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Several months ago I wrestled with designing something that would hide my figure flaws and accentuate what's worth accentuating. Unfortunately, I have no training in pattern drafting and a pretty bad mathematical mind. So while I could draw a good design, I couldn't transfer it to 2-D pieces that would assemble to what I needed in 3-D. And, unfortunately, I couldn't afford to hire a serious pro to do it for me. So the sketch and the initial attempts at making a pattern have just that much more clutter in my room.

As it dawned on me that I was not going to be able to avoid attending my brother's wedding no matter how torturous (and expensive) an event it will be for me to attend, I realized I was in real trouble as to what to wear. I'm fatter than my previous fat weight. I lost a lot of weight and kept it off for 3 years between 2001 and 2004. Though I was loathe to sell/give away my "fat clothes", after 3 years I figured I'd finally vanquished this problem I'd developed in adulthood. So I gave away my custom fat cheongsam. I gave away my corset and got a smaller one. Then I gained it all back plus 15 more lbs. Figures.

I wear irregular Dickies I get on sale from Longs Drugs. I wear XXL and XXXL t-shirts. And that's my uniform. I don't like how I look in them, but I don't have the $ to buy anything tailored and I haven't had the strength to sew for a while.

I finally bought a fitted bra this week. I went bra shopping at Nordstrom last week and couldn't find a good sports bra that would fit me. Even when I'm "skinny", my chest cavity is 38" around...it's now like 41". But the biggest problem is the straps. They're never long enough and cut into my shoulders. So I ordered one online. Got it today and it fits reasonably well. But bras are expensive enough that I can only afford the one right now. I'll have to get along with shelf-bra camisoles as I have for months. The sports bra is to be able to exercise without adding stretch marks.

SO...dress to wear to the wedding. I thought about actually hiring someone for the pattern drafting but I would probably have had to spend my entire budget just on them and have had nothing left for fabric and notions. So...another plan. Empire waistline looks reasonably good on me, but my problem is that even though my breast cup size has grown with the weight gain, the size of my upper abdomen has grown even more. And it's embarrassing as hell. How to emphasize the breasts without drawing attention to the gut? I realized that the Korean hanbok might be a solution. The dress is voluminous and hangs from the breasts. Attention is drawn to the upper body by the chogori/jacket. My shoulders have been rolled for years so my shoulders are nothing to show off. No halter dresses, no spaghetti straps. Plus my upper arms are nothing to be proud of right now. So the jacket solves all that. I have to hope the weather in LA in late Sept. is cool enough for me to wear the jacket the entire time.

I went to Discount Fabrics first. The bright striped dupionis I remember seeing before are totally gone. I hate fashion. You can escape it somewhat by learning to sew, but the available sewing patterns, available colors and available fabrics are still enslaved to fucking fashion. So I held off 'til I could see what's at other stores but I called around to Piedmont Fabrics and Stonemountain & Daughter and they said they didn't have any. I thought about sewing some silk ribbons together to get the stripes I wanted, but it was just more work and I would have to order the ribbons online without being able to feel the weight and quality of them or seeing their real colors. So I walked to Discount Fashions and put together what I could put together. Even that took a while because not all the 2-way dupioni was available in the colors I wanted. I contacted Folkwear and got them to break down the yardage separately for the chogori and the chima/dress, which they don't do on the package.  However, I still had to guess on yardage because I'm going to have to construct stripes in the sleeve fabric  (stripes aren't a fat girl's friend, but they'll work in the sleeves and I saw sleeve stripes being used a lot in various traditional hanbok I saw online).

$106.44 and I haven't even started sewing yet.  I consoled myself with the thought "At least it will be what I want instead of settling for whatever's off the rack that fits me", but I had to remind myself it couldn't truly be what I wanted because I was limited by what fabric is in style right now.  I wish I were physically able to weave my own fabric.  I really chafe to transcend the constrains of what's "fashionable".


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September 2014

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