Finished Projects: Sewing and Weight Gain

Before I get started, I want to let y’all know I recently did a tongue-in-cheek guest post titled How to Prevent DIY Anxiety for Coletterie. Welcome, new readers! And thanks to Sarai for taking a chance on a little-known vanity blogger. I’ll let the conversation on that piece continue on Coletterie because today I wanted to talk about the chubs.02 Feb22 Callingallchubbies I feel so cliché when I talk about my weight. I also find it next to impossible to actually just talk about my weight without advice, reiterated diet myths, or being told I’m not fat as if that was all I was looking for (I realize it’s well-intentioned). It is of course, not the end of life as I know it. I realize I’m still the person I am, no matter what size. I’m also not a lazy public health crisis. I don’t feel unattractive to my partner or ugly. I do admit being humbled when, as a thinner person, I extolled the virtues of confident double-digit-sized women, and then find myself thinking too long and too hard about that unflattering angle a photo caught me in. To be honest, I knew it was coming and I’m not interested in trying to stop the tide. I’m perfectly happy with my life and I’m not going to waste my time counting calories and running on a boring-ass treadmill. I already tried that anyway and I hated it far more than I hated finding another dress I was unable to zip. It’s just a fucking dress, now hand me a scotch and some chips.

02 Feb22 DesignedforchubbiesThat being said, I feel like I’ve developed a strange deterrent from starting a new sewing project. Why spend the time, energy, and (already spent) money on a new dress, only to outgrow it after only a few wears? Which seems very counterintuitive at first. Sewing is supposed to be a way for a person to create clothing for an individual shape. So surely, I hold an advantage as a sewist in that I don’t find myself sized out of some brand that doesn’t believe in the mythical being called the Size Twelve. But, mind blown, no matter how great my hand-hemmed, fit-adjusted-three-times, waist-nipping dress fit over the months I was creating it, after a year and a few more pounds, it no longer fits. Now, I have to not only think about the fit in the present, but also the fit a hypothetical twenty pounds from now. My usual hourglass style doesn’t work so well without the hourglass shape.

At the same time, though, I’m surprised at how much of a relief it is. Like I said, I knew Getting Fat was my genetic and/or cultural destiny and now that I’m no longer delaying the inevitable, it’s actually a little freeing. Like I’ve spent the last fifteen years as a fat wolf in a thin sheep’s clothing (yes, I was the Fat Friend, and no, I am not getting into that on the Internet). So now I’m a chubster and I’m still happy. Happier. And I secretly feel like a badass when I wear something I “shouldn’t” and don’t make any excuses for it. I imagine all the times I pointed out flaws in myself for doing things like Sitting While Wearing Pants and try to imagine what I thought would happen if I didn’t say anything. Did I expect someone to say it for me? Wouldn’t that make the Fat Fink the jerk? Hyperbole aside, others are fatter than me and others are thinner than me, so who cares? My weight is my business.

But, with this new-found fat awakening, I still care about comfort. So bring on the elastic waists! In fact, I’m planning on spending 2015 Sewing Things Only Using Tractables (new tag: STOUT). I might need to work on that acronym. But I’m trying to be more open to seeing the potential in the non-fitted.

Beginning with…

03 Mar16 skirt collage

Pattern: McCalls 3817 from EJVintageAvenue via etsy
Fabric: Garage sale (print) & B. Black & Sons (solid wool)

If you ask me, this is a prime example of look-at-the-technical-drawing-not-the-illustration. Look at that envelope! It looks like a fever dream set in an 80’s office!

03 Mar16 skirt patternBut there was something about the pencil skirt and the black a-line skirt that caught my eye. Pencil skirts have always been uncomfortable to me, but I can’t resist the sexy secretary look. A pencil skirt with stretchy sides, though? In a print to take the edge off the elastic waist? BOOM

03 Mar16 skirt side comparison

No zipper necessary, making this an excellent beginner pattern. PLUS, only one yard of 60″ wide fabric. The print fabric has a bit of a stretch, which also helps the comfort quotient. Can’t get enough of this skirt!

Bonus points, it’s the skirt version of a hat I made for my dad.

The pattern includes a kick-pleat in the back, but I decided to sew it up “for that streamlined look” (don’t know why that requires quotes, but it felt right).

03 Mar16 skirt backLooking at these pictures, you can see exactly on the seam where I decided “Screw the kickpleats!” so I might go back and readjust the back seams to make it a little more consistent (that’s not being perfectionist, right? Just detailed?). My S.O. assisted me in the photography for this post and of course, as I’m looking through the images, I come across this number:

03 Mar16 butt

I get the help I ask for.

Anyway, I’m looking forward to making the a-line version. Highly recommend! It’s just about as comfy as a new set of slippers…

Not much more to say here than what I said the first time I made these. I do have to say the marled look was not the original plan and instead a happy result of Shopping My Stuff. Didn’t quite have enough of any one yarn to knit these and used two instead. I’m loving my new (relatively) frugal self.

Since I’ve never been good at conclusions, especially when I start writing about something as personal and contentious as weight, I’ll simply offer a St. Paddy’s Day toast: To a cozy STOUT year!

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3 responses

  1. And a Happy St. Paddy’s Day to you. I enjoyed your blog, and just wanted to say that you’re on the right track(-table)..LOL. From experience I have finally realized that it is better to find the positives, rather than deal with the not-so-positives when it comes to bodies, and to life in general. I now feel that size and weight don’t matter that much (except when they affect health). Also, body shape just needs re-emphasis (playing tricks with the eye). And finally, a smile and happy eyes are the real focus of most people who look at someone. Feed your creativity and life will bring you happiness. But I think you know all of this already. Looking forward to more exciting things from you
    Port Dover (ON) Patti

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  2. “a smile and happy eyes are the real focus of most people who look at someone” I love that!

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  3. […] finished this last October or November when I was still working on my STOUT projects. I assume I never blogged about this one because…well it’s a skirt. It was […]

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