Fundamentals of Plus Sizes

best practices fit inclusivity plus size product development
Online course

Plus women are a long overlooked and misunderstood target customer, and recent research shows that the plus size women’s apparel market value will raise to US$243 million by 2026. This course will help learners plan for and develop an effective plus apparel sizing strategy. It covers the technical aspects of garment balance and shape for the plus size body as well as correct aesthetic proportions for the creation of flattering, well proportioned garments.

6 hours
This online course is perfect for any company that is thinking about or has a plus size category strategy.
It is aimed at merchants, designers, patternmakers, product developers and sourcing team members in brands, sourcing offices, trading companies or vendors.
For this intermediate level course a basic understanding of patterns and grading is needed.

How will you learn?

The online course is self-paced and includes a pre-assessment test, 4 modules of interactive instruction and a final assessment. All participants who successfully complete the course will receive an Alvanon Certificate of Completion.

The recommended commitment for the course is a minimum of 1.5 hour per week over a 4 week period.

What will you learn?

By the end of the course, participants will be able to:

1. Understand how the body grows across a size range, and about different body types
2. Create clean fitting and balanced plus size patterns and garments
3. Learn best practices for adapting a straight size or inspiration sample to Plus
4. Master the best practices in using the fit form and the fit model

Online course Detailed outline

Pre-Assessment Free trial

This is to assess the knowledge you already have on the course topics and evaluate how this course can be most helpful for you.

Introduction Free trial

This module provides background information to the course. You will introduce yourself to your classmates, get an overview of the plus size market and review a case study.

  • 1. Welcome to the Course
  • 2. Course Overview
  • 3. Why Plus Sizes?
  • 4. Opportunities in the Plus Size Apparel Market
  • 5. Entering the Plus Size Market
  • 6. Case Study

Module 1: Plus Body Types

This module introduces the various plus size body types and their importance.

  • 1.1 Shape Matters to Fit
  • 1.2 Basic Body Types
  • 1.3 How Shape and Proportions Change with Size
  • 1.4 Body Changes as Size Increases
  • 1.5 Assessment

Module 2: Fit and Balance

This module dives into the fit and balance of plus size garment. It covers how to make pattern adjustments, make a well balanced plus pattern and introduces best practices to follow for plus size construction.

  • 2.1 Pattern Engineering for Plus
  • 2.2 How Does Size Affect Pattern Balance for Tops?
  • 2.3 How Does Size Affect Pattern Balance for Bottoms?
  • 2.4 Construction Considerations
  • 2.5 Body Growth and Garment Grading
  • 2.6 Assessment

Module 3: Aesthetics

This module will go through the aesthetics of plus size garment including creating a proportionate style, scaling style details and maintaining fit intent/ease over body across sizes.

  • 3.1 Aesthetic Fit Challenges
  • 3.2 Tops
  • 3.3 Bottoms
  • 3.4 Jackets: What Would You Do?
  • 3.5 Jackets: A Mathematical Approach
  • 3.6 Assessment

Module 4: Fit Evaluation: Form vs Body

This module will go through the steps of evaluating the fit of the garment, identifying differences between the body and the form and getting to know how to use the form as a tool.

  • 4.1 Fit Form vs Live Model
  • 4.2 Using Fit Forms
  • 4.3 Assessment


The module will summarize the modules that you’ve been through in the course. To complete the course, you will need to pass the Post-Assessment in the module.

  • 1. Course Summary
  • 2. Post-Assessment
  • 3. End of Course Survey

Hear it from our customers!

Alice Rodrigues

Course Instructor

Alice brings over 3 decades of experience in garment construction, patternmaking and fit development in addition to product development and technical design. She has held both line and management positions in global manufacturing operations and is now a Senior Consultant with Alvanon.

About Alvanon

Alvanon was founded in 2001 when it developed a unique and innovative data-driven approach to solving the challenges of sizing and fit inherent in the apparel industry. Since that time, it has evolved into a global consulting firm advising the world’s leading apparel organizations on how to align their internal teams, processes and supply chains; more intimately engage their existing and target customers; and innovate to optimize profitability and achieve their growth objectives. It has amassed a wealth of expertise across every key industry discipline including consumer analytics, concept and technical design, product development, manufacturing, quality, sourcing, planning, merchandising, distribution, marketing, e-commerce and training.

Alvanon works with its clients across multiple apparel sectors in 89 countries. It operates from its head office in New York, European headquarters in London, and Asia offices in Hong Kong and Shanghai. Alvanon also has research, development and manufacturing facilities in Dongguan, China.

Read more about alvanon.