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.

IMG_9323

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!

IMG_9282IMG_9325IMG_9275IMG_9284

 

IMG_9279IMG_9283

 

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!

 

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

 

 

 

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 Look#2 and Step by Step Tutorial

“Since you are my rock and my fortress, for the sake of your name 

lead and guide me.”   Psalm 31:3

Hello Everyone!

Happy Wednesday!  I am so filled with joy today!  God is doing some amazing things in so many areas of my life especially in the area of the restoration of my hope and the strengthening of my faith. Things have been a little shaky the last couple of months but I made the decision at the beginning of the year to hold on to God and walk out His purpose and plans for my life no matter what it looks like.  I want to encourage any of you who maybe going through a storm or are walking out purpose.  Keep trusting God even if it looks like things in your life are dead.  I pray that God will breathe new life into every dead place and restore the joy of your salvation!!!!

Now on to the DIY portion of this post!

Let me just say!  I am loving upcycling!  It is very gratifying and a wonderful way to challenge your sewing skills and creativity! One of my design instructors would say that you can only create what you know how to do.  The more skills you have the more you can create!  So true!

Garment Inspiration/Description:This weeks DIY Fashion Remix is very easy and a beginner can do it as long as you have a sewing machine and can sew a line.  I found this cotton dress in yellow and blue at the thrift store and paid $4.00 each of them.

IMG_8759

At first I thought is was handmade because one of them didn’t have the brand label in it.  but then I found the second one and saw that it was made in Mexico by a label called Maria de Guadalajara (Maria from Guadalajara) not to be confused with Maria from Jalisco or Maria from Mexico City or any of the millions of Marias that exist in Latina America lol!  (a little Latina humor.  Maria is a very common Latina name. As a matter of fact its my middle name)  I took a picture of the tag because it had a vintage quality that I really like.

IMG_8760

I was originally attracted to the simple aline sillohuette and instictinctively new that I wanted to make it a hi/lo top and I’ve been wanting to play with this shoulder bow embelishment thing that I’ve been seeing other bloggers and sewers playing with.  And thought I could make a bow with the leftover fabric.

However after taking it back to the studio I began to appreciate this garment even more for its fabric (Its made from 100% cotton).  This dress was lovingly warn and washed quite a bit.  The cotton is so soft which is a sign that its a quality cotton.  Good cotton can stand up to a lot of washing and wearing and will soften with time.  This fabric feels like silk thats how soft it is.  At first I was going to just cut the hem and re-hem it with a clean finish.  Then I thought that the worn look of the fabric and the natural fading of the dye pigments from wear would look better if I left the hem unfinished and just frayed the edges.  So that’s what I did!

I love! Love! LOVE!! this top! Its a perfect example of how simple can be beautiful!

Below are the after shots.  For the tutorial of this make just scroll past the photos.

IMG_8801IMG_8805IMG_8810IMG_8802IMG_8803

Tutorial

Skill level: Beginner

Materials needed: scissors, ruler (preferably a curved hip ruler), sewing machine

Skills used: I drew in a new hemline, I cut , I sewed.

What I did…

  1. First I pressed the wrinkles out of the dress to make sure that it would lay as flat as possible when I cut the hem
  2. I then tried on my dress and measured down the front of the dress using a measuring tape from the center front neckline and down to wear I wanted the hemline at the front.  I then did the same for the back starting the center back neckline.  For me it was 18″ for the front and about 30″ for the back. I also added about 1/2″ extra for the fraying.
  3. I layed the dress flat on my cutting table folding the front pieces on top of each other and the back pieces on top of each other.  Making sure that the side seams were lined up on top of each other and in the middle of the dress. Below is a labeled picture. I drew in a redline to highlight where the sideseams of the dress are.

IMG_8764

3.  With your hand, smooth out as much of excess fabric from the hemline as possible and match up the hemline and pin both layers together.  This will help you to cut your fabric evenly.

4. Using your measuring tape, I measured from the center front neckline down to my desired hem length using the numbers I mentioned in step 2 and using a colored tailors chalk I marked the fabric with a small dot at my desired hem length (this is will be where my hi hemline starts).  I then did the same for the back using the back hemline measurement (This is where my low hemline will stop).

5.  Using a curved ruler (if you don’t have a curved ruler you can use a straight edge ruler and drape in the curve.) I began to draw a curved line from the hi point at the front to the lo point in the back.

6.  Carefully cut

7.  I then stitched two rows of straight stitches to control the fraying at the hemline.

8.  Using my finger nails and a seam ripper, I began to fray the hemline until it had my           desired look.

For the bow

9.  I cut 4 rectangles from the left over fabric. 2 were 8″x14″(the bow) and the other 2 were 4″x20″ (the bow ends).

10.  For the bow I took the 8x 20 rectangles and stitched them together leaving a small opening on one of the long edges.

11.  I then turned the bow right side out through the small opening being careful to push out the corners.  I edge stitched the opening closed.

12.  I then took the 4×20′ rectangle pieces and top stitched all the way around using a 3/8″ seam allowance.  Because I planned to fray the edges of the “bow ends” I topped stitched all the way around.

IMG_8784

13.  I then layed the smaller rectangle (bow) on top of the longer rectangle (bow ends) and scrunched the bow together at the center.

14. With a hand needle and thread I sewed through the scrunched center of the rectangles forming the bow.

IMG_8787

15.  I then cut a 3″x 8″ strip and sewed them together, turned it out and pressed it.  This is the strip for center of the bow.

16.  I then tightly wrapped it around the scrunched center of the bow, cut the excess fabric from the strip and turned under the raw edge about 1/4″ and handfinished the seam with a slip stitch.

17.  Finally, I stitched the bow to the shoulder strap after I frayed the edges of the bow ends.

That’s it!  I hope you enjoyed this post! Make sure to check out my instagram page later this week to see how I styled this new blouse.  If you’re enjoying what i’ve been sharing be sure to subscribe. all you need to do is enter your email under the follow me section.  You’ll be able to see future makes and I promise not to send you any junk.

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

5 lessons for pants fitting

“She speaks with wisdom and faithful instruction is on her tongue.”

Proverbs 31:26 (NIV)

“She speaks with wisdom and faithful instruction is on her tongue.”

Proverbs 31:26 (NIV)

Hey ya’ll!  I pray that you all are having a great day!  Thanks for all the love from my Sunday DIY pants and top post.  Its always encouraging to see that people are taking the time to read my posts and I hope are being blessed by the content.  If you didn’t read it you can click here and take a peak.

Like I mentioned on Sunday’s post, pants fitting has always been a challenge for me and i’ve made a decision to really work on.  I pretty much devoted all of May to this and while I learned alot, there is always more to learn and in sewing you have to practice.  So I plan on making pants an ongoing goal in between my other makes.  Practice makes perfect!

For today however, I decided to share my top 5 lessons learned from my May pants making experience

1.Start with a pant design that you really like.  This will help you to focus on fitting the pants as well as give you a better idea of how a pant should fit.  For example I wanted a very fitted cigarette style pant and I used simplicity 8056 pattern because I also wanted a similar style with a flare leg as well. I thought I could get a two for one out of this pattern.  Only to realize after that this pattern is more for a bootleg trouser which have a looser fit in the seat and leg. Trying to get these to where I wanted them was a bit of a mess.  However, this pattern allowed me to figure out crotch and rise fitting.  As I always need more room in my seat and less room in the front crotch.

2.Don’t be afraid to use measurements from a pair of well fitting pants in your existing wardrobe.  This helped me tremendously in crotch and rise fitting.  I had a couple of skinny jeans that I love the fit of and measured the front and back rise as well as inseam length and waist to knee length to help me troubleshoot the best measurements to use for fitting my pattern.  Just make sure the pants are similar to the style, fit and fabric your looking for.

3.Invest in a good fitting book that extensively details fit issues and corrections.  While I found some great tutorials on pinterest and You Tube I still found it hard to find everything that I needed.  I had to pull from a couple of different places including my design book from school.  Pants Fitting For Real People, was one that was recommended by several sewing bloggers so I bought it. However, I found it hard to navigate and in the end I just gave up on the book.  Which is actually a critique that I heard from only one other blogger.

4.Use a pattern that is easy to fit with minimal pattern pieces, especially if this is your first time fitting pants.  My second attempt at a muslin I decided to use simplicity 8514 which was more in line with my desired style.  However, it was designed with princess seams which is suppose to make fitting easier but for me made it confusing.  It was also hard to slash and spread on pattern corrections.

The good thing about this pattern is that the fitted silouhette allowed me to see that          the pants leg needed to be shortened at the knee.  I was having alot of wrinkling at            the knee and I also noticed it in my first muslin.  So I measured and found that the            knee on most commercial patterns are about 1-2″ too long for my short curvy legs.            Causing an ugly pooling of wrinkles at the knee. (no bueno!)

5.When you get a great fitting pants pattern keep it and begin to explore the              different design variations that you can create using the same pattern as your          foundation.  Adding a fly front, waistband, belt loops or welt pockets etc.  This way          you can challenge yourself to learn new techniques without fussing with fit.  Or                maybe you can change the pant leg or explore different color and fabric options to            add variety to your wardrobe.

My 3rd and most successful muslin was using a new mimi g pattern simplicity 8655          This by far has been my favorite fit and is exactly what I wanted in a pants style. It            came together quickly and armed with all of my new fitting lessons and                                techniques I was able to cut, alter and sew a muslin in a few hours.  Now that I                    have a pair of well fitting pants, I’ve decided that I want to use this mimi g pattern              to design a pair of high waist flare leg jeans by adding a fly front, pockets,                              waistband and butt pockets.

Well that’s all for now!  I hope this post was helpful.  I plan on working on one more post this week on how to make a front crotch and back rise adjustment. So stay tuned!

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

 

Dreaming of Spring & DIY Peplum Hem Pencil Skirt Simplicity 8394

You, O Lord, are a shield for me, My glory [and my honor], and the One who lifts my head.  Psalm 3:3 (amplified)

Hey Y’all!  Happy Friday! I finally caught a break on the weather.  After the 2 snow storms earlier this week the past two days of sunshine and 50+ degree weather has been glorious! Further to my delight was my daughter having the day off from school.  Good weather + photographer = photoshoot.  Which I have been trying to have since just before Easter.

I originally sewed this skirt using Simplicity 8394 a Mimigstyle pattern for Easter.  My daughter and I worked on making ourselves mom and me skirts for church and I bought my son a suit in a complimentary color.  However, that was a total bust because he got sick with strep throat and we were on lock down the whole Easter weekend.  bummer right..? So I decided that we would give it another try for Mother’s Day.  (I’m planning a future blog post for that as well featuring my daughter’s skirts that she made using Simplicity 8609).

We used this vintage inspired scattered floral print stretch twill fabric from Joann Fabrics.  I let her choose the fabric and at first I wasn’t feeling it until I saw this pattern.  The 1950’s vibe of the skirt along with the fitted silouhette of the pencil skirt worked well with the vintage vibe of the fabric without making it look old fashioned.  The top I bought from NY and Co and the shoes are from my closet.

Overall. I  this pattern!!! Fitting it was easy. I added a contoured waistband instead of using the facing and I finished the flounce by adding a lining.  I hate double fold hems. Its one of my least favorite finishing techniques.  So I attached the lining to the flounce at the hem and folded it up/ understitched and attached it to the hem of the pencil skirt.  I like the clean finish of the hem and it gave a little weight and extra fullness to the flounce.

The only thing that I didn’t like about this pattern was that the sizing ran small. I had to add 6.5″ to the hip and 3.5″ to the waist.  It came in plus sizing as well, which would have given me the room I needed in the hip but would have been huge on me everywhere else.  I opted instead for the smaller misses sizing and increased only where I needed to,  which worked out perfectly.  Other than that I noticed after I finished it that the side seam needs to be moved foward by about 1/2 “.  I’ll do it next time by adding 1/2″ to the side seam back and subtracting 1/2” to the side seam of the front.  I plan on making this a go to pencil skirt sloper for future skirt projects.  It’s figure flattering without being tight which for me is always a good thing!

IMG_1394

IMG_1391

IMG_1370

IMG_1389

Until next time!!

XOXO,

Iris