In lieu of a plus-size pattern roundup this week, I’d like to talk a little bit about fat inclusion in sewing patterns instead.
I’ve toyed with the idea of setting a higher minimum for patterns to be included in the roundup, but there are so few patterns available over a 70″ hip, or over a 60″ hip that a weekly roundup simply wouldn’t be possible.
Also, if you’re a 57″ hip, it’s still difficult to find patterns, and if a pattern which goes up to only a 58″ hip, it can feel a bit like biting off your nose to spite your face to ignore that pattern when you already have so few options.
We need to do better
I’ve been posting a lot on Insta over the last few days about ways that us smaller-fats and thin allies can keep pushing for greater size-inclusion for fatter bodies (check out my story highlights to see more about my thinking there).
We can celebrate the size improvements while saying ‘great first step, but actually, a 58″ hip doesn’t go far enough and we want you to do more’. The responsibility for asking for this rests on us small fats! Our proximity to thinness comes with immense privilege, and we’re the most likely fats to be listened to and not dismissed. Thin allies who are already customers of companies who aren’t fat-size inclusive are going to be even more influential than us smaller fats.
A call to action
- If you’re posting a pattern that isn’t fat-size inclusive, instead of not tagging the designer
State the largest measurements, tag the designer and say ‘this isn’t good enough’ in your caption. Call for them to include fatter bodies than yours.
Not tagging the designer is a passive protest which still provides free content and does nothing to continue the work of fat-size inclusion.
- If you’re a smaller fat in a fat space online, consider what you’re posting into that space!
You might be excited by your new make, but if you’re using a fat hashtag to share a pattern that you’ve just squeezed into, it can make it really disheartening for larger fats to exist in that space.
Be hyper-aware of the language you use about your own body, your fatness, etc. when using a fat hashtag. If that space is supposed to be for all fat folks, seeing so many things that still exclude them or language that inadvertently demonizes them can be really disheartening.
- The less intersections, the more work!
A mid-fat who is trans and lives with a visible disability will have a very different experience to a white, cisgendered mid-fat. A BIPOC mid-fat will have a very different experience to white mid-fat, and so on. None of the categories or hashtags here can give a full picture of what privileges and oppression any given maker might live with.
But, the less intersections you have the more likely you are to be listened to by pattern companies, and also by thin makers. You’re perfectly positioned to be advocating for larger fat folks and especially larger fat folks with more intersections than you!
I’m a smaller fat, white, able-bodied, cisgendered woman- I know that I’m ticking quite a few of the privilege boxes, so I’ve got lots of work to do!
Fat Sewing Resources
If you’re a fat maker, here are some resources for you.
If you’re not fat, take a look through and see how few patterns are available to fat folks compared to the pattern selection that’s available to you. What would your wardrobe look like if you were only making things over 60″ hip?
Patterns over a 70″ hip
Check out my roundup of patterns and pattern companies which provide patterns over a 70″ hip. If the Muna and Broad sizes are too small to include you, they will grade the pattern up at no additional cost, as will Make by TFS.
Patterns over a 60″ hip
Click here or a full list of the check out patterns that I’ve shared in my roundup, plus a list of pattern companies that have at least 1 pattern available over 60″ hip. Pattern companies that consistently release all of their new patterns over a 60″ hip include Muna and Broad, All Well Workshop, Spokes and Stitches, Cashmerette, Friday Pattern Company, Ellie & Mac, Sew Liberated, DIBY Club, By Hand London, Closet Core, Made for Mermaids, Make by TFS, Pattern Scout, Rad Patterns, Sinclair Patterns, StyleArc, Stokx Patterns, Sew House 7, and 100 Acts of Sewing.
More fat sewing resources?
Check out this roundup of resources on the FatSewing.Club
Megan from The Green Violet has put together a pattern roundup of plus-size pattern companies.
We’ve got a roundup of beginner friendly plus-size pattern companies right here on the Fat Sewing Club!
The Maker Measured Dashboard lets you choose your measurements and shows you patterns that are available to your size