Truth be told, one reason I gave up on a lot of modern patterns was the way they were sized. Not only did they have monstrous ease built in to often accommodate lazy grading, but modern proportions can be a headache to a stout figure.
A lot of what determines a good fit for us is where you carry your extra weight. Do you have it in your front, in the back, even all over? Are you pear shape, hourglass, top heavy" Is it in your arms, chest, or thighs? Sheesh!
There are so many types of plus size figures its no wonder patterns have not kept up. I mean, can you blame them? To make a tall regular and petite then to have to make a top heavy tall regular, and petite, THEN a bottom heavy tall regular and petite!? Wow. They would never make any money.
*from my Butterick sewing & dressmaking book*
Vintage patterns caught onto this rather early in the whole scheme of things. Instead of alienating the stout woman, they were given their own section just as proud as any other. Woman's sizing in clothing catalogs held fashions that were just as stylish for the slimmer gal, but made to flatter the larger gal. Now that's equality.
Same for patterns. You can find patterns made for specific larger figures and often they are advertised as such. The sizing went from Junior miss to a 30 to 38 bust, then woman's often went from 36 to 44 bust, and larger women were from 38 to 52 bust. Often styles in these ranges in the 30s and 40s complimented the market these patterns were directed to.
These stout women of the past knew that alterations were a fact of life when making their own clothes. they didn't rely on exact sizing made by the pattern manufacturer because they knew they often didn't fit that anyway. You would find in a lot of patterns (not just for larger women) places in the pattern where it was safe to adjust the size without worry about the grain line or matching. Now that's service.
*from Short-Cuts to Sewing Success by Du Barry*
I love looking through my vintage sewing books and seeing all the tips and suggestions of how to alter a pattern based on you. This excerpt from my Du Barry sewing book is one of my favorites. All the different options for adjusting all made concise and effective.
I guess that's why I've never been able to effectively take advantage of multi-sized patterns. If I'm going to go through all the work of a muslin and whatnot, then I might as well adjust the pattern to me instead of the dimensions given in any of the sizes. I see patterns as a base template for size because I have never ever fit a pattern out of the package. Everything I do has to be adjusted, so I have no expectation of a 'great fit' or an 'effortless fit' because I control all of that.
*The Simplicity Sewing Book*
Just don't get frustrated if you get a pattern and it does not fit you out of the package. Your stout body is unique and can't fit into the very broad net of modern pattern making. If you, stout or not, don't fit into the general guides then you are going to have to alter your patterns every single time. No way around it. Just embrace it! Make something to compliment you figure, and keep on keeping on.
I thank you for your time :)