What’s in a size?

After some mental gymnastics, I sat down ready to figure out the execution for the whole Let’s-Fit-This-Thing-To-My-Corsetted-Figure deal. I cut out the pieces I would need to make the dress.


That’s a whole lot of pieces, yo! (That’s not even all of them. Hold me, I’m scared.)

After I had a few drinks recovered from the shear multitude of pieces (there are just about double what I normally work with), I downloaded a measurement sheet and, while wearing my corset, wrote down the numbers that were applicable to my pattern.

pattern measurements

I can assure you, I do not have freakishly huge feet, as does this chick, nor do I wear pasties when measuring. Sorry to spoil the fantasy.

This is where it gets tricky. According to my corsetted measurements, with the bulk of the corset being included because I’ll be wearing it under the dress, I need three different pattern sizes. Can you say “Oy”? I knew that you could.


Commercial patterns are not corset friendly.

I know that multi-size patterns allow for multi-sized people but I had no idea how to draw that into the pattern. To the Tube of You! I found a video that showed the very thing I needed in terrific detail. Then I went about altering all of the pattern pieces to conform to my measurements. Say it with me now, “Oy.”

multi size.jpg

Altered to fit three sizes.

I’m pretty sure the spacing on the waist adjustment (at the number 2) isn’t quite right. I’m thinking I’ll need to smooth the transitions a bit during the alteration phase, from bust to waist and waist to hip, but for now, it’ll work.

To the cutting table!


10 thoughts on “What’s in a size?

  1. If the dress fits my hips/ass, it’s huge in the bust; if it fits right in the bust, I can’t get it to accommodate my ample ass; I’m 5″1, so it will always need to be shortened and/or taken up; I have a belly instead of a defined waist, so I look for something that gives me the illusion of a defined waist. And I’m not savvy enough to do my own alterations, so my tailor is a rich woman.

    • I’m thrilled that I’m not pear shaped. From what I understand, if you are pear shaped you buy your pattern according to your hip size and then do the dreaded Full Bust Adjustment (FBA) on your pattern. I watched videos on how to do an FBA when I thought this pattern might require it. No thanks. That way lies madness.

      • Yeah I am pear shaped, but I don’t buy patterns, I buy the dress off the rack and a tailor becomes a rich woman taking it in at the bust (basically ripping open and reconstructing the bust). I have an aunt on my father’s side, she’s as pear shaped as I am & she’s a full-figured woman, only she doesn’t buy clothes that flatter her shape…she wears the same three shapeless coat-dresses everywhere (and has been living in them since I was a young child). She won’t wear slacks because she has “heavy legs”, she doesn’t think she needs a bra (she’s had children), her “uniform” consists of knee highs and a velour coat-dress and she looks hideous. Admittedly I have a figure like hers (I look like that side of the family) but I think that idea of “a fat woman should dress to hide” is outdated, sexist (are fat men hiding?), and stupid.

  2. I could feel my blood pressure starting to rise just looking at those pictures. But I can definitely relate to needing more than one size. I’m right there with Cara. I’m not pear-shaped, I’ve got a (relatively) small-ish waist, but I’ve got the Mexican ass and thighs, and my bra size is a 38DDD or 38F, depending on the manufacturer (and just finding bras that fit is a pain). And I’m 5’9″ or 5’10”, which doesn’t help, either.

    So a dress that fits and flatters my waist is waaaaay too tight in the ass and tits, and and dress that fits my ass and and tits just hangs off of me and looks like I’m wearing a moomoo.

    I keep having these moments where I consider learning how to sew so I can take in the waist of my own clothes, but then I see stuff like this, all the complicated shit that goes into it, and the fact that even you, an experienced sew-er, are a bit blown away by all the complicated-ness, and that little voice in my head goes, “calm your untalented, Amazonian ass down and just open your wallet.”

    Seriously though, holy shit this looks complicated. I seriously admire your ability to make sense of it, and make what I’m sure will be a fantastic dress that’ll look sexy AF on you.

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