Thanks for the nice comments on the menopause post. It is very helpful when I write something and think to myself "am I nuts?"
The interfacing is due to arrive tomorrow.
That's a good thing because, I am warning you, I have pretty much got most of the best shirt ever made done, and it really needs a collar and facings. It is so loud and colourful and cheerful. Very retro said my husband, searching for words, but then again so am I.
Of course I wrote about the inside of the change of life and since fitting is an issue here, I should talk about that too.
A few things happen and here they are. No need to panic, like Bunny said once in a comment here, it is possible to be easier to fit after what I like to call the change back to yourself than before.
OK, the body things:
1. Your skin starts to look like your mother's in places that you thought were safe, like your legs. Cross your legs in shorts and you have leg wrinkles. Well, what do you know. And you might rethink mini skirts because your knees... well mine are reminding me of a basset hound's chin, and this too is sort of surprising. This impacts styles like say a mini skirt, except for the part that if you are of this stage - if you want to wear them you will and folks can just cope.
2. After a life time bending over children, desks, computers, and, yes sewing machines, your neck sort of gets bent forward. This means your front chest measurement gets narrower and your back gets wider. Some sewers deal with this by cutting a smaller front and a bigger back. I actually know someone who wears as size 12 front and a size 20 back. Imagine that, and she looks totally normal.
The really important thing to remember, and I am bolding this because it is so important, is if you sew you look great because things fit, it is only poor fit that makes "figure flaws" which IMO are just pattern/fitting issues, not person inside issues.
I personally deal with the bent upper back thing (which I have earned as a tall person in a short world and time spent with students/children/dogs/sewing - all completely worth the alterations) by looking for centre back seams and princess seamed backs so I can easily taper in the top of the seam. As Nancy Zeiman would say "Viola."
3. Your waist gets bigger. If you are lucky you may have fully functioning members of society out in the world after a start from behind that same waist. Larger waists are not a bad thing. Small children find them comfy props when you read to them and a really good belly offers good support to a nice plate of snacks and to the head of a hopeful fox terrier. In a hard world it doesn't hurt to be soft I figure, and sometimes is appreciated. Remember your best hugs of your life. It wasn't from someone bony was it?
OK, back to fitting.
When I was younger, before I did so much with my life, I had a 28" waist. This was a whole lot smaller than my hips and was a real pain to alter for. I had to go through my undergraduate lectures with uncomfortable darts sewn into the waistbands of my jeans.
For the first time in my life, post change-back-to-myself, I have few fitting issues with waists - I just add to them. This is because, and this is sooo true, it is always easier to make something bigger than it is to make something smaller. As a general rule in fact, when between sizes buy small and add - trying to reduce a pattern usually is disastrous.
3. You develop boobs. This may be an issue if you had lots to start with, but if you didn't really this extra also makes fitting easier. Just remember to lower the bust darts. I am not sure if increase in bust size is not really some of that stuff packed away just-in-case under your armpit moved to the front, but I will take it - fitting is easier.
I think I have more to say about being a woman at this stage - and if you aren't there now, you will be, so I will be writing more on this in later posts. I also have things I want to say about being a young mother and about working hard in the world.
It all matters to me.
But for now what would you add to fitting the experienced sewer?
- 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