I'm finished with my nautical high-waisted shorts, including the hem and buttons, but then I realized that I have nothing to wear them with, so now I'm frantically sewing up a stripey top. But in the meantime, as I look at myself wearing the shorts, I am beginning to realize that perfectly-fitted-pants-sewing is going to be a long and ever-changing journey. See, when you make fitted pants, they emphasize all sorts of things that fitted skirts don't do (not that I make a lot of fitted skirts).
I've already written before about my body image issues, specifically with my lower body, which is part of the reason why I'm always making dresses with fitted bodices and full skirts. In trying to fit my shorts (which are still not perfect), I'm realizing that I need to look at my body a little more objectively. Instead of shying away from looking at my thighs (quick! throw on a full skirt!!), I need to know what they actually look like so that I can cover them with fabric in the most flattering way possible (and not just by throwing on a full skirt). So I made a croquis. Two, actually, from both the front and the side.
|If you're wondering about the awkwardly raised arm in the first croquis, it's because I was holding my camera up to my face. I decided to try to pretend it was behind my head or something. Also, what does one do with the arms in a side croquis?|
Seeing myself in my non-Elizabethan undawears, rendered as a line drawing, is, for lack of a better word, interesting. Initial thoughts: I didn't realized that my head was so large, nor my feet so oddly stubby. I already knew that I had a swayback (and avoided ever having to make that adjustment by always sewing dresses with waist seams), and my dance teacher in college had already pointed out my swayback knees. Seriously, what bendy part do I have that isn't sway? Also, my measurements indicate that I should be a pear, but the width of my shoulders makes me more of an hourglass, at least visually. No wonder why I love belted dresses.
But the rudest shock was seeing my belly profile, as I hadn't realized that it was as rounded as it is. Before you protest that it isn't round at all, I will interject that when I was in college, it used to be entirely flat. I know, of course, that it isn't realistic to expect one's body to stay frozen at its peak, but I do wonder how much preservation work one should reasonably do. How much should one accept that aging happens, that as I get closer to thirty my body's metabolism will slow down, and it's a lost cause to retain my college figure? It just goes to show that the comment from one of Gertie's readers is SO. TRUE. "All 'thin' can ever be is 'not yet fat today' and 'not as thin as I could be.'" I need to walk away from that kind of thinking and focus on being healthy.
I was recently talking with a very dear friend about body image, and I had said that body image was not one of my "big" issues. That is, when I think about the demons I need to wrestle with, I am more likely to say selfishness, difficulty dealing with emotions, or a tendency to over-focus on the task to the exclusion of people, not body image. But looking at my croquis makes me think that maybe it was just a dormant issue, and it is now being brought to light as I think about getting older and the possibility of messing with my body by producing a small human being.
So how does making pants fit in with all of these unearthed issues? I'm not really sure. Part of me wants to stop the pants-making journey right here and go back to full skirts that sit at my natural waist, but another part of me thinks that I need to continue trying for fitted pants, as maybe that will force me to come to terms with and accept my body. Who knew that sewing could be such an effective excavator of buried issues?
Sorry for the scatterbrained post, but I just wanted a record of my thoughts. Also, I really do love so many things about my body; this post just sounds especially whiny because I'm troubled by sewing pants that fit. If you actually read this all the way through, thanks for sticking with me.