), and they are in complementary colors, even the plaids, but most are white, beige, brown, black, with a few purples, reds, navy, olive, and orange thrown in here and there.

          Admittedly, I do sometimes get bored with the basic colors but they always seem to work for me, especially when I'm in my usual rushed state. And, I do really like the natural fibers ability to breath, as clothing in these fibers are so much more comfortable.

          Let it suffice to say that I'm trying to fit this shrinking and widening body on a beer income while maintaining a champagne appetite!


          1. katina | | #5

            The pounds, Wanda! the pounds! They've been steadily piling on, even though I haven't changed my eating habits. I guess running after little ones keeps you slim.

            How on earth did you score that Ungaro jacket? You've got to tell us. Your wardrobe sounds very well planned - that's the key, of course. My great weakness is shoes; I've made some amazing buys over the years. Silk tastes and a calico pocket - that's me.


          2. WandaJ | | #7

            The Ungaro jacket? There's a second hand/gently used shop in the area where I live and every now and then the sorting clerks let something slip through, such as Ungaro? who ever heard of that. And, on another occasion recently, at one of the stores' branches I found a Gucci (Baggette [sp?]) purse, which lists on e-Bay with a starting price of $366. Now, on that one I don't like it it is too small, but I'm not yet willing to pass it on to my daughter (smiles) due to the price and potential of bearing income. Also, I recently found a piece of black boiled wool tweed attached to a really nice piece of black black wool bottom weight. Price? $1.99!  For fabric in a second-hand or retail shop look in the area where the bedding and curtains are.

          3. katina | | #11

            Good for you! Thanks for the hints.


  2. User avater
    Becky-book | | #6

    Well, here it is ...I am 4' 11 and 3/4", so if I stand up real straight and wear a little bit of a heel I can pass for 5' 1".

    I did the DIY croquis project in Threads and compared it to the standard ones they supply, not a true petite, just very short on legs!! (and wide on hips) so...  I cheat by wearing high waisted dresses to re-position the proportions upwards where I am small and away from the lower half of the hourglass (where all the sand is).  And after decades of work at the sewing machine and computer keyboard the old shoulders are forward and need a little closer attention when trying a new pattern.

    I like to wear cotton, but hate to press it.  Having grown up in Mich. but now living in Georgia, I don't have much use for wool or other 'keep warm' fabrics. Age (50 ish) probably plays a part in that too!

    Thanks for asking,


    1. Cherrypops | | #38

      The high waisted look has made a comeback. It's everywhere down here. I wore that style many years ago.

      Pleased to read you are stylish even if the trends differ. Dress to suit yourself and if it is within current trends its a bonus.

      Taken note of the shoulders moving forward. It's true when you think about it. My mum's hips tilted a little from carrying me and then my sister and then all the groceries. She noticed skirts were fitting differently.

      Would you provide more info regarding the DIY Croquis project. I don't have early issues. Sounds interesting.



      1. User avater
        Becky-book | | #41

        I used the info in issue #125 page 51 Discover the Best Proportions & Styles for You.  You take photos of self (or have TRUSTED friend do it) on digital camera in swimsuit print on paper then trace the basic outlines of your shape.  Make lots of copies and you can sketch ideas on your shape; the article shows how to use a sketch off a pattern envelope and adjust it to show what it would probably look like on you.

        Let me know if you don't have this one, it is a great help (even if somewhat eye-opening!!)


        1. Cherrypops | | #45

          Many thanks Becky, I do have the issue and have had another read.

          Memory returns ; When i was in my teenage years I did something similar.

          :) CherryP

    2. sewinginthemtns | | #85

      I'm new to this online discussion stuff but your message caught my eye.I'm not as short as you are but we are the same in age so I know what you mean about wearing the warmer clothes. I love wool but we've had such a warm winter here in NC that I haven't worn much of it this year. And my supervisor insists on keeping our dept so warm, I'm wearing my summer clothes now. We are going to die in the summer! Or I'll have four fans rigged around my desk.I like the Lois Hinse patterns and have a few of them. But haven't gotten up the courage to try one yet. I have the loose, flowing pants pattern (I forget the name of the pattern and too lazy to run up two flights of stairs to my sewing room to look - but the exercise would do me good) and some Brussels washer linen to make the pants with - but am afraid I won't cut out the right size.How do you know which size to use? Can you really trust the dimensions on the pattern envelope?Thanks a bunch for any help with us short ladieskathy

      1. User avater
        Becky-book | | #87

        Dear Kathy,

        I read what you said about jumpers; so comfortable, and you can decide whether you want long sleeves or short by the shirt you wear under it!

        Pants pattern... please make a trial garment out of some less expensive cloth (similar to the expensive).  Then you can see if the ease is enough or to much for your taste.  There are several pants fitting discussions in the archives so SEARCH the past stuff to get some ideas about where you might need to make changes to the pattern in order to fit your body shape.  Loose, flowing pants sound like what I need! LOL


        1. MaryinColorado | | #88

          Do you mean palazzo pants?  Very comfy. 

  3. patglenn | | #8

    I just saw this discussion, but I'm 5'2 1/2" tall.  (can't lose sight of that 1/2 inch!)  When I was younger, anytime I bought ready-to-wear clothes, they'd have to be hemmed, because they were all too long.  As I've gotten older (and tireder) I generally don't bother or I buy petites--which generally work.  (Except for the fact that I'm considerably heavier than I used to be.)  Getting old isn't for sissies!  I'll give this some more thought, I hadn't considered that I'm really pretty short. 


    1. MaryinColorado | | #10

      I like to say "vertically challenged"! 

      1. patglenn | | #12

        The sad part is, I'm both horizontally and vertically challenged!  ( I've put on quite a bit of weight over the past few years.)


        1. dotty | | #13

          At 5'4, also with narrow shoulders, large bust and skinny legs, I too always look better with pants that have narrow ankles. The other thing that helps is to not have my (always) untucked shirts too long.Those long things (anything below where my legs begin), that look so great on the pattern envelope, add lots of weight for me. Since my belly is larger than I'd like, I try to hide it under my loose shirts. But they can't be too loose because that adds Lbs as well.

          1. WandaJ | | #14

            I know what you mean about 'too long.' The extremely longer length that is not coat length does make me look larger (than I am and that is not acceptable as I've seen me (?) in photographs :0->!).

            Is it inertia that's adding the pounds to those of us who are 50+? I do not seem to be eating anything that I did not eat 10 or even 5 years ago, including the daily doses of chocolate.

            I've never been one that's big on exercises and did not gain weight, so what's going on? Gravity getting the best of me? I really need to get this weight off. In addition to not liking the size of my skirts and princess style dresses when they are made-to-measure (large front starting at the stomach area and smaller back), I don't like the look, or feel of the extra weight, not to mention the potential physical problems that are lurking and waiting to attack!

          2. Cherrypops | | #31


            Thanks ....Length is the key.

            Do you wear skirts covering the kneecap? like soft A-Line ? I would stay clear of the knife-pleats skirt if you have the belly larger than you like. I need this style because I am dead flat and like volume, but i keep the length to above knee because i have a small bust.


          3. dotty | | #47

            I never wear skirts because I can't seem to find comfortable shoes that look ok with skirts. I shouldn't say never . In summer I wear them with sandles. That gypsy skirt from threads was a success. Even in my younger wear anything days A-line skirts always looked dorkey and stiff on me. Slim pencil stlyes(now with #### tails over the belly) or flowing fuller styles seem to work better for me.

            Edited 3/3/2007 9:27 am ET by dotty

          4. MaryinColorado | | #48

            I wear comfy boots and shoes 99% of the time and my back thanks me!  I just have to try y to be creative with skirts and dresses. 

          5. Cherrypops | | #49

            thanks for your honesty on the a-line skirts.

            what fabric did you choose for the gyspy skirt? which issue of threads was it in? i have only recently subscribed so may not have it.



          6. dotty | | #56

            The gypsy skirt article was about a year ago . I'm sure you could find it on the Threads site. There is also another discussion going on right now about crinkle fabric which is really about the same skirt,with wrinkles.I used cotton for mine.

          7. Cherrypops | | #60

            Thank dotty, I'll be able to find a pattern somewhere.

            :) CherryP

        2. fabricholic | | #17

          Hi Pat,I know what you mean there. I have put on more than I care to say, in the last year. It is a health concern now. Just bought new walking shoes, just got to do the walking. Husband runs marathons. We need to lose it for our health and I saw the cutest clothes at Macy's last night. If only I weren't so overweight.Marcy

        3. MaryinColorado | | #30

          Does that make us "apples"?  I am definitely not a pear or an hourglass.  lol 

    2. Cherrypops | | #37

      Hi Patglenn,

      Thanks for sharing. I hope you enjoy reading the discussion.

      Feel free to add more comments of your own.


  4. MaryinColorado | | #9

    OOOOOOOOohh!  Thanks for starting this thread....I look forward to reading everyones input!  I am 4'11" and was always able to wear most styles until these last few years.  Nurses uniforms for work, otherwise skirts and tops were my favorite. 

    Now, at 54yrs. and about 20# overweight, I have a chubby midsection and large chest and hips.  Oh bother!  I haven't been able to get comfortable with the new me yet.  Not at all used to the cleavage thing, gave a whole new meaning to "be careful what you wish for"!  My inseam is 29 so am short between my shoulders and waist.  Very small bone structure.

    The super low riding hip hugger jeans come to my waist!  I like jeans and jean jackets (blue denim, wheat, white, black) with embellishments that I do myself.  I allways try to keep a really nice black pantsuit and black dress for emergencies.  I love more feminine clothes in the summer months.

    Woven Rayons and cotton knits are what I love to sew.  I prefer wearing and working with natural fibers.  A real variety of patterns, especially  from designers like Louise Cutting, Lois Hinse, Kayla Kennington, Dos de Tejas, Park Bench Patterns by Mary Lou Rankin, Dian Ericson and so many others.  Of course I also use the big company patterns too.  

    I haven't been sewing much the last few years, but have everything I need to get busy again.  Just gotta get movin!  Mary

    1. Cherrypops | | #32

      Hey Mary,

      Glad you stopped by.

      I wish i had more cleavage....oh well expensive bras will have to do.

      I am aware of Kayla K. I love her Fantasia Jacket, my imagination ran wild when I saw the pattern online. Embellishment delight and what fabric to use so many would serve well.

      I will search the others you wrote of. thank you.

      Glad you mentioned summer months, weather does play a part in fabric choice.



      1. MaryinColorado | | #42

        Like I said, be careful what you wish for!  I went from 34" to 41" bust and hips!  It is not so great after all!  Especially trying to find a bathing suit or button down blouse! 

        Her patterns are so great, easy to assemble so far, and perfect for embellishment. I have the fantasia jacket pattern since it came out.  I haven't had the nerve to cut it out yet though due to my new weight's fitting issues.  I was so spoiled when I was size 5 from head to toe all those years.    I would love to go to one of her retreats, especially the one in Oregon on the coast.  Mary

    2. Crazy K | | #91

      OMGoodness!  You described me nearly to a "T"!  I am just under 5'2" and am also at that wonderful age where even looking at food causes a weight gain!  I have the full bust, narrow shoulders, 29+" inseam and very very short waisted.  Because of the length of my legs, petites often don't work.  I have found that a few brands are coming out with a 'women's short' which comes in my size 12.  That often works better and the legs seems to be a tad longer than petites and the waist hits nearly where it is supposed to.  They are also more full through the hips, tummy and upper legs.  I realize I am referring to RTW pants and this is a sewing forum but sometimes we just don't have time and have to buy things!  I fight with patterns and have stuck mostly with Kwik Sew because of the simplicity of the patterns, multi-size feature and the fact that with fewer pattern pieces involved, it is easier to fuss with them to get them to fit.  I'm a 'slap-it-together-and-go" sewer......no couture stuff for this gal.  I dress very casually anyway.  Since I've gotten older (gonna hit the big 6-0 this year!) and heavier, getting all gussied up is only for weddings, funerals and Church.  Otherwise, comfort comes first!

      I must say, I'm glad I'm not the only vertically challenged, round person out there!

  5. User avater
    blondie2sew | | #15

    Ok now I feel left out of this thread...I am 5'4" and like 3/4 inches!!I am in the nowhere zone....I have med bone structure and I can't relate to the hour glass thing I just get it all over!! Which could be great but could be bad..No one really knows how much I weigh I always look lighter then I am.my issues is I have broad shoulders..and I have Hips..I have to say I take pride I have gotten me back in the last few years from my girlies and very excited about it!! So Ladies it is a commitment but you all can do it if you so choose. And I might add I never was comfortable in that other skin no matter how hard I tried I just wasn't. Now I got me back..So that brings me to the next question...am I welcomed here on this thread or am I going to get "Voted Off" because I have that 3/4 inch on ya ladies!! ha ha haI love this thread MS CherryP what great conversation and wealth of info will come out of thisBlondie

    Edited 3/1/2007 2:31 pm ET by blondie2sew

    1. User avater
      Becky-book | | #18

      I won't send you packing, unless.... you start looking down on us!  LOL all puns intended!

      1. stitchintime | | #19

        Here's the scoop with the weight gain. Your metabolism (the rate at which you burn calories) slows down as you age. In the 30 years since I first learned about this in university (I'm a professional dietitian) this has gone from theory to reality for me. First with clients, and now with myself (I'm also only 5' 1 1/2" tall and have gained weight over the years). 

        And, sorry, there's more bad news on the way. Having just finished a major survey of eating and health habits of the 65+ crowd, you are also going to become shorter.

        You can't do much about getting shorter, but the weight gain has to be managed with less food and more exercise. You really have to be conscious of eating properly and putting daily (or at least 4-5 times a week) exercise on your schedule. (I know... I can hear the groans already)

        But look on the bright side. The good news is that people who eat less, live longer - more time for sewing. And short people don't need as much fabric as taller people do.



        Edited 3/1/2007 5:57 pm ET by stitchintime

        1. Cherrypops | | #20

          Hi Stitchintime,

          Thank you for informative post. It was good news for me (i think).

          I agree with the fact that we get shorter as we get older. I only see my mum once a year and yes she is shrinking. My grandmother was the same. And as I follow in their footsteps with slim build and looks, I guess this will happen to me as well.

          I am 34 and weigh 50kgs (119lbs or thereabouts), so I can tell my mates I will gain weight all in good time. Just like my mother and g'mother did before me.

          I eat well, have an active 5yr old boy and a jack russell terrier who keep me on my toes. They are so fast!

          I eat less when I am sewing, I get so involved with my work, time runs away. I may need to use a timer so i can refuel. I don't have a bowl of nuts near my machines. Sometimes i think i am the nut at the machine, but ya get that...lol

          I'm glad I started this post, I am going to try new styles and fabrics presented in this discussion by the gals.


        2. loomchick | | #39

          I'm slightly under 5'4" . . . but, I'm built more like someone that would be 5'6" . . . with one exception . . . the length of my back.  Petite clothes are too short for me, except through the torso . . . The distance between the base of my neck and my waist should have about two more inches.

          There's a good side and a bad side to all of this . . . My shirttails stay tucked in . . . however, regular size jackets ride up since the narrowest part (usually the waist) is too low.  I've spent a lot of time over the years pulling down the front of my jacket . . . but, the two yeas ago at my younger son's wedding, there were some pictures taken during the reception where my back was to the camera . . . and I was an awful sight!  I haven't purchased a commercial jacket or vest since then . . . the adjust to a pattern is pretty simple for me . . . at least I have that going for me.

          I have a number of friends that are at the upper end of "petite" height . . . and none of them fit the classic "petite" sizes . . . and, for a wide variety of reasons.  The key seems to be figuring out what the differences between "regular" and "petite" really are.

          1. Cherrypops | | #40

            Hello Loomchick,

            Thank you for sharing your experiences with us. We all vary in shapes and sizes.

            It would be great if we knew what the differences between Regular and Petite are and How these terms came about in the industry.

            I hope one of the members may be able to shed some light on this.



          2. fabricholic | | #43

            Some say petite when it is actually, just short. If they shorten length and sleeve length, it fits me, except, now I have gained and a 16 petite doesn't work for me in pants, anymore.Marcy

        3. chingpingl | | #62

          Hi Ladies :

          I am 5'3 and are very interested in fashion. The best solution to our problems is to get a basic fitting block done to your own body, then use this block to alter patterns. If it is only problems of height, the alternation is relatively simple.

          But in the fitting block, mark all the important lines such as hip line ,bust line waist line  etc.

          I run a sewing group in Australia and fitting is our main piority. We had just finished making our own personal model.

          I do produce notes for our sewing group. So may be later in the year, I will have more information.

          1. Cherrypops | | #63

            Hi, glad you found my thread.

            What part of Australia? I am in New South Wales.

            Look forward to more great information you can share with the ladies here.

            :) CherryP

          2. fabricholic | | #73

            Yes, I would love to hear more about this block you speak of, so please post when you have time.Marcy

          3. chingpingl | | #75


            The block that I was talking about is a personal draft that I developed. It need personal measuremnt taken by somebody as you can not take your own meaurement accurately. and the block is then drafted. If you could have somebody to take your measurment I can email you the measurement table. then when it is filled email back to me so that I could draft it and sent to you via the post. I could do this for free. But I am in Australia, so it takes time to get all this done.

            This is from onre fabricholic to another and there is nothing more frustrating than sewing clothes that don't meet your expectation. I could still remember the pure blissful joy six years ago, when I managed to sew a pants that truely fitted and my first gown that is sown to my satisfaction. I went and brought a brand new pair of shoe to go with it. I still have that pair of pants and that gown with me.


          4. fabricholic | | #76

            Thank you for offering. I will try to get my daughter to help me. I am probably going to put a picture up this weekend of a blouse I made that did not turn out well. It's too big in the neck and shoulders. Very aggrevating. I am up and down in size, so I have to check measurements pretty often.Marcy

          5. chingpingl | | #77

            Dear Marcy:

            If the collar and the shoulder area is the problem, it is probably the way your body tip towards the front or otherwise depending on your three measurements . Do you want the measurement list?


          6. fabricholic | | #78

            Sure. I'll try it.Marcy

          7. chingpingl | | #83


            Great! I need your email address so that I could send the measurement form to you  because there is no icon for me to send you any attachment. my email address is [email protected] .



        4. Susannah | | #64

          5'4" and under.....well I suppose the only real answer is, I already am (because I am even shorter sitting down)

          After that feeble attempt at humour - thanks for initiating the thread, Anna Marie.

          I am 5'2"  (Australia being a bit more metric than the US, I am starting to think of myself as 157 cm tall these days).  What height I do have is from the hips down, as I am very short-waisted.  Dresses have often been difficult to buy rtw, because the waistline sits at about hip level, so anything fitted in the waist is a bit of a disaster.  I have some success at altering patterns by shortening between the bust and the waist, which is a relatively easy alteration to make.  (I also have to adjust for a C to D cup, which is a bit trickier).  I work in a reasonably formal office environment, and have perfected the perfect skirt pattern for me.  It is adapted from a Vogue pattern, straight, lined, with a kick pleat on the back seam, no waistband. The fit I have actually sits a bit below my waist, which is very comfortable to wear.  I have made it up so many times now that I can practically make it in my sleep!. I usually wear one of my skirts (mostly in greys and neutrals, but the occasional more vivid colour) with a toning or contrasting top (often in a knit fabric, and more often purchased that original), topped off with a tailored black jacket (I have two, both classic styles, which I regret to say were not made by me).  Jackets that have a bit of length in them seem to work ok, and I prefer tops to hang or sit over my skirts rather than being tucked in (which draws attention to being shortwaisted.  I add a bit of interest by being a little bit subversive with the lining - scarlett under a dark grey marle wool crepe, with some black lace added to the hem of the lining.   No external displays, but at least I know there is a touch of the exotic in my wardrobe!

          Weekends are a different thing - a lot more relaxed and casual.  I mostly wear jeans, which I can buy fairly easily and only have to shorten, with shirts or knit tops (extra layers in winter).  I have a couple of shirts that have vertical darts as well as side darts, not too dissimilar to a Sandra Betzina vogue pattern that I bought recently and am going to try out (when I get some spare time.....but that is another issue!)




          1. MaryinColorado | | #65

            I love the idea of the "secret" lining, allows you to be conservative for work yet still having fun with your wardrobe.   Mary

          2. Susannah | | #66

            Exactly, Mary.  It was originally suggested to me by a fantastic lady who ran a fabric shop (past tense, she fell in love and closed the business to marry her love, who lived too far away to keep up the business), initally when she didn't have a good matching colour for lining.  Her comments were along the lines  of "I'm getting more stock in next week that will be the right match, but if you want to make the skirt up this weekend,  why not use another colour?"  And with that, she picked up a vivid green.  Why not indeed! 

          3. MaryinColorado | | #67

            I love romantic stories.  I wonder how she met him! 

            I think that is such a clever designer touch, I think I will try it when I start sewing for myself again.  After I get someone to help me with fitting issues.  A vivid green sounds lovely, my fav color.

          4. Stillsewing | | #69

            I nearly always use a contrast lining if possible. If the fabrics is somewhat see thru this dosen't work but the last over coat I made in dark navy blue I lined in emerald green satin and the previous scarlet coat I made I lined in dark brown satin.Two reasons; the contrast can be interesting and it is easier than trying to match the lining to the garment. Bad enough having to buy matching buttons!

          5. Cherrypops | | #68

            As I started the Discussion:

            Here is me! 5'4 (162.5 cm) with my son as most of you have seen from the Bean Bag Cushion Photo posting. I am certain he has his great grandfather's genes and will be around 5'8 - 6'.

            Yes i have a small waist and that is my main problem, I love to wear David Lawrence skirts, they need altering as do many other brands.

            Hemming pants/jeans is easy.

            Straps on dresses need shortening so they don't fall off my shoulders. But then the underarm cuts in. I tend to wear t-shirts/jeans/skirt/shorts or strapless dress as seen in the photo.

            Regards, Anna-maree

            Edited 3/8/2007 1:08 am by Cherrypops

            Edited 3/8/2007 1:08 am by Cherrypops

            Edited 3/8/2007 6:12 am by Cherrypops

          6. User avater
            blondie2sew | | #70

            Hey just catching up on all the wonderful thoughts on this thread!And I know everyone is glad to see the pic of you...ok who is next!! JanF posted hers..I posted Cynthia2, loomchicks and mine at the expo!!I am hoping this will become the norm!!Blondie

          7. denaria | | #71

            Greetings from metric Europe, where I am 1.61 m (5' 3 1/2") and am delighted to have discovered at a recent medical that I have gained one centimetre on my official ID card height.  I'm another of those long legged short waisted beasts - RTW jackets are a particular pain with a great wodge of fabric round my back waist, yuck.  Not too mention the gaposis round my neck and shoulders in order to fit the D cups I acquired 13-16 years ago (impregnation, not implants).  Meanwhile even so-called long RTW trousers can spring the odd surprise - I have a pair of yoga pants labelled "L" which flap defiantly 5 cm above my trainers..... 

            Thank heavens for sewing.

            Penny in Gibraltar

          8. Susannah | | #72

            Hi Penny

            I like the comment about the yoga pants.  I bought some pants a few summers ago, and were surprised to find that they were, if anything, a touch too short.  Then my daughter pointed out that they were supposed to be 3/4 length pants........



          9. fabricholic | | #74

            That reminds me of Rhett Butler buying the red petticoat for Scarlett's maid. She loved that petticoat.Marcy

        5. tricone | | #79

          HI What a brilliant discussion,
          I am 5ft 2", and overweight also, but trying to loose it, ( just lost 30 pounds recently, and still a long way to go. )
          Anyway, i found this site which might help some people. http://www.petitepluspatterns.com/I have learned to adjust patterns to fit me as i am constantly changing shape. This is very difficult as each company uses different pattern sizes etc.
          I like to wear Linen, stretch fabrics such a jersey etc. Denim and fleece, and recently wool. I love African cotton/ waxed textile, and use it as trims etc to add a different touch to often plain design. Good luck with your sewing projects. Aine

          1. Cherrypops | | #80

            Thank you for writing that you think this is a brilliant discussion.

            Being 5'4" myself is why I initiated the whole discussion 81 messages ago.

            It has been a wonderful reading all the ladies likes and dislikes. I have learnt so much more about fashion style.

            Thank you for your input tricone. Yes the website link you provided is a good one.

            I will be looking at Vogue Patterns petite range and a few of the other major companies.


      2. User avater
        blondie2sew | | #28

        Thanks Ms Becky! I am SEW greatful of your letting me hang on by a THREAD!! Big smilesBlondie

    2. Cherrypops | | #24


      You are more than welcome, I will just stand on my tippee toes. <bg>

      You write >>>>No one really knows how much I weigh I always look lighter then I am.<<<< That must be a good feeling...Could this be due to the clothes you wear. Highlight the good areas and cover up the not so good ( i do that).

      Wonderful you have you back. I gained a lot of weight during my pregnancy, i knew it was for a reason, but I was lucky and pleased to have lost the weight very soon after. (hereditary).

      Do you choose jackets with shoulder pads to balance out your hips?

      I am hoping to gain more insight into the fashion styles of you gals. Fashion is different all over the world. I may incorporate some styles mentioned here in my own wardrobe.

      Glad you dropped by and by all means come knockin again.

      Miss CherryP



      1. User avater
        blondie2sew | | #27

        No, No shoulder pads for this girl that was the 80's can't go there again...my hips aren't like over the top I just don't have a junior build any longer I guess that is what I mean..Not that straight up and down..I don't have what I call chicken legs either..I have a leg!!But given when I said I have broad shoulders that is why the should pad thing was not a great thing for me!! I don't like that boxy look...You can say I have an hour glass but not like a barbie hour glass. Did that make sense any?Ok I Just popped in to check in ...Expo is fun and I will tell you gals in another post all about my ventures hopefully over the weekend sometime..Thanks for not kicking me offBlondie

        1. Cherrypops | | #29

          I getcha blondie. The late 80's i was in my late teens, no working girl power suits for me, I had the lycra dresses, scrunchies, lacetop socks ..yeah with heels! Went through lots of fads. Luckily not many photos were taken.

          Thanks for chekin in, can't wait to read your Expo Post...I will need to do one when mine comes along in a few months (and take inside photos if allowed.)

          Oh and barbie was plastic, You are not!

          Blondie and barbie are both fun to have though :)

          I would never kick you off....... might give a nudge once in a while but never kick....lol



  6. fabricholic | | #16

    Hey Cherrypops, I am, also. I usually wear solid color pants, mostly because of being heavy and print tops. I sometimes wear solid tops. I wear pants with a little stretch in them. Tops are usually a knit. I try to buy petite sizes in RTW. I alway's shorten the sleeve length, top length, pants and skirt length. Sometimes I make pockets smaller. I also, have to make narrow shoulder adjustment. I like Vogue, Simp., McCalls and Butterick patterns.Marcy

    1. Cherrypops | | #25

      Thanks for your response. I feel you are my twin, in another land.

      I look for small prints for tops and solids for bottoms. I shorten length and even the width on some sleeves.

      I live in T-shirts (which I would love to embroider, I may even put my initial on them like the 'L' that Laverne had from "Laverne and Shirley"...lol

      http://www.knitwit.com.au  in Western Australia (i am eastern, it is approx. 3hr plane flight) has a great selection of knits and good sales. They have just released their Autumn/Winter 07 for us. Unfortunately does not do international mail outs. Have a look anyway and you can compare to hancocks.


      1. fabricholic | | #33

        I like the striped knits. Great selection and the french jerseys in the small prints. I'm jealous. I also, noted the Kwik Sew patterns 3059 and 3337 that would be great for the t shirt and tanks I have in mind. I can get the patterns in U.S., so I will have to settle for patterns and no beautiful striped knits.Marcy

        1. Cherrypops | | #34

          I'm jealous of all that is available in the states!

          It is a shame they don't service international.


          1. fabricholic | | #35

            Isn't that the truth. If I had a little more ambition, we could start our own international sewing trade company. Oh, the possibilities. Everyone on the Threads Gatherings would own part of the company and they would use their specialties to help in the business.Marcy

          2. Cherrypops | | #36

            I am going to put your suggestion to santa for xmas.. I love the idea...for now i guess ill keep dreaming...

            Wouldn't it be fantastic.!


  7. Teaf5 | | #21

    Aw, shucks, too tall, even though I have a very, very short torso.Still, the same range of problems plague me (5'8") and my daughter (an even six feet)--we can't lengthen readymade slacks by four or six inches, and we always have to add an extra half yard to the amounts listed on patterns to make sure we'll have enough. So I'll keep reading for hints that we can use.

    1. solosmocker | | #22

      5'0 and watch me roar! It is one of those things that led me to sew many years ago. My hourglass was always a tough fit. I love to wear artsy clothing that I make and the other extreme, very classic clothing. Anything Audrey Hepburn wears is what I love to wear. I think my legs look better in narrow pants and flat shoes. I prefer to sew with all natural fabrics, almost never wear or sew with knits, and get lots of compliments on my clothes. I also like the offerings of Coldwater Creek - Great clothes and website. My favorite fabrics are silks, linen, and cashmere, all of which I get at really great prices at my favorite fabric haunt, ie, 10.00 pyd for cashmere coating. That little store allows me to sew what I can't afford to buy. An ideal outfit for me is either great jeans or black dupioni narrow pants with and artsy jacket that I have embellished. I have found Dockers makes some petite pants that say on the tag, "if your waist is smaller than your hips then these pants will fit you." And they do very nicely. I have found them at JC Penney and Sears. Interesting thread.

      1. Cherrypops | | #26

        Welcome solosmocker.

        heard your roar loud and clear .

        this is certainly turning out to be an exciting topic.

        I love Miss Hepburn and I try to look for similar styles. I wear flat shoes (weak ankles, don't wear heels, if i do it is not for long).

        I agree Coldwater Creek is great. ( I do have favourite Australian Designers too).

        Must check out Dockers (online) My waist is smaller than my hips (34" 27" 34")..It's my thighs i don't like. Just checked and they do have styles to suit me, i'll try to find similar in Australia.

        Thanks SS




    2. Cherrypops | | #23

      Thanks for popping in you are most welcome. Please dont' be a stranger, keep reading the forthcoming posts.

      Am i correct in thinking both you and your daugther have the height, however you need to alter fashions in areas other than length to suit your frames?

      What styles do you wear? Do you have a favourite designer? All of my questions in my first post include you, your daughter, and your fashion range.

      As you've read I need to hem many of my rtw slacks, I do understand your plight in rtw slacks. Have you had to have them professionally made or can you purchase? Or do you make them yourself and your daughter?





      1. Teaf5 | | #44

        Though tall, we need to do petite adjustments because we lofty gals aren't always long all over. My daughter and I are petite from shoulders to hips, but my jeans inseams are 34" and hers are 38" (like a 6-foot-tall man's legs).To fit bodices and dresses, I shorten the patterns by an inch or more in the bodice and have the same fitting problems as any petite. A rtw Petite Large fits my torso perfectly, but the sleeves and overall length of a rtw garment are way too short.I make nearly all my daughter's dress clothes, although she can find extra long jeans in catalogs, and the new longer tunic tops in junior's departments. Both of us wear a lot of separates. I buy long jeans, slacks, and skirts and make weskit tops, fitted jackets, & vests to wear with turtlenecks or t-shirts; I often find extremely discounted shirts and jackets that are petite through the body with ridiculously long sleeves--leftover because most petites have short arms, but a perfect fit for me!As Californians, our styles are casual, comfortable and classic, lots of cotton and denim and cotton knits. Because it's hard to find clothes that fit, we both tend toward unpatterned fabrics for a few pieces that will coordinate with a lot of other pieces and not be too memorable at the office, and then accessorize away with brights and patterns.

        1. Cherrypops | | #46

          Thanks Teaf5, I enjoyed reading this, Looks like you have your fashion style planned very well indeed.


  8. User avater
    TwilaTee | | #50

    O.k. so this is what I do. It might not apply to others, but you asked and here it is. I'm 5'3. I'm pretty averaged sized everywhere except my waist. 34" 31" 38 so in actuality I'm a box on short legs. Sad. To conceal this I wear dresses and tops with an empire waist. I'm younger, so its trendy and cute, and I can get away with this. Because I am not tall I steer clear of long dresses and skirts and those HORRIBLE gaucho pants. Really who looks good in those? I wear my pants slim, and my skirts short. ( hee hee! It makes me look taller! REALLY) I where shorts that are slim and on the longer side. More like peddle pushers than anything. I wear shoes that don't require socks. All of these things expose more leg, giving the illusion that I am taller. I guess wearing slim pants is really my way of compensating for being short and square!

    1. Cherrypops | | #52

      thanks for your honesty.

      i must say the Gauchos have made a comeback this autumn/winter in Aust. and i have a pattern..i've never worn them so i will probably laugh at myself when i do. i will be wearing my black knee-high lace up boots with them, and a turtleneck (when I make that as well) give me a bit of height.

      I wear slim shorts and skirts short too, with the leggins and ballet flats or heels as i have slim legs.

      I've tried the empire tops, i like the look, but it doesn't suit me. I keep to fitted t-shirts and jackets that pinch at the waist. I'm 34" 27" 34. and 5'4


      1. MaryinColorado | | #54

        That sounds cute!  I used to wear calf lenghth denim gauchos with knee hi boots.  Probably still would if I could lose about twenty pounds.  Your figure sounds great, I think you can wear most styles if pulled together right. 

        1. Cherrypops | | #55

          I hope so,

          i've been buying patterns to try new things.


      2. User avater
        TwilaTee | | #57

        Oh, yes! I love leggings. Both the ones that go to ankle length and to mid-calf. I also have an addiction to sparkly ballet flats. Check these out! http://cgi.ebay.com/NEW-Velvet-Beaded-Ballet-Flat-Ballerina-Shoes-Black-8-5_W0QQitemZ170087991008QQihZ007QQcategoryZ63889QQcmdZViewItem
        too cute!

        1. Cherrypops | | #59

          They are sooooo sweet, pity not my size, ill keep a lookout. Thanks TT.


          :) Cp

  9. Lynnelle | | #51

    Thank you for asking!

    I am 4'11. 

    Styles of clothing:  I tend to buy/make long skirts that are slightly fitted at the hip.  I have a terrible time with RTW pants as the petites are still too long.  I have a few good pair that I wear most of the time.  As for tops, I mostly wear cotton shirts with blazers/jackets.  I am very busty, so I don't feel many styles are flattering for me.  I stay away from capri and cropped pants. 

    Fabric preferences:  I like denim, corduroy, and some polyesters depending ont he drape and style.  I stay away from most knits.

    Pattern preferences:  I like KwikSew and Burda patterns.  Simplicity has nice skirts and jackets, but I am terrible at fitting bodices.

    Alterations:  I'm still learning!

    1. Cherrypops | | #53


      Thank you for your reply.

      I am going to try more styles and fabrics. all the ladies here have been so helpful not just to me but to each other as well.


  10. Myra | | #58

    I am one of the few women my age (74) who are still sewing for myself and others.  It has always been fun and interesting.  My main problem is that I am 4' 11" and about 110 pounds.  Short runs in the family - my daughter and her daughters are shorter than I am.   I have found that there is not much out there in RTW that fits or that fits a person in my age catagory.  I don't choose to dress like my granddaughters.

    Finding appropiate fabrics is becoming a chore too.  Prints can be too large or too young and heavy fabrics add unwanted pounds.  Dress patterns these days are very uninspiring and not like "in the old days" when I could always find something I liked - usually in Vogue.  I have been choosing to wear sportswear separates the last few years and using the same old patterns over and over again.

    I have saved many of my old clothes that still fit and continue to wear them even if they are not the latest styles or colors.

    1. Cherrypops | | #61

      I cannot and will not visualise you dressing in styles meant for your granddaughters. You are above and beyond that look.

      You are doing so well and certainly not shy about mentioning your age, I like that in a lady!

      Kind Regards, CherryP


  11. kapnoel | | #81

    Hello from sunny Brussels!

    I am 1.61 cm nevertheless petite patterns do not fit me well. I feel taller when wearing suits provided that pants and jacket have the same colour. So, I certainly buy the jackets, occasionally sew pants (mainly wool with some stretch) and matching tops (jersey, cotton, silk). This way I feel more confident in the business world. A perfect jacket with a matching top is what others see when sitted around a meeting table. I pay much attention to my colour palette for the tops, but I do opt for the classical business colours when buying a jacket.

    I sew mainly dresses (jersey, cotton) because they make me feel so feminine. There I avoid anything too long and too big.

    Best regards


    1. Cherrypops | | #82

      Hi and welcome,

      You are a little shorter than I, (1.63).

      You come across as true Classic Style. I haven't worn a suit in years!. You seem to have your wardrobe well taken care of for the business world.

      What styles do you wear when not at the office?

      Do you have a favourite dress pattern?, please share.

      Thanks for your input kapnoel.

      CherryPops (australia)

  12. sewinginthemtns | | #84

    I am new to this online discussion world and have LOVED reading the replies to your first question. It's so neat reading what everyone has to say - so much to identify with!!I'm 5'1" - I used to be 5'2" but shrunk over the last couple of years. I'm not the least bit shy in saying I'm 55 - glad to have made it this far.I love fabric. Especially natural fibers. I tend to drawn that direction in stores. If you are ever in Asheville NC, stop by Waechter's on Charlotte Street. It's a great store with lots of natural fibers. The new owner is slowly adding heirloom sewing. I live 2 hours west of Asheville (yes, NC does extend west of Asheville!) but make it a point to stop there everytime I'm in Asheville. If you can't get there, Waechters has a website - waechters.com As for what I like to wear - jumpers! I'm known at work for all my jumpers. They are comfortable and fun to add jackets, sweaters, different tops to wear with. I haven't found a jumper pattern yet that I don't like - I won't live long enough to make them all. So I guess I'd better get away from the computer and get sewing.Thanks for the great discussion.

    1. Cherrypops | | #86

      Hi sewinginthemtns,

      Thanks for popping in and adding your thoughts. I will need to visit the website you mentioned. I am in Australia. I travel overseas online.

      This has been a wonderful discussion I am glad you found it.

      You mentioned heirloom sewing, Have you read the discussion in General Discussion:Heirloom Sewing ?

      Have a look through the other discussions too, there is a vast amount of information.



      1. sewinginthemtns | | #95

        Hi Cherrypops -I pop in and out - not everyday so I may be a bit slow in responding.No, I haven't had a chance to read the other discussion on hierloom sewing but I will read it later. I love the look of hierloom and am trying to teach myself how to do it. I've taken one notebook class where I learned the very basics so I think I can learn how to sew the easy things.Thanks again for the infokathy

    2. Sancin | | #96

      Hi - I like your idea of jumpers.  I am 66 and feeling it today.  In sending some pictures of my grandmothers to my daugher yesterday I noticed they were 55 when the pictures were taken and looked extremely dowdy and old - even from perspective today.  Those loose shapless dresses seemed to be that was available.  I like to look smart, even shlepping around the house.  What do you wear for leg and foot wear with your jumpers?  I have, in the past, worn jumpers with tights, but for some  reason all I can find now are too heavy and warm and tend to be 'support top'.  While I should probably wear support top, I have had my day wearing support garments and have got to the age where I don't care any more - but I do own a relatively new one to wear with some dresses.


  13. janibird | | #89

    Hi, I'm a newbie! At 5'1 1/2" and 125  lbs, you'd think I'd be able to wear most anything. HA!  the waistline is thick, the bustline is small, and one hip is apparently higher than the other.....Ihave flat feet and live in presentable sneakers most of the time. All this adds up to wearing pants, not skirts/dresses because they ride up under my bazoom and then hang catiwampus!  The shoes issue impacts the wardrobe possibilities, too.  The most exciting thing happened to my dockers the other night--I got acrylic medium on them, which didn't wash out, so I gave myself permission to cut them apart and lay a pattern upon them. No Wonder Pants Patterns dont' fit!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Wow, what a difference in proportions. Am currently working on an experimental pair out of plain black lightweight cotton twill. Will let you know how it turns out later!


    Anybody know where to get fashion fabric? I've been told it's all over in the far east where our readymade stuff gets constructed, and it never comes back. Is this really true?


    1. Cherrypops | | #90

      Hi and welcome to Gatherings.

      Thanks very much for your input. I will look forward to more from you.

      Regarding where to buy fabric:

      Scroll down the General Discussion. There are posts here.

      Have you read through the Fabric and Trim Discussions?

      Also using the 'advanced search' feature, type in Fabric and you will get lots of information. including website links.


      1. Cherrypops | | #92

        Hello to all you great ladies,

        Just popping in to say keep going girls. Lets see if we make 100 posts.

        Please also try to stay on the subject of Fashion Styles etc for the Shorter Woman.

        Thanks for all of your input so far.



    2. Lynnelle | | #106

      In what region do you live?

      Hopefully there are fabric stores near you!  I know you can order fabric online.  I would ask for a sample first before placing an order.

      I am 4'11 3/4"  (yes, I want my 3/4" !) and I have trouble shopping for clothes as well.  I'm busty and thick in the thighs - recipe for uh-oh!  It is this reason that I started sewing.  I got tired of petite pants that were too long in the leg and short in the crotch.  I also got tired of shirts that fit poorly.  They were either too tight in the front (to accomodate my small frame) or too big in the back to accomodate the bustiness. 


      1. janibird | | #107

        Lynelle, The msg left my computer before I finished! Where do you live? What sewing resources do you have?  TTYL-Jane

        1. Lynnelle | | #108

          I live in Michigan.  There is Hancock Fabrics, Joann, Haberman Fabrics and some other independent stores in southern Michigan.  I mostly go to those three, though.  When I travel to other places, I make it a point to check out their fabric stores as well.

  14. ineedaserger329 | | #93

    I am 5'3" and find it is much easier to take the womens' pattern and shorten it as needed. I find that using the petite pattern makes me look frumpy to say the least...it "cuts me off short" like when you put on shorts from the bottom of the closet that have seen better days and are just a smidge too short.....that kind of fit. Heavier fabrics are nice sometimes, but I find that if I lengthen them just a little if a petite pattern or leave it a little long on reg. patterns is just the solution. But that's me, I'm only 20 years old, so my style isn't too "aged"

    1. Cherrypops | | #94

      Hi ineedaserger,

      Thanks for your comments.

      Are the only alterations to the 'womens' patterns you need to do is shorten??

      Lucky you!

      At 20 you must have a gorgeous figure!

      I am 36 and need to not only shorten hems but also take in side seams and waists.

      Do you sew your own garments, do you have a favourite pattern?

      CherryP (australia)



      1. ineedaserger329 | | #122

        sorry it has taken so long to reply....Usually the womens patterns only need shortened....maybe a dart here or there, but nothing too major usually. I have somewhat of a big butt so occasionally I have to modify accordingly, but that is usually the extent of it all.

        1. Cherrypops | | #123

          Thanks, and it's never too late to reply here. Understand you are very busy with your machines etc. CherryPops

  15. barbchr | | #97

    Hi, Cherry. This is an interesting discussion. I'm 5'3" and somewhat short-waisted. In ready-to-wear, ideally I can usually wear a 14P in a jacket or dress and usually skirts. The pants are usually too short in the petite size. Go figure(no pun intended). It took me a year and a half, but I went from a 22WP to a 14 misses petite. In regular misses size, I look for two or three piece outfits with skirts that aren't outrageously too long.With a commercial pattern, I need to shorten the waist an inch and the length maybe an inch or so; shorten the sleeves; increase the waist circumference, and take a little tuck in a deep neckline. But I really love my Pattern Master Boutique3. My DH recently helped me take all new measurements. It took about 20 minutes. We've got it down pretty pat. Once the measurements are in, I don't usually have to do much alteration. I like to play around with the pattern in the Pattern Editor feature, mostly for fun. If necessary, I'll make any changes right on the computer, save them, and then print out the pieces.I'll wear most any fabric that doesn't cling too much and isn't jersey. I don't look good in yellows and oranges and most reds or any very bright color or large, obvious print. And I'm really tired of black and beige. I was reading THREADS No. 129 and now have this great urge to make a long-fiber, deep-piled faux fur coat. Something really splashy. If I regain my sanity, I'll probably wait until the fall to start it. Although, if I start now, I might get it finished by next winter.As I step into my senior years, I've finally treated myself to an embroidery machine - a Baby Lock Esante - and a cabinet for it. That might even free up the dining room table! Heaven only knows how long it will take me to figure out how to use it. Once I do figure it out, I'll probably get carried away and embroider everything - except the faux fur :)

  16. ricstew | | #98

    I just had a lovely time reading thru this thread! Lots of fun!

    I sew for my daughter mostly. If she stands really tall she is 5' 0.

    Im not really sure about the high waist thingo with her........her natural waist is only about 4" under her bust so she doesnt wear clothes up there! Im trying to fit her with pants at the moment! short legs but long from the waist to the crutch.... A huge challenge! At just 22 she needs to be trendy! but its so hard to get clothes to fit nicely!

    We are in the middle of making a 'conservative' wardrobe as she is training to be a high school teacher. Very hard to teach chemistry and physics if you look like a student...........even if you have the same tastes as the students! The lack of height doesnt help!



    1. Cherrypops | | #99

      Woo Hoooooo!

      100 Posts. Thank You all so much for making this happen. Correct me if i am wrong but I think this is the longest discussion Gatherings has had.

      Thanks for sharing and being honest in your posts.

      All members are welcome to add comments.


      1. fabricholic | | #109

        Congratulations Cherrypops and all for this long thread. Is it just me, or does it seem like Gatherings Discussions is hopping lately? I mean it has been very interesting. Good work everyone.Marcy

        1. Cherrypops | | #110

          Thank you fabricholic. I was impressed by all the input, a lot of members have given so much. CherryPops

    2. Cherrypops | | #100

      Hi Jan,

      Thank you for taking the time to read this discussion. It has been fun hasn't it.

      Are you using your lutterloh system for your daughters pants? How do you find Lutterloh?

      Which patterns or ready to wear styles are you considering for the 'conservative' wardrobe?

      What alterations will you need to do if using patterns?

      Your daughter sure has her work cut out for her as a High School Teacher, I wish her all the best for her future. She will look very stylish, having you around helping her with sewing her garments.

      Look forward to hearing from you again.


      1. User avater
        Thimblefingers | | #101

        I AM standing up!!!

        I'm 5"0" (49 years young and going to be a grandma for the first time).  Here are my tips for dressing taller (and slimmer).  Dress in one colour or shades of the same colour.  Even printed fabrics should be shades of the same colour without a lot of contrast in the print or background.  Prints with different colours but the same intensity throughout can also work.  The point is to keep from looking like you're chopped into pieces (especially horizontal ones!)  A good way to tell if something works, is to stand a distance away from a mirror (or take your glasses off - this works for me!), then squint so your reflection is blurry and look at the total effect, i.e. contrasts, divisions, proportions, etc. that you are getting.  Stiff fabrics are more difficult for a short person to wear unless they're done up in fitted tailored styles.  Tailored styles can give a short woman a look of authority (which can be hard to get when you're eyeball to belt buckle with everyone else).   Because tailored styles tend to be more fitted (but not tight-fitting), they will also be flattering to the figure.   Drapey fabrics worn close to the body (not tight, and not voluminous) are also flattering.  Short women really have to be more careful about fits - neither baggy nor tight are terribly flattering - bodyskimming or somehwat fitted seem to be the best silhouettes.  Some shaping in a garment is more flattering than unfitted.  V-necks help to give the illusion of height as well as being slimming.  Turtlenecks can also give height if you have the neck to wear them.  If you can wear heels (no ankle straps, though), they're great for adding height.  Skirts shouldn't be too long, even when long is in, or you end up looking like you raided your taller sister's closet.  Unless you wear them with a great pair of high heel boots in a similar shade!  Diagonals are great for short people as is anything vertical like darts, stripes, pleats, etc. even the pressed crease down pants.  A slightly toned down or less extreme variation of just about any style (if you like to be trendy) is more appropriate for the short person.  For example, a peasant skirt but with less fullness in the gathers and layers, and in a softer fabric.   These are just some of the things I think about when I'm sewing / buying clothes for myself.  

        It can be interesting when you're the same size as the school kids.  I was volunteering at my daughter's school one day (Kindergarten to Grade 8) when one of the teachers came up behind me,  grabbed my shoulder, and sternly said "What are you doing wandering the halls during classtime?"   I did get an apology (and we had a good laugh) when I turned around and she realized I wasn't one of the students!   

        Edited 3/20/2007 3:22 pm by Thimblefingers

        1. Sancin | | #102

          How are the rest of you short people making out wearing either capri or ankle length pants currently in fashion?  I find that with pants and skirts I look best if they are either to the shoe or just under or above the knee.  I agree with thimblefingers that those full layered skirts can seem over whelming.  I made a broomstick skirt a few years ago of some fabric I loved.  I played and played with it to get the layers an attractive width then the first time I wore it I felt totally dragged down with fabric. It would have been better to have less fullness.  Someone somewhere got an almost new skirt and matching top as I only wore it twice!

          1. User avater
            Thimblefingers | | #103

            My personal feeling about the capris and ankle pants is that it depends on your proportions not your height.  They are better on long-legged people than short legged people.  I'm short legged so I wear them narrow and straight; and I also find the ankle length are better worn a little longer.  I love the little flat shoes but they really don't look that great with my short little legs so, especially if I'm doing capris or ankle pants, I wear a heel as it lengthens my legs.

      2. ricstew | | #104

        Hi again cherry

        Congratulations on beating 100 posts!

        Kiddo chose Butterick 4620 to base her conservative wardrobe on. I may as well have been sewing bags together! It looks like a nice pair of darted pants, straight legged..........but the dang things are huge! 10cms of ease. A total disaster. So I made up the skirt and it has the same problem . way too much fabric around the hip.......and about 4" eased into the waistband........thank goodness for Vinnies fabric!

        She really really wants the jacket.........princess line single breasted fringed edge.....I have played with the pattern today and it seams a little more realistic. I will pin it on Morticia and see how it goes. At least Morticia wont pull faces at me!

        I think I will go back to the lutterloh for her pants and skirts. I seem to have more luck with them even if they are more work. Sometimes working out how they go together is a challenge!

        Canberra is getting cold she says! So warmer pj's are also on the cutting board.

        I think she will make an excellent teacher.........I am as proud as punch of her!



        1. Cherrypops | | #105

          Thank you!

          Your daughter has great taste in fashion. Such a shame for you to experience troubles with the butterick pattern. was there another similar style from vogue or one of the others?

          vinnies is great you can find treasures.

          i'm sure you and morticia will figure (no pun intended) it out.

          the weather has become cooler here too on sydneys northern beaches. flannel sheets for my son are the next in line.

          pop back in when you can



  17. marysews | | #111


    i just joined thhiis  group and saw your post. I  am 5'2", and wear a   size 14 - 16. In ready to wear, not patterns. I use sandra betzinas patterns from her book, No Time to Sew. i've made the 6 gore skirt 3 times, 2 tuxedos shirts, and countless t shirts. also 2 pairs of the full pants. she gives great instructions on how to ciut the patterns to fit different sized body regions. i've used other patterns too, but i have to pin fit them first.

    i would like to try Petite Plus patterns, but haven't yet.  my work environment is business casual, so I mostly wear trousers, and some skirts. very rarely do I wear jackets, because of the temperature extremes in the office. I am trying to pull  together a viable working wardrobe using  things I already have and sewing peices to fill in.

    i don't have alot of time to sew, because i workk full time, and take care of an aging parent. i also still have one child living at home. the other 2 are married. i try to sneak in 20 -30 minute bits of time, at night before I turn in.


    1. KaileyRose | | #112

      I just joined the discussion and read your post.  I am 70 yrs old and have lost about an inch in height over the years so now I am 5'2".   I make a lot of my own clothes b/c the styles that are out there don't suit me (even in really nice stores like Nordstroms) and practically nothing fits well.  I wear classic clothes, tailored pants and shirts, gored or flared skirts.  One of my favorite and most flattering skirts has four gores and hangs from a yoke.  I don't buy a lot of patterns b/c I have my favorites that I have altered to fit me but I just purchased patterns for classic pants and Chanel style jacket designed by Claire Schaeffer for Vogue.  I enjoyed reading the replies to your post.

      1. Cherrypops | | #115

        Welcome to this fantastic forum. Thank you for sharing within this topic. you may like to browse around the site and if something of particular interests you and your  sewing knowledge I would love to read your input. Ask any question, add your own positive comments. All is well received. Thanks again, CherryPops, (northern beaches, sydney, Australia)

      2. SewFit | | #124

        Hi there,

        I just discovered this thread this morning-will take time to read all the way back but wanted to reply to your particular comment...  I'm 60 and 5' tall.   Over the years the 2 inches I used to have in height have dropped into my "boobs"......believe me, I'd prefer the height.   In RTW I now wear a 12 in pants and 14 in most jackets because of the chest area.  They tend to be too big in the shoulders.   That's why I am sewing again!  I've learned to choose jacket patterns with princess seaming or darts that are less trouble to alter.   I love tailored clothing (no ruffles and bows for me) , but I also love bright colors-lime green, orange, yellow and turquoise-and tropical prints if not too bold.  

        Happy Sewing!

        By the way, I have a 30 year old niece who is the mother of a 3 year old--she's 4'10" tall and buys her jeans at Old Navy in the children's department.  A size 14 fits her perfectly....

        Edited 4/24/2007 11:43 am ET by SewFit

        Edited 4/24/2007 11:43 am ET by SewFit

        1. MaryinColorado | | #125

          Oh, now I get it!  I am 4'11 1/2, down from 5'2.  I have small bone structure to begin with and I know what you mean about those boobs!  I allways wished for them but never expected them to be such a rediculous problem!  With all of us ladies in the same boat, it would sure be worth someone's while to sell retail our size!  They'd make a fortune! 

          Thank goodness shoes are still fun to shop for!!!

          1. Crazy K | | #126

            Hey.....Mary and SewFit, you two could be my sisters..........short and BOOBS!  UGH!  I hit the big Six-0 this year and as the years pile on, so do the pounds!  I'm not huge but I have a very small frame, narrow shoulders and lots of fluff......and boobs!  Makes buying rtw a nightmare and sewing isn't too much better.  I don't care to alter a lot so I end up making things that are just not very fitted and fortunately our lifestyle permits lots of jeans, t's, slack and looser fitting sweaters, etc.

            I think I need to walk more.........eating less does nothing but weight loss does reduce the chest just a tad............and anything is a welcome loss!

            I agree that someone should design clothing to fit all of us short, 'pleasingly plump' baby boomers.  I would love to shop if things fit and looked good.  I even have trouble with shoes so that isn't even fun!!  I just go buy more fabric, more embroidery designs or some other new sewing gadget.  That satisfies the urge to shop!

            I guess I shouldn't whine.........I have great health except for occasional migraines and of course, the standard aches and pains of aging but nothing serious.  I am enjoying all the threads from other short people and all the 'fun'(?) we have shopping and sewing!


          2. MaryinColorado | | #127

            Maybe someone will read this and decide to make our patterns for us!  Hey all you entrapeneurs out there, are you listening? 

            Maybe we should all get togeather and have our own seminar, we could probably afford to hire a few people to fit each of us and make slopers and teach us how to make our own patterns!

            Wow!  Wouldn't we look and feel great?!!  Of course then we'd have to have brunch and dinner and snacks and desert and "beverages of choice"!  What a party that would be!  Mary

          3. Crazy K | | #129

            Oh Mary, I love your idea!  wouldn't that be grand??  Maybe we should start a 'short and stout' club!! LOL 

          4. MaryinColorado | | #130

            That's funny,e and our theme song can be "I'm a little teapot!".  Do you know that one? 

          5. Crazy K | | #131

            Yes, I do..........it would be perfect................short and stout, that's me!! 

          6. SewFit | | #132

            And I'm always "spouting" off.......


          7. Crazy K | | #133

            Ha Ha.........that's a good one!!  I guess I do my share, too!


          8. User avater
            artfulenterprises | | #134

            Hi MaryinColorado,

            Hang in there awhile....I'll be coming to the rescue soon!   I too am a "shortcake"...under 5 ft, round and rosie.  I will be publishing the kind of patterns you are looking for beginning mid-year.  Don't want to violate any rules of the message board so won't give you a "commercial".  Just thought I'd offer a little hope!



          9. MaryinColorado | | #135

            Cool Beans!

        2. Cherrypops | | #128

          Hi SewFit,

          Welcome to this Thread. I was so pleased to see it hit 100. Wow it is still going. Enjoy reading all the posts here and elsewhere. There is a wealth of knowledge here.


    2. Cherrypops | | #116

      Marysews, Welcome and thanks for your message. There is a vast amount of knowledge on this site. Take your time, read through them. you may like to add your comments regarding certain patterns, alterations you have done etc. I sure have learnt a lot from the talented ladies.

      Regards, CherryPops (northern beaches, Sydney, Australia)

      1. marysews | | #117

        hi cherrypops,

        thanks for the welcome. the amount of info here is almost overwhelming. yesterday i finished up another sandra betzina t shirt in black and white, to match her skirt that i already finisihed. i will wear it to work on tuesday, its supposed to hit seventy degrees. its a 6 gore skirt,, shortened in key placed to fit. sandra b also has a book out, called Fast Fit. this book has proved invaluable   to me.  i get books out of the library first, to test run them. then i purchase from amazon, if i like them.


        1. Cherrypops | | #118

          keep me and us all here informed of your sewing projects. and if you can attach photos of your work, we love seeing photos. if in doubt on how to post photos just ask.

          I have Fast Fit and Power Sewing by Sandra Betzina. Love them!

          Regards, cherrypops

          1. Sew Biz | | #119

            Hi there! I'm 5'1" and will blow over in a stiff wind. I've found a few RTW brands that work well for me, but noticed recently that the sizes are getting bigger. For bottoms, I usually have to alter length and waist. Tops are just too big all over unless they are t's. Although I am wearing a t right now that is so long it almost tucks into my socks! I'm reading a pattern grading book so hopefully will be able to adjust patterns before I start cutting. I like classic clothes (someone mentioned Audrey Hepburn) will usually wear solid bottoms and a either solid or small print tops. Love tailored jackets - don't mind spending a little more on them of I know they will last in style for awhile.

          2. MaryinColorado | | #120

            Hi!  My grand daughter was just commenting on the lenghth of the tshirts yesterday.  We are going to get together and hem some of them with the coverstitch on the serger and the double needle hem on the sewing machine so she learns both techniques.  Any excuse to encourage sewing.  She wears size 14 in girls and has the same problem as you with fitting.  She is 5"1", 1 1/2" taller than me at 13 yrs. 

            It seems the shops that have the really petite clothing are much more expensive.  When I was slim I made all my clothes.  I thought it unfair that they used so little fabric yet the price is higher. 

          3. Cherrypops | | #121

            Hi SewBiz,

            Thanks for sharing. I too would blow over in a stiff wind. I haven't noticed clothing here to be 'getting bigger' but i will keep an eye out. I think someone else mentioned t-shirts lengths too. I love Audrey Hepburn style and Katherine Hepburn. They were beautiful ladies also.

            Enjoy your time here, so much to learn and share.

            CherryPops (northern beaches, sydney australia)


  18. mimi | | #113

    This is a question that has complicated answers!  I am considered a petite from the waist up (very short waisted) but am considered a tall from the waist down.  At 5'7" I would never be traditionaly considered a petite, but if I try to wear regular sized top or blouse patterns the proportions are all wrong.

    I wear a lot of tunics and overblouses to lengthen my silhouette.  I particularly like to use the Petite Plus patterns (http://www.petitepluspatterns.com) from British Columbia, Canada.  They seem to be made for the not-a-teenager-anymore figure more than any other pattern I have tried.

    I prefer fabric with a good drape: silk or rayon, some linens, ligh cottons.  If I make something in a stiff fabric the outfit wears me instead of me wearing it!


    1. Cherrypops | | #114

      Thank you for sharing within this topic. Please read the other topics and add comments too. I would love to see what information you can provide. The more members the merrier.

      CherryPops (northern beaches, sydney, australia)

      Edited 4/1/2007 1:02 am by Cherrypops

  19. spicegirl | | #136

    It's good to see there are so many great people I can stand shoulder-to-should, eye-to-eye with!   

    This may not apply to anyone who responded to your original post, but for me, my motto is (per Garfield the cat) "I'm not over-weight, I'm just under-tall!"

    1. User avater
      Becky-book | | #138

      When some one mentions "getting in shape" I say "I am in shape... round is a shape!"  LOL


    2. Cherrypops | | #139

      Hi SpiceGirl, We love Garfield too!. CherryP

  20. tmorris1 | | #137

    Cherrypops;I do not really fit into the parameters of your post (6 ft 1 inch), but my best friend for years is a beautiful 4 ft 9 inches. When she was finally so frustrated by having to buy children's clothes I started making her clothes for her. Fitting was a nightmare, so I can identify with what you are going through. Finally, I started to buy junior miss patterns for her (designed for teens and 'tweens) the fitting was much simpler. I know that the pattern pictures look very young, but when you add more adult fabrics to them, they are much nicer. Try adding vertical details to your work, my friends favorite pants were a pair that I had added a single vertical pintuck right down the front of the leg. You can use piping in the side seams of your pants, or down the front of your jackets. You could add 3 small darts to the front of your blouses instead of one to add that vertical detail. All of this will help make you appear taller.I mentioned a book on another thread called "Vogue Sewing" It is quite old, but includes a reference chart for all different body shapes, and what silhouettes are best and worst for these different features. I consult it quite a bit when helping clients choose proper silhouettes for their clothing.I hope this helps you, good luck and keep on sewing!!

    1. Cherrypops | | #140

      Great suggestions for using Junior Patterns! Just last week I was considering those Patterns due to the patterns slender shape, (and my slim frame). I think I have a similar book to vogue, i'll go on a hunt. CherryPops

      1. tmorris1 | | #141

        Cherry;Glad I could be of some help, happy shopping for new patterns.

        1. Cherrypops | | #142

          sewingpatterns.com is having half price simplicity patterns over the weekend (ends 29 april) and many of the other major companies on sale. i'll have a look at those. Cherry

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