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 Wrap Dress Using New Look 6581

As for this week’s post. I made New Look pattern 6581. This is such a great make. It’s easy and straight forward.

“Since you are my rock and my fortress, for the sake of your name lead and guide me.” Psalm 31:3 (NIV)

Hello Lovelies!

As we are finally approaching the end of winter, I appropriately scheduled this week’s post as my last winter make. As the weather is starting to warm up and daylight savings has already made its mark, I’ve started to crave  spring. I’ve even started a few spring makes and I can’t wait to share them with you.

The weather and my wardrobe aren’t the only things shifting. I’ve also been steadily working behind the scenes working out some changes to the blog.  I’ll be making some announcements in the coming weeks so stay tuned!

What I can share with you in greater detail today is my new website. I’ve been trying to figure out how to best bring together everything that I do under one website. I spent quite a bit of time working out logos, web hosting sites, domain names etc. and finally at the beginning of 2020 things started to fall into place.  I’m still tweaking things but overall I’m happy with what I have. You can check it out Here.

As for this week’s post. I made New Look pattern 6581. This is such a great make. It’s easy and straight forward. I made both the dress view A  and the pants view C. Wearing a head to toe pant set made from the same fabric is a bit over the top for me. I tend to like to mix and match things. However, I didn’t mind the finished look of the pant set.  It was a definite style change for me. but I definitely prefer wearing the dress separately.  

The fabric that I used was a mid-weight stable knit.  I bought it on super clearance from Joann’s back around Christmas.  I think I paid $18 for about 5 yards of fabric.  Its very warm as well, which is what I wanted for a winter dress.  

As I mentioned earlier this make was a pretty straight forward pattern.  The only design change that I made was to turn the straight sleeve into a bishop sleeve.  The other changes were for fit.  I did the following to adjust my pattern to fit my body:

  1. Shortened the bodice by 1inch to accommodate my short waist
  2. Increased the back rise of the pants by 3 inches to accommodate my fuller backside and shortened the front 3 inches as I do not carry a lot of weight around my stomach.
  3. The last thing that I did was to change the way that I finished my wrap neckline. I’ll go into a little detail about why below and then talk about how I did it.

The biggest reason I changed the way that I finished the neckline is because I don’t like the way commercial patterns finish knit wrap necklines.  They often tell you to either a) use woven bias tape or b) include a facing and instruct sewers to apply fusible interfacing.  I don’t like either of these methods because they both restrict the stretch of the fabric at the neckline.  While the neckline does need to be stabilized you still need the stretch in the fabric.  It’s the stretch that helps the fabric to mold around the curves of the bust and neck area on the body.  Without it you will have gaping.  

So I sought out to find a way to finish the neckline.  I could have approached it by using a knit bias tape but I opted not to do that as I didn’t really feel like cutting bias strips.  Instead I did the following:

  1. I used the facing pattern piece and cut it in the same fashion fabric as my dress.  I did not add interfacing as a stabilizer for the neckline.
  2. Instead. I sewed 3/8″ wide clear elastic to the neckline by sandwiching it in between the dress and facing along the neckline seam.  
  3. I finished the neckline facing by top stitching the facing down using my twin needle.
  4. I neatened up the facing by trimming back the excess facing fabric along the zig zag stitches.
  5. I smiled at how well my experiment turned out.

Overall I was happy with my results. I still had a bit of gaping at the neckline but that is because I needed to shorten the neckline a bit more to accommodate my small bust line. I opted to sew in a small snap closure to help keep the neckline from gaping.

I also think that If I used a different fabric that I could go without clear elastic.  This fabric was okay for this project but is better suited for knit pajamas or a lightweight sweatshirt and would respond better to ribbed knit trim finish.  I also might be overthinking it.  

As for styling.  You know me I keep it simple.  I layered the dress with this great light weight knit turtleneck and some statement earrings. I captured photos of me in both the pant set and as a dress worn with my black suede stiletto heeled boots.  Chic meets comfort in this outfit. Not to mention warm.  

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

DIY Maxi Skirt using New Look 6213 and Pattern Review

“So I have seen that there is nothing better than that a man should be happy in his own works and activities, for that is his portion (share). For who will bring him [back] to see what will happen after he is gone? “Ecclesiastes 3:22 (amp)

“So I have seen that there is nothing better than that a man should be happy in his own works and activities, for that is his portion (share). For who will bring him [back] to see what will happen after he is gone? “Ecclesiastes 3:22 (amp)

Hello Lovelies!

I pray everyone had a great week! I’m not going to lie. My week felt like such a struggle. Sewing, caring for my family and just general tasks felt like a burden. I found the above scripture during my study time the other day and it reminded me that everything that I’ve been called to do is important. And I should remain thankful instead of complaining. I found myself praying and remembering this scripture every time I started to feel burdened during my day. It helped me to stay focused despite how I felt.  I feel better now too.

How about you…? Do you have a favorite scripture that you remember or pray when your feeling burdened by life? I’d love to hear what it is.

As for this week’s make. I was so delighted to make this week’s skirt for the skirt making series.  If you missed my earlier makes you can check them out here and here .  I also shared a few tutorials that you can check out herehere, and here.

Inspiration

The inspriation for this week came when I stumbled on about 4-5 yards of a very colorful and lovely rayon crepe fabric at the Goodwill.  I only paid $5.00 for it.  I was so excited!  The print and color emits a bit of a boho vibe. Below is a close up of the print. Isn’t it pretty!?

I decided that this fabric would make a very chic fit and flare maxi skirt but had a hard time finding a pattern in the maxi length.  So I ended up lengthening New Look 6203 View J.  The skirt is a bias cut A line skirt.  Which is very figure flattering and reminds of a slip.  This pattern was a very easy make.  It was one pattern piece and the front and back were cut flat on the bias.  Which is gives it its shaping. and allows the skirt to skim over the hips and then flare out into the hem.

What I did

I lenghtened the pattern by about 8 inches to create the length I wanted and had to add about 6 inches at the hip and waist.  The one thing I don’t like about New Look Patterns is that their sizing runs small.  The other change that I made was the way I finished the waistband. The pattern did not call for a separate waistband.  It just folded over the fabric at the waistline and top stitched to form a casing for an elastic to be inserted.

Since the skirt reminds of a slip I decided to finish the waistband like I would a slip.  I found a great slip making tutorial on the craftsy website blog and I found white lingerie elastic at Joann’s.  It was super easy to finish the waistband this way and gave the skirt the desired look I was going for.  My only regret was not finding black lingerie elastic.  Because the elastic is meant to peek out at the top having a matching color makes a difference. Outside of those adjustments I followed the pattern as directed and it was very easy to read and follow.

Style it!

Ironically this look reminds me of a deconstructed kimono.  I didn’t plan it that way.  I actually wanted a look that was chic yet cozy and comfortable to wear. As the weather is shifting to cooler temperatures I have to resist the temptation to put on anything that looks like a wearable blanket. lol!  The obi belt gives me the shaping that I need in my waist area and keeps me from looking frumpy as the skirt and cardigan have very soft silohuettes.

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

xoxo!

Iris

DIY Denim Tent Dress using New Look #6511

This weekend had a few highlights and today’s DIY denim tent dress was definitely one of them.

“Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all.” Proverbs 31:29

Hello Everyone!

Happy Monday!  I hope your weekend was as refreshing as mine was!  I really enjoyed myself its 2 weeks and counting before my kids come back from their summer away with their dad.  And while I miss them, I have been really enjoying my time off.  So i’m trying to get my list of things I wanted to enjoy this summer completed before their return. Some of them being going on a hike (never done that and this year I said I was going to do it.), take a summer river boat cruise and visit the Wisconsin State Fair.  I know nothing too exciting but things I have never done or haven’t enjoyed in a while.  

This weekend had a few highlights and today’s DIY denim tent dress was definitely one of them.  I finished it late last week and had the opportunity to wear it this weekend.  It was a hit everywhere I went.  I got compliments like:  ” That is the cutest denim dress ever!” and I love that dress your wearing!  Its so sassy!”  I’m a pretty shy person by nature so compliments can be hard for me to receive because of the attention.  but because I designed and made it.  It kind of made me feel a little inflated inside.  Not big headed.  but big hearted.  It encouraged my heart!  So big thanks to every women who took the time to notice my dress.  I give God glory for it!

On to the DIY part!  I used New Look #6511. I normally don’t use New Look Patterns because their sizing tends to run small.  So I end up having to make too many alterations.  But this one was good because I used view A and it was a crop top which I lengthened into an a aline dress.  I then self drafted the ruffle pattern.  I used a chambray fabric that I found at a thrift store for about $4.00 it was about 5 or 6 yards.  To give it some interest I used both the wrong and right side of the fabric. top stitched the seams in the front and sides with a dark blue denim thread and left the neck line and hem line raw and made fringe from the raw edges.  Armholes get a lot of wear so I decided to finish the hem with bias tape and top stitch it down. 

Style It:  I kept it simple and boho allowing the dress to be the star.  The shoes are a pair of wooden platforms from Sam Edelman that I picked up on super clearance at DSW about a year ago for $10 (I know awesome right!)  They are actually very light and comfortable.  The necklace I found at Ashley Stewart for $9.99 a cloth covered beaded necklace.  Its very light and comfortable to wear as well and who doesn’t love yellow!  So for a total of about $24.00 I have a complete head to toe look.  I love it!

 

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That’s it for now!  Can’t wait to share with you my next look.  I pray this post inspires you to run out and make your own sassy denim dress!

Until next time!

xoxo,

Iris

 

 

 

Pattern Review: DIY Pants and Top Simplicity 8655 & New Look 6519

“That my heart may sing your praises and not be silent.
    Lord my God, I will praise you forever.” Psalm 31:12

Hey y’all! it’s been a minute since i’ve posted here but I’ve been crazy busy with moving the business into our new studio space. woohoo! right…!

After 2 years of working at school and home I am finally at a point where I can afford dedicated sewing and creative space.  I’m also in the process of buying a house!  I’m super excited for this new season in my life!

In between it all I have been working on pants fitting.  Even in design school this was a challenge for me. But I decided that I was going to use the blog as a platfrom to tackle all the hard stuff and share my journey and lessons learned with my readers. This post is more a pattern review but I plan on posting later this week some of my top lessons learned.

On to the Pattern Review.  Beginning with the pants.  I used simplicity 8655 new Mimi G Style pattern.  I chose these pants because they seemed easy enough and I really liked the high waist and leg options.  I made the flare leg option first and I really liked the pattern.  It was easy to make all of the pattern adjustments and it sewed together quickly.  These are basically my final muslin.  I used a bottom weight stretch sateen from Joann fabric.  I had to add 2inches to the back rise and take about 2.5 inches off of the front crotch. I also had to shorten at the knee by about an 1in.  The one thing I will say about this pattern is that I don’t like the facing at the waistband.  I plan on making these again in a better quality fabric and just add a 1″ waistband.  Overall I like the fit especially in the butt and hip area but next time I think I will take in a little bit at the leg and knee and I may also reduce the flare at the hem to fit more like a bootleg.

The top is  New Look 6519. I really liked this pattern it came together quickly and I went straight into fashion fabric.  The only thing I changed was to create the bell sleeve that I attached to the hem of the drop shoulder for a little bit of drama and contrast.  The fabric I purchased at Joann Fabric. Its a houndstooth stretch suiting.  Its very soft and has a nice weight and drape to it. The bell sleeve is made from a black stretch sateen.

I wore this outfit to church today and felt very feminine and chic!! uuuuwww Lala!  lol!  I paired the black and white with pops of color with the pink in my shoes and my necklace.

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Well thats it for now!

As always I hope this post was a blessing to you. Until next time!

xoxo

Iris