The Savvy Sage of Sewing Stimulation

Happy Triskaidekaphobia!!!

Yeah – well that’s really not meant to tangle up your tongue but it looks like it!  Triskadekaphobia is the fear of he number 13 and specifically refers to the fear of Friday the 13th.  It came from a number of obscure sources (aside from Jason running amok), but the main one is considered to be that on October 13, 1307 the Knights of the  Templar were arrested in an organized attempt to quash the organization by the King of France who was in dept to them.  Well, that’s one way to solve your debt problems!!!

The part that always fascinates me about this day is that there’s this fear or suspicion that something bad is going to happen, when it’s only based on folklore or superstition.  Sort of the same way that conclusions are based on incorrect or suspicious facts – like

“I can’t sew cause I can’t fit myself,” or
“I can’t be fitted no matter what I do, therefore I can’t really look nice,” or
“I quilt and do intricate sewing on my quilt cause I can’t fit myself!”

I hear these all the time in my classes, and through the first couple of hours they are convinced that there’s nothing they can do to change the fact that they are so misshapen that there’s no way they can be fit.


And to their defense this is a reflection of a lot of propaganda put on them by some very proficient experts in marketing.

  1. They are told that if you don’t fit into a certain size category, you’re fat, and therefore can’t be fit and must be in this category to be fit.
  2. They are told that this style (no matter what it is, long skirts, short tops, hipster pants) is in.  If you don’t like it or don’t want to wear it, you’re out.  If you don’t happen to look good in that because the proportions are wrong, you’re fat (by the way, proportions has NOTHING to do with fat!)
  3. They are told that you must cram yourself inside these styles of clothing no matter what, and they (you know the always proverbial they) will make it substantially easier for you by making everything stretch and they recommend that you buy the garment two sizes too small so that you can see every ripple on your body (and we all got ripples!)

So that by the end of any shopping experience most of us are so run down on our bodies, that we are instructed to take whatever is left that has one or two good features.

But, this is not reality.  ALL of us are not bad, misshapen or otherwise wrongly shaped.  We are the shape we are from not only our life experiences but also our environment.  And then there is TOO thin.


Each one of these students felt that there was something wrong with their bodies, and one of the most fun things of teaching sewing is for them to discover that not only can they be fitted, but they can also look nice, and well, yes, even really nice in their clothes.  They feel special in their clothes.  They work in their lifestyles and wardrobes.  They feel good on their bodies and most of all they fit.

This doesn’t even take into consideration the cost.  And for today, I really don’t want to go there.  This is all about feeling good – and phooey on cost.  As a matter of fact, many of these garments compete with couture – in only that there is rarely anything inbetween fast/cheap fashion and couture.  Don’t misunderstand. This is NOT couture, but it’s closer to couture than it is to cheap/fast fashion.

The most important thing for these students is that these outfits work for them – they are the right color; they are the right style (in proportions and scale), they function for their vocation and their needs, but most importantly each garment makes each creator FEEL GREAT ABOUT HERSELF!

For me this is the greatest goal.  To allow my students to feel that rush when a garment works for them.

So to hell with triskaidekaphobia- – We sewists are lucky  – – aren’t we!!!


1 Comment
  1. My dd says that fashion models are the freaks of nature and the rest of us are normal. You’ve seen pictures of my thin, curvy dd; she has a beautiful figure but there are definitely fit issues when I fit her not a lot, but they are there. Almost everyone differs from the ‘standard’ figure in some way. Figure out how to get a good fit and everyone can look wonderful.

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