Weekend Reading: hand-sewn sweets, XXXS clothing, and the fear of thinking


Fall sewing is just around the corner, can you believe it?

I spotted an incredible variety of Italian wools at Mill End this week. I ended up picking up a gorgeous plaid wool sweater knit in grey and black to make a cardigan, along with some tweedy wools for dresses. It’s hard to imagine that soon we will return to our regularly scheduled sweater weather here in Oregon.

I think fall is the best time for clothes, don’t you? But I’m still going to hang on to summer for dear life.

Have a great weekend, and enjoy these reads.

Weekend Reading:

For more links every week, you can follow me on Twitter, where I’m always posting interesting tidbits I find.

image above via colettepatterns on instagram

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On , Tatiana said:

I don´t know if the problem is in here, but I can´t read a few things, like Just Keep Moving, lots of links are broken… Thanks!

On , Johanna said:

After you’ve reached the “How embarrasing!” page, check the address bar and you’ll find that you can get to the right page by removing ‘http://www.coletterie.com/weekend-reading/’ from the start of the address… I’m sure they’ll tidy up the links soon but in the meantime you can use this workaround.

On , Sarai said: | colettepatterns.com

Thanks Johanna.

A couple were just missing http:// at the beginning, which screws up the link when you click on it. Should be fixed now.

On , Becky said: | sew-and-so.blogspot.com

I also clicked on the Just Keep Moving and got an error message. Also, I’m not sure if you changed some setting or other, but suddenly I’m having to click through to read the whole post from my Feedly reader? It’s ok if you did that on purpose, it’s just that it’s more convenient for me to stay on one website when I’m sneaking online to read sewing blogs at my rather boring job. :)

(I’m more of a summer girl when it comes to sewing myself, but I’m extremely sensitive to wool, so trying to figure out what to make to keep me warm in the cooler weather is a frequent source of angst for me!)

On , Tatiana said:

Haha, I am doing the same, checking out sewing blogs at my very boring job…

On , Sarai said: | colettepatterns.com

Links should be fixed now. :)

We did make a change to the rss feed, mainly because of something we needed to change for the folks that subscribe to the rss feed by email so they weren’t sometimes getting very long emails with tons of massive photos. Thanks for the feedback, I’ll see if there’s anything we can do to get the best of both worlds.

On , Vanessa said:

Yeah. I was also wondering about the truncated blog posts.

On , Sarai said: | colettepatterns.com

Good news, guys! Kenn figured out a way to show the full blog posts in your feed reader, but without overwhelming our email subscribers with super long emails. If you refresh your feed, you should see the change back to full content. :)

On , Andrea said: | zoopolis.wordpress.com

I’ve started stocking up (who am I kidding … already overstocked) on my fall sewing projects. I figure if I start in the next few weeks I might have something to wear when the weather turns.

Loved all the thoughtful links this week. The NYT No Time to Think article was fascinating. I can’t imagine preferring to give myself electric shocks over having time to myself (given that I spend a lot of time by myself at home, maybe I am not the target audience). I wonder why so many more men engaged in this than women? 64% to 15% is a big gap.

the Just Keep Moving post, though — I don’t know. Yes, snark is one of the ruling currencies of the internet and yes, I can get sick of it. I too wonder sometimes why someone chooses to get upset at things that seem trivial to me. But then you can enter an infinite regression of conversations about the entitlement of emotions (someone loves the sunset, other people love the love of the sunset, some people hate the love other people have for the love of the sunset, others get annoyed at the hate some people have for the love other people have for the love of the sunset), and where does this end? We’re all entitled to our feelings about things. Some people are allowed to hate the snowstorms and the cold, other people are allowed to hate the heat. I don’t understand why folks I know get all riled up when someone else hates the cold or heat, but they do, and they say so. I guess I can keep it going by getting riled up myself by the people who get riled up by other people hating the cold and the heat, but you know what, they’re all allowed to feel how they feel. The haters of sunset-lovers included. And the people who like to bitch about other people bitching about the weather.

And in a society that seems, to me, to be becoming increasingly segregated along ideological lines, Just Keep Moving is I think not always the best way to respond. I mean this philosophy is what literally has caused neighbourhoods to be (in the US) all democrat or all republican (and in Canada, increasingly all liberal or all tory). People saw stuff they didn’t like, and rather than say so and get involved, they moved. We need to be able to have some conversations about the things we don’t like and disagree about.

On , Sarai said: | colettepatterns.com

The issue for me is Internet Outrage specifically. Something about the culture and affordances of the internet seems to cause a lot of unnecessary drama as people complain, build trivial issues up in their minds, and choose sides where none needs to be chosen.

I definitely see what you mean about “complaining about complaining,” because you’re right that people need to feel free to express their thoughts.

But also, we need to be aware of how the medium of technology affects discussion. Sometimes it causes people to act in ways they otherwise wouldn’t. The internet gives us a way to experience the pleasure of self-righteous outrage without the consequences of someone looking you in the eye and thinking you’re kind of a jerk.

I think a lot of people would be happier if they asked themselves, “eh, who cares?” more often. At least about silly internet stuff. :)

On , Andrea said: | zoopolis.wordpress.com

Yeah, I can see that. But it still seems to me that the Just Keep Moving blogger is guilty of exactly what she is complaining about: she also had the choice to just move past the critical comments and posts. But she didn’t.

Which I am now going to do myself, because she’s perfectly allowed to complain about the people complaining about the sunset photos, if she feels so moved. And clearly she does.

I wonder how much of this is because of our modern belief that happiness (and other feelings) are choices we make, not responses to life events? By that logic, if someone isn’t feeling what you think is the appropriate thing to feel (awe at the sunset, resignation in the face of another snowstorm, whatever), they’re Doing It Wrong, and it makes sense to judge it.

On , sj kurtz said: | erniekdesigns.blogspot.com

She needed a blog post folks would hit on? Okay, I married a marketing guy….

On , Betty Jordan Wester said: | nouvellegamine.com

“The issue for me is Internet Outrage specifically. Something about the culture and affordances of the internet seems to cause a lot of unnecessary drama as people complain, build trivial issues up in their minds, and choose sides where none needs to be chosen.”

Yep. There seems a lack of middle ground thinking in all aspects of our lives. I see it constantly on my newsfeed. I recently deleted my tumblr account completely as well as removed all my social apps from my phone except Instagram & My Fitness Pal. I’ve been far more relaxed.

On , Dani said:

That NYT article is amazing. And so true! I take public transit everyday to and from work and try to force myself not to pull out my Android out of boredom. (I often fail.) Then I look around and 80% of people (aged 15–75) are on their own phones. I’m afraid Wall-E’s prediction of the future is going to come true in my lifetime. :-o

On , Betty Jordan Wester said: | nouvellegamine.com

I assumed the JCrew sizing was bc they’d vanity sized their sizes again. I’m currently 7 and a half months pregnant & wearing a regular blouse from Kohl’s that says XS- and I’m 5’9″. Meanwhile, yesterday I sized up a vintage pattern from 1970 from an 8 to a 12. The RTW sizes are so jacked. It would be so much easier if sizes were just measurements & they were actually enforced. You could just go in & see if they carried your size instead of bringing 4 things to the dressing room (obviously there’s wiggle room for design ease).

On , sj kurtz said: | erniekdesigns.blogspot.com

My teen son just moved into the low end of men’s clothes, swtiching from “age sized” to ‘waist sized’, and has remarked how the number are not accurate (the 28″ is more like a 30″) for men’s clothes. And yes, he knows how to sew. Otherwise he would be naked this summer. Love how the ‘half sizes’ in vintage are ‘plus sizes’

On , Betty Jordan Wester said: | nouvellegamine.com

I totally understand- my husband just moved down a pants size despite gaining 2″ in his waist over the years. We both loathe clothes shopping. Between the normal disappointment of something I love just not looking great on my body shape, the added irritation of bringing a boatload of clothes in to figure out where I am this summer as opposed to last summer just makes me not even bother.

On , Christine said: | christinehaynes.com

I love these article roundups every week Sarai! Saw this and thought you might like it too if you haven’t read it already… http://www.treehugger.com/sustainable-fashion/fashion-firm-marimekko-birch-tree-fabric-cotton-alternative.html

On , Sarai said: | colettepatterns.com

That’s really interesting!

On , scarlet said:

I’m not at all surprised to see stores introducing 000 sizing. It seems to me that, within a certain range of weights and body types, the size we wear often reflects our height and build more than it reflects our degree of fatness or slimness. When I was a teenager in the early/mid nineties, my 25-26″ waist still put me in a size 10-14 because I was tall and had a 40″ bust and 38″ hips. Those older sizes 10-14 now fit my size 4 younger sister, by the way, as clothes were rarely constructed with stretch materials at the time and sizing was much smaller.

Anyway, if I consider my height and skeletal size, I am a very, very large woman. And even so, I wear a Misses 12-16, depending on brand. And those sizes usually need to be taken in quite a bit at the waist. I’m 5’10”, a G-cup bra, and have a sturdy build. And yet, my size falls around the “average.” And with today’s generous sizing, if I managed to get back to my old shape, I might wear a size 8 or so. That could possibly be unless petite women are getting sized out of stores.

I think it’s ridiculous to take these smaller sizes as a condemnation of other builds. Asian women do tend to be slightly built. I have lived in Japan, and though I had a 26″ waist at the time, I could not buy clothes anywhere. I could not buy underwear. I could not buy stockings. The largest shoe size for women was three sizes too small for me. Meanwhile, Japanese women who were thicker through the waist than I was could easily fit into clothes. They had much smaller frames: shorter legs, narrower shoulders and hips, less breast tissue, and so on. I never thought this meant something was wrong with my body or that something was wrong with theirs. We were just built in different scales and with different silhouettes. When my dad spent time in China a few years ago, he brought me back a jade bracelet of the type popular there. It doesn’t even fit over my knuckles. He was shocked because even plump women in China have no difficulty wearing these bracelets. But it’s a skeletal issue. Shorter, small-boned people need smaller sizes, and even if they become overweight or obese, they still will need smaller-scaled clothes.

It drives me crazy that so many people seem to think that anyone who is a tiny size must be too thin. No, some size 0, 00, or 000 women are just proportioned delicately. Conversely, people should stop making the ridiculous assumption that anyone could fit into a smaller size with enough dieting and exercise. I would have to be extremely thin to even fit into a 6 with my frame, while someone with a very petite build could carry a fair amount of body fat at that size.

I do think it is obnoxious that there is far more focus on adding smaller/petite sizes than there is on accommodating taller people or those who take larger sizes. But J. Crew’s clothes have never fit me well since I’m curvy/busty, and I’ve always found their aesthetic boring. I’ll keep my money in this instance.

On , Betty Jordan Wester said: | nouvellegamine.com

true story- last week I was in a Japanese bookstore looking at sewing books when the women next to me (who were not Asian) loudly proclaimed that while the patterns were cute, they wouldn’t look good on a Real Woman. Several Asian women turned around and just stared at them. So yeah, I wish people realized that different builds wear different sizes and they’re all good :)

On , Kristin P said:

I just had to chime in because I agree whole-heatedly with everything that you said! I am one of those petite, 0 or smaller sized women. I’m 30 years old, definitely do not have an eating disorder, nor do I spend an inordinate amount of my precious free time at the gym. I am just small. And I sympathize with all women about the difficulty finding clothes that fit properly… People seem to think that because I happen to be a smaller size means that I find loads of clothes that fit great or flatter my frame. I am sorry that people like Rachel Ray find it “asanine” to accommodate small, petite women. Especially since that mentality is why I can’t even dream about shopping at most major retailers. Sewing my own clothes has definitely saved me a lot of frustration!

On , Lizzy said:

Sarai, you regularly post about minimalism and paring things down, I don’t know if you’ve seen this interesting counter argument written by Ian Svenonious (Sassiest Boy in America to you old Sassy readers) https://www.jacobinmag.com/2014/07/all-power-to-the-pack-rats/

On , meredith said:

Thanks for sharing this! -from an old Sassy reader… or maybe make that an old, sassy reader ;)

On , Sarai said: | colettepatterns.com

That article was pretty amusing.

On , Carlee McTavish said: | sewcookgardenrepeat.blogspot.ca

I just think you should know that I love reading this series. There is always such interesting reads in here!

On , Kadrella said:

Well I can understand a little bit why jcrew would add ooo xxxs sizes because I’m 21 and love jcrew but there is still a small community of us that still can’t fit 00’s

On , Adeline said: | adesays.wordpress.com

I watch with envy as everyone picks up their favourite fall fabric and have a go at fall sewing while it never gets cold in this city of where I live which is Singapore! Looks like I’m stuck with summer sewing all year round..

On , Rachel said:

If retailers sizes are really driven by target population’s average stature, are they drafting to a B cup like the Big 4 pattern retailers? I can’t imagine that B cup is the average cup size.

On , Sarai said: | colettepatterns.com

I believe B cup used to be the average cup size in the US, but that hasn’t been the case for a long time (according to the data I’ve seen).

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