Hey Everyone!!! I’m Martha and you can follow my sewing journey and shenanigans on Instagram @GariChild. Can I take a moment to officially geek out and live in the moment? #lovethisgroup #myinspiration #mymentors #weareallbestfriendsinmyhead
My cup runneth over in gratitude on the wealth of information and inspiration provided by the Curvy Sewing Collective, you ladies rock!!!
- Upper bust: 44″
- Full bust: 47″
- Waist: 45″
- Hips: 58″
- Bra size: 44DDD
- Height: 5’6”
- Body type: Depends on my battle gear aka SPANX but I think I gravitate closer to a pear shape most days
- RTW Size: US size usually ranges between 20-24 for bottoms and 18-20 on my tops.
- Pattern Size: In the Big 4 sewing patterns, my measurements usually fall in the 22-28 range. I tend to rely more on the finished measurements listed for the garment to determine what will best suit my needs and comfort.
Adjustments I typically make
Making adjustments is like a whole new world to me and it has taken my sewing to another level.
- Sway back adjustment. Still learning how to properly do a sway back adjustment when I tackle new patterns but I can clearly see the amazing difference in how my garments look when I take out the excess fabric that usually pools on the small of my back.
- Grade between sizes. Self-denial is the devil, but I am starting to trust my measurements. The numbers don’t lie. My top and bottom usually fall in different size categories and I am at a point in my sewing where I am comfortable grading my patterns to fit my unique body.
- Full butt and hip adjustments. While I am grateful to the wonderful assets bestowed on me since birth, having to adjust a pants/skirt/dress pattern to fully accommodate my glory is still a work in progress, but I am getting there.
- Large bicep adjustment. As I enter my first Fall/Winter sewing season, the need to tackle sleeves is looming in the horizon. Arrggghhhhh, can you sense the agony?!? My bicep is always a problem in RTW and I tend to avoid sleeves in my sewing agenda as much as possible but I have some outerwear patterns in my stash that need to happen!
I think there are other adjustments I need to make like a narrow shoulder and full bust adjustments, but I am a work in progress. As I continue in my journey I see the need to make some basic slopers for my fit. It’s one thing to sew a garment but another when you sew to fit your curvy body. There is nothing anyone can say to steal my joy when I am wearing a garment that fits and hugs me in all the right places. Talk about empowering!!!
Ankara gives me life!: I love sewing with Ankara Wax fabric…the colors… the bold print… it just speaks to my spirit. This is actually the main reason I started sewing. The cost to get a custom African Ankara garment is very expensive especially as a plus some diva. I remember trying to order a custom dress online and when I got ready to checkout, there was a 50% upcharge for my size!!!! Instead of getting the dress, I used the money to purchase my sewing machine and that was the beginning of this journey.
Self Drafted: These are my first 2 successful projects that came out perfect, even with all of their flaws! I set out making cigarette pants in this Samacaca print from an existing pair I owned. The resulting pants were not what I was going for but love the way they came out. This was my first time making pants!
The skirt is a simple pleated skirt I saw on YouTube. It’s a lined skirt, and had me adding darts, waistbands, lining, invisible zippers, and POCKETS! Also, check out that pattern matching work right there. #Ididthat #ocdtendencies #aninvisiblezipperyoudontsee
And then I discovered the wonderful world of sewing patterns! #mindblown #patternaddict #mypatternsneedtheirownroom
Wrap Dresses: Nothing in the world screams sexy like a great wrap dress!! This is definitely my go-to style and pattern. Soon as I put one on, I just know I look good. I think one of the biggest reasons why I chose these two patterns to start my wrap dress obsession was because my size range was available straight from the envelope. Sometimes I don’t feel like whipping out my tracing paper and grading a pattern from a Size 22 to 26, so I am appreciative of patterns that do the work for me.
Tent and Shift Dresses: Don’t underestimate the power of an easy sew. Tent and shift dresses are usually what I need to get me out of a sewing rut. Pick a fun fabric with lots of colors, bold prints and sew these babies up. This is usually what it takes to jumpstart my sewing mojo and I have an instant outfit that I can throw on to hit the streets when the need arises.
I could not help but to include this beautiful dress I wore to a friend’s wedding, but with some disclaimers. This is a perfect example of taking a failure and making it work. This is supposed to be McCall’s 7315. First time doing a full bust adjustment, did some grading, 2 muslins and I still managed to get it all wrong in my final cut. Not to be defeated or waste fabric, I added some pleats, darts and kept it moving until magic happened. One of the many lessons that sewing has taught me is that you cannot be hard on yourself when your sewing projects don’t come out as plan…reevaluate, learn from your mistakes and just keep it moving, the end product might come out better than you envisioned! #teamnofabricwaste
Tops and Bottoms: First is my Leralynn Dress hack… I took my dress pattern and made it into a tunic with side splits. This pattern was the perfect template to showcase this beautiful print and I really enjoyed playing with the fabric to come up with a cool visual in the front. I think this tunic definitely crowned me #PatternMatchingQueen. For my shorts I used the pattern in the Luna Loungewear Collection from Love Notions. I didn’t even have to do an alteration to accommodate all my goodness. Perfection right out of the package.
I am still kicking myself for waiting till the end of the summer to buy this trendy off shoulder tunic from HotPatterns because this pattern is amazing. Made two more and I have a dress hack in mind as well! Winter is such a kill joy. #bringbacksummer #notwinterready
Definitely looking to add some solids and staple pieces to my wardrobe this season and so this Auberley top from Blank Slate Patterns is a great transition as I venture into other fabric choices in my stash.
What’s next on my sewing agenda?
There are so many indie pattern companies that I am dying to try out. I have been eyeing Cashmerette patterns for a while and when @SewPrettyinPink slayed in her Ankara Upton dress #inserthappydance #shegavemelife!
Also on the top of my sewing wish list:
Shirtdresses: Any shirtdress will do. Every time I see Mary post a shirtdress, I just swoon! Ranks way up there with my wrap dress obsession, but buttonholes may be my kryptonite.
Jeans: You ladies have been killing the game with the variety of Ginger jeans in the CSC that I really just need to try them myself. Those skinny jeans are calling my name!
Outerwear: I have some beautiful wool in my stash that needs to make its way into a winter coat. The Clare Coat from Closet Case Files is tugging at my heart strings. I really just need to pull the trigger and get that and her Ginger jeans pattern.
Sew much to do and sew little time. Thank you for allowing me to share the space. Happy sewing everyone!