Tuesday, May 15, 2007

This is why its so hard to be a fat girl!

I had a great evening, hung out with a new friend and went fabric shopping (more about that in another post!). Got home and decided that I would quickly check my email. I mean its late, I have to get up at the godawful hour of 5:15 am tomorrow morning and I didn't want to spend any real quality time with the computer.

There is an email from McCalls Patterns - the new Summer '07 designs are now available. I am a little excited, I will admit it! I flip into the site and peruse the offerings. Okay can you please explain to me why the "skinny" girls get this kewl and funky top:

and this easy to wear in very hot weather dress:

and this interesting detail on the dress:

but the fat girls get this! Now this is the least of the offenders but c'mon isn't this the most awful color scheme you have ever seen. And really haven't you seen this pattern done so much better than this intrepretation...geeze louise...those outfits are U-G-L-Y!

and this - do the proportions on this look off to anyone but me? What were the pattern makers at McCalls thinking, "yeah you know those fat girls will wear anything if they think its trendy - NOT!

and this - ummm yeah this is a real flattering look! It looks so good on a pleasantly plump women that they used a skinny girl to model it! Let that be your first clue that this is going to make you look like a fat potato in this sack!

Is there something wrong with this picture! I say that if you wear an 18W or larger please boycott these McCalls patterns! Please I am begging you. Only if we stop purchasing this garbage will they finally see the light and design something more figure flattering and appealing than this trite. I...will....not...spend...my...hard-earned...money...on...this unflattering...stuff!!!!! And I am one of the few that actually purchase my patterns from McCalls website instead of at the 99 cent sales at Joann's and/or Hancocks! Well they won't be seeing my dollars, not with this junky offering!

Okay I am stepping away from the keyboard - rant over! But never let it be said that I didn't step up for my people!


  1. tell it like it is! I couldn't agree more. I'm not a skinny-minnie, and maybe I'm slightly better covered than some of my peers, but how hard can it be to design FLATTERING garments for those of us who aren't beanpoles, and who have bits that are convex rather than concave!?
    BTW I wouldn't call you a 'fat girl' either from the photos I've seen!

  2. You need to copy that post and send it to McCalls.

  3. I agree with you 100%. I also think that vicki w's comment has merit and you should send it to McCall's.

  4. STAND UP! You are right Carloyn. Yards of fabric with no shape does not equal 'design'. You can buy ugly clothes at a store and not spend time and money making them.

  5. hahahaha, I am glad that I read to the end of your post because just as I was scrolling down, I was wondering what you were on about?! uh? eh? and thinking I DON'T LIKE ANY OF THEM!!!!

    So there, I have said my piece in support of 'better styles for everyone' 'cause if I were skinny I wouldn't be wearing any of them either.

  6. oh my, i think that last one would look awful on anyone with a bustline, let alone plus-sized!

    there are lots of ugly styles. i usually like at least one or two new patterns each time they come out, but i can't tell you the last time i actually bought one.

  7. hey Carolyn. know what I see? I see a potential business opportunity for you. I remember seeing a post of yours about NE's jacket pattern over at AS. Hmmm... seems like you might want to channel that energy into a line of tailored clothes (patterns, that is) or upscale casual(again, patterns) for the plus sized market. Didn't I read in your blog about Ralph Rucci awhile back that you have a sketchbook? Well, use it to put down some ideas that you think would look good on you! Couldn't hurt!?? I'll bet they'd sell, too. There's lots of loan opportunities for women business owners. And, this could be done part-time, out of your home. You know people in the home sewing business, (Georgeous Things, Kashi) ask them for advice! Hey! I think you'd be really successful.

  8. Amen & Amen! I'm sure if you and I put our heads together, in less than 60 seconds we could come up with 50 ways we big girls are mistreated by the fashion industry. I should not be hard to find clothes that flatter us. You're doing the right thing by letting your dollars do the talking.

  9. Carolyn, I'm looking for patterns to sew for my apple shaped body. I am so dissapointed at what I am seeing. There are very few choices that I'm comfortable with.I can't find clothing in the store and now I can't find patterns. Girl we've got to make some changes.

  10. I'd have to say that most of those styles are less than flattering on anyone. I've been a little disappointed in some of these pattern companies offerings as of late. Maybe it's because I've been sewing for a while and I want something fresh and new, but many of the patterns seem to be rehashes of previous patterns. What to do? Maybe take up self-drafting?

  11. Send the letter to the McCall Company, start a petition too... I'll sign it! They should be ashamed of themselves. That plaid collection is hideous. Doesn't say breezy, summery anywhere. Looks like a dowdy Fall collection. I agree with Cidell, you can buy ugly clothes all day long... who wants to take the time and make that?!

  12. Good for you Carolyn! While, I'm not your size, I don't see any reason for you not to have well-made, well-fitting (emphasis on "fitting"; no potato sacks!) currently styled clothes. Put your energies into letting McCall's know how you feel!

  13. Rant on...
    In principle, I agree with the Rant! Wholeheartedly. Ok? You know that I love you too and am happy to call you friend.
    But I have gotta disagree here - Carolyn, I think your rant is misplaced. There isn't anything more here for the skinny girls than the fat girls, and not much for those of us in between either.
    1. the Trendy blouse pattern - a. it's avail up to a size 22, but b. the lines, for anyone who isn't anorexic, are BAD! Gathers from the shoulders and the waist, just plain bad design. Maybe made up in gauze, but otherwise, it isn't working.
    Fact is, it is awfully close in design to the M5337 that came out last month that all the plus size girls were outraged over as being fugly.
    2. the "easy to wear dress" is two rectangles on a drawstring that ties. Easy to wear, but IMO ought to be a freebie that they publish the how-to for in Threads. In fact, maybe just to put McCalls nose out of joint I'll write the directions up and send it to Threads to put it in their letters section. Oh, and anyone up to size 20 can buy it, and if anyone needs it larger, it is going to be a snap to grade it larger from the EE size pattern just because of the simplicity of the shape.
    3. IMO, again, I think the design itself shows about as much imagination and wearability as the last one you put up, M5436. They're both rectangles with elastic casings under the bust. NOT exciting.
    4. Rant fully justified. But I don't know if you can totally attribute the poor color and layout choice to the fact that it's aimed at plus sizing. I mean, take a look at the new offering M5440 - Just as bad...

    Shaking my head in dismay at the state of the summer offering.
    I personally think it's one of their weakest offerings in a long time - they won't be getting any of my $ either, except maybe for that Palmer Pletsch big white shirt. (avail in sizes 6 - 22). But I'm not so convinced that you can entirely place the cause at the feet of plus sizing.

    Still friends?

  14. Carolyn, you're right. Thoe styles to which you refer do not look very appealing to me, either.

  15. Marji - always friends! :) but since you don't consider yourself a "skinny" girl and I think of you more as a curveous woman...I will let you slide! *LOL*

    But this pattern offering just sucks! I got the Butterick/McCall Today's Pattern Magazine in the mail today and can sincerely tell you that it isn't that much better!

    And now if you didn't know, you can totally understand why companies like HotPatterns and Marfy are doing so well...trendy clothing in all sizes that make your sewing time worth the effort!

  16. By jove, I think I've just stumbled on a key answer, sitting reading SG this AM.
    It's not a size issue that is making this whole offering suck wind big time, it is that this offering (as a whole) has one focus - extreme youth. There are cutesy things for very youthful silhouettes (read, childlike youthful, which most of us adults can only bear a tiny bit of, if any) and the rest is shapeless and insulting.
    BTW, I didn't disagree with you that the pattern offering was bad, I disagreed that the only bad offerings were to the plus size category.
    Hugs GF.
    McCalls just missed the boat with this one.

  17. Hi,

    I just stumbled upon your blog (and I love it!). This entry especially talks to me, even though I'm a size 5/6 (but since I'm pregnant, this is likely to change... again... last time, I went up to a size 24...).

    While I was scanning through the new patterns, I couldn't help put think that it's anyting BUT flattering! For any body type! Even the skinny models don't look good in them. They look pregnant, even though they have a flat belly. In fact, it kind of look like those not-so-nice things Jennifer Love Hewett was wearing on Ghost Whisperer to camouflage her pregnancy.

    On the bright side, pregnant women don't have to buy those ordinary, unflattering and grand-mothery maternity patterns (only Burda seems to have a nice hip maternity collection) : they can chose from regular collections now!

    (By the way, if you follow the link to my webpage, it's in French... but if you click on "espace créatif" in the categories on the right, you'll see some pictures of things I made)

  18. It seems to me that, whether it's rtw or patterns, the designers have a skewed idea of what constitutes attractive AND stylish clothing. (Let's not even go into shoes, please!) The two don't have to be diametrically opposed concepts. I also found when shopping for work garb that there seems to be a consensus that anyone bigger than a size 12 must *want* to be swathed in more fabric than Stevie Nicks. Some flowing garments are great, but what about a tailored pantsuit UNDER a flowing jacket? I'm frustrated in particular because there is a gap of patterns and clothing that fit me ... I'm on the cusp between "regular" and "plus" -- whatever those really mean. The best tip evah: stop looking at labels and just look at fit.

    Thanks for your rant ... it's good to know we are not alone.


  19. Hi -- I lived in the "cusp" state that ldp refers to. I called it the fashion/fit free zone. I had to either lose weight or gain it so I could buy clothes.

    Anyway, I hate the patterns referred to in the rant. I think those of us who are a certain age have a few problems with the current fashion scene. See the style section of the NYTimes.com for an article about this. Those of a certain age AND size have it so much worse.

    I agree that there's a great business opportunity here...

  20. With your vast knowledge of sewing and on-point style sense... I agree that there is a big business opportunity for you.

  21. The pictures aren't available any more but that doesn't keep me from know exactly what you are saying. I say it all the time. It is not just on patterns but in RTW racks too. I pass by the skinny girl clothes and think 'Oh I hope they have that same top for us big girls." When I get to that section I see it but it is made in the most ugly fabric I have ever seen or it lacks the embellishments that made the skinny one so cute. UGH!

    1. That's because back in 2007 I use to link to the website and I have no idea what the patterns were that I was speaking of or I would update the post. I changed that in later posts but so glad that you got the gist of the post!


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