I am sure you all know by now that I'm plus sized. Actually I hate that term. I'm fat. I'm also healthy and confident and body positive - three things that don't go hand-in-hand with weight nearly as often as you may expect. Sure, some days I hate my body - everyone has days. I have made peace with my curves, and that has been one of the most liberating changes of my life (another source of liberation? Did you know that nobody cares if you don't fold your T-shirts or pair your socks? You can just stick them in the drawer and nobody will be the wiser).

One of the drawbacks to being outside the "correct" size box is that great clothes are hard to find, particularly on a budget, and even more so if you don't live in an area that supports shops that cater to a larger size range. I love the idea of thrifted fashion finds, but it rarely happens here in Victoria, where I can count the number of shops with clothes that I a) want to wear, and b) fit into, on one chubby hand.

Long story short: I've taken things into my own hands. Knitting is my favourite method of making clothing, but it is neither practical nor desirable to knit an entire wardrobe. That's where sewing comes in. Most people will tell you that it isn't cheaper to sew for yourself. They haven't tried to buy a decently made dress in a size 22. This dress cost me approximately $24, including notions.

The fabric is a lighter weight decor fabric I got on sale at Ikea. It was a delight to work with, if a little heavy for garment use (but frankly too light for decor. What was it intended for??). The pattern is the BurdaStyle plus size

Shakira Dress

. This:

It's... really very, very ugly in that lumpy yellow fabric, but it looked like a very versatile basic pattern for $3, and I think it can withstand a lot of modification. There was an enormous amount of ease worked into the pattern - I had to take it in almost four inches from the size recommended for slightly bleow my bust measurement for a comfortable yet flattering fit. However, that means in a drapey fabric it could be made up into an entirely different thing! I love a basic princess seamed A-line and I'll definitely play more with this one.

The whole printing 50 pages and taping them together thing wasn't that bad, surprisingly, and I have a few more printable patterns in mind. And maybe I also bought fabric for them. I haven't done extensive garment sewing for years, because when I dropped out of my fashion design degree program in 2005, I experienced some pretty significant burnout. In fact, I've only just recently become interested in fashion again. I want to sew all the things!

So, do you sew, either in plus sizes or smaller sizes? I'd love to hear your sources for patterns and inspiration!

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