Powered By Blog Gadgets

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Mint Green and Cutouts!

I've been seeing a lot of pastels -- well, because it's spring, Easter and those were the primary hues on the runway for this season.  I'm not really fond of those soft, muted, "baby colors".  I prefer more saturated, bright, bold, primary shades.
But this shade of mint green or teal green, was just perfect to me.  Everything about it says "spring" to me.  It's a very happy color!
So I decided to make something fun out of this great ponte/nylon knit I picked up at Hancock Fabrics.  This is a peplum top with cutouts that I designed.  I've been looking at a lot of Cushnie et Ochs designs and the way those two ladies use cutouts and straps is so inspiring.  
So I decided to juxtapose this soft color with a bit of naughty, vixenish appeal.  
I started to make this a dress, but I knew I'd want to throw on this top with a pair of jeans or shorts.  So this became a peplum top and a pull-on, elastic waist midi-length pencil skirt.  Exactly like this red one.
I used (OOP) McCall's 6281 for the back cutout pieces.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

What I'm Wearing | Maritime Stripes & Culottes!

White Culottes & Red and White Nautical Striped Tee -- Erica B.'s - DIY Style!
It's seems pretty befitting that culottes would make a comeback for spring/summer 2014.  Midi skirts have been so popular now that it just makes since that such a similar silhouette would follow suit.  
White Culottes & Red and White Nautical Striped Tee -- Erica B.'s - DIY Style!
And for a lot of women, I'm sure they'll appreciate the longer hemlines since culottes are a great alternative to shorts and clam diggers.
White Culottes & Red and White Nautical Striped Tee -- Erica B.'s - DIY Style!
For my culottes, I dug way back and deep into my pattern cabinet because I knew I had several options to choose from.  These were pretty popular around 2006.  The pattern I re-visited is (OOP) Butterick 4861.  I used a white ponte knit.  I cut the size 16, and added 3 inches to length to achieve that mid-calf hemline.  I had to take them in a tad at the center back.  I interfaced the 1 1/4" hem.  
I wanted the hem to be crisp and clean and slightly weighed down.  Even though the pants are knit, I still wanted them to have a tailored appearance.
White Culottes & Red and White Nautical Striped Tee -- Erica B.'s - DIY Style!
For my top, I used New Look 6735. It sewed perfectly out of the envelope without a single alteration.  I used this great red and white striped nautical knit fabric from Joanns.  
It has great stretch recovery, which is the key element I look for in a knit fabric for this type of garment.
White Culottes & Red and White Nautical Striped Tee -- Erica B.'s - DIY Style!
I love creating garments that I foresee in the making, that I'll receive major mileage out of.  And that a striped top and white culottes will be worn many, many times this season!

And never mind if you wore these back in the day.  They were awesome them and even better now!  I can't wait to make a pair in a wool herringbone tweed and wear them with tall leather boots!

Saturday, April 05, 2014

What I'm Wearing | Spring Oldies, But Goodies!

I'm sure you all noticed that prior to this week, it had been kind of quiet around these parts.  That's because I was getting my life back together!
With the holidays and the vicious winter we're all trying to recover from, I gained a good deal of hibernation weight!  Not wanting to venture out, the comfort foods and libations damn near did me in.
You can fight your way into a pair of Spanx and angle your body into the mirror and lie to yourself all you like.  But the camera does not lie.  Mine is brutally honest.  And if you take as many pictures as I do from all angles, it's a harsh reality that I had to face.  My ass had gotten fat!  

And I was feeling terrible -- physically terrible.  My knees had started to ache and swell often.  And I was constantly feeling bloated.  And my energy level was completely depleted.  At 43 years old, I should NOT be winded walking up stairs.  So I had to get busy.
So, I had a pity party for all of five minutes and then I bought myself a brand new gym membership and downloaded the My Fitness Pal app and got busy!  If you follow me on my Instagram: @ericabunker, you've seen my progress.  I've turned into a total gym rat.  I'm serious about getting in my 4-5 day a week workouts, which include an hour of elliptical cardio (I'm a beast on that thing!  I average around 700+ calories burned.)  And strength training which is excellent for women my age.  Especially those of us experiencing perimenopausal symptoms.  Yes, I'm starting to night sweat and I'm pretty sure this also contributed to weight collecting in my middle.  So I'm pretty much in the fight of my life.
But that's okay, because I'm winning!  A couple of months ago, I couldn't even almost fasten these pants.  Now they slid on and fastened with the greatest of ease!  Now why have I decided to share all of this?  For accountability.  Now that I've put it out there, I have an image to uphold! LOL

Wearing:  Jacket: Simplicity 2250; crepe de chine blouse: Vogue 8907; yellow pants: Simplicity 2562.

Wednesday, April 02, 2014

Floral and Lace Panel Dress Inpired by Clements Ribeiro

Floral & Lace Panel Dress Inpired by Clements Ribeiro made with Mood Fabrics - Erica B.'s - DIY Style!
For March, the Mood Sewing Network challenge was to sew something "inspired" by the spring ready-to-wear collections with our monthly allowance.  I chose a Clements Ribeiro that I saw on Net-A-Porter.com.

My inspiration: 

I chose Clements Ribeiro because I wanted to highlight a lesser-known designer.  And, I love this dress!
Floral & Lace Panel Dress Inpired by Clements Ribeiro made with Mood Fabrics - Erica B.'s - DIY Style!
I was drawn to the fabulous floral print and the back lace panels.  As you know, a fabulous (non-knit) print for spring is hard to find.  But luckily, I found this stunning black and white cotton-lycra medium weight twill at Mood Fabrics.com.  Along with this beautiful Anna Sui stretch floral lace.  
Floral & Lace Panel Dress Inpired by Clements Ribeiro made with Mood Fabrics - Erica B.'s - DIY Style!
For my look, I used Simplicity 1873 for the bodice.  The front of the bodice is lined in a lingerie tricot fabric from my stash.  The back is lace and (obviously) unlined.  I did however interface the zipper area.  The back neck and armholes are just turned over and hemmed with a 5/8" allowance.
Floral & Lace Panel Dress Inpired by Clements Ribeiro made with Mood Fabrics - Erica B.'s - DIY Style!
For the skirt, I used Burda Style 6955, view D.  Now this is a petite pattern.  Any petite pattern can be "un-petited" with alterations.  
How to "un-petite" a Petite Skirt Pattern. -- Erica B.'s - DIY Style!
I added 3" at the hip line and 3" near the bottom, above the curves.
Floral & Lace Panel Dress Inpired by Clements Ribeiro made with Mood Fabrics - Erica B.'s - DIY Style!
The skirt is also fully lined.  The pieces attached beautifully.  The is fabric is incredible.  It has a slight crisp hand and also a comfortable amount of stretch that is perfect for fitted dresses, skirts and pants.  

Monday, March 31, 2014

Vogue 8977 | Making a Dramatic Exit!

I love cute, easy-to-throw-on summer dresses that will look amazing with heels or flats.  Because I love versatility and getting mileage out of my clothes.  And this dress fits that bill!  
I picked Vogue 8977 for this project.  I liked this pattern the moment I saw it and I only envisioned it as a dress.  
I've had this beautiful cayenne red orange viscose fabric from Mood Fabrics.com in my stash for a while.  It has an interesting texture and a nice medium weight.  
I cut a size 14 in this dress and it still had a lot of ease.  It's a tent... no, really it is.  I had to remove about 4" from each side.  Other than that, I just measured from the shoulder and lengthened.  And I omitted the buttons down the back.
I love this little dress!  And I plan to add a few more of these to my spring/summer wardrobe!

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

What I'm Wearing | Brightening Up a Gloomy, Damp Day!

Rainy Day Outfit | Yellow Trench Jacket and Red Hunter Boots - Erica B.'s - DIY Style!
If it were up to me, I would stay home posted up on my sofa with a stack of magazines or head to the sewing studio on nasty days.  And given the chance, I do.  But alas, life must go on!
Rainy Day Outfit | Yellow Trench Jacket and Red Hunter Boots - Erica B.'s - DIY Style!
And also, dreary days make me feel gloomy.  So to cheer myself up while running my daily monotonous errands, I decided to grab some of the brightest things in my closet!
Red Hunter Boots!  Rainy Day Outfit - Erica B.'s - DIY Style!
Starting with my bright red, glossy Hunter boots.  
Rainy Day Outfit | Yellow Trench Jacket and Red Hunter Boots - Erica B.'s - DIY Style!
Wearing:  Trench Jacket: Vogue 8480 (similar here); sweater (old, but I like this one too); shirt: Vogue 1248 (similar here); pencil skirt: Vogue 8603 (similar here); purse: Phillip Lim x Target; boots: Hunter Boots.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Feeling like Spring | A Black Eyelet Shirt Dress!


As you all have probably learned about me, it all starts with the fabric.  The fabric will always be my muse!  It tells me what it wants to become.  And during an occasional stroll through my local Jo-anns, I spotted this great black cotton eyelet fabric.  It told me that it wanted to become a shirt dress with a full skirt.  And I obliged.
In order to get the silhouette I wanted, I needed to frankenpattern.  I use Butterick 5897 for the bodice and McCall's 6842 for the skirt.  
For the bodice, I started with view A of Butterick 5897.  I cut the size 16, but I immediately started shaving it down.  This shirt has a lot of ease.  I had to take in each side 3.75".  This top has hidden button and button holes, so for the fly I used a black cotton voile I found at Hancock.  I used it also for the collar, stand and lining.
Even though the pattern suggested that the facings and fly be interfaced, I decided to omit it.  I felt that my two fabrics combined had enough body to support the design.  Nor did I interface the pocket flap.  This was a personal judgment call.  
For the skirt, I cut view D of McCall's 6842.  I partially-lined it.  Meaning that I stopped my lining around the point that view A of this skirt should've been cut.  I wanted to play up the eyelet fabric.  I've been seeing lots of styles with eyelet, open weaves, and mesh fabrics with that half-lined look... and this is an element that I decided to add.  And instead of having the zipper opening at the center back, I moved it to the right side.  And I left the skirt unhemmed.  I loved the way the fabric looked raw, with the slight fraying.
Since this dress has a significant waist seam and this fabric has no stretch, I added an invisible zipper to the right side... right below the arm hole to the right above the hipbone.  Just so that I could unbutton the front, unzip and pull it on.
This look is called "designs that reveal and conceal".  Which is also a reason why I decided to leave the bodice unlined and to just wear a full-coverage black bra.  It's a good "peek-a-boo" effect with a fabric that  is still substantial enough to offer overall good coverage.

Wednesday, March 05, 2014

Thinking of a Tulle Skirt

Lets see... it all started with this!  I saw this photoshoot of singer, songwriter Kelis (you know, her milkshake brought all the boys to the yard) on The Coveteur.  Seriously, how fabulous is this fuchsia tulle ball-length skirt?  She's stunning in this!
You guys know I love "dressy".  But, I've never done "whimiscal"!  Where would Erica B. wear a tulle skirt?  How would I fit this look into my wardrobe?  So I obviously took to Pinterest to research!

Here are some of my favorite looks:
And let's not forget Carrie Bradshaw!

And the lovely people at Simplicity have provided the perfect pattern:  Simplicity 1427!
Maybe this spring, I'll get some frou frou in my life!  I think a shorter length would make a great day-to-night look!

Tuesday, March 04, 2014

What I'm Wearing | And then the cold weather returned!

And just when I thought it was safe to open the windows and doors, and enjoy the fresh air -- here comes Old Man Winter again!  Die you old fart, just die!
As much as I love this coat I made, I really didn't think I would get much wear out of it this season.  I would've gladly packed it away until this coming fall.  But it seems that I'll be putting it to a little more use this March.
And I realized a few days ago that I hadn't worn these pants in a while.  So I thought the camel and coral were a great match.  The bright coral pants keep the sweater and coat from being so -- sedate!  I love my classics, but I like to keep them plenty of fun!
Wearing:  coat: Simplicity 1759; pants: Vogue 1143; sweater: Gino Paoli - Made in Italy (Vintage - 1960s).