Inspired and ranty

The Toronto Fashion Sewers

Last Sunday, I met for a lovely brunch and swap with a bunch of ladies known as Toronto Fashion Sewers.

General fuzzy goofiness in a babushka

I’m still giddy and buzzing with creative vibe and inspiration. Ladies present were Alicia of thelittleironpress, Catja of Gjeometry, Sandra of Justsew,  Debbie who does not blog but is an incredible sewist, and I.

Lovely Alicia and Catja

We ate, drunk, took fuzzy pictures, goofed around, talked, and talked, and talked. And also we talked about sewing.

Fabulous Debbie and Sandra

It was fun! We oogled many Burda magazines, which were part of the swap, and then we went into a magazine store where many of us purchased more Burdas. One thing led to another, and a group challenge was issued: we’re all going to make the same shirt, from May 2013 issue. And those of us who don’t want to make the blouse can make something different from Burda.

That’s the shirt. Cute, no?

I love that top, but here is where the annoyed part starts… Burda “regular” sizing (for those who never used B. mag for patterns before, like yours truly) goes to size 44, which is 39″ (100cm) in bust, 32″ (82 cm) in waist, and 41″ (106 cm) in hips. So if I want to make that shirt, I have to add some seeeeeeeeeeeerious yardage to all of the measurements (OK, in hips I only have to add 3″). So let’s take a look at the “plus” measurements, shall we? Oh lookey, size 52, the biggest size on the chart, that’s pretty close to my measurements. So what does Burda propose for “plus” ladies then? Oh, a tablecloth with a bow,

Tablecloth with a bow

a tent with a hood,

A tent with a hood
A tent with a hood

a sail with kimono sleeves.


So my question is this: why do the publishers of Burda assume that most of the plus-sized women ( I really hate the term plus-sized, BTW) want to hide, want to drown themselves in yards of fabric? Why do they think that putting on something lose fitting and waaaaaaay oversized would help anybody “camouflage” the tummy, hips, or the bust? In my experience, if you wear a variation on a moo-moo theme, you’re going to look like a big woman in a moo-moo. And the bow or pretty pastel colour will not save this atrocity of an outfit. But it’s not fair to judge the wholesomeness of a magazine by just seeing one issue, no? So I flipped through another Burda which was on hand, a Polish-language edition. Here’s what I saw:

At first glimpse, not totally atrocious, but look a little closer…

Later on, when I showed this to my mother-in-law, she burst out laughing. Every single outfit was a variation on a sleeping gown, with shirring under the bust. Last time I wanted to wear garments with shirring was when I was… 8 years old. Ridiculous. But, in all fairness, nobody is forcing me to wear Burda’s plus-size designs. And it’s a good thing, since I’m intending to celebrate my body the way it is. Not the way it will be when/if I lose 10 or 50 lbs, not the way it will be when I adhere to my weightlifting 3x/week, but the way it is NOW. This body is my vehicle, it’s been with me through thick and thin (hahaha!), and is as relevant as any other body out there. So forgive me when I won’t choose to “camouflage my large bust” as I read somewhere in the Polish Burda (I know that there are completely sane and mature women out there who would pay big fat bucks to have boobs like mine), or if I shock the world with a glimpse of a thigh. I choose to treat my body with dignity and will not be shamed into wearing concealing and apologetic items because some magazine publisher thinks that’s what plus-size women should do. We all have beautiful attributes we should let the world admire, than hide it all because we are too heavy/fat/skinny/curvy/flat/short/tall/boyish/altered by childbearing/hairy/balding/busy/tired/droopy/muscular/flabby/pimply/hyper-pigmented/apple/pear/banana/strawberry. I’m going to make me a smoothie now! And tomorrow, I’ll try to enlarge that “regular” pattern. And I will wear what makes ME happy!

PS. I’ll try not to rant too often. Also, I know that there are some totally va va voom patterns on Burda Style website, but this rant dealt with the magazine only. I won’t start with the website right now…