Today I’m sharing 2 toiles that I’ve made of free sewing patterns! The free Luna Tank from Helen’s Closet is available up to a 56″ bust and 58″ hip and the Elemental Pencil Skirt from Sew House 7 which is available up to a 62″ hip.
It can be hard to try new styles when you’re fat, because it’s not like I can walk into shops and try things on! I cut these out and whipped them both up on a rainy evening a few days ago, and wanted to share them with you in case my experience was helpful!
My current measurements are 43″ high bust, 48″ full bust, 43″ waist (smallest part, close to my underbust), 54″ low hip and I’m 57″ at my roundest point (around my belly). I am relatively short through the body, and have narrow shoulders compared to my other measurements.
The free Luna Tank from Helen’s Closet is available up to a 56″ bust and 58″ hip. The top comes in two lengths, and for the purpose of toiling the top, I made the cropped length and haven’t hemmed it.
Luna Fabric Details: This grey fabric came from a local clothing company remnant sale, it has 2-way stretch.
Luna Size Details: I have very narrow shoulders, which are narrow still compared to my high bust measurements. I cut out a size 16-18 for my 43″ high bust, grading out to a size 28-30 for my 57″ belly. I was hoping that by choosing based on my high-bust measurement, I might avoid needing to address my narrow shoulders.
Conclusion: I will make this again, but I’ll make some adjustments for my narrow shoulders (bringing the straps closer together), and I’ll slightly lower the armholes. Although I might not hem this version, for the next one I’d lengthen it slightly- it’s shorter than intended because the size I chose at the bust wasn’t expecting to have to navigate around my boobs! This is a solid free pattern with options!
The Elemental Pencil Skirt from Sew House 7 is a free pattern, which is available when you sign up to their email newsletter here. The skirt is available up to a 62″ hip and comes in two lengths.
Elemental Fabric Details: This loop-back sweatshirting I think came from The Fabric Store! It had enough stretch to qualify for the 50% stretch called for in the pattern, but it doesn’t have great recovery. That’s actually fine, because it’s stretched out to be quite comfortable (and it’s also diagnosed some of the fit issues which were originally very obvious!
Elemental Size Details: I made a Size 22 at the waist, grading out at the hip to a Size 26, and then back to a Size 22 below the hip. In hindsight, the grading was not necessary and it simply created a curve on the side-seam which my body doesn’t fill. I’m relatively triangular down the leg, and the additional width at my belly is found in front, not on the sides.
For my next version, I will keep the same measurement at the waist and I’ll straighten up the side seams.. Maybe I’ll slash and spread to give myself some more belly room… not sure.
As I’ve worn the skirt and stretched the material, it has come to look like less of an issue. What I might do is use my serger/overlocker to trim down the sides so it’s more of a column shape.
You may be experiencing with the skirt why so many people favor knits – they’re very forgiving 😁. But seriously, your plan for the next rev is good, put the fabric where you need it. I am basically doing clothes a size larger in front than in back, and that works pretty well for my current shape, with the boobage-to-belly baggage easily competing with the usual still-imposing butt. If you think of it in 3d, larger bodies are rounder than oval, but the back doesn’t grow at nearly the same rate no matter what shape we start with, because the back is more constrained by bones.
As to narrow shoulders, I think those are mostly a grading error. If you refer to the acromyon as where a seam should be, that’s a very fixed point. Grading should hardly increase shoulder width at all! Maybe 1/4 to 1/2″ over a whole size range, not 1/4″ per size. This remind me of when Vogue Knitting would increase sleeve length in the 80s as if dropped sleeves should get longer as your butt gets larger, instead of your wrist-to-wrist measurement being basically constant. I was in a group once where one thin woman got an ok length, and the dozen+ of us had sleeves 6 to 14″ too long! Yet they never got the point.
Adorable clothes! I’m a 62” hip! How do I get you patterns, thank you 😊