Woe is me

WARNING: This post contains extremes of self-pity and no pictures. 

Until today, I haven’t sewn anything in three weeks.  My new job, along with ennui, lack of motivation and fear of woven garments have all combined to make my apartment the center of a sewing black hole. 

When I confessed to not “feeling” Butterick 5314, I left out one big secret.  One of the main reasons I didn’t want to make the sheath dress was because of my post baby body (read 5 month pregnant looking belly and 30 extra pounds) and I couldn’t see how I could squeeze all that into a sheath dress attractively (no matter how much the % of lycra in the stretch cotton).  I was imagining how the dress would look on me (ridiculous was the kindest descriptor with which I could come up).  To be even more baldly honest, I have been thinking about buying a corset.  Not spanx, but a real corset.  One with stays and ties that I could use to cinch all that belly fat in.  I have been watching Mad Men and just drowning myself in the fashions of that era and noticing that you have to wear the proper undergarments to really look good in those clothes.  I suspect, even if I don’t sew up a vintage pattern, I still need to wear a corset for modern sheath dress.  Then I wondered why we don’t wear corsets anymore.  Don’t people want to look like they have tiny waists anymore?  Sucking in my stomach only decreases my “pregnancy” to about 4 months along. 

Long story short, my suspicions were proven tonight.  In anticipation of my lesson with Thea tomorrow, I sewed up the muslin for B5314, sz 12, tonight.  I first sewed all the darts and then the side seams of the bodice and skirt.  I skipped the collar and lining.  I did not stitch the bodice to the skirt however. 

Well…  It was at least a good 2 inches too small all around for both the bodice and skirt.  A corset would not have aided me as much as I needed it to do.  I must admit to myself now, truly and without denial, that I have reached the tipping point with my weight.  Jack will be three in June.  I can no longer rest the blame on a pregnancy that is two plus years in the past.  I can no longer blame single parent-ness for not being able to exercise.  I must become accountable for my atrocious eating habits.  Don’t get me wrong, I eat pretty healthfully (except for this week’s ice cream), it’s just the amounts that are embarrassing. 

And I must admit that I have to buy this pattern in a more appropriate size for my current body’s state of affairs.  I knew going into the muslin process for this dress that the pattern range I bought was too small after I checked the finished measurements.  I kept hoping there was the mysterious ease of which everyone always speaks.  But no ease for me.  I had negative ease and then some. 

So my fellow sewing friends, my name is Elizabeth and I need to lose some weight and get back into shape.  Not sure how I will do it because last time I checked, I am still a single parent, making exercise difficult to do.  And I don’t know if I’ve mentioned this before, but I have no, I mean NO, will power to speak of.  When they were handing it out people, they gave me the exact opposite of will power. 

I’d show you a picture of the B5314 muslin, but I might get arrested for indecency.  And not the good kind of indecency.

Tomorrow I will be working on tracing and cutting out my first Burda pattern, the trench coat for the Trench Sew Along, Burda 03/09 #115.  There’s still time to join the sew along if you’re interested.  Let me know in the comments.

6 responses to “Woe is me

  1. Hi Elizabeth,
    You are very brave putting into words what many of us would not. When I buy patterns, it’s always a shock to read the number of the size the pattern says I should make and fit in to and it’s nowhere near what I would buy in RTW.
    However I do think that if we made clothes that actually fit our ‘true’ body shape, made to our ‘actual’ measurements we would ALL look terrific. Nothing beats a beautifully fitted garment on any body size.
    Re the exercise: could you put your son in a pram and go for some walks? Walk fast … lol, then slow, then fast. And if you did it every day for 20-30 minutes, who knows what would happen. Re the willpower: I’m not the best person to comment on that!! It’s a struggle.

  2. Elizabeth — kudos to you for such a thoughtful post that exposes your current thinking on an issue that I know is super-personal!

    I agree with Sue that clothes that fit well and work with our current body types, can really look fantastic.

    I wish you health, and lots of love and beauty in your life! And that you see, when you look in the mirror, a lovely woman who you are glad to be.

  3. I think one of the reasons we don’t wear corsets anymore is that it’s not great for our intestinal health to have all of that pressure around our midsection. I have to wear/make tops and bottoms 2 sizes apart for my pear shape no matter how big I am, so if I try to squeeze into a smaller size I’ll just look silly. Tailoring and structure like those Mad Men women wear can do great things toward definining a shape.

  4. Thank you for your supportive comments (pun intended). I am feeling better now and am making time in my schedule for, you guessed it, exercise. Stomach crunches here I come. And I walk to/from work each day which adds up to an hour of walking a day. Hopefully the pounds will melt off in anticipation of all the holiday eating. 😉 And I am buying the larger pattern for this dress, because I still love it even though the sz 12 was too small. Thanks again!

  5. First of all, I’ve seen you, and you do NOT look 5 months pregnant.

    Second, size doesn’t matter so much as fit, so you just need to get this pattern in the right size and work on the fit, and you’ll look fabulous.

    Third, Mad Men is dangerous. Every woman who watches that show wants to look like that in those clothes.

    Best thing about BWOF – if you aren’t the size you thought you were, you only have to get more tracing paper, not a whole new pattern. Remember that as you discover how much you hate tracing. 🙂

  6. If your clothes fit properly, you will look good. Size doesn’t matter. Carolyn is plus sized, and she always looks fantastic! Her clothes fit. Now, throw in her smile, and she can’t miss.


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