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episodes

Bonus Episode!

Jenny and Beverly discuss their favorite patterns that were released in the first quarter of 2021.

https://www.instagram.com/sewstainability/

https://www.instagram.com/stories/highlights/18136361935007846/

https://shop.fibremood.com/en/product/515-rozan-top-pdf-pattern

https://shop.truebias.com/product/marlo-sweater-sz-14-30-pdf

https://www.lovenotions.com/product/metra-blazer

Tutorial on how to draft side pockets

https://www.seamwork.com/catalog/benning

https://www.stylearc.com/shop/sewing-patterns/emerson-woven-dress/

How to Draft Sleeves

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episodes

Episode 8: Size Bias in Sewing Patterns

Please go to Jenny’s Blog Post to read more about this important subject.

100 Acts of Sewing A-line Dress

FREE Toronto Tee

Peppermint Pleated summer dress

#pfWTF: Michelle @sewverymuch

https://www.instagram.com/p/CLHDI7zF4w3/

Two piece combo with lovely bright printed fabric – ashton top with peppermint pocket skirt. So cute!

https://www.instagram.com/p/CK03jGclxD3/

https://sewliberated.com/products/hinterland-dress-pdf-sewing-pattern

Cashmerette

https://criswoodsews.com/

Helen’s Closet

Style Arc

Friday Pattern Company

Muna and Broad

Categories
blog

Sizeism in the Sewing Community

This is a topic that is near and dear to my fat self – and I am delighted to have a chance to share it in a longer form than my usual Instagram posts about the same.  I’ve shared a little about this in the past on my own blog here: https://thatssewjenny.com/episodes/being-part-of-the-solution.

And I accidentally shared a bit about how sizeism makes me feel in a YouTube pattern haul video here.  The video started as a celebration of the patterns I’d bought on sale, but by the end was really a commentary on how the “big four” pattern companies don’t really see my body at all.

Let’s dive in:  what do I mean when I say “sizeism”?  Well, there’s a default setting in sewing communities for a smaller body size – so when things are drafted, they’re generally drafted for that smaller body.  Bigger bodies end up as an afterthought (leaving the design challenges to the sewist instead of the designer) regularly.  This leaves bigger bodies in a marginalized space within the sewing community.  

Why do I talk about size extension instead of size inclusion?  Because it is impossible to include everyone in any sizing chart – so what I’m asking for is that pattern companies extend their sizing charts to include a more significant number of sewists.  I also recognize that it is unlikely that sizing charts will include all sewists (true inclusivity).  There are several designers who will draft their patterns to include your measurements (Muna & Broad, SizeMe, RubyNZ) which can make their designs very inclusive – but even then there can be a barrier to getting this done as the measurements required may be intimidating or hard to come by if you’re a sewist without someone to assist you in taking those measurements.

You’ve likely seen this at one time or another when you check out a pattern and find you aren’t able to fit it due to some measurement or another.  For me, it’s almost always hip size, but sometimes it’s also my waist size.  If you fit easily in the standard size patterns, you may have become aware of this issue when you recommended a pattern to a larger friend … only to have them report back that it doesn’t come up to their size.  This was Beverly’s experience when she looked for a pattern for her daughter to sew.  

In addition, the topic comes up regularly on discussion forums & Instagram posts when a designer is called out for their lack of size extension, usually with bad results. 

Want some context? Check out these discussions that have occurred elsewhere:

  • A discussion on size extension, inclusivity, & Gertie’s Charm Patterns here.
  • Before Tilly & the Buttons announced they’d be extending their sizing, they first said they weren’t going to make it a focus. @threadyforit started a conversation on size extension on Instagram in December 2021.  That discussion also occurred on Reddit here.
  • Designer Tessuti Fabrics committed to extended sizing, but then released a very simple pleated skirt without including larger sizes.  The fallout can be seen here (Tessuti turned off the comments on the post launching the new pattern in Jan 2020, so you have to read between the lines a bit on this post from Leila Sews with a tutorial for self-drafting a similar style skirt).  I did a quick review of their current offerings, and it appears extending their size range never became a priority.

So what can designers do to make a difference?  

  • Starting today, plan to create patterns in sizes up to 70” hips minimum for all future patterns
  • Create a plan to extend previous designs
    • Make sure expansion prioritizes popular designs
    • Make sure expansion includes updating the images on the website
      • Your models should reflect your size range
      • Your Instagram feed should reflect your size range
      • Update images of size charts (if I have to dig around to see if something fits me, I get the message that you don’t care about me)
  • Talk about what’s needed to make extending the size range feasible
    • New pattern block
    • Pattern testers
      • Paid
      • Fabric provided
      • Paper printing reimbursed
    • Additional training on grading for larger figures
      • Apple-shaped
      • Pear-shaped
      • Gender-neutral styles
  • Commit to transparency regarding your plans, your barriers to extended sizing

The fat sewing community is a significant underserved community.  Designers who get it right have access to $ that other designers – those who can’t picture bigger bodies in their designs – are missing out on.

We should also recognize the damage done to fat sewists when patterns aren’t designed for our bodies.  We’re all a part of the community until the latest pattern that’s all the rage goes around … and it turns out your body isn’t one that can participate due to a lack of size range.  This happens to me all the time… I rarely get to go all-in on the latest pattern you see on every sewist’s “must make” list because it’s all too uncommon for these to come up to a 61” hip.  Recently a favorite sewist shared yet another one of her amazing Wiksten Shift dresses – and I finally decided that I’d buy the pattern and make it … but of course, it isn’t sized for me.  This hip stops 9” before my hips do. This is one of those blind spots I have.  I am so used to being excluded, that I hardly get disappointed about it when it happens now.

Linked here are three conversations I had with members of our community about this topic.  I hope you take the time to listen to each one.  Share with us your thoughts here and on Instagram by tagging us #pfSizeExtension

First up, my conversation with Marianne (Instagram: @therotund)

Next up, my conversation with Leila (Instagram: @leila_sews)

Finally, my conversation with Aaronica (Instagram: @theneedleandthebelle)

In addition to actions designers can take, here are some things especially straight-sized sewists can do to make a difference (big thanks for Beverly for the suggestions here for straight-sized sewists):

  1. Refuse to purchase patterns that don’t come in decent size ranges.  You can draw the line where you please, but a good recommendation might be to avoid pattern companies that don’t have a larger block for plus-sized sewists.  Typically, if a pattern company isn’t designing for a 60” hip, they’re not reaching a significant number of fat sewists.  
  2. If that’s too big an ask for you right now, you could choose not to advertise for those companies – either not posting those makes or not tagging the designer/pattern when you do make something from a non-extended pattern.
  3. And if that’s too big an ask, you could post the maximum size of patterns that you make.  This is especially important for patterns with limited size ranges.  It’s not nice for plus-sized sewists to get excited to make a pattern only to go try to get it and find the largest size is much too small for them. 

If you aren’t ready to try 1, 2, or 3 above, I understand.  It’s really hard to look at the world of possibility and realize you can’t participate because you decided to be an ally to fat sewists … that inability to participate is a fat sewists reality every day.  

What do you think should change?  Where do you see problems? How are you going to help?

Categories
episodes

Episode 7: Introducing #pfDrafty

In this week’s episode, Jenny and Beverly discuss April’s theme: #pfDrafty! The connection to the clue was very weak (we know it!) – “Blowin’ in the wind” –> Drafty –> Draft your own garment or part of a garment.

The importance of ease

Side by side photo of Jenny wearing a skirt with the full ease intended by the designer on the left and with less ease on the right.
Photos to demonstrate the difference in how a garment looks using a different ease than the pattern is designed for. Both are lovely skirts, but the point is – they are not the same skirt.

Jenny’s poncho pattern

#punkfrockerWTF (who to follow): Sierra Ferguson (Sew_very_sierra)

https://www.instagram.com/sew_very_sierra/

You can find Jenny at: @johassler on Insta & www.sewjenny.com 

You can find Beverly at @weedstowildflowers on Instagram and at http://weedstowildflowers.com

And you can find the podcast at @punkfrockers and at http://punkfrockers.com

Categories
episodes

Episode 6: #pfWhoAreYou Reveal!

Here’s your clue for next month! We will be SUPER IMPRESSED if anyone guesses it from this clue!

Allison Tent Dress

Vogue 1611

Image of woman in homesewn pajamas.
Photo of woman in very colorful running tights
Jenny asked what running tights are – here are a pair I made for myself.

Arcadia joggers

Hemlock Tee

Browse #pfWhoAreYou makes here

Hinterland dress

https://fabrics-store.com/fabrics/linen-fabric-IL019-natural-softened-middle

https://fabrics-store.com/fabrics/linen-fabric-IL019-ceramic-softened-middle

https://www.dickblick.com/items/speedball-fabric-paper-block-printing-ink-turquoise-25-oz/

https://www.fabric.com/buy/0312560/kaufman-brussels-washer-linen-blend-ocean

Categories
episodes

Episode 5: Definitely Not Guaranteed Sewing Tips

Jenny and Beverly discuss their favorite sewing tips. While they hope these tips are helpful, they are not guaranteed. See links below for more reliable sewing advice.

https://trello.com/en-US

https://www.anniescatalog.com/detail.html?prod_id=152725&cat_id=1214

Categories
episodes

Episode 4: Make it your own

https://www.stylearc.com/shop/sewing-patterns/selina-woven-top/

https://www.fabric.com/buy/0741625/fabric-merchants-deadstock-rayon-challis-twill-navy

https://fabrics-store.com/fabrics/linen-fabric-IL019-ceramic-softened-middle

https://phatquartersfabric.com/product/knit-pencil-skirt-pdf-pattern-121-adult-waist-sizes-25-58-5/

www.spoonflower.com

https://www.spoonflower.com/en/sample-pack

https://www.contrado.com/fabric-swatch-pack

Categories
episodes

Episode 3: Our #pfWhoAreYou choices

In this episode, Jenny and Beverly discuss their ideas for what to make to introduce themselves in a handmade garment.

https://www.iviye.com/patterns/the-goddess-gown-pdf-pattern

Style Arc Selina woven top 

https://www.stylearc.com/shop/sewing-patterns/selina-woven-top/

Style Arc – Maddison tee

https://www.stylearc.com/shop/sewing-patterns/maddison-top/

Several could be used for the #frugalfrock challenge hosted by @frugalisama and @yorkshiresewgirl  

Rebecca Page Portia Party dress up to a 58” hip

Agnes swing top from Halla Patterns, up to 59” hip – free if you join her facebook group, $5 if not.  

Rebecca Page Patsy Party dress up to 57” hips (but hips not likely to be limiting)

From the Fabrics_store linen: up to Hip 58” Cora Half-sleeve linen dress

Noor wrap dress – up to 58” hip, but FG 82” hip

Pier Ave Pencil Skirt – up to 67.5” hip, free with newsletter subscription:

What have I decided for my #pfwhoareyou outfit???

The Sew Liberated HInterland Dress!

https://sewliberated.com/products/hinterland-dress-pdf-sewing-pattern

Jenny: working on UptonFabricRoulette

Pattern Testing – Plus Size pattern testing FB group https://www.facebook.com/groups/3660667303963774/?ref=share

Upton:up to 62” hip & bust https://www.cashmerette.com/products/upton-dress-pdf-pattern

Trillium: up to 59” bust & hip

https://www.made-by-rae.com/trillium

Tarlee T-shirt: up to 64” bust, 71.5” hip

Categories
episodes

Episode 2: Who Are You?

This month’s theme is WHO ARE YOU? Introduce yourself to the Punk Frockers community with a garment. It could be a favorite pattern, fabric, style, finishing – whatever you think would give us some insight to who you are. Use the #pfWhoAreYou and tag @punkfrockers to be eligible for a prize!

#uptonfabricroulette

Plans: BHMpatterndesigners Goddess Gown

Style Arc Jules Woven Tunic https://www.stylearc.com/shop/pdf-sewing-patterns/jules-woven-tunic-multi-size-pdf/

Helen’s Closet Gilbert top

Fabrics-store.com Agustina top

https://fabrics-store.com/sewing-patterns/agustina-agustina-boxy-top-pattern-

Ruffle Top – in the folds B52W46H55, FG B58/H64 Cropped boxy with ruffled sleeves, lovely finishing https://peppermintmag.com/sewing-school/ruffle-sleeve-top/

Waikerie Shirt Sewing Pattern

Hand dyed fabric, experimental embroidery

Painted embroidered sunset

Upton by Cashmerette

Anna by By Hand London

Vogue 1390

PVC in Gold

Photo of vinyl fabric

Envelope Dress by Cris Wood

UTINNyc: https://www.etsy.com/shop/UTINNyc

Cherryblossomsdress: https://www.etsy.com/shop/cherryblossomsdress

FashionBrandCompany: https://www.fashionbrandcompany.com/JibriOnline: https://www.jibrionline.com/

Categories
episodes

Episode 1:Meet Jenny and Beverly

In this episode, Jenny and Beverly introduce themselves and the podcast. The podcast will be a community sewing pod, with weekly episodes supporting a monthly theme. Our aim is to be as inclusive as possible.

CLUE FOR OUR FIRST MONTHLY THEME!

We will announce a hashtag that participants can use to identify an entry into the contest. You can have multiple entries! There will be one random prize selected and one prize for the item that Jenny and Beverly think best represents the theme.

Here are some links to other podcasts, youtubers, and patterns mentioned in the show:

Beverly favorite podcasts:

Love to sew (Helen of Helen’s Closet and Caroline from Blackbird Fabrics) – the most popular sewing podcast – loaded with well researched information about sewing, teaching pod

Sewing for the Weekend – mother/daughter team podcast that focuses on home garment sewing, teaching

https://www.sewingfortheweekend.com

Stitch Please – “The official podcast of Black Women Stitch, the sewing group where Black lives matter.” Community, sewing practice

https://stitchpleasepodcast.com/

Sew and Tell – Brought by the editors of Sew Daily.  Represent expertise in fashion, indie and theater.  Talk about trends in sewing and topics that affect home sewists.

https://www.sewdaily.com/category/sewandtell/

YouTube channels:

Specky Seamstress sewing makes, bias tape maker https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCga-9TTcrkFXhpv8-S8bViQ

Crystal Sews and Stuff (Baltimore!) pattern reviews, challenges, makes and plans https://www.youtube.com/user/cdhar2

Frugalisama makes, tutorials, FREEBie Friday!, inclusivity based on price and ability https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCGgZJUbA9AjX-nsj9K5svWA

Jenny’s favorite YouTube Channels:

SewNaturalDane: https://www.youtube.com/c/SewNaturalDane – plus size sewing, pattern reviews, sew-a-longs, and fabric/pattern hauls

KittyCatsCuteCatsAreTheBest:  My 6-yo granddaughters channel, which I watch just to pass the time.

Favorite patterns: 

Most made: Helen’s closet Gilbert Top 

B58W48H58

Fringe Dress from Chalk and notch 

Different necklines, including one like the Trillium, nice curved hem

B58W49H59, finished garment hip 71 

https://fabrics-store.com/ is a great source for linen as well as many free patterns.  They have patterns for purchase too, but many free ones as well. 

Peppermint Magazine – Australia-based quarterly publication.  Partner with indie designers to provide free patterns.  Patterns are free but they ask for a $2 donation if possible. Not all of the patterns have a good size range.  A few that I have made:

Pocket Skirt https://peppermintmag.com/sewing-school/pocket-skirt/ H57.7, FG 70

Designed by Paper Theory

Wide Strap Maxi Dress (one of my most beautiful makes) – elbe textiles B52W46H55, FG B60/H71 https://peppermintmag.com/sewing-school/wide-strap-maxi-dress/

Ruffle Top – in the folds B52W46H55, FG B58/H64 Cropped boxy with ruffled sleeves, lovely finishing https://peppermintmag.com/sewing-school/ruffle-sleeve-top/

Wide Leg pants – designed by in the fold W46H55 https://peppermintmag.com/sewing-school/wide-leg-pants/

Jenny’s favorite patterns:

Made most:  Trillium Dress by Made by Rae: https://shop.made-by-rae.com/products/trillium

Current fav: Upton Dress by Cashmerette: https://www.cashmerette.com/products/upton-dress-pdf-pattern

  • I modeled for the current release
  • I’m making it in as many different fabrics as I can – follow #uptonfabricroulette on Instagram to see more

Even when I make a top, it’s usually a dress: Sagebrush by Friday Pattern Company (https://fridaypatterncompany.com/products/sagebrush-top-pdf-pattern)  and Ruby by Made by Rae (https://www.made-by-rae.com/ruby

Favorite dress that I didn’t think I’d like: Envelope Dress by Cris Wood https://criswoodsews.com/collections/the-patterns/products/envelope-dress-instructions-pdf-download 

https://www.etsy.com/listing/255731568/style-arc-mimi-g-collab-multi-size-4-16