It’s safe to say that up until the past 5 years or so, I’d always been what my mom would call a ‘clothes horse’. I was fast-fashion obsessed. Spending an inordinate amount of time and money at H&M, I always did my best to look fashionable. At 6ft tall and a size 12/14, finding my size had always been a gamble—but possible. It wasn’t until the birth of my daughter, and the permanent change of my breasts and hips that I firmly landed in the plus-size section of the mall. If you’re straight sized you probably don’t even know where that is. There are a handful, and I really mean a handful, of stores dedicated to plus size only. And in department stores there’s usually a hideous section called WOMAN or MISSES dedicated to plus size frames. Putting the icing on the cake, most of these plus size stores and/or sections are selling items that are of lackluster quality, ill-fitting and tent-ish (I’ll pass on the moo-moo, thanks.)
I remember several months after my daughter was born, laying in bed wide awake thinking about what I was going to wear to work the next day for a board meeting. At that moment I was so frustrated that I no longer fit into my pre-baby clothes and hadn’t yet found a post-partum fashion solution. For a moment, I felt myself ready to let go of my stylish-self because my body no longer fit the fashion industries’ offerings. I sat in that feeling for awhile. Sticking to solid black pants and solid colored body-skimming tops, like I was trying to fade into the background. Somehow it had alluded me that I was the person that people of all sizes turned to when they needed style advice, which I was happy to give, and here I was willing to put off dressing for myself until my body changed to fit the clothes.
It’s amazing the way we’re able to lift up the ones we love but unable to share that same love to our own bodies.
So how did I move past this? One—I accepted the obvious fact that I needed to put clothes on TODAY. It didn’t matter what my body could look like tomorrow, or 1 year from now, I needed to get up and get dressed and I needed to find a solution. If the fashion industry is offering nothing but garbage, I needed to find another option. This is when I turned to a long-forgotten skill.
I’ve known how to sew for as long as I can remember. I’ve always been super comfortable altering my own clothes and putting together basic home goods such as pillows and curtains but it had never once occurred to me that I could create my own wardrobe, designed perfectly for me. I started actively seeking out other women sewists and was overwhelmed with the possibilities.
This is how I started sewing clothes for myself. Each night, carving out a little time after my daughter’s bedtime, learning to take my measurements, collecting yards of fabric to turn into gorgeous creations. Steadily I felt my body confidence growing and starting accepting my body for exactly where it was in the moment. I can honestly say that over the past few months I’ve never felt more creative, more beautiful, and more confident and I believe I owe that to sewing.
So here is my advice: wherever you are with your body right now, whether you seriously love it or seriously hate it, the bottom line is this, you need your body exactly as it is, today. You’ve got things to do, board meetings to slay, kids to wrangle and in my opinion you might as well look damn good while doing it.
I hope you find this site to be a weekly dose of body-positive inspiration and seriously fabulous DIY creations. And trust me, if you sit down in front of that sewing machine and make yourself something beautiful, you too will feel beautiful from the inside out.