My closet is packed to the gills. If I want to keep making, some things must go. I feel peculiar about simply donating my dresses to charity and thrift shops. As a plus-size sewist I know that my creations are a rarity. As a vintage-loving lady I know that thrift shops are where plus-size clothing goes to die. I don't want my dresses to die. And so, I consign, I sell and I instagram.
This summer I also had the chance to participate in a vintage yardsale with a host of other vintage-loving Minnesota folks. I confess I was nervous about including my dresses. I felt very confident of bringing my hats, purses, jewelry and fabric. I felt confident that the pieces I loved so much and that had such size-neutral appeal would go quickly. I felt unsure that any fat woman would come to the sale. I felt unsure that any fat woman would be as large as I feel. I was shocked.
I mocked up my sale table and felt great about my presentation. I am organized and have an eye for style. I have a good sense of space, composition and balance. I balanced out my rack of me-made garments with some amazing Lilly Pullitzer dresses I had found for a steal...
And here is how the day went: I sold a couple of hats. No bags. A little fabric. No jewelry. I sold HALF of my own dresses. I sold none of the true vintage clothing I'd brought. I was stunned. And tickled. One of the women who tried on my dresses came back from the dressing room with a dress clutched to her chest. I smiled and asked how it went? She smiled a timid smile and nearly whispered, "It fit perfectly..." Like the truth was delicate and fragile and speaking any louder would break the words and make them untrue.
Hearing that and seeing women try my clothing on made me feel like I was filling a void; I made them feel pretty, included, attractive and special. They found things there were special, that fit, that stood out from the oversized prints, patterns and shapes of modern plus-sized clothing. It made me want to go home and keep sewing.