Unless you’ve lived in a developing nation –and having been here for almost four months I’m clearly an expert– it’s almost impossible to understand the depth and pervasiveness of poverty in a third world country. If you think the line between the haves and have-nots are drawn distinctly in America, they’re hacked apart with a machete here south of the border.
Work is hard to find here, especially for those who didn’t have access to a high school education, and doubly so for women, many (most?) of whom are responsible for raising at least one if not several children, not necessarily just their own.
Many women here learned how to sew out of necessity.
Farther south on the mainland the embroidery done by Oaxacan women is beautiful, intricate and justifiably spendy but almost any abuela will be able to whip up a simple dress in her kitchen using a treadle machine (they still sell those here).
It turns out a simple dress is exactly what I need.
Were I not completely hopeless when it comes to all needle vs thread endeavors, I bet I could draft the pattern with relative ease.
A fitted sweetheart bustier-style bodice with thick straps –adjustable to either tie as a halter or attach criss-cross at the back via hidden buttons– would give way to a wide set-in waist and blossom out to a very full skirt just below the knee.
Something like these from Dolce & Gabbana’s Spring 2012 rtw show, except you know, not see through or a two-piece. Okay, at least not a two-piece.
Yes, I realize I could get this made in China for practically no money.
Heck I could probably buy it off eBay for less than the materials might cost me, but there’s a wonderful woman I’ve come to know here and when it rains her whole family sleeps huddled together because it’s the only place where the corrugated tin ceiling doesn’t leak.
She has agreed to make me some dresses, I just have to provide her with the fabric.
I’m not sure whether she’ll want a pattern as well, I assume she does, which is why I’m coming to you.
Will someone, anyone, point me in the direction of a true plus-sized pattern that fits my specs? Heck, will someone point me in the direction of any plus size patterns at all that aren’t unendurably mumsy and frumped out? I know they’ve got to be out there. Vintage reproductions maybe?
Barring that, does anyone have a place they particularly like for apparel-quality fabric? I’m particularly looking for retro or novelty prints. A girl’s got to have a sense of whimsy, right?
I’d be forever in your debt.