How to flatter your figure when sewing

Become your own wardrobe designer

We share our advice on how to flatter your figure when sewing and choose the right garments to sew for your shape!

1. Know your neckline

  • When choosing a neckline take into account your bust size, shape of your face, length of your neck and your body shape. Do you want to emphasis or play any of these areas down?
  • Generally, higher necklines suit slim builds and lower necklines can accentuate the bust line.

2. Up close and personal

  • Make sure you your bra is the correct size and doing the job it’s supposed to do!
  • For larger busts, choose a bra with thicker straps and not too much padding.
  • For smaller busts, wear a bra that has extra padding in the lower part of the cup so that the bra pushes up what you’ve got!


Band size: Measure under your arm and around the front just above the bust where the straps meet the top of the bra cup. This measurement should be rounded down to the nearest even inch. 
Bust size: Without pulling the tape measure tightly, measure the fullest part of your bust. Round this measurement up to the nearest inch. 

3. One size doesn’t fit all

Make sure you select the correct pattern size. Measure yourself and go by the sizing on the pattern (and not the size you pick for high street clothes). Pick a pattern range that offers fitting options.

4. You’ve got style

Empire-line garments are brilliant at disguising areas you want to hide. Wrap tops are great as they give the illusion of a tiny waist. Showing a little cleavage with a sweetheart neckline or a little leg with a slit is also a good way of drawing the eye away from troublesome areas, and banish those bingo wings with a pretty bell sleeve.

 5. All in the detail

The rule is that small petite frames can add flounces, beading and bows while fuller-figured women should keep things a little simpler and add pintucks or darts and accessorise with jewellery.

 6. Colour coding

Wear colours on the top or bottom depending on which area you want to play up or down. Wear light and bright colours to highlight, and dark colours on the areas that you want to disguise.

7. Fabric matters

Select a fabric weight and pattern that suits your frame as well as the sewing pattern. Fabrics that drape are a good option to hide areas you don’t like. 

8. Adjust and improve

Accept that you’ll need to make adjustments to your sewing pattern to make it fit you best. Very few of us will match exactly a pattern company’s standard measurements for each of the measurements of a size.

9.  Healthy hemline

Choose a hemline that makes the most of your legs. The most practical and flattering is a hemline that sits just above the knee.

10. Add height

Always wear heels – a little height will make you seem taller and also slimmer. Make sure you wear these shoes when you’re taking up the hemline to get the correct length for you.

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