April 11, 2014

Introducing… the Curvy Sewing Collective!

It started off innocently, with Mary and I bemoaning the lack of plus size sewing bloggers and visibility of curvy ladies in the sewing blogosphere… But we’re not ones to just (be)moan.

So, I’m thrilled to introduce you to: the Curvy Sewing Collective! A group of amazing, stylish, beautiful seamstresses who are out to show how fantastic well-made, well-fitted homemade garments look on curvy ladies. We are working on several projects which we’re dying to show you… but you’ll have to wait just a little longer :p


Me. OK, you know me, so no introduction there 🙂

Mary at IdleFancy. Mary is our favourite cheery blonde Texan, saving the world, writing books and running an amazing sewing blog in her spare time. She’s the master of all things FBA and can wear a fitted bodice and gathered skirt like no-one else.

Mary at Young, Broke and Fabulous. Mary is taking Charlotte, NC by storm with her vintage dresses with the occasional galaxy print thrown in.  When she isn’t swing dancing, Mary is finding fabrics to match her awe-inspiring hair.

Laurence at QuirkyPrettyCute. Laurence lives in the Netherlands and is on a mission to prove that plus size clothing can be quirky, pretty and cute. She’s a woman of many talents – making colourful dresses, matching his-and-hers duffle coats, and is now scaling the lofty heights of well-fitting shorts!

Tanya at MrsHughes. Tanya drives us all crazy jealous with photos of her gorgeous clothes modeled on her ranch in in Northern California! A fan of all things vintage, most recently Tanya has been whipping up Mad Men creations. 

T at UandMii. T lives in the Chilterns in the UK, and when she’s not doing graphic design she’s whipping up colourful dresses and busting out some awesome modeling moves on her blog. I’d follow for the shoes alone…

So that’s us! Get ready for some awesome projects as we prove to the world that plus size sewists and bloggers are, most likely, the best 🙂 
Fellow plus size sewists, are there any projects in particular you’d like to see the Curvy Sewing Collective take on? Would you be interested in sewalongs? Tutorials? Hair tips?! (there has been some particularly awesome hair in the Collective recently….)

67 thoughts on “Introducing… the Curvy Sewing Collective!

  1. Missy says:

    Let me just say I am absolutely thrilled about this collective! I am a curvy girl that is just getting started with sewing my own clothes after pretty much giving up with RTW clothing. I can’t wait to see what you all come up with to share with your readers.

    1. Jenny says:

      That’s great to hear! I hope that we can provide some inspiration and tips 😀

  2. Marianne says:

    Cheering for the collective!! Can’t wait to see what you girls come up with. Of course we want sewalongs, tutorials, hair tips and pics with gorgeous shoes :))

    1. Jenny says:

      Yay! I think T is officially in charge of the shoes.

  3. wendy says:

    This is a great initiative, I follow most of you anyway because you show how us curvy plus girls can wear all the pretty that is out there. Can’t wait to see more!

    1. Jenny says:

      Thanks Wendy!

  4. What a great idea! One of my daughters that I sew for is curvy and the endless fittings, crying, and complains makes it hard for me to make her happy. Her expectations are too much, No.. you will not look like that size 3 woman on the pattern cover, you will look like you.. with a great fitting garment. But she still becomes upset. I look forward to seeing more of what you have in the wings.

  5. sewmanju says:

    As a fellow curvy girl i think this is such a great idea and will be watching with interest.

  6. Nicole says:

    Looking forward to your posts! As a beginner, I’d love to see tutorials on grading up and other common plus-size alterations.

  7. Being curvy is the reason that I never sew for me (although I do sew for curvy people -go figure). This is exactly what the sewing blogosphere could do with. I do follow some of you but thanks for the intro to the others. And shoes please, lots of shoes 😉 Xx

  8. Michelle says:

    I love this idea! I already follow most of the individual blogs in the collective, and now it looks like I have a few more that I can add to my reading list for inspiration.

    Off the top of my head, a few curvy topics that I’d like to see:
    * Pant/slim skirt fitting when you have high hip fluff.
    * FBA’s when you’re larger than a DD/DDD cup. “Traditional” FBAs are only good to a certain point, but then grainlines and other things get thrown off. I’ve learned to improvise to fit my chest, but I’d really like to see what others do.
    * General style inspiration posts.

  9. HomeRoamer says:

    This is great! I’m a beginner as well and would love to learn about grading up a big 4 pattern or even an indie pattern (I’m size 16 rtw and don’t know how to grade up outside the pattern sizes). Thanks!

  10. Nessa says:

    Fantastic! Have always thought it would be great if all the curvy sewing ladies out there were united in one place! Imagine filling your blog roll with women with similarly fabulous bodies to our own!!
    Are you going to all contribute articles to one new blog, or are we following the individual blogs?
    I’d love to see just how Tanya grades up those vintage patterns she uses, and have loved the FBA tutorials from Mary.
    I’d love to know how to create our own pattern for a straight skirt using our various measurements for waist, tum, bum, hips, thighs.
    But mostly I am looking forward to all the curvy ladies getting together in one online place!! The inspiration is going to be mind-blowing!

    1. Jenny says:

      Hi Nessa – we’re still working on the logistics so watch this space for future announcements! Thanks for all your ideas – they are fantastic

  11. Sew Savory says:

    Hallelujah! THANK YOU for putting this together. It’s going to be epic – I just know it.

  12. Margaret says:

    This is fantastic!! Can’t wait to see what you all come up with (:

  13. tanyamaile says:

    So awesome to see this stuff getting going! 🙂 Great job, Jenny!

  14. s. says:

    This looks like it is going to be an amazing resource! I would personally love to see basic pattern adjustments like broad back adjustments. Mainly because I have a broad back and it makes fitting patterns a NIGHTMARE for me!

  15. Oh my gosh I am so excited about this. Thank you! Agreed about tutorials on grading up. Honestly, just seeing various patterns on curvy women will help a ton!

  16. Mela R. says:

    Very cool! I’m really looking forward to what you all make and share!

  17. Yay!! I’m so excited to see you guys bring about good changes!

  18. prttynpnk says:

    This is so exciting!!!!

  19. What a wonderful idea! This is going to be fantastic!!!!

    1. Jenny says:

      Yeah! And thanks for mentioning it on your blog!

  20. Vonnie says:

    Fantastic! This is a terrific idea!!

  21. Laurwyn says:

    Thanks so much for your fabulous post! It explains the whole idea extremely well!
    I cannot wait for what’s coming!

  22. Anne Szabo says:

    I am over the moon with the curvy sewing. Over the years I have become curvy and have stopped sewing. I want to begin again and I know that I will need to do muslins on everything. You inspire me with the cute, well fitting clothes. I have bookmarked this site. Thank you, Thank you

  23. THANK YOU for finally talking about some real people for a change!! I came over from Carolyn’s Diary of a Sewing Fanatic and I am thrilled to find out about all of you. Please consider some patterns and ideas for those of us who are pear shaped meaning I WISH I had some boobs to balance my hips. Ah… well at least I can sew!

  24. Great initiative. I recently discovered French curvy sewist and I cannot have enought of her cute clothes. http://pimsyland.blogspot.nl

  25. Shannon D. says:

    Also came from Carolyn’s blog; great to see all these curvy sewists! I am interested in seeing hints on pants, especially trouser style pants and on adjustments and grading. Thank you all! Bookmarking now!

  26. jacquianne says:

    Also from Carolyn’s blog and looking forward to seeing more. How about some ideas for plus petites? Try altering for a EE bust and petiting a pattern as well – just doesn’t happen!

    1. Jenny says:

      Great idea! I recently heard about a few pattern companies for plus size petites that you might want to check out – Skinny Bitch Curvy Chick – Made for plus size petites! Up to 54″ bust, 49″ waist, 56″ hip; and Petite Plus Patterns – another for petite women. Up to size 26, 50″ bust, 42″ waist, 52″ hip

  27. Nancy says:

    What a fabulous idea. I can hardly wait for you to get started. Hysterectomy and the weight gained after it (17 years ago) have drastically changed my shape and I vowed I would not sew until I lost some of the weight. However, after finding Carolyn’s blog and yours, I am getting some confidence back. At 67, I will never make anything trendy. My favorite styles remain the classic styles worn by Jackie Kennedy with the sleeveless A-line skimmer topping the list. My 50th h.s. reunion is in 2 weeks and I am wondering if I dare try to make something for it. Wish me luck. I dread having to shop at the mall – UGH. My biggest problems are the belly that came after the hysterectomy (vertical incision with cut abdominal muscles so tone is shot), and the fact that I have a broad back but am just a full B in the front. How does one adjust for that?

  28. Susan says:

    Lovely, how exciting! This will be fun to watch and play along with… 😀

  29. LethaGD says:

    This is great! Like many other have commented, I already follow most of you. I would like to see fun and stylish tops. I’m 58 and retired so want some casual fun things to wear. So tutorials on how to grade up, FBA, and hip/butt fitting would be great. Thanks ladies!

  30. Aless says:

    You go girls!!! Another excited curvy one, from Australia !

  31. Awesome. if you want to see change, try to make it yourself. I’m looking forward to hearing more about the CSC.

  32. Marybeth says:

    Love this! I am a plus size sewer, and I got into sewing just because I want to make beautiful clothes that fit me right. I would love sew-alongs and any kind of help with custom sizing and grading patterns to fit a plus-size figure. Thank you!!

  33. Christine says:

    So excited to see this! I’m checking out the blogs that I don’t already read…so excited to find more inspiration!

  34. Kristin says:

    This is wonderful! I already follow a couple of these blogs, but it is inspiring to see a few more. As a plus size sewist, I love seeing things others have made as inspiration. It is often hard to tell what a garment may look like on me when it is shown on someone with a much smaller frame. I think someone mentioned grading patterns to fit plus-size figures…that would be amazing! I often find things I like only to realize I am outside their size range (talking to you, Burda).

  35. Lozzen says:

    Thank you,thank you, thank you!

  36. L says:

    This is such a great idea. I’m a 5′ curvy chick and I am excited to see what develops. Thanks for starting the collective; I will follow with interest.

  37. Jardena says:

    Plus size maternity wear that is stylish and flattering

  38. Theresa says:

    Found you from Pattern Review and by gosh, I’m putting you on my blog list. Great idea and looking forward to many wonderful posts!

  39. justmanette says:

    Bravo, ladies! We should celebrate women of all sizes! I’m wanting to start an etsy shop showing all sizes can be fashionable, and particularly women over 40 can be hot too.

    1. Jenny says:

      Definitely! We have a forty-something in our group, but we’re also going to be hosting guest posts from 50+ ladies too!

  40. Deanna says:

    Yay! I have searching for something like this. You are awesome!

  41. I declair you all my BFF’s. I have slid away from sewing for myself…probably because everyone else comes first…especially work. You girls inspire me for sew for ME!

  42. Therese Ruff says:

    Haven’t worn a skirt in almost 20 years! Need the whole package, accessories, tips. Sewalonfs, etc. You are all great!

  43. Wow, This looks great! I have just started collecting vintage linens and lace and I love the layered look with these fabrics but usually they are on young, skinny girls – I’d love to see some pretty designs for older, larger ladies!

  44. Jessica says:

    This is FANTASTIC. I just fit into the largest size on sewing patterns I’ve been looking at! I’d like sew-a-longs and tips for how to lengthen/adjust clothing as well. Can’t wait!

  45. Very excited! I’d like to see something that addresses problem areas like being curvy and short in the torso with lots or rolls. Solution so far has been to add more fabric. I’ll read and try anything you post.

  46. I’m so happy I found this post!!!!!! and so glad to now meet you all!!!! Can’t wait

  47. almiramay says:

    I’m so happy to see this site and to see so many beautiful fashions for real women. I have sewn my own clothes for many years out of necessity. Lately, the stores that carry plus sizes (and, a young friend of mine had been a model in high school and when, through her normal growth and maturing process reached a size 12–she was O-U-T of the business–they told this beautiful healthy young girl to lose weight if she wanted to keep working!) –the stores that carry sizes that fit size 16 and upwards have stocked the most hideous rags imaginable. I told one of the sales people that if I put on any of it I’d feel like a Ronald MacDonald circus bus and to put such things out in larger sizes was a discriminatory insult–in the Jr. department there were beautiful Armani suits and Eileen Fisher clothes–in the “Women’s” department there were sleazy, flimsy knits in obnoxious colors with enormous plastic “jewels” stapled all over them–absolutely hideous. Not to even mention those brutally unflattering and uncomfortable low pants and tight-fitting blouses that are made for people with a 32a bra size. Apparently clothing manufacturers are clueless about the needs of normal-sized women and they apparently are not interested in our money. (Picture here a rude sign directed at them.) So, Thanks to whoever started this page!

    1. Jenny says:

      Oh I know exactly what you mean about the plus size sections! You have to wonder who on earth is designing these, and why they assume all women bigger than 12 are 60+ living in Florida (not to say that there aren’t extremely stylish older women in Florida, but you get the idea). One really cool thing is that Colette patterns actually sold out of hteir designs in several days, which just goes to show there’s a huge market out there for this!

  48. I am so excited about this collective I have decide to actually try sewing for me! Thank you all for being inspirations. I love how many women are sewing for themselves but it seems like a great many of the ones who get attention are super skinny! I am thrilled to find some beautiful plus-size women to follow!

    1. Jenny says:

      Kathy, that’s amazing! I’m so glad that we are helping to inspire you. Keep watching for more exciting announcements here coming up soon 🙂

  49. Nicole says:

    This has gotten me excited about sewing again!

    I would love to know a little more about when to modify a pattern or when I should maybe just give up and try to draft something instead. For example, I see something like the Polly tank that By Hand London released and I want it. It looks like something I could whip up easily enough except, of course, the pattern doesn’t come in my size. Should I try to make one? Look for something else? Help me Curvy Collective!

    1. Jenny says:

      Nicole, that’s a great idea, we will add it to the list of post ideas!

    2. Nicole says:

      Thanks! I am looking forward to what you do next. The Colette tour has been great. I am signed up for a Moneta class at a (sortof) local studio. It will be my first time working with knits and my first dress! I have been sticking with household items and skirts until know. Thank you for all the inspiration!!

  50. Hi, As a fellow curvy sewer (in London) I’ll keep in touch with your posts. Great idea!

  51. This is wonderful. I’m a plus size and soooo sick of not being able to buy stylish clothes. So I have pulled out the Janome and started sewing. Looking a patterns is always a bit daunting as you always wonder what thy will look like on you. Thank you Ladies. You have made my day

  52. JenSasser says:

    I’m so tickled to find this!!! I just started sewing again after a 15 year absence and was so bummed about the dearth of curvy patterns. Thank you!

  53. Another sewing blog to love! I’m returning to my sewing room after walking past the closed door for awhile, and I’m getting back into sewing for me, even if it does mean taking the occasional measurement. 🙂

  54. Heather says:

    Thank-you so much, curvy sewer here nipping in from Carolyn,’s blog. Signing up to follow you and excited about seeing more of plus sized bloggers who sew.

Let me know what you think!