We all know that there’s huge variety in women’s bodies, whether you’re plus-sized or not. Even people with exactly the same measurements can be very different – for instance, if you have a 47″ bust measurement, it could be that you have a broad back and C cup chest, or a narrow ribcage and H cup chest! Therefore, it’s helpful to know which body type pattern companies draft for, so you can choose one that closely fits your own, or so that you know which adjustments you’ll need to make. Here’s a summary of some of the major pattern brands, but do let us know about more in the comments!
Guide by pattern
Vogue – Vogue patterns have a “figure flattery” index which indicates whether they think the pattern is suited to four body types: the “inverted triangle”, “triangle”, “rectangle” or “hourglass”. You can find the index on their website listings, or on the pattern packaging.
The remaining “Big4” (Butterick, McCall’s and Kwik Sew) don’t have these charts, though some have cup sizing up to a size D (and DDD on a select few patterns). The underlying block for these patterns is hourglass shape.
Most independent patterns appear to be drafted for an hourglass shape, including Colette (drafted on a C cup), Deer and Doe, StyleArc, By Hand London, Closet Case Files, Tilly and the Buttons, and BurdaStyle.
Sewaholic – especially designed for pear-shaped figures, and they now go to a size 20.
I’ve also heard that Connie Crawford drafts for a pear.
Petite Plus – these patterns are drafted for curvy women who are 5’4″ and shorter, and for a D cup bust.
Skinny Bitch Curvy Chick – these patterns are also for women under 5’4″, and they’re drafted for a B cup in the smaller sizes, and DD in the larger sizes
And finally, some companies will make sewing patterns to your measurements. The main ones right now are Lekala and Bootstrap. Cake patterns also have a novel approach that helps you make a pattern customized to your size.
As far as I’m aware, there are no pattern companies currently specializing in apple, larger bust, or top-heavy shapes (though anecdotally heard some people think that Hot Patterns may draft for a bit of a tummy, and StyleArc may draft for a more rectangular shape), but let me know if you know of one.
Do you find your body shape is particularly well served by certain pattern companies? We’d love to hear more!