Monthly Archives: June 2013

After work, I ran over to Joann’s. They have McCall’s patterns 5 for $5.00.  I picked up a Shirt, Capris, and Dress pattern in sizes 18W-24W.  Initially I thought I’d make the capris and compare the cut, fit, and sizing with the other two Butterick patterns.  Then, somewhere on the drive home, it dawned on me that McCall’s and Butterick are the same company. Not sure how I managed to forget that, but there I was.  To prove the point further, I got online when I arrived home and pulled up their size charts.  McCall’s Size 24W is a Bust of 46, Waist of 39, Hips of 48.  Same for Butterick. And Simiplicity. And Vogue (also part of McCall’s).  Burda Style (same group as Simplicity) was the only deviation, ¼ of an inch smaller on the bust and waist.

What is depressing about this is that, had I a tape measure, I’m sure I’d find that I’m consistently a 24W, unlike the multitude of stores where I can blissfully walk out with a 20 in pants, or even more rarely, an 18!

Which got me onto the concept of Vanity Sizing.  Yes I knew it existed, but I just thought it was for people already skinny enough to be vain.  I’m fat, who am I kidding trying to fool anyone. Well, apparently, me.  I’m fooling myself.  Luckily I’m in good company as this article discusses, Vanity Sizing goes back a long long way. Lucky me.

So I’m too bummed to sew today.  I’m officially fatter than I thought I was.

Fashion Patterns by Coni seams to have me somewhere in the 18-20 range, though. So…there’s a glimmer of hope!



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I was pretty bummed that the previous pair of capris came out too small.  I’d be lying if I didn’t say I was down on myself the whole night.  But today is a new day, so attempt number two began!

I stuck with Butterick, since they had a sale on their patterns at Hancock, B5655 was the pattern, for 1.99. Can’t beat that.  And their Fast and Easy series are extremely quick to work up.  This pattern has only two pieces, no pockets.  I cut out the pattern pieces, ironed them, pinned them to the fabric, cut out along the lines, sewed according to directions and viola! Two hours later I’m wearing my homemade pants!  Yes! These fit!  I have to say that I did go up to a 24, as I was a little afraid the 22 would still be too small.  So…I have to say so far Butterick tends to run small, or smaller than the sizes I’ve been getting at the stores.  I can wear a size 16 dress from Dress Barn without issue.  Which is of course my main complaint about sizes not being consistent.

I didn’t take as many pictures because I figured you can only stomach so many shots of my serger sewing a seam.  And since I’m strictly avoiding a step by step tutorial for obvious legal reasons, I only took a couple key shots.

So that’s about it.  I’m going to head back to Hancock this weekend and buy some other brands plus sized patterns.  I think this could be quite the undertaking trying to figure out which brands run big and which run small. Surprised no one has documented this.  I also plan to take apart some of my pants or shorts that fit and make my own pattern.  I would like to see how well that goes.

Ok, I’ll sign off now. It’s past my bedtime!


ETA: Wearing my pants to work today! LOVE THEM!

Also – after wearing them all day, I have a couple of notes. 1) the waist is way too big. The pattern assumes I have a lot more of a stomach than I have, so there’s a lot of excess fabric in the front.  I felt like I had maternity pants on for most of the day. 2) the waist is too high compared to “the style” these days.  It came up to my belly button, but if I pushed them down the crotch came to my knees. In the end I rolled the elastic down.  3) While I was bold in my choice of summery fabrics, it was not a normal choice for me. I felt uncomfortable all day. Normally I pick black, brown, or khaki. So this was a summery diversion, but I don’t know that it’s really “me.”  My friend Sheri insists I need to add more color to my wardrobe, so at least I’m trying!

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I was having trouble finding clothes that fit well, when it dawned on me that the answer was right in front of me. Well, when I was sitting at my sewing machine.

Making my own clothes would eliminate the issue I was having. Or so I thought.  The problem I was having is that being plus-sized, I’m struggling to find consistently sized clothes in fashionable designs.  A size 20 at Target is not the same as a size 20 at Dress Barn, for example.  I’m usually pretty happy with a size 20 or even a size 22 in most designs.  But the designs for “big girls” really suck most of the time.  I just want some pants, some shorts, a couple shirts.  Nothing really fancy.  I’d like to NOT have sequins, thank you.  You think a couple sequins are gonna distract from my fat rump?  If only!

So a couple of options appealed to me.  A) try out some patterns from the big pattern makers  or B) take apart something that already fits and make my own patterns.  I decided to try both.  Today I’m posting about my experience with a store-bought pattern.

I bought Buttericks 3039 Fast and Easy series pattern.  They only had the 16w, 18w, 20w Size, so that’s what I took home.  Part of this experiment is discovering if the sizing is any more consistent than stores/designers.  Probably not, but here’s hoping.

I won’t give a step by step of the process…as that would be a tutorial and I’d likely get sued.  But I will show you some of the pictures and offer commentary on the pattern itself.




The pattern is super easy – just three pieces. I started at about 5pm and finished about 8:30 pm. Most of that time was actually ironing the pattern!  I chose to use a serger on my seams as I have one and like to find excuses to use it.  Also, I happen to think they do make sturdier seams, and it saves you from having to reinforce stitching in the crotch or other places.





I did used the sewing machine for finer seams such as those right near the pockets, hemming the legs and creating the casing for the elastic.

So here they are, in all their purple glory:

And the verdict?  They barely fit.  The pocket seams are stretched so tight I’m afraid to sit down.  So a size 20 in Butterick is too small for me.  I’m pretty bummed.  I picked up the fabric at Hancock’s for 50% off…2 and 5/8ths yards is all you need, but I just rounded up and got 3 yards.  That was 13.47.  The elastic was 2.49 and I only used half.  The matching thread was 2.99 but I used so little of it I can hardly say I made a dent in the spool.  So, around 19.00 for capri pants. Oh, the pattern – was on sale for 1.99.  So…$21.00.  I’ll have to find someone who these do fit so they don’t go to waste.  Or I could lose weight.  Bwahahahaha!  Yeah, Right!


Other Craft Projects:

Well, he’s here! My beautiful daughter delivered a happy, healthy, bouncing baby boy! She was kind enough to pose for a picture while in labor.

My daughter in labor

Here’s the birthing gown being made.

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I’m so excited! I signed up for a sewing machine repair course. It’s three days for the basic course. I couldn’t stay away from work for the extra day to take the advanced course.

Here’s the link to the course I’m taking:



I’m so looking forward to it!

Other Craft Projects: