How sewing helped me love my body
By Tina Bury
I used to wear baggy t-shirts and ill-fitted blue jeans. All the time...unless I was wearing hiking pants. I generally felt frumpy and uncomfortable and I did NOT think it was my clothes fault.
I was constantly yanking up the waistband on my pants and trying to pull them over the muffin top that ill-fitting pants give you regardless of your size. (This was well before high waisted jeans made a comeback!)
One day, more than a dozen years ago, I stood by the mailbox gaping at a catalog I'd received, unsolicited, in the mail. It had models that looked like me, more like my body, and they were beautiful! They wore clothes that fit their bodies and were stylish and confident....playful even.
It was one of those life-changing moments...and in the small, simple moments of my day, no less!
Thus began my journey. A journey of knowing that what you wear impacts how you feel. Really. There is deep truth to the saying that "the clothes make the (wo)man".
Do you have a go-to outfit for when you need to impress? That outfit you reach for when you're putting yourself out there...for a job interview or an exciting date.
Or maybe you have an outfit that you wear when you want to feel soft and romantic?
I bet you do.
See, I think we know. I think we know, intuitively, what lights us up. We have an emotional reaction to it that is easily explained away or ignored...but it's there.
And choosing what lights us up is not a frivolous thing.
It's what allows us to be our best selves. And it's a powerful way to approach living.
I have found this to be true time and time again in my life. Let me give you an example.
8 years ago I became gluten intolerant. I got really, really sick and cutting all gluten out of my diet healed me. Years, yup years, before that when I needed to show up for something (like a job interview) with my strongest, sharpest brain and attention, I intuitively knew to stay away from grains.
I did not make those choices consciously, it was only well after the fact that I became aware of what I was doing. It was my intuition (my inner wisdom, if you will) trying to set me up for my best experience. It has become my daily intention to hear and heed my intuition. To live fully awake.
My intuition (and yours) does the same with the clothes I wear and how I want to show up in the world. If you feel frumpy or blah or incapable...change what you're wearing and watch the magic unfold. I'll bet you begin to feel more confident, or more playful or you stand taller. You deserve to feel lit up by what you wear and how you present yourself to the world.
To that end, I started to buy clothes that fit my body (as best I could) and that added sparkle to my eye. And, guess what...I began to love my body, exactly as it was, a bit more.
I walked down the street differently. People constantly asked me if I lost weight. I hadn't, but I was wearing clothes that excited me. And confidence and sparkling eyes are powerfully attractive.
When you clothe the body you have in a loving way...you can't help but love that body a bit more. But finding clothes that I loved that also fit me well wasn't always easy.
It was that frustration that led me to garment sewing. And my closet opened up. And I love my body even more. Sewing garments help you see how arbitrary those numbers on your clothes are and it helps you see how nearly everyone feels that their body is wrong.
And that's eye-opening. Because you KNOW those other folks are crazy. Their bodies are perfect. So, maybe, just maybe, your body is perfect too!