This is the third post in my month of dressmaking series. I wanted to discuss choosing a pattern that is appropriate for your shape and wardrobe. But when I started to do this I realized that I only really knew what worked for my top heavy figure. However, I'll share that with you and point out some other places to look for ideas.
I'm not a big believer in Trinny and Susannah style fascism. I think everyone comes out of this show looking like identi-kits. It's much more important to enjoy what you're wearing than displaying your cleavage to maximum potential. Please take anything I say with a pinch of salt and wear what makes you happy. Because this Japanese style of clothing is layered it can look good on all sizes but it's also very loose which can put you into the tent category.
The following pictures come from Pomadour's eBay site. She sells all these Japanese books, including two pattern books with multi-sizing. The covers follow.
The first book is designed for a larger size than usual (Bust 96 cm, Waist 88 cm, and Hip 108 cm, a pear shaped UK size 16-18, American size 14-16, European size 46-48) and shows everything modeled on a shorter, heavier model.
Most of the designs are pretty similar to the other books but there are a few scary ones like this.
A tunic with a draw string across the hips and ankle strap sandals is brave territory if you're not tall!
The next book is interesting because it shows the same styles modeled on a variety of figures with slight variations in length. Their biggest model is still not very big by European or American standards (that's her on the right, about a UK size 14-16).
But I like the look of this book because it shows how making small adjustments like changing the length can flatter (or otherwise) different figures. Take a look at the pictures below and on Pomadour's eBay site to see what I mean.
Personally, I think the girl on the right would do better with a shorter dress length, don't you?
For my own figure I need to avoid dresses like this:
which go out at the chest and carry on. My chest is my largest point and this really gives me a tent silhouette. Much better are dresses like this
which fit close over the chest and can taper in the bodice to the waist. I usually have to drop the waistline a few inches though as I'm long in the body. I also add bust darts, once again to avoid the tent effect. I'll be showing you how to make these pattern adjustments in the next few weeks.
I'm delighted to say that the Flickr group I started, for sewing women's clothing from Japanese pattern books, is growing and there are a good number of photos showing people modeling the designs.
If you feel these photos don't inspire you because many of the models are younger and thinner, check out Flickr's Women over 40 looking fabulous. This is a great inspiration to me.
There is a great article about sewing from Japanese patterns on this blog.
For all you knitters and crocheters, I've just joined Ravelry. What took me so long, eh? It's amazing!
My next post will be about choosing fabric for your patterns.