A sizeable issue

Have you ever walked away from a beautiful outfit because ‘your’ size in that shop doesn’t fit you? Or even worse, not allowed yourself to indulge in retail therapy because the experience itself would result in the need for a different kind of therapy? Personally, I have spent my whole adult shopping life with my wardrobe choices being determined by ‘acceptable size purchases’.

Let me explain – until recently I had allowed the fashion industry (well, the high street end of it anyway) to define me by a number. Now, that number has varied and fluctuated between a wedding-day-size 12 to a post-two-babies-chocolate-loving 16, but once at that number, I would only buy clothes up to that size, regardless of what shop they were from or the cut/fit of the garment. This would mean that I frequently came home from shopping trips empty handed and dejected or with practical, but boring items just because they fit me in ‘my size’.

This size issue even stopped me from pursuing a GCSE in textiles whilst at school (many moons ago). I remember sitting in the textiles lab and being told that the next year’s course would require us to make garments for ourselves. I remember reading a pattern envelope and realising that ‘my size’ would not be the acceptable number that I was familiar with but a bigger number that may cause me embarrassment when others found out. Why am I sharing these sad and unfortunately all too familiar situations with you? Because I have recently discovered that SIZE IS A LIE!
Thanks to a blog post from Felicity of the Reigate School of Sewing (click on the link):

Marilyn Monroe was a size 16…

Since last June I have dusted off my sewing machine (used pre-babies for home decor projects and gifts) and made my own clothes.

As a lot of Mums do, I felt that my brain was not the sharp, academic tool it had once been and decided that it was time I taught myself something new (well I teach 30 children 3 days a week so surely I could do a reasonable job on myself). After a lot of google searching, you tube videos and general procrastinating I made my first dress for a friend’s wedding.

It felt amazing to wear something that fit me, that didn’t have a number (or brand) attached and that was exactly what I wanted without the disappointment and compromise experienced when trudging around the shops (to be fair, there’s no trudging with a toddler involved- more strategic dashing before the snacks run out). This was a revelation to me. I could wear beautiful clothes that were truly my size- every curve and bump. I could feel good in whatever I wore because it was my style, my choice, my hard work and my individual shape. This whole size issue was no longer such an issue for me. Don’t get me wrong, there is still a number on the pattern- but no one needs to know it and it really doesn’t bother me. No rooting through the clothes rail being taunted by rows of 8s and 10s and no more ‘acceptable size purchasing’!

Since June I have managed to make another 9 dresses and 7 skirts for myself, plus one for my eldest goddaughter.

If you want to see more of my sewing exploits then please follow my blog and instagram. I am still a beginner but everyone has to start somewhere and my starting point is with setting myself number free- I highly recommend it.


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