Self-Drafted DIY Ankara Dress

“……….They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of his splendor.” Isaiah 61:3

Hey all!

How are you? It has been a minute since i’ve last blogged. I had such an amazing quarantine spring and summer experience. My business started to blossom again with a few wedding commissions. I enjoyed it. However, with the exception of today’s look, it made it difficult for me to find time to sew for myself let alone blog. Today’s look is a DIY dress that I made in July. It is self drafted. I pulled out my foundation patterns that I drafted back in design school and started putting my pattern making skills to work. The inspiration for this dress actually came from a vintage 70s DIY self drafted pattern that I’ve looked over time and again on Pinterest. Below is a picture of the inspiration piece. I felt inspired by the fabric to make something with a very earth mama vibe to it. 70’s is all about the earth mama vibes and this pattern seemed to fit the bill.

I actually made it to go to church. Our church was in service at a limited capacity in person for a short time in July. I love to wear dresses to church and I could see myself praising God in it. However, sadly I didn’t respond to the RSVP in time and missed the opportunity to go in person. Hence the dress has been hanging in my sewing room. Until today. I decided that I was going to have an impromptu photo shoot and share it with you all virtually.

I love the way it feels on my body. It fits nicely, and the cotton is soft and smooth. If feels like velvet on my skin. I call it my goddess dress because I feel very divine, pretty and powerful wearing it. I kept accessories to a minimum. Just my favorite go to gold hoops. For the shoot I stayed barefoot. It seemed very appropriate.

Not a whole lot of chat about how I made this dress. Just an opportunity to dance and smile in front of the camera and share my work.

Photo Credits: Asabea Christian (aka my daughter)

DIY Kimono using New Look 6217

My main inspiration for this make was about pushing myself to sew with more challenging fabrics.

“There is a time for everything,
    and a season for every activity under the heavens:”

Ecclesiastes 3:1 (NIV)

Hello Lovelies!

I pray that everyone is safe and healthy. That seems to be the recurring message that i’ve been hearing just about everywhere that I go these days. The truth of the matter is that we are all handling quarantine life in our own unique ways. I’m a bit of an introvert myself and I actually enjoy being in my home, but even still I’ve had to make some adjustments to my schedule now that my kids are home with me during the day. It took me a couple of weeks to adjust to our current season, but, thankfully I finally settled into this quarantine life.

This week’s blog post is short and sweet. I didn’t think I was going to photograph this make. but I woke up this morning and the weather was a glorious 70 degrees today in Wisconsin and I couldn’t resist the temptation to play with my new camera. The camera was my Christmas gift to myself. I have been wanting to step up my blogging game with better quality photos and I researched all of the camera options out there. I knew I wanted a DSLR camera but didn’t really have the $400+ budget for the super fancy cameras that a lot of bloggers recommend. Instead I chose the Cannon Power shot SX530 HS it was half the price of the Cannon DSLR 6 but still had the kind of picture quality that I was looking for. I think its a higher quality point and shoot camera, that has includes some of the fancy features of the more expensive cameras. All of the reviews said that this was a nice entry level camera. Sometimes you have to give yourself room to upgrade.

So here is my kimono using New Look 6217. I’ve had this pattern and fabric in my stash for quite some time. My main inspiration for this make was about pushing myself to sew with more challenging fabrics. You know fabrics like silk, charmeuse, chiffon, etc. I liked the idea of a kimono as the silhouette was easy leaving me room to focus on properly handling the fabric. It was not hard at all. Especially using my industrial machine. I’ve been sewing with a Juki straight stitch machine since about 2015. I love! love! love! my sewing machine. She is my ride or die and outside of needing a serger for finishing and my home sewing machine for buttonholes and hemming my knit projects. She is all I need.

The pattern is straight forward to use and I chose to add a little extra flare by sewing a fringe trim at both the bottom and sleeve hem. The other thing that I did was to ditch the pattern facing in favor of creating a band to finish the front neckline using a silky black polyester fabric that I purchased from Joann fabric.

Initially, I didn’t think that this kimono was my style, but a quick trip to my closet and I had coordinated a couple of looks for both day and even a cute night look. You know for when we can go back to living a normal life. lol! The colors of the kimono even inspired me to create a make-up palette for the shoot.

This week’s photo shoot is courtesy of my beautiful daughter Princess Asabea. She turned 15 this year ya’ll. She is such a quiet and powerful force that God used me to birth into the universe. I’m grateful for her. She has so much patience for me ( I can be bossy at times).

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

DIY Knit Dress Using McCalls 7999

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith.……” Hebrews 12:1-2 (NIV)

Hello Everyone!

It is my sincerest hope that you all have been approaching your new year with great expectation and a zeal to chase after your dreams. I’m super proud of myself as I walked into 2020 with a revived sense of purpose and a desire to approach each day focused and excited for where God is taking me. It hasn’t been easy and I had to make some life changes.

For one. I gave up coffee and sugar again and I feel so much better. I was developing a nasty caffeine addiction. I’ve given it up in the past but end up right back on the sauce. While I love my morning cup of coffee, I was using caffeine to give me energy so that I could get through my busy schedule. The caffeine and sugar highs were making it hard for me to focus, my stomach started to become bloated and I was starting to have mood swings.

So when my church went on our annual fast at the beginning of January and the list called for us to cut caffeine and sugar from our diet; I knew it was a help line from heaven to make the change I needed.

I did it gradually, but after 3 weeks, I knew I was in a good place. My mind is more focused and my body’s nervous system has quieted down. I feel less anxious. I’ve re-worked my schedule so that I’m not constantly running. If i’m feeling overwhelmed by teaching, business, ministry and family responsibilities, I take a small break on my light days. Even if it means taking a short nap. I started walking even in the cold weather. This year the winter has been mild. Our days have consistently been around 30 degrees. I bundle up real good and walk for 45 minutes. The walk gives me the boost I need but it also has done wonders to keep the winter blues away.

I’m super grateful for the shift. I am definitely finding my version of balance.

As for this week’s post. This is a long overdue review of McCalls 7999 view C. I made this dress back in November. I’ve worn it several times already and I even put out a sneak peak pic on my Instagram page last month. I’m just keeping it real with you all. (lol!) I looooooove! this pattern. This was such an easy make. I had the pattern cut, made a short waist adjustment and sewn within 2 hours. I sewed the entire dress with the exception of the collar using the flat construction method on my serger. I love flat construction when it makes sense to use it. Especially when sewing knits on my serger. It speeds things up as you sew and finish your edges at the same time.

The pattern is straight forward and beginner friendly. There are only 4 pattern pieces and I cut it for a size Large. My short waist adjustment and taking out another 1 inch of ease at the waist was the only fit adjustments that I needed to make. I used a medium weight moderate stretch knit. from Joann Fabrics. It was on a 70% off clearance corner. I think I paid a total of $12 for about 3 yards of fabric.

I love it because it’s warm and all I need is to put on some control top black tights for shaping, smoothing and extra warmth underneath. I decided to keep it on a street style vibe and wore my black patent leather platform oxfords and statement earrings. I’ve also worn it with a black leatherette jacket to add a little bit of interest and layering for colder weather.

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

Sew Easy Summer Pattern Round Up

“In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus:” Philippians 2:5

Hey Everyone!

How are you?  Any special 4th of July plans?  I wish I was one of those people that gets into holiday sewing.  I always admire folks who take the time to make a red,white and blue kind of sewing project.  Or costume sew for Halloween. or make matching christmas pajamas for their kids.  Thats just not my thing. lol!

I am looking forward to the 4th of July holiday though.  My kids are away with their dad but my brother and his family are flying in from Arizona.  I am really looking forward to spending sometime with my nieces and nephews.

This week’s post is a Sew Easy Summer Sewing Pattern Round UP.  Like I mentioned when I announced this series I was looking to sew projects that had minimal pattern pieces (5 or less), no zipper or button closures.  Pretty much anything that I can pull up or pull over my head.  I also thought some of you might be feeling kind of craft lazy this summer also and would like to keep sewing projects laid back and easy.  Below is a list of what I pulled from the latest spring/summer collections from the Big 3 as well as a few indy patterns companies.

The Patterns

The Big 3 Companies

Vogue

V9374 Pull on Pants

V9375 MISSES’ VEST, JACKET AND PANTS

V9377  Misses Jacket and Belt

Butterick

B6691 Misses Jacket and Jumpsuit

B6680 Misses Dress

B6685 Misses Top and Sash

McCalls

M7942  Misses’, Children’s and Girls’ Top, Skirt, Shorts and Pants

Indy Pattern Companies

For this list I just linked you to a handful of company websites because many of them only have a handful of patterns on their site.  Many of which are stylish, very easy and beginner friendly.  Its worth the extra effort to spend time on their sites.  They often have really great blogs and tutorials in addition to their shop.

Paper Theory Patterns

Style Sew Me

Closet Case Patterns

Megan Nielsen Patterns

Friday Pattern Company

MimiG Style

Rosy Peña Patterns

That’s it!  A nice round up of some great and easy sewing patterns to help you build your handmade summer wardrobe without too much fuss.  Have a great 4th of July holiday everyone! Catch you next week…

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DIY Tunic Top using Simplicity 8094

 

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

Hey Everyone!

I’ve been appreciating all of the love with the Thrift The Look series that launched on Monday.  Today’s post is a continuation of the Summer Sew Easy Series.  We are on Look #3 already and I can’t tell you how much I love this tunic.

I used Simplicity 8094. I bought this pattern last spring and I think it is out of print now.  I’ve found it on Ebay and Etsy though.  I love it for many reasons.  There are so many style variations that you can try with this pattern.  The first time I made it in a tribal print medium weight knit fabric and I made view E.

This time around I made the sleeveless option view D using a red light weight cotton from my stash.  I love the dramatic side slits that start at the waistline.  It gives a modestly sexy side profile ( can you use modest and sexy in the same sentence..?).  But if you don’t like showing that much silohuette you can always wear a tank top underneath, wear high waist pants, or just sew the slit a little lower.  Overall its a great casual everday look or you could dress it up by wearing faux leather leggings or a pencil skirt underneath.  Even wearing a pair of stilettos with your skinny jeans would amplify the look.

The pattern was easy to cut and sew.  I plan on making a few more of these.  I could see it in a nice printed rayon or linen would be beautiful as well. If you use cotton I recommend one that has a nice drape to it.  Nothing too stiff.

I styled it very casual with a pair of dark wash skinny jeans from NY and Company purchased like 2 years ago.  And my favorite cognac and snake print wedges that I purchased on clearance from DSW last summer.

Photo credits: my beautiful daughter Asabea.

 

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

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