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Connie Crawford B5053

starzoe | Posted in Patterns on

I bought this pattern for the jacket. I haven’t really looked at the pattern for the jacket, but I have for the pants and the top. The top may fit, sort of in the XXL but the lack of any bust accommodation bothers me. None of the sizes have bust darts or a recommendation for knits. I may have to add a dart.

The pants pattern is huge in the same size. I was prepared to refine it down to fit my hips but it is HUGE, about 4 inches in each of the pattern pieces, that’s just too much to change, so pants pattern – out. I compared it with one of my own patterns that fit very well and there was a great difference.

I remember someone talking about making one of Connie Crawford’s dresses, has anyone used this pattern?


  1. sewelegant | | #1

    I discovered Coni Crawford about 10 years ago when she was advertised in the back of the sewing magazines and since I was having so much difficulty fitting my ever changing body I decided to order some patterns from her.  I made the yoked sleeveless dress and was delighted (no darts) then the same dress without yoke and with sleeves and felt the fit was better than any patterns I had been sewing from.  I ordered that jacket you have but have never made it.  I am not real keen on open front jackets.  At that time Coni had a line of finished clothing she was selling and there were many of those jackets in the nicest choice of fabrics and displayed well on plus size models so I thought it might work for me.  I never did buy any of the finished garments except a nightgown (that, I really like and have used the pattern for patio dresses).  As for there being no dart... that is planned.  She drapes her designs on a 2X figure (for large sizes) with a D cup so if you do not need a larger cup you will probably not need to do any alteration for the bust.  You choose the size you need by your full bust measurement because she has designed her clothing for the narrower shoulders most plus size women have and that takes care of having to alter for a fuller bust like you might have to do on regular patterns.

    I did make a pair of her pants from an early pattern and was surprised how well they fit.  I chose my size by the full hip measurement.  I think her patterns are all multi size now so you shouldn't have any problem finding a size to fit you.  (Of course, there is always an exception!)

    Go to her web site http://www.fashionpatterns.com/  you might find it interesting.  My biggest problem with her patterns is the "ugliness" of the drawings.  Her original patterns are on very heavy white paper and a little hard to deal with, but I keep them in manilla folders in a file folder box.  I also have had some difficulty with her sleeves fitting me the way I would like, but it may be because I have been used to sewing shirt type sleeves and the fitted sleeve is different.

    Our American Sewing Guild brought Coni Crawford to our town a couple years ago and I attended the seminar on fitting and bought her book, but, sorry to admit, I still have not played around with making a muslin (or block, or whatever you call it) long enough to accomplish making a good fitting pattern.  I just go back to the pattern I know I like.  I hope you get some more posts about her because I will be curious to know how well others like her patterns.  She did say that the Butterick pattern for this jacket is a little more fitted than the original.

    1. User avater
      artfulenterprises | | #10

      Hi everyone,
      I have a question for sewelegant....I'm wondering what you meant when you referred to the "ugliness" of Coni Crawfords pattern drawings. I looked at her site and the colored sketches of her designs seem quite nice. The black and white line drawings are called "flats" and are meant to show the construction/design lines of the garment without any artistic interpretation. They also seemed "ok" though a bit rough. I am working on dev elopment of a line of plus size patterns and am inclined to put a fashion sketch on the cover and a photo or two online. Just would like to hear your feelings on the subject for consideration!

      Edited 4/14/2008 1:06 pm ET by artfulenterprises

      1. sewelegant | | #12

        I suppose ugliness, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder!  There aren't many of us who look in the mirror and actually SEE all the flaws, and therein, maybe, lies the reason the end results of our sewing efforts are disappointing.  But look at the drawings for the lingerie line.  Oh my!  I would at least like to THINK I don't look like that! 

        L9108 - I have not taken the pattern out of the envelope in the 7 years I have had this pattern because I just want to go get out my diet books instead!  Unfortunately after losing 10# the diet falters and I'm back to the sewing room.  I do still need clothes to wear on this body I have instead of the one I would like.  SO, PLEASE, MAKE THE PICTURE LOOK LIKE MAYBE I CAN DO THIS AND LIKE IT! 

        B2125 - look at the little extra lines in the shirt front indicating fabric creases?  I do not like the look of such sloped shoulders.

        B2123 - same comment as above plus look at the pictures of the finished blouse . it looks like the bosom placement is right on the shoulders

        B2118 - it's going to take a lot of imagination, even with the picture, for me to see this made up in a good looking shirt-blouse.

        I will admit that Connie Crawford in her new line with the colored drawings is a little better, but I still do not like the flowing hair, no face and unreal tweaks and curves to the body.   The Big 4 pattern figures at least give the illusion of beauty.  I do not find anything wrong with her flat drawings of the design ... after all ... I have purchased at least 10 of her patterns so there had to be something that attracted me.  Good luck with your enterprise and no doubt, I am sure I will be very interested in your product when it hits the marketplace.  Especially if you address classic and attractive styling for the older woman with a little detail like in rtw.  By that I mean something like tucked front on a classic shirt and in the back a yoke and the body of the shirt would have an inverted pleat in the middle (This is like my favorite jeans jacket shirt made by Elizabeth)  I always get compliments on this shirt and I always have admired most anything put out by Liz Claibourne.

        1. User avater
          artfulenterprises | | #14

          Thanks so much for your critique of the fashion sketches!  I have to admit, the lingerie sketches are a little too real for comfort...oh my!

          I suspect most designers become so accustomed to their own "shorthand" versions of depicting design elements it is easy to forget that other less "accustomed" eyes are viewing them. 

          Independent designers have an earthbound issue to deal with in presenting a design image on a pattern envelope...money.  Four color photos or fashion illustrations are very expensive to reproduce.  Whereas, one or two color line drawings, or fashion sketches, are much less expensive and that, of course, translates to savings for you.

          B2125:  "Those little extra lines" would be pleats.   I thought the artist did a fairly good job of representing them.  The dynamic croqui (model in motion...or standing with one hip thrust out and one shoulder dropped) is again just meant to make the drawing interesting.  Apparently that didn't work for you, but I don't think the sketch implies that the shoulders are actually sloped.

          I agree that B2118 lacks finesse and doesn't really present the blouse in a balanced way and distorts the body so that you can't really see how the garment will hang nor where the design elements will fall on the body.

          The others, as fashion sketches go, are really not too bad to my eye. (Which is neither here nor there if you personally don't like them!) The flowing hair and no face is one of those shorthand things...we call it stylized!  Besides, the theory is, we'd rather have you look at the clothes than the face of the model!  Well, anyway, that's the theory! : - )  I use that convention most of the time myself because it simplifies my drawing and eliminates what is not "necessary"  (so sorry....perhaps I should reconsider????).

          You might notice, I've used several phrases to describe those fashion images:  illustrations, sketches, and flats or line drawings.

          Illustrations are generally artisitic renderings done in watercolor or goauche (opaque watercolor) or sometimes with markers and are highly stylized and dramatic. 

          Sketches are an abbreviated version of that usually done in pen and marker or maybe watercolor pencil but designed to show details to guide the patternmaker (or someone selecting something new and wonderful to make and wear!) 

          The flats are strictly utilitarian....no fashion flair here...designed to show construction detail front and back.

          When I finally get my patterns out of my design room and into your hands, I think you'll find they meet your criteria.  I'm a petite (under 5') full figured woman of a "certain age" myself!  You can't get too fussy with a shortcake!  However, most of my designs lend themselves to embellishment or variation which make them great for building a wardrobe.

          I appreciate your perspective however, and will give it my full consideration!

          Best to you....



  2. marymary | | #2

    starzoe, I made the top from this pattern.  I have to buy both sets of patterns.  I started with the pattern that should have fit me using the full bust measurement.  It was huge.  I finally got a fit by starting with a Large at the shoulders and increasing the pattern down to the hips.  I increased by following the patterns lines and blending them, using XL at the bust and XXL at the hips.  I used a Medium size sleeve and raised the armhole by 1". I now have a basic pattern that fits, sort of.  I would like it to fit better.

    Thinking I had cracked the code, I started a jacket, but not from this pattern.  I used B5047 and the same method.  It did not fit.  Fortunately, I made it up in a muslin.

    I am disappointed in Connie's patterns.  I have almost all of them because the concept seemed like a good idea to me and I do like the styles.  I thought I would end up with a set of basic patterns.

    Edited 4/11/2008 7:57 pm ET by marymary

    1. starzoe | | #3

      Thanks for the input. I should have bought another smaller pattern as well as the one I did buy as my measurements span three different sizes. Looking at the pattern in the smallest size, it still looks too big and am still bothered by the bust thing. The neckline looks good, I'll take a copy of that.I am going to measure this against the good t-shirt pattern I drafted just to see how they measure up. Now, I don't know why I bought the pattern at all, I know commercial patterns need multiple changes and I already have a set of fitting patterns.I liked the collar on the jacket, so will use my jacket pattern and put the collar on it. Oh, well, another lesson learned. The idea seemed like a good one as you said.

      1. marymary | | #4

        starzoe, the one thing I really like about the pattern is the shape of the neckline.  I am thinking of using it on my TNT knit top pattern.

  3. fiberfan | | #5

    I made a muslin for this top and was disappointed.  I don't see how a pattern like this can fit well without a dart, even for a D cup.  In my experience, even a C cup needs a dart unless something is loose fitting.


    1. marymary | | #6

      fiberfan, I agree with you.  This top is a little sloppy looking.  That is why I said I wasn't pleased with the fit. I need a D cup, also.

      I now think that I did a muslin of the jacket for this pattern.  Will have to look to be sure.  And, I remember now that the reason the jacket from B5047 didn't fit was my fault.  I copied it off incorrectly.  I will have to start all over for that one.

      I am beginning to think it would be a lot easier to start from scratch rather than having to do all the alterations I need to do for a pattern to fit me.

      1. sewelegant | | #7

        Hmmmm.... I am wondering if the same thing happened to these patterns that happened to Sandra Betzina.  She figured out that the pattern company (Vogue -Butterick) had changed her design to fit the companies standards and like Sandra, Coni does not design her patterns the same way the "company" does.  I am sorry you all are having such a difficult fitting problem when I have been so satisfied, however, not with the new Butterick line as I have not sewn with them.

        edit:  sorry, I meant this to go to ALL instead of just Mary Mary.  I forgot, I did make the angel top in my full bust measurement and found it was a little more snug than I thought it would be, but you all are c/o things being too BIG.  I am a 48D and chose the 1X to make in a knit.  My only complaint is it doesn't seem "age appropriate" for me, but I did not find the top pattern so out of proportion as you are describing.  I haven't looked at the rest of the pattern though.

        Edited 4/12/2008 1:49 pm by sewelegant

  4. Teaf5 | | #8

    I was intrigued by her B0460, a gathered, v-neck dress and was surprised to see very narrow shoulders and a completely different shape to the pattern pieces.  I haven't tried it out yet and was thinking of making a muslin of just the top to see whether her very different approach would work for me.

    If you or others have progress with her Butterick line, maybe I'll go for it!

    1. marymary | | #9

      teaf5, I can't find B0460.  Is that a Butterick pattern?

      1. Teaf5 | | #11

        Oops, sorry; I'm dyslexic...the pullover dress pattern is Butterick 5193. Online, it doesn't show up under the separate Connie Crawford collection but on the second page of Dresses.

        1. marymary | | #13

          Thanks, Teaf5 for the correction.  I was not aware that there are Connie Crawford Butterick patterns that are not listed under her name.  I do like that dress, but it would not look good on me. 

          1. Teaf5 | | #15

            I just looked at my pattern envelope for Connie Crawford's pullover, flared dress, and the number is Butterick 0460, but online it's listed with the other number.  Is that confusing or what?!

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