I started dress making when my son went to school and I was at a loose end. I had always been creative, making curtains, cushions etc. but I decided I wanted to have a go at making my own clothes. I enrolled on a sewing class and have never looked back.
Not everything has been successful, there has been quite a lot of learning on the job. I now know that its best to make a “mock up” of something you fancy trying, rather than wasting precious fabric. However, I haven’t made any clothes for a few months now (summer hols etc) and I completely forgot my “mock up” rule!
I purchased the Bettine dress pattern from Tilly and the Buttons. I’ve made a couple of Tilly’s things before which have always turned out well. However, not so this pattern. I am a size 10 but curvy which fitted in with size 2 of the pattern. I was going ahead really well and the dress was mostly made, when I suddenly thought, I’d better try this on to see if it fits. I couldn’t even get the dress over my head! I had picked a cotton gingham material and there was no give in it at all. I altered the seams, but still nothing. So frustrating. I measured the dress compared to the final measurements as given in the pattern and they were correct, but not for my size! I simply can’t do anything with it at all and my lovely gingham dress is looking at me, all forlorn!
I googled reviews of the pattern and quite a few did say that it was only made for those women who weren’t curvy or busty. Wish I had read this before and saved my time and my fabric!
One of the reviews pointed me to a website tailored especially for those women like me, the Curvy Sewing Collective.: http://curvysewingcollective.com/
They are a group of women with ideas and advice on sewing and patterns for curvy women. Their review page is quite good and gives pictures of how they have altered patterns to suit different figures. Following on from this, I’m now going to give the Dahlia dress pattern from a Colette a go! Remembering to do a “mock up” first!