Curvy Sewing Collective | A Plus Size Sewing Community
Welcome to the Curvy Sewing Collective! As our name suggests, we’re a group of curvy sewing bloggers intent on demystifying all things plus-sized and home sewing. We're on a mission to get more curvy women sewing, blogging, & feeling fabulous!
Hi! Today we are talking about our experiences with the Ione shirt from Workhorse Patterns.
The pattern is described as a “high-volume shirt made with woven fabric” that is meant to be a scrapbuster. The unique thing about this pattern is how the measurements are given.
There are only finished garment measurements, which allow the sewist to choose their size based on the amount of desired ease and overall shape of the garment.
Your Measurements: 53 inch bust, 44 inch waist, and 54 inch hips
Body Shape: Hourglass
Pattern size used: I hadn’t used this measurement system before, but I really enjoyed it. I also appreciate the additional garment measurements that were given beyond the bust measurement. This allows for even more customization. The largest size has a finished bust circumference of 63.5 inches and hem circumference of 65.5 inches.
I made a size 28 based on my 53 inch bust, 44 inch waist, and 54 inch hips. I am 5 foot 8 inches tall and consider myself a bit of an hourglass shape, depending on the day.
Alterations: I did not make any adjustments to the pattern.
Fabric: I used a cotton for the yoke and a linen/rayon blend for the bodice and cuffs.
Fit: I really am pleased with the end result. This top is perfect for high-waisted pants and skirts. The angles created by the garment are really fun and I think playing with color blocking would make for some unique tops. I would definitely make this pattern again.
Changes for Future Versions: I’d like to try some fabric with more drape and work on mixing prints. This was a fun sew.
Final thoughts: The construction process was fun and a bit different than I’m used to. I liked trying new techniques and reading a different style of sewing instructions.
Your Measurements: 52 bust, 48-50 waist, 54-56 hips
Body Shape: 100% Andie shaped
Pattern size I used: 30; I wanted a nice oversized look.
Alterations: I graded the hips out a bit more since I wanted more room in that area. For my second version (gingham), I also brought in the neckline by a half inch on each side since it felt a bit wide.
Fabric: For my first version, I used a tropical leaf cotton voile with a cotton linen blend in turquoise on the yoke/sleeve bands. For my second version, I used two different colours of seersucker gingham and a cotton to line the yoke on the light pink side.
Fit: I think the fit is spot on to what I was looking for in an oversized top. I’ve styled mine with a white tank dress underneath. I also like it with a pencil skirt or a pair of shorts. It’s definitely a great summer staple.
Changes for future versions: Like Sierra, I would love to make this in a drapey fabric. The cottons I used give it a more structured look and I think a more drapey fabric would be really nice to relax the silhouette. I also really want to try out the hack pack for that tie neckline, too.
Final thoughts: I love the hi-lo hem. I also love that I can use up the smaller cuts of fabric I have. In the past, I’ve used smaller cuts for bias tape or pockets, but this pattern is a great way to showcase fabrics that you love leftover from bigger projects.
Hello CSC! Me Made May was a great month for me. It was so incredible seeing all the handmade garments on Instagram and in blogs. I’m enjoying reading summaries of the month on blogs now and can’t wait for next May. The CSC was also out in force creating amazing garments all month long.
Disclaimer: Some of us tested the My Body Model system before it was released and other received credits to create croquis in exchange for this review. Our opinions are all our own.
My Body Model is a web app that generates fashion croquis (a body outline for sketching garments) based on your measurements.
The site has unlimited free previews that allow you to make sure that you croquis looks like you before you purchase.
You need zero drawing experience to use the croquis. There are tutorials on the website. There are also several different templates you can download to help you sketch, including one for hair.
Once you create your personal croquis, the credit includes several different printable templates (check out the table of contents here to see what is available). Since creating your My Body Model also includes several measurements, you can also print off your own measurement page for reference as you are cutting out patterns. And finally, there is a jpeg provided for digital drawings making it a very versatile package.
Most importantly, My Body Model is created with the “curvy” community in mind. There are countless fashion croquis for thinner people but a definite lack of variety in sizes and shapes and heights and so much more.
My Body Model is currently for people with breasts, but as it is an outline, these can also be sketched out of the croquis.
Andie’s My Body Model
My Measurements are 46 inch high bust, 52 inch full bust, 44 inch under bust, 48-50 inch waist (depending on my chronic pain/swelling), and 55-57 inch hips (again depending on swelling). I am 5’3″. I have been part of the testing for My Body Model throughout. For me, my croquis is a game changer. Previously, I had used the Cashmerette sketchbook, which was amazing. I really wanted to get into digital sketching.
For me, the whole concept of My Body Model is huge. I’ve never felt represented by fashion croquis available for free elsewhere. It’s a lot of work and knowledge of more than Microsoft Paint to create your own from a picture. It was also important to me to be part of the testing process to get it as close to perfect as possible. It also helped me understand Erica’s larger vision, which is all about making sure that all bodies are represented – something that the fashion world doesn’t do well.
Here is my bare croquis and me in my latest jumpsuit:
My croquis is not 100% me but it’s close enough and I just love it. I do notice that there could be some improvement in the lines under the bust as my bust in the croquis definitely appears smaller. Of course, a 2-dimensional outline is not going to reflect the projection of my bust or capture my double belly.
I use My Body Model to plan out projects for fabric placement, style or design changes, or to decide what view to go with. The danger of making several different styles is that by the time I see the sketch, I want to make them all! It’s such a great visual tool.
Below, I planned out Cashmerette Ipswich Swimsuits using the three croquis template. I was trying to decide what ones I wanted to make first. In this case, I settled on #1 and #2, because I loved them both. I want to make #3 still but I haven’t located a white swim knit with big polkadots yet.
For Me Made May, I chose to do a digital sketch for every day of the month based on my daily outfit. Over the month, I used a basic program to do digital sketches with a stylus pen. I love the result. A few people have suggested creating a print on Spoonflower with the sketches and I love that idea. I would definitely wear a dress or a onesie of my “me made” creations!
You’ll notice that I can redraw my cleavage creating a really accurate sketch.
I sketch a lot now with My Body Model. While I don’t sketch every project, I use the croquis often and I love it. I also received the most lovely feedback from my month of Me Made May. People on Instagram really responded positively to that project which definitely made me feel great. I also had so much fun doing it!
Tegan’s My Body Model
My Body Model has been a huge help in planning out my sewing projects. Given that my proportions are quite different from the blocks most pattern drafters use, I often have a hard time visualizing new designs on myself just from pattern line drawings and sample photos. I especially appreciate that it takes various length measurements into account in addition to circumference measurements since being short-waisted and large-boobed makes a big difference in how a lot of design elements sit on me. I do wish the bust appearance had some additional customization for shape (like the ability to show the bust wider instead of just lower after your full bust measurement goes past a certain point), but even with that limitation I’ve still been able to play around with it to get proportions that match me pretty closely. I’ve gotten the most value out of making a sewing sketchbook using my croquis, I love having one place where I can organize all my upcoming sewing projects and see my ideas laid out at a glance with accurate visuals. These are some examples from my notebook, I tend to wait until I have specific fabric choices in mind to color.
Tanya’s My Body Model
For those of us who aren’t adept at fashion drawing, a croquis is an excellent way to sketch out ideas and plan projects. It’s even better when the croquis matches your body type. I don’t use a croquis that often, but when I do, I find it to be the best way to see how a garment might look on me as well as an idea of design placement and colors I might use. It’s also nice to look back and see how close your croquis looks to your final project and have a record of your project’s details.
I found My Body Model to be an easy and straightforward program to use. It was a little daunting to take all of the measurements needed for your custom croquis, but the site instructs you how to do it. Once you’ve obtained all of your measurement data, you get a project planner which includes several croquis which you can download and print whenever you want. The croquis vary between full size to twelve per page to help you plan projects or outfits or sketch out designs. There are front and back body versions to help you fully sketch your projects.
I first came across the Megan Nielsen Wattle Curve Skirt after a friend made it up in linen, it was lovely, but even more so when I realized the pattern was included in the extended Curve sizing. The skirt can be cut on the bias, gathered or be pleated, it crosses over to close at the side seam, with the option of a button or tie closure. And of course, nice deep pockets!”
The following image shows the size chart for the Wattle Curve skirt:
Your Measurements: Bust –44″/112cm, Bra Size – 16DD, Waist – 38-40″/99 cm. Hips – 48-50″/124cm , Height – 5’6″/166 cm
Body Shape: Pear from the front, but more apple from the side at the moment!
Pattern size used: I have recently made another Megan Neilson pattern (the Tania culottes) so I knew a straight Size 22 would work for me. I also knew I had a tiny bit of wriggle room with button placement, which is how the skirt is fastened. I used a PDF version of this pattern, it came together really well.
Alterations: I made View A, a midi length cut on the bias so with a bit less volume. When I tried it on I decided to trim 2 “/4 cm off the hem length, the proportions worked better for me that way. The hem is approximately four miles long! (ok, maybe not, but it felt it)
Fabric: A lovely Outback wife barkcloth from www.missmaudesewing.co.nz . It’s a medium weight, with a slightly slubby texture. I wanted something with a little more heft, I thought the fabric colours were great for cooler weather, perfect with sweaters & boots or tights. Although my husband did ask which curtains I had cut up, boo!
Fit: Ok, the fit is pretty much just what it says on the packet. The waist is designed to sit quite high, which for me anyway is my natural waist (the narrowest point on my torso, which is what I consider my natural waist). This can feel odd, if, like me, you do not wear a lot of skirts, or high waisted pants. I’ll be honest, I made this skirt, and put it aside unhemmed for a couple of weeks. I originally brought the pattern after a friend made a lovely linen version, but I wasn’t sure it was working for me.
Sometimes a little absence is a wonderful thing. I don’t usually tend to tuck tops into my bottoms, so the cute button detail is a bit wasted, but a singlet tucked in with a coordinating cardigan feels comfortable something I’ll wear. Cutting a couple of inches off the hem made a big difference, I felt a bit overwhelmed with too much fabric, the slightly shorter version made more sense proportionally.
Changes for future versions: I would like to make a lighter plain linen version for spring, to wear casually with a tee & sneakers. There is a slight sag on the pocket opening below the button fastening, it’s not a major but I will use a slighter stiffer interfacing next time.
Final Thoughts: This is a lovely skirt, the pattern comes together really well, the instructions are good & I’m happy with the finished product. Is it the favourite thing I’ve ever made? No, but I suspect that is more about me getting used to wearing skirts and my fabric choice. Next time something plain with a wee bit more drape! If you are comfortable with tucking your tops into your waistband, the choice of button or tie fastenings are really cute & a nice design feature.
Note: I purchased the PDF version of this pattern myself, direct from the Megan Nielsen website.
New CSC contributor Carla has shared a video review of the Wattle Skirt with us. Check it out on her vlog:
Curvy Sewing Collective: Same Pattern Different Body - YouTube
We know that many CSC readers have been very curious about Megan Nielsen’s launch of her Curve line, which expands the size range for some of her patterns quite considerably. Several of us were not only curious about the Curve line itself, but also trying out the wide-leg pants trend that’s so popular right now, so a few of our editors and regular contributors decided to sew up the Flint Curve pants and shorts pattern and share our projects with our readers.
Disclaimer: While we received promotional copies of this pattern in exchange for our honest reviews on the CSC, our individual reviews are entirely our own assessments of the pattern.
The following image shows the size chart for the Flint Curve pants and shorts:
Measurements: My measurements are 49/45/55. I’m 5’6” tall, with a long torso and short legs. I grow more and more apple-shaped by the day.
Body Shape: As I get older, my weight seems to be moving to the center — which means I have a nice round tummy and pronounced high hip (but no lower hip to speak of). I generally wear clothes that skim over my middle, and I was a little nervous about these pants since their detail (high waist, pleats, etc.) need to be shown off with a tucked in shirt. Was I ready to highlight my abdomen? (Hint: yes, yes I was.)
Pattern size used: I sewed a straight size 28, which puts me near the top of the new plus-size range.
Alterations: I took an extra half inch on the hem to account for my short legs, and modified the legs and back crotch curve to allow the pants to hang better. If you have an “apple derriere” like me (and my body-double, Megan), here’s where to start: do a knock-knee adjustment by adding a half-inch to the inner thigh on both front and back pattern pieces. Then remove 1.5 inches from the legs, beginning just below the pocket bag and running all the way to the hem line. That re-balances the legs to account for the fact that our hips are widest near our belly button (rather than 5-6 inches lower at crotch level, as most pants are designed). Then, scoop out a little bit of the back crotch curve, to give yourself more room. This should be done in 1/4 inch basted increments, since a little goes a long way. If you’re still having trouble, consider a swayback adjustment — if your wrinkles go away when you pull up the back center seam, that’s your ticket. (I didn’t do that here, but I’ve seen it work miracles on Megan!)
Fabric: I dithered for two months over choosing a fabric, since the pants look quite different depending on the structure and drape of the material. In the end, I used a gray cotton/linen blend from my stash. It seems to hit the mark for both “business smart” and “breathable in a hot and humid office with questionable A/C.”
Fit: These are my only pair of wide-legged pants, and I think I might be a convert. I would like to try another pair with a more cropped look (taking another 3-4 inches off the bottom), as well as a pair in a tencel twill (which will give them more swoosh).
Changes for future versions: These are my only pair of wide-legged pants, and I think I might be a convert. I would like to try another pair with a more cropped look (taking another 3-4 inches off the bottom), as well as a pair in a tencel twill (which will give them more swoosh).
Final Thoughts: If you hate tucking in a shirt, give these a try anyway. And if you think that pleated pants can only emphasize your belly, take a chance! I was surprised at how good I felt in these pants — and now it’s challenging me to think more broadly about my fashion options!
Measurements: My measurements are 40 bust, 34 waist, and 46 hip. I’m 5’6″ tall and short waisted. My boobs and waist are coming closer together with each passing day.
Body Shape: I’m a busty pear, with a bit of tummy too.
Pattern size used: Size 16 for the waist blended to an 18 for the hip. I haven’t made myself pants…ever. So I wanted to see how they would fit out of the packet before making any changes.
Alterations: None aside from blending sizes!
Fabric: For the fabric I went with a stretch cotton twill. The pattern does not call for stretch fabrics, but this was all I could find on my fabric hunting session. It’s quite firm and stiff and has a pretty low stretch percentage. I wanted fabric that would be totally opaque and hold up to trips to the park with my kids. To help mitigate the stretch in the waist, I lined the waistband with stiff organdy.
Fit: These fit shockingly well right out of the packet! I think it helps that I did the shorts version so I didn’t have to deal with length issues, but still. Pleasantly surprised! Also, no zipper closure on these!!! Just the buttons which makes this pattern a super fast and easy sew.
Changes for future versions: I think I have to wear these more to see what changes I want to make if any. I know I need to work on my pants construction methods to get the crotch curve to lie nicely. The navy fabric hides that a bit.
Final Thoughts: I’m ready for the temperature to warm up so I can give these a proper test! I also bought some stretch tencel twill to make another pair with the tie closure. My mom nearly fainted when I showed her a photo of me…in shorts!
Measurements: Waist 42″, Hip 53″
Body Shape: Representing “team pear” and also team “heart shaped butt”
Pattern size used: I was between sizes and rounded up to the 26
Alterations: Initially, based on past pants fitting nightmares, I added 1″ to the crotch curve on the back thigh. In hindsight, I should have done the same to the front, as this pattern is very straight through the inner thigh. After getting everything basted, I removed an inch from the back waist at the center back, tapering to nothing at the side seams. These two adjustments, in essence, resulted in a tilted pelvis adjustment, which is something I have been wanting to experiment with. The balance/drape of most wide leg pants patterns does not work with my body, and I’m still trying to sort out why and how to fix it. Then, after adding the waistband, I slimmed down the legs a total of 5″ each, 1.5″ at each side seam starting just below the high hip, and 1″ on the inner thigh starting 8″ below the crotch point (essentially just below where my thighs stop touching). Additionally, I had fears of lots of pulling at the waistband so I added elastic to the back waist and omitted the darts. I also used a trouser hook instead of a second button on the waistband to add a bit more support to the waistband. I hope to detail all these changes on my blog soon, but haven’t found the time for the posts yet.
Fabric: This is a fairly stiff chambray from Imagine Gnats. The quality is fantastic, but after looking at everyone else’s finished garments, I wish I had used something with more drape.
Fit: As you can see above, I made a lot of changes to achieve my desired fit and this still chambray still shows drag lines all over the place. That said, I have major pants fitting issues, so I can’t blame the pattern on this one. With every new pants designer I try, I dream that I will finally find the one that drafts for my body type, but alas, apparently Megan Nielsen will not be the one. I think the fit would have been better with a fabric with more drape, however I do think some design integrity was lost between the smaller size range of this pattern and the plus size range. The legs were COMICALLY huge and you can see that Jennifer and I (the two who made the longer version) both took in the legs quite a bit.
Changes for future versions: Now that I have sorted the pattern, I may try it again. I am going to need a bit of time to get over the trauma of fitting this pants pattern though, I lost an entire 3 day weekend to the saga. However, I do think it would be lovely in a rayon or rayon linen blend, so I hope I find the willpower to give it another try.
It’s the end of May and the heat is on (in the Northern Hemisphere anyway) and once again, lots of patterns to get through in the Roundup. And once again, I’ve probably missed some so let me know in the comments.
Here we go, in no particular order except to try to group by garment type …
The Orchid Dress is Chalk and Notch’s second re-release with updated sizing and a new bust cup. The gorgeous ladies modeling above are testers (Hi Raven, Mary, and Mary), though any one of them could certainly be an official model for the Orchid. Speaking of which, I’m hoping to soon see updated pattern photos from Chalk and Notch to feature their new sizing because once the release blog and IG posts roll on, the updated sizing won’t be so obvious on their shop pages. The Orchid is a pretty dress with options to make it multi-seasonal. I’ll take one of each of the three above, please.
Chalk and Notch’s first updated sizing release was the Fringe dress, which I don’t think was featured in a previous Roundup, so I’m sneaking it in here.
I’m loving this cute outfit for summer. Blank Slate describes this “not-so-basic” t-shirt dress as perfect for every day and also nice enough for date night, and I agree. Plus, this lady knows how to accessorize. That pink! That necklace! Those sandals! She looks great!
Jalie recently released their latest collection. I have mixed feelings. On the one hand, I love Jalie patterns. They are drafted well and have always had very inclusive sizing. On the other hand, very few of the patterns in this release are blowing me away. Most are basics that we’ve seen/bought somewhere else by now. Jalie styles used to skew more trendsetting and not trend-following. That said, I do have a couple more Jalies in this Roundup and if you are still looking for some of these and the other “new’ styles, you won’t go wrong choosing Jalie.
The Michelle dress (and tank) features a rounded vee neck, wide straps to cover bra straps, and facing and/or lining options for sheer and opaque fabrics and layers. Is anyone else thinking Moneta?
Do you follow Jess/Fat Bobbin Girl (not her above) on her Broad in the Seams blog or IG? She’s been providing a wonderful roundup of her own for FREE patterns for curvy bodies. Thanks Jess for pointing me to the Elbe Textiles Lawley Skirt, a gathered, knee length skirt featuring an elasticated waistband with a drawstring and side pockets with a bias strip edging finish. This looks like a skirt to live in all summer!
(And while you’re visiting Elbe Textiles, pick up the FREE pattern for the Sorrento Bucket Hat too.)
Just when I started putting together this Roundup, Cashmerette released their latest pattern, the Holyoke Maxi Dress & Skirt. Lots of options for this one and I’m already seeing them pop up on the Interwebs. Seems we’ve all been waiting for a curve-friendly maxi. Cashmerette is calling this a “summer classic,” but I’m also seeing it as a layering jumper/pinafore for autumn so you Down Under ladies can hop right on as well.
Here’s another FREEBIE! I think this one is new, but I’m not positive. Note to indie pattern makers: Put a release date somewhere on your pattern’s webpage, because once you list them alphabetically or your blog is updated, I have no idea what’s new.
Anyway … new or not, I’m including it because it’s wedding season and hey. Free. Extended Sizing. Twirly. Need I say more? OK — Optional boning and interlining with step-by-step instructions to create a beautifully fitting bodice. What are you waiting for?
Style Arc really makes me appreciate all the tester photos from OTHER designers. Ahem. Ruffles and frills are still popular and this skirt looks comfortably floaty for summer, although I suspect that flounce might be a fabric hog.
Ah, Seamwork. I include Seamwork patterns in these Roundups because I know many CSC readers use them. The Everly Skirt layers look pretty. It’s cut on the bias and has an invisible zipper. I hope the instructions are good. Sigh.
I wasn’t sure whether to categorize this (and the next pattern) as a Dress/Skirt or Pants, so I snuck them in at the end of the dresses and just above the pants. The Shelby is a princess-seamed dress or romper with four views. I think this is another pattern that really isn’t anything new but the generous ease and all those vertical seams provide lots of fitting and size opportunities so I gave in to my inner nag and included it here.
Helen’s Closet just re-released the very popular (for good reason) Winslow Culottes in the new extended size range. I’m sure I’ll be making these. Along with most of the internet.
Wide leg and cropped pants (what used to be called capris, no?) are very on trend, which means there have been a lot of patterns recently released for just this style. I’ll let you sort out the slight and not-so-slight differences among them. But it’s definitely nice to have a plethora (love that word!) of choices that will actually fit ME. Yes!
The jumpsuit trend has been going strong in the sewing community for several years (if not more) at this point. I’ve been intrigued by them for a while, but when with me being short (5’2″) and curvy, sewing my own jumpsuit felt like a potential recipe for disaster. However, as I started seeing more and more fabulous looking photos of the Deer & Doe Sirocco jumpsuit appearing on Instagram, it seemed like the perfect time to take the plunge and tie it in with the #Sewcialists #SewBrave challenge.
I am so happy that I pushed my comfort zone with this–I couldn’t be happier with how my jumpsuit turned out. And given that I made it up in a super soft Art Gallery Knit, it truly is like wearing Secret Pajamas. (I’ve also gotten a ton of compliments on it when I’ve worn it out in public.)
Deer and Doe, unfortunately, does not have a terribly curve-inclusive size range, which I’ve long found frustrating, given that they’ve always had some very cute and unique designs that aren’t available elsewhere. A little while back, they did extend their range to include three additional sizes at the upper end of their range (French sizes 48-52) via PDF only. Deer & Doe drafts for a C-cup bust.
What size did you make?
I started with a size 50 at the shoulders/chest, blended to a size 52 at the bust and waist, and then graded back down to a size 50 at the hips/seat.
What are your measurements, height, and body type? (If reviewing a top or dress, bra size is very helpful for our readers.)
My current measurements are as follows:
High bust: 42″ (106.7 cm)
Full bust: 46″ (124.5 cm)
Waist: 42.5″ (108 cm)
Hip: 46″ (118 cm)
Height: 5’2″ (157.5 cm)
Bra Size: 38DD/40D
My body type is somewhere between a hourglass and rectangle from the front, and an apple from the side.
What adjustments did you make and how long did they take?
Other than the previously mentioned blending of sizes, I shortened the legs of the pants by 4″, mostly at the lengthen-shorten line. I also added a self-fabric facing to the waistband to add more support in that area. That’s it!
Note that I did some pin-fitting on this garment as I went along, but outside of removing length for my short legs, I didn’t make any additional adjustments.
What fabric did you use?
I used an 95% cotton/5% spandex Art Gallery knit jersey that I purchased in-person at Bolt Fabric Boutique on a trip to Portland, OR last year.
What was the construction process like? Did the instructions make sense to you?
This pattern goes together amazingly quickly. If you can sew a wrap dress, you can sew this jumpsuit. I did not run into any drafting errors or issues with the instructions.
In fact, the instructions introduced a new-to-me method of adding a pocket stay to slash pockets–using clear elastic to keep the pocket openings from stretching out. It seems amazingly common sense, but I’d never seen it before, and my pockets have been holding their shape pretty well.
How do you like the pattern’s fit? Do you think the design works well for your particular body shape?
I actually really love the fit. I was a little skeptical as to how this pattern/pattern company would work for me, given their limited size range, but I think it worked out just fine. Honestly, if you check the #DDSirocco tag on Instagram, this jumpsuit seems to look great on everyone, regardless of body type.
Will you make the pattern again? If so, what fit or design changes will you make?
I am definitely making this again. I’d like one in a solid color, and I also want to try the romper view. From seeing the back view, I think I need to shorten the back waist length a touch, but that’s probably it.
Do you have any advice on this pattern for other curvy sewers? Are there any resources (blog posts, fitting books, tutorials) that helped you sew this piece up?
If you’ve been tempted by this pattern but are afraid that you’re too short, too curvy, or too whatever, don’t hesitate to give it a try! The worst case scenario is that you’ll end up with a stylish set of pajamas!
Overall pattern rating
Size Range (1-5): 2.5 — Deer & Doe’s extended sizing falls right on the border between our “2” and “3” score. See our new standardized size range ranking for how this rating was chosen.
Instructions (1-5): 5 — The instructions were very thorough. I think that this pattern would be very doable for an Advanced Beginner or ambitious Beginner.
Construction Process (1-5): 5 —The construction process for my jumpsuit went very smoothly.
Final Fit (1-5): 5 — I am very happy with the final fit of my garment.
Overall Rating (1-5) + Explanation: 4.4 — Average score of all scores. This is a great pattern that could be even better if it had more inclusive sizing.
Hello CSC! Over at the Sewcialists, they are having a theme month of Sew Brave, where you push yourself out of your comfort zone by sewing something that you wouldn’t normally sew either fabric-wise or pattern-wise or in any other way you want to interpret the theme.
For me, that meant a jumpsuit. I chose the Seamwork Sky. I loved the look of it and the size range of Seamwork patterns is always really good going up to a 54″ bust and 58″ hip. It could always be better than that, of course.
My measurements are: 52″ bust 48″ waist 56″ hips. I made a size 24 graded to a 26 at the hips to allow for fluctuations in my hip due to swelling with my chronic illness.
Other than grading between sizes, I also did a full butt adjustment and a full bicep adjustment. I also shortened the waist tie significantly since it was so long and I preferred to tie it at the back.
During construction, I changed the back invisible zipper to a front lapped zipper and changed a bit how the pockets are constructed since I didn’t like Seamwork’s pocket construction where it has you clip the seam allowance. There is no need to do that really. Their construction method is fine, though, just not my preference.
After putting the jumpsuit together and then trying it on, I found two things: 1) The crotch was super low on me. I am 5’3″ so I figured this might be an issue. 2) I didn’t like the full length in the seersucker gingham fabric (the tie is made with magenta tencel twill) I chose and decided that I would prefer a cropped length with elastic cuffs.
I raised the crotch by removing about 5 inches from the top of the pants. This worked for the most part except at the centre front where I wish I had split the difference and removed a bit from the bottom of the bodice as well. If I make the pattern again, I would shorten the torso in the bodice and the bottoms as well.
After all of that, I do think I removed a smidge too much from the length but not uncomfortably so.
I am not sure if I will make the pattern again. I do like it a lot, but while I love rocking a onesie and throwing on a pair of overalls, I don’t think jumpsuits are my thing. I find the jumpsuit difficult to take on and off. I’m thinking if I were to make it again, I would definitely take the sleeves off as they make it hard to get on and off. Admittedly, I probably also need a longer zipper, too.
What it comes down to with this pattern or any other woven jumpsuit is that a muslin is pretty necessary. I wish I had given myself the time to do a muslin! LOL
All that said, I love the look that I created. It’s super cute. I’m glad I was brave enough to try the pattern out!
Would you like to join the Sewcialists for Sew Brave this May? Make something that pushes your boundaries or try a new technique! Check out the hashtag #SewBraveSewcialists on Instagram for some great inspiration, and if you aren’t already, follow @Sewcialists on Instagram!
Size Range (with measurements):
29 7⁄8″-51 5⁄8″ Bust, 33″-54 3⁄4″ Hip
What size did you make?
For both the denim jacket (view A) and wool jacket (view b) I made a size “I”, which was going by my bust size.
What are your measurements, height, and body type? Full Bust:47”
What adjustments did you make and how long did they take? Since I was testing the jacket, I didn’t make any adjustments apart from making the sleeves slightly shorter for the denim version (view A).
What fabric did you use? I used a basic denim for view A and a blue boiled wool for view B (because wool is not a suggested fabric, I used some cotton sateen for some of the lining and for 1 side of each pocket bag).
What was the construction process like? Did the instructions make sense to you? I always learn so much when I’m sewing patterns from Emily, whether it’s her patterns for Peppermint Magazine or her own patterns. This pattern was no different. The inside of my denim coat where I used all-the-bias-tape is gorgeous. Emily’s finishing methods are truly lovely, and definitely require that I slow down my making rather than continuing with my normal slap-dash technique. I also learn processes & finishes that I add in to patterns from other companies that give less consideration to finishing.
How do you like the pattern’s fit? Do you think the design works well for your particular body shape? I’m not really a believer in people needing to ‘dress for their shape’ but I find both coats to be very comfortable, and I think they’re both a great style (and they suit my style well) and I think they’re well drafted for the larger sizes. The short answer here is yes.
Will you make the pattern again? If so, what fit or design changes will you make? Yes! Although I don’t need another version just now, I’d love to make a linen or canvas version for an Elizabeth Suzann jacket inspired vibe.
Overall pattern rating
Size Range (1-5): 4 — based on the new standardized size range ranking (the ease in the pattern would also include a much larger range of measurements and would put this squarely in the 5 rating)
Instructions (1-5): 5 — I always learn something when sewing one of Emily’s patterns and this was no different.
Construction Process (1-5):4.5 — There was a lot of bias tape to attach and I felt like I cut notches but then covered them with bias tape before I could use them? A small gripe since the insides of my jackets look great!
Final Fit (1-5):5 — I thought there was a bit much volume in the denim coat after making it, but I sat with that thought for a while and have definitely come round!
Overall Rating (1-5) + Explanation:4.625 Making this pattern will somehow both up-skill you and also make you feel like an awesome sewist! I would take the sizing with a grain of salt, since I’m technically not within the size range but didn’t make the largest size.
When the Sewcialists challenged the Curvy Sewing Collective to sew something brave this May, I immediately thought of making a sports bra. Because of my large bust, bra sewing has always intimidated and also tempted me. I have a tough time finding sports bras that fit comfortably and also offer support. In fact, it seems like most sports bras do one of those if I’m lucky. I have a couple which do neither.
But, honestly, who likes wriggling a sweaty body into different bras to try them on? Even finding some to try is tough. Can you find a store which stocks a selection beyond small, medium, large and extra-large?
I decided to try the GreenstylesCreations Power Bra. It has a big size range and a lot of options. Their Facebook group is full of great versions many of them sewn up with matching leggings. The seaming provides shaping and the option for contrasting panels and the racer back version has a pocket option. Bra pockets? Sign me up!
Size Range: 28”- 46” band (71 – 117cm) Cup Sizes A-H
What Size Did You Make? Their size chart put me in a 38F, so that’s what I made.
What are your measurements?
Full Bust 44” Underbust 38”. I wear a 38G in standard US bras.
What adjustments did you make and how long did they take?
My first version I used the lower neckline and made no adjustments. I found the neckline a little low. I attached a layer of powermesh to the lining.
For version 2, I used the higher neckline and cut the straps a little wider. I cut the side cup slightly higher to contain my extra fluff. I interfaced the end of the strap to give extra support. I also sewed foam bra cups to the lining.
What fabric did you use?
Version 1 used athletic knit and a sturdy swim knit. Both had the recommended 70% stretch. There was also a layer of powermesh sandwiched inside. This version offered very little support.
My wearable first version
For the body of the second version, I used a heavier knit with only about 40% stretch. I lined the inside with a swim knit and sewed in foam cups. I trimmed the cups slightly so that they would fit inside and not get caught in the seams. I interfaced the straps to eliminate the vertical stretch.
What was the construction process like? Did the instructions make sense to you?
The pattern is well drafted and goes together smoothly. I used my regular sewing machine for most of the construction, but I switched to my serger for some of the larger seams. It would certainly be possible to use only a regular machine. Basting will keep those layers of slippery fabric from sliding away as you sew.
Unfortunately the instructions don’t get into details about how to add more support. There are directions for adding removable cups, but no instructions for attaching cups to the lining or suggestions about more supportive fabrics.
How do you like the pattern’s fit? Do you think the design works well for your particular body shape?
The fit of this bra is okay. I prefer more coverage at the side to contain the side boob fluff. I did raise that a little In version 2, but it needs to cover a bit more. I was pleased to get the right bust size based on my measurements, but the sign of a good sports bra is also the function. Those of us with larger breasts will need a lot more support than is offered by the recommended fabrics.
Sewists on the GreenstylesCreations Facebook group had a number of recommendations for extra support. Mostly they suggested sturdier fabrics like Techsheen which only has 25% stretch. One would have to use these only in the front or run the risk of being unable to get the bra on.
There are a wide variety of sturdy meshes and fabrics to provide support. If you are inexperienced like me, it may take some trial and error to find the perfect mix for your level of activity.
My second version provides enough support for the brisk walking and easy hiking that I do. It still allows bouncing, so jogging would be out of the question.
Finally, since the racer back view has a nice sized pocket, I have a place to stash my phone. Secret pockets are always a benefit. Secret bra pockets? I think that’s the best kind of secret pocket.
The patterned panel is a giant pocket!
Will you make the pattern again? If so what fit or design changes will you make?
I already have a third version planned. I looked at some store-bought sports bras, the supportive ones use a low stretch material for the whole front. I’m considering using bra foam inside instead of using foam cups. Some curvy swimsuits use bra foam, so it may be a better solution.
I will raise the side bust a bit more and probably try out the keyhole option.
I was really worried about trying to make a sports bra, but it wasn’t that difficult. Like any new sewing skill, it takes a little practice to get the right fit. Luckily, sports bras are a quick project and don’t take much fabric. I don’t have the perfect bra yet, but I understand how to keep improving.
I didn’t find a lot of resources about sewing supportive sports bras. Do you have tips or suggestions for those of us starting out?
If you want to join us and Sew Brave this month, find a project that pushes you outside your comfort zone. You can check the #SewBraveSewcialists on Instagram to get inspired.