Changing Body Shapes
Today we are bringing you a new type of sewing vlog where we talk about changing body shapes. How our bodies change throughout our lives can have a big impact on the type and style of clothes we choose to make. Women in particular can experience a number of changes to their body from puberty to pregnancy and menopause. We are all unique and our experiences of how our bodies change will differ throughout our lives.
This blog post was inspired by a week-long BBC feature on Radio 4’s Women’s Hour about menopause. I was instantly drawn in by how different everyone’s experiences are and realised how little it’s discussed publicly. As a woman in my thirties it’s unlikely to be something that is going to happen to me imminently and my only real experience of menopause so far has been from my mother, who would often ask ‘is it hot in here or is it just me?’ The stories I heard as part of this BBC feature were varied, some women had good experiences and some found it really tough. The one thing that really seemed to ring true was that a large majority of women experienced changes to their body shapes. As someone who does a lot of sewing it made me think and when I asked the sewing community about this on Instagram I had the most overwhelming response.
I spent most of that evening replying to peoples messages and trying to think of a feature that we could do. The next morning I went into my inbox and found an email from Karen of ‘Did You Make That?‘ listing all the ways her body shape has changed. I asked if I could go and see her, have a chat and make some pattern and fabrics suggestions (see below.) We sat down with a cup of coffee and decided to see where it would take us…
Karen’s Pattern Suggestions:
- Sew Over It Ultimate Shift Dress– bust darts, comfortable fit, sleeve options
- Butterick B6178 Culottes – simple sewing but great fit, slim waistband
- Tessuti Yuki Dress– cocoon shape with neckline detail that stops it looking unfitted
- The Maker’s Atelier stretch pencil skirt– easy on the waist, yet slim and flattering silhouette
- Closet Case Patterns Charlie Caftan– very breezy to wear and minimum constriction around the waist
Fabrics to look out for:
- Viscose Ponte Jersey – the ease of sewing and comfortable wear of Ponte de Roma, combined with the breathability of natural fibres.
- Any viscose for ease of wear, drape, easy laundering and breathable.
- Silk, linen or wool for when only natural fibres shall suit your inner heating system. Imagining an outfit in solid colours that combined all three fabrics would be the dream!
- A quality crepe or quality polyester for when you’re packing a capsule wardrobe and need to look pulled together quickly.
- Tana lawn or equivalent high-quality cotton lawn for natural fabrics that are breathable but press well and shake out well from overnight cases.