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Reply To: how to enlarge a pattern to Plus size 5X/6X

Reply To: how to enlarge a pattern to Plus size 5X/6X

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Hi there! Sorry, it took me so long to respond to your question. I’m so glad that you’re enjoying sewing and sorry to hear about your frustration at altering patterns. I’m surprised to hear that the pattern companies were no help in your quest to alter their patterns. I don’t understand why they couldn’t have given you some direction. As you know, altering patterns can be tricky and most of us have to do some tweaks because regardless of the size, they usually start off creating a pattern with single body type and then just scale up or scale down that pattern. So if you don’t fit into that neat little box, you usually have to make tweaks. You’re definitely not alone in this and it’s great that you also want to help out your friends too! 🙂
In your case, there’s not a quick solution, but, that being said, I certainly don’t think it’s impossible and you once you figure out what adjustments you need to make, you’ll be able to sew all kinds of beautiful clothes. I think where you need to start is called pattern grading. This technique means that you’re taking a pattern and grading it up (or down) a size. So for example, I have a size 20, I could use this technique to grade it up to a size 22. Once this is done, you’ll have to make a muslin to test the fit because even with grading you’ll probably still have to do tweaks to the pattern. If, for example, you’re more pear shape, you may have to then take the graded pattern and increase just the hips area to fit your particular body type. Then make another muslin and see if that fits better. Whatever changes you make to your muslin, you can transfer to your pattern until you have a custom fit.
We don’t have any tutorials yet on doing pattern grading but I really like this article on Threads and, hopefully, it can get you started in the right direction. Good luck!! 😀