Last friday I found myself in tears, standing in a fitting room, surrounded by 14 dresses.
I was out with my mum on a mother/daughter day. We always have a lot of fun when we are out together. Usually I only buy shoes, basics or accessories.
This time however, I actually found a bunch of dresses I liked, hanging in said store. I decided to try them on.
14 dresses later, the tears happened.
Literally not one of the dresses fitted. All of them where too tight at my hips and even when I could get them on, they still weren't making me happy, bunching up in weird places, not showing the things I liked about my body. Not showing my body in a way that made sense. When they fitted my hips, the shoulder seam was well on his way towards my elbow and my waist was completely obscured. Finding yourself stuck in a dress that looked lovely on the hanger is not the best way to spend your fridays.
I was standing in the fitting room, in the 14th dress, and called for my mum. I told her: I'm so glad I can sew, cause otherwise there would be so much tears. (* cue tears anyway)
And then I remembered:
It's not my body that's wrong. It's the clothes.
I strongly believe that this is true. Hardly anyone has a body that fits into the rigid system of measurements used for ready to wear. The ready to wear garments aren't made for human bodies. They are made for easy production processes in factories, for making money, to provide lower price points. They aren't really made to make people feel good about themselves. Not really.
As a sewist I have the choice to liberate myself from this rigid system of ready to wear. I don't have to stand in the fitting room and cry over 14 dresses.
I don't have to wear nineties revival if I don't want to.
I get to pick whatever fabrics I want, sew them into a garment I want, using my body as a measurement.
When I started sewing at age 16, I immediately felt this feeling of power. I no longer had to rely on H&M to fill my closet. I could make whatever pleased me that day. So I went ahead.
Almost 10 years into this sewing journey there's nothing I love more than the look on someone's face when they put on a garment I've made them to fit them. They stretch out their arms and there's no weird pulling. The hem of their dress ends where they like it and isn't too short or too long. The neckline lays flat so there's no risk that their boobs will fall out of their top. The color of the garment is what they wanted it to be. The fabric feels like they wanted too. They feel at ease and powerful in what they are wearing. Instead om them feeling as if their bodies aren't what they're supposed to be, they are comfortable with what they're wearing.
It's exactly what I'm striving for.
My movement? Delivering happiness in the form of clothes, so you can dress in happy. every day.
Join me. Let's make your wardrobe a happy place.
Picture by the talented Caroline Delaere