The Savvy Sage of Sewing Stimulation

Your Own Style

One of the constant questions, I have in my classes is fitting.  But it’s not what you think.  It’s the perception of fitting.

This comes about for different reasons.  The first and foremost is because of the lack of sewing and clothing assembly knowledge in the consumer population, there are products being foisted on us sold as good items, when they are in fact far inferior to even the small, discounted price we are paying.

I promise not to dwell on this too much, but think about it:  if you don’t know about buying a refrigerator, you do research – you wouldn’t even think of not doing research;  if you want to buy a new laptop, you would go out and look at several models and see which one you liked the best.  If someone was selling you a laptop for $50 that had all the bells and whistles on it – latest wi-fi, huge hard drive, lots of DRAM, big fancy  processor and only $50, but you knew the company had issues with the longevity of the life of the product, IOW it would only last about 3 months – would you spend $50 for that computer.  Probably not.

If you could buy a car, that had all the latest tweaks on it – satellite radio (free), revved-up 6-cylinder engine, hybrid so you could plug it in, beautiful leather interior, jazzy stereo system with Bluetooth, and it was only $100, but the car from the FBN* Auto Company wasn’t known to last very long – maybe 6 months – would you still buy it?  (FBN=Fly By Night!!!!)

But when you go out to buy clothes, folks just toss all and any knowledge (if there was any to begin with) out the window and charge into the latest addiction store to throw money away on cheap/fast fashion – won’t last, but that’s OK, isn’t constructed well, but since most folks don’t know – what’s the down side.

And here’s the kicker – no one is encouraged or nurtured to create their own style or their own look.  Additionally, if you don’t fit into a size 6, 8, 10 or 12 (or for some labels the same sizes are 2, 4, 6, 8), then you are just weird and irregularly shaped and so what it if pulls a little bit, or so what if you can’t get it buttoned all the way up – – no matter, everyone else is wearing it that way (since none of the clothes fit – or whatever that is), it must be the fashion!


This was really never more evident than watching the transition that Diana Spencer made from school teacher to Princess of Wales.

I show this not to be mean, because it was a horrible prank and a sign of things to come, but this is the mother of the future kings of England, and as such had an almost transformational style as she stepped into that role.

What she discovered was really fascinating.  To start with, she was very young, and so she probably went to a much more conservative, safe choices at first:

And this was about as flashy as she would get:

And although she was really working hard to find her style….she just missed…..

To this…..

It took her some time to find it, and the transition wasn’t all that clean – at least as clean as it should have been, as one of the things that came out was that there wasn’t all that much support for her, and she was allowed to fall more often than she should have through the lack of preparation and guidance. The first example of that was her standing between the sun and cameras with a skirt and no slip showing her profile. The palace should have been all over her after that, instead they shamed her.

So as a result we had many years of really bad ball gown decisions on her part, till Anna Wintour and some Americans took her under their wing, and out came this really fabulously dynamic style.

Princess Diana, had a large waist, there was nothing she could do about it, but she could either not admit it and wear frumpy looking clothes the rest of her life, or  admit it and and work with it, which is what she did.


The part for us, is because of the situation in her marriage, there was a prolonged period of particularly bad dressing and we get to see the unbelievable transformation in her wardrobe, and therefore her look.  This also shows us how, when Diana did find her own style, her persona and the image that she projected changed substantially.  Part of this is due to the styles of the day – they were strange to say the least, but a lot of it was also due to the lack of her dealing with her own shape and size and style.

Once she found that, she blossomed.

For us, each one of us has our own style and shape and size.  It is imperative that you follow that.  If you’re pear shaped – don’t wear things that accentuate your hippy region; if you’re apple shaped, don’t wear things that accentuate your shoulders;  if you’re straight up and down, don’t wear fluffy full skirts hoping to make a waist.  Work with your shape and your size to develop your own style.



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