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My impassioned rant to CSC and their very kind reply.

So I mentioned that I'd typed an email to the CSC. It was sober email, but rather the equivalent to the drunkenslurry speech you do, when you think you're being super clever and impassioned but actually possibly a bit repetitive and maybe spitting/wobbling when you talk.
Oh dear.

Here it is (I cut out the fangirling at the top of the message. I am a big CSC fan, and I told them as much, and why.)

"I'm a newbie in this world and all around me I see beautiful things. I also see beautiful things I can't fit into with a waist measurement of 44 inches...  I can buy the Colette Moneta but not the Hawthorn. I can admire the  Sewaholic Alma but frankly I'm not grading up ANYTHING that much as a 'beginner' sewist. I want a Hollyburn skirt SO badly but how on earth will it fit?
I know I can buy things from Style Arc, Cake, and Lekala/Boostrap but ... only tents from the Big 4 and forget Deer & Doe ...
How is this different from RTW in that the 'nice things aren't for fatties' messages are everywhere?

I'm taking the Barbara Deckhard craftsy class (around work and family and other things) and I'm learning a lot but... look.... I accept that maybe one will have to do a swayback or FBA and I'm more than willing to learn how to do that. Eager, in fact! Fitted lovely things yes, yes!
But ... Learning how and where to slash-and-spread multiple inches on everything? It's too intimidating.

Could you consider some kind of post about "You could just cut and sew from the pattern" options?  The Moneta, I guess... what else? a lot of the beautiful TNT patterns you post are too small for me and I want to start with something that I can actually ... start with! What could I, as a RTW 18 (or 24! or 26!) actually open and sew and THEN adjust for my bust, my full tummy, my teeny tiny  arms (or whatever, plus sized bodies, as we know, carry mass in different ways).
I saw Jenny's blog post here  http://www.cashmerette.com/2014/03/one-stop-guide-to-sewing-pattern-sizes.html and this is the closest I've got to information that I'm looking for. Does anyone fancy revisiting it with extra information? I want to know about cute things I can START with and actually get over my head and THEN tweak the fit, not cute things that I'll have to take classes to learn enough to grade up enough to THEN start to cut fabric and think about personal fitting.

Oh dear, I don't want to rant at you. I think you're brilliant and inspirational and I KNOW you aren't making money from this and have busy lives but ... it's so darned depressing to think: Well, okay, what a lovely world of nice things. None of them fit me.
It's like RTW!

(okay, not none of them. But I looked at my 'patterns I like' list recently and do you know what I purchased to make? The Moneta. That's ONE out of 27 I was willing to buy this summer. ONE. Doesn't anyone want my money? I want to wear their patterns!)"



Jenny replied extremely kindly and very quickly to this email, which, considering she might just have thought "Christ on a bike" and pressed 'delete,' I was rather impressed by.

We feel your pain! Many of the CSC editors had the same experience when we started sewing, and one of the reasons we set up the CSC was to try to gather more information about what patterns are likely to work "from the packet" for plus sizes. In addition to my sizing chart (I'm Cashmerette :) ) you should also check out StyleArc - I think that right now they have the largest number of cool styles which go all the way up to a size 30. Their instructions aren't fantastic, but you can usually find online tutorials etc. to help. 
best,
Jenny
 
And so, reader, off to StyleArc I went. What I bought in the next post.

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