Craftsy Class Review: Pattern Fitting for Plus Sizes

Hello! It’s be a rough week here at Casa Crafty… my husband ended up in hospital for 4 days with a serious bout of an intestinal virus. Thank goodness for free public healthcare! He got home last night, and I”m *so* grateful to have him home and healthy. 

In the mean time, here’s a Craftsy pattern review I typed up on the weekend before things went nuts!

I’ve been curious about the new Craftsy Plus-Size Pattern Fitting course, so when it went on sale this weekend for $20, I finally bought it! I was fighting off a cold, so I curled up in bed and watched the whole course straight through in less than 24 hours. 

Her teacher bio video is great, and full of insight! 

A couple moments of highlights: 

  • I need a seam allowance guide! She used it for everything – adding extra width to match body measurements, measuring the correct amount of width during slash-and-spread adjustments, etc. 
  • Get a weighted tape dispenser. I always have to fiddle with my cheap plastic dispenser, but her big heavy dispenser let her grab tape one-handed!
  • She really helped explain how to take the right measurements to calculate flat paper adjustments accurately though, and I’d like to give it a try. Somehow I never use actual math for my pattern adjustments… I just eyeball it! 
  • At the same time, her motto is, “It’s not rocket science – It’s just sewing.” I like the concept that you should take the time to adjust patterns as needed, but not get uptight about absolute precision! 
  • Darts as pie. She modelled how when we take a few pieces out of a pie, we can push the remaining pieces around in the pan in lots of different arrangements, without affecting the amount of pie. Same with darts – Move the dart anywhere, or split it into several smaller darts, and it’ll do the same job! I knew this in theory, but the pie really helped make it clear!
  • FBAs. I think I finally get it. She also showed how to use the same technique to accomodate for humped shoulders and other areas! (I don’t need to do either adjustment, but it’s cool to finally understand the mechanics!)
  • Pattern adaptations. Using the Vogue Peplum top that is so popular right now, she made a normal shirt, a suit jacket, a coat, and a dressy, girly top! I thought I was pretty creative in how I modified patterns, but she came up with amazingly different variations. It was cool to see all the careful flat-pattern adjustments pay off in the finished garments though – I tend to adjust as I sew, which makes it hard to replicate the same fit the next time through!
  • Zen Dressmaking. You are worth the time to do it properly! She argues the the difference between homesewers and professional custom dressmakers is that a dressmaker does a basted fitting so that the garment turns out *right* in the end every time. I’ve never done a basted fitting for a whole garment, but I can see that it would help avoid some of my recent disasters! (On the up side, she figures that muslins aren’t necessary unless you are drafting something yourself – do flat pattern adjustments first, then baste the fashion fabric for a fitting instead!)
  • Better Basting. Drop the tension to a lower setting when you are basting, and then you can just pull the thread out easily when you are done! 
Overall, I really enjoyed watching the course. I know I’ll refer back to it next time I have a tricky adjustment to make! There were, not too surprisingly, also some dull moments… Watching someone shorten and lengthen a tissue pattern in about 10 different ways can’t be exciting forever! I really did learn some useful things though, and I’d recommend the class for anyone interested in getting a more precise fit without endless muslining. 
As for the plus-size part of it… According to my BMI, I’m technically “obese”, (Thanks, Science!) but I don’t really fall into the plus-size category the course is discussing. I can buy RTW clothes in almost any shop, but yes, occasionally I’m too big! I really liked the matter-of-fact way that size was discussed in the course – how it affects the amount of ease needed, the fabric chosen, the way to effectively take measurements etc, but also practical stuff like chaffing or sagging that isn’t often discussed! ;) Her final message was that any woman can wear any style, when it fits properly. That’s a good message for women of all sizes! 
Here’s an example of her teaching style and helpful tips. I wouldn’t have thought of this myself, but it makes perfect sense!
Have you taken any Craftsy courses lately? I see the sale is still running – Only $20 for more courses! They’ve also really beefed up the free mini-courses… I particularly loved the one of making jewellry with mini blowtorches! I had no idea how that was done, and it looks really fun! While the sale was on, I bought myself two gift certificates so that I can redeem them for new classes as they come out. I wonder what courses are in the works?
**ps. Craftsy isn’t paying me or giving me free courses – I just wanted to share my experience!**

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