December 10, 2009

I obviously am not the best with keeping up on my blogging even though time and time again I say I will be better. This term I didn't end up taking the class I was signed up for at PCC for the fashion design program. It wasn't a good fit for me. Which is fine. I would rather focus time and energy on making clothes in my spare time. Next term I am hopefully going to be taking beginning pattern making and beginning draping. I am excited about both of these. I feel like my skills as a sewer have grown so much this past year. I went from telling people I like to sew and rarely ever having anything to show for it, to making, altering, sizing up, and designing my own clothes. I am living the life I wanted. I may not be an international fashion designer changing lives and having my clothes shown in NY and Paris, I am doing what I love and being able to make and sell a few items has made my year more than worth wild.

I don't think people put their goals first enough. There are always excuses for why we don't make the time to do what makes us happy. These days we have so many distractions from the endless hours of TV shows we need to keep up on, to the internet that will literally turn us into zombies. Add in a full time job and sometimes kids, and where is the time right? Life is all about priorities and if you want to learn something, do something or be something that only thing ever holding you back is yourself.

I've been posting on facebook a lot about goals, projects and things I have and still want to accomplish. My goals for next year aren't clear yet, but I will blog them once I know what I expect of myself in 2010.

Another update, I got engaged!! Nov 11th

September 20, 2009

Well it sure has been a while since I updated. But fortunately for me, I have done lots with my time since. Projects I have been working on include several bathing suits, 2 of which were sold at a local boutique called Fat Fancy here in Portland, 2 skirts, a hoodie, a reconstructed shirt and the beginnings of a tutu. I have pictures of most of my projects and hope to by the end of the day, add a shirt to the list of finished items.

Along with side projects and I was taking a summer class at PCC. Apparel sketch and desing. It was such a great class. My teacher was very knowledgeable and had us working at a great pace. I learned so much, like how to draw a proper fashion croquis to use for my personal designs. I took the skills I learned in that class and combined it with a few of my beautiful friends and made them into real plus size fashion croquis. The industries plus size croquis still dont hold a candle to the size of woman I want to represent in my designs. So I made some in the image of my friends who are plus size models above a size 24. I have Courtney as the "pear", Katie as the "apple", Jen as the "hourglass", and myself as "papple" (big everywhere). Just so when I have a design in mind I can better design around girls who I want to wear my clothes. If I design on a size 16 model, how can I expect to understand how it will fit on a 34? I will post up pictures of them once I have finished them.

My next project is to make a Princess Jasmine costume. I found as close of a pattern for a similar outfit and figured I could adjust what I needed. The biggest time consumer is upping the size of the patterns. Once those are done, sewing seems like a piece of cake. Mmmm, cake. So I will do my best to keep updating as often as I can. Though I am in a class this fall term, there is no design or sewing required. It's more of an overview of fashion design, following trends, marketing. It should be very interesting.

July 11, 2009

Recycle, reduce, reuse!

I've always loved the idea of reconstruction when it comes to fashion. Taking an old shirt and cutting it up for something new and fashionable. When the book Generation T came out, it was like the bible for reconstruction junkies like myself. I've made about 10 shirts from that book, used it in an activity block at the camp I worked at, and even tried to have "T" parties with all my friends. You just feel good creating your own look.

Now days everyone is trying to find ways to be "more green" while staying on a budget in this economy. Using different light bulbs, driving less, eating organic foods prepared at home. What better way to go along with all of those than sustainable fahsion!

Here is a link to a woman doing just that! Though her movement was generated with other objectives, she still has the right idea. This is her mission statement. "Starting May 2009, I have pledged to wear one dress for one year as an exercise in sustainable fashion. Here’s how it works: There are 7 identical dresses, one for each day of the week. Every day I will reinvent the dress with layers, accessories and all kinds of accouterments, the majority of which will be vintage, hand-made, or hand-me-down goodies. Think of it as wearing a daily uniform with enough creative license to make it look like I just crawled out of the Marquis de Sade's boudoir. "

Her passion and dedication to her project inspired me to write about sustainable fashion. The only thing with all these ideas, books and blogs is how to connect them to plus size fashion. Big girls tend to give their clothing more wear and tear than say a girl who is 110 lbs. Accessorizing for a new look everyday with vintage, second hand or homemade items aren't always available to women of size. Especially in the range of 26 and up. I guess thats when it comes down to the person to take charge and get creative.

I am going to go through Generation T and its following book Beyond Fashion and make as many of these ideas as I can for plus size women from used clothing. Pictures and updates to come!!

June 11, 2009

Fashion Icon

I was fortunate enough to make the acquaintance of the famous Velvet D'amour.  She is an amazing female icon in the BBW community but who has also broken boundaries into the main stream with participating in runway show's like for for Jean Paul Gaultier.  I remember when I first heard about it from my mom that a proper plus size woman walked down the catwalk in Paris, I think tears swelled up in my eyes.  A few days later I found out she was a member is Dimensions, a plus size online community, so I wrote to her telling her what a big fan I was and how I think she's an amazing and positive influence on women everywhere.

About a year later, I was in Paris with my friend James.   On a day of sight seeing we got off the wrong stop on the Metro and landed ourselves in an unknowing opportunity.  Walking down the street James noticed a MAC makeup store and suggests we stop there in order to cheer me up.  We walk in and there is one attendant and one plus size women getting her makeup done.  James and I talk about where he can go ask for directions while I look around.  I mentioned to him I thought the women in the chair was Velvet.  James wasn't convinced.  So he walked off  and left me to look.  She started to speak to me asking if I was american.  I told her yes, and she asked if I had ever seen the show Monique's Fat Chance.  Once again I said yes an
d how I loved that show!  She told me I should watch the upcomi
ng season because she was a judge on the show.  My heart started beating faster because I knew the answer to my question.  I asked who she was and she replied," I'm Velvet."  I think I actually jumped and said." I KNEW it was you!"  
We chatted for a while as her makeup was being done and James returned.  That was a fun one to rub in his face.  She told me before she left she would love to photograph me if I ever came back to Paris.  Well, being as star struck as I was, I was going to make sure that happened! 

Nearly 7 months later I was returning to Paris to visit and stay with Velvet.  Imagine someone you look up to, admire and think is totally amazing.  Then imagine being invited to stay in their home and them using you for a music video and multiple photo shoots.  I was on cloud 9.  

Fast forward to present day.  I woke up today to see a video from Velvet that she had posted on my facebook wall.  It's a video that once again pushes the boundaries like only Velvet can with fat, fashion and sex appeal.  I was fortunate enough to be in this video!  She took clips from our shoot and put them i

If you want to learn more about Velvet D'amour she has a Myspace page a .

She is my fashion icon, size advocator, muse and my friend.  All around, she's an amazing women.

June 08, 2009

Sad Sewing Day

Man, this was not a good way to end a rather productive day with my sewing project.  I woke up at 7:30 on my own without an alarm clock.  So much fun I tell you.  But I decided to go ahead and start my day early making headway on my hoodie.  Everything had been measured, cut and pinned together.  It's current state is actually as the tutorial described it.  An ugly vest.  As I am making the pockets my needle on my machine breaks.  Thankfully whatever part broke off hit my eyelid and not my eye.  I was replacing the needle as quickly as I could so I wouldn't have to break my stride for too long.  But as soon as I started sewing again I realized this wasn't going to work.  The needle wasn't going down at all.  I tried manually moving the needle but there was quite a bit of resistance from the machine.  I haven't found anything wrong with it from what I can see.  So at this moment my machine is out of service.  Perfect timing considering my last class is tomorrow night.   Montavilla here I come. 

June 06, 2009

Going Insane!

One of my biggest problems right now is I sit on my computer too much.  I'm reading posts, on web forums, facebook, twitter, and now have 2 blogs to update.  I am an internet junkie.  But in all fairness one of my blogs is for my job, as is the twitter page.  Gotta keep the fans happy.  :)  But also spending enormous amounts of time on my computer leads to me drifting off to different clothing sites where I search for hours for the perfect outfit that will actually fit my papple shaped bod. 

 I am not impressed with summer lines from Lane Bryant, Avenue, Torrid or Old Navy.  Those are the basic sites I have to go to for clothing and season after season I get let down more and more.  It's as though us fat girls went from being forced to wear boxy dresses and sweatshirts with kittens on them to sized down clothing with sequins and giant fake stones.  And while I understand not all places can please every range of customer, I would like to see some changes.  

Lane Bryant says they offer clothing up to size 30/32 now.  But of course this is only online. Heaven forbid should they actually have them in stores.  And the clothes they do offer in that size are a few stretchy basic tees and the occasional slacks.  HI!  Your a clothing store is aimed at fat women.  And yet every time I walk into your store you have the most articles of clothing in a size 18/20.  And when asked if you have any in 26/28 you say," I think we got like one in but it sold out so fast."  Well no shit Sherlock.  Then I ask why you get 10 size 18/20 in the top I want but only get in 1 in my size?  "We sell more 18/20's in this store so we are shipped more, and since we sell less in the bigger sizes they send us less.  Now I would like to call BULL SHIT on this one.  Are you telling me that all those clothes in the clearance racks that are 18/20 are selling well?  And the selection of 26/28's are slim pickings because they don't sell well?  No.  You are OBVIOUSLY not going to sell as many larger sizes if you don't bring them into the store!

Old Navy.  You created a plus size line.  Yay!!  You wonderful people you.  But then, you decide to take them out of the store and make them only available online.  WTF?  Do we embarrass you when our jiggly asses walk in the store?  Did we take up too much room?  Are we really that bad?  Fine, we'll shop online, pay extra for your limited selection and throw shipping charges in there just because we are desperate for something different.  But I noticed something recently.  Your not carrying 4x in many of your new clothes this season.  What gives?  In past seasons 4x is usually the size that is NEVER available after an article has been out for a while.  And yet, you are taking it away and keeping the 1x which you can't deny is the size always left in clearance.  Please explain how this works?

Torrid!!  Ohhh Torrid.  I was in love with you before you even had a shop in my town.  I was a loyal customer until I realized your pants run small and even then, they only go up to a size 26, and your tops and dresses go up to 28 and thats a small 28.  Umm... hello??  You are a fat chick store.  You can't tell me you honestly think people who want funky, fun, cheaply made clothes aren't any fatter than a 26 maybe 28.  And lets be realistic,  their 26 is closer to a 24.  I call foul!  What is it going to take to make you guys realize that people are just getting fatter!  It's not a terrible thing and out of all companies in the world, the last place we want to be made to feel bad is by our fat clothing stores!!  Give us a decent variety of sizes for the love of Godiva!  

We all know the size of people in the US is growing.  Some refer to is as the Obesity Epidemic.  But here is my question.  If people are getting bigger, why are fat clothing stores shrinking their options of larger sizes?  Is this to make us think, hmm I can't fit into that hoodie.  I guess I should loose weight and then I can buy it?  WRONG!!!  If this is the method of thinking then you are all in for a world of hurt financially.  We just wont buy the clothes, plain and simple.
Us fat women have money to spend.  Lots of it.  We want to look good and feel good.  So get with the program you guys.  You can't tell me a few extra inches of cheap fabric is going to break your bank if you make a size 32.  Your profit from cost to retail price has on average 400-500% mark up value.  Your doing fine, we are the ones that suffer.  Your customer.  So thanks!!

Rant over.

June 04, 2009

My first attempt

I've become increasingly more interested in reading blogs lately.  People suggest a blog with subjects that I am interested in and I get hooked.  Recently a friend of mine posted a link to a tiny fashion prodigy whose blog is called Style Rookie.  Reading a blog by a 12 year old who has fashion wisdom beyond her years and far beyond my own comprehension was a great find and also a sad reality check that I do less with my time than a 12 year old who goes to school everyday.  

I have a passion for fashion.  I think I still have the first sketch I made for an outfit when I was in 4th grade.  Plus the 2 notebooks full of sketches from high school.  Mind you I didn't/don't dress like I follow fashion.  I was about to apply to 2 different  universities after high school with a fashion program, but with money being tight, I decided against it.  Now, in 2009, I am still very plus size at a luscious size 32 and I still feel fashion is a large part of my life.  I sit up till 3 am looking at fashion sites with the latest sets from designers shown in Paris, London, NY and LA.  

My goal for this blog is to post about anything I feel I want or need to rant on related to size acceptance, size positivity and plus size fashion.  Also since I have been getting back into sewing again, I want to post pictures and snippets about the clothes I am creating.  I am forever learning new things about sewing and fashion and I hope you all enjoy at least one thing in my posts.