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Sewing for Plus Sizes: Creating Clothes that Fit and Flatter Paperback – March 1, 2002


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Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

Writes Deckert, "The goal of all plus-size design is to emphasize your positive attributes and modify or distract from those you feel are less desirable." Deckert is herself a plus-sized woman and a custom clothier with more than 30 years of sewing experience. Given that most clothing manufacturers have never learned to design attractive, well-fitting clothes for women who wear a size 14 or larger, the woman who wants to achieve style beyond size must sew her own clothes. This book will make that task less formidable. Illustrated with photos of plus-sized models, including the author herself, this book emphasizes analyzing pattern designs based on individual figure proportions and working effectively with fabric color and texture. Major sections of the book are devoted to tools for plus-sized sewing (including instructions for making an inexpensive personal paper-tape dress form), choosing fabric, taking measurements, "sizing-up" commercial patterns for the plus-sized figure, and modifying patterns to make clothing more comfortable and durable. Enthusiastically recommended for all public libraries with sewing and costuming collections.
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Deckert, who designs and makes plus-size fashions, is a frequent contributor to Sew News, Threads, BBW, Radiance, and PACC News. She is a charter member of the Professional Association of Custom Clothiers and has over 30 years of sewing experience.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 154 pages
  • Publisher: Taunton Press (March 1, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1561585513
  • ISBN-13: 978-1561585519
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 0.5 x 10.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (98 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #187,705 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

139 of 141 people found the following review helpful By Clydia Pappenfus on January 2, 2000
Format: Hardcover
This book is a masterpiece of practical information for those who would sew for any size person. Barbara Deckert has geared it to the "plus size" person, but the information it contains about line, design, fabric selection, equipment for sewing, and pattern alteration is applicable to anybody. The book has many very useful illustrations of various body shapes and the way various styles will look on them, along with suggestions for modifying garment styles to make them the most attractive on those shapes. Her attitude about clothing is that it should be enjoyable to wear. She doesn't advocate stuffing the plus size body into a drab gray box, and the pictures of her and her models that the book contains demonstrates that bold, attractive colors can be worn to great advantage on it. Her section about fabric selection, both fiber content and design contains a wealth of information about the way to expect various materials to behave, along with practical guidance for selection of certain fabrics for some things and not for others. She dmystefies the arena of sewing tools, stating which are essential and which are not, along with tips such as "Don't use bright, contrasting colors (for tailor's tacks) because some threads may crock, or bleed color onto the fabric, or small fiber pieces from colored thread can stick to and discolor light fabrics." The book is totally understandable and practical. Barbara devotes a large part of the book to pattern alteration for figure irregularities. This section contains a wealth of illustrations for changing the shape of purchased patterns to accommodate various physical differences, whether they relate to size or asymmetry.Read more ›
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83 of 84 people found the following review helpful By Elizabeth Thompson (thompson@aol.com) on October 16, 1999
Format: Hardcover
I am so sick of buying cheesy catalogue clothes for fat people that are poorly made and look like bright tents. I discovered that sewing for myself was the only way I was going to be able to find a suit for work that fit and looked good. Unfortunly, patterns different fit me because I'm short and fat; the book really taught me how to adjust my pattern and what body type I am. So, now I don't have short sleeves past my elbow and short skirts past my knee, I adjusted them from what the book taught me. This is for all the fat girls!
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66 of 67 people found the following review helpful By Chandra on April 8, 2007
Format: Paperback
This book encourages you to stop sewing apologetically for your body, and to dress expressively regardless of your size. Other reviewers have commented that the author's recommendations regarding fabrics with large or bold patterns, or lots of fancy bling-bling are inappropriate for large women. The author makes it clear early on that dressing to look slimmer isn't the ultimate objective here.

The author models a lot of clothing in the photographs. She is brashly large and beautiful and clearly has no intention of trying to fade into the background, as so many large women are tempted to do.

I also love her language and her matter-of-fact way of handling large-women issues, such as extra strain on certain seams that should be reinforced, and fabric choice for our comfort. There's nothing giggly or abashed about it - in fact, it points the finger at the clothing industry for its insufficient and lame attempts to satisfy our clothing needs.

I also appreciated her explanations regarding why commercial patterns never seem to fit. First of all, designers aren't trained to design clothes for real women - they only work with size 8 mannequins. Secondly, pattern manufacturers generate plus-sized patterns simply by expanding out proportionally a "regular" sized pattern - and that's not how we're shaped. When we gain weight, we gain a lot in some areas and not so much in others, and we all do it differently.

I also now know that even if I don't have the exactly correct sized pattern, I can alter it to fit my measurements - something I haven't been as good at before. Now I can buy a lot more of those cool vintage patterns on Ebay!
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54 of 56 people found the following review helpful By susan burditt on June 2, 2000
Format: Hardcover
I REALLY found this book helpfull! I am a large-size woman and have been very frustrated with ready-made dresses. This book gives practacal, very candid advice on what will look good on My body type and how to achieve the effect I want. The authers understanding of what it is like to live in, and dress a plus-size body (what our thighs do when we sit down for example) is really helpfull... she knows what she is talking about. The pictures in the book are beautiful, they raise hope that we large-size girls can look both businesslike and sexy as the occasion demands! The dicussion of fabric types and how they will act on my body is very helpful for someone like me who is not as knowlagable as someone who has been sewing for a long time.
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43 of 44 people found the following review helpful By "riverwillow345" on July 18, 2002
Format: Paperback
Warning: Please be advised that this is the paperback book of Sewing for Plus Sizes: Design, Fit, and Construction for Ample Apparel. I did not see this info on the site and made the mistake of ordering both. After deciding paperback or hardcover you can't go wrong with this book. It was a Godsend for me. Being self taught in how to sew this book contained all the info I needed regarding pattern alterations for plus sizes and other tips I didn't even know I needed. Thank you Ms. Deckert!
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