Body Shapes

19 Aug

I have not written much in a while, but this intrigued me on a slightly personal level, so here we go. While I was browsing the web I stumbled onto this online article on the topic of the ever stale area of women, our bodies, our weight and fashion: “Can sewing change your body image?”

So by the power of sewing we can love our bodies? – As a knitter, I think this lady might be onto something. Karen Ball who writes for the Guardian, goes on to talk about her body issues as a teenager shopping in Dorothy Perkins, and how by creating her own clothes she was able to become confident and comfortable.

“When did you first start judging yourself by your dress size? I acutely remember standing in Dorothy Perkins as a teenager and realising I could no longer fit into a size 14. I scrabbled through the hangers and quickly felt the thunderbolt of fashion strike me down. Dottie P didn’t do a size 16. I was 15 years old and the high street was telling me that I no longer had the right to engage with fashion.”

I think we all have and still go through this non-acceptance of fashion. I too am finding it hard to find clothing that fits and looks nice but I am also finding that I have started to notice clothing in stores smell slightly chemically *cough* Primark, Top Shop, H&M*cough*.  I am myself a loveable size 16, and yet most stores still do not cater for voluptuous bodies so to speak. Top Shop I found doesn’t think for all body shapes, Primark I will admit with open arms has lovely bargains, but I have to buy clothes 1-2 sizes bigger to fit…*cuts out size label*… I will not even start to mention H&M…

I would love to make my own dresses, tops, trousers, jackets, knitwear products – I mean I should, I have a degree within Knitwear…*sigh* But all this making is rather time consuming or is it that I am being lazy? I have thought that when I tried on suit jackets in New Look, certain areas didn’t fit correctly, now it’s not difficult to sew in some ease (ease is when you are sewing your arm pattern piece to the jacket pattern piece and create a slight gathered effect at the top where your shoulders start, this way you can then ease out the stitching once connected, this in turn allows for room when being worn), and I have even noticed in some clothes that clear elastic has been sewn into the seams of the garments. Obviously I have only noticed these HUGE little annoyances thanks from learning tricks of the trade so to speak from my course at uni; as well as experimenting on my own. I find it rather irritating that clothes today are not finished correctly and depending on the type of garment certain edges are falling apart when you pick them up, or have not been finished at all.

When looking around River Island they had these awful foam dresses… the edges had been left raw, after a couple of washes you will not have a clean cut looking dress but a tacky one…well maybe it will improve the look?

The point I am making splits into two:

First is that I think the standards of how clothing is made within factories need to change. Yes standards have changed within factories so that the workers are being paid correctly and children are not employed but obviously this is still an issue. Yet it is the way clothing is not cut correctly from source which causes further issues down the assembly line for example: these factories have huge cutters that just cut through a mass amount of fabric which in turn the workers just go and over lock everything together. They are not cutting out the correct sizes for each body size, in fact they are over locking off the excess amount of fabric not needed for different sizes or for us bigger girls not bothering at all to have correct measurements as I mentioned previously suit jackets in New Look.

Second; that the media has caused us women to feel inadequate with how we look and how our bodies develop and grow, we are constantly hounded by the Media throwing diets, weight plans, the gym and the correct volume of food at us daily. Why can we not just be any size we like or eat anything we fancy and not have to worry that this cube of cheese will give me a gazillion calories. I feel that change is light years away but maybe we can all try and start. Like myself; I keep putting off making myself something. I always moan about the way clothing is made yet I do not go and make something better. Perhaps when I gain motivation and a little inspiration I can actually get round to making something to prove my points…maybe.

About the writer: Kera-anne is currently in her final year at London College of Fashion studying Surface Textiles specialising in Knitwear who loves nothing more than baking, writing and playing the occasional Nintendo game. She wants to give something new to future artists who are yet to taste the confusing fruit that is the fashion industry! When working on a project she tends to go for the darker viewpoints as the work always leans toward the obscurer side of art.

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2 Responses to “Body Shapes”

  1. angelkaede8 19/08/2013 at 6:51 pm #

    I have to agree. The fashion industry makes me feel as depressed as it sounds it does to yourself. Personally, I’m not curvy, in fact people have always commented how tiny I am, but its something I can’t change no matter what I eat and what quantity. Being small has always been uncomfortable for me because people often give me rather sinister looks when I say “I am a 6…barely”.
    Being just below average height and with not a lot of myself, finding clothes that fit seems to be just as much as a pain as it sounds for you. Nothing fits! and I’m not going to start spending stupid money on ugly designer clothes.
    Like yourself, I’d be more then glad to make my own clothes but there’s too much on my plate to have the time to do it. The Clothing industry really should take a look at all ladies of shape and size and think “hold on a minute.”
    If your one of those lucky girls who fit into a 10-12, no problem, but its high time they tailored clothes for the slightly larger and slightly smaller sizes to fit better.

    • No Moths Allowed (@nomothsallowed) 19/08/2013 at 7:09 pm #

      here here I’m glad you agree, that’s actually one of the reasons I wanted to study at LCF I thought HEY lets make a difference…its just as bad there as it is out side.

      We need to team up and show the industry that we have a voice and changes need to be done. I have lot on my plate too but…I really should make some things…like finish this scarf thats sitting infront of me…oh and the jumper thats still on my knitting machine.

      – kera

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