In the last year there have been big discussions in the sewing community around sizing and representation. I’m so happy and grateful to see how much has changed already. So many independent pattern companies are investing in increasing their range or have already released new patterns and updated old ones. And yet, there are businesses and individuals still saying that it’s too much work or that they don’t believe they’ll see a return on their investment.
This pushback has made me rethink how I want to participate with businesses within the sewing community. Though my measurements are accommodated by most standard size ranges, I want to see sewing accessible to everyone! I felt this was a real opportunity to show support for businesses taking steps toward inclusivity. Here are my goals from here on.
Rule 1: Only purchase size inclusive patterns.
What is “size inclusive?” Each brand has different sizing so just looking at 0-24 or XS-XXXL isn’t necessarily informative. It’s important to look at every company’s size chart. I’ve chosen to go with a 51 inch hip as my bench mark. It’s somewhat of an arbitrary number and certainly isn’t totally inclusive, but it’s the most consistent number I’ve seen used by the sewing community.
Rule 2: Adapt the Stash
Not buying new patterns seems easy, but what about using the patterns in my stash. I counted. I have 52 indie patterns and only a handful meet my inclusivity requirement. My goal is to gradually replace the patterns in my stash so that my stash reflects my convictions regarding size inclusivity. However, it’s not sustainable for me to throw them all out at once or swear to never make those patterns again. Until then, my plan at this time is to add more information to my blog posts. For starters I’ll include sizing information in my make breakdown. Additionally, if I make a garment from a pattern with a limited size range, I’ll provide an alternative pattern with ideas on how to get a similar result.
Rule 3: Share Resources and Support Upgraded Sizing
While I can’t buy every new size inclusive pattern that hits the market, I want to do my best to support businesses creating or updating size inclusive patterns. Resharing pattern releases, updates and posts is so helpful for small businesses. I also hope to help indie companies through pattern testing (bring on more sizes!) and of course sharing my own makes on social media.
Thanks for reading and I encourage you to consider your relationship with pattern companies and size ranges. Happy sewing!