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Monday, July 30, 2012

Inspired by Pinterest | Giving the Cold-shoulder!

Today was one of those days where it rained on and off all day.  And it's just something about rainy days that just put a damper on my mood.  I was content with staying in for the entire day and forgoing getting "dressed".  But my husband has the ability to always lure me out!  And this is what I wore...


                                                    Source: vivaluxury.blogspot.com via Erica on Pinterest

When I pinned this, I did it with the intention of recreating this look.
I love these colors and their vibrancy.
And there is nothing like a crisp pair of white linen pants!  This outfit really brightened up a rainy day... and my mood.
Wearing:  top: McCall's 6287; pants: Talbots; purse: Urban Expressions; wedges: Sofft.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Review: New Look 6051 | A Weekend Caftan!

I'd seen this beautiful silk chiffon at Hancock and I knew that I must own it.  I was hesitant at first because silk chiffon is not my favorite fabric to work with and I hadn't a clue as to what I would make  with it.  So it ended up taking me a few weeks to pull the trigger on that purchase.  And I'm glad that I waited:  the fabric was originally $19.99/yd.  When I bought it, it was on sale for $9/yd!  
I knew that I wanted to make something that would allow the fabric to be the star and with minimal seaming.  So I decided to make a caftan.

I used New Look 6051.  I've had this pattern for a while now and had never gotten around to using it.  
I started this project with the intention of it being a quickie.  Well, it wasn't exactly.  My way of taming the silk chiffon was to use Sullivans' Fabric Stabilizer.  I sprayed the fabric and allowed it to flat dry on my cutting table.  When it was completely dry, it felt almost paper-like.  This made the silk chiffon a lot easier to handle.  And since this is silk, I used French seams and narrow hems.  Simple, but pretty time consuming nevertheless.
Since my venue for the day was a park, I layered the caftan over a white cami with white shorts and paired with sparkly sneakers for an added touch of casualness.
Wearing: caftan: New Look 6051; cami: Target; shorts: Old Navy; sneakers: Converse: purse: Street Style from Lotus Boutique

Monday, July 23, 2012

Inspired by Pinterest: White tank + Asymmetrical skirt


This is such an easy and effortless look.  

It's just a tank top and a knit skirt zhuzhed up with a bag and pumps.  
The skirt is Vogue 8711, that I made last August.  I loved this skirt because it's a twist on the black pencil skirt.
I'm so glad this style is staying relevant.

Wearing:  tank: Danskin (old) - similar HERE; skirt: Vogue 8711 - similar HERE; belt: Nine West - similar HERE;  pumps: Sam Edelman; bag: Elliott Lucca (old) - similar HERE.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

What I'm Wearing | Weekend Whiteout!

One of the biggest trends that took over  Spring Fashion Week 2012, was none other than white on white. I love a head-to-toe white ensemble.  
But it's really hard to achieve this look without looking like a marshmallow!  In my effort, I added touches of metal.

                                                      Source: fashionbombdaily.com via Erica on Pinterest
Two of my favorite white pieces in my wardrobe are currently my white peplum top and my white jeans.  And the fun thing about these two pieces is that I don't have to worry about getting dirty.  If it happens, it happens.  Because both pieces are machine washable!

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Review: Vogue 1308 | Weekend Wear!

Recognized this modified pattern?  Well, in case you don't, it's Vogue 1308 by DKNY.  Instead of sewing a full jumpsuit, I decided to modify it based on this romper from the same collection:

I liked the asymmetry of the single ruffle, so I only added one.  And since this is a knit fabric that will not ravel, I left the finish on the ruffle raw.
The original garment is silk.  I used a rayon/silk blend from Mood.com.  This fabric feels amazing.  It's the same weight as a t-shirt, but like the softest t-shirt you've ever felt.  However, the downside is that this fabric is extremely fragile.  It's the kind that you have to sew it right the first time because if not, you'll rip it to shreds trying to undo stitches.  And I also noticed that there were tiny holes left from the tracing wheel.  
I added an inch to the bodice length and I altered the pants to a mid-thigh length and made a 1 1/2 inch hem.  I stabilized my hem by interfacing it with a lightweight knit fusible.  That's the only way to prevent a janky/wavy-looking hem that we sometimes end up with.  
The pattern suggested French seams.  Since I used a knit, I didn't do those.  I just used my serger.  Had I used a woven such as one of the suggested fabrics -- crepe de chine, I would've gone ahead and done them.    And be warned, I found the armscye to be really low.  I'm talking full bra band revealing low.  So I had to take that in by around 3 inches.
The instructions were very simple to follow.  Even though this pattern is rated "EASY", it's still a Vogue.  The neckband and armholes have bias binding.  You have sew a casing for the waist elastic too.  And had a used a woven,  I would've done the French seams.  So be prepared to invest a little bit of time for those steps that make Vogue patterns special.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

What I'm Wearing | A dress will always save the day!

So this morning, I had an event to attend at Belk at The Summit.  It was a "Fall 2012 Fashion Tour".  I'll tell you more about that later.  Life has been crazy hectic for the last week or so, but I still wanted to make something new to wear.  So on Monday, I figured I'd prep and cut and on Tuesday, I'd just "Project Ruway" my way through the day and "Make it Work"!  FAIL!   I don't know what in the world I was thinking...  I, Erica Bunker, am NOT a speed sewer.  By 8 pm last night, it was painfully obvious that I wasn't going to finish and I was also having some fitting issues that I needed to work out.  I'll tell you about this later too.  I'm still deciding whether or not it's worth pursuing, but either way I'll do a review.  So I said, "Screw this!"  And I poured a glass of wine (or 3), closed my eyes and grabbed the first thing I touched in my closet!
So this is what I pulled out to save my day:  Vogue 1087, which is a Donna Karan dress that I made almost 3 years ago.  It's an off-white draped bodice sheath.  There is just something so classic about Donna Karan's designs.  They're so flattering and worth the time to sew.  I think I'm going wear another one that I've made soon!
Here is a close-up of my shoes.  Great nude slingbacks I picked up at DSW.
And I meet one of the loveliest bloggers today.  Meet Katie of Hems For Her.

Monday, July 09, 2012

Review: McCall's 6348 | Cut it out!

The cutout trend is pretty big this season.  There are slivers of skin peeking out in every direction (i.e. back, waist, midriff, chest and probably the easiest -- the shoulders).  
For my way of embracing this trend, I decided to go with McCall's 6348, view A.  Which seemed an easy enough way, because this dress is no more than a strapless dress with a shoulder attachment... in my opinion.   
I used this great jersey fabric from Mood.com that's medium weight yet drapey and has a pretty decent recovery.  For a woman that used to fear color and floral prints, I'll say that I stepped WAAAAAYYYYY outside of my comfort zone with this.  A "daring" design and an explosion of color!
McCall's 6348 is another one of those awesome patterns that has the cup sizes.  I cut the size 14 D at the shoulders and graded to a size 16 from the waist down.  I probably could've gone with a full 14, but I didn't want the dress to be scandalously clingy.  And I added three inches to the length.  Being that the dress already had a good deal of exposed skin on the top, I didn't want it to be a mini.  Got to know when to say "when".

To prevent any gaping, I stabilized the hems at the cutout.  And I also tacked the front yoke to the bodice at the points where they meet.  I wasn't convinced that it would stay in place without me doing so.
The front of the dress has horizontal dart and the back has a yoke and princess seams. 

For an extra touch of pizzazz, I added an exposed zipper using this tutorial at Threads magazine.
And FYI:  this dress is "bra-friendly".  But I found that a demi-style bra worked best for me.  A regular cut bra peeked out.

Thursday, July 05, 2012

Review: New Look 6100 | Stars and Stripes!

I hope everyone had a great Independence Day.  We did!  My husband, "The Grillmaster" made his world famous baby back ribs!  Delish!  And we had a great family day.
I wanted to make a festive 4th of July ensemble and I'd remember this really cute denim fabric with embroidered stars that I'd seen at Jo-Ann's and decided to make a pair of shorts.  

I picked New Look 6100, view A -- sans the belt.  This is a really straight forward pattern that is easy enough to sew in a few hours.  I basically sewed it straight out of the envelope with no alterations.  This view had a hem facing because the were supposed to have a cuff.  I left that off and just hemmed them.  When I buy RTW shorts, I usually get a 5" inseam and that's the finished measurement on these.  The only thing I didn't like is the side zipper and this is only a preference.  Even though I don't like them, I seem to be drawn to them.  Go figure...  But I'd love to sew view B in a flowy silk fabric.
Wearing: blazer: Simplicity 2250; tank: TJ Maxx; shoes: Tahari; clutch: vintage; belt: The Limited.

Tuesday, July 03, 2012

What I'm Wearing | Black & Gold

As I've probably said before, I love dresses.  It's the easiest way for me to look pulled together in no time flat!
 All you have to do is add shoes, accessories, a handbag and a great pair of sunglasses and you're off!
I've always love the combination of black and gold.  It's just something so refined and polished about black contrasted with golden metal.  
I've loved this dress since I first made in December.  It was a really simple project to sew and I knew I'd be wearing it also during the hot months.

Don't you just love clothes that you can wear all year round?
Wearing:  dress: McCall's 6112. Similar HERE; sandals: DV by Dolce Vita 'Archer' Sandal; purse: Urban Expressions; bangles: Amrita Singh; belt: Oscar de la Renta.

Monday, July 02, 2012

Review: McCall's 6460 | They Call it Mellow Yellow!

As you all probably know by now, I love yellow.  I mean I can't get enough of it.
I'd found this great yellow lace at Hancock and bought it on sight.  I knew before the summer was out that I'd find something to do with it.  Then I saw this cute Karen Millen dress:
Bingo!  I was inspired.  
The bodice is what stood out to me, because I knew I'd seen a similar pattern somewhere.  Then I started my search.  That's when I found McCall's 6460.  It was perfect!
This pattern worked best for me because even though fuller skirts like the inspiration dress are cute (and look adorable on my daughter), I prefer sheath style dresses.  But it still captured the spirit of what I had in mind.
via Instagram
I didn't have to make an FBA, because this is one of those cool patterns that offer bra cup variations.  You pick the size that you would normally cut and your cup size.  Simple!  After that, I made my normal lengthening alteration.  
And since I'd seen a really cute dress with a lace inset in the back and a keyhole opening, I decided to take "creative licensing" and add one.  
By me choosing to use a lace fabric, I had to add a lining.  The pattern did not suggest one.  I used a lightweight broadcloth.
This is a great pattern that I could see myself making again and one that I highly recommend!