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Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Inspired by Instagram | 70s Flare!

I live on Instagram.  It's a great source of inspiration.  I consider it the "quick and dirty" side of blogging.  If it weren't for the fact that I sew and I have more than a few lines to say about a project,  and I like to include links, I'd consider using my IG account full-time.  And because I'm very visual, I rarely read blog posts unless I'm truly interested in what the person made or is wearing and I need to know the details.  Or perhaps there's some sort of interesting story going.  And I know plenty of others do the same.  I can tell based on the questions that are asked in comments.
Today's inspiration is taken from New York Times Fashion.  They're a great source for highlights of runway shows and fabulous street style, hence the above photo.  By the way, that's blogger Talisa Sutton, who was heading to Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Australia in Sydney.  
What instantly grabbed my attention about her look was her top.  I made my similar top back in September and paired it with a black guipure lace skirt.  I had always intended to wear it in a casual way.  I'd been waiting for Spring weather, because with the full, flared sleeves, I didn't want to fight with coat sleeves.  I'd almost forgotten about it until I saw that fabulous reminder in my feed a couple of days ago.  Her top is by Australian designer Ellery.
And for the flared jeans, I pulled out my Jalie 2908 jeans.  I made these jeans six years ago and they've held up remarkably well with washing and wearing.  I'm even impressed.  They've since undergone alterations.  I'm a couple of sizes smaller than I was at the time.  But since I put in so much work into the construction, and I was quite proud to say that I made a pair of jeans, I couldn't bare parting with them.
Do you use Instagram?  Do you find inspiration for fashion and sewing there?

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Review: Butterick 5182 | Mikaela's Senior Prom!

Butterick 5182 Prom Dress - Erica B.'s DIY Style!
This is such a bittersweet moment for me.  For those of you that have been reading my blog from the beginning, you all have witness my tiny baby girl grow up over the last 10 years.  I get emotional just flipping back through all of the previous post.  And now, my last little one attended her senior prom last night.
Butterick 5182 Prom Dress - Erica B.'s DIY Style!
For those of you with daughters that have hit this chapter in their life, you know that picking the right prom dress is major.  You can't just grab something off of the clearance rack.  It has to suit her personality.  There are some girls that will want their big Cinderella moment.  Or some that want to look sexy.  And others that will take that moment to be as daring as allowed.  And then you have the ones where their mothers are trying to live vicariously through their daughters.  Since Mikaela is neither a princessy girl or one that will dress overtly sexy, she said that she wanted to look like Jessica Rabbit, have Veronica Lake-ish hair but with her on spin on it.  I thought "Modernized Old-Hollywood Glamour" and this is what we came up with.
Butterick 5182 Prom Dress - Erica B.'s DIY Style!
I decided on Butterick 5182, view B.  The fabric is from Hancock Fabrics.  It's the BFF Prom Stretch Satin in Melon.  The hand of the fabric is very lightweight and drapes beautifully.  If you want to emulate a silk charmeuse look without the price tag and with fabric wider than 45"?  I recommend this one.  It worked perfectly for the fitted bias-cut style.
Butterick 5182 Prom Dress - Erica B.'s DIY Style!
I cut the smallest size of the pattern, a size 6.  I had to remove about an inch and a half from the bodice down to the waist.  I had to add inches to the length of the skirt.  It does not account for heel height.  I added a total of 4 inches: one inch at the waist and right around knee level, I added three more.  There is no lengthening line marked.  How I did it was to add the length above where the skirt began to flare.
Butterick 5182 Prom Dress - Erica B.'s DIY Style!
For the lining, I used a stretch mesh in the coordinating color.  
Butterick 5182 Prom Dress - Erica B.'s DIY Style!
And for a bias-cut, I allowed the dress to hang for over 24 hours before I hemmed it.  It is important to allow a bias-cut garment to hang for the fabric to fully collapse by allowing gravity to have its effect.  If not, it will essentially grown and your hem will become wonky and uneven.   And for my hem, I fused it.  It created a great finish and also added weight so that the hem would hang perfectly to the ground.
Here is a closeup of her shoes and clutch.
Here a few pictures of Mikaela and her friends.
They all looked gorgeous and it was fun photographing half a dozen giggling teenage girls!
And my favorite group shot!  A take on Solange Knowles' Vogue wedding shot.

Thursday, April 02, 2015

Review: Vintage Simplicity 9704 | A Polka Dot Halter Wrap Dress!

Erica B's DIY Style: Vtg Simplicity 9704 Halter Wrap Dress made in Ralph Lauren Polka Dot Silk Crepe from Mood Fabrics.com
I've been really having an eye for vintage patterns lately.  I especially like the ones from the 1970s.  This one is dated 1980, so it still has that late 70s vibe.
Vintage Simplicity Patterns 9704  - Halter Wrap Dress -- Erica B's DIY Style
This pattern is Simplicity 9704 - Jonathan Hitchcock for Reuben Thomas front wrap dress with pleated front closing skirt and curved hemline. Tie neckline.
Erica B's DIY Style: Vtg Simplicity 9704 Halter Wrap Dress made in Ralph Lauren Polka Dot Silk Crepe from Mood Fabrics.com
I knew that I wanted to make this dress in a silk crepe, so when I started my search of fabrics I lucked up on this gorgeous Ralph Lauren Dark Blue (more like cobalt) Polka Dot Silk Crepe from MoodFabrics.com.  The hand of this fabric is incredible. 
Erica B's DIY Style: Vtg Simplicity 9704 Halter Wrap Dress made in Ralph Lauren Polka Dot Silk Crepe from Mood Fabrics.com
For my vintage pattern, I used the size 14 -- there is only a single size in the envelope.  The size seems to fall more in line with a modern size 12.  And I was glad of that because I didn't have to make a single alteration to the pattern.   
Erica B's DIY Style: Vtg Simplicity 9704 Halter Wrap Dress made in Ralph Lauren Polka Dot Silk Crepe from Mood Fabrics.com
Silk crepe is my favorite fabric and I live in silk pieces during the spring and summer.  And this fabric is exceptional.  The weight of it made it so easy to cut.  And I sewed it as usual with a Microtex needle. 
The bodice is self-lined and the skirt is not.  The skirt is sewn at the center back and I used a French seam.  The sides of the skirt are shaped with curved darts.  And I used small snaps for closures.  I also added one to the center front of the bodice to hold it together to prevent a major wardrobe malfunction.
Erica B's DIY Style: Vtg Simplicity 9704 Halter Wrap Dress made in Ralph Lauren Polka Dot Silk Crepe from Mood Fabrics.com
Since the inside shows, I'm glad I made a French seam.  And the curved hem is done with a narrow hem and creates a beautiful drape.  This pattern was so easy to make, I feel I will make another one before summer is over.

Wednesday, April 01, 2015

Pretty Girls Sew!

 Check out the April 2015 Newsletter from Pretty Girls Sew!  If you're not reading this, you're surely missing out.  I love to see my favorite sewing bloggers elevate.  And these ladies truly out together a great publication.  Make sure to check them out!

Friday, March 27, 2015

Views from the Fitting Room! #FashionFriday

Vogue 1258 - Vena Cava -- Erica B's DIY Style!
A couple of weeks ago, I attended Belk's Girls Night Out to support blogger buddy Alexis Barton of Same Chic, Different Day who was hosting the event.  I wore an oldie, but goodie - Vogue 1258 (Out-of-print now).  I re-discovered this dress about a month ago as I was purging my closet preparing donation bags.  I tried it on and it fit better than it originally did, so into rotation it went!  So while at Belk, I was there absorbing the atmosphere and sipping on wine, I did some exploring and some trying on!
Elie Tahari Emory Floral Print Sheath Dress - Erica B's DIY Style!
This fabulous Elie Tahari Emory Floral Print Sheath Dress - $428, jumped off the rack at me!  I had to try it on!  
It's neoprene and mesh!  A floral neoprene at that!  Can I just tell y'all that I've been searching high and low for a similar print and I've had no luck thus far.  But I'm not giving up.  I absolutely loved the details.  This is a dress that can easily be made.  I could use a ponte knit or a stretch twill, but I really want a floral neoprene on a black background.  Notice how the darts are sewn.  I hope you can see it.  On the inside, the seams were left raw.  I've noticed that in ready-to-wear, neoprene is never finished on the inside.  And on this dress, nor is it hemmed.
Trina Turk Emmalyn Jumpsuit - Erica B's DIY Style!
I also wanted to try this tailored jumpsuit.  What drew me to this is that it has a front invisible zip, even though it's a little low-cut.  I've never really had much luck with ready-to-wear jumpsuits because due to my height, they always seem too short in the rise.  
Trina Turk Emmalyn Jumpsuit - Erica B's DIY Style!
But this one fits well and it was even comfortable when sitting.  And I was also impressed with the length.  It stopped where it was meant to according to how the model is wearing it.
Let's look at the inside...
The bodice of this jumpsuit is fully-lined with a facing.
Here's the back.
And they even used hem tape.  This is a detail that I don't often see.
DKNY Feather Hem Lace Dress - Erica B's DIY Style!
And of course, I had to buy something and what an amazing buy it was!  I found the DKNY Feather Hem Lace Dress that originally retailed for $495.  Brace yourself... I found it on clearance for... $19.98!  Yes, 20 bucks!  I paid for this dress with pocket change!  I very rarely buy ready-to-wear, so this purchase makes it worth my while!

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Reading Between the Lines!

Sometimes when your sewing mojo has taken a hike, the easiest way to motivate one's sewing self is through pure magazine inspiration.  In the age of all things digital, it's good to fall back on the satisfaction of simply flipping through the glossy editorial pages of a fashion magazine.  
At one point, I thought Issuu.com and Pinterest had almost ruined the experience for me.  But it's just something about daylight savings time and the turn of the new season that inspires me to grab an actual magazine.  No matter how many Pinterest boards I create, I still love to rip out those pages and push pin them to my inspiration corkboard.  I must know what they think is hot!
My inspiration for this dress was pulled from the pages of the April 2015 issue of Marie Claire.  The dress is Alexander Wang Pre-Fall 2015.
I had recently purchased this fabulous striped ponte knit from Mood Fabrics.com.  The weight and quality of this ponte knit is unlike any I've ever felt outside of a ready-to-wear garment.  If you're looking to make a fitted body-con dress, then I suggest you seek a ponte knit swatch from Mood.  
I used McCall's 6886, once again.  This is such a great basic pattern that is perfect for when you have a spectacular fabric that you want to be the star.
I used the same cut pieces as before, which was the size 14.  But I needed to shave down the sides by 1.5" each.  The stripes run horizontal... selvage to selvage.  But I cut it the other way for my look.  And instead of hemming the neckline, I wanted my dress to be a little closer to my inspiration piece.  So I used the black stripe in the fabric, that was serendipitously 1.25" wide.  Which was perfect for a 5/8" neck binding.  I just cut into the white part so that I would have a seam allowance.  How I did this was to trim down the neckline on the front and the back by 5/8".  And stitch the binding on as if it was meant to be like that.

 I'm thinking that this pattern is officially a "TNT" that I'll be making over and over.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Bobbi Brown Cosmetics at Belk at The Summit!

The new Bobbi Brown store inside Belk at The Summit is now open and it's beautiful!  Just look at the countertops.  Doesn't it remind you of a kitchen?  The marble counters, the large island in the center and the cabinetry is gorgeous.  
Let's have a brief history lesson about Bobbi and her brand...
Bobbi Brown's story is very inspiring.  It all started with these 10 lipsticks pictured above.  In the 1980s, with a degree in theatrical makeup she was a makeup artist.  The makeup trend back then was strong contoured faces and red lips, which Bobbi didn't find all that flattering.  Bobbi's own look was inspired by Ali MacGraw in "Love Story", so she wanted to create natural looking lip color so that lips would look like "lips".   She launched her lipsticks at Bergdorf Goodman in 1991, with instant success -- she sold 100 lipsticks on her first day!  And after 4 years, her brand was acquired by Estee Lauder with Bobbi retaining complete creative control.  Just like we all read those affirmations that say things like, "If it doesn't exist, create it".  Well, she did! 
These are the current lip colors...
And the creamy lip color which is like a tinted lip balm definitely caught my eye for everyday wear.
And there is also a simple balm.
And she offers foundations from the lightest to the darkest.  And an interesting fact:  they are all yellow-base.  This piqued my curiosity, because even though I have golden undertones to my skin and I would naturally wear a yellow-base foundation, I wouldn't think that everyone could.  But the way her makeup is formulated, it works.  And she also says, "Concealer is the secret of the universe".  And I believe her.  It's the difference between looking exhausted or like you've had some great sleep.
And even it you need a little bit of help, her bronzer is perfect for color correction.
And the beautiful array of blushes.
Here is the eye color.  Colors from cool to warm.  I like warm!  And from everyday clean to a dramatic occasion look.  
And most importantly, the skincare products.  And another little fact I learned:  The moisturizers contain a primer!  So that's one less step in your routine.
And here are 4 of the 8 books she's written that are also available at the counter.
And what's a major plus about this brand are the very educated makeup artist!  Bobbi Brown Coordinator Jennifer Puckett (sec. from the left) and her team of professionals are excellent in helping your establish your skincare regimen and makeup routine.  And they also offer classes.
Here's my sheet!  And they keep a copy on file in the store.
And they get to wear this fun, cool girl shirt!  So, if you're in the Birmingham Metro Area, make sure to stop by Belk and head to the Bobbi Brown counter!  Or any Bobbi Brown counter in your area.