15/09/2014

Many Faces.

It takes very little tweaking to give a new face to the same pattern and you can tell from these skirts. They all are a product of the same patterns and I'll explain.


This is the skirt that started it all. An A lined, clean band-less waist skirt with a side zipper. I must say it is an AWESOME fit (as in I LOVE the way it looks on me) although I am not sure if it's the fabric, the colour or the cut, but I love the way it hangs on me so what do I do? I make another one.


This time using a light cotton fabric and rather than darts and neat band-less waist, I omit the darts and added an elastic waist instead. It is VERY comfortable but I don't quite like the way it looks although at this point I am not sure just yet what change it will require to win my heart.


So I try again. This time I take in the sides an inch on each side by the hem. It does looks somewhat like a pencil skirt but it isn't quite because it has no slits and i walk comfortably in them. Something about the waist line is not flattering - I look pregnant!


I then try to blame it on the fabric. I use another plaid, and yes, the 'pregnant' look is less visible here. I have so much of this fabric and have been making skirts with it.....and I love it each time. OK, I digress here. This one gives me confidence so I try again.


Nope! The pot belly is still there. I suppose this means I should stay away from plain coloured fabrics or I should hit the gym.......Or simply use with a longer loose fitting top. Either way I have 5 skirts that I love, if not for fit, at least for fabric and all made using the same pattern with minimal variation. I will 'fix' what needs fixing then style with appropriate tops and show you all again soon.





27/08/2014

She's Ready


Please remind me never to work with plaids again.

I totally forgot how demanding it is to do plaid fabric. Unlike any other fabric where you lay it down and cut to the grain (or not), with plaid you have to lay it out, then tack the WHOLE LOT matching lines and patterns BEFORE cutting, and then when you lay your pattern, you have to be sure yo do so, so the right line matches with those of the joining piece when you sew.

TWO WHOLE DAYS!!!

That was how long it took me to tack it all in place, thank goodness the lines are big and spaced out so it took a lot less work than it would have. I have needle holes in my fingers They're freaking sore from all the tacking.

The good thing is that I did manage to match the lines to my satisfaction.
Even the zipper side matched. I should have used an invisible zipper though, but I promise you the lines match when the zipper isn't gaping like in the photo, (i.e. when I am wearing it, it is aligned and flat)

The left and right side look different  but that is because the squares are actually rectangles, so to get the corner to corner straight line look of the front and back, I had to compromise the result of patterns of both sides, which I am quite OK with it though.

I wanted to model it but was busy on another project when the brat returned from school, and since she is the one person that willingly takes photos for me, we will have to do that tomorrow or soon (she is in bed now).

I'll probably also wait until I make an appropriate top for it, to model it with. All in all though, I think Jessica Alba will be pleased to model mine too.....but I'll probably have to reduce it to fit her small size. Now I can kick back relax and plan what to do with these girls.

22/08/2014

Dawn will tell.....

The last time I saw something I thought I liked but couldn't afford was this VERSACE dress which at the time retailed for $775.00, so I made one. And although there was the satisfaction of recreating a designer outfit with no difficulty and minimum cost, I knew as soon as I tried it on that I was never going to use it. The style is simply NOT ME!.

And you'd think I'd learn. I found a long maxi plaid skirt at a yard sale the other day and I told the hubster I would recycle it. The aim was to incorporate it into one of my bags, but as soon as I took it apart and looked at the fabric, I decided I would make me a skirt with it instead. So I found this.


Now Jessica Alba is something else. With that shapely body and narrow hips, she can pull just about any look. Me? I know for certain that flare skirts that don't reach my ankles have no business hanging on my hips. But I am going to make this skirt nonetheless. What I have in fabric certainly will not be enough to do the ankle length I would prefer, and I know for certain that mid calf isn't me either, so you all will just have to wait and see what craziness I come up with. I promise you that no matter how wild (or not) it turns out. It will be wearable for MY body type, so do drop by in the coming days to see what has become of me. Plus Binta will  most definitely want to model it.

P.S. This is probably a crazy rant from an insomniac at 1:52 am. Dawn will have to tell if this rant will come to pass.

She is here, she is BINTA


A couple weeks ago this very creative lady from a sewing group I belong to on facebook let us know a friend of has had a dress form for sale and I said I wanted it so I contacted her about it. 

I went there to pick her up today from this awesome lady who wanted a home for her where she would be useful. This dress form is red, she has personality and she is called Binta. Yes, that is what I christened her minutes after we picked her up. Binta is a Hausa name with an Arabic origin and it simply means 'Goddess', same as my own name (Naan) means. Are we claiming to be gods? Hey if we are created in the likeness of God, we are one with god, therefore we are indeed gods, which means we can do (create) anything we set our minds to right?.....but I digress here.

I think Binta is an appropriate name for this girl here because she certainly is NOT afraid of being bold, heck she is RED!!! She is going to be my wild child. Maria (right next to her in that classic jacket) is the conservative one, so her clothes are sensible; even the bold colours Maria wears are warm. 

Binta is going to be my IRIS APFEL, we are going to be flambouyant together and paint this town red, you just wait and see. The fun part is that Maria is happy to have Binta around and extremely relieved to not have to be made the model of my flamboyant creations. I already have something in the works for Binta and I can't wait to show you all.....And yes, Maria needs something for the fall too so off I go to create.

I am so thrilled to have Binta here. Plus now Maria has someone to keep her company when I am not in the studio.

17/08/2014

Maxis....again.

Full maxi skirts are super fun to wear, can you tell?

This fabric was a difficult one to use. Because of the print design (African herbalists) I left it in my stash for while because I couldn't think of an appropriate style for it. That was until I made my daughter's dress. I still have not made an appropriate top for it but I am thinking something plain coloured and cropped, pretty simple.

 The pockets on this one are big enough to hide a chicken in; not that I am in the habit of putting meat in my pockets not do I recommend it.

Brat suggested to do the photos bare feet (she took the photos by the way). I shall be making a replica for my ETSY SHOP. It is simply too pretty not to let someone out there own one too.

Anyway, this is the one I made from the leftover of the fabric my sister sent the brat. I am so loving it. And the top looks perfect for it don't you think? You'd be surprised. More about the top below. You'd love the surprise.


The flow of the skirt is what thrills me. A small top is great because it doesn't steal the show, but I need to figure out the sort of Jacket/sweater that will work with it too for cooler days.



Yep! That's my broad back.


Did I mention that the cat goes right under my skirt and just sits there? He probably think it's a tent for him and my legs are the pegs that holds the tent. Hmmmm....


Yes that lovely top I used with my full skirt IS this maxi dress lol. Talk about layering for cooler days.

After making that one maxi at the beginning of summer, I think I have fallen in love with them. They are all I have been making lately. I will go on to making school clothes for the brat in the coming days maybe that will break me away from the maxi warp, so that I can get on to other things when I return to sewing for myself.

Didn't have enough left over from this one so I am not making another for my shop, but....


I will be listing two of this one shortly, in MY SHOP. The fabric on this one is a little heavier than the others so it will be the PERFECT Autumn dress for those cooler days.


Yes it is a racer back dress.

Yes it is lose fitting

And YAY! I own this one too.







14/08/2014

So, Mama Sews.

My brat had bothered me forever to make her a maxi dress and I have always found one excuse or another not to. You see, the problem is that she is super skinny and I always feared that wearing anything that elongates her will make her look even more skinny (and no I have nothing against skinny people).



It was tricky to decide how much arm hole to cut out without creating the NPS (nipples peeping sag) look, but I think I nailed it, maybe because it is a tie-around-the-neck style. The bottom has a lot of fabric to elongate it when the time comes, and the back where the zipper meets has extra fabric as well, so we shall expand it too when the need arises, so yes she will be growing into this one.



She says it's the most comfortable thing she has (makes me wonder what that says about my clothes' buying skills) and she is so excited to be wearing a maxi; she thinks it makes her look like a 'big girl' (not sure what the hurry is to grow up).


I'll probably sew a jacket or make a simple sweater she can use with it on cooler days; Autumn is around the corner after all. Now off I go to look for my battery charger. I have some awesome maxi skirts and dresses of my own that I am itching to share.

AUNTIE QUE, THANK YOU FOR THE FABRIC; YOU ROCK!

12/08/2014

Maxis.....and this is only the beginning.

I made this Maxi at the start of the summer with the intention of making many more but never got around to doing it

I won't even begin to tell you how many times a week I wear it. And each time I wear it, I tell myself, this beats wearing yoga pants (and I am a yoga pants addict). So in time for Autumn, I sewed this piece here

It is equally as comfortable and again, such a fun wear, I made three other pieces. The fun thing with maxis are you can dress them up or dress them down. And with a few accessories, jackets or sweaters you can get various looks from the same dress! I swear it.....but I will have to show you that in another blog.


I made this one super long that it drags on the floor when I am not in heels (just the way I like it). I have more of this fabric so I made another one to sell. You can find it in my SHOP if you fancy. I have a couple more I will be listing for sale as well, so you might want to check back in a few days.

Pattern was self drafted and super fast to make. In the coming days, I will show you the others and also the different looks to get from one dress so do come back for more. 

Have a fabulous day!


06/08/2014

CHANNELLING VERSACE

Yes, so I finally made it. I don't know why in heaven's name I chose this dress to make

......Oh wait. I know why I did. The original was retailing for $775.00. I remember looking at it and thinking unless the thread was pure dragon veins and the lining was 18 carat yellow gold sheets, why on earth would I want to pay THAT MUCH for a dress THAT SIMPLE to make? So I decided, I was going to make me one, just to prove one can dress as nice at a fraction of the price.

Well it turned out not to be as easy to make as it looks with that  crisscrossing triangles and all. I had to get it place correctly to match the curve of the waistline and the bust darts and all and then tried to make sure the seam lay flat. In a sense I can see why Donnatella will retail it for $775 with all that time consuming detail.....maybe not, considering hers isn't couture, but that is another story altogether. I bet if it was, she might charge a couple thousands plus the $775 for the name tag that reads VERSACE....I digress......

I made mine green and I opted out the shoulder pad and I believe mine is a tad bit longer than the original Versace version, but hey, the Versace model has some really sexy sticks to show. Me? My knobbly knees could do with some coverage.

And have you guys noticed something else? I reversed the triangles having the bigger one opposite VERSACE version and vice versa with the smaller one. That was not intentional. THAT is what you get for trying to copy a dress from a photo without considering the mirror effect of photos.


Oh and while hers has a clean back, I opted for an expose zipper.....and don't mind the puffy look of mine. It hasn't been ironed yet.





Before I forget, this is Maria.

She thought I was doing a lousy job of both photographing and modelling so she stepped in (with the modelling). I had to carry on with photographing and feeling ashamed of my inadequate skills under her glaring disapproval.....but I digress again....



She allowed me this one last shot and took over.






Yes, the dress is fully lined too and unlike the svelte VERSACE version. This one is a size 10 - Yes, a plus size baby!

And YES Maria is a natural, she wears dresses so well she makes me want to go around naked.

I guess you can say besides proving a point to myself (that I don't need to spend a fortune to wear a  designer look alike), I am not sure I will be making me another one. Don't get me wrong. I love the dress I made and I think it would look awesome on the right body. I am just not a dress wearing babe (unless it is a maxi), so I will be selling this off in my Etsy Shop.It cost me less than $100 in materials to make which is nice considering the designer retail price. Of course I will add up my workmanship cost to the price of material plus profit and lucky is she who buys it. IT certainly won't cost half as much as the VERSACE version.

Do come by for more reveal soon (I have been sewing heaps lately).

17/07/2014

Not discarded.

It is obvious that I am not good at planning. Remember when I said I was going to re-make a designer outfit for the fraction of the price here? I still am going to do that. As a matter of fact, it should have be ready in the next couple of weeks.

You see the problem is not that I forgot about it, the problem is I always tend to bite a lot more than I can chew and that was what I did when I promised that. Forgetting  of course that I was going to have blogs on pattern drafting for real people here, or even my wardrobe staples plan here. The culprit is my home studio; all I have to do is look around me and I'll see one more project that needs to be done or another unfinished project that is waiting to be attended to.

I got overwhelmed this morning with so much to do and unsure where to start that I ended up wasting the whole day doing nothing at all!

Not good.

So I picked myself up, sorted out my work in order of priority and will begin work tomorrow. In the meantime....


This here is a dress I made while trying to decide which of my promised projects to fulfill.
Don't mind the heavy shoulders and bingo wings, I am working to trim down. I have become extremely 'fitness lazy' lately but all that is changing.....

Photos were taken by my nine year old thus the poor lighting.....but I am not complaining lol. It was super fun and easy to make and I am planning on making more as I do believe it is the perfect item to transition into autumn with, works well on its own or with a light sweater over it.

I aint done yet though. Watch this space, more to come in the coming days. Enjoy your day.

09/07/2014

B.O.T.B 14


I call this piece THE SECRET GARDEN. It is a piece made out of several bead embroidered motifs, and it took about 65 hours. I had initially planned something quite different for this battle and had indeed begun working on it. I even had it done three quarters of the way. I worked the bulk of it out in our yard, but  one warm afternoon, a lone butterfly kept fluttering about, causing me to pause every now and then, wishing it would sit still long enough for me to move closer and study its wings (I love butterflies). 

I carried on with my beading but also let my mind wander on to an imaginary secret garden where pollinators were in sync with nature and all other creatures; where movement of the wind or another creature’s movement won’t cause them to run away from each other.



When I came back indoors I decided I would love to try a bead embroidered butterfly as soon as I was done with my battle piece, but the urge was so strong that I put the battle piece aside and began working on the butterfly. I had time, I figured. I was sure I would be done with it and still have time to finish my battle piece. I was right. I finished the butterfly in less than 10 hours, so I figured it won’t hurt to make a flower that will go with it; after all pollinators need the plants they pollinate right? 

Well, one flower led to another , then to a leaf, and soon enough it was obvious that I had enough motifs to make a necklace and quite a way to go with my battle piece, and worse still, time was against me, so that is how THIS piece ended up being my battle piece instead. It was fun to create, more for what it represented (where it took my wandering mind) than for what it looks like.

16/06/2014

SNEAK PEEK # B.O.T.B 14

So why do I wait until now to show my sneak peek? Dunno.....I only know that I am getting restless waiting to see all the others, so I might as well take my mind off the waiting and show some of mine, yes? So here you go. here is a sneak peek at my B.O.T.B 14 challenge piece.


I will show the completed piece after the big reveal, but watch this space and you will get to see it eventually.

P.S. for those of you that don't know what B.O.T.B is, follow this link