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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Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Still Learning and Growing! A peplum top using Butterick 6627

"The journey is never-ending. There's always gonna be growth, improvement, adversity; you just gotta take it all in and do what's right, continue to grow, continue to live in the moment."
 Antonio Brown
Happy Tuesday Loves!

Waistpack Nikki and Mallory!
Have you ever wanted to try something new and had all the adversities to stop you? Well, this is exactly what happened to me while making a sweetheart bodice with only two pattern pieces (front and back).
I was excited about this pattern the minute it came out last Fall.  I actually purchased two as I knew this bodice type would be on rotation.  After looking at the design lines for View B, I knew I wanted to give it a try.  Little did I know that that it would give a run for the money.
My first mistake was attaching the side seams incorrectly.  I swear I made a mistake with cutting as it was my first time working with bust darts that starts at the center of your chest.  Little did I know that bust darts are NOT only designed from the side (under your arm) and towards your chest.  I had to grab the seam ripper and went back to the instructions that I failed to read thoroughly.

My next challenge was with the skirt.  I wanted to make a tiered midi skirt but cut the bottom a wee bit short and didn't have enough fabric to create a longer tier.  I then decided to scrap it and create a peplum top. After cutting the length uneven twice, it kept on getting shorter and shorter.  My last cut was so short that I had to do a rolled hem instead of a 1.5-inch hem that I wanted.

When I inserted my invisible zipper on the first try and saw that it was perfect to my taste, I was in heaven and was so ready to shoot.  I didn't even realize how much room was in the top.  My daughter Arielle pointed out that top was a little bit too big and the back was indeed sticking out.  Mind you, when I tried the lining to me it was perfect but did not realize the amount of room that was still in the back as I did not insert the zipper.  I went to work and decided to just adjust the outer fabric side seams as the lining area was still open.  Little did I know that it would not work.  I was so frustrated and threw the top down in my UFO pile.

On Saturday, I decided NOT to take any short cuts and detach both the lining and main fabric side seams. I was determined not to remove my zipper and figured adjusting the side seams first may help.  I made the necessary 5/8 inch adjustment on each side with a basting stitch to check the fit first.
Need to press that back area down a little bit more so the RED lining won't peek through!
I also love to use a contrast zipper color and let it peek through!
 I also did a 1/2 inch adjustment to the center front seam.  I was satisfied with the fit of the top.  Even though it still has a little more room, I did not want it as fitted as a previous top I made here.

Life is a journey and not a race!  Enjoy every moment and learn and grow from your mistakes.  I didn't plan to spend over 6 hours on this simple top but the learning experience was so worth it.  This was all I needed to tackle my fears of making a lined jacket and will be getting the notions needed to do it.

Shoes BCBG, Pants OLD NAVY!

Loving my waist pack from Nikki and Mallory.  Go check out her amazing work with leather!

Thank you so much for reading and be sure to stay tuned on my Instagram page as I have a PLANNED giveaway coming soon.  Also, don't forget to check my Fabricmart post and read all about the versatile vest I created.


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Tuesday, April 2, 2019

Looking back at my First Quarter Makes in 2019

Happy Tuesday Loves!
Can you believe the first quarter of 2019 is over? This year seems to be going by so fast. I am excited to share my first quarter makes as I kicked off this year with being more intentional with my sewing.  I decided to participate less in sewing challenges and explore more on items that I always wanted to make.  I found myself trying to keep up in 2018 with different challenges and ended up with more fabric and patterns in my stash.

 This year, I have changed my perspective and will only be keeping up with "ME".  So far it has been working and I have spent less money on fabric and patterns than in the past.  I am so proud of myself even though I did NOT get a chance to meet the goal of making a jacket.  Yes, I am still a little bit scared but definitely plan to tackle it in Q2.
My very first make of 2019 are these two amazing pieces featured in Sewn Magazine.  I was super excited but could not share until this month when the March/April issue went live.  I am grateful that Michelle gave me the opportunity to create a mommy and me look which I neglected in 2018.  I truly love the Magazine and have my subscription set on auto pay so that I won't miss out.  The pants pattern was made using Simplicity 8389 and Arielle's skirt was made using Mingo and Grace pattern.
My favorite garment so far and most beautifully made dress is my Vintage Ankara Midi using McCalls M7632 bodice.  Read more about it here.  I am totally in love and plan to make a maxi version with a different bodice view soon.

Up next is my Ankara Midi self drafted elastic skirt!  This was a quick and easy sew and I love it!

My January Fabric Mart make were two classic Odgen camis and I am totally loving the classic feel and the color blocking of the first one made with linen. Read more about it here!

I created a solid black silk cami and added feathers for a special touch.

The feathers gave this simple cami the right amount of pizazz.

I then took a break from SOLIDS and went back to my favorite fabric, Ankara to kick off Black History Month!  I made this top using New Look 6560 and loved the way it turned out.

Check out my blog post here with more photos!

For Black History Month, I enjoyed creating Ankara Skirts!  Even though I didn't share photos of this mommy and me look, here are few! 

Arielle's skirt was made using Simplicity #S8606. She truly loves this skirt and plan to sew more for her!

I even made another skirt for a friend to wear during Black History Month using my elastic waist method!  I am totally in love with it.

My February Fabric Mart blog post included 2 versatile Maxi Dress here using Simplicity 8595.  These dresses have been on rotation since surgery as they are comfortable and loose.  Read all about it here on Fabricmart blog.  

I took a short intermission break from sewing and posting due to a surgical procedure. This break was needed to redirect my energy and focus on making pieces that I will get the most wear out of. Ten days later, to take my mind off the pain, I created 2 looks for my March Fabric Mart post here and a Maxi Dress!  I FINALLY overcame the fear of buttonholes!

I even made a beautiful off the shoulder top for Spring using a designer ponte knit.

Made this beautiful beach maxi dress using Simplicity 8890  made with rayon fabric I purchased from Fabric Mart over a year ago.  

Took a little break from sewing to explore bag making and I fell in love.  After watching 3 bag making courses on mybluprint, I was hooked.  I am getting ready to get back in garment sewing and start on a few Spring makes and can't wait to share.

Loving this self-drafted foldover clutch.  Be sure to check out my Instagram IGTV with tips on how to make your version!

Thank you so much for following my journey!  I have learned so much from my sewing community of friends and even non-sewers too.  I plan to challenge myself, even more, this quarter and create a jacket or two.

One Love,

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