June 23, 2016

Sew Creative: My Summer DIY Cut Out Dress...

red and white dress fashion sewing diystyle
My red and white cut out dress
Half of 2016 is already gone (the 4th of July is just around the corner!) and I have sewn a grand total of 3 things so far this year. THREE. These red shorts, this inspired dress, and now this Summertime cut out dress that I was able to make with leftover fabric I still had from when I made this Summer maxi. When fabric is on sale, I'll usually buy yards and yards of it. This dress is super comfy! Comfy like a night gown which makes me love it even more. And of course, there are pockets. I used McCall's 3955 to make the bodice with some changes to include the cut out in back, the rest of the dress was self drafted. In my original design (see below) I had cut outs in the front and the back but I decided against that as well as the shirttail hem. This dress would be perfect for weekend brunch, summer weddings, picnics in the park, vacation outings and more, I'm pretty pleased with how it turned out. Check out a few more pics below. Photography by Ron Ward.

red and white dress fashion sewing diystyle
"C' is for Chanel :)
Summer Flowers in New Orleans City Park
New Orleans City Park Flowers
red and white dress fashion sewing diystyle
The cut out back :) 
New Orleans Lakefront Lake Pontchartrain
New Orleans Lake Pontchartrain
red and white dress fashion sewing diystyle
Enjoying the Lakefront view... in my DIY cut out dress

A photo posted by Chanel Ward (@nbr5) on

June 8, 2016

Cheers! Pics from the 2016 NOWFE Royal Street Stroll...

Hip Candy (@nbr5) attends the 2016 NOWFE Royal Street Stroll!
A few pics from the event below. Photos by Ron Ward :)

Sipping wine 2016 Royal Street Stroll
Enjoying the 2016 NOWFE Royal Street Stroll and the mild NOLA Spring Weather
2016 NOWFE Royal Street Stroll
The ticket line. Shows the popularity of the Royal Street Stroll in one photo. 
Tito's Handmade Vodka 2016 Royal Street Stroll
Tito's Handmade Vodka
2016 NOWFE Royal Street Stroll
Royal Street Tunes
2016 NOWFE Royal Street Stroll
Sweet Treats
2016 NOWFE Royal Street Stroll
More Royal Street Tunes
Rouses Market 2016 Royal Street Stroll
Rouses Markets, A NOWFE Sponsor
Rouses 2016 Royal Street Stroll
Tasting at the Rouse's Tent
Brass Band 2016 Royal Street Stroll
Fun times at the 2016 NOWFE Royal Street Stroll!

2016 NOWFE Royal Street Stroll
See you next year!

May 24, 2016

The 2016 New Orleans Wine & Food Experience is Days Away!

New Orleans Wine and Food Experience

The New Orleans Wine & Food Experience is celebrating it's 24th year (May 26-28, 2016) and each year, hundreds of wineries and restaurants participate. NOWFE is one of the best New Orleans festivals especially if you're a wine lover and a foodie. From intimate wine dinners to cooking demonstrations and seminars, to French Quarter Strolls complete with food, wine and music, there's something for everyone.


 For the last 2 years, we have thoroughly enjoyed two of the main (and most popular!) events at the New Orleans Wine & Food Experience, The Royal Street Stroll and The Grand Tasting. If you love wine, delicious food and the city of New Orleans, then these two events will leave you more than satisfied.

Our Time at the NOWFE Grand Tasting 2014
Our Time at NOWFE 2015

The Royal Street Stroll

Lady with glass of wine NOWFE Royal Street Stroll

I mean, come on... whoever created this event is the real MVP. Strolling down Royal Street in the springtime with a glass of wine (with lots more to taste), sampling gourmet dishes, all while live jazz tunes play along this French Quarter route is culinary occasion perfection. It's no wonder this event is one of the favorites every year.

The Grand Tasting

NOWFE Grand Tasting Ron and Chanel

Who is that sampling small plates and great wine at the 2015 NOWFE Grand Tasting? Why that's us! This event showcases over 1,000 domestic and international wines alongside delicious foods, cooking demonstrations and much more.

In addition to The Royal Street Stroll and The Grand Tasting, NOWFE has many other culinary events, the wine dinners, seminars, VINOLA and so many other foodie experiences. Click HERE to learn more.

And to top it all off, NOWFE is a non-profit organization with 100% of proceeds going to causes that support culinary education. Learn more about NOWFE's Beneficiaries HERE.

See you there! #cheers

April 30, 2016

SEW INSPIRED: My Copycat Valentino Dress...

fashion sewing diy copycat valentino dress

A few months ago, I posted this super cute Valentino dress coming down the runway (from their Fall/Winter 2014 collection), and I knew almost instantly that I wanted to try to make it. Slow forward almost 3 months later, and my dupe dress is finally done!

fashion sewing diy copycat valentino dress

The top of the dress is a mixture of New Look 6483 that I've previously made a gazillion Frankenstein dress patterns from (see HERE, HEREHEREHERE and HERE all from that same pattern) and I used the collar from New Look 6299 and added my own sleeve cuffs. My circle skirt is just the standard circle skirt pattern (see the first time I made a circle skirt HERE) except I added 9 inches in width to the front and another 6 inches to the back so that I could add inverted pleats along with some gathered tulle for a little more volume. And POCKETS. Pockets always.

fashion sewing diy copycat valentino dress

Even though I took all the time in the world to sew this replica dress, I think it turned out cute. And while we're talking about sewing, let me take the time (again) to answer a question that I continue to be asked, and that is "do you sew for hire?" And my answer has not changed. Truth is, I'm not a seamstress and I've never considered myself to be one... why, you ask? Because it's not my calling. I have all the respect in the world for people who do custom sewing, that's just not what I do. I'm just a girl who loves to sew pretty things and if I inspire someone else to dust off their sewing machine or learn to sew for the first time ever, then how cool is that?! So NOPE, I DO NOT sew for hire, but I will ALWAYS be flattered and humbled that you would ask. Now back to my finally finished copycat dress, check out a few more pics below! Also, what do you think about my new hairstyle? Scroll to the bottom of this post to see how I achieved my Halo/Goddess/Milkmaid Braid. Oh! And before I forget, my red shoes are by BCBGeneration, want your own pair? Click the red shoe below or get them HERE.


All Photography by Ron Ward

fashion sewing diy copycat valentino dress
fashion sewing diy copycat valentino dress
fashion sewing diy copycat valentino dress
Tulle skirt peek-a-boo :)
fashion sewing diy copycat valentino dress
fashion sewing diy copycat valentino dress

Still wanna know how I did my Halo braid? (that I love, love LOVE by the way) if you do, the video tutorial that I watched is below (by ClothesandFros) AND don't forget to "like" my sewing page on Facebook! :)

April 11, 2016

And the MVP of the 2016 French Quarter Festival Is...


THE GORGEOUS WEATHER! The 2016 French Quarter Festival could NOT have been prettier. The 2016 French Quarter Festival had 4 consecutive days of THE. MOST. GLORIOUS weather imaginable. I cannot tell you how in love I am with beautiful weather New Orleans on just a REGULAR day, but add in 4 days of French Quarter Festival... and WHAAATTT?!! Fabulous festival weather (food, music, fun) sensory OVERLOAD.

St. Louis Cathedral French Quarter Festival
Nothing but blue skies the entire 4 days for French Quarter Festival 2016.
French Quarter Festival 2016 kicked off on Thursday April 7th, and it could not have been sweeter. We were there for French Quarter Festival 2015 when the weather was less than perfect (it was a bit of a washout) and the weather for the 2016 season was like, "What? You thought I wasn't gonna come through this year?" And come through it did. 

We kicked off French Quarter Fest by checking out Kermit Ruffins on the Abita Beer Stage at Woldenberg Park, playing "Halfway" by S-8ighty. You can always count on Kermit to be up on what's hot and current. And the festival just got better from there.
French Quarter Festival 2016 Kermit Ruffins
Kermit Ruffins performs at French Quarter Festival 2016. Photo by Ron Ward.
French Quarter Festival 2016 Abita Beer Stage Crowd
Crowd enjoys Kermit Ruffins on the Abita Beer Stage at Woldenberg Park at French Quarter Festival 2016.
Photo by Ron Ward
Which is why it's no wonder that year after year, French Quarter Festival is voted 'locals' favorite' while also courting a huge and dedicated out-of-town following. A big part of this festival's appeal is that attendees get a true, authentic New Orleans experience - a broad range of Louisiana artists and a diverse variety of musical styles and genres. Since 1984, French Quarter Festival has been committed to featuring New Orleans' finest artists on stages all over the French Quarter. 23 stages of entertainment returned this year and we hopped around randomly from Woldenberg Park, to Jackson Square, to St. Peter and Decatur Streets, to Royal Street then back around to the French Market and The Old U.S. Mint. The French Quarter is such a quaint, historic and artistic neighborhood, and I love how festival organizers try to fill every corner of it with festival entertainment and yumminess. If you weren't able to attend, the online photos from the festival this year will definitely cause FOMO (fear of missing out). Or FTYJMTMAFATMBW (fear that you just missed the most awesome festival and the most beautiful weather) I just made that up. Check out a few more pictures from the festival below and mark your calendars right now for next April (April 6-9, 2017!) to be sure not to miss the fabulously free French Quarter Festival festivities! 

Jackson Square St. Louis Cathedral French Quarter Festival 2016
Jackson Square, St. Louis Cathedral French Quarter Festival 2016. Photo by Ron Ward.
John Boutte Smoke Free NOLA Stage French Quarter Festival 2016
John Boutte performs on the Smoke Free NOLA Stage in Jackson Square at French Quarter Festival 2016.
Photo by Ron Ward
Robin Barnes
The lovely Robin Barnes performs on the GE Digital Big River Stage at French Quarter Fest 2016. Photo by Ron Ward
NOPD New Orleans French Quarter
NOPD patrols French Quarter Festival 2016. Photo by Ron Ward
Hot 8 Brass Band French Quarter Festival
Hot 8 make the crowd go WOO! Hot 8 Brass Band performs on the Popeyes Brass Band Stage at French Quarter Fest 2016. Photo by Ron Ward
Dirty Dozen Brass Band French Quarter Festival 2016
The Dirty Dozen Brass Band performs on the Abita Beer Stage at French Quarter Fest 2016. Photo by Ron Ward.
Click HERE to see The Dirty Dozen Brass Band perform a set at the 2016 French Quarter Festival
See you next year French Quarter Festival!

March 19, 2016

The 33rd Annual French Quarter Festival is April 7-10...

2016 French Quarter Festival New Orleans
The 2016 New Orleans French Quarter Festival (presented by Chevron) is upon us again, so what can you expect from the festival this year? New Orleans finest restaurants at "The World's Largest Jazz Brunch" music from over 1,700 world-class local musicians and four days of food, and family entertainment. 
Scenes from French Quarter Festival 2015

 Year after year, French Quarter Festival is voted "locals favorite, favorite festival, favorite food festival, favorite non-profit event and favorite event open to the public" FQF also attracts a huge out-of-town audience because attendees get a true and authentic New Orleans experience. The tradition will continue with the return of 23 stages, and this year, the Jackson Square stage will be sponsored by Smoke Free NOLA transforming Jackson Square into a smoke-free environment all 4 days of the festival. 
Scenes from French Quarter Festival 2014

Allan Toussaint French Quarter Festival press conference 2015
Allan Toussaint announced his return to French Quarter Festival in 2015. Allan Toussaint died unexpectedly in November 2015. French Quarter Festival will honor him this year.
 There will be tributes to the legendary Allen Toussaint at the festival this year, one of the most influential figures in New Orleans R&B. Allen Toussaint was celebrated throughout the 2015 French Quarter Festival, he passed unexpectedly in November 2015. 
Scenes from French Quarter Festival 2013

White Beans with Shrimp French Quarter Festival
Creole White Beans with Shrimp from Cafe Reconcile at French Quarter Festival
 And one thing you don't wanna miss at French Quarter Fest is all the delicious New Orleans food available at what's been billed "The World's Largest Jazz Brunch." Over 60 vendors will feature classic New Orleans dishes as well as cuisine from the finest chefs in the region. Beloved Chef Paul Prudhomme will also be remembered and celebrated at the festival this year.
Scenes from French Quarter Festival 2011

 Don't forget about all of the Family Fun at the 2016 French Quarter Festival with the return of two children's areas, The Chevron Steam Zone at Natchez Wharf and a second children's area will be located at the Hermann-Grima House.

Participate in the fabulous Opening Night Gala at Antoine's, the lecture series with Conversations on Louisiana Music at the U.S. Mint, take dance lessons, watch a battle of the bands, witness a Juried Art Show at Pirates Alley, experience Opera at dusk, take in the Film Fest at French Quarter Fest and shop for one of a kind FQF merchandise.

And last but not least, don't forget about the French Quarter Festival app! New for 2016, the official app, developed by GE Digital will be integrated with Google maps allowing attendees to easily pinpoint vendor locations and travel times.

The 2016 New Orleans French Quarter Festival 
April 7-10

February 1, 2016

Celebrate Black History: Nah. The Rosa Parks Tee...

Rosa Parks Nah T-Shirt Brown

Rosa Parks was a Civil Rights Icon and "The Refuser in Chief" of famously not giving up her bus seat to a white passenger in 1955, which in turn kicked off the Montgomery Boycotts and other efforts to end segregation. Learn more about Rosa Parks HERE. And show your pride in what Black People before us had to endure in this country so we could be a little freer today with the defiant Rosa Parks Tee below. 
Rosa Parks, 1913 - 2005

January 17, 2016

My DIY: Red Satin Shorts...

fashion sewing diystyle red shorts leopard coat
DIY Red Satin Shorts. Photo by Ron Ward
Hey y'all! Long time, no post, I know, I know. But we finally got a chance to snap a few pics of my diy red satin party shorts that I finished way before Christmas. I really intended for this to be a holiday post, but circumstances and yuck holiday weather thought otherwise. But whatever, we're here now! And I like the shorts. I do. Honestly, I was a little frightened by the shorts a little at first because they're made of shiny satin, and where in the world do you wear shiny satin shorts? Try saying that 3 times really fast *shiny satin shorts* couldn't do it, could you? lol. Anyway, this is my second time making shorts from this pattern (see the first time I made a pair HERE) and I made them with leftover fabric from this red Mardi Gras ballgown. These would be cute as a party look, yes? My only other observation of these pics is that my legs are in need of some serious beach sun. They look like they belong to a polar bear... O_o Check out a few more pics below! All photos by Ron Ward.

fashion sewing diystyle red shorts leopard coat
DIY Red Satin Shorts. Photo by Ron Ward
fashion sewing diystyle red shorts
DIY Red Satin Shorts. Photo by Ron Ward
fashion sewing diystyle red shorts
DIY Red Satin Shorts. Photo by Ron Ward
fashion sewing diystyle red shorts leopard coat
DIY Red Satin Shorts. Photo by Ron Ward

November 24, 2015

My Sewing Style: My DIY 2-Piece Plaid Dress...

fashion sewing diystyle 2 piece plaid dress
DIY 2-Piece crop top dress
Another 2-piece set? WHATTT?! Yeah, yeah I know, I’ve been going a little buck wild with the crop top sets, but methinks this is my last one for a while. I purchased this plaid fabric over 2 years ago, and YAY for moving my way through my ridiculous fabric stash, right?! I had totally different plans for what I wanted to do with this fabric when I bought it, but hey. Plans change. I’ve been in a crop top set phase and this is my 3rd diy crop top set in 3 months. I like this one! It’s comfy and fun to wear. I used New Look 6483 once again for the top (I cropped it, removed the darts and added buttons to the back of view C) and McCall’s 5578 for the skirt, adding a waistband and pockets (I used McCall’s 5578 before HERE) this pattern is basically a rectangle shape so it's a simple base pattern to do whatever you want with it.

fashion sewing diystyle 2 piece plaid dress
DIY 2-Piece crop top dress
I think this set could easily go from spring to fall, wouldn’t you agree? See a few more pics of my completed diy 2-piece crop-top dress below! And Happy Thanksgiving everybody!
All photography by Ron Ward.

fashion sewing diystyle 2 piece plaid dress
DIY 2-Piece crop top dress
fashion sewing diystyle 2 piece plaid dress
DIY 2-Piece crop top dress
fashion sewing diystyle 2 piece plaid dress
DIY 2-Piece crop top dress
fashion sewing diystyle 2 piece plaid dress
DIY 2-Piece crop top dress
Pair this 2-piece dress with a pair of Chuck Taylors in the Spring or Summer for when you want to be extra cute at the backyard barbecue or outdoor music festival.

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