How sewing changed me?

body image, Sewing

I have a craft, I have a super power. I am now the gal how sews her clothes

I never had a craft, never considered it part of what defines me. Most people remembered I liked to bake and cook, even when stopped. If anyone asked for my hobbies, I would reply “I don’t know, maybe baking?”  But now, people don’t have to ask. They knew I sew. I talk about, I brag, I bring it up all the time.

I wear dresses. I have a cardigan.

I have never bought those things. A dress was something I looked for only if I had a special occasion coming and I never considered it for work. But with sewing I dare more, and I realized that dresses are way more comfortable in the summer heat and humidity, they are easier to match (== no match required) and they fit my body well. When it comes to cardigans, I always felt the absence of them, but they look so weird hanging in the store, so I never bothered. But when it comes to sewing, it makes sense to dare.  The same goes with so many other things: floral prints, mustard colors, bottom down shirts. I just never dared. I guess that in the shop, I will always play it safe and will not experiment.

As an engineer, I just love finding the trades off of sewing. I need to balance between new adventures and well-proven pattern. I need to balance between planning what I need in my wardrobe and t enjoying spontaneous adventures. I have to find my comfort zone between my own voice, and outside inspiration.

I love my body, and I’m not alone on that

I love my body. It is no longer an obstacle. It is what it is, and there is so much I can do with it. It was not intentional, but a wonderful empowering by-product of this hobby. The sewist blogosphere exposed to so many women, with different body types and at different ages, each so lovely and real. I no longer wish to have a different body, narrower hips or flatter tummy. If anything, I might wish I was a little curvier, so I can make Cashmerette Patterns’ Washington dress…

I’m visible (or the RTW big mistake, huge)

The RTW fashion industry doesn’t see me. I am a 33-year-old woman, with an average body size and shape, and a wallet full of money, but if I happened to find clothes I like in a store, it is pure luck. In return, I don’t see the RTW industry. Looking at the advertisement, I see ridicules trends and weird styling. Ofer the feminist can’t stand the way women are depicted in those ads.  The practical woman in me can’t imagine herself in most clothes out there. The sociolect in me can’t give in to buying expensive clothes, the kind I’m supposed to be looking into given my age and status. I ended up not caring much. I was frustrated when I didn’t have what to wear, but I just didn’t try anymore. While living in the US I was buying my clothes mainly from Walmart.

But for the sewing industry, especially the indie patterns companies, I AM the target. I am constantly exposed to styles I can relate to, that inspire me, that I think ’I can pull this off, fashion wise and sewing wise’. When a pattern company launches its campaign, it speaks my language. When a company chooses models of all sizes and colors and ages, they are not just marking the V in “diversity”, but also showing me how this pattern might look on me. When a designer sends her patterns to bloggers for testing, it is not just a publicity stunt.  It allows me to get an indication of the pattern quality. So I buy (too much, see below), but at least I feel I know who gets my money, and what they did for their business.

Fashion revolution

I am a privilege to make my own clothes: I have the time, the money, and the peace of mind. Sewing my clothes is a personal revolution: I wear comfortable clothes, I love my body, and I’m in control. But it will not change the world. I consume more than I did before. I want more than I have. More fabric, more patterns more clothes. Before I started sewing, clothes were insignificant, a source of constant frustration.  But now, when I enjoy them, I am just another capitalist consumer that buys too much. #Whomademyclothes ? #imademyownclothes. But I didn’t make the fabric. I didn’t mine the coal to import it from oversea. Also, most people around me are not privileged enough to make their clothes. They work too hard to make a living.  #I amprivilegetomakemyownclothes