February 14, 2017

We Heart Travel...

February 8, 2017

TRAVEL BLOG: Our Winter Mexican Escape...

My first day of vacation outfit (and my first day hair). Purchase a similar vacation top to mine HERE.
Glass of wine on deck! And that's an actual deck because I'm on a boat, ha. This cruise out of New Orleans (our 5th one!) was a sort of delayed anniversary trip (21 years married as of December 2016! Yay us!) but truth be told, we were way overdue for a getaway trip when we finally took this one. 2016 was one for the books for a lot of us, and not totally in the feel good kind of way. But I don't want to linger on the sadness and loss of 2016, instead let's get into how much of a good idea and how much of a good time this trip was. 

Our ship the Carnival Triumph
Catching the sunset on the boat
A 3-4 day cruise is perfect if you can't really get away for an entire week or 10-14 days, especially if it's between a Thursday (departure) and a Monday (return) because that's basically just a long weekend. Our ship, the Carnival Triumph sails from New Orleans to Cozumel, Mexico then back and even though we'd visited Cozumel a few times before, we decided to be a little more adventurous on this trip. We've taken cruises before where Cozumel was one of the stops, we'd get off the boat and explore the Cozumel town square then re-board the boat, no big deal. But this time, we didn't want to do that. Town square? Been there, done it. This time, we wanted to get out of the city a little bit and see more of the island. And what an awesome idea that was! 
My first ever DIY swimsuit. Do you remember it? Did you miss my 2nd DIY swimsuit? Check it HERE.
Photo taken at Playa Uvas Resort in Cozumel.
So first I checked the cruise excursions to see what was available. I saw a few interesting things, but the Private Jeep Tour stood out to me in particular. What didn't stand out to me was the per person price and if you know me, you already know I will go on a mission to see who offers something cheaper. Well mission accomplished, because I found the exact same tour outside of the cruise offerings for a whopping $30 cheaper per person! And let me just tell you, that search was worth it. We had a private guide (Yared) we weren't with a large group, we were able to pick and choose where we wanted to go, stay as long as we wanted, leave when we were ready, drive if we wanted to or be chauffeured; our Jeep tour felt intimate, exclusive and private. Our guide Yared explained points of interest along the way, but he also gave us all the space we wanted. Ron has been learning Spanish (for his work) and it was great to see him be able to communicate with Yared in Spanish. I just hate that I didn't get any of it on video.

Instagram husband, real husband, travel partner, photographer Ron Ward. 
Location: Playa Uvas Resort
We did capture a nice bit of our trip to Mexico on video though, watch it below:


We visited Playa Uvas Resort, Punta Sur Park, saw Mayan ruins, had a breezy beachside lunch, drove to the other side of the island, hung out (and took naps, lol) in colorful beach hammocks, tasted organic tequila and just had one of the best days ever. And not to get all political (which means I'm about to get a little political), but we LOVE experiencing and learning about other cultures in our daily life and when we travel, that's why I'll never understand people with desires to exist in a solely homogenous society. Our differences are what makes us all unique and interesting, are they not? I'll choose diversity over sameness any day of the week, thankyouverymuch. Anyhoo, we had a great time and we can't wait to do this again soooooon.
Cozumel Mexico Punta Sur Park
Punta Sur Park Cozumel Mexico
Cozumel Mexico beautiful beaches
Cozumel Mexico
Me on a hammock Cozumel Mexico beach
Me in Mexico
Cozumel Mexico beautiful white sand beach
Beautiful white sand beach in Cozumel Mexico
Fortune cookie pleasant journey
Opened my fortune cookie from my Chinese Takeout as I was writing this post. So where to next?!
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February 1, 2017

My DIY One-Piece Scuba Swimsuit...

black neoprene swimsuit fashion sewing diystyle

It's swimsuit season! Just kidding, it's the middle of winter, but I did finish my 2nd swimsuit before we took a quick warm weather escape to Mexico in chilly January (see my 1st swimsuit HERE) and I'm pretty pleased with it. This one is made with black neoprene or scuba material and this fabric sews beautifully. It really is a user friendly fabric, it's the perfect combination of structure and stretch. Do you remember my black "swim cover" in the far left pic? You've seen it before because I made that too! Check it out HERE if you don't remember. I made my swimsuit block from a dance leotard I've had for ages and it's served me pretty well with the 2 suits I've made so far. Just wanted you to see the fit since you've been following along as I took it from test pattern (on the Mr's golf shirt) to completion enough to wear on a cruise ship to Mexico. Stay tuned for a few more pics of my 1st swimsuit soon as well as more vacay pics! We LOVED taking advantage of the cruise ship and the beautiful Mexican beach backdrop. And it was truly gorgeous in Mexico with picture perfect weather. We're ready to go again. All photography by Ron Ward. 

Want to shop similar looks to my DIY swimsuit? Click HERE.
black neoprene swimsuit fashion sewing diystyle

Don't forget to like my sewing page on Facebook! 
water vacation sunset
Sunset from the boat.

January 8, 2017

SEWING: Loose Fit Tee to Fitted Tee: Another Sort of Tutorial...

Loose R Train Tee to Fitted Tee fashion sewing

Do you remember the first time I did a "sort of" tutorial where I turned a loose tee into a fitted tee? No? Well, here you go. And now I've done it again! It's my first sewing project of 2017. Follow along below won't you, as I take you through my t-shirt altering process.

1. Pick a T-Shirt That You Own Where You LOVE The Fit

Loose Tee to Fitted Tee fashion sewing

For me, that t-shirt is my heather brown "Hershey" tee. I love the fit of this t-shirt which is why I keep using it. First turn both t-shirts inside out. Next, lay the t-shirt you want to alter flat (my R Train tee) then take the t-shirt you want to use to fit it on top (my Hershey tee). 

2. Outline The Fitted T-Shirt Onto The Loose T-shirt and Add Seam Allowance

Loose Tee to Fitted Tee fashion sewing

With your fitted tee on top of your loose tee, mark with sewing chalk (or pencil or marker) the shoulder point, the armholes and the side seams. Add your seam allowance (1/4 inch or 1/2 inch).

3. Cut It, Cut It

Loose Tee to Fitted Tee fashion sewing

This tee is way too big you need to CUT IT... lol lol. Don't act like you didn't see that coming. Anyhoo, cut your loose fitted t-shirt along your chalk outline, so you'll be cutting out your armholes and down along your side seams, leaving the sleeves intact.

4. Lay Your Fitted Tee Sleeve On Top of Your Loose Tee Lining Them Up Along The Hem

Loose Tee to Fitted Tee fashion sewing

Once you have your fitted tee sleeve on top of your loose fit tee sleeve, mark with sewing chalk (or pencil or marker) along the armhole then add your seam allowance (1/4 inch or 1/2 inch) then cut. 

5. Now That All Your Pieces Are Cut Out, You're Ready To Sew

Loose Tee to Fitted Tee fashion sewing

First sew your side seams from armhole to hem on both sides. Then pin your sleeves to your new fitted tee, right side to right side, and sew. Turn your tee right side out and try on. Your sleeves may still be a little oversized, if they are, pin or mark the sleeve to your desired fit, take the t-shirt off, flip it inside out again and sew along the underarm side of the sleeve where you marked tapering it off along the side seam. I tapered mine off about halfway down the side. Then boom, you're done! Enjoy your new fitted t-shirt! 

Loose R Train Tee to Fitted Tee fashion sewing

December 25, 2016

Merry Christmas!

Happy Holidays from Hip Candy 🎄😊

December 22, 2016

My Winter Sewing Concept Sketches...

group sketch black girls fashion sewing
My Winter Sketches
And I plan on sewing all three of these concepts before winter is over! *fingers crossed* Y'all, I'm pretty proud of this sketch, given the fact that I barely sketched anything in 2016. I know  that I told you on Instagram that I completed like 2 sketches this year, but that was inaccurate. I did 3 sketches this year and this one makes 4, so there. 
Croquis Group

But anyhoo, I found this sketch online (see the original sketch above) and then I reimagined it with my own concepts... and hair. I LOVE sketching hair. I remember being back in school and one of my instructors asking me why I always turned sketches with the hair so detailed, she also told me that it wasn't necessary and that my sketches were good without doing all that. I remember thinking to myself, "look, you gone get these sketches with all of the fresh out of the salon hair that I wanna draw!" (it was the 90's) just let people be great in their own way geez. Drawing the hair on my sketches has long been one of my joys. It's not much, but I like going through the extra bit of effort.
My sewing fabric fashion sewing
My Fabric
This is the fabric that I'll be using and I've had it for a really long time being the fabric hoarder that I am. The most recent is the tangerine fabric, and I got that either in 2012 or 2013, the other 2 I had way before that. I told myself that I wouldn't buy any more fabric until I went through what I had first, but who am I kidding? All I can do is try and I will. A little.

November 30, 2016

WATCH: My First DIY Sew In Wig


I love hair. I love curly hair. This was my first time sewing a wig with the (curved) needle and thread. This wig wasn't an instant success, it took a couple tries before I got it right, but I got it right and I'm pleased with the results. I used Big Beautiful Hair by Outre in the Kinky 4A texture in color #4. 

Check out my video on Youtube to get all the deets on what I used to make this wig. 

October 31, 2016

Can you Guess My DIY Halloween Costume?

sewing diy crafts hbcu dance team

If you guessed "dance team" you're warm, if you guessed "HBCU dance team" you're even warmer. If you guessed SOUTHERN UNIVERSITY DANCING DOLL then you're on FIRE. And right here is a good a time as any to tell you a little story. 

sewing diy crafts hbcu dance team

For those who don't know, Southern University Baton Rouge was my first college experience before changing my mind later to pursue a fashion degree in Los Angeles. While at Southern, I was pretty involved, I ran for Miss Freshman (I didn't win) and I tried out for the Dancing Dolls (I was unsuccessful). In my mind, a spot on the dance team would be a shoe in for me since my mother once held a spot on the exact same team (under the tutelage of Ms. Gracie Perkins) I had a bit of a swollen head when I went in to audition because I felt like this was going to be like a legacy thing. Only (shock!) I didn't make the team and no boo hoos because everything happens for a reason.

sewing diy crafts hbcu dance team

I lost my mother earlier this year, but I can't help but think that she would have gotten a kick out of this. She would have told me how talented and creative I was (because duh... what mother doesn't think that about their offspring? plus she always told me that) then she would have laughed and thought it was all a hoot. The Mr. kept telling me how much I looked like her on this shoot. 
I miss her. 
But honestly speaking, I was kinda having a little too much fun wearing my bootleg dance leotard, shiny tights and white gloves while out taking these pics. Real talk, lol. If you can't join 'em, then learn how to sew and pretend to be them on Halloween right? I have nothing but respect for those girls and the skill and showmanship they display. They make it look easy (its not).

sewing diy crafts hbcu dance team

Now, how did I make my leotard? Well first I did a good amount of research by Googling pics and video like this and this. Then I purchased 3 short sleeved blue t-shirts from the Dollar Tree ($3) used some leftover scrap sequin fabric (from my New Orleans Saints Dress) and some random gold trim pieces I had in my trim drawer for the choker, headband and leotard embellishment. If you follow me and my stories on Instagram then you already saw how I kinda sorta took you through my process. You've seen the gloves before HERE. I used my recent swimsuit pattern to draft my leotard and added long sleeves. I didn't use any elastic, I just relied on the stretch from the t-shirts and just made sure the fit was just snug enough. I wasn't sure this would even work before I started it, but it did and I'm pleased. Shout out to the Mr. for taking these pics and putting up with my shenanigans.

sewing diy crafts hbcu dance team
Attempting the classic SU Dancing Doll seated pose, and I didn't have any dance shoes, okay?
Photos by Ron Ward

My mother, Ms. Ronnie, 2nd from right, Southern University Dancing Doll, circa 1970

October 12, 2016

Tangerine or Pumpkin? My Bright Orange DIY Bodycon Dress...

Orange Bodycon Dress DIYStyle Fashion Sewing

I guess it can be pumpkin since it IS October. But JUST pumpkin, not pumpkin spice. There's already enough of that everywhere. It's also my birthday today! Yay! October 12. All day today. Anyhoo back to this dress, this is my 3rd diy fitted bodycon ensemble (see my 1st HERE and my 2nd HERE) so I guess I'm feeling myself a little. But if I'm being honest, I really think fitted, bodycon, bandage dresses look better on curvier women. Like Nene Leakes for example, formerly of Real Housewives of Atlanta fame who is curvier. She slays the work out of a bandage dress IMO. But hey, no body shaming here! If you're pocket sized and like to rock fitted dresses, DO YOU! Body positivity always. Because you know what? Y'all are gone get these few curves I got whenever I feel like serving 'em, so just get into it.

Orange Bodycon Dress DIYStyle Fashion Sewing

I got the idea for this dress from one of those RoseWe/StyleWe type fashion sites. I can get sewing inspiration from just about anywhere. So I saw this dress (a designer knockoff probably knowing the nature of these sites) and just thought it was an attractive silhouette and something that I could draft a pattern to. Which is exactly what I did. It's getting real in these pattern drafting streets y'all! But let me tell you a timely story of me in design school taking pattern classes. In 3 words, I HATED IT. I did not love my pattern teacher who was unreasonably unforgiving to new students if you asked me. I mean we literally couldn't be off 1/16th of an inch on patterns that we turned in. Going to his class gave me anxiety and I just did not love it. Like AT ALL. Fast forward years later and I have to be honest, but I can appreciate NOW what a rigid, inflexible nightmare this teacher was. At the very least, it makes me really take my time and try really hard to get a pattern right. This pumpkin hued dress took a couple tries, but I'm pretty pleased with the final outcome. Check out a few more pics below and scroll to the bottom to browse and shop similar looks! Photography by Ron Ward. Also, just FYI, but I bought yards and yards of this color fabric, so yeah. More orange outfits are coming. The hair is crochet braids, my 12th DIY install (12th!!) if you're still keeping up with that and the cute little purple purse, the Mr. caught it for me at Mardi Gras (Krewe of Nyx).

Orange Bodycon Dress DIYStyle Fashion Sewing
Orange Bodycon Dress DIYStyle Fashion Sewing
Orange Bodycon Dress DIYStyle Fashion Sewing

Browse and shop similar looks below! And like my sewing page on Facebook!
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Pocket sized or not, don't sleep on the Spanx. Real talk.

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