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Weekend Reading: The Ideal Woman and Zero Waste Sewing


These women are wearing outfits designed by Edgar Vos, known for garments that fit many different body types across the world, as shown in this collection of photographs of women’s fashion in Amsterdam from the late 1960s. With regard to his approach to fashion design, he was quoted, “My designs have always been ladylike. I have never had an experimental period. Fashion is not a free art form — you always have to deal with two breasts and two buttocks.”

Betsy Blodgett traces the changing shape of the ideal woman in her article, Elusive Targets, which makes me wonder, can women’s fashion really be that simple, Edgar?

Here are a few more reads to brighten up your weekend!

Weekend Reading:

For more links every week, you can follow us on Twitter, where we’re always posting interesting tidbits and discussions.

Sarai Mitnick


Sarai started Colette back in 2009. She believes the primary role of a business should be to help people. She loves good books, sewing with wool, her charming cats, working in her garden, and eating salsa.


Betty Jordan Wester

May 14, 2016 #

Thanks for the link to Zach Miko! I don’t think people realize how larger, beefier men struggle. My husband is 6’2″ 235 lbs. and going to the store for clothes is torture for him. He’s ultra aware of the difference between how he’s “supposed” to look (6 pack, yoked) and how he actually looks (tummy). Most of my friends’ husbands struggle to not feel self conscious in how their clothing fits, while still looking put together and not “sloppy.” They’re also very conscious of the stereotype of the “clueless, loser” fat guy and work over time to present an image where they don’t fall into that. They’re also all aware that being married lifts them out of being pitied by virtue of being in a partnership.
My husband’s go to for guy inspiration is Chris Pratt. When Pratt opened up about being an emotional eater my husband felt so relieved. I wouldn’t say my husband was ashamed of it, but it seems to be brushed off under the idea that “guys just eat a lot.” When Pratt talked about it and called it what it was, it helped him to not feel as alone. It’s been years, and we work on his emotional eating and have some good strategies in place that prevent him from going to extremes.


May 15, 2016 #

I’m a bit ambivalent about zero-waste fashion. While I think it’s a commendable idea, in many cases the clothing is not going to fit my figure in a flattering way, or there is going to be excess volume somewhere. I don’t see why that is any less wasteful than throwing away fabric scraps (in the same way that clearing your plate is just as wasteful as throwing away food if it means you’re eating food you don’t want or need).


May 17, 2016 #

Exactly m y thoughts.


May 17, 2016 #

I agree, and prefer finding a go-to group of projects that use up scraps, over designs for the fashion fabric that don’t flatter.


May 17, 2016 #

I have been reading another book about sewing called “Treading the Needle” by Marie Bostwick. It sort of reminds me of the first book club reading The Forgotten Seamstress. Hope you could find a copy to read.


May 22, 2016 #

It’s a shame that the article you’ve published on beauty ideals propagates the old misinformation on the harm of tight-lacing. Aside from the fact that true tight-lacing isn’t very common, there’s no solid evidence to suggest that tightly laced corsets cause breathing problems, break bones or damage the organs – pregnancy causes greater displacement of the organs. There’s a lot of negative language used throughout the article to describe ideals that you might find some women just naturally fit. Let’s not try and make ourselves feel better by putting down “stick thin women”, OK?