This week we have spoken with the beautiful and talented Rosemary Aqua. Rosemary speaks to us about her incredible sewing journey, what challenges her and who inspired her to start her to start sewing. Rosemary's instagram is full of joy. She brings a smile to my face every time she posts so I wanted to share the joy with you all. Read the Q&A below to get to know Rosemary.
Tell us your name & Instagram name?
My name is Rosemary Aqua and my Instagram handle is @rosemaryaqua
You always seem to be so happy when sewing. Has this always been the case or was it only when you were confident in your skills did you to learn to love sewing?
Oh yes, I’m mostly happy when I sew. Not when I’m cutting though! I could say that I became happier and more satisfied once my skill improved. I learned to sew by making bags first because I thought clothes would be too overwhelming with all the measurements and fit issues. This was before I discovered the magic of pre-made patterns. One of the greatest inventions, if you ask me.
I started loving sewing clothes once I made a few outfits. One outfit in particular - using Mimi G’s Simplicity 8177 - made me want to sew more unique pieces for myself. I used a Nigerian tie-dye fabric that came out stunning. I got a lot of compliments and realized that I could make as many outfits as I wanted - to my specification too. With bags, I could only carry so much but clothes? A girl could never have too many clothes.
Is there a reason or a person that helped you start sewing?
Oh yes! Living in Nigeria, I was surrounded by tailors and seamstresses. Shopping at the mall or online shopping for clothes is not much of a thing back home. We go to the tailor or seamstress to make us new outfits for events. I have some seamstresses in my family but I never really started sewing because I didn’t have to.
It was when I moved to Sydney and started post-graduate studies that my sewing journey began. I needed something to de-stress. Sewing was the natural choice. There are several people whose videos/blog posts helped me along the way. Just naming a few here like Montoya Mayo who makes gorgeous skirts and tops and accessories using the most beautiful fabrics. Also, Mimi G and Anita from Anita by Design have videos that helped me a lot. On the bag side, I learned from ladies like Debbie Shore and Sara Lawson from Sew Sweetness.
When you are ready to start a new project, do you look for a pattern to suit a particular trend or look? Or do you prefer to browse with an open mind?
I always browse with an open mind. Sometimes I have a pattern in mind but then I find something else that I like. It also depends on what fabric and supplies that I have at hand.
What has been your most satisfying make so far? And why?
I have two that I’m very happy with and they’re both pants! I’ve been scared of making zippered pants for the longest time but I finally decided to give it a go. The first one is the beautiful pants in striped fabric that I made using Mimi G Simplicity 9114. The second satisfying make is my Swim Style Patterns high-waist pants. They both fit like I bought them from the store. I got a confidence boost from successfully making these two pants. (Rosemary wears the High Waisted Pants in the first Image)
Do you have a favourite Swim Style pattern?
Oh yes! The high waist pants! So flattering! I have two other patterns - the Billow Sleeve sweater which I really like as well and the Tallulah Tie Top which I haven’t made yet but can’t wait to make and pair with the high waist pants in summer. On my to-make list right now is activewear. I have the activewear bundle on my pattern list.
Do you have a go-to fabric store?
As of last year, Spotlight stores in Sydney was my go-to place. But since I moved, I’ve mostly been buying online. I do go to my local Fabricland store here in Vancouver but I buy online from stores like fabric.com, Blackbird Fabric, Fabric Styles, and I recently discovered, Girl Charlee fabrics. They have quite a selection of knit fabrics.
What is your favourite fashion trend at the moment?
I’m loving all forms of bubble sleeves and puffed up hems. I’m also seeing a lot of gorgeous makes with animal print fabric which I love. Yes to leopard/cheetah print fabrics!
What do you love about the sewing community?
The camaraderie and support! I follow some incredible sew sisters and pattern makers that continue to inspire and educate me.