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My favourite part of sewing

My favourite part of sewing, the thing I love the most, the thing that drives me to do it…. is to have access to clothes.

I sew so that I can wear clothes.

My favourite part of sewing is wearing clothes.

There’s no correct way to grow (or not grow) as a sewist.

There’s a strong feeling about the natural progression through sewing. That you start with beginner project, slowly ‘improving your skills’, until your reveling in hand-bound buttonholes and couture finishes.

But, there’s no wrong way to be a maker. There’s no wrong way to clothe yourself. If you want to keep making and wearing basics, because it suits you to do so- then keep doing what you want to do.

The pressure to progress through the hobby of sewing often presumes that this is a ‘hobby’ that’s just for fun, or for extra pieces for your wardrobe, for ‘wardrobe frosting’. This ignores the fact that for many fat folks, sewing is a final resort for folks told ‘brands shouldn’t have to cater to your body’, and ‘you should just make your own clothes’.

Being fat while making

Because I’m fat, and it’s not easy for me to source clothes in my size, not easy for me to source natural-fibre clothes in my size, not easy for me to source clothes that suit my ethical preferences for local and sustainable clothes.

I’m not spending my time on bound buttonholes on a highly-tailored jacket because I’m spending my sewing time making my day-to-day clothes. So that I can head out into the world not naked.

I’m still not certain whether I would be sewing if I could buy the clothes that I wanted to wear. Would I have started if boxy natural-fibre clothes had been available to me? Definitely not. Do I enjoy the process of sewing enough that I’d keep doing it if I could buy what I wanted? I’m just not sure…

But, I do know that I like the outcome of sewing, which is to have clothes that I can comfortably wear.

Being involved in the fat community

The laundry list of things that we must be doing in order to be contributing enough on Instagram, and to be sharing ‘useful content’ continues to grow. People want photos of all of your angles, you need to be seated and standing, and take a video. You need to be showing constant improvement at your craft and a serious dedication to the craft too. If you’re not striving for improvement then it can feel like you shouldn’t be bothering.

Let me assure you that you don’t need to be ‘contributing’ anything through your sewing.

There’s no minimum that must be met in order for you to take part in sewing. You don’t have to share pictures of your makes to be contributing. There is no minimum requirement to ride this ride (this social media sewing community ride). Anybody who tries to tell you that you need certain equipment, that finishes have to be done in a certain way, that there’s a correct way to do this-that-or-the other…well, they’re probably selling you something. It could be someone else’s products, or they could be selling you themselves as an expert, but either way it’s not true.

In conclusion

I’m not following you for your skills as a sewist.

You don’t need to be making perfectly fitted garments for me to be interested in what you’re making.

I don’t care if you’re an expert in garment making, fabric or sewing.

I probably don’t follow you for you to teach me how to sew and actually I require nothing of you.

If you’re wondering whether you’ve got anything relevant to say, if your voice is just taking up space, or if anyone is interested in your thoughts and your makes- I am.

I’m @fat.bobbin.girl on Instagram and I blog at
I manage the and I’m also behind NZ-based PDF pattern printing I’m also 1/2 of pattern company Muna and Broad

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8 replies on “My favourite part of sewing”

This is what I needed to hear! I am definitely in the I sew to avoid nakedness club. I’m bigger than so many patterns and also 6 ft tall. So once I get the fit worked out I make that pattern over and over until I can’t bear it any more. And I wear the heck out of all those versions of the same thing.

I guess I do enjoy social media but I’m trying not to think about my “brand”.

Agh, punished for not seeing email is required. Ok, I SAID- I do admire your sewing skills. I very much appreciate your curated lists of patterns that are big enough. And, you are a damned fine writer! I’ll put my sorry little blog on here just in case someone is starved for sewing blogging, but it’s not much and very sporadic.

Love this post! Been having very similar thoughts about my place in the sewing world…the conclusion is that whatever it is, its fine!
I’m also privileged to be able to find some RTW clothes I want to wear and buy, so I hugely value your voice and place in this space.

Ditto! To wear the clothes I need to wear, with all the adjustments I need to make so they fit properly, I have to sew them. Though my recent run of sewing is 4 years, I’m still making basics. I’m in no hurry to learn handmade buttonholes when I’m still trying to get the shoulders right on a sweatshirt.

Great piece. It certainly got me started sewing clothes – beautiful designs in natural fabrics. But I’ve been bitten by the big so much that if I woke up in the morning a size 10, I would still like to make all my own clothes.

Have clothes to wear is indeed good! I started sewing because I couldn’t get clothes I wanted in my size, but I’ve grown to love it so much that if I woke up in the morning a size 10, I think I would still want to make my own clothes in beautiful fabrics.

That is so true Jess.. I have been sewing most of my life, and sewed most of my clothes. I took classes, I have made some really complex couture level stuff. But is that what I want to do always? No way. Life is short, and there are some t-shirts I need to wear now 😁. I enjoy sewing, I am glad I can usually make anything I need, but the wearing is what keeps me at it.

Although beware – this is addictive. You may think you could drop it, but the chances of being able to find something that fits AND is in fabric you like AND in a color you love AND all those other intangible comfort/sustainability/style factors is about zero. It doesn’t take long before any attempt at shopping drives you right back to the machine…

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