Get started: make a dress for $ 10
DAVID UNWIN / Tips
Sew in the ManawatÅ« Standard office with the cheapest material and machine from Spotlight. A faithful office cushion is the victim of pins.
Journalist Sinead Gill tries to create her own outfit for a fraction of the cost of a ready-made design.
I’m sick of paying $ 80 for a dress that looks like a curtain, or for two in a row that fall apart in a matter of months.
You wouldn’t know it from our retailers, but the average size in New Zealand is around 16.
I’ve never heard of a size 10 struggling to find an outfit to suit their age, yet at size 22 if I want to buy local my choice is to dress like I have ashamed of my body, or with such a prominent cleavage that it could trick passers-by into forgetting that I’m fat.
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Every fat woman knows the ups and downs of shopping online, the eternal gamble of paying three times the price for an item that might be okay – even great – but is often of poor quality and made in terrible conditions. .
The only solution to a non-existent or unethical oily fad I can think of is to make them myself.
And if you’re a hands-on learner like me, and Youtube alone isn’t enough, then a local lady with a sewing machine is not far from a social media call or web search. .
In Palmerston North, there is Supergrans, a network of volunteers – not all actually grandmothers – who teach life skills for free. When I contacted them, they were running three sewing workshops a week.
I got associated with Pam, who made my lofty dream of replicating a basic dress that I already own from scratch come true.
I had made my first mistake before arriving. As it turns out, Spotlight’s cheapest fabric is cheap for a reason – it’s thin enough to spit through and a bit sheer, yet light enough that an underlay isn’t uncomfortable in the summer.
We pressed, laying the dress front, then back – seam to seam – and tracing a pattern along a large sheet of paper. It got more complicated when we had to figure out how much space to give the darts – those pieces bent close to the chest or waist – that give clothes a certain shape.
The rest was pretty much the same and surprisingly easy to do, with a handful of little bits and pieces that, if done badly, would ruin the whole thing.
Making the pattern and cutting all the pieces was a two hour process. Sewing over the next two days on my solitaire took another two and a bit.
The result was passable for a first try, and now I have the pattern to redo it with a better fabric.