I've waited to speak on this because I'm not surprised. This is just par for the course from some of these designers. I raised these very same objections when these indie designers first came on the scene years ago. They used the very same excuses and wording then as they have in this IG post. Nothing has changed and that speaks volumes to me.
The only indie pattern company that changed at the time was Colette. Sarai worked with the Curvy Sewing Collective and other plus size sewists to develop patterns with a size range that almost all sewists could make. Everyone else stuck their heads in the sand.
Imma call some names out now ~
1. Sewaholic Patterns - Tasia at the time said she makes patterns for pear shaped women and she wasn't prepared to make plus size garments.
2. Grainline Studios - flat out ignored the cries.
3. Closet Case Patterns - Heather increased her range to a size 20 which is on the small side of plus size sewing.
4. Elisalex and the By Hand London team had a cult like following that told them they were amazing and raved about their patterns so why did they need to address the fat girls in the back.
5. Megan Nielsen said nothing that I remember at the time but thankfully she is issuing new patterns now with plus sizes and working on updating her pattern catalog.
6. The Big 4 pattern companies did extend their sizes and found some plus size designers to add to the offerings to give plus size sewists more opportunities to make trendy clothing. Check out the older Khaliah Ali Simplicity patterns on eBay, etsy and some of the vintage pattern sites.
Alot of the newer indie pattern companies that do have a plus size range are companies that primarily make pdf patterns so I have no experience with them and can't speak to them. However, they're getting a lot of love on IG right now.
I will say that I'm the older sewist in the room and in this discussion. I've been through this. I've had the angst/anger/hurt that alot of the plus size sewists are feeling right now and I've developed a few policies because of that.
1. I don't purchase patterns from the companies that don't design for my size.
I vote with my dollars and being an older sewist with a high discretionary income that means the designer is losing out. It also means that my blog following doesn't see posts about these designers.
2. I don't beg.
I said my piece years ago and now as Jenny, of Cashmerette Patterns, said this discussion is coming around again. If you don't want my money, I'm not begging you to take it. I'm ignoring you just like you're ignoring me. I'm finding indie pattern designers who want my money and giving it to them. I suggest other plus size sewists do the same.
3. SUPPORT the Indie Pattern companies that cater to you!
Highlight the designers that want you to make their patterns. Share your finished garments on ALL social media channels so other plus size sewists can see them - not just on Instagram - but on the Curvy Sewing Collective, Facebook, blogs and PatternReview too. Not every plus size sewist uses Instagram as their place to get sewing information.
4. Don't buy their books, follow them on Instagram or other forms of social media.
They don't care about you ~ why are you running behind them. Harsh I know but that's how I feel. I don't follow most of those "popular" indie designers on IG. They have nothing for me so why should I support them.
I make sure to note EVERY indie pattern designer and fabric company I use on Instagram so that other sewists know about them too. Tag them in your posts! Expand your range of sewists you follow on Instagram. Follow hashtags like #curvysewing #plussizesewing #cscmakes
My last point is going to be the most controversial but I had this thought over and over as I read the comments. We as plus size sewists need to learn to fit our bodies and learn what styles work for us. My sewing may appear boring on IG but my projects work. They work because I've learned how to make the adjustments that I need so they fit and I wear the styles that make me most comfortable.
This means that we should invest in our fitting education - take classes both online and in person. Follow sewists who have some fitting knowledge. Buy books that can help take your sewing to the next level and these can be older sewing books too. Reach out and ask questions if you don't understand. Yes, sewing has different challenges when applied to plus size sewists but there are sewists out there who have knowledge to share and want to share it.
I'm sorry if this sounds like preaching but please know that not every question can't be answered in a Google Search.
Finally y'all I'm tired. Between the stuff that jumped off on Instagram over BIPOC and now this...along with all the crap that's going on in the US with our government shutdown...I just needed a minute. It's why I've taken this time to write this out and even in trying to be careful I'm sure I'm going to piss someone off which is not my intent.
For some other takes on this discussion, please read Andi's blog post, or Shannon's post. If you're on Instagram and haven't seen these sewists thoughts on this issue, please check out Megan, Emily/The Catwood, Whitney, and Emily.
...as always more later!