Recently, while discussing the fat shaming aspect of Disney’s Habit Heroes, a friend asked if her saying “You are what you eat.” would shame me.

The simple answer is yes. I do have an eating disorder, after all.

There is nothing that anyone can say, whether or not it is directed at me, about food, eating, exercise, appearance, weight, shape, diet, size, etc. etc. that will not shame me.

BUT, and, yes, it is a big but, the shaming does not come from anywhere but in my mind. “Eating Disorder” is a real misnomer. An eating disorder is about eating like diabetes is about blood sugar levels. Both diseases are named for the most obvious symptoms.

At the core of an eating disorder is disordered thinking. The link goes to a sheet that lists examples of disordered thinking (also called thought distortions, interpretive errors, etc.). Yes, we all have filters thru which we experience the world. There is no reality, only perception. However, in the case of eating disorder, the filter is harmful and often deadly. That doesn’t mean that the eating disordered thinking does not serve a useful purpose in the person’s life. It is a method of coping.

cbt loopCognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) describes an eating disorder as an endless loop where the person has a thought which drives an emotion and/or urge which drives a behavior which drives a thought. For example, I have a binge, I think I’m a fat pig, I feel bad about myself, I purge, I think I’m a loser for purging, I feel bad, I decide not to eat, I get ravenous, I binge, I think I’m a fat pig, I feel bad about myself, I purge, I think I’m a loser for purging, I feel bad about myself, I decide not to eat, and so on.

That is the cognative-behavioral cycle that is most obvious in bulimia. There’s an obvious place to break that cycle. Don’t get ravenous. If I don’t purge and don’t not eat, I can break the cycle (hopefully).

There are other cognative-behavioral cycles that feed that cycle. And this brings us back to the shame.

Shaming example: Someone, anyone, it doesn’t have to be anyone I know, or that is even talking to me, just someone, some where that I can hear, this person says, “I had a great workout.” I feel shame.

Now, a person not suffering from an eating disorder might think, “How can she feel shame? That person isn’t talking about her.”

There are a whole lot of thoughts that happen between my hearing “I had a great workout” and my feeling shame, probably more than I have managed to identify, but let’s see if I can capture what goes on inside my head.

Person says, “I had a great workout.”
I, immediately, compare myself to this person. Did I have a great workout? Did I have workout recently enough for it to count to me? If I haven’t exercised in the last day, I think I’m lazy. I’m not working hard enough. I could work out harder, more often, longer. If I have exercise in the last day, I think I’m lazy. I could have worked out harder, more often, longer. Why don’t I work out harder? Well, I’m fat. I can only manage so much impact on my weak knees and being fat, whenever I step that’s a huge impact. I’m a loser for letting myself get so fat. I’m weak for eating. I’m a failure. Why don’t I work out more often? I have a lot going on, and I can’t get it all done. I’m a loser for not finding the time to exercise. I’m weak for giving in and not making myself exercise in those times when I’m not taking care of someone else or working. Why don’t I exercise longer? Same reasons that I don’t exercise more often. I’m a loser. I’m a failure.

And that’s not all the thoughts that go spinning thru my head when I hear “I had a great workout.” Not by a longshot.

I feel shame for not bearing up and working out more often, longer, harder. That is, I am bad for not having great workouts. I shame myself.

Whether or not any of this is true is not relevant. It’s an irrational thought process that is as automatic to me as breathing. It is my perception, which is my reality.

Let’s look at “You are what you eat.” I am what I am. I am fat; that’s bad; society frowns on fatness; it’s wrong. If I am what I eat, then I must be eating fatly, wrong, badly. I am bad. I shamed myself. Someone with an eating disorder doesn’t have to actually be overweight to do this to themselves because people with eating disorders perceive themselves as fat.

The question also came up about accomodating other people’s vulnerabilities. Should one try to avoid saying something that will be distorted into shame? Well, does the person you are talking to have an eating disorder? Do you care about the person? Do you want to hurt the person? Do you want to keep that person in their eating disorder?

Someone with an eating disorder is never going to get well if she is coming from a place of shame, and she shames herself very well. She really doesn’t need help doing it.

I had to turn the comments off here, but you can comment at livejournal.

Kwik Sew 2565 recap

T-shirts are really easy to sew. However, just like any top, a t-shirt must be fitted if it is going to flatter a very buxom woman like me.
Kwik Sew 2565tiedyeBurnoutPanneI started with Kwik Sew 2565, now out of print, and a tie-dye burnout panne from Joann’s. That fabric was all the rage in the early 00’s.

Night 1: I traced, altered for full bust (added 3 inches per side!!! in front), and cut it out of the blue panne .

Night 2: I sewed darts and serged one side of bodice. Coverstitched bottom of bodice and sleeves. What was I thinking? I had to undo some of my serging to put the sleeve in flat. I think that is the way to insert a sleeve in a knit.

Night 3: I put in 1 sleeve and serged one side.

Night 4: I put in second sleeve and serged second side of body. Misread the instructions, and I couldn’t get the neckband in. I decided to try it on. The fit in the shoulders is perfect. The sleeves are a little tight on me. I reread the instructions for the neckline.

Night 5: The sleeves are too small. It’s snug, and it’s a bit short. I had to serge the neckband bottom before applying to the body of the shirt. The panne rolled too much when stretched, and I couldn’t control it.

ks2565Review of Pattern
Pattern Description: This is a pattern for a crew neck tshirt or a zippered top with a stand up collar. The pattern is recommended knits with 35% stretch. I made view B.

Pattern Sizing: I made a size large based on my high bust measurement of 41.5 inches. The front pattern sheet said that the size large was 39 inches around at the full bust! Now, that I look at the pattern webpage, I wonder if I misread that. Anyway, it’s close fitting through the bust on me, including my full bust alteration. The short sleeves are tight. The shoulders and neck fit me perfectly. It’s snug at the high hip.

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? Yes. It looks like a tshirt.

Were the instructions easy to follow? I didn’t really follow them. I used my serger to construct the top, and I prefer to do flat construction and hemming. So I had hem my sleeves before attaching them, and construct one side of the top, only, before hemming the bottom.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
LIKE: It’s quick.
LIKE: I takes 1 yard of fabric.
LIKE: The fit in the neck and shoulders.

DISLIKE: I could use more ease, but that is my own fault for not paying attention to the “close fitting” description.
DISLIKE: Sleeves too small. I haven’t had this problem before, and I could have fit the sleeves before sewing.
DISLIKE: It’s short on me. Again, I should have paid attention.

Fabric Used: Polyester tie-dye panne from Joann’s.

Pattern Alterations or any design changes you made: I did a full bust alteration and added 3 inches on each side.

Next time, I will make the sleeves bigger, add an inch or 2 to the length, and let the hip out a bit.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? Yes. I plan on making it again. It’s a great way to use up a yard of fabric. It’s very quick to serge up.

Conclusion I like this pattern for a basic, fitted tshirt.

UPDATE: After wearing the tshirt for a full day, I have decided that the sleeves are WAY too small. So if you have full upper arms, you might want to check the sleeves before cutting. I haven’t had this problem with other Kwik Sew patterns (so far?).

New Look 6898

I made this jacket … um … 10 years ago. This is a great timeless pattern. It’s really too bad that it went out of print so quickly. It’s available at Etsy. Additional images are available at PatternReview.

Below is the pattern review that I used to have at PR.
Pattern Description: (from Sabrina on PR) Four unlined jackets with neckline variations funnel, hood, v neck and shawl collar; sleeves are one piece. I bought this from the 2002 fall book and it disappear from the later books.

I made the shawl collar version.
Pattern Sizing: 8-18

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? Yes
Were the instructions easy to follow? Sorta. For this view, the instructions jump all over the place, from view to view, and the first time I read through the instructions all the way, I missed the part on inserting the sleeve. Maybe all multiview patterns do that, but this is the first time I’ve had to reread a pattern looking for part of the instructions.

However, construction is very easy.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? I have to grade my patterns up, and the fact that they published two fronts, 8/12/16 on one and 10/14/18 on another, made grading up less precise.

There isn’t much ease. My jacket was unlined.

Fabric Used:

A black/blue wool blend boucle knit from JoAnn’s clearance for only $2.88/yd. This was a firm knit with very little crosswise stretch.

Pattern Alterations or any design changes you made:

I graded up to a 22. I don’t know if it was my grading or the pattern, but the shoulders came out big and the armhole small. An error in grading could have done this, but the pattern has very little ease, and maybe it’s supposed to be more fitted in the armhole than I care for. I thought I could help the shoulder misfit out with a shoulderpad, but the armhole isn’t big enough.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?

I might sew it again. I like the style, but it doesn’t fit me as well as other jackets have. I’m not enthusiastic about making a shoulder & armhole alteration. If I do manage to lose weight down to a size 18, I’ll probably try it again.

I do recommend it.


It’s easy to sew, and it’s a basic style that should be good for years.

I made this sweater again out of a black raschel knit. This time in view A.


I had graded up to a 22 last time, but when I measured myself, I was an 18 (high bust 41.5 inches). I had to do a full bust alteration, adding 2″ to the width and 1″ to the length (usual alteration), making a big ol’ dart. I had hesitated to do this. The size 22 fits okay. I’m glad I did it. It’s much more flattering on me to have not only enough room in the bust, but the right size and shape everywhere, too.

I decided not to use the facings. A raschel knit is very lacey. A fat facing doesn’t work.

My book on sewing knits says to use patterns that don’t have darts with raschel knits, but I really need a dart. I’m a DD, and if I don’t use a dart, the garment becomes a big sack. I did a test dart on a scrap and serged off the excess fabric. It isn’t particularly visible. If you look for the dart, you’ll see it, but I had to point it out to my sewing friend before she noticed it. So if you think you need a dart, use a dart on a raschel knit.

The book on knits also recommended sewing the seams twice. For the most part, I used a small zigzag on the sewing machine, then a 4 thread overlock on the serger.

I sewed the sleeves in flat, instead of in the round. It’s just easier to do it this way when you are using the serger. I did some test hems, but I couldn’t get a good looking serged hem, and I couldn’t control the knit well enough to get an even folded hem. So I headed off to Joann’s to get some black lycra binding. Did Joann’s have black lycra binding? NO!!! I decided to try Flexilace Seam Tape with a folded over hem. In retrospect, I’m glad Joann’s didn’t have the binding. The lace seam tape is practically invisible in the hems.

I considered using a small snap as a closure, but I was concerned that there just wasn’t enough to the seam tape and raschel knit to support snaps. I decided to use a jewelery pin as a closure. That way I can change my pin depending on what I’m wearing.

The sweater came out very well. I thought that the lacey knit would be hard to sew, but it wasn’t. I think anyone who has sewn a few knits could handle one easily.

New Look 6898 frontNew Look 6898 line dwgNew Look 6898 pattern piecesNew Look 6898 back