Calling All Curvy Ladies!
Fitting and sewing for curves can be a frustrating, complicated process. Sometimes we see cute stuff on people and wonder if we can make it work for us. This wonder can be discouraging when sewing means you have to go to a lot of effort to try it out. But, if you put in the effort, use the right fabrics, and take the time to style it correctly, new styles can be fun and rewarding!!
Sewing for Curves
I mainly sew for myself and my gorgeous sister, Virginia. We are both rather curvy and quite similar in measurements, with vastly different body shapes. I so appreciate that she is willing to try almost anything I ask her to. And let me style her from time to time. But, when we aren’t sure if a look will work for us, I turn to my fellow sewists to see if I can find someone with a similar body shape who has tried it!!
However I get there, I’ve now decided to tackle a pattern I’m not sure works for my body shape. What’s next? I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again; there is no step more important than reading the instructions. Then reading them again. And then, rereading the parts specific to fit and adjustments. Aaaaand then, and only then, will I start assembling the pattern.
Getting the Best Fit
To get the very best fit, always grade for your sizes. This isn’t always the easiest step, but it is always worth the effort. Once I’ve graded the curves, I adjust for height. We are both somewhat tall ladies at 5’8”, and typically need an inch or two added here and there. Adding length means all those curves I just adjusted will actually hit the spot they are meant to. Yay!
This is also a great time to make any individual pattern adjustments that might not be included in a pattern. Is a full bust adjustment necessary? Do we need a full booty adjustment? Will the biceps in the pattern be comfortable, or should I alter those? All of these little adjustments, adding an inch here, removing ½ inch there, make the difference between looking like you’re wearing RTW (still a great thing) and looking like you wear custom clothes.
Nothing is better than wearing clothes that just fit.
Now, I’m ready to pick out my fabric. The right fabric makes all the difference. If you’re trying this Peggy in a fabric without the right stretch, you are going to feel like you’re stuffed in a sausage tube. If you try it in a super stretchy, but lightweight knit, every little lump and bump is going to show. Neither of these are things I want my gorgeous sister to be thinking about while wearing beautiful, custom clothes. So we used a gorgeous jacquard double knit that has great stretch, amazing recovery, and is thick enough to smooth over all the curves.
Peggy is a simple, but beautiful, classic pencil skirt. There is a bodycon option (my personal choice), but the sister has a more modest, traditional style and prefers a little more ease. Midi length is perfect to show off her curves and give her room to move around. A great skirt for business, but easy to dress down for day-to-day use. That’s a win!
It pairs beyond perfectly with the Paris Party top. The boat neck is such a great neckline to be modest without feeling like you’re being choked out. It is different than most shirts in her closet and is a great staple piece to pair with all the other cute stuffs she has!
The top went through the same process of grading, altering, and choosing just the right fabric before getting started. This lightweight sweater knit is a vintage choice from our Mom’s collection! Sentimental and beautiful. Plus, I’m totes going to steal it!! It is light enough to wear throughout the sweltering summers here in Atlanta. But as we are crawling into fall, it also looks great with the Kingston to dress it down a bit!
Sewing for curves might be a bit more complicated, but if you take the time and follow all the fit tips, it is sew worth the effort in the end! ❤️
AUTHOR BIO: Stephanie Troemel