Ebb and flow | DIY gingham tiered dress

Summer dresses and growing pains

Hi guys!

It’s been too long since I’ve been here but I’m so glad to be back. Thank you to those who reached out to me and to say they missed my writing ๐Ÿ™‚ It really warmed my heart to know that there are people who actually care what I have to say! So I’m coming to you with part 1 of 3 summer outfits I have made in recent times; a gingham tiered dress because we’re picnic blanket chic this summer.

To make this dress, you would need to cut out a couple of rectangles

  • Chest band – long enough to comfortably wrap around your chest (right under your arms) and some seam allowance
  • Straps to hang on and off your shoulders
  • Tiers – each one ~10″ wider than the layer above it. You can do more than 10″ if you want a more pronounced gathered effect.

I decided to create a key hole closure for this dress as I have really been enjoying that look lately but you could easily switch to buttons or a zipper depending on how you feel.ย 

Madebyaya on YouTube has a great tutorialย  on how to create a tiered dress.

Now to get real for a second on why I haven’t really been blogging, I suppose I have really just felt uninspired and creatively drained. I think I’m working my way out of those feelings now but some days are definitely harder than others. I have spoken to a few people about this and it seems oddly common. Yet another quirk of adulting that was conveniently omitted when I was sold the growing up dream. It’s a feeling of giving so much of your time and yourself to your career or responsibilities or things outside of yourself to the point where you feel you have nothing left over. Nothing for you to hold on to that’s just yours, and just about you.

Straps up
Off shoulder

Now what do you do if you find yourself in this rut?

  1. Lock your support system down: It’s very likely that someone close to you has dealt with this before and can help! I have had my family and closest friends pouring into my life in the past few weeks. Uplifting me, encouraging me and allowing me space to slow down.
  2. Reclaim your time: Maxine Waters plays no games with her time and neither should you! Your time is valuable and you deserve to use it in a way that truly benefits you. This means setting boundaries on work requests, declining social engagements if you need to recharge mentally and giving yourself more hours in the day to do the things that give you joy. For me, I have been trying to wake up earlier for a while. Still struggling with this actively but I have found that even if I give my self just an extra half hour in the morning to read my Bible and just stretch in bed before getting ready for work, I’m a lot less grouchy.
  3. Rediscover you: Find who you are without your job and social connections. What do you like and dislike irrespective of popular opinion. What makes you happy? What makes you calm? What makes you mad? Spend some quiet time with your thoughts and make the decision to know you better so you can love you better.

Making this dress was one of those moments of rediscovery for me. I was so glad to have a moment for myself to just be and create something that made me happy.ย 

I’d love to hear from you; what activities or things make you happy?

photos by Willyverse

Brown Girl Blue Thunder | Off-shoulder summer dress

gypsy mini dress

Hi Guys!

Presenting the most comfortable dress I ever made! I’m still twirling in delight as I type this!! (okay not literally but I’m pretty excited as you can tell).

Off shoulder dress

On the summer inspiration menu today is an extra simple but super on trend dress! For this dress you just need to be able to cute two rectangles, hem and add elastic to it! Trust me it doesn’t get much easier than this.

diy off shoulder dress tutorial

Now it shouldn’t surprise you too much that I wanted this dress to be multi-functional. I believe that an outfit truly earns its place in my closet when it can be worn a couple different ways (which reminds me, I’m due for a closet purge >.<).

ibegan Enang Ukoh

If I had a thicker chest or if I made the shoulders tighter I could have worn this as a strapless dress as well but oh well ๐Ÿ™‚ one-shoulder would have to suffice.

4c afro hair

This would be perfect for all of the summer barbecues because you can eat to your heart’s content without looking like you’ve been stuffed into your jeans. And you can probably sneak a treat or two away in all this volume ๐Ÿ˜€ (JK. please don’t say I sent you to do that oo!)

ankara off shoulder dress
Yes those are pockets for extra treats ๐Ÿ˜€

So if you would like to DIY this dress here are a few easy peasy steps to follow. Even if you don’t sew, fabric glue should work just as well.

brown skin and afro

  • Figure out how long you want the dress and the overlay to be.
  • Cut out the dress rectangle, add about 4 inches to the width for some extra room.
  • Cut out the overlay (this should be 3 times your shoulder width or 2.5 depending on how much volume you want).
  • Seal off both rectangles with sewing or fabric glue.
  • Center the bodice under the over lay. (This might be a good time to cut out arm holes for yourself).
  • Attach the overlay to the bodice with a zig-zag stitch or your fabric glue.
  • Fold over the top edge to create a case for your elastic to go through. (The elastic should stretch comfortably around your shoulders.
  • Using a safety pin, feed your elastic through the hole and sew the ends. (I would recommend sewing this part just for added security.
  • Close up your hole and hem any raw edges.

ankara dress

There you go! A summer dress made by you ^_^

Until next time, let me know if you try this out! ๐Ÿ˜€

bags by willyverse
Bag available June 8th- http://www.willyverse.com

Pictures by Willyverse