About me

My photo
I am a mother, a new grandmother, and a teacher. But whatever happens in my life, I keep sewing. I have worked as a political communicator and now as a teacher in my formal life. I have also written extensively on sewing. I have been a frequent contributor and contributing editor of Threads magazine and the Australian magazine Dressmaking with Stitches. My first book Sew.. the garment-making book of knowledge will be published in May 2018 and is available for pre-order from Amazon


Follow by Email

Follow me on Instagram


Friday, April 22, 2011

Ease isn't easy

Lots going around the home front today. Son from DC is in for Easter and has brought home a girl friend from NYC. 

This place is not a lot like NYC.

Driving home from the airport last night she said she wasn't used to so much darkness. Halifax is a port city and the airport used to be near the ocean. Except it was foggy so they moved the airport 45 minutes inland, cleared the trees and created a sort of depression in the landscape where the fog settles. Now even when there is no fog anywhere there is at the airport. So it's a long drive in through the country to get here and to some city lights.

I really, really like this girl. She is a nice, responsible, sensible girl and anyone who has sons knows those don't get brought home too often. Everybody around here, dogs included, are under Mom's Best Behaviour Orders. They know they will be getting The Look if they get out of line. I have done the floors twice and made lemon loaf (2) and my best squares, the chocolate and peanut butter ones that you stand at the counter and eat way past the point where you feel sick doing it.

DH is going out to get lobsters later for lunch.

OK, back to sewing because this is really important.

One of the great/interesting/amazing/surprising things about blogging is that you take pictures of yourself and then look at them before you post.

Pictures allow you to see things you don't through the filter of your own eyes in front of the house's only full length mirror.

Sometimes things don't look as good as you think they did.

One of the things I have noticed is that despite all my flat pattern measurements etc. my clothes have a little more ease than I think I really need. My vintage patterns were 3 sizes smaller than I usually wear and I did lots of additions at the bust/waist/hip but that smaller neckline and shoulders worked just fine.

This has me thinking about the whole thing about how women only concentrate on their "flaws," which in my case is a sort of waistless figure, I have always been straight up and down, and the old prominent rear end, much discussed as a curse of the family I had inherited. My whole life I have kind of dressed to cover that up.

But the thing is when I look at other people I would rather see someone showing a little shape than shapeless, and a generously sized woman IMO with style and a little fit looks about 100% better than someone who is disguising themselves in a tent. I used to work with a tiny woman who felt at "her age" clothes should not be fitted and as a consequence bought everything about two sizes too big. There was an attractive woman drifting around in there I always thought.

I think I should rethink this. I know I should.

I am not sure if I am expressing this well, but what about you?

Do you think you have nailed your own ease requirements down? What are your thoughts on ease in general? What's too tight and what's not too tight?  I would like to know what you think.


Belinda said...

Hi Barbara! Love your blog. :-) I like to think I have the ease thing conquered. I, too, like just a bit of shaping to garments, especially since I've lost a bit of weight. When I had the extra 20 pounds, I ran around in baggie shirts, thinking it wouldn't show. But now I know I only made it worse.

a little sewing said...

I know what you mean, I have learned the same thing from photographs.

And I think it is good to make things a little fitted, especially in the back. I looks good to see some curves.

Patty said...

I so agree. Case in point: DH and I attended a wedding last weekend, and on a lark I purchased a cute knit halter dress on the clearance rack at Marshall's. My usual size wasn't available, so I tried on both a size above (which I really thought I would need) and a size smaller. I brought home the size smaller, and I think it looked much better. I've received several compliments, and interesting to me is that a couple of people asked me if I lost weight. Hardly! after a l-o-n-g Michigan winter! but I think the more fitted dress showed off the curves a little more rather than just skimming over them :-)
PS: I really enjoy your blog!

shams said...

I have learned SO MUCH from photographs. And you never look as good as you think you do when looking in a mirror. :)

I also found that my clothes need to be fitted up top, where I'm large and also through my hips. People always tell me I've lost weight but I haven't. It's the fit of my clothes.

I am a waistless wonder too. :D

Myrna said...

Fitted definitely flatters better than tent. And then, there's overfitted. I went too far in that direction for awhile and have now - hopefully - found a happy medium. It would help if my waist didn't fluctuate so much - LOL - oh well!

Jodie said...

I agree with the ladies above too. As a very petite (short, short, short!) I look a little more professional and put together in clothing that fits me closely rather than too loose. I end up getting lost in my clothes. However, it's been a movement over time in this direction. For a long time I was uncomfortable with a fitted and more self-aware look and was self conscious. So....baggier/looser clothes. That has changed (for the most part) and I'm certainly happier with the way my clothes look on me. Enjoy the journey! Have a great Easter weekend,

LisaB said...

Interesting discussion regarding fit and ease. I can remember years ago wanting to make a fitted Vogue dress but being afraid of too many lumps and bumps showing. It turned out that I got more compliments when wearing that dress than anything else I've ever worn. Who knew?

Bunny said...

I think body awareness is a journey and digital cameras have certainly helped along the trip! Things that I would have approved of show every fauxpas in the camera's lens. It is such a great help. I also believe that every woman should show her curves. I went through that stage of buying clothes too large as well and now realize I actually look thinner if they are a little snugger. Being petite it is so easy to get overwhelmed by the volume side of fabric.

Anonymous said...

I don't like a lot of ease in my clothes and find if I cut the size the envelope says in the Big Four they look strangely baggy on me. Taking them in a bit - especially at the waist - improves them no end. Burda magazine patterns have about the right amount of ease for me. So the first thing I do with a pattern now is compare the pattern to the size chart, work out how much ease there is, and pick a size based on that.