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Forum > Plus Size Sewing > Fashion Styling and the Plus sized woman ( Moderated by JEF)

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Fashion Styling and the Plus sized woman
Andi
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Andi
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Date: 8/4/12 5:42 PM

I realized recently that the thing that frustrates me about sewing for myself is that I can get a great fit, but b/c I am plus sized, many times I still feel frumpy. I think it is because the top that I can get to fit well really only looks good with skinny pants, something I do not look good in. I am thinking I need to do a better job in being realistic about how I put outfits together.

Does anyone have ideas about which styles go together? Web site ideas that show plus sized women wearing more than just basic tops and pants? Am I the only one who feels like this?

I would love to hear what you , my plus sized sisters think!

sewingbuddcker
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Date: 8/4/12 6:50 PM

I understand your frustrations. It seems most plus styles are for baggy clothes which only make me look larger. I'm "plus" sized but also about 6 feet tall with large hands and feet. I need large clothes but that are fitted so I don't look like as Peggy Sagers says---"Dolly Parton in a muumuu".

------
Tall person seeking knowledge for custom clothing!

BeaJay
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Date: 8/4/12 9:45 PM

I know exactly what you mean! I buy a pattern and it looks great on the model (even a plus sized one but especially on the thin ones) but because I am plus plus - it doesn't look good on me.

I read Bunny's blog La Sewista recently when she recommend going to a shop and trying everything in your size on even if you don't like the look of it.. You can see what suits you, what colour suits you, what goes together, what doesn't.

Here is a link to her post

La Sewista

Good luck.

------
BeaJay
http://ontheroadtosewwear.blogspot.com/

May your bobbin always be full.

brissie71
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In reply to Andi <<


Date: 8/4/12 11:13 PM

I'm right there with you. Often times, the discontent that I feel is not from the fitting process but the fact that I don't look like a super-model when I finish!

I'm sorry that I can't suggest any web sites but I'll be following along avidly in case someone else can. I do make a point of following plus size seamstress' blogs and reviews, particularly ones that have a similar body shape to me. I find that quite useful and encouraging.

------
Kelley (Brisbane, QLD)
http://simplesewist.blogspot.com.au/

Elcue
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Date: 8/4/12 11:30 PM

I think this is a very important question. I'm interested in the topic but only have vague ideas and rules.

Wear one color top and bottom.

Empire waist looks good usually.

Utilize strategic color blocking to create hourglass shape or long vertical lines.

Shoulder pads sometimes help.

Avoid bulky fabrics.


marymary86
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Date: 8/4/12 11:56 PM

Stacy (of Clinton & Stacy on "What Not To Wear") started a new series by a plus sized designer/shop owner who caters to plus sized women. I can't remember the name of the show but her dresses looked good (on the racks and on her clients).

------
Mary


JudyHan
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Date: 8/5/12 8:53 AM

I believe this is our greatest challenge - the design of an outfit on our own body!! Not the picture our brain is looking at - the slim model so cleverly perfect. Oye. I refer to http://alittlesewing.blogspot.com/ for the proportion issues of your own body and am working with that. I thing this is our greatest challenge as a seamstress - the design of a complete outfit. Design is hard and everyone is different, bodies are different. I also did the mall run and tried on everything I could - actually it was a blast! I also brought the shoes with me that I wanted to wear with the outfit I was looking for.

------
Get the quilters OUT OF MY WAY!

GBK

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Date: 8/5/12 9:14 AM

I am on the fence to plus sizes and therefore also look at designers that design only for plus sized ladies for some inspiration. For example, I find Elena Miro to design really stylish and elegant clothes. Admittedly, her models may be maximum size 18 and are well proportioned. Still, I find some really good ideas for plus sizes in her collections.

------
Happy Sewing!

solveg
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Date: 8/5/12 10:15 AM

OMG, as a returning/beginner sewist I am struggling with this so much.

The big pattern sales hit right when I was starting, and I bought a bunch of patterns. I was confused and torn and knew I was setting myself by many of the patterns I bought. I realized I really didn't know what looked good on me, I had been in jeans and t-shirts for so long.

My first order of patterns was in the styles I historically knew looked good on me.... which I know, in my heart, are not going to do at all now. It's like dressing a body of a stranger. So then I bought more patterns, the ones that the "experts" seemed to think would look good on plus sizes.

Then I realized there were basically 2 different kinds of plus sizes.... the young, youthful plus sizes and the middle aged plus size. There's been a lot of progress for the young pluses, but I'm STILL not sure what the older ones are supposed to wear.

SOOO....I just accepted that I'm going to make a lot of clothes that don't look good on me, and maybe I'll be surprised to find out what DOES look good. I put in a third order for patterns, this time looking for styles I have never tried and don't know what to think about.

Then I made a plan to reduce heartbreak:

Since my main goal is to learn sewing techniques and to learn different fabric/pattern combinations to gain that experience, I am going to sew each and every one of my Kwik Sew patterns, starting with PLUS-EASY, then going to Misses Easy and learning to grade up really well, then going to regular Plus, then finishing with regular easy. By that time, I feel I will have some experience under my belt, and there are many patterns that I THINK I'll hate, but I may like. If I look like a cow, it will be a nightgown or house dress. If I look like a Mad Cow, then I'll turn the fabric into something else.

Maybe I'll find out I look awesome in straight dresses? Or maybe I'm not too old to wear a jumper? I don't know. But there has to be more options than a wrap dress.

Oh- edit! Back to my plan.... The rest of the patterns I analyzed. If I was pretty sure it wouldn't fly (empire waist, for example, or something too young) I put it away in a special box. Eventually, I plan to use it as a "dare" box.... if I get into a slump or want something new to sew, my mission will be to take a pattern from the box, use a stashed fabric, and MAKE IT WORK. Perhaps I'll find that a well-fitted empire waist actually works, but I've just never experienced one before.
-- Edited on 8/5/12 10:18 AM --

crazygrad
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Date: 8/5/12 11:43 AM

I'm going to go against the grain and advise against the head to toe monochromatic look. It can often look like a wall-- like blue slab walking. It can be done, but usually to make it work well on a larger size, you need to find a way to break up the color.

I also like to snoop shop by seeing pics OFF of bodies. If I see it on a body, what I might like about the garment might just be how it looks on a figure so unlike mine or how it makes that body look. When I see something on a rack or photographed, I can focus on the details of the design or whatever elements that draw me in (color, print, etc.). Then think about ways to incorporate details into my clothes.

I think, for me, that de-frumpifying can be in the details beyond the clothes-- jewelry, shoes, etc. I feel pretty frumpy when I wear certain flats, especially with wide legged pants. Proportion matters, as does noting where garments hit on your body. For example, if the sleeve ends at the same point as the bottom of a top or jacket, it will extend the horizontal line across the body, making you look broader.

Some people like Trinni and Susannah's The Body Shape Bible, which breaks body shapes down into 9 (yup! 9) different types, allowing for points of correspondence than just the 4 in the HOAX system.

Frankly, I also think one of the best things to do is to throw out the rules and wear things you like and make you feel good. cmarie and patty the snug bug are two reviewers here with very detailed blogs about the sewing adventures. They are very inspirational. Actually there are a ton of reviewers here I find inspirational: michellep74, kim(withsomenumbers), melody, nicegirl, Miss Celie, Mahogany.... too many to list. They aren't all plus but they all do good reviews and discuss making things work for them, even when the style isn't supposed to, according to "the rules."

Good luck and try to have fun!

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