Tuesday, 1 October 2013

Form Forgiving Sewing Patterns

My post topic from last week on sewing and weight changes struck a chord with quite a few of you and it was great to hear peoples views on the subject. It was also interesting to see quite different approaches to the situation. Some of you declared that I should embrace the present and just enjoy making clothes for my current size – life happens and sometimes going back to your younger weight just isn’t realistic or possible. Others suggested to think about trying to sew some garments that would work for my current weight but would also still fit if I were to loose a little bit – for example sewing some knit pieces.

I have to admit that the latter appealed to me somewhat more – I realise life happens and we do change weight and shape over our lifetime, but I’m just not ready to accept that yet! So with that in mind, I thought I would look into what patterns I could work on now, that would also work well if I lost a little bit of weight, and not end up look like I’m wearing something too big. Now, this is relevant to the particular areas that I tend to put on weight – my tummy, bum and thighs, so perhaps the patterns I list might not be as appropriate for you (if you are in a similar situation to me and also thinking about what to make). Here are a few patterns that I think would transition well (with an eye on the current Autumn season as well):

Coppelia Cardi - Papercut Patterns

The Coppélia Cardi, from Papercut Patterns. A really great wardrobe basic with a wrap detail which would essentially mean you could tie it tighter when you shift a few pounds!

123A BS 1011 B

Staying with the wrapped garment theme, how about this gorgeous Wrap Dress, from Burda Style (long version here, on the US site, although I’m not a fan of the fabric they chose!). I have been in love with this dress since it’s first appearance back in 2011, but they recommend wool crepe and when I went to buy some I couldn’t bring myself to spend that much money!!!


How about the lovely Tova, lengthened into a dress, by Wiksten? There are some really lovely versions out there of this pattern and I have had it in the back of my mind for awhile. I could imagine this in a nice Chambray, layered with thick tights and boots and a cosy scarf for Autumn/Winter, but it would work equally as well as a Spring/Summer dress too, paired with sandals and sunnies – so the potential to get lots of use out of it!


Also by Wiksten, but not actually released yet (she hopes do to so before Jan 2014), is the Marguerite Dress. Slightly fitted bodice but a gathered skirt, but the bonus is the ties at the back, which would mean you could tighten the dress to fit as you loose the weight (or loosen them if you put the weight back on again! lol).


Or how about the Washi Dress, by Made By Rae? Similar to the Tova and Marguerite, but with pleat details. Again this would work well layered up for Autumn/Winter or on it’s own for Spring/Summer. I have a lovely burnt red coloured linen in my stash that I’m tempted to make up in this pattern.

OK – not sure how this suggestion will go down. I was drawn to Gertie’s gorgeous gathered skirt because there would be no hip/thighs/bum fitting issues (and after wearing my Cambie and Wedding Dress I have fallen in love with wearing full skirts – so much fun!), but I realise that the waistband is fitted. So either, you make it in your current size and then if you loose an inch or so around the waist you just wear it further down. Or, how about making the back waistband with elastic? That way it would fit a few different waist sizes. Yes…I realise that this suggestion does have the danger of turning a fab skirt into a granny skirt. What do you think?

Image of Archer Button Up Shirt

Perhaps this is the perfect excuse to finally get around to sewing a shirt? I’ve opted for the Archer Shirt, by Grainline, but any loose fitting shirt would work.


A lot of knit patterns would work well since knits are so forgiving, but I’ve picked the Renfrew from Sewaholic since it’s such a popular sewing bloggers choice – and I’ve yet to jump on board. Maybe now is the time?

Victoria Blazer « By Hand London

The Victoria Blazer from By Hand London could be a great option for a jacket which has quite a loose, slouchy fit.

There are many more of course, but these are few that are currently on my radar. I’m quite excited about trying some of these garments. My style has always been very much the whole pencil skirt/shift dress/skinny jeans look and I would veer away from looser fitting clothes, so it’s a step out of my comfort zone – and everyone says you need to step out of your comfort zone now and again. Perhaps I will discover and develop a new style for this stage in my life. Another positive I’ve thought about these clothes is that they will serve me well (for the first few months anyway) if I’m fortunate enough to become pregnant as they are all quite forgiving around the tummy!

Finally I just want to state that this post is in no way a discussion on what is a “good size” and what is not and it is certainly not meant to promote or champion weight loss nor to imply that any weight is more/less desirable than another. Everyone is different and has different approaches to life (which is part of what makes life great!), and this is just my own personal situation at the moment.

So does anyone have any other pattern suggestions that would work well? I’m keen to discover more!

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