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Message Board > Fitting Woes > sewing for an extreme pear figure ( Moderated by CarolynGM, Deepika)

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sewing for an extreme pear figure
help picking the right pattern and sewing techniques
adelaide original

adelaide original
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Date: 10/13/11 12:59 PM

I need to make about six dress or skirt and blouse outfits for an extreme pear figure. There is 12 inches difference between her bust measurement and hip measurement. Also there is 16 inches between her waist measurement and her hip measurement. Any pattern suggestions (picking patterns) and ways to adjust for this problem would be a big help.

sewtea
sewtea
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In reply to adelaide original


Date: 10/13/11 1:06 PM

I am not good with alterations, have a 17 inch difference waist to hip and buy patterns by hip and bring waist in. For dresses I look for patterns with elastic waist and skirt with princess line seams, gores no pleats. also on skirts I may do regular faced front and elastic back or elastic on the sides only to take in the excess. Hope this gives you something to look for to match your sewing skills and mood.

adelaide original

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Date: 10/13/11 1:49 PM

Thank you. Those are some good ideas. I am an apple shape and have never dealt with this type of figure problem before. I am sewing for my nice and I want to do a nice job. I know she really struggles to find cloths to fit her. She is a young twenty something and looks and style are important at that age.

ClaireEmily
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ClaireEmily
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Date: 10/13/11 2:07 PM

I'm a pretty extreme pear too. You will find flared skirts and dresses much easier to fit than straighter skirts. I like a yoked waist skirt with a flared or pleated skirt. I find gathers and elastic not very flattering. Also find out where she wears her skirts, as many younger people ( and me) prefer one not right up at the natural waistline but more on the hip and this will make a difference to the size you choose.

You may find that you don't need to alter the hip area of tops and blouses the way you might expect as I don't wear tops right down over my bottom and that's where the width is needed.

For dresses I'd be looking for styles with a fitted top and waist and flared skirt. Having her hips take up some of the hip ease is fine IMHO. Anything without waist shaping will not be her best look.

Good luck! It is very nice of you to do this!
-- Edited on 10/13/11 2:10 PM --

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Claire - Melbourne, Australia

adelaide original

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Date: 10/13/11 2:34 PM

Thank You. That's very helpful. Are you saying no straight up and down dresses? I am thinking empire waist fitted top and lose draping bottom type dress. I am considering Simplicity skirt 2609, Butterick knit dress 5246 and simplicity 3532 dress. Maybe I will make the sleeve less version and she can use it as a Jumper over a dress.

sewtea
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In reply to adelaide original


Date: 10/13/11 3:52 PM

B5673
Empire styles or fitted waist and seams to enlarge at hip is what I meant, for gathers they are unlattering but....fitted on top gathered waist in lightweight can work like this
So gathers must must must be lightweight sheer type fabric so there is no weight added to body but does work.
Edit to add I am plus size and lightweight on the dress fabric, fitted top..... works well for me. Easy for alterations as I have not bothered to learn much in pattern adjustment.
-- Edited on 10/13/11 3:59 PM --

DolphinDancer30

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Date: 10/13/11 5:10 PM

This Butterick Skirt 5366 looks like it has a lot of possibilities. View A has a lot of fitting possibilities. Once it's fitted, you could get a lot of different looks by varying the fabric. It has a pretty waistband treatment, flat in the front and back, with elastic at the sides. I like the color blocked idea, as it gives a vertical line that looks slimming. Butterick has discontinued this pattern, but you can still get it from Connie Crawford.

adelaide original

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Date: 10/13/11 6:17 PM

I actually have some skirt patterns that are similar to that skirt I have a Sandra Betzinz pattern that would work well. Thank you for the idea. Two heads are better than one.

marjoriekh
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marjoriekh  Friend of PR
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Date: 10/13/11 6:27 PM

Unless she needs the high waist due to being long-waisted or short-legged, I would be cautious about the empire silhouette. My first thought would be, as was said before, to make sure you have waist definition. If you skim over the waist in her figure, the end result may be enlarge her overall. (That is, the effect may be to visually enlarge her waist in proportion to her bust and hips.) A waist that dips in like that is a highly desirable feature!

Since she does have a pronounced waist, and a pretty good balance between bust and hip, I would go for waist definition: Princess styles (gores), fitted bodices with fuller skirts, and designs with belts.

Have you looked at Patty the Snug Bug's blog and pattern reviews? Patty is very curvy, but with a well-defined waist. If your niece's figure is at all similar you may get inspiration from her very confident (and fun) fashion sense.

------
marjoriekh

TanyaMT
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TanyaMT  Friend of PR
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Date: 10/13/11 6:57 PM

I'm 16 inches between waist and hip measurement too. Empire is not my friend at all if it is long. In fact, I avoid tunic length as a general rule. Pears do best IMHO with A-line dresses and separates. You want to bring the eye to the waist and above with prints on top, design features on the top, etc. Then fitted and not eye-catching bottoms.

I too fit a pattern at the hip mostly and then bring in the waist.

What is helpful to me is "scooping' the back crotch to make it more of an L shape ... gives more room for the backside.

You may need to lower/shorten the front crotch depending on her measurements. Often to get a big enough size through the hip it leaves too much fabric in the front for me.

I have better luck with Burda and Ottobre Woman patterns than with big3, but recently found a couple decent big3 choices too.

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My sewing blog: weebeaks.blogspot.com

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