Episode 10. Size Inclusivity with Leila Kelleher @leila_sews

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30. Zero Waste Sewing & Clothing The Asian Sewist Collective Podcast

In this week's episode, Ada and Nicole discuss zero waste sewing, fashion and clothing. We'll talk about zero waste practices throughout history and Asian cultures, and our own zero waste habits within our sewing practices. For show notes and a transcript of this episode, please see: https://asiansewistcollective.com/30-zero-waste-sewing–clothing If you find our podcast informative and enjoy listening, you can support us by joining our monthly membership or making a one-time donation via Ko-Fi: https://ko-fi.com/asiansewistcollective 

This Week’s Guest: Leila Kelleher (@leila_sews) of Muna and Broad (@munaandbroad)

On this week’s podcast, we’re talking to Leila Kelleher about identity and size inclusivity. You can follow Leila on Instagram @leila_sews and find her patterns at Muna and Broad’s website (@munaandbroad).

Leila has been featured on the Sewcialists & NPR, and writes on her blog, Sewing for Everybody:

The Sewcialists Interview: Leila of Muna and Broad – Sewcialists

Learning to be Fat – Sewing for Everybody

You Sewed Your Own Masks. Here’s How To Make Clothes : Life Kit

Muna and Broad’s size range covers 40-64” bust and 41.5-71.5” hip. If their size chart is too small to include you, they (meaning Leila!) will grade their patterns up to your size at no additional cost.

Accounts Leila recommends following include:

@therotund 

@rare.device 

@sewqueer 

@whitneygetsdressed 

Links

Patterns mentioned

Bloomsbury Blouse by Nina Lee, inspired by this post by @thesewingjurist @ladonnacokley @meandmystitch 

Sewing pattern designers mentioned

Friday Pattern Company – up to US7X/32 for many patterns 

Helen’s Closet – many patterns up to US 34 (62” hip) 

By Hand London – some patterns up to UK 38 

Stitch Witch – up to US 28 

Closet Core Patterns – Sienna Maker jacket now extended to sizes 14-30 (PDF only)

Cashmerette –  sizes going up to US 32 in some products incl. Turner dress and Montrose top

Ellie and Mac – up to US 7XL in many patterns 

Style Sew Me – up to 45” waist and 55” hip for a shirt dress 

JreeDesiree – up to US 28 (blazer goes up to a 55.25” bust 51” waist; dress 52” waist, 62” hip 

DuanaDIY – up to 54” bust, 48” waist 

Curvy Sewing Collective also has a list of pattern makers with plus size patterns.

Additional resources mentioned

Ada’s email template for asking pattern makers to expand their size range.

Punk Frockers Podcast Episode No. 16: #SewLimitedSizing 

Cashmerette’s eBook for pattern designers: “How to Expand Sewing Patterns Into Plus Sizes”

Just Patterns blog post on her expenditures as a pattern designer

@ladygrift – Gabby Brown, fit expert and industry veteran 

Accounts we recommend following:

@johassler

@adifferentstitch 

@val_leclair 

@fat.bobbin.girl

@styleisstyle

Podcast transcript

Leila: So we have this entirely Zoom, FaceTime, Instagram relationship. Who knows? Maybe we would like hate each other in real life. Like we have never met. It’s gonna be really weird when we do, I think.

Ada: Welcome to the Asian Sewist Collective podcast. The Asian Sewist Collective is a group of Asian people from around the world brought together by our shared appreciation for fiber and textile arts, and our desire to see more Asian representation in the sewing community. In this podcast, we explore the intersection of our identities and our shared sewing practice, as we create a space for Asian sewists and our allies. I’m your co-host, Ada Chen, and I’m recording from Denver, Colorado. Denver is the traditional territory of the Ute, Cheyenne and Arapaho peoples. I’m a Taiwanese American marketer turned entrepreneur and these days you’ll find me running my own all natural skincare business called Chuan Skincare. That’s C-H-U-A-N, and sharing my marketing tips on my blog, The Cultivate Method. Most importantly for this podcast, you can find my sewing at @i.hope.sew on Instagram.

Nicole: And I’m your co host, Nicole. I’m based outside of Chicago, the original homelands of the council of the three fires, the Ojibwe, the Potawatomi, and the Odawa people. I’m a Filipinx American woman and a lawyer by day and a sewing enthusiast the rest of the time. You can find me on Instagram at @NicoleAngelineSews.

Ada: So before we dive into this week’s episode, Nicole, can you tell us about your current sewing project?

Nicole: Yes, I can. I’m still working on cleaning out my sewing space. And I found some really cute inexpensive cottons that I bought last year when I was planning on making masks and since I’m over that now I figured I could use them for wearable toiles. I’m over making masks. Masks are still necessary in certain settings. We are still in a pandemic but I’m just over making masks and I have been for a while. And let me ask you this. Are you into statement collars? 

Ada: I really, just like it’s extra fabric around my neck and they’re kind of finicky, so if I can get away with not but you know, like on the last episode, I was telling you about how it was making polos because I needed collared shirts for golfing. So I guess I can’t get away with zero collars in my life. 

Nicole: I mean, the polo shirt is like the opposite of a statement collar. It’s like, it’s not a statement at all. But so I asked, right, because statement collars are kind of like a thing right now, you know, tied to the cottagecore aesthetic. It’s not really my jam. But I did end up picking up a couple of Nina Lee patterns because of course, I have been influenced. Yes. You all know how I can be influenced. This isn’t frivolous, though. 

So there are three amazing black sewists that are based out of Chicago who are besties that I follow. So it’s @thesewingjurist, a fellow lawyer, @ladonnacokley and @meandmystitch. So the three of them are friends, I follow them on Instagram. And they all three made the Nina Lee Bloomsbury blouse without sleeves as a project. And it does have a statement like fringe yoke collar thing and like a high neck, but they made it without sleeves, and I looked so good. I had to try it. Maybe I should send you the link Ada, or you can find it. We’ll put the link in the show notes to the inspo post. 

But long story short, I’m going to be working on a sleeveless Nina Lee Bloomsbury blouse, because I felt like the sleeves would just be way too overpowering on me, in a white cotton that’s been kind of tie dyed with tan and glitter. So it’s a cheapy cotton, but it’d be a good toile so maybe by the time this airs, it’ll be on my grid. What about you Ada, what are you working on? 

Ada: Love the tan, love glitter. Can’t wait to see this. Personally, not for me. But I love to cheer you on. I am probably doing the opposite of that. I’m focusing on some comfy cool clothes because we’ve been in a heatwave here. So it’s been about 100 degrees Fahrenheit, so like high 30s, mid to high 30s in Celsius.

I don’t want to wear clothes but you have to so I’m tracing, so yeah, you have to. I am tracing some crop top or crop tank tops from knit scrap. So I’ve got a bunch of like half yard knit scraps that are really cute and stretchy and comfy. But you know a half yard you can’t do much with besides make maybe a crop top so I’ve been tracing some of my ready to wear athletic wear into racerback tank tops. And that’s been fun. It’s also so much harder than I thought it would be. Like props to everybody who is self drafting or tracing their own garments, because I’ve been watching YouTube videos on it and they make it look so much easier and so much faster than it has turned out to be for me. 

Nicole: That’s how they get you. 

Ada: Now, our original plan was to chat about the history of qipao for our final episode of season one, but we’ve pushed that back because we felt a conversation about size inclusivity was important to have right now. We’ll talk about the qipao next season. But, for those of you who spend time in the maker community on social media, you might have noticed a lot of discussion on size inclusivity lately, especially during MeMadeMay. 

Nicole: You might have seen hashtags like #SewLimitedSizing #NotDraftedForMe and people posting the minimum and maximum size measurements of the patterns they use, in order to better inform those of us browsing and considering using the pattern. It’s also a way to nudge (push!) pattern makers to offer a better, wider size range. Today we wanted to share a conversation we had with Leila Kelleher about size inclusivity. Leila’s written a lot on this subject. She’s @ leila_sews online, and half of Muna and Broad, a pattern making company which creates beautiful designs for large bodies. 

Ada: Before we share our conversation with Leila I did want to add that Leila talks about her experience being a transracial adoptee and we’d like to take this opportunity to share that Leila is open to connecting with other adoptees. However, if you’re not an adoptee and you don’t know Leila personally, please refrain from asking her invasive questions about her personal life or her background. It’s quite frankly none of your business to be poking around an internet stranger’s life and sliding into her DMs with these types of questions. It can be quite rude, and honestly a little weird when you don’t know someone. So, with that PSA out of the way, let’s share our interview with Leila.

Nicole: Welcome Leila, for listeners who may not be familiar with you, can you please introduce yourself?

Leila: Thanks for having me on. My name is Leila and I am one half of Muna and Broad. We are an independent pattern company.

Ada: And how would you say your identity as an Asian woman intersects with your sewing?

Leila: Well, to be honest, I don’t actually know that my Asian identity does intersect much with my sewing. Most people don’t know this, but I’m transracially adopted, which means that I was adopted as a baby from Korea into a white family. So most of my cultural identity is actually white cultural identity. And so I didn’t grow up surrounded by cultural sewing, certainly not Asian cultural sewing, or anything like that.

Nicole: And thanks for sharing that with us. You mentioned most people don’t know it. And we appreciate you bringing that piece of you to be the podcast. You wrote a blog post in 2020, entitled “Learning to be fat”, in which you said, “Over the years, I’ve spent a lot of time and energy trying to disguise my fatness from the rest of the world. Of course, now I have realized that not only is it pointless, I am fat, it is a fact. And everyone can tell. I’ve also come to the point where I just don’t care who knows.” And you shared about your internalized fatphobia finding that what you were missing was representation of fat bodies. 

Now, listeners, we highly encourage you to take a read of this post. And we’ll link the post to the show notes. And Leila, we wanted to ask you, can you give us some thoughts about how your experience living as an Asian person may have colored the way that you see yourself as a fat person?

Leila: Yeah, for sure. So I didn’t actually understand any kind of body diversity in Asian people at all apart from the kind of stereotypes that I think that a lot of white people have, because I grew up in a very white-centric environment. So my impression growing up was that, you know, Asian people were typically very thin. And now I will say here that I did not grow up as fat. And so that is a privilege that I have in terms of not receiving like a lot of fatphobic comments and that kind of thing as a child. I didn’t gain weight until I was in my teenage years. So it is a different experience to some people who have experienced growing up their entire life as fat and also I wanted to say here that the word fat, I’m using that as a neutral descriptor of body size, just as I would say that, you know my hair is black or you know, my eyes are brown, that kind of thing or that I’m Asian. It’s just a fact. So it’s an identity that some people who live in larger bodies have reclaimed from the pejorative. And some people have not. So it’s, it’s really important that if you are going to use it as a neutral descriptor of somebody, you need to kind of know that they’re comfortable with that. 

Anyway, back to the question, you know, most Asian people were thin and I was not, you know, I already felt a little bit disconnected from my Asian identity, like very disconnected from my Asian identity. And I think that my body size, that reason exacerbated it, because I didn’t even physically resemble what I perceived to be an Asian body.

Ada: Interesting. So it’s almost like there was no example for you to kind of reconcile those two parts of your identity.

Leila: Yeah, I think that’s right. Like, if you believe that almost all Asian people thin and petite, and you don’t conform to that, then it’s hard to see where you fit in. And of course, that’s not the case. But it’s definitely like a stereotype that I think that other people who’ve grown up outside of their culture could maybe relate to that kind of feeling of feeling like you don’t quite belong or feeling like an outsider, when the rest of the world assumes that you are something else.

Ada: Yeah, I can’t imagine how that must have been. We have totally gotten those emails, assuming that the majority of our listeners are small, petite, quite frankly, skinny Asian people, and I would not use that descriptor on myself. And I don’t know if Nicole would use that on herself. But every time we get one of those emails, it’s highly infuriating.

Leila: I think that it’s actually really part of white supremacy and you know, a microaggression. Assuming that all Asians, it’s like saying all Asian people are good at math or whatever, whatever stereotype you want to think of. It’s also definitely in, in body type or, you know, I think that Asian men have to deal with a lot of kind of asexual stereotypes as well. And so that must be very challenging. So I think that body shape is for sure part of it. And I know that after the murders back in March, there was a kind of discussion around Asian fetishization and that kind of thing. And I think some of that does revolve around stereotypes of Asian body types.

Ada: True, I did get some DMs after I complained about being screamed at on the street and about cultural appropriation and fetishization being like, “Oh, well, you’re so lucky to get those”. No, I don’t think anybody is lucky to be screamed at on the street. But turning away from that a little bit, because we could go on probably for hours about it. You also, were recently interviewed by NPR’s Life Kit, a personal favorite of mine, and you said, “I come from the philosophy that your body is your body. And if your clothes don’t fit, it’s the clothes’ problem. It’s not your body’s problem.” And you mentioned that once you started seeing larger bodies, wearing memade clothes, that you found it really empowering for yourself. So can you share a bit more about that?

Leila: Absolutely. If you live in a larger body, you’ve often had a frustrating experience buying clothes, not just buying any clothes, but buying clothes that are appropriate for whatever you want to do. So either from a stylistic manner, like if you’re looking for formal clothes, for example, or for the activity that you’re doing, like buying ski clothes, for example, is very, very difficult if you have a large body. 

So when you shift that around, instead of trying to change your body or believe that there’s something wrong with your body, if it doesn’t fit in the clothes, if you start to think, “Well, the fact that I can’t easily buy a ski jacket in my size is really the problem of the ski jacket manufacturers because I have money to spend on a ski jacket.” I also have money that I would love to spend on really high level technical, like GoreTex ski bibs, but I couldn’t find them, they don’t come into my size. So I had to make them, which actually, I didn’t want to make them, but I had to, and I would be like “Please take my money, like GoreTex ski big manufacturers, like I want to buy these things”. 

Once I started seeing large bodies, fat bodies just expressing themselves through clothing that they had made themselves on Instagram, like I just realized that it was you know, possible for me to just start again because I went to fashion school a very, very long time ago and then I worked for a while in costume and wardrobe. And then I really I sewed for myself for a bit and then I moved away and didn’t actually have access to a sewing machine for quite a number of years. So I didn’t sew for myself for like, honestly like 15 or 18 years, and I just didn’t ever get back into the habit of doing it. I was like, relying on what I could buy ready to wear. 

But I was never really able to when I wasn’t sewing for myself, I wasn’t able to express how I felt and what I wanted to wear through my clothing, I would just kind of buy what fit, what was within my budget, that kind of thing. And so, I think, you know, just to see people sewing for themselves just kind of gave me the impetus to start sewing for myself again. And then I had the rather horrible realization that the same challenges that I was having in ready to wear in terms of like, finding clothes, in the style that I wanted to my size, which was difficult was actually perpetuated in the pattern industry, certainly in the Big Four, and definitely in indie patterns as well. 

And my options would be just as limited. And it was, you know, just as alienating to not be able to find things in my size to sew. And so then, like, I suppose just like my GoreTex pants, were lucky. I started making myself again, and it was really a question like, “Oh really, do I have to do this, I’d rather just buy a pattern and sew it up.” Of course, like it’s so much easier. I can make patterns. But you know, it would be faster to just buy something that I trusted and just sew it up.

Nicole: So now you started sewing patterns for yourself. And now you patternmake now as a business part time as half of Muna and Broad. So can you tell us about Muna and Broad and its mission?

Leila: Absolutely. So like I said, I started making for myself, because, you know, I couldn’t find the styles that I wanted as a pattern. And some of them just like, I couldn’t even find them. Even, even in sizes that didn’t fit me. Like I couldn’t even find a sewing pattern at all for what I wanted to sew. So I started doing it for myself. And then sometimes, like I would see people online, you know, complaining about fit and that kind of thing for their body. And, like, I made my patterns and I’ve made some patterns, and I wasn’t having those fit problems because I had made them so I you know, came to the realization that you know, perhaps other people might also be interested in sewing these patterns. 

And I probably had like, like, I had a handful of followers, like basically no one, I was really excited when Jess @fat.bobbin.girl started following me, I’m like, wow, this like, you know, super famous person. Like following me now. Yeah, you know how you get that thrill? If like someone’s big account, like follows you, you are, like, starstruck. So I was like, Oh, wow. And so initially, I thought, well, it’d be great to like release this just as a free pattern, just as a service back to the community because I get so much from the Instagram, sewing community I’d like to give back. And initially we released the now Glebe pants in three sizes, my size was the smallest size, so my size and in two sizes larger than that. No instructions. Nothing. Just the pattern.

Nicole: Here you go.

Leila: Yeah, because I was under the impression that people knew how to sew, and that they probably wouldn’t need instructions for a simple pair of elastic waisted pants. But I was wrong. Really wrong, I like to say. And part of that is I think there are a lot of new sewists in our community in general. But especially fat sewists and plus sized sewists. If people haven’t had any patterns to sew for themselves ever, then they don’t know how to sew clothes. You know.

And some people are like, honestly, like expert quilters, expert kids clothes sewers, or like stuffed toy creators and that kind of thing. But they might have never made a garment for themselves. So we realized pretty soon that we really did need to provide all of those other bells and whistles that companies do when they sell a pattern. And obviously that took a significant amount of time for us to start doing that. And so we started selling our patterns instead, I’m sure there’s still some of the original pre-release pants floating around on the internet. But the fact of the matter is we kind of moved into making it a business and we wanted to see what happened. So it kind of went from there. And that was I suppose it was like November 2019 that we kind of officially launched as an independent pattern company.

Nicole: That’s not that long ago. I mean, y’all are fairly new to the scene and have definitely made a lasting, an important impact in the sewing community. So we’re, we’re glad that you set up the free pattern and then decided that you wanted to, or had to continue to make patterns for the community. So as a patternmaker, how can you walk us through what the typical pattern design process is like? And how does your focus on larger bodies influence your pattern design and creation process? 

Leila: For sure. So we’re just a team of two. So it’s me. And it’s just Jess at @fat.bobbin.girl, and she lives in New Zealand. And I live in Canada. And we’ve never met in person. 

Ada: Oh, wow.

Leila: So we have this entirely Zoom, FaceTime, Instagram relationship. Who knows? Maybe we would like hate each other in real life. Like we have never met. It’s gonna be really weird when we do, I think. But all of our correspondence is, like virtual means, but because we’re just two people, Jess takes care of the kind of customer facing side. So she takes care of all of the like customer service, the website, the blog posts, all of that side, I take care of what I like to call the back end. So making the pattern, grading the pattern, writing the instructions, illustrating the instructions, that kind of thing. And I help out with some customer service in terms of like, if people are emailing about the fit, and they need advice for that, she can definitely handle a lot of that. But sometimes it’s a question that she might just like, let me know that I probably need to like weigh in and just give an opinion. 

So given that, we’re very, very nimble, in how we our process in terms of like selecting, and design is really a bit scattered. So we probably have six or seven patterns on the go at any one time in various stages of doneness. So that’s like, you know, maybe we decide we want to make a shirt, and it’s kind of like this. Or it might be we want to explore that, you know, like pants with a zipper fly or a tapered pant, or whatever it is, like the kind of basic concept of, we’ll have that idea. And then the next step is that, you know, I would make a pattern an initial pattern for that. And then I will send it to Jess, and she’ll sew it up and see if she likes it. And we’ll see how it looks on her body. Because even though we’re a similar like a girth, our body shapes are quite different. 

And so it’s a really nice kind of check and balance that it’s fitting well on her, it’s looking good on her. It’s looking good and fitting well on me. And then we feel as though we’ve got our basis fairly well covered for most people. And then at that point, we kind of make decisions about what we think about things to change fit things, pattern things, design features, that kind of thing. Sometimes, like we might decide to do like a different kind of pocket, that kind of thing. And also at the kind of pattern making stages, a lot of the design elements are decided. So a lot of things even like the size of the buttons is like literally the first thing that is determined. If I’m doing a shirt placket, the first thing I have to decide is how big the buttons are going to be. And that is like I know, it seems like really weird. A lot of things kind of hang off that in terms of like how big the button extension is going to be. Like it has to be the right size for the buttons. So at that point, we’ll kind of decide, you know, whether we’re going to move forward with that. And I might do some revisions, I’ll always do revisions. So I’ll do some revisions on the pattern. And then sew it up again, we’ll make it up again, I’ll make it up again, we sending terrible like mirror selfies at each other. Sometimes it pauses there. And we’ll get more excited about something else. And then like leapfrog over, sometimes it might be something we haven’t even thought of, we’ll just be like, “Hey, this is a need, we need to do it. Let’s go.” And then we just go full force and just like do something start to finish. And then that other thing is left on the backburner. And we have numerous like that at the moment where they’re kind of like anywhere between like 60 and 90% done: all the pattern’s completely done, but none of the instructions. That kind of thing.

So once we finalize the pattern in our sample size, which is, we use a sizing naming system that is meaningless. So I’m a size F, from A to M. Our size A is at about a 41 and a half inch hip and a 40 inch bust. And then our typical size range goes to 71 and a half inch hip and a 64 inch bust. But if someone doesn’t fit into that measurement, if their measurements are larger, then I’ll grade it up for them. 

The next step after we’ve finished the pattern, like finalized the pattern itself, is that I will grade. Grading is the process of making all of the different sizes, and then I’ll start illustrating the step by step instructions. I will film, we do sewalong videos for all of our patterns that are just freely available on YouTube. Sometimes it’s a start to finish basically sew along with me and I’ll tell you what to do next. Like demonstrate any techniques, that kind of thing and like give little, give little hints here and there that you can’t ever, like express in written pattern instructions. And they’re just the kinds of things that when you’re experienced at sewing, you learn that you’ll just like, do this tiny little thing here. I don’t know, it’s hard to describe. But after the sewalongs, we’ll finalize them, I’ll write the instructions, I send them to Jess, and she’s an amazing proofreader. So she’ll proofread it and correct my writing in terms of like, if it’s not clear, she’s like, well, like rewrite it so it’s clear that kind of thing, the time the yardage. 

And then if it’s going to testing, we then send it out to our testers, and we pay our testers a stipend. And then sometimes we need to make adjustments to it. Luckily, we never have like disasters where things like won’t even like go on to people, it’s, it could be a very small change. So it might be like, oh, like, I think that pocket looks a bit big on that person on like, the small sizes, maybe. So we’ll maybe do another size pocket for the smaller sizes, or whatever it is. So make those changes, and then Jess does all of the website stuff. And then it’s ready to go. 

So it is a process that takes a while. But we are also quite fast. And I think it’s honestly just because it’s the two of us. And because I do everything myself, I can work at my own pace, squeeze it in whenever. And I also don’t have to kind of ask for approval or ask anybody else questions, like who is sending it out for grading, for example, then the grading might come back to me and asked me something, and then you know, there’d be an email exchange back and forth or something like that? Or maybe I’d get the grading back. And it would be not what I expected or incorrect? Or if I had a pattern maker working for me and you know, then I would throw it up and be like, no, this is not what I was thinking at all. That kind of thing. So just because I do everything, like I get to, I get to make all those decisions pretty much. And then Jess and I obviously collaborate on like the nitty gritty.

Ada: So correct me if I’m wrong, but it really doesn’t sound like designing patterns for larger bodies is any different than designing patterns for any body. But I do understand that you developed a nonlinear grading system for Muna and Broad that effectively creates a new block every couple of sizes. And I’m curious for those of us out there who are a little more nerdy on our patterns and the sizing, like what is a nonlinear grading system? And what are the benefits of using one as opposed to a linear one or what we might be used to?

Leila: Yeah, I think that I use the term nonlinear grading system just to try and describe what it is I do, which is honestly very atypical. So normally when you grade, you shouldn’t grade more than two to three sizes in either direction from your sample size, or things start getting a little bit skewed. So anybody who’s at an extreme end of size range, small or large, has probably discovered that sometimes the proportions of garments get very weird. So on the larger end, you know, sometimes you have huge neck lines or hugely long sleeves, or very huge arm holes, that kind of thing. Or on the other end, if you’re at the smallest end of the scale, you might find that you can’t get your arm in the sleeve very easily or the neck lines are very tight, or the bust point is like completely not in the right place for you. So those are things that happen where like grading, you know, by changing the size of a garment, the further you go from that sample size, the more compromises you’re making get magnified more and more and more and more. 

So technically speaking, what should happen is that you have a sample size, you go up and down three sizes from that, and then you have another sample size larger. And you would also go down and up from that, you know, and then you might have a third sample size, depending on how big your size range is. So like you shouldn’t really do more than like six or seven sizes per block. 

But when I pattern make and grade, my goal is not to do a sample size, and then grade from that – it is to provide the optimal fit for the body that is going in that size. I assume that the body that’s going in our smaller size is going to be a different shape from the sample size body. So someone with a 40 inch bust and a 41 inch hip, I don’t really consider to be a plus size type body, it’s very likely they wouldn’t identify as plus size, very unlikely they would identify as fat because their body is closer to like it is basically a straight size body. And so more closely resembles, you know, that kind of dressform, that ideal that we might have in our mind of just like a very averaged out body. And so that person doesn’t need as much room for like a full tummy. 

So when I grade, those things get lessened, I suppose as I’m grading to there, and then as I’m getting bigger, I would assume that as someone’s body grows larger, it does doesn’t just grow larger in every dimension, we gain soft tissue on different parts of our body at different rates. And making patterns is about making generalizations about bodies. And that’s why most of us do have to do small adjustments. However, I don’t think it’s reasonable to do an adjustment to a pattern that every single person of that size would have to do. Like, if you have a 60 inch hip, you’re probably going to have a full belly, like I would put money on it. Unless you’re, like seven feet tall. 

If you are basically the size of most humans, then you would probably need a full belly, like you’ll have a large belly in the front. And so then I believe that those things should be built into the pattern for you. I don’t think it’s reasonable for every single 60 inch hit person to have to do a full tummy adjustment, full belly adjustment on their hands. So then, as I’m going, I’m making those adjustments, and I’m building those things in. And then even after I’ve done like my grade, I actually go into every single size. And I tweak it and optimize it often by actually, to make sure that the armholes are an appropriate shape to fit around the bust, or around the arm, just to like check everything and make sure everything is going to have the best possible fit. So we’re not just relying on like a grading algorithm just to like average it out in either direction, every size almost has its own block. And it’s a very non-industry thing to do.

Ada: But I think the proof is in the sales and the following. And the people who have kind of realized that that is what they want out of the patterns that they’re buying, right. So they’re voting with their dollars. And from what I’ve seen, most people making your patterns then don’t have to do all of those adjustments, because you’ve already thought of “what does this body actually look like”.

Leila: That’s my biggest hope, and it makes me very, very happy. When I see people get a great fit on something. And when I say they don’t didn’t make any adjustments, or the adjustment made is what I consider very minor, like a length adjustment, you know, shorten or lengthen, like a leg or all that kind of thing. You know, I consider those very minor adjustments or even a rise adjustment doesn’t have to be that major, a lot of rise is about personal preference. So it’s not necessarily about fit. So anyway, my hope is that it does fit each person as well as it can.

Nicole: Well, and I love how you’ve filled this need in the community. And it goes back to what you said on the Life Kit interview, you know, like it’s not larger bodies, fat bodies aren’t the problem, it’s the access to ready to wear clothing that will allow them to express themselves. So you and Jess have created this method by which people in the fat sewist community are able to skip needing to do all this extra work and have the clothes that they want, you know, for their bodies. Because like you said, the bodies aren’t the problem the clothes are, so you give them this way to create that cuts out the extra need when other companies aren’t providing for this segment of the community that as any other body types deserve to enjoy sewing for themselves. So I really love what Muna and Broad has become to everyone. I’m just blown away by how new it is, or how much in your, I suppose the pandemic has kind of gotten in the timing, like you say 2019. And it feels like a lifetime ago. Like that’s, that’s less than two years ago. 

Leila: Yeah Muna and Broad is about 18 months old. I mean, our real mission, I suppose. I mean, we haven’t actually done like mission and vision and that kind of thing. But when people say that patternmaking for large bodies is hard, or you know, I think what we do is we see and respect people who have large bodies just as much as we respect people who live in smaller bodies. So you know, it’s really disappointing to see patterns, or people sewing clothes that don’t fit their body well, because they’re not given the same amount of care and attention as a smaller size range. And so I think the fact that we put that care and that attention, I suppose like a non-judgmental lens, you know, without saying your body actually should be like this, it shouldn’t be the way it is. We’re saying this is your body, for your size, is absolutely the way it should be. And we will try our best to build patterns that will fit your body as it is today. That’s you know, I think that’s really important to us. I think I’d like to think that’s what our community sees as well. And that they feel seen and they feel heard. And when they sew clothes, they kind of can feel the love that’s put into it, the time and the respect for their bodies, that we’ve put into our patterns. So that’s really our biggest hope.

Nicole: I think it’s reflected in the enthusiasm for Muna and Broad that you are delivering that for the, for the sewing community. So in terms of the broader, you know, independent pattern designing community, what, if any, changes have you seen in the online sewing community in terms of size inclusivity, you know, before or even, you know, after even when Muna and Broad started?

Leila: I have not been on Instagram for that long. So I think I joined Instagram in like, May of 2019. And it was during a MeMadeMay, but I didn’t know that that was the thing. I’m onto Instagram, when people were just like posting, like every day, though, posting their clothes. And so it was actually a really great and inspiring time to join it. One of the many size inclusivity inclusivity discussions had occurred, you know, the previous February when I was not aware of it. And that one was by no means the first time, this is a recurring topic. And, you know, it’s really disappointing to me that we’re still having this conversation, and that people who don’t fit into current ranges of patterns, that it’s kind of this recurring topic that people are asking for clothing in their size. 

Now, I think there’s some different ways to look at it. And, you know, there are some different viewpoints. And, you know, there’s quite a large contingent of people who are honestly, I think, sick and tired, sick and tired of it. And then people who have been in the community speaking up and asking for much longer than me. So, you know, I would definitely refer people to @therotund, who has been in our community for a very long time, as an activist, @rare.device, Shannon, who also runs @sewqueer. @WhitneyGetsDressed, as well. So there’s like, been a lot of people. And I can provide you some more links, if you want for the show notes. Because those are just off the top of my head, there’s like plenty of people who are activists.

I think that we have seen some changes just in the time that I’ve been on Instagram. And I think those changes come in two flavors. And I think you identify them really well in the cultural appropriation episode, it’s that some companies do that change whatever it is, if it’s to stop culturally appropriating, or if it’s to improve their size range, whatever it is, they do it in a way that you know, that you’re being respected. And that they’re not doing it because they’re scared, or because they don’t want to annoy people. They’re doing it because they have realized it’s the right thing. It’s overdue, and they’re like rectifying their former actions. And, you know, like you said, you see this in how they handle announcement posts, how they publicize it, what kind of models they choose, for their patterns moving forward in a larger range, you know, what kind of what makes they’re sharing on the, on their social media in terms of community makes? Are they only sharing small bodies? Are they sharing large bodies as well? Or are they even highlighting large bodies? 

So, you know, and then on the other hand, you know, there are other companies that really appear to be dragged into it kicking and screaming, and that does not feel good. So, you know, it’s really unfortunate, when that happens, and I think that a lot of people feel that, you know, what, if you’re not going to do a larger size range, fine. Just say that you’re not, and we’ll stop that conversation. And we’ll move on with our lives. But it’s really tricky. 

I think that people are tired and just as with cultural appropriation, you know, it took a lot of tries. You know, like Emi Ito has been talking about cultural appropriation for years and years and years. And it wasn’t until this year, that it was kind of acted upon In a more widespread way. So I think that it’s kind of the same with size inclusivity. I think though that fatphobia is more widely acceptable, it’s a more widely acceptable form of discrimination than racism is. So I think that one really, is one of the issues: that we’re fighting against really strongly rooted societal fatphobia in terms of getting size, true size inclusivity, in both sewing patterns, but also in ready to wear clothing as well, of all styles.

Ada: I think that’s true. And I think what you point out is that now, the community is smart enough to recognize when we’re being paid lip service by a company, and when they actually truly do want to be inclusive, and see that not only as a smart business decision, but the right business decision. To be a truly inclusive company built for everybody, literally. And it feels like that is smaller progress than should have been made, given the number of times this has come up. But hopefully, maybe this time is different. And we are actually going to see people start posting min max measurements and using hashtags like #SewLimitedSizing, so that others are more aware of this. 

And it’s almost like also with cultural appropriation, like you said, like, there’s still people using the old hashtags and old names for patterns, when companies have very publicly come out and said, “Stop using that name, we don’t want you to use that name”. Which has been both discouraging and disheartening, but also, it helps you see, like, who truly cares and who, who doesn’t really give a shit. So, I would love to wrap this up by asking you, if there’s anything you want listeners to take away from this episode, and actually start doing either in the sewing community or on their own? 

Leila: So what I’d love to see is for our straight sized allies, to become activists, so not just to mark the maximum measurement on their post, which is extremely helpful, don’t get me wrong, it’s great. But to actually just not post those garments or not sew those garments, because every time you post that garment, it’s disappointing for someone who can’t fit into it. 

So you know, I’ll be scrolling along and like people are really good, like people are so creative, I love being inspired by their makes. So I’ll see a new pattern that I haven’t seen before. And I’d be like, “Wow, that’s a great pattern”, what I’ll do is I’ll click on the hashtag, or click on the like pattern designer, go to that bio, click on the link, hopefully it works. It’ll take me to their like site, then I’ll find try and find that pattern in their listing a go in a look for the size chart, sometimes the size chart isn’t in the pattern listing, sometimes it’s another link, I’ll click on that, then I’ll look it up, find the one in Imperial or metric or whatever I use, and then discovered that I’m, you know, 10 or 15 inches too large for their larger size. And then it’s really disappointing. 

But my disappointment is not alleviated by seeing the maximum size in their post, it’s just made it more convenient for me to be disappointed in the sizing on a pattern. And so I would love to see more activism. And I don’t think that means emailing pattern designers to request larger sizes, though that is like a really great thing. And if you feel moved to do that, fantastic. But actually, what makes a difference is just not supporting patterns that aren’t inclusive, just as people now are not supporting culturally appropriative pattern companies and making those decisions. 

It would be great to see some more ally activism in terms of size inclusivity as well. I would love for people even just to challenge themselves for a week or a month or something to only sew or only wear things that are size inclusive, just so they know. what it feels like for the large bodied sewists to have to find patterns because I think that if you have no trouble fitting into most size charts, even though you might recognize that it’s a challenge, and that it’s hard, I don’t think that people really understand the full experience of how it is when you literally don’t have options or very few options for your size body.

Ada: Truth, I was looking at a pattern this morning, like “that’s a really cute pattern. And maybe I’ll buy it because there’s a discount from an event.” And then I was like, the size chart. I’ve already called them out on another garment. Like I don’t, I don’t think they should get my money for another pattern that other people can’t have. Is that going to make it more time consuming and hard for me to buy a shirt with a placket pattern sometime? Yeah, probably. But that can’t be nearly as hard as not having any options. Right? And I think that’s the minimum that we can all do when we’re looking at patterns and kind of on this constant cycle of buying.

Nicole: Well, Leila, thank you for joining us today. Where can listeners find you?

Leila: My personal account on Instagram is @leila_sews. So L-E-I-L-A underscore sews, s-e-w-s, and then Muna and Broad can be found on Instagram at M-U-N-A and Broad. And our website is also munaandbroad.com.

Ada: Thanks, Leila, for taking the time to chat with us. We had such a great conversation… and went on a couple meaningful tangents about advocacy and allyship which we haven’t included here. We’d love to share those nuggets with you later.

Nicole: One thing we touched on with Leila, was the idea that Asians are expected to look a certain way. Within Asia and among the Asian diaspora, we have the beauty ideals of fair skin (all over India, Southeast Asia, and East Asia, skin whitening products are popular and used regularly – yes, this is colourism). For women, also big eyes and double eyelids, and more recently, the Selfie ‘Doll’ look of very pale skin, big eyes with double eyelids, a tiny nose, rosebud lips, all on a small face with a subtly pointed chin. 

Ada: And small bodies. 

Nicole: Yes, most ready to wear clothing available in Asia is small. We looked at the most popular high street shops such as Uniqlo, Giordano, Penshoppe, and YesStyle. They have, for example, around 31” or 32” waist as the maximum for women, though Men’s upper limits are a bit more varied. Fat shaming is prevalent, and we can point to a couple pop culture examples such the Hong Kong movie, Love on a Diet and the South Korean movie 200 Pounds Beauty.

Ada: Listeners, if you aren’t familiar with either of these movies, basically, they insinuate that all a fat woman has to do is lose a massive amount of weight in order to get a guy. Throw in colorism and plastic surgery, and you have a movie. All this to say, within many Asian cultures, and among the Asian diaspora, there is tremendous pressure to conform to quite narrow definitions of beauty. So for example, my aunts, related to me and not you know, the auntie type will ask me about what I’m eating. Or if I’m running because I’m prepping for a race or more about my exercise routine, which just frankly is none of their business and it’s extremely frustrating and annoying to deal with. And terrible, quite frankly and from both non Asians and Asians. There’s this assumption that we are all small, however incorrect that is.

Nicole: Yes, there is a perception that all Asians are petite. Which is already problematic because we’re such a broad range of people. You can’t just lump us together as one great big ‘other’. We’ve even gotten multiple emails and DMs from individuals and pattern companies under this assumption. And it’s untrue. We’ve seen studies that look at more than just BMI, and Filipino, Vietnamese, and Korean adults have vastly varying body types and sizes, to cite just one example. We’d also venture to say that these stereotypes have more to do with Asian fetishization, that people may just want to see Asian women (and men) a certain way.

Now, personally, I have fit outside this stereotype my entire life. It’s annoying, and also painful to look back on how I used to see my body when I was younger and all, you know, because of all this, the stereotype that I’m supposed to be petite, quote, unquote, not only did I always, you know, not feel like I belonged, you know, because of Western, you know, just never mind Asian standards, you know, like Western standards of beauty. I also used to see myself as this like, defective Asian person, because I didn’t fit into the stereotype. And unfortunately, you know, family or, you know, family or people close to us that aren’t blood related, but you call a family anyway, would reinforce the stereotype by commenting on my body frequently, and it still happens, both in a negative way. 

But also in a positive way, like, “Oh, you look good. Did you lose weight?”, you know, like, this is all negative, because commenting on you know, people’s bodies is not anyone’s business. And it’s also older and younger family members, like nosy and cruel aunties, but then also younger cousins who would like make fun of each other. They never make fun of me, because I think that they were intimidated or scared of me, because they were because I was the older cousin. But they would make fun of other people for being fat. So this stereotype gets ingrained in our heads at such a young age. And it’s awful, but I hope it’s changing. So when these messages came through with the disguised or sometimes not disguised assumption that Asian women in particular are petite, I was livid. 

Ada: Yeah, you know, admittedly, I haven’t always fit outside of this stereotype. But as I got older, I literally grew out of it, I put on muscle really easily and I find it extremely hard to lose it. And so I have a quote unquote, more athletic build, which, you know, didn’t go over well, when I was in ballet as a teenager, teenagers are cruel, but like, think judgey pretty privileged teens in ballet, they’re like super cruel and when you think of ballerinas, you know you also think of a stereotype stick thin and small enough to carry on one hand, not muscular and able to jump four or five feet in the air. 

And so that was really tough coupled with the stereotypes around Asian women and I stopped ballet just before I went back to Taiwan in high school and I think at that point, when I was shopping for clothing there you know in night markets and in stores: I was a large or on the higher end of their sizes are one size and I was smaller than I am now. 

And in Asia, it is difficult to be large and find clothes that fit you. The size ranges at the bigger clothing stores are pretty narrow and night markets and cheap clothing stores often offer just one size, it is more cost effective to reduce one size and this isn’t just an Asia specific practice, but as you can probably guess, one size does not fit all. It usually only fits or looks good on a very, very narrow band of the population. And if you don’t fit in it, you don’t really fit in. 

But getting back to the sewing world, the debate over size inclusivity seems to kind of kick off every now and then. And in 2019, Betsy, the patternmaker and designer behind SBCC patterns put out a blog post entitled “RTW ready to wear explained why size inclusivity is not always practiced”, which made the rounds saying that it was very expensive and not profitable to expand size ranges as indie pattern designers and a few others agreed. 

This kicked off just a garbage fire of rage online with people responding that well, it was worth the investment and that their words were hurtful and dismissive. And we know that many people start sewing their own clothes precisely because they feel dismissed by the RTW industry and now you know when things like that come up, they’re being sidelined again by some in the sewing world. And I think this issue seems to come up again and again because enough change hasn’t really materialized right like we even found a blog post from the Idle Fancy blog way back in 2013, imploring indie pattern designers to consider plus size so it’s just like clockwork like every few months, this call will reappear on the internet and we will all be angry about it again.

Nicole: We are starting to see incremental change regarding size inclusivity among pattern makers. We’re seeing more indie pattern designers start to expand their size range – some to look at include Friday Pattern Company (some patterns go up to 7X), Helen’s Closet (up to size 30-32 US), By Hand London (up to 60 ¾”, waist). And today, Stitch Witch patterns announced they will now go up to a size 34 (B: 58″ W: 51″ H: 60″). You’ll find more details in the show notes.

Ada: And of course designers like Cashmerette, Ellie and Mac (many patterns go up to 7XL), Style Sew Me (goes up to a 45” waist and 55” hip for a shirt dress, for example), and JreeDesiree (her two patterns go up to size 28 — the blazer goes up to a 55.25″ bust 51″ waist; dress 52″ waist, 62″ hip) along with Muna and Broad, have from the start been really inclusive and have recognized the demand for designs for large bodies. We’re going to link them in the show notes as well.

Nicole: Unfortunately, other pattern designers have been slow to jump on board. Tilly and the Buttons is an example that frequently comes up in the size inclusivity discussion. Their patterns are known for being beginner friendly, but many sewists pointed out that their sizing chart wasn’t large enough to include them, so they’d get pointed to TATB as beginners only to be disappointed that the patterns wouldn’t fit them. It looks like after a few years of requests, they have finally started to update some of their designs as of April 2021, albeit only to a 61 inch hip, which other designers have designed for for years. 

Ada: The Big Four are very slowly coming around too, with some designs going up to a 56” hip. Which you could say really isn’t enough, and in fact they have taken steps to further ostracize the fat sewing community recently. The podcast Punk Frockers has recently had a couple of episodes discussing size inclusivity, which we’ll link in the shownotes. Co-host Jenny, @johassler, herself a fat sewist talks about how the Big Four used to have a section in their pattern books that was specifically for plus sized sewists (or their version of plus size), and now they’ve gotten rid of it, making it even more difficult for consumers to determine which patterns come in their range. We highly encourage a listen to these eps of Punk Frockers for further perspective on the size inclusivity discussion.

Nicole: Absolutely, love those episodes and a lot of their episodes at Punk Frockers. So, if you’re looking at a pattern, we encourage you to take a look at its size range, especially if you’re a straight size maker. Consider whether they deserve your promotion if they aren’t making an effort to be inclusive. Write the patternmaker an email, tag them on Instagram, use the tags to push them to expand their sizing you know make your opinion known. Ada does have an email template for people to use. And it’s on her blog, which we will link in the show notes.

Ada: Yes, and we’ve said it before, I’m going to say it again, representation matters. We can’t understate the impact for all of us have larger bodies being seen and seen wearing beautiful clothes and there are so many knowledgeable and creative fat sewists who can help populate and diversify your feed out there such as @johassler, so Jenny from Punk Frockers who we just mentioned, @adifferentstitch, @Val_LeClair, @fat.bobbin.girl, Jess the other half of Muna and Broad. So if you don’t follow these sewists and so many more, you should definitely follow them and diversify your feed.

Nicole: Diversifying your feed is always a good idea. Now for the pattern designers listening, Cashmerette has a comprehensive ebook that takes you through the business aspects, such as the plus size sewing market, what plus size sewists actually want from sewing patterns, as well as tips for drafting and grading. It’s a great resource if you want to make your size expansion financially viable.

Ada: And we’ve done a bit of research on the financial investment to expand sizes, and honestly, there wasn’t a lot that we could find that was publicly available. 

Nicole: We know that Delphine of Just Patterns shares financial progress reports every year on her blog. And she started extending her sizes in 2019, starting with two patterns, and she managed to turn a profit that year still, we didn’t see any extra expenditures for the size expansion work that were explicitly called out. 

Now in 2020, she started upgrading more patterns. And again, we didn’t find any major expenditures to do so. Now, some costs we found that might have been applicable to size expansions were $442 for learning, $156 for an additional dress form, and $813 to pay testers, and that just covers the fabric and printing the pattern. There’s a lot of other expenditures that she had, but none of them stand out as strictly related to expanding a size range. We will link to her blog in the show notes for you to take a look. So one thing for designers to consider is making sure that at the outset their patterns account for grading costs, it’s the first thing that you can do to ensure that your pattern is inclusive of fat bodies right at the outset.

Ada: Right, I was chatting about this with Gabby Brown (@ladygrift on IG), a fellow Denver-based sewist who is also a technical fashion designer and fit specialist. Gabby is the person you may know as Dear Gabby over on the Sewcialists, she had a regular column answering sewists’ fit questions, and she has fashion industry experience. 

She explained that when she develops a block, she does all of the sizes at the same time – plus, straight, and petite to make sure they all have the same design aesthetic. Then, for each block, the base size pattern has to be approved and in the corporate world, it can sometimes take 4-6 samples of each base size, so 12-18 total, to approve something that works. Admittedly, if an indie pattern designer is or has a skilled patternmaker, this might take less tries or less time, but if their patternmaker charges on an hourly basis this can get expensive. 

So the logical conclusion Gabby and I reached was that the cost-effective thing to do would be to make a new, third block, and then start to work it into new patterns moving forwards. But of course, this is at odds with pattern designers’ sales interests, which is to generate sales to pay the bills and make a profit. 

At the same time, I think there are a ton of patterns out there that we can all name that have been popular for years, and there isn’t as high of a trend turnover in the indie sewing pattern world as there is in let’s say fast fashion (although there are some pattern companies that just churn out new patterns), so it feels like most designers, if they made a pretty good pattern in a size inclusive range, they could ride that pattern for years and recoup their upfront costs over time.

I know that brings up cash flow issues and then the question of – is a designer doing this full time or is it a secondary source of income for them? And I personally think we’re at an inflection point with the indie sewing pattern design market, like there are still new companies starting which is fantastic, but there are also some that have grown large enough to hire a team or partner with the big 4. And when you are large enough to do that, just like any other business, you have to decide if you’re going to keep investing in the business yourself or bring on outside investors, or if you’re going to get a small business loan or line of credit to invest in your business. And maybe some designers are doing this and not talking about it, but also maybe some designers don’t know that this is an option to fund a size expansion, or even other ideas like crowdfunding or a Patreon-esque subscription like Muna and Broad do. 

I think what most frustrates me is that this is such a creative community of people, clearly, we make fantastic things! But, I’m not seeing that creative thinking being applied to figuring out how to solve this problem. 

Gabby also pointed out that there’s not a lot of plus-size drafting information out there – like it’s just not taught in design school at all. She gained experience from working at companies that carry those size ranges but if she hadn’t been exposed that way, then she wouldn’t have picked up those skills.

Nicole: One thing we’d like to ask pattern makers to consider is, why are you in the business of designing patterns for people? And who are you designing those patterns for? And yes, it might require a large investment to offer a wider range of sizes. And yes, it is tough to run a small business, especially if you don’t come from a place of privilege. Now we urge you to factor in the budget and the time for inclusive sizing as a necessary expense from the very start. It is so worth it.

Ada: Lastly, we know that talking about the size of our bodies can be such an emotionally fraught, tough subject for so many of us. We know that looking in the mirror and seeing ‘skinny’ or ‘fat’ carries so many complexities. It’s been something I’ve struggled with and something I know my mom has struggled with too. My mom has a hip measurement in the high 40s and has struggled with her weight for my entire life. I can’t remember a time when it wasn’t “an issue”. 

She’s going through some medical stuff right now and when we were at her doctor’s office, she made a comment that I wanted to share. She said, “Most people with (this condition) lose weight, why didn’t I lose weight?!” Which just made me so sad. Like, she’s just been told she has a major medical issue, and she was less concerned about her treatment and more concerned about losing weight. And so you wonder where I get my body image issues from….

Anyway, we’d like to offer the reminder that we’re making our clothes fit our bodies and the shapes that they are, and we all deserve patterns to fit us. All our bodies deserve to be clothed with care and love and fun and delight.

Nicole: And on that note, our episode well, our entire podcast is meant to uplift marginalized voices and give you our perspectives. We’ve loved that some of you are listening from another perspective, the perspective of privilege. If you would like to be an ally, please do the work. So in the context of size inclusivity, straight size folks should take on the responsibility for reviewing what’s already out there, including listening to this podcast. And since you’re listening to my voice right now you’ve made it to the end. So yay! Listen to the Punk Frockers episodes, and read what fat sewists have already said, use these resources to formulate your plan for being an ally. 

Just to recontextualize it, because we spent a couple of episodes on this, you know, cultural appropriation. For cultural appropriation, it’s especially incumbent upon white folks to review what’s already out there, listen to the podcast, read a plethora of material that’s already out there and use those resources to formulate your plan as an outline. If you’re looking for what not to do, it’s ask advice of people who are negatively affected by the issue you’re seeking to better understand like size inclusivity, or cultural appropriation. So, straight size people, don’t DM Leila asking her to help you figure out how to be a better ally. That’s asking her to do more free labor when there are many opportunities for you to read and hear her thoughts. There’s also Google, just to do the work. 

I do want to add that we here at the podcast have gotten a lot of messages from folks who want to engage in further discussion. However, they’re often geared toward asking us how they can better understand things, seeking validation for their past or current actions or to alleviate guilt that they’ve had over past actions. We can’t help you figure out what you should or should not do with regard to some of the difficult subjects that we cover like size inclusivity, or cultural appropriation, we can’t help you navigate your identity as a person of privilege. We can’t help you interpret your actions as offensive or inoffensive. 

We have already done the labor of presenting our point of view, to try to provide further things for you to consider as you navigate your own journeys. Circling back again to the entire purpose of this podcast, it is to uplift voices of marginalized people. So we ask that you please think twice before asking us questions seeking direction and validation for actions that you may have taken in the past or are currently taking. 

That being said, we did want to thank you for listening and joining us for season one. This is the last episode of the season, and we wanted to shout out to everyone at the Asian Sewist Collective who participated this season in no particular order, so shout out to Mariko, Eileen, Aarti, Shilyn, Leslie, Cindy, Esther, Constance, Ellen, Henry, Erica, and Jana. Congratulations, yay, we did it! Four months ago, none of us were podcasters. And look at us now. And big, big thank you to my co host, Ada Chen for conceiving of this podcast, bringing us all together and keeping this ship afloat. None of this would be possible without you. 

We are going to take at least a few weeks off before we begin planning for season two. During the offseason, we will be continuing to post on our Instagram, featuring makes from our Collective and other Asian sewists, clips from the pod, some that have never been before listened to that did never maybe they didn’t make it to the pod. You’ll have to listen to find out! And resources that center around the Asian community that we think our listeners will appreciate.

Ada: And with that, thank you so much for joining us on this week’s episode of the Asians Sewist Collective podcast, this is the end of season one so we will be taking a little break over the summer. Whoo, whoo. But we do have some fun and thought provoking episodes in the works for next season already. So please make sure you’re subscribed, so you don’t miss us when we’re back for season two. 

If you like our show, you can support us by following us on Instagram at @AsianSewistCollective, that’s one word, Asian Sewist Collective. You can also spread the word and tell your friends, we would love it if you could rate, review and subscribe to this podcast on Apple Podcasts, PocketCasts, Spotify, or wherever you get your podcasts. All of the links and resources we mentioned in today’s episode will be in the show notes on our website. That’s asiansewistcollective.com. And we’d love to hear from you. Email us with your questions, comments, or even ideas and thoughts for season two, or voice messages if you’d like to be featured on a future episode at asiansewistcollective(at)gmail(dot)com.

Nicole: This episode is brought to you by your co-hosts Ada Chen and Nicole Angeline. This episode was researched by Mariko Abe and Aarti Ravi, produced by Eileen Leung, and edited by Shilyn Joy and Leslie Rehm Hunt. Thank you so much to the other members of our Collective who made this week’s episode of reality. This is the Asian Sewist Collective podcast and we’ll see you next season.

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