Winter striped Bettine skirt

While January and February were really productive sewing wise, March was not.

  • The baby is awake more often and asking for attention (happy to oblige),
  • I had planned on making my hubby some clothes for this birthday but didn´t feel like it and because I felt guilty about it, I didn´t get in the mood to sew for myself (birthday is today, no clothes, whatever).
  • Researching my size and shape has spiraled out of control 😀 But things are clearer now, I just need to find a way to incorporate it into my sewing.

This skirt is just the start of it.

Disclamer: These pictures are super blurry, I can´t seem to get my camera to focus. At this point, my iPhone takes better pictures!

IMGP2416

I wanted to make another knit pencil skirt, so I grabbed my copy of the Bettine again (because OMG I luv those pockets) and went straight to cutting. I lengthened it by 2¨ and decided to add an enclosed waistband this time. I sewed it up without the waistband, put it on, pinned out the excess around my hips, adapted it and added the waistband. Easy peasy one hour sew! For the waistband I just measured the elastic around my waist and cut a piece of fabric the same length. I made sure that after pinning the hips, the top of my skirt was just as wide as the waistband so there is no extra gathering.

If you came here to read about the skirt, you can stop here 🙂 If you want to read about the lastest discoveries into my shape and size… Carry on 🙂

It´s the gathering I want to talk about today. While I am an hourglass shape (as you can see in the picture below), clothes that are considered flattering for an hourglass shape make me look like a fat toddler. Until recently, I didn´t understand why, but as usual a little Google got me a long way.

IMGP2420

This pictures shows off my figure beautifully. And the way my shirt falls tells everything about my shape so I didn´t bother straightening it out and retaking the picture. This is as real as it gets 🙂

You can clearly see two horizontal wrinkles at the narrowest part of my upper body. For one this indicates that this RTW could use a swayback adjustment but it tells you everything you need to know. The top wrinkle is where my bra hits, this is the comfortable – nothing pulled up too high- spot for me, it sits nice and flat across my back.

The second wrinkle is where my natural waist (and my waistband) is. As you can see there isn´t a lot of distance between those two, so I´m obviously short waisted. I always thought that this was why I couldn´t pull off any high waisted gathered/pleated or circle skirts. It´s only part of it.

I never realised but apparently hour glass figures are devided into 2 categories: There´s the X shape (or the true hourglass) and the 8 (or Spoon) shape. When I started reading about the 8/Spoon shape, everything just clicked.

An 8 is defined by:

  • a waist significantly smaller (+/- 9¨) than bust or hips.
  • hips are max 2¨ larger than bust
  • short waist
  • HIGH HIP/shelf hip (¨widest¨ part of the hip is at the top – no gradual slope)
  • BULK AROUND THE TUMMY AREA

I put those last two in all caps because that´s what´s been the problem all along. It´s because of my high hip/tummy combo that I can´t pull off anything that adds a little bulk to these areas. So no pleats, no gathers, no ruching… Because of the high hip/tummy combo everything that has a little volume around the waist area bulges out at my waist, making me look a lot heavier than I really am. That´s why women a lot ´curvier´ than I can pull off gathers and pleats like it was nothing. Their hips are at a regular height and/or their stomach is flatter than mine. I actually have a dent between my hip and the bottom of my bum. (You can see it in the picture above)

IMGP2422

Do I think my shape is a problem: HELLZ NO! Why feel sad about something I can´t change anyway! I can sew, so I can wear whatever the hell I want. And now that I know what´s flattering, I can sew that too!

That´s why I really like my new skirt, because it has no extra bulk at the waist, it doesn´t make me look bigger than I am. Sure, I could stand to loose the little mommy pouch but I´ve had ¨extra¨ tummy for as long as I can remember. My mom has it, my grandmother had it, even my aunt who´s 5ft 4¨ (1,67m) and weighs 120 lbs (55 kg) has it! I can change my size but not my shape. But I can learn to work with it.

Discovering all this has been eye opening and I´m really excited to start this new journey to creating a wardrobe that I not only 100% love but look good in even when lounging around on the couch 🙂

IMGP2424

Final verdict:

I love that side seam stripe matching! And POCKETS!

Summary:

Size:

  • Size 6

Alterations:

  • Added waistband
  • Took off 1″at waist level, 2″at hiplevel grading out to nothing at the hem.
  • Added 2″in length

Fabric:

  • Winter tricot (remnant from stash). Same fabric as this amazing dress! (Destined to become a dress for me as well, but got made into awesome – unblogged – maternity Virginia leggings and this skirt)

 

 

Advertisements

Thinking about size and shape.

For the first three weeks after baby was born, I was sewing up a storm. She was sleeping when she wasn´t eating and I was happy to be able to sew clothes that weren´t maternity wear. But the last week or two, she´s been sleeping less and crying more so I´ve been spending less and less time in my sewing room. Not in the least because exhaustion of nursing 15 times a day is wearing me down and I just want to lie on the couch. Nothing wrong with that 5 weeks post partum but it´s not really what I want to do.

Obviously, lying on the couch, you start thinking. (My husband constantly tells me that I shouldn´t think as much, but being a woman, that´s an impossible thing to ask.) I started wondering why clothes I really liked making or really liked on others, like my latest Linden, didn´t make me look like I wanted them too. I couldn´t pinpoint the problem.

Until Jodi wrote about her Linden. It really got me thinking about the stuff I want to sew because I like the look and the stuff I end up wearing and feeling good in. Those things don´t really match.

For instance, I absolutely adore Grainline Studio patterns. I love the relaxed look of their designs but they never end up looking as good on me as they do on other people. Reading about Jodi´s Linden made me realise that the way I view myself when I plan clothes and the way my body looks is totally different. Up until now my goal was to sew clothes that made me look like I did when I was 18.

427_45819203412_3329_n
I wish I hadn´t thrown out that dress!

But I´m not 18 anymore. I´ll never look like that again and that´s okay. My 30th birthday is coming up, I´ve had 2 kids, nobody expects me to look like I did back then. Nobody but me.

I realised that there is a big difference between looking skinny and looking good. I´ll never be as skinny as I was back then, but I can still look that good, even with a few extra pounds (or 40).

striped-plus-size-dress
Source

Everyone would agree that the girl above isn´t skinny but I would kill to look that good. I told my husband about this and he totally agrees. He thinks I look good whatever size I am and he doesn´t get what all the fuss is about. He´s a sweetie 🙂

So from now on I´m done focusing on looking skinny, I´m going to focus on looking good. And feeling great along the way!

Does this mean I´m going to stop sewing Lindens? Ofcourse not, they´re soooo very comfy but I´m no longer going to feel disappointed that I don´t look like a perfect size 0 wearing them. I´m going to accept my body as it is, although I still want to lose the extra baby weight 😉

What does this imply for my sewing? I went through my old blogposts and thought back about all makes that I ended up really loving and wearing to death. Here´s a small selection:

It´s clear that I like dresses and I like wearing belts to accentuate my waist (which is my smallest part), so I should just focus on sewing and wearing those. I like skirts as well, but I have to avoid high waisted and/or gathered skirts because they add bulk to my tummy area and stop right below my boobs… They really make me look like a fat toddler 🙂

It´s time I started showing off my hourglass shape!

tumblr_inline_npvl4ecGVK1rwpb4e_500
Source

 

Convertible maxi-dress

February´s theme for Sew It Up was Evening Wear, because all the big awards seem to be handed out in February.

I love evening wear but my current life style doesn´t really call for it.

But I really wanted an evening gown…
Or 20…
Preferably in a knit because… secret pyjamas and all.

So it sounded like my Sewingskillz had to come to the rescue…
Accompanied by my Googleskillz and my Pinterestskillz!

(Seriously, how did people get inspiration or tutorials in the days before the internet)

But I do not have the time nor the place in my closet for 20 dresses.
So… A convertible dress that can change look/model in a blink of an eye… HELLZ YEAH!

Continue reading “Convertible maxi-dress”