DIY Cropped Chunky Crochet Sweater

“When anxiety was great within me,
    your consolation brought me joy.” Psalm 94:19 (NIV)

Hey Everyone!

I pray all is well with you!  I have been super excited about sharing today’s post with you.  As I’ve been sharing on my Instagram since the beginning of the year,  I had an opportunity to display some of my work at a recent gallery night/day in my city back in mid-january.  I was super grateful for the opportunity to feature some of my work.

I knew from the beginning that I wanted to also take a step further than my normal iphone blog photos and I collaborated with La Toya Gale Photography .  Over the next few weeks i’ll be sharing some of the photos from my shoot along with my inspiration and creative process for each piece.

This week’s piece I entitled “The Brighter Side” I absolutely love this cropped sweater! My inspiration came from a desire to smile and have fun.  Which is also why I chose to crochet some pieces for this collection.  There is such a creative freedom that I feel when I crochet that allows me to tap into a much more fun and vibrant side of my personality.

I also desired to create pieces that exuded boldness and confidence.  The hardest struggle for me along this journey has been in having CONFIDENCE!, Confidence in my purpose, my gifts, my designs, my appearance, etc……. So I chose to experiment with bold colors, simple style lines and chunky yarn as a way to express this aspect of my vision.

This sweater to me represents a brighter side.  The color story makes me think of sunshine and reminds me that there is still a lot of life left for me to live.

Garment Description/Styling:

This oversized pullover sweater is hand crocheted using a chunky weight wool/acrylic blend yarn.  It features bold and bright color blocked stripes tempered by stripes in a neutral black/cream colorway.

I styled it with a street style vibe in mind.  I paired with skinny jeans, copper red suede slides, and my favorite mustard colored tassle earrings.

Photo Credits: Latoya Gale Photography 

View More: http://latoyagale.pass.us/irisView More: http://latoyagale.pass.us/irisView More: http://latoyagale.pass.us/irisView More: http://latoyagale.pass.us/irisView More: http://latoyagale.pass.us/irisView More: http://latoyagale.pass.us/irisView More: http://latoyagale.pass.us/irisView More: http://latoyagale.pass.us/irisView More: http://latoyagale.pass.us/iris

Well that’s all for now!  Until next time…..

 

xoxo,

Iris

 

DIY Crochet Super Scarf w/ free pattern

“Whoever pursues righteousness and love
    finds life, prosperity[a] and honor.” Proverbs 21:21 (NIV)

“Whoever pursues righteousness and love
    finds life, prosperity[a] and honor.” Proverbs 21:21 (NIV)

Happy! Happy! Happy! Wednesday to you all!

That is exactly how I have been feeling lately. Very happy! I walked into 2019 bursting with creative energy, renewed vision, focus and an immense amount of peace. God has been sooooo good ya’ll!

This week’s post is a quick one! I decided that one of the best ways to keep to my 2019 modest comsumerism goals was to organize my yarn and fabric stash. This not only helped me to be organized by it also rejuvenated my creativity. My first project is my go to yarn stash buster. A scarf. but not just any scarf…..

I created a crochet suuuuuuper scarf! using Bernat softee chunky yarn in the color teal. I’ve been wanting to make one of these 70s throwback scarves for sometime now but I really lacked the motivation to get it done. Reorganzing my stash gave me the motivation that I needed to get things going.

Its pretty and simple. I love the soothing but vibrant color of this yarn and wanted to create a fabric that had a lot of texture but wasn’t stiff and allowed the yarn color be the star of the show. The yarn recommended a size L/11 hook but I used a jumbo size Q crochet hook instead to help create drape and a single crochet stitch to create the simple textural fabric that I was envisioning.

This joker is suuuuuper long! With the fringe it barely touches the floor. I can wrap this around my neck twice and still have free ends that drape down from my shoulders. I also find that the color works not only with my coat for an outerwear accessory but i’ve been able to coordinate it with some of my day to day casualwear. Its been getting a workout this winter.

I whipped together a quick and easy pattern in case your looking to create your own super scarf below.

Pattern

Symbols and terms

SS=slip stitch

SC= single crochet

Hook= size Q

Yarn= super bulky size 6. I used Bernat Softee Chunky Yarn in the color teal.

Chain 26

Row 1= sc into the 3rd chain from hook. Sc into remaining chain stitches. Ch 2. Turn. (24 sc)

Row 2=ch 2. Sc into next sc and across the entire row. Ch 2. Turn. (24 sc).

Row 3-191: repeat row 2 throughout until you reach row 191 or your desired length.

Row: 191: sc across and ss into last sc. tie off and weave in tail end.

Fringe

Cut 36 strings of yarn double the size of your desired fringe length. For example: the fringe on my scarf are 5 inches long so I cut my yarn 10inches long. Take 2 strings and double them over by folding the yarn strings in half. Attach the fringe to the first and last rows. Inserting the fringe in every other stitch. You should have 9 fringe on each end.

And that’s it! Easy! Peasy!

Well thats all for now! Until next time……

xoxo,

Iris

 

 

 

2019: The Year of Modest Creative Consumption

“The Lord answered, “Who then is the faithful and wise manager, whom the master puts in charge of his servants to give them their food allowance at the proper time?  It will be good for that servant whom the master finds doing so when he returns.” Luke 12:42-43 (NIV)

Hey Everyone!

Happy New Year!  I know i’m late.  January is almost over.  I ran into the New Year with a project deadline for my clothing label Virtuous By Design and that meant I had to put a hold on the blog.  But! I am back and can I say that…. “I missed you all!”

I am also pleased to announce that there are going to be some changes coming this year.  One of the biggest ones being how I live out my modest life. When I first started this blog I really thought about modesty from a fashion and spiritual perspective.  That won’t change but what I am planning on incorporating is exploring the concept of modesty and faith through being resourceful.  Being modest in my creative consumption.

Specifically creating makes using existing fabric and patterns from my stash (as much as possible) , thrifting fabric instead of purchasing new fabric, upcycling and exploring new technique and crafts as a way to create versus running to the fabric store everytime I want to make a new project.  Living out a modest life by being resourceful and watching how much my family and I consume.

To be honest most of my stash fabric are a product of impulse buying anyway.  I really don’t like alot of what’s there or I haven’t taken the time to really imagine the possibilities.

I already started in a couple of ways.

1) I went through all of my yarn and needle craft supplies. I seperated them by weight and found all kinds of stuff.  From unfinished projects, little balls of scrap yarn, and packages of embroidery floss.  Not to mention the tangled yarn messes from not properly storing my stash.

2) I crocheted a hat and super scarf set using left over yarn from another project.  This is also my first project related blog post of the year.  ( I hope to post this week or next.  I haven’t been able to take any pictures).

3) Dusted off my knitting needles and started knitting a sweater using a combination of yarns from my stash that included unraveling a sweater vest that I never finished (because I really didn’t like it anyway).

4) Not crafting related but something that I have been doing since I moved into my new house  and will continue into 2019 is that I have gone back to scratch cooking.  I don’t even bother to buy junk snacks for the kids.  I make them things like healthy low-sugar muffins, encourage them to snack on fruits, veggies crackers/peanut butter etc,  and make sure to cook 3-4 meals a week and filling in the other days with leftovers.  It saves a ton on the grocery bill but also gives me an opportunity to make sure we eat everything that we buy. It also gives me an opportunity to teach my kids how to cook and about real food.

So there you have it.  The vision for the blog in 2019.  I can’t wait to start sharing my makes with you! What about you ..?  What are some of your 2019 creative goals?  I’d love to hear about them.

Until next time…..

xoxo,

Iris

DIY: Holiday Sequins Pencil Skirt and Tips for Sewing w/ Sequins

Hello Everyone!

I pray all is well with you.  It is December already and no doubt many of you have holiday office parties to attend.  I’ll be honest with you.  I can’t remember the last time I went to a holiday party and I have never worn sequins prior to today’s post.

If you know me.  I like to keep things casual.  I’m not huge on evening gowns or overly glamorous oufits.  I do however, love the way designers are bringing sparkle to our everyday lives through sequins.  The incorporation of luxe fabric like velvet and sequins into ready to wear day looks inspired today’s make. Below are a few examples of my inspiration.

I thought it would be fun to make a stretch sequins pencil skirt.  I liked the idea of creating a holiday inspired piece that could stretch into the new year.  This skirt would be lovely and very appropriate at an afterwork holiday party and could be easily worn after the holiday season for a date night with your sweety!

This is a self-drafted pattern that I created using an existing knit pencil skirt. Its high-waisted and has a black elastic waistband.  I also added a lining made from some nude powermesh that I had in my stash for ages.  A little quick tip with the lining.  I like to cut my knit powermesh lining a 1/2 inch smaller than the outer skirt.  It gives a little compression and smooths out your curves nicely.  The sequins I purchased from Joann Fabric.

I chose to keep it sleek with a black blazer, black tank top and suede stilleto boots.  I added a little extra bling with these rhinestone black/gold tassle earrings.  I wanted the sparkle of the beautiful blue sequins to be the star of this outfit.

I also included a few tips that I learned from sewing with sequins below the pictures. I hope you find them helpful.

Tips for Sewing w/ Sequins

  1. Use lots of pins to pin your pattern down.  Those sequins are slippery.  I also used a very sharp rotary blade to cut my pattern instead of scissors. Made it easier to keep the fabric from shifting.
  2. Depending on how bulky your sequins is you may have to remove the sequins from the seam allowance prior to sewing your sequins.  Mine wasn’t so bad and I was able to cut it and sew without removing any of the sequins.
  3. Use a very sharp micro-tex needle.  I used a size 80 microtex needle. This went through my fabric easily without skiping stitches or thread breaking.
  4. Use an all purpose thread in a matching color.  I used a zig zag stitch and followed up with a straight stitch because it was a knit fabric and you could see the thread through the side seams.  Going over the seam a second time with a straight stitch helped tremendously.
  5. Hem your garment by hand.  I top stitched my pencil skirt hem but wish I would have hand finished the hem. It stretched out my hem a little bit.  Not too noticeable.

Well, that’s all for now! Until next time!

xoxo,

♥ Iris

DIY Upcycled Faux Fur Mittens and Tips for Sewing with Fur

“Let the peace of Christ [the inner calm of one who walks daily with Him] be the controlling factor in your hearts [deciding and settling questions that arise]. To this peace indeed you were called as members in one body [of believers]. And be thankful [to God always].” Colossians 3:15 (amp)

Hello Everyone!

Happy Thanksgiving!  I hope you all are enjoying your holiday.  This is my favorite time of the year.  I always look forward to the holiday meal preparations and family gatherings.

Today’s post is dedicated to the DIY gift makers.  A few years ago I made a bunch of fleece lined mittens from upcycled wool sweaters for the men in my family. They were a hit.  I thought about making them again when I realized that we might be in for a pretty frigid winter this year.  However, I wanted to give them a twist.  While I like how warm and economical it is to make them from wool sweaters.  I wasn’t esthetically feeling some of the wool sweaters that I was finding. They were a bit ugly or dated.

Then came an idea to try and source other kinds of wool fabric to make the mittens from.  I wanted them to still be warm and wondered if I could use an old wool suit or something like that.  I began to surf pinterest for ideas and tutorials but really couldn’t come across anything.  Then the other day the kids and I were in Target and I found these fun kids mittens made from bright blue, red and pink faux fur.  They were so cute.  They reminded me of cookie monster, elmo and cloe from Sesame Street.  The kids loved them.  So the idea eventually came to me to create my own furry version of a sweater mitten.

I found this beautiful black merino wool and angora sweater at the thrift store for $2.50.  It was the perfect weight and super soft.   

The faux fur I had in my stash from another project and I lined it with fleece that I had from some bath robes that I made the kids.

It took me a while to work out the design of this project and its still not perfect. But I liked the first go round.  I will say this project will work better with a short pile fur.  This fur is long and was meant to be used on a collar of a coat I was making.  But I didn’t want to spend a bunch of money on this project so I just gave the fur a hair cut.  They look like chubaka and pepe le pieu had a baby lol! But I think they are fun a bit glamorous and 100% warm.  Just what every single woman who has snow shoveling duty needs in her life!

I also thought is was a great opportunity to give a few tips for sewing with fur. Below are some pictures and quick tips.

  1.  Never cut into the fur. It will cause a lot of shedding. Instead turn the fur over so that the knit backing is facing you and the fur is touching the surface of your cutting table.
  2. Place your pattern on the knit backing and using a marker trace your pattern onto the backing of the fabric.
  3. Use the tip of your scissors or even better a box cutter and cut just through the backing of the fabric (not the fur) along the traced pattern line.
  4. Once done.  Shake out all of the loose fur and pin your pieces together trying to keep as much fur out of the seam as possible.
  5. After you sew your seams together you may have to trim some of the fur on the inside and outside of your fabric at the seams.
  6. Never press faux fur.  You will have to press the seams down with your hands or a hammer.

Thats it.  Super simple. The pattern maker in me wants to work out the kinks in my pattern and play with fabric ideas.  So stay tuned.  You may see more improved versions of my furry sweater mittens.  Until then enjoy the rest of your day!

xoxo!

❤️ Iris

Pattern Hack Tutorial: DIY Puff Sleeve Peplum Top Using McCalls 7722

You can download and print the free pdf illustrated copy of the tutorial 

“An excellent woman [one who is spiritual, capable, intelligent, and virtuous], who is he who can find her? Her value is more precious than jewels and her worth is far above rubies or pearls.”

Proverbs 31:10 (amp)

Hi Everyone!

Happy Hump Day! I want to thank everyone for all of your comments and kind words from yesterday’s post.  It always keeps me encouraged.  Today’s post is short and sweet. As I mentioned yesterday I created a pattern hack tutorial for the peplum portion of this top.  If you missed yesterday’s post you can catch up here.

img_0746

This was a fun make and creating the peplum wasn’t hard at all.  I basically created rectangles using my desired measurements and used the cut and spread method of patterning to create the fullness for the peplum.  You can download and print the free pdf illustrated copy of the tutorial by clicking on the link below.

Puff sleeve peplum top tutorial

If you make it and have questions feel free to reach out to me I’d love to help. And would love it even more to see your finished version.

That’s all for now.  I hope you have a great rest of your week. Until next time.

XOXO!

❤️ Iris

DIY Knit Asymmetric Peplum Top Using McCalls 7722

This top has so much drama with the sleeves and peplum and is so figure flattering. I was aiming for a chic street style vibe.

“And my God will liberally supply (fill until full) your every need according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:19 (amp)

Hello Everyone!

Happy Tuesday! I pray that God bless you all with an abundance of peace this week. I was so excited to share this week’s make with you that I decided to post it a day early!

I loooooove this top! I got the inspiration from one of my favorite designers Johanna Ortiz. I love her work and have been keeping up with her collections for the past year. Below is the inspiration piece

While I love it as is. It’s cold in Wisconsin already and I wanted to make something more weather appropriate and practical for my lifestyle.

So I got the idea to create a knit version using McCalls 7722 for the bodice and sleeves and self-draft the peplum pattern. I created a pattern hack tutorial for the peplum. It will be up on the blog tomorrow.

This is a really great pattern as is. It has a cropped and longer length option as well as a few sleeve variations. It comes together quickly and the fit is good. I used view (A) for the bodice because it’s cropped and view (D) for the sleeves. I cut the pattern size 18 and it fit perfectly.

The fabric is a black ponte knit that I picked up at Joann fabric. I love the feel of ponte. The rayon in the fabric gives it such a luxurious feel and great elasticity. I plan on buying more for a few other knitwear projects.

This top has so much drama with the sleeves and peplum and is so figure flattering. I was aiming for a chic street style vibe. I paired it with my skinny jeans, a black obi belt and added more drama with black Stiletto suede boots that I recently purchased from Forever 21.

Well that’s all for now. Until next time.

XOXO!

❤️ Iris

That Style Though Sewing Planner Review

I’ll be honest planning ahead is not really one of my strongest characteristics but it is something I have had to be intentional about.

“She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come.” Proverbs 31:25

Hello Everyone!

Happy Hump Day! I pray everyone’s week is bursting with productivity and new opportunities!  One of the things that I have been trying to do for the past few weeks is planning ahead.  Especially for the blog.  It has always been a blog goal of mine to be 1-3 months ahead of schedule. Having makes and post ideas done a season ahead frees me up to do other things as well as be more consistent with my posting.

I’ll be honest planning ahead is not really one of my strongest characteristics but it is something I have had to be intentional about. One of those intentional actions included using a blog and sewing planner. I had been looking for one for awhile without success.

Until an opportunity to collaborate with Dari from “that style though” sewing blog.  She put out a request for testers on instagram for her soon to be released 2019 sewing planner. I thought “great…! why not help someone else out and see if her planner layout works for my planning needs.”

This was definitely a win for me.  I love her planner because not everyone’s sewing process is the same and this gives you multiple ways to use it.  If your a sewing blogger or vlogger you can use it for that.  If your a sewist and just want a way to map out your design ideas from conception to finished garment; it definitely allows you to do that as well.

What I particularly like is that it allows you to organize your makes by seasons and/or months. For me, I am a seasonal sewing planner and I used it to map out my fall/winter makes not only for the blog but also for some other projects i’m beginning to work on for 2019.

I also like that it walks you through a project planning process which includes a mood board, a color palette page, a sheet to sketch out some of my ideas, pages to document the patterns I plan on using for my projects and even a closet inventory sheet.

If your looking to organize your sewing life I highly recommend “That Style Though” sewing planner. It was just released on November 6th and you can purchase your very own copy for $10 here.

Well that’s all for now!  Until next time!

❤️xoxo

Iris

Pattern Hack Tutorial: Asymmetric Pencil Skirt

For today’s post I created a step by step illustrated tutorial for how to draft a pattern for your very own version of this project.

But as for me, I trust [confidently] in You and Your greatness, O Lord;
I said, “You are my God.” Psalm 31:14 (amp)

Hello Everyone!

Thank you so much for all the love and comments that I received for my Sew the Look: Asymmetric Pencil Skirt.  If you missed it you can catch up here.  Pattern Hacking is a new term for me but as I began delving into the world of sewing blogs I realized that it is a term used to describe how to alter a pattern in order to create another design. Actually in fashion school that is all we learned how to do.  You start with what’s called a sloper or block and you manipulate the pattern into the design that your creating.

For this particular project, I used Simplicity 8394  because it was very similar to the skirt that I wanted to make and I knew I could make it with very few pattern adjustments.  However, the great thing about this skirt project is that you can make it using a well fitting pencil skirt pattern as well.

For today’s post I created a step by step illustrated tutorial for how to draft a pattern for your very own version of this project. You can use simplicity 8394 if you like, but for this tutorial I show you how to make the pattern using a pencil skirt. Below is an image of what the illustrated tutorial looks like. You can also download the pdf copy of the  asymmetric skirt pattern hack tutorial here.

assymetric pattern hack tutorial

Please note that this is a patterning tutorial and not a sewing tutorial. It assumes that you have previous sewing knowledge and that you are familiar with using sewing patterns.

Well thats all for now!  Until next time….

xoxo!

Iris

Sew the Look: DIY corduroy pencil skirt using Simplicity 8394

“Let us not grow weary or become discouraged in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap, if we do not give in.” Galatians 6:9

Hello Everyone!

Happy Hump Day!  Every now and again I come across a ready to wear garment that I really like and want to add to my wardrobe only to find out that its either out of my price range or not in my size.  When that happens I try and see if its something that I can easily make myself.  So is the case of this cute denim pencil skirt I came across one day while scrolling through pinterest.  I posted the original image below.

Grazen Blue Jeans Asymmetrical Midi Skirt | La Petite Garçonne

I particularly loved the assymetric hemline and raw hem on the peplum.  I’ve been on an unfinished hem kick lately.  I like distressed finishes on a garment but in moderation.  And this skirt offers that balance for me. Below is picture of the inspiration skirt.

What I did

I used simplicity 8394  as the foundation for this skirt.  I’ve used this pattern before and I already knew that I liked the fit so all I had to do was alter the pattern. What was great about using simplicity 8394 is that I only had to alter the hemline of the skirt.  It already had the peplum in the pattern.  If you want to create this look for yourself but don’t own this pattern, I created an illustrated tutorial on how to alter this pattern using a pencil skirt. It includes how to draft the peplum pattern.  I’ll be posting that either tomorrow or Friday.

For my version I chose to use a rust colored stretch corduroy fabric that I purchased from Joann Fabric.  I wanted a heavier weight fabric so that I could wear tights during the colder months.

Style it

Fall weather is so tricky and dressing in layers is definitely the way to go.  So I created a sleek layered look with a black turtleneck, black leatherette jacket, black fishnette tights and my Madden Girl peep toe stilleto booties. The skirt gives the look a nice pop of color  and I added a cheatah print belt to add interest and definition at the waist.