Until Next Time New York

As I aimlessly stare out the car window on the last three hours of our drive home from New York, I can’t help but to feel blessed beyond measure. 

Every year for the last three years after my husband’s parents moved back to New York with his sister and her family, we have made it a point to visit them in the summer. This visit was a bit different emotionally. After nine years of marriage, I felt like my in-laws and I truly bonded. I don’t know if it was due to all the excitement over my niece’s high school graduation or having their only son back with them, but the sense of family, love, and good times filled the atmosphere. I must admit that it made me a little emotional.

Let me give you a little insight into my relationship with my in-laws. Our inability to fully connect has nothing to do with dislikes, family issues, nor any of the obvious in-law reasonings.  It all boils down to one word, CULTURE. You see, my in-laws are from Haiti, and I am Jamaican-American. There is a huge language barrier that stands between us like a force field. My mother and father-in-law both speak English, but not comfortable. Whenever we would have get togethers, I would end up sitting with the kids because they were the only ones that I could communicate with effectively. 

From the time that we got there to the time that we left, I noticed them trying harder to connect with me, which made me open up more. I even watched YouTube videos on basic Creole so that I could make an effort to better communicate with my husband’s family, and it seemed to have worked, because we laughed, danced, talked, and floated on the wings of togetherness, and it was amazing. I also didn’t have to sit at the kid’s table. 

My plan when I get home is to get better at speaking their language by next summer’s visit so that we can get even closer, and talk about things that were unspoken because of our cultural and language difference. 

My in-laws and family on my hubby’s side.
My niece the high school graduate. We a so very proud of her.

Wearing: black denims from Macy’s, a blue tank from forever 21, and a printed kimono that I made using
Simplicity 1108

Tony Awards Sewing Competition

Hello everyone. I hope all is well with you. There are a lot of things that I dream of doing, but I often let FEAR get in the way. Well, This month I told fear to get out of my face and take several seats.

I love memes with that baby in it πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚. Anyways, I entered a sewing competition and was one of five people accepted. The first challenge was, “Tony Awards.” The contestants had to pick a McCalls company pattern of their choice to make a formal dress for the Tony Awards. I chose Vogue pattern 1533. First of all, let me say that this pattern is not for beginners unless you just want to challenge yourself. There is a lot of intricate details that needs to be done right in order for the dress to really look well made.

 I did not really make any alterations except for shortening the length a little, because I am only 5’3″. To make the gown, I used a royal blue crepe back satin fabric and an embroidered tulle fabric for the overlay. This was the longest I’ve ever spent making a dress from a pattern, but I must say that I am very pleased and proud of the results. Thank you so much for taking the time to read my blog, it is very much appreciated. Scroll for photos.

Little Girl or Little Woman: dressing our daughters age appropriate.Β 

Hello everyone. I hope that you are all enjoying your day. I was scrolling through Instagram and Pinterest for little girls fahion ideas, and while doing so, I noticed that most of the little girls were dressed way above their age range, and rather skimpy. It got me thinking whether a line existed anymore between what is appropriate clothing for little girls or not. As a mother of a little girl, nothing makes me smile more than when I see a little girl all dressed up in her cutest outfit. This is what made me interested in joining the children’s clothing market. I love making fun and fashionable clothing for my daughter and other little girls, but what saddens me, are the little girls whom are dressed like tiny adult women. If you have scrolled through most social media formats, I am sure you have seen photos of little girls wearing ripped jeans with exposed skin, tiny shorts and midriff showing. I promise you that I am not a prude, I love seeing kids look fashionable and trendy, but we have to ask ourselves, where the line is drawn between a little girl and a grown woman. 

Do not get me wrong parents, I am not walking around with the staff of judgement, I am simply a concerned parent who is speaking on her observations. I am not stating that children should look like Laua Ingalls from “Little House on the Prairie,” I am just simply saying that we need to be mindful of how we dress our little girls. 

I remember seeing a little girl maybe around age 8 or 9 on the beach in Florida wearing a two-piece string bikini that matched her mother’s. The first thought that came to mind was “wow, why does a little girl need a string bikini?” I love doing mommy and me looks with both my daughter and my son, but you will see a difference in the way mine is styled and the way my daughter’s is styled.  As you can see by the photo below of my daughter and I, she is wearing leggings under her dress, while I am not, and her shoes are age appropriate. However, she is still trendy and fashionable. 

Little girls will not be little girls forever, but while they are, let’s do our best to dress them and teach them to carry themselves as such. As the older people used to say when I was a child, “A child needs to stay in a child’s place.” Have a great day everyone. Thank you for taking the time to read my blog. 

My Design: The Jaime dress

Hello everyone! I hope you’re having a wonderful day. The weekend is underway and I got so much sewing prep done for my future sewing projects. One of my best project is a design that I worked on this past week for my daughter. I call it the “Jaime dress.” It is a halter dress with tie shoulder straps and pull strings encased in the waist of the dress.

I used a honeycomb printed cotton. For some reason though, whenever I look at the dress, I crave candy corn πŸ˜‹πŸ˜‹. I also lined the dress with cotton broadcloth to give it a clean finished look. 

I am happy to say that she loves the dress, and I had to beg her to take it off so that I can wash it πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚. 

Sewing With Patterns: Planning, Organizing, and Prepping.

Hello everyone. I hope all is well with you. I have a confession to make. I am a pattern junkie, but the sewing process takes me forever because I have been so unorganized.

Those two plastic storages contains almost all of my patterns, also on the floor in my unorganized sewing room

I follow quite a bit of fellow sewers on Instagram and on the blogs, and I always wondered how they were able to make so many items in one week. The key to their success I have come to find is, ORGANIZATION. I had to realize that as well and as quickly as I can sew, the amount of garments I can produce will never reach it’s full potential if I dont organize and prep before I sew. 

I decided that starting today I was going to do better with my sewing process, so first I picked out all of the patterns I wanted to sew for the month and matched them with the fabric I would be using. 

Some of pattern picks for June
Next I gathered all of my June patterns and spent a whole day cutting them out and putting them back in the envelope until ready to use.

One of the patterns that I cut to size
Lastly I cut all of my patterns and placed them in a Ziploc bag with the pattern envelope until I am ready to sew them. 

Patterns and fabric cut, organized and ready to sew

Thank you for taking the time to read my blog, I hope that this post was helpful to those whose struggled through the sewing process like me. Have a wonderful day. 

Mommy Made It!!: How I used a sweater pattern to make my children’s t-shirt and dress.

Hey everyone, I hope all is well with you. As a seamstress, I enjoy making clothes for adults and even myself. It is really satisfying,  but what really tugs on my heartstrings is when I see my kids proudly wear the items that I make them 😍😍😍😍. My daughter told me that her friends are always asking where she gets her clothes (the ones I make), and she tells them, “it’s one of a kind, my mom made it.” I don’t know about you, but that really gives me the smiles. 

This week I made my son very happy. I made him something besides pajamas pants or a button up shirt (it’s hard to find fabric catered to older boys). 

How fun is this print? I’m still deciding what to make with it.

I decided to pull an all nighter  (considering that I am a bit of an insomniac) and make a hooded top for my son and a hooded t-shirt dress for my daughter. 

Pattern Used: I used M6782 view B.

Fabric Used: I went to Joanns Fabrics to purchase one thing, and like always, I came out of there with a bag full. I really scored though, because I found quite a few knit fabrics with fun prints that my son and my daughter would like. One fabric had sharks (pictured above) and a red and black knit fabric with cassette tape prints on it (it brought me back to the old days). I also purchased a floral knit (pictured below on my daughter) and some solid knit fabrics to create contrast in the dress (As pictured on the sleeves of the floral dress). 

Pattern Alterations and Design Changes: For my son’s hooded t-shirt I did not really make many changes. I just simply used a lighter fabric, shortened the sleeves, and lengthened the top so that it would not look like a crop top on him (he’s skinny, but tall). For my daughter’s dress, I lengthened the top to dress length and extended out the pattern on both side to give it more room. I also shortened the sleeves. 

I really enjoyed this project, and seeing the kids so excited to wear it to school made it even better. I plan on using this pattern over and over again to make a plethora of fun clothing for them.

Thank you for taking the time to read my blog. I truly appreciate it.

Good News: Changing your focus can change your perspective.Β 

​Today I want to share my good news. I woke up this morning to my husband and two children. I was able to prepare them for their day and send them off with a good breakfast. Before they left, their last words to me was, “I love you.” I am a seamstress, and not only do I sew for others, but that gift has also allowed me to uplift others by reminding them that they are beautiful and custom made by God, which means that no mistakes were made in their creation. 

One of my clients wearing the dress I designed for prom.
Another client in another of my designs with her prom date.

I also serve in the children’s ministry at my church, which means that I have a great opportunity to reach children starting at a young age and share God’s words with them, and watch them grow into it.

My son and other kids writing their name on the concrete of what’s going to be the new children’s area at my church.
The children taking part in an activity on stage in our kid’s ministry large group area.

I have witnessed such joy and excitement in their eyes when they remember their memory verse, and a whole room of people are there cheering them on and encouraging them πŸ˜πŸ˜πŸ€—πŸ€—πŸ€—πŸŽˆπŸŽ‰. I get to witness how their faces light up when they see their small group leader and student helper walk into their classroom, because they know that those people have invested their time to love on them and show them God’s love. I have been blessed to see how much my children have grown because of people who have invested in them. My daughter made the decision to get baptized almost two years ago, and that moment will forever be a strong reminder of what God’s love can do. Now, my son is asking about baptism, and we are so proud to explain what that decision means and look forward to taking him to the next splash class at church so that he can get an even deeper understanding.

My daughter at her baptism

You see, my good news is that I get to be a WITNESS πŸ€—πŸ€—πŸ€—. I have seen kindness in unexpected places. During my time in Iraq, I have seen people whom were supposed to be at war with each other form friendships and give to those they were meant to despise. I have seen people who have so little give more than many with lots to give.  When we only focus on the bad things, we can miss out on witnessing some pretty awesome moments that God has created. Yes, there are horrible things going on all over the world, but to witness such beautiful moments and be a cause of some of those moments, that is the best news. Let’s try to not only find light in darkness, but let’s also be that light as well.
Please share your good news below so that myself and others can cheer for you.
#witness #goodnews

Getting ready for urban ops training with my battle buddies

This is the condition I often worked in, because I was in supply and worked outside in the supply yard while stationed in Iraq. We called it “Red Dawn.”
This is how my work day often ended while overseas

Thank you all for reading my blog and getting to know me a little bit more. Have a wonderful day. 

Simplicity 8354: Drawstrings Pants

Hello everyone!! I hope all is well with you. I love sewing things for me, but I really enjoy sewing for my kids even more. They take so much joy in wearing my handmade clothing, and it in turn warns my heart and motivates me. 

This week I finally decided to make some drawstring pants with shoulder straps for my little girl to wear to a birthday party. Read below to see my thoughts on the pattern that I used and to see more photo’s. 

Pattern Used: I used the Mimi G for Simplicity 8354 drawstring pants and cropped top pattern. The pattern comes in a tween 8-16.

Fabric Used: I used a African print cotton fabric that I found at a wholesale fabric warehouse near my home

 Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?: It looked just like the photo on the pattern envelope, except that I added a bit more length to the crop top for my 9 year old.

Pattern Alterations and Design Changes: I did not really alter much on this project. All that I did was lengthen the crop top to make it more age appropriate for my 9 year old daughter.

Conclusion: I have been a fan of Mimi G since her early YouTube days, and I love the patterns that she’s created for Simplicity. Overall, I really loved this pattern, and by the look on my daughter’s face she really loved it too. The directions were very easy to follow. I would say that it is for beginner to intermediate sewers. I definitely plan on using this pattern again to make this outfit with different fabrics and prints. 

Thank you all for taking the time to read my blog. Have a wonderful day. More photos below.

I used the fabric from the pants to create the hidden pocket detail in the crop top.
Thank goodness that my serger was fixed so that I could clean up the inside seams of the pants.
She absolutely loved it, which made me love it even more.

Here’s a good close-up so that you can see the details.

M7542: Mommy & Me

Hey everyone. I hope you are enjoying your day. We planned on going to the nearby farm to pick strawberries, but we received word that they were all picked out 😭😭😭. I was a little sad, because the kids and I had such hopes of picking and eating strawberries until we turned into one.

Well, let me get on to the point of this blog. My daughter copies everything that I do, which makes me very careful about the images that I portray and the decisions I make. She would play dress-up in my clothes, sit like me, and whatever I ate she wanted it too. For the longest I have wanted to make a mommy and me dress for us both, but I never got around to it. One day while browsing my favorite fabric site, promenadefabrics.com, I found this beautiful fabric and fell deeply in love with the print.

My daughter gushed over this fabric when I opened the package, which gave me the great idea of making a mommy and me dress out of it.

Pattern Used: I used McCalls patter M7542. I made view B for me, and view E for my daughter.

Fabric Used: I used a printed cotton.

Modifications Made: For my dress, I cut a size 10 and lengthened the pattern to turn it into a dress. I also added French darts and a back zipper. For my daughter’s dress I had to do a bit more, because she’s only 9 and this was an adult pattern. I cut a size 4, cut a wearable muslin and used that to adjust the fit of the pattern and turn it into a dress for her. I also took about 2 inches from the sleeves so that it would fit the bodice.

Was this an easy pattern?: The pattern is not very difficult, but you must have some sewing skills due to the different sleeve designs. I made quite a bit of changes including grading down the size of the pattern for my daughter.

Would you use this pattern again?: Yes, I definitely plan on using this pattern a lot, especially now that I have more time on my hand to sew a new wardrobe. Also, my little girl as already picked out what views she wants me to make for her next. Lol!

Thank you for taking the time to read my blog, I hope you like it. If so, please like and follow for alerts of future blog posts. Please continue below for more photos.

M7547: unusual fabrics make Epic Flares!!

Hey everyone. I hope you are getting ready to enjoy your weekend. Me, my husband, our kids, and my dad are heading to Florida to see my sister’s πŸ€—πŸ€—. As I was packing, I looked in my closet and realized that all of my jeans looked the same, just different shades. I had to fix that,  luckily, there was a little sewalong on the McCalls Pattern company  Facebook page. It is McCall spring 7547 sewalong.  I purchased my pattern, and went to Joanns where I found a really fun and unique lightweight denim fabric. 
Because of the placement of the crochet lace on the fabric, I had to purchase double the amount of fabric needed in order to make pants out of it. Luckily, it was 50% off, because the original price was $39.99 per yard. I have really been enjoying thinking outside the box with this challenge though. 

Thank you guys for taking the time to read my blog, it is appreciated. Photos below, please feel free to comment below.