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Sewing for Changing Body - Menopause Edition by Carol

I’ve been intending to write this for such a long time, but the procrastination angels have been out in full force recently!!

So where to begin?

As humans we constantly change. We develop and transform from the moment we are born, our bodies do amazing things, and for many of us the end of our periods is a fabulous release from the curse No more monthly PMS, migraines, bloatingand cramps.

The average age for menopause in the UK is 51, and each and every woman’s journey is personal to them, some slide painlessly through perimenopause, into menopause and beyond.

For others it’s a total nightmare of hot flushes, night sweats and HRT.

Either way, this is a time of transformation. It won’t be forever, and you will be free!

For many the change in hormones and metabolic rate brings changes to our bodies, this can be a bit of an issue with garments, especially ready to wear. But, were so well equipped as sewists, we do have the skills to create unique items which actually fit!!

So where to begin the conversation?

1) Firstly, I want to touch on fabric choices which can help with those “rosy moments”

Natural Fibres!!

So much more breathable and cooler than their synthetic counterparts!

There are so many gorgeous fabrics, cotton, viscose and linen to name but a few all in fantastic prints and vibrant shades. We never need to look the same as your peers. How different is our wardrobe and journey, unlike the over 50’s of our mothers and grandmothers generations, who I only remember wearing house coats and aprons… HELL NO!!

I’ve picked out a few of my favourites from Liana and James’ selections but you will fall down a fabulous rabbit hole once you start looking!

I love these Enzyme washed linens called Breeze, they are perfect for sewing light jackets for Autumn, pinafores, dresses, jumpsuits and structured shirts. 

 

Cotton Lawn is one of my very favourite fabric, light summer dresses as well as tops and blouses

This one is especially delightful! It will make beautiful blouse or a shirt dress.

Morris Navy Cotton Lawn Fabric – Lamazi Fabrics Limited

 

Cotton and Viscose Jerseys, so soft and comfortable!!

I’m particularly in love with these cosy and luxurious cotton cashmere fleeced sweater knits.

Mind The MAKER - Organic Cotton Cashmere Fleece Sweat Indigo Night – Lamazi Fabrics Limited 

 

2) Layering!!

It can be really difficult to regulate your body temperature, and I would recommend using multiple layers, its so easy to remove a layer if you start to get hot than suffer in a single layer, something like a tunic dress or pinafore/dungarees layered over a long or short sleeved top (Maybe the Style ARC Sydney.

 

 

Style ARC - Sydney Designer Dress (Sizes 18 - 30) Sewing Pattern – Lamazi Fabrics Limited

layered over a Grainline Studio Hadley Top 

With a WBM Balloon cardi or The Style ARC Como, casually layered over the top!

Wardrobe by Me - Balloon Cardigan Sewing Pattern – Lamazi Fabrics Limited 

 

Style ARC - Como Knit Cardi (Sizes 4-16) Sewing Pattern – Lamazi Fabrics Limited

so easy to remove the cardi and if its still gets too warm remove the top and the dress stands alone! Still so stylish!!

When discussing my blog post with Liana she kindly suggested I chose one of the lovely knit fabrics, from the range online at Lamazi, naturally I couldn’t refuse and settled on this one - Mind The MAKER - Organic Leaf Jacquard Plum

It’s the Organic Leaf Jacquard by Mind the MAKER.  I chose the Plum colourway as I really think the shade will co-ordinate beautifully with my colouring (Silver hair) and my Autumn and Winter wardrobe. I must admit that the knit wasn’t really what I expected. It was much nicer and that says a lot as my expectations were high to start with! Although its got a really strong texture, the fabric isn’t as heavy and structured as I expected, its drapey and soft and I’d describe the thickness as a little heavier than a really good quality cotton jersey, making it ideal for a Helens Closet Blackwood Cardigan, absolutely perfect for layering!

In my pictures I style it over an Ogden Cami and Jackie Trousers for an evening or office look, and with a Monroe turtleneck and Ginger jeans for a casual meeting with friends for a walk or a little casual weekend shopping.

Unusually the fabric comes in a 180cm width, which is just fabulous, and I managed to make my size 18 full length (View A) Blackwood from 1.5m not the 1.8 suggested in the pattern.

This fabric comes in 10 different shades on Lamazi Fabrics website and also with the matching ribbing if plum isn’t your favourite. 

The patterns highlighted above have little or no actual fitting, light and free flowing which will mean you can make straight out of the pack, but what if you want to delve into the world of fit adjustments??

3) Pattern adjustments?

As our metabolism changes, we tend to move into “middle age spread” I know I’ve personally become more “Apple shaped rather than the “Pear” which I used to be.

There are so many pattern adjustments we can add if necessary. Such as Full Tummy, Flat Seat and Narrow Shoulder to name but a few. I know it sounds quite daunting, but do you know what? It’s really not, we are so lucky to have experts guiding us through every step!

I am not going to re-invent the wheel by going through all the adjustments but here are a couple of resources I’d recommend.

 

Common Fit Adjustments – Cashmerette Patterns

 

For Free pants fitting I’d definitely recommend accessing  the Free pattern Archives - Closet Core Patterns this is a great resource accessed with a password (password available by signing up for the newsletter)

I really hope you’ve enjoyed this little blog post? We hoped to inspire and educate. Please remember you’re not alone in this time of life. Grow, transform and become the butterfly you were always destined to become!!


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