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Conversational Threads

Plus issue

ThreadKoe | Posted in Talk With Us on

I was really surprised and pleased to see my letter to the editor printed in the latest issue. That is until I realize that it had been edited and words that I NEVER use had been substituted. It is my personal policy to never use the term PLUS SIZE. I will use the terms Rubanesque, Womanly, Full Figured, Curvy, Fluffy, Robust, or any other term than THAT TERM! I personally abhor that term and find it somewhat derogatory, and not a positive descriptive term at all. I understand that it is a commonly used term in the fashion industry, but I refuse to use it. I also understand that letters are edited for clarity, and for space considerations. So I apologize for those who read my letter, and hope that those who know me realize that particular phrase is not mine. Thank you. Cathy
Pardon me for going off on my bandwagon, again, but I feel every woman is entitled to feelings of good self worth, no matter her size, shape or age. The term Plus does not foster this.


Edited 3/12/2009 5:01 pm ET by ThreadKoe

Replies

  1. JeanM | | #1

    Noted.

    I do believe that I see a letter there from another one of our members, but I will not disclose which, as she hasn't mentioned it yet (that I have seen).

    1. User avater
      ThreadKoe | | #4

      Yes, I recognized her also! Amazing how personalities come through in how we write. I always look for my fellow Gatherers in the editorials. Cathy

    2. gailete | | #17

      I also had a letter to the editor in the latest issue. That's the third one! Each and everyone has been edited, partly I think because I tend to go off on tangents and they condense the letter down to what they seem to think is the most important point.

      I do use the word Plus size as to me it is a description of a particular pattern sizing that currently is being used. Over the years I have seen a lot of phrases come and go and I am getting tired of trying to be 'politically correct' all the time. I'm sorry you were frustrated by being misquoted. I would suppose that for them to use the term Plus Size was the best way for them to make sure all/most readers understood the letter.

      1. JeanM | | #18

        It wasn't me that had an issue with a letter to the editor; that was Threadkoe.  (see the first message.)  However, it was your letter that I recognized but didn't want to say it because you hadn't mentioned (that I was aware of).  Now I wonder if it was yours or someone else's that Threadkoe recognized. 

      2. User avater
        ThreadKoe | | #19

        I thought I recognized your writing style! Congrats! I realize that letters are going to be edited. I know that from experience. I just did not realize that they would substitute phrasing so freely. Cathy

        1. User avater
          artfulenterprises | | #20

          Hi Threadkoe...
          I must not have read that issue too carefully since I didn't see the letters under discussion. (Guess I'll have to go straightening the house again to find it...life has been somewhat scattered!) What phrase did you use exactly that was edited to "plus size"? Having been an advocate of "self acceptance" (ie: size acceptance) since the (what I call) "plus size revolution" in the eighties, I've heard all the euphemisms and none have ever been too palatable so finally, one just settles for what is convenient and universally recognized as a specific size range. Practicality reigns.I'm working on the eventual production of a line of patterns called "Great Fit Plus", the intention is that while they will address sizing in a range from 10-32, they also offer pluses such as explicit directions, a very stylish mature woman sensibility, great fitting tips and videos, lots of "how-to" info, etc. etc. I explained them once as "designs for the woman with an artistic eye, a Rubenesque figure, a flamboyant alter-ego and a practical lifestyle." So maybe "plus" isn't all bad between friends???? :o)Susan

          1. User avater
            ThreadKoe | | #21

            He he he, I used the phrase, Rubanesque, my friend. Your phrase means a Great Fit, and more! More than apropos. Keep me posted! I eagerly await your Premier! Cathy

          2. User avater
            artfulenterprises | | #22

            Oh for heaven's sake! Did the editors think perhaps the readership wouldn't understand a reference to a great art master's work??? Or know that Rubenesque has been used freely to describe the "full-figured" woman for centuries? Interesting editorial choice...either it's a question of consistency in referring to this segment of the population/size range, or maybe a small disconnect with this particular market? Or perhaps the editor is young and enthusiastic and needed to change something just to make a contribution. Maybe they need to hire a few more BBW's of a "certain age" to keep things real! Let's see...how many euphemisms can we collect from all of you out there? I'll start the list with my personal favorite for the petite plus ladies: 'short cakes', since it indicates something sweet, pretty, and delectably ...well...short! Which makes at least 4 just in this note.Plus Size
            Rubenesque
            BBW
            Short Cakes
            oh yes...the cringe worthy: Queen Size (Make that 5...)If you have time to contribute to the world of slapstick, just copy this list and add it to your post, then add your new contribution! Today is a good day for a giggle.

          3. stitcher | | #23

            The listPlus Size
            Rubenesque
            BBW
            Short Cakes
            oh yes...the cringe worthy: Queen Size (Make that 5...)
            Fluffy
            Hefty
            Full figured
            Stout

          4. User avater
            artfulenterprises | | #24

            Yep! Good ones....I forgot to mention "zaftig" so here's another for the list!
            When I was a sweet young round thing in college one of my wiseacre friends used to call me "stubby". Good thing he was fun to look at! But just on general principles I'm NOT going to add that to the list.Plus Size
            Rubenesque
            BBW
            Short Cakes
            oh yes...the cringe worthy: Queen Size (Make that 5...)
            Fluffy
            Hefty
            Full figured
            Stout
            Zaftig

          5. stitcher | | #25

            Yep! Good ones....I forgot to mention "zaftig" so here's another for the list!
            When I was a sweet young round thing in college one of my wiseacre friends used to call me "stubby". Good thing he was fun to look at! But just on general principles I'm NOT going to add that to the list.Plus Size
            Rubenesque
            BBW
            Short Cakes
            oh yes...the cringe worthy: Queen Size (Make that 5...)
            Fluffy
            Hefty
            Full figured
            Stout
            ZaftigBusty
            Buxom

          6. User avater
            artfulenterprises | | #26

            How 'bout Round and Rosy.. a fave of a lovely "plus size" model I know.
            Also, just simply "rounder"Plus Size
            Rubenesque
            BBW
            Short Cakes
            oh yes...the cringe worthy: Queen Size (Make that 5...)
            Fluffy
            Hefty
            Full figured
            Stout
            ZaftigBusty
            Buxom
            Round and Rosy
            Rounder

            Edited 3/28/2009 9:32 pm by artfulenterprises

          7. KharminJ | | #27

            I have another one to 'mention', but not 'add' (I've thought it was simply horrible since 3rd grade!) ~ "Chubby" (D**n Sears for that!!)

            And one to add - "Healthy Woman", usually said with some emphasis on the very first syllable, and applied to 'Brunhilda' or 'Valkyrie' types: tall, strong and fit (guess that makes 2 more, though I've never seen them in print, only in conversation). Kharmin

            Plus Size

            Rubenesque

            BBW

            Short Cakes

            oh yes...the cringe worthy: Queen Size (Make that 5...)

            Fluffy

            Hefty

            Full figured

            Stout

            Zaftig

            Busty

            Buxom

            Round and Rosy

            Rounder

            Heal'thy Woman

            Brunhilda

            Valkyrie

          8. User avater
            artfulenterprises | | #29

            Ooooh the dread Chubby!
            Well, ok you've made me bold. How 'bout the ever present ultimate torment the entire nation turns its face from??? FAT. Fat girl. Fat clothes (and don't we all have them no matter the size?) But I won't add that to the list since these are "euphemisms" after all!But, how about Amazon?
            Plus SizeRubenesqueBBWShort Cakesoh yes...the cringe worthy: Queen Size (Make that 5...)FluffyHeftyFull figuredStoutZaftigBustyBuxomRound and RosyRounderHeal'thy WomanBrunhildaValkyrieAmazon

          9. User avater
            ThreadKoe | | #30

            I know I am getting in a little late on the list, and my favorites are taken, tee hee.... I will leave room for others to add... CathyPear/Apple/Potato ShapedBig and Beautiful (Uggh, as if we wern't????)WomanlyCurvyPlus SizeRubenesqueBBWShort Cakesoh yes...the cringe worthy: Queen Size (Make that 5...)FluffyHeftyFull figuredStoutZaftigBustyBuxomRound and RosyRounderHeal'thy WomanBrunhildaValkyrieAmazon

          10. User avater
            artfulenterprises | | #31

            Well, I can live with the pear and apple...yum..and pretty too
            however, as shapes go, I prefer: inverted ice cream cone, hershey bar, tootsie roll pop and the Marilyn Syndrome. :o)inverted ice cream cone
            hershey bar
            tootsie roll pop
            Marilyn Syndrome
            Pear/Apple/Potato Shaped
            Big and Beautiful (Uggh, as if we wern't????)
            Womanly
            Curvy
            Plus Size
            Rubenesque
            BBW
            Short Cakes
            oh yes...the cringe worthy: Queen Size (Make that 5...)
            Fluffy
            Hefty
            Full figured
            Stout
            Zaftig
            Busty
            Buxom
            Round and Rosy
            Rounder
            Heal'thy Woman
            Brunhilda
            Valkyrie
            Amazon
            Software © 2009 Mzinga Inc. All rights reserved.
            All Material Copyright The Taunton Press Inc.

          11. sewelegant | | #43

            http://sewgrand.com/  this seems to be an innovative title for the well endowed, healthy woman so I have added grand to the bottom of the list.

            inverted ice cream cone hershey bar tootsie roll pop Marilyn SyndromePear/Apple/Potato ShapedBig and Beautiful (Uggh, as if we wern't????)WomanlyCurvyPlus SizeRubenesqueBBWShort Cakesoh yes...the cringe worthy: Queen Size (Make that 5...)FluffyHeftyFull figuredStoutZaftigBustyBuxomRound and RosyRounderHeal'thy WomanBrunhildaValkyrieAmazongrand

          12. User avater
            artfulenterprises | | #32

            Here's a giggle... women aren't the only ones who are softly rounded.
            As family gathered for a recent holiday and folks arrived one by one from places far afield, my daughter looked up as her "Mikey" (her well loved stepdad) entered my sis's warm kitchen wearing one of his favorite polo shirts in a deep burnt orange over his round belly. She jumped up to hug his neck and exclaim, "It's the pumpkin smuggler!"

          13. User avater
            ThreadKoe | | #33

            My dad always complained he suffered from Dunlap's Disease. His tummy Dun Lap over his belt. Other terms he used were barrel chested, and gravity slippage. Gravity slippage also referred to the hair that slid and disappeared from his head and appeared in other places on his body, tee hee. Cathy

          14. gailete | | #34

            My hubby refers to his dad as being on the level as his bubble is in the middle!

            Gail

          15. User avater
            artfulenterprises | | #35

            That is funny Gailete...thanks for the morning chuckle.

          16. Ocrafty1 | | #58

            OMG, I laughed at that one til I had tears running down my face...and couldn't tell DH why...He's a carpenter and the description fits him to a T!

            I needed a good laugh tonight! Thanks for the belly laugh...pun definitely intended!

            Deb

          17. gailete | | #59

            So glad you got a good laugh out of it! There are days and weeks we all could use a good laugh!

            Gail

          18. Gloriasews | | #36

            Sears has come around, Kharmin - the large sizes for women are now 'Image'.  Either the Bay or Walmart has 'Above Average' for their large sizes, & that is great, eh?

            Gloria

          19. KharminJ | | #37

            "Above Average" - I like it, but - Is it true? (said with a wry grin, NOT trying to incite anything!) From the harum-scarum statistics we hear, you'd think that would be their highest-sales department!For sensitive school kids, that's a fabulous tag! Thanks, Gloria ~ Bright Monday Blessings! K

          20. sewslow67 | | #38

            >>>> ...said with a wry grin, NOT trying to incite anything ...<<<<

            Hey Kharmin:  Compared to all genders and species, I thought all of us women were "above" average.  giggle giggle. 

            Sorry ...I guess my sense of humor gets a bit weird after five months of winter ...and finally a really, warm sunny day arrives in this neck of the woods.   I'm might just go nuts here any minute and spend the day dancing wildly around the neighborhood!

            PS:  The definition of "warm" around here seems to be anything about 20-degrees below zero ...and today it's almost 60-degrees above zero.  I must be in hog heaven, as my granddad used to say!!

            Edited 4/6/2009 12:06 pm by sewslow67

          21. Gloriasews | | #39

            For all the 'above average' women around, that probably is their highest-sales department (not necessarily meaning price-wise).  I don't know if it would work for kids, even though it's a good tag, but most educators, & kids themselves, think it would mean 'honour students' (we used to call them 'brains' or 'eggheads').  :).  Kids are sensitive, as I was always embarrassed having to get clothes in 'chubby' sizes when I was kid.  Too bad that happens, eh?  As well, the teasing was awful!

            Gloria

          22. joyfulneedles | | #55

            Thanks for the laugh--Above Average is a much better label than Fat Goose of Phatt. 

            I tried on a coat a few years ago at Burlington Coat Factory.  The coat fit well, I liked the color and the price.  And then I saw this label stitched to the sleeve above the cuff line.  I left with nothing. 

          23. Gloriasews | | #56

            You're right - that's a terrible label.  But, in a weird way, it's funny :).  Not the best label to sell anything, obviously.  You're probably not the only person who wouldn't buy that coat because of the label.  Of course, had you bought the coat, you would have removed the label & no one would have been the wiser.  It was just a removeable label, not embroidered on (heaven forbid), eh? 

            I was just reading an article yesterday about the Canadian modelling agency that provided all the models for the recent Dove commercials showing women of all ages & sizes.  He is also planning to do the same for fashion shows, as he believes the more mature or heavier woman is under-represented.  So, maybe times are changing & businesses are taking note, I hope.  (The owner of the modelling agency is a young man of 30, so it was rather a surprise that he's thinking so progressively).

            Gloria

          24. Cityoflostsouls | | #28

            I enjoyed the term "rubenesque"  I'm one of these skinny types but its just the word for my two granddaughters.  At 19 and 22 this certainly describes them. " Not really heavy , heavy yet but just so much girl"  They absolutely amaze me.  The sisters are one blonde, one brunette and very pretty.  Both parents are thin due to a lifetime of fighting their natural weight problems.  Both were very heavy at one time and their lifelong goal has been to control it so the girls know how to diet!  Not a diet in that house-just a way of eating to control weight.  One girl has graduated from college and the other is at Smith.  Maybe they are just rebelling!  I think I would too!! 

          25. mizliz | | #40

            What a joy to read your message. I want the old Chanel, Bill Blass, Jean Patou, Louis Ferraud looks but in my 16-18 Women's size. None of the pattern companies appear to do any classics like the old Vogue patterns. I love Nancy Erickson's Fashion Sewing Group ideas and patterns but am having trouble with the sizing. She comes closer to classic than most.

            I am too small for some of Petite Plus patterns and they are not real classics. I have fitting issues and never seem to get them just right but I keep trying. Good luck. I 'll be looking forward to seeing your product.

            If you do a news letter or the patterns come out -please include me on the notification list. I

            Edited 4/7/2009 4:08 pm ET by mizliz

          26. User avater
            artfulenterprises | | #41

            Thank you MizLiz...I will be happy to do so!

  2. SewingWriter | | #2

    Don't feel rained on.  Years ago had a reader tip published that was edited to such extent that it completely missed my point.

    1. User avater
      ThreadKoe | | #3

      Thanks. I know I am being a lot prissy about it. I just feel very strongly about the whole thing. Otherwise they got the point of my letter and printed my point. It is rather exciting to see me in print, as it is the first time. Cathy

  3. Katina | | #5

    Hi Cathy

    Can't wait to read your letter, but guess it'll be a while before my copy gets to me. Don't take the editing to heart - as long as the substance of your text has been retained.

    I have a good friend who's a forensic pathologist - she refers to herself with the medical expression  'well-nourished'. That's me - VERY well-nourished!

    Katina

    1. User avater
      ThreadKoe | | #6

      Thanks, I know I shouldn't be in a snit about it...Cathy

      1. Katina | | #7

        Perfectly understandable though.

        Katina

  4. user-7225211 | | #8

    Over the years my form and the current name for it has varied from "Chubbie" (I hated Sears for that one), to "young womans" (I guess meant to assume one got wider as they aged), to "Queen Size" (who thought that one up!), to all the "X-XX-XXX", to all the numbers, and finally the "Plus" sizes.

    One would think that as the populous gets larger, they would just segment better but it seems they expect the fabric stretch to make the difference.

    The sad part is we buy it! In my classes, I try to stress proper fit over sizes. They vary wildly from maker to maker and designer to designer so it really doesn't matter. Even tiny people don't truly fit RTW.

    1. User avater
      ThreadKoe | | #9

      It really does not matter what size a person is. RTW rarely fits anyone. Those who really care about fit sew, or have their garments adjusted to fit. I just really have an issue about the negative terminology that is used for large people. Large does not always equal obese. There should not be the negative connotations. Large people have large bone frames, Big Bosoms, wide hips, tall bone structures, wide bone structures. They do not fit the averages. Very tiny people are not referred to as Minus sized or Under sized. It makes me feel bad about myself to have to shop in an area that is dedicated or annotated separately in negative terms! Cathy

      1. User avater
        rodezzy2 | | #10

        I was thrilled to see the information for fitting the tummy "Full & Fabulous".  Although I have never heard of sewing pants and skirts to the top of your slip.  What about any of you?

        I have a tummy and small bust in comparison, so this is the information I was looking for.  And the information about the pattern making software.  How to you get the pattern after you make it?  I know this may sound silly, but I've never used or seen pattern drafting software.  But I would like to get the one from Wild Ginger, PatternMaster Boutique Version 4.  Anyone used it?

        Edited 3/14/2009 12:46 pm ET by rodezzy2

        1. User avater
          artfulenterprises | | #11

          I haven't used the software you mention, but usually the patterns are printed out on your home printer one 8.5x11 sheet at a time. Then you have to tape them together. Could be daunting. Also, (although I could be mistaken since I haven't looked at them lately....checked them out about 3 yrs ago) all of the software packages mentioned in the last issue of Threads are designed to give you some basic "parts" which you can patch together to make "new" designs. (Sleeve A with bodice C plus skirt F, etc.) These pattern constructions do not eliminate the need to fit with a muslin however. They are "general" body types and need to be refined to your own unique figure. I've heard mixed reviews: some like the software and others find it more work than necessary. My observation was that they were not terribly versatile and did not allow for much creativity. But....that's just one woman's opinion and as I said, perhaps they've improved their software since I took a close look.

        2. KharminJ | | #12

          In addition to the "print a bunch of 8.5 x 11s and tape 'em together" method (called Tiling in computerese, btw), you may/should be able to take a copy of your pattern - on a disk or thumb drive - to your local service bureau (the generic term for Kinko's) and get it printed on fewer, larger sheets of paper. They generally have blueprint-sized paper available, in the neighborhood of 2ft x 3ft at the least, maybe larger. Much less taping to do that way, but it will cost a few bucks.

          Happy Spring-ish Saturday!

          Kharmin

          1. User avater
            rodezzy2 | | #13

            I thought so.  I kept starring at my printer .. giggle.  But it would be worth it in the end, to get a pattern already adjusted to fit you.  That's worth it don't you think?

  5. sewslow67 | | #14

    Hi Cathy:  Since I still haven't received the latest copy of Threads  (argh, argh, argh!!!) I haven't seen your letter.  (I'll have my own snit about that later). 

    When it comes to pattern size though, the question might be:  "Over-sized to WHAT!!???"  The fact is, God made us all different sizes, shapes, colors, etc because He probably thought the variety would make the world a more beautiful place, so why can't we all just celebrate that?  

    And does size really matter?   Well ...as you know, I've been pitching a fit about my growing waistline recently, but in the general scheme of things, it's just not that important. 

    As for Threads editing your words, I understand your frustration completely.  Most editors should know that you never change words without consulting the author prior to going to print.  My boss failed to do that with one of my columns once and ...trust me ...he never made that mistake again!

    And by the way, my friend ...the next time you want to get on your band wagon, let me know;  I'll get out a team of horses, hitch them up and keep them running as long as you want!  Good job!  And Congrats on your letter, too.  ;-)

    1. User avater
      ThreadKoe | | #15

      Tee hee hee, my point exactly, that size does not really matter. It is the personality and the person that does. Cathy

      1. User avater
        rodezzy2 | | #16

        Read your letter, good job.

    2. Ocrafty1 | | #57

      You know I'll be on that band wagon too!  Especially after the response I got to my last request here.  It seems that lately I've been specializing in helping ladies with fuller figures have clothing they can wear with confidence. You gals know about the bride I sewed for last yr.  Poor thing had been told that she couldn't have a wedding gown, because she had a 69" bust. Just because someone is a larger size doesn't mean that they can't have clothing that fits them, or that they should be referred to in a derogatory or demeaning way.

      I had to wear Chubby sizes as a pre-teen, because I had a large bust for my age. I hated being compared to my thin sister.  I was given a nickname by my dad...who loved me dearly, but didn't ever know how much that nickname hurt.  My 6 younger brothers and sisters know never to call me by that name...or die, with everyone in the world knowing all of their dirty little secrets!!!!  I wasn't really chubby either...just well developed for a 13 yr. old.  I went from wearing training bras to a 34C overnight.  I remember my mother taking me shopping at the 'Carl Anne' for a dress to wear to a big family wedding in Chicago.  She was furious that (she thought) I needed a longline bra and made me wear a girdle as well, to fit into a dress that was far too old for me, but since I couldn't fit in Junior sizes, because of my bust, that was all she could find. I always thought I was fat, until at 18, after I married my first (late) husband, I grabbed a pair of his size 28/30 jeans by mistake and they were big on me!  I gained weight after my 3rd child and kept it on for 20 yrs. I lost nearly 70 lbs. about 4 yrs. ago, and got down to 113. I'm only 5'2 and have a small frame...but a 32DD bust. I can get into size 4 or 6 jeans, but need larger tops.  My family thought I had cancer or something and was hiding it from them...no, my metabolism changed and I love being smaller. I feel much better physically. Although, in my head, most of the time I still think of myself as a size 16. Makes clothes shopping a challenge. Try finding a dress or 1 piece swimsuit with a shape like mine....NOT gonna happen.

      The point is...every woman has a shape of her own, and no matter what her size is, she is carrying baggage of some sort thanks to the fashion industry.  The RTW and major pattern companies kowtow to the divas who shop on Hollywood and Vine,  and base their sizes on Twiggy. Its way past time that they figure out what real women are like and what we want. They need to treat all women with respect.  I like the stuff Dove is doing to help young girls feel good about their bodies.  Too bad the RTW, pattern companies, and THREADS can't do the same!

      Deb

       

      Edited 4/21/2009 9:41 pm ET by Ocrafty1

  6. Ceeayche | | #42

    Cathy your comments are well taken. It's particularly offensive when normal, healthy women wear these sizes.  Plus implies we are abnormal, and that's simply not true.

    The recent focus in Threads on fitting issues was wonderful, except all of the real life models were tiny!  The article on altering for a full tummy featured sketches-- no real life examples showing how the whole suspenders thing.  Oh how I would have liked to see slip option really looks on a human.

    I was also disheartened on the website to see one of of the staff members for the magazine going back to the owners of the costume company where she plans to get some of the "back page" garments because she wanted a smaller fitting form to use for the photos.  I love Audrey Hepburn, she was the epitome of grace and style, but I am disheartened that even Threads is resorting to clothspinning garments down to that size to photograph for what is after all all about the elements of the garment.

    1. User avater
      ThreadKoe | | #44

      "all about the elements of the garment." I used to be able to remember a yardstick rule about the elements of design, whether it was architecture or fashion. It used to start something like FORM, FUNCTION, PROPORTION...and subdivided into things with texture, line, colour etc...(if anyone knows or remembers what the heck I am talking about, please help me out here!)The point of it all was that each part is closely linked and interconnected. Break the chain, and a design will fail in some aspect. It will not be pleasing to the eye, or the function will fail. Thus, what works on one form or shape will not always work on another as the proportion is off, as an example. This is why I complain so much about size discrepancy in styles so much. Cathy

      1. User avater
        artfulenterprises | | #47

        Here's my own personal take on the elements of style (from an article I wrote for publication).Fashion for any size is in knowing who you are, deciding you like who you are, and playing YOU to the balcony!The 4 elements of fashion are the same for any woman:1) LifeStyle
        2) Occasion / Appropriateness
        3) Sensory Connection & the Drama of Good Theater:
        (a)Color
        (b)Texture
        (c)Personality StatementAnd perhaps the single most predominant consideration in selecting something to wear:4) Your mother's voice in your head saying, "You're not going out in that, are you???"You may or may not have noticed that one glaring omission from the elements of fashion is:
        SIZE.Size is completely irrelevant in any discussion of looking great in your clothes and presenting a stylish aspect to the world. So "fugiddaboudit!"

        1. User avater
          ThreadKoe | | #48

          Thank you for stating so elegantly what style and fashion SHOULD be about! My feelings exactly, and you have stated it so perfectly and to the point. Size does not matter.
          What I have been having a problem with is that the Fashion Mavens seem to have a problem with size. Once you go over a certain "Size" the nice styles and colours and fabrics STOP!
          Case in point: I went into a ladies apparel store for larger women. I shop there often, particularly for undergarments. I was disappointed again by the difference in colours and styles that were offered, in comparison to the stores on either side that were also women's apparel. The clothing was drab and shapeless. A lot of black. Some of the clothing was stylish, but the fabrics were pretty awful!
          As you state in your 3rd element, Personality Statement, I wouldn't want to make a statement about me in that clothing! Cathy

          1. User avater
            artfulenterprises | | #49

            Your issue is valid and many layered, unfortunately. When I was manufacturing plus size dressy sportswear, there were many barriers to stepping outside the box of drab and boring plus sizes. Many retailers would insist that "their customers simply wouldn't buy" anything "different". Large volume manufacturers always played the numbers and set a certain expectation for what was "acceptable" clothes re: color, cut, fabrication. I never could figure out why they thought large women would appreciate cheap and sleazy goods, HUGE cuts, basic black tents, no underwear or lingerie, etc. And they often seemed genuinely puzzled if one had the temerity to suggest otherwise. "Fat" women somehow were an unknown species in their heads. Size and age descrimination was rampant and blatant in the industry. I'm sure it still is. While there were a few (very few) manufacturers who tried to revolutionize the plus size market, and indeed made some major inroads, there were some major obstacles to complete success. Such as the merger of many major retailers in the late 80's which shut down stores, closed specialty shops, etc. That limited venues drastically and the wave is still rolling over our shores with the ongoing "dumbing down" of product into Walmart and catalog mass market outlets. That in itself is horrific since a recent shopping trip to Walmart revealed their "plus size" department carried exactly two (yes, 1..2 pairs)of pants over size 18. Both ugly. The good news is that there are "women of volume" :o) who still fight the good fight and are finding and offering clothing for plus sizes, in brick and mortar boutiques and online (both ready made clothing and sewing patterns)which speak to that "personality statement". It just takes persistence to find them!The bad news is, multiply any problems by a factor of 10 if you are under 5'2".

          2. User avater
            ThreadKoe | | #50

            I guess that is why they call it Mass Marketing. Anything outside the box does not exist. Yet I look around me at all the lovely Reubanesque women I see everywhere....
            The numbers just do not add up. There are just as many as there are the so called regular range size women. So I speak up loudly and complain. I write letters. I know I am only one voice. I spend carefully and only on what my very picky taste finds suitable.
            I completely understand the compounding of the trouble if someone is height challenged as well. One of my daughters falls into that category as well. We are all robustly built. Curvy. Things have been changing, slowly. There is always hope. Nothing changes overnight. The squeaky wheels get the grease, and if no one complains, then nothing changes.... Cathy

          3. mizliz | | #51

            All the previous threads arer so true! I just came back from the Worcester MA Sewing and Quilt Expo and so many of there women I spoke with there had the same observations.  They have money to spend but cannot find high end or even medium priced appropriate size and style and color,fabric offerings. Presenters there, such as, Peggy Sagers and Cynthia Guffey do understand and have wonderful patterns and techniques for the sewers among us. Cynthia is offering two seminars/4 days in Worcester, or close by, in June and the Fall. I am not sure of the dates. She works with a small number of people -perhaps 6-8 max and you can get a lot done. The price is high but the techniques and patterns are couture and she is an ace. Peggy Sagers is another lady who realizes the pattern companies are in another place than we are. Her sizing and patterns are really do-able. I learned a lot at the expo and the shopping was great. Now that the Massachusetts area has lost Fabric Place, Expo gives some options. Archie Fine Co. from Canada had some beautiful cashmeres, wools and linen ,among other things. Vogue from the midwest brought a few better things this year but not as many notions. The Expo goes to many cities across the country, if you have one close -go !! Even if you do not buy-you will get inspiration and enjoy the comiseration with others who understand.

            Edited 4/18/2009 7:28 pm ET by mizliz

          4. User avater
            ThreadKoe | | #52

            Oh you are so lucky to be able to go! The only local expo for me closed up this year, and was mostly geared to the lovely Quilting crowd. Will have to take a trip to Toronto or Montreal I guess....Cathy

          5. asmartdressmaker | | #53

            I am new to this site ... and I am in complete support of 'Plus issues' ... and I would love to see more attention given to style, design, embellishment and enhanced development to more flattering garments in what I like to refer to myself as:  " a larger size 5 " - it's my 'fashion' humour - and makes people take a double look and think!  I'm glad to see plus size models - it's a beginning.  BBW - Big Beautiful Women used to have an interesting magazine - does it still exist?  The pattern companies are joining the plus size in their pattern lines, so there is some movement forward.  I am interested in keeping up with the trends, learning & sharing information, especially in this area. 

          6. Ralphetta | | #54

            "a larger size 5" I enjoyed that and will have to remember that phrase.

    2. gailete | | #45

      I was upset last year (I think it was) when they did the series on fitting for plus sizes using a regular dummy, and not a thing in the articles had anything special to do for the larger sized woman. I wrote and complained and basically was told that the altering/fitting techniques would be the same. I beg to differ and each and every one of us ladies over a certain size would understand. Have we yet seen an article on fitting for a tummy/waistline that juts out larger than your boobs and you can't see your feet either. How does one make a garment that looks nice as possible for that size woman?

      Perhaps it is time for a magazine for sewing for larger women-written and edited by them, too!

      Gail

      1. Ceeayche | | #46

        You know, you may have hit on something.  Iit might help if the editorial staff was a little more diverse size wise.

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