For as long as I can remember I’ve loved clothes. Despite how hard they’ve always been to find for my tall and curvy frame, I’ve done my best to pull together stylish and well-fitting outfits. But over the past several years, and especially after my body changed when becoming a mother, I’ve become acutely aware of how fewer options there are for those who are tall and/or curvy. Store after store, dressing room after dressing room, you start to think it’s you.
If none of the retailers’ garments fit, it most definitely must be your body, right? WRONG. Unfortunately ready-to-wear retailers are deeply out of touch with how to design clothing for the diversity of women’s bodies. So this is why I sew. I got so tired of all the drama, the tears, the feeling bad about myself that I decided to take matters into my own hands, literally!
I’ve known how to sew since childhood, but I never applied that knowledge to garment making. But two years ago, I decided to give sewing my own wardrobe a try. I started researching and talking to other women who sew and started practising each day. I found I was actually pretty good at this sewing stuff! And now I am even making a career out of sewing through sewing education, personal styling and launching a ready-to-wear collection for sizes 12-28 including tall and petites later this year.
Here are some of my favourite makes from the past year. Best part? They are all LONG enough! Perfect length hemlines, jumpsuits that fit, tops that cover, long sleeves that are actually wrist length. Hurrah for sewing!
Curious about sewing? Here are my top tips to get started:
- Learn to sew: If you’ve never sewn before, or you have limited experience I can’t recommend enough the value of a proper beginner course. Working with a professional seamstress I was able to significantly upgrade my skills and learn all the whys behind the How-Tos. A great teacher, and some serious late-night research, is a total game-changer! And it’s nice to have someone on your team. In-person group classes are surprisingly affordable! And nowadays you can learn just about anything online. Check out craftsy.com for affordable yet effective sewing classes.
- Make time to practice: sewing, like any skill, requires consistent practice. If after taking a class you realize you really like sewing, set up a sewing schedule! Try to sew a few hours every week and you’ll marvel at how quickly your skills will improve.
- Connect with other sewists: Facebook is awesome for finding groups. I am part of the Curvy Sewing Collective group, Patterns for Pirates Pattern group, the Just Sew group and the Vintage Sewing Machine group. The amount of wisdom in these groups is staggering. Whatever sewing related question you may have, people in these groups will almost certainly be able to answer it!
Start sewing, reinvent your wardrobe & change your life!
Since I’ve started making my own clothes, I finally have a wardrobe that truly reflects my personality, instead of only wearing what fits. Furthermore, I have never felt more confident about my body simply because I am making clothes to fit my body instead of making my body fit the clothes—and this is everything!
I highly recommend you give sewing your own clothes a try!