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.

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
Follow me on Instagram!
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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

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