5 Tips to Have a Successful New York Fabric Trip

Heyyy Thanks for stopping by! I’ve been fabric shopping in New York quite a few times and these are my top 5 tips! Have you been fabric shopping in New York? Let me know if you have anymore tips on how to have a great fabric shopping experience!

  1. Bring Cash– Cash is KING. Some of the smaller fabric stores offer you better prices when you have cash. There is literally sooo much fabric in New York, I think some sellers are willing to negotiate prices because they have so much of it. I’m not saying walk around with a wad of cash but do have some cash on hand.
  2. Do not try to be cute and wear fancy shoes. Do not wear Uggs. Uggs get soggy in wet weather and ew who wants to walk around in shoes that feel soggy. I don’t recommend you wear your fashion boots either. Like those cute over the knee boots you got from Macys. Nope. Lol Wear tennis shoes or shoes made for walking. Period. Trust me, your feet will thank you for allowing them the joy of comfort on this journey.
  3. Mood is not the only fabric store in NY. I know Mood is AMAZING, it’s on Project Runway and everyone talks about it, but don’t let that be your only stop! There is a plethora of fabric stores in NY. Most times I go to Mood I end up buying 1 or 2 fabrics. Partly because fabric can add up quick in Mood and partly because the selection is insane, one could spend all day in there. The quality of fabric at Mood is always impeccable so it’s totally worth the price and the stop. I put a list of a few other stores I shop at while I’m there.
  4. Go with a sewing plan! Check your fabric stash. Do you know you need knits? Are you making a red dress? Do you need swimwear fabric? Great write all of that down and don’t forget about the notions! Once you have what you are looking for in mind, write down everything you will need to complete it. It is so annoying getting home and start making your garment only to find out you don’t have a lining fabric, or a zipper, or some eyelets. Lol
  5. Have a budget!!! This one is major. Now if you can fabric shop without a budget, then I’m jealous. Lol However, for the rest of us, if your budget is say $300 get some of that amount out in cash. It makes it way easier to stay on budget when you can actually see the cash. When you get to NY and see so many beautiful fabrics you might get excited and want to impulsively buy every cute fabric you see. Having a budget and writing down what you actually need will stop you from buying unnecessary items. Oh, and its ok to set a budget and then set another small emergency budget in case you see a fabric you ABSOLUTELY cannot leave without. No judgement here. LOL

*BONUS* I absolutely MUST go out to eat anytime I’m in New York. Pizza is cool but after all that walking around you will want to sit down and have a niice meal to bring you back to life. Lol Restaurant options in NY are endless even if you eat vegan like me I’m pretty sure there will be something near you.

*BONUS* About 3-4 years ago I did a fashion tour and that was pretty cool. Unfortunately, I can’t remember the name of the particular person/company I used but if you research I’m sure you will find some options. I did a 3- hour walking tour, it was a small group of about 6 ladies, and I think I paid about $50. There are plenty of tours happening all the time in NY. I know going on a tour is such a “touristy” thing to do, but if you still feel a bit intimidated, or are going to NY for the first time, going on a tour is a great way to explore!

Other fabric Stores:

  • Spandex House
  • Fabrics and Fabrics
  • Ebad Fabrics
  • Diana Fabrics
  • Fabrics Express
  • Sil Thread
  • B&J Fabrics
  • New York Elegant Fabrics

D.I.Y Adult Size Messenger Bag

I wanted to give you all the details on how to create this bag! Whether it’s for yourself, someone else as a gift, or your little one this bag is fun to make and perfect for everyday use. This is the tutorial I followed to make this bag. However, I made alot of adjustments because this pattern is really for a kids size messenger bag. I really just made it bigger and added lots of hardware, some of it is optional. So for this bag you will need everything listed/pictured below. I use heavy fusible interfacing for the body, a medium weight for the flap, and a lightweight interfacing for the straps and tabs on the side. You can also use fusible fleece if you want a softer bag without as much structure.

For this bag you will need:

  • 1 yard of fabric for outside of bag, cotton or canvas
  • 1 yard of fabric for inside lining,
  • 1 yard of interfacing for outside of bag
  • 1/2 yard of medium weight interfacing for the flap
  • 1/2 yard of lightweight interfacing for the straps and tabs (optional)
  • pins, scissors, chalk, pattern weights
  • 2 swivel hooks
  • 2 1 inch D- Rings or you can use the triangle rings
  • a purse closure of your choice (flip, turn, or press, lock)
  • a fashion slide adjuster (optional if you want adjustable strap)
  • small closure for the inside of the bag

So to construct the bag you are going to follow the tutorial, ignoring her dimensions because again, they are for a kids bag. So follow her construction process and when it comes time to actually sew the lining to the bag, sandwiched in the middle will be your flap, 2 side tabs, and small closure in the middle. The last step is the most important part in the construction of this bag. You need to make sure everything is being caught then sew over it a couple times for security. Also don’t forget to add the shorter hand strap in the back! I like being able to carry the bag 2 ways.

ALOT of the time that goes into making this bag is in the prep work. So before you actually sew the bag I suggest you to prep everything. That means making the flap, sewing pockets on your lining, making the bag straps, and making all the tab pieces for the D-rings and inside closure. ISo now onto the dimensions. The body of my bag is about 15 inches x 27 inches. Thats 15 inches across and 27 inches down just so were clear. LOL So you will cut your bag and your lining out at that size.

Interface your outside bag piece and be sure not to interface your seam allowance, if you are using a stiff interfacing it will be too bulky to sew over. If you are using fusible interfacing you should be fine with interfacing your entire outside bag piece. If you are doing purse feet add them on after you interface the outside bag piece. You can do 2 or 4 purse feet on the bottom if you desire.

Then you will cut out the flap which is 13 inches x 9 inches. As she does in the tutorial cut a rectangle first then use something round to cut 2 corners off to have rounded edges. I normally just use my curve ruler, but you can use a bowl, a cup, anything round. Rounding the corners is also optional but I think it looks best.

To make the straps and tabs I use a 4 inch wide piece of fabric. Fold the ends in to meet each other, press, then fold them in again to have those ends meet and press. Sew down both sides. After the flap is cut out interface one side of it and sew the 2 flap pieces together. I use a medium weight fusible interfacing for my flaps and lightweight for the tabs.

Then, after you have done all of that, you are ready to sew the bag together. Now if you are using really stiff interfacing keep in mind this bag does have to be turned right side out, so you will have to use a bit of force with that part. Also another note I like to do a small strip of lightweight interfacing in my strap and on my bag tabs.

Here is the bag with everything prepped. interfacing on. Lining has pockets on it, straps made, tabs completed, and flap sewn. Now its ready to assemble.

Again interfacing the tabs and straps is optional and I know you probably want to just skip it but I think you should do it. This bag is big enough to hold a 13 inch Macbook Air and I carry my laptop in it sometimes but the tabs on my first bag were not interfaced, so they kept doing this. lol

This was soooo annoying. These interfaced tabs aren’t going anywhere.. They sit perfectly in the D-ring and I know this bag can support alot of weight. The straps on my other bag weren’t a problem so just using a small strip of lightweight interfacing in the middle of those should be enough!

Be VERY precise when inserting your lock so it is straight! I find a press lock to be the easiest if you are a beginner, I think it is the easiest to line up. I feel like this lock on this one is a tiiny bit crooked. Also the flap is a bit too big, but it was already topstitched so I wasn’t going back. The dimensions I gave will give you a perfectly sized flap. I think after making this bag about 5-6 times I’ve mastered it. So don’t be hard on yourself if your first one isn’t perfect! Keep practicing and trying!
Here is the bag in action, paired with my refashioned button up shirt! Go back a couple posts if you missed that one!

Pleasee let me know if you have any questions about this bag or if you create this bag for yourself. I know this was alot of info but if you read everything thoroughly before getting started you will be good! I’m here if you have any questions! Add a comment here, email me, or find me on social media @itsnichelleb! I’m still trying to play around with how to have this bag convert into a backpack so if you have any suggestions on that help a sistah out!

Thanks for stopping by! Have a great day beautiful! XOXO

McCall Pattern #7786 Review

So I wasn’t going to do a review for this pattern only because I feel it is super simple and I don’t make any adjustments when making these pants. If you are a super beginner the trickiest part may be the zipper. Other than that I highly recommend this pattern if you want a simple wide leg trouser pant. A wide leg is forgiving if you are worried about fit and I love the side pockets.

The only small adjustment I do when making these pants is I don’t make them fit perfectly snug, I leave a tiny bit of space at the waist so I can wear thin leggings under my wide leg pants. I’m one of those people who hates being cold and is always cold. Wide leg pants can be cold in the winter with nothing underneath! Sometimes lining a pair of wide leg pants is great if you need opacity, but not for warmth because it isn’t close to your skin, and in the summer you want to take the lining out. I find this to be a great medium to provide coverage, warmth, and the option to wear with ease in the summer!

Do you always line your pants? Does lining bother you in the hotter months? Let me know.

Also this is an African or Ankara print cotton fabric!

Scroll down for more pics! Thanks for stopping by and a huge thank to McCall Pattern company for featuring my pic on their page!

Stay tuned, up next is a tutorial for a beautiful bag!

Button Up Shirt Refashion

Heyyy Boo,

Thanks for stopping by my blog! I love being creative and recycling/upcycling clothing or fabric. This shirt is a great way to spice up a basic button up shirt! This is a really easy, and fairly quick refashion. To make this shirt you would get a long sleeve button up shirt, preferably denim, cotton, or linen or average dress shirt weight, just not anything too light or flowy. These sleeves are kind of big so if you get a lightweight fabric is may look kind of weird with the weight of the bell sleeve on it.

Once you have your shirt, mark where you are going to cut it. I recommend 1/2-1 inch above the elbows. This gives you a slightly dramatic sleeve, you can definitely go lower if you want a smaller sleeve, or cut right above your sleeve cuffs if you want a smaller baby bell sleeve. lol

I used a kids circle skirt in a size Small/Medium, as the bell for my shirt. If your arm is bigger go up to a kids size large circle skirt. Note you may have to shorten the skirt a bit. Having a pattern is not necessary as there are lots of tutorials on how to cut out a circle skirt. You will be gathering the sleeve anyway so the fit does not have to be super precise. I like using the kids size skirt because I feel like it gives me just the right amount of fabric. You don’t want it to look like your arm is drowning in your sleeve… Or hey maybe you do.. LOL Test it out, cut the skirt out of muslin if you are unsure of the sizing.

Once you have the sizing right and the skirt cut out hem the bottom of the skirt, gather the top of the skirt, and sew it onto onto the shirt. Press and finish your seams and thats it! Go out and rock your new upcycled shirt!

D.I.Y Kente Dress

Hey Lovesss! Happyy Fridayyyy! This is the last look for my week of teacher style. This is a simple D.I.Y dress. I’ve made this dress before in a yellow linen. These colors are soo my vibe and I felt like the Kente print would be a great way to kick off Black History Month! I wanted to make something that was appropriate for work out of this fabric. I didn’t want to do pants because I have a few pair of Ankara print pants already and I thought a dress would be cool because I can layer it. I like this dress because its very chill.. lol I know I can wear it in the summer, layer it in the fall, and its cute with flats or heels!

What do yall think?

D.I.Y Work Style

Hey Lovess,

If you follow me on IG, I have been showing you a week of teacher looks. I dress pretty chill/minimal for work. I didn’t want to go out and buy a whole new wardrobe for this teaching job so I decided to dress up or tone down the pieces I already have. Stay tuned for Fridays look which I’m kind of excited to wear, it’s an outfit to kick off Black History Month!

Monday – D.I.Y Wide Leg Pants
Tuesday-D.I.Y Wide Leg Pants #M7724
Wednesday- Thrifted skirt, sweater from my mom

Thursday- Oversize Sweater Zara

New Years Outfit M7635

Heyy Loves,

Thanks for stopping by! Im so behind on my blog posts! Happy Blessed New Year! I spent the New Year in New York with my cousin. We went to a club and although it was fun to get dressed up; walking in the rain, in heels, trying not to get my hair wet, while semi- freezing is not my ideal way to bring in the New Year. LOL! It was something to do instead of struggling to stay up until midnight, like I normally do. Next year I would probably choose my bed or a chill night in over the club scene.

Anyway moving on to the outfit! This pattern is McCalls 7653 View B. The fabric is from Joanns, it is a stretch velvet, that I instantly fell in love with when I saw it. The shiny finish really makes it stand out. I’ve only made one other dress out of velvet and I liked it but I didn’t love it. This dress I actually LOVE. lol I got compliments all night and I felt like an Icy Princess when I wore this outfit. Also, this dress is super easyyy! No elastic, no zippers, no darts! Y’all know I don’t make alot of knit garments, so I was surprised a garment could be this cute with such little construction details.

This is also the only cowl neck garment I own. I love how subtly sexy this dress is between the halter top and the cowl neckline and the slits on the side you can definitely show off a bit of skin in this dress! lol If you want a quick easy going out dress I would say add this pattern to your stash! Let me know what y’all think of this dress and fabric!

Also, more pics of this dress are on my IG @ITSNICHELLEB. These pics were taken on my phone, in the club, ugh, it was raining so I couldn’t get any pics outside! Thanks again for stopping by, and all of you who leave comments on my page and write me sweet DM’S! I appreciate YOU so very much!



Heyyyy looves!!

I cant believe its already been 4 months since I started my journey! Time flies! Im happy with the size and this time I am not combing them out. LOL I have about 85 locs, opposed to the 52 I had last time. My hair is in a weird stage right now. I was just getting over this stage with my last set of locs when I combed them out. Its like a love hate type of relationship with my hair right now.. The stage of trying to embrace the frizz. Its so weird, but I kinda like it. Im not in a rush for them to fully form and be full locs yet lol so I kinda like the frizzy stage, I just dont like it for when I want to wear slicker styles like buns.

I do have a few baby locs. Nobody believes me when I say my hairline is weird because I have hair there but it is! Its always been these 2 areas around my hairline on the left and the right where the hair is shorter  and more fragile. I have no idea why but it just is, so right inthose 2 spots is where my baby locs are! They are very short compared to the rest of my locs but you probably cant tell because they still blend in with my hair. Im just curious to see if those locs will actually grow.

Another thing I learned about myself with locs is I’m just a tender headed person now and I’ve NEVER been tender headed in my life. But now omggg every little style after 1 day, Im like, “its tight, it hurt, I have a headache, I wanna take the bobbi pins out!” LMAO

So Im also curious to see if I will grow out of the tenderness because its annoying to me to be so tender headed. Especially because I used to be a stylist and adults that were tender headed didn’t annoy me but I just felt like “omg grow up” lls now Im one of those tender headed people. smh So Im Soorrryyyy If I ever told you “it does not hurt that bad.” Becasue apparently it can… LMAO

Anyways other than that Im loving my locs, I cant wait for them to growww!

Check my insta story today I will be posting pictures of my journey!

Switching lanes from hair to sewing Im working on a printed ankara button up I cant wait to share with you! I used 2 different prints and kind of did a mismatched type of thing. Its so cute! Stay tuned babes.

D.I.Y Plaid Pinafore Dress

Hey Loves! As always thanks for stopping by! Today were talking about the pinafore dress! According to the dictionary a pinafore dress is “sleeveless garment similar to an apron, worn especially by small girls as a dress or an overdress.

As you can see below pinafore type dresses aren’t worn as aprons or just for little girls any longer. I feel like the pinafore dress just like everything else in fashion has been around forever, they have just recently came back on the scene and got an upgrade.  I posted a collage of my inspiration on my IG and here it is below.

I especially liked the outfit in the middle! I think it was styled perfectly and I just thought it was so cute and different. Unfortunately my fabric was too heavy for that look LOL sooo I had to go with a different style dress. I still want to make a dress like hers but I need to find a different fabric. Its hard to find good plaids! OMG All of them are flannel or like $60 a yard! I just want a cute plaid suiting fabric. Anyway, this fabric came from Joanns, it is a med weight suiting fabric, with a bit of stretch. So I was going for clueless vibes with this look. At first the skirt was a midi length pencil skirt and it was so cute I contemplated leaving it like that, it would have been cute with a white button up underneath! Then I thought it was a little bit too safe, so I cut it into a mini, which honestly, I feel like minis are coming back in style. For a while it was alllll about the midi length skirts and dresses and although I feel like both silhouettes will always be in style, I think were gonna go back to short. So here is my version below, I feel like its most like the girl on the bottom left, just without the ruffle at the bottom. Instead I did ruffles on the side. Thanks for all the kind comments y’all leave on my IG page! I really appreciate you and I hope y’all are enjoying the HOLIDAYS!!!

Simplicity 0839 Bodysuit

Hey Lovessss!

This post is overdue, I know. So many events go in the way of me taking pictures of this bodysuit. I’m kinda upset I haven’t made a bodysuit sooner! It was so easy and fun. I sewed the entire bodysuit on my serger and I did View D.

I don’t work alot with knits, not because I don’t like them I just feel like most of the garments and patterns I like are not knits. Anyway I had this pattern and fabric for about a year and just had this outfit vision come into my mind. Sometimes when I do that the outfit does not come out as I envisioned but this time it did! Im also a tiny bit ashamed to say I’ve had these overalls form H&M for legit about 5 years and this was my first time wearing them . SMH lol I never threw them away because I knew they would come in handy one day, and I was right. LOLOL But clearly I’m not really an overalls type of gal.

I did make a small modification to the pattern and that was not doing an invisible zipper in the back and instead adding snaps in the middle. I just felt like if it has a zipper when I go to the bathroom I will have to unzip it and take the whole bodysuit off and ughhh who wants to do that. So yes snaps in the middle like a onesie. Yass for easy bathroom access! I definitely want to make another bodysuit, I like them because of their versatility! Besides ditching the zipper I did not make any other adjustments and the fit is perfect!  What do you think of this look? Have you made this bodysuit before?

Let me know drop a comment with your cute self! Thanks for stopping by!

So happy this outfit came out exactly as I envisioned. Love this pattern!


I took this picture at a weird time, the sun was setting, and it was already a kind of cloudy day so I feel like this pic is giving a natural filter. lol