SIZE INCLUSIVITY IN SEWING
Our garments should be celebrating our bodies
Being able to sew garments is a wonderful skill, we're able to adjust and modify clothing to fit and style us. Garments should be worn to show off its design and manufacture; to be celebrated.
A lot of media focus on 'body positivity' by avoiding the word fat, claiming that using the word 'fat' is 'fat-shaming'. To squirm around the word and call someone curvy or larger, makes it feel like it's shameful and is being stigmatised. Surely body positivity would be to embrace fat bodies. Bodies are beautiful creations. The thing that needs to be stigmatised is fatphobia. Fatphobia is not okay.
Fat people are often excluded from many day-to-day activities. Look at all the marketing on your television screens, in magazines, on the runway. There are incredibly little, if no fat people at all. When it comes to sewing patterns, this can also be the case.
On searching for sewing patterns to stock in this store, I have found that a lot of companies draft patterns for flat sizes UK 8-16. In doing this, they have excluded a vast amount of people.
Personally I am a straight size sewist, and prior to starting this business, I thought that companies were doing better with Plus Size ranges. As I didn't require plus sizes, I never thought to actually look at them. However, since opening this store, and wanting to sell a range of products for everyone, I have found that many patterns only go to a couple of sizes past the flat sizes, yet claim that they have a Plus Size range.
As time has gone on, I am learning more from the sewing community, and thinking more about how I can help to stop exclusion to fat sewists. I want to be an ally to fat sewists, and support them where I can.
Moving forwards, as I go to re-stock sewing patterns for the store, I will choose to only buy and stock brands who are size inclusive. For any brands that I currently stock, or come across that do not offer extended sizes, I shall be sending them an email to encourage them to expand their sizing. Ada Chen (@i.hope.sew on IG) has written a wonderful template to send to pattern designers who do not offer extended sizes. You can find this template here: https://www.adachen.co/post/fat-inclusion-in-the-online-sewing-community. Please save this template and send it to any pattern designers who haven't thought about size inclusion.
Let's embrace our wonderful bodies, all of us, as we are. Dress them well (it's simply what they deserve) and continue to listen and learn from one another. We have always got to learn.
A wonderful pattern design brand is Muna and Broad (@munaandbroad on IG), created by Leila @leila_sews and Jess @fat.bobbin.girl, who draft sewing patterns for 40-60" bust and 41.5-71.5 hip. They can also grade up if you need so.