Day #1 – Curvy ‘Mingos

Flamingo knit

On this, the first day of September, I was inspired to sew and sew and sew.  While working on a client’s custom garment, I discovered some fabric that would be perfect for my curvy young friend.  The school year has begun and her back-to-school shopping yielded nothing but frustration and some awkwardly fitting uncomfortable clothing. A t-shirt dress with a wide billowy shape constructed from this lightweight cotton knit seemed to be exactly what the young lady needed. Knits are not commonly found in my nearby fabric shops, being in the heart of quilt country as I seem to be. I was lucky enough to stumble onto this for her and it screamed at me to become a curvy tween diva dress.

I updated her measurements and altered a “big 4” Girls Plus pattern bodice from a party dress.  Initially, I did what amounts to a pivot full bust adjustment (FBA) using her measurements.  I pivoted the bodice, adding 1 1/2 inches and then altered the rest of the bodice by re-drawing the side seams out to match her measurements at waist and hip.

I stitched up a fitting muslin and tried it on her.  There was an excess of fabric in the armpit but the fit was close enough and I set about cutting out the flamingo pieces. This I learned: always create a pattern based on the latest alterations. How do I know this? I did not do re-draw the pattern and I completely ruined the cutest fabric and an adorable dress for a young lady.  When I cut out the garment for the second time, on the flamingo fabric, I totally forgot to pivot it for the FBA.

To add insult to injury, I did not realize it until the t-shirt dress was complete and on its way to the recipient.  Suddenly, it hit me like a lightning bolt.  I was admiring my talented stitching, my wrinkle-less neckband, and my label attached at the hem. It was all beautiful and had no hopes of ever fitting her.

<Heavy sigh>  It’s a good thing I have 30 days to get this right!


I Got Published

IMG_0159The momma of the beautiful little girl is  a dear friend and she shared with me the struggles that she has finding cute boutique clothing for her daughter.  It is a struggle that I know all too well.

For me, the challenge had been issued and I knew I had the skills to tackle it.  I designed this cute little tunic for her out of fabric that she requested.  There are no patterns, no tutorials for this type sewing.  There is a wealth of resources for anyone sewing for a plus-size adult.  As her smile shows, I think she was very pleased with her new top.  I made a couple more garments for her but throughout the process I noticed the complete lack of resources for anyone sewing or shopping for healthy little girls.

My exposure to the academic world through my day job led me to believe that perhaps I needed to write about the struggle for this age group and perhaps write some patterns and tutorials, perhaps even a book.  My answer came quickly.  I submitted an article concerning the struggle for this age group to the a web community that I am a member of, the Curvy Sewing Collective.  One of the editors responded that they were interested in my article and encouraged me to continue on.  My blog post appears to be well-received, causing many to comment.  I think it is a success!

Now, see?  I’m more than a pants hemmer. (see previous post)