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 Summer Dress Using Tabitha Sewer’s LenaHorne Dress Pattern

This week’s post is my version of the #lenahornedress from Tabitha Sewer

“So now, do not be afraid; I will provide for you and support you and your little ones.” So he comforted them [giving them encouragement and hope] and spoke [with kindness] to their hearts.” Genesis 50:21(amp)

Hey Y’all!

How’s it going? I’ve been suuuper chill these days! After a busy June and July, I finally have some down time. I’ve been casually taking care of some house work, engaging in some sewing, hanging out with friends, about to start a little fall planning. But I really feel like I’m in a season of relaxation. So I’ve been doing these things at a chill pace. How about you all….? How has your summer been?

This week’s post is my version of the #lenahornedress from Tabitha Sewer I was sew lucky to have won this pattern along with a whole bunch of sewing goodies from D&H fabric Co.’s  one year anniversary give away. I mean seeeeewwww much was in there! From fabric to sewing notions, earrings and even a DIY shoe kit from A Happy Stitch. I’ll be sharing what I make with these gifts over the next few weeks. Stay tuned!

So like I was saying…. The lenahorne dress pattern from Tabitha Sewer was one of my gifts and I decided to do my own version of it and share some of my thoughts on this pattern.

Pattern Review

The pattern instructions were very straight forward and easy to follow. I liked the method of construction that she used to sew the dress together. In particular the zipper insertion to the lined bodice was great! No need for hand finishing. It was completely inserted by machine. Which was such a time saver!

I like that she uses ready to wear measurements and sizing making it so easy for sewers to choose their correct size. I also liked the inclusivity of her pattern sizing. Sizes start at a 0 and range to a 24.

Fit and Design Modifications

The pattern for me fit true to size.  I am a ready to wear size 14 and I cut a pattern size 14 and it fit perfectly.  The only adjustment that I had to make was in the high bust. I had to pinch about 1″ out at the princess seams.

I’m not such a ruffles kind of girl so I opted to leave out the ruffle detail opting for straps that tie at the shoulders. For the shoulder straps I simply used the straps that were included in the pattern and cut an extra set of 2.  The other change that I made was in the skirt. I lengthened the hem by creating a peplum. Below are some brief instructions for how I created the peplum.

1) I traced view B of the dress’ skirt pattern (it reaches above the knee) to a separate sheet of pattern paper. (you can use butcher paper, tracing paper, tape printing paper together or even newspaper if you don’t have pattern paper).

2) I marked a series of lines 2-3 inches apart along the length of the skirt pattern.  Then using the slash and spread method I cut along the lines from the bottom all the way to but not through the top of each line. Leaving a hinge at the top to spread the pattern.

3) I then placed another large piece of pattern paper underneath the now slashed skirt pattern.  Evenly spreading and taping each slashed area to the paper underneath. This gave me the fullness only at the hem. I didn’t want a ruffled hem. I wanted a peplum.

4) Lastly, I remarked the hemline and cut the new pattern piece.

Fabric and Styling

I was on a tight budget this time around and I wanted to make a casual dress that I could wear in the hot summer August days ahead.  So I shopped the clearance shelves at Joann’s and found this shades of blue batik fabric that has a hint of purple and aqua running through it.  I broke up the print and created contrast by using a solid cobalt blue for the back bodice and straps.

I kept styling minimal with these aqua colored flip flops and shell earrings that picked up the blue and purple tones in the dress.  Another fun styling option would be to accessorize with pops of yellow with shoes and fun boho vibe earrings.

This was a fun impromptu shoot.  I was hanging out with one of my besties in Downtown Milwaukee at the Public Market.  We had lunch, chatted the afternoon away and decided to walk and take a bunch of selfies.  Before we knew it people were coming up to us asking if we wanted assistance taking pictures.  It was so nice to witness and receive kindness.

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Well thats all for now everyone!  Until next time…..!

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OOTD: Thrift The Look: Boyfriend Jeans and boxy blazers

“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.” Philippians 4:8 (NIV)

Hey Everyone!

I hope all is well.  My apologies for the late post.  My week has been a bit hectic.  I dropped my kids off to their dad for the summer over the weekend and then ended up with a mild summer cold.  So i’ve been nursing it while trying to get work done. But i’ve also fallen behind a bit on my blog posts.

Inspiration

This week’s thrift the look inspiration was a street style blazer look that I came across on Pinterest.  I love a great blazer with jeans. It’s easy to wear and is a go to favorite of mine when I need to look put together in a pinch.  Below are my inspiration photos.

Store Review

I love the laid back swag of these outfits.  In order to create my version of this look I took to the Goodwill of Oak Creek.  It was my first time to this particular location.  I liked that it wasn’t a big store and that it was clean.  They had a decent selection of items for me to pull from.  I bought quite a few things actually.  I went on a Monday late morning and it wasn’t too crowded.  The store staff were polite as well.

Styling

My complete look from Head to Toe came from the Goodwill.  Outside of the grey blazer, everything I purchased was from my Goodwill of Oak Creek visit.  Below are the details.

Blazer: 9 West purchased last spring at another Goodwill

She t-shirt: Ny and Company purchased at Goodwill of Oak Creek

Dark Wash Boyfriend Jeans: Ny and Company purchased at Goodwill of Oak Creek

Orchid Purple Suede Pumps: Guess purchased at Goodwill of Oak Creek (just a little tip.  when you purchase gently used shoes second hand.  I spray the insides with Lysol disinfecting spray. Before I wear them).

 

 

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

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Thrift The Look: Mix Animal Prints

“Yes, You are my rock and my fortress;
For Your name’s sake You will lead me and guide me.” Psalm 31:3 (amp)

Hey everyone!

How are you? I pray your weekend was filled with rest. Mine was a bit busy and included my children spending time with friends before they leave for the summer with dad, donuts and hot chocolate for breakfast, yard work and my daughter getting re-baptized and my son getting baptized for the first time. It was such a wonderful and spirit filled experience. I feel amazing and I am so thankful that even with all of the family and friend frenzy we still made time for God.  I’m so thankful!

Today’s post is the first of a new series that I am looking to introduce to the blog as an #OOTD called thrift The Look. I’m experimenting with different content creating ideas that do not always require me to sew or create a tutorial.

Since I’m already an avid thrifter the idea came to me to create on trend looks from second hand garments. This also fits in line with my desire to create a more sustainable wardrobe and sewing life. These posts will be in addition to my regular weekly DIY posts. Woohoo!

This week’s Thrift The Look is inspired by the 2019 animal print spring/summer trend. Animal print was a thing in the fall/winter and has decided to hangout for the warm weather months. Below is my inspiration image…

I kind of like the leopard on leopard look as shown in the middle image. But I also love the mixed print rocker girl vibe from the image on the right.

When I went to the Goodwill I had 3 different style ideas that I was hoping to find pieces that I could use to re-create the looks I was going for. The selection was a bit limited but I was super happy when I found a floral/cheetah print button front maxi dress circa 1990. It has flattering princess seams and sassy slits that extend from the princess seams starting just above the knee. It has a pretty bead detail at the back that looks a bit like an art deco tulip.  There is also a clever little casing with a drawstring at the back waist for further waist shaping. For the dress, scarf and t-shirt I paid a total of $11.52.

I was completely feeling it as a colorful duster over a t-shirt and skinny jeans. I found a black t-shirt with white writing that says “Love Wins” ( hello! I couldn’t resist it). To complete the mixed animal print look I decided it needed some more leopard action and headed over to the scarf section and found this cute leopard skinny scarf with black fringe. (which are trending come fall 2019 btw). This screamed rocker chic. It reminded me of Stevie Nicks or Steven Tyler of Aerosmith. Lenny Kravitz also likes his sexy scarves and tight jeans.

My look is probably more on the leopard street chic side than it is rocker girl. But it’s my interpretation of the trend right…?  To finish things off.  I put on my silver big hoop earrings and rummaged through my jewelry basket for as many stackable silvertoned braceletes that I could find. My shoes are Christian Siriano for payless shoes that I purchased last spring.  I’m happy with my look! I think its an approachable interpretation of the trend and a fun yet chic anytime of the day look!

 

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Well that’s all for now.  See you all on Wednesday for our usual DIY encounter.

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Shift Your Perspective: DIY 40s Inspired Wrap Top

“And we know [with great confidence] that God [who is deeply concerned about us] causes all things to work together [as a plan] for good for those who love God, to those who are called according to His plan and purpose.” Romans 8:28 (amp)

Good Day Lovelies!

I hope everyone is doing so well!  This weeks post is a result of some sudden yet unexpected blunders on my part.  I was planning on giving you all Look #1 of the Summer Sew Easy Series.  Complete with a diagram tutorial on my first make.  When a few things happened.

Blunder #1 I left the power cord to my mac book at the coffee shop last week Wednesday and didn’t notice it missing until Saturday and after calling the coffeeshop.  They said they didn’t have it. (so sad right…?)

Blunder #2 I had to order a new one on Monday morning and lucky for me I was able to pick it up at my local Best Buy on Tuesday only to come home and find out that I bought the wrong cord.  So I went back and very happily exchanged it for the right one later that afternoon.  Which leads me to….

Blunder #3 where it is Wednesday (blog posting day) and I realized that because I had already made and photographed my  project I still had time to post only to arrive at the coffeshop ready to work on creating the PDF diagram tutorial and I forgot my mouse and mouse pad at home.  Which I absolutely need to illustrate in Adobe Illustrator.

So this is probably where I…. at any other moment in my life, would have shut down the computer and cried or walked away and ate a bag of salty chips. lol! (the struggle is real).  But God has been doing such a wonderful thing in my life lately.  And that is…. He’s been helping me to shift my perspective.  While yes…..!  I was feeling a little frustrated and yes! I did shed a tear or two yesterday about the power cord issue.  I decided who cares if it doesn’t work out the way you want it too..?! What is the solution?  and keep going.

So here is my solution to this week’s post.  I am sharing with you all today Look #1 and the tutorial i’ll share tomorrow.  And I am totally smiling as I type this.  Its all good!

This week’s post is inspired by this 1940’s wrap top that I’ve seen on Pinterest for a few years now and i’ve always wanted to give it a try and liked the idea of making it for this series.  Its suuuper duuuuper easy to make and only really requires 1 yard of fabric for the average s-xl sized woman. If you are plus sized you will probably need more yardage.

I used a border printed stretch cotton panel that I purchased in Chicago last summer.  The fabric looked like it was printed with the idea of using it to make a gathered short skirt or tunic top.  Neither of which appealed to me.  I just really liked the print so much that I bought some.

I styled it kind of 90’s inspired with a denim skirt that I thrifted from the Goodwill last summer and yellow block heeled sandals and my favorite craft inspired (but store bought) statement necklace.  Its an easy summer outfit that I plan on wearing often.  The shirt is super comfy to wear and In addition to a skirt I could see it paired with shorts, wide leg jeans or palazzo pants, even as a swimsuit cover-up could be nice.  Below are a few pictures.  I even put together a collage of photos demonstrating how to tie it on.

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

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OOTD: Chunky Sweater and Cheetah Print Soft Skirt

 

“O come, let us sing joyfully to the Lord;
Let us shout joyfully to the rock of our salvation.” Psalm 95:1 (amp)

Hello Everyone!

I pray all is well with you!  Can you believe it…?! Thanksgiving has already passed and we are in full fledged Christmas season.  I am feeling so joyful these days.  I made the decision that I was going to rejoice my way into 2019.  I’m not going to let anything get me down.  Not even the early winter weather we’ve been experiencing here in Wisconsin!  I’ve already pulled out my heavy sweaters and very soon i’ll be wrapping a scarf around my neck.   Good thing for me chunky sweaters are all over the runway this season.

As I was scrolling through pinterest I was very intrigued by how designers are pairing oversized chunky sweaters with lighter weight soft skirts.  Below are a few examples. The look on the left is from Pabal Gurung and the look on the right is from Ulla Johnson.

Ulla Johnson коллекция | Коллекции осень-зима 2017/2018 | Нью-Йорк | VOGUE

It made me want to go through my closet and see if I had anything that I could pull from my existing wardrobe to play to with this look. To my surprise I was able to achieve a similar look with a rayon crepe cheetah print bias cut skirt that I recently bought from the thrift store and my favorite cream colored chunky knit H&M sweater that I had purchased from the Goodwill a few years ago.  In order to keep me from looking overly frumpy I loosely tucked the sweater in at the front and back.  Paired it with my new black suede stilleto boots from Forever 21 to give me height and provide a sleek silohuette.  Paired it with some yellow tassle earrings and voile!  My version of the designer look!

 

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

xoxo,

Iris