this is a fashion industry standard dress form. this is the model used to make patterns for clothing manufacturers.
what is that you say? you're plus sized? well, they make a model for you too.
here's the measurement chart for these dressforms.
these are also the same dressforms used to create sewing patterns for the big 3(4) pattern companies.
all dressforms, regardless of size, share these characteristics:
- they are all made with a B-cup bust.
- they all have a narrow waist and slim hips, relative to the rest of the body.
- they have flat stomachs.
- and flat behinds.
- they have very good posture.
- and they are completely symmetrical and in balance in every direction.
here's my point:
if you do not have a B-cup bust, narrow waist, slim hips, flat stomach, flat behind, very good posture, and are not symmetrical and in balance in every direction—nothing you buy will fit. NOTHING. not clothing, not patterns.
if your bust is bigger than a B-cup, you will have to buy your shirts big enough to go around, which means the shoulders will be so long that they hang over the top of your arms and the waist will be baggy. alternately, if you buy your things so they fit your body, your blouse will gape because there isn't enough room to go around your bust.
if your stomach or behind isn't flat, or your hips are wider than your chest, your skirts will ride up till they hit a point where there is enough room in them to fit around you, and your pants will wrinkle at the crotch, and lord knows NONE of us needs a wrinkly crotch.
if you do not have perfect posture, the necks of your tops will strangle you, or you will be limited to buying only V-neck tops, or you'll have to pin the front of every top to your bra so it won't flop open.
and bless your heart, if your bust is smaller than a B-cup, be prepared to always feel inadequate for not being able to "fill out" your clothing. plan on padding your bras, or plan on everything being baggy in front.
so--what's the solution? well, if you're buying off the rack, there is no easy solution, but at least now you know it's not YOU. some people learn to do their own clothing alterations--old sewing books have whole chapters on how to do this--and some people send things out to be altered.
if you're sewing from scratch and you purchase patterns, you must learn to adjust them to fit you. you must accept that you will often have to make a few trial garments of a new pattern in order to get things just right before cutting into your good fabric. but at least now you know the problem is not YOU.
you can buy patternmaking software, but even then you have to learn to use it, and you have to learn enough patternmaking to know what fits and what doesn't and what adjustments to make. so even though this is a great solution for many people, it only works if you take the time to learn the software and learn to make good patterns.
this is not meant to be a downer. this is a wake-up call.
stop beating yourself up for your lack of sewing or patternmaking experience. and stop beating up the pattern companies because their patterns are not "true to size". there is no true to size. patterns are only templates. it is the seamstress that makes them true to size.
now--figure out where you are on this spectrum and then go in the direction that gives you clothes that really FIT. if you want help, ask me for it. if i can’t help you, i can hook you up with someone who can. :) but don’t take it sitting down anymore—fight the power.
*my greatest fitting challenge has changed since having a baby--it used to be my almost-A-cup bust, now it is my nearly-non-existent waist. what's yours? what do you do about it?