Wednesday, April 29, 2009

boots for freakishly large calves

Like many women with larger than average calves the hunt for a winter boot has been exhausting, disappointing and humiliating. I have tried on so many pairs of boots I couldn't zip up that I have resorted to simply wearing trousers all the time.

Over the last few weeks I have had this conversation with many other women, lots of whom are not particularly 'large' but still don't manage with conventional fittings. There has been lots of moaning and frustration. I have one friend who bought lovely and expensive boots and paid lots of money to have them altered. She's happy with the result, but that's a nerve wracking exercise and a bit of a financial risk for many.

But after sewing two really nice skirts last weekend I decided I just couldn't stand it anymore and spent yesterday in a last ditch effort to get me some boots.

It should be said that quite aside from the calves issue, I am pretty fussy about shoes. I walk a lot and I am big - my feet get a real work out and most shoes just aren't up to the challenge. I want style but never at the expense of comfort and durability. I don't like lace ups or overly manish shoes (except elastic sided boots which I wear all the time when not at work), I don't wear heels and almost always I prefer leather. My foot is broad so I prefer squarish toes.

My criteria is long I know, but none of it seems exactly out there to me. Sensible, reasonable, dare I say almost too obvious.

Anyway, here's what I have to say - I found my boots. They are made by Kumfs, a New Zealand brand which makes a really excellent range of shoes for people like me. There are plenty of daggy models in their range I won't pretend otherwise, but more and more I find stuff of theirs I like. Oh and that cowboy spur bit is completely removable! But they make two calf fittings (so sensible - why don't more boot makers do it??), so they fit me very well.

Now all I have to do it find some good larger size footless tights - can anyone give me a tip??

Monday, April 27, 2009

new clothes

new clothes, originally uploaded by Soozs.

I've been on a sewing jag and so very pleased with the lot. So unusual to have a wholly satisfying set of products! I realised when I'd finished that all these patterns are from Ottobre - I am definitely gaining a dependence on that magazine...

The top one is a fine wool knit rib - so fine in fact I think I may need a singlet underneath for modesty! I traced this pattern ages ago but was a bit nervous to make it - given as how I don't like puffy sleeves and all. But a little birdy recommended it and she was soo right. I love this top because it is simple and easy to wear but not boring.

Next another of the yoked skirts I've made a few times before. I slightly narrowed the flare and I love the shape. A stretch denim in oatmeal makes it look very much like linen only more comfy and without wrinkles. The machine embroidery was a breeze and I love it. A lot.

I made this shirt six months ago and I love it in this heavyweight stretch woven cotton too. Love the bold print and crisp line (with added spandex comfort. It will get a work out in the office. I think it will look great with black pants and maybe a black skirt like the one below.

The skirt is the same pattern as the oatmeal one, only a fraction longer and lined. A lovely check linen it goes nicely with both tops andwill be good for the office.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

winter approaches, out come the needles

I've just recently finished the Hey, Teach! cardi for myself, and I am really pleased with it. I think I could go for this short sleeve with long sleeve T underneath look.I mostly lack the confidence to knit myself garments beyond hats and scarves, since they so often fit poorly or look wrong in some way or another. It is such a huge investment of time and money I tend to play it safe. But this one has really shifted my attitude.

In part I think it has come from a better range of pattern options out there. As a knitting teenager anything plus size was generally from a men's pattern, with drop shoulders and too long arms. I'm much more skilled at altering patterns now, but so many more patterns come up to an over the 50" bust mark. And more of them have shaping and detailing that makes it a really worthy project.

At the moment I am really interested in lace detailing as a feature and also in 'top down' construction because altering shaping is so easy and with no bulky stiff seams you get a much more flattering fit, plus there's no sewing and pieces to fit together. This free pattern looks good, and quite a few of the projects in Custom Knits really appeal (though the styling with so many photos of slim chicks in undies is a bit off putting).

Have you got a knit garment pattern to recommend? I'd love to get a little list together of great plus size patterns...

Monday, April 6, 2009

Bag Lady?

As a ‘larger lass’ I’ve always had trouble finding funky fashion to fit my frame so in an effort to personalise my style I add bling to pretty standard dressing via accessories.

My accessory of choice for many years has been the handbag. I have a different bag for every occasion and then some. They are a statement about my style, a ‘look at me’ piece, something that helps me to stand apart from the crowd (or at least that’s how it feels in my head).

I could never understand those women who had one bag, just one bag everyday, all day, all year. One of my girlfriends simply buys the same bag over and over as each gets worn out – she’s like that with shoes too…go figure!

It is tricky changing bags constantly, but I have staples that stay in each bag (lip balm, tampons, panadol & bandaids), so all I’m really swapping over is purse, sunnies, diary, phone, keys and lippy. Easy!

Because I get bored quickly I try never to pay too much for my bags, my motto is always ‘why pay $150+ for one bag when the same spend could get you five?’

It’s all changed a bit recently tho; as currently I seem to be using only 2-3 bags with very little/no rotation.

My weekday/work bag is the funky, yet functional Crumpler Barney Rustle Blanket Bag – this goes with me everyday on PT (public transport) and carries all my weekday stuff (if I’m carrying too much stuff then the overflow is carried in my Cotton On Kids Owl enviro bag). On weekends I can be spotted with my multi-coloured stripy bag.

AND I’ve lost the need to buy new bags. In fact I don’t even look at bags when I shop now…unheard of 6 months ago!. Not sure why this has come about really, just call it a faze I’m sure I’ll snap out of it soon.

Next time I’ll tell you about my neck ties and then there’s by brooches, earrings, necklaces, shoes, purses, scarves, hats….oh you get the picture!

So, do you bag…lady?