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Monday, August 26, 2013
Simplicity 2497: Research, Research, Research
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Most of the pattern companies make plus sized patterns. I own a few that I have yet to try out. Part of that is laziness. The other part is that some of them are just less aesthetically pleasing or they would be better suited to that rarest of plus sized creatures-the ten foot tall perfectly proportional giantess with curves everywhere except her belly.
In any case, I prefer dicking around with straight size patterns. There's that moment of triumph when I make the damn thing fit. There's also the thrill of slashing and taping and all of that . . . it feels like I'm going rogue. I pretty much love anything that lets me feel like I'm going rouge.
The first step in fitting the pattern is deciding which areas will need the most adjustment. If you are just starting out sewing garments, I recommend Simplicity's Simply the Best Sewing Book. In fact, this is a great general sewing reference book that has a comb binding so it opens and lies flat. You get a great overview of how patterns are created and sized, how to pick the pattern size best for you, and an overview of basic alterations you might make.
This book suggests using your high bust measurement to determine your size. This little tidbit is what opened up the world of straight sizes to me. If you use the high bust measurement, you can pick a pattern size that might only require a full bust alteration and the neckline and shoulders will still fit.
For those who might be interested in plus-size sewing, I really like, and use pretty much every time I work on a new pattern, Sewing for Plus Sizes by Barbara Deckert. The photos and illustrations feature some banging eighties and nineties fashion, but you can pretty much find info on how to do anything you want. I also like that there is a emphasis on alterations that might be especially beneficial to plus size people.
In addition to these two resources, I also do fairly serious internet research. If you put a pattern title and number in google image search, you can find personal blogs of people who have sewn it before. This is really helpful if you have the time. If a pattern has some quirks, reading about others' experiences will help you plan ahead.
Pattern Review is another great web resource. In addition to pattern reviews, you can see images of finished garments. Additionally, questions posted on the forums are answered quickly by people who know what they are doing.
This pattern has some pleating on the sleeve and an inseam side zipper that opens into a pocket. I researched both of those details as well as the full bust adjustment and adding width to sleeves and waist.