September 26, 2016

First Time DIY: Adding Pockets to a Purchased Dress...

red maxi dress adding pockets diystyle fashion sewing
My red maxi dress with the pockets I added #sewing
Believe it or not, but this was the first time I added pockets to a dress that I bought. I had never done that before buying this inexpensive dress on Ebay. And yes, I add pockets to everything I have enough fabric to add pockets to when I'm sewing from scratch, so I know that this is probably a surprising fact. But honestly, it's not that big a deal, the process of adding in-seam pockets is the same whether you're sewing from scratch or adding pockets to something already made. If you follow me on Instagram, then you may have seen my Instagram story on how I added the pockets to this dress. Below are a handful of pics from that Instagram story...

red maxi dress adding pockets diystyle fashion sewing
My red maxi dress with the pockets I added #sewing
So easy right?! Maybe I'll do a tutorial or a "how to" on this soon, but in the meantime, there are scores of tutorials already up on Youtube on how to add pockets to almost anything. Check out a few more pics of me flexing in my new dress WITH THE POCKETS THAT I ADDED below. This dress is vacation ready! Now we just need to book a vacation ;)
Photography by Ron Ward. Backdrop, New Orleans :)

red maxi dress adding pockets diystyle fashion sewing
My red maxi dress with the pockets I added in front of the Marigny Opera House #sewing
red maxi dress adding pockets diystyle fashion sewing
My red maxi dress with the pockets I added #sewing
red maxi dress adding pockets diystyle fashion sewing
My red maxi dress with the pockets I added #sewing
red maxi dress adding pockets diystyle fashion sewing

August 28, 2016

QUICK SEWING: My DIY Blush Pink Summer Dress...

fashion sewing blush pink dress hip couture
My DIY blush pink Summer Dress
How do you like my sweet and simple end-of-summer blush pink dress? I made it in ONE DAY! That's MAJOR for me. If you've been following this blog for any length of time, then you already know, I usually take my sweet, sweet time when I sew. I'm never in a rush. I have had projects on my table for weeks, months even, but I made this dress from start to finish yesterday and even wore it out to the grocery store last night. I felt super accomplished. It's something to be able to take a wad of fabric and turn it into something useful by days end. This dress is the same pattern I made from a raglan t-shirt that I made for the first time HERE. I just altered the neckline and shortened the sleeves. I'm happy with it. Photography by Ron Ward.
fashion sewing blush pink dress hip couture
My DIY blush pink Summer Dress
fashion sewing blush pink dress hip couture
My DIY blush pink Summer Dress
fashion sewing blush pink dress hip couture
My DIY blush pink Summer Dress
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August 26, 2016

SEWING: Same Fabric, 3 Different Looks...

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!

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