Monday, September 30, 2013

Sew and Tell: Striped Jumpsuit

I designed and constructed this striped jumpsuit in July but finally got around to photographing it this past Friday when I wore it to a workshop on special needs services. This is why I love jumpsuits. They are so versatile. I have worn this to church, to workshops, outings with friends, you name it. Jumpsuits are slowly, but surely, becoming my uniform. 

It's hard to see here, but it is actually black with green, tiny stripes. It also has an origami-like fold over neckline, pleated details on the shoulders, and front pockets. 
 Here it is, full view. Sorry for the grainy photos.

The left photo shows the pleating on the shoulders. If you follow my blog, you already know that if I can avoid doing zippers or buttons, I will, so I decided on a back tie opening. I like dressing modestly, so I always wear a black tank top underneath but it looks sexy and cute without it too, maybe i'll try it one day when I am out with my hubby.

Oh, and here is my leather cuff I made from a boot! Check out the tutorial here

There you have it. Once in a while I like to take a break from refashioning/reconstructing and sew from scratch to work out my fashion design muscles. 

Monday, September 16, 2013

Tutorial Tuesday: Wrap Dress to Jumpsuit

I've had this wrap dress in my closet for the longest! It's an Old Navy dress I bought on clearance for $3 but I never wear it. I put it on recently, and now I know why. It does nothing for my waistline! I don't have a super defined waist as it is cuz of my narrow shoulders and small boobs (sorry TMI) but that's the truth. If I had bigger boobs, I'd have the perfect figure but alas I have to work with what God gave me.

 Anyway, part of the problem was that the top wrap part was  big on me even though this was a small. Old Navy sizing runs big. So, I turned it around to evaluate the situation

I cut the top wrap part form the bottom below the seam

For the bottom part of the jumpsuit, I remembered I had these pants that I also never wear because they are too big on me.

 Here they are layed out.

I cut 2 inches off of the waist band

 Now back to the top. I put the top part on, pulled tight so that it could feel better and more snug. Remember, the top part was big on me.

I then pinned and sewed.

I then sewed the pants to the top and voila! Instant jumpsuit/romper

What's a romper if you can't romp around in it! This was also my kids' first day back to school so I was a bit extra happy!

Even though it's a bit low waisted, the snugness of the top (which fits me better) coupled with the volume of the pants on the bottom, creates a silhouette I can live with. It's all about balancing the proportions. As I get to know my body and what looks good on it, I feel better and more empowered to face the world! I really do believe in the power of clothes to transform, to influence your mood, to change your attitude. Now I have something in my closet that I really love and will wear a lot this fall. 

Would love to hear your thoughts!

Monday, September 2, 2013

Tutorial Tuesday: Dashiki Refashion

Back in July, I collaborated with House of Estrela, an amazing refashion blog, and shared this refashioned dashiki over at her place. 

Here, I will share the tutorial in it's entirety including a couple of extra shots. As is custom with my summer projects, my sons are in the photos. Although it is more difficult to create in the summer, this time does allow me to include them in the show and tell process. It's all good and it's all me baby!

You start by taking a v-neck shirt that fits you well

I love the dashiki because of the power it emits. I bought my dashiki back in 1998 in a flea market in North Carolina while visiting my sister. I was newly married,  had no children and was continuing to explore my cultural and political identity. I did feel quite empowered in it and wore it often until it got too small for me and tore.

Here's the tear, boo hoo. 

I cut the entire design off of the body of the dashiki. This is what I was left with. 

I pinned it onto the front of the t-shirt first for proper placement.

Then I continued pinning on the dress form. Don't look at the background. The house gets messy during the summer, don't judge! lol

Here's a back view with backpack just thrown in the back ground. Yup, it was the beginning of summer. 

This is how it came out. I love it!
Here comes one of the kiddos 

 "Stay Strong Mother!" I first heard this from Liela Joy Marie Fuller; author of Life's Reflection. I interviewed her here.

 And here's the other kiddo. Not so little anymore, he is going to pass me soon. 
  We had such a great summer. My little one spends more time in summer school than this one, so we got to have alone time and bond. I love him so much. 

Back view

What summer projects did you accomplish? How did you work with the kids during the summer?