CNL Designs: Redesign of Rosegal Dress

Y’all know how weary I am about online shopping and the potential “shipping back hassle” if something doesn’t fit right…right?

Well, since taking the Measure ME Beautiful Challenge and learning what my measurements truly are, I’ve been braver about ordering things online.

Like this adorable Roesegal Peter Pan Collar Dress — isn’t it just delightful?  And to my heart’s content it went up to XXL, who’s measurement chart said this would fit a 95cm (which translate roughly to about 38-inches waist – HAZZA!).  Knowing it would be a bit snug, with the free shipping, I figured I could get it taken out a bit by a sew-fabulous gf, if needed and it would be fine.  It was just too cute – and it had to be mine.

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Weeks go by, to the point of me forgetting that I even ordered this piece in the first place…..and then this dress finally arrives.  The website is a liar!  The dress measures 15 inches across  — It is COMPLETELY too small.  And now I have a broken heart and a beautiful dress that will never be worn by moi 😦

My shipping back hassles were immediately realized – and I was forced to put this baby on my TrendTrunk in hopes she’d find love on a slender diva.


And then I met Carmen Nadine Lewin, Owner of CNL Designs who specialize in custom clothing.  I shared the story of my pink dress sadness … then handed it over to her to work her magic, as she began to redesign this frock just for me. 🙂

Step 1: Create more room for ‘The Girls’ 😉
Step 1 continued… 😉
Step 2: Add length to the hem, keeping it 30-plus appropriate for my comfort level 😉
Step 3: Recreate the sweet features from the original piece – like the Peter Pan collar in delicate lace instead.

While Carmen was busy fixing the dress, I focused on accessories 🙂

I added a bow-tie skinny belt (Sealed With A Kiss) to the waist with my owl earrings (Forever21)…

IMG_5717In the end, we decided not to recreate the Peter Pan collar, as it would cover up the sweet little pleated details on each shoulder.  Instead we kept the arms and neckline simple with black piping instead, leaving the only lace detail for the hemline.



And Vola!  Here’s the dress recreated to fit moi:


Even with the black lace hem, the skirt is a bit shorter than I typically like to wear.  Wearing some opaque tights would totally give this frock a different look and feel.  Adding tall boots to this sweet little dress would totally change the look again 🙂

So thrilled this online purchase wasn’t a complete waste!  (Thank you Carmen, xo)

Waddya think about this dress’ transformation by CNL Designs?  Carmen Nadine has quickly become my hero!!!  Click here to see her magic at turning me into SHE-RA Princess of Power this year for Halloween!


Looking to hire her for some custom duds for an upcoming event?  Or perhaps you’d like her to repurose/redesign something that no longer fits you right.  Whatever it maybe, Carmen Nadine Lewin can help you get that custom-one-of-a-kind-unique-to-you look!  Just click here and tell her Irene of Petite Plus, Meow! sent ya 😉

Now, I’ve yet to wear this redesigned dress out yet. Where would YOU wear it? How would you ‘winter-ize’ it?  Use the comment section and tell me your thoughts friends.

Pink plus size dress

Stay tuned to the blog for more CNL Designs features on the blog. xo

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Halloween 2014!

By now y’all know how much I love any excuse to dress up.  Costume and themed events just make my heart happy! 🙂

And this year there were THREE fun-filled nights over two weekends of Halloween Magnificence to get ready for!!!

EVENT 1:  Toronto Lindy Hop’s Halloween Dance 


This was a tricky costume to come up — All I knew was that this fabulous blue fringed wig NEEDED to be a part of it.  Plus,  whatever I came up with, I needed to wear something that was ‘dance appropriate’ … i.e.  something I could sweat and move comfortably in AND one that kept  ‘the girls’ demure and tamed for close dancing with strangers 😉


Tah-Dah!!!  Dressed head-to-toe in blue (peplum top & pencil skirt from Forever21, patterned leggings from Old Navy) with a fabulous musical fascinator (Thanks for your craft work Erin!)  Sooo….. What am I?   Any guesses?



Pretty fun night dancing away to the Tia Brazda Swing Band … who dressed up in Halloween splendour too!  Love it!


Love that the Toronto Lindy Hop community is sooooo into dress up too!  How great is this pic!!!  For full album of pics click here.IMG_5309

I’m happy to report that my wig and headgear stayed on all night….even during spins and dips and everything.  It only slipped off once 😉  644358_1483083565308049_5988739236038069110_n

EVENT 2:  Impromptu drinking and dancing in The Village on Church St. – Toronto

On Halloween Night, the rain killed all original plans to parade around Church St. in Day-of-the-Dead makeup.  Sooooo ended up drinking with a last-minute posse of peoples I haven’t seen in ages, in my skeleton inspired sweater dress from Damzels.   A chubby skeleton – HA!  Kinda funny, no? 🙂

skeleton dress
Me in my Day-of-the-Dead Mask (from Claire’s Accessories), Skeleton-esk finger mittens (from Old Navy) and Skeleton inspired sweater dress (from Damzels Doll Factory).

I’m not gonna lie …. the drinking might have gotten a wee bit outta control this night.  Followed by a cab ride into The Village for dancing and pancakes in the wee hours of the AM.  Needless to say, I was bed ridden the entire next day, until it was time to get into costume #3!!!

Check out the crazy long line up in the rain for the Cadbury Chocolate Factory on Halloween night! It was nuts!


EVENT 3:  Retro Video Dance Party’s Halloween Night @The Mod Club –  Toronto

And the best for last …. “SHE-RA! SHE-RA!” {insert musical interlude here}



I’ve been wanting to dress as She-ra for Halloween for as long as I can remember.  Sadly, store-bought costumes were all extremely little with zero options for a plus size bod like mine.  Le sigh…

I shared my story of disappointment with the talented Carmen of CNL Designs , plus sent her a link to this DIY costume I found via The Stylish Geek,  to help her get all the pieces together and TA-DAH!!!  Magic happened!!!

plus size Shera
Entire costume from crown to cape to boot covers made by CNL Designs. Sword from Dollarama. Blonde wig from Black Market Vintage. And the AH-MAZING ‘industrial strength’ Strapess Bra from Cacique, Lane Bryant.
Princess of Power with Marilyn Monroe (aka the Birthday Girl that night)

There were some impressive costumes at this party — including Bret ‘The Hitman’ Heart, Bjork, and The Shinning’s Grady Twins (creepiest costumes there that night…yikes!)

shera vs. thor
My favourite pic of the night: Shera vs. Thor!!!!

There was a lot of dancing and I’m happy to report that the costume held up pretty well all night.  Minus my crown tips sadly as you can see below …sigh

“For the honour of Greyskull….I AM SHE-RA!!!!!”

Sadly, I didn’t win for best costume (wasn’t even in the running….sigh). 😦

But you know who did? Someone from my posse —  A Tribute to Robin Williams!  Isn’t she amazing!!!!


Soooooo there you have it friends!!!  THREE costumes for Halloween 2014!

Which one did you like best?  What did you all dress as for Halloween?  Tell me all about it in the Comments section 🙂image2-2

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