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Patterns that fit tall women better

2tallct | Posted in Patterns on

Is anyone out there on the gatherings discussions really tall (6 feet) and fairly slender like me?  If so, are there any patterns you have used that don’t seem to need as many alterations? 



  1. suesew | | #1

    You may never find patterns right out of the envelope that fit you. Very few people are the perfect sizes of patterns. What you need to do is figure out where you are different and make the necessary changes to patterns. I, for example, add at least a half inch to the back waist because I am tall. I also usually use the size l6 size across my wider back and a size l4 for the front. I also routinely add a half inch to long sleeve lengths and always more to skirt lengths. This may sound like a great deal, but most of it comes quite naturally and is really fairly easy to do.

    1. 2tallct | | #2

      I know that I MUST start from the beginning and make muslins out of whatever I plan to sew, and have balked at it for so long, but the time has come. I am completely different in all areas. Large bust, narrow shoulders, narrow back (from that erect posture my parents taught me to have being a tall girl), longer torso, and on and on and ON!!!! I am starting out with a cotton nightgown. Even though it is just a nightgown, I don't want the gaping armholes and gaping back that I usually get when I just sew something without fitting it first. It is an empire style, gathered and to the knees. Already i can see that I must lengthen the top because I don't want it hitting me mid-bust, and I am trying to figure out how to adjust such a simple pattern comparing it to my sloper which is so fitted (I paid someone to make the sloper for me). My problem is that I began sewing when I was in 6th grade, only took a few classes, and then just basically taught myself. I never learned the "right" way. Now at mid life I must go back and re=learn everything and it is not fun!!!! I appreciate your advice and look forward to more!

      1. SewistKitty | | #3

        I am also tall. I use my high bust measurement for selecting a size since I, too, have narrow shoulders. Then I make a full bust adjustment for my full bust. If I use my bust measurement to select a pattern the shoulders are much too wide and the armholes are too low for me. The high bust measurement is taken by using a tape measure and holding it snugly around your back, under your armpits and across the top of your bust (not on the points of your breasts). Hope this makes sense. I also make up each pattern in cheaper fabric to adjust for fit before I use my good fabric. After awhile you will begin to know what alterations that you will usually need to make. I adjust for sleeve length and leg length. Hope this helps.

        1. 2tallct | | #4

          Thanks.  I will try that.  So when you purchase a pattern, you get the bust size according to your high bust number?  Just want to make sure I understand you.

          Do you try and make as many adjustments as you can on your pattern before you cut on your muslin or do you just cut the pattern as is on the muslin and then see where it does not work and adjust on the muslin? 

          There is so much to learn, and so little time to take classes and do in depth reading.  I am thankful for this site and being able to take advantage of all of you pros!  When I finish my first fitted garment I will be sure and post a picture, providing I like it!!

          1. suesew | | #5

            Do make the adjustments that you know you must make on the muslin. No sense making something that you know won't be right the first time. Just keep track of everything you do so you know what works.

  2. Teaf5 | | #6

    Good suggestions so far. Here's what I learned from sewing for my 6-footer:
    Before making the muslin, cut out all the pattern pieces and pin-fit them (pin along seam lines and try on over correct lingerie). Full-busted women will find the pattern fronts must be much wider than the pattern backs, which is unusual.

    Vogue and Butterick seem to fit tall and slim a bit better, but still need to be tested. The designer jeans from Vogue fit perfectly with few adjustments.

    My daughter wears a size 8 long in RTW and about a 10 in patterns, but her back is at least six INCHES narrower than a 10, so I use a size 6 back and still take in the center back, so patterns with a center back seam are good. She is shortwaisted and very, very long legged, so I have to do a petite adjustment on tops and add four to six inches to pants, skirts, and sleeves.

    If you have any RTW clothes that fit well (except for length) you can check the pattern pieces against them to get an idea of adjustments you will need. Definitely keep notes on the patterns and muslins!

    1. 2tallct | | #7

      Your daughter sounds alot like my girls (they are not quite as tall as me but ALL legs and arms) and me (although I am not quite a size 8 anymore-if only I would walk a couple of extra miles each day!) I never could understand why everything gapped at the back of my neck, and jackets that fit great in front were so baggy at the back. Now I know. I have a very narrow back. I can see that it is definitely not going to be a quick fix, which is what I always wanted and that is why nothing ever fit!!! I plan to take my time and really do this thing right, and hopefully I will have a few basic pieces to work with soon. Luckily spring and summer clothes aren't quite so fitted and knits are oh so forgiving...I feel bad for all the women who can't sew and are forced to wear clothing that does not fit them properly. I have been that person for too long, but no more. I am going to conquer this!

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