Update July 6, 2018: This is no longer a free resource. It now requires a paid subscription to Threads Insider.
Have you ever tried to draft your own custom plus size top pattern but couldn’t find a book or article that used a real body or a plus size body with real fitting challenges?
I’ve seen many books, articles and tutorials give instruction on how to draft your custom top pattern, but this Threads Magazine article by Judith Neukam does something that none of the others have done.
They use a plus size woman.
That’s right. Instead of a size 8 or 10 dress form, or a perfectly proportioned plus size dress form, she uses not only a plus size woman, but a woman with real fitting challenges. Hallelujah!
Judith Neukam’s plus size woman has fitting challenges that I’m sure many woman can identify with but no commercial pattern is going to address.
She identifies the fitting challenges from the commercial pattern (on the left) and shows the result of the customized pattern she drafted (on the right).
Look at the video below for a brief look inside.
You can find the article here on Threads Magazine’s Web site. Just scroll down below their video and you’ll see the link to download the free article.
Judith suggests that it’s easier for you to do the actual drafting rather than just reading all the instructions first.
Do you have a resource to draft custom patterns that you use? Do share!
Hi is this link still available?
Thanks for bringing this to my attention, Aneesaah. It used to be available for free download. It’s now only availabel if pay for a Threads Insider subscription.
I am drafting a pattern with sleeves and have narrow shoulders but am a big girl.
If I narrow the shoulder a lot and also slope the shoulder down will I have to add to the sleeve cap because I narrowed the shoulder? Thanks for your reply. I just filled out the form for your info but didn’t receive it yet.
Hi Barb, yes, you might have to add to the sleeve cap, depending on how much you need to lower the shoulder slope. You can test the fit after your changes by making a muslin or test garment, just to be sure.
Katrina, I am thrilled that I found your website. I have hired by a coworker and friend to teach her what i know about sewing. We are both plus size and I have just begun to teach myself how to draft bodice patterns. I think she and I will work through this article together. I am also sending her a link to your website. thank you for clear tutorials with personality.
I do have a question- once we change our shoulder slope and revise the armhole, how do we change the sleeve, or do we?
Yours in stitching, Kim
Hi Kim, welcome! I’m glad you’re finding helpful information on my site.
You shouldn’t have to change your sleeve. The idea is to keep the armhole the same as its original measurement (by lowering/raising it) so your sleeve will not be affected. I think I mentioned in the video to measure your original armhole before you make the changes so you can make your new armhole the same measurement. I try not to mess with the sleeve if I don’t have to.
Good luck to you and your friend. I hope you both end up with perfect fitting bodice patterns.
Happy Creating! Katrina
Thankyou so much, I’m from Sydney Australia and I’m a plus size and feel blessed by finding your blog an tutorials, thank you so much
You’re very welcome, Michelle. If you haven’t already, join my mailing list (side bar at the top) so you can be notified whenever I post a tutorial. If you have a question or a tutorial you’d like to see, let me know.
Thank you!!! I am anxious to try your ideas for my “healthy” 15 year old daughter. I am so tired of things looking so frumpy on her. She is a beautiful girl and deserves better. Thanks! Now to download the pattern drafting primer, as I am afraid to use commericial patterns anymore! Hoping I can use it for myself too (a bit busty).
You’re welcome, Brenda. I hope you’re able to create patterns with a great fit and beautiful clothes for both your daughter and yourself.
I am so happy that i found this site and i have downloaded the article. I am going to give it a try shortly.
Could you tell me if there is something similar but with sleeves. I would like to make myself a little dress for fall.
Thanks so much Katrina.
Hi AndreA, I haven’t seen anything that included sleeves. You may have to do a search on Google to get a separate tutorial on how to draft a sleeve pattern. If I come across anything I will definitely let you know.
I drafted my sleeve pattern from this book (link below) but it is a little pricey, so I would try the Internet first.
Ms Judith Ann Stansky says
I just found your site, and I’ve already picked up two useful tips. As a plus size sewer, I’m well aware of the need to alter patterns, and anything that makes the process easier is welcome. Thanks so much for the hours you must spend to make such easy to understand videos.
I’m so glad you find my videos easy to understand, Ms. Judith Ann. That’s always my goal. The time it takes is so worth it if it makes things easier for just one person.
Welcome to the site and I hope to create more useful tips for you in the future!
Oh wow! This is amazing, thanks for directing us to the article. I can sew but am soooo tired of patterns that are hard to adjust and even when they fit my measurements they don’t fit my shape.
You’re welcome. I know the feeling, Dee. Let me know if this works for you.