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Thursday, December 18, 2014

Vogue Paris Original - 1023 | A Vintage Christian Dior Mohair Coat!

Vintage Vogue 1023 - Vogue Paris Original: 1970s Christian Dior Coat. Mohair Fabric from Mood Fabrics - Erica Bs DIY Style!
Every year I make a coat.  It's something that I look forward to and I'm always excited when I plan my project.  For the longest time, I've had this gorgeous vintage Vogue Paris Original (#1023) - 1970s Christian Dior coat in my collection.  But I had never been able to find the perfect fabric.  I wanted something "fuzzy", just like the pattern envelope.
And I found fabric that was absolute perfection.  This heathered gray fuzzy mohair-blend from Mood Fabrics (from my monthly allowance for my MSN monthly project) just epitomized everything I was looking for.  And as a plus, it was gray.  I am completing all the neutral outerwear colors in my wardrobe and then I'll start of the fun colors!
Vintage Vogue 1023 - Vogue Paris Original: 1970s Christian Dior Coat. Mohair Fabric from Mood Fabrics - Erica Bs DIY Style!
This is my first foray into the truly vintage patterns arena.  I've done "older" patterns, but nothing as old as this one.  This pattern came in only one size.  And I bought it in a 14.  If I were purchasing it now, I would've bought a 12.  But I'm happy with the sizing because it leaves enough wearing room to wear this coat over a suit if needed.
Vintage Vogue 1023 - Vogue Paris Original: 1970s Christian Dior Coat. Mohair Fabric from Mood Fabrics - Erica Bs DIY Style!
The only alterations I made to the pattern pieces were adding length... my usual.  And I also wanted to make sure this was a full-length coat -- on me!  I wanted another coat that would be just as long or longer than skirts or dresses.  I hate when a coat is slightly shorter. I added 3 inches to the length of the coat.  And I added an inch to the sleeve length.
Vintage Vogue 1023 - Vogue Paris Original: 1970s Christian Dior Coat. Mohair Fabric from Mood Fabrics - Erica Bs DIY Style!
Even though I would normally tailor a coat anyway, I felt so lucky that this pattern is so comprehensive.  It came with its own tailoring instructions and pattern pieces for all of the interfacing.  How awesome is that?!  And why don't modern coat patterns come with such details?  McCall Pattern Company?  Simplicity?  Anybody?  These instructions were so easy to interpret that if you're attempting your first coat, you could easily achieve amazing results with this one.  One thing about the convenience of having all of the pieces included is that it saved me hours on creating interfacing pattern pieces from scratch.  I felt like I was getting a coat making course just from the instructions.
Vintage Vogue 1023 - Vogue Paris Original: 1970s Christian Dior Coat. Mohair Fabric from Mood Fabrics - Erica Bs DIY Style!
For my coat, I blocked interfaced the entire yardage before cutting.  Even though this fabric is of a heavier weight, it's still very drapey.  And I needed for the body to be sturdier.  

Here is the interfacing:  The front interfacing and the back stay are made from muslin.  Even though the pattern did not suggest or provide a pattern piece, I created a shoulder reinforcement made from hair canvas.  This ensures a smooth line from shoulder to bustline.
Here is the lining and the facing.  And also the back linining with a center back pleat for ease.  The last piece is the collar, which is interfaced with a fusible that extends 5/8" beyond the foldline.
I drafted my own 1/4" shoulder pads for a custom fit. I created a pattern using the front and the back pattern pieces of the coat.  The shoulder pads are created by layering fleece, each is reduced by 3/4".  I used the sewing machine needle to created perforated lines so that I could just tear off and keep going.  The layers are stitched together on top of a layer of hair canvas the size of the largest piece. 
The sleeves are drafted perfectly.  They set without any easing.  I created sleeve heads with the same fleece as the shoulder pads.
This is practically a couture coat.  But the only shortcut I'll take each time I make a coat is to bag the lining.  For me, there is simply no point in all of that excess hand sewing when the lining can be sewn by machine.  The width of my coat hem is 3".  And in order to achieve a perfect "jump hem", I trimmed the bottom of the lining to the same length as the finished coat hem.  Turn the coat back to the right side and slipstitch the hole.
Here is the finished inside.
Here is the finished outside and a closeup of the topstitching.  I added snaps to the inside.  I found that a size 100/16 needle worked best for this fabric and sewing through all of the layers.  And it also made topstitching a lot easier with my heavy weight thread.
I had the hardest time trying to find a belt for this coat.  I wanted something that tied, but not a self belt.  I found black woven belting in the trim section at Joanns.  Close enough, right?  Well... no.  LOL.  I decided if you want something to be a certain color, then make it happen.  So I grabbed a can of spray paint and made me a gray belt.  I've never done this before, so I don't know how this will wear.  But until I find a replacement, I still have a full can of paint for touchups.
Vintage Vogue 1023 - Vogue Paris Original: 1970s Christian Dior Coat. Mohair Fabric from Mood Fabrics - Erica Bs DIY Style!
My lining fabric is crepe back satin from my stash that looks and feels really luxurious.
Vintage Vogue 1023 - Vogue Paris Original: 1970s Christian Dior Coat. Mohair Fabric from Mood Fabrics - Erica Bs DIY Style!
I thought I was head over heels in love with my camel hair coat from last year.  But I believe I have a new love... until next time!

Wednesday, December 03, 2014

Another Version of Vogue 8939 | Shades of Grey!

Vogue 8939 - Heathered Gray Jersey Knit Turtleneck Dress - Erica B's DIY Style!
So, I made another version of Vogue 8939.  Yes, I love the simplicity of this pattern just that much.  And I wore it out last night.
Vogue 8939 - Heathered Gray Jersey Knit Turtleneck Dress - Erica B's DIY Style!
This time I used a sweatshirt-like heathered gray jersey knit from Mood Fabrics.
Vogue 8939 - Heathered Gray Jersey Knit Turtleneck Dress - Erica B's DIY Style!
For this version, I only added 3 inches to the length -- so that it would be the length (on me) that it was designed to be.  
Vogue 8939 - Heathered Gray Jersey Knit Turtleneck Dress - Erica B's DIY Style!
And I used a mock turtleneck because this fabric is THICK.  
Vogue 8939 - Heathered Gray Jersey Knit Turtleneck Dress - Erica B's DIY Style!
And I added a zipper because I didn't feel that the fabric had enough give to be a pullover.  Have you ever struggled to get into a tight turtleneck?  Yeah... I didn't want to deal with that.  So I made sure my I could get in and out of the dress.  Nothing like having to pull something over your head and wiping off all of your makeup in the process!
So last night, I wore this to a Rebecca Minkoff event hosted by the Contemporary department at Saks Fifth Avenue Birmingham.
These are some of my favorite pieces for Spring.  I fell in love with the bright orange suede moto jacket in Rebecca's signature style.  Isn't it fabulous?
Here are more pieces that I love.  Rebecca's "Downtown Girl" style really plays to my own aesthetic.
Mikaela came along with me.  And we did our obligatory selfie!  It was a fun, mother-daughter time!  And don't be surprised if you see at least one more version of this dress.  I just can't get enough of it!

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

#WorkoutWednesday | Don't Refer to ME as Dieting!

I've been intending to do a six month follow-up post to this one, but I never got around to it.  I guess seven months will have to do!  It has indeed been a ride.  I'm currently 31lbs down!  Go me!  Do the happy dance!  Now, let's talk about how I did it:  Lots and lots of cardio!  In the past, I use to hate cardio.  Well... let's clarify:  I use to tell myself that I hate cardio.  It was a mental thing. And one day it just clicked in my mind that if I wanted to burn fat and make the scale move backwards, then I was going to have to do some sort of cardio. I'm not a runner.  I use to be, but I burned my knees and chins out on pounding on pavement.  And I'm not one for the "dreadmill".  So I choose the elliptical trainer to be my new best friend.
I know by now you're looking at the pictures and thinking 70 minutes on the elliptical?  No way! How boring!  But it's not.  Not the way that I do it.  I do High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT), which involves jumping back and forth between relatively low and extremely high cardiovascular workouts. HIIT takes less time than traditional cardio workouts (even though I stretch mine), and provides the same, if not greater, results, such as raising your metabolic rate and increasing your excess post oxygen consumption. HIIT can be done on any machine that allows you to vary your speed or resistance, including an elliptical.  I played with a lot of programs and then I created one that worked for me.  And I've been asked often how I manage to burn so many calories within one session?  Well, this is how!  And I wear a Sportline pedometer which gives an accurate account of calories burned because it's keeping a real account of my actual heartrate since I'm not in constant contact with the elliptical machine.  I find that when I do NOT engage the arms on the machine that I work my legs and core a lot harder and also raise my heartrate quicker.
Now, when I say I do HIIT, this isn't any of that have a conversation with your workout partner while they're on the next machine.  Or flip through the latest issue of Vogue or InStyle.  Or read the latest New York Times bestseller while on the elliptical.  I move and I move fast!  The only thing I can concentrate on is remembering to breath!
And I also do strengthtraining.  I alternate days between upper and lower body.  A lot of women feel that they may bulk up from lifting weights.  Well, some do!  I feel I needed to have a balance of fat-burning cardio mixed with strengthtraining to get me where I needed to be.  Whether you do cardio on the elliptical, are a runner or a swimmer, your body NEEDS strengthtraining.  I especially do as a woman over 40, because there are so many benefits to strengthtraining: 
  • You will burn more fat than by doing cardio alone. 
  • You will change the shape of your body. 
  • You will boost your metabolism by retaining or building more muscle. 
  • You will increase strength, becoming more functional. 
  • You will build strong bones and combat osteoporosis. 
  • You will improve joint stability and reduce the risk of injury.

Things I've learned:  

You can NOT out exercise a poor diet.  Healthy bodies are made in the kitchen and shaped in the gym!  Let's go back to the title of this post about not referring to me as "dieting".  I don't diet. If you want to diet, you go right ahead.  But I needed to change the way I eat and exercise for life.  I'm 44 years old, pretty much perimenopausal.  I can't tolerate a lot of heavy, fatty foods.  And working out 4-5 days a week is just a normal part of my life now.  I see people saying things like they're going to fall off the wagon for whatever reason (i.e. the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday) and get back on.  Enjoy and bon app├ętit!  I'm not.  I've worked too hard for a 4,500 calorie and 229 grams of fat meal in a single day!  It's not that serious to me.  And in January, I don't plan to add physical fitness to my New Year's resolution once again.

And going on a "diet" will only result in weight gain.  Lowering your calorie intake excessively will only cause your body to go into starvation mode=slower metabolism.  And all of that deprivation eating will piss you off and cause binge eating.  I see and hear about this so much.  And haven't you seen things that tell you that you can lose 30-40 lbs in a month?!  That scares me.  That's basically water weight and muscle tissue.  I lost an average of 1-2 lbs a week. 

What do I eat?

Whatever I want!  As long as I stay within 1600-1800 calories a day!  You know, within reason!  I don't use meal planning... I just use common sense.  I'm not about to go to Five Guys (Nothing against this company.  Just an example of a bad choice for ME!) and order a bacon cheeseburger (920 calories) and fries (1474 calories)!  I'm not crazy!  Nor am I going on a juice or smoothie cleanse for a week either.  I use the My Fitness Pal app to keep up with what I'm eating.  Well, I used it for months.  I don't use it as much nowadays.  I know what I'm eating and how many calories are in things that I eat often.  The only times I pull it out now is when I'm eating or planning something questionable.

Everyone should find something that works for them, but I just wanted to share what I do.  

Sunday, November 16, 2014

What I've Been Wearing | It's Coat Season: Classic and Trendy!

Simplicity 1756 - Tailored Camel Hair Coat - Erica B - DIY Style!
Coats are something that I've grown to love making.  I'm currently plotting and planning the coats I'm going to make for this season.  
Vogue 8696 White Blanket Coat - Erica B - DIY Style!
For my wardrobe, I like to balance classic styles with trendy styles because there's room for both.
Simplicity 1756 - Tailored Camel Hair Coat - Erica B - DIY Style!
Take for example, my camel hair tailored coat, made from Simplicity 1756.  When I made this coat almost a year ago, I had envisioned a beautifully tailored, classic coat that I would proudly wear for decades.  Something along the lines of Loro Piana or Max Mara coats.  This coat will NEVER end up in the donation pile.
Vogue 8696 White Blanket Coat - Erica B - DIY Style!
But I also love this unstructured white blanket coat made from (OOP, but still available on the site) Vogue 8696. This is probably the trendiest outerwear of this season and I made mine a couple of years ago.  I don't want any snow and ice like we had this past winter.  But I love that the mercury dips low enough that I can enjoy these coats that hang in my closet!

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

What I'm Wearing | Cape, Camel, Tartan and Tweed! #BlogLikeCrazy

Vogue 8776 Cape - Erica B - DIY Style!
So fall has finally fallen here in the South.  Anytime the mercury dips below 50 degrees, that means it's chilly weather and time to break out the real outerwear!
Vogue 8776 Cape - Erica B - DIY Style!
Something about wearing a cape makes me feel like a super hero.  And with all I have to do during my daily routine, I need all of the help possible to make me feel like I have super powers.  And my Vogue 8776 cape made in camel wool gives me a classic elegance that will allow me to play the super mom role for many years.
Vogue 8776 Cape - Erica B - DIY Style!
I've had this cape for a while now and I've already worn it quite a few times. For this tailored length, I find that it pairs best with skinny, tapered pants -- preferably these McCall's 6404.  And today I added tall boots.  Underneath I'm wearing my New Look 6083 faux suede top.  And I've really grabbed a hold of the blanket scarf trend with this great tartan find from Target.  And I topped off the look with a hat from my husband's closet.  

Monday, November 10, 2014

She Inspires Me | Marjorie Harvey #BlogLikeCrazy

Who:  Marjorie Harvey
Who is she:  Wife of Steve Harvey
Today's style crush is the fabulous at 50, yes 50 year old grandmother.  Marjorie hosts "The Lady Loves Couture" blog because well, this lady LOVES couture!  And is always front and center at Paris Fashion Weeks.
What I love about Marjorie's style is that even though she's 50, she's not afraid to flaunt it!  She's clearly a woman that has always taken good care of herself and it shows.  And she does fashion in a way that a confident woman of means does it without having it come across as "mutton dressed as lamb".
Her casual looks are just as fabulous as her couture looks.
And she also does edgy in an effortless way.  Check out this high-low skirt and the boots!
Not only is Marjorie a style crush, but she's also my "GlamMa" crush.  Grandmothers are no longer little old ladies these days!  What a fabulous inspiration to aspire to as I head closer to 50!

Sunday, November 09, 2014

Inspired by Pinterest | Urban Equestrian! #BlogLikeCrazy

Vogue 8601 Jacket - Erica B - DIY Style!
This is yesterday's look:  Urban Equestrian.

I saw this look on YLF and immediately walked into my closet and started pulling pieces to create my own version.  Urban Equestrian is not a literal equestrian look, but an "inspired" version created from combining a tailored wool or tweed blazer, sleek bottoms and boots. 
Vogue 8601 Jacket - Erica B - DIY Style!
The key piece for my look is my tweed Vogue 8601 blazer.  I paired it with a denim shirt, white jeans and a pair of Sam Edelman lace up boots.  And for fun, my ponyhair leopard print belt.
Vogue 8601 Jacket - Erica B - DIY Style!
I love so many of my clothes dearly, but this blazer is something that I would NEVER part with!

Friday, November 07, 2014

Review: Vogue 8939 | The Turtleneck Midi Dress! #BlogLikeCrazy

Vogue 8939 Turtleneck Midi Dress - Erica B - DIY Style!
Vogue 8939 is an interesting pattern, being that if you weren't looking for this design you would totally miss it on the pattern envelope.  This dress is such a wardrobe staple that I feel it should've been it's own pattern with different length variations.
My version of this pattern was inspired by designer Rick Owens' Lilies Midi Turtleneck Dress.
Vogue 8939 Turtleneck Midi Dress - Erica B - DIY Style!
My fabric is a black modal rayon ponte that I found at my local Joanns.  It was a great find and the fabric feels very luxurious.
Vogue 8939 Turtleneck Midi Dress - Erica B - DIY Style!
I cut the size 14 and I had to make a couple of modifications to achieve the look of my inspiration dress.  I added 12" inches to the length.  The original pattern is pretty short.  I added 2" to the sleeve.  
Vogue 8939 Turtleneck Midi Dress - Erica B - DIY Style!
I had to take in the collar so that it would be fitted.  I hate having a turtleneck that's not fitted when it's supposed to be.  
Vogue 8939 Turtleneck Midi Dress - Erica B - DIY Style!
I ended up having to run 1" seams down each side.  The dress hung like a sack.  I should've cut the size 12.  
Vogue 8939 Turtleneck Midi Dress - Erica B - DIY Style!
Love the simplicity and versatility of this dress.  And I love that it gave me a reason to pull out my corset belt from Asos.com that I haven't worn in a long time.  I'm hoping that I find a cream colored ponte and a heather grey one so that I can add 2 more of these dresses to my wardrobe.