Fatties – Doing it for Ourselves

There is a lot of stuff in this thin-centric world that just doesn’t fit us.  Grrrr.  Which is so out-and-out stupid as to boggle the mind.  The headlines scream how the fatties are taking over the world – and yet, most merchants do not cater to our needs.  WTF? 

Happily, there are more and more vendors out there that specialize in large and super-size clothing; and there are a few vendors who specialize in other fat-centric needs, like household furnishings, accessories, etc. (like http://www.livingxl.com and http://www.amplestuff.com/).  But many fatties cannot go to the mall and find stuff that “fits” their lives.

Unhappily, most items made specifically for us fatties tend to be pricey.  (Another WTF – I know there may be more materials involved; however, you would think the fact that this is a large market (number-wise) you could make up the difference in bulk production). 

If you can afford these extra charges, that’s wonderful.  But many cannot.  And that is why I encourage fatties to do it for yourself. 

Learn to sew, knit, crochet, etc.  Learn to do embellishments (ribbon embroidery, cross-stitch), etc. to change that plain denim jacket into something extraordinary.  These are all very useful skills, and not too hard to pick up.  99% of these skills are just a matter of reading and following step-by-step directions.  Honest.  There is no big secret craftsy-gene.  Start simple and basic and then expand those horizons. 

Don’t want to try to figure it out by yourself?  Many places offer classes – try your local adult educational classes, fabric stores, yarn shops, craft stores.  Form your own group to get together and have a crafts night!  Do group projects – with each person contributing their own special skills or preference – maybe one person likes to do machine sewing, another prefers to do the hand-stitching, someone else likes to do beading, somebody is the queen of crocheting trim. 

You’ll end up having your own unique items (instead of constantly running into friends wearing the same Lane Giant ensemble you just bought) that fit your own sense of style, and (usually) at a fraction of the cost.

One of my big complaints is finding necklaces, bracelets, watches, etc. that fit.  I can make all of these things for myself, in any color scheme I want and any size I wish. 

There is a lot more available in extended-size sewing patterns these days, and learning how to enlarge patterns isn’t too big of a hassle (you just need some patience and some newspaper).  But if there is nothing in your size and you’re not ready to venture into enlarging patterns, check out the blog of Jo Geek http://unapologeticallyfat.blogspot.com/ for her make-it-yourself basic patterns.  Even if you can obtain patterns in your size, check out Jo’s blog – because she’s working on a book for fatties, helping us make our own custom-sized patterns, and sharing some of her work on her blog!  Almost nobody is a perfect size anything, so being able to make something to your exact measurements is a real treat!

Don’t want to pay a pile of money for towels that actually wrap around you?  Buy some terry cloth and make your own! 

If you are fortunate enough to live near any large city that has any kind of clothing production, hunt down the warehouses where they sell off the end of bolt fabrics!  Amazing deals can be had.  And if you don’t live in the big city, don’t assume that the chain fabric stores are your only hope – get on the web, ask around – see if you have other options.  And if you have to do the chain fabric store route, clip those coupons, think ahead and buy out-of-season, on-sale fabric. 

If you don’t feel like starting from scratch – get some things from the big fat stores, and spruce them up.  Beading is not very hard and can turn something simple into a treasure.  Same with embroidery, cloth painting, etc.  At one point, I found a source for cheap plain t-shirts, and I painted my own shirts with fat fairies, witches, mermaids, etc. on them! 

And you know what?  Not only can you make your own fabulous stuff – you now can make special gifts for others!  Talk about win-win.

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