I’ve been sewing like a woman possessed by the ghost of a sewing machine lately! My Granma gave me her overlocker, machine and sewing cabinet along with a bunch of fabric so I haven’t really come up for air in the last fortnight. My initial priority was to sew EVERY stretch fabric into booty shorts and leggings but I’ve discovered how ridiculously expensive stretch fabric is so that project has been shelved.
Lincraft had a 50% off fabric sale so I scraped together some money to buy black ponte (and then went back to get some purple!) and made this dress based on the Burda Style Fatina plus pattern. I’d already cut a pair of leggings that were too small and got turned into short shorts, a second pair of leggings that were a little better (ugh I need to perfect the leggings pattern!) so there wasn’t much fabric left to work with. I decided to alter the pattern and converted the bust darts to princess seams, thus leaving me with three front panels that were much easier to accommodate on the fabric I had available. I also dropped the shoulder length for a little self-sleeve. Thanks to my home ec sewing classes and the internet for helping me out with the pattern adaptation skills!
Some of the seams pucker a bit, I’m yet to figure out the best way to sew using an overlocker, but considering many off the rack clothes often have worse construction I’ll deal with it just fine. (I know people who are super picky about puckering seams but I’ve got more pressing things to worry about in my life, such as hastily sewing new clothes before my old ones fall apart.)
Instagram is my new convenient vehicle of choice for my day to day outfit photos, ever since life started going wonky and pulling out the big camera became too much of an effort. Also, these are some of the outfits I wear daily – nothing fancy – but I feel as if they still contribute to deathfatshion visibility and representation all the same.
But really, I started doing these Instaootds because of the full length mirror in my studio. I was going to remove the sliding mirrors to make way for a storage system but now my vanity has consumed me and I’m okay with it. Since I’m not posting here very often these days due to a pretty significant depression relapse and other events, I figured I’d cross platforms for those who don’t have Instagram.
You can follow me on Instagram if you wish! My username is, predictably, definatalie.
On the weekend my family celebrated my youngest sister’s engagement and I ran up a dark grey velour skirt for the occasion. I was almost going to wear the floral dress I made a few weeks ago but I wasn’t feeling especially floral that weekend after spending some quality time suffering discontinuation syndrome after stopping Pristiq. I always wonder whether or not I should share mental health stuff on here, but I figure if I can help one person it’s worth it! (PS: Pristiq is a SHOCKER to quit, set aside a fortnight if you can and unplug yourself from reality.)
Shirt: Domino Dollhouse
Skirt: Made by me
Leggings: We Love Colors
Docs: hand-me-across from Sonya <3
Brooch: Gift from Kathleen, wish I could remember the maker!
Deer antler necklace: That Vintage
This morning I had to hop to it when I realised I had an appointment in the city! So I pulled out my Kermit dress and now compulsory Docs. I haven’t worn another pair of shoes since Sonya so graciously gave them to me! I never thought, after all these years, that Docs would be wide enough for my feet but they are, so when I can save up some money I will definitely be investing in some 1914s.
Last week I wore my new (to me!) Docs with a black and white patterned dress and cardigan and put some Tommy Girl perfume on. It’s like I’m the teenager now that I wish I was in the 90s! If you weren’t a teenager in the 90s do not believe any of the cool young bloggers trying to sell you a 90s revival right now. The 90s was, by and large, pretty daggy. I am your elder. Trust me on this. At my very coolest I wore brown corduroy flares and little velour t-shirts but you don’t see anyone bringing back corduroy flares, do you? (Someone should, I am really into corduroy flares.)
OK back to my outfit.
Dress: Made by me
Black t-shirt: New Look
Black leggings: Asos Curve
Docs: From Sonya
And just because I like to embarrass myself to my very fullest potential… Here are some jumping photos. It doesn’t really work out when your ankle is still tender from being fractured!
~~ YOU’RE WELCOME ~~
I was going to write a big post about my (and Nick and Miffy’s!) appearance last night on The Project but I have compiled a rushed recap instead because I had to get off the couch to do this and we are in a co-dependent relationship. First, here is the video for your viewing pleasure (if you are outside Australia it may not work but give it a go anyway.) I’m anticipating that this embed won’t work, so here’s a link to the video on the website.
We open with the classic fat zinger footage, headless fatties and motorised scooters. Fat people going about their days having their butts filmed without permission, drinking drinks and shopping for food like they aren’t essential requirements for living or anything.
Dr Cat Pause arrives and is cute! I want to be sure to stress that we need to step away from the good fatty/ bad fatty dichotomy. It’s not helpful. Also, some fat people are unhealthy (i.e. live with disability and disease) and it’s not for reasons you might automatically assume by looking at them. Some thin people are unhealthy (i.e. live with disability and disease) and you might dismiss that because their bodies are read as healthy. Quit the oversimplification of body size, health and disability, ok? It harms people.
It’s not really called Fat Pride, or that’s not what Nick and I identify with. We say we are fat activists. There are zero things wrong with being proud of your body (at whatever size) but it’s hard for many fat people to find pride because of the burden of stigma, and “fat pride” doesn’t welcome those folks. We talk about stigma, frustration, ill treatment and at a very basic level, try to reach people with the message that fat people are humans and we have heads.
Nick and I arrive. We talk about stigma against fat people. Dr Sam Thomas arrives, talks about overstatement of risks of being fat.
Anna Peeters arrives, we are worrying her with our fatness, she is part of a society for obesity. I wonder if any fat people are in that society? Probably not. Her testimony about health risks makes aforementioned fatties seem all footloose and fancy free, but fails to consider the non-fat related illnesses they have. Also it’s very nice they care so much about scaring fat people, I wonder if Stephen King advises them on their thriller skillz. Can we get a price check on who is funding the ANZOS please? Considering Peeters worked for C.O.R.E at Monash, who are funded in part by Allergan (A LAP BAND MANUFACTURER), I am highly dubious.
Peeters redeems the case for fat stigma when she says it exists. Unfortunately most viewers probably didn’t believe us when we said that first. Thomas agrees, SOCIETY IS FIGHTING FAT PEOPLE. All we wanna do is have a groovy time and daydream about unicorns — WAIT THERE IS MIFFY. Nick and I demonstrate that we can walk.
Happy music, focus on our blogging! Dramatic music change, I am concentrating very hard on doing up a jump ring on my fat necklace for the 100th time. Peeters bastardises the Sound of Music and stages an elaborate number called, “How do you solve a problem like fat people?”
We return to comments from non-fat panelists because they have feelings and opinions.
Charlie Pickering says we do judge people based on weight. Another thin person legitimising things fat people said first! I would give him a cookie but I ate them all.
Waleed Aly pulls out the concern troll card, which coincidentally wields an internet connection and a false sense of entitlement if you look closely. He thinks we are driven to being fat by stigma. Oh so it’s not like our bodies and personal health, environment, class, race, gender have anything do do with it. Thinking is hard for many non-fat people.
Kath Robinson admirably doesn’t even bother with concern – FAT PEOPLE ARE INTENTIONALLY BEING FAT AND STIGMATISING THEMSELVES. “These people could potentially be unhealthy and risk bad health problems!” Like suicide and death by neglectful health professionals or NOT seeking medical help because they know they’ll be treated awfully! At this stage I am laughing bitterly and bringing fat forehead to fat palm with rapid and great energy.
Lehmo, who only has one name because he is special and important, winds up for his big finish: “if you need a motorised cart to get around then you need to lose weight”. What ableist guff that doesn’t consider the intersection of fat & disability! (Not that I expected that degree of nuance on a light entertainment teev program.) Fat people on scooters don’t do it because they think it’s cool and hip and that people will say “SWEET RIDE YOU ARE COOL”. Fat people on scooters get abused because they are fat and SO RUDELY using mobility tools to move about their lives!
EVERYONE LAUGHS AT A FAT JOKE
If you missed out on the pre-order, quit your fearing because I now have a selection of the most popular prints stocked on Fancy Lady Industries. Horah!
My absolute favourite is Fat Cow, but the people’s choice seems to be between I get what I want and Pastry Queen II. Which one is your favourite?
(It sounds fancier if I call it a boutique, yeah?)
If you want to hear about new items, restocks and other Fancy Lady Industries news FIRST, then you simply must subscribe to my newsletter. Because it will make you special and put hairs on your chest.
I’ve been altering the famous Colette Sorbetto top but then I ran out of sticky tape, which is basically a nightmare; so to scratch the sewing itch I’ve been browsing Modcloth for inspiration and venturing boldly into the land of billions of clothes that are Not For Me and that are all named so obnoxiously I gave up after three pages.
I do not have any qualms about making clothes inspired by retailers who do not deem to serve my body size. I know Modcloth have a plus size range but it is frankly pathetic and doesn’t have a very expansive (lol) size range anyway. So, whatever Modcloth, I’m going to be over here plotting the deathfattening of your garments.
A number of these I could theoretically make from existing patterns I have on hand, with a little altering. I’m thinking that the pale pink and yellow polka dot blouses could be made by bringing the Sorbetto neckline up (after I grade it up four sizes!) and popping on a collar and sleeves. The orange fish print top would be a snap to make, just double a square of fabric over, cut a neck hole and sew up the sides then bind all raw edges. The navy and dark red dresses I could possibly make from my altered McCall’s M6085, and what a handy pattern that has been!
I would love to get my hands on a decent shirt pattern that I don’t have to grade up, because I really want to make some cute sheer shirts. (I’m open to recs!) I’ve had my eye on this Butterick Connie Crawford pattern but I’m not fond of the shoulder darts.
This has been another sewing post!
Yes! Another dress based on McCall’s M6085, using this amazing floral chiffon my Mum bought for me last year. I’d been holding on to it, too worried that I’d make something and completely mess it up, ruining the gorgeous fabric.
It’s such a light weight fabric, and terribly transparent, that I had to line it and fortunately I had some green fabric with a crushed effect perfect for lining from years and years ago and it matched the dress perfectly! Like I said the other day, it’s nice to line garments with secretly nice fabrics. I was torn on whether or not to dip the skirt lining down like the outer skirt but my decision was made for me when I discovered I didn’t have enough fabric!
All the skirt seams are finished with French seams because I didn’t want to take a chance on the fabric fraying, it was turning out to be one of the most beautiful dresses I’ve ever made!
I tend to go through intense sewing phases and then don’t touch my machine for months, and obviously this is one of those phases. I’ve been so desperate to give my altered McCall’s M6085 dress another go, I combed through my rather limited fabric stash and squeezed this dress out of what I had in this black and white gingham remnant I picked up years ago.
I used fabric from a maxi dress I buggered up a few years ago; it was really upsetting at the time because it has this beautiful floral border print. Now I can keep bits of that print on the inside of my dress! Lining garments with secretly fun fabrics is quite a lovely thing.
And now to wear my new dress out to congratulate my sister on her recent engagement!
Just a reminder that your opportunity to get 10% off one of my prints (and other Fancy Lady Industries paraphernalia!) ends tonight at midnight (Australian time). There’s a super limited selection of original art pieces still left too.
I saw this dress on tumblr the other week and fell in love. I do this often, not just with dresses either. Shoes (I need some blue velvet sneakers ok), jewellery, rainbow coloured smoke… it’s just a daily source of unfulfilled desire basically. I figured I might be able to make this dress because when it’s broken down we’ve got a bodice, a gathered skirt with some straps and a t-bar collar. I’m pretty fortunate to like sewing, own a sewing machine, and to have some pretty basic pattern making/ alteration skills so I decided to give it a go.
When I want to do something I fully commit to it. I spent the weekend altering McCall’s pattern M6085 and sewing up a muslin out of some blue poly/ cotton. Upon my first fitting I was very happy to see that the dress would work out to be pretty close to the original, but I wanted to re-draft the bodice and straps. Upon surveying my fabric stash I realised I didn’t have any other fabric suitable for this dress (lots of patterns but this dress calls for a solid colour, in my mind) so I eked the re-drafted pieces out of the blue fabric, including recycling some fabric from the first bodice, and completed the dress by hand stitching the lining yesterday morning!
I couldn’t tell you how many hours I spent on this dress, perhaps approaching 20! The fabric cost around $12 but when I think of all the hours that went into the dress, it doesn’t seem so cheap after all. Infuriatingly, so many people tell me to just “sew it myself” when I get upset about the lack of plus size fashion options but even for me, someone with a sewing machine and the skills to do it, it’s hard and it takes a long time. If you don’t have the skills or the tools or the time, that leaves you with no other option but to buy what you can; and when you buy what you can, you end up with clothes that you might not even like, clothes that might not even fit you. So, sewing it yourself? Not a good enough answer.
I could nitpick about bits and pieces of this dress, the bodice pulls around my waist (yes, it’s that high) and the bust seams are still doing a weird shark fin, but you know what? I’m pretty proud of myself for taking inspiration from a dress that is most definitely not available for fat people and making it for myself. I would dearly love to be able to make cute dresses for other people too, but before then I need to work on my pattern drafting skills (I am firmly in the “wing it” school of drafting rather than the favoured “this shit is complex and mathematical” school).
Some of you might think it strange of me to leave this post on such a bummer note, but I’m just saying what needs to be said. Yes, I’m proud of being able to sew a dress myself, but I will not be that jerk who tells fat people this is the only solution!