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How to alter pattern for my friend
First foray into sewing for a plus size gal
ladyithis
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ladyithis
Intermediate
Washington USA
Member since 6/5/08
Posts: 41
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Date: 6/6/13 1:42 PM

Hi gals!

This forum was recommended to me while I'm trying to sew for a friend. Here's her measurements:

Height: 5'7" (when slouching, which she says is most of the time), but 5'9"
High Bust: 48"
Bust: 51.5"
Waist: 45"
Hips: 51"
Back waist length: 16"
Front waist length (over bust point): 17"
Between bust points (with bra on): 9.5"

So, I'm planning on making her a couple dresses from Simplicity's Khaliah Ali line 1623 and 2774. I'm starting with style A in 1623. After some discussion in the Fitting Woes forum, I decided I'm going to try to find some cheap knit to make a muslin from so I can fit it on her, but I would love ANY suggestions you gals have. I've never done a successful FBA (tried to modify Butterick 5882 to fit her and my FBA was a failure), since I'm a B-cup.

I'm planning to shorten the waist (by 1.75"), then use the size 26 pattern, grade to size 28 (+1" for waist), then FBA on the princess seams to 52", and then lengthen the skirt by 3".

Vintage Joan
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Vintage Joan
Intermediate
Ontario Canada
Member since 7/16/07
Posts: 10615
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In reply to ladyithis <<
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Date: 6/6/13 1:51 PM

The 28W looks like it's almost the right size already. Maybe just make a muslin of it as is. Although I've noticed that Simplicity's plus sizes add disproportionately large amounts of ease, so it might actually be too big. Only one way to find out.

P.S. I don't think you meant anything offensive by that "huge tracts of land" thing, but... I have friends who are much bigger than your friend, and they would not like being described that way (if that's what you meant).


-- Edited on 6/6/13 1:52 PM --

------
my shield and my very great reward ~ Gen. 15:1

ladyithis
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ladyithis
Intermediate
Washington USA
Member since 6/5/08
Posts: 41
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In reply to Vintage Joan <<


Date: 6/6/13 1:56 PM

Thanks Joan. The pattern only gives 1" of ease in the bust (and doesn't even mention the ease amount for the waist!), but I know what you mean by too much ease in the patterns (I usually experience that with a lot of the Big4 patterns these days).

No, I didn't mean any offense, but I can see how it could be taken... and I don't know how to go back and remove that in the subtitle. So sorry She's a very busty gal and I'm pretty much the opposite so I have nil experience when it comes to dealing with a much larger bust than patterns are drafted for.

Kim12469
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Kim12469
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Montana USA
Member since 3/27/08
Posts: 2354
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Date: 6/6/13 2:20 PM

I was following your thread in the Fitting Woes forum. FWIW, I'm wondering if you are making this more complicated than it needs to be. No offense.

I tend to "cheat" a lot with FBA's and I have a very full bust. I re-read your friends measurements and my take is that you may not need an FBA. Her full bust and high bust aren't that different. I do think that she is short waisted for her height as am I. My back waist length is a whopping 13.5" and I'm 5'3".

This is what I tend to do for a lot of patterns, especially knits. I cut my size to match my full bust and waist. My proportions there are similar to your friends. But then across the shoulders and neckline, I cut the next smaller size. If I don't, then I look like I'm swimming. The neck is too big, the armcyes way too low, etc.

My process is start with the easiest way to fix the problem. I hate doing FBA's!

------
http://kimsewsilly.blogspot.com/

ladyithis
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ladyithis
Intermediate
Washington USA
Member since 6/5/08
Posts: 41
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In reply to Kim12469 <<


Date: 6/6/13 2:25 PM

Kim, I would LOVE to find out that I'm making this more complicated than it needs to be I wouldn't be surprised if I'm over analyzing this because FIT FIT FIT has been drilled into my head from videos and classes I've taken over the years. I've figured out how to fir ME, just not anyone else who's much different from me.

I'll see about making the changes the way you suggested. Sounds a lot easier than trying to add a 1/2" on this seam or that seam. :)

Kim12469
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Kim12469
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Montana USA
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In reply to ladyithis <<


Date: 6/6/13 2:40 PM

I should clarify that I'm in no way shape or form a fitting expert. I do what works for me. Someone asked me to teach them to sew and I was like "No Way" because I do what I do and it's probably all wrong!!!

eta: The other thing I would suggest is scroll through pattern reviews and find women who are similar in shape and size to your friend. Read their reviews! That's how I learned to do the FBA cheats, etc. I found those similar to me and copied what they did.
-- Edited on 6/6/13 2:41 PM --

------
http://kimsewsilly.blogspot.com/

PattiAnnJ
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PattiAnnJ
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USA
Member since 12/3/06
Posts: 7475
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Date: 6/6/13 3:01 PM

She does not seem that impossible to fit. In fact, rather evenly proportioned.

The Khaliah Ali patterns are roomy. I would try the pattern without any alterations, then work from there.

I would not make any changes for the slouching. A great outfit should make her feel proud, with her shoulders up and back.

------
"Improvise, adapt and overcome." - Clint Eastwood/Heartbreak Ridge

ladyithis
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ladyithis
Intermediate
Washington USA
Member since 6/5/08
Posts: 41
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In reply to Kim12469 <<


Date: 6/6/13 3:42 PM

I think the one I'm working with is pretty new because there aren't any reviews for it yetBut I'll poke around in here and see what other changes other gals have had to make.

ladyithis
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ladyithis
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Washington USA
Member since 6/5/08
Posts: 41
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In reply to PattiAnnJ <<


Date: 6/6/13 3:45 PM

That's good to know, PattiAnn! Yeah, she's definitely hourglass shape in measurement (which is also different from my pear shape I'm used to working with). She says she's got low self-esteem (which probably constitutes the slouching), so I'm hoping the new garments will make her feel better about herself too :)

shajarataddurr
shajarataddurr
Member since 4/26/11
Posts: 122
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In reply to ladyithis <<


Date: 6/6/13 4:16 PM

Dear Lady,

I see that you've been a member for a very long time, but haven't made many posts. It's got to be hard to have people coming down on you for that "huge tracts of land" comment. So I won't get into that.

What I'm saying now, please understand that I'm saying it with love. I do not think that you should make the dress for your friend. In my opinion, and this is only my opinion, it will take a lot of experience, time, or money to do a good job for this lady who is already self-conscious about her looks.

Sewing for Plus Sizes isn't easy, which is why several designers have written entire books about it. The knit fabric is a good way to partially get around fitting problems, which is why so many RTW companies use it extensively in the plus sizes. But it is only a partial get-around. Clothes fit strangely and the look is not optimal. Altering a pattern to fit a plus-sized person is not easy because we are all plus-sized in different ways. If someone is very experienced, this may be done in one go, but for most of us, it will not.

In several posts, you've talked about hoping you could avoid making difficult alterations to the pattern. Sewing for a plus-sized person can take SEVERAL iterations before the pattern is modified to fit correctly. By correct fit, I mean that side seams fall correctly, princess seams are at the fullest point of each breast and the apex is correct, shoulder seams and space above bosom is correct, and the intersection between sleeves and body is right so that the blouse does not pull up when she raises her hand. Also, neckline and sleeve circumference must be managed correctly. And this is when the person sewing the pattern is experienced. Of course, this is your decision, but if you do not take the time to make it fit nicely, the garment will of course not enhance the woman's self-esteem.

Finally, to get a nicely-fitting garment, you will probably need to sacrifice some knit fabric. The top part, at least, including the upper sleeves, will need to be fitted once or maybe twice. It will be a near-miracle if this can be simply cut from the original fashion fabric and fit WELL on the first try. Muslins out of a different knit fabric may well look different. If it were me sewing it, I would go back to the store and buy three or four more yards of the fashion fabric to allow for these practices. That will cost $22.00 plus tax.

You may wind up putting much more into this than the painting is worth to you. Is it possible, again I am just stating my opinion, that you could instead work with so that she can get an understanding of what she wants to do to fit her body? She could then make informed decisions about how much time and money to sacrifice to get a good fit.

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