Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Fitting Issues

I love old patterns for both the actual patterns and also the anthropological aspects. Here we have the primary sources of an era, so to speak, with the attitudes of that time frozen for a moment and laid out before us. Who can not look at this lovely tableau and not know that women of that time were deeply concerned with their weight and appearance? (as my history professors would say, the more things change the more they stay the same). Whenever I read a statement that says, "Oh women in the 50's were lucky, they could have shapely figures," I want to laugh hysterically and point out that these are the people who brought you the girdle.
I have been thinking about weight and sizes recently because I have lost weight and now none of my clothes fit. And I was whining to a friend about how now I have to resolve all of my fitting issues all over again and how lucky she was that she was such a small size and could just buy off the rack. (every time I am in Banana Republic, it seems like all the cool stuff is in size 6. C. says whenever she is there, everything is size 14.) She quickly set me straight. She said that even though she is a small size, nothing fits her in RTW either. And my former boss, who is tall and slender (and looks like Malibu Barbie) also revealed that she has the same problem.
(So if these clothes fit no one, who buys them? A puzzlement. I am so glad I know how to sew.)
We discussed our sewing fitting challenges and it was a revelation to me that every single woman I know who sews had the same challenges. Even tall skinny people have fitting issues? I guess we are all in the same boat.
In my fantasy RTW design company, all of the clothes would come in every size. There would be no size apartheid as practiced now. The poor plus size people and petite people would not be made to feel like social outcasts. And the blouses and dresses would also be available in ABCD and DD cup sizes.
Oh yes, and while I am fantasizing, all of the patterns would come with these adjustments as well.

Simplicity made me cross recently by printing a super cute dress pattern without the bust adjusted bodices. They have a whole line of patterns with them. IMHO, all patterns should come that way. And this dress is so cute, but the way that the bodice is constructed it looks like it will be a Rubik's cube puzzle to figure out how to upgrade, so to speak, to a D cup. (Also they changed their website and no longer feature the complete line drawings. Grrrr).
It would be nice if we as consumers could put a little bit of pressure on the pattern making companies to expand their offerings to all include the bust adjusted option. I've given up on trying to change the RTW companies. I just make my clothes instead.


Myra said...

If you look around, RTW does not fit most people well. I make some of my clothes, I have fit issue and struggle to make them work, so not much gets finished. Buying RTW is a bigger nightmare. But I am picky about what I buy ready-made, so not much gets bought, either.

lsaspacey said...

I hate Simplicity's new website! I really do. They don't even have that great link were you could go and ONLY see the new pattern offerings, now you have to check across the board for all the categories. What's up with that?!

Uta said...

Well, I imagine supermodels have their own fit issues as well: length of leg, smallness of the hips etc... That said, a lot of RTW fits me off the rack, pants sometimes have to be shortened, that's all. And I still sew! RTW can't match my style 100 %, nor does it feel as good to wear a mass-produced item as one lovingly handcrafted. And it's fun! BTW, I also fit Burda with hardly any alterations, so I guess I'm just very "average" :) ! -
I feel for you on the changing size; I absolutely hate giving up one of those lovingly sewn garments and hope to wear them forever!

kbenco said...

There is a clothing alteration business in the same building where I work, and she does a roaring trade, so I guess that is what happens to RTW so that it will fit people.
Good luck with the re-fitting. It is a lot of work, but worth it, imagine having to wear what most people think fits OK.