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Flatter Your Figure: Getting Waist Deep

hastag-custom-fitCongratulations to Chris for winning our last #CustomFit blog post. Now, let’s get down to business. Want to flatter your figure? We’ve created a guide to helping you determine what your next sewing pattern should consist of!

In continuation of our #CustomFit series we’re today’s topic to tackle is one that weighs on a lot of people’s minds: the waist.

First of all, let me start off by saying that I don’t love the idea of designating specific “styles” and “cuts” of clothing to bring out the best shape in you. Primarily because this supposes that there is one ideal body type, which I think is just silly hogwash. What we constitute as “flattering” only appeals to us after centuries of conditioning our perception of shape to match a specific type.

NOW, to get off my soapbox, I’ll admit that I’m guilty of everything I’ve just discussed. It’s hard not to want to dress to the appeal of the group around you. When it gets down to it, though, it is important for you to feel good about how you look, and we’re here to help. If you’re having a hard time determining what features you want to enhance, this guide on, “What Body Shape Am I?” might be of use to you!

Getting Waist Deep

The waist is an area that most people like to emphasize, as it is often a smaller part of your body that can give you that hour-glass shape. Listen everyone, “waist” doesn’t mean your tummy. I know a lot of you out there are saying, My waist isn’t what it was in my 20’s! and maybe it’s not, but that’s life and aging and we’re all getting there. Your body isn’t supposed to keep from changing with age but it’s still stunning and your waist is still one of your best assets.

So! In the spirit of finding your custom size we’ll offer a few pointers on how to work that midriff for your next design.

The Basic Breakdown: How to Measure Your Waist:

  1. Find the top of your hip bone.
  2. Find the bottom of your ribs.
  3. The smallest area between that point is your waist. If you need to you can measure between these two points and use the midpoint as a guide.
  4. Still having trouble? You can also find your waist by bending to one side and measuring the natural crease.

So, want a waist? Try this super cheap and super easy idea:

How to Add a Fantastic Elastic Waist to Just About Any Dress! – Taken from Refashionista, this simple tutorial teaches you how to transform an existing frumpy frock into something you feel gives your gorgeous figure a little more show. We love this tutorial because it shows you how to use what you have, both fabric-wise and body-wise.

How to Add a Fantastic Elastic Waist to Just About Any Dress!

Get Low – The Drop Waist

Some of you might be thinking, “Yo, Seams and Scissors, you don’t know me. I have scoliosis and as such NEVER emphasize my natural waist.”

Well, dear reader, there are other waist styles besides the one that delivers that classic, “hour-glass”. If you want, install an elastic strip below your natural waist for a “drop-waist”. Anthropologie suggests measuring 1 1/2″ below your natural waist to achieve a flattering drop-waist effect.

How to Draft a Drop Waist Dress – Compliments of Clothing Patterns 101 you’ll find a pattern in this link that shows you how to create a 1920’s style that is still swinging in our books.

How to Draft a Drop Waist Dress

Soar to New Heights: the Empire Waist!

If you prefer the Napoleonic Empire Waist look, go for it! This measurement occurs right below the bust and disguises a larger tummy. The following tube top tutorial shows you how to achieve this classic look.

How to Make an Empire Waist Tube Top – Wait, wait, wait! Don’t go! I know most of you are probably opposed to the tube top, be it too cold to fathom such fashion choices or that it’s just not your style. But you can apply this tutorial from Altered Cloth to any dress!

How to Make an Empire Waist Tube Top

To review, we have three options for your waist in your next clothing project:


We’ve covered the very very basics of waist styles, but now let’s put it in front of the forum (you all). To both participate in our #CustomFit discussion on the waist today and to be entered to win these Clover products (pictured to below), tell us:

Do you feel more or less self-conscious about your midriff area with age?

There is a maximum of one entry per person. The entry will be based upon a comment left on this blog post. Duplicate comments will be deleted and are not tallied.
Winner will be selected at random from the comments on this blog post.
Winner will be announced here on the blog tomorrow as well as contacted by the email address provided.
You have until December 3, 2014 at 11:59p EST to leave your comment on the project above. Comments posted after that will not be counted.
Contest open to anyone 18+ in US and/or Canada.

#CustomFit Forecast: The next topic of conversation will be…. December 4th!