voyage into the land of eileen fisher

A quick announcement/request before we get started on today’s post.  Does anyone have/is anyone willing to part with this Vlisco fabric?

I’m actually quite surprised that there isn’t a huge Vlisco secondary market, like there is for Liberty, given how many yards you have to buy in one swoop.  I’ve scoured eBay and Etsy, and even reached out to a couple of people who were selling sketchy “inspired” garments, but have come up with nil.  My thesis is on sub-Saharan African gender equality, the textile and apparel eligibility provision of the African Growth and Opportunity Act, and labor force participation, so I’d quite like to present it in this fabric.

Naturally, I would pay you.  In money.  Ain’t none of that hug shit happening here.  (I think I’ve given up on cleaning up the blog, reader.)  Please do let me know, reader.


On to the actual post.  So, due to new medication and old stress, your old Seam Ripped is considerably rounder than she was this time last year.  Last October, I measured in at around 40-30-41, and now we’re around 42-32.5-44.  Perhaps I spend far too much time on the Internet, but it sometimes seems as if everyone is either rapturously in love with their bodies or providing us with #fitspo.  Meh.  I’m sure a lot of it is performative and self-perpetuating, and not everyone falls at the extrema, but damn it’s a little suffocating.  I’m mildly dissatisfied with the current state of affairs, but I’m addressing it by eating fewer doughnuts.  A surprisingly difficult task, as I live a mere eight blocks away from what, for my money, is the best doughnut shop in DC.  That’s neither here nor there.  I’m also having surgery in a week and a half, and getting shelved from rigorous physical activity for something like a further two-to-four months after that (which is why I am writing this from Charlotte’s House of Mirth, and not the overnight train to Chamonix, sigh).  I’m trying to figure out what this means for sewing.  As of now, it means elastic.

I remember Oprah giving a tour of her closet (note that I cannot, as of this moment, locate my glasses, keys, or wallet), and saying that she has every size in there from an 8 to the land of elastic.  There’s something weird about knowing that your general equilibrium weight is two stone (my favorite unit of measurement ever, ever, ever) less than where you’re sitting and happily slicing into your nice silk.  That said, I’m as uncomfortable with the notion of not cutting into the nice silk as I am with the notion of cutting into it.  Implicit in the act of saving it for “better days,” is the idea that your current body doesn’t deserve it, which is bullshit if I’ve ever heard it.  It runs completely orthogonal to all but two things that I believe in.  The two mischief makers?  There are better ways to spend time than doing alterations.  Thou shalt not cut into the good fabric if you foresee waste or unavoidable calamity.

There’s also the secondary issue of what your larger-you style looks like.  My true style self is a weird cross between eccentric, 1970s billionaire and disgraced politician’s second wife.  I want knuckle-sized earrings and garish prints on one day, and tasteful low-rent Jackie Kennedy khaki Halston with closer-to-God hair the next.  With the larger size wardrobe, I’ve been making a lot of solid knits.  I’ve been so bloody bored of them, a lot of them remain unfinished.

We’ve had the discussion about style, and figuring out what one’s style is.  When I had an enormous abdominal tumor, I wore vintage-style dresses with dish plate-size flowers.  It seemed subversive, to have a wildly non-traditional figure juxtaposed with such a traditional silhouette.  While intellectually, I thought that in my solid knits I was sewing versatile basics for work and size fluctuations, I wonder if maybe there’s something else at play.  Maybe part of this whole equation is the desire to not be noticed?

[Long aside: I was at Patagonia in Georgetown the other day, trying desperately to buy a ski jacket.  I walked in—it was a hair more crowded than usual—and tried to find some help.  [crickets]  “Excuse me, could you—”  “I was hoping to—”  “Pardon, but do you know—”  All of the sales associates seemed to beeline past me, to other customers, as I was talking.  One, and sometimes two, sales associates were hanging fleeces kitty-corner and within sight and hearing range of me, and they kept on as I accidentally knocked over a display while helping myself, without even turning my way.   My attempts were intercepted twice, and I had opened my mouth to ask for an associate’s help as he walked past me and asked the woman three feet behind me if she needed anything.  I suppose the most logical explanation is that the Witherspoons of years past ravaged the ancestral village of Yvon Chouinard, and the cool indifference is the product of a centuries old grudge.  Other than that, I’m thinking that I might not dress or behave to get noticed.  I think about the people—women, actually—who managed to wordlessly get the sales associates’ attention as I was trying rather desperately to do just the same thing.  Cool, tall blondes who needed only cock their heads before an associate beelined towards them, and I think about my mother’s ability to go into the shoe section of a department store and get all of the associates swarming her like moths to a flame (while she is in jeans and a t-shirt, no less).  I, meanwhile, always want to stand on a crate and say “WHO DO I HAVE TO [redacted] TO GET HAAAALLLPPP?!”]

I own a tripod, and a camera, but I have decided to keep in the tradition of crappy Seam Ripped photographs.  You’re welcome.

So, I made two more Monetas.  The second one had a wonky waist, and I have to fix a hole that I made while overzealously seam ripping the clear elastic (blog has its name for a reason, y’all), so you won’t see it, outside of the “clear elastic is the devil, whhhhhyyyy?!” Instagram photo.  By the bye, Trixie (my dress form) is always wearing a necklace, which I find curious, because I own several necklaces, but never wear them.  I like the idea of them, and see people like Jenny from Cashmerette and Kelly from True Bias doing the statement necklace thing and think, “That’s so chic.  I shall do that,” then I proceed to do nothing.  They feel so. . .conspicuous? on me.  I only just got over wearing sunglasses outside, though, so don’t take my word for it.

Also, this was my first time twin-needling, and I’m trying to figure out if the tunneling is the product of the unironed stitch witchery, or if I messed up.  I should probably just press the stupid hems to figure it out, but I like a little mystery in my sewing.

Seam Ripped: Now with more litter box and cat tree.  Don't ever say I don't keep it real, reader.  This is a weird, double-faced double-knit from Mood, which I happen to love, but its doing that weird boob flap thing.
Seam Ripped: Now with more litter box and cat tree. Don’t ever say I don’t keep it real, reader. This is a weird, double-faced double-knit from Mood, which I happen to love, but its doing that weird boob flap thing.

Are you bored yet?  Let’s check out the dark and seedy Instagram photo of its twin’s waist.

Ugh.  Clear elastic can officially kiss my grits.
Ugh. Clear elastic can officially kiss my grits.  Also, this looks off-grain, but actually isn’t when it isn’t on the dressform.  (Does that mean it is actually off-grain, but good at hiding it?  Is that a thing?)  I think I pulled it onto Trixie a bit too hastily.

Then, I made M6931, and perhaps ill-advisedly used a lightweight silk (I’d hesitantly call it a lightweight crêpe de Chine or a heavier georgette).  I underlined it with a slightly heavier crêpe de Chine, and now I look like the Stay Puft Marshmallow man in it.  Not good.

Ignore the fact that the squares are uneven.  I haven't tacked down the waistband, and overtucked that one piece when I was trying to see how things were shaping up.
Ignore the fact that the squares are uneven. I haven’t tacked down the waistband, and overtucked that one piece when I was trying to see how things were shaping up.

I cut out a Mabel with a turquoise wool double knit from Mood, but got so damn bored just looking at it, I’ve yet to take the forty-five minutes to put it together.  Sigh.

Now, I’m on the hunt for tasteful muumuus.  Up next are Grainline studio’s Alder, McCall’s 6885 and 6952, Vogue 1236 (I feel like this was OOP at one point?  I’ve owned it for six years, and have only used it once, woefully).  Maybe the Sewaholic Saltspring, but I’m not 100% sure.  I’m shocked by how reticent I am to shell out real money for patterns, when my threshold is so much higher for fabric.  I suppose it’s because fitting skills and a good eye for drafting can help patterns, and because the Big Four make available some truly good (I know, I am one of five people who think this), affordable patterns for my student budget.  Anyhow, find the proposed patterns below, in the above order, clockwise from top left.

Proposed post-surgical schmattas
Proposed post-surgical schmattas

Do you have any other muumuu ideas for my post surgical, paunchy lifestyle?  Should I just say screw it and make a caftan?


35 thoughts on “voyage into the land of eileen fisher”

  1. I have all the feelz right now. I can relate to your feelings in this post on pretty much every level. 14 months to the day after pushing child #2 into the world, I still don’t have my abs back. In fact, I might never have my abs back. And I’m having serious trouble accepting that and cutting into my good fabric–because while I think my current body might deserve it, I keep thinking that if I just wait a little longer, I’ll be able to enjoy it for longer on the body that I have been working hard to have (unsuccessfully, I might add). Silly, but true.

    And I can also relate to not really knowing for sure what my “style” is. Lately, it’s mostly “mom slob”, and I hate that. Heck, I put on makeup and curled my hair today and my eldest son was like “why are you doing all this stuff just to go shopping?” 😦 I suppose part of it too is that I’m getting older–I’m in that awkward stage where I don’t really feel any different than I did in my 20’s, but I’m unsure if it’s socially acceptable to be a 30-y/o mom of two and still dress like I’m in my 20’s. Because once you are a mom, it feels like you are supposed to just fade into the background and make sure the kids are quiet. 😦 I’m not a woman anymore, I’m simply an extension of my children, and style is superfluous.

    1. It’s the not knowing that rather sucks, isn’t it? As soon as I found out I’d be switching medications (yay! Buh-bye, jiggles!), I got into a ski accident and will now be off of physical activity for several months (boo! Hello, feelings ice cream!). I hate whining, but when do you *know* that you’ve settled into equilibrium? Is there such a thing as size equilibrium? The way I’m justifying cutting into the good fabric is saying that the poundage is not going to melt off over night, anyway, so I’m going to need to look like my usual self, as opposed to the college slob I’ve devolved into.

      Oh, I feel you here. I, up until two weeks ago, exercised every day, so I stopped bothering with the hair. I gained weight, so I started wearing jeans instead of my usual pencil skirts and silk blouses. I moved across town, so no time for makeup in the morning.

      Oh, I’m in the weird liminal stage, too! Is there such a thing as “dressing as if you’re in your twenties,” though? I was on the J. Crew website, and they had the usual “ages of style” thing up, and I think those delineations are false, and use a barometer that doesn’t work for everyone. Not everyone is a wild child in their 20s, a working professional in their 30s, a mom in their 40s, and a hip empty nester in their fifties. Everyone’s paths, and therefore styles of dress, are different. I hate that moms are bullied into the shadows and defined solely by their maternal status. Look, style is yours. Eldest son is just being eldest son.

  2. Yo! Some thoughts

    1. You’re definitely not the only one to face the “argh maybe I should just wait until I get a bit smaller” thoughts (I’m having them right now), and yet, unless it’s truly, truly a temporary and freak thing never to happen ever again (read: not my experience), I’m always on team Make It Anyway. That said, I make all the wrap dresses and all the elasticated waist skirts, so that’s a pretty decision easy for me. If I were making jacquard Elisalexes (Elisalexi?) then maybe not.

    2. You should make some wrap dresses. (That sounds a little more aggressive than intended, but I’m going to leave it there, and Lean In). You can seriously put on or lose like 4 stone and those babies will fit. Trust me on that one.

    3. I think M6931 is all in the styling. As you know, I have a veritable wardrobe of them now I almost always wear them quite high up (at my waist rather than hip) with a tight top and a skinny belt, or a cardigan over the top and belt on my high waist, over that. Works for me, and, perhaps, for you.

    4. #TeamStatementNecklace. The bigger and crazier the better. Unexpected bonus: I’m really, really bad at speaking to boys (Ok, men) and for some reason they are more likely to speak to me if I’m wearing some crazy plastic thing around my neck. Perhaps it gives them a legit reason to stare at my boobs? Dunno. Guess I should figure out if I care or not.

    That wasn’t very coherent but I’ve had a day of sun, scones and horse racing so I’m just going with the flow, island-style.

    1. 1. I’m inching over to team Make It Anyway, because I’m currently on the S.S. Bored as Fuck. I cannot. deal. with the solid-colored knit things. I want to stick them in the hearth right after I finish typing this.
      2. I should make some wrap dresses. I first started reading your blog, intermittently, when you had the asymmetric haircut and there were two Cashmerettes, and I remember thinking, “Damn. I should make some wrap dresses.” Then I did nothing about it. Damn. I should make some wrap dresses. If I ever go home again, and make it to Mood, I shall buy all of the silk and wool jersey and get on this.
      3. It may as well be called the Jenny skirt. My “I should make some stretchy things” mindset has translated roughly into “I should make all the stuff that Jenny’s making.” It’s a high compliment, I promise. Mostly because just about everyone else’s stretchy stuff comes out as not my cup of tea, but you seem to choose just the right patterns and fabrics to reel me in to Team Knits. They’re easy to pack and steam and just toss on with a statement necklace to seem put-together. I should probably buy a serger or something. Another discussion for another time.
      4. I think we’ve talked about this: Mostly ladies talk to me—which is flattering, and I want to go to anti-straight camp so that I can settle down with a Subaru, a chocolate lab, and curly-haired art teacher called Rachel—and I think some statement necklaces might help my cause. I’m good at speaking to boys. I am not good at conveying my straightness, because I am a little bro-y. (My therapist was all, “How does it feel that men judge you for conforming to this stereotype?” Then I had a weird “Oh” moment.) Big plastic stuff around the neck, here I come!

      Oh, I miss being hypnotized by islands. I got really bored of them about ten years ago (St. Bart’s in the summer = stabbing eyeballs out), and have been chasing winter ever since, but your Barbados-gramming makes me want to give them another go.

  3. I am finally a member of team sew it if you’ve got it. That eff-ed up derby injury two years ago screwed my body up bad and meant ten months with no exercise with the foreseen changes as a result. I had this head space where there was all this beautiful fabric in my stash and I wouldn’t use to because I wasn’t in good enough shape. No one deserve a wardrobe full of solid knits (unless that is your bag and then more power to you). Flex those sewing muscles, dig out some beauties and create some epic pieces that make you feel like the boss you are. Injuries suck and they can shake up your sense of self in your body and what it can do- I say use rad fabric and treat yo self and your healing right.

    And side note, all of the statement necklaces! I refuse to go to work or a social function without some crazy wood/metal/resin concoction around my neck. Heck, if it ain’t big enough to use as a brass knuckle substitute what’s the point.

    Wishing you well for the surgery and the sewing (hopefully with the vlisco deliciousness)

    1. I just want to ask everyone, “Do you have the goods? Do you have the Vlisco? Vliscovliscovlisco?!” So, thanks for the well wishes on that front.

      I remember the derby injury all too well! Injuries blow. I was on the phone with a travel agent the other day—she grew up in Montana skiing every weekend, but tore her MCL one day (a relatively minor injury that we originally thought I had), and hasn’t skied since. Meanwhile, I’m planing my December ski trip, but don’t have the courage to cut into the Cucinelli silk. For shame! My compromise position is good fabrics with garments that could be rendered “transitional” if I don’t spend my entire recovery period eating Easter candy and watching telly.

      Thanks for the comment, lady! As an aside, I almost bought the lining from your Victoria (or was it a Bellatrix? Hold on a second), er, Bellatrix! blazer from The Fabric Store the other day. Excellent taste, per usual. I got sucked into vintage Bimble after stumbling across a Grainline Studio Pinterest board. As difficult as it is to forget how charming you are, sometimes it just hits you.

  4. Agree on the wrap dresses. I have a DVF pattern I bought off of eBay recently, that you can trace/grade if you want. It’s OOP, so I don’t feel copyright guilt.

    I saw the best inspirational quote the other day (I can’t believe I just said that). Anyway: “I wish I was as thin as I was when I first thought I was fat.” Man can I relate to that one. I try not to let it get to me. But I have definitely gained a bit of weight over the last year. I think I’m mostly stuck in “Lalalalala, I can’t hear you!” land with regards to my weight. And it’s working for me right now, so I’m just sticking with it. At least until summer when I can bear to be outside again. And it doesn’t affect my sewing because, miraculously, I only seem to have grown in the areas usually listed as “free” on the patterns I sew. What was that? Lalalala, I can’t hear you, scale!

    Also, is that fabric still for sale on the Vlisco site? I would totally go in for some with you. Isn’t the minimum like 5-6 yards? 2.5-3 yards is not too bad. Wax prints tend to be skinny, do they not?

    Finally, have you tried a belt with that black and white skirt? Might help the Stay-Puft feeling.

    1. I think I might take you up on that invitation, as Jenny’s beloved Christine Johnson wrap is sold it everywhere. Meanwhile, you are welcome to my burgeoning Lanvin pattern collection.

      If it weren’t for the pencil skirts, ease would allow me to complete ignore the fact that everything is softer. Yet! Man, I miss my day-to-day uniform. Scales are dumb. It takes an enormous amount of weight for me to gain a size, so I should probably start actually using the scale as opposed to the fifteen pound swings needed to notice a difference. And yet I don’t.

      The fabric is not for sale on the Vlisco website! Several bloggers have used and/or referenced it, so I was hoping to scrounge up enough pieces to put together an M6696, but things are looking dismal.

      Cardigan and belt might be the way to go. I have no post-tumor belts, so I’ve got to get on that.

      1. I wish I could wear pencil skirts, but they look weird on me and feel restrictive for whatever reason. I feel like I sit there and just suck in all day when I wear one. But they’re very D.C.!

        Belts are so difficult to buy. Where do people get all their cute belts? This is a mystery of the universe. I have precisely one belt that I like and even it is imperfect.

      2. They are awkward and restrictive for some, I admit. It is the DC uniform, though. Pencil skirt, silk blouse, cardigan or pullover. Rinse, repeat. I actually like it, independent of DC, but really want to sneak in a pair of navy leather capris, or a tea-length ball skirt. I give myself six months before I get pulled into my supervisor’s office.

        Belts are the hardest! I bought two today, to compare, but I have no idea where to buy them. Everlane has a cute one (literally, one in three colors), and I used to have good luck at J. Crew on super sale ($6 leather belts at J. Crew on F Street!), but that was pre-tumor, and none of them fit. Hmph. I’ll let you know when I come across cute belts on sale. Sometimes Anthropologie or LL Bean has some, too. I’m loving the bridle belts I’ve seen around town, but have no idea whence they’ve come, or how to go about getting one. Life is hard, isn’t it?

  5. I think if you’re going to muumuu it up, do it vintage style and get some crazy prints at least. Then wear that statement necklace with it!

  6. First of all, don’t knock Eileen Fisher, as she is the patron saint of middle-aged urban boomer women. That said, I started sewing because my closet had become a somber black/gray pit thanks to her. So I know what you mean.
    The new “Little Black Dress” book by Dolin Bliss O’Shea has some cool classic patterns in a range of sizes (including ours). I could see you in the “Angelica Huston” which looks like fun and is easy to make. The instructions look good, too.

    1. Oh, that is fun. I’m actually in the mood to leave my house, and see that it is at the MLK library, and shall go check it out. (Literally and figuratively.)

      I was shopping with my mother, and was drawn to the Eileen Fisher section like a moth to a flame. I abandoned her at Max Mara and came *thisclose* to buying a cardigan, before she pulled me away from the deep. I think I’m actually going to turn to Eileen et alia for some of the beginnings of my work wardrobe, including that navy cascade cardigan, because she does offer good basics. The problem is when you get basic-ed out. But, you’ve solved that problem with your cardigan jackets and chic dresses, haven’t you? Now, to WWJD? (What Would Julie Do?) my wardrobe.

  7. Vlisco? Ebay for african wax prints, unless you’re a purist. Beware: novelty print/Oonabaloona/Dolly Clackett stuff is catching, so be careful.

    If you’re not going to work for awhile, wear what the hell you want. You’re going to feel bad, so make it soft. I suggest you wear that necklace and make sure it’s not coordinated. You can go back to the DC camo when you’re better, but make a little noise in the meantime. Soft soft noise.

    1. Yup, Vlisco. I know, I know. Pricey, but I am a Dutch purist.

      It is contagious! I am balancing it out with some navy basics, just to keep the Charlotte-like sanity.

      Soft sounds good. I just don’t want to loaf around in sweatpants. I don’t own them, I don’t want to own them, end of discussion.

      I think obnoxious necklaces are the order of the day. Do I dare look at Bauble Bar’s code of ethics?

  8. What is it about wearing sunglasses outside that’s so difficult? I recently got over this as well, but I question how well I’m doing with it because I feel like I’m trying to disguise myself this winter as I leave my house in a scarf, hat, and sunglasses. But it’s really just the Way of Chicago – the sunniest days always seem to be the coldest.

    I’m in the same spot regarding weight, and I’ve also been making a lot of knits recently, but I tend to never buy solids so it’s all prints. I had very tortured feelings about spending so much time on my blazers recently, but I had a job interview and don’t fit into RTW jackets, so what was I to do? I’m hoping to lose some weight soon because various muscle pains and weaknesses mean that I really must start to take my exercise more seriously. When I lost weight a couple of years ago I foolishly got rid of a lot of my larger clothes, partially to encourage myself to keep eating well and exercising and partially because my apartment is miniature. The problem now is that the more weight I gain, the less I want to sew, but the more clothes I need.

    1. I don’t know! And I actually need said sunglasses to see outside, and I still feel completely awkward when I use them! Sun reflects off of the slow for the specific purpose of blinding us, Gina.

      Oh, I had job interviews last semester, and my biceps were the bane of my existence. This is going to sound snarky, but I just comforted myself by watching The Mindy Project, where Dr. L has the same problem (it seems), and I just thought, “Well, it’s normalized,” and didn’t sew a bloody thing.

      I hate getting rid of clothes. Watching people do it on Instagram pains me. Mostly because i am traumatized from the victorious size fluctuation purging that happens. Now, I have this Depression-era, it-will-last-forever mentality, and even my schmattas, damn it, are going to be with me for life. Belt it!

      The Catch-22 of sewing through weight gain, isn’t it? I just bought some new, pricey-ish patterns to get myself motivated to sew my post-surgical sacks. The promise of the chic Mrs. Roper look is what’s getting me through it. Would new pattern mojo help at all, or shall we just damn it all to hell?

  9. Wow, a post with pictures of stuff you made! We should be drinking champagne to that!

    1. Vlisco, sorry, I do have african prints purchased in Zambia that I want to part with (for free) but I don’t think any is fancy vlisco type.

    2. Sorry about Chamonix. If it makes you feel better, it’s overrated. Ok I’m lying, it’s not. And the homonymous gateaux are not either. I miss French food.

    3. Cut the silk and don’t look back. Just cut it. I’m the person who had A DRESSFORM made because I was convinced my weight would not change. And then it did. My form is too big and I got rid of half of my clothes. But honestly, I don’t care. Because I look better and I get to buy new clothes/more fabric!!

    4. You want to take conspicuous to the next level? Wear your sunglasses INSIDE. Supermarket, airport, etc. That’s a statement nobody will miss (although it’s pretty common Haiti).

    5. Twin needles: they suck. I don’t know why people don’t say it more. Maybe they’re all lying, or maybe there is something I really don’t understand about home-sewing machines. Anyway, I stitch twice. No tunneling.

    6. Mccalls 6885 is perfect. Or if you own it already, Archer and make it longer.

    1. Go buy a lottery ticket.

      1. Damn Vlisco. So wily. So precious.
      2. I’m going to go weep into my raclette now, Tidbits.
      3. I’m dying, *dying* (as are we all, really), for a custom Wolf dressform, but I cannot bring myself to pull the trigger, though I must, must, must. (I’m answering this from the Library of Congress, and the researcher who just passed by me just gave me an obnoxious throat-clearing, I thought you should know.) I’m just going to cut into the stupid silk. What is the worst case scenario? You know what? Don’t tell me.
      4. I am going to just pretend that I am Margot Tenenbaum from here on out, and do the sunglasses, cigarette, and waist-length fur coat thing. I think I could pull it off. I’m getting closer-to-God hair by the second.
      5. I HATE THEM. Why? They are too flexible, I think. They keep making these hideous tunnels, and I do not understand the weird obsession with them. I stitched twice on my first Monetas with no incident. I just used my stitch-in-the-ditch foot.
      6. It is, isn’t it? If you don’t have one, and want me to grab one for you at the next that shit sounds crazy $1 McCall sale, let me know, yes?

      1. I am so surprised that it’s Bits of Thread. I, before I became a fancy adult with a dining table on which to break her back, used them for studio time, and they are surprisingly low-fi. I shall definitely check them out. Thanks, Stephani!

  10. Hey, caftans are totes “in” right now. Seriously, check out Pinterest. They’re super comfortable, super easy to make, and the fabric could be repurposed later since it’s basically two big rectangles. I have several on my to-make list for this summer.
    Oh, and your “now” body is so worth the gorgeous silk. Just take the deep breath, do it, and don’t look back!

    1. I just bought the most Mrs. Roper pattern ever, and am going to rock my caftan. I really have to find the perfect Pucci print for it now. Deep breath in. Thanks, Stephani!

      1. Me too! It’s a vintage early 1970s one and I’m in love with it. Mmm, caftans. I imagine that wearing one will feel just like rolling around in my fabric stash nekkid. Which I want to do all the time.

  11. My weight/measurements vary wildly, amd my abdomen in always sore, so I like ‘soft’ clothes that flow (no woven waistbands!).
    You can go down a fun rabbithole if you Google ‘lagenlook sewing patterns’. It runs the gamut from shapeless sister-wife sacks through to some interesting details and flattering shapes.

  12. Ahhhh, that Vlisco!!!! I’ve always kind of assumed that they prohibit secondhand sales or something because you’re right- they NEVER pop up on eBay or Etsy. But I don’t know if they could actually do that… very mysterious… I try not to even look at their website because it’s too tempting and too delicious. There’s a print that I LOVE that’s something like 90 euros… even if I split it with someone else, by the time I’ve paid shipping and whatnot I’ll be drowning in guilt and self-loathing! Oh, Vlisco, you temptress, you!

    OK, three things: 1.) It sucks to not be happy in the clothes you have to wear. So that’s a vote for making new things that you like in the size you are. 2.) Alterations are, well, you’re just not going to do them. Or not in any hurry. So things that fit in the shoulders but are fairly forgiving are a good plan, so they’re easy to fix if you get around to it, but won’t be a sloppy mess if you don’t alter them. 3.) In my experience, everything sucks, everything’s ugly, and I hate everything I own this time of the year. Too much time inside (particularly for you with your recent injury) and too much time in the cold weather just makes everything feel drab and ugly. So really, you should make some things you’re excited about, not feel any guilt if you don’t alter them, and know that you’re going to feel worlds better either way come April and May! It’s so much easier to get excited about getting dressed once true spring hits.

    1. I’m not a lawyer, but the Vlisco thing is fishy for a couple of reasons. They can’t control the secondary market. Even if they could, they wouldn’t have extraterritorial reach to prosecute sellers outside of the Netherlands and wherever they have subsidiaries (which doesn’t seem to be many places). So, double-u tee eff, Vlisco. Get yer act together.

      It does suck to hate your clothes. I’ve been doing jeans and t-shirts lately, and I don’t hate it, but it’s not my most favorite thing I’ve ever done ever. Burn all the clothes!

  13. 1. That Vlisco is gorgeous and if I had it, I would not part with it for any money in the world… Hope you find it, and if not, buy the 6 yard minimum and sell what’s left… Surely you’ll find someone.
    2. I think most people are not really in love with their bodies, only those that actually proclaim their love on the internet… I think the mayority of people are more like ‘Meh, this and this is okay, I really like this and this and this and this and this and this and this could be (a lot) better” . I think eating less dougnuts is always a good idea.
    I’m sorry to hear you have to have surgery (it probably already happened, I am desperately running behind on my blog reading) and hope everything goes well.
    3. I would say ‘Make It Anyway’! But use very large seam allowances so you can change things when those ‘better days’ arrive…
    4. Your larger-you style should be exactly what your true style is… Wear what you want, when you want (but make sure it fits properly). Solid knits sound boring… I almost stopped reading this post, I find them thát boring… (I find all solids boring… Although I do aknowledge the practicality of having solids)
    5. I like your crappy pictures.
    6. About the wanting not be noticed? That’s a dificult one… If you conciously want to get noticed (in some situations) I think you have to give yourself exercises to make your unconscious self get used to being noticed… I’m sure there is a lot of info on the web about this… I think the best place to start is to walk proudly with your head held high and telling yourself you can take on the world.
    7. Clear elastic: never tried it, don’t think I ever will…
    8. Statement necklaces, I always think they look kick-ass on others, but I never seem to get it right for myself… I just bought myself a small gold necklace for my b-day and I’m wearing that… I think I should call it progress.
    9. Twin needle: try lowering your tension, I think I read somewhere that that can resolve the tunneling. Also, there are regular-fabric twin needles and ballpoint-twin needles… Needless to say that could make a difference as well…
    10. I think the Archer is a muumuu too and I like the big 4 as well (especially when they have a sale… Makes the international shipping costs more bearable). I really like that semi-shirt dress and the princess-seam number. And I agree with a previous commenter: wrap-dresses…

    Now I am going to hop over to your other post and try to comment on that one as well!
    Thanks for an entertaining read once again!

    1. I just reread my comment and a quick note on the eating less dougnuts: I didn’t mean this in a body-image way, I meant this in a healthy eating way. I don’t think you should change your diet because of how you look, or because of how you think you should look… I thought it was important to add this…

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