Where are all the plus size sewing patterns? As someone who likes to sew her own clothes, it is pretty discouraging to see that there aren’t that many brands that make plus size sewing patterns. Things are changing, but it hasn’t been done fast enough. I go to the big box craft stores to check out the patterns from the big 4 made by Simplicity and McCall’s and rarely any of the trendy patterns fit me.
For context, sewing patterns fit based on measurements that are different from the clothes you buy in the store. You may wear a 6 in Macy’s, but you might wear a 10 or more/less in sewing patterns. When I was bigger, I wore a 32 in sewing patterns. Now that I have lost weight I wear a 26/28 or XL/XXL. I wear anything from a 16-20 and XL-XXX in regular clothing stores. Most patterns stop at 22/24. I’m almost there, so that means I can either wait until I lose more inches or grade the pattern up.
When I’m sewing my clothes, I don’t have time to grade my patterns up. Also, call me entitled, I don’t feel like it is fair that I have to do that. I want to have trendy patterns in my size. Every single item in the Big 4’s plus size section that goes above a 12 is dreadful. The patterns are often old patterns from years ago and look hella frumpy. The clothes you see in the featured image for this post is from Simplicity and shows the latest hot and trendy sewing patterns that aren’t in my size.
One of the things that I have noticed recently, that might be a good sign of things to come is that the big pattern catalogs for Fall/Winter 19/20, that show this season’s and the previous season’s patterns, have moved the plus size section into the section with the straight sizes. Some people might not like that because you could go to the “Plus Size” tab and just search for your patterns. It made things easier. The books still tell you what page those sizes are on within the individual sections for bottoms, sportwear, etc. Honestly it was a nice inclusive touch, however we still need more fashionable patterns in bigger sizes. It doesn’t really matter where you put the plus size patterns in the book, if there aren’t that many to begin with.
There are just a few places where I can shop for plus size sewing patterns.
- 100 Acts of Sewing have basic patterns for shirts, dresses, skirts, and pants.
- Cashmerette and Seamwork make some nice classic patterns.
- Lekala and Bootstrap Fashion allow you to put your own measurements in so that you can make custom clothes in 100s of patterns-both trendy and classic. These websites are my favorites. *Also make sure you get the patterns printed at a print shop on a large scale printer. It is better than cutting and taping patterns pieces together.
- Jess from Broad in the Seams also has a lengthy list of plus size sewing patterns. These patterns are diverse in their offerings and are free! Check out her makes over on her Instagram Fat Bobbin Girl.
Even though we have some options, it still isn’t enough. My hope is that more and more companies will broaden their size ranges. The majority of American women are above a size 14/16. We need sewing patterns to match.
Photos from Simplicity.