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Forum > Plus Size Sewing > What measurements make me plus sized? ( Moderated by JEF)

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What measurements make me plus sized?
Time4me
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Time4me
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British Columbia CANADA
Member since 1/22/08
Posts: 728
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Date: 5/28/09 2:25 AM

Hi, I am hoping to get a little clarification.

What measurements make a person plus sized? Mine are:

Bust: 41"
Waist: 37"
Hip: 41"

I find that I am very attracted to plus sized clothing as they are much better at hiding my very spongy muffin top and 3 c-sections skin flap on my tummy. Although, most of the time I am just a bit small for the clothing.

I definitely wear an XL up top but sometimes if the waist is not too high can fit smaller clothing on the bottom.

I am really looking for some nice summer top patterns for this body of mine that I can feel comfortable in but that will go down long enough to cover my lower belly without looking pregnant again.

Am I in the right spot?!?!?!?

Thanks in advance,

Dawn

Andreahg
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Andreahg
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Maryland USA
Member since 12/19/05
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Date: 5/28/09 7:19 AM

At first glance, I would say "not plus sized". Last year, I was 43 bust, 43 hip and in RTW 12, some 10s and pattern size 14 or 16. To me, the number that says "plus" is the 37 waist. However, plus patterns will be too big for you in the shoulders/neckline area. Your best bet is to choose the size that will fit your high bust, then alter the waist area.

Sweetiebop
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Sweetiebop  Friend of PR
Intermediate
Virginia USA
Member since 1/31/07
Posts: 176
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In reply to Andreahg


Date: 5/28/09 7:38 AM

Andrea,

I know Time4me asked the question but I have been wondering about this subject too. I'm 5'7"-5'8" and even taller when I wear heels which is always and my measurements are
Bust - 43"
Waist - 38"
Hips - 48"
In RTW I wear a medium in shorter tops large in tunics and a 18 on the bottom. So where do I fall? My patterns are usually cut between 18 or 20.

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Sewing is a reason to have a closet full of clothes.

A love of shoes and handbags is a reason not to have room for those clothes.

Andi
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Andi
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New York USA
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In reply to Time4me


Date: 5/28/09 8:03 AM

Even tho sewing patterns and RTW are totally different beasts, I consider myself plus sized b/c I need a 20W in RTW pants...the "W" is the one I think of as putting me in that category.(I am 5'7")

30 years ago my mom considered herself plus sized b/c she was a 12-14 in RTW(5'4") and a 16 in Vogue patterns, which was the high end of most sewing patterns.

Andreahg
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Andreahg
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Maryland USA
Member since 12/19/05
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In reply to Sweetiebop


Date: 5/28/09 8:07 AM

It sounds to me like you need Miss in tops and Women's in bottoms. If using a one piece dress, go for the size that fits your high bust, and alter the waist/hip area. According to all the experts, shoulders/neckline is the crucial area of fit. Your patterns should fit that area first, then alter anywhere else.

Andreahg
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Andreahg
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Maryland USA
Member since 12/19/05
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In reply to Andi


Date: 5/28/09 8:08 AM

Back then, 14 was plus. I can remember working in retail clothing stores in the mid 80s. We generally went to size 12 and only had a few items in 14.

Sweetiebop
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Sweetiebop  Friend of PR
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Virginia USA
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Date: 5/28/09 8:11 AM

Thanks Andrea for your reply and thanks Time4me for starting this board.

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Sewing is a reason to have a closet full of clothes.

A love of shoes and handbags is a reason not to have room for those clothes.

JudyP
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JudyP
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New York USA
Member since 7/15/05
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Date: 5/28/09 8:23 AM

It's very confusing. Especially since many plus-sized RTW fashions are shown on a size 12 model. Size 12 is not plus sized!
In RTW, you have to try stuff on to see what fits where. In sewing patterns, you have to ignore the size numbers and pay attention to the measurements. Upper bust/chest is the most important in tops/dresses and hip measurement is the most important in pants/skirts. I have a 48" bust and need a 1X, sometimes 2X or 18W in RTW tops, but I usually have to take in the hip and shoulders. I can wear a 16 pant if the waist is stretchy or lowered. In patterns, I cut a size 18 shoulders/armholes, 20 waist, 18 hip and I always do an FBA(full bust adjustment). Women's patterns are usually too big all over for me as I am 5'4''.

See how confusing it is? The book Fit for Real People is very helpful for those of us that can't fit in a pattern straight from the envelope. Measuring your body is the key to good fit.

Judy

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judyp

crazygrad
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crazygrad  Friend of PR
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Date: 5/28/09 8:40 AM

It IS confusing, especially when you factor in the different cuts of clothing (style lines) can make someone take a few sizes off from the usual size she wears. Given that plus size in many stores starts at 14, 12 at Lane Bryant- many women who never thought of themselves as plus find they look in plus aisles for their clothes.

I lost around 135 lbs. over a few years and was hoping to wear more regular sizes. I prefer an 18 in pants and depending on style, wear anything from a 12-18 in the top. I often size up in shirts for my linebacker shoulders. For me, loose skin is a MAJOR fit concern. I want to have skin reduction- my plastic surg. estimates that I have 30 lbs. of excess skin.

What I didn't get about the skin is how much mushier it is than the fat roll was. It moves under clothes and can pop out easily. I have muscle definition in my arms and then skin flap hanging out of the sleeve (which hits me in the face in some kickboxing moves- ewww).

It seems to me I'm a lot harder to fit now, even with the smaller size.

Long story short- nothing ever fits right and I have no clue what type of body shape I actually have.

Irene Q
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Irene Q  Friend of PR
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New Hampshire USA
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In reply to Sweetiebop


Date: 5/28/09 11:43 AM

Sweetiebop, my measurements are close to yours including height, so I get a choice of "regular" or "plus" pattern sizes. I find I get a better fit with the regular pattern sizes, even if I have to alter quite a bit, than with the plus pattern sizes. The plus sizes are just too loose. My favorite these days are the Burda larger sizes. They don't have separate "W" sizes, although the patterns that are only available in the plus sizes (44 and above) seem to be drafted for a more rounded figure than the others - which is just what I need.

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