Tag Archive | Plus sized clothes

Blue not-Disney dress.

So yeah, I should possibly have been a bit more realistic about my chances of making two dresses in a week. However I have finished the first one and am well underway with the second, so I’m to that far behind.

That blue fabric then…


well fate intervened most decisively on what to do with this one. I had been insisting I wasn’t going to use it for anything Beauty and the Beast related, and then I go and get myself invited to a Disney themed fancy dress party! And realised that in general, having a dress in my wardrobe that can easily be dragged out for fancy dress is a really good thing. Also a heatwave has hit London and I suddenly found I was in dire need of a few more basic sundresses.

So I made Simplicity 2886 a slightly more complicated to make than it looks basic sundress pattern. I made a version of this back when I started my blog a couple of years ago (here) a time when I was a lot less good at sewing and certainly didn’t know how to take photos of stuff (better photos here) and although the dress has grown on me wasn’t too keen on the finished result.

This time when I made it, I am a lot more confident about my sewing ability and finishing ability and so was hoping it would be a breeze. Actually it wasn’t! I didn’t have any fit issues this time as I made a straight size 18. Partly because I was so relatively new to sewing the first time round I didn’t know about simplicity fit issues so had all sorts of problems trying to take in a 20. And partly because although I would usually make a 16, but scale the waist up a bit, the first time I made this nothing lined up and it ended up a lot smaller than I thought it would (even though still far too big) so I thought I better leave a little extra just incase. I was right to.

I am good enough at sewing now, and I think my cutting was accurate enough to safely say, this pattern does not line up at all. This was largely all right as its nothing I couldn’t think round. but the waist band has ended up being a bit wider on one side than the other (the way it lined up) and there are a few other little details on the bodice that are not quite perfect.

Then I made a bugger up of my own and didn’t quite get the pleats even on the front of the skirt, which is not ideal.

Anyway, despite all that, it looks remarkably presentable on…

Any not looking quite properly fitting is completely down to it blowing a gale as Jon was taking photos. However this one had to be photographed outside as inside the camera totally refuses to get the colour of the fabric anywhere near correct.

simplicity 2886 b simplicity 2886 a simplicity 2886



And without the cardigan….

simplicity 2886 dsimplicity 2886 e simplicity 2886 f

I know it isn’t styled very well, but it was boiling hot and it is basically a sun dress,so not a lot else to do with it really.

I totally failed at getting my roots redone as our block of flats is being repointed at the moment and there are a load of workman swarming all over everywhere, especially outside our bathroom window, so its not really happening. I have given in and went to the hairdressers yesterday though.

I am intending to take some other pictures of this if I do end up styling it up for Belle fancy dress. At the moment I have a couple of custom size blouses, a petticoat and a wig on order from Taobao (via My Lolita Dress, which could be interesting) which I needed anyway, but which will complete the outfit, but they will not be here for a good few weeks, so I will have to find something else for the party, but thats fine, it was a good kick up the backside to just make the bloody dress.

I am halfway through the other dress I was working on and was going to finish it today, but am really not in the mood, having been out in the west end last night, and basically now I am massively sulking about the fact I just don’t fit into 90% of high street clothes, as there was loads of lovely cheap stuff I would have bought had it fitted. I enjoy sewing, and its a skill I’m glad I’ve mastered, but I don’t enjoy having to make clothes, I’d rather focus on the pretty frilly special stuff, and its really quite galling that because of my size (which is only 1-2 above normal high street, and completely caused by medication) if I want something, a sun dress or a pretty vest top (I need a load of these), my only option is to make it, where as ladies who haven’t been ill can just pop down to the high street and pick something up. I know there is stuff technically available, but in reality its either all at the Primark/tesco end of the market or all £60 a pop higher end stuff, and just being able to spend £20-£30 on something that is reasonably well made and fashionable would just be so lovely.

I’m sure I will feel more positive about it tomorrow, but today I’m going to flop around and read books and educate myself, which is what I’d do a lot more of if I didn’t have to do practical stuff the whole time! 😦

high street shopping fail.

Even though this is my blog and I’ll damn well post about what the hell I like, I have preferred to go down the sewing and charity shop route when it comes to posting about clothes. Although I follow many fashion blogs and occasionally buy things recommended by them, the whole sponsored post by a particular retailer thing has me fairly sceptical. You’d actually buy all this if you weren’t being paid to promote it? really?

However over the past few days I’ve had to buy the sort of basics I don’t have time and skill (or a sufficiently functional buttonhole machine) to make myself, and its completely reaffirmed to me why I make my own clothes.

I have not been in the slightest bit sponsored by any of the companies mentioned in this post , that’ll be damned obvious in a minute.

firstly Evans….

I don’t remember ever buying anything from them, I am not on their mailing list, but this morning a catalogue came through my door from them, so I thought I’d share the best bits….. (btw, i am exactly the sort of dress size somewhere like Evans should be my first port of call when looking for highstreet clothes)


This is the photo from the second page of the catalogue. Already it gives you an idea what to expect…. which would be that old cliche that fat women should drape those curves with floaty fabric and no waists, cuz obviously doing that doesn’t make you look three times frumpier than wearing something fitted, oh no! Also fat women obviously prefer having their bums covered by their tops (nope!).

Saying that, the spotty top would be something I might conceivably wear, except that its impossible to tell it looks so awful on that poor model, who incidentally, if she is plus sized, I am the virgin mary!

Now apparently Evans sizes start at size 14, though why the hell you would shop there if you are a size 14 is beyond me, when you still have respectable styled high street shops like Zara and H&M and Topshop within your grasp.  And clearly, looking at those models, it would be a silly idea anyway, cuz the clothes are categorically not designed to fit or look good on you, I’m in two minds as to whether they are designed to fit or look good on anyone, but showing them on someone size 20+ might be a nice idea, cuz those are the ones who will be buying it.


Next we have this gem of a piece. Skirt is not my style, but holy crap that top! Apart from making a thinish model look like she has a shelf for boobs, tops on fat people go up at the front and down at the back naturally, because of large tits or stomachs etc, there is absolutely no call to go accentuating it! Also the way it hangs would make anyone look pear shaped, no matter how thin!


This beauty is one where I’m not sure whether the problem is its designed for someone far larger and they are using too thin a model again, or whether its just a really badly shaped top, but it looks awful on this poor model, there is a massive great fold down the front makes her look like she has a belly and no waist when clearly she is fairly hourglass shaped. Hell no!


This would be fairly nice (well ok, non offensive) but really would a pair of darts down the front hurt? Or a semblance of a waist? And its clearly seethrough between the legs.

And finally…Image

I am not going to post any pictures of her, cuz that would be mean, but there is an interview in there with their head buyer. Suffice to say, she’s a good 10 years older than me I reckon, a fan of the shapeless tunic look, and I wouldn’t be seen dead in anything she is wearing.

Also those two shirts are disgusting, and i really don’t see the logic of having a shop for plus sized people many of whom, like me, may be utterly paranoid about their upper arms, and having so many sleeveless tops.

This may seem a bit harsh, i mean I could shop elsewhere. Except I can’t. New Look and ASOS curve make a bit of an effort, and Dorothy Perkins and Marks and Spencer go quite large in their mainstream ranges, but apart from that its catalogues that are every bit a frumpy middle aged lady as Evans or supermarket own brand clothing ranges.

I have no objection to a shop that does stylish work wear for the larger lady also, but these ain’t clothes that are going to help you get promoted.

Oh yeah, and once upon a time they did a collaboration with Beth Ditto. That was about 7 years ago now and a one off and the signature print in it was so distinctive that buying it shrieked ‘I bought this from a plus sized store’.

Now for my second target….

Waterproofs for plus sized people. Ones that are actually waterproof, not ‘showerproof’ or ‘water resistant’ or ‘splash proof’ , but the sort of thing that will see one through an English summer.

From the fashion stores forget it. Last year tosphop did a beautiful range of pvc macs in fashion colours, i bought a grey one in a size 16. it fit me apart from not being able to do up two buttons on the bum, but that was fine, I was at that time on slightly lower meds hence loosing weigh and fully expected to be fitting into it sometime soon. One winter of illness and lack of exercise later though, I’m struggling with 3 buttons on it, which has gone from looking like a deliberate fashion choice to It Just Doesn’t Fit!

So I’ve had to look for a new one. Gave up on the usual plus sized high street and internet stores, nothing actually waterproof, nothing thats not beige or little old lady pastels. So I ended up on The Mountain Warehouse website buying one.

This one to be exact. Which is all well and good, goes up to a size 22 which is great for me, I mean, not ideal if you do exercise/ need to travel in the rain and you are larger, but you know…

Came, was reasonably happy with it, the colour is a bit more heather or lavender than the proper goth purple shown on the website, but I can live with that. I bought a size 22 (for woolly jumper in winter purposes) and it barely fits, specially round the bum. I am a size 18.

Way to go Mountain Warehouse, fat people clearly don’t do walking or need wet weather protection!

Anyway enough whinging….

In sewing news I have finally got my overlocker out, threaded it (that was not quite as bad as expected but still took 3/4 hr) and tentatively done a couple of lines with it. The next step is I am trying to cut out a load of jersey patterns in fabric I’m not amazingly keen on to practice using the overlocker with.

I got a little overinspired by the Great British Sewing Bee and had visions of cutting out all 4 patterns I was planning on (I’m using a couple as toille/muslins/tryouts) in one day. Of course ilness and life in general got in the way and its taken all week to do three! But hopefully my first overlocker attempts will be up here soon!