Winter Cozy

It’s that time. Time to start cozying up for winter. The cold kind of stinks, yeah…but that just means there’s all this opportunity for warming up and staying toasty :) To be honest, in the winter I am often donning a hat and scarf when I’m sitting at my sewing machine and with tea or cocoa nearby. Mostly because, I am inherently cold…as is my sewing room.

One of my sewing goals lately (and for the upcoming year) is to make more practical wardrobe items for myself. I tend to go for the novelty, both to sell and for my own closet–which I am okay with because you certainly need that fun stuff too!–but I want to incorporate more ‘everyday’ items into my sewing repertoire.

That’s why I recently made this sweater coat with a New Look pattern #6536. The pattern itself is an “easy coat pattern”, so by making it from a knit, there were a couple adjustments necessary.

The pattern didn’t call for any lining, again making it super compatible for a knit. Instead, I just left some of the raw edges exposed.

The knit I used was from Joanns (#15488166). It’s a double knit, so I thought I would make the seams contrast (wrong sides together) to add a little interest.

One of the adjustments I had to make was with the sleeves. When it was all said and done, the sleeves looked much too large. Had I used a heavier fabric so it was more of a coat, they probably would’ve been fine. But with a knit, the roomier sleeves just looked off. So, those got nipped in from the armpit to the wrist.

I’ve been making it a yearly goal when winter comes ’round to make myself a scarf. Last year I made a pretty slate blue infinity…and this year I opted for a cranberry red one. I’ve been wearing it with basically everything, so I’m thinking it was a good choice. ;)

I also made this favorite blue wool coat last year. It’s a Butterick pattern (#6385) that I made from blue wool that belonged to my grandma–which she so wonderfully preserved over 40 some years (!!!) More about it on this post.

Even though everything is frozen and dead for the winter, there’s something so peaceful and calm about nature in winter. It’s always a very quiet and tranquil experience. Don’t you think?

 

Outfit details:

Jeans-Gap; Booties-BedStu, similar; Carpet bag/purse-Vintage from FlowerChild in Columbus, OH.

 

Coming up next: Some holiday sparkle ;)

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Nuts for Dyeing

I’m not going to lie, I have realllllly enjoyed this beautifully warm “Fall” we’ve been having. Only this week has it actually begun to feel like a more typical Fall with some colder temps. Don’t get me wrong, I adore Fall…but I am also quite the freeze baby–so the warmer it is for longer, I’m more than content with that.

But, you know what this cool weather inevitably means: Jackets! (And coats!) So, for this post I bring you one of my FAVES. I actually made this one last year, but never blogged about it, so I will do that today. ;) And this one my friends, has a really fun story.

I used Vogue Pattern #V9212, and is not the only version I’ve made with it. (Ice dyed: here) Probably because I truly love this pattern. It’s relatively simple and the design is pretty stellar, which is likely why I keep coming back to it. (Expect a couple more in the future).

So here’s the fun story:

I used three different fabrics for the shell of this jacket. Not necessarily on purpose, but because I didn’t quite have enough of any for the whole jacket. But all in all, I couldn’t have hoped for a better outcome. Sometimes, the best designs happen through improvisation.

I used 1-Black wool, 2-Tan faux leather, 3-Walnut dyed cotton pique.

Yes. Walnut dyed. For those of you who may know me and my creative endeavors…dyeing is one of my all-time favorite things to do and incorporate into my sewing/designs. And last year, I decided I’d try out black walnut. I had made some walnut stain before and used it on some wooden home projects, so I thought I’d give it a shot with fabric.

I dyed the cotton pique with walnut dye (boiled down walnuts, basically) and really only had enough fabric to use for the back panel of the jacket, and the upper sleeves. The rest of the jacket used the faux leather and black wool. The result is this pretty cool color-blocked jacket that will be one of my forever favorite makes.

Honestly, the pictures don’t do the walnut dyed fabric justice.

 

I also made the necklace I am wearing. It is made from recycled leather and old mechanic parts that belonged to my mechanic grandfather. I have more like it listed on my Etsy, here.

 

And the shoes…yeah. Those I re-made. Here’s the thing…I’ve been looking for a pair of metallic booties for a while and of the ones I’ve found, my size is of course sold out. So…I thought I’d make my own. The shoes are by DV from Target, and I did a bit of artistic painting to get them the look I was going for. And as with the walnut fabric, these pictures don’t do the shimmery shoes justice.

 

Outfit details:

White shirt: Anthropologie; Black skinnies: Gap; Purse: J.W. Hulme

Fall Jacket: Quilted

Brrrr! It’s a bit chilly on this first day of October as I sit here writing this, but it is the morning, and I know that it will likely warm up throughout the day especially as the sun comes out. Like I talked about in my last post though, these are the weather days that confuse my dressing habits. It’s cold in the shade and warm in the sun…cold in the morning, warm during the day, and cold at night…howww are you possibly supposed to stay comfortable without changing 100 times throughout the day??

Every year, I also find myself facing these issues with outerwear. And I admit, I often classify my multiple jackets and coats based on what temperature they’re most appropriate for: “40 degrees coat”…”50-60’s appropriate”…etc. Sounds silly, but honestly it helps to know what coat or jacket is the one I’ll be most comfortable in.

I will say, I have a lot that land on either end of the spectrum, and not many that are appropriate for those in between weather extremities—like for October weather in Ohio. That is why I made this quilted jacket. It’s pretty perfect for Fall. It’s really cozy for this chillier weather, but not super hot in the sun.

 

 

Outfit details:

Coat: If you like, request custom here ;) Necklace: made by me, find others like it here; Jeans: Gap; Shoes: Clarks Desert Boots; Purse: J.W. Hulme; Sunglasses: Jessica Simpson

From Summer to Fall

Don’t get me wrong, I love Fall and think it’s a great season–probably my favorite–but this year, I’m just not excited for Fall quite yet. It seems like the cooler weather came on so fast this year, whereas other years we often get a nice, drawn out Indian summer well into October. It’s like I can feel part of me being tugged in the direction of Fall acceptance…cozy clothes and hot drinks; then the other part of me fighting back with all its might…”No! It CAN NOT be Fall yet! It wasn’t even that hot this summer!”

When the Summer to Fall weather transition begins…I’m always finding myself somewhat stumped with what is appropriate to wear for the warm-in-the-sun-but-cool-in-the-shade-and-at-night temperatures.

This is when the light jacket or coat comes in handy, many times over. Preferably one that is ‘sunny’ on the outside, but serves it’s cozy purpose when you put it on. The one I bring you in this post is pretty perfect for these weird weather days. It meets those ‘sunny’ color requirements, but is also utilitarian with its right amount of warmth.

 

I admit, I didn’t know how I felt about the colors at first. And I should preface that by saying that this was more fabric that my aunt gave me which belonged to my grandma. So, it has some significance to me. But again, I had mixed feelings and didn’t know what to do with it.

Ultimately, (and no surprise here) I landed on a light weight jacket–with some color supplementation. I had to use some solid red twill for the underarms and back panel which I think broke up the print in a pretty interesting way.

And since this coat was already a sea of color, I thought…why not make the lining a fun color too, hence the golden-rod yellow.

I will say, despite my doubts at the beginning…after I finished it, this one has indeed put more than one smile on my face and I’m sure will continue to as it gets a bit more show-time this [transitional] season. ;)

 

Outfit Details:

Coat: made by me; Jeans: AG; Sandals: DSW; Purse: J.W. Hulme; Sunglasses: vintage store

What a Mint

If you’re a designer or maker, you will understand when I say that there are some things you create that feel just a bit more special than the others. Maybe it’s a project that you dreamed of and made it come to life, or maybe it was something you had a long-time idea for and then finally took the steps to actually execute, so the whole process seemed like a long time coming. Or maybe just certain ones make you feel more excited than others.

Today, I bring you one of those pieces. One that makes me feel just a bit more excited. This was something I thought of making for a while, and didn’t actually take AS long as I expected it would altogether. Which is always welcome.

I won’t lie. I’ve really been loving this kimono trend. They really are great pieces to just throw on. I had the idea to make this for a little while, knowing that I wanted it to be mint green and have a lot of beading. Then I decided that a kimono style would be perfect because it’d bring a different take than what most of the retailers are carrying right now. And just as I’d hoped, the mint green works really well with all the silvery embellishment.

I know what you’re thinking. “That’s a lottttta beading.” Yes, it is. But I most certainly did not do that myself. I’m all for finding new uses for old clothes, so this beautiful beading came from a formal top I found at a thrift store that I cut up into pieces to use as appliques for my jacket.

This was the first time I’ve actually experimented with scuba knit. And I must say, it was a good experience. So you can probably expect to see more scuba-knitted pieces from me in the future. ;)

I like the idea of styling this jacket in a sort of semi-formal way with jeans and heels, but I am already imagining how I can wear it for a more formal occasion–like under a dress or with a great pair of pants.

 

Outfit Details:

Jacket: altered pattern #V9253; Jeans: Gap; Sunglasses: Jessica Simpson; Shoes: DSW (no longer available) but similar here; Clutch: Anthropologie (no longer available)

Green [Sewing] Thumb

Yes. It is summer. And yes. I have also made yet another coat. Though, I will say, for as cool as June has been this year in CLE…there are some nights I could have probably used a coat like this. Don’t get me wrong, I’m loving this coat…but I am definitely crossing my fingers the rest of the warm weather months are you know, warm.

This make has been festering in my brain for a while now, I just wasn’t sure what color lining I wanted to use so I’ve put off making it. Finally, the other day I found this beautiful periwinkle colored lining fabric on sale at JoAnn’s for $2.99 a yard and figured it was fate. Though the print itself is mostly a green floral, there is a very faint hint of a purple-y shade that is totally brought out by the periwinkle lining.

It wasn’t something I thought of until mid-making, but I was glad I chose to do a Mandarin style collar for this coat because the print really blends well with it. I actually used the same pattern (B 6385) for this coat as I did for this post from the winter.

I also made the top I am wearing. It was a VERY simple and straight-forward pattern (M 7570; recommend for beginner sewists) the only thing is that I will have to alter the shoulders slightly because they are a bit tight and probably need a little more ease.

Check out my Instagram post for a look at my sewing stages! ;)

 

Outfit details:

Coat & top: me made; Jeans: Gap; Shoes: Target (no longer available); Purse: J.W. HulmeΒ ; Necklace: coming soon to Etsy shop.

Old Movie Inspired

Ask my husband, and he’ll tell you that almost every time we watch an old movie on TCM, I’m running over to the TV with my phone so I can get a picture of a costume that I find inspiring.

I was totally inspired for this next one…by Ann Miller in Two Tickets to Broadway. I used the same pattern Β (M7513) as I did for the jacket in this post. And again, I also did some dyeing for it. Instead of marbling though, I did a full dunk of color. I used RIT dye again, and I did a little bit of color mixing (thanks to RIT’s website full of dye recipes) to achieve this periwinkle hue. Here’s how it came out:

 

It took a little searching to find some appliques I thought would work the best. I finally decided on these from Mood fabrics. They ended up giving just the look I was hoping for.

Leather look pants helped with that edgy aesthetic I was going for ;)

The trim I used was a combination of a normal braid trim with faux leather.

I contemplated making the collar the same periwinkle shade, but ultimately thought it would do well as a contrast piece.

Outfit details:

Belt: BCBGeneration (many years ago); Leather look pants from H&M (last year); Shoes: hand-me-down from a friend!