I confess. In the last ten years I have done mostly quilting, some curtain-making, and very little garment sewing. This is the polar opposite of all of my prior years of sewing, when I designed and made so many items in my wardrobe. I love the clothes that I make for myself. But I’ve come to realize that it is not fun to design and construct clothing when I don’t like the way I look. Over the last 15 years I have put on 7 to 10 pounds. It has not been noticeable day-to-day or even year-to-year. But it has accumulated. It has been just enough to work with the aging process to change my core shape and posture.
In recent months I have gradually taken off about three of those pounds. I can feel the difference in my posture, my outlook, and the way my clothes feel. To make this a lasting change, one thing I think I need to do is focus on garment sewing and design. With quilting, which I’ve done so much of in recent years, there is a disconnect and a diminished focus on me and what I look like. When making a blanket, body size and shape don’t matter. It is easy to ignore and rationalize subtle changes to my physique when I’m not fitting garments to my shape on a regular basis. With garment sewing I know every spot and curve that is a part of me. I think I need that constant awareness of the shape my body is in.
So anyway, I have two white summer vest/tops that are too tight. I can fasten them and wear them in public, but when I wear one of them and then take it off at the end of the day I feel like I can start breathing again. Here is my favorite of the two:
So, I got this idea from a blouse designer I absolutely love: Gretty Zueger. I have several GZ blouses. They are form-fitting but comfortable. This is achieved by inserting a small side panel of stretch ribbing (i.e., “wife-beater” fabric) into the blouse. Below are two blouses from her collection. Unfortunately, the ribbing inset is not visible in either photo.
One of my Gretty Zueger blouses:
The side panel.
This week I bought some simple white ribbing at JoAnn’s, and last night spent about half an hour trying out the technique on the vest pictured above. Here is the result.
The bottom and top edges are not smooth. I was afraid of that, with applying the stretch knit ribbing to a woven, already-hemmed garment. I’m going to shop tomorrow for a plain edging trim that I can apply to make everything appear to line up.
A close up of the ribbing.
The result is amazing, though. The vest looks exactly the same when I wear it, but it doesn’t feel tight.
I’ll go ahead and do the other white vest and see if I can prevent the bumps at the top and bottom of the ribbing.