Friday, January 6, 2012

Kaitlynn Blouse - What's Wrong With This Picture?


I shared in my last post that I needed to do a muslin for this Silhouettes pattern. Of course I need to use the plus size. Since this isn't my first Silhouettes pattern, I kind of knew what to expect. Here's the line drawing for all the pattern pieces:


This is what you'd typically expect a princess seamed pattern to look like, right? Well, if you're not using the Women's sizing for your blouse, that's great! If, however, you are plus sized, which means you have larger hips than the skinny women, than this is what your pattern pieces look like:


Everything in green is what I have added to the pattern to make it fit me. Why in the world would Peggy draft a plus-sized pattern without any space for hips? It just doesn't make any sense to me.


It was this Sonya's Blouse that I discovered this very same issue when I attempted to make it three years ago. The plus sized patterns are drafted much shorter than the regular sizes and have the hip measurement 2" smaller than the bust measurement. In what world are plus sized women shaped like that? Did I mention that I also had to add 4" to the length as well? If you want to  read about the drama several plus size women had with this problem on the Sonya's Blouse, do a search for this pattern in Patternreview.com and read the plus-size reviews. I know I wasn't the only one who had this issue so I emailed Peggy about it. She complely disregarded my concern. I got no help whatsoever from her. I am not the only one who tried to contact her about it either. One of the Patternreview.com reviewers also tried to ask her about it and got no satisfaction about this issue so I know it wasn't just me. In fact, I think that Kathleen from Fashion Incubator did a blog post about this very bad draft, but I can't find it now.


After adding to both the front and back at the hip line on the side seam, I got close to a good fit. In fact, I think if I add about 3/4 inches more at the hip on the front and back, do a swayback tuck and shorten the bodice above the bust, then this might be a very good pattern for me.

Sorry about my rant, but it frustrates me that a pattern designer would be so careless with her patterns for women who already struggle endlessly to get a good fit. While I really appreciate Peggy and her teaching skills and the lessons I have learned from her classes that I have attended, I wish she would be more responsive to women who are size challenged. (meaning that it's a challenge to fit the plus-sized woman.)

13 comments:

  1. I guess we will all make our own judgements on the lack of customer support from Silhouette Patterns. Regardless of the pattern, you are turning out a great fitting top. All your efforts have not been in vain. You will have to use it more than once now, to justify all the time spent on it. I share your body shape, so I know the effort needed to get a good fit.

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  2. I take my hat off to you for being able to rectify this pattern to your requirements. No way I could do any of this...Well done and I am looking forward to seeing the 'real' finished garment.

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  3. I understand your frustration. My fitting problems are not the same as yours, but it is frustrating when you seek help or support it is not given. Been there and done that with my fitting challenges as well.

    On the positive side you are one who knows what needs to be done to correct the fit and I believe you will end up with a great looking and fitting top. I feel sad for someone who is just starting out and would not know what to do to make a pattern work.

    And that is the great thing about blogging, its your blog and you can rant if you want to.

    Have a great sewing weekend.

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  4. Agreed! I'm with you on this. What surprises me the most though is why a small indy designer is NOT more responsive to questions and such about their patterns. On the whole I have had nothing but positive feedback about problems and construction questions from independent designers, Petite Plus patterns comes to mind as being above and beyond about taking care of their customers.
    Your modifications look great though and Im sure you'll get a wonderful blouse out of it in spite of the drafting and communication problems.

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  5. I'm glad you let us know about the draft. I've just recently bought a couple of her patterns and will be expecting the problem. Thanks.

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  6. I've had similar problems with #115, Ann's Top. However, I did not come to a solution. I ened up tossing the muslin I made. That pattern had french darts which also threw me along with the sizing. If I made it to fit my shoulders, the armscye was much too low, the top too short, just not a good fit. I even tried muslining the basic blouse and needed to expand the bicep width, as well as other issues with the bodice not going out. Again, the armscye was very low. But now that I have worked with Pamela's Patterns, I think if I make some petite chest adjustments to the Silhouette patterns, that might resolve some issues. It seems I need to make an remarkable amount of changes to these patterns that I don't need to make on others. Also, like I noted before, the sizing is odd. If I had clothing that fit me perfectly off the rack, I wouldn't be making my own! Some pattern lines are not for everyone I guess. I really enjoy Peggy's classes though, she is a fountain of wisdom on speedy techniques. I don't know why she has not addressed the lack of ease drafting at the hip on the plus size drafts though. I've seen the post on Sonia's top on Kathleen's site. That told me all I needed to know so even though the patterns are very tempting, I pass on them now.

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  7. What bothers me most about situations such as these is that if you are a newbie stitcher, you may be burned enough to give up and not try again for years. This craft needs every person it can find if it is to continue. I am glad you know enough about your shape to make the needed adjustments and that we can follow along as you do. Its a great help.

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  8. Thanks for your observations, you saved me a ton of money because I had been thinking about buying some of her patterns. Now I will use the money for something else.

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  9. I'm with Towanda. I had several Silhouette patterns picked out and loved the look of the top that you are working on Sherril - but I am now going to save my money because I wouldn't be able to do these adjustments. Thanks for sharing.

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  10. How frustrating. I've been thinking about you since I totally didn't sew one thing over Christmas, and I know you were waiting for it! haha!! Sorry. :D I have mojo now though!

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  11. I made up one of her patterns and while it turned out well, I had to redraft the pattern from the armpits down. It was relatively easy to use the regular sizes for guidelines, but still.

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  12. I had a bad experience with a Silhouette pattern and now I know why! The D cup adjustment wasn't enough for me. The belly was also to tight! I just tossed the wadder and never gave it another thought! Since you are such a good "musliner", you knew exactly what to do! Your post made me think! Thanks!

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  13. My experience was similar. The jacket I made had a notched collar that never fit no matter which way it was sewn to the jacket. I took photos with every step and measured all the pieces to prove to I knew what I was talking about. This went on and on, photo after photo being sent and all the while Peggy telling me that she personally sewed the pattern and it worked well for her. Finally she must have broke down and actually realized I was not going to let this matter drop and she conceded that the collar was made about 2 inches too long for the jacket and I could just "cut it smaller". Well for the money I don't think this is a solution and she did say in the end I could pick another pattern and she would not charge me. My time is worth more than messing with a "free" pattern so I declined.Beware anything that comes from this company as I do not think that the drafting is checked nor sewn as samples in especially the larger sizes. Why they can pass off a plus size with a narrowed waist is beyond me! I sew for clients and have always had the best luck with Coni Crawford patterns...she knows women's bodies!

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