Maker Spotlight - Erica of @riccywings!
Updated: Apr 18
I can't wait for you all to meet the most gorgeous gal all the way from Hamshire, UK! I met Erica through instagram, (like so many of my sewing buddies). She really inspires me by her approach to pattern fitting and body positivity. I love how sewing has transformed her relationship with her body and that she doesn't shy away from making an alteration to get the perfect fit for her. I love watching her sewing journey and I know you will too.
When did you first start sewing and what made you fall in love with making your own clothing?
My mum is a really good seamstress (not that she sews much anymore) and was always amazing when I needed last minute funky fabric shorts or facny dress clothing, and I would love to say I learnt from her... but my first ever outfit was self drafted, drawing round some clothes I already had (learnt the hard way about woven vs strech fabrics very quickly), from a bed sheet I died in my schools washing machine... I enjoyed that so much I decicded to learn how to sew properly (and took some lessons from my mum) and jumped stright into making occasion dresses while I was at university. I love looking back at my first outfits and seeing how far I've come!
Tell us about your favourite makes...
The make I am most proud of it my fully tailored jacket which I did as part of a course at a local fabric shop. I learnt so much about fit and tailoring, and it was one of my longest ongoing makes! Other favorites are my swim suit - dinosaur fabric and always a talking point... and my most recent make a dress for my cousins wedding from a sari which worked out better than I hoped.
Have you made any Sew to Grow patterns?
The Bespoke Blazer has to be my favorite pattern from Sew to Grow. It's an absolute wardrobe staple, I have a couple which make my dresses into super smart office wear or just to wear with jeans instead of a cardi! I had to do a full bicep adjustment, but that was all. For my second blazer I bound all the inside seams with bias tape to make the inside pretty too. I need to make some more colourful ones...
Do you have any hints or tricks to share with our followers?
Get a bit of washi tape and mark out your seam allowance on the machine, helps if you have a pattern which is different to what you normally use.
What projects do you have planned next? Anything new that you would like to make to challenge yourself?
My next project is to make some more swimwear as I've just signed up for a winter swimming charity challenge! And a nice warm towel robe for out of the water...
Where is your favourite place to purchase fabric?
My local fabric shop - nothing better than feeling what the fabric is like!
How about your equipment. What machines do you sew on?
I have a Singer Harmony that I inherited from my Great Aunt which is my main machine. I also have a Toyota overlocker on long term loan from a family friend. Both are very manual and my sewing machine is older than me but they do exactly what I need
Anything else you would like to add, to encourage women learning to make clothing to fit their bodies?
My clothes went from something that I wasn't comfortable in, to something I enjoy twirling and telling everyone I made. It's helped me change how I view my body and I reach for my me made clothes whenever I need a boost.