Move Mami | DIY Turtleneck dress

Turtleneck dress with raglan sleeves

Hey hey!

 

melanin-infusion

This week I’m serving up some loose fitting, ideal for layering, ultra-chic realness. At the start of winter there were rumors about how this would be a brutal winter but save a few snowy and chilly days it’s really not been so bad. Word on the street though is that February is going to be a frosty one so I’m not getting too comfortable. Now because I love you all so dearly, here’s a piece that is ideal for layering but would still have you feeling like a bare fox this winter 😉

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I used about 1.5 yards of fabric but feel free to opt for 2 yards for added volume. I used a top that I own in a similar style to cut out the top half and a dress that hits right at my knee to cut out the full length of the dress. I decided to make the back a little longer so I extended my curve a bit, nonetheless it was a relatively simple cut out. Please let me know in the comments if you would like to see visuals for how I cut this out.

The turtle neck wasn’t too hard to execute either. My fabric has quite a bit of stretch so I could have gotten away with making this a little tighter but I like the loose fit. When attaching a turtle neck, treat it like you would a waistband or cuffs

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One more thing before I forget, I was asked what kind of sewing machine I use so I have a picture right here, It’s pretty basic, straight stitching and zig zag. Offers varying stitch widths as well. Specifically its the Brother LS-2000 if you’re looking for a beginner sewing machine. It has lasted me quite sometime and I really haven’t had any issues with it that weren’t self inflicted so I would definitely recommend 🙂

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Brother LS-2000

Until next week folks, I’ll leave you with a thought that has been heavy on my mind these past few days: “Don’t just talk about it, be about it”. I have felt this way specifically regarding social justice but it applies to so many things. Hoping we can all challenge ourselves to do more than just talk about the changes we want.

Pictures by Willyverse

Crop of the Cream | DIY loose Floral Crop top

DIY Short blouse

crop-top-and-pants

Hi guys!

I’ve been listening to Noname’s telephone mixtape a lot lately. Just plain vibes I tell you. But anyhow she had me pondering what it means when people say “Everything is everything”. I mean a bunch of artistes have used this line, a lot of my faves actually but what does it mean for everything to be everything? Ponderings and musings aside, I have my last DIY for the summer here. Summer is by no means over despite that morning chill but its safe to say I need to accept my Torontonian realities and prep for the cooler months.

tied-crop-top

To create this top, I used a top I already owned as a pattern and just made this slightly shorter<Partly due to fabric constraints, Partly intentional> I felt this would be a great piece for times when I wanted to look playful but still a bit put together.

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This was also my first attempt at bias binding and I think I did pretty well! Initially I only tested it out on the neckline but when that went well, my mum suggested I do the same on the sleeves cause it would give a nicer finish and she was right :).diy-blouse

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Now if you’re wondering what the big hoo-ha with bias binding is here are a few thing I noticed from my experience. Firstly, it could be slightly more visually appealing than your basic hem. Its just one of those things that says “I went the extra mile” even though it wasn’t much harder than the basics. Secondly, it could help some necklines lie flatter. Hemming doesn’t always cut it with some fabrics so binding could be more of a necessity than an option. Finally its superb for those curved edges! Now that wasn’t much of a concern with this project but hemming a curved edge takes mad skill and patience but with some bias tape a lot of your worries could melt away.dinner-outfit

Now time for a quick side-bar. Blogging has it’s hazards :’D . This flawless image of me plummeting to the ground was supposed to be a graceful skip into the woods. I still crack up thinking of how slowly I fell. Until next time folks, stay cute 😉

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Pictures by Willyverse

Something Borrowed…

Begin styling a midi skirt

This post is a classic case of “borrow borrow make me shine” (I don’t know if that really requires translation).

Being in Nigeria, with full access to my mum’s closet is absolute perfection! She has acculumated so many charming pieces and valuable resources over the years so naturally as her daughter, I think its my responsibility to give her possessions a whirl no? Well whether or not you agree with me, I did just that. My mom found this gorgeous fabric that she’s had since she graduated university and she hasn’t used it since, so I decided to help her by taking it off her hands :D. Surprise surprise…she also had a sewing machine (how amazing is this?? and how have I never known this?!). The minute I saw that fabric the first thing I thought was “Midi Skirt”and right after that I thought “I can’t afford to screw this up”. Now this wouldn’t be the first midi skirt I’ve made so maybe I was feeling a pinch too confident about my abilities but this skirt was w.o.r.k! The last midi skirt I made was an upcycle so I didn’t anticipate the challenges I might have making this from scratch. Basically, I had no clue what I was getting myself into.

Begin Midi back view

I started by measuring my waist and how long I wanted it to be. From that point on I felt like I was on an island with no map and only a picture of my destination. I knew what I wanted to get but I had no idea how to achieve it. In hindsight, planning might have helped me here. If I had done a teeny bit of research before starting I would have know to cut  the fabric to 3 times my waist size so when I added my pleats, I could achieve the fullness I wanted. I started off with something that looked like a pencil skirt gone wrong. Then I tried to make it more a-line but I only wrecked it more. It was only after research and lots of redone stitches that I managed to get it looking like this.

Begin Midi Skirt

For difficulty, I would rate it a 5/10, it was not my easiest project but it would have been a lot easier if I had started properly. Oh and while we’re on the topic of difficulty, I think I’m starting to really get the hang of zippers! It took me a few attempts but I managed to keep my invisible zipper relatively invisible 😀

Begin invisible zip

When I remake this skirt (note I did not say “if”), I will look into the slip stitch more seriously, I tried looking at a Pintrest picture tutorial when I was making this skirt. When that failed miserably, I decided to follow my heart and I managed to hem it somehow, not sure what that stitch is called but it did the job 😛 (the too-lazy-to-follow-the-pintrest-one stitch?)

With the many up’s and down I faced making this skirt I was reminded that this is what I signed up for when I decided to teach myself to sew. I signed up for trial and error, for hours spent redoing one seemingly simple thing, and of course for the absolute pride I feel when I’m done. It’s frustrating sometimes but its always worth it.

I decided to maintain the theme of “out of mama’s closet” and took her old sunglasses (which I intend to own), her scarf, and her book to accessorize this look. The humidity also lent me a ton of volume so as I said in the beginning…borrow borrow make me shine 🙂  Begin something borrowed

pictures by Willyverse

Bloggerversary!!

Third time's the charm: Begin

So a year ago today I finally picked up enough pluck to publish my first post (btw alliteration game on point or nah?). Blogging this year has been a truly amazing experience so I thought I’d look back at a few of my favorite posts and talk a bit more about them :). Alrighty then, lets get started…

5. Skirting about with the magic of patterns

This makes it to my top 5 cause I truly love that fabric and I have gotten considerable use out of that skirt. I remember how giddy I was about making my own patterns. I haven’t really made many patterns since then but it’s still something that I would love to do.  I’m also thinking about making another pencil skirt, hopefully a year’s worth of practice would produce an even better skirt 😀

4. Old land New Vibes

This is a fairly recent post but I thoroughly enjoyed writing it! I had been reading naijahusband‘s blog right before I wrote it which is probably why it felt so conversational for me. I felt like that post truly captured how I feel about Nigeria most times; a little upset at the way things are done but truly in love with the country all the same.

3. Third time’s the charm

The victory I felt when I wrote this post is hard to describe. After many (well two is a lot) failed and miserable attempts at making this, I felt nothing but overwhelming pride that I had succeeded. I suppose what makes a great post for me is the depth of emotion I feel when I’m writing it, because for all the posts in this list, I love them because I love the way they made me feel.

2. How does one tame a ‘fro

This was another post that I absolutely enjoyed writing. My hair has been a really big part of my life in the last two and a half years and it has taught me many things. Loving myself has been one major thing but my hair has also taught me some practical things. For example; learning when to quit because not everything is for you, sometimes its better to just let go of one thing and find what really works for you.

and finally….*cue drum roll*

1. Think Responsibly

I remember sending this post to my sister because I was worried I sounded too angry. I’m so glad I posted it though, it is everything I have felt about the education system for a while and I am grateful for a platform like this that allows me say exactly how I feel without the pressure to sound too formal or intellectual.

I would like to thank everybody who has encouraged me to keep writing, sewing and thinking. Thank you for all the likes, shares and comments. I truly appreciate every single one…Here’s to another year of colorful blogging! 🙂

Third time’s the charm

How to make a romper

Third time's the charm :Begin

Hey guys! So you remember that Aaliyah song;  “try again”? I was sitting in front of my sewing machine a couple of weeks ago and this song had never been truer. After two failed attempts at making a romper daddy Lord has delivered me!!! My first attempt resulted in my patterned shorts, my second attempt failed so woefully I didn’t have the heart to take pictures but well well, third time’s the charm dearies 😀 ( I need to stop watching once upon a time).

Third time's the charm Begin

I did a number of things differently this time around but what made the biggest difference was the fabric choice. I made this with double knit fabric which has plenty of stretch. I also made the top very roomy to account for the issues I had the first time around. Finally, I tried to make it “high-waisted’ because I have realized that shorts without waistbands just don’t quite get to my waist, then again maybe I’m just doing something wrong.

Begin Romper

The difficulty of this project, taking into account that I only got it right on my third try is an 8/10. This specific romper however was not as challenging, possibly cause I had done it a couple of times before.The only thing I would change is the way the back hangs. I think I might have been a little too generous with the fabric on top. It wasn’t as difficult as I thought it would be to match up the stripes. I also decided to cuff the bottom because hemming this fabric made it spread all weird for some reason.Third times the charm: Begin

 

All in all I was very satisfied. I shall now live in this romper and my kimono for the rest of summer.

Third time's the charm: Begin

I took advantage of the first hot day in a long long time and went to the park with my brother.Got some delicious Vitamin d in.

Third time's the charm: Begin

Pictures by Willyverse

K is for Kimono

or  Kermit, have it as you would like :).

Kimono-begin

Hey peepullss

So at long last I own a kimono! I’ve been stalking this little wardrobe addition since last summer. Brandy Melville was killing me with their floral kimonos last summer. I’m sure I went to the store about 4 times just to check on “Alexis”. Anyhow I decided to make one of my own since we’re right on the cusp of summer. Despite the chilly weather in Toronto I continue to believe its spring. If I believe it then its true right?

Kimono-Begin

Making this kimono was relatively easy. The most challenging part was working with chiffon which is an eternal pain as I’ve mentioned before but I shall overcome! Another issue was that I had to make do without my scissors. I recently moved so I don’t quite have all my tools in one place but my exacto knife did the very best it could . Other than my cutting issues and the slippery fabric this was a 3/10 for difficulty.

Kimono: Begin

I love how flowy and light this piece is. It won’t keep you warm in 7 degree weather but it would be perfect for those 16 degree days when you don’t want anything too heavy. Plus taking pictures for this post was so much fun! I felt all downtown (okay that doesn’t make sense but I know what I mean) I think my brother did an amazing job making me look super cool! Begin Kimono

I’m looking into making a couple more kimonos for sale but I would like to gauge interest first. If you would like to purchase one either comment below or send an email to maks_u(at)hotmail.co.uk with “kimono” in the title. Depending on the responses I get, I’d let you all know whether or not sales would be happening.

Kimono--Begin

 

pictures by Willyverse: http://willyverse.tumblr.com/

The trip to midi

Hey hey!

It’s been a little while since I posted about my sewing so here we go :). At the start of the year, my cousin asked if I could upcycle a dress for her. (Upcycling is basically recycling old clothes). This particular dress was custom made for her but well…things didn’t quite turn out so great. It was challenging but exciting to remodel this skirt. I was quite pleased with the results. Made me want a midi-skirt for myself actually, I guess that will be a project for another day.

My main challenges with making this skirt were;

-fixing previous mistakes

-attaching the zipper (as usual)

-attaching the lining and *wait for it*

-pockets!!!

The lining was really only difficult because I wasn’t working from scratch, or maybe not. Either way it was more than just a little difficult to basically sew a skirt within a skirt. As this was my first time SUCCESSFULLY adding pockets to anything, I was pretty excited.

I would rate the difficulty of this project at a 6/10 if you’re making a skirt from a dress or a 4/10 if you’re starting from scratch (I would assume).

Ibegan-Trip to MidiBegin- Trip to midi

I started off by cutting off the top piece of the dress and cutting the bottom of the skirt to midi length then I hemmed it.

Trip to midi- BeginBegin-Midi Skirt

I opened up the sides of the skirt and added pockets. Finally, I took off the waistband, adjusted the size and reattached it to the skirt, being careful to maintain preexisting pleats.  While this seems fairly basic, it was rather time consuming.

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I feel it turned out pretty well all in all. Seeing her in this skirt made me really really want it though, 0_0. *skips off to sewing machine*

 

 

Midi Skirt- Ibegan

 

Twirl baby

Twirl Baby_Begin

Hey there!

So I was in Nigeria a few weeks ago, all I’d say about my trip is; food, heat and family. I had an amazing time and got a couple of interesting pieces while I was there. First thing I got done was this skirt. When I first started sewing, the very first thing I made was a circle skirt. I had several glitches but I was and still am very proud of it. Nevertheless, circle2.0 was a necessary upgrade. I didn’t sew the skirt myself but I cut the fabric and well I guess that’s half way there eh?Twirl Baby Begin

This skirt was a bit of a struggle though, because there was a sudden zipper scarcity. We opted for an elastic waist but that  just looked bleh. Then my super styling mama suggested that we add a belt and BAM! we got this baby.Twirl baby.Begin

I love how effortless circle skirts are to make and style. They make me feel extra girly and  being the girly-girl that I am that’s a major plus.

Twirl Baby, Begin

Just had to throw this in there 🙂

5 ways to tame a ‘fro?

how to tame an afro

I will start this post by saying an afro will never do all the same things that straight hair does. Why? cause its not the same thing! And that’s perfectly fine. Think of it like finding your shade of make up, you will achieve little by trying to use make up that is a billion shades too light or too dark. In the same way you will achieve little by trying to make your lush ‘fro do things that it can never do.  Secondly, just so nobody is misled, I am by no means a qualified “natural hair blogger” I feel like there is a certain commitment to hair care that you need to have to give other people steady hair care advice. Nevertheless, I have learned a few things in the short while that I have been natural that I thought I should share 🙂

1. Just because it worked for a couple of you-tubers doesn’t mean it will work for you.

This is a hard truth to face but it would have saved me a couple of bad hair days. Something as simple as a twist out could look very different depending on your hair texture. Twist outs have just never really worked for me but bantu knots and flexi rods have. Don’t be afraid to experiment but also don’t be afraid to quit while you’re ahead and find what works.

2. A wash and go is NOT always the less stressful option.

For a girl with super kinky curly hair, you must understand that only satan himself can tempt you to let your hair shrink completely without the necessary detangling process. Oh surrre “this is how your hair looks without anything done to it”, “your God-given mane” blah-di-blah blah! A wash and go for you does not mean wash and head out the door, it means wash, detangle, twist or braid into large manageable sections until your hair is only slightly damp then you can unravel for the wash-and-go shrinkage. Otherwise you will utterly despise yourself on wash day with all the knots you will have.

3. Braids can save your life.

If you’re perfectly honest with yourself, you probably spend a truck load of time on your hair every week. While it could be incredibly relaxing to rake through your mane on a Saturday afternoon, (I know I’m not the only one soothed by that thought) you could be doing some slightly more productive things. Having your hair braided affords you that privilege for however long you decide to keep your braids in. PLUS you can venture new styling options. (yet another excuse to rake through your mane on Saturday :D)

4. A little heat ever so often won’t kill you.

I say this with caution because heat-damage is realer than real. Nothing worse than caring for your hair day and night for years or months and to have all that hard work incinerated in the menacing jaws of a flat iron. (A tad dramatic I know, but its scary though!) However, a little heat once in a blue moon used CORRECTLY can make fabulous hair.

5. When all else fails just wrap it up.

If your hair isn’t long enough yet to go in a bun just wrap your head. Actually there are days when even a bun looks kinda meh. On such days your best bet is to wrap your head and go with the “I’m eclectic” vibe. Just because you have a hot mess on your head doesn’t mean the world has to know it.

That being said, here’s to a fabulous 2014, with more good hair days than bad, more productivity than lolly gagging in bed watching episode after episode of Girlfriends, and being a better person than I was in 2013 😀

A very Happy new year to you all!

Begin-How to Tame a 'Fro

No More Excuses

IMG_0087-Begin Grey sweater

Hey Hey!

So I know its been a little while since I posted something here, specifically something fashion related. I have made a thousand excuses about why I shouldn’t or dare I say “couldn’t” post anything. “oh I don’t have any pictures”, “Oh I have work to do”, “Oh Peter Panky stressed me out and now I can’t post” weeell I’m done making excuses. I made this sweater in September and I’ve gotten a ton of compliments on it and even a few requests to recreate it for others (which I am going to do btw).

Begin Grey sweater

Firstly I would like to say thank you to WithWendy on youtube for posting the amazing tutorial that I used to make this sweater. I made a couple of adjustments and I think it turned out fabulously. I used 1.5 yards of double knit fabric. I would rate the difficulty of this project a 4/10. It was pretty basic once I cut everything out, my main challenge was when my sewing machine got drunk and did this…

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My sewing on this project was also not quite straight but I’m getting better though. At least it was straight enough not to make the sweater bunch up weirdly. I thought it would be a cute touch to add the little gold buttons on the cuffs. To be perfectly honest, I had a completely different sketch for this sweater but somehow I just ended up sticking to this. I have no regrets though, I would certainly revisit my initial sketch for a future project.

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One last thing; where is the best place to get fabric downtown Toronto? Cause my fabric shopping experience was so-so.