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Weightloss as a Seamstress, Revisted

It’s been about 1 year since I last wrote about weightloss as a seamstress. 

What inspired me to write the post initially was that I was trying to find healthy coping mechanisms for my own weight gain. I was trying to understand what that meant for me and my projects– and how to cope in a body positive way.

Since last year’s post, I’ve gained even more weight- and again, that’s ok. There’s no reason to shame myself for having done so; its natural and happens. What has also changed since last year is that my sewing hours have ramped up and I produce a new garment every couple weeks. The weight gain has not stopped me from taking on projects that are form fitting or that expose a little bit of tummy. Seriously, I made a swimsuit this year and posed for photos in it. I can still pose and be fierce, even with the extra pounds packed on.

Full disclosure, my best body-affirmation doesn’t come from fashion magazines or traditional media- it actually comes from drag queens. One of my favorite aspects of drag culture is that it encourages you to love yourself at any size and rewards those who can step out of their shell and really “feel the fantasy” (see Drag Race, etc.) Of course even having been a fan of the culture for years still means I have a lot to learn. But that doesn’t mean I can’t channel that happiness and confidence when I’m in public, trying to pose for a photo for the blog, even with a little extra curve on my body.

Rago Shapewear Girdle, Pinup Weightloss as a Seamstress | @vintageontap

 

Being fierce at any size doesn’t mean I don’t want to be healthy, though. 

I can candidly admit that I do have to lose weight. Not for vanity, but for health. I’ve officially reached my 30s and want to be mobile, healthy, and glowing, especially as this blog grows and grows. The added weight to my height isn’t helping my blood pressure and making steps to improve my longevity can always start now. Like wearing sunscreen.

Looking back on old posts, there are things I’ve made that I can’t wear right now which really bums me out. All those clothes are sitting in my closet, waiting to be worn. Unfortunately, within the sewing community this part of sewing doesn’t ever get talked about, just swallowed silently as just another adjustment to make on a pattern piece. For all the effort that I made making my clothes, I want that invested energy to be enjoyed every day and not wasted.

Focusing on weightloss as a seamstress for me means:

  • Feeling happy and confident in the clothes I make
  • Being able to know my body’s dimensions intimately for a better fitting garment
  • Reducing the amount of pattern blending that I’ve been having to do since my weight has increased

I’ll probably still rock a waist cincher– it’s super pin up and vintage and I enjoy it. I love the silhouette it creates and the authenticity it gives my garments.  An additional challenge will be to flawlessly take in everything I’ve made over the past year.

I’m ready to experience some weightloss as a seamstress and am actually really looking forward to it. Here’s to a healthy and happy year for me!

17 Comments

  1. Yes!! So many people stop this discussion at having an appreciation of different body types and never seem to want to discuss health- something almost all of us need to focus on more throughout our day. Fitness should be part of appreciating our bodies! I’m trying to lose the weight I put on during pregnancy, and ironically some of the affirmation people try to give is just frustrating because it can come across as a sort of aggression against my desire to feel like myself again and be what I know is more healthy. I totally don’t want to downplay their support- it is not to be taken for granted- but there seems to be a bit of a false dichotomy going on around here. Either you embrace your body as is, or you hate it and want change. Silliness! You can be striving for improved health AND be kind to yourself (they should be part of the same mindset). Ok I’m getting on my soapbox, but I wanted you to know that this post is much appreciated!

    • Thanks so much for your comment! I’m so glad I’m not alone out there in thinking this way! Being healthy is mind and body- and we should always strive for loving ourself, being kind to ourselves, and also being aware of when your body is not “ok”– no matter the size!

      Good luck with your weight loss journey- you’ll be feeling more like yourself in no time!

  2. Thank you for revisiting this topic! I recently started losing a lot of weight due to some life changes (the kind that make you lose all semblance of an appetite) and changing my sewing accordingly has been a real challenge. I definitely despise doing alterations, but I may need to nip into doing some soon :(

  3. Thank you so much for writing this post. Sewing is a love hate experience with me because I get upset when things don’t fit like they should combine that with the fact that most vintage patterns (which I love) are so tiny it really starts to get to me. I often wish if only I was the size on the pattern and then I could just sew it with no alterations. However, I’ll most likely never be a size 28 waist, I have to keep telling myself that it’s just not practical for me *sigh*. As you mention health is also something to consider and for me I need to lose weight to help with my narcolepsy and back problems. However, like Christina said in the previous reply, all my free time is also used for sewing not working out. Hopefully we can all find a method that works best for us and that weight not be a reason for missing out on sewing.

    • Hi Akram-

      Thank you so much for your comment. I feel the same way whenever I see sizes on vintage patterns, which sucks, because it goes back to one of the reasons why most of us started sewing; we wanted to feel amazing clothes that fit our bodies well. I’ve been doing my best to refuse that sort of thinking to take over my head! It’s hard when you see a rare vintage pattern and know it might not be meant to be :(

      With that said, health is always paramount, and I, for one, chose that over sad feelings over a pattern not working with me. So, TO HEALTH! (with the occasional glass of wine and cheese puff, because we can’t be good ALL the time ;D )

  4. Argyro K. Argyro K.

    Hi! It’s a really big topic I think! As you said no one say anything about it!😕
    Since almost 2 months I gave birth to a beautiful little babyboy 👶 which means that my body changed and I gain weight during pregnancy. Of course it’s a natural process! 😊
    At first, I didn’t want to sew anything at all before first of all lose my extra weight!😟 It’s sounds like a punishment right? I thought that i didnt want to ruin my precious fabrics in order to avoid making smt in different size than my regular (before pregnancy) because I wanted so bad to go back to my size. Well, I thought about it more clearly. When I sew I feel creative and full of happiness! I couldn’t quit sewing and not making garments until I go back to my previous measurements! Moreover, my fabrics aren’t more important than me! That way, I decided that I should sew any cloth that I like! When I change size I will continue sew, just the smaller size! As far as the bigger garments is concern, when I lose weight I’m gonna give them to friends or I will keep them for a future pregnancy! 😉
    Finally, I would like to mention that we should take care of ourselves! Diet doesn’t mean eatting nothing, it means eat healthy! Also, don’t forget to exercise..take a walk at least! Most important : Love yourself!
    Happy sewing everyone!
    Argyro 😙😙💞💞

    • Hi Argyro-

      Your comment is so full of happiness, I absolutely love it. You are absolutely correct that it’s just fabric- and you’re not more important than it. Sew what you want and just sew a different size as your body changes, but never give up the craft that you enjoy to do. And you’re totally right- give the clothes away or put them aside for later, that’s what I’ve been doing, too.

  5. Thank you for this post, Bianca. I struggle with my weight a lot and do not have the healthiest mindset for it, but I am trying through my sewing to be more body positive. I learned to grade projects so that no project is out of bounds to me, and its good, really inspiring to be able to do that but after a while I began to wish I didnt have to grade every project I like. But what isnt always talked about is everyone has to make adjustments no matter what their size. I’ve been thinking about writing about this topic for a while and havent, possibly because I wasnt sure how many would relate to me but your comment about it not being talked about struck a cord. Maybe there are more that can relate but we dont know it because no one is talking about it. I was just wondering what my next post would be about, thanks for inspiring me.

    • Hi Claire-

      Thank you so much for your comment! I have to give you props on learning how to grade patterns; that’s a skill I haven’t learned yet, but still will be super useful as I collect more vintage patterns.

      It’s definitely disheartening knowing that as a community, we face our size and measurements on a regular basis, but always skirt the issue and we don’t tackle it head on. So many of us learn to expand our skills because of our proportions and that’s absolutely amazing; but body image and comfort in our own skin goes hand in hand with it.

      Looking forward to reading your post; I’ll look for it on the FB group!

  6. I love the ideas that you’ve shared in this post. I think it is all about being happy and healthy in the skin that we’re in – and sewing totally helps with that.
    I’ve felt much better about my own body since I got to know it’s dimensions better. And of course, the fact that I can tailor my garments to fit those dimensions, rather than having to fit into the prescribed sizes of the high street/fashion mags, is the ultimate win – there’s no such thing as a ‘problem area’ when you can get the fit of your clothes right :)

    • I couldn’t agree more, Shauni! I can never look at RTW the same again 😜

  7. If sewing burned calories, with the hours we put in we would be super models! ;-). Joking aside, sitting for long periods of time is probably incredibly bad for you. Especially for those of us that sew in our precious free time, around a full time job. I know if I have a free hour floating about I’m using it for sewing and not to work out. I would love to see a post of your progress and any tips that you think up along the way. I spent the summer in floaty dresses, now I’m trying to put back in the wool pencil skirts, and mortifyingly, too tight to wear comfortably. Also, I should probably stop sewing with snacks in my machine draw, very naughty.

    • Oh my goodness- I totally agree about the sewing during spare time. Instead of going outside and running for half an hour, that half an hour is spent at my sewing space, trying to finish up a garment. Carving out work out time in the middle of dreaming up a project doesn’t sound appealing haha

      Just yesterday I tried on a skirt from last year and I couldn’t get the zipper up. I was definitely a sad day, but a reminder that changes are afoot!

  8. Brittany Brittany

    I love your thoughts on this issue and truly needed to hear them myself! I actually put down my shears and let my machine collect dust for over a year out of insecurity over my weight gain. Which is completely silly because customizing fit was one of the biggest reasons I began to see in the first place! I’m back at my machine, working daily to make healthy choices, and just embracing myself. Thank you for this post! I wish you the best on your weight loss journey and look forward to your future makes!

    • Thank you so much for your comment, Brittany! I’m so sorry that you put your machine away for a while, but I totally understand how you must have been feeling. I’m happy you are sewing again, though, because embracing ourselves should be #1– and if it comes down to it, we can always give away an old garment and make something fabulous again!

      • What a refreshing blog! See glad I clicked in while looking for information on using a french curve.

        You mentioned wearing the waist cincher and how it adds to the authenticity of the vintage look. I agree wholeheartedly. Not to mention a nipped waist is darn right sexy and cute. Will you please recommend a decent brand, please? Recent weight gain has made me face that I need a waist cincher or corset. I am thinking due to my lifestyle the cincher may be the better of the two. I really enjoy your blog and will bookmark to return and ravish your information later today.

        Lyric, Sew Lyrically Vintage Blog

        • Thank you so much for your nice comment!

          I’m all about my Rago waist cincher. The one I use is this one: http://amzn.to/2tNy0pM

          It’s comfy and pretty comfortable except for oneeeeee thing. I’m normally a petite in waist length so this one kind of pokes me a bit since it’s made for more of an average-length torso!

          But thank you so much for following the blog- it means a lot to me!

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Vintage on Tap started in 2013

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