DIY, Free Stuff & Resources, Style, Uncategorized

SURPRISE, BITCHES

I know, I took a blog hiatus of like 3 or 4 months to retreat into my gem and heal my physical form, but I’m back in black, and I think you’ll forgive me when I show you what I brought you guys back from the ephemeral inter-dimensional rift. It’s something that’s fundamentally changed my fashion game, and I’m hoping that you will get on board this train with me, because we’re taking it straight to badass body positivity central. Gather ’round, magical sisters, and let me tell you a tale of the unsung heroes of bopo Style Warriors who make up the extensive, flourishing, inspiring online community of Plus Size Sewists. Yeah, you hear me. Sewing. Beautiful, creative, and mega-inspirational curvy women all around the country and the globe, all of whom have given the collective middle finger to the fashion industry’s judgment that style is solely the realm of thin bodies, and have dedicated their lives to creating flawless wardrobes that not only include plus versions of what used to be straight size only garments, but improve, iterate, and extend those pieces by ‘pattern-hacking’ – taking a sewing pattern and changing up any and every aspect of it according to personal style. That way if they find, say, a dress that they love, that fits like a dream and looks rad as hell, they can improvise and create 16 other dresses from that original design, with details such as changing the sleeve style, adding a peter-pan collar, adding or subtracting design details, or even making that dress into a shirt, or a tunic. Imagine your favorite top, the one that always gets you all the compliments. Now imagine that you had 15 of those, all slightly different, in different fabrics and prints. I know. I KNOW. Curvy Sewing Community, where have you been all my life?? I learned to sew as a youngster from my Mom, who is an avid quilter, but over the years that skill has somehow become lost on the side of the road of my messy, complicated, often fun and amazing life. But I’m bringing it back now, because I’ve become slightly obsessed with the concept of never again looking forlornly through the racks at Anthropologie at all the beauteous garments that society has deemed I don’t deserve the chance to wear. (Not only because of my fat body, but also because I don’t have a mountain of disposible income lying at home in a pile of gold coins a la Scrooge McDuck). When I started this blog I meant it to be plus size fashion only, but it’s quickly dawned on me that I neglected to factor in my extreme unemployed-ness and the pathetic state of my physical condition,  both of which limit my income and therefore my ability to buy awesome clothing to rock in front of a camera. I have to thank the Internet Gods for solving that problem, by allowing me to stumble by accident into a world where big girls just like me exchange free sewing patterns, have blog events where they all support and inspire one another to make their own lingerie, and show off pieces of clothing which are perfect clones of designer items, tailored to fit their bodies exactly. This changes everything. So I’m thinking this blog may be morphing slightly from fashion-only, to plus size sewing, style, and DIY, because I have big plans for my winter wardrobe and I want to share them with you. I hope you’ll embrace the sew-your-own lifestyle with me, and share any pieces you make along the way. I’m including some resources here for those who would like to know more about this community, and some helpful links to get you started. Curvy Sewing Collective This is a major hub of the plus size sewing community. They offer tons of resources – from pattern reviews of sewing patterns (the indie sewing pattern market is incredible), to tutorials on how to tailor your clothing to fit and flatter your specific body shape, to pattern hacks that offer alternative ways to style specific patterns, to interviews with plus sewists who talk about how they improve on their sewing techniques according to their body type. It’s a must-read for anyone looking to get into fashion sewing! Cashmerette Another extensive resource for all things plus size sewing. Along with an excellent blog packed with tutorials and helpful links, Cashmerette is also one of the go-to indie pattern labels on the sew-o-sphere (ok, that doesn’t quite roll off the tongue. Let’s never call it that again.) They offer a range of stylish dress and top patterns, as well as fabrics, sewing kits, and workshops so you can learn from the creators just how to sew their patterns! Craftsy Craftsy offers more than plus size sewing, of course, but they have a wide selection of classes in useful sewing skills and specifically plus-sized courses such as Plus Size Pattern Fitting & Design, in case you want to take the leap into designing your own clothing, as well as sewing from existing patterns (this is my ultimate goal, although I’m rusty and I’ve never sewn garments before – I’ll get there eventually though!) BurdaStyle’s Pattern Grading for Plus Size Online Course Another e-course, this time on how to make any straight-size sewing pattern into a you-size sewing pattern. Bye-bye, plus section! Now you have the same options as anyone, no matter how much gravitational pull you exert! Deer and Doe One of my favorite indie pattern labels, Deer and Doe does offer plus size patterns, but many of their cutest patterns would need to be graded up. That being said, look how fucking cute their dresses are. I’ve yet to master pattern grading, but I’ll gladly take the time to practice as long as I get to wear this adorable Cardamome dress! Mrs. Hughes I’m trying to include a little sample of everything in here, because if I let myself have a free reign I would link to every single blog run by a plus size sewist I can find (which is a surprisingly vast number), because I’m obsessed with reading each one and looking at the clothes these gorgeous ladies make for themselves. But that would take until the end of recorded time, so I’m only going to include my two faves.… Read More SURPRISE, BITCHES

DIY, Refashion, Style, Tutorial, Uncategorized

Style on a Budget: 20 DIY Clothing Refashion Tutorials to Recharge your Wardrobe

  Let’s face facts – style is an expensive pursuit, even for the fairly frugal. Most fashionable people are passionate enough about the artistry and aesthetics of fashion, the ever-changing cuts, colors, patterns, and flourishes that define the brushstrokes of the designer’s vision, that they find themselves buying new clothes quite regularly. In order to curate a fully realized wardrobe that captures your evolving personal style, you have to shell out once in awhile for timeless staples that have the quality to last and be evergreen, and you have to keep up with current trends and select new styles that speak to you. That is usually a less pricey adventure, but it happens more often than forking over $175 for a perfect pair of ballet flats. In my case, I own about a dozen items over $100, but the vast majority of my clothing is bargain hunted from stores like Forever21 Plus, Old Navy, and Nordstrom rack. I doubt you’d be reading this blog if you hadn’t augmented your wardrobe since 2014. And lastly there are the specialty pieces that define your unique style. These could range from thrifted treasures, to beautiful delicate fiber jewelry from an Etsy boutique, to a collection of vintage iron-on patches from the 70s. All in all this adds to quite a heavy cash hit on the reg – often prohibitively expensive for many people to afford to really express themselves in an ideal manner. Enter my favorite solution for the style-obsessed: refashioned DIY clothing. One of the best things about this hobby is that much of the time you’re embellishing or repurposing clothing that you already own, but don’t wear (if you’re like me, you’re a lot fatter than you were in college, and a lot more picky about my style, so I have bags worth of old clothes that no longer fit either my tummy or my look. Refashioning ranges from the subtle (taking a boring plain t-shirt and altering the sleeves or adding a Peter Pan collar), to the radical (turning a thrifted men’s button-down into a skirt, say), to the just plain useful (adding a cloth or lace panel to enlarge a too-small shirt). In essence, for a usually very small outlay of cash, you can turn the long neglected functionless section of your wardrobe into a highly personal, unique, and brand new collection of wearable pieces! And they were mostly your clothes to begin with, so you don’t have to worry about finding your size! It’s s friggin’ miracle. A few notes: many of these tutorials require a range of sewing skills – from none at all, to fairly advanced. If you need to brush up on your sewing, there are a myriad of YouTube lessons and online courses. If you’re a beginner – shell out for a secondhand sewing machine. IMO every plus size fashionista should have one, along with a basic set of skills. Not only does the world of upcycling open up to you, but you can make your own clothes. And yes, there are a heap of great plus size sewing patterns out there. Check on Pinterest. Then develop another obsession: fabric shopping. Striped Cut-Out T-Shirt from Trash to Couture  Men’s Shirt into a One Shoulder Wrap Top from  A Pair and a Spare  DIY Report: Balenciaga Crop Top from Follow Fashion How to Cut a T-Shirt into a Crop Top from Tomboy Vintage   DIY Mesh Crop Top from Hello Gwen  Upcycled Plain Tee – DIY from All Day Chic  Iridescent Sneakers from P.S. I made this  DIY Sequin Embellished Denim Shorts from  A Pair and a Spare   How Long Can I Get Away With This? from  Cation Designs  the refashioners 2015 – erin from Makery.uk  the refashioners 2015 – sew over it (london) from Makery.uk   T-SHIRT TO DRESS REFASHION WITH SCALLOPED HEM from Sew Much Love, Mary  DIY Cross Flounce Top Refashion  from Cotton and Curls  Refashion Tutorial – Long Sleeves to Bow Sleeve T-shirt from Sew What’s New  DIY Anthropologie-Inspired Top from Melody Fulone  Anthropologie Tangerine Flicker Dress DIY from Our Life is Beautiful Skirt Refashion: How to make a button skirt from Cubic Dreams  Refashion: DIY Color Block Tees from Uber Chic for Cheap  T-SHIRT INTO SUMMER TOP DIY from Trinkets in Bloom  Peplum Shirt Refashion from The Crafty Disaster