DIY, sewing

My Anniversary Dress – The Erica

Hey Guys,

I am super excited😁 about my latest project because it turned out much better than I imagined. I made this dress to wear for our recent couple’s photo shoot.

We will be celebrating our 25 year anniversary at the beginning of January and I thought that It would be fun to do a photoshoot this time around.

For this dress I used the new Erica pattern designed by Erica Bunker. Erica teamed up with Style Sew Me Patterns to create this classic beauty.

When I first laid my eyes on this pattern, I knew immediately that I would be making it. Turtleneck dresses are my favorite style of dress to wear when the temperatures drop.

I really love the style of this one in particular because of the back opening.

Fabric Details

This is a Ponte De Roma that I purchased online from F.W.D (Fabric Wholesale Direct). I decided to try it out after reading all of the great online reviews. This fabric retails for about $8.99 per yard and comes in many different colors. This fabric was great to work with because It’s a little thicker than what I have seen at my local JoAnns and has really good recovery.

I went with this gorgeous shade of Royal Blue as a nod to my husband’s favorite football team, the New York Giants. Over the years, I have tried to buy him at least 1 New York Giants licensed item for our anniversary. This year I thought it would be fun if we took pictures wearing one of the team’s colors.

4 Things I Like About This Pattern

Front & Back Views

This pattern is offered in a PDF format. If printed at home, there are 48 pages. If printed at a copy shop, there are only 3 pages. For this dress, I ended up having it printed at a copy shop AND printing it myself again at home.

The sizes on the pattern pieces range from XS – XXXL. While my instructions included bust, waist, and hip measurements to select sizing between 0 – 20, they did not explain exactly which number sizes correspond to the letter sizes printed on the pattern pieces. After reaching out to Support@StyleSewMe.Com, this information was promptly provided.

This pattern is drafted beautifully and the pieces went together without a hitch.

  • The bodice has bust darts and is drafted for a C – cup. – In my opinion the added darts make the bodice look and fit much better.
  • The back is open but is bra friendly. – pasties, duck tape, and backless bras do not work for me. I prefer and need the support of a standard bra.
  • The turtleneck fits me perfectly. – It has a snug fight and is the perfect height. It can be worn folded down or raised like I am wearing it here in my pictures.
  • Only print the size you need. – As I mentioned earlier, I had this pattern printed at the copy shop and I printed it at home. After working with both, I actually preferred the home printed copy because I was able to select and print only the size that I needed. Multiple sized patterns make me crazy confused sometimes.😜

Pattern Adjustments/Modifications

Although I do plan to make up a version with the full skirt, I wanted something a little more dramatic for my 25th anniversary pictures.

  • Short Waist Adjustment – While this pattern does have the waistline marked, the back waist length is not provided. This information is crucial for my body type because I often have to remove length from the bodice of my dresses and tops to get a good fit.I attempted to get the information by email, but that did not work out so I was left to figure it out on my own. In the end I removed my usual 1.75 inches and it seemed to work out.
  • Added a fitted skirt – I wanted a Mermaid/Fishtail look so, I separated the bodice from the skirt at the waistline and inserted a self drafted straight skirt. I added the flared skirt piece that I removed to the bottom edge of my skirt to serve as the tail. It worked out perfectly.
  • Added button loops, covered buttons, and a concealed zipper Because of the design changes that I made I added matching button loops and covered buttons at the neckline along with a concealed zipper placed an inch below the back opening.

Conclusion

Now that this dress and our anniversary pictures are all done, I need to start working on a few personal projects. I am taking a few online classes and I have some home improvement projects that need to be completed.

I probably won’t be sewing too much the rest of November through December but I will still be posting to the Blog.

Until next time…..

DIY, How I Wore It, Pattern Review, sewing, Thrifted

The Perfect Pencil Skirt – Mccalls 3830

Hey Guys,

I am BACK!😁 It feels strangely good and unfamiliar to have outfit photos on standby. I took these pictures 3 weeks ago on the same day that I took pics of my recent Vogue 9292 make shown here and here.

Normally I always end up scrambling to take pics on the same day that I publish my blog post. This was definitely not a normal day for me because I “needed” to take pictures of 5 different outfits.

I don’t love the background scenery of my neighborhood as much as I love the backgrounds of the random neighborhood and city spots where we usually go to take pics. I do, however, appreciate the time that we saved by not having to leave home.

Taking pics in my neighborhood also made it possible for me to take pictures of all 5 outfits in less than an hour because I was able to run into the house and quickly change.

Pattern Adjustments & Other Observations

My Strappy Nine West Shoes

McCall’s 3830 is definitely a favorite of many home sewers. As of today, there are over 100 reviews for this skirt on PatternReview.com . Pattern review describes it as a Misses’ straight skirt, but McCall’s describes it as a Misses’ pencil skirt. I am agreeing with McCall’s on this one. I definitely think it’s more of a pencil skirt.

This pattern offers 5 different lengths ranging from midi to maxi. I chose the midi length for my version.

  • Sizing – I sewed view B in a size 16 with a 1 inch seam allowance and no other adjustments. My hip measurement usually puts me right between a 14 & 16 for fitted bottoms. I’ve tried the sizing both ways and I personally prefer a larger size with more seam allowance.
  • Short waist – If you are short waisted like me, I highly recommend this style because it has no waistband. That means that it doesn’t eat up valuable real estate.
  • Fit – One other great feature of this skirt is that the design allows more room for my fuller thighs. When the skirt bottom is pegged too much or cut too slim in the thigh area, the skirt tends to ride up when I walk. This makes me crazy because I find myself constantly tugging at my skirt.

How I Styled It

I really love the look of a classic midi length pencil skirt but I wanted mine to be a little edgy so I opted to use the same fabric that I used for my Simplicity 8655 skinny pants shown here. This stretch cotton sateen was perfect. It sewed up beautifully.

  • Top – I created two different looks for this skirt. For the first look I chose a simple black 3/4 sleeve tee and for the 2nd look I chose a thrifted black blazer and white button down. I’m not a lover of brown by itself but when black is added to the mix I start to feel differently about it.😍
  • Shoes – As with the tops, I stuck with the color black for both pair of shoes. I added a strappy black Nine West sandal for one look and a wide heeled Nine West pump for the second look.
  • If you have been following my blog for the past year, you probably realize by now how much I love Nine West shoes. I’d estimate that 90 – 95% of the my shoe wardrobe is Nine West because I love their styling and fit.
  • Accessories – I kept my accessories simple and gold toned. For the skirt and blazer outfit I added a gold brooch over the top button of my white button down.

Conclusion

A long time sewing goal of mine has been to find classic sewing pattern styles that I can sew on repeat. This pattern makes the cut. You will see it again on the blog.

As mentioned in my last post, I am currently working on a dress that I will wear for my upcoming 25th wedding anniversary photoshoot.

I really love the pattern that I picked and I hope to have some pics to share in an upcoming post.

Until next time …………..

DIY, sewing

The Animal Print Statement Pants – S8655 MimiG Style

Happy Sunday Guys,

I just made my first pair of skinny pants using Simplicity 8655 and I am soooooo pumped over them. Before now, I have NEVER been able to successfully wear this style of pant in RTW (Ready To Wear) because of the size of my thighs and bottom.

This pattern is A-M-A-Z-I-N-G for my fuller thighs and bottom.

These pants were made using a brown animal print cotton stretch sateen that I got from Minervadot.Com. (Did I tell you guys? – I am now a member of their Blogger team! 😁) These pants will be featured on their site at the beginning of 2020.

This was my first time working with this fabric type and I absolutely loved it. It’s easy to sew and easy to wear.

They Passed My Squat Test😁

Sewing/ Pattern Modifications

Sizing – After previously sewing up the flares in a size 16, I decided to go with a size 14 for these. I sewed them with a 1/2 inch seam allowance.

Short Waist Adjustment – For these I lowered the waist by 2 inches so the top of these hit right at my belly button. ( click here to see how I did this when I made my last pair of pants using Simplicity 8655)

Length – I wanted my pants to end right below my ankle so I added two inches to the bottom of each leg.

Final Thoughts On Fit – Usually I have issues with fitting my bottom but this pattern fits pretty good right out of the envelope with no modifications. To get an even better fit the next time I make them, I will raise the back crotch curve just a little.

How I Styled It

I kept the styling simple. Here’s what I added:

  • A black turtleneck ( refashioned from a dress that I previously made using M6886)
  • A black thrifted Pea coat.
  • A pair of black Nine West heeled booties.
  • Gold Toned Accessories – Matching statement earring & necklace set, coordinating sunglasses.

Conclusion

I love the fit of these skinny pants so much. This pattern will definitely be a go-to for me when I need this style pant.

Next week I’ll be sharing a second piece that I made using this same print. In the meantime, I’ll be working on a dress to wear for a couples photo shoot to commemorate my upcoming 25th wedding anniversary.

Until next time ………..




DIY, How I Wore It, sewing

Atlanta Frocktails 2019: Pretty Meets Practical – Vogue 9292 (Pt. 2)

Hey Guys,

While growing up I can remember wishing that I could wear ALL of the pretty things. From as early as I can remember, I’ve always loved bright red lips, pointy toe heels, and fluffy full skirts. However, these were never the sort of things that my mama wore or dressed us girls in.

As a Baby Boomer raised up in a household of 14, she developed a very practical approach to life. When it came to her clothes and accessories there were no formal or special occasion pieces. If she was invited to such an event, she just wore what she had.

If mama was still with us, I feel like she’d definitely approve of this dress because it’s not the sort of dress that gets worn once and thrown in the back of a closet.

Over the weekend, I had the privilege of attending Atlanta Frocktails hosted by Topstitch and Fabricate Studios. This is a social event where we home sewists get to meet up with other makers in our community wearing something that we’ve made.

How I Styled This Look

Makeup – With this look I was definitely going for more Glam than my previous look shown here. I traded in my everyday bronze lip for a red lip and also added red nail polish and a set of lashes.

Jewelry – If you look closely, you will see that there is silvery glitter on the denim. Using that as my cue, I added a drippy necklace and earring set along with an over sized matching ring.

Shoes/Purse – Because of how dark the dress is I went with a nude colored cross body clutch and a pretty pair of patent nude colored Nine West strappy sandals with a pointy toe of course.😍

Nude Cross Body Clutch
Nine West Strappy Nude Patent Sandals

I had such a great time at Frocktails and I definitely plan to attend again. My favorite part of the whole night was hanging out in the selfie station with my sew sisters. ( I have got to get me one of those.🤣)

Gonna leave you guys with a few random selfie pics from the night. Until the next time……

DIY, Pattern Review, sewing

The Meghan Markle Inspired Denim Frock – Vogue 9292

Hey Guys,

I’m SUPER excited to talk about my latest DIY dress. It was inspired by the Denim Carolina Herrera midi dress worn by The Duchess of Sussex. Before seeing this dress I never imagined that a denim dress could look so pretty.

To create my version I decided to use Vogue 9292 because I really love the extended cap sleeves and beautifully curved V shaped neckline. It’s not a carbon copy of Meghan’s dress but it definitely captures the essence of the design.

Fabric

The pattern does not suggest denim as a fabric option but I knew that a midweight denim could work out well in place of poplin, linen, or jacquard.

Too my surprise my biggest challenge in making this dress was finding the right denim. Silly me – I just assumed that this would be the easiest part of the process but I should have known better.😬

I searched high and low both locally and online. Much of what I saw out there was either not the right shade of blue or just too heavyweight.

After 3 failed attempts to purchase my denim online, I decided to try looking again at one of my favorite local fabric outlets. Historically, I’ve found their denim inventory to be a little sparse but I figured I’d give it another shot AND oh boy was I glad I did! I found just what I was looking for. The weight and color were spot on and as a bonus it also had a little stretch.

Pockets Of Course!😁

Pattern Adjustments

Sizing – I made this up in a size 14 but I should have sewn a size 12 with a FBA. I ended up taking it in at the sides to get a better fit.

Short waist Adjustment – Based on my backwaist legnth, I shortened the waistline by 1.75 inches.

Added Length – To compensate for the 1.75 inches that I removed from the waistline, I added 2 inches directly to the bottom of each dress panel using my trusty seam guage and tailors chalk before cutting out each one.

Dickie – Mine is not detachable. I need mine to be a permenant feature so I sewed my on.

Black and Gold Accented Round Sunnies

How I Styled It

I’ve already worn this dress twice since finishing it up on Saturday because I just love it! The pictures I am posting today are from the 2nd outing. I’ll be posting pictures from the first outing in a future blog post.

Purse/Shoes – Because the denim is such a dark color I chose to add my Nine west nude colored cork block heeled platform sandals (Click here for a better picture of the sandals) and a matching fold over cork clutch purse that was gifted to me by one of my sew sisters.

Accessories -1) a pair of cz studs to go along with the gold ball studs that I usually wear. 2) A long gold toned pendant necklace that I knotted at the back to get just the perfect length. 3) black and gold accented round sunglasses that I picked up from a local beauty supply store.

Conclusion

I am usually not a fan of denim dresses but I really do adore this one. I think its a great style that would be flattering on most women.

Vogue Pattern recommends this style for the following body shapes:

  • Inverted Triangle – Large bust and/or broad shoulders with narrow hips
  • Triangle – Small Bust and/or narrow shoulders with full hips or thighs.
  • Hourglass – Equally balanced to and bottom with a trim waist.

What are your thoughts? Would you wear a denim dress in this style? Drop me a line or two below.

Until next time ……….