Firstly, I don’t think that I have ever had as many complimentary and supportive blog comments as on my last blog post on the lace dress I sewed for Clare. Thank YOU all so much! She has been thrilled to read them all, as have I. I really do appreciate each and every one of them (I know it takes that bit more effort and time to leave comments, and we’re all under tight schedules nowadays). I will be honest and say that I know I will be really disappointed if the dress doesn’t win a prize, but at the same time I am very well aware that there are many other stunning entries, and more are flooding in as the deadline approaches. I don’t really know what the judges criteria are, and I didn’t really enter thinking that I’d win anything, but after it was finished and I saw all the photos I really hope that it might! If not, just another life resilience lesson I suppose 😉
So, time for a new blog post! As is often the case my sewing has got ahead of photography and time at the computer, so I’m blogging out of order.
I’ve mentioned a few times lately that I’ve put on weight this year. It’s not surprising – a mixture of a slower metabolism, being in my late forties with likely shifting hormones, lack of exercise, and a distinct love of chocolate and wine – and because my other health parameters are okay I’ve been alright with it. It’s not always as noticeable in the flat photos that you see on the blog, as much of my weight increase is right on the front of my abdomen, but it’s very much there. And now it is definitely influencing the styles and the fabrics of the clothing that I am sewing.
Which leads me to talking about knit fabrics. I much prefer a knit cardigan to a woven jacket, and a knit skirt to a fitted woven. It’s about the flexibility. I find that it moves better with my bulges, accommodates weight fluctuations, and allows me to bend and move in ways that don’t result in a garment that digs in. The elastic waist is my friend! Now that Melbourne has moved into spring I am re-evaluating my wardrobe.
Many of my summer dresses still fit me – both the wovens and the knits. The wovens are nearly all loose through the midsection, and because my upper chest and shoulders haven’t changed a great deal with my weight gain, they mostly still fit. A number of my knit dresses are more fitted, but the nature of the fabric means that they can stretch to fit. However, I don’t always feel good in them – I don’t like the sausage casing feeling – so a number of stretch dresses have left my wardrobe.
I am finding separates more challenging. I definitely need those elastic waists. Most garments with a fitted waist no longer fit me at all. Many tops and t-shirts that are more fitted around the waist also no longer feel good on me. I also have a number of separates that don’t really go with anything else.
So it’s time to reassess. I’m getting rid of what doesn’t fit, and what I don’t feel good in. (You might have noticed that I talk about how I feel in my clothes, rather than how they look. Although it’s likely that the two are linked, I know that I won’t wear things that I don’t feel good in, no matter if they look good according to prevailing “taller/thinner/younger” dogma. My confidence comes from how I feel in what I wear, not what others think about it – although I do of course still appreciate compliments and positive feedback! Ah, so many contradictions).
I also think that as I approach Fifty I am reassessing many aspects of myself. I presume that this is a common thing – those “zero” birthdays often have an impact. Although it’s still over a year away – and I don’t mind getting older; I feel that it is a blessing – it feels significant. I think that it’s having an impact in a number of areas.
And as for my sewing? I want to continue to focus on sewing “outfits” that go with at least one or two other items! As much as I will continue to love print and pattern I’m seeing a small wardrobe shift toward solids. I want to keep experimenting with silhouette a little as well – I am planning on trying the off the shoulder look that is fashionable at the moment. I am fortunate to have a very large stash of fabrics and patterns that allow me to experiment as well as to sew tried and true styles. I just need a little more focus at the moment.
I’m guessing that these feelings are familiar to many of you reading this blog. Does your sewing change much with significant changes in life stage?
Anyway, I’m having a day to sew some of those simple basics that have been missing from my recent wardrobe – so I’d better get back to it!