Happy New Year friends! 2019 was filled with SO much sewing–I tried to put together one of those nifty grids that showed all my sews and, well, it took a really long time to get through. I got up to some 150 sews and I was barely halfway through. Amidst all of my sewing, I was also doing some pretty cool things–including being invited to be a 2020 Sew My Style (SMS) Leader!
2020 Sew My Style (SMS)
This year Sew My Style (SMS) is being more intentional about including the face of all sewists–including more inclusive sizing, different cuts, and styles that support different fits. Just like how the world is changing, so is that of sewing and it’s something that should be reflected in SMS. This year’s head leader, Paulette, has been intentional about choosing leaders, patterns and more that make ALL of us feel welcomed.
What Is SMS?
Sew My Style is an online sewing challenge. Each month we all sew up one of two patterns and then show off our garments together on the last day, as one community.
It’s also one of the longest-running sewing challenges, having started in 2017 and run continuously since then thanks to a number of volunteer vloggers and bloggers.
Originally it was called Project Sew My Style and started by Alex Bartholomew to raise awareness about the slow fashion industry movement and encourage young women to take up sewing.
Since then, the online sewing community has grown tremendously and standards of inclusivity and diversity have evolved.
The challenge is no longer focused on a small segment of the sewing population. Instead, we actively encourage participation from all shapes, sizes, ages, ethnicities, and genders. The make-up of the 2020 leadership team of sewing bloggers and vloggers reflects this evolution.
So yeah, it’s a super dope YEAR LONG sewing challenge.
Why I Decided To Join SMS
Full disclosure: Before Paulette told our House of Curves group that she was going to be taking over the responsibility of the challenge, I didn’t know what it was. I volunteered because I really respect her and was looking forward to something that would get me out of my sewing comfort zone. And then I got excited about the patterns. Then I got excited about the things I could do with the patterns.
And then I got excited because I get to represent some amazing people. Being a plus-sized black woman in an area that doesn’t always welcome us can be hard. It doesn’t feel good to not see myself in patterns, fabrics and represented in an area I love. But this is rapidly changing and I’m happy.
The holiday season is here and ready to get all your coins! Instead of giving them away on a gift that you aren’t sure will even be loved by the person you’re giving it to, I’ve put together the best of the best in holiday gifting this season for the sewist in your life. Check out my choices here. Also, many of these links are an affiliate and using them supports my fabric habits!
It’s been about 2 years since I’ve made a top that has the cute back like this one here. When I first made them, I swore my brain was broken! I couldn’t figure out the knot part at all. Needless to say, I’ve practiced a lot and can now whip these up pretty quickly.
Patterns for Pirates Twist Back Top
When I made my top years ago, my kids wanted one but there was no youth pattern. I was super excited that this new release from P4P included both youth and adult sizing. In addition to the different sizing, there’s the option for both tank and sleeved options.
Youth Twist Back Top
I made both of my girls the tops because of quickly these come together. My youngest is wearing a 5T and my oldest is wearing a size 12–I’m crying at how big they’ve both gotten!!! My oldest wore hers all day and then put it back on the next one so I’m thinking this is definitely a winner.
Adult Twist Back Top
So I’m fairly certain that I’m going to be making a thousand of these for the fall and winter. I love how low the knot is in the back. The different sleeve options make it really versatile for styling and seasons. I have a light black sweater knit that I plan on making and wearing it backward for a plunge v-neck style to wear on a date with my husband!
Styling & Fabric
The tank option I totally will wear once I get off my butt and start working out again. The blue fabric is like a lightweight burnout fabric and is so perfect for working out. The rest of them are a delicious French terry that has a 4-way stretch and is incredibly soft. I can totally see this being made in all fabrics really. I can’t wait to do one in a sweater!
I’ve been sitting on the Rachel Jumpsuit from AK Patterns for over 2 months. I was so nervous to make it because not only is it super cute, but it’s everything that I’d been looking for in a jumpsuit for the summer. I started testing with AK Patterns earlier this year and really love Athina’s patterns so I shouldn’t have been nervous at all.
The Rachel Jumpsuit
This pattern is a wide leg pant drafted for woven fabrics. It features a pleat in the front with a dart in the back offering a beautifully tailored look. There is the option to just have it as pants with an invisible zipper in the back to close it in or to create a jumpsuit. Athina has photos of herself in the Rachel Jumpsuit wearing denim and that’s my inspiration behind this make here!
Naturally, I did have to make some mods. I chose to use stretch denim from Joann’s so I needed to make sure that I adjusted the waist area for that. I ended up making my pleats 2inches in the front and doubled the size of the darts in the back to accommodate this. I also took the waistband in about 4 inches to make sure that it didn’t fall off me.
I also did a full butt adjustment that increased my rise in the back to accommodate this booty that doesn’t quit *wink wink*. The last adjustment I made was in adding 2 inches to the length of the bodice part. After wearing it all day, I think I could have gotten away without adding any additional length because the fabric was stretchy.
Changes I Would Make
Because I waited until the last minute to make this jumper before heading out of town, I was really just freestyling it. I did something wrong with one of the pockets that caused the front leg to be longer than the back on one side so I had to cut the legs down making it shorter than I wanted. I plan on creating cuffs to give it some length. Next time I’ll legit use a woven fabric that doesn’t stretch to see how that feels too!
Overall I love this pattern and can’t wait to make another one!
Love this look? Grab your pattern here while it’s on sale!
This post contains affiliate links. For more details on what this means, see my PR and Disclosures.
Friends. I have been a busy body sewing all the things that I haven’t had time to share BUT I just HAVE to share this hack that I did on the inaugural pattern from Sew Altered Style. I tested the Misty Cami which already comes with some really great options. And then I hacked it!
The Misty Cami
This pattern is the pinnacle slip cami and dress. The pattern comes with two options for the straps (straight or crisscrossed) and two lengths (top and dress with belt). I tested the top length with the straight, basic straps.
I love how this fits me. Sew Altered Style is really on to something with their pattern grading, sizing, and style. But I expect this as the designers themselves have such beautiful, tailored styles. My original test was graded from a 16 upper bust out to a 30 in the hips.
Something that I’m learning about sewing for my body is that while my hip measurement falls into the higher sizing, it’s not really because of my hips, but my booty. This is important to note for proper fit–especially with woven fabrics.
The Hack: Widen Straps + Gathered Peplum
I have a love-hate relationship with gathering–I absolutely love the look. But the way my laziness is set up, I prefer not to do the extra step. These simple differences made a big difference.
Widening the straps:
This was simple–instead of cutting 2 of the straps which is what the pattern says to do, I cut 4 of them and sewed two of them together with right sides together. I turned them creating a strap that was double in width.
This was super easy too.
I measured 8inches up from the bottom of the pattern and this was my guide. You can either cut or fold the pattern to the new length. For the gathered piece, I cut 3 strips of the width of fabric at 9 inches (to account for hemming and attaching to the bodice). Generally speaking you either want to double the width of the total measurement for the piece you’ll be attaching it to or do it 1.5 greater–mine was about this.
Using the serger, I attached the 3 strips together and then gathered it along the longest side. Pulling the strings, you gather the fabric and then space it out evenly and attach it to the bodice that has been completed via the normal instructions.
The last step is to hem your Misty Cami and boom! Hacked it!
Which version do you love more: the original Misty Cami or the hack?
My name is Aaronica and I'm the sewist behind The Needle and the Belle. I started sewing when I was 13 and then fell back in love with sewing through PDF patterns. I now document my pieces I make here!