Monday, November 5, 2012

Practicing what I preach

Well, my (Major Moma) first project from Gertie's New Book for Better Sewing is done!

front view of finished skirt
You know there are times when we are teaching our children and realize that we need to learn the same lessons.

A few years back, at a frighteningly young age, my eldest started saying things about not wanting "too many pounds" and how she "looked cute skinny".  It only made things more worrying when she was not eating much and had virtually no body fat.  So my husband and I talked to a counselor to find out if our concerns were well based, and what to do about it.

Thankfully, the counselor was not overly concerned, YET.  She said that this was a warning sign that our daughter is likely to turn to controlling food during times of stress and that we need to build a healthy understanding of nutrition and body image. 

My husband and I then started a concerted effort to regularly talk to Abi about how food and exercise are important to make us strong and healthy.  And that being strong and healthy is way more important than any weight, size, or shape of our bodies.  That seemed to work but I have had to be careful about what I say about my body in order to not send a double message.

Essentially, I need to practice what I preach.

I have been thinking about this as I have made this high-waisted pencil skirt.  As I blogged about altering the pattern to fit my body earlier, it became clear to me that I did not like that I needed to alter the pattern.  And, the shape of the pattern when altered was really kinda funny looking and part of me interpreted that as I must be funny looking.

but ...

I am strong .

I am healthy.

So why does it matter that I don't look like I did before I had three amazing babies?  Am I sending Abi mixed signals?  I am guessing that this will be a constant struggle for me to learn the lessons that I am trying to teach my kids.
And guess what, those adjustments really paid off!  The skirt fit wonderfully.  It was fitted but did not feel tight or pull and I could sit very comfortably in it.

lapped zipper before waist band is attached
One of the new techniques I learned was a lapped zipper.  My finished product was not perfect, but it is not too bad.  I usually do centered zippers, but according to Gertie, lapped zippers are very common in vintage sewing.
I hand sewed the waist band facing to the inside so that there was no stitching visible on the outside.  Gertie really emphasises using hand sewing in garment making, so I am playing along.

 The skirt had a curved waist band to highlight the high waist.  I debated on whether I would actually make it curved or just go for a standard narrow waist band.  But considering the print I chose, I figured it was time to go Big or go Home
The pattern called for boning to keep the shape of that large curve.  When I make this skirt again with a fancy fabric and do the underlining and all that fanciness, I will use boning. But, for this first try, I decided to interface both the outside piece and the facing piece.  And on the facing, I cut boning shape/size pieces of an extra thick interfacing that I use for baseball cap brims.  It seemed to work pretty well but I am sure in the long run, boning would be better.
So here I am.
In my fancy pencil skirt that was made for ME.  and MY shape.  And you know what? I felt great in it and though it started out looking funny when it was in pieces, when it is all put together, it looks (and fits) great.

PS.  Please consider joining us for Inspiration Point this month.

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