Best Plus-Size Sewing Patterns According to Body Type

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Whether you are a pear, hourglass, apple, or column shape, there is a sewing pattern perfect for you! The best part about knowing how to sew is the ability to make clothes tailored to your body shape and style! Check out these plus-size sewing patterns and learn about further sewing alterations you can make to perfectly tailor the pieces to you.

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A skirt with pleats — or that gathers at the waist — is a flattering pick if you have wider hips. These styles have extra fullness that your natural body shape will fill out perfectly. Also opt for a tighter-fitting pattern and sew in a woven fabric with a bit of stretch in it. Try the pattern for Plus-Size Pencil Skirt #145 03/2013.

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Accentuate your curves with a dress that is brought in at the waist by either a seam or body darts. Play up your shape by making a pattern with fullness around the shoulder area to make your waist appear even smaller. Make sure that the pattern falls straight down from the hips and that it tapers or flares. Get the pattern for the Plus-Size Retro V-Neck Dress #133 05/2015.

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If you are an apple shape, sew something with a waistline seam to define your waist. Have a little bit of fullness released from the waist like pleats or darts (no gathers!) and opt to sew in a double jersey or knit fabric for ultimate comfort. Check out the pattern for the Plus-Size Square-Neck Jersey Dress #127 11/2014.

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If your body type is a column, opt for a long and flowy pattern with some unique detailing. Avoid sewing in printed fabrics and look for subtle waistline accents with a little bit of added fullness. See the pattern for the Plus-Size Inset Dress with Cutout #140 10/2014.


Tips When Working with Plus-Size Sewing Patterns:

  • Combine sizes to get a custom-sized pattern that works just for you. Look at the size chart and circle your measurements, taking note of which size fits your bust, waist, and hip. Then, on your paper pattern, connect the different size lines with curved rulers.
  • Customize your sewn garment by omitting details like pockets, frills, and flounces — they add bulk. Remember: Less is more!
  • Sew in fabrics that have elastane woven into the fabric … especially when sewing pant patterns. I usually use woven fabrics with at least 5 percent spandex.
  • If you find plus-size sewing patterns that you love and that fit you perfectly, keep sewing them! You can easily make each garment look different by altering the neckline, hemline, and style lines. You can also omit and add details like sleeves, just find another sewing pattern with sleeves and measure the armhole circumference measurement against the sleeve. If there is a difference, make sure you make an adjustment on BOTH the armhole and sleeve. For example if there is a 1 1/2″ difference, modify each the bodice and the sleeve by 3/4″ to keep things even.

Check out our entire library of plus-size sewing patterns here!