Sewing clothes that keep on fitting

I’m at the beginning of two life journeys right now. One is rediscovering my sewing skills, which are rusty after years of neglect. I used to sew ALL the time, then stopped once my girls began to refuse to wear things I made for them, and when work/house renovation/cakemaking took all my sewing time.

The other is the journey back to my normal weight/body size.  I was always a size 14 for years, could pick up a Vogue pattern in a 14 and know it would fit. 2 kids, a bout of horrible depression and about 10 years of not looking after myself means I’m now most definitely an apple shape and more of a lumpy oversized bramley than a pert little crabapple!

I want to sew though, and I want to enjoy my clothes, so I’ll start out by making things that can adapt to my shrinking body

Wrap dresses and tops

Cardigan style jackets in knits

Drapey tops in stretch fabrics

Straight skirts that can have the sides taken in later, or this brilliant idea from a contributor to  Sewing Pattern Review for a skirt in a woven fabric, with a stretchy yoke that will shrink a few sizes. This pattern from Ottobre magazine (5/13) is exactly that:

 Threads magazine  issue 120 has an article on sewing clothes that fit as you shrink. I don’t have the back issue but may order it some time. The summary seems to suggest tops/dresses with princess seams that can be taken in, by changing the construction order:

 I won’t bother with complicated trousers as I know my tummy will shrink and the fit will be all wrong. I have plenty of RTW trousers in all sizes, purchased on the way up to my largest size, and they can do service on the way back down.

Jackets and coats are a possibility as long as I make them smaller, choose a fairly roomy style and accept that I won’t be able to fasten them for a while!

Fabrics need to be relatively inexpensive, but it’s an opportunity to practice a new pattern that can be made again in a smaller size later on.

More to come on my weight loss journey, and how and why I’m doing it. Meanwhile, maybe you’ve already come up with ways to make your sewing accommodate your changing size? I’d love to know more.

Lisa x

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