• 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

  • D.I.Y with Nichelle B.

    D.I.Y Flare Pant & Sports Bra

    Heyyyy boooo! I miss you! lol I know it took a long time to post this outfit! Moving was ALOT! On top of having to pack all my belongings, I was also on an emotional rollercoaster. The whole process was bittersweet. I wanted to move and I’m happy I did; however, I truly am going to miss all of my friends, clients, coworkers, students, family, everyone! As it got closer to my departure date I was an emotional wreck. Asking myself over and over if this is the right thing to do, going over all the what ifs, just OVERTHINKING. Ugh I hate it when I do that.. lol When I did depart Maryland, it wasn’t until I got about 2-3 hours into the trip when I got a sign that stopped my overthinking. I was riding in silence, cruising down the highway, and it was like God whispered in my ear “you made the right decision, you are going to be ok.”

    Then Idk I just started to feel lighter, happier, like a weight was lifted off my shoulders. I turned my music on and it was like the ending of a movie when the person drives down the highway into the sunset to start a new life! LMAO!

    “Sometimes you have to remove yourself from environments in order to recharge, to be healthy, to grow, or to just flat out leave a dangerous energy. Never feel bad about doing what you must do in order to save yourself.”

    So yess that’s what took so long to post this outfit, life happened! lol

    Ok onto this lovely Mood Fabrics Italian Metallic Knit Pique.

    I love this fabric, I knew from the moment I saw it online I had to have it.. This is a very simple, easy set. A flare pant with a side pocket and a sports bra, worn as a top. Lol I used Butterick pattern #4526 for the top and McCalls #7843 for the pants. The only alteration I did for the pants was adding a pocket on the sides..

    Ok let’s talk about this fabric for a sec.. The right side has a very small chain like texture. The wrong side of the fabric is plain black. Although this fabric has some texture, the right side of it is not itchy (at least to me it isn’t) so I did not line the pants or bra! I love the fact that it is a knit so it has some stretch. This fabric is medium weight and I think it would be stable enough if you want to do a zipper or darts in your garment.

     I bought 3 yards of this fabric and I believe I have enough left to make a skirt or a top, so I’m excited about that! I went to dinner right after I took these pics so I grabbed a sequin jacket to go with the whole flashy vibe. This jacket is super old it came from H&M years ago. It’s just too flashy for me to get rid of lol. I think it all worked out. I got tons of compliments on this outfit while out wearing it. If you want to make a simple statement piece, this fabric should be your next go to. Scroll down to see more pics and let me know what you think of this flashy outfit!

  • D.I.Y with Nichelle B.

    Simple Tube Dress D.I.Y

    A tube dress is a super quick and easy sewing project. I like tube dresses in the summer because they are very versatile. You can dress it up with heels or dress is down by layering it with a top or sweater. I made this simple tube dress to wear during these last few weeks of summer. I originally made the top I’m wearing to pay homage to one of my fashion inspirations, who has since passed away. @KYRZAYDA.

    If you want to see the original post with that top click HERE!

  • D.I.Y with Nichelle B.

    Making Swimwear Samples

    Hey Lovessss!! I haven’t been posting that much on IG because in case you haven’t heard I’M MOVING! I’m super excited and nervous about this next chapter in my life. I have been working at a fashion design summer camp, teaching sewing classes on the weekend, and trying to pack and get ALOT of things done before I depart.

    Anyway I’ve wanted to sew an actual project for myself but camp and class has kept me busy. I’ve been seeing all of you make gorgeous swimsuits and reading your blog posts saying how easy the process was, so I figured I would give it a try! Before I decided on an official swimsuit pattern and fabric I wanted to just try out the process.. Which made me bring up the question.

    How often do you make samples or test garments? Is it something you do for every garment or only the tricky ones? I will admit I used to think making a sample of something was unnecessary. I thought it was just a waste of time, why would I spend all that time making something I’m not going to wear. I thought I could just plan the project out meticulously, and then cut it.

    For the most part I never had any huge fabric disasters following that method. LOL However as i move into more expensive fabrics and tailored garments, I find myself making samples of garments more and more. Honestly, making samples can have several advantages. You get to test out the fit, make any adjustments, practice different finishes, and in the end if you use a desirable fabric and you like the fit, you have a new garment! Which some people call a “wearable muslin.”

    So with this swimwear thing I figured since I don’t require much from a swimsuit as far as support, this shouldn’t be too hard. I wanted to try all different stitches and finishes so made 3 pairs of bottoms. Let’s get into it!

    The first pair is a classic panty style swimsuit bottom. This bottom is partially lined and to create it I used Mccalls pattern #6579. This pattern also comes with a boyshort and high waisted style as well. I made all the versions and I think they all fit me great. Let’s talk pros and cons. I like the idea of a partially lined bottom. That just means the front part of the panty is lined and the back is not. When I looked at my RTW swimsuits most of them were fully lined. Again I like the fit. I used 1/4 inch elastic to finish the leg holes. To have a super clean edge you can serge the edge of the fabric first, then add the elastic, but since these are samples I did not do that.

    The second bottom is a full coverage high waisted bottom. To make these I used Butterick pattern 4526. I like the fit of these bottoms. Honestly full coverage high waisted bottoms are not my style. I like to show a little more skin at the bottom and I kind of feel my body is too petite for full coverage high waist. MY only con about this swimsuit is I didn’t really like the elastic casing. I just felt it was kind of bulky. Even though an elastic casing is what the pattern called for I just would have liked a less bulky finish.

    The last style is one I like to call a cheeky high waist. This is a bottom I drafted from a bathing suit I already had. I loove the fit of this bathing suit bottom so I had to try to make it. A cheeky high waist is a bottom that is high waisted but some of your bottom shows and it has a higher cut on the crotch/ leg area. The ready to wear swimsuit I already had, the top was a waistband instead of a casing, so I wanted to do that. I love this method and I like how this bottom came out. I did fully line this bottom and I like that as well. I feel it gives the swimsuit a more durable feel. I think a waistband/facing is the best finish for this particulart type of swimsuit. it still fits great and is not as bulky as an elastic casing. !

    The verdict. I think I have swimsuit bottoms down packed! After making 4 pairs and trying all the techniques I think the cheeky high waist and the classic panty are my favorite styles. When I go to make my real swimsuit the only thing I would change is serging the edge of the fabric first so the Legholes look super clean. As far as changes to the fit I dont think I need to make any! Im moving on to some top samples next. I will keep you posted!

  • D.I.Y with Nichelle B.

    Yellow Linen Remix

    Heyy boo, I hope your week has been filled with nothing but wins and great vibes!!

    This is a quick post about how I remixed a couple of my yellow linen pieces I made last year! I was pulling out some of my summer clothes and remembered the “Paperbag Top” I made pictured here. That top is super easy to make and I planned on wearing it again at some point this summer. As I was trying this top on, something possessed me to pull it all the way down to my waist and see if it would work as a skirt. LMAO. Well it did! I had been wanting to make a paperbag waist skirt so I’m happy this top can work as both. However, I probably will make another skirt similar to this one, because I just like it and I want to make one with pockets. lol McCalls Pattern #7932 is a great pattern if you want to make something similar to this skirt.

    As for the top I’m wearing in the picture below, I also made that last year, and you can get details on that top here!

    Thank you for stopping by! I appreciate you! XOXO

    What do you think about remixing your me-made pieces? Is that something you do? Are you a fan of the Paperbag waist skirt?

  • D.I.Y with Nichelle B.

    LOC UPDATE x ANKARA DRESS!

    Hey boo! Thanks for stopping by! Today I’m giving you an update on my locs! I also wanted to show you how I wear my A-line Ankara dress! I really like the chill fit and silhouette of this dress. It has side pockets, darts, and a ruffle at the bottom. To see how I styled this dress in the fall click here. I also made this same dress out of linen last year. I cant find pics of the linen version at the moment, but it’s on my IG page. To see the summer version keep scrolling! Ok, onto my locs!

    So far I am 11 months on this loc journey!! It’s so exciting to see my hair changing and growing. If you don’t know I started my locs in August 2018.. I have 84 thick locs. As the weather breaks I am super tempted to put some color in my hair. I realllly realllyyyy want to do blonde highlights in my locs but I know they are not ready for that. My hair is healthy but I think it needs to be a tiiny bit stronger before I color or bleach it.

    To scratch my itch for color I will probably just do a semi permanent color on the ends, something that you will prob only notice in the sun.

    One thing I regret not doing sooner in my loc journey is hot oil treatments. My hair was looking suuper thirsty and dry and I cannot use regular conditioner on my locs yet so a hot oil treatment was the perfect way to hydrate my hair. I mixed some regular EVOO (extra virgin olive oil), jojoba oil, almond oil, and a few drops of lavender and wild orange essential oils to give my hair a great smell! I heated these oils up on a glass bowl on my stove then I saturated my scalp and hair in the oils. After that I wrapped my hair in a grocery bag (I had to use 2 on my hair) and then I got in the shower. I needed to get in the shower anyway and the steam from the shower is great for this if you don’t have a steamer. After that I sat under the dryer for about 10-15 mins. I did some other things around the house and ended up leaving the oils in for about another 30 minutes. lol Then with cool water I rinsed it out. Since my locs are thick I had to I rinse for a looong time. But it felt great and like I said thus far in my journey my locs have never been this shiny, or soft feeling.

    As far as style I two strand twisted my locs because I was curious what it would look like. When I had loose hair natural I would wear two strand twist all the time just as a temporary style and it works for my locs as well. I also really wanted to see if my hair could crinkle. Here are what the 2 strand twists look like! I left these in for about 2 days.

    And these are the results of that twist out!

  • D.I.Y with Nichelle B.

    Satin Midi Skirt D.I.Y

    Heyy boo, thanks for stopping by!

    This is a quick post about my satin midi skirt. The silhouette and construction of this skirt is exactly the same as my snakeskin midi. I always tell people who sew and are trying to build a #memade wardrobe not to sleep on the basics! Simple shirts, leggins, and/or skirts are always in style and great for layering. Depending on the fabric you can take a basic skirt or legging pattern and have it look super expensive and chic.

    This yellow stretch satin fabric was on my fabric haul video. I got it from a fabric store in NY. Originally I wanted to make the dress I made for New Years out of this fabric (McCalls #7635) and I did, but I didn’t like it. lol I think this satin was a bit too heavy for that dress so I decided to cut the top part of the dress off and turned it into a skirt. Now I’m happy with the results!

    I paired this skirt with a vintage button up top that I tied instead of buttoned. I really wanted to wear a solid blue shirt, yellow skirt, and red shoes to give primary color vibes but I didn’t have a plain blue shirt so I went with this.

    Overall I like this skirt, it has the vibe of a slip skirt except a bit heavier because its satin and not silk. lol I do want to make more items out of lighter fabrics like chiffon and flowy satins or silks. For some reason I just tend not to gravitate towards those fabrics. So at least one flowy piece is on my list for sewing this summer.

    Speaking of slip dresses and flowy fabrics, if you missed the slip dress I made last year you can view that post here!

    Thanks for stopping by! XOXOXO

  • D.I.Y with Nichelle B.

    D.I.Y. ANKARA KIMONO & Flexi Rods on Locs

    Hey boo heyy,

    I posted the ruffle skirt on my IG page and if you want to see the original post click here!

    About this kimono.. I mean you honestly can’t ever go wrong with a kimono. It’s a great beginner project. I’ve taught classes on how to make a kimono, we have one coming up this weekend if you’re in the DMV.

    I love kimonos because they are so versatile! I’ve worn this one with a black dress and flats to work, and with jeans and heels as you can see below. At this point I’ve made many different styles of kimonos using a variety of fabrics.

    Making a kimono out of ankara fabric is great for the fall/spring, however I wouldn’t advise using an ankara print for a summer kimono because it would be too heavy and hot. For a summer kimono I recommend a poly or even a chiffon type of fabric. Chiffon kimonos are great for layering and can also be worn as a swimsuit coverup. I did patch pockets on this kimono because I really never do them and I wanted to switch it up. lol

    Also how cool is this fabric? I love it!

    Now about this hair. Where to start?? lol When I was natural I used to always wear my hair in flexis. Although the style is time consuming to do, it lasted a long time. Now that I have locs I still like the look of flexis but it does take a bit longer to do them, especially if I’m retwisting and doing flexis at the same time.

    I didn’t want my curls to be tight so I did 2 locs per flexi. I love the way it came out. I do want my locs to grow, but doing my hair at this length makes me think when it does get long, my hair is gonna take forever to do. lol Washing, retwisting, and a flexi set takes about 2 hours, then sitting under the dryer for about another hour. So its about a 3 hour process when I do my hair myself.

    After my flexis dry I normally just pin my hair up. By pin it up I mean I put it in a loose ponytail at the top of my head. lol I really like loose chill loc styles. lol Like I said I feel like I’ve become a bit tender headed since having locs so I don’t do much “styling” to my hair. To maintain the curls I pineapple my locs at night and sleep with a satin bonnet on. I don’t really do anything else to my hair in between styling except oil my scalp and hair with almond oil. The curls normally last about 2 weeks or so.. When my hair is not curled I spray my locs with a water based leave in so they don’t get dull or super dry. I know this picture isn’t the best of my before and after of my curls but hopefully you get an idea of how they turned out!

  • D.I.Y with Nichelle B.

    Sequin x Snakeskin Midi Skirt

    Heyyy Boo

    Just dropping by with a super quick and easy D.I.Y. midi skirt!!! A simple upgrade to a simple midi skirt is to do it in a fun fabric. I chose this sequin snakeskin print knit fabric which I’m in love with!!! I normally hate working with sequins but the sequins on this fabric are really small so they weren’t that much of a pain to work with. Check out my fabric haul video here if you want a close up of this fabric. I paired this skirt with a sweater and a nude heel for a cute laid back look. In the summer I plan to wear this with a silky cami!

    I did bind the side seams of this skirt so the sequins wouldn’t be uncomfortable against my skin. For the waistband I did a knit facing. I used some knit fabric I had in my stash already for that. A facing is a great option for a flat nicely finished waistband, especially with a sequin or itchy fabric.

    Elevate your next piece with an interesting fabric! Step outside the box! What do you think of this simple chic look? I think its perfect for spring and I can easily dress this skirt up or down wit flats or heels!

    Thanks for stopping by! XOXO

    P.S How gorgeous is this background??