Learn more about our contributors whose guest posts add enormously to the knowledge and experience shared here at the Curvy Sewing Collective.
Alyce has been doing crafty stuff since she was old enough to glue popsicle sticks to her fingers. She’s been sewing since she was about ten. She writes novels, has a full-time day job and is the mother of a 22-year-old stuck in the “What if.....” stage. What free time she has, she’s usually trying to upcycle, repurpose or down right re-invent something she found or was given.
Alyce also owns the Savvy Recycler, where she creates custom garments for clients out of repurposed treasures. You can contact Alyce at itsalyce at bis.midco.net.
Andie blogs at Sew Pretty in Pink (sewprettyinpink.wordpress.com). Andie is self-taught and learned how to sew in 2008, but the obsession really took hold in 2013 when Sew Pretty in Pink was born. She sews for body positivity and to create unique garments that let her personality shine through.
Hi! My name is Bettina. I’m a 39 year old journalist and blogger based near Zurich. I love to sew for my daughters and also for myself. (The hubby has to wear ready-to-wear clothes so far.) Since summer 2016 I also blog for Bernina Switzerland. My label is named "Stahlarbeit,“ German for steelwork. I found that quite fitting - all my needles, scissors, seam rippers (got plenty of them) are made of steel.
Follow me on Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest!
A college instructor by day and a seamstress by night, Brenda lives in the Pacific Northwest. She enjoys sewing clothes that fit and can be worn to work or for play. There's often dog hair on her fabric from her fabulous terrier mutt (and sometimes from her husband).
Caroline is a software developer by day, but loves to sew whenever she can. She hasn't been sewing that long, but has jumped in with both feet and now co-owns a fabric store, Spool & Spindle, in Waterloo, Ontario.
Carolyn started sewing at the age of 11, when she started sewing a wardrobe for her Barbie dolls. She moved onto clothing for herself and has sewn for every stage of her life, prom, wedding, maternity and career since. She is mostly self-taught but has taken classes with Cynthia Guffey and is a devotee of Sandra Betzina and Shirley Adams. Carolyn is the author of the blog, Diary of a Sewing Fanatic, was featured in Vogue Pattern Magazine as a Star Blogger. If you asked Carolyn for a few words to describe herself, sewist, dressmaker, creative fiber artist would definitely be on the list. Fabricaholic would also have to be featured prominently! But mostly I am just a fashionista journeying through the sewing world trying to make “magic” with each garment I create. Carolyn blogs at: Diary of a Sewing Fanatic
Claire is an artist and seamstress in the Pacific Northwest. You can see her art (and occasionally her sewing) on Instagram @darkroomlove.
I have recently returned to sewing after a 30 year break. I've come back with an avid thirst to learn every technique possible and to be able to obtain that elusive perfectly fitting garment. I live in North Wales with my husband and what must surely be the dimmest dog ever born.
I blog about my makes over at: Sewn From the Heart
Debbie grew up with a mother and grandmothers who all sewed, which meant she didn’t have to! She put her mother into near-shock by finally learning how to sew about 12 years ago and surprised herself too when she realized just how much she had learned from those women without even realizing it.
Today she lives in Tampa, Florida with 1 grown son, 2 dogs, 8 sewing machines, 100s of patterns and yards of fabric, and not nearly enough time for everything. Debbie makes most garments in her wardrobe but isn’t averse to a good find from a clothing store too.
Debbie blogs mostly about sewing at: Stitches and Seams
I live in the middle of no-where Canada. I am a semi- retired nurse. I have 4 beautiful grandchildren.
My mother sewed a lot when I was a child. She didn't like it when I stood and watched her sew. She thought I was pushing her to hurry. I was watching and learning. She finally let me sew a wardrobe for my sisters Barbie doll for Christmas.
I sew to get clothes that fit in the colours that I want. I sew for stress relief and I sew because I must!
I am Ericka Renee also known as Lyela Belle. Sewing is a hobby for me. I sew mostly for myself and my family. In 2015, I took a very basic sewing class. I learned most of what I know from YouTube, one of my seamstress, and by trial and error. I am a nurse and also a graduate student, working towards my master’s degree in nursing. My interest in sewing started because I wanted to pick up a hobby and alter my nursing uniforms. I am so curvy that my nursing uniforms would never fit me correctly. Needless to say, I no longer wear uniforms and my interest in sewing switched to circle skirts and dresses, and peplum tops. I love, love, love everything fit and flare. Most of my creations are made with African printed materials because I love the colors and patterns, plus my in-laws are African. Please do enjoy my curvy contributions, it is a pleasure to share my experiences with you.
You can follow my wonderful creations on my blog www.lyelabelle.com and on Instagram @sewfullymade.
SeamstressErin is an obsessed sewist, inked knitter, cat herder, and mad scientist. She writes sewing patterns for Every Day Dress Up, always in a broad size range with multiple cup size options. Find her at SeamstressErin.com.
Hey Everyone! I'm Martha aka GariChild, 1st generation Garifuna princess (declared by me because I am totally convinced I come from royalty and I don’t need papers to prove so #wink) born and raised in New York City by my Guatemalan parents. I’ve always been intrigued by the art of sewing garments but continuously found a way to quiet the voice within and push the thought aside for years. Forever challenged by my friend to dig deeper “What would you do if you were not afraid?” Ding ding ding!!! #lightbulbmoment
Learning how to sew has been such a rewarding experience and I absolutely love it!!! I am self-taught and still learning which can definitely be an adventure as I traverse the art of sewing for my curvy body. You can follow my sewing journey and shenanigans on Instagram @GariChild.
Gwen is an artist, engineer, dancer and oracle. Being curvy and athletic she rarely fit anything. Eventually growing tired of the hours of self-deprecation while trying on endless ill fitting RTW clothes, she chose to invest her time in learning draft, fit and sew all her clothing, lingerie and dancewear. She’s well on her way to replacing her entire wardrobe with me-made items. She loves to tackle big sewing challenges like bras, costumes, and tech gear. You can find her on Instagram as @Gyldenege and CalmUnderTension.com sharing her artwork, fashion illustrations, and in-depth detail on sewing with her philosophy on infinite possibilities. Her spiritual work is found at TheMistyValley.com and her Voice Over/Puppet work is at ShesTheGoldenEgg.com
Jamie began sewing as a teenager because apparently there are not enough RTW clothes in the world to choose from. Currently she lives in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado. When she's not sewing she enjoys hiking, hockey and overdressing for the occasion. You can also find her at at denversews.com.
Jenna Vincent is a fiction writer who lives in Denver, Colorado. She loves to read, sew, and play pickle ball.
Jennifer is an avid sewist, preferring instant gratification projects over fancy finishes. She travels internationally (always hitting up the local fabric store), leaving her family to take care of two kids, two dogs, three cats, 11 chickens, and two goats. She blogs about living in a historic manor house (ie. money pit) at We Bought A Manor .
Jenny is a translator and mum of two boys. She likes running (slowly), cycling (gently) and singing (lots). She’s a very inexperienced sewist but a fairly experienced knitter/crocheter and is enjoying the novelty of not having to make the fabric before sewing it together. She’s based in the south of the UK.
Jessica’s been hacking patterns and wearing dresses since childhood. As a mother to two little girls she’s excited to show them you can be curvy, beautiful, and do everything boys can while wearing a skirt. She blogs at alwaysacraftylady.com.
Jodi Schreiner designs both sewing patterns and database queries in the beautiful hill country just outside Austin, TX, where she lives with her husband, two dogs, and seven chickens. She is the owner of Jailyn Apparel Patterns which provides patterns drafted for full-busted women in ready-to- wear sizes 00 – 18.
I sew because it makes me happy. I learned to sew in home ec classes in high school and have been sewing ever since. I sewed for my kids when they were small and then I moved on to home dec sewing for years. I have been quilting for the last several years but consider myself a beginner. I recently started testing patterns for indie designers which is an absolute delight, and now find my myself sewing for my kids again on an adult level. I sew for myself as I think RTW is lacking for plus sized women at this point in time. I also sew for charity in my spare time. On a personal note, I am retired and living in Central California with my husband and two large dogs.
Julie works in IT, which she loves because of the relaxed dress code. When she’s not sewing, she loves mucking about in the outdoors with her fiancé and his sons, messing around on her computer, reading, playing with yarn, and experimenting in the kitchen. She is on a mission to design her own personal pants pattern that fits her body the way she wants. She doesn’t use a Mac, but she thinks Steve Jobs was on to something with his black turtleneck and jeans wardrobe...
Kathleen's Mom used to make her a Halloween costume every year but anime cosplay proved to be her breaking point. Kathleen was forced to teach herself and is now sewing up a storm! She lives in LA and makes many very cute dresses for the warm weather alongside the occasional costume.
My name is Kathryn and I live in Auckland, New Zealand. I’ve been sewing and doing crafts since I was about 8, taught and encouraged by my very patient mother who also has sewn all her life. I have always made clothes for myself with varying degrees of success but stopped after having children as I gained weight and didn’t like the clothes on myself anymore. Last year, after joining the CSC I discovered Indie pattern makers and their wonderfully fitting clothes, needing only simple alterations. I actually like what I’m wearing now and I look at RTW clothes with disdain!! I have a lot to learn about fitting for myself and others, but it’s a fabulous journey to be on. I still love knitting and sewing dolls clothes, but am becoming slowly more and more obsessive about my clothes sewing. My goals for this year is to develop a blog, an Etsy shop and gain skills in fitting Smile
Kelly Hogaboom is an engineer, tailor, writer, and homeschooling parent living in Aberdeen, WA. She hosts one-a-month sew-alongs on her blog and hosts a Facebook page under the name The Vegan Tailor.
I’m a wife and working mom of 5, two young women, two little boys and a sweet little girl. I’m a clinical psychologist and college professor by day and between all my other responsibilities, try hard to find time to sew by night and on the weekends. I’ve been sewing for nearly 35 years off and on and had been off with the exception of home dec items and the occasional special occasion dress while in graduate school and after the birth of my first son. I decided to get back to fashion sewing because I got tired of the limited choices and exorbitant prices available to fashionable plus sized women. Upon my return, I was pleased to find a wonderful online sewing community and I have formed many friendships over the years. I try to meet up with my sewing friends whenever I travel and love adding to my epic fabric, pattern and notion stashes. You can see what I’m up to daily on Instagram @kellyhpsyd and see my makes and pattern reviews on my blog at www.sewmuchtodosewlittletime.com
I have started sewing in April, 2010. Since then, I got completely addicted! Who said that plus size sewing couldn’t be quirky, pretty and cute? Laurence blogs at: Quirky Pretty Cute
Leah lives in Ontario, Canada. She loves sewing and likes to learn new techniques. Her mother taught her how to sew when she was 10 and she hasn’t stopped since. Leah blogs at: Is It Really Sew Strange
L'Anne is women's historian who works extensively with the history of women's bodies. She has two crazy dogs, one cat who refuses to leave the basement, and a fantastic husband. When she isn't teaching, reading, writing, or sewing, she drinks wine, cooks semi-gourmet meals, works out, mocks bad TV, and tends her organic garden.
Lorraine blogs at http://spottydogsocialclub.blogspot.com/
Hi, I'm Lorraine, living on the beautiful Isle of Skye just off the north western Scottish coast. I'm nearly 64 but still 21 in my heart - which is more than I did when I actually was 21. I've always felt "different" to everybody else, partly because of my size but also because I love eclectic styles and 'unique' detailing, but I don't really have the confidence to carry them off in public! I spent many years working in corporate environments, mostly in Human Resources positions, where I was expected to look "professional" - and more importantly, fit into the mould and act grown up at all times. I hated it! I hated having to fit in and I hated that urban working existence. So 14 years ago I gave it all up and we moved to this wonderful island community where I can be myself and nobody cares how I look or what I do or wear. But I'm still a bit of a hermit socially, so I mostly sew for myself and wear most of my makes just at home and for my hubby and two cats, all of whom seem to accept me whatever I wear and whatever I do. For a couple of years I ran a shop in our converted garage, selling my crafty makes, but even that I found too restricting(!) so in 2014 I closed it and my long-suffering lovely husband converted the space again, this time into a dedicated sewing room, where I spend most of my days and some nights - sewing to my heart's content and counting my blessings, wishing everybody could have a life like mine is now. You can see me most days on the CSC Facebook page, where I show some of my makes and try to help others with similar self-confidence issues to find therapy in their sewing.
Marianne has been happily sewing her way through life, from 70s hippie dresses and bell bottom jeans through an 80s wedding dress, followed by baby stuff, kids coats and prom dresses. Now she's back to sewing one of a kind items for her own closet. Marianne is living in The Netherlands with her husband and a Border Terrier dog, aka the Furry Assistant. She's blogging at Foxgloves and Thimbles.
Marietta is a member of the CSC facebook Group. Recovering costume designer. Lover of Dirndls, Wonder Woman and Doctor Who. Trained treatrical patternmaker who would rather buy than draft her own because she knows it is hard and does it all day at work. A sometime sample maker for pattern companies and sportswear industry, test sewer, technical editor, translator of knitting and sewing patterns (DE to ENG) and currently works in the apparel industry for a trims/materials vendor in order to pay the bills and to support her Historic Costuming and Cosplay habit (also shared by her son). You can find her on IG @knitorgetoff
Megan is a hydrogeologist by day, but spends an embarrassing amount of her free time in the sewing room trying to create a perfectly fitting bra. She grew up being inspired by the sewing of her foremothers, but didn’t start sewing in earnest until 2012, shortly after she moved to New Mexico and found her shopping options severely limited. When she isn’t sewing, she can be found skiing, rafting, and seeking out the best hot springs in the southwestern US. You can find her online at her neglected blog www.thegreenviolet.blogspot.com, but you’ll have better luck connecting with her on instagram @thegreenviolet.
I started sewing recently because RTW never seemed to fit right. I enjoy the challenges that being a self- taught seamstress brings.
My mom used to make clothes for herself and then later for me. I then started making clothes for my Barbies and as a teenager I altered my clothes, making straight jeans into bell bottoms with crazy fabrics and adding safety pins to my t-shirts, yeah, I'm weird like that and I like to stand out. It was the 90s, do I need to say more? I didn't get into making my own clothes until 2009, when I began to make bags at first and when that got boring, I ventured into sewing tops and skirts. But as soon as I made my first dress I was hooked and have been slowly but surely turning my whole wardrobe into me-made garments. The final frontier are bras and self-drafted patterns.
Nique is a biologist by day and a crafter by night. Her passions are parasites/pathogens, friends, family, food, and crafting (in no particular order).
By day I'm a college professor, and most of my time is consumed with lectures, students, papers, my own research, the writing I do, and running and working with some women's organizations. The sewing--and knitting--serves as a stress release per se. Of course, sometimes that goes seamingly well . . . other times, well, let's just say adventures and misadventures along the way end up in various forms of print. Those adventures are made even better when sewing meets life's level of stupidity, travel, and momentary Lifetime movies that make up my life. You can find me at: Cooler than You: Stupid Things I Say and Do
Paige is a Photographer in Cincinnati, Ohio with her Boyfriend Brian and her pet kids, Bowie and Taco. She loves sewing vintage and otherwise, and loves being part of a community of curvy sewers! She runs Very Paige where she talks about her life and all her crafty endeavors. She hopes to be able to share some of the knowledge she’s learned about fitting plus sizes, and apple shapes.
Sew Pandora is a 30-something plus size gal who is working hard to sew a great wardrobe that actually fits. She is also a thrifter who loves a good refashion, and you never know what great treasures she might find at estate and yard sales. You can follow her adventures in sewing at pandorasews.blogspot.com
I am a 34 year old sewer and crafter hailing from Northern California. I recently began teaching sewing at my local Joann Crafts and Fabric. Besides sewing, I enjoy educating my sons, joking around with my husband, and watching game shows.
I’ve been working as a freelance writer and editor since 2008 when I left a graduate program in philosophy. I run the blog Wining Wife, where I talk about wine, sewing, running, relationships, housekeeping, crafts, food, books, and more. I am a two-time firewalker (in fact, I met my husband 4 days after the first time I walked across fire and we walked together the day we got married), and arrow-breaker. I am a competitive runner, and I’m hoping to get back to that soon. I enjoy snuggling with a very cute infant girl and playing board games with an awesome teenage boy.
Rosie is a 34 year old newly-wed from London, UK. A super chubby baby, she has been chubby all of her life to varying degrees. This has not stopped her being obsessed with fashion and generally dressing up like a children's TV presenter at a rave most of the time. She works in heritage and is passionate about history, food, beer, people, colour and pattern. The more things are deemed inappropriate for big girls, or the more things clash, the more she wants to wear them. To tea, with the vicar. Rosie just started blogging at: Sparkleneedles
Lauren is a vintage-loving seamstress in Austin, TX with a dapper pup named Oxford. She blogs at: Rosie Wednesday
I’m an Arts Project Manager in Rio de Janeiro by day and sewer by night and weekends. I’m interested in everything concerning craft works, and started my “sewing career” through cross stitch and embroidery. I used to be a shopaholic until 4 years ago when I finally fulfilled my dream of learning to sew, and decided to build an entire handmade wardrobe for myself. The plan is on its way!
Shannon started sewing as a kid, determined to make fantastical outfits for her dolls, and has since moved on to making fantastical outfits for herself (and sometimes her dog). As an art historian, she finds lots of sewing inspiration in the colors, forms, and textures of art, and sewing provides a good outlet for problem-solving and creative thinking while she works on her Ph.D. She posts at rare.device on Instagram and with-a-rare-device.tumblr.com.
Sophie-Lee is a doctor living in New Zealand with her husband, cat, dog, and dreams of rural life. She wears bright lipstick and brighter clothes, loves cheesy puns, and thinks she's a better dancer than she is. You can find her at: Two Random Words
After over a decade of moving around the US for her corporate career, Susan moved home to central Texas in 2008 (with her husband that she’d picked up along the way). With the cubicles in her rearview, she dove headfirst into several creative endeavors – but it was sewing that stuck. She has since vanquished fit challenge after fit challenge, slowly learning to cherish her body by writing it clothing love letters. She can’t wait to see what new things she’ll learn with her next project. She blogs (sporadically) at moonthirty, and is on Instagram and elsewhere as @moonthirty.
Hi, my name is Suzy. I’m a 30-something mum of 2 who lives in Australia. I’ve been sewing for about 3 years, fully self taught and started because of the frustration of finding RTW that fitted properly. I love being able to sew what I want instead of being stuck in the rut of what fits and is available. My sewing passion is making pants! I live in them so it makes more sense to me to sew them instead of pretty dresses that only emerge out of the wardrobe a couple of times each year. But I also sew jackets, dresses, kids clothes, quilt and make premature baby gowns. I blog over at: Suzy Bee Sews
I started sewing in 2013 and jumped in face first. My first projects were a dress and petticoat for my own birthday. I promptly fell in love with the magic of turning fabric into a wearable piece and my closet is quickly filling with me-made clothes. Being unafraid to try new techniques has quickly and drastically improved my construction. I can hardly say that I'm self-taught because I learned by reading blogs and tutorials. It is the sewing community that taught me! You can find me on my blog: The Enchanted Lilypad
T is a graphic designer from a little village in Oxfordshire in the UK. She sews fuelled by her love of conversational prints and crazy colour combinations. She also likes jumping in puddles, kittens, and very dark chocolate. Her main weakness (other than fabric) is new shoes – resulting in the biggest shoe collection housed in a tiny cottage anywhere in the world. You can find her at: u & mii
Tricia is not actually very l33t (elite) at sewing, but she does take somewhat of a hacker approach to her garment construction endeavors - always trying to find a better way to do things, rarely making anything quite as intended by the designer, and taking great pleasure in reverse-engineering things she sees and decides she needs. Tricia learned to sew in middle school, but got more seriously into it as a young adult when she got into ballroom dance and could never find anything to wear to the ball. These days, besides sewing, she enjoys crochet, singing opera (very amateurly), and playing with horses. She works in a beige cube farm to fund her various passions.
I've sewn "forever" getting my first real sewing machine for Christmas when I was 8. It was a Singer with a hand-crank, and made a lot of clothes on that machine. Later, as a stay at home mom of 3, there was always a sewing machine on the kitchen table. Then I discovered knitting machines! It became normal for my children to come home off the school bus to a house full of "aunties and grandmas." That's how "Pine Ridge Knitting Machines" started. Eventually I was given an ultimatum, "Quit this or get it out of our house". I went store-front shortly after, then sewing machines joined the line-up. Classes and lessons were a huge reason for the success of Pine Ridge Knit & Sew.
Fast forward to 2014, when my oldest daughter bought the business and transformed it into HER dream. It was time for me to re-invent myself, and my love of teaching and writing about it prompted me to start a blog; SewWhatYvette where I share my adventures. I still love to teach and mentor new sewing enthusiasts and do sew regularly at our local library as well as volunteering for Quilts of Valour.