Sunday, April 29

Make It Work #2

Hi all!

So now that Make It Work #1 (copies are still available) has been out for a while, I'm all full of ideas again and I think I'm ready to start compiling the second one. I'd like to aim to have #2 printed in time for my stall at the Fattylypmics in London (7th July!) so I am going to set an initial deadline for contributions by the end of May. As with last time, the deadline will probably slide at least several weeks, so if you don't think you can meet that then please do email me to see if you can still submit.

Ideas for subjects:
- Self care.
- Body acceptance stories.
-     - DIY tutorials (resizing smaller items, designing patterns from scratch, adjusting clothes, costume making, accessories.)
- Craft - radical crafts, projects, activism. Please try and make any tutorials sizeless.
- Art - good/bad/otherwise!
- Fat friendly exercise/HAES. 
- Fat relationships, sex, dating, friendships.
- Mental health.
- Fatshion - blogging, shopping guides, recommendations, resources for queer and differently gendered people.
- Queer politics - how does being fat impact your choices? How do dominant aesthetics limit your choices, how do you resist them, and how does your sense of dress interact with these dominant aesthetics?
- Letters to high street retailers, methods of resistance against outsizing, commentary on the closing of physical fat sized stores.
- Critiques and criticisms of fatshion - how can we make it a more inclusive space? Who do you want to see blogging?

Make It Work is predominantly a fatshion/craft zine, but it's political focus means there is tons more scope to include pieces outside of that specific area. For me 'making it work' is a central part of my engagement with my body both in my fashion choices and in my lifestyle choices - I consider it part of the survival tactics that help me cope in environments which are body oppressive. These are just starting points for brainstorming, and things I'd love to feature in the zine - if you want to feature anything else then feel free to suggest something. 

Anything you send should be easily photocopiable. Text based submissions should be 1,000 words or less. If you want to discuss ideas with me or submit a piece then contact me at fattyunbound[at]gmail[dot]com.

Tuesday, April 24

A denim jacket has been on my list of items to acquire for a while now, after I realised it is pretty effortless to team with summer dresses in the Spring. Sadly Spring temperatures are still a way away (oh, England) but I wore it out anyway, to go see a screening of The Beggars of Life at the National Media Museum, though admittedly with many other layers to bump up the warmth factor.

Dress, George via eBay, £7.50
Scarf, Primark, £4
Jacket, New Look Inspire, £20 (and still online)
Belt, old vintage stock
Tights, We Love Colours (bought online via a friend's sale post)
Brogues, Primark, £6

Sunday, April 22

This is my latest craft project. I've been meaning to tackle a shift dress for a good while (given that it's pretty much my favourite dress shape), and when I found the pattern for this in The Colette Sewing Handbook (FYI, the book's patterns are for US sizes 0-18), I thought it would be a good project. I made it in a lightweight cotton lawn, and lined the bodice with a sturdy cotton blend lining fabric. It's the first time I've fitted a lining and I'm chuffed with the outcome. Here's a close up of the main material:  

I bought it from a fabric stall in Leeds market for £5 pm. The total cost of the dress was about £20 - more than I'd normally spend, mainly because I shopped specifically for the materials for the dress (normally I just hover around the bargain bins/rails picking up what I can here and there for future projects). 

Here's how I dressed it for a day temping:

Cardigan, clothes swap
Dress, handmade
Belt, old vintage stock
Tights, M&S
Brogues, Primark, £6

Wednesday, April 18

I'm a great believer of images as an important part of body acceptance. They're often what you base your self-hatred on beforehand, by deconstructing your appearance, and, for me at least, seeing images of fat bodies on fatshion blogs and communities showed me that my body was not worth that self-hatred. We aren't often exposed to photographs of fat people in any other guise than the headless fatty or in generally a negative or incomplete portrayal, and this lack of images to relate to makes you feel as if your body is an anomoly. Fat positive online spaces contradict this by reclaiming their own image and sharing it on their own terms, with their own chosen aesthetic and presentation.

So, for me, seeing my body (whether by writing this blog, or hanging out with other fat people, or by being visible on my own terms) has become a really empowering way of negotiating my own relationship with my body. Maybe this makes me vain as hell, but it also makes me happy, and that's more important ultimately.

Anyway, to get to the point I'm trying to make(!), I recently got a copy of The Colette Sewing Handbook by Colette Patterns. They're an ace company who make vintage inspired patterns which have always hit the spot for me. They only go up to a UK size 20, but I've often been able to make the patterns work for me by working with smaller seam allowances. I would LOVE it if they'd expand their sizing so that more plus sizers could enjoy their work too *hint hint*. In the book, the author suggests that it's a good idea to make your own sewing doll/dummy on which to base your sketches for future craft projects. You do this by photographing yourself in either tight clothing or your underwear, printing a copy out, tracing your outline and then scanning or rephotographing it again. You've then got a digital copy of yourself that you can doodle ideas for, photocopy endlessly and design clothes for.

This excited me endlessly, because A) I'm a pretty bad artist and tracing is easy, and B) it meant I could doodle ideas for future creations on a copy of my own body. This is fantastic for craft purposes, but it's also a pretty fun thing to do in general - I found it a positive experience that helped me reconnect with myself after generally feeling a bit low. You can use the form to play around with outfit ideas, make zines, plan projects, or just doodle. It's a little thing, but I found it an affirming body positive experience, so thought I'd reflect upon it.

Here's mine (and if you don't want to see drawings of me in my pants, you should probably look away now!):


And here's some stuff I'd like to make or own:

An unashamed rip off of a Queen of Holloway dress I've had my eye on. Hopeful future project!

40s esque high waisted trousers (a current project), and a nice fitting blouse with a Peter Pan collar.

Sunday, April 15

Here's an obnoxiously bright outfit best suited for the start of Spring (someone should tell Leeds that it is Spring soon though, it's been miserably dark of late). I bought these green tights off a friend who was selling them on because, well, who doesn't need green tights in their life?! They're we love colours, size E, and whilst they fit well there's lots of room to spare, so next time I buy a pair I'll probably size down. They're probably the tallest fitting tights I've ever owned, however, I can actually pull them over my bra! So definitely a good option for other tall fats!

Dress, vintage, $20
Tights, We Love Colours via an online sale, £6
Belt, old vintage stock
Brogues, Primark, £6

Friday, April 6

I had a job interview last week, for a pretty exciting editorial job (I don't know if I have it yet, but fingers crossed!). Since I was interviewing at a media company, I dressed smart but not corporately, though the last minute addition of my snow boots was not ideal, but necessary given that we had an unexpected sprinkling of snow the night before! This dress is from the clothes swap, and has a beautiful blue and grey leopard print patterned overlay - perfect office to evening wear.

Blazer, via Fatshion Exchange, £10
Dress, clothes swap
Necklace, Primark, £2
Boots, Deichmann, £25
A rare outside snap for you today - I'm with one of my parents in Surrey, where I am recovering from a cold and getting lots of dog cuddles. Today I'm wearing another find from the swap - this gorgeous jersey dress with a lace collar. It's a (very) generous size 20, and a great dress to throw on. Today I dressed it simply with a flash of colour from my purple loafers!

Dress, clothes swap (from Peacocks originally I think)
Tights, M&S
Shoes, Primark, £12

Monday, April 2

Giveaway! But Another Innocent Tale Footwear: Winner

Hi all! Just a quick announcement - I generated the winner for the giveaway with B.A.I.T footwear this morning, and I'm pleased to announce that it is commenter #13, which is Tea! We'll be in contact with you to arrange your shoes shortly. Thanks to B.A.I.T for providing such an awesome selection to pick from!

Sunday, April 1

Hey all! Thought I'd show off another swap find, which was this lovely burnt orange 70s-esque tunic. It's originally from Primark, size 16 (and er, VERY GENEROUS). I think I'd looked at these when they were in store, but I'm not normally a massive fan of tunics because I don't like having to wear leggings or trousers beneath them, so didn't get it. However, I'm really glad I found it again - thank you to the person who brought it along! The sheer wide sleeves are really comfortable and good British Spring attire, and I like that it's another smart but comfortable piece that's easily remixed.

Tunic, clothes swap
Leggings, ASOS, £22
Belt, old vintage stock
Necklace, vintage, £7
Shoes, Primark, £12