June 28, 2007

Imaginary You?

Recently I subscribed to Knitting Daily. This is a daily "discussion" delivered to your email box by Interweave Knits. Sandi Wiseheart is writing a daily blurb about knitting and how it affects her life. Currently, she is working on Tomato, written by Wendy and published in No Sheep For You by Amy Singer. On Friday, Sandi wrote: "I am a big girl. That's a fact. However, and this is the interesting part: I am not as big as I think I am. I suspect this is true of many of us gals. We are so brainwashed by the media that, in our minds and in our mirrors, we see ourselves as—literally—larger than life. However, I am not larger than life-sized (and neither, I suspect, are you). I am simply "life-sized." But I forgot how powerful my imagination is. When I cast on for Tomato the first time, I cast on for No Sheep For You by Amy R. Singer that imaginary big girl and not for the actual big girl I am."

Personally, this struck a cord with me. As many of you know, I was once a 'big girl.' Most days I still feel like a big girl and I see a big girl in the mirror. However, my friends say that I'm no longer a big girl. I think this is a discussion that happens alot in the minds of women across America, around the world, really.

So, how do we move past our imaginary selves and start creating for our life-sized selves? I can't tell you the number of times I have knit something that ends up too big because I think my tape measure is wrong, it's old, it must be stretched, I can't possibly be that small - whatever my rationale is for making something a size too big. Then what happens, it sits in my closet for a year or so and then I give it away. True, some of the joy in knitting and sewing is the creating, its feeling the yarn flow through your fingers, fondling fabric, going through the motions, learning new techniques. But has to be acknowledged that another part of the joy is actually wearing something that you have created with your own two hands. Turning flat fabric into something three dimensional that fits and looks flattering and saying (When some lady in the supermarket won't quit going on about what a great skirt you're wearing. Yes, that actually happened to me recently.) Thank you - I made it :)

So, talk back - do you create for the life-sized you or the imaginary you?


  1. You've struck a chord -I've been making clothes that are just too big, and not thinking the fitting issues through. I'm not as big as I think I am, and needn't look as big as I imagine I am if I dress in flattering clothes.

    It's taken some real effort to sew for the real sized me, and to choose things that work for me.

  2. Good post, G.
    i recently bought a swimsuit cover-up at Fresh Produce...i did not try it on until i got home, and it is HUGE. I am getting ready to make my skirt (really...i AM!), and part of what has held me back is this exactly!!!!

  3. It's so sad that we women are brainwashed to believe that beauty is a low single-digit dress size. I struggle along with the rest of the female population to overcome that crap, and it's hard.

    I've quit buying commercially made clothes, I've taken my *actual* measurements and bought patterns that reflect those measurements, not looking at the "size" on the envelope.

    I've purchased some really fabulous fabrics and have started on a new wardrobe. I know that these clothes will *fit* and I can't wait to try them on.

    I've decided that I won't believe all the popular hype. Just because I'm not a size 4 does not mean that I'm ready for floral printed tents ;-) We all should celebrate the in-between.

  4. I create for the real me though every now and again, I, too, fall prey to the bigger than I think I am movement. The movement is insidious and when your guard isn't up, it can creep in. But most days I can proudly say that I love me ~ all of me ~ big stomach, flabby arms and thighs that are full of cellulite. This body has served me well and hopefully will for many more years so it deserves to be appreciated and adored!

  5. Interesting post... I was buying RTW for the imaginary me.. b/c I am in between sizes. Now that I'm focusing on making clothes for myself I'm looking forward to creating for the life-sized me. I recently made pants & a skirt for myself and my body screamed ... now this is the way your clothes should fit... a total feeling of... shall I say liberation. I'm still in the learning stage of garment making, and looking forward to reading about other bloggers forward fashion sense.


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