Monday, August 28, 2017

Falling in Love with Kimonos

 “I love the idea of embracing your curves and loving yourself while expressing it through fashion.” - Hayley Hasselhoff

Its Monday and I am super excited about the finish of this Kimono made using Butterick 6176 (here). Even though cutting and sewing with the sheer chiffon fabric was a challenge, I AM amazed by the finish results. This fabric I found at a local fabric store caught my eyes the minute I walked in but was a headache to cut. After I was done cutting, I noticed I had some mis-cuts as the fabric shifted and I had to cut a smaller size. I literally threw it in my dump pile on last Tuesday  and opted to work my magic this weekend while I was kid free.

Little did I know how perfect the smaller size down would drape.  I started with the medium and ended up cutting a small to fix the zig zag cuts. I had to pin everytime I stitched to avoid the fabric from slipping.  This allowed me to be extra careful and to have a polished finish.

Now as for the added detail! I am loving how the bias tape detail added a little spunk to it.  I opted for a double stitch to give it a more polished look.  This will definitely be one of the go to pieces for the transition to fall.

Look 1: Kimono styled with skinny jeans

High waist skinny denim (old): NY and Company
Tank: Forever 21
Clutch DIY 

Look 2: Kimono styled with a classic pencil skirt and tee

I surely couldn't wait to rock it to work today!

DIY Pencil Skirt using Mimi G tutorial (Scuba Knit fabric)
Tee - Old Navy
Shoes: Zara (old)

I will be rocking this Kimono again this Labor Day weekend and will share my other 2 looks on the beach rocking it with shorts and a pencil dress. I am SUPER EXCITED about this week as it will be my first challenge for the Fabric Mart challenge.

Don't forget to come back to check it out. Also, if you missed the article published in Sunday's Outlook Section of the Jamaica Gleaner "Let It BE", take a minute to read! (HERE) I promise that you won't be disappointed.  IT'S A great  READ!!!

Thanks for stopping by and ONE LOVE!

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Saturday, August 26, 2017

The Flower Garden dress using McCall 7561

"Your dresses should be tight enough to show you're a woman and loose enough to show you're a lady."

Oh how I feel like a flower garden where the bees would collide and the bugs reside.  At first, when I received my package with this fabric, I felt a bit disappointed as I didn't realize how vibrant and powering the colors were.  Little did I know that after making the dress and getting so many positive feedback at work, I started a love affair with the dress.

The Italian rayon jersey fabric (Product #: 316507) used to make this garden dress came from Mood Fabrics (here). I wanted to make a few work dresses using McCall Pattern 7561 and decided to give this pattern a try with a last summer dress make.  This was a quick and easy sew  as you will only use 3 - 4 pattern pieces for pretty much most of the view.

 I am not a fan of visible POCKETS, so I do NOT plan to add any to the other views that I plan to create.  The only adjustment that I made was to the bodice as the fabric used had enough stretch to cut a size smaller.  On top, I did cut the SMALL and still made a few adjustments to hug my upper body.  On the bottom, I kept the MEDIUM to have a more flirty and full look.
  I have a few scuba knit fabric that is oh so perfect for this pattern and plan to make at least one before the end of the year.


This summer, my passion for sewing elevated and I took on a risk to enter a Fashion Challenge with Fabric Mart (Announcement here). Honestly, I submitted with reservations but figured NO ENTRY, NO CHANCE.  I was so ecstatic when I received the email on Thursday stating that I was selected.  I will be showing off my skills along side with 5 other talented ladies.  One of the ladies who motivated me to ENTER CONTEST has also been selected and I am truly humbled.  I am NO longer fearing the unknown and will TRY my best not to disappoint you.

This challenge will allow me to grow even if I do NOT win!  I am ready to share with the WORLD my creativity that I have locked up for years and will motivate or even challenge a few of my readers and followers too. Thanks for stopping by and as always, I APPRECIATE each and every one of you.  I am truly humbled by the kind words, comments that you all share daily through DMs, comments or a message.

ONE LOVE and stay tune for more information on how you can either sew along or VOTE!!

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Monday, August 21, 2017

Easy, Flowy Culotte using McCall Pattern M7131

"Beautiful Things Happen One Stitch at a Time"

I made a commitment this summer to cut at least one commercial pattern each week and to modify it base on my sense of style.  I always wanted an extra wide leg culotte pants to rock before the summer ends and came across McCall 7131.

I wanted my culotte a bit more wider so I decided to cut a size 16 and add an extra set of pleats in the front.  In addition, I decided to adjust the waistband to 14 and it still was at least 2 inches more than my waist measurement and I had too much room and had to cut an inch off each side .  Next time, I will definitely cut the 12/14 and make a few slight adjustments to the pattern.

This was an easy sew but the waistband was a bit challenging as I am not use to the technique as stated in the pattern.  I plan to make this again probably in a pants the next time around and stick the technique that I know.

Fabric choice: Rayon from Rosa Fabrics (here)
Shoes: Steve Madden (here) (on sale for $20) bought mine for $25
Top: Old (The Limited - at least 8 years ago)

Thanks for stopping by and remember to follow me on my other social media pages at arielle_diva and overdriveafter30 on Instagram.


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Monday, August 14, 2017

Life's Greatest Teacher - Failure!

“The quickest road to success is to possess an attitude toward failure of ‘no fear”Author Unknown!

At times, social media mask us with false illusions of not accepting failures, that we must always strive to be perfect in order to gain success. When we do make mis-steps, we sometimes dwell on them, selectively editing out the mistakes and mishaps in our lives and only sharing how successful we are. The quote “Failure is not an option,” is what we strive for but is it a reality? How will you grow, learn and elevate yourself without failing.

I have had my shares of failures in life. Without going into detail, I have had failed relationships, failed jobs, failed projects, failed at the simplest things such as learning to drive. I look back now and realize that these failures propelled me to growth, out of darkness and becoming a better ME.  I can't forget the very moment when I quit, yes QUIT about 4 times in 1 school year as a middle school math teacher because I failed at managing my classroom in one of the toughest school in Florida. I had so many challenges learning to filter my mouth and forgetting that these children have no life experiences. They came from all walks of life with baggage; struggles and the only place safe for some were the school.  My principal at the time who I credit to this day for my success in the profession of teaching, sat me down and shared some of her deepest thoughts about growth and failure and as to why I should not fail myself by quitting. I thought she was crazy as she just wanted me there and now looking back at my successes in Education, I credit all the failures I encountered in the most challenging situations. 

Today I am growing each day in my profession as an Educator from the failures and missed opportunities. My scores are the top 2 years in a row in the city I teach. Moreover, I have had 2 years of success with my Summer Math Academy and I credit my failures in the classroom to the successes over the last 2 years. (Sharing my successes based on my failures later in an article)
Rocking my 1 shoulder top from a FAILED Jumper set!!
LOVE IT with this look!
I have learned from a simple sewing project that the only way I can grow and elevate my skills is to fail. I am sharing my story today to encourage someone who may have had failures that seems unbearable. Don't give up, take it as a set up for success and learn from your mistakes. If Usain Bolt did not get his final gold after winning 9 golds, you will realize that it's sometimes life is not always about winning. Quoted directly from an article that resonated with me all week long, “Keep failure in perspective. Mr. Bolt is a legend. He wanted to win his last race but coming third did not detract from his legendary status.  If your unit or department has a failure it does not mean that it is a failure! Accept the failure as part of life.” (Read entire article here).

Thought this KIMONO failed but added bias tape and piping to it!
In closing, my sewing projects that fail will be called my growth projects. My losses will set me up for successes, my struggles will guide me to victory so today be encouraged to learn from failures.  Think about this quote “If you are afraid to fail, you will keep failing forever,” and always remember failure is an OPTION if it helps you grow.

Thanks for stopping!! ONE LOVE!
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Monday, August 7, 2017

Easy Breezy Tie Strap Top with DIY Circle Skirt

Easy Breezy Tie Strap Top using 

Simplicity Pattern 8386 View C

When it comes to easy, quick sewing projects, I am all for it.  When I came across this Simplicity pattern a few months ago- S8386, I knew there were endless modifications with all 3 views.  I quickly attempted VIEW C using a Muslim jersey knit and loved it.  This top can be modified to create a flirty dress, fun jumpsuit or even a body con midi dress (as seen here made by Erica Bunker).

Top styled with a circle skirt I created a year ago.

Here are the modifications made to create the tie strap:

Made 4 straps (2 inches wide and 22 inches long) and followed the same steps required for the pattern to add the shoulder piece.
Added an inch to the length of the bodice.
Fabric Used: Jersey knit found at a local fabric store.

I love this top -  both the original (as seen below) and  the modified version with the tie straps. 

Do you want to learn how to make it?  Check out Brittanyjjones tutorial on Youtube here.

Don't forget to check out the video of the shoot before you go. 

Thanks for stopping by and stay tune for more pattern reviews on the blog.  ONE LOVE!!

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Sunday, August 6, 2017

The Classy Woman

Life begins at "40"

The classy woman stands tall with confidence.  

She has everything to flaunt and chooses not to show it.

The older I get, the more conservative I have become. Turning "40" has been the epitome of greatness in creating breathtaking classy pieces.  I want to share with others through my sewing journey, that you can still be sexy, stand tall with grace and class.  I found this amazing fabric in DC with Feesewcrafty (an amazing seamstress) and I fell in love.  I knew I wanted to create a vintage style look that embodied "The Classy Woman."

The pattern I chose to create the top is the Retro Pattern from the 60s Butterick B6318. I fell in love with this pattern a year ago and because I feared to cut patterns, I decided not to make the dress. I will no longer allow fear to cripple me and plan to cut at least 2 commercial patterns each month and post at least one review.

Modifications to the bodice top pattern:

Removed zipper
Added 1 inch to length of bodice to either wear as a crop top or tucked in

Used bias tape to create loops in back
Used 3 color palettes from fabric to create the amazing tie straps in the back

Self drafted pleated skirt
Waistband 3 inches

I plan to wear this to a Women's Empowerment Brunch in September and will be making the full dress soon. I am back to regular blogging programming  and will be making a few enhancements  and updates to the blog.  I can't wait to share with the world how awesome  "40" can be.
Thanks so much for all the support throughout the years. Look out this month for an amazing giveaway.

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