Completed: Shorts, Nautical style McCalls M6756

I just have to start by saying that I am so glad I took this Ready To Wear fast… It really has changed the way I look at fashion.  I would probably be the LAST person on earth to be spotted wearing printed shorts. But then… once upon a time…. shortly after I had started my fast, I noticed this lady in the cutest shorts. They were white shorts with little black elephants all over them. That’s the day I decided I would make a pair of printed shorts for myself…And here they are…  

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I decided to style these adorable shorts two ways….first with a casual cotton tee. The ONLY white tee that currently exists in my wardrobe… because I am too lazy to make another one! IMG_8030

The pattern calls for inseam pockets, but I omitted those for two reasons: they add bulk and while I love pockets, I don’t like the added bulk on the hip area. Also- I wanted to simplify the project. IMG_8032

For a more dressy look, I would wear this with a flowy cotton blouse that has bell sleeves and a lace cut out. It is perfect for these hot summer days. IMG_8017

I really love the lace on the top. Something about it is so romantic…IMG_8020

Here is the back view. For someone who doesn’t wear a lot of shorts, I can truly say that I will be wearing these quite a bit!IMG_8036

I don’t plan on wearing these with a top tucked in, but if I did, it would look like this. I prefer the proportion of a longer top. They are “kinda” high-waisted. I will lower the waist band on the next pair I make.IMG_8047

 

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PATTERN: I used Mccalls M6756 . I cut the size 6. To my utter shock and surprise, it did not require any alterations except removing about 5/8th of an inch on the centre back seam. This pattern is labeled as easy. I would say its a pretty simple pair of shorts, but I would probably not recommend this as a 1st project to anyone.

FABRIC:  I used a Navy & White Anchors Apparel Fabric from Hobby Lobby. You can find it HERE. Similar fabrics HERE and HERE

SEWING: For the most part the sewing is easy. If you have installed a waist band and zipper before, this should be easy. If this is your very 1st time sewing, I suggest making a muslin, complete with the zipper and waist band to get one round of practice. Pressing is really important when making a tailored garment. Read my article HERE on how to press while sewing.

I hope that this insipred you to sew something! It’s hot as blazes outside. Go sew a cute pair of shorts 🙂 Or leave me a comment and let me how you are staying cool and fashionable.

-XOXO

 

Behind The Seams- Nautical Shorts

So I am still in awe of the amazing fabric I found at Hobby Lobby when I went shopping for my 4th of July outfit. I picked up this amazing cotton navy fabric with anchors on it. Lately I have been obsessed with anchors. It all started on Mothers Day in Charleston when my hubby and daughter took me shopping. My husband must have been giggling inside as he knows I don’t like shopping, and barely ever spend any money (except on fabric). I saw an anchor necklace I liked, but it was kinda cheap and cheerful (quality wise), so I didn’t get it. But then next week I found the cutest anchor charm bracelet and ended up gifting that to myself.

Back to the GORGEOUS fabric.  Look… Just L@@K! Isnt it just beautiful?

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I decided to use Mccalls M6756 that was sitting in my pattern stash.  To make sure my fabric is straight and not slanting, I placed the pattern piece such that the grain line ran through the anchors. And yes, that IS a tomato I am using as a pattern weight. What can I say, I work on my kitchen island, so I grab whatever is available 😀 Haha!

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I decided to make a muslin because I have never sewn a pair of shorts before. Well, maybe in fashion school but that was a long time ago.

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I also realized that I don’t have many shorts in my wardrobe. All I have is these el cheapo and el micro shorts from last summer and this summer I am quite surprised that as a momma of one, I ever wore these. The only other pair of shorts I have are these, and while they are nice, I did not make them.

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Like my pretty toes? Thanks! That’s my DIY pedicure 🙂

The muslin was quick to sew up. These shorts call for a faux front fly zipper. so I pinned in along the centre front. Looks a lot better on me. This dress form has bigger hips than mine, thus the tightness that is causing the wrinkles on the crotch.  As much as I would LOVE a custom dress form, those run around a thousand dollars. Do you know how many diapers that could buy? So for now, I fit my garments on myself…

IMG_7814Now I have sewn pants before, but I usually stay away from those with a front fly zipper, mainly because it’s a more complex construction technique than an invisible zipper,  and I have always been afraid of wrinkles in the centre front. Remember these pants Haley Berry wore a while back? I like to call this “Mister crotch pants phenomenon”. No body wants that.

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Back to my shorts… I should have them done by tomorrow and get to wear them over the weekend! Yay!

What are you guys working on for the weekend and what do you plan to wear, and how do you plan to style it? Whatever you do, stay fashionable!

-XOXO

French Sailor Inspired DIY Dress- Navy Blue and White Stripes

The 4th of July totally inspired me to sew with stripes and I decided to make a dress inspired by the French Sailors shirt. Initially I thought I would make a boat neckline, but ended up going with my very favourite scoop neck.  Here is what I came up with.

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Love Love LOVE the three-quarter sleeve length on this and the fitted silhouette. I actually wanted more ease to begin with but i never feel “put together” unless I have a good fit.. so I took it in some.IMG_7794

Here is the back view. I think this pattern is simple and sews up beautifully but definitely has a good amount of ease. The last time I sewed with this pattern, I ended up adding a centre back seam to accomplish a better fit. I skipped that step here becuase I would have to match up the stripes on one more seam (“Ain’t no body got time for dat”) 🙂

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I previously made a high low black dress HERE using the same pattern . I already had the pattern cut up so I ended up re-using it. This is an easy pattern to sew up and is great for beginners.

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I actually started making this on the 4th of July, but finished it yesterday while my kiddo napped. I took her to a local kids library and wore her out. She slept extra long so mommy could sew!

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I did not have to do much to style this dress. It is so chic on its own! I threw on some nude pumps and these beautiful silver meenakari earrings that are a gift from my mum. I kept the makeup fairly simple with a dark eye and nude lips.IMG_7806

Here is my inspiration pic for this dress, minus the midriff. Mine turned out pretty nice, me thinks..

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Hope you all had a lovely 4th of July! We celebrated freedom by having some friends over and lighting kids sized fireworks and cooking out! I was super delighted to serve up veggies from my garden!

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PATTERN: I used Mccalls M6886 view C . I did not do any pattern alterations. The dress was bit on the waist, so I took it in by one inch on each side and pegged in the hem about an inch on each side as well. I cut the size 6

FABRIC: I used a seasonal knit from Hobby Lobby. You can find similar fabrics HERE, HERE and HERE. The fabric I used was fairly thin and kind of see through. To get around that I undelined all the pattern pieces with a tissue knit before sewing them together.

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Underlining a fabric totally changes its body and drape. I liked it a lot better when it was thicker. If you are a beginner, I suggest using a thicker knit, or double knit or a ponte knit if you can. They are more stable than the thinner knits and makes sewing easier!

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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. I used a coverstitch machine to finish the hem and neckline.

You can also see another version of this dress I made HERE.  The rest of my sewing tutorials can be found HERE.

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

XOXO

 

I’m feeling (Navy) Blue….

So…. I’ve been wanting a navy blue and white striped dress for such a long time. I really wanted to make one for Memorial Day, but the local fabric stores have such a sad selection of knits. And I really don’t buy fabric online much. Here are some of the looks I would LOVE to sew up:

This one below, but I would sew it up a one piece dress instead of a skirt and crop top. I love the thin stripes on this. It’s so chic and reminds me of a French Sailor’s shirt. I think I would make this with a boat neck instead of a round neck

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Here is another look I love, with thicker stripes:2db54a2f3a63d63861c764ead03b7b52

These would sew up beautifully with McCall’s M668 that I previously used HERE

Love this dress to.So effortless, yet so chic. Love the pockets too!

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I have a bit over two yards of the fabric with thing stripes.. so I am hoping I can get a dress AND a tee or tank top out of it. How cute is this look below?

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So Memorial Day came and went, and it’s hard to believe, but Independence Day is this weekend! Anyhooz.. today when my kid went down for her nap, I sat down at my desk and decided it was time to make the navy blue and white striped dress. But we are one day away from the weekend, and even if I opted for overnight shipping, I still would not have enough time to get my dress done by Friday. I was feeling inspired, so I shopped for fabric. I found three beautiful fabrics on girlcharlee.com

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Fabric: I figured for the 4th, I would use some navy and white fabric and somehow make do. But then I went to Hobby Lobby in the evening to get somegol paint and found lots of nautical theme fabric! I’ll be using one of the two striped fabrics for my outfit for the 4th. But check out the anchor fabric! That is for a pair of shorts for me and matching dress for my little girl! I also got a navy knit in case I decide to make a bow for my kid. All this and I went in to by a tube of paint! You can also find similar fabric HERE, HERE and HERE

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Pattern: I will use a tested and tried pattern Mccalls M668 that I used previously to make THIS dress.

Hope you are planning to have a LOVELY weekend. Happy Independence Day!

-XOXO

Aich Fashion Portfolio Showcase and Runway Show

Last week fourteen of my students graduated and the Fashion Design department put up a fabulous portfolio showcase and runway show. I was so proud and here are all the designers and their models! The show was so much fun and we wrapped up with hugs and a group picture.

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My students have been working hard for the last ten weeks designing an eight to ten piece cohesive collection and also creating one or more garments to be presented on the runway. They worked long hours, and some of the students had to be kicked out of the sewing lab at 11 pm when lab time was over.  Every students had a very different project. Some were creating garments using tailoring techniques, while some were using draping techniques with delicate fabrics like chiffon and organza.

The show was held at the Art Institute of Charlotte

I attended with one of my friends, and we enjoyed an afternoon of fashion and gourmet cuisine. The graduating Culinary students had booths set up with their creations. Most impressive of all was the presentation by both the Fashion Design students and the culinary students.

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This desert was my favourite. Eggless custard with a sweet and tart sauce, pomegranate and chocolate!IMG_7610

 

Here are some of the looks that came down the runway: everything from bohemian chic to bridal to beach wear and plus size…

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Last, but not the least, fellow designer and friend Tara Davis presented a few looks from her collection:

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I was asked to judge the best overall portfolio and present an award to the winner. As an instructor, I definitely get invested in my students work. I have to say, I was feeling proud of them and gave them a few words of encouragement before presenting the award. Oh! And I have to mention what I wore 🙂 I wore this light coffee color scoop neck tee and a pencil skirt with ruffles on the back. I designed these two pieces a few years ago. The top is a tussue knit and the skirt is made from linen fabric. I love wearing my own pieces.

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What I also liked about the Portfolio Showcase was that the students got to set up their individual stations and network with industry professionals. We all know the power of networking. I was impressed with how creative some of the students got with their takeaways- something I have been stressing to them is important to make them memorable.

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Some of the designer and models after the show:IMG_7665IMG_7674

 

Me and my designer friend and fellow instructor, Miss Tara Davis. She is amazing. IMG_7683

 

 

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A lot of work goes into designing a garment. The typical life cycle of designing a collection is as follows: We start with the inspiration, then create a mood board or inspiration board. This is the 1st tangible rendition of the inspiration that previously sits in our minds. Then we proceed to creating illustrations and then technical flat sketches. Pattern making, muslin making and fit analysis follow. Sometimes designers have to make multiple muslins and do multiple fittings before they can commit to a final pattern. After ALL of this is done, the designer is ready to cut the fashion fabric and sew. Goodbye muslin, hello gorgeous fabric, texture and drape. Here are a few of my students in action:

 

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What a nice way to see off our students. I hope you enjoyed reading this. This week I have finally worked on organizing my studio. I also binge shopped for fabric as there was a ridiculous sale at Joanns last week. So I am currently planning my sewing projects for next week and spending my evening cutting and pattern making.

Hope to see you soon with many new fabulous garments. Can’t believe I am about to hit the halfway mark of my 2015 Ready To Wear Fast!

– Until next time

 

Another Day, Another Dress – McCALLS M6957

After a month of purchasing my coverstitch machine, I finally made some time today to sit down and test it out. It’s been sitting in my studio all this time and if I can be completely honest, I have been scared to enter my sewing room. My sewing rooms looks like it threw up on itself. I really need to spend some time getting my fabric and patterns organized.

Anyways, moving on to the fun stuff.. this little red dress was another UFO (Unfinished Object) hiding in my closet. so I decided to finish it today. Design details below if you want to make your own!IMG_7571

I have had this dress in my UFO stash for at least eight months. . All it needed was hemming, so I used this an opportunity to use the cover stitch and have a new garment in 10 minutes! Talk about instant gratification.

I paired this dress with my favourite (faux) snake-skin pumps and a brown and tan belt with gold hardware.

 

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And of course no outfit is complete without oversized sunnies and a handbag.. so I added these sunnies…IMG_7580 IMG_7582

And this vegan leather bag.. (although I dont know what exactly vegan leather means..)IMG_7588

I will do a detailed review of the coverstitch machine soon. For now, here are more details of the dress.

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PATTERN:I made this dress using Mcalls M6957. This is an easy pattern and excellent for beginners.

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FABRIC: I used an interlock knit from Joanns Fabrics.

SEWING: This dress was fairly simple to sew and is a good project for beginners.Only pattern pieces are front, back and sleeve. I omitted the belt. I also self faced the front of the bodice only. For the the hem, I used a coverstich. You can also finish the hem using with a twin needle. See my tutorial HERE. If you are a beginner, you can use this easy technique to attach the sleeves seen HERE

I hope you enjoyed this! Happy Friday and have a lovely weekend!!

Until next time

-XOXO

Mommy and Me outfits for Mothers Day Celebration

May is a month of celebration for me and my family. Last year we celebrated my birthday, wedding anniversary and Mothers Day all in one by taking a family vacation to Charleston, SC. My husband decided to make that an annual tradition, so we went to Charleston again.

I wanted to make some Mommy and Me outfits for the vacation, but I only had time to make one, so I decided to use what was already in my wardrobe and sew what I could last minute. Two of the outfits are made by me, two are RTW.

Here are some pictures of the outfits I styled for myself and my lil’ muchkin!

Outfit # 1:I had this dress for a while, Its slighty big on me around the waist, so I cinched in the waist with this nautical belt I love. The belt was also big, so I quickly altered it to make it snug. For my daughter I happened to find this perfectly matching eyelet dress at Target.

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we went to dinner with some friends that night and my kid took over the dance floor. Of course I had to go join her. I copied all her dance moves:)IMG_7197 IMG_7200

Outfit # 2: On Mothers day, my husband and daughter took me to a yummy breakfast (my favorite meal of the day). My daughter slept in till 10 am and that was a very nice Mothers Day gift since I slept in too! We went to breakfast in our PJ’s, which was the icing on the cake. These were both made by me.

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Outfit #3: I styled daughter and I in casual yet chic skinny jeans and white cotton shirts. We went to the street festival in Charleston. There was a lot of food and live music. My kid LOVES music and drops everything and starts dancing the moment she hears the sound of music. Seems like she loves the blues and jazz.

We started the day off with a nice hello Kitty card from my darling daughter.

 

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Then we strolled to the street festival in downtown Charleston. My kid danced to her heart’s content…IMG_7265

And she made a friend.. IMG_7267

Love her stylish hat.. 🙂 We even wore matching ankle bracelets, both gifts from my mum.IMG_7272

Here she is dancing with her pappa…

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And then.. we found a fountain….IMG_7325

And got drenched 🙂IMG_7350 IMG_7352 IMG_7363

Outfit # 4: I wore this leopard print top I made a few months back. I paired it with cute black shorts and pumps. Mini me wore a dropped waist skater dress in the same print. I think my kid looked a little bit like Pebbles Flintstone, and this might have been a bit much, but I still enjoyed being matchy matchy.  We don’t wear matching outfits much, but it is something I want to enjoy before she gets too big 🙂

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This picture pretty much sums up my life… running after my kid on the go!IMG_7381

I just realised my lipper matches my kids fascinator, but that was not intentional!IMG_7434I hope you all had a wonderful mothers day weekend!

Until next time!

-XOXO

 

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