DIY, Free Stuff & Resources, Style, Uncategorized

SURPRISE, BITCHES

BET YOU THOUGHT YOU'D SEEN THE LAST OF ME

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. Mrs. Hughes is one of them. I just adore her penchant for using vintage patterns, and the fact that her blog is very well designed and easy on the eyes helps, I admit.

IdleFancy

One of the most popular, well-loved plus size sewists out there, and it’s not hard to see why. Her tastes in fabrics and fashion are impeccable, and her writing style is witty and unpretentious. I just dig her, idk. Is anyone else just totally blown away by the sheer productivity and creative energy these women seem to have? Imagine living your normal life with your normal job and normal calls on your time while at the same time having the juice to sew an incredibly consistent, enormous wardrobe piece by piece and shoot and blog about it on a regular basis! Just the sewing part alone would eat up all of my spoons. My plans for sewing my wardrobe are much more sedate, so don’t expect me to post a new gorgeous dress every two days because me and my disability say “no”.

Well, that’s is for now, sweet summer children, be well and love yourselves, and I’ll be posting again when I can to update you on my first pair of handmade undies!!