Kibbe, Style, Flying, Floating

“Nobody really metamorphoses. Cinderella is always Cinderella, just in a nicer dress. The Ugly Duckling was always a swan, just a smaller version. And I bet the tadpole and the caterpillar still feel the same, even when they’re jumping and flying, swimming and floating.

Just like I am now.” 

Holly Smale, Geek Girl

I find this quote quite true as I reflect on my recent journey, and also hilarious when taken in the context of this post about the book David Kibbe wrote in the late 80s, named Metamorphosis, which was all about dressing for your body shape/size/build and features. I didn’t actually read the book, as the internet is quite hyped about Kibbe and his 13 categories right now. If you want to do your own research, or even determine what category you fit into, go for it. Take it all with a grain of salt, and try to come away with something that moves you forward in a positive direction.

However, as the quote says, I am not really “changing” from one thing to another. I am making an intentional choice to to put my style focus in a specific direction, based on the advice I gleaned from multiple sources, including years of trying on various types of clothing, reading some fashion blogs, watching fashion shows like What Not to Wear or Love, Lust or Run, and most recently, these new-to-me Kibbe guidelines. One of the best Kibbe posts I have read is by Dr. T Designs. Not only does she have a great main post that explains and details the various Kibbe categories, she also has done a detailed post about each category over the past few months, COMPLETE WITH PATTERN SUGGESTIONS! She is also starting a personal “Sew Your Kibbe” challenge, that can be incorporated into #makenine2019, or any other various challenges you might find on the interwebs.

After doing one of the multitude of Kibbe tests, reading other people’s viewpoints on Kibbe, trying to figure out where the advice I have gotten from other arenas fits in, I have determined I fit squarely in the Kibbe category “Romantic.” I have an hourglass shape, small bone structure, wispy hair (though I usually use the term “stringy”), and fair skin tone. My face is not as soft and rounded as I think all Romantics supposedly are, but when I look at the “Theatrical Romantic” style, which is described by Dr. T as “femme fatale,” I just know that isn’t me. The best way I can describe it is that Theatrical Romantic leans heavy on the “theatrical” term and is just a bit more loud than the “romantic.”

The image above that I found on pinterest shows the difference between Romantic and Theatrical Romantic style very well. The R focuses on ultra-feminine details, softness, and flow. The TR just has more of an edginess to it. Both shapes would probably look great on me, as the Kibbe rules for both feature a defined waistline, but my personality veers toward the Romantic style much more. As I mentioned in my first post, Kibbe’s “Romantic” style is flowing and soft fabrics; rounded shapes or large floral prints; no stripes, geometric prints, sharp angles or lines; waist accentuation – no boxy tops/dresses; ultra “feminine” styles with flounces, peplums, ruffles, draping; soft or rounded necklines.

I have already done a KonMari style clean-out of my closet (with the Kibbe guidelines in mind), and my next clean-out will be the large pattern stash I have built up. Most of what I have is Big 4 patterns I got on super sale with minimal thought to shape or style for my personal body. I have recently bought a few new patterns, looking at more indie designers, because I hope to find a few that I can get a really good fit. However, I abhor taping PDF patterns together, and will every time pay extra money for a paper version. Many of the indie designers do not offer all (or any) of their patterns other than digitally, so while I am trying to be guided solely by my style focus, I am realizing some of the better pattern choices are going to come in my least-favorite PDF.

Another thing I need to figure out before I go gung-ho into creating a new wardrobe is sizing and fit. Over the holidays I made two Cashmerette Appleton dresses (Kibbe: waist emphasis), but I still don’t have the fit 100% where I like it. This pattern I attempted to lengthen for my torso, and to move the ties and waistline down to my natural waist, but I didn’t do it quite right, and the wrap hangs funny. They are still wearable, but I want to get it perfect for me. I also made a Butterick B6449, but it came out way too big. After seeing a post on a forum about sizing, I am wondering if I am just not starting with the correct size, especially in the Big 4 patterns, as it is a constant issue. Usually I use the choose size by high bust method, and then do a bust adjustment, but the post mentioned that if your bust is higher into your décolleté, the measurement is probably larger than the size you should start with. I have minuscule shoulders, and even doing a narrow shoulder adjustment on the B449, I still didn’t get it small enough to not look like a bag just hanging off of me. So, I am going to google for different fitting styles, check a few fitting books out from the library, and hopefully figure out a way to choose patterns sizes to start so that I don’t end up having to drastically alter after I have cut things out.

I also need to organize all the PDF patterns (that fit Kibbe) that I have purchased over the years, so that I know what I have available to work with. I am not sure if I should just print them all out (obviously I haven’t yet) and store them with the paper patterns in some sort of visual system, or something else. Suggestions for this welcome!

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