D.I.Y Ruffle Wrap Skirt x Yellow Linen Top

Heyyy loves!

Welcome back to my blog thanks for stopping by! I am sooo excited it’s FRIDAY and I am officially done teaching summer (sewing, fashion design, and art) camp! Insert happy dance! Every summer I gain a new respect for teachers. Honestly, yall are the real MVPS and deserve major respect for what you do.

So, details on this top and EASY PEASY skirt. I’ve blogged about this skirt before, last year. Click here if you want to see that post. It is literally the easiest, quickest skirt ever. I would definitely recommend this pattern if you are a beginner sewist.

I told myself I wanted to start making more pieces that could be worn dressed up or down and both of these pieces are exactly that. So this top is Vogue pattern 8766. I’ve used this pattern before to make the top I wore for my birthday last year. This is actually a dress pattern, but if you just don’t add the skirt to the bottom its a top! lol Click here if you want to see the version I made for my birthday. The only difference between the two is I added ties on this top.

The top was inspired by a Pin I had saved for a while. Check my IG page @itsnichelleb if you want to see the Pinspiration photo. I saw this pin and immediately new I wanted to make it, so I did. By the way, this is random, but can I just say I I LOOOVE PINTEREST! I’m not even going to go on a rant about why I love it. I’ll just leave it at that. lol

So you saw it dressed down on my IG page now here is how I dressed it up with McCalls 7606. I’ve also worn this skirt dressed down with tennis shoes. I love mixing and matching my pieces. That’s the fun and satisfying part to me, I’m slowly but surely building my wardrobe.

 

 

D.I.Y White Cotton Shirtdress

Hey Loves,

As always I’m so excited to share this look with you. You got a look while it was in the process of being made on my Instagram so here is the finished product and all the details! I wanted to make a white shirtdress before summer was over and I did! This fabric is shirting from Joanns, it was on sale at the time for $5.99 a yard and it took about 2 yards to create this. I used the same combo of patterns I used to make my last 3 button ups. Lol It’s a charm, and once you find a pattern or a pattern hack you love its so easy to make different pieces. So I posted the inspo pic behind this shirt on my Instastory and did a poll with this shirt and another shirt and this shirt won. It was really close though, Im glad they have that feature because it really is soooooo hard to decide what to make sometimes! Thank y’all for helping me out! lol

The winning shirt I recreated.  Keep scrolling to see my version.

So can I just say that I am extremely proud my myself for making this shirt. It looks so legit and professionally made and my fabric looks all crisp. lol I did prewash my fabric before using it. This fabric is the perfect weight, it has a little stretch and its super easy to work with. All I can say about this shirtdress is, it’s going to get put to good use. Lol

It was so hot. lol

 

The shirt is a combination of Simplicity 8416 (as the base of the shirt) & Vogue 9027. I use the Simplicity pattern as the base of the shirt and I just gradually flare the sides out so it creates an oversized effect. I also talk about this hack in my previous posts here. So I flared the sides out, made it a little longer, then I added the ruffle at the bottom. As for the hem, I started to do a rolled hem but I’m so happy I didn’t and just did it the way it is in the inspiration picture. It gives the shirt some stability and allows it to flare out just right at the bottom. Although if I would have did the rolled hem I probably would have been able to wear it as a dress. I think it’s a tad bit too short to do that so I’m going to wear it with shorts or jeans.

Click here if you want to see the video tutorial I followed to do the hidden placket. It was a quick and easy to follow tutorial, but I do suggest you read the blog post that goes with the video because she mentions some additional tips there that aren’t in the video. I opted for a mandarin collar because thats how the shirt was in the inspo pic and I also wanted to try it. Its so easy. I don’t think I own anything with a mandarin collar and now I have 2 white shirt dresses so I’m pleased with how everything came out. Have you tried to make a button up yet? What are you waiting for?!

Thanks for stopping by! I appreciate you!

 

 

D.I.Y Button Up Dress

Hi Loves!

Welcome Back! So y’all know ever since I made my first button up I’ve been addicted. I really love the versatility of button ups. I had this cotton and this picture saved in my phone for quite some time. So I decided to recreate it! This is the original version, I saw it on IG first I believe.

So I wanted to do something very similar. Only difference is, my ruffle is a bit shorter and mines has short sleeves. I’m so happy and pleased with the outcome of this dress. I mentioned I wanted to make some more chill garments so this is definitely one I could see myself wearing dressing up or down. As I mentioned in my last post about patten hacking adding a ruffle hem or an uneven hem to a dress can give it an instant upgrade. In this case, (besides making the dress oversized) the only other modifications I made were an uneven hem and a ruffle. EASYYY! I love this dress.

Simplicity 8416 and Vogue 8027 are the pattens I combined to achieve this look. What do y’all think?

 

 

Pattern Hacking/ 1 pattern 5 looks

Hey loves,

Welcome back! This post is so exciting to me! I love pattern hacking, but the easy kind, that doesn’t involve too much crazy math or pattern drafting. If you are unfamiliar with the term, pattern hacking is when you take a basic commercially or independently made sewing pattern and use it as template to make your own customizations and inspired designs. I like hacking versus drafting patterns because with hacking the hard work is already done, you’re just making your pattern work a little harder. So today I’m showing 4 ways you can hack a basic A- line dress pattern that involve NO pattern drafting! YAAASSSS! LOL

This is the basic dress pattern I use. I’ve had it for years and its allowed me to make tons of garments. A basic A-line dress is essential to your pattern stash because it is a great foundation and you can do so much with it! Small adjustments make a world of difference. It definitely does not have to be this exact pattern, choose any basic A-line dress pattern that you like the fit of. This pattern has a view with darts and one without them.

 

So getting to it, the first way you can hack a basic dress pattern is to add a ruffle to the very bottom of it. This hack could also work for a skirt too. For the dress below I used view C and just made it a little shorter and added a ruffle. Easy, Peasy. This dress is made out of linen and I said I wanted to start making more laid back pieces so this was one of them. I loove this dress. It is perfect for summer and I dig the yellow and navy blue combo.

 

The second way you can hack this pattern is to do hidden pockets. As you can see the pattern does come with an option for patch pockets, but patch pockets don’t work all the time. I rarely do patch pockets. This dress is a prime example. I didn’t think patch pockets would look good for this so I needed hidden pockets. A very easy hack, pockets are always a good idea.

The third way is to do a winter version. I made this top like 2 years ago and I’ve worn it lots of ways. You can check that post here if you missed it. All I did to hack the pattern was add a turtleneck, a slit on the side, and I made the sleeves long.

 

The last way to hack your pattern is to add slits! Be creative with those slits girl! For this hack I just made it a shorter tunic, made the sleeves 3/4 and I added slits on both sides. An Ankara fabric choice could turn your pattern into a dashiki.

*BONUS the 5th way is to play with your hem! Who says a hem has to be straight across? Play with diagonal and uneven hems to switch it up and give it a pop of ohh la la. I’ve worn this top with jeans, as a dress with thigh high boots, and over leggings. It is one of my favorite makes.

So there you have it adding hidden or patch pockets, slits, a ruffle, changing the length, and doing an uneven hem are 5 easyyy beginner level ways you can hack a basic dress pattern to make it your own. Did you all like this post? Let me know in the comments! Hope you’ve been inspired to switch up your next A-Line dress pattern!

Thanks for stopping by! I appreciate you.

 

Easy D.I.Y Paperbag Top

Heyyy Loves!

This is a quick post to tell you about this paperbag top. You may be familiar with the paperbag waist on pants. If not it looks like the picture below. Its just kind of a ruffled gather of fabric, a fun touch. Normally you don’t see it on tops, as its most popular for the waist of pants but to make a top out of it is SOO easy and very beginner friendly. The straps may take the longest because they are so small and you have to turn them inside out but other than that making this should be a breeze. I recommend using a light-medium weight cotton or linen type fabric.

Image result for paperbag waist pants

  • Measure around the top of your chest just above your boobs.
  • Double that measurement and add and inch
  •  Cut a piece of fabric that length. It ends up being a big square of fabric mines was 63 inches in width and 24 inches in height.
  • Now cut your square in half because you want to have 2 side seams.
  • Sew the fabric together right where you just cut it.
  • Fold the long edge of your fabric over twice to finish the raw edge. Press and Sew.
  • Repeat the step above on the other long edge.
  • Then fold one of the edges down about 5 inches
  • You want about 2-3 inches of ruffle at the top and enough fabric to make the casing.
  • Press along the folded edge and measure down 2-3 inches (whichever you like) use a ruler and chalk and mark a straight dotted line all the way across your fabric. This will be like a stitching guide. My elastic was 3/4 inches wide and I added 1/8 inch so it would be nice and snug in the casing. So my 2 rows of stitching for the casing were an inch apart. So determine how big your casing needs to be. Whatever size your elastic is just add 1/8 of an inch to it. Below that line make another stitching guide with your ruler and chalk.
  • Sew the two rows for the casing.
  • Then make your straps. Just use 4 strips of fabric that are 4 inches wide . Determine how long you need them to be. Sew them with the right sides together then flip them right side out. Repeat on all 4 straps and press them flat.
  • Attach the straps to the inside of the top.
  • And You have yourself a new top!

 

 

McCalls 7752 (Pattern Review)

Hey Loves!

I hope you all are having a blessed week so far! I just wanted to quickly give my thoughts on M7752 and share the rest of the pics with you all. First let me say, I love the pattern. It is super cute and easy to work with. This is the first pattern I’ve used where there are no views, you can just mix and match the pieces to create whatever you want, so that was cool.

Image result for mccalls 7752

 

I actually wanted to make the off shoulder version with the bow in the front, but I realized linen would be too heavy for that.  I only had 1 1/2 of fabric, (which is why it was originally going to be a top and not a dress) and most of that is on the bottom because it was kind of a circle skirt. Luckily, everything worked out with the fabric because I realized linen wouldn’t work for that top AFTER I already cut out the pieces for it. The pattern has an invisible zipper in the center back, boning, and a partial lining.

This pattern was also the June Sewalong for @prettygirlssew on IG. So let me know your thoughts if you’ve made this! I’ve seen so many cute versions already. All in all I love how it came out and with these mix and match pieces I see ENDLESS garment options!

 

Kyrazada: This one is for you boo

Hey Loves,

This post is dedicated to my WCW @KYRAZADA! She is a lifestyle blogger, entrepreneur, mom, and inspiration to me and many other people in the fashion/ blogging world. I have a few Instagram style crushes but @Kyrazada is one of my favorites.

If you follow her on IG you know she was diagnosed with stomach cancer a while ago.. When I found out, I was immediately filled with empathy. I was especially touched because I recently lost my grandma to stomach cancer so I truly understand what her and her family is probably going through right now.

I thought wow I know she’s going through a lot, she’s prob gonna take a break for a few months, stop posting, etc. But, as time went on you didn’t hide, or complain, you spoke your TRUTH and told your story which is BEYOND courageous and inspiring. To see you juggling your doctor appointments, posting pics, sharing how you feel, dressing up, having photo shoots gives me sooo much motivation to just KEEP GOING. You are one brave, amazing, generous, creative spirit. I wanted to do this post to let you know (as your friend said) “No One Fights Alone.”

I’ve had this picture screenshotted in my phone for months and just decided to go with it. So this outfit and this post, is for you boo.! You are so beautiful and even at what may be a difficult time in your life you are STILL SLAYING, and inspiring us. Keep shining. Keep fighting. Keep healing.

*Details on how I made this top are mentioned in the post on IG. The fabric and buttons are from Joanns fabric and I did not use a pattern to create this. I followed the silhouette of a double breasted vest I had, and made changes as I went along.

Thanks for stopping by!

 

Bye Bye Locs

Hi Loves,

If you saw my IG post I know you are here to find out what I’m doing with my hair. And if you REALLY know me then you aren’t really too surprised. Hehe. People with locs please don’t be mad at me and say I betrayed y’all. lol The truth is I love my hair, and I loved my locs, but I decided to comb out my locs of 10 months because I felt I was not properly cultivating them, and was unhappy with a few things. At the time I started my locs last year I was completely frustrated with my hair and I feel like I jumped into the world of locs without properly preparing myself and doing the proper research. There were a few factors that contributed to my comb-out. Here they are…

 

Size– I wanted my locs to be like a medium thick size. Which they were, however the longer I had them in and the more they started to form, I was realizing they may be a little too big. My hair is super thick and I prob could have had 2-3 locs in every 1 of mines. I felt like I really couldn’t style them in many ways because they were soo thick. Keep in mind the average locd person has about 100-180 locs. I had 52. So I felt very limited in the type of styles I could do without the help of a professional and that was probably my biggest issue.

 

Starting Method– I started with 2 strand twist as you may know. Which seemed like a great idea in the beginning. This method for me personally was a frizzy twisted mess. I felt like my hair was sooo frizzy and I constantly had strands of hair sticking out of my locs. I think starting with coils over time gives you a smoother more even consistency if that makes sense. My locs were definitely forming but even after 10 months they were not looking or starting to look even and uniformed, like locs. Half of it looked like locs (the part closest to my roots) and the other half of it looked like a raggedy 2 strand twist. Lol It just wasn’t a good look and I was over it.

 

Overall Maintenance– Again I feel like I jumped into this loc thing without doing the proper research on how to care for them. Like most people, I assumed I didn’t really have to do anything. Just oil my scalp make sure its not dry and I’m good. Lol But that is not the case. I think locs need just as much attention as loose hair. There were several products and tools I bought for my hair over this 10 month period another factor to consider if you plan on caring for your own locs sometimes. Shampoos, oils, leave in conditioners, clips, scarves for bad hair days, and styling products are all things to consider having on hand before you start this journey. Of course I had all these things but the same products for loose natural hair are not always the same as products recommended for locs.

 

The comb out process was actually not that bad (as long as you have a good show to watch) but I do not plan on going through that again. Lol the next time I loc my hair it will be permanent. Although combing out my locs was extremely tedious, it made me soo grateful I only had 52 locs and they were so thick because that made it a lot easier to comb out. It took me about 5 days to do it because I originally was going to wait until 1 year to decide what I would do but I looked in the mirror one day and I just started combing… After all my locs were out I planned on just putting 2 strand twist back in my hair, but after shampooing and conditioning my hair, I was soo tired. My hands were literally aching from all the combing out and detangling. So I blew it out trimmed my ends (only a tiny bit, they need way more off) and I have been rocking 2 cornrows every since. I plan to leave my hair out for a bit. I do plan to loc it again, I’m not sure when exactly but in the meantime I will most likely do 2 strand twists at some point. Having my hair back just reminds me why I got locs in the first place! lol I just don’t wanna deal..

I feel like that set of locs was kind of like trial and error for me, so this time when I loc my hair again I am fully prepared for the journey!!

So there you have it. I combed out my locs because…. I wasn’t readyyyy. *Kevin Hart voice* lol

And now you know if you are thinking about starting locs; size, starting method, and overall maintenance are 3 major things to consider.

This is what my locs looked like before I combed them out.

1 down, 51 to go. lol

Right after all my locs were out and my hair was shampooed and conditioned.

The shrinkage is real.

Finally done and can’t wait to get these nasty ends trimmed!

Thanks for stopping by!

Simpilicity 0701 Men’s Button Up Shirt

Hey Loves,

Today I want to share the details on my men’s button up. I made it for a friend of mines and he loves it. You all know ever since I made my first button up I have been on a button up making spree. I figured while I was at it I should try to make a mens shirt. So I did! The Simplicity pattern is very basic, nothing fancy, I just needed it as a base.

He came up with the modifications he wanted on the shirt, which were the following

  • Make it longer than the regular shirt and with the back hem curved
  • a 3/4 sleeve which made a little easier because I could skip the step of making cuffs. I just made a little tab and button for the sleeve.
  • Add slits on the side

This fabric was some Ankara I had for a while, I made a women’s vest out of it also. It is cotton so of course working with that is a breeze. I think this shirt came out well. He likes the fact that he can wear it with tennis shoes or dress it up and wear it with dress shoes.

I’m about to make my brother a shirt and as I sew for men I’m learning they are easy to sew for in the sense that they don’t have curves and such to fit around but they are just as meticulous about their clothes as we are. lol I think my next step is going to be to do a  button up shirt with welt pockets on it. Welt pockets are so scary to me, but thats how I’ve learned any new techniques in sewing. I research, practice, then pray over it while I’m trying to execute it! lol

Thanks for stopping by!

This is my friend @taylorchinmusic! He takes most of my pics for the blog, he models, and he also is a music artist! Go check him out on IG, Facebook, and he has a song on iTunes so go download that too!!

Transparent Skirt D.I.Y

Hey loves!! Welcome back to my blog!

Today I want to share this skirt I made yesterday. Super easy, it took about 2 hours to complete, (majority of it spent on the pockets lol). As you all know I love sewing and recreating RTW pieces. Part of the reason I love recreating RTW garments is because I don’t want to support the fast fashion industry as much as I can, I think some of it is ridiculously priced, and I actually enjoy the process of sewing and creating garments.

One trend thats huge this year is the “Transparency trend” and I totally blame @sewing_and_design_school on Instagram for getting me obsessed with it! Lol Here are some examples below, but @sewing_and_design_school Instagram feed has a lot more pictures and inspiration if you are feeling the transparent vibe.

 

Cute right?! I think the “transparency trend” is mysterious and subtly sexy.

So I was browsing the web (or I may have been on Pinterest) but I saw this skirt and loved it but didn’t like the price. lol It retailed for $125. No way! lol Especially not when tulle is 99 cent a yard. So I recreated it and LOVE how it came out. Its just a fun layering piece. I tried my skirt on over a black bathing suit and it gave it an instant upgrade. I don’t want to list the website this skirt was on because I feel kind of shady doing that, but read on to find out how to create this skirt!

This skirt started with 2 yards of tulle. Cut the tulle to the length you want your skirt to be. Mines was ankle length. Take your time and cut a really straight line since the tulle will not be hemmed. Don’t cut any of the width off, you will need it to gather the skirt. The trim & waistband of the skirt is regular black cotton. Cut 2 strips about 3 inches wide. Fold both of the raw edges in and attach to the front opening of the skirt, sandwiching the tulle in between the two layers of cotton.

Once that is complete do a basting stitch across the top of your skirt and gather it until there is a small opening in the front. Now to create your waistband cut 2 strips of cotton 4 inches wide. Sew them together to make one long strip. My strip ended up being about 58 inches long. Interface your waistband (with a light interfacing) for a little more stability. Then fold in the raw edges on both sides of the strip. On one end you will need to attach your hardware. Two 1 1/2 inch D-rings so your skirt can have an adjustable waist. Then attach the waistband to the skirt.

The pockets are the last step! I had never made a cargo pocket but it was pretty easy. I started with a 7 x 7 inch square and just drafted the pocket flap myself. I had the hardware and ribbon already but you can use two d- rings to create the same effect on the pockets..

Here is my pocket once it was complete.