• 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 I originally made the top I’m wearing to pay homage to one of my fashion inspirations, who has since passed away.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!

  • Pattern Review

    Simplicity #8655 Pattern Hack

    Heyyy boo, Happy Fridayyy! Thanks for stopping by!! If you’ve been following me on IG for a while now you know sometimes I take short breaks. It does get overwhelming to keep up with the photo shoots, blog posts, IG posts, my real life, work, sewing classes, family… etc.. When social media starts making me feel drained, I have to do what is best for me and detox. lol I know thats easier said than done for most in this age of “personal branding” and running a business.. I do think it’s important to stay consistent when trying to build a brand or a following etc, but it’s also important to have a healthy balanced relationship with social media and technology. That is something I’m still trying to work on… I talk more about this in an upcoming blog post.. But for now back to this pattern hack…

    Yall know I love linen! It’s such a beautiful, chic, laid back fabric. I definitely want to explore different types of linens as I’ve only used linen fabric from Joanns. This particular fabric is a linen rayon blend. Last year I made a few items out of yellow linen check them out here and here!

    So this is the pattern and fabric I used to create this top.

    This pattern has a really loose fit drop sleeve. It’s the type of sleeve that is really a rectangle shape and you just add it on to the bodice. Also I did make this in a muslin fabric first. I made a regular armhole on the front and back bodice pieces so I could do a set in sleeve. I’ve never done the slash and spread method so I followed this tutorial to create the “puffed sleeve.”

    Here is the Pinspiration behind this outfit.

     

    This top is by Faithfull The Brand. It retails for $150. Image was found on Pinterest.

    Pictured below is my version of this top. I’m still undecided on the length I want to make the ties but I loove how it came out. What do you think? Are you a crop top person??

  • Pattern Review

    Fibers To Fabric x Nichelle B. x Simplicity #8644

    Hey boo Heyyy,

    The fabric for this dress was provided by FiberstoFabrics. An online Etsy shop that can be found HERE!!!

    First let me tell you all the reasons I love this fabric shop:

    • Authentic Artisan Fabrics
    • Made in India
    • Sells Trims and Notions
    • Supports sustainability in the textile industry
    • Take custom orders and can create custom garments
    • They offer handprinted and hand woven fabrics
    • They welcome wholesale resellers
    • Shipping was super fast and FREE for this order to come from India

    If that’s not enough reason to make you love this shop then I don’t know what else to tell you! lol I ordered 3 yards of this printed cotton fabric. This pattern is for a wrap top, I just extended the bottom/peplum to have it be a wrap dress.

    I love how this came out. If you can’t tell by now, I have many different styles. LOL Some days I’m thrifty chic, sometimes I’m glam, sometimes I’m all black, and sometimes I’m what I like to call “grandma chic.”

    “Grandma chic” style is wearing outfits or pieces that look like they could have possibly came out of your grandma’s closet, BUT you actually look hella chic wearing it. LOL So this is a perfect example of grandma chic to me. This fabric is really lightweight and would be perfect for a top but I decided on dress at the last minute. Since it is so lightweight I did wear shorts under this dress.

    How do you feel about “grandma chic” style? Is it a style you would rock? Leave a comment let a sistah know!

  • 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??

  • Pattern Review

    Kwik-Sew #4163 Activewear Pattern Review

    Heyy Boo,

    Hope your are enjoying this spring weekend! This post is all about Kwik-Sew pattern #4163. If you watched my fabric haul video you saw this swimwear/spandex fabric I got from NY. I have never made an activewear outfit but I do yoga all the time and I teach classes, so I wanted to try it out! I’m honestly surprised this Kwik-Sew pattern is still in print because I’ve had it FOREVER. I think its the only Kwik-Sew pattern I own. 

    So the fabric is basic printed spandex, nothing fancy.  I wouldn’t say its amazing quality but it’s not bad either. lol I didn’t want to buy an expensive activewear fabric because I didn’t know how this was going to turn out. Now that I’ve tried it, next time I would probably spend a bit more and get a fabric slightly heavier in weight. 

    This pattern did call for a contrasting fabric for the top so I got the black activewear mesh fabric from Jo-Anns. That fabric was great, I recommend it if you want to do some mesh inserts on your leggings or workout tops. You can also use it around the neckline and armholes like I did with this top. 

    These shorts have front seams. The top is a racerback tank
    top.. I like that the top had some detail and just wasn’t a plain racer back tank top. The mesh inserts on the shoulders and sides gives this top some interest. The only modification I made to this pattern was lengthening the shorts to a “biker short” length. Overall, I like this pattern and outfit. I even think its cute paired with the cropped hoodie I made a while back. Next time I want to try to do a sports bra! 

    I’m not saying sewing activewear is gonna be my thing now… but I like the end result and it was cheaper and a Nike set. lol

    Here are a couple pics of me in the outfit leading a yoga class on the rooftop of a building in D.C!