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.


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!

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