Facebook Email Pinterest Twitter Instagram Tiktok Icon YouTube Icon Headphones Icon Favorite Navigation Search Icon Forum Search Icon Main Search Icon Close Icon Video Play Icon Indicator Arrow Icon Close Icon Hamburger/Search Icon Plus Icon Arrow Down Icon Video Guide Icon Article Guide Icon Modal Close Icon Guide Search Icon

Conversational Threads

I’m new and not so new

mernab | Posted in Fashion & Design on

I learned to sew in 1963 but I’m not good at pressing, I’ve learned.   I find as I’m getting older that here are challenges in fitting.  I’m used to be 5’1 and a 1/4 but I’m not allowing anyone to measure me right now.  I’m small framed but at 68-year old a bit “grandmotherly.  I’m best in skinny jeans, form fitting but with ease.  I totally love clothing that is really different, unusual hemline and neck lines.  Some of the patterns I’ve seen that I love have way too much fabric for my frame.  

lve seen beautiful patterns for what I’m looking for but they would totally overwhelm me.  Is there anyone with similar concerns?  In Casmerette  patterns I measure a size 10/12 gh cup.  Those are rather large, polite term bust line, not so polite “big boobs”.  Is it easy to take out the volume in a design with out affecting the overall structure?  

I have a piece of pure wool ponte and some boiled wool. Not to mention the absolutely wonderful cashmere Coating.  I’m afraid what do I do?ra




  1. User avater
    mrs_dodd | | #1

    Hi mernab,

    I also sew with Cashmerette patterns, and have found the fit (16 E/F) to be very good right out of the envelope (or off the printer since I print them from PDFs). Cashmerette patterns are for 5'6" height, so immediately you know you will have to shorten everything by ~5 in. I'm taller, so I have to lengthen everything. And I have to adapt the waist always due to a tummy tuck.

    If I were petite concerned with the extra fabric, then I would
    - definitely review the finished garment measurements when selecting a pattern. Measure a garment that you currently wear (and like the volume) at the bust, waist and hip lines (also the neck to waist on front and back). Compare those measurements to the pattern. Cashmerette puts in all of their finished garment measurements, so you could see immediately that a pattern has greater ease than you like.
    - find a pattern that more closely matches your preferred measurements -OR-
    - alter the pattern to reduce the ease
    - make a muslin!!! pinch out extra ease, like a big dart at CF, CB and/or sides, tapering to nothing at the neck, armhole, etc. so you don't affect the other pattern pieces.
    - transfer changes to your pattern and make another muslin...I know it's extra work, but I wouldn't cut into cherished yardage without a perfect fit on the muslin.

    There are several excellent books on pattern alterations, including Jenny Rushmore's "Ahead of the Curve," The Complete Photos Guide to Perfect Fitting" by Sarah Veblen and Palmer/Pletsch's "Complete Guide to Fitting."

  2. User avater
    mrs_dodd | | #2

    Also, Measure yourself! I learned how to measure myself from Don McCunn's "How to Make Sewing Patterns" (2nd ed.). There are several pages showing a clever way to measure yourself using a tape measure and tying a string or thin ribbon to the end of the measuring tape.

  3. mamartin | | #3

    I'm not exactly sure what you mean by patterns that you "love" but have "way too much fabric for my frame". I don't think you can remove volume without affecting the overall look/structure.

    The main thing you want is for a garment to fit properly, starting from the top (shoulders) down. I don't think a properly-fitting garment will overwhelm anyone. It might be too voluminous for your taste, but that's a different issue. That means the design is not to your liking.

    The only way you can make sure it fits properly is by measuring your body and comparing it to the pattern pieces and the intended amount of ease in the garment. That will tell you if you need to do the simplest form of alteration, which is blending between sizes. Making a test garment is the next thing to try, of course, especially if you're uncertain about the fit.

    If you've never sewn with patterns from independent companies (i.e., not the formerly-big-4 like Simplicity, etc.) then you should be aware that each company has their own size chart. These charts often do not follow ready-to-wear clothing sizes.

    For example, Cashmerette's cup sizes are not bra sizes. Totally different.

    It's tricky to navigate, but the best way is by trial and error. I made several t-shirts from Cashmerette before realizing that I don't like my t-shirts as tight as they design them. I can't adjust my way out of that easily; I was better off finding a t-shirt pattern that was designed for more ease.

    You might take a look at Helen's Closet patterns. She designs simpler garments and her instructions are excellent. They include a fit guide, so you have a clear explanation of how the garment is supposed to fit. Style Falcon is one of the few of the new crop of indie pattern designers that design for a "mature" figure.

  4. ClaireTT | | #4

    Great advice

  5. billyhopkins | | #5

    What you mean when you say that certain patterns have "way too much fabric for my frame" but that you "love" them? I don't believe you can reduce volume without changing the overall structure or appearance.

    The most important element is that a garment fits properly from the top (shoulders) down. Nobody will be intimidated by a well-fitting garment, in my opinion. You might find it to be overly lengthy, but that's an other matter. That indicates that you don't like the design. For Helping URL: https://www.pikashowhd.com/

Log in or create an account to post a comment.

Threads Insider

Get instant access to hundreds of videos, tutorials, projects, and more.

Start Your Free Trial

Already an Insider? Log in

Conversational Threads

Recent Posts and Replies

  • |
  • |
  • |
  • |
  • |
  • |

Threads Insider Exclusives

View All
View All


Shop the Store

View All
View More