Weighty Matters

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on April 28, 2012

I met with the seamstress today and handed over three pairs of capri or cropped length pants and a pair of denim shorts.  Two of the pairs of pants have already been taken in once and now need a second go-round.  I’ve tried wearing them, but can only do so if I roll the waistband over a couple of times — otherwise, the legs bag and it feels like the crotch and seat hang to my knees.  Same thing with the shorts.  The seamstress and I agreed that she’d take in more than we thought we needed to because, by the time she’s done with the jobs, I’ll have lost more weight.

Wow.  This is a terrific feeling, so know that my clothes continue to get too big on me.  If these particular garments weren’t in such good shape, I wouldn’t bother, but with the alterations, they’ll look great and be able to help me stretch my wardrobe for a couple more months at least.

Her prices are reasonable enough that even doing some garments twice costs less than buying new.  If I can get through the end of June before I need to invest in more new clothes, I’ll be happy.  At that point, I’ll buy a few things to last me for as many months as I can and plan on altering them, too, down the line.

This is another new change from previous years and other experiences with seamstresses.  I remember when I was about 11 or 12 and was going to be a junior bridesmaid in the wedding of a really good friend of our family’s.  They were able to order me the dress in a size usually reserved for older girls and then do a little sewing magic to make it right for me, add a sash, etc.  A couple of years later, I needed a summery, floor length dress to be a guest for a formal wedding, but there was no way to find an age-appropriate outfit that would fit my now bigger 14 year old body and still suit the event.  So Mom found a seamstress who could remove the long skirt part from that bridesmaid’s dress and then fashion a completely different top in a complementary color.

Back when I was a teenager, there weren’t as many stores that catered to plus sized kids, although our small town actually had one — appropriately called The Chubette store.  While we could find clothes for me for school and regular stuff, those special events presented bigger challenges.  Sure, we could find my size by going to stores for adults, but the styles weren’t right for my age.  Poor Mom.  Thank God she was always willing to go to any lengths to help, or drive into Philadelphia — over an hour away — for additional options.

Is it any wonder that I never developed the shopping bug that so many women have.  Spending an afternoon shopping at a mall ranks high on my list of least-favorite activities!

I need to send a big shout-out to talented seamstresses everywhere.  Back in the 1990s, I was asked to be a bridesmaid for one of my dearest friends.  We went to a lovely bridal shop with her matron of honor and picked out a gown that each of us loved!  Bless the saleslady who took me into a dressing room to get my measurements for ordering.  She was the soul of discretion when she told me privately that the company didn’t make the dress in my size, but that their seamstress could get the pattern and custom make it.  I thanked her profusely and asked her to not tell my friend that I was going to pay to have the dress made.

The day of the wedding, my dress looked exactly like other attendant’s.   It was worth the extra expense to be able to share the day and not feel like my weight had caused a problem for my friend.

To now be going the other way is one more reason that I’m thrilled about having weight loss surgery and the steady, great results I’m seeing.  I’ve lost over 70 pounds in 13 weeks and am experiencing so many positive changes.

In the months ahead, I will eventually reach the point where I don’t need to go to plus-size specialty stores in person or online to purchase clothes.  Going into “regular” stores is going to be a whole new adventure.  I have absolutely no idea where to start and will have to learn an entirely new sizing terminology.  I’ve already gotten friends to promise that they’ll come with me because I anticipate it being a little stressful, as well as fun.  Also, very soon, I’m going to have to go somewhere and get professionally fitted for new bras.  The ones that I have now fit weird, gap and don’t look as good as they should.

I’m not complaining, really I’m not.  I’m just reporting on the situation as I’ve observed.  I’m looking forward to the first shopping adventure.  With an altered body and new way of thinking, who knows?  I might actually start to love shopping more!

4 responses to “Alterations

  1. pinkpelican says:

    congratulations! Love being able to go shopping and find so much to choose from.

    I’m also grateful that so many mainstream shops carry sizes up to XXL as a matter of course. Mostly right now I’m buying from Goodwill & Consignment shops, but I will occasionally splurge on something brand new to me (and those will be items I will likely start thinking about having altered), or I might need something right away & can’t get to Goodwill (I went to Steinmart on my lunch hour a few weeks ago to pick up some lightweight cardigans to keep at work because I get so cold there). It’s nice to know that I’m getting down into a size range that I can go almost anywhere and find SOMETHING. It’s very freeing.

  2. robenagrant says:

    This is wonderful, Mary. I’m so happy for you.

  3. londonmabel says:

    So first–kudos to the discrete sales lady!

    Second–never thought of going to a seamstress to alter clothes, if I were to lose weight. Brilliant.

    Third–excited for you!

  4. Liz Flaherty says:

    It’s so exciting going on this journey with you!

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