OTHER

SEWING AND BODY ISSUES

March 14, 2013

The last time that I talked to my grandpa on the phone he asked me “So are you staying slim?”  So it’s no surprise that my wonderful mother, who had eight children, never seemed to be content with her body.  I remember being in the dressing room with her on numerous occasions and her crying because she didn’t fit into something.  For eighty percent of her adult life she has not been at her ideal weight and therefore has spent eighty percent of her adult life not buying the clothes she wanted to because she was waiting until she lost a few more pounds.
Since having my baby I am certainly “more curvy” than before.   I look in the mirror and am sometimes surprised by what I see.  I have a hard time knowing what is flattering on my new form and how to feel comfortable in my own skin.
Health is important and weight plays a big role in that.  That being said, a healthy body image is just as important.  I want my kids to know that I love my body and am thankful for it.  I want them to feel confident in their own skin.  I think their confidence will be greatly influenced by my confidence.
When cutting out my Archer shirt the other day I measured myself and looked at the measurements.  I didn’t like the size that it told me to make.  Part of me thought – I will just wait to use this beautiful fabric until I like the way I look more.  But luckily for me I talked myself out of it.  I think that I deserve to look great now, and sewing is a gift I have been given that allows me to dress my body, no matter what size I currently am.

So I am curious.  How has sewing affected your body image?

Do you sew so that you can tailor your clothes to your current shape?

Does it bother you that the big 4 size their patterns so differently than ready to wear that you have to cut a size much larger than normal?

Or are you just awesome and don’t let that stuff bother you at all?

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45 Comments

  • Reply Gorgeous Things March 14, 2013 at 10:02 AM

    I have been sewing long enough, and I make enough changes to any pattern, that I don’t care what the number is – I just care that it fits me.

  • Reply sallie oleta barbee March 14, 2013 at 10:02 AM

    There have been two really great, positive influences in my life with regards to my body image and self esteem. One is my husband (duh) and the other is sewing. I might give yoga a distant third… Learning to sew and make my own clothes has been hugely positive for me. I think you gain an understanding and appreciation of your body in a new way – and being able to say “the problem is not that my body doesn’t fit into these clothes, the problem is that these clothes are not made for my body” is huge! I spent the first 25 years of my life thinking I had a perpetual muffin top – until I made my first pair of pants and adjusted the rise to a comfortable height for me! I don’t worry too much about the sizing of patterns, because it doesn’t feel as much like an arbitrary number assigned to me. I can look at the little chart, find my measurements, and if it tells me I’m a size 14, well that’s on them! Although I DO always try to check the finished garment measurements because often the size I’m “supposed” to make would end up being huge on me.
    Kelli, I’m so glad you went ahead and cut your archer instead of waiting. Why wait? You really do deserve to feel beautiful, all the time. Also, I feel like this is such an important and empowering discussion, thank you for posting about it!

  • Reply Kestrel March 14, 2013 at 10:05 AM

    I think you are right that it is really important to lead by example. Growing up in an environment where womens’ bodies are being scrutinised and compared is not healthy.
    I’ve always been slim but that doesn’t mean I haven’t had my own issues with how I look – those teenage years of feeling too skinny and totally without any kind of womanly shape!
    Now I’m pregnant my body is changing weekly and I can’t yet say how I will feel about the effects of these changes, but I hopw I will be able to embrace them. Just this week a work colleague commented jokingly that she was looking forward to seeing me get fat! Isn’t that mean?! I know ‘pregnant’ isn’t ‘fat’ but I would never publically pass judgement on anyone else’s weight or figure and it made me feel uncomfortable to think that someone else was looking at me in that way and judging me.
    As for sewing, I love it as a way to make clothing fit me in a way ready to wear doesn’t (being tall with wide shoulders) and it proves how sizing numbers are meaningless since you can easily be a number of sizes in one pattern to get a garment to properly fit you at the bust, waist and hips.

  • Reply Sunni March 14, 2013 at 10:22 AM

    This is something that I encounter with others and myself all the time. I recently changed sizes as well, to something bigger, and I didn’t even have a baby. But I have so much fabric and so many things that I want to sew that I just can’t let my measurements or size get me down. I spent a lot of my life thinking that I would look better….tomorrow and then tomorrow never came. Even funnier is that I was at a time in life when I was thinner and a starving college student! I wouldn’t wear anything pretty or fabulous because I was waiting until I was at my ideal weight. That’s no fun! And it gets you down faster than anything because you look in the mirror and never see the person you want to see staring back at you. So I think that coming to terms with your body and being fine with the size you are is better than waiting around to get thin and then thinking that you’ll look better when you’re thinner. It’s interesting to note that you’ll actually probably look worse when you’re thin because you’ll have all these clothes that will be too big!

    I’m so glad that you cut your Archer shirt now! And I couldn’t be happier for you that you are accepting yourself the way you are now and not what you will be…. tomorrow. Tomorrow may never come. You are such a pretty lady that it would be a shame to waste it just because you want to look thinner in a few weeks (which can turn into months and years and then never happen). Loved this post!

  • Reply KayoticSewing March 14, 2013 at 10:29 AM

    IMHO Pattern size is just a number, Kelli! It doesn’t mean that I am any less beautiful than any other person…

    My daughter is 6.5 yrs old now.. but thinking back I can say that I had bad body image postpartum, esp, a year and half after my daughter was born. Having a unique body shape, I remember breaking down in a trial room and the wonderful husband I have, was very patient and gave a lot of resassurance that it wasn’t me who had a ‘problem body’..and that the clothes were made for some other body type..that was all. I could then track my body image issues all the way to my growing up years..

    As you can see from my first 2 sentences, I’ve come a long way since then.

    • Reply propecia February 18, 2015 at 12:08 PM

      I really couldn’t ask for more from this article.

  • Reply Stevie March 14, 2013 at 10:47 AM

    Having started my blog over two years ago. I hit a weight I didn’t want to be. The blog helped and although I didn’t hate how I looked in my photos. I wasn’t at a HEALTHY weight. I then lost 2 stone and felt a lot better. Sewing has helped me look at my body objectively. I like the way I am and I’m proud of my body for doing what it does.
    I am embarking on losing the rest of the weight now so I can be Healthy. I sew through it! I made lots of fab garments in that time and I just take in the ones I still want to wear. We are lucky that we are talented enough to be able to do that aren’t we? Life is too short to deny yourself beautiful things because you don’t think you deserve them right now. I agree with the others. Sew what fits. It will make you feel great if your clothing fits properly. One of the upsides of sewing is you don’t have to sew a size label in! Enjoy your body for what it can do! x

  • Reply Haylee March 14, 2013 at 11:08 AM

    Good for you for making the skirt anyways. That “putting life on hold” mentality is SO tempting sometimes, I think for everyone but it also does just that, puts your life on hold! So good for you.
    Sewing has been a really beneficial thing for meactually. It’s made me feel more comfortable in my own skin, though I really can’t explain why. I guess maybe because I adjust my patterns so I never really even know what size I’m wearing anyways! ha, the larger-than-life pattern size numbers do sometimes kind of suck though.

  • Reply Lipstick Momma March 14, 2013 at 11:25 AM

    I will admit, I HATE my “Big 4” size, but I’ve kind of learned to overlook it. Its a hard thing to do, so I can’t really offer any advice because I struggle with it myself. I do tailor each project though… because I’m not necessarily the same “size” on top as I am on bottom… so a dress might be a size larger in the belly area than around the shoulders or arms. Over the years, I really struggled with the idea of making a muslin of anything. I didn’t like to spend all that time & energy, and then still pretty much have just a pattern to go by when I was done, and do it all over again. I would never make anything without doing a muslin first now. Every body is different… we are not a “set size” but more like a shape. Once you get over the shock of your pattern size and start cutting apart & taping together, and making the pattern your own SHAPE, you will (hopefully) forget all about that number on the front of the package.

  • Reply Jane W. March 14, 2013 at 11:28 AM

    Good for you for cutting out your Archer shirt now! Sewing has deifnitely made me more aware of my own proportions and of the arbritray nature of sizing. I’ve cut out 6s, 12s, 16s, Ms, and Ws.

    It’s all over the map.

  • Reply Monica Swift March 14, 2013 at 12:36 PM

    What a great post. I loved your line about deserving to look great now. So true. I constantly fight that battle of waiting to buy something until I’m the right size, but when I dress my body in clothes that fit and look nice, instead of hiding in sweats and such (don’t get me wrong, there is a place for those!) I feel so much better and take better care of myself. I think that ‘deserve to look great now’ line will stay with me for a long, long time.

  • Reply Meigan March 14, 2013 at 12:55 PM

    Great topic. The more I sew, the more I realize that size is just a line to cut out on a pattern. Without fit and flattery size is meaningless. As “Lipstick Momma” said so well above: “we are not a set size but more like a shape.” It is much better to think about fitting your shape rather than your size. I now realize that when shopping for RTW the problem with fit is in the clothes, not me. πŸ™‚

    …And Bravo for making that shirt in the fabric you love!

    Another thing to think about is that your body is your vehicle for your life. You’re going to have experiences and things happen that change your shape. Just like a 15/20 year old car will never look the same as it did when it was first driven off the lot, our bodies should be expected to change as well. The most important thing to hope for is that your body always gets you where you want to go.

  • Reply Suzanne March 14, 2013 at 1:06 PM

    Your body made two beautiful babies. It deserves a lot of love right now.

    And you should def make the shirt in your current size! You can always take it in later if you need to. (the other way around doesn’t work so well).

  • Reply LisaRae March 14, 2013 at 1:17 PM

    My mom also has had body issue for as long as I can remember, and her parents didn’t do much to inspire confidence in her when she did gain weight. I as well have been raised with these same issues, but instead of beating myself up about it I take pride in it. I do work out but am not careful with what I eat, so I am balanced that way. After having kids my body changed in the strangest ways that I’m still getting used too! As for sewing patterns, it doesn’t matter how well I measure myself I always end up having to take a garment in because the completed measurements didn’t add up to what I started with. I usually take my clothing store size and add “2” sewing sizes and that almost always works. I need a no fear attitude while sewing so my pretty fabrics don’t get outdated.

  • Reply ruth March 14, 2013 at 1:37 PM

    i love this post! my daughter is 2 months old today (also my second), and i have spent the last 2 months trying to find clothes that fit my larger tummy/bust AND that accommodate nursing. the fabric you chose for your blouses is lovely–i hope that they turn out well! my machine doesn’t do buttonholes (vintage singer), so i’m trying to go the wrap-blouse route. i also found that the darling ranges dress is really good at disguising my baby belly, though making the bust dart adjustments are killer. good luck!

  • Reply Joy March 14, 2013 at 2:18 PM

    This was such a great post! I’ve totally been guilty of putting things off until I’m at a better weight. I’ve struggled with my size since the age of 10, and I’m always thinking that I’ll be able to wear cute clothes and look good only once I finally reach that elusive goal weight. Sewing, though, has really helped me to be more accepting of my body. Like other commenters have mentioned, I’ve realized that the my size is just an arbitrary extension of my measurements. Ironically, the sizing of the big 4 pattern companies has actually made me feel better about my RTW size. In my case, it’s not just one size up, either! Given the vanity sizing at most of the stores where I shopped in my pre-sewing days, my size in a Simplicity pattern might be three or even four sizes bigger than what I’d buy at the Gap. Seeing that huge variation really drove home the point that the number is just the number, and clothes should be made to fit my body rather than me torturing myself because my body won’t fit into a specific size of clothing.
    While sewing really has improved my body image, I can still totally relate to your reluctance to cut into that fabric. It’s still really hard for me to use my favorite prints or really special fabrics because I’m in the process of getting down to a healthy weight. I’ve also been stalling on learning more about getting a great fit on garments. It just seems like a lot of time to spend on something that (hopefully) won’t fit in a few months. Thanks for inspiring me to finally get to work on that front. πŸ™‚

  • Reply Ashley P March 14, 2013 at 2:37 PM

    I try not to care about what I look like as long as I’m healthy. I gained a ton of water weight with my first baby (gained 65lbs.) and I was a horrible mess after and nothing fit. I felt bad for a while but I reminded myself that the number size on my dress doesn’t matter as long as I am healthy and I maintain a healthy diet. I eventually lost all but 5 lbs. and I’m currently expecting #2.

    One thing though, I do find it hard to cut out fabric if it is bigger than my normal size…I’m super lazy when it comes to alterations and I know if I shrink I won’t want to wear the bigger clothes, so I haven’t done much sewing for me (post baby #1).

    -Ash P
    http://distractedashley.blogspot.com

  • Reply Meli March 14, 2013 at 3:39 PM

    I’m definitely much more confident in myself look-wise than when I first started sewing, but I think that may be due more to maturity than to sewing itself. I deal with pattern sizing…by not using patterns! I haven’t used a pattern in at least 2 years. I’m planning on changing that soon, but normally I draft all of my projects to fit me, and so there really is no comparison to what the numbers should/could be.

  • Reply Nettie March 14, 2013 at 4:27 PM

    I am more confident about my body in general, due to age, sewing and the support of my (immediate) family. But, I’ve recently put on a few pounds. Though it is a very few, they affect the way some of my favorite things fit. And I don’t like it.

    I have two daughters, so I’m careful to keep my sometime-y issues to myself. This is made harder by family who make the kind of comments your grandad made. I have three fam members who MUST comment on the size of my ass when they see me. I mostly brush it off, but I don’t want them commenting about my preteen as she ages, giving her a complex.

    Anyway, I’m trying not to let the weight gain halt my sewing. In fact, I plan to use the flux time to make some things with a different silhouette that will look nice now and if I lose the weight.

  • Reply liza jane March 14, 2013 at 5:02 PM

    The great thing about sewing is that you can make things that TRULY fit your body. You are not attempting to make your body fit the clothes. I have found great freedom in dressing my particular body shape, no matter my size (I’ve been up and down, and now preggo, since I started blogging) People look better in clothes that fit no matter what size they are. I don’t pay attention to the number anymore. I just make sure whatever I’ve made makes me feel and look good. And I agree with the other comments that your body deserves lots of love for making two babies! Be proud!

  • Reply Katie H March 14, 2013 at 5:03 PM

    I don’t fret about my size. I am what I am.(but I do try to be healthy) But about 6 months ago the Wii Fit told my 7 year old daughter she was overweight. She was devastated. She wanted to run for “exercise” all day long because she said she was fat. I wept for her and the body image that some game had given her. (I also wrote a very nasty letter to Wii telling them that children should not have overweight as a category)
    My daughter always drinks water at meals, she always picks the healthy snacks. It took a lot of talking about muscle and how the body works for her to get ‘fat’ out of the image of herself.
    And it made me wonder about how harsh this world is about body image. Even my daughter can be accidentally influenced by the wrong thing. After this incident I have been on high alert to anything that will affect the way she sees herself because I want her to grow up in blissful ignorance of how the world sees women’s bodies.

  • Reply Helen March 14, 2013 at 5:12 PM

    I am fairly comfortable with my body shape (although obviously would love to change just a few things). After my son, I didn’t quite get back to the shape I was previously, but seriously, who ever does? I am OK with that. Having said that, it does bother me ever so slightly that I often have to cut a size 12 (UK) when I am usually an 8 with RTW. I know it really, really doesn’t matter, and no one else knows unless I chose to divulge it on my blog, but it does niggle ever so slightly.

    I think sewing has highlighted more to me that I am not a standard size (you should see how much I had to take off the hips on my Charlotte skirt), but it gives me the ability to make and wear something that fits properly – case in point, I would never be able to wear a RTW pencil skirt, due to my non-existent hips! I still struggle with fit and what “proper fit” should look like, but I’m enjoying the learning curve and like wearing clothes that flatter!

    PS. Like Kerry, above, I also get some negative comments about my size (I’m slim too) and like her, don’t get it – I would never comment on anyone’s size, so why do they feel they can?

  • Reply cozybirdnest March 14, 2013 at 6:49 PM

    I love you and miss you, Kelli … and I love this post. I have never had problems with body image. Most of my sewing in the past few years has been purchasing cheap, ready to wear clothing that doesn’t necessarily fit and just altering it. I am 8 weeks postpartum and it is very obvious that my body is not ever going to be the same as before I had a baby. I am having to make a conscious effort not to have issues with weighing more and being a different shape. I want to be healthy both physically and emotionally in regards to my body so that my daughter has that behavior as an example as she grows up.

    Love, Allison

    • Reply Kelli Ward March 15, 2013 at 1:46 PM

      i love and miss you too! and you are right. you body will never be the same after birth. whether you lose weight or not, your body is just different. but like you said its healthy and we can have healthy feelings about it.
      i hope one day our little kids will get to meet one another. one day i will make it back to the south.

  • Reply Reana Louise March 14, 2013 at 7:04 PM

    Thank you for sharing such an honest post! And I totally agree with Suzanne–your body deserves a lot of love πŸ™‚

    I grew up playing a lot of sport and think that helped me to see my body as what is does, not what it looks like. Of course like most girls (I assume) I have insecurities, but for me playing sport and positive role models (i.e., a grandma who was proud of her booty!) were helpful. I can’t wait to see your Archer shirt–I know you’re going to look incredible in it, regardless of how much of you there is to love!

    • Reply Kelli Ward March 15, 2013 at 1:44 PM

      it sounds like your grandma is an awesome lady. and i think you are right about sports. i think its important for us to be able to focus on how great our bodies are because they can do such amazing things.

  • Reply heather jane March 14, 2013 at 10:09 PM

    I am extremely happy that you posted your point of view. I’ve been silly and waited to make things in the past. I’ve also been in denial and cut out what I thought my size “should be”. Then I never got to wear the item because it was too small and I was too prideful. Live life now. That’s a great idea.

    • Reply Kelli Ward March 15, 2013 at 11:57 AM

      i have also cut out what i wanted, instead of what really was, my size to be. no one wins in that scenario.

  • Reply Crab and Bee March 15, 2013 at 2:41 AM

    Hi Kelli, I’m new to your blog and just wanted to say how much I liked this post and the discussion it’s spurred. I was very uncomfortable in my body as a kid and teenager and would be inconsolable when RTW clothing didn’t fit me well or I didn’t like my size. In my twenties, I slowly learned to see myself differently, as a whole person rather than a weight or size. Sewing added another layer to that acceptance and I like figuring out what flatters and fits me and what pattern adjustments I tend to need. This is going to sound weird, but after the initial shock, I found the sizes in the Big 4 patterns kind of liberating. It finally hit home how arbitrary sizes were! Now I tend to look at finished measurements rather than sizes so I can get the fit I want.

    I’m so glad you decided to cut your fabric! What better way to celebrate the amazing process you’ve been through than a beautiful new shirt that fits you perfectly?

    • Reply Kelli Ward March 15, 2013 at 11:56 AM

      thanks so much. i like what you said about the arbitrary pattern sizing being somewhat liberating. you are right about that for sure.

  • Reply Katie Hollander March 15, 2013 at 10:47 AM

    Kelli, thanks for sharing about this! When I first started sewing after college, I was surprised to find that I was cutting the 12-14s in order to comply with the back of the package measurements. But once I began to enjoy the creative process of sewing, dwelling on those numbers became a thing of the past. Now they are merely a tool I use at the beginning of my project to help get me to the beautiful end I want.

    I’m glad you’re making your Archer! It seems like the sort of style that will be very flattering for years (and life changes) to come.

    • Reply Kelli Ward March 15, 2013 at 11:54 AM

      thanks katie. i love the archer and agree that it should transition well through different life and body changes.

  • Reply Sara Mayo March 15, 2013 at 11:46 AM

    Sometimes older people just don’t know how to talk to younger people. When I went to family functions as a young adult, older people would ask when I was going to get married. When I went later on with my husband they would ask when we were going to have a baby. When I went later on with husband and baby they would ask “So, when you having another one?” At first disappointed, I then realized that they weren’t really suggesting that I should get married,or have kids. That’s just what older people say to younger people. They’re stock phrases. Maybe asking if you’re slim is your grandpa’s stock phrase and if you expect it and accept it as such, it will lose some of it’s power.

    • Reply Kelli Ward March 15, 2013 at 11:53 AM

      i hear you. i am pretty sure there is nothing malicious about his comments, and I think that i am a strong enough personality not to let it get to me. that being said, i have seen how the way my grandparents fixate on weight has affected my mom and that makes me sad.

  • Reply angela March 15, 2013 at 3:15 PM

    Thanks for this honest post! Body image has been a bit of an issue for me, I have gained a few pounds due to a recent medication and I have not been able to get them to come off. Part of me thinks I should just accept the new me, and focus on being healthy. Sewing helps my body image when I get the size right and feel great in what I made!

  • Reply dixie March 16, 2013 at 2:10 AM

    i love your attitude about not waiting until you’re the “right” size to cut into your great fabric, enjoy it now! plus the archer is a loose, relaxed style that’ll probably still took great if you are a small size down the road.
    sewing helped me realize that there’s nothing wrong with my shape – just sometimes RTW clothes don’t match my body and that’s their fault, not mine.

  • Reply gingermakes March 16, 2013 at 12:45 PM

    Kelli, do we have the same grandpop? Seriously– I’ve been hearing “you look too skinny!” or “uh-oh, you better not eat dessert!” for years from my grandparents. I’ve never taken it to heart since they’re just generally really critical of people, especially female family members. Unfortunately, my sister did take it to heart and has struggled for years with body image and food issues.

    I think it’s really hard to accept changes in your body. When I’ve gained or lost weight, I haven’t felt like “me”. But I really think that what will help you feel comfortable in your skin is to sew for your current shape, and particularly to sew in colors and fabrics that make you feel happy. When you’re wearing clothes that fit you in colors that you love and that make your skin and hair light up, I bet you’ll feel at home with yourself. I’ve loved reading Liza Jane’s maternity wardrobe posts– I love the idea of making clothes that make you feel beautiful, even if you know you’ll only be wearing them temporarily. Even if your Archer shirt only fits you for a short while, you’ll feel good, and you can alter it or give it to a friend who I’m sure will feel beautiful in it!

  • Reply Kelly March 17, 2013 at 1:14 PM

    I love that you are just making the shirt. It’s worth it to make if it makes you happy at all – even for a short time. And the Archer shirt would still look good a bit oversized anyway!

    I actually found the different sizing numbers of the Big 4 patterns to be liberating when I first started sewing. It’s not like my pattern size is just a little bigger than my RTW size, so clearly it’s just a different system! I think focusing on making clothes that fit well and feel good can be empowering. Instead of having to pass on a RTW item because your body doesn’t fit (and therefore isn’t good enough and all those other negative things we tell ourselves), you develop a pattern that works for the good and unique body you have now. Much more of a positive process!

  • Reply Malady March 18, 2013 at 9:33 AM

    I watched my mum struggle for years with body image issues. For as long as I can remember she’s been on this diet and that diet, and complaining about how she looks.
    I made a conscious decision to embrace my body early. My granny is the same shape as my mum is the same shape as me. I love them. They look great. If I think they look great, then it stands to reason that I also look great.

    So I embrace my bootalicious booty. I embrace my shapely waist. I embrace my perky (little) boobs. I embrace my soft and round belly. I embrace my body, I love the shape I’m in. Because if I don’t, all I’m doing is making myself feel bad. Why would I want to do that? There are enough people in the world trying to bring us down about our bodies. We don’t have to join them.

  • Reply Jano March 18, 2013 at 3:44 PM

    What a great post and the comments really hit home. I am 18 months post partum from number 2 and found my body has changed dramatically after having the second child. I swing between being angry about it (I have never had weight/body issues so this is all new to me) and embracing it. I too have been guilty of making a smaller size “hoping” that it will fit. I am on the road to making myself feel better- it’s not the weight that I mind, but the loss of muscle tone and have started planning my sewing wardrobe around the changes- there is no point in making clothes to wear for the future, I want to wear them now!

  • Reply mjb March 19, 2013 at 2:07 PM

    My problem with sewing and my body image is that now I have names for things that I would have accepted before, and I have to remember to “unload” that language. Because of the adjustments I have to make for sewing I know that I have rounded, narrow shoulders, a short torso, a swayback, etc etc. It’s hard to see those as just being truth, and not negatives. It means I know why store-bought clothes don’t fit better, but I can get depressed about how “wrong” things are. The other problem with sewing when you’re pregnant and post-partum is that your body is changing so quickly. It’s not that there’s anything wrong with any stage, it’s just that sometimes the measurements I take when I start a project are so different from when I finish a project. Maybe that just means I need to sew faster. But I want my work to last for a long time, and I won’t be done having kids for a couple more years. I guess even when I’m through this stage my body won’t necessarily stay one shape for the rest of my life, so I need to get over that, too.

  • Reply Susan Buchanan March 20, 2013 at 10:27 PM

    It’s interesting reading these comments, because I found that learning more about the sewing adjustments I should make in clothes made me feel so much better! It’s not that I’m too fat for pants, it’s that I need a full butt adjustment. Who doesn’t like a full butt? πŸ™‚ I don’t like seeing bigger numbers when cutting out pattern sizes, but I think it works actually because I know that’s how it is and now when it seems big, I can just think ok, it’s not me, it’s the crazy number on the size. And going up or down a size on a sewing pattern doesn’t really mean much because the sizing can be so inconsistent!

  • Reply Unknown March 25, 2013 at 5:03 PM

    Malady you rock!
    I have found since my return to serious sewing that being a little out of the ready-to-wear market has been helpful for my self-esteem. I am inspired by all the sewing blogs I follow. Real people wearing real clothes that they are so proud to wear. Life is too short. I am 50 years old and if I knew then what I know now….I wouldn’t be wasting all that energy trying to be thin. I have a naturally curvy body: tummy, ample bosom and I do yoga, have taken modern dance classes for years and walk my dog…Move on and enjoy the gift.

  • Reply Tess March 27, 2013 at 2:33 AM

    Love this post. I can totally relate. I recently started sewing because of my postpartum body. In a way, I feel more confident about my body, because I know how amazing it is now. But having everything in my wardrobe be too tight makes me feel gross and shopping for rtw pieces is tricky now. I’m feeling a lot better after sewing a few things that fit. I still pause every once in a while and wonder if I should lose some weight before starting a pattern, but I always decide to just forge ahead, like you did. Too bad that most of my mom’s old patterns are a size too small! Arg.

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