Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Epic fail!


I'm sure you've all heard the term - EPIC FAIL.

Well the realness of this Epic fail - blog post is evident in these pictures. With my hectic schedule, sometimes I have to force myself to sit down and sew.  I would love to work part-time and sew part-time on a daily basis, but life has not yet afforded me that gift.

Often times sewing for me gets put on the late night burner.  In my younger years, I could stay up 24 hours or more without sleep but as I get older……… those days are far from me.  With working full-time, being a mom, and a glam-mom,  sewing gets pushed off day after day until I force myself to sit in my studio and make something.

At the top of the year, it was my goal to wear something that I’ve made every Sunday to church.  I didn’t need 52 new outfits, but I wanted what I wore to church to be something I’ve made.  Well……. I made it all the way to August 27th, 2017 on my goal.  I would have made it until now if it weren’t for me SEWING WHILE SLEEPY!!

I just knew I was wide awake and paying full attention to what I was doing but apparently, I was sewing in my sleep for real.. or at least cutting in my sleep.  In the sew world, that’s a crime.   As you can see from the picture posted below this dress would have been an awesome dress. 




I used pattern  NL6723.  I was doing good with it so I thought.  I made my markings once I cut the pattern.  Clipped all my notches too.  I thought I was doing everything right.  Once I finished I pinned my pieces together. Then life interrupted and I laid the pattern to side.  There’s no telling how long it had been lying around. 3 weeks, a month? 

Finally time came back around and I had a moment to pick it back up.  I was going to wear it for a conference.  I picked up where I left off.  Back like I never left. I was almost done.  All I needed to do was add sleeves and insert the zipper.  Before I continued, I decided to try on the dress to see if I needed to take it in any.  I first put it on Penelope cause we're the same size) and this is what I saw..



I couldn't believe my eyes  Even though I set up Penelope to my exact measurements, at that moment I couldn't trust myself.  SO I tried on the dress myself.  It was then that I was brought to the realization that when I came back from my conference………. I came back 18 pounds HEAVIER!!!!!!!!  How in the world?!?! 



Needless to say, there was no way to expand this dress at this point.  (Insert Sad Face).  Ok so, no crying over spilled milk here.  I have time to make something quick.  So let’s go for something short and sweet.  So I thought, I’ll make a Peplum top that I can match up with a Peplum skirt. 





EPIC FAIL – PART 1
M7021 is one of my favorite patterns!!  Meaning there’s no zipper and I can use a stretch knit.  So I cut out the fabric.  Then I realized I didn’t measure with this new weight gain. Yikes!!   Ok, let me think.. Wait, it’s a stretch fabric.  I can throw on my Body Magic ® and be good.  I continue to make the top.  As you can see, it looks pretty good, I’m almost done.  Then I decided to try it on only AFTER I attached the peplum and sleeves.


OH NO!!!! NOT AGAIN!!!



There's so many things wrong with this picture.  Let's start with.  I made the upper portion of the top TOO SMALL!!!!  Just how did I do that?  I didn’t pay attention to my own notes that I have written on the pattern. “ ADD 2 inches” . I know you’re like only 2 inches?  Yes.  2 inches can make a world of difference in the world of sewing if you ask me. 

So not only did I not increase the width of the pattern with my increase in weight, I failed to increase the length.  Even though I was down to the wire on making these outfits, I didn’t cry.  I could only laugh.  It was my fault for not paying attention to my own notes AND what I was feeding myself!!!!!!!!!!!!   I had stayed the same weight for so long.  I never thought to re-measure myself after my initial cut.

Now I understand the phrase that I learned from my experienced Sew Sisters.


I've learned my lesson.  The one thing I can't stand is wasting fabric.  So from now on..  I'm going to measure myself quite a few times before I cut.  I pray I never make this mistake ever again!!!!

So as I close ( in my sewing ministry voice) I leave you with this.  Don't a mistake here or there stop you or keep you from sewing.  We all do it at some time or another.
Take your time, pay attention and DON’T SEW WHILE SLEEPY OR SLEEPING!!!!! Measure, Measure, then measure again.

If you're a seamstress visiting the blog, leave a comment down below on what was your EPIC FAIL.

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Friday, September 1, 2017

DIY Wall Décor ~ Dollar Tree Style


Never in my wildest dreams have I ever thought to consider being a Martha Stewart kind of person.  That is until I met Pinterest. 

As a teen and young adult, I was the busy body type.  In school I was very active in sports, friends, I worked at Roy Rogers in between.  I literally came home to sleep and shower.  My family always had the house looking very nice and clean, but I never paid attention to the décor that made it a home.  With the creation of Pinterest, I have been lured to spending minutes and maybe even hours scrolling (research) the pages of awesome pins to this app.   Some of the pins were costly and difficult to re-create so I scrolled past with like a “Like”.  Then I was hit with a Dollar Tree Décor Board and my eyes were open to the fact that I too can have a beautifully decorated home as when I was younger – on a budget.

Here’s one of my favorite DIY that I stumbled upon as a re-pin on Pinterest.  Check out the video below.  Below that are the written steps to follow to make your own.



Supplies Needed:
Krylon Paint (Michael’s, Joann’s, A.C. Moore)
3 Etched Nickel plated serving trays (Dollar Tree)
Main Street Wall Creation Stickers (Dollar Tree)
Picture hanging Kit (Dollar Tree)
Glue Gun and sticks (Michael’s, Joann’s, A.C. Moore)





The very first thing I did was remove the price stickers from the back of the serving trays.  I did this by just wetting a paper towel and leaving on top of the label  for a few minutes.  that made it easier to peel off.



Then I went outside with the trays and spray paint to paint the nickel plated serving trays. Side bar - NEVER EVER EVER spray paint in your house without proper ventilation.  I gave the trays a couple coats to get the look that I wanted.  I let it dry outside while I went inside to tape a different YouTube video.

Once dry, I applied the Wall Street Main Creation stickers on the tray giving it a slight rub to insure that it adhered to the trays.

On the back of the trays, I attached a wall hanging unit using a glue gun.  Although I didn't measure to get the middle of the try, you may want to do that for a picture perfect hanging.

The entire project costs me $5.00 outside of the glue gun and can of paint (which I already had). Incidentally,  I used a coupon for both of those items.  

Only thing left after gluing the wall hanging kit is to locate the perfect spot and hang.

NOTE:  The stickers do not have glue on the back.  If you make a mistake placing them on the trays, you can easily peel it right back off.  I created my project about 5 months ago and the stickers have not loosened or come off yet.


This is an easy breezy project that even your teenagers can do.

I posted this project on YouTube 3 months ago and never did I imagine that it would give me OVER 12,000 views.  For this I am grateful.

Take a look and tell me what you think.

Tell me your favorite Dollar store decor project.

Should you DIY this project, tag on Instagram or on my Facebook page.  I would love to see your work.

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Disclaimer: I do use affiliate links in my blog. There’s NO charge to click on any of these links. However I do receive a small percentage from the advertiser if you decide to purchase after following that link. Thanks for your support.

Thursday, August 31, 2017

I'm still here!!!


I'm still here! Did you miss me?

Although I've been present on social media I've been missing from the blogs just a little bit.   What I've been up to.

Many of you know I started a YouTube page about six months ago. So I've had to take some time to create content to learn about YouTube to learn about editing photographing videotaping am posting on you too.

In doing that I've actually posted quite a few videos one of which you can see here.




In addition to doing sewing videos I've also added Product review and DIY creation to my content. And boy did that take off. One of my DIY videos has reached over 10,000 views in a matter just two months!!!

I know it's been a while since you've heard from me I've been very very busy I took a sewing studio and I decided to teach a sewing 101 class I worked with my student for about five session and we complete it with a minor project her project was a lap scarf.

I felt great being able to help another woman achieve an accomplishment even though it may seem small but it was that experience that has made me consider continuing this path of teaching a Sewing 101 class. I'm not an expert and I don't know everything about sewing but I am willing to teach what I've learned. I've had numerous people come up to me and asked me to make something for them but I honestly don't have time to make something but I am more than willing to make the time to teach someone how to make it for themselves.

So after doing some research on Sewing 101 classes I've come up pretty much with the curriculum that can work for me and my students for at least about a six week course. So the plan is in the very near future within the next three months I will set my basement up I'll change it over to make a small classroom where I will be able to host at least 2 to 3 students on my first selling 101.

Starting this will still allow me the opportunity to sell for myself which I love to do. I got this idea when I somewhat impromptu interviewed Made Institute founder, Rachel Ford.  Please see my previous post here.  - My Fabric Haul and Sewing Institute visit of how she started made Institute.  I was impressed at her plan of how she started her school without owing anyone any money.  The building that housed the Institute appears to be very pricey.   I'm going to start on a smaller scale teaching other women a craft that I feel has gone out with the times I am determined to bring it back in and to the forefront of our culture.

I realize I am going to have to put myself to training as well so that means I'm gonna have to go out venture more into sewing so many different things and probably put myself through this course as well completing one of the projects that I'm going to have for the end of the program. I'm willing to do that for the sake of my students. I'm hoping to that other woman will follow suit.

I've learned so much from my Sew sistas via social media they are so willing to help me and I want to be able to give back to the community and the culture as well.

So stay tuned you'll hear more about the studios and you'll see more projects coming up in the very near future happy sewing!!!

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Disclaimer: I do use affiliate links in my blog. There’s NO charge to click on any of these links. However I do receive a small percentage from the advertiser if you decide to purchase after following that link. Thanks for your support.



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Tuesday, July 4, 2017

My Fabric Haul and Sewing Institute visit

My visit to Made Institute in Philadelphia, PA.



Have you ever felt like you just fell into the right place at the right time?

That was how I felt when I arrived to Made Institute in the historic part of Center City Philadelphia.

It started when I received this Facebook tag from my Big Sister Angie.  At first I was thinking, where in the world is there a sewing school in this city outside of Joann Fabrics???  I already made plans for this day and Plans that were on the other side of town.  However,  Who can pass up a $25 Fabric grab bag?  Not me.  Usually I travel to NYC and hit the Fabric district to hit my favorite grab bag spot but was happy to save on the bus ride fare, so I changed my plans to go.

Now, having lived in Philadelphia all but 3 years of my life, I couldn't figure out where this location was.  I actually had to Google map it only to find that it was a few blocks away from where I worked.  Being located near one of my favorite spots, Penn's Landing (our waterfront),  I figured that I could make a stop there afterwards and just relax, people watch and read.

In case you don't know - A grab bag is when you pay a fee (in this case $25) and they sponsors hand you a bag and you fill it to capacity of the bag.  ANYTHING that you can fit into this bag, you get to walk away with. So the day came for me to make my venture to the unknown.  I went with suitcase in hand - Just in case it was too heavy to carry.  I went early but The day was already hot.  As I was walking, I had the opportunity to explore all that was around me.  Places I've heard of but never seen. One place in particular was, The Betsy Ross House.  So I marked that down as a come back to place once I finished.

I arrived to the small street that housed the designated location.  As I look down the block, I thought, this clearly looks like a residential area, where could a school fit on this block!  Yet, I kept walking thinking, either I'll find it or I'll find something else historical.  Low and behold with a few more steps there was an opening that set in a little off the street and there was MADE!



So I walked inside and was greeted at the door.  II was given the run down on how the process was to go for my time there.  I paid my $25 and proceeded with caution as I was not the first one there and the excitement was flowing.  Before picking up anything, I walked around the entire store to see what was all there.  After getting permission to take photos from Rachel, I realized that this would become a 2-fold mission.  Not only will I be grabbing some great pieces of fabric, but laying down the work for my next blog post.

They had everything from Fabric to Patterns, and sewing machines.  I must have walked around the school 3 times, asking questions and taking pics.  I even stumbled upon this historic beauty here hiding behind a door. I thought it was just an old fashion sewing machine but it was actually a Button Hole Maker.

 


I finally made my way back to the front and chatted with Rachel, who incidentally is the owner,  while I was putting my bag into my suitcase, I looked over and immediately started asking Rachel questions. Now to know me is to know I am an introvert and somewhat shy, I don't normally just start asking questions to people I don't know.  What was even crazier than that was, as soon as I asked Rachel who was the owner and how long this school has been here, her response came as if I were doing an interview.  So what did I do?  I pulled out my phone and started taking notes!!!



Made Institute started right in the apartment of Rachel just a few short years ago after attending Moore College of Art.  It wasn't long before she started receiving  request from eager students waiting to learn. So much so that Rachel had to start looking for a new place to hold classes.  It was then that she stumbled on the current location of 305 Cherry Street, Philadelphia.  Which she holds the location WITHOUT A LOAN and owing NO ONE!!!!  Rachel made it a point to be business savvy with her dollars.  She explained that with every student having paid tuition, she purchased a dress form and sewing machine.  To see this building along with the location, you would think that she took out quite a few loans.  But she didn't and I was soooooo amazed!!!  Even more, she is leaving this location here to continue her journey and expand at their NEW LOCATION of 448 N. 10th Street 5th fl, Philadelphia, PA

All in all, this is the last place that I thought to get my next fabric haul from!!!   So to my readers, check out your local sewing schools / Institutes and check out if and when they are doing and downsizing or giveaways.

To see what made it to my grab bag, check out my YouTube video..


For more social information on Made Institute, you can follow them on IG @made_institute and Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/MadeInPhiladelphia/   To sign up for classes or to hear more about the school head over to their website: www.made-institute.com 

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Disclaimer: I do use affiliate links within my blogposts however there’s NO charge to click on any of these links. However I do receive a small percentage from the advertiser if you decide to purchase after following that link. Thanks for your support.



Wanna learn to sew?   http://sew-it-academy.thinkific.com/bundles/sew-it-academy?ref=c96ad4

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

My Sewing Bucket List



In following behind my sew sistas, Robert's Wife Collection and Fashion Behind the Seams, I've decided to create a sewing bucket list.  I've only been sewing for 3 years and haven't yet been exposed yet to all the techniques and fashion but I thought I would list my Bucket List by pattern number until I had to search for them.  So here's the basic list.


  1. Jumper
  2. Wide Leg Pants
  3. Bow Top
  4. Pleated Color Skirt
  5. Wrap Dress 
  6. High-Lo dress
  7. Maxi Skirt
  8. Blouse / Shirt with Lining
  9. Dress w/ lining
  10. Blind hem stitching
  11. Clutch
  12. Detachable shoulder Bow
  13. Tulle skirt
  14. Bishop sleeve top
  15. V slash neckline dress/top
  16. Exposed zipper
  17. Fly zipper
  18. Blazer
  19. High-lo Peplum
  20. High-lo Maxi skirt
  21. Hair Bonnets
  22. Lap scarf
  23. Tunic Dress
  24. Bind a Neckline
  25. Apron
  26. Attend Pinterest Conference 
  27. Attend the Mimi G
  28. Decorative Pillow
  29. Outer wear jacket
  30. Wool Coat
Sheesh!!!  That's a lot!  I've already completed a few of these items.  So that helps.  SOME.






Disclaimer: I do use affiliate links in my blog. There’s NO charge to click on any of these links. However I do receive a small percentage from the advertiser if you decide to purchase after following that link. Thanks for your support.


Monday, May 15, 2017

Jumping The Broom!!





Ok so I didn’t jump the actual broom, but I did start a new marriage.  I’ve decided to join the millions of creators, entrepreneurs, and just regular people in the new wave of being a YouTuber!!!!

Yes, I, Shawn Jones Harris creator of Zariah Sews, now has a You Tube page.    I’ve actually been engaged with YouTube for the past year.  Going through cold feet as to whether or not I am actually going to walk down the aisle and click that upload – “Marry ME!” button.  My sister, Lailah Lynn, has been a YouTuber for a few years now and has been trying to encourage me to take the plunge.  Even my Mom, AskMarie, joined the team before I did.



Me being shy and an introvert (yes there is a difference) I struggled with putting myself out there visually.  I know that you all can’t actually see me out there live, but I know you’re there – somewhere.  I didn’t want to be filmed myself.  So I started with just playing around with the camera and actually doing a short segment will I was on the floor working on a pattern.  When I say playing I mean it.  No lights, a cheap camera, and I am on the floor.  Not only that, I did while trying to container my grand-daughter from stepping on my project. Let’s not forget, I had no editing class or even watched a YT video on how to be or upload videos. It was just a shoot and upload moment that got captured in the momentum of bravery.

So my moment of bravery with horrible lighting, editing, and upload skill, actually captured a few views.  I had already set myself up to thinking that the only people who would even see the video would be my sister, mom and I.  Who would think 2 minutes 8 seconds in and 2 months later this video would have captured 234 views??? Surely not me!!!!

Alright.  Now it’s done.  The anxiety is over.  Then they tell me, you have to do more!!!!!  MORE????!!!  Sheesh Louise! Do you know how hard it was to do that one?  I don’t want my face on video.  What would I even have to talk about without being present?  My sister and Mom then taunted me with their monthly earnings and how they are able to pay bills.  My sister (baby sis at that) is so good at it, it affords her to be a stay at home mom.  I was totally amazed that this was even possible to do.  Then I thought, I could use that extra money.  On top of that I thought, this could be a 2 fold ministry.  I love helping people – doing videos based on my sew journey could help or teach someone else and eventually get paid for doing what I already love.

Hmmmm… I think I can this – with that mindset of course.  So I began writing ideas that came to mind in my journal.  I came up with a jumpstart of 10 videos.  Oh my goodness!  Am I about to 10 videos?!  Here comes that old anxiety again.  So I sat on the idea of it for about a month.  Then out the clear blue I get a comment from my Sew Sista, NaturalDane, after I posted a pic of my fabric haul at one of my favorite stores that said, “I hope we get a haul video”- smiley face with hearts.  Huh? A what??  She must be kidding! Or maybe not.  Her statement had my mind going again.  Then I asked myself (once again – “Can I really do that?”   I started watching others and how easy it seemed to shoot, then I did it for myself. I recorded another video.  This time, you can see me.  You can view the, “What’s in my Bag” video here.  After doing that one video I realized I had another bag so again, as I moved in the moment of momentum, I shot another video.

Breathe Z!  I just shot and posted 3 videos!!!!!  Not only that I received likes , subscribers, and comments!!  So in that excitement, I went back to my list that I made a month before and thought – I can do this!  So here we are.

My channel will not only be filled with sewing videos, but crafting and etc.. as well.
So please check out my videos by clicking on the link.



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Happy Sewing!





Tuesday, April 18, 2017

New Look Pattern 6469 - Sew Along/Pattern Review

So I've been sitting on this pattern for quite some time now.  I must have grabbed it when it was first released as I have the sample envelope.  As soon as I saw New Look 6469, I knew I had to have it in my collection.




What first caught my eye with this pattern was the style.  I am 5' 9'' and have not only a lot of leg, but almost an equal amount of torso.  Not to mention the extras in the middle.  So I wanted something cute and sassy, plus easy to make and in looking at this pattern, this was it.  

When I first opened the package, I went right into cutting my pattern size out.  It was my intention to make this dress right away.  I had a fabric choice in mind at first glance.  Only once I went to lay the pattern on the fabric,  My fabric wasn't wide enough to accommodate the pattern.  So I folded it back up and stuffed it in the envelope and it sat on a shelf for months.  Maybe even a year.  I was disappointed in that I had to start my fabric search all over for this pattern.

In the meantime, I went fabric shopping a few times since then and had fabric just sitting up on the shelf.  I confess, I am a mini-hoarder.

Recently I came across a YouTube video created by one of my sew sisters, Brittany J Jones.  It was for this exact pattern!! After watching the video and seeing how easy she made it seem, I went searching through my stash and came up with this fabric choice.  This is a denim look-a-like that is a stretch knit.



 



So here's my review:


Pattern Sizing: Size 18 

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?  Yes

Were the instructions easy to follow?  I'm going to say yes here.  I actually did not use the pattern instructions, but did it as a Sew-A-long with Brittany.  I thought the sleeve insertion would be shake me a little, but I had no problems.  Especially since I had a video tutorial to follow.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? I actually found no fault in this pattern at all

Fabric Used: Stretch Knit.  I really love this fabric.  It's so comfy.  

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made: I added a few inches to the length since I am "leggy"  only thing is.... I have no idea how many inches I added.

Would you sew it again? Definitely!!! I will definitely make a number of these in the future using various types of fabric since there is a zipper involved.

Would you recommend it to others? YES!!!

EXTRAS: Having Brittany's video really helped me as I am a visual learner.  It allowed me to stop and go as I went and have a clear understanding of what the directions were probably saying.



I made an attempt to do a mini photo shoot after church, but my grand wouldn't let me go solo.  Once she saw what I was doing, she jumped right in and refused to move.  So here she is in her first public blog post.





This dress was so easy to make.  If I can do it, You can do it too!

Happy Sewing!!!

My Amazon Store:  http://astore.amazon.com/zariahsews21-20 

Want to learn how to sew?  
http://sew-it-academy.thinkific.com/bundles/sew-it-academy?ref=c96ad4  

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