The following questions were sent in by Elizabeth M.
Q: Do you have any tips for adjusting garment patterns for different body types? Going up a size doesn’t result in great garments for curvy women.
A: Never go up a size!
Choosing a size in a sweater pattern can feel like a minefield. We’re conditioned to believe that if we follow conventional sizing instructions (choosing a size based on your full chest size + the ease recommended by the designer), then the rest of the pattern will fit our bodies well.
But the chances of your body being the exact same proportions as a standard sizing chart are extremely slim. Because all bodies are unique, and—especially in larger sizes—the circumference of your chest, waist, and hips can fall into completely different sizes, it’s unreasonable to assume that if we choose a size based solely on our full chest/bust circumference, that the rest of the pattern in that size will fit us as well.
Going up a size will never resolve all your fit issues; it will only create more. Looking at building a hybrid of at least two sizes will give you a better overall fit.
All images by Kim McBrien Evans.