Simplicity 2025 meets the Sui

I started back to sewing for me about 3 years ago, after mostly sewing scrub caps and doll clothes and selling them on evilbay for years. My me sewing years before had  mostly been post-Home Ec budgety stuff that had all the style of….ok, I wasn’t the stylish beastie you see now, ‘nouff said. 2025

This pattern was one of the first I bought 3 years ago- it looked easy, it looked reasonably stylish and from what retail was telling me, it was sack-like  enough that I was entitled to it. Perhaps this is why I wasn’t over-upset when I read all the blogs this week discussing the lack of decent fit in the big4 patterns.border1

I’m a big girl. I know this. I wasn’t always, but I am now. I’m almost cool with it. Until I go into a chain retail store and hop around from rack to rack looking for my size like a needle in a fat stack. Finally in a dim recessed corner I find the size that I am currently- it’s boxy, it’s shapeless and if I’m lucky, it isn’t also doubling as maternity. I’ve let retail convince me that I don’t belong in anything else. Like the sight of fabric skimming too close to my hips would bring the villagers with torches and they would run me to the belltower to live alone, where only my cartoon rat companions have to look at my hideous form. Ok, it’s not that bad- it even sounds like I’m headed for a musical number.  border3

So this week I’ve been asking myself why I’m not more bothered by the lack of fit and over-ease I find in the big4. Well, I have been comfortable with the semi-fit of the styles I have chosen. I like a sheer floaty thing. I like a loosely belted business. I guess I lead a pull on over the head lifestyle. I am just not Ms Button down. Tho Lord knows I have been told to button up!

So for me, the ease issue is not a huge one (joke, did you see it? Go back and read it again) but I totally understand what it means to others.  I know bad fit when I see it. There is a strong possibility that my Bond Girl name is Boxy Le Smut, but I know that when I make a dressier dress, I want the option of having it fit me- dare I say it- like it was made for me. So I’m really in agreement that the ‘design for a 6, grade up 3 sizes,grade  down 3 sizes-sell!’ is not good enough- and shameful coming from companies that we use to express our creativity, solve figure problems, and find custom chic from. It is time for the big4 to stop resting on it’s laurels and bring in more designers with modern eyes and stop just repackaging the 80’s for us.IMG_7542

Now, complaining aside, lets get down to my latest boxy creation. I am thinking about install a paypal button on the side of my blog so that you can send me donations to help cover the cost of these divine Dr Martens that would totally suit this Anna Sui fabric beautifully- don’t you think? Is it not wrong that I don’t have these? Wouldn’t the world be a better place if I had these? Yes, of course it would. 15000701

photo credits: Dr Martens, meadhawg, google images. All images remain the property of their original owners.

77 thoughts on “Simplicity 2025 meets the Sui

  1. Great dress!
    I too like floater styles. The over ease only bothers me in necklines and arm holes.
    That being said I do have some fitted bodice dresses… I guess it just depends.
    I just realized I have not added anything to your post.


  2. I agree with you. Clothes in plus sized stores and plus sized patterns just don’t fit right. Especially if your plus sized and have a small waist. (i.e. curvy). All the extra boxy styles do nothing to improve the look of a woman but do hide a gorgeous shape. It bugs me to no end. We deserve stylish clothes that make us look and feel amazing. I hate how mass chains and the big4 design for full figured women.

    On a side note I do like this dress you have made and I love it with the belt. It looks amazing and creates an hourglass silhouette.


  3. SO excited that you did this one! I have a Lilly P dress in knit that has a top like this one, but has an empire waistline…love the easy fit and have been wanting to make it since I don’t think that style is being made anymore. Love the elbow length sleeves, too.



  4. A wonderful dress – not at all boxy. It looks lovely and has a great fit (even for a floatie). That fabric is a great match to the dress and go on …… get those shoes!!!! Isn’t Christmas coming up soon?


    • I mentioned the shoes to the Husband- he looked at me like I was crazy- ‘Didn’t you get those when they sent you the VIP email?’ I think the credit card just advanced 2 spaces toward go.


  5. I loves me a good rant–especially from you. Especially when you are looking all cute in a fabric that I also own. See, I’m thinking that the flowyness of the fabric offsets the boxyness of the style.


    • Last week my Mother asked me why I didn’t make a nice blazer- since I don’t have one. I’m not sure she gets that she answered her own question- I am just not fitted suit gal!


  6. Cute dress! I love that fabric! 🙂

    My biggest peeve with the sizes that are at the larger end (of which I should be sewing/wearing) is that they assume you have the shoulders of a linebacker–complete with shoulder pads. I can FBA a size 8-10 that fits my neck/shoulders to fit the rest of me, but I might be able to get away without one on a properly drafted size 14. And I can only imagine that it just gets even worse the larger the size, so I can’t imagine trying a plus-sized pattern.

    Anyway, I feel you on the chain store shopping. Been there, done that. I even read on a blog once that if you have a prominent tummy that you should just suck it up and wear maternity jeans. I think I cried for at least an hour after reading that. And it was months ago and I still can’t let it go.


  7. Honestly, I LIKE that dress on you! (get the shoes) It has enough details – sleeves, print, nice neckline (get the shoes), and if you got the shoes, you would have a rockin’ outfit! (get the shoes).

    I’m wondering – if enough people write a post about Big4 ease and fit consistency, would they hear us? hmmmm…….


  8. Wait, you don’t live in a musical number? Somehow it’s easy to imagine cartoon birds singing around your head as you work away at your sewing machine! Anyway, I like this on you a lot, but you should definitely stretch yourself and make some more fitted garments! You could TOTALLY rock them!


  9. gail katz says:

    Your blogs are always interesting [ but this one is especially wonderful. First off I LOVE that dress on you. Great style and knock out coloring. Way to go!


  10. Shar says:

    Buy. The. Shoes. Boxy did not come to mind when seeing your dress. Colorful (love the print), great for summer, and love the sleeves were what came to my mind. Similar to gingermakes I picture you forever living in a Disney musical!


  11. I love this post and I agree with a lot of what you have said. We have seen you in more fitted numbers, shirtdresses – you don’t deserve boxy that retail condemns you too. Size is just a number, style is an attitude – you have plenty.


    • Oh and I had been looking at that pattern myself, I like the neckline and the waistline, maybe I’ve been visiting the wrong section of retail. I get tired of everything being too short and too tight in my size range. Just cos I’ve got it doesn’t mean I want to hang it out everywhere!


  12. Ease for tops like that is part of the design. I think they suit you well and look lovely. You pick great fabric for them. It’s the kind of top I’m actually just coming to appreciate. I see the line drawing of a box and forsee a tent, but owning a couple of RTW that are soft and floaty and sheer, I get it now.


  13. I think your dress is very pretty! Feminine and also dressy, especially if you wore it with killer stilettos. I weigh less than 45 kg soaking wet and I also like loose flowy clothing. Especially dresses, tops, blouses and skirts. Jackets and pants, not so much.


  14. Love the dress – gorgeous fabric.. and it looks good on you. And those shoes! How sweet they are.

    I struggle with patterns. Big hips and small on top (pear shape). Everyone seems to think that you are big all over.. Cause of my hips I am a plus size! Ummm no I am not. hips 112cm and top 98cm.. how I hate being a pear. Now I know I am not a small girl but… I have a normal shape – I ain’t a box.

    I like my clothes to fit me – and we should have options! Damn it, we should.

    I agree that the big4 and just clothes designers in general need to catch up.



  15. Well, I have a lot of the same fit issues and these days I so rarely buy any Big 4 because it is an endless parade of dresses, most sleeveless or short sleeved. I am however thinking of ways to make the patterns I do like different, so I’d have to say, the big 4’s lack of anything creative has been a boost to my creativity and the extra money I save, goes into fabric of course!
    Those shoes are YOU. Have you ordered them yet? 🙂


  16. Love the shoes! I didn’t know Dr Martens made anything that cute. Oh, the dress is lovely too.

    At first when I discovered, to my great dismay, that I was no longer a size 8 I started wearing a lot of tent like clothes. I have a big shirt pattern that I made something like a dozen times. But just a couple of years ago I worked up the courage to try something else and was surprised to find that I look damn good in a princess seam blouse. Maybe even better that when I was a skinny young thing. I’m a size 14 or 16, depending on the pattern, and I don’t have too much trouble with fit.


  17. I really, really love the way the print works with this dress! It looks fantastic. I’m a firm believer that we can all look amazing if we learn to dress for our bodies. I have a list of things that I know, from experience, I can not wear. And, I feel and look better when I stick to the things that do look good on me.


  18. I love that fabric….and the DMs ( who wouldn’t?) and your dress looks awesome. For me it has character, is totally unique and looks like it feels great to wear as well as making you feel like the sewing diva you are. Perfection, what a relief that you can sew stuff like that and not be at the mercy of whatever RTW throws at you. But then, that’s why we all sew, right?


  19. Verrrry cute dress! VERY! But I do see the shoulders and neck are too big and maybe it doesn’t bother you, but I’ll tell ya what (my one humble opnion) clothes really feel good when the neck and shoulders fit.

    Since noticing this fitting challenge in myself, I am constantly looking around women I see in public and it seems like maybe HALF the women out there have smaller shoulders than the clothes are made for.

    The most important thing, though, the shoes – SO CUTE! I saw shoes in that vein in the Fluevog store over the weekend. Yummy!


      • oh no you are not alone. I also thought I was weird one when I had to make such extreme adjustments to the shoulders in my patterns, but I discussed this with a person who works as an image consultant and she helps people shop. She said it is extremely common AND a PIA because shoulders are near impossible to alter.

        Still that fabric in that dress – excellent combo! It looks great on you.

        I don’t like the feel of super snug clothing either.


  20. Meredith P says:

    Well, I certainly didn’t get a boxy vibe from this ensemble. For one thing, you chose the perfect fabric, and styled it beautifully. Glad to read that those shoes are on their way. I have sewn a long time and often still pick fabric more suitable for tent making (i.e. stands up by itself). Glad to find your blog!


  21. You are an incredibly stylish )not to mention clever and witty) person and I love what you make and how you wear it! This top (and those shoes) are no exception.

    But oh yes, the retail gods that decree that thou shalt not wear clothes with shape if over a certain size to protect the masses. It peeves me off NO END. I am a big fan of size diversity and body acceptance and the crap in retail stores annoys the tripe out of me. You look great and you should be able to wear something fitted, so should you choose. Or not, so should you choose. But to have those choices limited because of some muppet somewhere making ill-informed business decisions. Blech.

    As for ease in the Big4 – I think that is across all sizes. MrsC (who blogs over at sentfrommyiron.blogspot) just did a presentation on fitting as part of a handmade expo and used two models, one itty, one not, and BOTH of them had at least 10cm ease in the finished garment measurements to the body measurements for their size. That’s a lot of ease, especially in patterns that were meant to be fitted!


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