How Do I Draft Sewing Patterns for Plus-Sized Females?

Written by audrey farley
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How Do I Draft Sewing Patterns for Plus-Sized Females?
Draft plus-size clothing patterns that elongate the figure and minimise bulk. (Jupiterimages/Polka Dot/Getty Images)

Traditional patterns and styles of clothing do not always flatter plus-size females. When drafting clothing patterns for plus-sized females, use designs and styles that minimise. Also, plan to use fabrics and materials that flatter curves, rather than add bulk.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Measuring tape
  • Sketch pad
  • Pencil

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  1. 1

    Review fashion magazines, catalogues and blogs for inspiration. Take notes of the colours, patterns, fabrics and styles that you like. Mark pages with a sticky note or bookmark and reference when drafting.

  2. 2

    Measure the hips, waist and bust of two to three plus-size females. Record these measurements. Note which parts of their bodies are the biggest so that you design patterns that minimise these areas. Not all plus-size females carry weight evenly; some are top-heavy, while others are bottom-heavy.

  3. 3

    Draft patterns that minimise the bust by adding detailing or patterning around the hemline of tops or skirts. Alternatively, draft patterns that minimise the waist or hips by adding detailing or patterning around the neckline. Avoid elastic hemlines, which do not flatter plus-size bodies.

  4. 4

    Draft patterns that are tailored and form-fitting. Draft long-waisted tops and ankle-length skirts to elongate the figure.

  5. 5

    Add designs that flatter curves and bigger frames. For instance, use vertical stripes and patterns, which elongate the figure. Avoid horizontal stripes, polka dots and large patterns, which add bulk. Strategically place details to call attention away from problem areas. For instance, add colourful buttons in the centre of a garment to detract from wide hips. Add ruching to the chest to detract attention from the midsection.

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