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

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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. Hulme ; 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  (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!

Marbled Shibori

On to the next one…

Okay, so my most current make: This marbled shibori jacket…is probably my newest favorite. I am totally in love with this one.

I won’t lie to you…the process included a couple tribulations along the way, or at least what I thought might be tribulations that actually turned out to be moments of delight; like the dye I used seemed a bit too blue when I first took it out but as it dried turned to the shade of grey I had hoped it would…and I didn’t have enough gold silk (again, using up remnants!) to make the collar or cuffs gold on both sides. But! I did have enough of the pale blue lining leftover, and so the underside of both, respectively, became blue.

Honestly, the result of this jacket reminded me of a more modern version of an 1800’s tailcoat. I used a McCall’s pattern (#m7513) and the tried and true Rit dye. My intention was to shibori dye in a way that looked more marbled–hence the use of grey dye. Since grey is a less vibrant color, I thought the shibori wouldn’t appear as obvious. And it didn’t, which is exactly what I was hoping for.

 

I actually re-made these shoes many years ago. They were a basic heel that I wanted to spruce up a bit. They have a total Marie Antoinette vibe–which works perfectly with my modern looking tailcoat, reminiscent of *around* the same time period. ;)

Luckily, I had just enough gold buttons stashed away to use as closures…crisis averted. Phew ;)

I also wanted to use gold for the facings so that the entire collar would be gold, but alas–not enough gold!

 

 

Outfit details: Jeans from Gap; Shoes-Jessica Simpson heels that I re-made; Clutch from Anthropologie (No longer available); earrings from Target very long ago.

70’s Suede

Nothing quite like a suede shearling coat. Especially when you find one from the 1970’s, that is suuuuper 1970’s. Honestly, I couldn’t help but play dress-up with this one. I wanted to see how she moved and if she ‘worked well with others‘.  Ya know what I mean? ;)

Let’s be real, if you put on a suede coat…you’re basically rocking it no matter how you’re wearing it. I mean, it’s a suede coat. That itself makes you feel like an instant rock-star. And bonus that this one has the faux fur collar to up the ante just a smidge, and reallllly reign in that 70’s vibe.

 

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This scarf has definitely had a great ROI. I can’t count the number of times I’ve used it–and for different things….in the hair, around the neck, as a belt, a bracelet….the greatest part is that it’s 100% hand dyed silk. And bursting with vibrancy.

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I have a confession. I have a tad bit of an obsession with white blouses. I don’t think I’ll share how many versions of a white blouse I own but the thing is, they’re always a fine option. For basically any occasion. Dress them up or down and they’ll always be loyal to you.

I made this particular white blouse a while back and boy, was it a bit of a challenge. That seems to happen when you decide to manipulate commercialized patterns. But hey, the end result was exactly as I had hoped…so that made the struggle worth while.

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Bishop sleeves are some of my faves. The silhouette is just awesome and totally flattering.

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(Necklaces will be listed in the Etsy shop soon, so check back if you’re interested ;) )

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Also made this vest over the summer to use up some last bits of velvet. The color is this really unique hybrid color–like a greyish blue/green. A great neutral shade.

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As I’m sitting here finishing this post and looking back at the snowy pictures…I can’t help but chuckle a little because when we shot these photos I intended to hold onto them for a bit before posting. Little did I know it would be a balmy 65 degree February day when I decided to post. So, today the suede coat is hanging out inside. Perhaps the lighter weight suede jacket is a better option for the day. After all, I would still like to feel like a rock-star ;)

Outfit details:

Coat: Vintage, Buy it here; Top & Necklace: Made by me; Denim: Gap; Boots: Aldo; Hat: Anthropologie (no longer available); Scarf: Vintage find.