Online Sewing Community with Aaronica Cole

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Learn more about Aaronica and her sewing life on her social pages 

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And check out these media sites that feature her!

https://lovetosewpodcast.com/episodes/episode-109-curvy-sewing-with-aaronica-cole/ 

https://wildandwanderful.com/blog/2019/08/icmt1-aaronica-cole/ 

https://fabricatestudios.com/artists-and-crafters-in-atlanta/

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[00:00:00] Lisa Woolfork: Hello, stitchers. Welcome to stitch, please. The official podcast of black women's stitch, the sewing group, where black lives matter. I'm your host. Lisa wool fork. I'm a fourth generation sewing enthusiast with more than 20 years of sewing experience. I am looking forward to today's conversation. So sit back, relax, and get ready to get your stitch together.[00:01:00]
[00:01:11] Lisa Woolfork: Hello everyone. And welcome to the stitch please. Podcast. I am Lisa woo fork. Your host coming to you from Charlottesville, Virginia, and it is a true treat today. Our conversation today is gonna be with Veronica Cole, also known as the needle in the bell. And I did a little, uh, cuz she's also known as the crunchy mama and she does so many other things already.
[00:01:35] Lisa Woolfork: Um, but we are talking today with her about her sewing and her amazing looks as well as this fantastic philosophy that she has about. What it means to live fully and who as yourself. And I see that in her beautiful images, in sewing for her family and for her husband and sewing for herself. Just, it's just really a true honor, um, [00:02:00] to have you on the program today, Veronica.
[00:02:02] Lisa Woolfork: So welcome. Welcome. Thank you for being here.
[00:02:04] Aaronica Cole: Thank you so much for having me, Lisa. I just love this community that you've built through your podcast and your Instagram following. I just love it so much. I thank you for being here with us today. I really do, cuz this is just I could, okay. I have like a million, a million billion questions to ask you, but I am going to start with just one.
[00:02:20] Lisa Woolfork: Can you tell us about your sewing story? When did you start? When did you start sewing and how does sewing help reflect the larger life that you've, um, created for yourself? Yeah, absolutely.
[00:02:32] Aaronica Cole: So I actually started sewing when I was 13. I have always had very busy hands and sometimes busy hands can get you into trouble.
[00:02:41] Aaronica Cole: Mm-hmm so my mom, she, she is also a SOS as well. And so she actually put me into a course and I took one course and I came out with a drawstring bag and I was like, this is not what I am into. I think this is so lame. And then a Gordon Garel moment. And I made my [00:03:00] brother like a shirt and I was like, he was very proud of it. It. Awful , Lisa, but wait, so you made a Gordon Catrell shirt and, but he liked it. So that's like an anti Gordon Gare. I know. And it is anti Gordon guard and I was actually so surprised that he liked it and he wore it to school and everything. He was very proud of it because his sister made it. And, uh, but I was like, yeah, I don't know if this is for me, because at the time I just couldn't understand patterns.
[00:03:29] Aaronica Cole: Like I didn't like the big four. I would look at them and I'd be like, is this Russian? What does it even mean? And so I put sewing down for a while and then as I was going through my, my divorce for my first marriage, I actually picked it back up because my mom was trying to help me refine myself and me a sewing machine.
[00:03:50] Aaronica Cole: And I was like, cool. I'll just pick it back up. It's like riding a bike. This should be fine. And I bought a pattern and I was like, what, what, what does this [00:04:00] mean? I don't understand this, but I pushed through, I finished the pattern, the dress looked terrible. I still wore it for a new year's Eve party. And I was like, mm, I think I'm gonna put this away.
[00:04:11] Aaronica Cole: So I put it back down again. And then after I, I was pregnant with my, my oldest and I started to make these applicates for onesies because I wasn't working at the time I'd been laid off and I was making these little onesies, um, and selling them. And I would sew the hay that I'd made on. And I was just cutting out these little cute little shapes from fabric.
[00:04:33] Aaronica Cole: And then of course, using some interfacing to iron it on and then sewing it on. And I was like, uh, this is lame. Then I had a baby and I was a single mom and I just didn't have the time to really sew, like I wanted to. But then I met my husband and we ended up getting pregnant with our, our second daughter.
[00:04:54] Aaronica Cole: And I was just like, I am not gonna pay money. For all of these expensive maternity [00:05:00] clothes. So I would, oh, I would go thrifting and I would either find men's clothes or sizes that were just a little bit LAR larger than mine. Not too money, too many sizes up, but I would thrift and then I would create maternity clothes.
[00:05:15] Aaronica Cole: And so that's when I started to sew fairly consistently. And my, my children are except for my son. He's just like big altogether, but my girls are very narrow. So my oldest, she was growing up, but she wasn't growing out and she was growing out of her like pants. So I was turning her pants into like skirts.
[00:05:36] Aaronica Cole: And so I was just essentially upcycling things until I actually found the PDF patterns, um, in that community. And my first pattern that I tried to do was the patterns for pirates pegs.
[00:05:54] Aaronica Cole: Lisa. Whew.
[00:05:56] Lisa Woolfork: How did it go?
[00:05:57] Aaronica Cole: It did not go great. It did not go great. I, in [00:06:00] fact, I probably made about seven pairs of pegs before I finally got it. Because of course, when you're working with leggings, you have to keep in mind stretch content and make sure that it's four way stretch, because if it doesn't have any vertical stretch that it's not gonna come up over your
[00:06:15] Aaronica Cole: thighs or your boob, it is not.
[00:06:17] Aaronica Cole: And the negative ease part, like all of that, that's
[00:06:20] Aaronica Cole: right. Not, I didn't know anything about it. And at the time I was also like just, I didn't know about knits versus wovens. And I was just, oh, my word here, making like woven patterns out of knit, woven pieces out of like a knit pattern. It was all bad until I really got into, into the PDF world because the instructions were just so much easier for me to understand.
[00:06:47] Aaronica Cole: They were like written in layman's terms. And I was like, oh, okay. I get it. I understand this. And after that, I just couldn't stop. I joined some fabric groups. I started buying all this fabric and I [00:07:00] was like, this is the best thing in the world. After I had my second child, my body just could didn't I didn't have that snap back.
[00:07:07] Aaronica Cole: And I didn't wanna put the pressure on my body and try to make my, my body shrink into clothes that didn't fit versus right. And then I was also like, I don't wanna spend all this money on buying a new wardrobe because I don't know how long I'll be this size. I might grow bigger or I might get smaller.
[00:07:22] Aaronica Cole: And I was like, sewing gave me that ability to really create a wardrobe that worked for my body, wherever it is. Like I have a pair of leggings that I wore through pregnancy and they still fit now just like I have dresses that I have been able to wear during pregnancy and still wear now because they stretch.
[00:07:41] Aaronica Cole: So, um, I was, I just became very, very into sewing, sewing every day. And I began to practice it like a craft every day for hours. And I just fell in love. I fell in love with the community, and now I, I test patterns. I admin for groups, I [00:08:00] sew strikes, but more importantly, I've actually gained a lot of, some of the dopest friendships that I have now as an adult woman through the sewing community, specifically through the black community for sewing, because we have a way of loving each other in such a dope way where we can correct each other and still be like, nah, says, I love you.
[00:08:20] Aaronica Cole: And that's the reason why I'm offering you this, your correction. Um, yes. Yes. And I've been able to bond with these women and have just really grown some, um, amazing connections
[00:08:33] Lisa Woolfork: that is, it's so beautiful to go from. A very unfortunate draw stringing bag. Ugh. That's an unfortunate drawstring bag. an unfortunate draw stringing bag, UN an unfortunate Gordon Gare shirt.
[00:08:47] Lisa Woolfork: Mm-hmm but the thing I love about your Gordon Gare is that for most people, Gordon trails are just like spectacular failures, right? They're like, oh my gosh, what our earth was like, thinking this was not what I thought up. I'm just gonna keep going with it. Maybe it'll be better at the end [00:09:00] you made this and your brother mm-hmm saw something in it that you couldn't see.
[00:09:05] Lisa Woolfork: Yeah. And I think that I'm like, that's a good brother right there, because he was like, my, he saw the love, I think. Um, he, and that's why he wore it. And that's why he was proud. And you might not think it was tech technically well executed, but that's not what he cared about. Right. He was like, my sister created something out of nothing for me.
[00:09:27] Lisa Woolfork: And I'm gonna wear it to school and tell everybody about it. And that just feels so good. And it's such a beautiful story. Similarly, the way that we think about sewing as a form of not just personal style, but also a form of free expression. Yeah. And that's something that I love about your story as well.
[00:09:45] Lisa Woolfork: So when you said that I can sew a wardrobe from my body, no matter what size it is. Yeah. And not feel like I have to stuff myself down into the Corry of a big four pattern. That's built on a, [00:10:00] built on a block that looks nothing like me. And so that's some, that's one of the things I think about that you've been able to develop these different technical skills that help meet goals that you want and help to reflect your vision for yourself and your life.
[00:10:14] Lisa Woolfork: And that. Absolutely beautiful. So I wanted to think about how I know you said you, you did some sewing for, um, little ones like onesies and baby onesies and things like that. How, what is your philosophy about family sewing? I know I'm a big proponent of family sewing. I'm a big matchy matchy person. I think I'm starting to feel nostalgic for it already because my youngest is about to be 17 and off to college next year.
[00:10:38] Lisa Woolfork: And my oldest is such a good sport that this baby, my oldest son has worn his first day of school shirt and his Easter shirt every year in college, I just mail it to him and he will put, he will put it on Veronica. He'll put it on and he'll get someone to take his picture either in his dorm room or outside on campus of him wearing his first day of school [00:11:00] shirt.
[00:11:00] Lisa Woolfork: Lisa, I love that. I'm I'm telling you. I love it so much. And both, both of my boys are wonderful. My youngest boy, I think it might be a bit of a cell for me to get him to wear his first day of school shirt when he goes to university next year. Um, he's gonna be like, Ooh, mom. Yeah. About, about that. what'd you say he's gonna be like, so about that shirt?
[00:11:25] Lisa Woolfork: Yeah. So about that shirt, um, I would lie and say that I didn't get the box, but I don't lie. I'm just gonna say no. right.
[00:11:34] Aaronica Cole: I am going to have to politely decline. Yes,
[00:11:37] Lisa Woolfork: I decline. I, I decline. Um, but you are welcome to drop money into my Venmo and I will buy a shirt in your honor. Exactly. That part you like, have you met him?
[00:11:47] Lisa Woolfork: I feel like you know him. So what is your philosophy for family shirts? One of the, or family sewing. One of the things that I was happy for was that I started my boys out very early with it ever since when they were babies. And so they think this is totally [00:12:00] normal. They think that everybody's mom can sew all their clothes that everybody's mom will do.
[00:12:05] Lisa Woolfork: Like the things that I do. Yeah, of course. Why wouldn't your mom make you a, a three tiered fondant cake with a water slide in it? Why wouldn't she make that for you? Why does, why, why wouldn't your mom make Italian cotton boxer briefs, right? Like I've made for these children, which is of course why wouldn't yeah, of course.
[00:12:23] Lisa Woolfork: Like where else do you get your clothes? That kind of thing. So how did, how did you get started with your kids?
[00:12:27] Aaronica Cole: Mine are very into whatever mommy has. So if mommy has, or if mommy has something new that she made their life, did you make it for me too? And so I don't, I don't do matchy matchy looks with, with our family only because.
[00:12:47] Aaronica Cole: I feel weird doing matchy matchy looks and I don't know why it's not, because I don't think it looks good. Cause anytime I see a family who does it, I'm like, oh man, that looks amazing. But because we all have such [00:13:00] distinct taste, like I'm like, can we do everyone in leopard? And my husband is looking at me like,
[00:13:05] Lisa Woolfork: I think not, you know what I mean?
[00:13:07] Lisa Woolfork: So am I part of this, everyone? I just wanna confirm before I answer, am I in the
[00:13:12] Aaronica Cole: family shot or no, because if so, I think we gotta go a different direction creatively speaking. But like my husband is very, I don't wanna call him basic, but like he has a very plain Jane, like he likes to wear, like now that we're, we're still at home, he's like I am living in joggers and t-shirts
[00:13:34] Lisa Woolfork: and you know, streamlined a very streamlined aesthetic, very simple streamlined, aesthetic, simple, streamlined.
[00:13:39] Lisa Woolfork: And even when he
[00:13:40] Aaronica Cole: was going into the office, like he was very much so a polo. Shirt or a button down shirt and nothing crazy. No, not, not too many bright colors, but like very he's Notre. He's not very think outside of the box with his clothing [00:14:00] then like my oldest girl is she's at this preteen phase and is very into her tops and bottoms matching.
[00:14:08] Aaronica Cole: If she has a tie dye shirt, she wants the tie dye bottoms. If she's got a pink shirt, she wants pink bottoms. My, and she's more into a sporty aesthetic. Whereas my middle daughter is super girly, wants to wear dresses all the time, the Twilio, the better. And then my son is just, he is three and will wear whatever, but he loves dinosaurs.
[00:14:29] Aaronica Cole: Like right now, in fact, he's running around in a set that I made him. He has like a dinosaur on a shirt and then he's got baby sharks on his, on his pants and he's very into those two things and he gets excited, but. I, I think that it occurred to them that this isn't normal. Right. Because I took my daughter to go see wicked on in, in Atlanta, we have our own little version of Broadway, which is not like Broadway.
[00:14:54] Aaronica Cole: I'm a native new Yorker. And I'm like, this is not Broadway, but we get some live performances here at the Fox [00:15:00] theater. Oh cool. You know, we went to go see wicked at the Fox theater and her and her, her best friend at the time, I was like, oh, I'll just make you guys to matching dresses. And her mom was like, wait, what?
[00:15:15] Aaronica Cole: The show was in like three hours. I was like, it's fun. I have time. And she's what you just like,
[00:15:21] Lisa Woolfork: are you an actual, it's like, are you a wizard? Right. I just wanna know .
[00:15:24] Aaronica Cole: And her daughter was like, wow, like you, you just do that. And I'm like, yeah, And then my and Kalina is looking like your mom
[00:15:33] Lisa Woolfork: doesn't do that.
[00:15:34] Lisa Woolfork: It's like your mom can make the mask and dresses next time before we go to the movies. And
[00:15:37] Aaronica Cole: even, even now, like my oldest is mommy, none of my panties fit. And I'm like, okay, I'll, I'll make some, um, like they know that. And I think that they prefer things like that because just like for me, I make them their clothes that fit their body type.
[00:15:52] Aaronica Cole: Because again, they're very long and narrow and they are well endowed in the little booty area because they get it from their mama [00:16:00] though. Panties don't always fit them the right way. And they like that. They like that they can come into my office and be like, Ooh, this is new fabric. Can you make me something with this?
[00:16:09] Aaronica Cole: If the answer will likely be no, because I am. Fabric Scrooge. I'm like, it's mine. there are times where I call them in and I'm like, Hey, pick out some fabrics and, or make me a list of things that you guys would like to wear this season. Let me know what your aesthetic is now because my oldest shoes in this lace aesthetic for a very long time, and I was like, I dig it, but
[00:16:29] Lisa Woolfork: you're seven.
[00:16:30] Lisa Woolfork: This isn't what we're not called, like elementary school attire, but they
[00:16:34] Aaronica Cole: absolutely love it. I, and I, it, I don't think that they know that that's not like normal. You know, but, but they really enjoy it. I did do recently a matching set for the three of us where we are all in pink dresses and it's for the, it was for the, the Ruby test by made for mermaids.
[00:16:53] Aaronica Cole: And they absolutely loved matching with me. They were like, oh, can we have more matching sets like that? So I [00:17:00] didn't know, oh my gosh, to match with me. So it, now I would consider it.
[00:17:04] Lisa Woolfork: That's fantastic that they just they're so proud of what you've done and they wanna be part of it. So I think it's just, it goes back to your brother wearing that shirt that you saw is so imperfect.
[00:17:14] Lisa Woolfork: They are just like, we, this is love. It's just like you're helping them to develop a love language by showing them what your love language is. Mm-hmm , uh, it seems to me, and that's what I think is fantastic. I was thinking about, as you were talking about the unboxing about how you they'll come in and maybe see some, see some fabric and say, Hey, come look at what I've got, because I have watched several of your unboxings on Instagram.
[00:17:36] Lisa Woolfork: And you are the person who I now equate with the term double brushed. Yeah, I, I have some friends. I have a friend, Naomi P Johnson, and I'm pretty sure that that P and Naomi P Johnson stands for Ponty because Naomi P Johnson loves Ponty. Whenever you, whenever I hear the word Ponty, whenever someone says the word Ponty, I know, I [00:18:00] think that's Naomi.
[00:18:00] Lisa Woolfork: I have another friend who loves denim and linen when I think denim and linen mm-hmm that is Dewan. Like, you know, so you get these associations in, in my mind when I hear double brush poly, I automatically think of you. I know for sure. I have put some double brush poly in my cart. . And I'm like, Lisa, you don't even know what this is.
[00:18:22] Lisa Woolfork: your name is not Cole. I do not know why this is in your cart. You love a cotton, like reel. Why are you buying double brush poly? What is going on? So you have to tell me, because I consider you my personal double brush, poly ambassador. Why do you love this fabric so much?
[00:18:37] Aaronica Cole: I oh, and just a bit about Naomi.
[00:18:39] Aaronica Cole: It's funny because you, you relate her with Ponti. And I always think of her as like the sequin conno sore.
[00:18:45] Lisa Woolfork: Yes, she does do
[00:18:47] Aaronica Cole: sequence. And I was like, this is gorgeous. She was like, yeah, I just threw this together before I went, I left and I was like, what? Oh
[00:18:53] Lisa Woolfork: at Atlanta fr tails, she came, she came into Atlanta fr tails.
[00:18:57] Lisa Woolfork: That's right. That's right. She
[00:18:58] Aaronica Cole: sure did time. And I was like, you [00:19:00] are amazing. I love you. Double brush poly is just so versatile to me. And I know a lot of people talk about how it, like they overheat in it and how it retains their heat. I don't particularly have that issue with it. And of course, like different fabrics correspond with different people just based off of texture and stuff like that.
[00:19:19] Aaronica Cole: But double brush polyester is so soft and it just feels so good on my skin. I'm very weird about textures. Like I remember when I first started like with PDF patterns and joining the fabric groups like Liverpool was so. And that was like, mm-hmm well, let me buy up all the Liverpool, Lisa. I don't like the way that feels on my skin.
[00:19:39] Lisa Woolfork: It feels, oh my gosh.
[00:19:41] Aaronica Cole: So weird to me, but double brushed polyester just feels so nice. Like it's so soft. It's so I feel like I'm always wearing pajamas whenever I'm wearing an outfit that I made it out of it. And I actually made some boxer briefs for my husband. I used like some scraps of these floral [00:20:00] double brush polyester, and those are his favorite boxer.
[00:20:03] Aaronica Cole: He's so soft. The material is just so it feels so good on, and I have some more made out of this material. It, it just feels so nice. And it's so versatile. Normally just probably asker is four way stretch at a hundred percent. Not all of them are, but that means that I can use it for leggings. I can use it as a cardigan.
[00:20:23] Aaronica Cole: I can use it for a dress. I can use it for a shirt. I can use it for a bodysuit because the recovery is good. It's just so I'm like, I can use my scraps for socks. I don't really like panties. I don't particularly like my panties out of them, but you can use it for panties. And I'm just like, it's such a versatile fabric that you can literally make everything out of it.
[00:20:45] Aaronica Cole: The sky's the limit.
[00:20:47] Lisa Woolfork: That is fan so that this, and see, and this is why everybody, she is my double brush poly ambassador. I actually have to report that. I did indeed buy some double brush poly. I ordered some from [00:21:00] corn's latest black magic leopard round. Oh yeah. And so I do have some B double brush poly coming along the way to me.
[00:21:07] Lisa Woolfork: Thank you very much for that endorsement. We're gonna take a very quick break y'all and when we come back, we're gonna talk to, to Veronica about all the amazing work that she does in the digital sewing community, from her pattern testing, to strike sewing, to group maintenance, all of the things that she does in the online sewing community.
[00:21:25] Lisa Woolfork: Just so you can, you can learn more about how complex and large that community is and how Veronica's contribution. So significant stay tuned. Yes.
[00:21:53] Lisa Woolfork: The stitch please podcast is really growing. Um, I wanna thank you for listening to the podcast and ask a favor. [00:22:00] If you are listening to this podcast on a medium that allows you to rate it or review it, for example, apple podcasts or iTunes, please do. So if you are enjoying the podcast, if you could drop me a five star rating, if you, um, have something to say about the podcast, um, and you wanted to include that a couple sentences in the review box of apple makes a really big difference in how the podcast is evaluated by apple, how it becomes more visible.
[00:22:29] Lisa Woolfork: It really is a way to lean into the algorithm. That helps to rank podcasts. Um, so if you had time to do that, to drop a little line in the review feature of the podcast, that would be really appreciated and it would help us to grow even further and faster.[00:23:00]
[00:23:12] Lisa Woolfork: Welcome back, everybody. Welcome back. You are listening to this stitch please podcast, and I am very fortunate and honored to have as my guest today, Veronica Cole from the needle in the bell. And we're gonna talk now about the very vibrant sewing community that is persistent and growing in the online spaces.
[00:23:30] Lisa Woolfork: And we've seen these, we see them in Instagram where I see them in Instagram and on Facebook. I'm not sure if it's popular on Twitter because I'm not a Twitter person, but I know for me, I learned a lot about Veronica and from Veronica on Instagram, as well as in a variety. Facebook sewing groups that she is a part of Veronica.
[00:23:51] Lisa Woolfork: How would you describe the landscape of the digital sewing community? Do you find Instagram and Facebook to be very [00:24:00] different? Do you find one to be stronger for deep and probing conversations and another one to be better for learning ideas? Like how, how does, how, what, how would you characterize that community?
[00:24:12] Aaronica Cole: I, I really think it's ever changing and it's, it's evolving. Like, I feel like now. I feel like our sewing community is very dependent upon social media. And I do see a lot of the businesses doing more with email lists and stuff like that. So in that sense, it's, it's consistently evolving, but I feel like Facebook fosters more community engagement.
[00:24:37] Aaronica Cole: Just because of the nature of groups and that sort of thing, because you can be in different groups based off of different sewing interests. So you've got your plus size sewing groups. You've got your black sewing groups, you've got your sewing groups that support different patterns. So in that sense, it's very community based.
[00:24:57] Aaronica Cole: Whereas I feel like Instagram [00:25:00] is a lot of inspiration. I love to just get on Instagram and scroll to see like my fellows. So is just out here making these dope creations, because what that does is it really makes me want to change or add new, new pattern designers to my own collection. And it introduces me to so many other people who are out there sewing.
[00:25:23] Aaronica Cole: I do think that I like, I like a lot of Instagram because I can make a post. And the post will garner a lot of questions. And what my favorite things about being where I am in the sewing community is because I have the ability to touch and help. So many people really develop their love for this craft.
[00:25:46] Aaronica Cole: Sewing has truly been life changing for me because not just of the community that I have and am in part of, and the friendships that I've developed, but it is, it fulfills me in such a way because, [00:26:00] and, and you get this, Lisa, you take a piece of fabric and either an hour, a couple hours later, now you have this garment.
[00:26:06] Aaronica Cole: Right that ruin your body. And it's not something that you've bought off of a rack. There is a process that goes along into it. And a lot of times that process forces you to slow down in life and it forces you to live in the moment as opposed to be planning for future or thinking about other things.
[00:26:24] Aaronica Cole: And I really like that because in this microwave society that we live in now, where everything is moving at a New York minute, it's often hard for us to calm down and to really be able to focus on something. So I love that sewing is that for me. And I love that I can, I have these communities that, that, that serve me in different ways.
[00:26:44] Aaronica Cole: Um, In fact, the other day on, in my stories, I happened to just do an accidental marathon and people had questions and I loved that there were the questions and the interests out there on where they see I can help them take their craft further into the next level. [00:27:00] And I really, really, really just like that.
[00:27:02] Aaronica Cole: And I just also love the conversations that I'm able to have on Facebook. I love that my Facebook groups, while they are sewing based, aren't just sewing based because now we have camaraderie. Now we have these friendships. Now we're watching each other's children grow up and it's very much so that level of connective, that connectedness that we really need.
[00:27:22] Aaronica Cole: And I, and I really love that my first degree is in psychology. So I think back to Maslow's hierarchy of needs of needs. Yes. Is how these, how we're able to meet each other's needs. Based on these communities that we've developed within the sewing community, we have helped each other buy machines. We have helped each other pay for things for our kids.
[00:27:44] Aaronica Cole: We have done charities and raffles and fundraisers to make donations so that we can come together, make larger donations to important groups and important, uh, movements that are currently happening. And I just love that we're able to do that in both of [00:28:00] these spaces and in that, that community feeling, you
[00:28:04] Lisa Woolfork: know, I do I do I so much know and agree with so much of what you're saying.
[00:28:10] Lisa Woolfork: I was thinking it back to my own. One of the reasons I started sewing is I guess sewing 2.0, which I, I didn't start sewing really until I was in graduate school. Mm. And I was writing my dissertation and it was taking forever. Mm-hmm and I just said, I just wanna finish something. I just wanna be able to tell myself that I can start with something being one way and take a few steps and end up being something else.
[00:28:34] Lisa Woolfork: And that is why I started sewing. I needed something that was a not. That, that was a short term project that had a beginning, middle and end. Yep. And at the end is something dope. Right? The end. Now I have a duvet cover for my bed that I didn't have before and that I can't go by. And I also love this beautiful claim that you're making.
[00:28:53] Lisa Woolfork: And it reminds me of something that NA car talked about on the program about self-care sewing. She calls it [00:29:00] selfish, sewing, because she's reclaiming the word selfish. And I know, I believe that Tiffany from tip stitch also talks about selfish, sewing mm-hmm . And for me, the self care that's involved that you described, it's like, it's like taking a slow deep breath.
[00:29:14] Lisa Woolfork: Yeah, I can take this piece of fabric that is really dormant. It's beautiful. And is speaking to me and I can help it be something that's gonna be meaningful to me. Yeah. Through the work of my own hands. Exactly. And I think that that is, that's not something we get to do a lot in other parts of our lives, depending on the work that we have.
[00:29:33] Lisa Woolfork: And so there's, there's something about that, that I do absolutely love the transformative properties of sewing and pairing those with the self-care part. Mm-hmm the part about that that's affirming of one's self is something that I find very meaningful about sewing. So it's not it's in addition to making like some dope ass clothes.
[00:29:51] Lisa Woolfork: Mm-hmm , it's also, it's all I know. Some people say it's sewing is my therapy for me. Therapy is my therapy. Hello. But sewing is something that I absolutely love to do. It [00:30:00] is a love practice for me. It is really something that I just absolutely love. And you want more people in particularly more black women, girls and Fs to do and be celebrated and uplifted for.
[00:30:12] Lisa Woolfork: And so one of the questions I was gonna ask you as well about the world of pattern testing, how would someone get involved in that if they wanted to do that? I know, um, I did an episode last year just explaining about custom fabrics and what a strike team was and you know, what testers do. Can you tell me about why or why it's important for, for you to pattern test mm-hmm for maybe for black women to pattern test for women of plus size to pattern test, what do you think is represented?
[00:30:42] Lisa Woolfork: Cause it seems to me like an act of almost like an act of community care or mutual aid, right? For a pattern company, it, it seems like this is a community investment, right? If you are investing all your time and energy into helping a company that's different than helping a big four company or a [00:31:00] company that's raking in tens of millions of dollars or whatever.
[00:31:04] Lisa Woolfork: I don't know. What is your pH can, do you have a philosophy about pattern testing that might reflect some ideas about the community you described? Let's see, to answer
[00:31:12] Aaronica Cole: the first question. How do you get into pattern testing? Make clothes
[00:31:18] Lisa Woolfork: yeah,
[00:31:19] Aaronica Cole: just literally just make dope garments, um, and post them, share them.
[00:31:24] Aaronica Cole: That's how people find out about you. I know specific the first pattern group that I tested for was patterns for pirates and I'd actually emailed them, letting them know I wanted to test for them. And they were like, we're not looking for testers. And I was like, maybe they just don't know how cool the stuff I make is
[00:31:44] Lisa Woolfork: they don't know who you are.
[00:31:45] Lisa Woolfork: They don't know that. Wait a minute, maybe you want accepting regular, right. Basic bitch testers. But I am a bad bitch. Right. And we need to revalue. Whole conversation, like, let
[00:31:55] Aaronica Cole: me show you what you're missing. And so that's what I did is I was just out there and I, [00:32:00] like I said, I had started out with the pegs and I failed many times with that.
[00:32:05] Aaronica Cole: But what I ended up doing was I ended up just making a lot more of their patterns and posting them. And then I started to hack their patterns. Cuz pattern hacking is actually one of, one of my passions. Like I love to take a pattern and just really make it my own, hack it and do something completely different with it.
[00:32:22] Aaronica Cole: In fact, I did that and the designer that I did it for was like, those aren't my pants. And I'm like, mm, but they are. And I just put my flavor on it. You know what I mean?
[00:32:31] Lisa Woolfork: Yes, they are your pants and you're welcome. Right.
[00:32:35] Aaronica Cole: You're welcome for making them look this dope, but. They, you get noticed that way.
[00:32:40] Aaronica Cole: They're like, oh, snap, this person looks really great. Let me follow them. And that's what they do is they begin to follow your makes. And after they see what you have made, then they're like, yeah, let's invite her or let's invite them. I think pattern testing is really important because there are so many different bodies.
[00:32:59] Aaronica Cole: Yes. Not [00:33:00] just four body types, because whereas right now I'm an hourglass figure because I've gained weight. I am normally of para shape. So your body change over time, your body change. When you have kids, your body change after, as you get older, your body changed because of COVID your bodys change because you decided that you wanted to become a runner.
[00:33:21] Aaronica Cole: Your body is constantly changing. And when you're pattern testing, or when you're developing a pattern to fit these different types of bodies, you need them to try them on that. Your body. To see what changes need to be made. And of course, there's standard sizing. There's a standard block, but when you get into PDF patterns, the beauty of it is that they have the ability to change that block.
[00:33:46] Aaronica Cole: They have the ability to say, Hey, let's make some, some differences. So like, uh, made for mermaids and patterns or pirates are typically designed for curvier women because the pattern designers are curvier. Like they've [00:34:00] got hips, they have booties, they've got breasts. They have, they have these things. So they design patterns for bodies that are more curvy.
[00:34:10] Aaronica Cole: And if that's not your body type, that's okay. They're what they do is they want to make sure that either they can teach you in the pattern testing, how to make those modifications for your body and, and them doing that. It also helps them practice to cater to their own customer base, but it also helps them to make sure that they have instructions on how to do that in the tutorial.
[00:34:33] Aaronica Cole: And I spoke to, I couldn't like even now, like, I'm consider, I'm not considered a beginner, but I opened up a Macau's pattern and I was like, So I'm still not able
[00:34:43] Lisa Woolfork: to read these directions. Yes. They are still printing them in ways that make no sense to me. Right. But okay. Mm-hmm mm-hmm
[00:34:50] Aaronica Cole: but it's important because they are able to create these tutorials where people understand.
[00:34:57] Aaronica Cole: And so as we're pattern testing, we're not just taking a look at [00:35:00] how the pattern fits. We're also reading the tutorials to make sure that they read in a way that makes sense to more people. What they want to do is make sure that a beginner sous can pick up their pattern. and read those di directions, follow the directions and get the end garment.
[00:35:16] Aaronica Cole: Yes. And that's so important because so many of us can get turned off when we just don't understand it
[00:35:23] Lisa Woolfork: or it, and, and, and, and someone can be so frustrating. And that's why I think it's just amazing that you stuck with it. I'm serious. Like for some people that horrible draw stringing bad, would've been it like, never mind going, forget it.
[00:35:34] Lisa Woolfork: And then, so you, you, you get your fabric. Mm-hmm, you get your patterns, you drum up your courage to say, okay, I can do this. You look at your measurements, right. You look at the pattern and depending on the patterns, okay. I just wasted some money because my hips are outside of the range of the size. Right.
[00:35:48] Lisa Woolfork: So I can't make this. And so there's plenty of reasons that sewing can be challenging. Mm-hmm , there should be more reasons that it's fun and rewarding. Yeah. And you are helping to do that by testing and posting what you [00:36:00] do. Yeah. Thank
[00:36:00] Aaronica Cole: you. I also think it's really important to have representation for people who look like me.
[00:36:06] Aaronica Cole: Um, whether it is with black skin or whether it is with a big booty, you know what I mean? Yes. I do very important that when people look at patterns, they can identify themselves in them. And I remember, I didn't think it was that impactful until someone recently told me, they were like, if you didn't show how you looked in them, I would never buy these patterns because our body types are similar and I buy them because I think they look so good on you.
[00:36:36] Aaronica Cole: So I know they will look that good on. And it's so important that we're able to see ourselves in these patterns and in these and the people who represent them. It's really important to make sure that the patterns actually fit our bodies in all body types, not just plus size, but also the straight size and also the curvy size and also the apple shape and the pear shape in the [00:37:00] triangle shape, whatever.
[00:37:01] Aaronica Cole: However, we're classifying these different shapes. It's really important that they're able to fit because we all have a right to look good in these things. You know what I mean? Um, and yeah, if we're gonna take the time out to make the pattern, we should look amazing in them. And I think that pattern testing also helps it so that we are able to step in and help the community as well.
[00:37:25] Aaronica Cole: If you've tested the pattern about that pattern, incidentally, because chances are, we have gone through at least one to two different re revisions. We've asked the deep and hard questions about pattern, about fabric, choice. We know what notions you need. We know what potential difficulties you might be having.
[00:37:44] Aaronica Cole: And we might have had it and found a way to push through. And now we have personal advice to offer people who are having trouble with it. So I think that the pattern test itself is it can be really rigorous and it can, it can be a little cumbersome and tiring, [00:38:00] but I think it's so necessary because the groups who don't pattern tests, you can tell a difference in their grading.
[00:38:06] Aaronica Cole: You can be the best pattern greater in the world, but if you don't see what it looks like on someone's actual body, you're missing out on an opportunity to make something.
[00:38:17] Lisa Woolfork: Exactly. And I think that sometimes software can have limitations. Mm-hmm if you think that. Okay. And, and for those of you all who aren't familiar with pattern grading, what we're talking about here is moving between sizes of a sewing pattern.
[00:38:31] Lisa Woolfork: Mm-hmm . And so grading is when you, when you move from say size a size six, for example, but you really need to have that be a size 26. It's not just a matter of sliding the ruler out to the left or the right. You re if you want it to fit, you really need to see it made up and put on a person. And I think that this notion of.
[00:38:55] Lisa Woolfork: Pattern testing. It's a way to develop trust. That's what I often think [00:39:00] about when a pattern has been tested by people who I know are people who have shaped similar to mine. Mm-hmm um, I'm just like, oh, okay. Alright. Okay. I think I can do this. I think I can do this. I okay. I'm looking at her. I see. Okay.
[00:39:14] Lisa Woolfork: Yes. Yes. Okay. And that is the type of, and I guess, I think for me, because, um, and again, I don't mean to keep harping on the big four turn into the big four mm-hmm , but I guess that's, that's where I began. That's where I learned. That was the only thing that was available when I started song about maybe 25 years ago.
[00:39:31] Lisa Woolfork: Yeah. There was not like the PDF pattern industry was not what it is now. If it existed at all, when I was in like now I, now I sound like a really elderly person. Like back in my day, we did back in my day, all we had was no, but like. Back in my day, for real in graduate school, like you could guess anybody's email just by knowing their last name, like email was new, this was pretty, and all you had to do was add email, their last name and the name of the school and.edu.
[00:39:57] Lisa Woolfork: And you would find that person right now if they had [00:40:00] an ability to check email who's to say, but it was not a big thing at all. And so I just wanted to think about like, so this whole PDF pattern industry, even PDF documents, all of that stuff was not available widely in sewing. And so the thing for me that I think was just so interesting is that there's that sewing because of the challenges there is such a need and the affirmation can be sometimes hard to come by.
[00:40:30] Lisa Woolfork: Mm-hmm but on Instagram and on Facebook, it is far easier. And I know I find myself, if I'm looking at a pattern, I'll put in the name of the pattern or the pattern number and put it in Instagram and flip through and see what comes up. And I'm like, oh, okay. Or I'm flipping through a designer. And I'm like, wow, everybody on this entire page is very thin.
[00:40:56] Lisa Woolfork: Mm-hmm . Um, and unless I plan to time [00:41:00] travel to the time before I got my period, I will not be able to wear any of the stuff this person is making. So do you see? And so I think that that is such an important, it's such an important, it's such that representation is vitally important for that reason. And so that's, I think that is so true.
[00:41:21] Lisa Woolfork: I think that's just so true. Yeah.
[00:41:23] Aaronica Cole: I also think it's a wise business decision too. I actually had a consultation. I also do marketing for small businesses, but I, I had a consultation in which I talked to a brand and we talked about. Just how, when you open up that market and are more inclusive, you, and you have people who are out here sharing your product because it included them.
[00:41:48] Aaronica Cole: That's free marketing.
[00:41:49] Lisa Woolfork: Yes, it is. It is. It absolutely is. It absolutely is. And that, and then that also develops loyalty and trust. Exactly. And so people are like, [00:42:00] okay, these, these, this company sees me this company, isn't just using me for money. Yeah. This company seems to give a shit, like they seem to actually care and they're willing to put their money where their mouth is.
[00:42:13] Lisa Woolfork: Yeah. And that matters,
[00:42:14] Aaronica Cole: that matters. It matters to plus size community. It matters to the black community. It matters. And I hate it when people just say things like, oh, it's just sewing, but it's more than that. We're putting our time, we're putting our money into these things. And so it's more than just that.
[00:42:29] Aaronica Cole: And just like how a white, straight size CIS woman deserves to be seen and represented. So do people who look different than her that right. That's right. More, more or less, but it's in, it's an in addition to, we also deserve.
[00:42:45] Lisa Woolfork: And it's also about, for me dismantling that idea that only white cysts straight up and down lean people are the ones not just worthy of representation, but the ones that exist.
[00:42:59] Lisa Woolfork: I think for [00:43:00] me, the thing that's the hardest part is to denaturalize these ideas. Mm-hmm right. Yeah. This, and this is that's something I talk about in class a lot, like about how whiteness gets marked as invisible, right. That white people don't have race, just black people and people of color have race.
[00:43:15] Lisa Woolfork: It's the same kind of idea. Men don't have gender and women have J it's just it's, it's just. Weird. Um, because everybody has all of the things, but because of the way that the media landscape has worked for so long, only those people who are seen as visible are the ones that are seen worthy of mattering mm-hmm and that is a complete lie.
[00:43:37] Lisa Woolfork: And I know that we, one of the things that's I'm grateful for in this age is the heightened invisibility that does a good job. I believe of dismantling. These dangerous, false narratives. Mm-hmm about who is present in a space who is worthy of recognition in a space and who is entitled to take up the space.
[00:43:58] Lisa Woolfork: And that's one of the things I just [00:44:00] love about the Instagram sewing community. One of the things I love is the ability to mute some people. And that's well, first of all, mute, hello? Mute. Yes, I am a fan of the mute and the block. Mm-hmm the mute and the block, yeah. Is, are two of some of my favorite things, but I think something I would encourage folks to do if they're not doing this already is to look at your news, look at your Instagram newsfeed and see what it looks like.
[00:44:25] Lisa Woolfork: yep. And something, actually, it's funny, I did this the other day and how they have the little dots on the top of the Instagram news feed. Mm-hmm like when you open up your thing and I think of in my, I was looking at my dots and it was, you were on a dot and I think, um, busy peach who's a crochet was on the dot.
[00:44:45] Lisa Woolfork: And I think maybe Naomi was on a.my dots at the top. It was all black women. Yeah. All black women who sew and craft and do needle arts or whatever. And I was like, you know, what, if your Instagram feed doesn't look like this, [00:45:00] what are you doing? What are you even doing? Yeah. Yeah, absolutely. Before we wrap up, can you tell us about what some of your next steps are?
[00:45:12] Lisa Woolfork: What do you have planned? What are some of the things that you're excited.
[00:45:16] Aaronica Cole: Everything. No, I'm just joking. So I've been using this time to trying to decide whether or not I am going to sew for other people. So I've started a doing pre-orders for clothing made by made actually the first pre-order was with queen yours.
[00:45:32] Aaronica Cole: Um, black girl magic just in supporting her. Yeah. Her fabric is so dope. Like I got it in that bamboo, like, and it was everything in the world. I wear my dresses all the time. So I started that. I have been also doing some fabric design. In addition to that, I had a couple of pieces printed. I've got a couple more coming, just having a little bit of fun, trying to see if it's something I wanna get into
[00:45:58] Lisa Woolfork: again, I saw your [00:46:00] rainbow fabric.
[00:46:00] Lisa Woolfork: That was so
[00:46:01] Aaronica Cole: cute. I love the rainbow. The girls are waiting for their rainbow sweatshirts, cuz I did say that I was going to make them stuff with it as well. So we will be matchy matchy in that Lisa's style. But just, I am also looking forward to learning, to read patterns that are for knitting and crocheting.
[00:46:20] Aaronica Cole: I often learn, I know how to knit and crochet well, but it's something that I've always wanted to do as well as needlepoint embroidery. Like I wanna hand embroider things. I just think that it is so beautiful to add those details to your garments. It just takes it to that next level. So just working on that as well as continuing to fine tune my craft, my blog will be more active now that I'm feeling more inspired.
[00:46:47] Aaronica Cole: Of course, when you're creative and you're going through stressful times, ALA pandemics and things like that. Mm-hmm and watching your people consistently being killed and no one seeming to care about it, but takes a [00:47:00] toll. Yes. Yes,
[00:47:01] Lisa Woolfork: girl.
[00:47:03] Aaronica Cole: Even though we learned it's either flight or fright, but there is also freeze.
[00:47:07] Aaronica Cole: And I've been in that freeze moment for a really long time. Mm-hmm so I'm getting outta it and warming back up and, and getting back into the things I love writing. I love being able to share what I know that so that it'll help other people. I do have a class of, uh, sewing class right now. It's, it's hosted on, um, Marco polo channels, but I'm gonna be shutting that down and shifting it to a different platform because I think that with sewing, we really need to be able to answer questions in real life.
[00:47:38] Aaronica Cole: And within that platform of Marco polo channels, it's just not enough high touch. For me as high touch as I could get being virtual mm-hmm . So, um, I'm working on deciding on a platform for that as well to really, to really just, uh, help as many people who would like to learn to sew as I
[00:47:57] Lisa Woolfork: can. That is so it's [00:48:00] amazing.
[00:48:00] Lisa Woolfork: And I just feel like to have you out there doing the work that you're doing, doing what you were saying at the high touch contact and interaction is really very valuable. I know that there's gonna be so many people who want to learn your techniques to learn how you make modifications and adjustments.
[00:48:17] Lisa Woolfork: If you do it all, trying to find patterns that are more friendly, like friendly seems like a weird baseline for a pattern like, don't be hostile. Like don't be hostile.
[00:48:30] Aaronica Cole: Friendly, but that are here for you,
[00:48:31] Lisa Woolfork: right? Ironic. Could you tell me a bit of your thoughts about diversity and inclusion in the sewing community?
[00:48:38] Lisa Woolfork: There's been a lot of talk about that these days. And I know for me personally, I find that that phrase, diversity and inclusion, to be very limited, I find it to be, it feels very hollow. It feels like almost that diversity and inclusion has itself become a form of tokenism. And what I more prefer is to dismantle systems of oppression.
[00:48:59] Lisa Woolfork: [00:49:00] What I prefer are things that might be more uncomfortable for white people, more comfortable for people who are used to being in the majority and not have to question things or even in terms of size. Right? Yeah. If you can walk into a Joanne's and pick out a pattern and it's gonna fit you and you don't have to worry about it, that's a type of privilege.
[00:49:18] Lisa Woolfork: Mm-hmm that you have that other people do not have and is including. One plus size person gonna disrupt that entirely. I don't know. What are your thoughts about what it means to build a truly holistic truly whole or complete someone community? So I feel
[00:49:39] Aaronica Cole: like diversity inclusion and inclusion are just the trend words right now.
[00:49:43] Aaronica Cole: They don't actually hold weight. There's there's no substance there because diversity doesn't actually mean, oh, we're just gonna kind of like have some pepper sprinkles in here or some pepper sprinkles. You know what I mean? That's not what [00:50:00] diversity is. Having someone in a place of power that looks different.
[00:50:05] Aaronica Cole: or is different than the norm or what our society has deemed as norm just having a brown person here. And there is not diversity, but having someone in a position of power to make decisions within this business is definitely diversity. And the same thing with inclusion inclusion is almost like, yeah, we tolerate you.
[00:50:27] Aaronica Cole: And who just wants to be tolerated. That's not inclusion. Inclusion is, is now just becoming the thing of, we said we were cool with you. No, mm-hmm, that's not what I want. Inclusion. The true meaning of inclusion that holds some weight is making others feel welcome and wanted in life. Their differences are celebrated, their, their presence and their likeness are celebrated and desired.
[00:50:54] Aaronica Cole: It's it is in essence saying we welcome you into our space. Thank you for [00:51:00] sharing a space with us and making us feel. Like we are wanted, right? No one just wants to be like at no point in time. Do you just want like your spouse to be like, cool you're here. Nah.
[00:51:12] Lisa Woolfork: Mm-hmm yeah, exactly. Exactly. It's not. Oh yeah, here we gotta, here's a here go sit over there in the corner somewhere.
[00:51:19] Lisa Woolfork: We are including you, right? In this conversation, you are in the room, you are in the room, isn't this, congratulations. You are in the room instead of outside, you should be grateful. And it's well, I have the capacity to create my own room actually, and my own table with people who will not just say here, come on.
[00:51:37] Lisa Woolfork: They'll, they'll find a seat. That's comfortable for me. Right. They will serve me things that they know. I appreciate eating. They will, they will show some care mm-hmm for who I am and my whole story. Exactly. Um, and not just, if I make them look good on a brochure or not.
[00:51:54] Aaronica Cole: And in my head, it's very much, and I'm gonna throw it back and I know you'll go back here with me, but it's [00:52:00] very much what is it with Patrick Swayze?
[00:52:02] Aaronica Cole: Nobody puts baby in the corner. Okay. Right. Don't put me in the corner, pull me out and let me showcase who I am and be celebrated for such. And so it's, it's hard because of course I wanna see everyone win and I do. But first the first people who I wanna see win are black people. That's who I want to see win.
[00:52:21] Aaronica Cole: That's who I want to see doing well. I wanna, I want us to be celebrated. I want us to win. I want us to be in not just included, but welcomed. And I celebrate and I wanna see the glow up of, of small businesses because they're my passion as well, but not before black people, not before people who have been oppressed, we deserve, we deserve this.
[00:52:41] Aaronica Cole: We deserve our shine. And so the diversity and inclusion, these are just our trendy words that make tribe that are attempts to make black brown. Or our speckles of pepper and rainbow sprinkles feel like we are wanted, but it doesn't, [00:53:00] that's not, that's not it. That's not saying, Hey, thank you so much for being in my space or, Hey, we missed you in our space.
[00:53:08] Aaronica Cole: Yes. You know? Yes. Um, and that's really
[00:53:11] Lisa Woolfork: important. It is really important. It's like, because our space is not the same without you. Exactly. And if was missed. Yes. Yes. Let you know, you were missed. And for me it felt like one of the things I love about your work so much Veronica is that it requires us to, and I'm about dismantling big time.
[00:53:30] Lisa Woolfork: Mm-hmm but it requires us to divest our energies. Mm-hmm in some things and reinvest them elsewhere. Yeah. And I love, I love that divest term love. That's just what it requires and it's gonna require for some people to be willing to do things differently. Mm-hmm to adapt to a new way and that's fine. But I think for me, because my approach is so black centered, it's about, for me talking to other black women about other black women lifting us up, [00:54:00] celebrating the ways that we lift each other up mm-hmm we got this, we have ancestral knowledge.
[00:54:05] Lisa Woolfork: Yeah. We have like, we, we have been in this country for hundreds of years surviving and thriving in conditions made to destroy us. Exa yes. Yeah. And so, so for me, some little bullshit on some white person sewing group, you know what? Okay, fine. That's I can't come back. I can't come back to your retreat.
[00:54:25] Lisa Woolfork: That's okay. Cuz guess what? My grandmother was born the same year that har and Tubman died and she sew pretty much her entire life. Right. And so I don't need you to tell me things. I don't need you. I can figure it out on my own. And I can build a community of people who not just who won't tolerate me.
[00:54:44] Lisa Woolfork: Mm-hmm , but who will love me? Who will correct me? Who will support me? Who will teach me exactly. Cause we're worth
[00:54:51] Aaronica Cole: more
[00:54:51] Lisa Woolfork: than just being tolerated.
[00:54:53] Aaronica Cole: Amen. We are worth more than being, just being tolerated. We're worth more than may being [00:55:00] made to feel that we have to shrink to fit in someplace else or that we have to whitewash ourselves to be accepted.
[00:55:07] Aaronica Cole: Uh, we're worth more
[00:55:08] Lisa Woolfork: than that. Absolutely. Absolutely. And our peace and our dignity mm-hmm are
[00:55:14] Aaronica Cole: priceless. Yeah. And if that means that white people have to get a little uncomfortable that's. It's worth it. Yeah. Like, uh, we'll see patterns that only have white women or that only have guine testers and pattern designers will be like, well, that's all who signed up.
[00:55:30] Aaronica Cole: And I look at pattern designers who say things like that. And I'm like, you didn't have not one black friend that you could be like, Hey girl, listen, I need some more pattern testers, can you do me this solid? Or you didn't have not one Chucky friend who you were like, Hey girl, look, you look so dope. I need for you to test this pattern because I know this is gonna look amazing on your body and I wanna make sure it does.
[00:55:49] Aaronica Cole: And if you don't have a friend that way, then what's that thing about diversity in your actual life. Like you can't here about diversity, but all your friends look like [00:56:00] exactly your children, about what, what true diversity actually means. Mm-hmm if it's not authentic, if you can't walk the walk, I do have white friends who I can call and say, Hey, if I would like some white representation on something where I could say, Hey girl, can you, can you make something with this?
[00:56:15] Aaronica Cole: I don't have, I have. Asian friends who I can call and say, Hey, can you make this? I have friends who are members of the LGBTQ I, a community who I could easily call on and be like, Hey, I need for someone who looks like you, because I wanna make sure you are represented and whatever it is that I'm working on.
[00:56:35] Aaronica Cole: And if you don't have that, then you are not actually believing in diversity. And that's not what you really want. You just want that money. You don't actually want the, the diversity.
[00:56:44] Lisa Woolfork: Yes. And there are people out there who the, the only color they see is green. Mm-hmm . And I would much rather invest my dollars with someone whose values align with my own.
[00:56:57] Lisa Woolfork: And I think you're absolutely right. That we [00:57:00] are long past the time where we need to shrink ourselves. Mm-hmm in order to, in, on the off chance or the chance of, of being accepted or included, that's not, that's not liberation, that's not living fully and holy it's not it's, it's just, and also this is supposed to be fun shit.
[00:57:18] Lisa Woolfork: Right? Right. Like someone is supposed to be fun. And I can, I have fun if I am feeling like I am waiting for the next microaggression to fall outta somebody's mouth. Nope. Nope. That's not living in your phone. That's no, no, no, no, no. Well, Veronica, this has been such a delight. Oh my gosh. You have no idea how grateful I am.
[00:57:39] Lisa Woolfork: Hopefully you do know because I've told you several times but tell us, how can people find you on the socials? I will be, I'm gonna include all your social links and stuff in the show notes, but where can people find you just to, just to let us know. So
[00:57:51] Aaronica Cole: I am found on Instagram, under needle and the bell, and that's with an E that's definitely a play on words there.
[00:57:58] Aaronica Cole: My maiden name is [00:58:00] bell, but I also live in the south. So now I, my Southern bell also on Facebook as the needle and the bell, my website is the needle and the bell.com. And if you're interested in like green or crunchy living or motherhood, or just more general lifestyle, you can find me at B Cole on Instagram, the crunchy mommy on Instagram and the crunchy mommy.com.
[00:58:23] Lisa Woolfork: This is amazing. Thank you Veronica so much. This has been great. Y'all check out, check out her stuff. Um, I always get great inspiration. I know I've definitely made some clothes because I saw you wearing them. So thank you for that. And this has been a true delight. Thank you
[00:58:39] Aaronica Cole: so much for having me. Lisa, it's been an honor.
[00:58:48] Lisa Woolfork: You've been listening to the stitch please podcast the official podcast of black women's stitch, the sewing group, where black lives matter. We appreciate you supporting us by listening to the podcast. If you'd [00:59:00] like to reach out with, to us with questions, you can contact us at black women's stitch@gmail.com.
[00:59:05] Lisa Woolfork: If you'd like to support us financially, you can do that by supporting us on Patreon, P a T R E O N. And you can find black women's stitch there in the Patreon directory. And for as little as $2 a month, you can help support the project with things like editing. Transcripts and other things to strengthen the podcast.
[00:59:24] Lisa Woolfork: And finally, if financial support is not something you can do right now, you can really, really help the podcast by rating it and reviewing it anywhere. You listen to podcasts that allows you to review them. So I know that not all podcast, um, directories or services allow for reviews, but for those who do for those that have a star rating, or just ask for a few comments, if you could share those comments and say nice things about us at the stitch place podcast, that is incredibly helpful.
[00:59:56] Lisa Woolfork: Thank you so much. Come back next week and we'll help you get your stitch [01:00:00] together.

Hosted by Lisa Woolfork

Lisa is a fourth-generation sewing enthusiast who learned to sew while earning a PhD in African American literature and culture. She has been sewing for more than twenty years while also teaching, researching, and publishing in Black American literature and culture.

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