Aria is the next dress to hit the Resort Collection! Available in Baby, Youth, and Women’s, there are TONS of options! All three feature a fitted, lined racerback bodice that can be made in either empire or natural waist length.
Baby Aria features an empire waist bubble romper with snap placket, curved top, simple gathered dress, or fun tiered dress (two tiers).
Youth Aria and Women’s Aria include options for SEVEN different skirt options – curved top length, simple gathered skirt in three different lengths, tiered dress with two tiers, tiered midi with three tiers, or tiered maxi with three tiers.
We think you’ll love having the Aria as an option for every day wear, vacation wear, and more! Still wishing for more options? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered with plenty of hacks below.
The bodice of the Aria pattern makes a great swim top. I would recommend sizing down especially if you’re between sizes. I paired it with the Roxy swim bottoms for a super cute bikini. Firstly take your Aria bodice pieces and have them cut on the natural waist line. I added an extra half inch of length to the bodice front and back, but this is not essential. You need to cut a bodice front and back from swim spandex and a bodice front and back from swim lining. Now sew your bodice together as per the pattern. I like to baste my bodice main and lining together using a long stitch length along the bottom edge. This makes it easier to attach the elastic in the next step.
Next take your bodice and measure the all the way around it, this is to calculate the length of swim elastic you need to around the chest. The length of swim elastic required is 90% of the bodice circumference. In this example it is 21″ x 0.9 = 18.9″. Then cut the elastic to 19″ and sewed the raw edges together to form a circle. Mark the quarters of the bodice and the elastic and pinned at these points. I used a zig zag stitch on my sewing machine to attach the elastic to the bottom raw edge, stretching them between quarter points.
Once the elastic is attached, turn the bodice under half an inch so the elastic becomes encased. Topstitch using your preferred method. Sew your roxy bikini bottoms as per the pattern. Step back and admire your new swim set!
Happy sewing! -xx Katy
Two Tier Hack – for Midi and Maxi lengths
Want to play around with different looks? You can mix and match tiers for a two tiered look instead of three tiers. For this hack, you’ll combine two of your tiers. Anna combined the top two tiers to create one tier, and then used the bottom tier as is:
Ilse opted to combine the bottom two tiers for her midi version:
Tiered skirts are all over Pinterest right now so using Aria to make one just made so much sense. For this hack, I chose to make mine midi length. If you want a maxi length skirt, just cut the bottom tier to the maxi length line.
For this hack, you will start by modifying the top tier. Take your top tier pattern piece and draw a new line 2″ down from the natural waist cut line. This is the new cut line for your top tier. Cut 2 of the modified top tier, 2 of the middle tier and 3 of the bottom tier (midi or maxi length) all on the fold. Using either the waistband width measurements from our Bailey or Chloe patterns, cut a waistband and 1″ elastic. Cut your waistband 3.25″ high. I chose to make my skirt ombre so each tier is a different color shown below.
NOTE: If you opt to use Chloe, you may want to remove a bit of width as the waist fits a little bit looser than Bailey. I would recommend cutting the band and elastic to the specified width, and checking against your waist measurement to ensure a snug fit. Since the skirt is quite heavy, you’ll want a snug waistband.
Follow the tutorial to construct the skirt tiers and hem. Make sure to add gathering stitches to the top tier as well. Place pins or clips at each quarter point.
Let’s prepare the waistband next. With right sides together, stitch the short end of the waistband with 1/2″ seam allowance. Quarter the waistband. Gather the skirt to match the waistband size. Set the skirt aside.
Overlap the elastic 1/2″ and using a large zig zag stitch, sew the elastic into a loop. Place the elastic to the wrong side of the waistband and clip the waistband around the elastic. Match the quartered waistband to the right side of the quartered skirt. Using 1/2″ seam allowance on your sewing machine, stitch the waistband to the skirt. Make sure to not catch the elastic while you are sewing. Remove any remaining gathering stitches.
I love that this skirt is fun to wear and twirls so well! I have it paired with a Tai tee, but you can style it with any top of your choice. ~Katie
Curved Hem Dress Hack
While I love a good simple straight hem for quick sewing there’s something special about a curved hem. I’m going to show you how to easily add the curved hem from the top piece to either the dress, midi, or maxi skirts for a fun new look for your Aria dresses.
First, you’ll want to print out at least the bottom portion (you don’t have to print the whole thing but I did) of the curved top piece and whatever skirt piece you are wanting to add it to. I chose the dress length. Tape them together and cut them out.
Now depending on where you place your curved hem, your skirt will either be longer in the front and back with the same length on the sides, or you can keep the original length in the front and have it be shorter on the sides (as shown in the first picture below). I decided on an in-between length, so I lined up the side pieces and simply adjusted my curved piece to where it would cut off about 1/2 an inch of my dress piece.
Tape the two pieces together and cut off any extra overlap you have from the original skirt (as pointed to in red in the photo below). and you’ll have your new pattern piece. Cut your skirt pieces now from the full pattern piece you just mashed and follow the tutorial as directed in the pattern.
Now you have a gorgeous curved hem dress! This hack will work on any of the simple skirts- not the tiered versions.
Happy Sewing! -Michelle
Shelf Bra Hack
Hello everyone! How cute is this new Aria? I love the racerback style for summer. It is super easy to add a shelf bra if you don’t prefer racerback style bras but want a little more support. For this hack, you’ll need 1 front and 1 back bodice in your main fabric cut at either the natural waist or empire cutline, and 1 front and 1 back bodice in your lining fabric cut at the empire cutline. You’ll also need either 3/8″ or 1/2″ elastic. You can do a wider elastic such as 3/4″, but if you do wider than 1/2″, you’ll need to add a little length to your lining pieces. *I used 1/2″ in the example below.*
Find the length of your elastic by wrapping it around your underbust; wrap so that it is tight, but not uncomfortable.
You will construct your entire bodice per the Aria tutorial, stopping after the side seam step.
NOTE: If you would like to add sewing cups into your lining bodice, now is the time to do so. There is a great tutorial here.
Take your elastic and overlap the ends slightly and secure with a tight zig zag stitch, forming the elastic into a loop.
Pull your main bodice out of the way so you are only working with the bottom edge of your lining. Quarter your elastic and the bottom edge of your lining bodice.
Pin/Clip your elastic to the bottom edge of your lining. If you put the elastic on the right side, the elastic will be towards your skin when finished, if you put it on the wrong side, the elastic will be between the main and the lining when finished. It is personal preference.
Stitch your elastic to your bodice by serging along the raw edges without cutting any off. Alternatively you can use a zig zag stitch.
Turn your bottom edge toward the elastic, enclosing the elastic, and pin/clip in place.
Topstitch the hem in place using a coverstitch, twin needle, or zig zag stitch. That’s it! You’ll now attach the skirt(s) to the main bodice only. There will be only 1 bodice layer. It is highly recommended to enforce your shoulder seams and waist/skirt seams with elastic if you’re doing the shelf bra hack, to account for the weight of your skirt(s) and only having 1 bodice layer. Enjoy! – Stephanie
If you’re thinking that the Aria bodice would make a great crop top, you’re absolutely right! You can easily turn the natural waist length bodice into a crop by simply basting the main and lining together at the bottom edges (if you did the shelf bra hack, you will only have 1 bodice layer), turn the bottom edge toward the lining 1/2 inch and topstitch in place using your desired method. That’s it! An easy, cute racerback crop top to pair with everything!
You also have the option to band the bottom of the empire length bodice to get a sports bra style crop. For this hack you’ll need your empire length front and back bodices in both your main and lining fabrics, and a bottom band piece. To find the dimensions of your band piece, if you have the Bryn pattern, the bra band piece for my size worked perfectly. Keep in mind the seam allowances in the tutorials if you use the Bryn band piece. If you don’t have Bryn, there is a post on adding bands and the general rule here, so use the length that you determined you needed, by 3″ width.
NOTE: You may also enclose 1″ elastic within the band for added support. Cut 1 piece of elastic in the same length as your band piece.
Assemble your bodice per the tutorial all the way through the side seams step. Baste your main and lining together along the bottom edge.
Take your band piece and fold in half lengthwise wrong sides together and memory press.
Unfold your band and match the short edges together right sides together. Pin/clip in place and topstitch in place forming a loop.
Turn your band right side out and fold your memory hem back in place. If using elastic, overlap the edges of your elastic slightly, forming a loop, and zig zag back and forth securing it in place. Slip into your folded band.
Quarter your band and the bottom edge of your bodice.
Attach your band to your bodice, right sides together, matching quarter points and keeping the elastic, if you’re using it, towards the fold and out of the seam allowance. Flip your band down. Press your seam allowance toward the bodice and topstitch if desired.
The perfect sports bra style crop! I paired mine with a pair of Lexi Loungers! The perfect combo! – Stephanie
Jade and/or Kaia Mash
Baby Aria will mash with Baby Jade, and the youth Aria will mash with both Jade and Kaia. Make sure to cut at the natural waist option for any of the mash options.
Want to make your tiers in woven? Not a problem! We do suggest adding a bit of width if using woven, however. Between 6″-9″ is an adequate amount to add to either the simple skirt or the top tier. For a second tier, you’ll want to add between 10.5″-15.75″ in width. Finally, for a third tier, you’ll want to add 18.5″-27.5″ in width. Ilse used the same patterned fabric in both a knit AND a woven content; we love the end result!
Looking to make a bump-friendly Aria dress? We recommend using the empire cut line. Our maternity testers didn’t make any other accommodations, though you could always add a bit more width to your front skirt pieces if you prefer.
I know I can’t be the only one filling my virtual shopping cart with tons of coordinating fabrics for those tiered maxi dresses! Which option are you going to sew up first?? We can’t wait to see what you create. Don’t forget to share with us over in our Facebook group.
Thank you for this Aria step by step hack! 😉