My dear sewing and crafting friends,
I’ve recently noticed a trend: beautiful, talented, amazing sewists whom I adore have been sneaking in little comments, or writing entire posts about things that make them feel self-conscious. I just don’t get it. I see beautiful women who have style, looks, and skill I try to emulate worrying about little things like their “belly pooch,” “arm flaps,” and “cellulite.” They’re worrying about things I just don’t see!
What’s worse, I’m not the only one who’s noticed. Kristin of Sew Classic and I have been talking, and we agree. Something needs to change. Someone needs to help us celebrate our bodies. We’re supposed to be a supportive, helpful bunch. Our community of sewists (sewers? seamstresses?) is special. We support each other, fix each others mistakes, and tell each other when we’ve made a knockout new garment. So, I’m challenging Kristin. She’s challenging me. We’re challenging you! We want you to stop the self-depreciating talk, and celebrate your body. After all, it’s the only one you’re ever going to get!
Which leads me to my new obsession. I want to make my own lingerie. Bloggers like Madalynne, Novita, Amy, Heather Lou, and Sarah have been making bras, undies, slips, robes, nighties, corsets, and even swimsuits for ages, and sharing their infinite wisdom with all of us for just as long. I want all those pretty garments whizzing through my sewing machine, too!
I also want to show them to you. But, I’m afraid.
You see in real life, I have no problem walking around in a bikini. I don’t care if you’re looking at me in disgust because my tummy is jiggling, or drooling over my physique. I grew up at the beach, and that means I’m most comfortable in bare feet and a swimsuit. In my blogging life, I’m afraid of what all of you will think of the girl prancing around in her new nutmeg set.
On of my favorite bloggers, Novita, sews up bra and panty sets that are always constructed amazingly well. Sometimes, if we’re lucky, she even posts pictures of herself wearing them. I think that posting a picture of you in your bra is not only one of the bravest things I’ve ever seen a fellow blogger do, but the most helpful. As someone who reads blogs both to interact with others, and to learn from them, seeing bras, underwear, pj’s, and swimsuits on others is so much more helpful then seeing them on a dress form.
Other bloggers have posted time and time again about how dress forms just don’t properly represent the female form: we each have our own unique, beautiful shape, and a dress form just can’t show us what a garment really looks like. Most sewing patterns have line drawings and photos of the finished garment on an living, breathing human. They rarely bother to show them on a dress form.
Why then, do most bra, panty, slip, and swimsuit patterns show only line drawings or illustrations of the finished garment? Even more importantly: why are we all so afraid to show other sewists the foundation garments we’ve created? Are we all afraid that others will look at us and go “ew,” or are we afraid that others will judge us for posing on our blogs in our underwear?
What is the stigma?
I mean, really, bras cover more than bikinis! We have no trouble running around in sundresses; what’s wrong with slips? Bodysuits and one-piece swimsuits are really just rompers without shorts! Most importantly, we seem to have no trouble wearing a swimsuit at the beach in front of hundreds of strangers…why can’t we wear them on our blogs to help others learn?
I’m not sure what it’s all about. Quite honestly, I don’t care. I think that every single woman has a beautiful body: whether it is apple shaped, pear shaped, or hourglass. Whether you were born thin, work hard at the gym to build a muscular physique, or tailor your clothes to show-off your curves, I want to see what you’re making.
Are you making a swimsuit this season? Have you been sewing bras for ages? I want to see them, and I don’t want to see them on a hanger.
Why? Because I want to learn from you. I want to know how these garments hang, how they drape, and how they show off what you’ve got. Line drawings are fine and dandy for seeing where the seams on a garment should line up, but I want to see how they hold up on real women’s bodies!
Most of all, I want us all to be as brave as Novita. I want to show you my makes, and not worry that you are looking at my thighs instead of the cute bow I put around the waist of my underwear. In order to be that brave, I’m going to need your help, your support, and your input.
Now, I’m not saying that we should all start sewing lacy thongs and posing like pinups (although you can if you want to!) I’m saying that we should show off our makes, good or bad, no matter what type of garment we’ve made. I want you to step just an inch out of your comfort zone and show off garments you might usually just hang on a hanger, BUT I want you to do it in a way that makes you feel comfortable. If you want to wear a sarong with your color blocked bikini, go ahead! Want to wear a t-shit under that new steel-boned corset? Go for it! If you’d feel more comfortable wearing a robe with your new high-waisted betty panties, please do! Would you like to show off your bra, but not the rest of your body? Hell yes! The only rule is that you get out there and show off your makes.
|Lots of ladies looking happy, healthy, and awesome in vintage suits!|
Here’s the challenge:
Show us your handmade underthings! We’re calling them “skivvies” because we think it’s way more fun that way! Simple as that.
Each week, Kristin of SewClassic and I will be featuring a project from the flickr group, as well as a bunch of other skivvy-related posts. On August 1st, we’ll be doing the big reveal of everyone’s awesome projects.
Are you in???
Join the flickr group, grab a button, and snap a photo! Add it to the group by July 31st, and stay tuned for pattern ideas, interviews, giveaways, and project photos! Love twitter? Show us what you’re up to with #sewingskivvies !
Finally, I’m getting us started, because if I didn’t that wouldn’t be very brave of me, now would it?
That’s me, on the beach, last summer in my favorite suit. I can’t wait to sew my own, and to see yours!
And, don’t forget to head on over to Sew Classic for updates, posts, features, and skivvy-sewing!
**One last note: in the interest of personal privacy, the flickr group is set to private. You must be a member of the group to post photos and to see photos of others! When you join the group, make sure there is some way for us to figure out who you are (tell us the name of your blog, say hi, link to your flickr profile, etc.). We’re looking for friendly sewists who want to help each other learn, not creepers who want to look at construction photos of undies. If you DO NOT want your photos to be a part of the “big reveal” on our blogs for any reason, please let either Kristin or myself know by sending us an e-mail! **