Friday, November 21, 2014

DIY Perfect print coat

I'm generally not a fan of printed coats, but I recently started watching the new reality show House of DVF and found myself mesmerized by all the color and prints.  So when I found this DVF print on which was a dead ringer for one I spotted on the show, I had to get it.

The pattern used for this coat was my beloved Vogue V8840 shirt pattern which has appeared in my last three fashion posts here here and here with the following pattern alterations:

-Added 14" to the length
-Added 1" to the back shoulders
-Added 1" to the height of the neck
-Added 1" to the left and right side seams
-Added a 5"x41" front facing
-Added 3" to the length of the sleeves
-Added a 2"x18" leather band at sleeve
-Added 2 1.5" snap buttons

I chose to simply serge the edges instead of lining, but I'm considering adding a removable lining.

Coat-DIY-Vogue V8840
Sweater-DIY-Vogue V8840
Skirt-DIY- Butterick B5285
Heels-Giuseppe Zanotti
Clutch-Botttega Venetta

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Thursday, November 13, 2014

DIY camel coat and red dress

One of the number one sewing questions I get from beginners is What pattern do you recommend? My number one answer is always Vogue 8840 view A, it's a pattern with only two pieces and insanely simple but yet very versatile and because I'm a fan of clean lines, this is right up my alley. This was one of the first patterns I ever purchased and have made everything from dresses to sweaters, crop tops and now coats.

This dress was made using this heavy weight ponte from
This jacket was made using a camel angora wool by Theory from with product number #304878

The pattern used for the dress was Butterick B6094 with the following alterations:

-Did not use a contrasting facing for the bodice
-Removed the back flaps and button option on the bodice and replaced with a 24" zipper down the back.
-Added a 2" hem band

The pattern used for the jacket is Vogue 8840 shirt pattern with the following alterations:

-Added 10" to the length
-Added 8" to the length of the sleeves
-Cut the front neck and a 3" gradual angle and front faced the edges
-Top stitch the back seam

Heels-Jimmy Choo

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Tuesday, November 11, 2014

DIY Diaper bag

When I started the process of searching for a diaper bag, I knew exactly what I wanted.  It had to be a neutral color so my husband could also carry it and not be subjected to walking around with a bright pink bag.  I didn't want compartments on the outside of the bag, I wanted leather and I would prefer if it didn't necessarily look like a diaper bag.  It needed to be quality and I didn't want to spend an arm and a leg.  One month in, I knew finding everything on my list would be close to impossible so I decided to make one myself.

I used Simplicity 1387 view A for this bag, with the following alterations:
-Lined the inside with satin and mesh for stability.  Made five pockets and storage spaces (failed to take a pic of the inside)
-Double stitched the seams separating the leather from the canvas
-Changed the positioning, length and width of the straps
-Added a decorative closure by making a 6x2 pull tab on each side and attaching a brass cast ring and spring snap
-Added an embossed stamp to personalize it a bit more
-Added a leather band around the top of the bag

The fabric used was this heavy weight cotton canvas from and heavy weight lambskin undyed leather from Tandy.  The leather and canvas was dyed using Fiebings leather dye in Cordovan

The hardware used was this 2" brass cast ring
                                       this spring snap

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Monday, November 03, 2014

DIY little red dress

My version of the little black dress is the little red dress despite my love of the color black.  I'm one of those people that purchase 99% of my fabric online, so the need to touch and feel the fabric isn't necessary.  I have a good understanding of how a fabric responds based on the content which Mood Fabrics does a great job of accurately describing. This dress was made using this wool from which is perfect.  It's med/hvy weight, sews nicely and in addition to a great dress, it would make a great pair of trousers.

This dress was made using this Vogue V8840 pattern which has made so many alteration appearances based on the fact this simple two piece pattern as plain as it is, has endless possibilities.  The alterations made to this pattern were as follows:

-Added 6" to the length of the pattern
-Added 1" to the height of the neck in the front only
-Added a 3" v-cut in the neck
-Added a 4.5" keyhole to back of the neck
-Added 1" to the width of the front and back pattern piece
-Added 5" to the length of the sleeve
-Added a 2" band to the hem
-Added a bell sleeve by cutting a piece of fabric 16" wide x 26" long, fold the fabric in half, sew the ends together and add to the sleeve by pleating.

Dress: DIY
Boots: Shutz
Clutch: Fendi

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Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Maternity closet clean-out

It's that time again to clean out my closet and this time it's maternity wear. Keep in mind I'm 5'10" so many items will need to be altered which can done at your local dry cleaner or tailor.


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Tuesday, October 28, 2014

DIY Neoprene crop top and pencil skirt

I had my daughter 30 days ago and I'm officially over the moon happy to be able to work with structured fabric and patterns again and give jersey a much needed break.  So what better way to indulge than with my beloved neoprene.

If there is one fabric that will completely transform any pattern, it has to be neoprene.  I have worked with this fantastic fabric in the past so I know how it responds.  But this neoprene from adds a more interesting textural spin with it's net like overlay and is absolutely perfect!

This crop top was made using Vogue V8840 view A also seen here here here and here with the following alterations:

-Removed 13" from length
-Removed center seam
-Added 1" to the height of the neck
-Added 2" to the length of the sleeve
-Removed darts
-Added a 15" zipper down the back

This pencil skirt was made using a self drafted pattern I previously made with instructions here. Changes made to this pattern:

-Added a 3 1/2" waist band
-Added a 4" hem band

Top & Skirt- DIY
Heels- Jean Michel Cazabat
Clutch- Fendi

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Tuesday, October 21, 2014

DIY Jacquard Full Skirt

With the change in seasons I have been drawn to more elaborate and embellished fabrics like this amazing Carolina Herrera jacquard that is simply the most gorgeous fabric EVER! and much more impressive in person.  My original thought for this fabric was a dress but because it's such a bold print, I thought it may be a bit overwhelming so I stuck with a skirt and a top which I plan to pair with a pencil skirt down the road.  One note on this fabric is that the turquoise threads are very fragile and prone to snags so be cautious.

The skirt was made using Butterick B5285 view B with the following pattern alterations:

-Added 5.5" to the length
-Used inverted pleats instead of box pleats
-Added a 2" waistband
-Added a 9" invisible zipper to the back waist

Shirt-Theyskens Theory
Heels: Shutz

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Tuesday, October 07, 2014

My Baby Story

I'm going to start by saying there is probably no other woman on this earth as scared as me to give birth.  I'm not a huge fan of the unknown and this experience has been completely new, foreign and unknown to me.  I'm a big wimp when it comes to pain and discomfort so I just knew I was in for a treat.  There were so many stories my friends with kids told me to prepare myself, but I at times felt like my experience was completely different.  I would often ask my husband why are women such liars.

I found out I was pregnant at 5 weeks which I knew something was off, I was experiencing a lot of fatigue and my pre-workout energy drink was suddenly making me nauseous which was lasting all day.  Then ABSOLUTE ELATION! the notification was made.  My first few months was pretty miserable with 24 hour a day nausea I thought would never go away.  After month number three it was much more bearable but I still dealt with every day sickness but thank goodness no vomiting which simply became a way of life.  After the first three months, I resumed my workout routine which became my life saver, It gave me more energy, helped keep my nausea at bay at least while I was working out and overall made me feel much better. I can honestly say I had a trouble free pregnancy with very little swelling which would happen periodically but only in my right ankle.  I craved LOTS of fruit, cereal and yogurt and a nightly dose of ice cream :).  I didn't obsess over my weight and was sometime concerned I wasn't gaining enough.  When It was all said and done, I gained a total of 24lbs which I was told was the average.  When I hit the 8th month milestone is when I truly started to look and feel pregnant and as much as I loved breathing life into this beautiful little girl, I was tired of being pregnant and wanted my pre-pregnancy energy back.  With weeks left to go, I often received questions about braxton hicks, contractions and aches and pains which is when I felt most lost because I wasn't experiencing what I thought contractions and braxton hicks should feel like.  My only sensation was pressure that I contributed to her getting bigger.  So the waiting game began!

Labor and delivery
I had no clue what to look for,  I watched Birth Day and Maternity Ward religiously which was my only barometer.  In my mind, I would be out in public and become doubled over in pain from contractions.  What really happened was a lot more zen.  Friday night I spent the entire night sewing and finishing my DIY diaper bag then finally going to bed about 11 pm.  It was like any other evening with no idications of what was to come.

6:30 am the following morning, I was awake and laying on the sofa having cramps that felt more like I needed to use the bathroom (I know TMI) I finally got up at 6:45 to use the bathroom and once I entered the bathroom, out comes a small puddle of fluid, I took a another step and out comes additional fluid instantly I knew my water just broke.  I called my husband and told him my water broke and he thought I was joking because I joked with him about my water breaking on a daily basis, but considering the time and the fact I was still sort of sleep he knew I was serious.  He instantly said lets go in a nervous voice which was surprising because I was very calm.  Now if I can give anyone advice, please make sure your hospital bag is ready and at the door.  But because this is my first baby and this was four days before my due date and generally first timers go well beyond their due date I thought I had plenty of time NOPE!

I immediately began to get my bag together and was clueless as to what to bring simply because my brain was on overload, so I tossed everything I didn't need in my bag, needless to say I left items I needed including my camera I never leave home without.  After feeding our cats and dog and making arrangements to have a friend come in check on them, we were out the door.  At this point it's 7:15 which will tell you how fast we were moving.  Once my water broke I began to experience contractions which felt like menstrual cramps that were coming and going.  While in route to the hospital, I started using the app Full Term to start tracking the contractions which at this point were 5-6 minutes apart, uncomfortable but not very painful.  I was starving and mad I didn't eat and only had a granola bar in my purse and scarfed that down still surprisingly calm.  I knew I was going to meet my little girl that day.

We arrived at the hospital, checked in and I was examined to make sure my water had indeed broken.  I was really excited to see my obgyn was the doc on call that day and was already at the hospital.  At this point my contractions were about 2-3 minutes apart and getting stronger.  I was 1cm dilated and 75% effaced when my doctor said the unthinkable.......I'm going to start you on pitocin (WTF) I couldn't understand why?!?! my contractions were 2-3 minutes apart, my water has only been broken for two hours and I'm progressing! I'm thinking NO lets just play this out.  I was so afraid of the P word because of all the horror stories I heard about induced labor and the pain you experience is 10x worst than naturally letting it happen.  But I was told being only 1cm dilated I needed assistance.

I was finally moved into my labor and delivery room and at this point it's 9:30.  My contractions have now become painful and still about 2-3 minutes apart.  At around 10:30 I was given the dreaded pitocin! All I'm going to say is almost instantly I was experiencing pain that was excruciating with no brakes in between.  I tried to focus on the end result but with pain like that it was a challenge.  After about an hour I couldn't take it any longer and was given an epidural.  I was then checked to see how I had progressed in that hour and a half and was happy to find out I was 7cm and 100% effaced.  I labored until 2:30 when I was told it was time to push.  The great thing about an epidural is it completely takes the pain away, the downside is when it's time to push you have no sensation and have to be told when your having a contraction and when to push.  I pushed for 25 minutes and out came the most amazing little 6lb 14.4 oz 19" angel.  Chandler Marie Revis

Contributions and tips
What I can say contributed to my seamless pregnancy, labor and delivery was being active and working out prior to pregnancy and maintaining a fitness routine during my pregnancy up until the day before giving birth.  I had very few lazy sofa days so not staying active for me wasn't an option.  I made an effort to eat for energy and health with two daily smoothies consisting of fruit, spinach and chia seeds.  Daily bowl of raisin bran or chex, yogurt and during the end of my pregnancy a friend of mine turned me on to a true energy booster which is chicken liver.  Most people may be grossed out but the crazy thing is liver was my favorite food as a child so this was a cake walk for me.  Because I don't eat red meat or pork products, I deal with low iron so this chicken liver was definitely a welcome treat for me which was a dinner and lunch staple at least three times per week.  The last few months of pregnancy I drank red raspberry leaf tea daily which I was told helps thin the cervix, not sure how true it is for everyone but it seemed to work for me.  Like most women we are concerned about the dreaded stretch marks and I was completely prepared to get them lasered away, yeah I know kinda vein but my bathing suit days aren't over yet.  All the research done on stretch marks clearly maintain if your mom had them, you will have them.  Despite what I thought was the inevitable, from the moment I discovered I was pregnant I slathered my belly daily with bio-oil in the morning and castor oil and coconut oil at night. I also believe because the 25lbs I added was gradual it helped avoid any sudden skin stretching which also helps avoid stretch marks.

It's hard to wrap my brain around the fact I am now a mother.  I'm responsible for raising this innocent baby into a responsible, honest, kind and loving woman in a world that's not so kind and loving.  It's a job I'm very aware of and taking more serious than any job I could ever have.
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Thursday, September 25, 2014

DIY Leather, crepe and viscose shift dress

I am more excited than most with the change in temps.  It's starting to get chilly out which means lots of leather and wool.  I normally visit my local leather factory but with Mood selling leather online and me being in my last weeks of pregnancy, this has been a lifesaver.

This dress was made using this uber soft lambskin leather from, this Italian black suiting, and this cotton viscose mesh by Theory purchased earlier this year which appears to be out of stock but can be found by Mood when using Item #302918.

The pattern used for this dress was this Butterick B5948 shirt pattern view D also seen here. The following alterations were made for this dress:

-Added 6" to the length of the pattern
-Added a 2" viscose band to the hem
-Added a V-neck viscose insert
-Added a 9" zipper to the neck back
-Added a 1" neck binding
-Added 1" to the height of the neck
-Added 3" to sleeve of view C

Dress- DIY
Heels- Giuseppe Zanotti
Clutch- Fendi

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Thursday, September 18, 2014

DIY Houndstooth Peplum Top

It's gotten to the point where my belly has completely taken over.  Most of my tops now have a bit of belly sticking out below which is so not cute and many others are simply getting way too tight.  I then remembered my trusty Vogue V8815 which have made many alteration appearances here here here and here.

Thinking about what fabric would be perfect, into my head popped this gorgeous rose and white mini houndstooth fabric from  This fabric is a 2-way stretch that sews perfectly and doesn't wrinkle easily.  It is definitely one to add to your stash!

The following pattern alterations were made:

-Removed 4" from the bodice front and back
-Cut the back on the fold and eliminate the back zipper
-Created a faced deep V-neck
-Cut two pieces for the front bodice
-Added a 9" side zipper
-Faced the back neck
-Added a 15"x54" peplum

Jeans-Citizens of Humanity
Heels- CL

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