A short note on body image and sewing


Making clothes has completely changed not only the clothes I choose to wear, but also how I look at my body.

As someone who has always had quite set ideas of what I can/can’t/should/shouln’t wear, sewing has been really liberating.

The reason for this is that since I started making my own clothes – a.k.a clothes that fit – I don’t have to put up with highstreet clothing trends, shops telling me what my size is, what styles I should be squeezing myself into, and what I should look like (which is usually something like this, or this). An eye opener to say the least.

Yes, of course the sewing community and pattern designers are swayed by fashion trends – but the level of choice, and ability to customise that you have when you sew yourself, is beyond anything the ‘market’ could ever offer. Unless you are one of the 1% and have access to a tailor 24/7..

I think everyone, men and women, can relate to growing up with pressures from family, from friends and “society” (I’m not going to delve to deep here and talk about power structures etc…) in terms of what we should wear and look like. And from clever marketing agencies tasked with not so subtly nudging us towards certain products.  But the sewing community is all about catering for, and celebrating difference in shapes and sizes. And quite literally so, as you construct garments based on your own measurements, not a set of clothing industry standard ones.

I’m not saying anything revolutionary here – I’m sure this have been covered by many a DIY seamstresses. And this is not a call to arms either, trying to get more people making their own clothes, but more of a statement I wanted to make for myself.

I’ve learnt how to measure my 6ft not-so-slight-build and to make clothes that make me feel good about myself. And that is pretty amazeballs.

11 thoughts on “A short note on body image and sewing

  1. This is exactly the brain wave I had a while ago. I didn’t start sewing with the aim of making all my clothes myself. And that’s still not my goal, I think. But every time I see a RTW garment I like and I could imagine to wear I start thinking of all the possibilities I have when I do it myself. So why should I buy something that doesn’t fit properly if I can sew something that fits perfectly and has a nicer pattern aswell?!
    And as you do I like the friendly, open-minded, varied and inspiring atmosphere of the online sewing community. No matter what and in which size you did something, they glorify your work. :)

  2. Sewing is so great in enabling us all to accept our body shapes. I love this post and it’s so great that you are ridding yourself of any body issues. RTW clothes fit the minority well and make the rest of us feel like we are oddly shaped, which is of course ridiculous. Go forth and sew!!!

  3. Hear, hear!
    Keep ’em coming. I totally agree Ingrid.
    And Friederike is right about the glorious on-line (and offline) sewing community who are supportive and splendid too ; )

  4. Yes! Completely agree! 100 years ago everyone made their own clothes, or the local dressmaker/tailor made them – and no one cares about the size of their clothing, they only cared that it fitted THEIR body. As a sewer myself I want to HUG you :)

  5. Pingback: Pledge time – making it official | We The Sewing
  6. Pingback: One year on | We The Sewing

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s