ONE. SINGLE. BODY. (damn, i feel special.)


an unexpected delight in learning the skill of pattern making is that it has shifted my concept of my body. when there’s no size 8 or 18, and you’re suddenly in desperate need of attaining a correct hip measurement so that future skirts don’t ride up and bunch near the waist, it’s hard to understand how any value judgments can be made about anyone’s shape. everything is reduced to the minutia of curves, lengths, and angles: the supposedly-standard ratios of hip-waist-bust have been tossed in the trash, and it’s all about capturing the uniqueness of ONE. SINGLE. BODY.

damn, i feel special.

for the most part, i’m very much so appreciative of my body, because it is strong and useful. however, it’s been a struggle, and i was bullied a lot as a kid for being fat (also being a snarky know-it-all did not help matters). these days, i try to be as mindful as possible about my attitudes towards my physical self, just to keep my attitude in check and stop any sparks of hate before they spiral out of control. usually i’m fine, but sometimes when i really need something like a pair of jeans or an outfit for an event, all shopping trips end in tears. i’m lucky to have grown up with a parent who helped me with my mad on-the-fly tailoring techniques, because clothing rarely fits me correctly.

the thing is, there were four other students in my pattern-making course, and though we are all very different shapes, they all said the exact same thing.

which makes sense, i know: if we want the affordability of mass-produced clothing, we need to make some sacrifices in terms of fit. the chances of a bought shirt fitting me perfectly are pretty fucking slim, because my body isn’t the same as whatever averages were chosen by the designer. obvious as this is, it’s something that i forget a lot of the time, or only frame in the negative:

“my body is all wrong, because it doesn’t fit these shirts.”

silly, hey? i know. but with a lifetime of that behind me, let me tell you how absolutely rad it was to spend a whole week never ever even thinking those words.

instead, i was only ever in crisis when i had it the other way around… and was cuing for the instructor’s assistance:

“arg!!! the ass of my trousers are going to be cupped like a bloody tulip because i still don’t understand how to angle the curves at the inseam!”


want more opinions and ideas about the shapes and sizes of bodies? check out big fat deal!


2 responses to “ONE. SINGLE. BODY. (damn, i feel special.)

  1. Fuh kin aye. YES! A week without thinking you’re wrong to exist as you are must be nice.

  2. feralgeographer

    thanks, peter… now, if only i could figure out how to make actual clothing from my new patterns, i’ll be all set!

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