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My Silver Lining: LEGGINGS

Easy to wear, not so easy to make. But I did it! Say hello to my first pair of leggings and her matchy matchy sports bra. Made this set a couple months ago, sorry. Had to alter them three times, not sorry.

So here are five things these gems taught me about sewing, and of course, life!

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1. Tight Is Right Negative Ease

Everything I have made up until this point has been pretty straight forward when it comes to making the pattern. However making activewear and swim (coming soon btw) requires a concept I haven’t yet explored in sewing and in life: negative ease. Which, in sewing, means the finished product will be smaller than your actual body measurements since it will stretch when worn. How much will it stretch is the complicated part. The way I test the fabric is by literally pulling it apart to see when it starts to lose it’s form. Then I wing it. Same with life currently. I feel like I am in a season where I am being stretched in ways I have never been before. But no matter how uncomfortable it may be, I am still managing to maintain a form of peace and joy that isn’t distorted. Totally winging it and grateful for this life gem when making this set!

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2. Must Be Extra Flexible

Speaking of being stretched, the reason I had to alter this set three times is because I was unaware of what materials were necessary to make activewear extra flexible. I knew from my custom pullovers that sewing on a serger was necessary, however I didn’t know that I couldn’t use regular polyester serger thread. What I needed was thread that could support the almost shoulder dislocating step of pulling my sports bra on and off time and time again. So I hit up my sewing teacher (Google) and discovered wooly nylon thread. It almost looks like yarn, is super stretchy and helps ensure that my leggings won’t bust open mid workout. Such a simple yet powerful adjustment. Like life, it is the little things that make a big difference.

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3. Function v. Fashion

Yes, I live in workout clothes. No, I do not feel like I am sacrificing fashion to be functional. In fact I love styling my sweat approved gear in different ways, and since moving to Los Angeles, sets are my new go to. So of course my first go at athletic wear had to be a fashion forward set. This material looks and feels like leather, so don’t be surprised if I show up to your next party wearing these gems with heels and a leather jacket. One look that can be worn multiple ways is a requirement in fashion for me since I am a minimalist that loves getting the maximum use out of things. And relationships lately. The hardest part about moving to a new city has been making new friends. However after almost two years I have shifted my focus to making new memories with old friends. So just like my fashion desires, when it comes to people I find that less is more and quality always trumps quantity.

Leggings, I love you!

Oh, Baby!

Not pregnant! Just pregnant with ideas…

A few weeks ago I attended a friend’s baby shower and couldn’t bring myself to buy anything off of her registry. I mean, it was all so cute. But, I have been daydreaming about making baby clothes a lot lately. Isn’t that where all sewers minds wander when throwing out that less than 1/2 a yard scrap of fabric?

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I couldn’t help myself! I made her baby shower gifts! All with 1/4 yard of each fabric. The pink fabric was so soft! And while I really wanted to use a nursery specific fabric, the texture of these fabrics was odd at JoAnn’s. So I snagged this printed knit in the women’s department. But the green fabric for the bib did indeed come from the nursery section.

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I figured little clothes would take a little amount of time. Absolutely not true! It actually took a long time since every stitch needed to be very precise. Those little ruffles were very challenging! However, the leggings were quite easy and instantly set my womb on fire. I mean, how cute are they?!

No scrap went to waste either. The little headband was a nice touch that literally took no time.

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And then, let’s talk about this little bib! After a quick Google search I drafted a quick pattern. Used a white washcloth for the back (not shown) and sewed on the side snaps in snap. The ruffles added a super girly touch that I know the baby’s Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. mother would love! This was the inspo for the overall color combo by the way.

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Overall this little project was big fun and now I’m going to have to have a baby ASAP! In the meantime, I’m so excited sew up more little gems for future baby showers…so invite me so I can stop throwing out my scraps of fabric. LOL

Winter, It’s A Wrap (Dress)!

So looks like winter was extended in Los Angeles (which means it basically feels like spring in any other city)! And while I’m desperate to make spring clothes and take my first dive (pun intended) into sewing summer swimwear, I’m also in no rush to stop wearing these wrap dresses…

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First of all, what took me so long to whip up this signature dress, ladies?! I mean, have you ever seen a bad wrap dress on anybody or any body?! I sure haven’t. So, I made two. You know, to make up for lost time.

For the red one I used a pattern (New Look 6581). It was easy-ish to follow even though I made a few adjustments to accommodate my size 4 waist and size 6 hips.

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But for the burnt orange one, I freestyled this one! Since I’m on team self taught, I find sewing without a pattern easier. Weird I know, but once I see it in my head, it’s hard for me to follow instructions. Have this problem in life too. lol

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I love the sleek sexiness of the red one and the slit on the burnt orange one is everything! I’ve even worn the orange one as a sweater/duster with jeans and boots.

So while I wish it was a wrap on winter, these wrap dresses are making this year’s season extension worth it! Speaking of worth it – both fabrics combined cost me less than $5 thanks to a steal of a deal in L.A.’s Fashion District…

Leaving me more cash for those spring and summer designs – whenever the seasons may come. 😉

 

Living In The Gray (In L.A.)

Hi, (covers face) two years later! Time flies when you’re having fun…

Fun refashioning my life for real for real that is…living life in a space that has always been scary to me – the gray.

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So, first things first – I moved back to my home state California in July of 2017. Los Angeles to be exact. This is my dream apartment in my dream city – Hollywood.

A huge leap of faith and the best decision I’ve made in a long time. A decision I made before I moved to New York almost a decade ago. My mom and I would always talk about how I would only stay on the east coast for a couple of years until finally moving back west. Close to her and closer to my dream of working as an actress in Hollywood.

However the years passed fast and right when I was ready to move back to California, so did my mom.

“Well, I guess home will have a new meaning for me now,” I thought. “I will just stay in New York forever I guess.”

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The Universe yelled a big fat “no” the moment I had this thought.

I ignored it for five years.

Which was easy for the first three years since grief was the loudest voice in my life then. But then I started to get on the better side of sorrow and the “no” to New York got louder and louder. So, once it got to an all out roar and I was truly miserable, I moved.

Home. To my home state and the dream that both my mom and I always knew would be waiting for me.

I had to leave a lot of things, people, habits and thoughts behind in order to be obedient to my destiny. So I hope you forgive my absence.

I have been learning to live in the gray and have refashioned a new way of life in the process. And long story short, it is getting more and more comfortable day by day.

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Speaking of comfortable, I made this gray jumpsuit using a buttery soft gray knit fabric I picked up for less than an oat milk latte (my new favorite thing) in L.A.’s Fashion District. It was my first visit after living here for almost two years, and it won’t be my last!

Shoot, I had so much fun making the jogger and crop sweatshirt that I whipped up a matching crop top tank. You know,  just to make sure this whole set is “year round” ready in this “year round” perfect weather.

Overall, it was the perfect “welcome back home” sewing project since I spend a lot of time in my dream Hollywood apartment – hosting friends, screenwriting (more on this later) and simply relaxing on my cozy couch. Which is also gray by the way. 😉

See, embracing the gray through and through over here! LOL

Thanks for your patience while I was away, boo.

So much more to share, so see you soon! I am sew excited.