chubby girls (and boys)

12 Jun

I am always on the hunt for 60s and 70s kids’ clothes patterns at thrift stores. When made correctly (which I sometimes fail at), they fit the way I think clothes should. I have the hardest time buying new clothes for George because I find most of what’s in stores so incredibly tacky, stereotypically gendered, poorly made and bearing the stupidest sayings (“Mommy loves me” — no shit; I hope so!). There aren’t too many good old patterns out there for boys. Most of the ones I fall in love with are for jumpers or dresses, or my recent favorite: a bikini. So I was super stoked to find this one at Value Village the other day:

I got it home and looked it over again and couldn’t believe I’d missed something right on the front of the pattern sleeve.

See it? “Not suitable for chubby girls.” Or, I should say, “NOT SUITABLE FOR CHUBBY GIRLS.” Like, sewers for chubby girls: don’t you even THINK about it.
It brought to mind a few questions. Were there patterns, specifically a different version of this one in particular, that WERE suitable for chubby girls? What is “chubby” according to McCall’s? And how many little girls sat with their mothers at the fabric store pattern book table, like I did with my mum so many times, and fell in love with this pattern only to have their mother point out that it wasn’t made for them?
Children of seamstresses are (sometimes painfully) aware of their measurements. I have always known what pattern size I was, and I knew when I had grown disproportionately because of my mother’s tongue click and slight grimace in recognition of the extra work she’d have to do folding here, adding on there. And this was before she started calling me fat, outright.
Now, I will never be 5 feet, 10 inches tall and I will almost certainly never weigh less than 120 lbs, which is about what my mother weighs and always has. I will never consider myself thin, and considering myself normal is a daily struggle. Just today, a friend referred to her own body as such and I had to check the part of me that judged her COMPLETELY valid self-assessment as boastful (totally messed up, right?). I can never imagine anything less than genuine, serious health-related concern forcing me to even broach the subject of weight with George. And never in a million years would I, even then, call him fat (okay, I call him fat all the time. I mean later). But what I DO do is call myself fat. And I need to knock it off, as soon as I say this one thing:
This chubby girl is making the effing pants and peter pan collar jacket.

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2 Responses to “chubby girls (and boys)”

  1. Autumn June 13, 2010 at 4:09 am #

    I left our coffee date and promptly told my husband that you two were too thin and beautiful to be my friends. I need to knock it off too, thanks for the reminder.

    PS. By the looks of it you were in all prepreg clothes and looking hot. You rock yellow pants far better than any I have seen before.

    • veryveryfine June 14, 2010 at 2:23 am #

      yes, most definitely, knock it off. you are gorgeous.

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