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Fitting a large belly

vallerand | Posted in Fitting on

Hi all.

I have a fitting question.  I have a gentleman who would like a coat I make.  He has limited mobility and a large belly, he could get a size 2X on, but needs more room in belly, and a smidge in the shoulders, sleeves and all else are ok. 

Chest is 48″  Belly is 55″

The length is fine, he is not particularly tall, so in grading do I just adjust hte shoulders a little, leave the length and just make the same grading on the side seams and shoulders? 

Or should I make it more like an ‘A’ line fit, right now the side seams are straight.

This is a pretty basic winter coat, hood, set in sleeves, tie at hem and full front zip, nylon shell with full lining and insulation.

He is several states away and want to get fit right the first time.




  1. Jumala | | #1

    I would also lenghten the center front by an inch or 2 so the center front doesn't come up because of the belly. One needs fabric to cover the round part. I am slightly larger with a 58" belly. Hope this helps.


  2. mygaley | | #2

    I sew for a similarly shaped man and use the large bust enlargement for blouses without a dart. (palmer/pletsch and other books) This entails spreading the pattern horizontally (I start at the top of the tummy) and also vertically. I also find it a good idea to never mention to a man that you had to enlarge the pattern. God bless you Galey

    1. vallerand | | #3

      Thanks for the responses. 

      I will post once it is finished and he has it.

      He does know I am specially fitting him, he came into the shop and tried on an XXL jacket first, and then I took measurements.  Most of the jackets I make are worn by athletes, so fitting is usually pretty snug...  I hope he is happy with the results and it keeps him warm this winter!  (His son brought him in, who is a climber and hiker and quite fit.) 

      Thanks again.

      1. vallerand | | #4

        Hey, just heard back from the gentleman in OK, he got the coat and said it is keeping him toasty warm and dry and fits like a dream and he can get it on and off by himself!

        His tummy was only part of the problem, he also had some major mobility issues, he can not lift his arms very high, it looked as though he has some of his upper vertabrae fused perhaps.

        Here is what I finally decided to do;

        For the fronts I added 3" to the length then sliced from the center hem to the center of the shoulder and spread it open about 2".  I then recurved the hem to make it only a slight curve, which was unnoticable in finished garment.

        I repeated the same process to the back, which does have a slight dip in the hem.

        (I am using Gerber PDS at work now, and altering with this CAD system is a little different than Optitex, which I used in my last job.  More is sometimes not better...)

        I checked that the side seams matched, the sleeve length was not altered very much by this process as most of the ease was in the belly area.  This way the coat hem could fall enough forward for him to grasp the zipper pull and zip it up unassisted.  There is a shockcord and barrel lock on the hem, but I doubt he uses them.

        He was very pleased with the results and called to thank us all for the great job.

        Thanks for everyones help, I am so pleased this worked for him!

        1. SAAM | | #5

          Congratulations on your success with this project. Isn't it wonderful when efforts at fitting actually work? You must feel great.Sherry

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