What makes a pattern "chubby"?

I don't have any antagonism towards the term, and honestly, I think I prefer it to "obese". Chubby brings to mind a little extra padding, while obese gives me flashbacks to the "People of Walmart" video that went viral not so long ago.

I know this is kind of a heated topic to bring up in "back from the dead" sort of posting, but I've been laid up in bed recovering and I've had some time to ponder not only my belly button lint, but also the mysteries of the universe and so on. And this is one of them.

I've been told that I have a very odd way of getting around to topics, and so I'm going to give you some backstory as to how I got to this point! So here we go.

I suffer from a medical condition known as "Multiple Hereditary Osteochondroma Syndrome". Which is a VERY fancy way of saying "I've got a lot of bonespurs all over my body and it makes me abnormally SHORT". Yay? Well, my oldest child just had her 9 year old well-check and among other things, she's started to "develop". Which has me running for the hills screaming "NOOOOOOOOOOOOO" at the top of my lungs. And the pediatrician - while not overly concerned since 9 is in the range of normal - was a little worried since there's this whole genetic disorder (see above) AND she's freakishly short for her age while still being in the range of normal for weight.

Shopping for her was relatively easy until this last year when NOTHING started to fit right. Everything was too long in the legs but too narrow in the waist. And her chest to waist ratio is OFF in a big way. I remember having a body shape like that, but that was back in the 80s when you could wear boxy jumpers and all was well with the world.

So now, here I am pondering the benefits of "chubby" patterns. Invariably when I make her clothes, I have to widen the waist but attempt to keep the smaller breast size. Shopping for school uniforms is nightmarish. In order to get them to fit her mid-section, I have to buy them a size or two up, but then they don't fit in the length or chest. Argh. Does anyone have any sage words of wisdom for me? Will "chubby" patterns help us at all?

What IS a chubby pattern anyway? What's the difference between just grading up a normal pattern? And how do I compensate for her short torso? Is she doomed to live a life of Regency inspired dresses? Not that I have anything against them, but I'm not sure that Jane Austen Couture is going to cut it with the Powers That Be at school. The child can't live in capri pants and shorts all year either...

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