Monday, July 30, 2018

July's Sew Your View using Simplicity 8642

Happy Monday LOVES!!
I swear these last 2 months I have been in SEWING overdrive!!!! Honestly, my goal this summer was NOT to tutor or look at a Math problem, but to focus on my workout routine and improving my craft - sewing.  I personally DO NOT monetize my blog so I am NOT earning any income for sharing my personal thoughts, reviews or feedback.  This is a hobby that I truly enjoy and my monthly Fabric Mart posts have helped me become better each month.  Just in case you missed last month, here is the link!

NOW Let's cut to the chase!
I was very intimidated at first by Simplicity 8642 but I FELL in love with the sleeves of VIEW A!  I grabbed this pattern immediately after it was released and knew I wanted to create either VIEW A or B for summer.  After reading the instructions it went right back in the envelope and I figured it would be on the back burner with the amount of work needed just for the sleeves.
When Monica selected the pattern, I knew I had to get over my fear and suck it up.  This sleeve is NO joke and it really tried my patience.  It literally took me 2 long hours to do the first sleeve.   Now mind you, I had to grab the seam ripper as I did NOT clip it first and did NOT READ the instruction carefully so that sleeve did NOT drape.  Next was the hemming!!  After my first battle with the curves, I went in my stash for the bias tape.
I promise you, I refuse to work on a top that did NOT finish correctly.  Mind you, the main reason why I started to sew was the clothing that I was buying was ill-fitting and looked like it was sewn together in a dark room in China.  I decided even if I had to recut a new sleeve, I would ensure it was done based on the instructions and the fit was on point.  After 4 long days of sewing a little each day, I was HAPPY and LOVED THE FINAL FIT!!
P.S. I ALWAYS try my garment at every point, before inserting sleeves, when I insert 1 sleeve etc.  I also ensure that the darts are right, the fit is to my taste before I do the final SERGE!

I was blessed with some great Ankara straight from Nigeria this summer and I can't wait to share my makes with them.  This fabric is a beauty and my daughter Arielle begged for a top after seeing mine.

The pattern I used for Arielle's top was McCalls M7563 size XS. 

Thanks so much for stopping by and can't wait to see what pattern Monica will challenge us with for August  "sew-your-view".  (Check out the beautiful ladies on Instagram here with their views.)

One Love,

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Friday, July 13, 2018

The Classic Denim Dress using McCalls M7632

Happy Friday Loves!
It's been one of those days where I lost my shoot mojo.  I was surely not in the mood to shoot the dress but my daughter surely got me out of the house to practice her photography skills.  Lately, my son does NOT enjoy shooting even though he will take 15 amazing shots in just 5 minutes.  On the other hand, my daughter has to take triple the amount of shots to get it right.

Yesterday Arielle saw the lighting from an angle at the park and rushed me over to the corner.  She said mommy, you will look "GOLDEN" here which is moreover the "golden hour" time.  It was around 6pm and the sun was about to set.  The temperature of the light was perfect and would give me that perfect glow.  The color of the dress may be a bit lighter but I love the golden skin tone.

The original plan for this dress was a maxi tier dress inspired by Tabitha Sewer and Brittany Jones but when I tried it on, I went with plan B, a midi dress.  The bodice I used was Mccall's M7632 view D bodice.  I have created the entire look before using View C and loved the fit.  This denim top was saved after the failed cropped pants.

To create the skirt, I cut 3 panels; 1 front piece (Width = 40 inches,  Length = 38 inches) and 2 back pieces (Width 22 inches, Length 38 inches) and then gathered it lining up the seams.

 Being a tall girl (5ft 10 inches), maxi dresses always worked for me but this MIDI length was oh so perfect and I loved it.  The hem (2 inches) kept it right below my calf which is a modest look!
NOT taken at the perfect hour!
I opted to finish the lining using a sewing method for shirt yoke which is the burrito method. This method is typically used for making button shirts that I saw on #sewitacademy from Mimi G and I loved it.  It surely gives the inside of the dress a clean finish and I will practice this until I get it right with the zipper. It worked for this type of bodice hiding all the raw edges and I am so happy with it.

My only issue was the zipper as I am not  a fan of invisible zipper as I always have to remove them as they get stuck or broken.  I opted to use a regular zipper and attempted to hide the teeth but it was not quite perfect.  Oh well, life goes on and I need to practice more with my this type of zipper installation.

I am truly in love with the overall FIT of the dress.  This summer, I am learning my body and playing with adjustments that work.  For this dress, I opted to cut a size 12 above the bust area and grade from under the bust to the waist between the 12 and 14.  I did a fit before installing the zipper and wanted an inch more room for food and bloated days so I sewed from the side notches down at 3/8 seam allowance.  Personally, it was not necessary as it seemed I measured when I was very bloated and now I have more than the extra inch.  After shooting, I noticed even more room but I am still OK with it. 
I plan to make 2 looks for my birthday and cannot wait to share!  I will be in hiding for the next few days working on my Fabric Mart post for next week and another look so stay tuned for that.  I am really excited about my upcoming post next Saturday on Fabric Mart and cannot wait to share.

Thanks for stopping by and have a Fantastic FRIDAY!

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Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Knit Maxi Skirt in JUST 1 HOUR

Happy 4th of July ALL!!!

Can I say I am so excited as my birthday is 1 month away!!!!  Yes, 4th of July is my official countdown to my birthday even though I have never planned a party or truly celebrated it.  I always make big plans and at the last minute, change it, or cancel. Last year 2 weeks prior to my birthday I got so sick that I did NOT even celebrate the big "4 0".  This year, I plan to just HIDE away, disconnect from all social media and relax for the entire weekend.

Let's get to the point!!

Last week I started to sew a few maxi skirts for a friend (long overdue) so I opted to make my life very easy.  I decided to sew a few skirts with 1 seam try the elastic casing method and see how it worked.  My first attempt at stitching the elastic down was a headache so I decided to try another method which is absolutely perfect. For this method, you can use a combination of elastic sizes. Here is my personal suggestion based on trial and error on what type of elastic to use based on your waist measurement.  I PERSONALLY ONLY use NON-roll elastic as seen here.

Waist measurement between 25 to 29 inches about 1 yard of knit fabric or 1.5 times your hip measurement divided by 36 to determine the amount of fabric needed.
1 row of 5/8 inch elastic (TOP)
1 row of 1 inch elastic (BOTTOM)

Waist measurement between 30 to 39 inches at least 1 yard to 1.5 yards  
or 1.5 times your hip measurement divided by 36 to determine the amount of fabric needed.
1 row of 1 inch elastic at top 
1 row of 1.25 inch elastic at the bottom

Waist measurement greater than 39 inches  1.5 to 2 yards of fabric 
or  1.5 times your hip measurement  divided by 36 to determine the amount of fabric needed.
1 row of 1.25 inches at the top
1 row of 1.5 inches at the bottom


I personally feel that varying the sizes based on your waist measurement will give you a better support.  For the most part, I have tried these variations on 4 different waist measurements and I have can attest that it works.  Also if you are sewing with KNIT or a fabric with 4 way stretch, your casing can be about 1/4 inch smaller than the width of the elastic.

The fabric that I used was a rayon/lycra stretch PRE-CUT deal from Fabric Mart for $4.80 in March.  Here are a few that I love as well available on Fabric Mart.  There is a 50% sale today so do NOT miss out.
1. Black and white    2. Animal Print  3. Tie Dye

Here are some tips!!!

1. Create your casing based on the total amount of elastic (2 rows) for your waist measurement. For example, my waist is exactly 30 inches so my casing with KNIT fabric only was 2.25 inches.  For both rows, the elastic casing was 1/4 inches smaller than the width of the elastic.  Remember that certain knit fabric has 4-way stretch and the elastic will be tightly secured and will NOT roll of if it does, very minimal.
2. Stitch as close to the serger thread.  Do NOT forget to leave an opening to run the elastic.
3. CUT both elastic 3 to 6 inches less than your waist measurement based on the above guide.
4. Stitch between both casing and DO NOT forget to leave the opening for both (DO NOT STITCH STRAIGHT THROUGH FOR THE TOP).
3. Insert the TOP row of elastic casing first, then do the bottom row.

4  OVERLAP  by 1/2 inch using a flat method and stitch the elastic together after you run it through. ENSURE the elastic is NOT TWISTED and lays flat all around!
5. Close off the casing for both the TOP and BOTTOM.

USED A ZIG ZAG stitch!

Here is a tutorial that I found so useful when I made my first elastic waist skirt.  Be sure to share any feedback or photos with your make. Thank you so much for stopping by and hope this helps a lot!!  Questions? Feel free to send a direct message via Instagram!

Be safe and have a wonderful 4th of July with your family and friends!

Comment below if you would like for me to share my paper bag method using woven fabric.


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Sunday, July 1, 2018

Sew-A-long with Pretty Girls Sew using McCalls M7752

Happy Sunday Loves!

Can you believe half of the year is over? I was shocked to see my local Joann getting their holiday (Christmas) fabric in and it is NOT even August yet.  I am excited about the month of July as my birthday is right around the corner.

Let's get to the point...
So when I saw this McCall's pattern M7752  for Pretty Girls Sew Along, I knew I had to attempt to create it as it was one of my to makes for summer.  I always wanted to learn how to make a top similar and was too scared to try.  I did NOT realize what an easy sew it was, however, there are many pattern pieces that will frustrate the heck out of you.  Be sure to label and mark every single pieces to make your life easier.

For size, I decided to cut between the 12 and 14 as my bust measurement fell between the 2 sizes.  In addition, I did use a flat boning similar here that I purchased at hobby lobby which I love.  There is 1 minor mistake with pattern pieces as well.  #11 was numbered as 10 and vice versa.  For the most part, since I am a visual learner, I always look at the picture and match up the pieces before even cutting.  Thanks to my sew sister Johanna for pointing this out.

Can you even see the SEAM?
The only struggle for me where I had to use the seam ripper is in the midriff area.  I actually did NOT read the instructions carefully at first and realized that the seam in the CENTER BUST area must be opened at least 3/4 inch and the midriff must be laid flat. I opted to sew from the center to the left and then from the center to the right which fixed the issue.
I AM IN LOVE with this top and plan to make another (in a solid) before the end of the summer.  Even though it took longer to cut than sew trying to match these pieces together, I have no regrets with the fabric choice.
I had this leftover fabric which was NOT enough for anything as it was almost 4 yards but only 16 inches wide.  When I laid it out and realize it was enough for the main pattern piece, I was in heaven.

I opted to line in PINK and use a regular zipper and I loved the way it turned out.


Plan to wear this to a day party next weekend. PHOTO TAKEN without FLASH!

Thank you so much for stopping by and as always, have a WONDERFUL and BLESSED WEEK!
Don't forget to check out my other looks on the blog as well.


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