Forgiveness: 36 Years Worth

Happy Birthday to me!! I am so blessed to celebrate another year of life. As I celebrate my 37th year on this earth, I can’t help but look back on my first 36 years. My gift to myself is, RELEASE. I don’t often open up about my childhood, I especially never thought I would blog about it, because it was very painful. However, I have learned that in order to grow, you must look back, forgive, let go, and move forward.

I thought that I had let go of what happened to me a long time ago. I realized that I didn’t, because I had not forgiven those who did it to me. I don’t want to carry these pains anymore. Well, in my 36th year on this earth, I finally forgave the ones who robbed me of my childhood innocence.

I forgive the stranger who thought that a seven year old girl was a great target, and tried to rape her on her way home. I forgive my Godmother’s adult daughter for abusing me out of jealousy and putting scars on me that will make it hard to forget, because she could not stand how much her mom could love a little girl whom was not her own. I forgive my godmother’s husband who found it appropriate to sneak into the bed of a child and molest her. I forgive all the adults who knew what was happening, but did nothing but look at me with shame. I forgive the son of my mom’s best friend who tried to rape a 13 year old girl, whom had already been through so much already.

Most of all, I forgive my mom for never letting go of her abusive past, and taking it out on me, because I was born from rape, and looking at me was a constant reminder of that. I know that you love me mom, but the pain was so deep, that you couldn’t forget it. I know that pain, because I went through it too. I am sorry for the reminder that I was of that painful day in your life, when the man you trusted, broke that trust in the worst way. I am so glad that in my 36th year, we both found peace, and finally forged the relationship with each other, that we both deserve.

I know that some may think that this is dark for a birthday post, but this is my truth, and I wanted to RELEASE it all before I celebrated another year. Also, my spiritual counselor has told me for years that sharing my story may be a blessing to someone else who may be living their truth in silence as well.

So to all who know the truth, let’s celebrate letting go.

I am so thankful for the good childhood memories that has allowed me to remember that though we may go through times of struggles, there are reasons to smile and be grateful.

I am grateful for my sisters who gave me their blessings and pushed me to release, when I told them what I was going to write about. I am thankful to my dad, who stepped in and loved me as his own. He showed me the qualities of a great man and father. I am thankful for my husband and kids whom are a constant reminder of God’s love for me, and a reminder of what true unconditional love looks and feels like. I am so thankful for this gift of sewing that God has blessed me with, that has given me a place of peace to go to and Express myself creatively. I am thankful that this past year I was able to meet some wonderful people in the sewing community whom has strengthened my hope and belief in human goodness.

Me at 8 years old
My 9th birthday
My sisters and I Christmas 1991
My skinny self at the beach (9 years old)
I thought I was so fashionable as a teen 😂😂
I was always following my sister Simone around, she never knew it then, but I looked up to her. She was my hero.
My high school graduation
My beautiful and stylish mom in the 80s
Me at my senior prom
I was 19 in this photo
I was 21 in this pic
Me and my military battles
My mentor and my best friend
The love of my life on our wedding day.
The man who may not be my bio dad, but he stepped up and was the father I needed in my life. I will always be grateful to you Dad. I love you.
I love you mom. You sacrificed so much for us, and you loved us the best way you knew how.
Me and my daughter. My first born.
Me and my son, my little superhero.
I made it through so that I could be what I needed to be for them.

The few times I have shared me story, people always ask me the same question. “How did you make it through all of that. How do you smile so much after all you’ve been through.?” My answer is always the same. “God helped me through by placing the right people around me in the right season, and I am a strong willed individual, who will never let circumstances keep me from the life I desired.”

Today is my birthday you guys, and I am moving forward, and believing that my best life is ahead of me. This dress that I created for myself means a lot, because I created it with love, hard work, and determination. I chose blue not because it’s my favorite color, but also because it is known to be a peaceful and tranquil color. I am at peace in my life. My past will never be forgotten, but it has been forgiven.

I am a true virgo.
Thank you Lord for another year
These hands have created so much goodness, they should never be used to tear down nor destroy.
Happy Birthday lady!! Live, love, and laugh. You deserve it.
Turning my back on the past, my future is now my only concern

Thank you guys for sharing in this moment with me by reading my blog post. It was most personal and most difficult post, but I am so glad that I wrote it. I don’t know who you are, but someone was supposed to read it today. I pray it helps you in the way you need it most.

Pattern Mashup: Simplicity 8841 & Mccalls 7955

Hello everyone!! I hope all is well with you. Often times when we look at patterns, we see the photos on the envelope and set out to recreate it. How many of you look at the patterns for what it could be, and how many ways we can use that pattern to create your version of a look? For me, I often look at patterns as a foundation, a starting point to get me to the design that I have pictured in my mind, or was inspired by.

Two wonderful ladies in the sewing community on Instagram created a challenge called the #sewcialmashup challenge, and it was right up my alley you guys. I found a gorgeous cotton crepe fabric at my local fabric warehouse, Fine Fabrics here in Atlanta, so I decided to use it to create a jumpsuit by using my favorite pants pattern, Simplicity 8841 and for the bodice, I used McCalls 7955.

I cut the bodice at the waistline, which is marked on the pattern, omitted the drawstring on the side of the bodice and added an invisible zipper. For the pants, I made no alterations, I just omitted the waistband. After sewing each piece separately according to the pattern instructions, I attached both pieces together.

This was such a fun project and I absolutely love the outcome. I don’t know about you guys, but I always feel so beautiful and glamorous wearing beautiful clothes, especially when it is made by me.

Thank you guys for taking the time to read my blog. I hope it inspired you to create something beautiful of your own.

Misty Cami: Hack it My Way.

Hi everyone, I hope all is well with you. Today I am coming to you with the Misty Cami by Sew Altered Style.

When Sew Altered style approaches me about joining their Misty Cami Hack tour, I was excited. I have never made a cami before, and I love a good hack. I really appreciate a pattern company who embrace the idea of sewists using their patterns as a stepping stone to their ideal garment.

From Cami to Maxi

I will start off by admitting that I have not been the biggest pdf pattern fan. Printing all of those papers and taping them all together seemed so very tedious. However, I must say, it was not as bad as I thought. It took me about 30 minutes to tape all of the paper together. There was a total of 64 pages.

I knew right after I saw the pattern pieces that I wanted to create a maxi dress, I mean, it is a summer staple. I used view A. I wanted the dress to be fun, feminine, and bright, hence my fabric choice. I used a yellow cotton eyelet that I purchased a while back from Jo-Anns before I was even asked to do this project, talk about fate huh.

I always drape my fabric in my dress form when I bring it home.

To turn the cami I to a maxi dress, I did not have to make many alterations. I just added 10″ to the length of the dress pattern, added a casing to the inside of the dress, and created a double elastic waist just below the bustline. I also liked the fabric rather than do facings as the instructions suggested. Considering the material I used, lining was the best choice.

I did not have to make any fit adjustments, which made me a very happy girl. The size suggestions in the pattern was true to size. Great job on that ladies. Overall, I am very pleased with the pattern, sizing, and hackability. I am definitely creating this pattern over and over again.


I had to throw in the turquoise converses 💙💙

Thank you guys so very much for taking the time to read my blog post. Go out and support Sew Altered Style, and get this pattern, you will be so very happy to did. Until next time you guys, make what you want to make.

FINDING ME ON INSTAGRAM

IT’S ALL FOR FUN RIGHT?

When I joined Instagram in 2016, I had no idea what I was doing, I was just having fun posting photos of my makes. Little did I know how serious Instagram was, and that there are “guidelines.” But I wasn’t worried about having the perfect Instagram page, I just wanted to share my sewing for fun. Isn’t that the most important thing?

Over time, I have been getting DMs as well as ads on my feed about how to grow Instagram accounts, and a lot of the advice are about taking the right photos, staying on trend, finding your niche and sticking to it, making sure your page is brand friendly, making sure your page tells a story, etc etc. I guess it was not all about having fun, it was also about creating another version of you, so that you will be liked and followed.

I feel that before you take advice on the ins and outs of Instagram, it is important to figure out “Your Why.” For instance, are you on Instagram for fame, hopes of monetizing your account by getting recognized by brands, or just for sharing? Keep in mind that there is no right or wrong reason, but make sure that whatever your reason, you are true to yourself and “Your Why.”

STRESSED AND CONFUSED

At one point after I joined Instagram I felt a lot of pressure to make sure that my photos were just right, to the point where I had my poor husband out for hours going to different locations for perfect lighting to try to get a great shot. It became very stressful, and he was not liking it. There was also someone I met on social media telling me constantly what my page should look like, and I listened because I thought their page was beautiful. They even told me to look at other people’s page to see what mine should look like. I became so overwhelmed, that I forgot why I was on Instagram to begin with, and I was no longer having fun. It felt like Instagram was another job I was not happy doing. Life can already be overwhelming, I didn’t need to add more stress to it.

At one point I thought about shutting down my page. I mean, I just wanted sew and have fun sharing. I had no intentions of trying to brand myself, nor focus more on making what others wanted to see me make, rather than what I wanted to make. I basically became someone I did not recognize, and my page did not look like me. I had to literally separate myself from Instagram and refocus.

One day, while talking to a good friend, she gave me the best life advice. I even give this same advice to my children when it comes to peer pressure at school. She said, “If you find yourself changing to please the world to the point where you don’t recognize who you are anymore, then remove all of the people and things that are making you unrecognizable.” That is just what I did. While on my break I will admit that I missed Instagram. I had met some lovely people in the sewing community, and missed seeing their creations. However, before I came back, I had to figure out my why, and never lose sight of it.

I later came back to Instagram, but with a purpose in mind, to sew and share my love of sewing with all those who wanted to join me on my journey to building a self made wardrobe.

MY WHY

I joined Instagram because I love to sew and share with others, that’s it. I honestly don’t follow trends, I just make what I like. My page is not perfectly curated, because honestly my life and my sewing is not. I truly wear what I make, so sometimes you may see me in a beautiful dress, and sometimes you’ll see me in shorts and a top, but you can guarantee they are all made by me.

There are times I get really cool photos, and there are times when I get a shot in or near my house before I run out. Don’t get me wrong, nice photos show off the details of your make nicely, so I am not saying it is not important to take nice photos for your page. Just make sure that you are not stressing yourself out so much about the perfect location and photo. I have seen some instagrammers with beautiful photos inside their homes in their creation. You don’t have to be in some out of this world location in every photo, unless you are a travel blogger.

INSPIRATION

I am inspired by some fashion bloggers and other sewists on Instagram, but I don’t want my page to look like theirs. Why? Because I am not them, and what works for them may not work for me. If someone takes notice of my page, and a blessing comes from it, then I will be grateful. However, it will be because they like me, and what I represent, and not who I want them to think I am.

THE LESSON

I have learned that Instagram, like any other social media platform is what you make of it. You can have fun with it, you can gain income from it, but most importantly in my book, you can inspire with it. Don’t let it cause you to be someone you are not, because at the end of the day, it’s not the real world, and there is so much life to live off of social media.

My name is Faith, and I LOVE TO SEW!!

thank you guys for taking the time to read my blog, I truly appreciate it. Have a wonderful day. Don’t forget to like, comment, and subscribe.

TWEED ALL ABOUT IT

Hi everyone! I hope all is well. I have not always been a big fan of tweed, but I must say that I have been converted, and I hold Pinterest responsible. I  saw so many gorgeous tweed looks on Pinterest that I was inspired to create my own modern twist on the tweed trend. I must admit that I was also moved to create a look due to the passing of the late great Karl Lagerfeld, who did wonders when he took over as Creative Director of Chanel’s Haute Couture and RTW line. In my opinion, he modernized Chanel.

I have seen quite a bit of tweed around, and it’s often been in the form of a dress or jacket. However, I wanted to stray from the norm. Therefore, I decided to add my own touch to my tweed design and I used one pattern and beautiful tweed fabric that I purchased from my local fabric warehouse, Fine Fabrics, here in Atlanta, to create two looks. That pattern is New Look 6524.

FIRST LOOK

My inspiration
Top made using New Look 6524
I wanted to add the button touch to the back. Shout out to my son for picking the buttons.

After creating my top, I decided to make a whole outfit, so I used McCalls 6930, my TNT (tried and true) to create shorts to complete the look. Once I realized there was extra fabric left over, I decided to create shorts for my mini me as well using the same pattern. She was so happy, she loves when we wear mommy and me looks. I sure hope that she still enjoys it once she starts middle school next year 😢 (they grow up so fast). If not, I can create her singular looks that fits her ever changing style.

Be still my heart ❤

This look came together in the end, but there were a few changes made before I came to a final decision, which often happens in the planning and creating stage of any project. After trying on the top below, I just did not like the way it looked with the Peplum (it’s so important to constantly try on projects as you sew). I also decided to create gathered sleeves to complete the top.

This was my first idea for the top, but the Peplum was flat and was just overkill in my opinion. I decided to remove it and just keep it simple with the top.

LOOK TWO

For my final look, I decided to create a dress with a cute detail. My inspiration was this very cute dress that I saw on Pinterest. I did not want my dress to look exactly like my inspiration, but I did love the Peplum look on the bottom of the dress.

My inspiration
My version

With this look, I had extra fabric left over, and rather than throwing it to the side, I decided to get creative and make a head wrap with it. I think that it pulled the whole look together.

TWEED TIP

When working with tweed, it is very important that you serge the ends before washing and/or before starting your project. Once you cut out your pattern onto your fabric, make sure that you serge the ends then too. If you do not serge the ends of the fabric it will fray badly and fall apart depending on how long you have it sitting before you complete your project.

Thank you all for taking the time to read my blog. I hope that it has inspired you to start or continue sewing. That feeling of “I made it,” never goes away no matter how many things you make. Be blessed you guys, and remember to do everything with a purpose and with good intentions. Please like and comment below.

GREAT JEANS

Hi everyone, or as we say in Georgia, hey ya’ll! When Tammy and Nicole of D&H Fabrics chose me as one of the bloggers for their first ever blogger’s tour, I was ecstatic! I also knew that I wanted to take this opportunity to make something that I’ve never created before, due to fear of failure. I wanted to make jeans pants.

The Fabric

As soon as I entered the D&H website I was so in love with the selection, that I could not just choose one fabric to use for my project. I chose the cone mills slub indigo denim and the cozy cloud sweater knit. If you’re going to make jeans, why not make a top to go with it right? The denim fabric is so sturdy and comfortable. I could tell right away that this fabric was made to last. The sweater knit is so soft and cozy (now I understand the name) that I must order more to make jammies.

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The Pattern
I am a big fan of Megan Nielsen’s patterns, so of course I had to use her Ash jeans pattern. For my top, I used my go to t-shirt pattern, Jalie pattern, 2805.              

The Jeans
I must admit that I had no idea what I was up for when creating my jeans. Constructing the jeans was not the difficult part, the topstitching would be the Magnito to my Professor X (Marvel comic fan). However, I pushed through, and I must say that I am pretty happy about the outcome, considering that this was my first time making jeans.

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The Top

The top was a very easy make, and I love it so much, that I’ve already washed and worn it three times since I made it a week ago. I must say that the sweater knit fabric is such great quality that even after so many washes in such a short time, it holds its color and texture very well.

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I am grateful to Tammy and Nicole for allowing me to be a part of this wonderful journey. Through this, I have discovered wonderful sewists and amazing fabrics. I look forward to  creating more projects with their amazing fabrics.