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Clothing Pattern Issues for Plus Size Children

By Sarah J. Doyle

Plus size children and overweight children need patterns and
clothing that fit THEIR "larger than average" measurements. Sadly, neither ready made clothing nor commercial patterns address the real issue of overweight children's measurements.

Recent statistics indicate that over nine million American children are categorized as overweight and some being obese. Buying or making clothes for these children is very stressful and difficult as literally no standard size will fit.

The stories of mothers, grandmothers, and sewing professionals who are trying to get clothing and patterns to fit plus size children properly all echo each other and the disappointment is the same for all.

The same frustration was repeated to me by a friend who has a 9 year old daughter with a 36" chest, 34" tummy and 38" hips. The pattern size that came closest to the chest, tummy and hip measurement was a 16 Plus, which didn't fit anywhere else!

We all know that an extra chubby 9 year old would not be as tall as a 16 year old, nor have arms or shoulders the size of a 16 year old.

Sarah J Doyle, a pattern maker, author and instructor for over 30 years has introduced a line of clothing patterns for plus size children, PSC Patterns, that have been designed and made from REAL measurements of REAL plus size and overweight children.
** Dresses with several rows of elastic sewn at the waistline will appear to thicken the waist and shorten the height, while semi-fitted dresses with vertical line designs and A-line skirts will give a thinner and taller appearance.

** Solid colors and vertical lines will heighten the body, while contrasting colors in tops and skirts, as well as big bold prints will shorten it.

** Waists seem to expand with wide or conspicuous belts or buckles.

** Hips will seem to increase in girth with tight or full skirts. The A-lines or princess style skirts will create a more slimming appearance.

By using actual plus size children patterns and considering what the final appearance of the garment will be, sewing for the plus size and overweight child will become much easier.

About the author: Sarah J. Doyle is author of over 25 sewing, craft and how-to books, as well as designer of plus size children's patterns. Visit to check out the patterns that are available, as well as a variety of pattern making and pattern alteration classes for children. Visit Sarah's sewing blog at (c) Copyright Sarah J. Doyle. All Rights Reserved.


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