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!

 

IMG_9113IMG_9111IMG_9124IMG_9132

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

 

 

 

Advertisement

Sunday Wrap Dress and Pattern Review McCalls M7627

The best feeling in the world to me is to go to church and honor God by wearing something that I made with the gift that He gave me.  

“……to bestow on them a crown of beauty
    instead of ashes,the oil of joy, instead of mourning, and a garment of praise
    instead of a spirit of despair.They will be called oaks of righteousness,
    a planting of the Lord for the display of his splendor.” Isaiah 61:3

 

Hello Everyone!

I’m so sorry I haven’t posted in 2 weeks.  The last two weeks have been very busy and i’ve been working on releasing a pre-fall mini collection for my clothing label Virtuous By Design.  Which is exciting!!! but has pulled my attention in other places.  However, this week I got a small opportunity to work on this wrap dress.  I absolutely love a wrap dress. They are timeless, figure flattering and very comfortable.

I made it to wear to church using Mccalls M7627, view C.  I don’t know about you guys but I love getting dressed up for church.  Especially when I get the opportunity to make my church attire.  The best feeling in the world to me is to go to church and honor God by wearing something that I made with the gift that He gave me.

Below are a few pictures of my make along with a brief pattern review. I want to thank my mom for being my impromptu photographer for this post.

IMG_9014

IMG_9012

IMG_9015

IMG_9016

 

IMG_9020

Pattern Description: wrap dress with full circle voluminous skirt. I love this dress!

Pattern Sizing: I made it with a size 18 and graded to a size 20 at the waist, but I should have made a 16 and graded to an 18 at the waist. It really does run large.

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? Yes!

Were the instructions easy to follow? Yes

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? I loooove the shape of this dress.  It is very figure flattering, I’m not always a fan of facings but for this dress it gives it a very clean finish and makes sewing and finishing a breeze.

Fabric Used: 100% cotton.  It is an Ankara print that my children brought me back from their family visit to Ghana last summer. The sash I made using a polyester fabric that I intended to use as a lining for another project but the color was perfect and I needed the extra fabric.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made: no.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? Definitely. This is such a fun dress! I am going to make one for my mom for her birthday.  She thinks its pretty.

Conclusion: this was a fun dress to make and I am really happy with it. It makes me feel so pretty.

Well that’s it for now! Until the next time!

xoxo,

Iris

DIY Fashion Remix Kick Off and Upcyled Look #1 w/ Tutorial

“Neither circumcision nor uncircumcision means anything; what counts is the new creation.” Galations 6:15 (NIV)

Hi Everyone!

Happy Monday!  So I am super excited to kick off the DIY Fashion Remix!  For the whole month of July I will be cutting, sewing, remixing old looks into new ones.  This is not a new thing by any means of the imagination! People have been doing this for centuries.  But it is something that i’ve wanted to fiddle more with for sometime now.  and woohoo! the time has arrived! Praise God! Hallelujah! lol!

Just to give you a little preview of what to expect over the next couple of weeks…

Each post this month will feature upcyled pieces that i’ve created from either thrifted items or something that I have in my existing wardrobe.  Its also my goal to share a tutorial of each of my makes.  There are a few ways to approach upcycling and some require little to no sewing skills what so ever.  My makes will require some basic sewing knowledge.  My goal is to demonstrate various ways to upcylce garments while showing how basic sewing skills can affordably extend your existing wardrobe.

Each tutorial will feature the sewing skill level, materials needed and step by step photos of how I created my re-makes.

So on to my first look…

Garment Inspiration/Description: I absolutely love the 2 piece set that I created from this very oversized dress. I found it at Value Village and I think I paid like $4.00 for it.  The tags were still on it and at first I was like yuck!  Frumpy and outdated.  I heard Madea in the back of my head saying: “Hellrrrr!  I wants my dress back.” lol!Lol!.IMG_8513

It also reminded me of what plus size clothing was circa the pre- curvy girl revolution in plus size clothing.  Thank God for size equality in the fashion industry.  This garments saving grace was the pretty embroidered sweet heart neckline along with those very cute floral buttons and the inseam pockets.  It had a very vintage quality to it that caused me to think of the women’s playsuits of the 40s and 50’s.

IMG_8514

I already knew that there was enough fabric to size down the garment into what I wanted. So I decided to make a crop top and gathered skirt set.  I styled the look with bright pink pumps, gold hoops and I styled my roller set hair in a high pin curled bun and tied a brightly colored striped scarf around my head.  I wanted to continue to play on the vintage inspiration with the final look. Below are my styled shots.  For the tutorial continue to scroll down past the photos.

IMG_5264

IMG_5247

IMG_5265

IMG_5257

And thats it.  I have to give my sister in law Tane Acevedo a special thank you for using her photography skills to take these shots for me!

Tutorial

Skill level: Advance Beginner/Intermediate

Materials needed: an oversized dress, metal jean or all-purpose zipper, scissors, dressmaker pins, bias tape, matching thread.

Skills used: installed a metal zipper, Shortened a skirt hem, created and attached a waistband, gathering, basic tailoring and alterations techniques, hemming using bias tape, topstitching.

What I did…

  1. I examined the dress and began deconstruct it, removing the things that I know I didn’t need.  For this project I removed the shoulder pads, cut the sleeves and the waist tie that buttoned at the front and tied to the back. I also unpicked the dress zipper from the skirt portion of the dress all the way up to about the mid back portion of the top.  I knew I could shorten the zipper and repurpose it to be used to close either the top or the skirt.  Since I had to gather the skirt and make a waistband I thought it would be easier use it for the top.

2. I cut the skirt away from the top just below the seam line.

IMG_8522

3.  Next I shortened the hem of the skirt by about 7inches (but you can shorten to your desired length). By simply using tailors chalk to mark the hem line directly on the skirt the length I wanted to remove and using my scissors to cut.

4.  From the fabric that I removed from the hem I was able to make my waistband.  I measured my waist which is 36″.  I added 1″ for ease and another 1/2″ for seam allowance which was a total of 37.5″ (note: because the skirt hem was already attached at the side seams I used one side seam to count as the fold of the fabric which meant that I only needed to add enough seam allowance for 1 seam which opened at the back of the skirt). I then devided this number by 2 which was 18.75″. This was for the length.  For the width, I wanted a 1.5″ wide waistband so I took 1.5″ and added 1/2″ to the top and bottom for a total of 2.5″ and I multiplied it by 2 for the facing for a total of 5″.

Once I figured out my measurements I used tailors chalk and a clear ruler to draw the waistband directly onto the fabric. and cut my new waistband.

IMG_8525

4.  I cut fusible interfacing 1.”x 37″  and fused it to the facing side of the waistband ( I don’t put interfacing in the seam allowance.  I find it makes my seams extra bulky and constricts the ease of my waistband)

IMG_8526

5.  I Put the waistband aside and took the skirt to the sewing machine and with a long running stitch (I put mine at 5 which is the longest stitch that my machine will make) I sewed along the waist end of the skirt leaving long thread tails at each end.  I then pulled on the thread tails and I evenly gathered the fabric until it reached the same size as the waistband.

6.  I then pinned the skirt to the waistband and sewed the waistband to the skirt. Once the skirt was attached, I folded the facing portion of the waistband over, pinned it down to the waistband and  pressed it flat. (note:  I serged raw edge of the facing side of the waistband.  If you don’t have a serger then you can just fold up the raw edge by about 1/2″.  This will give you a clean edge when you hand finish the facing to the waistband). Below is what it looked like once I finished.

7.  I serged the hem of the skirt first and then I thread marked the hem 1″ by running the skirt hem through my sewing machine along the 1″ mark.  This helped me to keep the hem even.  I then folded it up along the thread the basting as I ran the iron over the folded fabric (this helps to keep the fabric in place when you top stitch the final hem).  I finished the hem by topstitching at 3/4″ from the bottom hemline.

IMG_8575

8.  I finished the skirt by inserting a metal zipper at the back waistline (you could use any zipper application for this style of skirt but a metal jean zipper is what I had on hand and matched the metal zipper that was originally on the dress and what I used for the top). I then hand finished the waistband using a slip stitch.

IMG_8573

Top

9.  The first thing that I did for the top was to cut the sleeves.  The original sleeve seam was finished with a flat felled seam which was great!  This allowed me to carefully cut the sleeve off and still leave the seam finish in tack.  This made it so that I didn’t have to finish the sleeve hem and It now looks like a drop shoulder sleeve.

IMG_8538

10.  I then draped the top on my maniquinn and pinned the shoulders in place as well as lined the princess seams on my top with the princess seam line on my manequinn (pinning it this way ensures that the garment remains on grain when you begin to reduce the size of the top at the side seam).

IMG_8539

11.  I then pinned out the excess fabric at each side seam and cut off the excess fabric.  Making sure to leave enough excess fabric to sew the new side seams.

12.  Next I sewed the side seams.

13.  I shortened the zipper by carefully sewing across the bottom of the zipper back and forth several times before cutting off the excess zipper.

14.  I ended up removing 2 of the buttons from the bottom of the top in order to make room for hemming.

15.  Hemming the top using the self fabric was a little wonky for some reason so I ended up having to use bias tape in order to get an even and flat hem.  Once I attached bias tape to the hem of the top, I pressed out the seam and folded under the bias tape so that it was completely on the inside of the top and pressed it flat.  I then top stitched at 1/2″ from the bottom hem. Below is a picture of the finished bias tape hem from the inside of the top and the zipper from the outside.

IMG_8571

At thats it! From frumpy to modestly chic! I have a new outfit that I can’t wait to wear to a summer brunch or a day party with some of my lady friends!!!

Well I hope that you enjoyed today’s post!  I can’t wait to share my next fashion remix look!  Until next time!

xoxo!

Iris

The FIRE Awards and DIY Evening Look and Pattern Hack using Vogue 9253 and Simplicity 8655

“Then Pharaoh took off his signet ring from his hand and put it on Joseph’s hand, and dressed him in [official] vestments of fine linen and put a gold chain around his neck.” Genesis 41:42

“Then Pharaoh took off his signet ring from his hand and put it on Joseph’s hand, and dressed him in [official] vestments of fine linen and put a gold chain around his neck.” Genesis 41:42

Hey Ya’ll!

I pray all is well with you!  I had an amazing weekend that included sewing and spending time with my family,friends and going to church.  It was like my favorite hit list of things to do wrapped up in a few days!

I had a great time doing it all but I really wanted to spend sometime talking about this event that I went to Sunday evening called the FIRE Awards (Females in Recognition of Excellence).  A friend of mine was being recognized and I decided to go because I wanted to support her but I also liked that you could dress up and was like….. “who doesn’t like to do that.” So I made the DIY statement top and pants that I’ll talk about in a bit.

Back to the FIRE Awards….IMG_8488

I had never heard of it until this year but apparently its in its 3rd year.  It recognizes women and girls who are making a difference in the Milwaukee community.  While I went for my friend, there were a few awesome women that i’ve known for many years who were being recognized as well. Below are a few shots with just two of the women that I knew.  But there were a few others that I knew as well.

IMG_8432

IMG_8453

There were various categories of recognition that included entrepreneurship, community involvement, perseverance, sistahood, image and art and one award called the Josie Mae Thomas Award.  Each of the women recognized had an amazing story and journey that led them to the work that they are doing here in Milwaukee.  Which was so inspiring.  And each of them when they accepted their awards offered a word of encouragement and some even shed tears when they shared their testimonies with the audience.

What impressed me so much about this event was its sincerity.  It was clear to me that this event was birthed from someone’s heart and sincere desire to uplift girls and women.  I was also impressed with the fact that their sponsors were small local businesses and individuals who contributed to make sure the event costs were covered.  The venue and decorations were beautiful along with all the guests.  Everyone was dressed very well, with some wearing evening gowns and others wore dress casual.  I chose to live somewhere in the middle.  I am really not the evening gown kind of girl.  However, I do love what I call “red carpet casual”.

Which leads me to the pattern review and design details of this post.

IMG_8439

The entire look was 30’s and 40’s inspired with a modern twist.  It featured dropped shoulders and a  peplum with a plunge neckline and midriff that I used Vogue 9253  to create the upper bodice and the midriff and peplum were self-drafted. While I love the idea of a plunging neckline the original pattern’s version was a little too plunging for me.  Which led me to make the decision to remove about 2.5 inches from the hem of the bodice and create a 3 inch wide midriff instead.  This way I could still enjoy the plunge style without feeling too naked lol! I also needed to add an invisible zipper all the way down the back bodice, through the midriff and a few inches down into the peplum in order to be able comfortably get in and out of the top.

The peplum was a bit of a pain as I was playing with the shaping of the peplum.  I didn’t want it to be a traditional peplum I wanted it to wrap in the front to create a little bit of drama but still be figure flattering and not look too big.  So I spent a little bit of time draping it on my dress form until I got the shaping the way I wanted it.

The pants I’ve made before is Simplicity 8655  view C a mimi g style pattern.  I just tapered the leg at the knee on this one and reduced the flare at the hem to a slim bootleg cut and added a 1.5 inch self- drafted contour waistband instead of the facing.  Overall, I like the fit of these pants but I could have left a bit more ease in the knee and calf.  I am still working out how much ease to leave in a garment because I hate baggy clothes that lose their shape once you wear them so I tend to take it in a little too much.

The fabric was left over from my Junior Collection that I designed last spring for the annual student fashion show when I was in design school.  The Top is a metallic gold, brocade with charcoal grey, black and mauve pink accents that I sourced from Moodfabrics.com. Its lined with a black matte satin that I recently purchased from Joann Fabrics and the pants were made from a stretch wool suiting that I also sourced from Moodfabrics.com last spring for the show.

IMG_8446

I also have to give a shoutout to my hairdresser for this hairdo I’m wearing. You can find her on instagram @Liz_mke.  She’s pretty dope with the braids but she does it all.  Color, cuts, styling she great at as well.  If your in Milwaukee you should check her out.  Make-up was me and the shoes i’ve had for about 3 years now but seem to have an inifinite life cycle as they go with so many things in my summer wardrobe.

IMG_8444

And the final blessing of this evening is that I designed this look under my clothing label Virtuous By Design.  Its been awhile since i’ve created anything under this lable.  So it felt extra special.

IMG_8455

Well until the 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.

EABC8F02-3593-4C93-AD19-DBD97BED0E61

 

 

9EEDA49C-056D-42AB-9CC6-699EB05690D6

 

 

959171BD-5359-40FF-A045-60A5B29FAEB1EA633CFB-E0D1-4AB0-83A9-3746C9E7A8E59926367C-9B3F-4B8B-AF7C-AAF713DA1838961FE560-8CFD-41A1-93B3-3BBBC24288B6

Well thats it for now!

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

xoxo

Iris