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leopard print with bow
Leopard print belted

I made this skirt on Friday night. By Sunday, I had worn it twice. On its maiden voyage, I dressed it up for a Saturday night concert with this chocolate brown silk charmeuse blouse. Sunday morning, I wore it to church with a black sweater and a vintage belt.

The whole idea for this skirt originated with Bella Q., who suggested a leopard print skirt with a blouse I purchased from her Etsy store. I went on a world-wide search without success and finally thought, “Hey, I could make that.” This is the second time I’ve used this pattern. Repetition made it a snap. I was happy, happy, happy when I finished it and wore it in the same weekend, thanks to Miss Bella.

It’s so rewarding to wear what you make! If you’ve been thinking about sewing again, start with a simple skirt like this one.

What I like about it: it fits perfectly.

What I don’t like about it: it fits perfectly…and it’s a size 14! Pattern sizes are nothing like ready-to-wear, so you can’t get your ego wrapped around a certain number.

No one should think about the meaning of size when they choose a garment. The only questions that matter: 1) does this fit and 2) does this make me look my best––right now? If the answer is yes, then dig it, no matter what the size! Sewing is really the perfect way to flatter your body no matter what your size or shape because everything can be customized to fit.

Accepting the fact that I was a large on the size chart made me think about how much larger my life could be. Every woman has an idea of her target dress size–which is usually a size or two smaller than she is. (Not counting my friend Wyndy, who is so petite that she recently tried on 27 dresses without finding a proper fit.) But a smaller life? Who wants that?

Here are 10 ways to check the size of your mindset.

Size small: Everything you read or watch matches your opinion. You can’t stand to hear the other side of an issue. It would rearrange your world to change your mind. Size large: You subscribe to several different newspapers and get your news from a variety of sources. You listen carefully for understanding, even if the views expressed aren’t your own. You are open to changing your mind.

Size small: You keep your nose to the grindstone and rarely take time off. Size large: You work hard, but friends and family know they can count on you in times of need or just for companionship.

Size small: You plan your career, define your relationships, practice your religion, and raise your family by a blueprint of correctness. Size large: You are open to divine possibilities and walk by faith—even if you don’t know where it leads.

Size small: You protect your kids from all hardship and people in positions of authority unless they do things exactly as you would. Size large: You allow your children to experience age appropriate suffering as a fact of life that helps them build compassion and character. You regard most adults in positions of authority as part of your child’s training for life—even if they don’t lead or nurture the same way you do.

Size small: You surround yourself with people as blessed as you are. You seldom keep company with anyone who doesn’t share your religious or political perspective. Ditto for age and family circumstances. Size large: You notice those around you whose needs are greater than yours because you travel in places where you will meet them. You welcome the chance to see the world from others’ point of view and listen without trying to convince or convert them to yours.

Size small: You try to keep your life looking perfect, even if you’re dying inside. Size large: You selectively allow others to see that your life is imperfect—which gives people the opportunity to know the real you and creates less space between you and everyone else.

Size small: You focus all your efforts on helping people you already know. You want to be sure your help goes only to worthy people. Size large: You extend help to people without needing to know or judge their whole story.

Size small: You maintain careful routines that keep you comfortable and happy. Size large: You expose yourself to different music, food, and activities and are not afraid to risk failure.

Size small: You are always looking inward at your problems, your needs, your opportunities, your past, your mistakes, your injustices, your victories. You organize reasons for your unhappiness, craving or lack. Size large: You stay grounded by always looking outward at the world and the ways you can contribute to its needs with what you have now. You organize yourself for actions that feel good, help others and show gratitude for your blessings.

Size small: You keep everyone around you happy, even if you are miserable. You adopt the thinking of others to avoid sorting out your own thoughts. Size large: You act according to reason and conscience—not what other people expect. You don’t default to black or white on life’s difficult questions.

As I age, I hope my world won’t be  just a menu of familiar routines and people that keep me comfortable. Sooner or later, the world might get so small that I would only have one person to satisfy––me! Pathetic! What’s your favorite idea for living large? (I’m linking with Patti’s Visible Monday at Not Dead Yet Style for this post, so go check it out and you’ll meet some sensational bloggers.

Life is short. Wear the good stuff.