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I've just found some links to things i think are going to be very, very helpful indeed.
A Canadian blog called The Finished Garment has a Big List of Independent Pattern Companies who cater to plus sizes. This is going to be extremely helpful! I wish I hadn't spent the money on patterns that I just dn't think will grade up to my bust size but are soo cute (I'm looking at you, Sewaholic Alma) but at least I can make sure I don't spend more money on patterns that I'll never make fit me!
I've also found personal sewing blogs that are going to be hugely valuable resources - happily caffeinated and Diary of a Sewing Fanatic are my new lunchtime reads! 

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