Saturday, January 28, 2017

Date Night February Blog Tour - Late Night Nettie Tee ( A Closet Case Files Nettie Pattern Hack)

DIY Nettie Off the Shoulder Top Black Lace Tutorial

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.
Black Lace Top and Skirt made for Date Night

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.
DIY Date Night Outfit by Sew Haute Blog

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, 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.

Close Up Lace Black Top and Skirt Hack DIY
 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, 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

Photo Courtesy of

Photo Courtesy of

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. 

Back to School with Project Run and Play

Well, Back to School has been bittersweet this year. My 3rd grader decided she does care what she wears so, I had the fortune of helpi...