Waist not … (want not?) Part Two

Skinny Me 1980So now I know. I have no waist and losing another 50lbs is unlikely to unearth one.  Now I am having a bit of a rethink about what I should be wearing and ultimately making for myself.

The first cherished dream to go is the slim shirt tucked into well fitted jeans.  This is obviously a no go as I should have realised if I’d ever looked in the mirror as a teenager.  At sixteen and as slim as I ever was I still look like a sack of potatoes loosely tied in the middle.  OK, the pleated front and the flares on these cords don’t help.  But the basic issue is still no waist.

So instead of this look perhaps I should be thinking about this?



The next thing that bites the dust is the classic trench coat – all that volume belted at the waist is not flattering but perhaps something with similar styling but no waist emphasis.

This instead of this?


Finally I have to ditch my favourite Colette pattern – the Beignet skirt.  That high waist would be a crumpled wreck in minutes.  A smooth contoured waist would be better. This Burda Style skirt still has pockets and I wouldn’t have to be paranoid about all those Beignet buttonholes.


These are just my first thoughts on this challenge.  What style compromises have you had to make to suit your proportions?

The Opera House Top

imageLast month’s cold and snow made me feel the need to snuggle up with a good book and the curtains drawn. Unfortunately I had things to do so needed a cosy top to make me less sulky about the weather. I had a couple of metres of soft raspberry coloured ribbed fleece that I bought from The Shuttle in January and this top from Ottobre Woman 05/2008 seemed the perfect style.



According to Ottobre the pattern has soft pleats to shape the shoulders and in their thin, drapey wool knit this is exactly what they do.  Sadly in my thicker, stiffer fleece they stand proudly on each shoulder like models of the Sydney Opera House.  Other than that, this is my favourite make so far  – its warm, cuddly, fits well and generally just makes me feel cosy.

I learned a few things from this project. 

  1. Take fabric recommendations seriously ( at least until I have enough experience to make informed decisions about ignoring them).
  2. Raglan sleeves are so much nicer to sew than set in sleeves.
  3. Raglan sleeves are quite flattering on my narrowish, rounded shoulders.  (So much so that I succumbed to a half price Vogue pattern sale and bought Vogue 8781 just because the jacket has raglan sleeves!)


I am planning to make this again.  My mother has already placed an order for one and I have some lilac coloured fleece that will suit her perfectly. Next time I plan to fold out the pleats for a smoother shoulder line and shorten the depth of the cowl just a little because it is quite high at the back of the neck.  If I make another for myself I will also stitch the front pleat down a little further as it gapes a little over my bust. 

Pattern review is here.

Waist not …(want not?) Part One

I didn’t think when I started this sewing lark that I would develop odd fascinations with different parts of my body.  I’m currently obsessing about my waist. For all of my adult life the waistbands on my trousers and skirts have looked like this within minutes of being worn.  These RTW jeans have a narrow (4cm/1.5”) waistband and they are crumpled all the way round except at the centre back.


Until recently I assumed that this is due to me being very overweight and that as I lost weight this problem would go away but I think I may be wrong.

I’ve been doing a lot of  reading recently trying to identify my slowly emerging body shape. There are several interesting reviews of body type but I found Imogen Lamport’s blog Inside Out Style particularly useful because she helped me distinguish between shape as volume which changes when you carry more or less weight and the underlying skeleton which you can’t change.

The rather startling conclusion I have come to is that I don’t have a waist.   The difference between my bust and waist measurement is about 10cm/4”  and my bust and hip measurements are about the same. Looking at measurement charts for the Big 4 and the pattern magazines show about 18cm between bust and waist and 24cm between waist and hips.  La Mia Boutique scarily suggests 24cm and 28cm respectively.

The reason for this is that the distance between the top of my hip bone and the bottom of my rib cage is about 4-5cm/1.5-2.0”.  The average is in the range 10-15 cm/4-6”.  It seems that I don’t really have any space for a waist to fit in. I just just need to decide now what implications this has for the clothes I choose to make.