Hello CSC! Today’s post is the latest in our Sewing for My Curves series, this time from Manju. You can find Manju blogging about her handmade wardrobe at Sew Manju or follow her sewing exploits on Instagram here.
Measurements/ body shape
- Upper bust: 39″
- Full bust: 42″
- Waist: 35″
- Hips: 46″
- Bra size: 36G
- Height: 5’3”
- Body type: pearish?
- RTW sizing: I honestly have no clue at the moment as it has been a long time since I went shopping for RTW clothing. I am guessing a UK size 18 – 20.
It’s interesting because it would appear that my measurements are almost identical to Meg’s, except that she is about 4 inches taller than me!
Adjustments I typically make
- When working with BMV patterns I tend to cut a size 18 for the bust, shoulders and arms and then almost always make a full bust adjustment and a full arm adjustment. In the past, before I realised I needed to do a full bust adjustment, I would have cut a size 20 and then wondered why I was getting a lot of gaping at the neck/ why the garment was so big at the shoulders.
- I tend to grade out at the waist to a size 20 and, if necessary, grade out one or two sizes more at the hips depending on the style and garment I am sewing.
- Depending on the style and garment I am sewing I will often do a sway back adjustment.
- When sewing jeans or trousers, I will curve the waistband to account for my sway back and to avoid waistband gaping. I have just completed a pair of trousers (soon to be blogged) and did my first full butt adjustment.
- Typically I do prefer higher rise jeggings or jeans but have just completed a new pair of mid rise chino style trousers (soon to be blogged)…I like to try out new styles and change things up every so often. It’s easy to get stuck in a rut otherwise, both in terms of fashion and your sewing.
- I will omit breast pockets on blouses/ shirts (I feel like I don’t need anything else to draw the eye there), and, for the same reason, in seam pockets on dresses. I will include pockets on coats/ jackets or if they are a design feature. I will include pockets on the rear of jeans and trousers as I think they help to break up the expanse of fabric back there.
- I will often lengthen skirts by 2 – 3 inches. I don’t like wearing very short pieces.
- I prefer patterns for skirts/ trousers which have a proper waistband rather than a facing as I find they fit me better and are more comfortable for me
Favourite/go-to styles and sewing patterns
As I mentioned above, I like to try lots of different styles both to keep things fresh from a fashion perspective, and also to challenge myself in terms of my sewing. I admit I am not one of those diligent sewists who re-use a pattern over and over (the exception to that being the Grainline Archer shirt pattern, which I have made 6 times so far?) So here I have grouped things in terms of general styles that I favour at the moment.
Skinny pull-on jeans
Skinny pull-on jeans with a longer length top (see below) has been my go-to casual outfit for the last couple of years. Lately I have been trying out other styles for bottoms (like culottes/wide legged pants – again, see below), but I love the Jalie Eleonore pull on jeans pattern and have made 3 pairs to date. Love the higher rise waist and the ease of wearing.
Longer length tops
I could include so many longer length tops that I have made (all on my blog), but here I have just included 3 that I made this summer and have loved wearing, including a linen Archer shirt. All three of these patterns were lengthened (the Pauline Alice blouse pattern is actually a dress pattern that I modified to be a blouse) and I always ensure that my longer length tops have sufficient ease through the hips.
Culottes/ wide legged cropped pants
The last couple of summers I have experimented very successfully with culottes and, more recently, wide legged cropped pants. I love how they give a polished look but without being over fussy, and are supremely comfortable to wear. I also like how they balance out a curvy figure, disguising heavy hips and thighs, and balancing out a top heavy figure.
Slimmer fit dresses
From time to time I like to wear a slimmer fitting dress. When making more body conscious clothing, looking for patterns which work with fabrics with some amount of stretch is essential for me, both for a good fit as well as comfort.
Fit and flare dresses
Occasionally I have the odd function to attend; weddings, school PTA balls etc. I like to feel glamourous and elegant but comfortable, and I hate wearing shape wear! So fit and flare dresses are a great flattering choice. Interestingly, I don’t seem to make that many fit and flare dresses for everyday wear (although I have made some). Now I am in my 40s (when did that happen?!) I am conscious of trying to dress in a more sophisticated way, haha.
I do love the look of a well fitting shirt dress, and I have made quite a few different versions now, in fabrics ranging from denim to linen, cotton and even washed silk. I think a well fitting shirt dress is an essential every woman should have in her wardrobe and, with the right selection of fabric, can be worn to any occasion.