I’ve been puzzling over a tricky problem since the beginning of Spring. What do I sew whilst in the middle of losing weight? Surfing around the web I see I’m not alone in this conundrum. Many of the suggestions I’ve read involve elastic waists. I’m short waisted so elastic waists are not flattering on me and tend to make me look very dumpy-frumpy. During the last 12 months, 20 lbs (9 kg) crept on to make me at my all time heaviest weight. I can’t even get into my “fat pants” anymore!
I have started following The Flat Belly Diet and have dropped 3 lbs in 2 weeks; this is frustratingly slow going but this has to be a lifestyle change I can live with. And losing weight slowly has been shown to be the most successful in the long run. Since I love vintage and vintage-like styles, this is a problem because many of the patterns I have and want to make in my stash are very fitted. Who wants to invest time and money on sewing a tailored garment only to have it end up way too big 3-4 months later? And I need to get crackin on some summer dresses now since we are already climbing into hot temperatures where I live. “Oh but it’s DRY heat”, I’m told. Huh?!? Hot is hot! A long hot summer means sundresses.
I want to avoid styles with full linings since that will make it more work to alter, although I’m not wild about facings, and so that means fabrics with more opacity but not heavy weight because of the heat. Although on Coletterie’s blog a reader suggested using underlining (sewing the lining to each pattern piece before any construction and using it as one unit) rather than regular linings on their post about dealing with weight fluctuations as a sewist. This sounds like a great option because some of the cotton fabric in my stash is extremely lightweight, almost sheer. Then alteration can be done once, instead of having to alter both the fashion fabric and linings separately. Or maybe I’ll have to venture into sewing lingerie and make slips, cut on the bias so they’ll always hug my body without having to take them in as I shrink, and they will have to be made out of super light breathable fabrics.
Speaking of sewing lingerie, this Valentine Slip pattern from Sew Chic looks appealing, especially the version with the lace:
Another solution for dresses might be styles with princess seams since that would be an easy alteration and the amounts needed to be taken in can be spread over many seams. Or sewing the front bodice pieces to the front skirt panels and treating it as one unit and doing the same with the back parts (using the underling method as necessary), and then stitch up the side seams last in one long side seam that could be easily taken in, if and when necessary. That means no quickie serged seams! I’m thinking of using this method for the sleeveless version of New Look 6183.