What makes a body normal, anyway? I’ve been thinking about this quite a lot as I assess my own changes over the years. Did I always have wonky shoulders? When did I acquire that deep groove in the shoulder that’s spent a lifetime lugging heavy tote bags around? At which point exactly did I stop caring about a post-op scar that I once thought had ruined my life? And on which holiday did I finally bid farewell to the bikini? I can’t recall.
Sewing doesn’t supply neat answers to unanswerable questions, but it does supply solutions. Wonky shoulders? Tweak your seam line. Narrow upper chest? Pin out a dart. Too tall for the high street? Sew your own. Too small for the high street? Sew your own. Too startlingly original for the high street? You get the idea.
Sewing teaches us that there is no normal. Sewing spits in the eye of normal. Can you remember the first time you stepped out of your home in a dress you’d made and didn’t feel self-conscious? That’s when you said goodbye to normal and allowed your body to just be.
I shan’t go so far as to say I love my wonky shoulders, but at least now I understand them. (Poor, misunderstood wonky shoulders! Can you forgive me all the years when I failed to understand why one bra strap kept slipping off?)
Do you have a wonk, a curve, a crook or a twist? What is your body quirk? And has sewing helped you love it?