A toast to forever | The time I made a wedding dress

Satin wedding dress and Cape

Hi guys,

In time for wedding season, coming at you with some wedding realness. So if the picture didn’t make it obvious, we have yet another piece I created for someone else! (Can I get a whoop whoop?). Before we get into any wedding story, what everyone wants to hear about is the proposal right? So my friend who we will call M for this story, had been setting this up for a while. She found her forever love and dutifully introduced him to her inner circle. It was all going swimmingly until one evening she sat me and my brother down and let us know she would be getting married!!

Now being the person that I am, my eyes were already brimming with happy tears before she could get all of her words out. Tears accompanied with “i’m so happy for you’s” and “I can’t believe it’s” and then she whipped out her phone and asked me to make her dress. I was beyond taken aback! While it was no candle light dinner or proposal at the beach, I was moved beyond words and swiftly nodded my head until I assessed what she actually wanted me to make. While I appreciated her confidence in my abilities, I felt no where near prepared to replicate the intricate jumpsuit that she wanted.

At this point, my mouth was a little dry. I asked if she had considered other options like gee, I don’t know, maybe buying the dress or having a back up dress at least. She said she had looked into it but she still felt I could do it. With her overwhelming faith in me and lots of pins back and forth on Pinterest we finally arrived at this style. I sketched out my vision and fabric shopping we went.

My top tips if you’re going to attempt this are

  1. Do plenty of research! Knowing exactly what you want will only do you good
  2. Have scrap fabric. I sewed this dress twice before I even looked at the actual fabric. It’s nice to make your mistakes elsewhere
  3. Take good measurements. The wrong measurements  can have you second guessing everything
  4. Leave plenty of allowance. Even with great measurements, having a little extra allowance is a nice safety blanket
  5. Be patient. Both with yourself and the processes. Sometimes coming back to look at the outfit with fresh eyes may be all it takes.

Three fittings and a whole lot of collaboration later, it was finally done! After all was said and done, M made this dress glow! Like can you fave ever even??? Of course as you can imagine I cried when I saw her. Designing wedding dresses was a favourite past time at some point in my life and to be trusted enough to make one was simply incredible.

Wishing M and B so much happiness on their new journey and a love that gets deeper with every passing day ♥

Pictures by Willyverse

The Nigerian Woman | Granny said…

Advice from my Grandmother

Hi Guys!

Bringing the Nigerian woman series back with some wise words from my Granny. For some reason, this memory has been at the forefront of my mind lately so I thought I’d share. On my first day of Primary school, she sat with my mother as my mum helped me into my “big girl” uniform. When my mother stepped out for a few minutes my Granny proceeded to hand me some major keys. It’s kind of funny to me how with the passing of time, her words have renewed meaning to me. Anyhow I’ll stop babbling on and get right into it.

The first thing she said to me was “neither a borrower nor a lender be”. Yes I’m aware that this is Shakespeare now but at the time I was none the wiser. At five this meant that when other kids at school would ask me to rip out paper from my notebook for their games, it was my responsibility to consider the consequences. First, my mother would have my ass if I ran out of pages in my book cause I was being the community vendor for table soccer. No friendship was really worth that. Plus the reverse of being the borrower was not safe either. Kids are mean and once you get that reputation of being the one who is always borrowing; its hard to shake the mockery. Later in life however, being discerning with borrowing and lending can save your friendships. There is nothing more uncomfortable than that feeling of debt whether you borrowed or loaned. You know that feeling when you see someone who owes you money faffing about on Snapchat or Instagram without a care or as would be the reverse, the feeling that you can’t take a breath without your debtor glaring at you. Either way, this is a philosophy I would recommend to anyone.

The second thing she said was “don’t let anybody see your pant”. This one caught me off guard to be honest but it was a lesson on avoiding pedophiles and men being scum 😛 . Okay maybe I’m reaching with that last bit but not by much I assure you. At five as you can probably imagine I took this very literally. There was nothing to suggest that this was really veiled caution against sexual predators. This lesson however came in handy a few weeks into Primary 1 when a two of my male peers at the time thought it would be cool to bring a small mirror to class and place it on the floor as a “peeping” apparatus -_-. When I found out, I stared the offender in the eye like Mowgli did Shere Khan and slapped him :). Ah the thought of my righteous retribution still makes me smile today. Fast forwarding a few years though, I feel what my Granny is saying to me now is that many people will make a case for why they are deserving of you; some convincing, some just creepy, but your vulnerability comes at a high price so act accordingly. I was raised in a society that constantly sexualizes women and like a double edged sword, shames them for indulging in anything sexual. For this reason I feel she was telling me to guard more than just my itty bitty fruit of the looms but to guard my heart as well.

Lastly, she said to me and still says to this day “be a good girl”. These are the all encompassing words of caution. If showing discernment in my dealings with others and guarding my heart weren’t enough to steer me on the right path, these were her final words to me that day. These words say to me remember where you come from, be kind and honest, honor your parents, be a blessing to all those you meet and live in peace with others.

Sometimes I wonder why she chose to tell me these things on my first day of school or if she told my mother these things as well but whatevrr it was, I’m glad she did.

Issa Look | DIY Men’s Versatile Overalls

Convertible men’s overalls

Hi Guys!!!!!

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As you can tell this post isn’t really about me (for once). Meet the man behind my pictures, photographer, brother, art director extraordinaire, Willyverse himself :D. Late last year I was reflecting on just how many shoots we had done and how kind and supportive he had been of all my endeavors and not once had he asked me to make him anything so I offered. I’ll be honest, I was halfway expecting him to shrug and say he didn’t want anything but then he actually had a request. He had an idea for a multi-functional “super suit” as he calls it or deconstructed overalls. Clearly we think alike because I feel an outfit maximizes it worth when it can be worn a few different ways.

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So I began my research and found a super helpful video on men’s overalls by StyldByChris. It seemed simple enough to start with; make pants, make a top, add loops to attach them and fin, oui? Mais non! First there were the issues with the pant legs, then the challenges with the zipper where it would disrespectfully slide open every time he bent even slightly and then the top was a good width if the two parts of the overall were attached but way too wide for the super suit.

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I have to commend William for working with me through the issues and making suggestions to fix the problems we faced. I was really just the tailor in this creative process, he fully committed to fleshing out his vision to the very last detail.

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In terms of making clothes for men as opposed to women, there really wasn’t a stark constructive difference if I’m being completely honest. I thought there would be for some reason. Nevertheless this was a great challenge and I learned plenty from the experience. Pluuuuusss I took my own blog pictures!!! What an unexpected turn of events eh?

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Until next time folks

Move Mami | DIY Turtleneck dress

Turtleneck dress with raglan sleeves

Hey hey!

 

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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

Plaid Illusion- DIY Two Piece work outfit

Plaid two piece

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I didn’t come to play in 2017 homie!

Jumpsuit? Two-piece? does it matter? Still hella fly though 😛 Okay I’ll stop tooting my own horn and get right into it. First, my inspiration; I was scrolling through a few blogs that I follow and I stumbled on Beaute J’adore‘s neck tie dress and I was like ooolala this is looking like a winner. A couple sketchy sketches later and I wanted a jumpsuit but jumpsuits are stressful so I decided to make two separate pieces a decision that also gives me flexibility to wear each piece on its own.

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A major contributor to the success of this outfit was- surprise surprise- PLANNING! I picked out clothes that had a similar fit to what I wanted, laid them out on tracing paper and traced around them. I made sure to add a lot of seam allowance just in case I messed something up.

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For the waistband of the pants I added pleats to add a little character to the pants and added a thick elastic to cinch in the waist. I haven’t (successfully) made a lot of pants in my sewing career so this was definitely a fun challenge.

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The neck tie was also a new venture for me but it definitely wasn’t too difficult. The hardest part was really figuring how far down to cut the slit where it wouldn’t be too cleavage-y and not too prudish. I attached the neck tie in a similar way to how I would attach a waistband. I finished some of the raw edges with red bias just to add a little something extra. I could have hemmed it but nahhh your girl had to do a likkle extra.

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Here’s to more fabulousness in 2017

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Pictures by Willyverse

 

Back//

Its been a while and I’ve missed blogging so much!! I feel like I say this after every mini hiatus but its still true 🙂

So I’m sure you’re wondering where I’ve been and what I’ve been doing with my time so I thought I should give you a brief summary and possibly a couple teasers of posts to come

  1. I was taking a class – no this isn’t one of the teasers but you know personal development and what not – in Project management. As fun as it was to kind of get back into the school vibe, I also remembered all of the things about school that stressed me out eg. late nights and group work so yea that took a chunk of my time.
  2. I made overalls…and they weren’t for me!! Yes yes, your girl is really pushing boundaries and challenging herself. Now this is one of the things I hope you will see very soon so I wouldn’t say too much about it but that has been very exciting.
  3. I’m currently learning to drive. Hoping I can get my license by February next year actually but driving has been kinda chill so far. I haven’t run over anyone or crashed into anything so I think it’s safe to say I’m doing alright. :p
  4. I might have made a wedding dress! No biggie, maybe I did, maybe I didn’t. Oh and if you were wondering, it wasn’t for me. I may have more details for you in the near future…mayyyyyyybe.
  5. Really just been working on myself. The adulting game had me feeling all kinds of overwhelmed this year but I’m trying to take things as they come and trying to make good decisions.

Yea in the most succinct way, this is what I have been up to since my last post. I’m so ready to get started with blogging again and putting out so much more ❤

To fresh starts

 

est.1994 | Birthday thoughts


Heyyyy!!

It was my birthday this month 😀 whoop ti doop! Couldn’t upload this post as early as I would have liked due to some technical issues but we move still. It truly was a happy birthday despite the rain. So grateful for my friends and family who showed up and sent lots of love my way :).

So typically I like to reflect on my past year and project for my year ahead but I think I need to give you the full gist of the day. Before I begin, lets just say I am convinced my upper back looks like Wonderwoman’s right now but hey that may just be in my head.

I decided to go indoor rock-climbing for my birthday, an activity I would recommend to anyone who may be interested. A couple things to note though are that I’m afraid of heights and well rock climbing involves going up above the ground supported by your harness, your b-layer, a few measly protrusions on the wall and God Himself.

We had a lovely instructor who took us through how to be safe and from that point on it was just climbing and living the dream.

21 was an interesting year for me. I definitely felt myself growing quite a bit and I’ve learned some important things along the way.

Being fearless is great but facing your fears is so much better

This year I have found that the more times I challenged myself to do something that I didn’t feel altogether comfortable doing, the more I saw myself improving. A major example is sewing for other people. [I have more to say on this] Sewing for others is actually terrifying to me. I just always feel like I wouldn’t get it right and I know for a fact that my skills are still rather basic so when people trust me to make things for them I have an overwhelming desire to say No! This year however, I tried it a few times. I wasn’t successful every time and I still have some projects sitting and waiting for me to revisit them but I have also learned so much more not just about sewing but about myself and how I ought to be handling failure. Failing isn’t the problem, it’s what you do when you fail that really matters

Look beyond yourself every now and again and see how you can be the joy in someone else’s life

This year I realized to a whole new degree that there is an entire world happening outside of myself. People are happy, people are hurting and everything in between. I’m still working on this one but sometimes you just need to be present and truly present for someone else even when they aren’t giving much in return. It could be a “just because” gift or sitting with someone and quietly listening to what they feel, whatever it is just find a way to make someone’s day a little better.

Starting is slow and rocky but you’ll never get anywhere if you give up there.

I am nearing my first full year of being in the working world and my business is also in its first few months. All in all this year has been a lot of firsts for me and there have been several moments of questioning what I’m doing and why I’m doing it. I’ve doubted myself and my abilities a whole lot and just been generally confused about many things but its only recently hit me that this is just the start and as with all things, it will become clearer as I move forward

Trusting God is often easier said than done.

This one caught me off guard a bit. Being Christian, I’ve heard “just trust God” a thousand and one times so much so that I just agree on autopilot however when it comes to time to really let go and let God, I find myself holding back on the silliest things. To truly trust [in my opinion] is to understand that His plans are for good and when He asks me to let go of something its not to leave me empty but to make room for something better. The letting go isn’t always easy but like I said, I’m learning.

Drink your water, Mind ya business!

Finally, at 21 I learned that I need to take care of my body and take care of my mind. This means being a bit more conscious of what I consume and how my behavior impacts the world that I live in. Now as wholesome as this sounds, note that this is still a work in progress. Battling the 5pm chocolate cravings and the indulgence in some really juicy gossip but still we move 🙂

So excited for 22 and I am seriously hoping to sustain this positivity all year long