I made and sold my first dress in 2006 and by 2009 I had many plus size friends asking me to make them dresses. This was my first custom made dress. Her torso was larger and longer than the patterns measurements. This dress also had a full gathered circle skirt. This was my first test in altering measurements on a pattern. I added to the back shoulders, front seams and took out the hour glass waist line.
If you sew you know what they call plus size on patterns are the majority of regular body shapes. The largest size on a big box pattern is a size 20 and it’s measurements are 42″ Bust, 34″ Waist and 44″ hips. That is not a size 20 for off the rack or ready made clothing. Just about everyone that sews garments knows what alterations they need to make to patterns to make to make them fit their own bodies. No two bodies are the same ever so we all get to learn a lot when we make clothing for other people. In 2010 I wanted to learn how to make plus size dresses and learn the alterations to make them for different body types. Lucky me, my friend Heather let me use her as my test subject. This was my first plus size dress.
What I learned, it helps to have a plus size dress form. If you do not have one you can tape pillows at the measurements you need to make sure you are ball park with your fit. Cut everything just a little larger and take it in at the darts and seams. Wrap dresses give you built in ease. This is Colette Patterns Crepe dress pattern that I used here. I altered the sleeve, waistline and bustline. I wrote Colette Pattern Company after making this dress and asked them if they could start carrying plus size patterns and guess what, they are making strides to do that. I love Colette Patterns!
Another person to follow who is also making plus size patterns is Jenny Rushmore owner of Cashmerette. Check her out, she is awesome. I hear she already has a new 2nd pattern coming out.\n\nHere are just a few of the many plus size dresses I have made for people.
- Vintage Patterns in Sewing Tips in and Around a Minute - April 14, 2021
- Simplicity in Your Pants - April 5, 2021
- Easy Alterations in Sewing Tips in and Around a Minute - March 30, 2021