I’ve been actively sewing for hours a day for most days and I love it. Well, most days I love it. But there are a lot of times that I just don’t feel like going through the whole process of creating something. And so many people have asked me what I do when I don’t feel like sewing so I figured it was time I gave an answer. So… what do you do when you don’t feel like sewing?
I used to try and press myself to do it anyway and then I ended up messing up like a whole lot–neckbands on wrong, rompers with the front of the bottoms on the back of the top, and other simple mistakes. And then I would resent the garment. Silly, yes, but hey, that’s who I am.
Sometimes I Don’t Feel Like Sewing And That’s Ok
For something that’s not my full-time job (yet), sewing takes up a lot of time, energy, finances, and mental space. When I’m not sewing, I’m often thinking about what I need to sew so that my fabric stash doesn’t topple over and take me out. And then there are all of the tests, fabric strikes, and promos that need to get done. I love sewing. I love creating. But during the times I don’t feel like sewing, I really try to honor that feeling while taking a look at why I’m feeling that way.
Sometimes I’ve been doing really hard or intense sews that make my brain tired because I’m having to learn new skills or practice ones that I’m just proficient at. I normally try and keep my projects to around an hour. When they go over that, it can really wear me out after a day of working, parenting, and otherwise living.
There are other times I’ve just been doing back-to-back tests for things I like but don’t necessarily feel like sewing. Why make them, right? Because I’m loyal to my community of sewists that want to be able to see themselves in patterns. I know what it’s like to see a pattern that’s cute but not see anyone with a FUPA, Black or plus-sized at all. It really makes me feel like my body type isn’t appreciated even though I know that’s not the truth.
My Why Determines What I Do
I want to preface this by saying that being in need of a break, taking a rest, etc for however long is absolutely acceptable. Sewing as a hobby should be pleasurable. In fact, sewing or crafting as a business should also be pleasurable as well and if it isn’t, taking time to reevaluate is a good thing.
If I don’t want to sew because I’ve been doing too many tests, I make something that I feel like making. I love making panties, biker shorts, oversized tees, or other pieces that I’m inspired by via social media or magazines. After moving and taking a much-needed break from sewing, I made this Skims dress dupe when I saw some of my favorite influencers wearing it. Not only did it fit beautifully, but I just felt so good making something that wasn’t for promo and just for me.
Sometimes life gets overwhelming and sewing IS NOT your therapy. Don’t sew. You don’t have to push yourself to do something that’s just not in your spirit. But if you’re saying you do want to sew, start by touching your fabric and browsing Pinterest for inspiration. Or browse my Instagram feed (yes, that’s a shameless plug *wink wink*). Getting inspired can lead to exciting sews.
Whatever you do, make sure that you’re honoring your reasons for needing a sewing break.
I got the news about being selected to be a BERNINA Brand Ambassador when I was doing an Instagram Live. I saw the email pop up and I couldn’t catch myself or stop the natural excited reaction that I had. See, I really struggle with being seen as a person of influence within the sewing community. I mean, I’m just a self-taught sewist that loves creating. While my sewing community has consistently affirmed that I’m more than “just” that, being seen and acknowledged by my dream brand BERNINA is just the icing on the cake!
See My Reaction To Becoming A BERNINA Brand Ambassador!
So What Does It Mean To Be A BERNINA Brand Ambassador?
Everything. Just kidding!
When you’re a brand ambassador for any brand, you’re essentially an extension of them. All of the BA’s get to choose a machine that we get to know and share on our timelines on IG or YouTube–I’m working to build this up so be sure to subscribe! We’re also responsible for getting to know the brand in an intimate way so that we can speak intelligently about the different machines that they offer. Submitting posts to the We All Sew blog is also part of it and I’m looking forward to this!
What Machine Did I Get?
So happy you asked!!! I got the BERNINA B590 and I am so in love. I know, why did I get an embroidery machine when I primarily sew knits and apparel? Well, I want to make embroidery cool. For some, it already is. But when I think of embroidery, I think of my old school, grandma-ish embroidery that feels outdated–no shade to those who love this aesthetic. I want to do fresh embroidery that looks really good. Over the past couple of years, I’ve fallen in love with embroidered fabrics I get from So Sew English so now I want to create some things for myself and my family that makes them say, “WOW! This is so cool!”
Well friends, be sure to follow along my BERNINA journey and ask all the questions so I can be sure to create content that answers them!
Plus-Size Street Style: Made For Mermaids Tai + Ruby
Friends, I finally left my house after being holed up for more than a year. I did it. I met up with some girlfriends and we went out to have lunch at a local eatery. But before I left, I seriously had to do a Pinterest search for “Plus-Size Brunch Outfits”–don’t judge me! As I browsed some really cute images, I was inspired by a spaghetti (or noodle strap as my daughter calls it) midi dress with a shirt under it. It’s still pretty chilly here in Atlanta sometimes so I knew this would be perfect–especially since I had my favorite Made for Mermaids Tai in black and colorful Ruby. So boom. Let’s get into some plus-size street style: me made edition.
I’m not going to lie. I wanted to make a brand new outfit but that just wasn’t in the cards for today. Also: I have made enough clothes this past year that I really don’t need to make anything new!
Since we were going to eat, I knew I wanted to be in something that was not only comfortable but also stretchy just in case my belly got a little more full than anticipated–sis loooooves some chips and salsa! I made both of these pieces last year and knew it would be perfect.
Me Made Plus-Size Street Style
The Made For Mermaids Tai Bodysuit + Midi Ruby Dress
Last year when the Made for Mermaids Ruby Dress pattern tested, I made an obscene amount. I mean, I have tie-dye, dinosaurs, solids, etc. It is the perfect layering piece.
This pattern comes in a couple of different lengths from a tank down to a maxi and everything in between. There’s also the option to do a cute little slit in the front. Midi length is my absolute fave though. There’s something about where it hits on your calf that is just so sexy to me! The Ruby is a form-fitting dress that has a sway-back adjustment already built-in. It is *chefs kiss* perfect for every body!
Styling a form fitting dress can be tricky because you don’t want bunching underneath nor do you want the lines that can come with layering. This is why the Tai bodysuit was a perfect option. The Tai bodysuit has lots of options too–long/short sleeves and different cut lines for back and front pieces. I love a low back so all mine have that.
One of the things that I’m really happy that I did during the pandemic is start making basics from solids. I have so much fabric that is patterned but not enough solids to compliment this patterned makes. Having these solids in your wardrobes are key to building a versatile and cohesive closet. And also: Black is such a must in every wardrobe!
I swear… 2020 was the biggest clusterfuck in the world but you know what else? It also served some amazing lessons. My biggest one was in being more intentional about my energy. This is something that I talked about briefly over on my main site TheCrunchyMommy.com. But it’s also really been eye-opening for me to think through what that looks like here, on this site.
Sewing has been one of the things that has brought me so much joy. I love being able to create something from nothing and have it be really functional. It just really does something to my spirit. But is it just going to stay a hobby or should this be a business?
This is the question I don’t know the answer too. I’m not sure if it’s my imposter syndrome or what but I really wonder if this could be something bigger than a hobby for me. I love creating. I even love making things for others once I get past the anxiety…
Getting into some updates
I have time to decide since I need my life to settle a little more…
It Never Fails That When You’re Ready To Move On Something, The Universe Pauses You
Friends, after 2020 I was really hoping for a smooth transition into 2021. But alas, smooth has yet to come. We got COVID 19 at the beginning of the year. We were lucky because either it was a mild strain or the non-stop stream of information on how to beat COVID was effective in how we treated it. Either way, we weren’t down for long.
Then February my oldest turned 11 (yay!!!) and we had an opportunity to settle before March 1 when my landlord told us we had 60 days to vacate the house we’ve been living in for almost 3 years. Fun times. So now we’re in the process of buying a house and getting moved in and we have less than 30 days to wrap this process up. But once that’s done, I have some serious goals for myself:
Finish my Pattern Making Course
I don’t know if this means I’ll be coming out with my own line of patterns or what but this is a skill I want to have mastered.
Blog Here Regularly
I love this space and community that I’ve created here on the Needle and the Belle and this is something that I want to continue to grow and foster. Like I want to be a force in the craft world.
Decide If This Is For Money Or Hobby
I need to make that decision so that I can really be intentional about the energy that I’m applying. In my head, I want to be the plus-size, Black version of MimiG.
Thanks for continuing to show up here even when I haven’t! 2021 is going to be the best year–just as soon as I get settled!
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It’s time for another #SMS2020 Sew! This month I’m excited to be sewing the Dionne Duster from my friends Sew Altered Style. They are the designers behind one of my favorite Misty Tank that I hacked after I tested it. I haven’t made this duster yet and honestly, I’m not sure why because Macharva’s pictures of hers are always swoon-worthy!
Choosing The Fabric For The Dionne Duster
The beauty of dusters is that they can literally be made from anything. The fabric choice will determine the fit and feel of them as well as how dressy or casual they are. Because we’re currently in COVID19 times, I’m basically living in comfort. Sure, I’m sewing some other things outside of the cardigans, sports bras and leggings that I’m living in but even those are PEEK comfort.
My Favorite Cozy Fabrics
French Terry is basically my favorite fabric. I could live in the coziness that it brings forth. There are different blends (polyester, cotton, jersey) and then there’s also brushed. Brushed means that one side of the fabric has been “brushed” making it super soft.
I found out about Oakley in 2019 from So Sew English. It’s a form of sweater knit that feels like the love child between French Terry and Double Brushed Polyester. It is so soft and warm and cozy and it doesn’t pill.
Confession: I don’t love the way hacci feels on my skin. It’s almost scratchy? But brushed hacci? Whew! Now this is soft and cozy and is perfect for both tops and bottoms. The brushed form of hacci is definitely on my list!
I love wearing waffle fabric but I don’t really love sewing with it. I know… How can you love it and hate it at the same time. But for some reason keeping it together while I’m sewing is hard with some waffle blends. But the softer ones? I love!
Because I want to wear this sweater often, choosing a fabric that will be easily worn with like, everything, is important! So… here are some of the fabrics I’m looking at:
Brushed Black French Terry
Brushed Sweater Knit
Mustard Rib Sweater Knit
Can you see my theme here???
So tell me, what fabric do you think I should go for with my Dionne Duster? Or maybe I should mix things up and do something totally different!
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!