Today I wanted to share something personal with you: I’ve been working on losing weight for the past few months and it’s affecting how and what I sew. As you can see from my prior posts, I like clothes with structure. I much prefer woven material over knits. I enjoy making clothes that skim over my body and fit me just right. Which brings me to my current dilemma: many of the dresses I made no longer fit me and I don’t want to make any more because they’ll have to be altered later, and that makes me a bit sad.
I remember every detail of the dresses I made and how much work I put into them. When I made my polka dot dress, it was in the middle of a series of blazing hot summer days. I didn’t have air conditioning, so I had the window open and used my cheapie box fan just to get air circulating because I thought I’d suffocate otherwise. I dreaded every time I had to press a seam because it mean adding more heat. Even worse, it would overload the circuits, dim my lights and occasionally shut off the electricity. Good times. I also remember the hours I spent getting my floral strapless dress bodice to fit perfectly by making changes to the pattern, doing (and redoing) my first real FBA, making tons of muslins and then using boning to build an infrastructure. I remember the details of many other dresses I never wrote about and I feel like I’m leaving old friends behind.
I suppose I could alter them, but that’s unlikely. Some of them are just too complicated. Others I want to preserve because I’m so proud of my work.
As a compromise, I’ve been sewing with more knits. I’m trying to love them. Really. But I miss the structure of wovens. I learned pretty much everything I know about sewing by using wovens. I love all the couture details that I can use and I’m not sure they’re adaptable to knits. (Kat at The Couture Academic is also pondering this question, so I’m not alone.) Sewing with wovens also taught me so much more about my body and how to fit my clothes so that they complement me. (Sidenote: I just started reading The Lost Art of Dress: The Women Who Once Made American Stylish by Dr. Linda Przybyszewski and I’ll review it at another time.) On the plus side, knits are much more forgiving; if your skirt is a bit too small it may still be wearable. Wovens, on the other hand, are not as kind. Too small? Too bad. Go get the seam ripper and start over.
So here I am in a grey zone between my old size and my new size and I don’t have a major project. I decided to put my French Jacket on hold because I want it to fit me at my goal weight. However, I will start my bombshell dress and draft a swimsuit. I’ll also be working on some knit dresses and sharpening my handsewing skills so I can keep busy (and productive). But between you and me, I can’t wait to get back into my woven stash.