Last week, I mentioned I had one more announcement about the upcoming knits patterns.
I am happy to say that we will have a bigger selection of sizes available for this line, from size XS to 3X (a 53″ bust).
Working on expanding our size range was a ton of fun and a real learning experience. I’ll probably dive into the process and what we did a little more in the coming weeks, because it was super interesting.
For now, I thought of a few obvious questions you all might have, so I wanted to preemptively answer them.
Why did you choose this size range?
At first, it was hard to know exactly what range we should try to cover, since there are certainly women over a 3X, just as there are women too small for an XS. We decided that, in addition to looking at some sizing data, we should take a survey. It included not just our own customers, but was also promoted by a plus size blogger we know (sent to her fans), so we’d get a good range of responses.
We had very few responses from anyone over a size 26. Literally, we had about 3 responses out of over 1,000. So we made the decision based largely on that combined data.
Are these the same patterns just graded up?
We drafted these patterns to get a better fit at all sizes. After a lot of research, we drafted a better fitting pattern for larger sizes, and brought in a second fit model in the 2X range.
So we really did redraft the patterns for different sizes in order to get a great looking garment for any size.
I thought you said this was too hard to do?
We talked before about some of the interesting challenges in drafting for plus sizes. But unfortunately, at that time we weren’t ready to discuss that it was something we were already working on, since it was early stages. Because of that, a lot of people were upset, thinking we were making excuses.
Which is totally understandable. We were excited about working on these issues and talking through the technical challenges, but didn’t realize that from the outside, it looked totally different. It looked like “here’s why this is not worth doing” instead of “here’s why this is hard to get right, isn’t it interesting?” I feel very bad about that, but hopefully it’s a little more clear now.
We were working on it, we just couldn’t say so yet.
Will we be able to see the new patterns on a real plus size lady?
Yes! We shot the two upcoming patterns on two models to show a range of sizes and bodies.
Will your other patterns be expanded?
I hope so.
We now have some great blocks for knits patterns, we have dress forms in different sizes, and we have fit models in different sizes. We’re working on some new blocks for wovens right now, which would let us do future patterns in more sizes too.
As for our back catalog, I could see redrafting some of our “greatest hits” in the future, but I’m not sure yet.
I hope this answers some of your questions. I can’t wait to show you these patterns on April 15!