I Sew Because…

I had a few reasons I started sewing. The most important — which I may or may not have already mentioned here — was out of love and longing for my seamstress great-grandmother. I got my sewing machine on the fifth anniversary of her death.

But there is another reason I sew: I freaking love clothes. And as a larger size woman, I felt as though I was being told that I wasn’t allowed to do so. Or at least I was not allowed to own anything I loved.

If you’re a plus-size woman, you’ve already heard the million reasons why it’s simply impossible to make clothes to fit you. Everything from “It costs more in more materials and time” to “Not all size 16s are built the same.”

What I’ve learned from sewing and sewing blogs is that neither are all size 6s. (I also learned it doesn’t really take that much more yardage to cover my enormous body.)

When I started sewing, it was like the whole world opened up. It was enlightening to fully own my measurements, which oddly enough, I didn’t even know before. I knew my weight, my BMI and ready-to-wear clothing size, but not my bust, waist, hips, inseam length or upper-arm width.

Here’s what’s terrific about knowing those things now: Being a size 14 was limiting. Having a 39-inch bust is liberating.  In my head, my clothing size was all the things I wasn’t or couldn’t do, including fit in most straight sizes or wear most plus sizes. Sewing, and thinking about my body in concrete, not subjective numbers (an inch is an inch is an inch) allows me to embrace dressing myself – and to know it’s the clothes that need adjusting to fit my body, not the other way around.

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