Wednesday, March 25, 2020

My Inspiration Dress Made with McCall's M8009

Happy Wednesday All!  Despite the challenges we are faced with and the Coronavirus pandemic affecting all of us, there is always something positive to smile about.  It took over a month to shoot this dress but the bonding moment I had with my children was worth every single shot.  These photos will hold a special place in my heart as it was not a regular shoot but a family experience of laughter and joy in a closed shopping plaza with my pair despite being on lock down.
 I am super proud that I made a maxi dress, one out of the six looks from my inspiration board. Even though my goal was to complete all 6 looks in the first quarter of 2019, I am extending it until the end of summer. We have to learn to adjust to the changes we are faced with each day!
I actually have been wanting to make this dress for a few years now and doubted myself due to the lack of experience and skills.
When I came across McCalls M8009 bodice, I knew it was perfect to make it. This was pretty much identical to the inspiration and I knew I had to find the perfect fabric to create it.
I loved the jumpsuit pattern so much I made it 3 times (here and here) and immediately made plans to reuse the pattern and make the inspiration dress.

 I came across this beautiful Ankara fabric from a small business - Afriqueclothingstore based in Texas.  When I reached out to her, she shared so many different fabrics that would make my inspiration dress.  I purchased about 18 yards of fabric and was gifted with 3 yards of this fabric from the store with intentions of making a top. I realized that I did not have enough so I purchased an additional 9 yards of this beauty to make the dress.
The maxi dress was pretty easy to sew due to the fact that I made the bodice 3 times prior.  For the bodice due to pattern placement, I used 3 yards of fabric and the same 3 yards for the simple gathered skirt. The front of the skirt has a center seam which brings both patterns together.
For this creation, it took me a few days to cut as I honestly carefully mapped out the placement of each pattern piece and fabric.  Spending time to map out every single placement was so worth showcasing the beauty of this fabric.
My beautiful daughter Arielle created a YOUTUBE video and my son did all the photos.
 I am so proud of the fact that my children truly enjoy shooting my photos for my blog and I really don't need a professional photographer to capture my makes.
Thanks for reading and be sure to check out my Instagram highlights and IGTV with all the tips and tricks when making this bodice.  Take care and be sure to stop by my Instagram page to check out my latest makes including my March Fabricmart post.

One Love,

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Sunday, March 1, 2020

My Jamaican Heritage Jacket made with Simplicity 9059

Happy Monday Loves! I finally took photos of my 2nd version of Simplicity 9059 a top/jacket that took me about 2 weeks to create. Yes, this plaid fabric took me out and I am excited to finally share photos as a few of my sew sisters are anticipating and waiting to see me in it.  Thanks to my true insta-story cheerleaders for cheering me on during this creative journey.
To be quite honest, I was waiting on the availability of my professional photographer to shoot it at a location that reminds me of Jamaica, a local Farmer's Market. However, I knew that would take planning and with our hectic schedule would not allow us to shoot when the market is open.  
My son Aiden who is celebrating his birthday today is a beast behind the camera.  He will take 20 GREAT shots in 15 minutes and I was in am still trying to figure out how he gets his settings right the first time. All of his shots are absolutely breathtaking as they were taken at the golden hour and I love the way he captures my angles and all the details in my makes.
This lightweight cotton shirting fabric purchased in Jamaica last September at Ping's Fabric represents my roots and culture. Jamaica runs deep within my soul. As one would say "You can tek me out a Jamaica, but you can't tek the Jamaican out of me."  After doing a bit of research on the plaid festival fabric, the Bandana fabric originated in Eastern India and was a cool inexpensive fabric that became a symbol of the Jamaican culture in the 1940s which is a red plaid fabric here. This fabric is typically used during Independence as part of the Festival costume and is one of the 4 plaid fabric types found in the local fabric stores in Jamaica.
This pattern featured the fabric so well and I am so proud of my plaid matching skills. I have a detailed video on IGTV(HERE) that has tips on creating the jacket.  Can you believe this has a center back seam? YES!!!!!! It does have a back seam and I am proud of my plaid matching skills.
BACK of JACKET. Double stripe is centered on each separate back piece.  
Thanks to Carolyn and Karon for cheering me on and providing some insights when working with plaid. I opted to use a solid RED fabric for the neck and sleeve band as I wanted to break up the plaid.
Neckband and sleeves in SOLID red! Double stripe is centered on each front piece.
Create a self-tie belt
The GOLD in the fabric signifies the rich history of my island home Jamaica. We likkle but we tallawah!!!! Reggae music, the food, the people, the culture which is near and dear to my heart. 
The RED which is blended with the other colors shows that no matter who our ancestors are, we all bleed the same color - RED. In Jamaica, you will find every single culture; Europeans, Chinese, Indian, African and Caucasian and we are "OUT OF MANY ONE PEOPLE" just like our coats of arms. 
The GREEN reminds me of the quiet hillside and mountains, the green organic farms seen from the highway, the great resource, and the country's natural beauty. Talk about luxury and beauty; take a trip to Portland, my favorite spot in Jamaica.
LOVE the sleeves! Double stripe is centered.
With all these colors blended together, we are all part of one race, the human race. We may be from different continents, races, backgrounds, religions, ethnicity or culture but one thing I can say is.... can always learn from each other.  

I plan to rock this jacket with a pencil skirt or dress, a slim foot or palazzo pants over and over again.  I was a bit daring and wore a bralette to show the sassiness of this top and LOVE it! Thank you so much for reading and be sure to check out my IGTV on my Instagram page with all the details about the construction and my plaid matching skills.

Leave a comment below and let me know how you would rock it.  Have a great week!


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Friday, October 25, 2019

Classic Jumpsuit using McCalls M8009

Happy Friday Loves!
When it comes to a great pattern, I am all for it!  When I came across McCalls M8009, I knew I had to give it a try.  I was a bit hesitant at first as I wasn’t sure if I would like the bust area but when I looked at the pattern, I knew the design lines and the slight gathers would make a difference with the fit. I fell in love with the jumpsuit so much I made it twice.
With my first version, I actually started it on a weekend and didn’t have plans to finish it.  When I finished the bodice, and tried it on, I was super excited about the fit. I was even inspired to continue sewing and kept going all night and had only the sleeves and zipper to insert the next day.  I literally went to bed at 1am in the morning which is totally rare for me. For the bodice, the size 12 fit perfect without any modifications and the size 14 pants worked out just fine. I did NOT have to do any grading as the pants pattern pieces are gathered. I always have to do my regular pants adjustment by adjusting the crotch (to avoid a wedgy:-) and adding 1 inch to the top of the pattern piece for my full butt adjustment. I think I may have to scoop out the crotch another 1/2 inch as it is somewhat close and I prefer a looser crotch area.
The rayon drapes beautifully! The flow, the freshness and the lightweight feel on my skin is absolutely perfect for South Florida weather. 

Pros for the RAYON!
* Rayon is lightweight and airy.
* Drapes beautiful and has a “gone with the wind effect” when you wear it.
* Easy to sew up and the back invisible can be taken down without assistance.
* Rayon is lightweight and you can’t afford to make a mistake.  The seam ripper will cause issues if it gets stuck in the fabric.
* Depending on the rayon fabric, your garment will stretch overtime. I swear the garment became loose right after the photoshoot. 
* Interface is a MUST in the midriff and zipper area.
UNDERSTITCH THE LINING as it lays better!

Pros for using ANKARA WAX FABRIC!
*Ankara fabric its structure and has a more dressy look and feels great on!
* Easy to sew and seam ripper won’t hurt the fabric much if you make a mistake.
* YOU DEFINITELY NEED HELP when zipping it up, especially if you use an invisible zipper.
* Be careful as the seams tend to get stuck easily when the garment is on but seems to slide up and down with no issues when it is off.
* ANKARA cotton has no stretch so give yourself a little bit more wiggle room in the crotch area and around the midriff.

Overall I am so happy with both makes of M8009 JUMPSUITS and definitely LOVE the Ankara version. I wanted to make a similar look by hacking the VOGUE bodice and a pants pattern last year using a linen fabric which was an epic fail!! When I saw this pattern, I knew it was a must and I had to. give it a try. I AM SO GLAD I DID!!!!

I definitely give this pattern a 9/10 as it is absolutely classic!
Thanks for reading and don't forget to check out my INSTAGRAM page for ALL THE TIPS 
that I SHARED and saved in the highlights.
One Love,
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Saturday, July 27, 2019

Sunshine Ankara Fabric - 2 for 1 Summer skirt and dress!

Happy Saturday Loves!

I have been enjoying the past 8 weeks off and have NOT been sewing up a storm like I normally would.  Instead of quantity, my focus for 2019  is creating quality garments that are well made and F I T!  I have been reading tips from my favorite sewing bloggers, watching more videos and reading step by step tutorials.  I am so proud of my journey and if you have been following me for a while, you will notice a difference in 2019.
NOW LET'S GET TO THE POINT!!!  When Ankara and Lace reached out to me a few months ago to review their subscription box, I was ecstatic.  I love the idea of getting a surprise each month with beautiful Ankara fabric.  If you know me, I love BOLD, BRIGHT colors especially Ankara prints. I instantly fell in love with the fabric and honestly did NOT want to cut it.  I have been on a mission this year to maximize my looks and not only take photos to share.  I try to get the most out of every piece I create and I truly maximize the wears.
This beautiful Ankara bold print called for something simple to highlight the bold design and bright colors.  Check out other fabric selection from Ankara and Lace that would be perfect for the dress here, here and here.  I did not want to make the typical skirt but realized that I could make a dress and rock it both ways.  When I measured my high bust, I knew if I made an elastic style dress I could rock it as a skirt.  I opted to cut the elastic 6 inches smaller than my upper bust which is a perfect fit for my waist.  To my amazement, it worked out just fine and I was surely on cloud 9.


Step 1: Measure your high bust (upper chest). My measurement was 33 inches. 

Step 2: Measure desired length starting at the high bust. My desired length for the dress is 40 inches which creates a midi version of a skirt.
Step 3: Add 5 inches to the desired measurement for elastic casing and hem. ( My final length is 45 inches).
Step 4: Cut 2 pieces (front and back). The width (33 inches) which is the high bust measurement and the final length (45 inches).
Step 5: Sew both side seams (french if desired).  Finish the edges of both side seams as well as the top and bottom. Remember to press open your seams.
Earrings from XTRABYSTACEY!
Step 6: Mark front strap 7 inches away from side seams and back straps 8 inches away from the side seam. Also, note the back and front with a tag!
Step 7: Fold 3 inches and press the top casing. Sew 1/4 inch allowance around leaving a 2-inch opening to run the elastic. 
Step 8: Sew the paper bag ( 1.25 inches) all around from the top of the foldover.  
Step 9: Run your 1 inch or 1.25 inch elastic and close seam.


Step 1: Cut your straps based on your desired taste. My straps were 2.5 inches (width) by 14 inches (length). Personally, I would measure first or cut 2.5 inches by 16 to 18 inches and trim if needed.
Step 2: Fold over and sew at 1/2 inch seam allowance.
Step 3: Turn straps, press and attach.  You can also make the straps detachable by adding buttons and buttonholes. REMEMBER the front strap is 7 inches and the back is 8 inches away from side seams.

Step 4: Stitch straps for both the front and back about an inch from the top of the dress. 
Step 5: Hem your garment and give it a good press.
Feel free to check out my IGTV audio tutorial as well for any clarifications you may need.  


GUESS WHAT!!!  I am partnering with ANKARA and LACE to give away a SUBSCRIPTION BOX  with 3 YARDS of BEAUTIFUL ANKARA FOR MY BIRTHDAY!  Be sure to leave a comment on this blog post stating what you would make for an extra entry. PLEASE INCLUDE YOUR INSTAGRAM HANDLE OF EMAIL ADDRESS.  

Be sure to VISIT my Instagram page to enter when the POST goes LIVE to review the rules! Thank you so much for reading! Feel free to email or DM for any questions you may have.  

SHOES: DSW  Kelly and Katie (Yellow Faux Suede)

One Love,

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Sunday, May 5, 2019

My Love for a "Faux Jumpsuit"

Happy Monday ALL!!!
Can you believe I only have 5 more weeks of work left? Yes, this educator is counting down to summer!  I am super excited about the things I have planned and even though I just went back to work 2 weeks ago, I am already counting down.  My 2 months leave wasn't all golden as my recovery after the surgery took longer than expected.  I spent the first 5 weeks smiling through the pain even with those smiles on my Instagram page.  Photos were taken right after my dose of meds which allowed me to snap.
Now let's cut to the chase!  I am in heaven with this CREPE faux (fake) jumpsuit that I created.  On Tuesday, I started with the pattern modifications of the pants Simplicity 8841 VIEW C without the belt and it took me the entire hour of my free time.
 I dedicated 30 mins to an hour each day for 3 days and I was able to tackle this entire 2 piece look.  Yes, Brittany J Jones sew in 30 got me motivated to sew a little during the week. For the most part, I was super thrilled with the fact that I didn't spend my entire weekend sewing it up.
The tweaks that I made to the pattern was adding a little bit more to the rise of the back pattern piece for my pear shape booty and some extra ease above the recommended for the pattern.
After grading between the 16/18, I felt I needed a little bit more room for a looser fit. I realized after that I did add more than I needed and the next time around, I will remove the extra piece of paper.  I did try to remove the excess fabric but I just didn't like how it draped after the modifications so I removed it and kept the original shape.
I also added 3 inches to the length as my original plan was to create a jogger set.  Unfortunately, a piece of fabric got caught under the serger and I had to chop 1.5 inches off. I also added an extra inch to the front pattern piece as I wanted a more high waist look.  I am loving this little paper bag waist with the 1.25 inch elastic used.
I pretty much always have to modify every single pants pattern to fit these curves and for the most part, I now know what to do.  There are only 2 patterns that I have not modified that fits right out of the pattern envelop which I love (Simplicity 8389 and 8558).
This beautiful crepe fabric is still available at Joann and matched perfectly with this art clutch gifted to me by a sew sister Aisha from Trinidad.  I told her that I always wanted an art bag and she created this one and mailed it just in time.  I had 2 fabric in my stash that worked perfectly with the colors and had to use it up.
 I didn't want any of the leftover fabric to go to waste as it was just enough for a cami.  I simply decided to cut the Ogden Cami pattern (#6) and create a 2 piece look. Check out the other I made here, here and here.   I am all for separates and definitely plan to make more matching sets this summer.  Check out this other look I created last summer using rayon that looks like another jumpsuit.

Can you see me wearing these as separates more ways than one? Yes, I plan to wear the pants with a denim top and the ogden cami of course with my jeans. Thank you so much for reading and be sure to stay tuned for #2 of these pants using ankara cotton fabric.

One Love,
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