Sewing plus size
lingerie and undergarments may sound like a lot of work, but it’s actually quite easy. In America, 40 million women over size 14 are spending $25 billion a year on clothes, including lingerie and undergarments. Why do lingerie retailers ignore the plus size? And for what is available, choices are limited. Where are the lovely lingerie fabrics – satin, silks, lace – and the pretty designs – florals, plaids, geometrics – in plus sizes 18-40? All but non-existant. And off-the-rack plus size lingerie, when you can find it, can be alarmingly expensive! Rather than wait eons for the fashion industry to catch up to reality, many women prefer to sew their own plus size lingerie rather than buy the plus size lingerie that’s available on the rack. Here are a few things to keep in mind if you decide to try sewing
your own plus size lingerie.
Sewing plus size lingerie presents its own problems, but plenty of information exists to help you, from friends, books you can check out at the library, and on the Internet. Typing “Sewing plus size lingerie” into google.com produced 76,700 hits, so lots of help is available.
Patterns are difficult to find, and costly when you do find them. You may consider converting one of your own patterns to the plus size. “Standard” patterns will not fit everyone! To ensure a plus size pattern will turn out a garment that fits properly, many measurements must be taken. The wearer may have hips of 44 inches, and a waist of 30 inches, or vice versa. The more intimate the garment, the more important that it fit properly, and so the more measuring you must do!
Anna Scholz, a designer working in London, offers fashion in sizes 8-26. She doesn’t see the retail industry offering lots of variety in plus size clothing of all sorts, including lingerie, any time soon. She likens this “sizism” to racism and sexism – “I have a non-sizist philosophy,” she says, in Fashion UK.
Sewing for plus size children can be quite rewarding, also, for you and for them. Again, the same rules apply – take lots of measurements! Nighties, bra tops, camisoles and panties can be quickly and easily made from your own commercial patterns with some adjustments to the dimensions. The shapes are simple and the recommended fabrics easy to work with. Teenaged girls in particular love slips, boxers and bras – sport and regular – made to fit them alone. A friend made boxers for her 14-year old from some lively printed calico, and was soon besieged with requests from her friends: “Make some for me!” How about panties in faux fur, leather, fleece? You might even persuade them to help with the sewing. This is surely quality time spent with your teenaged daughter – lots of fun for you and for her!