Hey friends! In case you missed it, my name is Aaronica and I’m a plus sized sewist living in Atlanta. It’s taken me about 3 years to finally accept that I am indeed a seamstress and sewist (the new age term) but now I almost fully embrace it.
A Little Bit Of History…
I started sewing when I was 13. My mom used to sew, my grandmother used to sew and I guess my mom wanted me to do something with my busy hands that would keep me out of trouble. So she found a sewing class for me where she stuck myself and a neighbor in to learn how to sew. I thought it was really cool but we made this drawstring bag and I wasn’t completely sold.
Then I ventured off on my own and made my brother a shirt. It went something like this…
Yeah. So I stopped sewing until I was around 24. And even then the patterns were too hard for me to follow. I made a New Year’s Eve dress and then was finished–again.
But I Sew Now!
After having my second child, I couldn’t lose the weight. That’s when I started sewing for myself. The things I would buy would either fit my top or my bottom–not both. And NOTHING was nursing friendly! So I fell in love with Facebook Fabric Groups and PDF Patterns and the rest is history.
Why I love sewing…
I feel so empowered in truth. Having the ability to take a heap of fabric and turn it into whatever I want is so fun. Some of the things I’m proudest of are socks. I know, socks? But I took some of my husbands old socks and made our son socks from them. I was amazed, my husband was not lol!
But it’s really nice to be able to make myself the things I’ve seen on Pinterest or in stores that weren’t made in my size. It also feels so good to look amazing in my clothes again!
So… This is my story! Tell me yours in the comments!
Also, check out these ladies and their stories too!!!
Check out the stories from all the House of Curves bloggers!
Can you believe that fall is knocking on the door? It feels like it was just yesterday that I was stalking and trying to figure out what to use for spring and here we are getting ready for another season change. Naturally, I’m sitting here reviewing my must-haves for fall wardrobe patterns.
The short answer: all of them. Ha!
Obviously this is not sustainable for the amount of time that I have available to sew but there’s a method to how I decide what patterns to use.
A Guide To Your Fall Wardrobe Patterns
When it comes to deciding on fall wardrobe patterns, it’s best to use a mix of more complicated patterns with some easier patterns. My normal makes don’t take longer than an hour to make from cut to finish.
Bananas, yes. But this is because of my lifestyle. I run a business (or 3) from home where I also homeschool my 3 children. Time is of the essence and I don’t have a whole lot of it. But those simple patterns can’t be the only thing in my wardrobe!
Depending on your sewing capabilities, these are normally your basics made with knits that don’t involve any extras like buttons, zippers, or ties. Some of my faves are:
And these are literally just a couple of my go-to patterns.
More Complex Patterns
The harder the makes, the more accomplished I feel. I’ve yet to fully jump into jeans patterns (namely because it’s hard to find plus size jeans patterns). This fall I do plan on making some of them though as well as some harder skirts. I’m loving the Women’s Sundance Skirt from Petite Stitchery–this is a must make for me this fall.
Define Your Style
This will be the key determining factor in what patterns to use. I’m sticking with a more boho-chic feel–think flare jeans, crop tops, flowy dresses–with accents of bold Ankara prints. Because I plan on using a lot of woven fabrics, this will influence my choice in patterns as well.
So tell me–have you gotten your fall style together? What are you must-have fall wardrobe patterns?
I shared with you guys one of my recent makes of the Ellie And Mac Tulip Dress and I’m basically obsessing over the tulip style dress. In truth, I have been for some time but I never wanted to go through the trial and error of creating the different styles myself. The DIBY Club recently released a new patterns called the Rosa Dress.
The DIBY Club Rosa Dress
The Rosa Dress has 3 lengths–top, knee length and maxi dress. The top is a dolman style and feels amazing. There was a picture on Pinterest of this beautiful tulip dress that was the inspiration. Every time I would see it, I wanted a thousand of them. And now I can make them!!!
Ok friends, this pattern is going to cost you quite a bit in both paper and fabric depending upon what size you go for. It’s a total of 62 pages for the entire pattern. Yes, I know, that’s a lot but it’s totally worth it. Once the fabric is cut, it took me maaaaaybe 45 minutes to put it together. I opted to leave my edges raw and I love the look.
Fabric Options and Styling
I’ve seen some of the other testers do the tops which came out cute worn with shorts or jeans. The fabric will totally determine the styling of this dress. I used a rayon spandex from Pretty Posh Prints that is dreamy. But I think that if you were make it with a jersey fabric or something more casual than it could be dressed down.
This definitely gets 4.5 needles out of 5. The only downfall is how many pages it takes to print but otherwise, it’s super easy and doesn’t take much time.
In my head, I’m a classic kind of girl. And honestly, one of my styles does include some of the classic feel–if we’re talking like classically boho-chic. When I saw this dress I just knew that I had to challenge myself to make it. It was just so cute!!!
Patterns for Pirates So Classic Sundress
Let’s chat options:
Bodice: buttons, center seam, plain
Straps: regular, halter
Skirt: mini, knee, maxi
Yes, that means that you can have alllll the dresses you need and they’ll all look different! For mini I made the maxi dress with plain front and regular straps. For myself, I made the knee length, buttons, and regular straps.
I love that this pattern didn’t require much in printing. A lot of the pieces are rectangles and the measurements are part of the tutorial. But if I’m being completely honest, this was the hardest dress I’ve ever completed–mine that is. It had a lot to do with fabric choice and working with my measurements. Because this is a fitted dress, your measurements matter A LOT!
Mini’s dress was way easier for some reason and I think it’s because I was adjusting her elastic from the outside but mine was a little more challenging. Our matching dresses were made out of some kind of thin denim made of 62% Cotton and 38% Lyocell that I got from Joann’s. I LOVE how it looks. It’s so beautiful but sewing with it was a challenge because it kept stretching! And I didn’t iron it before cutting out my pieces.
It’s important to note that in order for your fabric to be fitted properly, you need to iron BEFORE cutting. This may seem obvious but it wasn’t for me.
Fabric Choice and Styling
The sky is literally the limit with this pattern. I used both the thin fabric as well as a thicker African wax made from cotton. They draped totally different and have two totally different feels. I hacked the pattern to create a separates outfit with the African wax fabric and I’m so in love. I’ve worn this with just a white t-shirt tied up to be a crop length and have felt so beautiful!
This pattern gets a 4 out of 5 needles. It’s definitely a must-have pattern but it’s not the easiest pattern to make! It’s totally worth it in the end though!
I swear… Every time I’m on Pinterest I see some variation of the tulip dress. Some are maxi’s, some are high-low hems, and some are your basic ones. Either way, I’ve always wanted one! So when Ellie & Mac tested theirs, I jumped on that bandwagon as fast as I could!
Ellie And Mac Tulip Dress & Tunic Pattern
Ok so let’s talk pattern options. You can do two lengths–dress and tunic. I’m sure that more lengths can be hacked but that’s another post for another day *wink wink*. It comes with short, 3/4 and long sleeves. There are no pockets here but I’m sure you can add them if you wanted.
The directions were pretty easy to follow–definitely way easier than I anticipated. I was thinking this was going to be a super hard dress to make but it wasn’t! It didn’t require too much paper while printing which is always a plus. The only part that could be seen as a little challenging was creating the tulip with the ruching. The ruching wasn’t too hard but making sure it was even and lined up properly was a little bit of a challenge.
Fabric Options & Styling
You definitely want to make sure you’re using a 4-way stretch. Because mama has a couple things to hide, I chose a cotton lycra. I think CL is way forgiving when smoothing out your lovely lady lumps on more fitted pieces. I actually made this fabric and was hoarding it for months until I could decide on the perfect pattern for it. This was it! I also love the versatility in styling it. I paired mine with Chucks but this could easily be dressed up with heels.
This is a must have pattern. It’s soooo on trend that taking 2 hours to whip one up yourself is truly priceless! This pattern definitely gets 5 out of 5 needles!
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!