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I am a wife and mommy to three, but in all of that- I am a seamstress who loves sewing and connecting with other people who love the art of sewing!

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Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Brittany J. Jones Front Zip Pencil Skirt Tutorial: Review




    I'm sure you've heard of Brittany J. Jones by now, and if you haven't, then what are you waiting for. Brittany is awesome! Brittany, makes the most amazing clothing and also shares her wealth of knowledge on her YouTube channel.



   Brittany, reached out to me and asked if I would kindly review her zipper front skirt tutorial and of course, I was all in. I first saw the sneak peak over on her Instagram page, and thought the skirt was hott! Recently, I have been seeing tons of zipper front skirts while out browsing the malls, but what's so cool is that Brittany walks you step-by-step in making your very own zipper front skirt.



A few inspiration pictures
 What I love about Brittany's tutorials are they are geared towards everyone from the beginner to the advanced. Brittany's tutorials are very well done, easy to interpret and the visuals are equally clear and concise.  

I love this one, so cute!
 This skirt took me a little over an hour to complete. I didn't have the recommended pattern that accompanies this tutorial; however, as Brittany states in the tutorial, you can use your own skirt block, or another skirt pattern. I used another skirt pattern and all was well. I also lengthened my skirt ,which meant that my 22" zipper would not go to the bottom, but that was cool too, because as you can see my inspiration pictures were the same.



  I made sure to do the tutorial as directed just to give an honest opinion, and everything worked out great. If you are afraid of doing zippers, have no fear, Brittany does an amazing job of going over how to complete the installation of the separating zipper. There's really not much more that I can say,other than go and purchase this tutorial. You won't be sorry, I promise....



~ As always be blessed and nothin' less and continue to stay fearlessly fierce! ~Candice 
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Sunday, February 19, 2017

Birthday dress that didn't quite make a birthday appearance. Vogue 1471 Review






  This dress is truly a long time coming you guys. Like I seriously purchased all the materials for this dress a year go. What took me so long to actually make this dress you ask? Well, fear! Yep, I was scared,lol.


V1471


 You see, I had never made anything quite like this before, but this year I said I was giving fear a kick in the butt in so many areas in my life. I am truly going to embrace being "fearlessly fierce"! But that's another topic in itself  y'all,lol!



Okay, so back to the dress. I purchased 5 1/2 yards of a stretch scalloped laced fabric from Moodfabrics.com. I know that the pattern did not call for such yardage, but I wanted to be sure that I had enough. And I would have had enough, had I not cut the skirt portion out wrong- not just wrong, but ALL the way wrong, HA!

Pieces 7 and 8 need to be cut on the fold. You have to cut out piece 8 twice on
one end of  the crosswise fold with the hem at the scalloped edge, and then cut another ruffle, piece 8 om
the opposite scalloped edge. I'm not sure why this confused, but it did,lol.


For the underlining and lining, I used a four way stretch rayon blend knit fabric and it worked great! I didn't have any tricot fabric, but I had 6 yards of this white rayon blend knit fabric, so yeah, winning! So this pattern does have you underline and line the garment, which makes for a pretty intensive, well let me stop being over dramatic and just say it's a little more work than normal,lol.

inside of the basted underline bodice

The bodice front, the bodice back and the front and back band are the underline sections of the garment, which I totally basted together on my machine, yeah, no, couture hand-sewing around these parts until I have to,lol.  The lining portions are the bodice front and back and the front and back band.
the dress lining before I attached it to the dress

 The skirt sections you are to cut and sew the skirt front and back sections twice, and then you put the skirt sections rights sides together and stitch the bottom hems together. After that you. trim understitch the bottom section of the joined skirt, flip inside outside and baste the top skirt section that is now one. And Viola! Now you have a lining that you don't have to hem. Love this because it makes this dress hem free, yes!  I may have an aversion to hemming,lol.

I really loved the neckline, but it was too low, even with
my attempt to raise it slightly, boo hoo!
French seams. If you have an aversion from doing
french seams,then run now,lol! French seams are every which
way in this pattern, but it does make such a tidy looking dress.


  Let's talk about sizing and alterations a bit. Well, I really didn't know what size to make in this dress.  There were no finished measurements on the pattern, accompained with using stretch fabrics; I was at a lost. Not only had I not made anything quite like this before- I hadn't worn anything like this before. Y'all, that neckline is major,sheesh! I ended up cutting out an 18 and this was okay due to the stretch of the fabric, and I also thought the pattern runs a little large, especially the sleeves. Just something to look out for if you make this one up.

  I tissue fitted the pattern, and realized that I needed to lengthen the pattern, which I knew that I would. I lengthened the pattern at the waistband 1 1/2 , the skirt 3 inches and the skirt ruffle 1 1/2 inch.  I probably didn't have to add length to the ruffle, it was a slight mistake, but one that I was cool with in the end. I quite like the length, but for reference I am 5'8. I also lengthened  the lining skirt pieces 1  1/2 inches. I wanted to keep the lining dress, a little on the shorter side, again, I need a little edge :)..





I knew I didn't want to lengthen the bodice, as it would cause the already severe neckline to come further down, umm. no,lol! Y'all, I tried bringing the shoulder seams up to combat the lower neckline,and it was better; however, when I went to sit down, it gaped open, so that was a no go,lol! I didn't want to take away from the design, but I needed it to be wearable, so I used leftover scalloped lace for the inset, which I sewed between the grosgrain ribbon on the bodice front.

I used a 22 inch metal zipper for the back. I loved the edge that it gave this dress






 Although. I didn't finish the dress in time to wear on my birthday, I thankful that I tackled this pattern, and have an evening dress in my closet if I shall need one. While there were definitely some tough moments in making this dress, it was certainly worth the effort. Here's to rest of 2017 being relentlessly fearless!

    ~As Always, Be Blessed and Nothin' Less and Continue to Stay Fearlessly Fierce!~Candice 



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Sunday, February 5, 2017

Sewing for the husband: K3422 Review




 Today is Super Bowl Sunday here in the United States, which is a pretty big deal here in this house, at least that is for my husband and my boys,lol.  But today, I wanted to make a quick post on this shirt Kwik Sew 3422. This pattern is actually an oldie but goodies, but still a great pattern.

I made view B

 This was my very first time making something for my husband. I normally just hem his work uniforms or sew patches onto his military uniforms, but had never up until now, made him something. I know, that is terrible,lol. And trust me he lets it be known quite often,lol.





This pattern is really awesome and comes together relatively quickly. I tissue fitted the pattern, as is a must for me to ensure I get a great fit, or close to it. Upon tissue fitting the pattern, I realized that the center back nor the center front were meeting in their respective places, so I started my way from the back and worked back to the front. I learned this from one of my Craftsy courses. I just love those courses!


So my fabric had a little stretch to it, which was just a plaid cotton that I picked up from Mood fabrics a year ago. I started with the XL sizing for my husband and made a 1 1/2 broad back alteration, and added 1/2 on the sides. I also lengthened the pattern 2 inches.

 
Add caption




For techniques, I used the burrito technique to the yoke, which I learned from Janet's Pray, "Sew Better, Sew Faster: Shirt making. Her techniques are amazing! They are easy and without all the extra fluff; just how I like it.


 Overall, I could not be more pleased with this shirt for my hubby. He said, that it fit well and was really comfortable,yay! I have a little bit of this fabric left over, so I may be able to squeeze one out for one of my boys. We'll see! My birthday is coming up soon, and I've already start the cutting process for my dress, which is V1471, but hopefully I can finish in time. Well, I'm off to start on my dress. I just need to go and pick up the gross grain ribbon. You guys have a great weekend!


               ~Be blessed and nothin' less and continue to stay fearlessly fierce! Candice 
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Saturday, January 21, 2017

I'm just here for the sleeves: M7542




  It's no secret, that these sleeves are in everywhere now days! I'm mean, I'm just here for the sleeves myself,lol.

 I loved this pattern at first glance, and I even loved all of the other views that were accompanied within the pattern. I don't think that has every happened for me, now that I  think about it.


M7542

 Now looking over the instructions prior to starting this project, I was fairly confident that everything was going to be a breeze, and they were for the most part( however comma) (yes I had to write it out because I would totally say this in real life, lol!)

However, those darn sleeves gave me a run for my money, well not the sleeve itself, but the hem!




 I'm no rookie when it comes to hemming curved hems, or so I thought, because every method I tried was basically like, nope, try again, LOL! 

 After what seemed like an eternity and having to re-cut out an entirely different flounce, I was able to get a decent hem on the flounce of the sleeve. I just used McCall's recommendation as on how to hem this sleeve :).However, next time, I'm just attaching bias binding and calling it a day!


Left to Right: Hem on flounce, Top right: back of top
bottom left: inside facing and bottom right inside where the sleeve and sleeve flounce join







 For the fabric, I used the same Chambray fabric, that I used for my Simplicity 1059 dress.  I did a quick pattern fitting and realized that I didn't need a FBA, the only alteration that I needed to make for this pattern was to add length.

  I added 3 inches and made a 1 inch hem at the bottom. I made this top in 16 at the bust and graded to an 18 for the waist and hips. This was good, but I do think I would have liked a little more wiggle room in my arm area.

So thankful for the additional length that I added. One just never knows when you may have to become
gone with the wind, LOL!



 And one last thing on these sleeves, McCall's didn't mention having to ease in the bottom of the sleeve to the sleeve flounce, but I totally had to do this in order to get the sleeve and flounce joined.

 I don't know maybe it was just me, stranger things have happened, but just something to note. I also finished a top for the hubby last week. I believe it's Kwik Sew 7432, but don't quote me :)... I hope you all have a great weekend! 
                 
            As always, be blessed and nothin' less and continue to stay fearlessly fierce! ~Candice
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Friday, January 6, 2017

This drape is giving me life! M7441 Review


McCall's 7441 and a self drafted midi skirt. 

 I hope everyone is off to a great start to their New Year. It's something so inspiring about a start to a new year. Maybe it's just the start to something new, which can be refreshing almost.

I made view C


   And speaking of something new, I finally got a chance to sew this M7441 cardigan up this week, and  I love it! Like, layers, I'm here for it! I was also here for the back detail in this cardigan-that drape in the back, yes please and thank you,lol!

This drape is life! LOL!


This pattern was pretty uneventful; however, I say that cautiously. This pattern is only three pieces for the view I made, YES! I used a Rayon Jersey from Mood Fabrics, that sewed up like butta, baby,lol. I made the large, because I didn't have the medium size, but everything checked out that it would be cool beans, per the measurements.


But when I had gotten everything sewn up,(go figure) I realized that the neckline was huge, as well as the shoulders were practically hanging half way down my arms. You guys think I'm exaggerating, nope! Take a look see..

Y'all see this foolery,ugh!


 Y'all, I had to give my self a pep talk because I really for a second- thought that I would leave it as such, LOL! But I knew that if I had, I would never reach for this cardigan to wear it. So, I had to figure a way to fix the shoulders and the large neckline. By this point, I had already done the hems and everything was a go, other than the fit was horrid! 

This is the back seam, which forms the drape and is not included
in the hem, so I was able make the alteration without having to mess
with hem again, yay!


However, thankfully enough the way the pattern is designed, I was able to the back seam in, which didn't affect the hem. I was able to take a deeper seam allowance, which in turn caused not only the neckline to come in, but bring the shoulder seams to my actual shoulders.

This was after I made the alteration.


  While this pattern may have given me a little issue, I'm still really glad to have this in my wardrobe, and I know it will get worn plenty. What's up next for me is actually something for the hubby, but we'll see how that goes,lol..



             ~Be blessed and nothin' less and continue to stay fearlessly fierce! ~Candice
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