Category: RTW Fast

RTW Fast 2015

RTW Fast Update – A Geeky Q1 Report of sorts…

Hola Folks!

If I were still working in corporate America, I would be working on my 1st quarter end of quarter report right about now.. I would also be putting a cover sheet on my TPS report and sending it to my eight different bosses. (Anyone else love the movie Office Space?) 🙂 Luckily I have no reports to fill out, but I am excited to look back at 2015 so far and let you know how the RTW (Ready To Wear) Fast is going thus far…

Lets start with the garments I made, things I learned and the tutorials I created 🙂

GARMENTS I MADE

4 tops, 3 skirts, 2 dresses and 1 pair of pants. Total of 10 garments 🙂

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So.. I officially started the fast on Jan 23rd. Between Jan 23rd and the end of March, there were 9 weeks and I sewed 8 of the 9 weeks and completed a total of 10 garments! That’s more than one a week. I know for a fact that I would not have sewn this much had I not decided to observe the fast.

SKIRTS:

1) Box pleat skirt: Details and pics HEREIMG_5460

2) Circle Skirt: Details and pics HERE

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3) Tulle Skirt: Details and pics HERE

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TOPS

4) Black fitted cowl neck: Details and pics HERE

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5) Leopard print top: Details and pics HERE

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6) Ruffle top: Details and pics HERE

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7) Blue Peplum top. Details and pics HERE

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DRESSES:

8) V Day Dress. Details and pics HERE

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9) HI-Low dress: Details and pics HERE

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PANTS:

 

10) High Waisted Wide Leg Pants. Details and pics HERE

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THINGS I LEARNED

1) Patience 🙂

2) How to use a twin needle. Tutorial HERE

3) Commercial patterns have a ridiculous amount of ease

4) The seam ripper is my soul mate. We are in an eternal love hate relationship…

TUTORIALS

One of the main reasons I wanted to start this blog was to share my love of sewing with others but also teach others. I was able to find time when my little one naps to document a few tutorials to share with others

1) How to sew a sleeve the easy way. Click HERE
2) How to hem knits using a twin needle. Click HERE
3) How to draft a peplum. Click HERE
4) How to press a seam. Click HERE
5) Sew tight ruffles using a gathering foot. Click HERE
6) How to draft a circle Skirt. Click HERE

That concludes my nerdy end of quarter report … 😀 This has been such a fun-filled journey.. if you are someone who has been thinking of picking up a sewing machine, or encourage you to start now! If you have questions on how to get started or how to sew a particular technique, or draft a pattern, I am here to help 🙂

Hope you have are having a wonderful week. It’s almost the weekend.. and that means more time to sew. Yay..
I’ll see you soon with my next garment.. but I have to leave you with a clip from my favourite movie of all time.. Office Space. Enjoy.. XOXO

Once upon a Dress

HI Everyone!

I am back to sewing after taking a break last week. Yesterday I worked on re-purposing a dress into a peplum top.  I love the combination of blue and black and want a blue top and black skinny jeans in my closet. I started drafting the pattern for the pants. I pre-washed and pre-shrunk the fabric while I was doing the pattern making. Now I am ready to cut.

Here is the peplum top completed:I wanted a full peplum look so I drafted a half circle peplum. I think for the next project, I might do a 3/4 circle peplum and sew in horsehair braid at the hem of the peplum to make it stiff.

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The peplum is a half circle peplum for each pattern pieces (one back, one front). The pattern looks like a 1/2 donut. So the peplum all around is a full circle peplum, seamed at the sides. I love how the fabric drapes on the peplum.

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I attached an exposed zipper on the back. It’s a jeans zipper I had in my zipper stash. Love the metallic teeth on it. The zipper is aesthetic only, it does not function. We shall call her a trophy zipper.

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To accessorize, I added this bag for another pop of color and also because oversized bows are always en vogue.

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Love how the zipper on the top matches the hardware on the purse 🙂

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I even had a modest Marilyn Monroe moment thanks to the wind.

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Here is the dress that was used for this re-purpose:

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Design details below for anyone who wants to make a peplum 🙂

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PATTERN: For the sleeves, I re-used a previously drafted sleeve I used  HERE. For the peplum, I drafted a pattern using the slash and spread method I documented HERE.

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SEWING: To transform the dress into the top, I dd the following alterations

1) Chop off the top from skirt at the waist seam

2) de-construct the top at the sleeves and side seams

3) re-size the sleeves using a pattern I drafted previously HERE

4) Sew the top back up using THIS method

5. Attach peplum at the waist. I used THIS method to draft the peplum

I hope you found this post helpful. Have a wonderful weekend!

XOXO

 

 

 

Behind The Seams: Repurpose with a purpose

HI everyone!! I missed you last week!!

I managed to do a quick tutorial but last week was a tough one, so unfortunately, my sewing had to take a backseat. I made a commitment to myself that I would sew every Thursday without fail. So I did go into my studio late Thursday night and gathered up some tulle, but that was about it!

Well I am back on track and ready to get to work this week! So…. the 1st thing I am going to work on this week is a blue peplum top, and I am planning on re-purposing this dress instead of making it from scratch. Do you have an unwanted knit dress in your wardrobe and want to sew-along? Design details below…

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This is a dress I bought sometime last year and never wore. I tried it on once and it was big on me. I meant to take it in, but I just don’t think I am going to wear it. So…  I am going chop this baby up and re-construct it. I am going to preserve the hemming on the neckline and sleeves and I will be using the fabric from the skirt to create the peplum. I want a full peplum and this is the overall look I am going for:

 

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PATTERN: For the base pattern, I will probably use a self drafted pattern I used HERE. I wont touch the neckline as it is beautifully hemmed.

Peplum: I will self draft the peplum using this technique that I documented HERE

SEWING: After I de-construct the top at the sleeves , side seams and waist, I will resize the sleeves and top and then re-attach the sleeves using this easy method I documented HERE

I am truly hopeful that I will also be able to make a pair of skinny jeans or capri pants to go with this peplum. Ambitious for a day of sewing, but a girl can dream, right?

Are you sewing something? I’d love to hear from you 🙂

Until next time, Happy Sewing!!

XOXO

 

Black Hi-lo dress inspired by Pinterest- Mccalls M6886 modified

Hola Folks!! Hope you are having a wonderful Friday. I am so ready for the weekend!

Earlier this week I posted about a hi-lo t-shirt dress that was inspired by pinterest. I really did not have any time to go shopping so I was at the mercy of my fabric stash. Well.. I started off wanting to make a reversible grey and black dress, but that did not happen. I ran into SO many issues with the grey dress, it seemed like the sewing Gods were very angry with me.

I will save my rant for later, let me show what the black dress looks like. Design details below if you are interested in making your own version

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I had this slinky knit in my fabric stash.. I had about 2 yards I think, so it was long enough to make the back floor length. I really like where the hem hits on the front.

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I accessorized with this shoulder bag that also works as a clutch.

 

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Here is the dress that inspired my project.. I think my version comes pretty close, although I couldnt replicate that pose…. even though I tried 🙂

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Moving onto the DISASTER dress. I had so many issues with the grey dress. For starters, since I used a commercial pattern, it had a ridiculous amount of ease in it. It took multiple alterations to get the right fit. The area around the arms had so much excess fabric, that I ended up detaching the sleeves, taking in the shoulder seams and re-attaching the sleeve. But check this out, I attached one sleeve inside out and both sleeves backwards. If that wasnt enough, my serger started acting funny and the side seams looked like they had teeth coming out of them. Lastly, the hem line was a bit too short.. and well after I put on the garment, it just didn’t feel right. I was still determined after all these issues, so I decided to hem the neckline and sleeves and be done with it. Well, as I started to hem, my one and only twin needle broke. I was still determined to finish, so I decided to try the stretch stitch on my machine. Well that was a disaster too.. and the dress now looks like a craft project gone wrong. I mean.. a 4-year-old could probably do a better job.. Oh well!!! We all have failures in life.  I do believe all things happen for a reason.. so I am finally getting a cover stitch machine this weekend. As for the dress, I am too embarrassed to even give it to goodwill… I think I will repurpose the fabric .

Anyways, back to the black dress…..

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PATTERN: I used Mccalls M6886 view C as a base, then did the following pattern alterations: 1) shorten the hem in the front 2) shorten the sleeves and add bands to make it more dressy 3)  lengthen the hem in the back 4) turn the back into a-line instead of pencil

If you are interested in seeing a step by step tutorial on how to do this alteration, let me know and I will be happy to document it.

FABRIC: I used a jersey knit. You can use any knit fabric

SEWING: The dress is easy to sew. You can use this technique to sew the dress up. For the hem, you can use a twin needle or a cover stitch. For the bottom hem, I serged but I did not hem as I didn’t feel it was necessary.

I hope that this inspired you to create something! Until next time, Happy Sewing and Happy Friday

XOXO

Pinterest Inspired Hi-lo Dress using Mccalls M6886

Hello Fashionistas!

Today is my sewing day, but I have to admit, I woke up with no idea of what to make. Usually I wait for Thursdays with anticipation. I plan my project in my head, make a sketch or two, start working on my pattern and cutting around the middle of the week. Not this week. As a mom of a naughty toddler, I find myself growing more and more tired each day. Seems like terrible twos have come early in my home. But I made a commitment to myself that I would sew every week. So today I am looking for a quick project that will take me no more than 2 to 4 hours to complete.

I want to make a reversible hi-low dress with grey on one side and black on the other. If I can get two dresses out of one, why not? 🙂

I am feeling inspired by this dress I saw on pinterest. It’s a t-shirt dress, so has a casual element to it, but the hi-low hem makes it interesting.

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I am debating between sleeveless and short sleeves. I really like the ribbing around the neckline. It makes the dress a bit more casual, which will be appropriate for the fabric I am using. I plan on using this jersey knit below

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I also like this hi-low dress, but mine would have a longer hemline in the front. I would like for the hem to hit right above the knee. I don’t care for the long sleeves though, because warm weather is finally here! Yay!

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Since time if of the essence, I will be using the McCall M668 as a base instead of drafting my own pattern. Don’t let the ugly print on the envelope fool you. I have seen some amazing dresses made with this pattern. I will be using View D if I go for sleeveless, or view C if I go for sleeves. The only pattern alteration I will be doing is lengthening the hem on the centre back and shortening the hem on the centre front, and of course blending the hem at the side seams.

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As always, I am going into this project with a plan in my head, but I could end up with something completely different. I better go grab my scissors and get to cutting while baby naps.

See you soon in my next post. Until then, Happy Sewing!

XOXO

Leopard print (Rawrrrr) and DIY Circle Skirt

Hello Beautiful People!

I posted last week that I was approaching my next sewing project with skepticism. I decided to pull out a leopard print double-knit fabric from my stash and make something with it. I really wanted to do a form-fitting, below the knee dress but I was afraid that would be too much print. For someone who has never sewn with prints, I decided to ease into the world on animal print by sewing something small. I decided to make a scoop neck tee and here is what I came up with. Design details below if you are interested in this DIY

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I paired the top with a pencil skirt I wear often. While I like this look and its well-balanced and harmonious, I have to admit that I am turning into a bit of a sewing snob. If I didn’t make it, I don’t have as much fun wearing it. And while pencil skirts are fun, circle skirts are SO much more fun! So for my second look, I paired this top with a  DIY circle skirt I made earlier this year.

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Here is a closeup of the top. For the neckline, I once again used the twin needle. But I am one step closer to buying a coverstitch machine. 🙂 Oh! I just realised there is a giant hexagonal orb on my skirt. Time to clean that lens!IMG_6322

 

If you are still reading this post, then i present to you, my favorite look with this new top. The beauty of fashion is that a good outfit not only makes you look good, but also makes you feel good. And that brings me to the final look I put together with this top. I LOVE a nice and comfy pair of jeans. Denim is like the chocolate cake of the fabric world. It makes you feel good every single time 🙂 Here is my favourite look:

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And can I just tell you that I am in LOVE with these obnoxiously oversized sunglasses? 🙂

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And finally folks, Its FRIDAY Wahooooooooooooooo!.Life is short, Fridays are even shorter, so be silly, eat a lot of ice cream and have a wonderful, relaxing and fashionable weekend 🙂 I’ll see you in the next blog post 🙂 Design details below for those who want to DIY the top or skirt!

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PATTERN: I used a self drafted pattern for tee and the skirt. You can use M6886 (easy) View B and chop if off at the waist. You can find the pattern HERE The circle skirt I self drafted and you can learn how to draft it HERE

FABRIC: I used a double-knit polyester from my fabric stash. You can use any knit fabric really.

SEWING: This tee is very easy to sew! I did a tutorial on how to sew this top HERE. It is an easy project and great for beginners. If you have any questions, let me know!

I hope that this inspired you to create something! Until next time, Happy Sewing and Happy Friday

XOXO

 

Behind The Seams: Overcoming my fear of (animal) print

Hello Ladies and Gents!

I have been a bit unsure about what my next sewing project should be. I know that leopard print is not currently en vogue, but something has been telling me to sew with this beautiful leopard print that I have been hoarding for three years.  Typically I shy away from all prints. I only wear solids. I have only sewn with prints twice. But… this RTW Fast is all about challenging myself, so I am going to attempt to sew with a print.

Here is the fabric I am working with:

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It’s a polyester double knit at 58 inches wide. I have four yards of this, so the possibilites are endless 🙂 I like leopard print, and have worn it as an accent (purses, shoes, belts), but never as a garment. I always thinkg that it would be too loud. Since I dont have my imaginary personal stylist on speed dial, I decided to go to pinterest for inspiration.

A maxi skirt, worn with black….

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I love the idea of doing a fitted top instead, something like this with 3/4 length sleeves, but if I go for this look, then I have to make that skirt too 🙂 Love the look below.

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Here is the gorgeous Mrs Beckam in a calf length pencil skirt, once again with black. This is so elegant.

1411999771918_wps_7_Victoria_Beckham_seen_arr Here is another pencil skirt look I like, with white and denim, I would probably extend the length by a few inches on my version. This is so cute with nude pumps and denim.

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As I was browsing through all these images, I was still unsure of whether I should sew with leopard print, and then I saw THIS…..

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I think the print above is a jaguar print, but you get the point. How cute is this outfit? That would look SO cute on my daughter.. so this picture has me sold. I am still not sure what I am going to make for myself, but  I am making this adorable peplum dress for my toddler. It is just so stinkin cute. Well. I will have my first “Mommy and Me” post coming up soon.

I hope that everyone is getting ready to have a wonderful relaxing. I plan on being in my studio sewing for myself and my mini me. I’ll see you soon with my finished projects.

Happy Friday!!!

XOXO

Pretty in Pink Tulle and Cake Pops!

Hi Folks!

I am so excited about this weeks post. As I mentioned last week, Thursday is my sewing day. Well, last week Thursday was my super sewing day. I was asked by a friend to do a photoshoot for her new website Queen City Cake Pops and she asked that I wear one of my tulle skirts.

Luckily, I had about 6 yards of pink tulle in my fabric stash, so I got to work right away. I made a gorgeous poofy midi length tulle skirt with a satin waistband Here is what I came up with. All the design details are below if you are interested in making your very own tulle skirt!

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The focal point of the pictures was a gorgeous cake pop bouquet by Queen City Cake Pops. I got to dress up in tulle and carry a bouquet! I felt like I was getting married and walking down the fairy tale isle!

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Check out the gorgeous bouquet made by Queen City Cake Pops. You can see more about QC Cake Pops HERE ! I just wanted to eat it up. Maybe I should have eaten at least one of two. Nobody would have noticed!

All these wonderful pictures were taken by Ariel Photography. I got to work with Ariel Perry, who is so much fun and quite talented. You can check out more of her work HERE

 

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I made this top as well. I posted about is last week. You can see the details of the black top HERE

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PATTERN: I used a self-drafted pattern for the skirt and waistband, but you can use Simplicity pattern 1200 HERE or any circle skirt pattern.

FABRIC: For the lining, I used a matte Satin from Hancock Fabric. I loved using this because it was in the color ivory and gave the skirt more dimension. For the Tulle, I used this fabric from Joann’s in the color “blush”. You can find it HERE. I gathered the tulle using a gathering foot. This accessory makes gathering the tulle a breeze. I highly recommend using a gathering foot.  This universal foot works with most machines:

 

SEWING:I gathered the tulle using a gathering foot. This accessory makes gathering the tulle a breeze. I highly recommend using a gathering foot. You can find one HERE. I then sewed up the side seams only on the lining. Depending on your pattern, you may not have side seams, but sew up the skirt per your pattern directions. Then I attached the tulle to the skirt using a basting stitch. Once the tulle and lining were one pieces, I attached it to the waist band, right sides together, inserted the zipper and closed up the waist band using the stitch in the ditch method. One thing to be very careful when putting a zipper in tulle is not to attach the tulle to the zipper. I usually attach the tulle half an inch away from the zipper so it does not get caught.

Ladies, I will be doing a giveaway of the simplicity pattern and the tulle fabric, so please subscribe to my blog and stay tuned if you are interested in making this skirt!

I hope that this inspired you to create something! Until next time, Happy Sewing!

XOXO

 

 

 

 

Dressed in Black: Fitted Top and High Waisted Pants

Happy Friday Peeps!

Aren’t you glad its Friday? So am I. The sun is out. It’s a beautiful day. Still very cold here and ice on the ground, but the sun feels so good. This week I am so exited about the sewing projects I have been working on. This is the first time I am wearing two garments I created. This week I decided to work on some unfinished projects. All they needed for hemming and some minor alterations. Talk about instant gratification!! The entire outfit below is made by me, top and pants:

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BRRRR.. As you can see there is still ice on the ground. I wanted something warm and cozy to wear. This outfit is perfect. It covers from head to do and is still stylish. I simply love the neckline on this top. The silhouette is very flattering, and the long sleeves give it class.

Now lets talk about the pants. I used Burda 7122. They are high-waisted wide legged pants. The thing about wide leg pants (especially if you are short) is that they can either look flattering or funny. In my opinion it’s all in the fit. I hear some many ladies complain about how they can’t wear certain styles. While there is some truth to it,  I think the right fit can make all the difference. I am 5’4″, so not tall by any means. Typically I would not wear a wide leg pant, but the high waist had me sold. A high waist can be so flattering on any body type. It created the illusion of longer legs.

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The pants have a wide waist band. I did not line these pants, instead I self faced the waist Band. There is a invisible zipper in the back. Love Love LOVE these pants and I will definitely be making more of these in the future. They were a bit too wide legged for me so I altered them to my linking.  Here is a closeup of the waist band:

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To accessorize my all black outfit, I added this gorgeous red clutch I bought in India.

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I also added this necklace that my hubby gifted me a long time ago. It’s from some boutique at the Biltmore Estate in Asheville NC.

And BOO! Just wanted to scare you with a closeup.. Isn’t the detailing on this purse AMAZING? Shopping in India is the best…seriously!

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PATTERN: The pattern for the top is self drafted. The pants pattern are Burda 7122. You can find them HERE

FABRIC: For the top, I used a jersey knit from Joanns Fabrics. You can find it HERE . For the pants, I used a gabardine from Hancock Fabrics. You can find it HERE

Well..  I still have some more sewing to do today. A last-minute photo shoot with a friend.. So I need to finish sewing up a  tulle skirt for that and head out in the next hour!

I hope that this inspired you to create something! Enjoy this beautiful day.

Happy Sewing and Happy Friday!!!

XOXO

Behind The Seams: Catching up on UFO’s

Happy Thursday peeps!

Thursday is my sewing day, I sew every Thursday without fail. This week I am tackling a couple UFO’s (Unfinished Objects).

I decided to focus on these two, mainly because it freezing out and also because I can wear them together.

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I started working on this full sleeve top a while back. It’s a copy of a top I loved, but over time, it took too much wear and began to look hobo chic 🙂 So I decided to copy it. I created a pattern for it using my own version of the rub off technique. I am not a big fan of sewing with knits, so needless to say the project never got finished. I never finished the hem and it has been sitting in my sewing studio ever since. Since, I have conquered my fear of the twin needle and learned how to hem knits without the use of a coverstitch machine.

Here is the original top that I loved. Rest in peace my beloved. I cut this baby up to be able to replicate the pattern. I felt so horrible doing it, but it was the easiest way to clone her!

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I love the cowl neck on this top. Cute and functional. Cowl necks never really go out of style.  My paparazzi hubby took this pic while I was shopping for groceries. He is so sneaky, but this shows the cowl neck so well. I just love the way it drapes.

 

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Here is the unfinished version:

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For the pants, I chose to finish up this Pair of pants I started either earlier this year or late last year. The fabric I chose is a gabardine. Personally I don’t like using commercial patterns, mainly because in the time it takes to alter the pattern, I could draft up my own. Not to mention, the muslin making is added time. I often omit muslin making when I am using self drafted patterns.

I am working with Burda 7122 View D: High Waisted Pants.  I already made a muslin, did the fit analysis, altered the pattern and sewed up the shell. I have to admit, these pants are super long, so I need to chop off a good amount of length. I am 5′ 4″ and even with a decent sized heel, these pants are way too long. I am pretty much done with these pants, except the hem and re-applying the zipper.

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I’ll be busy sewing today. Also a dear friend asked me to be part of a photoshoot for her business and asked that I wear a tulle skirt. I do have a tulle skirt that I recently made but I am not crazy about the way it turned out. I got inspired to make a pink poofy tulle skirt for tomorrows photo shoot.. I actually already have the tulle gathered…but still need to make the skirt.. So off to the fabric store I go! I’ll be sewing late into the night.

Do you have any UFO’s in your closet? If you sew, I know you do!

I’ll be back soon with the finished products. Untill then, happy sewing!

XOXO

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