Hello, readers! I’m happy to share the next installment in the “Sewing for My Curves” series.
I’m not entirely certain how to fully describe my shape. According to the figure calculators I am a “pear” and sometimes a “spoon”. I kind of look a little bit like “Madam Peanut” as well. My shoulders are broad, I have an average bust size, broader back, full biceps, high waist, full tummy, full flat butt, wide hips, thick thighs, muscular calves, slimmer ankles and big feet.
- Height: 5’8
- Bra Size: 44D
- Bust: 48″
- Waist: 41″
- Hip: 52″
I wear anything from a 20 to 24 in RTW. I rarely buy clothing anymore, but if I do, I try on multiple sizes. My preference would be to purchase online, as most sites I shop from have size charts and I can compare my measurements to that of the designer. In sewing patterns, my size varies with the pattern company, as I can be between a size 20 and a 28 on different size charts.
- I generally start with the largest size available, unless I am lucky enough to have a pattern that comes in my size. The patterns I use most often are not in my size, so I grade them up using a few methods depending on the pattern design, pattern size, or how I feel like grading it up that day. With multi-size patterns I usually do an easy increment or ruler resizing; with one size vintage patterns, I tend to do a slash/spread grading and sometimes shift grading if it’s a simple pattern.
- It would be quite rare if I fit into a pattern company’s size mold, so I usually grade between sizes, with a smaller size on my bust grading up to a size or two more on my hip area.
- I have a high waist, so I sometimes shorten the bodice on my dresses to raise the waistline. Sometimes I like the lower waist. Quite frankly it depends upon how I feel about the pattern.
- My back side inverts a bit, so I do a swayback adjustment to my back bodice piece(s) which gets rid of the back wrinkle above my bum and allows my zippers to lay flat on my back.
- In sleeved garments, my arms very rarely fit into them, so I adjust the sleeves to fit my thick arms by widening the bicep area, usually by cutting and spreading the pattern piece. I often need to adjust the armscye and the sleeve length if the pattern is long-sleeved.
- I’m generally taller than the figure that pattern companies design for, so I nearly always lengthen skirts, usually at the lengthen/shorten line on the pattern. My preference is for skirts to be at or below knee-length, so this is a common adjustment for me and I always check the skirt length before I cut my fabric out.
- I rarely wear and seldom sew pants/jeans, but when I do, I have to make quite a few adjustments in the waist/hip area to fit my high waist, full tummy and broad hips. Those adjustments are generally mandatory for me if I’m sewing fitted garments like pencil skirts. For leggings, as they are meant to fit close to the leg, I taper the fit down to my slimmer ankles.
Most often you will find me wearing a dress, as it’s basically my everyday uniform. I wouldn’t say that I always choose dresses that fully compliment my shape, but I wear what I’m comfortable with and what makes me feel good. I prefer a fitted bodice, waist definition, and a fuller skirt that skims over my belly. I prefer gathered skirts, but also wear full/half circle and flared skirts. Gathered skirts can make my middle area look more pronounced, but I care more about what makes me happy than what makes me appear smaller.
Fitted Bodices and Fuller Skirts
My favorite silhouette these days are what a lot of people refer to as “fit and flare” dresses. I like sewing and wearing a lot of busy prints, so I usually sport belts that offer a contrast, break up the print and give me added waist definition.
Last summer I was all about sewing peasant dresses. I love the sleeves and the ruffles and the longer skirts. So flowy and comfy, but they take a lot of fabric and gathering the ruffles gets to be monotonous. They are perfect dresses for warm weather and although I haven’t made one this year, I wear these dresses all the time when it heats up outside. I actually have one on now!
I do love a classic shirtwaist dress. I’m especially fond of wearing them when the weather turns cooler and sporting cardigans with them. Buttons! Collars! Yokes! Oh my! I tend to prefer sleeveless shirt dresses as I like layering them, but I have some 3/4 and long-sleeved ones on my sewing list for fall/winter.
So that’s me!
Yeah, I’m all about the dresses…..