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Fat Sewing News Maker Blogs

Sewing saved me.

TW: talk of death, body measurements, depression, weight, weighing, body image, body positivity

The other day, Jess (@Fat.Bobbin.Girl on Instagram), posed a question that really got me into my feels.  The question: What has sewing meant to you/ what has sewing enabled you to do?

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Fat Sewing News Maker Blogs

Learning to be Fat

Over the years, I’ve spent a lot of time and energy trying to disguise my fatness from the rest of the world. Of course, now I have realized that not only is it pointless (I am fat – it’s a fact and everyone can tell), I have also come to the point where I just don’t care who knows.

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Fat Sewing News Maker Blogs

Opportunity Knocks: Tips for inclusive patterns.

Hello Fat Sewing Club! My name is Alex, a fat sewer you can find as @adifferentstitch over on Instagram. I’ve known how to sew most of my life, but have only been actively sewing garments since 2013.

Over the past year and a half, we’ve had so many amazing conversations around size in/exclusivity. These conversations lead to expanded size ranges, better representation of all bodies in pattern promotions, greater transparency in business decisions, though, as fantastic posts here have shared, there’s still a lot of change left to happen.

For many designers, it appears that this drive for positive, inclusive change can be overwhelming. So, I* present some practical and relatively simple ways to make pattern companies more inclusive. These are things that I’ve picked up in conversations with other sewers, through my observations using patterns, and seeing what other companies have been doing well on social media and their websites. Please, share your ideas in the comments and help build this resource. 

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Fat Sewing News Maker Blogs

What Sewing Means To Me

I’ve been sewing & quilting off and on for over 40 years.  Every time I think about how long I’ve been at this, I’m amazed.  First, it startles me to realize that I’m 51 – soon to be 52; second, I can’t believe it’s been 40 years.  I learned to sew first from my mother; she used to make dresses for me, and I loved them.  I can recall helping her to make a pink polyester linen-look suit to wear when I visit Washington, DC as a school safety patrol person.  I was 12 years old and so proud to be wearing something I “made” with my mom.  Earlier that year, I’d taught myself to applique for a school project.  I was hooked.  


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Fat Sewing News Maker Blogs

(In)visible bodies

As a fat lady in Australia, I don’t have many options when it comes to brands that make clothes in my size in styles that I love. What I do have is an immense amount of privilege as a white, able-bodied person, a decent amount of disposable income and a bit of spare time here and there to sew my own clothes. Learning to sew and make beautiful garments in prints and styles that I love has been revolutionary. I adore bright colours, loud prints, and over the top patterns. I don’t give a shit about rules, particularly rules about how fat women should dress. I will wear a floral skirt with a striped shirt and a rainbow cardigan. I will wear a multicoloured dress with bright red tights and a sparkly jacket. I love that my wardrobe practically screams ‘my body is here and it is beautiful and it is celebrated’. Slowly but surely, sewing has helped to heal my relationship with my body and has made my wardrobe more ethical and environmentally friendly than it could ever be if I exclusively purchased ready-to-wear garments. 

So why is it that sewing makes me feel so visible yet so incredibly invisible at the same time?

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Fat Sewing News Maker Blogs

I will no longer sew patterns that don’t fit my body

Dear pattern designers

If your pattern doesn’t come in my size, you won’t be getting any more of my money. I won’t be grading it up. Because you should be doing that for me.

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Fat Sewing News Maker Blogs

Why am I angry?

My name is  Alexandra, I’m 34 years old, I’m French, I have been sewing for 3 years, I spend the first year sewing either for babies  (childbirths gift for friends or family) or either bags, wallet or accessories. Now it’s been two years that I sew for me, and for the past 3 weeks I’ve been sharing my makes on Instagram which a little revolution around my life (and my boyfriend’s life as he has been appointed as my official photographer, he is not overly enthusiast but in the middle of a lockdown I don’t have that much choice). I have been knitting for 25 years ( I was so young when I started that I don’t even remember learning) and cook a lot too. I’m a data scientist for a living and my field of expertise are mainly sales and marketing. Why do I bother you with my CV ? When @unapologeticallykat shared her feeling in her blog post a lot of people wrote about how they were sad and hurt on her behalf. I’m sometimes sad and hurt too but really most of the times I’m angry.  So, Jess asked me to come talk to you about my anger. And my anger has a lot to do with sales, marketing and data.

So, first off all, what are the things that make me angry and what are the things that don’t ?

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Fat Sewing News Maker Blogs

The Make-Thrift Dilemma of Plus Size

Hi, I’m Bronwyn, a long time clothes wearer who took up sewing aforementioned clothes in 2015 because it felt good to slow down and make things with my own hands. I’m a engineer who lives with my husband and two dogs in Australia. I also happen to be a plus sized woman; so have had a long, complex relationship with clothes and fashion culture. Let me introduce you briefly to my long time nemesis of ‘sustainable fashion’ – the Buyerarchy.

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Fat Sewing News Maker Blogs

Sized Out – Fat Sewing and Me

Me.

My name is Katherine /Kat (@unapologeticallykat on Instagram) and I began sewing clothes for myself very very recently. I started primarily because I couldn’t find the clothes I wanted to wear in my size. I am fat. I have always been fat. I wear between a size 20 and 26 in Australian brick and mortar stores and at online retailers like ASOS. I have always felt excluded from mainstream clothing stores and from fashion in general. So much so that I avoid bricks and mortar stores like the plague. Too many horrifying incidents with shop assistants. And even when do try to find something most of the offerings for fat women are dowdy, garishly coloured or patterned and adorned with diamante’s for some reason. Maybe they think that the shine from the diamante’s would distract people from realising that I’m fat. Who knows? I have always struggled to find the clothes I want to wear. I’ve been fixated on fashion from a young ago and would sketch out outfits for myself on the daily. Growing up though I realised that most of the clothes I wanted to wear either didn’t exist or where only available to smaller bodies than mine. My love of clothes has never gone away and that’s wear sewing my own came in.

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Fat Sewing News Maker Blogs

Me Made May & Slowing Down

Me Made May 2019

Hi! I’m Jenna, usually on instagram as @theladywholunches

Jenna smiling in front of a train in a seersucker Zadie jumpsuit.
This Zadie Jumpsuit from Paper Theory was probably my favorite Me Made May Outfit. So easy, and very comfy on a warm anniversary trip to Sacramento.

Last year was my second year participating in Me Made May and the first year of Me Made May Plus! I participated in a big way, challenging myself to wear mostly me-made garments everyday, and to post the outfit everyday to my Instagram grid. I usually rely on my reluctant husband to take my photos, so I knew if I wanted to get a daily shot, I needed a different plan. I got very lucky in a new office colleague who is also a photographer and great admirer of my wardrobe. She agreed to trade 5-10 minutes of her services every weekday in May for a Jenna-made jumpsuit, made to measure in a fabric of her choice. I also taught her to knit. Win-win! Our little mid-morning breaks were a welcome respite from our windowless office in San Francisco’s Civic Center. Weekends, I still relied on my husband.