“I’d Never Sleep with a Fat Girl”

There’s a flip side to the “I like big girls” coin and it’s called “I’d never sleep with a fat girl” or some variation of that sentiment.

Oh, yes. It is indeed the same coin. Because declaring that you’d never sleep with a fat girl isn’t that different from proclaiming that you like big girls. It all boils down to the same thing.

Centering the conversation around what gets a guy’s dick hard.

Now, in my personal experience, I’ve had more dudes tell me that they like big girls than that they wouldn’t sleep with a fat girl. However, in the case of the latter, it seems to always be a desperation move on the guy’s part. You can almost smell the panic, almost hear the alarm bells ringing in their head.

Oh my God! I think this fat girl might like me! My friends would never stop giving me shit for that! Quick! Say something to reject her without actually rejecting HER.

I am oblivious when it comes to flirtation. I don’t know when people are flirting with me and I don’t realize that others can interpret my behavior as flirtation when I’m just trying to be my usual funny-to-cover-up-my-awkward self. This sort of interpretation leads to the above panic.

And to my own confusion.

I once had a guy say straight out to me, “I would never sleep with a fat girl” and it was so out of the blue that I was momentarily baffled. It wasn’t until later that the I figured out that the guy was having “fat girl panic”.

On another occasion I had a guy casually remark that he could never date a girl with cottage cheese thighs. I can’t remember how this came up in conversation, but it was so oddly offhand. My first thought was along the lines of “Good luck with that”. Again, thinking about it later I identified the comment for what it was.

Listen, fellas, just like it can be cool if you like big girls, it’s also cool on the flip side of the coin if you don’t. If you’re HONEST about why you don’t. And why you feel compelled to declare it.

Would you never sleep with a fat girl because it’s honestly not your aesthetic? You like them just fine as people, as friends, but for whatever reason, a woman with a generous helping of curves doesn’t get your dick hard? That’s cool. No need to shout it from the rooftops unprovoked like a weirdo. It makes everyone uncomfortable and you look like a jackass. Let it come up in conversation naturally, if you must. Or, if necessary, let it happen in private with the fat girl you’re certain is digging on you and the feeling is not mutual.

But if you wouldn’t sleep with a fat girl because what would the guys think? Wouldn’t consider it because the guys would rag on you endlessly? Even if you really liked the fat girl in question? Even if she got your dick hard? Because the guys would just give you way too much shit? Then here’s what you need to do, skippy.

Get new guys.

Because those bros are reading from society’s worn out script. We’re talking cheesy ’80s sitcom worn out, my dude. And not the good kind of cheese either. It’s a rerun even I wouldn’t watch and I watch them all.

Announcing that you would never sleep with a fat girl is doing more than just stating the obvious, sports fans.

It’s also blaring just how cowed by society and insecure about it you really are.

So, no worries there, guys who would never sleep with a fat girl. Fat girls wouldn’t want to sleep with you anyway.

Because that frail ego flailing? Not a good look.

“I Like Big Girls”

It never fails. Whenever I point out the bullshit way society treats fat women, drilling into everyone’s heads that they’re somehow unworthy of any sort of love, sex, or happiness, some dude needs to jump into my mentions with the same tired statement.

“I like big girls.”

Really? Well, good for you. If you’re looking for bonus points for bucking society’s rules of attraction, I’m afraid I’m all out of gold stars. Sorry, fella.

Tell me, my dude, since you’re so keen to make this all about you, why do you like big girls?

Do you like them because you’re genuinely attracted to them? Is that the aesthetic that truly pleases you? The image that gets you hard? Or is it convenience that they represent? The worn out thought that a fat girl will settle for the less of the less, any crumb of attention thrown her way, therefore she’s an easy score and good for your ego? Or is it something in between? Sexual gratification solely because she’s fat with little regard to what kind of a human she is? Or that she’s human at all?

I know that guys like big girls, despite what society instructs. Even if I’d never been hit on by a man in my life, the fact that people find my blog searching “mature chubby fucks” would clue me in. And I know, deep in my cold, black heart that for some guys, fat girls are just peachy. They’re into them for the whole package, not just the aesthetic, not just for perceived convenience.

It’s the declaration that grates me right down to my last nerve.

Guys, take a little advice from a fat girl. Instead of loudly proclaiming “I like big girls” at every opportunity, why don’t you put some fucking thought into your words? For clarity’s sake. Saying you like big girls is lazy and muddled. Just be clear. If you get off on fat girls because that’s your fetish, own it and say so. If you like fat girls because you think they’re desperately easy, then say that (I can’t guarantee that this will help YOU out any, but it will do many favors for the rest of humanity). If you dig fat girls because that’s your “type”, then say it plainly. And if you think that society’s rules about who deserves love, who is allowed to be attractive, who is qualified to be sexy is fucking bullshit, then put that thought in the appropriate words and shout it from the fucking rooftops.

The point is that this conversation need not be centered around you, champ. It’s not the time for free advertisement for your dating profile, nor is it a good opportunity to look for a pat on the back.

You can be supportive without involving your own ego.

Try it. You might like it.

At the very least, you won’t be irritating the fuck out of this fat girl.

When I Talk About Being Fat

Love moreWhen I talk about being fat, I’m not fishing for a compliment. I’m not asking you to run in and tell me I’m beautiful, to tell me I’m not fat. I am fat. I weigh around 240 pounds. If you saw me as a stranger, walking down the street, you would identify me as fat. I am fat. It is an accurate description of me. Not all of the connotations of that descriptor are accurate: I’m lazy about some things, but not my whole life; I don’t eat all the time; I do exercise; I’m not a gross slob; I bathe regularly, thank you; I do have some self-esteem; I do eat vegetables; I do take a walk; no, I haven’t given up on my life.

When I talk about being fat and you rush in to assure me I’m not, you’re not really assuring me I’m not fat. You’re assuring me that I’m not all of those bad things you automatically associate with being fat.

Good news! Your reassurance is lovely, but misguided. I know my personality flaws are independent of my appearance. I guarantee that I could look like a size zero model and I’d still be lazy as fuck about some things. It’s just who I am.

When I talk about being fat, I’m talking about my experience as a fat person and the hypocritical nature of the people that know me. I’m talking about the people who say there should be a weight limit on skinny jeans and take pictures of people without their knowledge so they can post them on Twitter for shaming purposes, but who would be first in line to defend me if someone told me I couldn’t wear my skinny jeans or took a picture of me and shamed me online.

Oh yeah, I see you. I don’t say anything to you because Twitter isn’t the place for it. 140 characters isn’t enough room for you to fit in your tired, bullshit excuses about why it’s okay for you to do that to THEM, but you would NEVER do that to ME and it would NEVER be okay for ANYONE to do that to ME. And frankly, I don’t want to bother with your tired, bullshit excuses. They don’t excuse what you do. And I know so long as you have those excuses at the ready (and I know you do), I’m not going to change your mind. You’ll always feel perfectly justified in your little smidge of fatphobia.

But I see you. Oh yeah, baby, I see you.

When I talk about being fat, I’m not being hard on myself. I’m showing you how society is hard on me. I’m illuminating the things that society thinks about me, says about me. I’m illuminating the things you think about other fat people, the things you say about other fat people, the strangers. The things you wouldn’t dare say to me because you like me.

When I say that I’ll never be pretty enough, never be thin enough, I’m not being hard on me. I’m saying what folks are thinking, what you’ve thought about others. When I say I’m too fat to be loved, you tell me that’s not true. You tell me I’m a beautiful person that deserves all the love and that anyone that doesn’t see that is stupid. But you’ve looked at someone less attractive, you’ve looked at someone fat, and you’ve thought, “How did THEY get someone? Somebody actually fucks THAT?” You’ve thought that about other people and other people have thought that about me.

And if we’re going to be 100% honest, if I were to find myself in the company of a person perceived by society to be out of my league, someone conventionally attractive, while you would be happy for me, I have no doubt, a tiny part of you would also be wondering, “Why are THEY with HER?”

Because it’s an extraordinary thing when someone goes against society’s expectations and instead jives with their heart.

When I talk about being fat, you think I’m talking about myself.

But really…I’m talking about you.

I Was “Healthier” Then

PigtailsWhen I was 17 I weighed about 180 pounds. By no means is that acceptable to a thin-obsessed society, but it’s about 70 pounds less than what I weigh now. Therefore, because I weighed less then, I must have been healthier then, too, right? After all, aren’t we all repeatedly told that in order to be healthy you must weigh the minimum?

This bullshit line of thinking came to me the other day when I was walking. When I was in school, you had to run the mile twice a year, every year. As someone who has never been a good runner, even as a healthy-weight kid, this was my Hell. You had to run the mile in like 7 or 9 minutes (I’m sure my fellow classmates that were actually capable of doing this could tell me the right number). The most time allowed whether you ran or walked it was 15 minutes. You had to do it within that time frame to be considered acceptable.

I could barely walk that mile in 25 minutes.

I thought about that the other day because now, six days a week, I’m regularly walking a mile in 15 minutes or less.

But I weighed LESS then. So I had to be healthier back then, right? Isn’t that the bullshit logic we’re force fed today?

When I was 17, my physical activity was pretty much non-existent outside of the minimum effort I put into PE and whatever walking/standing I did at work. Granted, having H/I cup boobs kind of put a damper on more aggressive physical activity because that shit is painful, but I admit it. I was a first class slug when it came to moving my body.

My diet at 17? Well, I’d say I ate less than I do now. I pretty much lived off of french fries, pancakes, whatever the cafeteria served for lunch at school, and whatever I ate working at Taco Bell. That’s it.

But, I weighed less.

At 27 I weighed about 200 pounds. More than my high school senior days, but a good 50 pounds less than now, so I must have been healthier then, too, right?

Well, I kind of was. I moved a whole lot more, that’s for sure. After my breast reduction surgery, physical activity became much less cumbersome and potentially hazardous. I did yoga and belly dance five days a week in addition to whatever miles I clocked working at Wal-Mart 24 hours a week.

And I still ate less at 27 than I do now, I think. My diet basically consisted of whatever was quickest, whatever frozen, processed shit I could pull out of a package or anything I could dump out of a can, whatever I could stick in a microwave and heat up on the fly. Fast food and soda were staples to my diet. I basically ate like a raccoon foraging in a dumpster. I also smoked a pack a day.

But I weighed less.

Now I weigh about 250. I eat more than I did at 17 and 27, but I eat less garbage. Very little soda and fast food, way less processed foods. Most of the dinners I make are vegetarian. Most of the lunches I eat look like they were packed for a third grader, all of the food groups represented.

I move more than I did at 17, but less than I did at 27. Consistency has been my biggest issue. It was hard to get back on the exercise horse after I hurt my knee. It was hard to be consistent working three jobs with varying schedules. Now just working two jobs that are more stable, I’ve been slowly able to work that consistency back in. I’m moving more than I have in a long time and I’m really happy about that.

But am I healthier than I was then?

According to the scale and society, no.

But I feel like I am.

If You Can’t Love Me Fat…

polka dotsIf you can’t love me fat, you’ll never love me thin. Because if I lost all of the weight that society says I should, the only thing that would change would be the size of my pants and the number on the scale. I won’t be any prettier. My eyes will still be the same weird, trash can gray color and my nose will still be too witch-like and so will my laugh. My hair will still be too thin and fine to grow out into a luxurious mane and my skin will still be too pale and I still won’t look good as a blonde. I’ll still have my scars and my stretchmarks and spots of bad skin and I’ll bet dollars to donuts that my boobs will still be uneven. I’ll still be funny and given to fits of the blues and I’ll say shit that I shouldn’t because I still won’t be that great with tact. I’ll still have a temper that comes out of nowhere and I’ll still hide all of my secrets as deep down as I can because the idea of being vulnerable is a level of trust that I haven’t been able to achieve with anyone yet. I’ll still be selfish and I’ll still be greedy and I’ll still be sacrificing and I’ll still be giving. I’ll still be the shoulder to cry on and the clown to cheer you up. I’ll still struggle and I’ll still fail and I’ll still take more than my share of the responsibility and my share of the blame. None of that changes. I’ll still be the same person. The contents of this bag will not have changed, wouldn’t even have shifted. If you can’t love me fat, then you’ll never love me thin.

If you can’t love me fat, then you’ll never love me old. I’ll age. Time and gravity will take a toll on my body. It’s already started. I’ve got a few lines I didn’t have before. I started getting gray hair at 28. I sag in places now and that’s only going to keep happening. Gravity is everywhere. I’m not going to constantly nip tuck things back into place, smooth my face and take a beauty belt-sander to my skin to eliminate those signs of life. I’m going to get a point when I go full silver and I quit coloring my hair because it’s too much of a hassle and an expense and I know I’m not fooling anyone. There will come a time, an inevitable point in my existence should I live long enough, that I will no longer be young. Hell, if you ask around, some folks will already tell you I’m there. Past my prime. I’m already too old to be desirable, to be loved, to be anything. If you can’t love me fat, then you’ll never love me old.

If you can’t love me fat, then you’ll never love me sick. Everyone will tell you that being fat is “unhealthy”, but thin people get sick. Thin people get colds, they get the flu, they get strep and mono and pneumonia. They get cancer. They get arthritis and back strains and vitamin deficiencies from eating like shit. They suffer from depression and anxiety and PTSD and OCD and ADD. They get debilitating diseases that rob them of their strength and capabilities and they’ll need someone to take care of them until they eventually wither away and death finally takes them to a better place. They were actually sick, not just perceived to be that way because of a billion dollar diet industry and a bunch of medical professionals that lost their souls ages ago. If you can’t love me fat, then you’ll never love me sick.

If you can’t love me fat, then you’ll never love me openly. You know that old saying. “Fucking a fat girl is like riding a moped. It’s a lot of fun, but you don’t want your friends to see you do it.” It’s not done, loving a fat girl out in the open, is it? Your friends will make fun of you. Society will tell you in a bombardment of messages from TV shows to movies to magazines to books that you’re wrong, that loving a fat girl is wrong, that you deserve to be the butt of the jokes because of it. It’s characterized as a fetish, something to be kept hidden, don’t let anyone know what kind of a deviant you are. Because it takes a lot of strength to spit in the face of society like that, to have to constantly put up with the jokes and remarks and insults, to decide every time someone opens their mouth how you’re going to deal with their bullshit, to love someone fat anyway, and to do it right out there in the blinding light of day where everyone can see when it would be so much easier to keep it all hidden away in the dark and let your ego remain intact. If you can’t love me fat, then you’ll never love openly.

Let’s face it, baby.

If you can’t love me fat, then you’ll never, ever love me.

Are You a Good Fatty?

Fat girl bikiniThis is a mindset that I have struggled with and one I’m working very hard to correct. Why? Because the Good Fatty is bullshit, that’s why.

Here’s how it works.

People make generalizations about fat people. They’re lazy. They eat like garbage. They’re unhealthy. You know, the same song and dance folks have been performing since before Jane Fonda made jazzercise a thing.

Immediately, my reaction is, “Not all fatties! I’m not lazy. I exercise. I do yoga. I belly dance. I count my steps. I lift weights. And I eat healthy! I rarely eat fast food. I eat vegetarian meals several times a week. I don’t eat a lot of processed food. And my health has been more affected by not having regular access to affordable healthcare than by my weight.”

Now, all of those things are true and generalizations are garbage. But, the fact that I feel the urge to defend my honor and separate myself from those other, “bad” fatties is bullshit. I shouldn’t feel that way. I shouldn’t actually have to do that at all.

Why?

Because there are thin people whose only exercise is walking out to their car so they can drive to a fast food joint. There are thin people whose diets consist of not much more than Starbucks and cigarettes and cupcakes. No “good” thin person has ever felt the need to distance themselves from those “bad” thin people by saying, “I’m not like them! I run twenty miles a week and take a spin class and do hot yoga. I eat gluten-free vegan. I’ve never drank or smoked and I haven’t set foot inside a Starbucks in my life!”

No, no thin person, good or bad, feels the need to defend their life choices because they are, by default, “healthy” just because they’re thin. Regardless of their choices, they’re treated with basic human respect. They don’t have to worry about anyone judging their choice of fries over salad. They don’t feel the need to remind everyone that they walked their five miles yesterday and today is just an off day. They don’t feel the need to say, “But I’m not like them.” They know it doesn’t matter. They will still get that basic human respect.

That simple respect isn’t extended to all fatties, just the “good” ones and only if they prove that they really are “good”.

So, riddle me this, Batman, why is that?

Why is some lazy, Whopper-eating thin person treated with more respect than a fat person who does the same thing? Why is perceived health the basis for simple respect? Why does a fat person not deserve respect because they’re not “healthy”?

Who the fuck came up with that rule?

Here’s the real skinny, Minnie, until proven otherwise, we all are entitled to basic human respect. All of us. Even the “bad” fatties.

I’m not going to draw that line between me and the “bad” fatties anymore. I’m going to work really hard not to do it. If I don’t draw that line between me and the smokers and the drinkers and the “bad” thin people, then there’s no need for that line to exist between me and other fatties. Their health choices are theirs, such as mine are mine. End of.

The respect thing, though, that’s non-negotiable.

Regardless of my weight, regardless of what I eat, regardless of how much I move, I refuse to accept anything less than simple respect.

I insist upon that.

What I See Ain’t What You Get

Did I mention the Ursula purse? Oh yeah. I took my Ursula purse.

Did I mention the Ursula purse? Oh yeah. I took my Ursula purse.

Last week I went to my cousin’s wedding. It was a simple, pretty affair in a ballroom that was decorated subtly, but effectively. The ceremony was very sweet and I had a great time visiting with family I don’t see very often.

Now this is the first wedding I’ve been to in years and I agonized about what to wear. I am one of those people that frets about dressing appropriately for the event. So, I was trying to come up with an outfit/dress that would be appropriate but also wouldn’t make me look like a frump. Because I’m one of those people that frets about looking like the frump that I’m not.

The first outfit I picked (coral shift, purple jewelry, white flats, ’60s style hair and make-up) got scrapped because the dress wouldn’t survive a 2 1/2 drive in 90 degree heat with no a/c. With my roommate Carrie’s help I ended up going with a black, flouncy skirt that I hiked up above my waist, a white cami tucked in (the effect made it look like a color blocked dress), a hot pink shrug, black flats, the purple jewelry and ’60s mod hair I was going to do before, and bright pink lipstick. I thought it was super cute and not at all old, fat. I could drive in it without worrying about wrinkles and I could dance in it without worrying about anything falling out. Total win.

In the few days after the wedding, family posted pictures they’d taken (I took like four because I’m lousy at acquiring photographic evidence of events I attend) and there I was in one of my cousin’s pictures, full on frump while boogying on the dance floor.

No, I'm not wearing tights. I'm just that pale.

No, I’m not wearing tights. I’m just that pale.

Dammit!

This happens a lot.

When I look in the mirror, I see a hot chick. Fat? Yes. Not classically pretty? Yes. But still, I rock the package I’ve got and I think I rock it pretty damn well.

Then I see a picture someone else has taken of me and I’m like, “Holy hell. That’s what everyone else sees.” It’s jarring because I don’t think I look like that at all. I think I’m looking super cute and in reality, I’m looking like an uncool fat girl trying too hard to look cool.

It’s like a magic trick.

And it’s not just pictures, either.

The mirror in my bathroom must be blessed because other mirrors aren’t so kind. For example, I look about thirty pounds heavier in the mirrors during floorset than I do at home. I also look about ten years older. And while the college girls I work with are pulling off the sloppy-cute look with their yoga pants and tank tops and hair messily arranged in an up-do, I look like an old, tired woman who lost the will to fashion even if I put my make-up on just before I left and I’m wearing a cute outfit of t-shirt and pedal pushers (I don’t wear my “good clothes” to dress mannequins) with my sneakers. It’s like something horrible happens on the twenty minute drive to work. Because I know I didn’t leave the house looking that way.

The point of this isn’t to fish for compliments. My ego probably shouldn’t be fed. I’m just acknowledging that there’s an obvious gap between what I see and what everyone else sees.

It’s a little disappointing to know that my hot looks are all in my head and no one else can see them.

You guys are being deprived.

This Fat Girl Isn’t on a Diet

donut dietYou’re probably coming into this post going, “Who cares?” because you’re probably tired of people talking about their diets (and exercise routines, but that’s another post). You’re tired of hearing about paleo and gluten-free and high protein and low fat and no carbs and fasting and juicing and everything else that everyone else is doing in order to get healthy, be healthy, and lose weight. You’re probably wondering, “Why does this ditz need to proclaim that she’s NOT dieting?”

I’m glad you asked.

Two reasons.

1. I’m probably giving people mixed signals in regards to my eating because I can’t eat mass quantities in one sitting (I’m the disgrace of my family; my tiny little ninety year old great-aunt eats more at a family dinner than I do) and I do eat fairly healthy most of the time. I don’t drink a lot of soda, I don’t eat a lot of fast food, I don’t eat a lot of sweets or candy, I don’t eat a lot of processed food, I make a lot of vegetarian meals, I will crave salad, and if I’m not careful, my baby carrot addiction will get out of hand and I’ll end up turning orange.

So, it can look like I’m on a diet. Especially if you see me eating celery because who in the hell eats celery any other time?

(For the record, I actually eat it to help with acid reflux. And it works. Weird.)

And since it can look like I’m on a diet, then it also looks like I’m going off my diet or cheating on my diet when I talk about eating my weight in Sorrento’s pizza. Or when I talk about drowning my sorrows in ice cream because the Cubs lost. Or when I post pictures of me eating a plain cake doughnut with strawberries and whipped cream. Or any other time I talk about eating stuff that’s “bad” (the labeling of certain foods as bad irks me, but again, another post).

I don’t want you to panic and think I’m failing at yet another thing in my life. I’m not. Everything’s cool. I’m not riding on any wagon so you don’t have to worry about me falling off.

Also, that baby carrot intervention isn’t necessary. I can quit any time I want.

2. It’s easily assumed that because I’m a fat girl that I should be on a diet so I can qualify for Good Fat Girl Status.

You know what that is, don’t you? Good Fat Girl Status? Being a “good” fat girl means that you’re trying to lose weight. When people see you eating healthy and/or exercising, they assume you to be a “good” fatty because you’re trying to no longer be any kind of fatty.

Well, you know what happens when you assume, right? I wreck your world and burst your bubble and make you sad.

I am not on a diet. My health focal points actually have nothing to do with weight loss. For me, weight loss is a side effect of doing better for my health. My ultimate goal is to feel better, a total subjective measurement that only I can evaluate. My “diet” for this is drink a lot of water and don’t eat too much garbage food. That’s it. It gives me far less angst than counting calories or keeping track of points or wondering if cavemen ate cottage cheese.

And if that gives me Bad Fat Girl Status, then I’m cool with that.

We all know that bad girls have more fun.

Being Fat on Twitter

Full fat aviThe past couple of weeks, I started getting a lot of friendly interaction from guys on Twitter. Friendly to the point of being straight up creeper. In one case I was pretty sure I was being measured for a skin suit and the guy doing it was kind of underwhelming and I was seriously bummed by the anti-climax there.

But, I digress, as I so often do.

At first, I couldn’t figure out why I was getting all of this attention. I wasn’t tweeting anything differently than I normally did. If anything, I’d been tweeting less than usual.

And then it hit me.

I had put up a new avi a few days after New Year’s Eve. A head and shoulders selfie of me wearing a white cami (that’s a kind of tank top, fellas) that I’d tinted to blue to give it a wintry look. I liked it. I thought it fit the January feel and I was looking for something I could have for a while before I got bored and decided to change it. Sounds pretty legit right? Nothing weird. Nothing overtly sexy. Nothing overtly anything, I thought.

Except the angle, the framing of the picture, well, you couldn’t tell that I’m fat.

January aviAhh! That’s it!

Guys think the “fat girl belly dancing” line in my bio is some sort of self-deprecation thing when they see that pic. I actually had one guy tell me that I’m “not that big”. Thanks, dude. Didn’t ask for your pitiful reassurance, but okay then.

As soon as I figured this out, I changed my avi to the full-figured shot at the top of the post. And I made a vow. Only full-fat avis (avies? avi’s? I still don’t know how to spell that) from now on.

First of all, that does cut down on some of the questionable attention, except for the odd chubby chaser.

Second of all, I don’t want the people that follow me, that read my tweets to forget that I’m legit fat and not “OMG I’M SO FAT!!!” fat. That when I talk about my weight, even when I joke about it, I’m talking about my actual state of existence. I’m not fishing for a compliment. This is my actual being, kids. I am fat. Legit fat. For real. And I’m going to comment upon it from time to time.

I don’t want guys to be misled because I put up a picture of my pretty face and they miss out on the rolls in the bakery and cottage cheese in the dairy section. I want them to know that I am more than likely a girl they wouldn’t give the time of day to on the street because she’s a “fatty”.

This is a public service, my friends.

I just can’t be responsible for anymore broken hearts.

Sew, It’s a Mini Dress

The mini dress as first pieced together.

The mini dress as first pieced together.

I had two button down shirts that I bought ages ago but never wore because I hated the sleeves on them. Hey, plus size clothing designers/manufacturers, some of us fat girls have fat arms, too. I know! Shocker! Anyway, I shoved them away in my “fabrics and projects bin” with the idea that I would make something out of them. They’ve been in there for several years and I’ve periodically pulled them out and messed with them whenever an idea hit me. I was stuck on the idea of turning them into a skirt, but I just couldn’t get that to work out. What mostly held me back was how to work the waist.

And then finally the glowing spark of epiphany hit me.

I’d make a shift dress out of them!

I love the shift dress style. It’s very ’60s and I love clothing from that decade (’70s, too, particularly boho stuff). I also decided to go bold and make it a mini dress. I’ve recently become very enamored by the concept of mini dresses, something I thought I shouldn’t wear because I’m fat and have fat legs and such. But now that I’m wearing tights with a lot of my dresses, my fat legs aren’t such an eyesore anymore. I thought this would be a good chance to give a mini dress a try.

When I first started piecing this dress together, I already knew that I’d have one problem with the set up: the shirt I used on the bottom would have to be split up both sides and fabric added so that it would fit my hips. And since I was using the red gingham on the bottom, well, that was going to be interesting. Soon I also realized that I was going to be cutting mini dress really close if I wanted the dress to look the way I wanted to. I had limited fabric I could comfortably work with. There was also the problem with the fabric itself. It’s a crinkly sort of thing that frays pretty easily. I decided the best thing I could do was go for a deconstructed look, which solved the fraying, patching (because the shirts acquired a couple of holes), and pattern matching problems, and pray that the dress would be long enough in the end, knowing I could add fabric to the bottom if I really needed to (but really didn’t want to).

I started by cutting off those hated sleeves from the red shirt and then cutting the bottom of it off. I cut the top off of the gingham print shirt, slit it along the seams up the sides, and pinned the two pieces to the bottom of the now cropped red top. I tried it on to get a feel of how much fabric I’d need for the new sides and the length was pretty shockingly short. This was the moment I doubted that it would work. And so, instead of giving up or trying to work it as something else, I said, “fuck it”, and whip stitched the new top and bottom together to see what would happen.

The length got better.

I sewed in the new sides, which basically completed the overall form of the dress. And it worked! It’s really short as a mini dress should be, but I was pleased to realize that I didn’t HAVE to add any fabric to keep my dignity. If I find that it rides up too much, I can always weight the fabric later.

Featuring my newly acquired button skills!

Featuring my newly acquired button skills!

After I reinforced the stitching between the two former shirts and patched up the holes (gingham on red, red on gingham), I turned my attention to the buttons. In cutting apart the shirts and sewing them back together, there was a gap where a button should be. I debated about this because I had never added a button hole to anything before. I thought maybe I’d just sew that gap together and disguise it with a bow or something, but in the end, I decided to go for broke and try a button hole. If it didn’t work out, I could still cover up my mistake.

I Googled how to do it, ended up learning a new stitch to do it, and, TA DA! I did it! I’m pretty proud of that bit.

And I’m pretty pleased with how the dress turned out.

Oh, and just as a reminder, I can’t work a sewing machine. This was all done by hand.