Greetings everyone! I haven’t been updating every weekend like I promised. What can I say? I get distracted easily. A few book reviews are on the way. At least three are books that came out last month and the beginning of this month. I hope you’re looking forward to it!
While you’re waiting for those book reviews, I’ll tell you about my latest distraction (and something that goes perfectly with the next book review): embroidery. You heard me. Embroidery. What could a nonconformist, gendered item disbeliever like me possibly get out of knowing how to embroider?
I’m happy you asked. First, I should define gendered item disbeliever. It’s a compact way of saying I don’t believe items (shirts, dolls, cars, hobbies, etc.) are gender specific. A pink car doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s a girly car. It just means that the person driving – be it man or woman – happens to like the color pink. Embroidery doesn’t mean that it’s an occupation practiced solely by women. There’s a fledgling movement called Manbroidery that refers to a man who embroiders. I already know what you’re thinking, and no, not all men who embroider are gay. Heterosexual men do it too. They just hide it due to the society backlash they would suffer if anyone knew.
The bottom line is: women’s clothes are overpriced. (Actually, anything deemed feminine costs more than the masculine equivalent). If you’re a tall, curvy woman who refuses the anorexic lifestyle that American society (and most world societies) deem the height of feminine beauty, you’re buying clothes at higher prices. Over the last few years, a number of stores have been placed under fire for their up-charge of plus sized clothes – a notorious case is Old Navy. Then some retailers refuse to sell women’s plus sized clothes. Furthermore, big box retailers (e.g., Target, Walmart, etc.) offer a highly limited selection of women’s plus size clothes and place signs advertising their bigger selection of plus size clothing on their websites.
On average, working women are paid 78-79% less than men. Plus sized women are paid even less than the 78-79% since they are deemed undesirable to look at. Yet, they are charged more for their clothes, and since most plus sized clothes are only available online, they also have to pay a shipping charge. Talk about double the fat shaming tax. (Yes, I know the term is fat tax, but I like to call a spade a spade).
Unfortunately, I can’t fit into men’s jeans since I have a lovely hourglass figure. I can fit into men’s extra-large highly comfortable shirts, which is why I buy most of my shirts in the men’s department and on major sale days at JCPenny’s.
When I do happen to buy a nice blouse, they’re plain colors. Plus Size online retailers do offer shirts with different designs or in different patterns. Yet, none of them match my style. So I always revert to plain colors. Don’t get me wrong. Plain colors are awesome, but if clothes make the person, one look at my closet suggests I have a plain personality.
Hence, my new embroidery fixation. A few weeks ago, metaphoric lightning struck and I realized my embroidery talent could be used for spicing up my rather plain wardrobe. I used a shirt as a test dummy, picked a simple pattern, and devised a technique that was highly successful.
If you’re thinking about doing this, I highly recommend practicing. Embroidering on jersey material is challenging and takes some getting used too.
There are patterns available online and in stores that you can stick on the cloth like tape, patterns that you can pin on the cloth, or you can make your own. While the available patterns are nice, they’re not geared towards my particular style, which is why I make my own patterns. I either draw or print out my designs on regular tracing paper, pin it on the shirt, and embroider.
It’s super simple to spice up a plain shirt. Wonder why I didn’t think about it before now.