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Friday, May 22, 2015

Review: Simplicity 1099 | Mikaela's Graduation!

Simplicity 1099 - Made in white stretch satin for a great Graduation dress option! Erica B's DIY Style!
White is the most common hue when it comes to graduation dresses.  And even though a cap and gown is worn, you don't want to have on a boring look-a-like dress.  That's why we picked Simplicity 1099.
Simplicity 1099 - Made in white stretch satin for a great Graduation dress option! Erica B's DIY Style!
Mikaela loves Taylor Swift.  So any opportunity she has to dress in a two-piece outfit, she takes it. She liked the cropped criss cross top and the short full skirt.  I cut the smallest size, which is the size 4.  For the top, I added an inch to the length.  She has a long torso and I needed to know the top would sit right above the skirt.  The top is very much like a bustier.  It's fully interfaced and lined with a separating zipper.
Simplicity 1099 - Made in white stretch satin for a great Graduation dress option! Erica B's DIY Style!
For the skirt, I used the short version and removed about 3 inches from the length.  She wanted it shorter.  For the particular occasion, I suggested that we keep it classy and stop it right above the knee.  I added a lining and used horsehair braid in the hem.  What we love most about this skirt?  The pockets!  Yes it has pockets!  Based on her measurements, I'd say that this pattern is true to size.  This pattern has so many great views, I'm sure we'll be using it again.  And for fabric, I used a stretch white satin
Receiving her diploma...

And picture with her niece, one of her favorite people!

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Birmingham Fashion Week 2015 Recap!

Birmingham Fashion Week 2015 kicked off exactly one week ago and it was absolutely incredible.  It's amazing being around all of that type of energy.  People that are supporting their friends, family, loved ones... and those of us that are in love with fashion!  Here's my recap and let's start with the designers!
Gunnar Deatherage - Birmingham Fashion Week 2015
Gunnar Deatherage (Project Runway Seasons 9 & 10; Project Runway All-Stars Season 4)

Michelle Lesniak - Birmingham Fashion Week 2015
Michelle Lesniak (Project Runway Season 11 Winner)

Laura Kathleen - Birmingham Fashion Week 2015
Laura Kathleen (Project Runway Season 9; Project Runway All-Stars Season 2)

Marie Oliver - Birmingham Fashion Week 2015

I love seeing designs from the "Emerging Designers".  There is truly some awesome undiscovered talent out there.  I know how hard it is to get a clothing label off the ground.  But I'm wishing these ladies much luck!  Here are my favorites:
Emerging Designer - Leslie Beattie
Emerging Designer - Kayla Sherman
Emerging Designer - Kenya Buchannan
Emerging Designer WINNER - Shan Latris!

I love the local retailer shows.  It's a true representation of our Southern Style here in Birmingham!  These are my two favorites!
Monkee's of Mountain Brook - Birmingham Fashion Week 2015

Fab'rik - Birmingham Fashion Week 2015

 And for the finale, BFW founder Heidi Elnora!
Heidi Elnora Birmingham Fashion Week 2015
This show was so energetic!
Karis Lamb Wilson at Birmingham Fashion Week 2015
The models walked the runway to Karis Lamb Wilson KILLING IT on her violin. 
Heidi Elnora Birmingham Fashion Week 2015
I'm not really a traditional wedding gown woman. 
Heidi Elnora Birmingham Fashion Week 2015
We plan to renew our vows for our silver anniversary and I want something beachy. 
Heidi Elnora Birmingham Fashion Week 2015
So the gorgeous flowy, godess gowns really struck a cord with me. 
Heidi Elnora Birmingham Fashion Week 2015
And this was her showstopper.
Heidi Elnora Birmingham Fashion Week 2015
The pictures just don't even do it justice.  It was simply stunning in person. 
Heidi Elnora Birmingham Fashion Week 2015
Heidi gave a beautiful speech afterwards about following your dreams no matter how you started out in life.  It was a wonderfully fabulous show and I can't wait until next year!

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Modified McCall's 6886 | Two-Piece Matchy Matchy!


Modified McCall's 6886 | Two-Piece Matchy Matchy -- Erica B's DIY Style!
I like dresses a lot.  But I'm completely a lover of separates.  Sportswear is my thing.  So it's pretty much a no-brainer that I would add matchy matchy separates to my wardrobe.  It's a perfect addition because they can be worn together or apart.  
Modified McCall's 6886 | Two-Piece Matchy Matchy -- Erica B's DIY Style!
I'd seen style blogger Kela post her outfit that I thought was adorable.  And sewing blogger Jenese had made her version.  And I followed suit with one of my current TNT patterns -- McCall's 6886.  I was already in love with this pattern and who knew how versatile it would become to me.
Modified McCall's 6886 | Two-Piece Matchy Matchy -- Erica B's DIY Style!
This is simply the quickest outfit EVER to make.  This pattern produces a quick dress anyway.  So I made a short sleeve dress.  I added additional length to my already modified pattern for seam allowances.  After I made the dress, I tried it on and marked where I wanted the cropped to end and allowing for a 5/8" hem.  I cut there and I took in the sides a bit so that the top wouldn't hang from the bust.  And I added elastic to the waist of the midi skirt.
Modified McCall's 6886 | Two-Piece Matchy Matchy -- Erica B's DIY Style!
I normally peg my pencil skirts in, but I left this one as is because of the length.  Since there is no vent or slit, I needed walking ease.  And also my rayon knit fabric (from my stash... I think it was a Mood purchase from last year) is almost t-shirt weight, and it doesn't have a significant amount of recovery so I didn't want the skirt skintight.  I love these pieces because I can take off the heels and put on flat sandals or a cute sneaker for a super casual look.  

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Birmingham Fashion Week 2015 - What I Wore Night 3

Erica B.'s - D.I.Y. Style!: Butterick 6183 - Tribal Print Culottes
I've been a sewing fool this week.  I haven't sewn so many things for me in such a close period of time in only God knows when!  But I call this "Stress Free Sewing".  It's always fun being overwhelmed doing something YOU love.  So for the last day of Birmingham Fashion Week, I wanted something else new to wear.  I'd bought this great Tribal Diamond Black and White Stretch Satin Suiting Cotton Fabric -- to satiate my love of black and white and I wanted a printed pair of culottes.
Erica B.'s - D.I.Y. Style!: Butterick 6183 - Tribal Print Culottes
I had previously added Butterick 6183 to my collection when the pattern came out because I thought it was really cute.  And plus, I'm going through a culotte phase.  This is my first time sewing a Lisette pattern.  Even though they're cute, they've never really appealed to my aesthetic until this latest collaboration with Butterick.  I googled, but to no avail I didn't find a review of the pants/culottes.  It seems there is great fondness over the top though.  So, I was literally sewing this unknown, new pattern a couple of hours before I was to put these pants on and go.  I like to live life on the edge.  
This pattern runs small based on my experience with other McCall Pattern Company pants patterns. And I've sewn PLENTY to make that judgement call.  Based on the flat pattern measurements I cut the 16, when I would normally cut a 14 with possible waist and center back adjustments.  It's cut very narrowly, so I'm extremely happy that my fabric had stretch because this pattern has no ease -- whatsoever.  I personally think it would work better for a ponte knit instead of a woven.  And yes, as you see, they sit pretty high at the waist.
I sewed these straight from the envelope.  I didn't add any length, however I didn't cuff mine so that was an extra couple.  This pattern in general doesn't hold a candle to my beloved Vogue 9032.  And I unfortunately regret not using my fabric for that culotte version.  But I wanted something quick and V9032 has a LOT of pieces.  Will I sew this one again?  Definitely not.  Do I recommend it?  Meh... going into it, just be aware that you WILL need to size up.  And if your waist isn't significantly smaller than your hip measurement, you're going to have an issue there as well.  A year ago, this pattern would've been an EPIC failure --  I wouldn't have even gotten the zipper up.  The outcome was pretty mediocre, but I really loved the tribal print of the fabric.  And I added a simple Norma Kamali off-the-shoulder knit top and my beautiful Maasai necklace.

Saturday, May 09, 2015

Birmingham Fashion Week 2015 - What I Wore Night 2

Vogue 8711 - Navy Sequin Draped Skirt - Erica B.'s DIY Style!
For a Friday night, I decided to go with a little glitz and shine!  I found this awesome piece of sequin fabric at Joanns -- All That Glitters Fabric - Floral Sequins Navy.  I've always had the uncanny ability to walk into a store and put my hands on the most expensive thing in there.  My taste has always exceeded my wallet!  But not this time.  This beautiful piece of fabric that retailed for $30/yd was on sale.  Cha-ching... sold!  I bought it!
Vogue 8711 - Navy Sequin Draped Skirt - Erica B.'s DIY Style!
There was very little of this fabric left on the bolt.  I was only able to get 1.5 yds.  So I decided a skirt it would be.  I didn't want a plain pencil skirt.  
This fabric has pizzazz and so I needed a pattern of equal value.  I chose Vogue 8711.  I've made it before and I've loved my black version to death!
Vogue 8711 - Navy Sequin Draped Skirt - Erica B.'s DIY Style!
This pattern was already cut and altered in the size 14.  I still needed to take in the side seams and really cut the waist down.  And I went back and took about an inch off of the length.  These are baby sequins, so they're a lot easier to sew than the larger variety.  I didn't have to remove any from the seam allowance.  My needle chopped right through them with ease.  For my hem, I fused it for a clean and quick finish.  
Vogue 8711 - Navy Sequin Draped Skirt - Erica B.'s DIY Style!
For my waistband, I used a black ponte knit.  I didn't want to feel the sequins rubbing against my skin.  And I partially lined the skirt with a nylon tricot.  I just used the same method that I would to make a single seam pencil skirt.  I left it much shorter than the skirt because I didn't want it to show while I was sitting down.  I just needed enough coverage for the goodies!
Vogue 8711 - Navy Sequin Draped Skirt - Erica B.'s DIY Style!
Since the sequins are backed on black mesh, I just naturally paired my navy with black (the top was purchased).  
Thanks for the picture Adrienne!
I'm a fan of this color combo, especially for an evening look. 

Friday, May 08, 2015

Birmingham Fashion Week 2015 - What I Wore Night 1

So last night was the kickoff of Birmingham Fashion Week.  It's the 5th year that our city has had one and my second time attending.  I went in 2013, and I don't remember why I missed out last year.  But this year, it's a lot better -- especially for us bloggers.
Just like with any other fashion week, bloggers get to apply for media passes and I was selected.  I have absolutely no idea the criteria that is used, other than social media and blog metrics.  But I'm so glad that I have the opportunity to attend and bring you all coverage of our Southern Style!
Previously when I attended, all of the bloggers and press/media/photographers were squeezed in tightly in the photo pit.  Well not this year.  We were seated at the end of the runway.  My feet thanks the organizers.  
And also, it was about 85 degrees yesterday, cooling as the sun set.  But it was warm under that tent with the packed house and hot lights.  So I was able to sit, sip on cold margarita and snap pictures comfortably.  And I'm so glad I chose this outfit that kept me cool.
My top is New Look 6343.
I wanted a simple top.  I love a cut-in shoulder, it's my favorite style of sleeveless to wear.  And if I see this style in a pattern, I guarantee you that I'll buy it.  And plus, I love the cropped curved hem style.
I cut the size 12 and made it straight from the envelope.  I used this textured Bubble Ivory Poly Spandex that I saw in my Hancock.  Even though the pattern suggested a knit, I really liked this stretch woven and I felt it had enough give to work.
I tend to default to black and white so often that I've been on a mission to add more color to my spring/summer wardrobe.  Am I done with black and white?  Heck no...  But for this pair of pants, I went with what is sure to become a TNT pattern for me, Vogue 9032.  This is a pattern that HIGHLY recommend.  You get 3 views:  fitted, loose fitting and loose fitting culottes.  It's worth having.
My fabric is this perfect Malibu Blue Stretch Cotton Twill.  Anytime a pants pattern is fitted like these, I suggest using a stretch woven.  Or a good high-quality ponte or double knit would work also.  The size 14 was already cut and altered with 5 inches of length added from my previous version.  And I didn't have to do anything different this time.  I like for my hems to be crisp, so I always interface them. 
And to top off a great show, I was the winner of a fabulous pair of Salvatore Ferragamo sunglasses!  Pictures from the show to come...

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Review: McCall's 7085 | Neoprene Jersey and Mesh Sheath Dress!

McCall's Pattern 7085 - Neoprene & Mesh Sheath Dress - Erica B.'s DIY Style!  All fabric from Mood Fabrics.com
I've been obsessing over neoprene fabric for a while now.  And it seems like the more obsessive I became, the better the fabric is now.  Neoprene isn't as thick and stiff as it was a few years ago.  These new and improved lighter weight "neoprene-like" fabrics are a dream to sew with and perfect for structured garments.  Which is why I picked this black/ivory abstract neoprene jersey.  Talk about hard to get!  I stalked this fabric for weeks.  It sold out and all of a sudden it was back!  
McCall's Pattern 7085 - Neoprene & Mesh Sheath Dress - Erica B.'s DIY Style!  All fabric from Mood Fabrics.com
I knew it would be the perfect fabric for this dress.  See, it all started back with this one:
I tried this Elie Tahari dress on in a fitting room and fell completely in love with it.  But the $428 price tag made me weep.  I examined the dress inside and out and immediately made up my mind that I would be making my own version.  And I was pleased as punch when my neoprene jersey arrived because it was exactly the same type of fabric as my inspiration dress!
McCall's Pattern 7085 - Neoprene & Mesh Sheath Dress - Erica B.'s DIY Style!  All fabric from Mood Fabrics.com
For my pattern, I chose McCall's 7085.  This pattern was perfect, down to every single dart!  I used view A, which is just two pieces -- the front and back.
McCall's Pattern 7085 - Neoprene & Mesh Sheath Dress - Erica B.'s DIY Style!  All fabric from Mood Fabrics.com
I cut the size 12.  Since my garment is not hemmed, I only had to add 2 inches to the length.  
Lapped Darts on McCall's Pattern 7085 - Neoprene & Mesh Sheath Dress - Erica B.'s DIY Style!  All fabric from Mood Fabrics.com
All of the darts are sewn lapped.  And the side seams are also lapped.  This is a new-to-me detail that I snatched from my inspiration garment.  I guess I very rarely make anything that uses fabric that doesn't ravel and doesn't require additional measures for seam finishing.  It looks simple, but it took a lot of meticulous effort to achieve this effortless look.
McCall's Pattern 7085 - Neoprene & Mesh Sheath Dress - Erica B.'s DIY Style!  All fabric from Mood Fabrics.com
The body of the dress is basically cut as a one-shoulder style, topped with this Italian Black Diamond Nylon Mesh Netting.  This was my first time working with mesh and I didn't know what to expect.  This mesh was not as coarse as the mesh on the inspiration dress, but it still turned out well.   I've never done any type of applique sewing.  Again, a new step for me.  But I think it turned out well.  
McCall's Pattern 7085 - Neoprene & Mesh Sheath Dress - Erica B.'s DIY Style!  All fabric from Mood Fabrics.com
I finished the neckline with a satin 1/4" double fold seam binding.  And just did a rolled hem for the armhole.  The first time I tried it, I bound the armhole too.  Since the other armhole is the unfinished neoprene jersey, there was a noticeable difference to me.  It didn't feel right.  So the rolled hem added an unfinished feel to that side.
McCall's Pattern 7085 - Neoprene & Mesh Sheath Dress - Erica B.'s DIY Style!  All fabric from Mood Fabrics.com
Mesh is very unforgiving if you make an error.  If you try to pick a stitch loose?  Good luck with that.  I butchered the mesh the first go round and had to remove it and do it over.  Not fun removing zig zag stitches from neoprene jersey either.  But I must take a moment and pat myself on the back and dust the dirt off my shoulder for matching that print down the back!
McCall's Pattern 7085 - Neoprene & Mesh Sheath Dress - Erica B.'s DIY Style!  All fabric from Mood Fabrics.com
The mesh is also added to the bottom in an asymmetrical cutout way.  And the hemline is left unfinished.  This was a fun dress to make.  It did take a little longer than I anticipated.  But it allowed me to release some pent-up creative energy that I had unfortunately been repressing for a while!