DIY Velvet Asymmetric Tunic Using Vogue V9308

“I will exalt you, my God the King; I will praise your name for ever and ever.” 

                                                                                                Psalm 145:1

Hey Everyone!

Ever wonder where velvet comes from? or what velvet burnout is?  Having made 3 projects for this month’s posts from stretch velvet; I began to think back to design school and my textiles class.  Out of all my design courses.  Textiles was the only lecture based class.  For a creative applied learner like myself and many other creatives, this at times felt like torture.  Thankfully my professor thought so too.  She did her best to incorporate hands on learning.

It was actually a very informative class where we learned so much about how fabrics are made.  And where the fibers for the yarns that are used for weaving our fabrics come from.  Like did you know that polyester is a petroleum based fiber?  It starts out as a liquid and then is transformed by heat into the thread and yarns used to weave the actual fabric. Or did you know that rayon although it is a synthetic fabric is created by using chopped up natural fibers as its base?  Thats why it drapes so well and is more comfortable to wear than other synthetic based fibers.

Which leads me back to my original question.  What is velvet? and what is velvet burnout?  The top that I am wearing in today’s post is a cheetah print made of a stretch velvet burnout.

What is velvet?

Velvet is a soft, luxurious fabric that is characterized by a dense pile of evenly cut fibers that have a smooth nap. Velvet has a beautiful drape and a unique soft and shiny appearance due to the characteristics of the short pile fibers.

How is velvet made?

Velvet is made on a special loom known as a double cloth, which produces two pieces of velvet simultaneously. Velvet is characterized by its even pile height, which is usually less than half a centimeter.

Velvet today is usually made from synthetic and natural fibers, but it was originally made from silk. Pure silk velvet is rare today, as it’s extremely expensive. Most velvet that is marketed as silk velvet combines both silk and rayon. Synthetic velvet can be made from polyester, nylon, viscose, or rayon.

There are several different velvet fabric types, as the fabric can be woven from a variety of different materials using a variety of methods. They are crushed velvet, panne velvet, embossed velvet, ciselé, plain velvet, stretch velvet, pile on pile velvet, and velvet burnout just to list a few.

There is also something called velour which is a knitted fabric made from cotton and polyester that resembles velvet. It has more stretch than velvet and is great for dance and sports clothes, particularly leotards and tracksuits.

For all of my projects I used a stretch velvet, that I think run more along the line of velour than true stretch velvet.  As they are super stretch and the pile of the fabric are shorter than a true velvet.

What is velvet burnout?

This week’s post was made from a stretch velvet burnout that I purchased from Joann Fabric.  Burnout also called Devoré is a fabric technique particularly used on velvets, where a mixed-fibre material undergoes a chemical process to dissolve the cellulose fibers to create a semi-transparent pattern against more solidly woven fabric. For example: If a velvet is made from a blend of polyester (synthetic) and cotton (cellulose), they will use a chemical treatment to disolve the cotton fibers in order to create the fabric’s pattern.

I’m not a huge fan of burnout fabric, but I do love the rich colors that they come in.  On the fabric that I used for the top that I made for today’s post; you can see that the cheetah pattern was created with a cream colored velvet.  The background is a brown stretch knit.  If you scroll down you can see the inside of my garment in one of my pictures.  Where the inside is solid brown color.  But the top side of the fabric is two toned.

Pretty cool! Don’t you think?

For today’s look I used Vogue 9308.  I love this pattern quite a bit.  I was inspired by many of my sew sister’s who made this pattern as is from sweater knit, and some from linen and cotton.  All of them looked great and some even belted it to give them shaping through the waist.  However, I was afraid that the original design would overtake my short frame.  I’m only 5’4″ and I have wide hips.  Too much fabric will overwhelm my figure and I knew that I didn’t want to belt this top. So altered the hemline.  I also converted the bell sleeve into a bishop sleeve by gathering the sleeve hem into a self-drafted stretch wrist cuff.  The last thing I did was raise the front neckline a bit and gathered the excess neck ease into a mock turtleneck collar that I took from another pattern.

Hemming this was easy peasy.  I just used double sided tape to hold the hem in place and top stitched using a twin needle.

This top made in velvet is quite luxurious and worn with a pair of palazzo pants would create a chic look, that could be worn to a fashion show, church, or a wedding.  I knew that I wanted to be able to wear this top in my everyday life or to teach at the university.  So I styled it with a pair of skinny jeans, brown pointed toe suede booties, Some pretty oversized gold hoops and that’s it.  Simple elegance.

Well that’s all for now.  Thanks for reading. Be sure to tune in next week as I spend some time sharing a few tips that I learned while sewing all of this stretch velvet (velour). Until next time….!

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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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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.

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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

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.

DIY Summer Dress using McCalls 7774 & 7627

“In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.”Matthew 5:16 (amp)

“In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.”Matthew 5:16 (amp)

Happy Monday Everyone!

I pray that this week has greeted you with excitement and anticipation for a great productive week ahead!  That was my prayer this morning.  I’ve been busy lately and started to feel a little run down but I decided to give myself a very lazy Sunday in order to prepare for this week.  Sometimes you have to give yourself permission to do that.

This weeks post is a DIY Dress that I have been slowly bringing together over the course of the last 2 weeks.  I knew what I wanted initially but as I was putting the pieces together I found myself taking a more organic design process.  Making changes to the design as I went along.

Inspiration

This dress was inspired by a lot of the very feminine and soft dresses that i’ve been seeing on the runway. Spring/Summer 18 designers featured them and the trend is extending into fall 18 as well.  I knew I wanted something soft and feminine but also practical.  Something that I would actually wear.

Fabric

This is an Ankara print that I purchased from House of Mami Wata .  She has an etsy shop and I am really enjoying her print selection.  She also has very prompt delivery.  I got my fabric in 2 days.  I chose this fabric because at first glance it just looks like a regular cotton floral print but it has a textured black background that lets you know that its a wax print.  Which I  love.  Here is an upclose picture of it.

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What I did

  1. I used McCalls 7774 view C for the skirt.  While I liked the gathered waistline as well as the pockets I didn’t like that the bottom was just an attachment to add length.  I wanted more of a flounce or ruffled bottom.  So I slash and spread the bottom pattern piece adding about 10-12 additional inches to the pattern piece which added an additional 20-24 inches of  fullness to the hemline.  It gave the dress a more dramatic flare.
  2. For the bodice I used McCalls 7627.  I have been playing with wrap dresses and tops all summer and wanted to play with a faux wrap bodice for this dress.  It gave me an attractive neckline and because I made this pattern already for the Sunday Wrap Dress I knew that the bodice would fit.  The only thing I did was add 2 inches to the wrap front so that it would extend completely to the side seam.  This made the dress more comfortable to wear and gave me complete coverage in the bust area.
  3. The other change that I made was to shorten the dropped shoulder to end at my shoulder line so that I could add a sleeve.
  4. For the sleeve this is a self drafted flounce sleeve.  Which is basically a circle skirt on my arm so to speak.  I just measured the circumference of the bodice armscye and followed the instructions for finding the circumference of a circle skirt.
  5. I didn’t follow any of the instructions for this pattern and I tried a few new finishing techniques which I was very happy with the results of.  I installed my very first lapped zipper which I am really enjoying and plan on doing again.  I used black single fold bias tape to finish the hem of the dress instead of a double fold hem and for the sleeve I used my serger on the narrow napkin fold hem setting to give it a clean finish.

Style it

This dress has it going on all by itself. (lol!)  The print is so bold and the flounce hem and sleeve only add to the character of the dress that I decided to keep the accessories to a minimum.  It needed a belt to break up the print and I found this burgundy colored belt with a gold buckle at Target for $15. and the shoes were a recent purchase from the DSW clearance rack for $30.  They are Madden Girl.  I chose them because it gives the dress a modern edge and me the height that I need to balance out the fullness of the dress.

This weeks photo shoot was fun.  I have to thank my long time sewing student Yvett for being this weeks photographer.  This is her last year of high school and then she’s off to fashion design school.  I love her drive and focus.  A great young person! who does some cool stuff with an iphone camera!

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Well thats it for now!  Have a blessed week!

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