• Lifestyle

    Top 3 Houseplants for Total Beginners

    Thanks for visiting my blog! In this post I’m going to tell you 3 of the easiest houseplants to care for! It’s no doubt that people who love plants like REALLY love their plants. The same way some people adore their pets is the same way I feel about my plants. My plants may not be able to bark or lick me, but they still need love and attention, they keep me grounded, they need to be fed and cared for, they grow, they live, they die, and most importantly nature and animals show us the beauty of something bigger than ourselves.

    If you don’t know I’m a quote lover. LOL I have a book of all my favorite quotes. I used to just jot down quotes and not put the name of the person who wrote the quote. Now that I don’t know who said what, it’s kind of annoying me so I’m starting my quote book over. I love it because whenever I’m feeling down or need a reminder of certain things I just look through this book and instantly feel uplifted. It’s not only quotes, its intentions, affirmations, and just any words that made me feel good. One page is literally just a page of words. Yes I’m geeky like that. Lol I love books, and words, the dictionary app is on the homescreen of my phone. Lol I digress, but, I said all that to say, the quote below best describes how I feel when I’m in nature, around pets, or caring for my plants at home. I feel closer to God.

    I love brainyquote.com. They get me. lol

    It also doesn’t hurt that “Animals (and plants) are such agreeable friends. They ask no questions. They pass no criticisms.” -George Eliot

    I started caring for houseplants about 2-3 years ago. I started with a Pothos, a Spider plant, and then a Snake plant. These are my top 3 plant choices for a total for a beginner. These plants are all really easy to care for, easy to find, inexpensive, and easy to propagate. There are of course other easy houseplant options, but I like these 3 because they are also air purifying plants! 

    Spider Plant– I got mine about 2 years ago at a farmers market. I think I paid about $5 for it. It has grown and been through some things since I got her, including a 6 hour road trip in the blazing hot summer. She did not like that trip at all and was really sad after that. I almost thought she wasn’t going to make it. All the leaves turned pale yellow-brown and most of the leaves were wilted. But here she is a year later still thriving and surviving. Lol She used have a bunch of pups hanging from her but after that road trip she didn’t grow anymore except the one that is pictured beside her.

    Pothos Plant– This is one of those plants of steel. Lol It’s a hardy plant that is super hard to kill and can last for years if cared for properly. I started my pothos from a cutting. This plant started with only 4 leaves! It is growing beautifully. I recently got a Queen Marble Pothos cutting that I’m currently propagating.

    Snake Plant– Also called Mother- in- laws- Tongue. This is another hardy plant that is super hard to kill. Only thing I will say about this plant is watch how much you water it. I had my snake plant for about 2 years, it was doing good, but then my roommate severely overwatered it, it got all mushy and rotten and I had to throw it away. I was only able to save 1 healthy leaf from that plant and I’m currently trying to propagate it. My sister gave me the snake plant pictured below and it has been growing like crazy lately. Her name is Tamera. My sister has the same one named Tia. lol

    So there you have it! These are the 3 Easiest Houseplants to care for! Let me know if you found this post useful! Drop a comment, follow me on IG, tell a friend! Thanks for stopping by!

  • D.I.Y with Nichelle B.

    Birthday Outfit 2020!!!!

    Hey Loves! Thanks for visiting my blog! As the title states this post is about the outfit I made for my birthday! I’ll get the basics out of the way first… The fabric is Power Mesh from Fabricwholesaledirect.com. This website has great quality power mesh and you can’t beat the price, only $4 a yard! This year I had a lot of ideas for an outfit and couldn’t decide what I wanted to make. The only thing I knew for sure was that I wanted to wear black. I love me some color and prints but I also looove an all black look.

    Last year I was inspired by designer FeNoel and this year was no different. I truly love her designs. Like every single thing. The moment I can afford to splurge on (black owned) designer garments, Im going to buy something from her. The dress I decided to recreate is the Fe Noel Dancehall Jersey Knit Dress (pictured below) and it retails for a little over $1000. The Fenoel dress is not power mesh but some type of knit jersey fabric. I felt like the power mesh was pretty close in texture and drape so I went with that.

    I stared at this dress for a long time trying to figure out how to recreate it. lol I started with a raglan sleeve t-shirt and went from there. I used the t-shirt as my pattern and turned it into a floor length dress. Once I had that pattern, I doubled the length so I would be able to gather the dress and still have it be long. I did the same thing with the sleeves, made them long sleeves first, then doubled the length of the sleeve.

    Gathering

    There are alot of ways you can create the ruching or gathering effect in this dress, I’ll explain below.

    By Hand: On the description of this dress it says it is “hand ruched.” I definitely didn’t plan on hand ruching the whole dress but I did have to do some areas by hand.

    Elastic and serger- This is a great method I saw in a youtube video. The girl used clear 1/4 inch elastic. She placed the elastic between 2 layers of fabric and stretched it as she sewed the elastic in between the fabric with her serger blades. Believe she took her serger blades off for this. I think its a great method but only ideal if you are ruching a seam. If I find the Youtube video I will link it on this post.

    Zig-Zag Yarn method- This is a technique I often use when I have really long pieces to gather. In this case I think this method could work, however, I did not try it. I know the zig zag yarn method is not ideal when gathering around an armhole or a side seam, that’s why I did not do it.

    Clear Elastic and Sewing Machine- In the end went with clear elastic. I set my machine to a small stitch, stretched my elastic, and sewed with a zig zag stitch. This method worked perfectly and I didn’t have to do a center seam in the front or back. When it came to the sides of the dress I gathered by hand, but you can also do the elastic and serger method on the side seams.

    The most confusing part of making this dress was the armhole area for me. I feel like no matter what I did or how much I gathered it, it didn’t look like the picture. In the end I know in order to properly execute this dress I needed to make a muslin, which I did not make due to time constraints. lol I almost did not wear or post this dress because of my perfectionist ways eating at me. So many of you commented and DM’d me about it so I posted it and wrote this blog post. So thank you for that! If there is anything I missed in this post leave a comment here, or on IG @itsnichelleb!

    Thank you for visiting!

  • D.I.Y with Nichelle B.,  Vintage Style

    Linen Men’s Shirt Flip

    Hey boo, thanks for stopping by. I don’t take it lightly that you took the time out of your day to visit my blog! I appreciate you! If you want to further show your love for me or my little blog feel free to share my IG post in your story or simply tell a friend to check it out!

    So about my latest creation. This linen set! I’ve made at least 3 items out of linen so far this summer and I have no intentions of stopping! lol I just loveee linen for summer. It’s cool, it’s easy to sew with, and idk I just like the vibe of it. The wrinkles in linen used to turn me off from making garments with it but I’ve learned to “embrace the wrinkles” and just go with it. I’ve also learned about different linen weights, blends, and prewash techniques that can affect the end result of the fabric and/or your garment.

    My original plan for making this set was to just buy some linen fabric and make it from scratch. However, as I mentioned in my IG post linen can be kind of pricey, usually running at about $20 a yard. Since this whole lockdown/quarantine thing I’ve been trying to be resourceful, and think of other options before I just go out and buy (or search online) for new fabric. It’s no secret that mens shirts make a great canvas for creating new garments. So when I saw one in linen fabric in a nude tone I knew I would find something to do with it. Random, but I love me some nude tones! I saw some cute linen sets on Pinterest but they all retailed for about $100 or more. I told y’all I sew because I have expensive taste.. lol So here are some pics of the sets I used as inspiration to create my set.

    All these images were found on Pinterest. Both of these sets are from Australian based brands that specialize in linen garments and goods. The websites are www.ilovelinen.com.au and deijistudios.com.

    So to make this 2 piece set I basically chopped the shirt in half and used the bottom portion for the shorts. Then I cut the the sleeve off and used the left over fabric from the sleeves for the waistband on the shorts. lol Now, I will say that this was definitely a stretch on the use of fabric. I used every bit of fabric on this. The only thing I didn’t use was the shirt cuffs. I did a flat front waistband with elastic in the back. You can also consider using multiple shirts to get the same look!

    Y’all the funny story about this pic is that I planned to take this pic with shoes on then at the last min I took my shoes off and hopped in front of the camera but the deck was hot AF! lol Thats why I’m on my tippy toes lol I ran right back to put my shoes on after this pic!
  • D.I.Y with Nichelle B.,  Pattern Review

    Men’s Button Up Shirt Refashion

    Hey boo!!! I miss you all! So much has been going on in the world lately I don’t even know where to start.. All Im going to say is that during these weird and somewhat trying times I hope you are still taking time to care for yourself! A form of self care for me was visiting my family in Maryland recently so that was great! Anyway I had quite a bit of thrifted clothing DIYs saved and I thought I would try this one out.

    This idea and tutorial came from my girl @FashionWizadry on Instagram and Youtube. She is one of my favorite DIY bloggers! Pretty much every DIY from her page that I try turns out great, this button up shirt included. I followed her tutorial which can be found here. Now in this tutorial she did do some math calculations and she kinda lost me on that part. Lol Although I didn’t do the calculations I do recommend it so you will know exactly how big or small your tucks should be. My shirt was from Goodwill I believe, it had a pocket on it and I just seam ripped it off. Other than that I just followed the tutorial! Its amazing what you can do with a men’s button up shirt!

  • D.I.Y with Nichelle B.

    D.I.Y JUMPSUIT

    Another jumpsuit!! This is the 3rd one I’ve made since “Quarantine”. I like this one because I feel like its right in between the other 2 jumpsuits I made as far as style and construction. The first jumpsuit was super easy and beginner friendly. The second one was super detailed, not really for a beginner. This jumpsuit is right in the middle.. Chill but still chic, and not too heavy on the details. lol

    If you like my pink “quarantine jumpsuit” but want something that’s quicker and easier to make then this is for you! This pattern would work great in a cotton, linen, lightweight denim, or lightweight twill fabric. This fabric has been in my stash for a long time so Im not exactly sure what kind of fabric it is, but it’s lightweight and it has some stretch. If I had to take a guess I would say it is a cotton twill fabric. This was only going to be a test garment but I like how it turned out.

    This jumpsuit has an invisible zipper in the back, side pockets, and an optional tie belt with a small waist bag attached.

    I ran out of fabric and matching thread during this project so there are some small imperfections. For example I couldn’t do any topstitching, I wanted the belt to be longer, and I had to piece together some fabric in the back that isn’t very noticeable but still there is a seam in a random place.

    So to make this I combined 2 patterns. I used #M7872 for the top and the pattern I used for the bottom is out of print but you can use any pant pattern that isn’t made for knits and does NOT have an elastic waist. Honestly I would recommend just buying the McCalls pattern instead of hacking because it took a lot more time to hack and you pretty much get the same result. If I had the pattern I would have just used that. LOL I love jumpsuits because they are so easy to dress up or down.

  • D.I.Y with Nichelle B.,  Pattern Review

    D.I.Y Paper Bag Waist Pants

    Hey loves! Im just going to skip over the fact that I haven’t wrote a blog post in months… LOL To sum it up… I had a crazy work schedule before Covid-19 sat us all down and I was simply too exhausted to sew anything let alone write a blog post.. I absolutely love blogging but it does not pay my bills… So it had to take a backseat for a while. I hope you all understand that and know I missed you dearly while I was away. lol

    Ok on to the pants… This fabric is from Fabric Joint in Atlanta. I like the fabric shopping scene here in Georgia. It’s not like New York or LA fabric shopping but there are definitely options. I like Fabric joint for my solid colored fabrics. I feel like their print selection is kind of outdated, but that’s just me. I also like their prices I don’t think I’ve ever bought a fabric over $5 from there. This is actually a kind of heavy fabric, I think its sweatshirt material.

    To create these pants I used McCalls pattern #7577 (pictured below) .

    I have other paperbag waist patterns however, none of them were as casual as these pants. Sewing these pants is really easy and doesn’t take long at all.

    Lay out your pattern pieces according to the instructions. You are going to add to the top of the pants pattern. How much you add will depend on the size elastic you use in the casing and how tall you want your paper bag to be. My paperbag waist (meaning this top of the pant that is hanging free) is about 3 inches tall and I used 1 inch elastic in the casing so I added about 5 inches to the top of the pants. Here is a little diagram to help you understand better if this doesn’t make sense.

    The blue portion is where you would add to the pattern. What you add at the top will become the paperbag waist and the casing. You don’t need to worry too much about the curve of the hip because the pants are very loose fitting.

    Once you have your pants cut out they will look kind of weird but you are going to assemble the pants according to the directions, sew them up and add your side pockets. When it comes to the waist part you will fold the top down to create the paper bag and a casing. Hopefully this makes sense! Leave any questions below!

    The only thing about using this method for a paperbag waist is that you will have a center seam in the waistband. I know some people don’t like that that’s why they do the waistband separately. For these particular pants I didn’t mind the center seam!

    I think paper bag waists are super cute paired with crop tops, sports bras, or really close fitting clothing like a bodysuit. The bodysuit and sports bra also have posts which can be found here and here!! As I mentioned on my IG page these pants are perfect for lounging, and you can dress them up or down. What do you think!? Are you a fan of the paperbag waist? I honestly think these pants would look great on many body shapes.

    Thank you for stopping by!

  • Pattern Review

    1 Dress, Styled 3 ways

    Heyyy Loves,

    I told you I would be showing you ways to style the Simplicity Pinafore Dress so here it is! Again the reason I love pinafore style dresses is because you have the option to dress them up or down! You can keep it simple and chic by pairing a turtleneck underneath, or you can go a bit more dressy by adding a fancy blouse underneath, or if you want to be really chill you can throw on a vintage tee underneath!

    With a white button up shirt underneath you can take this look to the office or to church!
    Paired with a t-shirt I feel like I’m ready for a concert! lol You can also wear a shirt on top of this dress, to make it appear as if you have on a skirt.

    I couldn’t get the individual pics to upload for some reason.. But which style is your favorite? Have I convinced you to make a pinafore style dress yet? ?

  • D.I.Y with Nichelle B.,  Pattern Review

    D.I.Y PINAFORE STYLE DRESSES

    Hey lovesss,

    This post is about 3 pinafore style dresses I made. If you are unfamiiar with the term “pinafore dress” it is just a sleeveless dress intended to be worn over a top or blouse. I like the idea of having a dress you can pair with different tops underneath to give it different looks. The first dress is one I made last year and you can view that here.

    The fabric for this dress below is from Joanns. It was actually in the clearance section of fabrics, it was only like $7, and I thought the print was cute. I wanted the top of this dress to come off so I could also wear the dress as a skirt, so I attached 2 snaps in the front and two in the back so it could be removable.

    This dress below is Simplicity #8944. I really didn’t have enough fabric for this dress according to the pattern so I made it work with what I had! In the pattern the bottom skirt is really just 2 huge squares. I just made the squares smaller to fit my fabric. I draped the bottom and played with it until I came up with this layered asymmetric bottom portion! lol

  • D.I.Y with Nichelle B.

    Birthday Outfit 2019!!

    Heyyy Booo, I know its been a while since I wrote a blog post! The past couple of months have been a transition for me. I moved from Maryland to North Carolina to Atlanta. It has been so hard to create while moving to different places, not having all of my belongings, starting a new job, and having no one to take my pictures! lol Most of the pictures you see on my page lately have been taken by me using the self timer on my camera. I even had a birthday shoot setup here in Atlanta but the photographer and the weather failed me twice so I had to flick it up by myself. lol

    Having a blog is hard work and I really want to keep y’all inspired and give you my best but sometimes I feel like my best is to give myself a break. Sometimes its best to just chill and not stress myself out with the running to the fabric store, figuring out what am I going to make, writing a post, setting up shoots etc. It’s definitely not that blogging is stressful, its when you combine blogging with all the other things like… Life.. LOL Family events, a job, custom orders, work events, cooking dinner, exercising etc. t can get pretty exhausting quickly… I notice a lot of makers take a step back from it all because they feel constant pressure to create and push out garments like a factory worker. However that is not the reason any of us create.

    We create to feel fulfilled inside, we create because we love it, we love the process, we love working with our hands, WE LOVE INSPIRING OTHERS. So instead of creating something when I’m not in the mood or my heart isn’t in it, I recharge. I used to feel sooo guilty for recharging, I would tell myself “I should just push through and make something anyway.” When I did that I started to feel like I was taking the joy out of sewing by sewing and creating when I’m really not in the right headspace for it. Who wants to sit at their sewing machine with an attitude? Lmao It’s just not a good feeling. Then I realized us sewing bloggers have to give ourselves some grace! Giving yourself grace means we free ourselves from our guilt. Tell yourself IT’S OK and be kind with your words.

    I don’t want to fall into the trap of making garments just to make them. That’s not what I’m about and I want to create from my heart not because I haven’t posted anything in 3 days. I sew to build my wardrobe and because I want to inspire others to create. I hope y’all can understand that and still rock with me when I haven’t posted in a few days. lol

    Ok so onto my birthday outfit. I mentioned that this year it was hard for me to create my bday outfit. Moving and not having all of my sewing supplies here did make things a bit more difficult. My dressforms and pretty much all my sewing patterns are still in North Carolina. I was also running out of time, so not having patterns wasn’t really an issue, it was that I didn’t have time to draft patterns, make muslins, etc. So I had to think of something that was cute and simple. I ended up with a skirt and a vest. I wanted to use my fav simplicity pattern to make a bodysuit to wear underneath but again I didn’t have it and did not find it at my local Joanns here in GA. So I got a cheap bodysuit from Rainbow. Thank God because I was about to be topless. lol

    This skirt was inspired by designer Fenoel. I saw this skirt on her page and it was really a see it, like it, make it moment.

    I seriously loooveeee everything this woman creates. She is such an inspiration and all of her looks are a vibe. I saw this skirt and loved it. Then I thought about how I could style it for fall weather.

    My skirt is similar to hers with the 2 ruffles at the bottom, but I went with another color and a slightly different type of fabric. My fabric is bit heavier that hers but it is still see through. I feel like hers is probably some type of chiffon or organza fabric, my fabric is more of a lightweight polyester. So here is my look below.

    Thanks so much for stopping by my blog! I appreciate you reading this! Leave comment and let me know how you feel about this post! I want to know as a maker do you feel pressure to keep the garments coming?

    What do you think? Did it come together? I will be doing a loc update/post next soo come back boo! XOXO

  • D.I.Y with Nichelle B.

    Simplicity #8513 Bodysuit (Pattern Hack)

    Hey Boo Thang,

    Welcome back to my blog! I’m showing you some yoga and sewing today. I love when I can combine the two! Honestly this D.I.Y came from a top I saw on Pinterest.

    To make this I used the Simplicity Pattern as a base, however the bodice pieces that come with that pattern are for a turtleneck, so the neckline on them is really high. I kept the bottom shape of the bodysuit but I used another basic bodice sloper for the neckline. Once I had that cut out it was just a regular shaped one piece.

    The back has a center seam so I sewed that together, then the shoulder seams and the sides. On my last bodysuit I did snaps in the middle but I didn’t do that with this one. I just closed it up, so yes I would have to take it all the way down if I need to use the bathroom.. Bummer lol

    Now of course since I was doing one side or one sleeve I could have just cut this out with one side from the beginning but I didn’t. I tried it on and then took it back off laid it out and just used. my judgement and cut a curve, trimming off the other shoulder seam giving this the one shoulder look. Then I attached the elastic all around the top and around the 2 leg openings. This bodysuit looks cute but I didn’t think this all the way through to be considered for activewear. LOL Since there is no support on the other side if you wear this without a bra (like me) while doing activities involving a lot of movement (like I did) you could risk having a lil nip slip. lol I don’t see that being a problem if you aren’t running, or exercising, or hanging upside down in this bodysuit, but that is something to make note of if you decide to make this! All in all I like the end result but think I’ll stick to pairing this bodysuit with jeans.

    Also, why did I write this post and not press publish! I’m losing it! Pray for me! lmao