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  • Failure helps you grow!

    “Failure is a golden opportunity to start again with more knowledge than we had before.” Have you ever wanted to try something new but refused to give up on yourself? Did you push through it even though you failed several times? Well, that is exactly how I felt about a few embroidery design projects and mastering applique designs using knit fabric. In preparation for Black History Month, I wanted to make a few embroidery designs and rock a piece of my very own handmade garment. I decided to start early so I purchased 2 different designs on Etsy and went to work. After a few successful applique samples on cotton fabric, I felt confident to try it on a garment and made my first attempt on a sweatshirt. I cut the front bodice piece, centered the design, and did a stitch out. Little did I know I did everything wrong after watching a few videos on YouTube. The first mistake I made was not ironing the knit stabilizer on the actual garment which is a major issue. Because knit stretches, it must be stabilized in order to add an embroidery design. The stabilizer that is recommended is not the same as woven fabric and it MUST be ironed on. I noticed the bobbin thread at the top and couldn’t figure out why. The design on the left had to be stopped as the lips shifted while the design on the right earrings shifted and I couldn't finish the afro. I knew I needed to ask an expert so I went to the Husqvarna Vikings dealer located in my local Joann store. A few life lessons from this trip allowed me to do a bit of soul searching and reflection. Sharing 3 LIFE LESSONS: 1. Don’t be afraid to fail. Failure allows you to grow and learn even more. Little did I know I would have discovered quite a few features on the Designer Sapphire 85 sewing machine. I actually went to the dealer and decided to ask the salesperson a few questions about my knit project to see what I was doing wrong. He was such a joy and quickly shared a few tips and decided to sit down and even show me how to use the software and the great features that it offers. I am definitely going to ensure that each month, I visit a dealer and spend at least 30 minutes and ask questions about the project that I would like to tackle. I will ensure that I do my research first by watching a few videos and reading the manual and then go in with my questions and ask for any tips and guidance before starting a new project. Life Lesson #2: Try, try and try again! The old Marica would have given up on the 2nd try. I actually cut 2 different front bodices and failed. I did not even care if I had to cut it a third or even a fourth time because I truly wanted to master applique designs on an actual knit garment. After failing, I also noticed that the stitch out had a glitch and was missing another stitch to tack down the applique a third time. This made me feel better because it wasn’t really 100% my fault. Life Lesson #3: Success will boost your confidence! When I finished my first stitch on the knit, I was extremely proud and knew I wanted to keep trying going so I did some pillow. Even though my excitement made me pick the wrong lip color on the orange sweater, I did not give up. When I did the stitch out for the pillow’s red lips, the thread kept on jamming in the bobbin area. I just stopped it, stared at the machine, touched a button or two, and realize I am able to rewind the stitch out to the beginning. I figured out the REWIND and I removed the bad stitches and started again. I was so proud that I did learn yet another feature on the machine. My goal in 2022 is to learn, grow and share my talent with others. I have been wanting to offer beginner virtual sewing classes but my confidence level was at an all-time low in 2021 not knowing if I would be successful. I am definitely researching different tools that I can use to offer a seamless virtual session as I get asked at least once a week about teaching sewing. I am still working out a schedule, however, due to my hectic family and tutoring commitments, I may have to wait until early March when things slow down to kick it off. Thanks for all your support and encouragement over the years. I can’t wait to tackle yet another embroidery feature on my Husqvarna Designer Sapphire sewing machine. I am truly proud of the pillows I made and can't wait to rock a few designs on garments during the month of February in celebration of Black History Month. One Love and have a great week, Marica

  • I am back - My first shirt dress!!!

    Happy NEW YEAR All! Blogging has been a challenge for me over the past year or more. In 2022, one of my personal commitments to myself is to share the love of sewing through blogging and reels at least 3-4 times a month. When I first started blogging with Fabric Mart, I felt more empowered to blog on my personal page at least once a month. Overtime, I lost the desire to write detailed blogpost because technology has evolved, and more people are focused on quick social media reels and videos. I do want to get back into writing and want to share more of that passion and desire. I finally took photos of the very first button-down shirt dress and I am excited to share. I have had this pattern in my stash for the longest (over 3 years) and my fear of doing more than 5 buttonholes got the best of me. Little did I know how easy it is to create a buttonhole on the Husqvarna Viking sewing machine and after watching 2 videos on YouTube, I gave it a try. I have always had a desire to create a shirtdress and decided to use Simplicity 8014 after doing a few google searches. This dress is quite popular in the sewing community and for the most part, it was flattering on all body types. I did not make any fit modifications or adjustments to the pattern except for the sleeves. I opted to just hem it instead of doing the fold-over. I measured the bodice pieces and compared them to a recent make (NL6698) and knew it was perfect based on my body measurements. For the most part, my bust area measurements are standard to most bodices except occasionally I may have to lengthen it. For the buttonholes, I decided to start the first button in the center of my chest and measure 2.5 inches apart for each. Next time, I will add a snap-in between the buttons in the bust area to avoid any peekaboo issues. I am truly proud of this make and the fabric purchased from Afriqueclothingstore available in other colorways here and here . This fabric truly highlighted the beauty of this pattern and matching and cutting it wasn’t as challenging. I plan to make another version soon and will share more video tips via Instagram. I am excited to venture into more challenging projects this year and have already selected a few tops with buttons. Thank you for staying the course and following my journey. I am excited to return to blogging with Fabric Mart and shared my first blog here. I plan to commit to sharing more of my personal story and love for sewing so don’t forget to subscribe if you haven’t! One Love, Marica

  • My Birthday Jumpsuit

    Have you ever had plans to make a fabulous look, started it, then threw it aside because you were unhappy with the fit on you because your were uncomfortable in your skin? Have you struggled with, “If I loose 10 pounds then this would fit perfectly?” Well, that is exactly how I felt about the bodice of this jumpsuit back in May when I created it. It took a few weeks of summer bootcamp sessions to feel comfortable in my skin to finish it just in time for my birthday. When I came across this fabulous tie shoulder jumpsuit on instagram from thekemist, I fell in love with it and knew I could recreate it using the Gigi swimsuit pattern I made a year ago. Even though I don't usually muslin my makes, I knew I needed to at least create a muslin (test make) of the bodice, because I was using a woven fabric instead of a knit I didn't want to create the EXACT replica of the inspiration look but wanted to have a similar silhouette and fit. I knew the front of the swimsuit pattern would work with a waistband. For the bodice, I measured the smallest part of my waist adding an extra 1.5 inches for ease and created a waistband with an inside lining measuring 4.25 inches wide. I also sewed at 5/8 inch seam allowance so the finish waistband measured exactly 3 inches wide. For the back tie, the width is about 4.5 inches, and a length of 33 inches sewing at a 1/2 inch seam allowance. The back ties are placed 2.5 inches from the side seam with a finish width of 3.5 inches and a length of 32 inches. I basically used the same curve shape from the front pattern piece. For the pants, I used my favorite jumpsuit pattern M8009 that works for the width of the Ankara fabric which is 45 inches wide. Next time, I would definitely make the pants portion using Vogue 1708 infinity jumpsuit pattern which I believe would work for the inspiration look if the width of the fabric is at least 58 inches wide. I am so glad I saved this unique Ankara fabric from who carries an array of exquisite Ankara prints. I ABSOLUTELY can say this is one of my BEST jumpsuit to date. The great news is Afriqueclothingstore has this fabric in stock as well as multiple color ways. Cynthia from Afrique Clothing will be giving away 6 beautiful yards so be sure to stay tuned to our instagram pages to see how you can win this beauty. Thank you so much for READING and DON'T FORGET TO SUBSCRIBE!! Stay tuned for a STEP by STEP VIDEO on my next make which will be a ROMPER or cute MINI DRESS!! One Love, Marica

  • Ankara Week - Look what I worn on TV Weekend Smile Jamaica

    I am so excited that today officially kicks off Ankara Appreciation week hosted by Juliet Uzor of Sew So Natural and Lena King. What can I say, Ankara runs deep within my soul and you know this is one challenge that I would not miss. If you have been following my sewing journey for a while, one of my favorite fabric to sew with is Ankara. I love bold bright colors and the designs always allow me to challenge my pattern matching abilities. When Cynthia from Afriqueclothingstore shared this print a few months ago, I knew I had to grab this one to sew during the summer. I absolutely fell in love with it the minute she shared it. To showcase its beauty, I knew making a maxi dress using McCalls 7943 View D would be perfect. I absolutely love this pattern and have made it 3 times. Yes, this dress has a center back seam and I matched it perfectly. Even though I made the dress way back in May, I finally found a reason to rock it. I was given an amazing opportunity to do a DIY Segment on Smile Jamaica TV virtually and what better way to showcase the dress. I was hesitant to do the segment at first but I needed this to help me overcome my fear of self-doubt. I am extremely proud of my journey this year and definitely hope that this first experience will not be the last. Now let's get into the make up BAG!!!! Can you believe I am finally using the embroidery feature of my Designer Sapphire 85 Husqvarna Sewing and Embroidery Machine? I absolutely love it and decided to overcome my fears and learn a new feature each week during the month of June. I have been working with the smaller hoops as I want to master it before I get into embroidery on garments. I fell in love with this appliqué design the minute I saw it on Tanya's instagram page. She was kind enough to send me the link to purchase on Etsy and a video. I am counting down to my birthday in August and to share the joy and love of being a Husqvarna ambassador, I am giving away a brand new Husqvarna Emerald 118 sewing machine. YES, you got it right, a brand new machine. Go over to my Instagram page to read all about it. Thank you so much for reading and following my journey. Don't forget to subscribe as I plan to do a giveaway for subscribers ONLY! As always... ONE LOVE, Marica

  • Get Lit!! Candle Making 101

    This pandemic has allowed us all some time to deeply reflect on our purpose and find joy in the things around us. I absolutely love candles and wanted to give candle making a try so I purchased a kit on Amazon last September. It literally sat on my desk for almost 2 months before deciding to use it. My first candle was an epic fail and that did NOT stop me from buying 10 pounds of wax and more supplies and keep pushing. I conquered my fear and researched candle making for at least 3 months to master the science behind it. I made over 30 candles during the Christmas season and gave them away and received so much positive feedback which inspired me to write a grant so that I can purchase items for the Middle and Community School. A week later after submitting a grant proposal, I received the best news and secured a Walmart Foundation grant which allowed me to purchase a few kits and supplies for our Middle and Community school. I was able to pilot my very first candle making class in January as a Faculty Team Building event. The teachers and staff LOVED it and this was all the inspiration I needed to step out of my comfort zone. I decided to create a STEM lesson and partner with the Science department and teach other students as well (see video here). Coincidentally, I made pants for someone who I went to College with and she came to pick it up and saw my set up to make candles. She asked if I would do a VIRTUAL session for 45 ladies to celebrate their Delta Anniversary! I was hesitant at first but decided to push through my fears. The week long of packing and shipping gave me all the inspiration I needed to START MY VERY OWN Virtual and in-person Candle making classes. YOU heard it FIRST! I have some GREAT news to share and YES and I have added the CANDLE MAKING KITS on my website for purchase. I have released 25 KITS for PRE-ORDER TODAY to my subscribers first and will be adding more later this week. With the purchase of your KIT, you can start your own candle making journey and attend a LIVE VIRTUAL session where I will walk you through the steps to create your very own CANDLE using the KIT! I have tested all products in the kit for over 6 months and I know you will truly enjoy the candle making experience. I will have 2 - 3 classes each month with a maximum of 15 participants and will release 25-30 KITS per week. Each month I will be adding NEW classes and will offer REFILL KITS! Next month I will be sharing the process to create your very own colored candles and will offer these refill kits. DON'T MISS out on the $5 discount if you purchase a PRE-ORDER KIT this week! NOTE that ALL KITS will start shipping on Thursday, April 29th and Friday, April 30th. I am super excited and can't wait to MEET you in THE ZOOM CANDLE MAKING ROOM! Thank you so much for reading! If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me. One Love, Marica

  • DIY Color Block Jogger Set

    Happy Monday All, I am so EXCITED to write a blogpost after neglecting my personal blog for MONTHS!! It seems like forever since I wrote a blog post here even though I am still blogging monthly with Fabricmart. I got up extremely early to write this post (4:50 am) to share my amazing leisure/loungewear that I made this weekend. I have been wanting to make a cute jogger set from my stash of Ponte knit but couldn't find the perfect shade of purple for the color block I originally intended. For the top, I used Simplicity 1072, an out-of-print pattern I had for years. I have been wanting to make this top for Christmas using sequins but finally decided to make it with Ponte knit. I made view D size 14 as I wanted a looser fit. The pattern does NOT come with a cuff so I decided to make my own and add it to jazz up the look. I cut 2 pieces of fabric 5 inches by 9.5 inches, stitched then folded it in half, pressed, and attached. If you made the blackwood cardigan, I basically used the same method to create. For the pants, I used Mimi G Style 8702 Jogger set View C pants with a few modifications. I cut the 14 and made a few fit adjustments due to the finish hip measurements. I actually typically wear a 16 in most pants pattern and a 12 in the top. I had to scoop out the crotch, add 1/2 inch to the top of center back seam, widen the pattern from the waist to the hip as I need a few more inches. I also added 2 inches to the length of the pants and had to make adjustments to the lower side trim piece with the zipper as well. The color blocking is a bit tedious as I opted to change thread, however, it is an easy sew with no complicated techniques. I opted to topstitch the side panel pieces so that the seams lay flat on the inside. I absolutely love the way it turned out and definitely plan to make another pair soon. I finally used up this beautiful Ralph Lauren navy ponte knit I purchased last November and have no regrets. Thank you so much for reading and don't forget to stop by Fabricmart to read my latest make here. Have a great week and stay tuned to Instagram and follow my stories to check out what is up next on my cutting table. One Love, Marica

  • Fabric Mart June Post - Speaking my truth!

    Happy Saturday All! In these unsettling times, I hug my children a little tighter, spend quality time embracing them, and cherish every moment even more. This pandemic has allowed me to appreciate deep conversations about racial injustice, police brutality, and their feelings about growing up black. My daughter Arielle, a happy go lucky child, shuns away as she is always being questioned about her race and which box she checks off on an application. She hates the fact that she is consistently asked by her peers and teachers at school if she is biracial, Hispanic, or Black. She has often times questioned her own identity, yet she gladly responds to anyone who asks, “ I am black and I am a part of the human race”. READ MORE ABOUT IT ON FABRICMART!!

  • Styling Matters!

    Over the past 2 years, the sewing community has brought to the forefront  that  (Black, Indigenous and People of Color) “BIPOC” are NOT represented or selected as ambassadors for many big brands that we continuously support.  In general, the lack of diversity in these organizations are evident in their marketing campaigns as certain body types, sizes, ages, gender and color are not included or catered to.  I honestly just noticed about 2 years ago seeing black models on patterns covers when McCalls and Simplicity started to feature one or two in each release but the way they were styled at times made my skin crawl. When I saw the new release of the SUMMER 2020 Simplicity patterns and saw a black young model featured, I was livid by the styling and colors used for their SUMMER pattern.  How did this go to production? Was this really approved and no one was vocal enough to say something?  I wanted to see if it was me so I shared the skirt pattern with 5 persons, 3 in the SEWING community and 2 who are NOT SEWIST.  Everyone was shocked and all agreed it looked like a slave maid. Clearly, there is LACK of diversity at all LEVELS from start to finish! I felt a wee better when Juliet shared in her stories that the pattern was removed from their website and kept my fingers crossed that it was taken from the store shelves to be repackaged.  I was SKEPTICAL but wanted to give Simplicity the benefit of the doubt as I had plans to purchase Mimi G’s new jumpsuit pattern which was on sale that weekend. Not surprised, the pattern was in the drawer and then a few days later, it migrated to the top of the display shelf.  I contemplated purchasing the pattern and was hesitant at first as I was so pissed off based on the styling.  I decided to reach out to Abigail to check her local Joann to see if the pattern was in her store or if it was just an oversight by management at mine. She confirmed that her store had it on display. The next day, I saw the pattern in someone’s story and decided to go purchase it and use it as a TEACHABLE moment and to educate my students about “covert or hidden racism” and how blacks may be portrayed by brands  just like Aunt Jemima and Uncle Ben.  SO happy to learn that they are FINALLY retiring the labels on these brands!  READ MORE ABOUT IT HERE. “Hidden racism” exists even if you may not notice.  Food for thought! Have you ever noticed certain hair care product lines are labeled ethnic in some stores or not mixed in with the other bigger brands? STYLING AND HOW BLACKS ARE PORTRAYED MATTERS even with the little pittance of diversity and inclusion! This harmful stereotype of a beautiful, young black model styled like a slave maid with subtle make-up, blah styling  in summer clearly reinforced a negative imagery based on this cover. Mind you, I would have NOT purchased this pattern for me but would have used it to teach a beginner sewing student to make a  SIMPLE elastic waist circle skirt.  Wonder why Abigail and I made it? WE WANT TO SHARE THAT STYLING MAKES A DIFFERENCE!!  We wanted to share our thoughts and love for Ankara fabric and how much it reminds us about SUMMER! READ HER POST HERE!! NO WAY in 2020 SHOULD A BLACK MODEL be styled for a MAJOR PATTERN COMPANY  distributed in MAJOR CRAFTING STORES for a summer pattern release looking like this. Even if she wore a khaki skirt or used neutral color, the COVER is CLEARLY “hideous” on all levels!  Obviously there is a lack of DIVERSITY OR CULTURAL AWARENESS and imagine NO one saw a problem or even spoke up! I am watching and waiting to see if these companies are genuinely supporting the cause and plan to make a difference or are they capitalizing on “Black Lives Matter” and then back to business as usual.  Will companies truly offer more opportunities to BLACKS? Will they pay BLACKS for what they are worth? Will they stand up for what is RIGHT no matter if they have to lose customers?   Will they create actionable plans in the fight for equality? Will they educate themselves through diversity, inclusion and cultural awareness training? Honestly, I am not 100% convinced but will set my calendar to check back 3, 6 , 9 months, 1 year, 2 years  from now to see if changes are made. Will you be checking in and holding them accountable?  There is a LOT of work needed from all walks and only time will tell.  What are your thoughts? On a positive note, I am loving this vibrant summer skirt to twirl my way into summer! Thank you so much for READING!! One Love, Marica!

  • Fabric Mart May Makes - Mommy and Me Palazoo Pants

    How have you been coping with this sudden change? 2020 is the year of adjustments and most of us will probably never forget due to the Covid-19. I am in the acceptance phase and the first 2 weeks were challenging for me to cope at first. I honestly adjusted around week 3 and have learned to cope and made the best out of it. To get my daughter Arielle out of the house after not leaving for a month, I decided that I would make a few pieces that were on my to-make list and convince her to dress up so that I can shoot. She has been begging for a few palazzo pants since January and since we both have been home since March and I had no excuse, I just did it. READ the FULL blogpost on Fabricmart.

  • RE: Ankara 2 Piece Classic Set

    Hey Loves! How are you holding up during this pandemic or new quarantine life?  Have you adjusted to this new normal? I am finally in the acceptance phase and have been making the most out of it.  Even though I have NOT shared my sewing mask adventure here on social media, I still had to whip up a few for close family members and friends.  I honestly did NOT want to stress myself out making masks for sale to the general public as I know a lot of sew sisters who are entrepreneurs would benefit from this business.  Personally, I am blessed to still collect a paycheck while working from home.  After being blessed with 20 yards of elastic, I decided to give in and make a limited quantity for my co-workers and close friends for sale with my ankara and cotton stash.  Unfortunately, I am only mailing them as I do want to put my son suffers from respiratory issues at risk. I honestly needed a sewing outlet other than mask making and decided this would be the best time to sew down my stash.  I organized over 200+ patterns and 8 tubs of fabric and knew it was time to STOP buying for the next 6 months.  I purchased in February over 24 yards of Ankara to make a few custom pieces for close friends for a few special events for the month of April which have all been postponed or canceled.    I decided to make the best out of it as my couture design class was postponed until summer. Now let’s finally talk about this makes! I actually wanted to make comfy pieces such as jogger pants using Simplicity 1165 while working from home so the first fabric that caught my attention was this beautiful Ankara from Afriqueclothingstore on Etsy.  I made ankle ties for a different look and while doing a fit test, I accidentally stepped on the ties and tore the left leg close to the seam.  I was devasted at first but figured I would just remove the ties and taper the legs.  I actually fell in love and plan to make another pair  via Zoom with my sew students. For the waistband, I actually widened the band to measure 7 inches and cut 2 pieces instead of one, leaving the opening on the side to feed the elastic.  Be sure to measure the finish waist measurement which is the same for the front and back and add your seam allowance. I folded it over which measured 3.5 inches and attached at the normal 5/8 inch seam allowance which gave me enough room to feed 2 rows on 1-inch elastic (top and bottom) and 1 row of 1/2 inch elastic in the center.  I figured since this a darker fabric, no one would even notice that the middle row is smaller.  The elastic is super snug and I only allowed 1/4 inch extra for ease to feed the elastic. I absolutely love it as it lays pretty flat and will NOT roll. Drop Shoulder Top  Modifications – McCalls M7724 I have been wanting to make this McCalls 7724 View C since the pattern was released but my fears of buttonholes got the best of me.  Even though last summer I made 2 crop tops with buttons, I actually went through a bit of challenge as I was using the brother buttonhole foot on my Viking.  I actually had to purchase a new foot but my machine has been acting up the past 6 months so I have been meaning to take it to get it serviced. Since my Brother machines were recently serviced, I decided to try buttonholes again.  I was amazed by the fact that a small mistake that I have been making for 5 years hindered me from making button-down garments.  I have only had 1 failed test buttonhole and I am in still awe that I allowed my fear to win for years.  I was so excited after my first successful test garment and forgot to remove the seam allowance when I marked my button.  I knew something look weird and shifted it over by 1/4 inch but needed to sew it only 1/2 from the seam vs. 1 inch.  I guess it was a learning experience for me. The only modification I made to the top pattern was the sleeves.  I had to shorten it due to the limited remaining fabric and extended the bottom on each side (left and right) by 5 inches.  I graded it up to the top for a bit more volume and add elastic. I actually cut the size 12 bodice and graded from the waist to the 14 hip.  I am not a fan of drop sleeves and if I do make this again, I would definitely figure out how to create a regular set in sleeve. This set here is absolutely amazing and I plan to make more sets for work.  I absolutely love the flexibility of 2 piece sets because I can rock it more ways than one. I have had a different mindset based on this pandemic and even though a  prom collaboration project with a major fabric store was canceled, my couture design was canceled and my daughter’s promotion to 6 grade was canceled, HOPE IS NOT CANCELED.  I have found ways to cope by getting up at 6am, getting in my morning prayer and meditation, walking/jogging 4 days a week and working with a personal trainer via zoom 3 days a week. I take a shower, do my hair and get dressed for Zoom virtual classes in my school t-shirts and stay away from the bed and work.  I am learning so much about myself and plan to capitalize on this work from home experience. My renewed spirit has helped and I have been coping just fine. I can’t say it was easy in the beginning as the past 3 years I have had to spend my Spring break in quarantine due to health challenges. In 2018 I did surgery in late February and spent almost 4 weeks home in recovery, in 2019 another major surgery to repair the failed surgery in 2018 and was on medical leave for 8 long weeks and now again home in March and April due to COVID-19.  This experience has allowed me to reflect and put things into perspective and NEVER put plans on hold. I say go after what you want and live life to the fullest. “I find hope in the darkest of days, and focus in the brightest. I do not judge the universe. Dalai Lama I am hopeful that everything will fall into place.  Thank you so much for reading and don’t forget to stop by my Instagram page to check out my latest makes. Hope you and your family are staying safe during this challenging period in our lives. One Love, Marica #Overdriveafter30 #sewing #ankaraprint #S1165 #ankara #sewist #M7724 #McCallspattern #africanprint #afriqueclothingstore #Simplicitypatterns

  • My Inspiration Dress Made with McCall’s M8009

    Happy Wednesday All!  Despite the challenges we are faced with and the Coronavirus pandemic affecting all of us, there is always something positive to smile about.  It took over a month to shoot this dress but the bonding moment I had with my children was worth every single shot.  These photos will hold a special place in my heart as it was not a regular shoot but a family experience of laughter and joy in a closed shopping plaza with my pair despite being on lock down. I am super proud that I made a maxi dress, one out of the six looks from my inspiration board. Even though my goal was to complete all 6 looks in the first quarter of 2019, I am extending it until the end of summer. We have to learn to adjust to the changes we are faced with each day! I actually have been wanting to make this dress for a few years now and doubted myself due to the lack of experience and skills. When I came across McCalls M8009 bodice, I knew it was perfect to make it. This was pretty much identical to the inspiration and I knew I had to find the perfect fabric to create it. I loved the jumpsuit pattern so much I made it 3 times (here and here) and immediately made plans to reuse the pattern and make the inspiration dress. I came across this beautiful Ankara fabric from a small business – Afriqueclothingstore based in Texas.  When I reached out to her, she shared so many different fabrics that would make my inspiration dress.  I purchased about 18 yards of fabric and was gifted with 3 yards of this fabric from the store with intentions of making a top. I realized that I did not have enough so I purchased an additional 9 yards of this beauty to make the dress. The maxi dress was pretty easy to sew due to the fact that I made the bodice 3 times prior.  For the bodice due to pattern placement, I used 3 yards of fabric and the same 3 yards for the simple gathered skirt. The front of the skirt has a center seam which brings both patterns together. For this creation, it took me a few days to cut as I honestly carefully mapped out the placement of each pattern piece and fabric.  Spending time to map out every single placement was so worth showcasing the beauty of this fabric. My beautiful daughter Arielle created a YOUTUBE video and my son did all the photos. I am so proud of the fact that my children truly enjoy shooting my photos for my blog and I really don’t need a professional photographer to capture my makes. Thanks for reading and be sure to check out my Instagram highlights and IGTV with all the tips and tricks when making this bodice.  Take care and be sure to stop by my Instagram page to check out my latest makes including my March Fabricmart post. One Love, Marica #maxidress #M8009 #Fashion #ankara #McCallspattern #DIYMaxidress #africanprint #afriqueclothingstore

  • My Jamaican Heritage Jacket made with Simplicity 9059

    Happy Monday Loves! I finally took photos of my 2nd version of Simplicity 9059 a top/jacket that took me about 2 weeks to create. Yes, this plaid fabric took me out and I am excited to finally share photos as a few of my sew sisters are anticipating and waiting to see me in it.  Thanks to my true insta-story cheerleaders for cheering me on during this creative journey. To be quite honest, I was waiting on the availability of my professional photographer to shoot it at a location that reminds me of Jamaica, a local Farmer’s Market. However, I knew that would take planning and with our hectic schedule would not allow us to shoot when the market is open. My son Aiden who is celebrating his birthday today is a beast behind the camera.  He will take 20 GREAT shots in 15 minutes and I was in am still trying to figure out how he gets his settings right the first time. All of his shots are absolutely breathtaking as they were taken at the golden hour and I love the way he captures my angles and all the details in my makes. This lightweight cotton shirting fabric purchased in Jamaica last September at Ping’s Fabric represents my roots and culture. Jamaica runs deep within my soul. As one would say “You can tek me out a Jamaica, but you can’t tek the Jamaican out of me.”  After doing a bit of research on the plaid festival fabric, the Bandana fabric originated in Eastern India and was a cool inexpensive fabric that became a symbol of the Jamaican culture in the 1940s which is a red plaid fabric here. This fabric is typically used during Independence as part of the Festival costume and is one of the 4 plaid fabric types found in the local fabric stores in Jamaica. This pattern featured the fabric so well and I am so proud of my plaid matching skills. I have a detailed video on IGTV(HERE) that has tips on creating the jacket.  Can you believe this has a center back seam? YES!!!!!! It does have a back seam and I am proud of my plaid matching skills. Thanks to Carolyn and Karon for cheering me on and providing some insights when working with plaid. I opted to use a solid RED fabric for the neck and sleeve band as I wanted to break up the plaid. The GOLD in the fabric signifies the rich history of my island home Jamaica. We likkle but we tallawah!!!! Reggae music, the food, the people, the culture which is near and dear to my heart.  The RED which is blended with the other colors shows that no matter who our ancestors are, we all bleed the same color – RED. In Jamaica, you will find every single culture; Europeans, Chinese, Indian, African and Caucasian and we are “OUT OF MANY ONE PEOPLE” just like our coats of arms.  The GREEN reminds me of the quiet hillside and mountains, the green organic farms seen from the highway, the great resource, and the country’s natural beauty. Talk about luxury and beauty; take a trip to Portland, my favorite spot in Jamaica. With all these colors blended together, we are all part of one race, the human race. We may be from different continents, races, backgrounds, religions, ethnicity or culture but one thing I can say is…. can always learn from each other. I plan to rock this jacket with a pencil skirt or dress, a slim foot or palazzo pants over and over again.  I was a bit daring and wore a bralette to show the sassiness of this top and LOVE it! Thank you so much for reading and be sure to check out my IGTV on my Instagram page with all the details about the construction and my plaid matching skills. Leave a comment below and let me know how you would rock it.  Have a great week! One LOVE, ONE HEART! Marica #Overdriveafter30 #DIYjacket #sewing #Jamaica #bandanafabric #JamaicaIndependence #S9059 #sewist #Simplicitypatterns

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