Tuesday, February 12


There is an awful lot of research out there on the differences between how we perceive ourselves and what we actually look like.  I am no expert but I think I'm going through one of those phases where I am not connected to what I look like.

This is how Mr. Lina sees me.  Happy, cute, glowing.  I have pictures that are both flattering and not so flattering that he would list as his favourites because they are what he loves about me.

All pictures were taken by Mr. Lina with the good camera and house concert lighting.
I like my body, really I do.  I feel more comfortable with it a little lighter than my present weight but I don't think of someone who has huge body issues.  I love my rather ample bust, I love my legs.  I just like my pants to do up too.  The extra few pounds are messing with my head. 

Sunday night I traced out/cut out (depending on the piece) Tiramisu.  I laid down my red ponte knit and started cutting.  The Cake sizing system is unique, I had to take some measurements to figure out sizing.  After an afternoon of gaming (as in 4 hours of snacking on chips, bean dip and raw broccoli and cauliflower), my waist was 37", a bit larger than usual.  But I want a dress that fits me now, not what I want to be so I was going to aim a little short of the 37.5 waist sizing and use the narrower width (and skirt length) of the 35 sizing as I am short.  There isn't a whole lot of space between my bust and hips.  My high bust is usually around 38/39, but when remeasuring I realized it was higher when my arms were down.  Added to this, my full bust in a good bra is between 44" and 45", the concept of the 35 even with the D sizing working out had me afraid it would be too small.

I didn't need to worry.
We could fit another grapefruit or two in there quite comfortably.  Let's see that from the side...
He was so focused on lighting, he didn't look at my eyes.
So my thoughts...
  • The band is too big, it's suppose to have 0 ease.
  • The band is too low, looking at other peoples dresses that should be higher
  • I've gathered too far to the side, there is bunching by my arm pit.
On the plus side, it's still not gaping when I lean forward (although it will sometimes if I'm standing up because I am not filling it).

I pretty much did the same thing with Burda 118A (which I'm not giving up on, it's just on hiatus).  I was so worried about grading that up I ended up taking inches off each side so it wouldn't look like a sack.  There is something going on between the measuring tape I can read and the final product and that would be my brain.  I think it works like this.

I know I am not a tooth pick of a woman, I do not have the genetics to be a size 2 and I'm honestly happy with that.  I love having curves (those stick figures are smiling, although the lack of breasts is more of a function of my drawing abilities with a mouse).  But I wish they didn't get blown out of proportion in my head.
So, next steps.  I won't be sewing until Wednesday night, that gives me time to think.  I believe I need to:
  • Take the band off
  • Trim the band down
  • Torn about lifting from the shoulders as I rather like the seams but I think the v needs to be lifted
  • Cutting off from the bottom
  • Cutting off from the sides?
  • Sliding the cross over because I'm cutting off the bottom
That's a whole lot of cutting and I'm a bit concerned about taking off fabric from the right places and not distorting the whole bodice.  I'm going to have to look at the 35 pattern piece to see the difference in grading so I cut from the right spots.

I was having a hell of a lot of fun last night.  If I can fix this, I'm going to love this dress.  If not, I have other fabrics to try the 35 and I might have enough of this fabric to recut the bodice for this dress if need be.  I have enjoyed the process of making it.

Oh, and did I mention I'll be going to Germany in March?  The Post Lifers got into a film festival in Landshut, northeast of Munich. 


  1. It is a very enjoyable sew, yes? Even though the sizing may take a bit of finessing, I'm sure that you will be very happy once you've sorted it out.

    1. Enjoyable sew is right. Steps were clear, the couple of times I wasn't sure about something (like I did not cut the skirt with a front seam) I went to her blog to double check, all the pieces went together really well. No complaints at all with the pattern.

  2. Ha! I do the same thing, so I can totally relate. Can't wait to see the finished dress, it's funny that this one didn't appeal to me at all until I started seeing finished versions all over the net...I'm weird like that I guess.

    Congrats on the trip to Germany! I'm saving my pennies to go on a trip to Europe, but it'll be next spring at the earliest (it's on my 30 before 30 list), so be sure to do some sightseeing and tell me what is worth seeing! ;-)

    1. I am still having a hard time seeing how this is going to dress up or down in the end.

      Thanks! It is still so surreal, I thought I'd see the UK before Germany.

  3. Congrats on the trip to Germany! I've only been in the Frankfurt airport in Germany. But I did love the airport! :)
    I try to sew strictly relying on numbers. At first I made everything way too big. I didn't understand the fit ease already in patterns and I was terrified of making something too small.
    I think I see my body pretty realistically. And trying things on in stores helps me understand what would look good in sewing patterns.
    Sometimes I think at my funeral no one will mention that I was overweight and had a thick waist. I hope they would say that I was kind and funny! And cute!

    1. Actually a lot of my fit issues at the start were because I didn't realize everything was graded to a B cup. I'd make it to my bust measurement and wonder why the shoulders were so far off or the empire waist didn't actually hit under my bust. Picking sizes based on my high bust measurement made a huge difference.

      I should have stuck with my gut. I thought of cutting the 35 and then saw 40 on my tape measure and went up.

  4. Ok I am commenting late, but I'd leave the shoulder seams and shorten the bust the required amount, then shorten the midriff band if necessary (I didn't end up needing to, once I had the underbust seam in place, which surprised me.) then take the whole thing in from the sides as necessary. This will be smashing!

    And you're spot on about the body image stuff. :)

    1. Not late at all, I really haven't had a chance to do much with the dress. I forgot about all the top stitching at the shoulders and along the neckline and those lighting bolt stitches do not rip out easily. I opted to cut from the bottom. I've lined up the pieces with the 35 sizing and trimmed it down keeping the width (roughly) of the 35D but the length of the A (I perhaps should not have eyeballed the extra fabric after splitting a bottle of wine with Mr. Lina). I'm hoping I can leave work early enough to sew it up again tonight.

  5. I love that you have diagnosed your problem! The illustration is very cute. Good luck with your alterations.

    1. Thanks, my art skills are pretty sad but it is cute in it's own way.

  6. Hi,
    I just found your blog and even more glad to know that you are a sewing blogger from Toronto area... Would you be interested in coming for the Toronto sewing bloggers meetup on Feb 23rd at Queen st?


    And yes, goodluck with the Tiramisu! It looks very promising!

    1. Welcome to my blog!
      Oh the meet up is really tempting. We're leaving for Mexico the next day so I will have to think about it.

  7. I love the drawing and I think we all have that mental image / real body discrepancy. Well, I do anyway. I think you have a very healthy point of view on body image.

    I'm looking forward to seeing how you get on with your Tiramisu. Love the colour on you too.

    1. Thanks Emily! I am glad to hear people like the colour on me, it's a little less blue-red than I usually wear.


Thanks for your comments, I love to have a two way conversation. I seem to be getting a lot of spam from anonymous users and am turning off the ability to comment that way. I really would like to hear from you so if you do want to add your two cents without an OpenId, email me at seraphinalina at gmail dot com.