Monday, March 17, 2014
Clothing has been tough this year. To start with, I'm a curvy girl (yes, as in "plus size"), which limits my options to a grand total of 3 out of the 33 women's clothing stores at our local outdoor mall. When I do visit one of those three shops, I find myself struggling with a sort of fashion identity crisis. As a 36 year old stay-at-home-mom, where do I belong? When you cross off the career section, the twenty-something section, and the grandma section, there's not much left. And for the past three months, the plus size women's section has completely disappeared from all our local Target stores where I used to buy at least half of my clothes. The salesgirl that I questioned on my last trip told me that their women's clothing shipment was late this year but still on its way...some time in May.
Sigh... Going shopping for clothes used to get me excited. Nowadays it just makes me tired. After a particularly crummy experience last week, my husband shook his head and said, "That's it. Go buy yourself a book on sewing clothing. I know you can make something better than what they're selling you at those prices." Unfortunately it's hard to find books geared toward curvy girls these days. I've drooled over lots of modern dress books and patterns in the past year, but I've sadly had to set them aside when I realized that they were designed for women half my size.
Thankfully, there are a few companies making patterns for girls like me, and Simplicity is one of them. I picked up this pattern (#1620) and a few yards of a print from Piccadilly, Denyse Schmidt's latest line for Joann Fabrics, on Friday night and started sewing on Sunday afternoon. In a few hours, I had a new top that actually fit me. I sewed a little sash to go along with the blouse just for fun. I plan to try this pattern again with a few adjustments and using a fabric with a little more drape. It's absolutely mind boggling for me to think that I can actually design my own clothing to fit my shape and personality.
Though there is definitely room for improvement, I think I did pretty well for my first clothing project. It all reminds me once again what I love most about being able to sew: the freedom of it. There have been days when I've walked through the mall and felt like there was no place left for me anywhere in the fashion world. By sewing that top yesterday, I created a place for myself, and I made it exactly the way I like it. It's taken me a long time to work up the courage to try sewing clothes, but I guarantee you, there's no turning back now...