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how to enlarge a pattern to Plus size 5X/6X

how to enlarge a pattern to Plus size 5X/6X

Home Page Forums Ask A Question how to enlarge a pattern to Plus size 5X/6X

  • This topic has 3 replies, 1 voice, and was last updated 8 years, 3 months ago by the_professors_assistant.
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  • #50482
    the_professors_assistant
    Keymaster

    Dear Professor Pincushion,
    I am a plus size 5X/6X and most industry patterns and commercial clothes do not fit women of my size. Bust 58, Waist 53, Hips 62 I would like to make and wear the pretty outfits I see on the patterns. I actually called some of the major pattern companies for help in how to enlarge their patterns to my size, and was told that they are not allowed to give this information, even though I purchased their pattern. I have experimented with various patterns to carefully add proportional width on the sides, or add panels in the garment, but am continually getting an outcome that is not fitting right, or is odd looking, or not truly matching the goal outcome as pictured on the pattern. I must be doing something wrong, and need guidance. I also have several friends of similar sizes wanting me to sew for them when I am able to do this. Can you or anyone else help with suggestions on how to do this?

    Many thanks for all your tutorials, you have sparked a love of sewing in me, and I have learned so much.. You have excellent useful tutorials that I’m really enjoying them and have also shared with my boyfriend too. We loved the one on going to the fabric store to get a few things on a list!! He relates to that and said “that’s me the guy sitting in the chair 4 hours later!!” Hee Hee ! Gotta love him!

    #50620
    the_professors_assistant
    Keymaster

    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. http://www.threadsmagazine.com/item/4368/making-sense-of-pattern-grading/page/all Good luck!! 😀

    #50639
    the_professors_assistant
    Keymaster

    Dear Professor,
    Thanks very much for your encouragement and your tips! Unfortunately, I had already used this article as a guide to increasing the garment size, ( I need to increase by multiple sizes) and I guess I did not do it well. I tried to cut and space the pattern to effectively add a panels, and I tried the other version of adding proportional width on the sides, both methods mentioned in the article. I love your suggestion of making a muslin versions for the various parts of the pattern and my body to test the fit. I’ve wasted lots of very expensive fabric playing with seams and trying to get things to drape and fit well, and also I’ve left myself with a garment that has holes and stretches from tear outs. I’m going to keep trying, and in addition to working with muslin, I will try increase each section to fit my size for that part.. Thanks for the tips, and I’ll let you know how I do with this. Someday, I hope you can do a tutorial on pattern grading to help all those without patterns that fit. But I am learning each time I goof up, and I thank you for everything. I have come a long way, and I would never have even attempted sewing anything before much less trying to figure out pattern grading. Many Thanks!!

    #50643
    the_professors_assistant
    Keymaster

    Yes, please let me know your progress! 🙂

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