Complete with Collar and Cuffs

There’s just something about French cuff sleeves that draw me in with star-gazed eyes. They just scream sophisticated when they are on a jacket.

In this post, I’ve made this 1950’s inspired jacket that is probably one of my favorites to date. Here’s its story:

I made the bodice from a Vogue pattern (#8355) but changed the sleeves so they were French cuffs. I gave it a first go-around probably more than 5 years ago now (!), and that first version did not turn out the best because I was not 100% into it. I stopped my process half-way through only to come back to it a few years later. That entire scenario, in my experience, is never a winner. And after all these years of sewing, making and creating, I believe I finally understand my own creative process…and a big part of it is that it does not serve me well to stop half-way through something I am doing. I absolutely need to see it through from start to finish. Who’s with me?

So, a few months ago I decided I’d give this jacket another go. And this time, I was going to start it and finish it completely within a reasonable time-frame. Well, that I did. Along the way, I had to alter the pattern a bit for size–because of course, this pattern is out of print–and in doing that I was terribly nervous that the result was going to be much too tiny for me. But let’s be real, we designers and sewers know that about 75% of sewing involves some kind of troubleshooting because rarely does anything actually turn out the way we imagine.

This jacket pattern called for buttons and buttonholes, which there was absolutely no way that would be happening for my round 2 jacket if I wanted to wear it the way it was intended. My fix was to use a number of hook and eye clasps, because that way I had just enough room for it to fit like a glove. After the clasps were on, the jacket still looked a little incomplete to me, so I took some leftover lining and made some covered buttons (decorative only) to bring it all together. Ultimately, I’m happy I stuck it through this time around because it was totally worth it.

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This jacket is available as custom-order only via Etsy. Varying colors available!

Outfit details:

Jacket, Etsy shop; Skirt from Asos, similar here; Clutch from Target clearance; Shoes from DSW, similar here

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How the Flowers Grow…

This month, I’ve been trying to participate in a sewing photo challenge via Instagram, initiated by Bimble and Pimble. Today’s challenge is Prints or Floral, and since today is also Small Business Saturday, I thought I would feature this floral statement coat on both my blog, and for my #bpsewvember Insta post.

Supporting small businesses is very important to me. Growing up, my mom was a small business owner and the exposure I was able to get from that is something totally irreplaceable. She absolutely loved what she did, and for a kid to see that kind of passion at a young age instills some very important values. Small businesses are truly the bread and butter of any economy. It is those entrepreneurs who are just following a dream to do what they truly love or care for and who make a difference in our world that inspire others to do the same. To me personally, (and I’m sure many others as well) supporting those businesses especially in today’s world of giant conglomerates and fast fashion, means a whole lot more.

So cheers to you, small businesses…keep on keepin’ on. You got this.

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This is definitely an early Fall (or Spring!) weather-appropriate coat. Layers recommended for added warmth. ;)

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You guys! I made my very first GIF! Call me a dork, but I was quite proud. :D Expect more in future posts. ;)

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Striped pockets?!

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AND a striped collar. ;)

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These leaves and berries look like they could have inspired some of the fabric pattern. :D

 

Outfit details:

Coat, handmade, here.

Vince Camuto blouse from Dillards, no longer available, but similar here.

Pilcro denim from Anthropologie. Similar here.

Pink Possibilities

This time, it’s pink. Another cape is here. This one has a cotton outer shell and a silk lining with a faux leather collar and side detail. Initially, I thought I would stick to only the contrasting collar, so the side detail was a bit of an after-thought, but ultimately it definitely completes it.

Something that I value in clothing is versatility. I mean, who doesn’t like their clothes to coordinate with more than one or two outfits!? And while sometimes versatility can be inherent to a particular article of clothing, it is also something that can be discovered in a wardrobe through some creative styling. For this post, I styled this cape in both a “dressed up” and “dressed down” aesthetic, and really the only thing I swapped to differentiate the two was a dress for some pants. It can be that simple. :)

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Oh, how it twirls. 8)

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Worn dressed up with a dress and tights…

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(It started to rain a bit while we were taking pics…)

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Or worn more casually with jeans.

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More twirling…

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Outfit details:

Cape, here; Dress, handmade a long time ago; Belt, BCBG (no longer available); Booties, DSW (no longer available, but similar here); Clutch, Anthropologie (no longer available)

 

What do you think? Would you wear it dressed up or dressed down?

Orange is the New Cape

Get ready. Because there’s more where this one came from. This past summer, I made a BUNCH of capes. I mean, a BUNCH. And I will tell you now, that each and every one is one-of-a-kind because it was my way of using up allllll of this extra fabric that was looming in my little fabric closet.

This one turned out to be one of my faves (You can find it, here). Normally, I don’t favor orange…but after finishing this cape, I may try to work with the zesty color a bit more.

I love using unexpected color-combinations. I think it really makes things interesting so that is exactly what I did with this orange faux suede. I used a really cool, kind of iridescent purple lining and, well…yes. Just yes. Let’s just say that extra yard of orange faux suede and purple polyester I needed to use up were just destined to mingle as one.

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Had some shutter fun and caught some cool movement shots. ;)

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Leaves!! :D

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Outfit details:

Cape found here

Jeans: Gap

Booties: Lucky Brand Basel Flat Bootie

A Coat with a Statement

This month on the cover of Vogue was a feature on Statement Coats. I just love to see coats getting their rightful attention. Yes. I do make things other than coats, I promise. But coats and jackets have just always been my thing. I don’t know why I am so drawn to them, but to me a great coat is a game-changer. And maybe it’s because I am from the North Coast, or as our family calls it, the “Fresh Coast” in Ohio…where we’re not quite East enough to be considered the East coast, but we’re certainly not that Mid either, even though we are always categorized with the rest of the mid-west. Anyway, being from the Fresh Coast, we most definitely get our fair share of cold. So, when you have these cold winters with not much to look forward to other than making snow angels, well a GREAT coat is an ABSOLUTE necessity in the Fresh Coast wardrobe. It definitely adds excitement to getting dressed on those cold days, too.

Well, this one my friends, is a very special one. I’ve been waiting patiently to debut her, too…if only this Ohio weather would make up its mind. And I will preface by saying, this particular coat is not for sale- BUT I can always do custom orders to color/size specifications, just send an email my way. ;)

Sometimes, when you least expect it is when the inspiration strikes. And that is how this one was. I knew when I was hunting and gathering my materials that THIS one was certainly going to be one of those game-changing coats. A definite statement coat. She’s quite possibly my favorite to date.

Here is my Before picture that I posted on Instagram…

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And after…

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Place for bird watching.

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Watched some birds! Ducks :)8

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My original design for this coat involved a fur collar. And thanks to my vintage hoarding habit, I found one stashed away. This one is faux chinchilla fur. There are some other fur collars for sale in my Etsy store, here.

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Applique applied by hand. Time consuming? Yes. Worth it? Of course.

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Outfit details:

Coat: Made by me (Although this particular coat is not for sale through my Etsy shop, if you email me about a custom order, I’m sure we can work something out.) Fur collar: Vintage, similar here.

Jeans: Gap

Shoes: DSW (no longer available)

Made in Cleveland

I doubt I’m the only Clevelander when I say that today, my nerves don’t stand a chance. Every one of us is pumped full of excitement-slash-nervousness today as the Cleveland Indians take on Game 6 of the World Series. Eeeeeek! The only thing to do at this point is put on the Indians gear and scream “GO TRIBE!” as loud and as often as possible.

I’m sitting here typing, clad in home town apparel even though we actually took these photos the other day on a dreary, half-rainy day…hence the half-utilized umbrella. (I admit, I was slightly tempted to mock Mary Poppins and jump off the picnic table, umbrella in hand to see if I would float away. Oh well, maybe next time. ;) )

I made this statement coat about a month ago. I had planned on making it for a while before that, but just couldn’t settle on a lining choice. Finally, I landed on this pretty, ice blue polyester satin.

This coat is really great for a Fall day, and will probably be equally as efficient for a cool Spring day.

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I would classify it as light-medium weight…available for purchase here. And isn’t the motif design awesome??

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Vintage buttons. 8)
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GO TRIBE! ;)

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Also has lined pockets.

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This collar is worth the pop.

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*I think this is when Mary Poppins crossed my mind*

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Outfit details:

Coat is on Etsy, here.

Gap denim jeans

L.L. Bean Boot/shoes, available here.

 

 

One more for the road…GO TRIBE! :D