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Help - what patterns should I go for?
Massive bust, not slim, need ideas to be more stylish
lareine
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lareine  Friend of PR
Intermediate
NEW ZEALAND
Member since 11/10/06
Posts: 1070
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Date: 5/1/10 2:03 AM

Hello all, long time reader first time [I think] poster here :)

I have recently rediscovered my clothes-making mojo, and want to start making clothes that fit and flatter me. I'm sick of things that are too tight in the waist, or keep falling down, or are stretched across the chest.

Here's my dilemma. I'm an hourglass, I suppose, but a really big one: 5' 8" tall, 47-39-46, with HH-cup boobs. What patterns should I try that might both fit and flatter me? I assume I'll need a hefty FBA no matter what I try, but I'm not stylish enough to really know what will look good on somebody with my shape and size.

My sewing abilities are probably "advanced beginner," and I'm a quick study so complicated styles don't scare me. They probably should, because my ambition exceeds my ability at this point! But I know I'll get better :)

I've already ordered a bunch of patterns which are mainly princess-seamed or wrapped tops or dresses, but I'd love to hear what other people suggest, both for things I should try and things I should avoid like the plague.

I've always been a jeans and t-shirt girl, but recently I can sense a girlie girl trying to get out. I want to look polished and put-together and pretty. I find myself drawn to 50s fashions and twirly skirts (although I'm not sure that's the best move for my very muscular calves)... I'm 35 now, in an office job, and I want to look like a voluptuous woman rather than an overweight teenager in her boyfriend's shirt. Please advise!
-- Edited on 5/1/10 2:03 AM --

teagg
teagg
AUSTRALIA
Member since 5/25/05
Posts: 743
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Date: 5/1/10 6:08 AM

Try searching both here on PR and also via Google/equivalent for Trinny and Susannah's shapes... and 'what not to wear' advice... that should start you off with some ideas.
G

(PS I'm quite good at giving the location or idea of good advice... but not so good at taking it!)

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G
Sydney, Australia

Therisa
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Therisa
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MI USA
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In reply to lareine


Date: 5/1/10 6:41 AM

I am almost exactly your size (5'9", 49-39-46) and have found that princess seams are among my most flattering looks. Have a gander at some of my reviews and see what you think. And feel free to post a pic of yourself and of the style you're considering, lots of people will weigh in with their opinions!

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chicaem29
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chicaem29  Friend of PR
Advanced Beginner
NY USA
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In reply to lareine


Date: 5/1/10 8:27 AM

Princess seamed garments will be great - they're flattering on most people and easier to adjust for a good fit. I also think wrap tops and dresses are pretty universally flattering, too. So you're off to a great start. Ambition is a great thing, and it's wonderful that you're pretty much fearless, because you can accomplish a lot that way!

You might want to check out New Vintage Lady - she is a plus sized and has lots of advice on how to pick out flattering vintage styles for bigger bodies.

Irene Q
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Irene Q  Friend of PR
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NH USA
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Date: 5/1/10 10:53 AM

Check out the reviews by Andreahg. I think she has a similar figure and loves those 50's styles! You may also want to join us in the Plus Size Sewalong for more inspiration. (Don't worry - there's no pressure to actually sew anything. :-) )

For knit tops, you might want to try one with a gathered neckline. It's a nice way to get dart shaping without sewing great big darts. Simplicity 4076 is a good one, and you can use all those sleeves on all 3 styles.
-- Edited on 5/1/10 10:54 AM --

lareine
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lareine  Friend of PR
Intermediate
NEW ZEALAND
Member since 11/10/06
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Date: 5/1/10 2:01 PM

Ooh, thanks guys! Lots of great links there for me to check out, and somebody else my size too This is very heartening.

Going to go pour myself a big coffee (it's 6:00am here) and start reading.

michellep74
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michellep74  Friend of PR
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WA
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Date: 5/1/10 2:06 PM

I'm the same age as you are and have similar measurements (although I'm about 6" shorter than you are). I've had good luck with HotPatterns brand patterns. They're drafted for a larger bust and most of their styles are appropriate for our age group. Many of them also have princess seams or at least some sort of bust shaping.

HotPatterns

I also have very muscular calves--I find that a skirt length just below the knee tends to be the most flattering length on me. If you like vintage styles, I'd also check out the Colette patterns line--they're also drafted for a larger bust and I've had good results with the two that I've made up. If you're new to garment sewing, Colette patterns have more detailed instructions than HotPatterns (which assume some sewing knowledge).

Colette Patterns

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--Michelle

***
Blog: http://happilycaffeinated.blogspot.com/

2014 Fabric IN: 153.13 yards
2014 Fabric OUT: 88 yards
2014 Fabric Sewn: 38 yards
2014 Fabric Donated: 50 yards
pre-2014 Stash patterns used in 2014: 7

Izzie
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Izzie
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GA USA
Member since 6/28/03
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In reply to lareine


Date: 5/1/10 8:06 PM

To add to what Michelle said about Hot Patterns, you can email Trudy (the designer) and she will give you an honest opinion on which of her patterns will look good on you.

lareine
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lareine  Friend of PR
Intermediate
NEW ZEALAND
Member since 11/10/06
Posts: 1070
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Date: 5/2/10 4:30 AM

Thanks for the suggestions. I looked at the Hot Patterns site, but only two patterns appealed to me, one was out of stock, and one wasn't in my size. There was nothing at all that I wanted from the Colette site, although I will bookmark it and maybe read some reviews and come back to it. Oh well.

Today I spent several hours cutting and sewing a Khaliah Ali Simplicity top. It wasn't great - my FBA wasn't F enough and it was too tight across the chest, and it turns out that I hate puffy gathered sleeves, but as a sewing lesson it was very educational. This is my second attempt at that pattern and I'm getting better every time -- I'll crack it soon!

B

B
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MN USA
Member since 12/5/03
Posts: 673
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Date: 5/2/10 7:43 AM

Just a comment about princess seams: the shoulder princess give great vertical lines, but the armhole princess may emphasize the bust more than you want. In general, most vertical lines (v-necks, vertical seams, vertical lines in fabrics vs. horizontal lines) help.

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Janome serger 634D, Brother PC6000, Singer 500A, Kenmore Mini-Ultra, vintage Bernina 600, White Rotary treadle, New Homestead A VS treadle

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