I’ve had a love/hate relationship with clothes shopping for as long as I can remember. Most of the time I was secretly traumatized and itching to be anywhere but near a department store. While also drooling over the colors and fabrics and wanting to dress so the outside looked more like who I knew I was on the inside.
When I was a child I would cry in frustration and hurt that the beautiful things I picked out no longer looked so beautiful once I tried them on, if we could find anything beautiful in my size. My mom would always comfort me and tell me I was beautiful and promise to take me to the bookstore, everything was possible with a good book.
In my teens I was just happy if we found something that fit and was comfortable. I had decided my clothes didn’t matter. No one who mattered would judge me based on my clothes. I developed serious callouses about my appearance so I could get through life in a world where appearance is stressed, and beauty is boxed up in gorgeous glossy magazines. I didn’t look in mirrors to see my over all look. When I looked in a mirror it was to check something specific. That my hair wasn’t sticking out too crazy, or that my acne was still there, always carefully avoiding the whole picture. I accepted that any beauty or attractiveness I had would not be physical.
As an adult I have cried in a shoe store. I have barely made it to the dressing room before the tears rolled down my cheeks.
It is humiliating to know that what I feel is irrational. Ultimately what I’m wearing isn’t a big deal. Clothes just need to keep me decent, warm, whatever, right?
Then I realized, I was having some big deal feelings about this supposedly no big deal thing.
This whole time I was also collecting fabric. There was a scenario playing out in the back of my mind where I was losing weight and would finally look good in the clothes I liked and I could use this awesome fabric I was hoarding for that someday when I would if not have the perfect body, at least look “OK” in fashionable clothes. (I was also harboring a hardcore fantasy where I wore clothes from different time periods as an everyday occurrence…..this is still on my bucket list.)
Then this crazy thing happened. A couple good friends took me clothes shopping and wouldn’t let me just pick out two or three things I knew were comfortable and didn’t have to try on. Oh, no. They had me pick out two or three sizes of a thing if I really liked it, and to take way more to the dressing room than what I could ever need. Then there was the number of things they gave to me to try on that I thought would just look terrible on me! I bravely trusted that they wouldn’t steer me wrong. I started to see that I could feel good and look good. This was a hard lesson. These shopping trips happened several times. They were both generous with their time and money and honest about what worked and what didn’t.
Going shopping became less traumatizing. But I was still frustrated. Something was missing.
I knew I needed to break down and use this precious fabric hoard now. I hadn’t lost any weight and if I did, I could sew! Whatever I make I could size down. By making clothes for myself I could express more of my personality. I could use some pent-up creativity and find my style.
My favorite thing to make and wear are skirts. One skirt can be worn with multiple tops, dressing it up or down depending on my mood or the occasion. In addition to their versatility skirts just feel good. I especially like the way long skirts feel on my legs.
As soon as I began wearing my colorful and unique skirts I began to get compliments. Strangers would stop me to tell me they loved my skirt and ask if I made it. Then they would want to know if I sold them. I had some friends hint that they wanted skirts of their own. I was nervous to make skirts for other people because of size. I am a plus size woman and I look at the waist line on some smaller clothes and can’t fathom, I mean maybe that would fit my thigh…. How could I design something that would fit someone so much smaller than me? Or even just a different shape?
But I did it. Eventually I made a skirt for one friend then another and I found that I could make clothes that fit whatever size.
That was a couple years ago. Since then I have been developing ideas and techniques and getting ready. Now I am making skirts to sell at last.
My skirts are designed to fit a variety of sizes. Some skirts will literally fit a size 2-22, while others will look best on a smaller range of sizes, none of them are strictly one size because who is always the same size? I guess some people are, but most women I know fluctuate even if only a little bit with seasons or hormones or pints of ice cream consumed as a method to keep from screaming in public… no wait, that is probably just me. Right?
Please explore my website and check out my online store (link also located in menu). Share with your friends and spread the word. I can’t wait to hear about how much you love wearing one of my skirts!