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

The Perfect Pencil Skirt – Mccalls 3830

Hey Guys,

I am BACK!๐Ÿ˜ 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.๐Ÿ˜
  • 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, 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.๐Ÿ˜ฌ

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!๐Ÿ˜

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 ……….

DIY, Pattern Review, Thrifted

The Black Corduroy Flares – Mimi G Style Simplicity 8655

Hey Guys,

Today I’m showcasing my new DIY stretch black corduroy flares made using Mimi G Style Simplicity 8655. I’m a 70’s child, so I LOVE me a pair of flares. I’m especially loving these because they are giving me major Rachel Zoe and Victoria Beckham vibes. These fit nice and skinny through the thigh and knee area with a flare that’s wide enough to sufficiently cover these size 10s.๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿคฃ๐Ÿ˜†

These pants were actually made up as a test garment for my upcoming collaboration post with Minerva Fabrics. I made this version in the flare leg style, but I’ll be featuring a skinny pant version for the collaboration .

So I’m going to be completely honest and transparent in this post. I am so in LOVE with these pants but I am NOT in love with this outfit. Something is off! ๐Ÿค” I’m not sure if it’s my styling, my awkward poses, or a combination of both.

I love having these back pockets. I was able to stick my oversize cell phone inside while we were taking pics

Pattern Changes & Alterations

Sewed 1 inch seam allowances – My hip measurement put me between a size 14 and a size 16. I went with a size 16 because I was terrified that the 14 wouldn’t work out. To my surprise the size 16 was too big. To offset this, I went with a 1 inch seam allowance instead of the standard 5/8 and I took a small chunk out at the center back seam. Making these small changes was just enough to fine tune the fit.

Lowered The Front Rise 1.5 inches – These pants are designed to sit 2 inches above the waistline, but this doesn’t work for me because I am short-waisted. There is only about a 4 inch distance between bust and waist so I really can’t afford to give up the 2 inches. For these pants I decided that I would bring the rise down by 1.5 inches.

Steps to Adjust The Rise

  • I added a line to the pattern about a quarter of an inch down from the dart point. I placed the pattern on top of my cutting mat so that I could use the grid as a guide to mark my line perpendicular to the grain line of my pattern.
  • Once my line was drawn, I slashed it from the inseam to the outer seam. When making that cut, I didn’t cut all the way through the outer seam because I needed to use the uncut edge as a hinge to move my top pattern piece downward to adjust the front rise. Doing it this way allowed me to keep the side seams where the front and back meet the same length.
  • When shortening the rise, I made sure to slide the top half of the pattern piece downward. I used my seam gauge to measure down 1.5 inches.

Added Length – I added 1.5 inches and added a 2 inch hem instead of the 3 inch hem allowance that is built into the pattern. So basically the pants were 2.5 inches longer than they would have been had I not made these adjustments. I added the extra length because I wasn’t 100% sure of the shoes that I would end up wearing with them. For me, this style looks best when it completely covers the feet and hangs really close to the floor.

Styling

Collective Concepts Chiffon Navy Leopard Print Top – I thrifted this top maybe 6 years ago and I still love it. I generally don’t go for leopard print clothing, but I really liked this top because I think that it is really fun and interesting in this color. I also love the way that it pops against the black.

Although I do love this top with black, I think it’s bugging me a little with these pants, especially, when worn with out the jacket. I “attempted” to tie the front ends and tuck the tails but I just couldn’t get it to work like I wanted it to.

Black Leather Moto Jacket – This was an anniversary gift from my husband 2 years ago. He purchased it on Amazon for around $120. It’s probably one of my favorite pieces because it adds edge to my outfits and makes me feel a little tough.

Accessories – I kept it simple by adding a pair of rose gold stud earrings and a pair of rose gold Aviator style sunglasses.

Conclusion

At the end of the day, I am really VERY happy with how well these pants turned out. I am going to go back and deepen the hem because the pants are still just a tad bit too long. I love these so much that I will be making up two more pair in denim. I highly recommend this pattern to anyone who wants good looking flares that are quick and easy sew.

I am hoping in the near future that I will get to restyle and re-shoot these babies.

DIY, Pattern Review, sewing, Thrifted

The Winter White Trousers – Very Easy Vogue 9181 (Custom-Fit)

Let me start out by saying that making up these white boot leg trousers has been a goal of mine every since I saw the white pair that Mimi G made and wore here and the white pair that Erica B made and wore here .

Talk about SLEEK! These pants are E-VERY-THING. In addition to being a quick and easy sew, Vogue 9181 is also custom fit. This means that it can be sewn up to fit your flat, standard, or curvier backside. It doesn’t have pockets which is great for me because I wouldn’t want the extra bulk that pockets would add.

Sewing Details / Pattern Adjustments

  • I sewed a size 14 curvy but ended up removing a little more than an inch at the waist.
  • I added 2 inches to the leg length to compensate for my high heels.
  • The fabric that I used is a thick stretch woven. I purchased it from a local Fabric Outlets. Based on similar fabrics that I have seen online, it looks like it might be some sort of stretch gabardine. Although I love it for these pants, it was really tough to get a good press.

Styling

I love when I can find thrifted pieces that I wear on repeat. Pieces that fit into my wardrobe and mix well with the other pieces that I own. This fitted black Merona wool Saks Fifth Avenue sweater is definitely one of those pieces. It’s such a great basic piece that plays really well with lots of different style bottoms.

Because these pants sit pretty high on my waist, I felt like a fitted top would be most flattering. Initially I tried this black and white striped body suit, but I didn’t like how it showed through the pants.

I also added this thrifted patterned chocolate brown and white lightweight statement coat with an aqua lining. I really love the punch that it adds.

For accessories I added:

  • A pair of oversize pearl earrings and a triple strand pearl stretch bracelet
  • A black purse that I purchased from a small corner shop in Little Italy Manhattan while visiting New York
  • Black high heel booties that I picked up at the end of last season on clearance from Nine West
  • One of my favorite pair of Aviator style Sunglasses.

Conclusion

I definitely plan to make myself another pair of these pants in the color black as soon as I find another nice stretch woven.