The Downhill Slide

Fall has always been my favorite time of year. Theoretically, the temperatures start to cool down, kids go back to school, and thoughts start to turn toward the Holiday Season. This year, it really hasn’t cooled down much in the Houston area. Quite to the contrary, I have been calling this the Summer That Never Ends. We’ve had few days where the temps stayed below 70 this Fall, and quite a few days where we got above 80. With weather like that, it can be difficult to get in to the Thanksgiving spirit, let alone Christmas spirit. But I’m doing my best. I’m listening to Christmas music as I work, and I’m thinking of all these great gifts going to people who are going to be surprised to get a custom item this year. 🙂

A couple of weeks ago, Chris and I agreed that we would take Thanksgiving week off. No work, no social media presence. Just time to relax and unwind and enjoy a little bit of “me” time. Ha! Ha hahahahahahahaha. Well, for the most part, we did manage to take the week off. I embroidered a soft sided cooler to take photos for the Etsy shop.

Here, Fishy Fishy!!

Here, Fishy Fishy!!

I also posted it to Etsy (obviously).  And I did a couple of posts about Small Business Saturday and a Black Friday sale we’re having in each of the shops. But for the most part, I tried to put work out of my mind and enjoy the holiday. Well, as much as I ever enjoy a holiday in which I spend at least a full day baking.

Monday, Chris and I took a little drive. We were gone most of the day, and it was so nice to get out of the house and not try to remember which store we need to stop at next, or what we need to be sure to pick up before heading back home. Most of our excursions out of the house the last couple of months have been to the post office to drop off orders that are being shipped out, to pick up some item we need for one of the businesses, or to the grocery store so we don’t starve. But Monday, we just drove aimlessly around South Texas for a bit, and it was magical.

Tuesday, we spent most of the day cleaning. It’s amazing how bad a house can get when three adults live there, but are so busy, they are only doing the minimum needed to keep the house from being condemned by the Health Department. OK, it wasn’t THAT bad, but we really did have to do a fairly deep cleaning. Sadly, we didn’t finish, but we’re still working on it a little at a time each day. Wednesday, I baked. I baked a pumpkin cake, cheesecake, and a couple of pumpkin pies. Oh, and the cornbread for the dressing on Thursday night.

So, after all of that, and driving across town to my folks’ house and seeing family on Thursday, I was looking forward to doing a little sewing on Friday. NOPE! That didn’t happen either. I can’t recall what I did do, but it wasn’t sewing. In fact, now that I think about it, Friday and Saturday are a bit of a blur – I have no recollection of exactly what I did either day. I do know that I was bound and determined to get some sewing done yesterday, but alas, I woke up with a migraine. And thanks to all the medicine I had to take yesterday, that was full of caffeine, I got very little sleep last night. But today, I bounded out of bed and got right to work.

Of course, I wasn’t set up to get started right off this morning, because I was sick yesterday, so it was a bit of a slow start. But I did manage to get this King’s Towel on the machine this morning and get it completed.

The King's Towel

The King’s Towel

I just love this one! I still need to do a little clean up work on it, but tomorrow, it will be headed to Washington state. Washington state! (Note to self: Get a map of the US to keep track of where people are that order items). This one isn’t yet listed on the Etsy shop, but I will be adding it today or tomorrow. I will also be stitching out a Queen’s Towel that is just as cool as this one (but with a better crown LOL) to put up on the Etsy shop. These would make great gifts for those difficult to buy for folks on your holiday shopping list.

And then I had to make another fishy cooler this morning, this time in blue.

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In the soap shop, we have fresh batches of Pride & Joy, In the Air Tonight, Don’t Bring Me Down, and Boys of Summer! We have other great soaps as well, so check those out in the Old Fashion Soap Co. Etsy shop!

We have a lot of great gift ideas in both the Jill’s Fabric Arts and the Old Fashion Soap Co. Etsy shops, so get on over and place your order today to ensure delivery in time for Christmas. 🙂

It needs to be said …

I agree with Tim Gunn. Recently, he commented on women’s fashion and how designers need to step up to the plate and start designing clothing for women who aren’t a size 2. He said that the average American woman these days is a size 16 to 18, but really there is no one trying to design clothing for these women. And that’s crazy, considering that women in the “plus size” range spend more money on clothing than their thinner counterparts!

You can watch his comments here.

As you probably know, I fall in to the “plus size” category. Depending on the clothing and where they come from, I may wear an 18 – 24 in tops and a 20-24 in bottoms. That alone should give us some pause – there is a FOUR SIZE differential in my shirts and a THREE SIZE differential in bottoms! Even at my absolute thinnest, I’m a size 10, not a size 2 or 4. Anything below a size 10 and I start to look anorexic (no joke; it’s really pitiful looking). Granted, as it is right now, I need to lose weight – there’s absolutely NO denying that. And I’ve been working on doing just that. But I couldn’t agree with Tim Gunn more. Designers need to stop ignoring a third of the population (and more than half of women) and step up their game.

Thing is – and this would really piss off designers – I don’t think they know HOW to design for a woman who isn’t a size 2. I don’t think that most of these designers have what it takes to design clothing for real women instead of the imaginary women that are in their heads. I’m not in to body shaming, and I don’t want this post to turn in to that, But if we can be honest for just one moment – how many women do you see on the street that look like a runway model? On an average day, do  you see women who look like they can wear a 00 jeans? I’m not saying they don’t exist, and I’m not saying that every woman who can wear a very small size is anorexic. Some women are just naturally very small, and kudos to them. But why can’t fashion designers accept, if not embrace, the attitude of Viva la Difference? Why must they insist on cutting off their sizing at size 10 (and a lot of them do just that)? 
A while back, I saw an advertisement for clothing that trumpeted the arrival of “plus size” clothing at a boutique. The “plus size” in question was a size 12. SIZE 12!!! The last time I wore a size 12 was before I got pregnant with my daughter, and trust me, I looked good. I looked so good, I was practically beating men off with a stick (ok, maybe not all the time, but sometimes that was true). No one accused me of being fat or plus sized back then. I had curves. But I still had trouble finding clothing that fit well even back then. If it was big enough for my hips, my waist just swam. If it was big enough for my boobs, it hung off me elsewhere.
I know that the days of custom fit clothing are in the past for most of us, but wouldn’t it be nice to walk in to a store and be able to find clothing that at least got close? Now that my biggest fitting issue isn’t, “Will the buttons gape at my breast apex?” I find that clothing shopping is depressing. Clothing for women who are larger than a size 12 looks terrible. It’s not stylish, it’s not flattering. It’s depressing, drab and disgusting.
Tim Gunn said that designers say they don’t like making clothes for plus size women because it’s too hard, and one woman who’s a size 16 is different from another size 16 woman. My response to that is, DUH! You can’t tell me for one moment that all size sixes are the same. It’s a cop out, and it’s ridiculous. No two women of the same size are exactly alike, regardless of what size that might be, so why do we accept such stupid, insulting comments from designers?
I don’t really have an answer to how to fix this problem, but I see more and more women learning to sew so that they can fit their bodies.  So maybe that IS the answer – we have to start voting with our dollars, and stop spending money in places that aren’t willing to stock a wider range of sizes.