sewing project #2

Strictly speaking, it’s taking a bit longer than a week for me to get these up but with work/life being particularly hectic at the moment this is probably the best it’s going to get for a little while. Knowing that I’m approaching the busiest time of the year, I think it might have been a bit ambitious to have this as a weekly project but I’m still making sure I think ahead and research what I’m going to do next and I’m pretty damn happy with the progress I’ve made so far.

So, for my second project I wanted to try another skirt and decided to opt for an encasing for the elastic to go through at the waist. I think the next skirt I try will be without any elastic but I just want to get used to using the machine again and these sorts of projects seem to be a good way of getting me back into the swing.

Behold, my beautiful 1950′s car print fabric:

fabric

 

Most of this was done during the week late at night and I have to say, I think it was my favourite way to work. I’m much more productive later on during the day and I found myself getting quite excited at work about this and what it would look like, etc. I’m pretty impatient by nature so I’m glad I allowed myself to take a bit more time over this.

seam mid-sew

Overall, I’m really happy with this – the finish is a lot better than the flamingo skirt I recently made and already I’m finding myself feeling a lot more confident with the machine, etc. Because of the positioning of the pattern on the fabric and the fact that I’m obviously going to need more material because of my size, I cut out two panels and added on an extra 40% to my waist measurement to get a slight flare.

I did originally make this far too long as I’m still very conscious about seam allowances, length, etc. and am determined to make each item of clothing I make wearable, but this was easily rectified and I think next time I’ll feel a lot better about making the necessary snips first time to ensure I’ve got a skirt which isn’t halfway between my knees and ankles!

Once again, excuse the rubbish iPhone/mirror shot but here I am looking fairly pleased with my efforts:

full length

wedding wear

I have absolutely awful luck at buying plus size “vintage” dresses on eBay. Despite sizing up and looking at photos, etc. etc. whenever it arrives, 99.9% of the time I’m disappointed and it either doesn’t fit or isn’t quite what I thought it was. I never seem to learn my lesson either, as I have a massive box full of these dresses which I’m damned to throw out/sell as I’m convinced I can work some magic with them and sometime very soon they will be heavily featured in my sewing projects (of which my second one will be up later this week!).

I had a wedding to attend at the weekend and with the combination of wanting something new to wear, feeling colourful but being poor, I decided to scour eBay in search of a suitable dress and I was far from disappointed with my purchase so I thought I’d share it here:

threesome

close-up

As you can see, I decided to go all out on gaudiness and teamed my dress with a bright lilac lipstick – unfortunately my iPhone camera doesn’t really do it justice but trust me, it’s bold and it’s BRIGHT.

make-up

Lips: ‘Mystic’ by Sleek
Necklace: Forever 21

awesome ladies doing awesome things

In my quest to be able to make clothes I like which fit properly, there are a few plus-size ladies out there who have already mastered this fine art and are proving to be a massive inspiration to someone like me, who has a sewing machine and an eagerness to learn. Seeing awesomeness like this just spurs me on and makes me realise it is TOTALLY possible to have a wardrobe where you love 100% of the items within it, rather than liking a fairly small percentage and accessorizing the hell out of everything else in an attempt to make it seem more ‘you’.

Compared to just over a decade ago when New Look’s Inspire was a catalogue you had to order from, ASOS Curve didn’t exist and I’d have rather worn a potato sack than shop at Evans, things have definitely improved hugely in terms of choice. There’s always room to better this though and for someone on a particularly tight budget (unfortunately I’m not really in a position where I can spend £40 on a dress), I quite want the satisfaction of being self-sufficient and sticking my fingers up at anyone who thinks being fat means you’re not good enough to have the same choice as everyone else and that you have to wear a certain cut in order for it to be deemed ‘flattering’.

So, without further ado, please see aforementioned awesome ladies doing awesome things:

Ashley Nell Tipton

ANT-maxiANT-crop topANT-mustard dress

(photos)

Ashley is a fashion graduate from California and has recently released the above collection for sale. I’m a big fan of this and particularly love the mustard dress with blue collar – it’s so refreshing to see bold and contrasting colour choices. I also LOVE the layering of the lace crop top over a dress and think it’s something I’ll definitely be trying out.

Apple Charlotte

AC-dotAC-redAC-jump

(photos)

I was completely blown away by Charlotte’s final degree collection when I saw it last week. From what I’ve read, she’s had to fight tooth and nail with her university to present this and has had so many obstacles to overcome, which is absolutely ridiculous because “Hello, fat people exist and spend money too!” Despite this, I think she’s produced something pretty bloody amazing and I really, truly, hope she gets the recognition she deserves for all of this hard work.

Domino Dollhouse/Tracy Broxterman

DD - galazyDD-pinkDD-sailor

(photos)

LOVE Domino Dollhouse and am dreaming of a day (hopefully in the not too distant future) when I can go on a bit of a mass ordering spree and buy the hell out of most of their dresses. Domino Dollhouse was created by Tracy/Chubble Bubble and I’d be lying if I said I didn’t look forward to the release of each new collection – I love how nothing seems to be ‘off limits’ and although ‘fun’ seems to be at the centre of each piece, it’s actually quite diverse and I think would appeal to a wide range of tastes.

Gabi Fresh for Swimsuits for All

GF-galaxyGF-neon

(photos)

Now even though I believe Gabi has just designed these swimsuits, I think they deserve a special mention because there’s simply not enough choice out there and I love how much fun the colours and galaxy prints are.

I know there are so many other amazing people out there doing great things like this – please let me know if there’s anyone else I should be checking out!

Sewing project #1

As I have a sewing machine, some material and a box full of dresses to alter/amend, I am trying to challenge myself to complete one sewing project per week. I’ve recently discovered a lot of mojo and what better than to channel this into doing something creative which will add to my wardrobe and make this box seem a lot less intimidating? I’m also sick to the back teeth of walking into shops and back out again because there’s either nothing in my size or nothing I can ‘make work’. I figure the more I can teach myself, the more chance there is of creating a wardrobe full of pieces that I actually like that fit properly. That’s the dream, anyway.

That said, for my first sewing project I decided to go to Fabric Land and buy a couple of bits of new material to make an easy, elasticated waistband skirt with. Disclaimer here: I may speak a lot about sewing, amending, etc. but an expert I am not. I haven’t sewn properly in a few years and whilst I was never amazing, am more than a bit rusty so am trying to do a few more basic items whilst I work myself up into the seamstress that’s screaming inside of me.

For this skirt, I decided to use some super-thick black elastic for the waistband and the following flamingo-print fabric after a friend of mine had been talking about a flamingo skirt they’d recently purchased which I really liked the sound of:

fabric

The sewing machine I have is a Brother XL-5050 (which was my 21st birthday present many moons ago) – I know next to nothing about sewing machines but I will say that I’m particularly fond of this and find it very easy to use, thread up, etc.

machine

Now, I’ve made many a fancy dress item ad-hoc, but this is really the first piece of clothing I’ve made which I’ve wanted to last more than one drunken night. Overall, I’m really pleased with it but there is a lot to say about the straightness of stitch when I was attaching the main body of fabric to the waistband – I think I cut far too much material for this, which meant I had to stretch the hell out of the elastic to sew on, which was actually quite painful. Next time, I’ll cut a bit less fabric and even though it’ll have less ‘swish’, I think it will definitely improve the overall finish:

skirt

The skirt is actually quite big on me as I was really cautious about making something that would be too tight, so at some point I’ll have to take it in but it’s wearable and I think for a first effort isn’t too bad.

The only camera I own is on my phone so excuse the rubbish angles/shot, but here’s a photo of me looking particularly proud of my effort – I’ve teamed it with an oversized, gold mermaid top from H&M and I think it looks jolly good (even if I do say so myself):

skirt and body

bonjour.

So, how did I get here?

Approaching my thirties at the speed of light (I’ve got just under a year and a half but trust me, my twenties have whizzed by in a flash) and several half-arsed, one post blogs later, I have decided I’m big enough and ugly enough to have a corner of the internet where I write about what I get up to, what I enjoy and what I believe. I doubt it’s going to be a revolutionary look into the life of a fat, feminist twenty-something but to be honest, that doesn’t really matter. I’m never going to be as eloquent as 90% of people out there but I figure the more rad fats people see living unapologetically and enjoying what they do, the better.

Expect to see a lot about records I buy, food I eat, things I like on the internet and various sewing projects I undertake (and hopefully not make an entire botch of).