Recently I attended a “Modest is Hottest’ Party. The hostess gave her testimony concerning her struggles with body image, her battle being especially poignant as she was born a thalidomide baby and had to deal with both her own and others perceptions of that condition. She also spoke of how her Christian faith has helped her in healing those issues. This spurred the participants to think about their own self-image issues while taking part in the fun of doing our colors, looked at our figure types, and playing around with the jewelry brought along by a local seller.
The local-ness of the whole thing struck me. The hostess was from a local church, the participants largely lived in the same local area, and it was local merchants who donated goods. High fashion is marketed to us like what is great in Manhattan will fly anywhere. It doesn’t. Locality matters. Different regions admire different fashions. The community feeling seemed counterculture to the mass market fashion that I am used to and I really appreciated it.
We received a lot of good advice but one thing stood out to me as a fashion sewer.
Why are some skirts dumpy even though we know we have worn this particuliar style in the past. The missing link could be the hemline.
Where should our hemlines fall?
In the diamond sections of our legs. The diamond is the open sections where our legs do not meet.
A few ladies stood up and demonstrated by moving material around their calves and the hem did indeed look best when situated within the diamond open space. At times it can be hard to reconcile a fashionable hemline with one that is flattering for me, especially with long skirts. Sometimes I look short in long skirts, while in others I look fine. Keeping a long skirt hemline to the open part of the calf was most flattering and it still “read” to the viewer as a long, full skirt. When the hemline was moved to the touching parts of the calf the woman began to look shorter and less “together.”
As the diamond is individual to each women, that explains why some skirts are more flattering than others though they are the same style.
As every fashion item we sew ends with a hem I thought this advice might be helpful. We need to consider where the open diamond area is on our leg and then hem our skirts within that area. Sometimes I am reluctant to cut too deeply into a hem because I feel guilty getting rid of all of that fabric, or I think a long skirt must have tons of fabric. Sometimes I then resist wearing these skirts because they make me feel dumpy. Now I have a tool that I hope makes for fewer wadders.
Next Post: Thursday, August 26, 2010; Vogue 8605 Short-Sleeve Dolman Jacket: Pattern Review