Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Valentine's Sewing: EYMM Everyday Essentials Blog Tour

Since it is almost Valentine's Day I thought I'd motivate myself and tag along on the EYMM Everyday Essentials Valentine's Blog tour. (Try saying that three times fast.)

We all know that Valentine's day is like a week from yesterday. Yes, yesterday. How crazy is that?! So, now that I have you all in a panic, let me offer a solution. Sew yourself, ahem...I mean your spouse, something nice to enjoy during and after the big day with the Everything Your Mama Made & More Everyday Essentials pattern. It's super versatile and actually comes with multiple options: a sleep bra, half & full slip, cami, and nightgown in two lengths. I made the cami, half slip and the shorter nightgown with the optional front slit the first time around. All super cute, by the way. These were my previous makes. The cami and half slip look like a dress together and I totally wore them as separates to work. (Winning)

This is only my second time making the Everyday Essentials nightgown. The only reason that I can think of for not making more is that I still sleep in the one that I made before. I look at sewing for myself as an opportunity to have something nice that I either couldn't find, couldn't afford if I found it or wouldn't fit if I coud afford it. So, this time I splurged a little with some gorgeous leopard print and black double brushed poly that I got from Paris Bebe Fabrics. I lined the bodice in a mesh that I got from the performance fabrics section at Joann Fabrics and trimmed it in 5.75" stretch lace from Sew Vagabond. I did some (mostly) simple color blocking and did a double slit using the lace. I probably did it a really dumb unique way, but it really wasn't as hard as it might look and I got to skip the binding part. Most importantly it feels heavenly!


Can I tell you that getting photos in a cheetah/leopard print nightgown that don't look like porn is a little harder than you would think? Not to mention I roped my dad into helping by saying, "Come and take sexy pictures of me and my husband, dad." Which it turns out is not his forte. Remember, if you want cute pictures in nightwear, ask your husband.


In case you 're wondering, there are instructions to make it more modest, but we don't have many overnight guests so that wasn't an issue for me. And if you're sewing for V-day, your anniversary, your wedding night or just your average weeknight step it up a notch anyway? How many old ratty well loved sleep shirts do you already have lying around? Find you a luxuriously soft knit or lace fabric, have your hunni take some measurements and show Victoria that her secrets ain't got nothing on you hunni. Bonus points if you have a fun photoshoot to "model" afterward.

My husband came up with these poses. I think he likes it. Thanks for joining meon the EYMM Valentine's Essentials Tour!

Affiliate links are used ion this post, but only for products that I highly endorse. If you purchase from these links I may make a small commission. 

valentine-essentials-tour-web
Make sure to visit all the stops on the Valentine Essentials Blog Tour! (Keep in mind that the links below won't work until their scheduled date.)
Feb. 3 - Sewing by Ti
Feb. 4 - Joelle at EYMM
Feb. 10 - Roundup at EYMM
During the tour, the Everyday Essentials pattern is on sale for half off! Use code VDAYTOUR on the Women's Everyday Essentials pattern until February 12 at 11:59pm PST.

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Date Night February Blog Tour - Late Night Nettie Tee




It's February and I want to squeeze in a few date nights, but I have the quintessential date night dilemma... I HAVE NOTHING TO WEAR!! You'd think that being a seamstress I could whip up something new in a jiffy. While it's true that I can make almost anything I want that doesn't eliminate the process of choosing what to make. I want something flirty and feminine (per my usual) and I'm really trying to go outside of my normal color scheme/comfort zone. But you just can't beat a lace top and slinky pencil skirt to put some sizzle in your sway. So, another little black number it is.

I'm not sure how I got turned onto the Nettie Dress & Bodysuit Pattern by Closet Case Patterns, but I fell in love with the idea of pairing it with some brand new me made midi skirts. Now, at first glance the Nettie doesn't seem to be anything out of the ordinary, but after googling for hacks I decided that it is everything! There have been so many versions made from this pattern: a maxi, a crop top and even swimwear! If you haven't checked out the Closet Case Patterns blog then you are seriously missing out. Heather Lou posted her own tutorial on how to make an off-the shoulder version which I  loved and followed pretty closely to make mine. I purchased the amount of fabric needed for a bodysuit per the pattern (in black lace) and some pretty silky prints from Joann Fabrics for my midi-skirt, that I didn't make, spoiler alert.

Now, one thing I didn't do was pay attention. At the print shop I printed the dress version and not the bodysuit so as I happily and effortlessly taped my pieces together  I noticed something was off. And guess who didn't have time to have it reprinted? This girl. So, I rolled with it, but I knew that I did not want a dress. All the dress version makers had practically flat tummies...me, not so much. I decided to make it into a tee and switch to making a tummy tucking pencil skirt to go with it. I measured where I wanted the top to fall, cut that part off from the front and back pieces and then proceeded with the off the shoulder tutorial as described here by Heather Lou.

I found a picture that I liked where there was just barely a slip of a sleeve so I cut the bottom of the sleeve piece at the short sleeve line and continued on as instructed except that I hemmed and sewed on one sleeve backwards (oops) and it was too hard to pick apart so I left it. However, you can barely tell. Even though I used unlined lace I didn't do any french seams or even use a serger. Nothing is hemmed or finished with the exception of using fold over elastic for my neck binding, but who cares because it turned out great! Alternatively, this post could have been titled: How to be a Crappy Seamstress and Still Sew Something Awesome.

 First off, let me say that this top fit without any binding at all. I used the method, in the pattern, of cutting the binding at 80% of the dress opening measurement and it worked like a charm. Also, after reading a lot of reviews/blogs/hacks posts I noticed that people talked about how great the fit was. Again, I'm thinking ok how great can it be and you don't have any mama lumps like I do.....um, the fit is BEYOND amazing! I really could not believe it. If I look any sexier when I wear this my husband's eyeballs might pop out. This top can do double duty: wear it out with a bra or have a night in without. You could make the Nettie Dress version in something stretchy and sheer or even turn the bodysuit version into a teddy. I can't wait to make more of these in various states of dressed or undressed.

Now for my skirt: I went back to my leftover dress pattern pieces and decided how long I wanted the skirt to be and used the dress piece shapes to cut knee length skirt and shorter lining pieces to cover my lady bits. For the band, I measured the top of my skirt opening and calculated 80% of the circumference + seam allowance and cut my pieces. The pieces were 9" tall so that folded in half I would have enough rise in the back to cover my bum. To tackle my tummy issue with the band I added a layer of firm mesh, folded the whole thing over, sandwiched all my layers and sewed it on exactly the same way I did for the top binding.

I can't say enough about how easy this pattern was, even though I woosed (sp?) out on the bodysuit portion I fully intend to make one. I've already have my next fabric combo. Now that I've got another date night look completed I'd love to see what you're sewing up and look what I have got to help you!

Inspiration & Discounts!

UPDATE:The Nettie code is working and now includes the Printed and PDF versions.

If you're wanting to sew up your own sexy Nettie - Closet Case Patterns is offering 10% OFF the Nettie Dress & BodySuit PDF Pattern thru March 31st for my readers! Just enter the coupon code: SEWHAUTENETTIE when purchasing the PDF version.


If you are looking for a way to jazz up your existing patterns you can read Sewing by Ti's very helpful post here.

If you're looking for fabric for your date night sew, I've got great news! Simply By Ti is offering 10% off to all the Date Night February readers! Use coupon code DATENIGHT


I think you're going to love all of the inspiration my fellow bloggers have for you. Be sure to check out the entire Date Night February Blog Tour  to see what patterns worked for us!

Wednesday, February 1st: Sewing By Ti
February 2nd: Crafty Like a Rox
February 3rd: Sewing By Ti

Sunday, February 5th: Embrace Everyday
February 6th: Tenille's Thread
February 7th: Robynne and the Bobbin
February 9th: Sewingly, Michelle
February 10th: Sewing By Ti

Sunday, February 12th: Embrace Every Day
Sunday, February 19th: Very Blissful
Sunday, February 26th: The Fairy Dust Bin

February 13th: A Phoenix Risen
February 14th: Creative Counselor
February 15th: Creamer and Chaos
February 17th: Sewing By Ti
February 18th: Sew Like a Sloth

February 20th: Tenille's Thread
February 21st: Mamoose Handmade
February 22nd: Rebel and Malice
February 23rd: Margarita on the Ross
February 24th: Sewing By Ti
February 25th: On Wednesday We Sew

February 27th: Sewing By Ti
February 28th: Sew Haute

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Just For Me January: Sis Boom Blog Tour



I know lots of people would agree that 2016 was rough and I didn't think so until something happened right before the holidays. So, in order to have something to look forward to and to celebrate my birthday (January 31st) I joined the Sis Boom - Just for Me January blog tour. 
 


I chose the Rebecca Shift Dress, but what I had been craving for a long time was a sheath dress.








 As I scoured the internet for inspiration I found this little gem styled so many different ways. 

Photo Courtesy of Polyvore.com

Photo Courtesy of Polyvore.com

Photo Courtesy of Polyvore.com

I was in love!


This is a Dolce and Gabbana design that retails for $1500+. Whew.....that's a pretty penny. And what a great challenge. I wanted to do this soooo bad, but would I be skilled and/or lucky enough to get it right? 

This story could be told one of two ways. It could involve a last minute trip to Lowe's that ends with some MDF board tied to the top of a car going 20 miles an hour so that it doesn't fall off for a backdrop or it could go like this:

Perfectionism is the killer of happiness. Now, let me tell you why:
Often times we put off things that might make us happy in favor of waiting for "the right time" or to lose that extra 10lbs or whatever your "I'll do it when..." scenario looks like. 
But sometimes, doing those little things gives us just the boost we need to feel like we're winning. 



I spent 85% of the time I had to make this dress wondering how I was going to make it. What always gets me is the ever present combination of meticulously completing a certain portion of my project (the part that I do according to the pattern) and the make-it-up-as-I-go portion (my favorite results part). With this dress I didn't want any exposed seams, mostly because my serger is out of commission right now, only to end up cutting my carefully constructed lining in order to take up the shoulders. When I tried the bubble hem I was sure that I had it down, only to sew my lining and outer fabric into a never ending loop of insanity. Did I mention that was the last thing that I had to do? 

As I tried to figure out how to construct the dress so it would hide the last few pounds I gained I was also preparing for when it would be time to wear the dress. I bought pretty stockings and shoes not sure if I should wait until I had worked on my midsection or lost weight before I made the dress. I bought new makeup colors to experiment with and thought about how to style my hair wondering if It would be too plain with this grown up dress. 

After all the thought and agonizing and trial and error when I put on my final product I couldn't help but feel awesome. 

It worked! 



And guess what? Those pretty stockings? Slim the belly that I hate. The impractically cute leopard shoes? Make my legs look amazing. Oh, and those custom Cinderella shoes I had my super talented friend make? Well, they finally got a worthy companion, unfortunately I could not get them in a shot to save my life.

I'd have to say that this is my most favorite thing that I have made myself and I wish I had a tutorial, but after giving up on "perfect" a lot of winging it went on. I will tell you what I did do:
I omitted the dip in the neckline,  I made it fully lined instead of using facings. I joined the belt and skirt pieces on the front pattern piece and the bodice, belt and skirt on the back to reduce the number of seams and make the back the way I imagined it to be on the original. This also meant combining darts (which could have gone better). I slimmed the entire silhouette to make it more fitted and added ruching to the front skirt piece. Let me tell you ladies, ruching is your friend. She hides ALL the pastries: rolls, muffin tops, you name it. I did a semblance of a bubble hem. Remember that I had to cut my hems apart so I lost the longer slimmed bottom look, but that's ok! Sure, I still have so fit issues and the bottom isn't exactly right, but guess what? It still looks great and I'm happy and proud to have attempted it. 


I plan to make many more Rebecca Shift Dresses  both hacked and as is. If you'd like to sew yourself up something pretty, right now, not tomorrow or next week or after you lose the weight, I am giving away a copy of the original pattern. All you have to do to enter is comment on this post and tell me one thing that you love about yourself right now. 

Contest is open through January 28th 2017. 

Friday, December 9, 2016

Style Session: 1 Skirt, 3 Looks: Runway Skirt Blog Tour + Giveaway

I love pattern testing, but it's not because of the free pattern or the exclusive membership of being a known tester or the Ya Ya Sisterhood you form in a testing group, although, the first and last reasons are pretty good; it's because I love to dress up and style photos! Believe it or not I hate selfies. I never look as good in selfies as I do in real life or so I like to think. But get me in front of a camera and I am Tyra Banks, ok not really, but I feel like it. I also love to help out "friends".

 Although, I mostly know Audrey from the Top Stitchers Competition (see the time  won!) and its Facebook sewing community, I have grown to admire her and her work at Skirt Fixation, her work with Project Run and Play and various other sewing related connections. So, with all of that back story you can imagine that when I saw her tester call for her FIRST PATTERN EVER I was immediately on board: exclusive new pattern, another Ya Ya Sewing Sisterhood and helping a friend, yes please!

Audrey started Savvy Patterns  and her first release is this super cute vintage inspired skirt pattern aptly titled, the Runway Skirt. What's so show stopping about this pattern? Well, it's the godets that swish and swirl as you strut your stuff at work and church...or is that just me? When I was picking out my fabric I had two choices: I could go bold (typically my first choice) or I could do toned down sophistication. Well, I think this skirt allowed me to do both. I found this deep navy Ponte Roma Knit from Joann Fabrics and navy & cheetah godets. If you've read this far I just want to encourage you to stick around because there's a giveaway for a generously donated copy of the pattern at the end.


 This skirt pattern is labeled as a pencil skirt, but it's more loose fitting than today's version of a pencil skirt. However, don't think it's your grandma's vintage skirt pattern. Thisskirt is cute, cute, cute and goes from pencil to midi to maxi length. It's sometimes hard to wear very distinctive pieces of clothig so I thought I'd share a few styling tips.

I wouldn't say that I styled the skirt in a particular design category. I basically, just made my "bold or toned down" decision all over again. In this case I went bold-ish, bold-y and toned down in reference to the tops I chose and I love how each look turned out. Originally, I set out to make a vintage-y top, but time and sanity quickly gave way and I didn't like how my top was coming out. So, off to the thrift store I went. I already knew what shoes I was going to wear and that I wanted pearl jewelry.  I found the wrap top and necklace at a consignment boutique and the navy top at a Beall's outlet. When styling an outfit, I never underestimate the power of cheap finds. *Wink*

Bold-ish
For the pattern cover I needed a neutral colored  top. Even though the top is neutral it creates a high contrast against my dark skirt. I found this faux wrap top at a consignment shop. The top happens to be White House Black Market whom I love, but could probably only ever afford them like this. This top is a little blousier and would help hide any fold-y bits that a lady might have around the belly and back area. In this case, I matched my top to my shoes and godets (classic styling). The similarity in color draws the eyes to each matching element so don't be surprised to find people looking you up and down. They are supposed to do that. This look is great for work, casual business lunches, church and PTO meetings. Be the hot mom.






Bold-y (you know you love these terms)
I had this great knitted ponchowith an asymmetrical hem that I love and often throw over my go-to dress for church when it gets a little cooler. I thought it had a classic/vintage-y vibe to it, but was also uncommon enough to warrant a few head turns. Again that contrast draws attention to the lighter colored accessories and the stand out godets on the skirt. Another reason this works is that pairing a looser item (poncho) with a slim fitting item (skirt) is a great way to work in more flowy pieces without looking like a bum (baggy clothes all over). The slim piece gives a  more pulled together and tailored look.




Toned Down
I thought that keeping a slender profile would add a little Boss Lady sophistication to my look. I kept it paired with the my nude shoes and pearls which class up the simple t-shirt I'm wearing.  I actually wore this look to an interview recently and at least I looked killer. I really enjoy the simplicity ad light weight of the top and I wear it this way most often. The understated monotone really make my godets pop, but aren't garish and people take notice. I get to pretend I didn't mean to look like a fox. "What this old thing?" Positive fashion attention?  Always a win for me.



Favorite things about this skirt:

It's really comfortable. It's not super tight so I can hide my muffin top while hinting at my feminine assets. Did I mention my husband really likes this skirt, too? And I can style it at least three ways with my current wardrobe and several more in the future. Plus, I kinda made the cover. :-)


If you'd like to sew up your own Runway Skirt,  today is the last day to get the pattern for 20% off - No Coupon Needed!  

Audrey is also giving away a copy of the Runway Skirt Pattern AND a $25 Urban Sew Gift Card . The Giveaway ends on 12/10.

 Enter the Giveaway Here

Also, be sure to check out the other ladies on the blog tour. They have made some AMAZING skirts. I am sew inspired (cheesy pun) and can't wait to make more for myself. I've been seriously eyeing some fabric that I bought for my daughter to amke myself another skirt - she won't know, right? 😯 (I found emojis, don't judge me). Thanks for sticking with me to the end! You can find the links to the rest of the tour posts below:

Catch up with the blog tour here:

Image Map


12-5 Friends Stitched Together & Very Blissful Blog

12-6 Call Ajaire & Sew Mariefleur

12-7 Rebel And Malice & Inspinration & Shaffer Sisters

12-8 Paisley Roots & Feather Flights & Skirt Fixation

12-9 Enantiomerproject & My Sweet Sunshine & Sew Haute Blog

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Why Sew Haute?

So, I have been having this absolutely nagging feeling that plagues me lately. I want to be GREAT at something. Actually, I will take REALLY GOOD as well. Of course, the first person that I expressed this to, my sister, said, "Whatever, Tara" which is the response that I knew that I would get, but I'm dead serious. Most days I feel like this:


“Nobody tells this to people who are beginners, I wish someone told me. All of us who do creative work, we get into it because we have good taste. But there is this gap. For the first couple years, you make stuff, it’s just not that good. It’s trying to be good, it has potential, but it’s not. But your taste, the thing that got you into the game, is still killer. And your taste is why your work disappoints you.”
-Ira Glass

There is having a skill and then there is being absolutely awesome, like come up with stuff no one else thinks of awesome and that I don't have under any circumstances. Of course, my first inclinations are writing and sewing seeing as how I'm studying Creative Writing as an English Major and plan to launch a clothing line in the future.




Right now, I would say that I'm mediocre to moderately good depending on who is judging me. I would say I'm past the beginner stage in sewing mostly because I'm just not afraid to try anything. If it comes out horrible I will make it work for the event or photos and keep it moving, but that doesn't make me happy. A little while ago I watched a Ted Talk that said that it only takes 20 hours of practice to "master" a skill. That's about 40 minutes a day for a month. That is so encouraging...until I look at my schedule: working full time, new marriage, six-year-old, and school part-time, serving at church not to mention that I've taken up mystery shopping so that we can pay down our debt, all the while trying to be a good friend and semi-decent family member. Have I been successful? I'm not quite sure, but I'm still trying.



This is the place where I plan to document my progress as I try new things and show you how, but probably more accurately how not to sew yourself some gorgeous clothes. I love styling my own shoots and I'll share some tips for taking photos too. So whether you're just starting, have been sewing for awhile, sew for yourself or sew for others I hope to give sewing inspiration for the self-taught seamstress. Welcome to the Sew Haute Blog.
                                                               - Teronia Sherece

Valentine's Sewing: EYMM Everyday Essentials Blog Tour

Since it is almost Valentine's Day I thought I'd motivate myself and tag along on the EYMM Everyday Essentials ...