June 1, 2021

Introducing our new eBook “How to Expand Sewing Patterns Into Plus Sizes”

New e-book from Cashmerette: how to expand sewing patterns into plus sizes

When I first set up Cashmerette as a sewing pattern company in 2015, it was one of very few sewing brands that went into plus sizes. It took almost a year of development to get our first pattern out, but when it was an immediate success I knew that I must be on to something!

Since then, I have worked to encourage other brands to do the same, in a number of ways: advocating for the amazing plus size sewing community (through our social media, and the Curvy Sewing Collective, among other things), running large-scale surveys and sharing the results publicly, giving interviews about my experiences, and, probably most important – and most time consuming! – providing free behind-the-scenes consultation.

I’m thrilled that since 2015 there has been a real surge in the size ranges available in the indie sewing world, but the requests I’ve had from indie sewing pattern designers to help out has actually also increased over time – which is a great thing! The challenge has been that I only have so much time in the day, and so I’m not always available to help.

So, I decided to capture all my experience and advice that usually I share behind the scenes, and put it into a new eBook, “How to Expand Sewing Patterns Into Plus Sizes”.

The audience for this eBook is sewing pattern designers who are either looking to expand their existing size range, or who are looking to launch specifically into plus sizes. The book covers topics including:

  • How big is the plus size sewing market? Is it worth entering?
  • What do plus size sewists actually want from sewing patterns and sewing pattern companies?
  • How to think about sizing
  • Drafting and grading tips for plus sizing
  • Best practices for product testing
  • Considerations for selling and logistics
  • Communicating about your size expansion
  • Making your size expansion financially viable

It does NOT share technical details on how to do pattern drafting or grading, as that’s beyond the scope of this eBook, but it provides advice about how to find good pattern drafters, and lots of pointers on what to look for in high quality pattern drafting.

I was fortunate to get some lovely feedback from advanced readers of the eBook:

“Jenny is the pioneer and unequivocal leader of the curvy sewing world, and for good reason. She’s been a tireless advocate for change in the sewing pattern industry, and in her new ebook she’s generously shared her knowledge and expertise with other pattern designers interested in breaking into this market. If you’re wondering what it takes to expand your size offerings, but feeling overwhelmed, look no further. Jenny breaks the process down, lays out what steps to take and mishaps to avoid, and shares valuable insight into this promising market.”

Camille Barot, Deer & Doe

“Jenny has shared a wealth of helpful pointers she’s acquired from her years of experience specializing in plus size sewing patterns, covering a range of topics that pattern brands need to take into consideration, from proportions to marketing.”

Tilly Walnes, Tilly & The Buttons

I hope this eBook proves helpful, and maybe even encourages some sewing pattern designers to make the leap into plus sizes. Being able to serve a previously neglected group of people – which includes myself! – has truly made this stage of my career a joy. Contrary to what you sometimes hear, it’s not “super hard”, you just have to know how. And now, you can!

4 thoughts on “Introducing our new eBook “How to Expand Sewing Patterns Into Plus Sizes”

  1. bethindecatur says:

    Congratulations on your new book. I know it will help you with time management, but what a wonderfully generous thing to do. The rest of us in the plus size community will get to reap the benefits from all those encouraged entrepreneurs catering to our every whim.

  2. Thanks for doing this, what a generous thing to do! I love it when people want to share their knowledge for the benefit of everyone.
    I’m a costume maker by trade and have started an indie pattern company to use my skills drafting for different sizes. I currently go up to a UK26 in three cup sizes and want to go much higher but I often feel like despite being absolutely committed to being inclusive I’m getting it wrong or not doing enough. This sounds like exactly what I need to get a better idea of what plus size customers want and need. Thanks!

  3. robbie says:

    What a great idea! I am hoping you will consider developing an e-book/video for plus sized sewists on how to expand/enlarge sewing patterns for a custom fit. I have hundreds of patterns that I purchased because of the style but did not consider the difficulty I would encounter in trying to alter them to fit my body. I am a size 28/30 with an I cup bust. Most methods teach grading but not custom fit.

    1. emcclure2010 says:

      Robbie–I was just looking and they actually have several video classes listed about fitting/altering for curves. I haven’t take them myself but they look pretty extensive! If you go up to the classes tab there’s a bunch listed!

Let me know what you think!