Wednesday, August 31, 2011

A Flattering Dress for the Robust Booty

Don't call me an unselfish seamstress, because that is not strictly true.  I am sewing a dress for someone else, and I am not unpleased knowing it will please the recipient, but primarily, I remain fascinated with the process of creating clothes that fit and flatter.  Thus I find myself once again the dressmaker, sewing in exchange for the satisfaction of making the world a more beautiful place - one woman at a time.   

When I searched Google images for a robust booty, I came across this work of art.  In response to Gimp's comment, I have updated this post with a more "aspirational" asset.  After all, no one reads sewing blogs to see tired women.  We want to see something we can aspire to, right?  Who am I to let you down?
Now that's a robust booty.
For my next sewing project, the subject is a little taller than, and has circumferences just a little different from, standard sizes.  I have plotted her measurements against the Vogue sizing chart.

I will start with Vogue 8632.  This pattern is multi-sized so I'll cut a size 12 at the shoulders, a 14 with a D cup for bust, taper to a 16 at the waist and an 18 at the hips.

Because of the forgiving style in this dress and my familiarity with the recipient’s figure, I will measure and mark the pattern per her measurements, leave wide seam allowances and cut into the fashion fabric.  It’s likely we’ll get together once midway through construction so I can fine-tune the fit and record those adjustments back to the paper pattern.   As always, I will trace off a copy of the pattern first, so as to preserve the original.

The dress is for DSD Kelly, using this Anthropologie-esque cotton lawn from Elliott Berman

the background is more blue than this picture suggests
This project represents advance planning for those unexpected fashion emergencies that seem to arise now and then.  A person needs a dress for a wedding or whatever, and it’s nice when you can send out an SOS to your DSM, who has more fabric than she knows what to do with, and who is willing to sew up a Very Easy Vogue Dress for her DSD.  Did you catch all that? Kelly and I are hoping to establish a good TNT (tried and true) dress pattern for her.

Next up – measuring circumferences and lengths, and comparing them to the pattern.
Til then, Happy Sewing!

Oh - my goodness, how could I forget?  Have you gotten your issue of the October Vogue Patterns magazine?  I'm told they ran a photo of my version of Vogue 7764, which is now out of print.  I submitted the photo long ago and forgot all about it.  Now it's in print and I cannot wait to get my issue in the mail.  
Electricity & Vogue Patterns = Happiness 
(Hurricane Irene deprived me of electricity for several days, but I am back in action now)


  1. It may be a powerful image in a gallery; it's hardly flattering. Personally, I find it a bit of a cliché. I don't know if the person for whom you're making the dress has African ancestry, but I can assure you that black women are the same as anyone else when it comes to fashion. They want to look pretty in an accessible, superficial way. Earth mother images are not exactly aspirational.

  2. Congrats on having your Vogue 7764 published, you did a beautiful job with that jacket.

  3. Gimp, to me she looks like a powerful, beautiful and strong woman. And a little tired, which is exactly how I feel at the moment.

    Barbara, thank you!

  4. I watched Beyonce at the VMA's and damn she looked good! I must admit that seeing a very curvy girl who is not dieting or trying to skinny herself up is refreshing and the place where her health shows the most? In her face because she glows and doesn't look gaunt! All those crash dieters look tired through their facial skin first!

    That dress for your DSD looks great. I really like the pattern, especially the back neck tie thingy! Good luck!

    Congrats on your picture too!

  5. WE finally got our power back, too! Yay for BGE, finally!

    That fabric is so pretty and I am so excited for my TNT pattern! Truly, it is the best gift you could give me, as it is really, the gift of more dresses!

  6. Congratulations! How exciting to be published.

    Good choice in patterns for a TNT, that could be dressed up or down quite nicely.

  7. It's hard for me to find Vogue pattern magazine around here, but I will definitely try! You made a great jacket. Actually, you have made a lot of great jackets.

    My measurements are very close to your DSD's measurements, so I will watch developments with interest:-)

  8. How exciting to be in Vogue! It is a great jacket.
    You are kind making dresses for other people. A flattering dress is a great TNT pattern to have.

  9. A Little Sewing:

    Thanks for changing the image.

    To return to the subject for a minute, what if I said I was going to make a dress for a thin, tired-looking young woman who deserved a lift and then posted an image of Dorothea Lange's "Migrant Mother"? I think that is an extremely powerful and eloquent image:

    Result: The woman would want to kill me.

    As a very pear-shaped woman myself, who knows lots of women with large butts, I personally don't like overly figure-conscious clothing, but that's a matter of individual style.

    It's nice of you to make a dress for someone.

    Take care.

  10. Gimp - you hit the nail on the head. While my goal is to make a MORE flattering garment than what is available, how do I present an image of the "before" to contrast with the "after" without totally offending the recipient? I have struggled with this for a while.

    I think showing a "before" and "after" picture is incredibly helpful to illustrate how the fitting adjustment changed the garment. That's my focus - illustrating the power of pattern alterations.

    The color of the woman's skin was an unfortunate randome detail, in that it offended you, and for that I apologize. I appreciate that you explained your perspective.

    The dress I am sewing for Kelly will NOT be very form-fitting like Beyonce's choice :)

  11. I like that dress pattern and think it would be flattering to many figures. I have several patterns with separate cup size pieces, and I don't know how to choose the bust/waist/hips do all fit in one column but I'm a very full D cup. The charts assume a B cup, so if you're using the D cup piece, would it be two inches bigger than the chart? Thanks for any guidance!

  12. TracyKM, in my experience, the cup-sized patterns only matter for the fine-tuned fitting of your bust measurement. That is, if you're trying to buy a size that comes close, look for a size range that can accommodate your bust and hips and waist, with at least 1 size that comes close to your ready-to-wear size so that you have a chance to get the shoulder fit correctly. For example, I need to go for a 14-16-18-20 size range. I cut the shoulders for a 14, use the C-cup pattern piece for a size 16, grade to an 18 or even 20 at the hips. I hope this helps.

  13. I'm looking forward to the result. I'm tall too, and always have to add 3" to the above-waist measurement. I find that often, pattern companies don't mark the waist. Drives me nuts. :) That looks like a really cute dress that would flatter most figures. Might have to make that one up as my TNT.

  14. You are such a generous sewist! Can't wait to see the finished dress on the recipient.

    Congrats on the Vogue photo!

  15. Please keep us posted. I'm trying to solve the issue for my own figure. I've been capturing fitting tips here: (I hope the link works)

  16. Congratulations on getting a picture of your version of the Vogue dress published! What a wonderful accomplishment!
    And I think it is enormously generous of you to sew a dress for a friend :) I'm sure she will love it!

  17. What I wouldn't give for a robust booty! Congratulations on your Vogue premier!

  18. Personally, I would not call those measurements "robust". That's more of an hourglass shape, very curvy with filling in the right places. (My daughters fit that shape so I'm familiar with it.) On the other hand is my shape which is more Ma Kettle-ish, that's a robust shape, though I prefer to call myself a large woman. The best dress style I've seen is the princess line. It flatters most shapes and is adjustable for all the curves or lack of that most women have. For me it hides a smaller bosom and larger middle with equal ease.


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