Wednesday, July 6, 2016

What to do when your dress ends up on "Life Support"?????

Ok, I find myself in a little predicament but that's ok, predicaments happen when you sew! I have been wanting a shirt dress for quite some time now! So I sewed up this dress on last week using this lovely, flowy floral fabric in my stash which I grabbed from Hancock's months ago (pre-closing announcement). I was trying to find a suitable pattern and opted to go with McCall 6885, a great shirt dress pattern that's technically intended for a slightly rigid fabric such as a cotton although crepe is listed as a recommended fabric. I used this pattern nonetheless since it has the basic shape I was going for. Long story short I ran into some "fit" complications. I tried the dress on and it seems I'm going to have to do some special modifications to make it look the way I want to, some not necessarily recommended in the pattern but as a sewing professional I feel inclined to do. And hence my dress is currently on "life support"............you know that weird place of either turning out really good or ending up as a failed garment.


What's so funny is that yearsssssss ago when I was a newbie sewer a situation like this would've sent me into a "tail spin". My first line of action would've been to toss the dress out entirely. I would've panicked, gotten frustrated and gotten frustrated to the point where I'd threaten to give up sewing LOLLLL---well that last part only lasted a minute and I was back to sewing LOLLLLL! And trust me , although I'm way more experienced now, I still may be prone to toss something nowadays if it doesn't turn out exactly as intended and isn't worth the effort. But it's nice to be at a place where I know how to make modifications in my sewing that can transform clothes to my liking. Situations like these don't frustrate me and I recognize my options.

In Short, here's what I've learned about how to handle a garment on "Life Support"......

1. Don't panic---when does it ever help??? LOL
2. Evaluate the garment's "stats"--- is there a strong heartbeat or a flatline? Does it seem like something you can save or not? If a flatline then let it go, toss it out and work on something else. If a heartbeat---or the possibility that you can make it work then proceed to do so. Put it on "life support" and do everything you can to save it! It's in these time that you find your true creativity and test your ingenuity in clothing construction/design! I've had my best ideas in these moments!!!
3a. Proudly wear your garment if the save is successful!!! You deserve to! You fought for it and made it work---CONGRATS!!!!
3b. If not then it's ok to take your garment off life support. You gave it your best shot but sometimes you can't save every problematic garment! Learn the lessons and move on. They will make you a BETTER sewer! It's that simple and technically that's the best part!

 So I'm going to do my best to "save" this dress! I've got some great ideas in mind and not much is needed to correct the fit. Of course I originally intended to add a tie belt (not pictured) and will make some other changes. We'll see how it look. If all goes well I'll be delighted and will post soon! So my question for you is how do you deal with your garments that end up on "life support"---do you usually toss them out or work to fix the problems???

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

The Green/White Geometric Print Wrap Dress!

I have ALWAYS wanted a wrap dress in a geometric print ever since the day I saw one of my friends wearing one years ago! So I was all too thrilled to stumble upon this Myfabricsdesign.com print! You know I LOVE color!!! The green color seemed like it would be the perfect shade for my skin tone and it was. Plus I love that it was a knit with a little sheen to it- it made the fabric very suitable for a semi-formal affair. My Hubby's 20th High School Reunion was coming up so I knew that this fabric as a wrap dress would be PERFECT! So I sewed this up just 2 days before we left. The pattern is Butterick 5454 and it is a staple. I've made the dress at least 3 times before. Sorry I have a bit of an obsession with wrap dresses. You know you do too! LOL!


Front view: Classic wrap. I've made variations with a collar and some other design elements. I opted for the simpler design here. There are pleats in the skirt as well as the shoulder line. That's all the added flare I needed. I paired with hanging earings--they're actually clear with a little tan and crystals in them. I wanted accessories in that color green but didn't get a chance to go accessory hunting. I wasn't going to do stark white since I don't like that color direcly on my skin. In the end I kept it simple and paired it with my cute, white strappy sandals. 



 Back View. I did my normal pattern adjustment. I shortened the center back about 1 inch, grading it to nothing at the sides. I'm a bit shortwaisted. I also shortened the sleeves a tad.


Here's the fabric. It has a little bit of sheen to it, not obvious in this pic. It's sorta visible in the above photos.


 Me and the Hubs. We didn't match but I liked that we coordinated. He wore a deep burgundy shirt and dark gray pants! In my world color means EVERYTHING! It can either make or break an outfit. It's a major part of one's fashion formula! Heck,  I LOVE color so much that I offer Color Consults to my clients! Gotta spread the Gospel LOLLLL!


We hit the floor for some slow jams! I left the fast stuff for the guy who decided to dance shirtless twirling his shirt his over his head. Boy was that entertaining LOLLL!


I had a great time with these guys! 


Also, I keep meaning to post but I wanted to promote our sewing show for those who don't sew. Gentleman Jim who is a Master Tailor (back in the day he made clothes for such famous folk as James Brown, Jackie Robins, Duke Ellington, etc.) and myself, a Professional Dressmaker with over 12 years of experience have joined forces to bring sewer and informative show! We cover everything from hands on tutorials to handling success and challenges. This month we've dedicated our shows to the Sewing Entrepreneur! Here are a few below. New Show's every Thursday! Check us out!!! Also, feel free to join our Facebook page HERE to stay in the loop on what we've got going on :)






Fabric sponsored by Myfabricsdesign.com. My fabric opinion is honestly my own!

Sunday, June 12, 2016

The Floral "Kimono Dress" Top - Simplicity8091

It's looking like my Summer wardrobe is shaping up into fun and cute pieces that I can make easily and wear effortlessly. And that's just fine by me! This Floral "Kimono dress" top is one I'm happy to add to my wardrobe. I used Simplicity pattern 8091 and was torn between making view A which is called a Kimono dress or View B which a kimono and an opened and shorter version of the dress. I chose view A, the Kimono dress. Well this is hardly a dress for me. Maybe it's because I'm tall but it definitely wasn't a stand alone dress. Like the pattern envelope model I paired it with pants, specifically a pair of dark denim leggings I made a few years back. I'd been eye-balling this pattern for a little while. But I knew I'd need to pair the perfect fabric with it. I can't remember where I picked up this floral poly-blend but I'm sure happy I did. It was just the right light weight for this design and moved so beautifully. As we all know the wrong fabric can completely kill a great pattern. Going back to the pattern---I forgot to mention that it's only 3 pieces and it literally sews together in less than 2 hours. It's SUPER fast to put together and I feel the style can work with a variety of body types. Normally I don't wear alot of loose tops but I'm enjoying experimenting with some loose styles that can amp up my wardrobe. I definitely plan to make at least one more of these! Ok, without further ado, here are the pics......

(I didn't go crazy with my styling. I wore the Kimono dress/top with dark blue jeggings, black suede wedges with ankle strap and silver large tear drop shaped earrings. The silver earrings were a little more antique color instead of bright. I'd love to get some chunky bracelets in that color to pair with this outfit the next time! I pulled my hair back with a side part and wore lip-gloss along with liner and mascara)






 (Full Span)


(Better View of Fabric Up close)

So here's the Recap:
1. This top is SUPER easy to sew---only has 3 pieces and a handful of steps. Goes together fast!
2. Looks great on most body types. Wonderful for those day we all try to disguise a little tummy bloat! LOL
3. Pick a flowy fabric, anything too heavy will make this top look bulky!

If you decide to sew this one up I wish you much success and fun doing so!!!! Happy Sewing!!!

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Matching Luau Party Tops and a Birthday Boy!!!





We had a pretty amazing time celebrating our Cousin Jennifer's 40th Birthday in a fun and festive Luau themed affair! As I mentioned in the last 2 posts I wanted to sew something fun for the whole family to wear. With only 4 yards of fabric and the patterns I showed in my last post this is the result! I had to be a bit creative with the fabric use given there was so little of it to share amongst 3 folks. So for my daughter's top I went with a solid yellow cotton for the body and used the Hawaiian print fabric on her sleeves and on the fabric covered buttons that I made for her located on her front ruffle. Besides I had to think pictures. She's usually between us and if all of us wore the print we'd all blend together LOL!

So the patterns weren't difficult to sew at all and went together rather quickly. To be quite honest I'm amazed I was able to squeeze these 3 pieces in less than one week especially given the crazy work schedules I've been having. This is definitely a first for me. I've never sewn for the whole family at once. It was definitely a fun project!


( A BIG shout-out goes to Greg Adams (aka Cousin Greg) for taking such marvelous pics of the event. He's one talented photographer and I'm delighted that captured my work so beautifully! If you're in the Lakeland, FL area and are looking for an exceptional photographer I recommend him wholeheartedly!!!)


(Here are the patterns again!)

(Fabric upclose, love the print and colors!!! It's a stretch poplin)

 (Loved how her top turned out! So simple but cute!)

 (He was a good sport, we've never matched like this before LOL)


 (Candid family photo)
 (Same print in Ruffled sleeves and fabric covered buttons ties her top to ours)

 (I added a couple of inches to the peplum---I wanted the added flare)

 (Fancy drinks)

(Silly Faces)


 (my favorite! my daughter is such a little character LOL)



Jimmy with his beautiful Cousin Jennifer---the birthday girl!!!

And SPEAKING OF BIRTHDAYS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Today is my Man's birthday! I want to WISH THE BIGGEST AND HAPPIEST of Birthdays to my one and only Guy Jimmy! There's just so much that I love and respect about this guy! He's fun-loving, so caring, good natured, kind-hearted, loves God, cherishes his family, and the list goes on and on! He's the extrovert to my Introversion LOL! He's my best friend and confidant and my biggest supporter. I promise ya'll there were so many times I'd want to quit but he's always encouraged me to follow my dreams even when they weren't as clear to me! He's cheered me on, wiped my tears, been there when no one else has, seen me at my best, seen me at my worst, given me tough love and has done it all humbly and sweetly! I'm blessed to have such a life partner and friend. My successes are our successes! Wouldn't trade him for the world! I'm honored to have celebrated 19 birthdays with him! I love you Jimmy--FOREVER and a DAY!!! XOXOXO

Friday, May 27, 2016

The Pattern Line-Up

In the last post I showed the fabric I'm using to make our "Luau themed outfits". Here are the patterns....

(Hubby's shirt, My peplum top---I only had less than 2 yards so this was the best pattern for the job--, and my daughter's top. All 3 patterns I sewed for the first time and were pretty fun to work with. Will showcase the finished pieces and give more details soon.....

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Sewing For My Man

That's pretty fun to say and it's definitely something I haven't done in a while. Actually I'm currently sewing for the whole family. We have an upcoming "Luau themed" birthday party to attend so in the middle of my hectic week I'm cranking out some garments for us. I've finished a button down shirt for the Hubby and am working on me and my daughter's pieces. Have a bit of a challenge--- I ONLY have 4 yards of fabric and 3 people to sew for. That equates  me having to be REALLLYYYY creative in how I stretch the fabric and choose our designs. My husband's shirt used up 2 1/4 yards alone. But I'm figuring all of that out. What's really great is I've had this stretch poplin fabric in my stash for a few years. Ya'll know I believe in having a little stash of fabric. Can't tell you how many times it's saved me. Even though I've downsized a few 100 yards this year and have a drastically smaller stash I'm glad to still have a little in-house "fabric store" that I can shop from. I needed Luau themed fabric and voila' I just so happened to have some! Well I've got to hop back to sewing. Will be posting the finished outfits soon.....
(here's the lovely fabric I'm using---it screams Hawaiian party!!!)

Sunday, May 15, 2016

The Black Sequin Sparkly Tulle Mermaid Prom Gown

Prom season went by so quickly. Originally I was so busy with some other projects that I didn't really have time to sew any prom gowns but that was until Ms. C showed up. She had such a lovely prom dress idea and despite my tight schedule we made it work! I LOVE working with my clients and helping bring their visions to life. She wanted a fitted sequin gown with mermaid tulle skirt with sequins.  Fortunately I was able to get all the fabric from my local Jo-ann's which saved time so I didn't have to order it. Now let me warn you this dress isn't as simple as it may look. The mermaid tulle skirt has 5 different layers and a total of 32 yards of fabric, The top of the dress is sequin fabric that is overlayed on black spandex and lined with black jet set. Anyhow I give ALL the details in the video below. I love how the dress turned out and even more importantly I LOVE that my client Loves it!!! I live for happy clients!!!

 Ms. C looking so gorgeous in her custom dress!!!




On the mannequin



Here's the Video Enjoy! It was recorded prior to my clients prom! Also, I have a special offer below.....



And since we all just LOVE things that sparkle and bling I wanted to share my BOGO Free Sale on my Crystals and Rhinestones courses! I've received RAVE reviews on them and as a result want to pass on this special to anyone who wants to add some bling to their garments---whether it be sewn or glued on! See this LINK for all of the details!!!!


 Again if you purchase the Sewing with Crystals and Rhinestones Course you get the 8 Tips on Gluing Crystals and Rhinestone Course for FREE (a $9.99 value). You can purchase here




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