Dear pattern companies,
I’m afraid we’ve been rather disappointed lately. See, the CSC is full of fabulous women excited about sewing fantastically well fitting clothes that look amazing. But we’re being let down by the patterns available, and we would love to see changes. There are a lot of us out there – a huge market! And we really think that if you made some changes, you’d see business results. So today we wanted to share our thoughts and feedback.
First up: we’re not ashamed of our bodies and we don’t want to cover up or hide. No, we want to look fantastic by emphasizing and highlighting our shapes, whether that’s a lovely waist, bountiful bust or curvy bum. The “old rules” (if they ever really were there) about covering up with flowy shapes and dark colours are just that – old. We love colour! We love structure! The last thing we want to do is smother everything in yards of fabric.
And you know what we want to wear? The same as everyone else! There’s no magic line at size 12 that totally changes what women want to wear. Start with the assumption that we want the same fashions and trends as our smaller sisters, whether that’s swimsuits, trousers, blazers or even crop tops. Here at the CSC we particularly like structured garments with interesting seamlines and choices of sleeves and necklines, and there’s just as much variety in taste among women over a size 12 as under. What don’t we want? Items that flare out from the shoulders or bust in a tent or muumuu style, trousers that swamp us, gratuitous ruching or draping or other “clever” features meant to disguise. Of course there are some sewists who like these styles , but they are already very well catered for, so how about adding some more modern and fresh patterns for women who are proud of their curves?
We’d love more common sense grading – the average woman is a D cup size, so why are so many patterns still being designed for a B? And we don’t get taller or wider shoulders or larger armholes as our clothes size goes up. We know that grading well for plus sizes isn’t always easy. But you know what: if you don’t do it, we end up doing it anyway! If we can regularly grade up our patterns without technical expertise, we’re sure you can too. And, there are plenty of graders out there and indeed pattern companies who manage to do it well.
Finally, for the big 4, we’re frankly a bit mystified by the current sizing choices. Why are some patterns available only up to a 22, others to a 24, then some suddenly bigger again? Why not start by providing all your patterns in the full size range?
We celebrate companies like Style Arc, Hot Patterns and Colette’s new knit line for bringing us fresh, modern patterns across a range of sizes. But then we also see many designs that still reflect the “old school” thinking of cover up and hide, and we think we deserve better than that. We’re ready and waiting to buy and sew new patterns that celebrate us!
The editors of the CSC.