Check out the Gingham…

I’m pretty sure I made it a style resolution of mine to try to wear more prints this year. A few years ago, a co-worker made it a point to tell me how often I wear neutrals–which I often do, or maybe did more so when we worked together (what can I say, it makes getting dressed WAY easier). Alas, I remember that that comment made me realize that I also tend to lean more toward solids than prints…but not anymore! This post and the last couple are evidence of my aim at more print-wearing.

So, the other day I was going through my bin of cotton fabric and found this yardage of gingham check. I had forgotten about it altogether–especially that there was more to work with than I kept thinking there was. That said, as an attempt to make use of both the fabric & my time, I thought I’d make a pencil skirt.

Skirts are such a great place to start with sewing if you’re a beginner, since they don’t take too much fabric and they’re generally on the more basic side which makes them a good foundation to build on.

Cross-body purses are my absolute favorite. They’re so much easier to wear than shoulder bags–especially in summer-time when you’re going places and doing more, like baseball games and festivals. This one from J.W. Hulme is super great. It’s the perfect size, is very well crafted (the leather is getting better with age!), and is made in America.

Doesn’t this tee just make you smile? :D (P.S. Bergman Orchards is the BEST place to get peaches in Ohio. And they are conveniently located on the way to Put-In-Bay).

I’m pretty excited for this skirt! I think it will be a really versatile piece to wear through Summer and even into Fall. ESpecially with neutrals ;)

Outfit details:

More printed skirts in my etsy shop, here; Tee-Bergman Orchards; Purse-here; Sandals-Target; Belt-Old Navy

Fluttering into Spring

You know how when you find that t-shirt you love with the perfectly soft and drapey cotton, so you buy it in every color? It’s sort of the same as when I find a pattern I really like…I tend to make it over and over.  As per usual, I made this flutter dress (M7566) with some yardage of fabric I’ve had for a while and decided I needed to use up already. And after I made this one…I made another one (also in different fabric I felt needed to be used).

I absolutely love how it turned out. It’s perfectly feminine and just the right dress for Spring and Summer.

Isn’t this straw hat fantastic? It is vintage (in wonderful condition) and can be found here. ;)

I honestly can’t tell you how long this gingham print had been stashed away, just waiting to be used. But you sewists know how it is…you hang onto fabric knowing that the perfect project will come along sooner or later, we just have to be a little patient ;)

 

Outfit details:

Dress-McCall’s pattern 7566; Belt-Anthropologie (no longer available); Vintage Coach purse; Straw hat-here; Shoes-Target (similar).

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!

More Adventures in Sewing…

I told you a sequel to my last post was coming…so here it is.

For the McCall’s contest, I made another version of pattern #7542 with a different sleeve variation.

With this one, I wanted to use up some extra faux leather and lace. Since I love mixing those highs and lows in designs, I thought I’d marry the two drastically different fabrics for this top.

Because you know what they say… opposites attract.

 

While this certainly had some challenges during the making process–it wasn’t AS much of a headache as I anticipated it could be. And that is always a nice surprise.

This top certainly turned out to be one you could dress up or wear a little more casually for that edgier vibe.

 

Outfit details:

Jeans-Gap; Belt-came on a BCBG top; Shoes-also BCBGeneration, here

Sewing [Ad]Ventures

It would be a lie if I told you I wasn’t sure when sewing turned into a love affair of mine. I was probably about 7 years old. I think I knew at age 7 that I was intensely interested in making clothes. My Barbie dolls would confirm that to anyone…as they were the guinea pigs for many of very first creations. Luckily when the teenage years happened, I actually learned how to sew a seam instead of using safety pins and mini claw clips to bind together two pieces of fabric. (I should clarify that at that point, I graduated making from Barbie clothes to making actual human clothing).

I’ve been falling down the rabbit hole ever since. And I admit, there have been times, where I think… “is this something I’m ever going to lose interest in?” But again…there’s that rabbit hole. A tiny bit of inspiration sparks one idea…which breeds another, and another…and so on. Which then also reassures me that this making clothes thing is most definitely intrinsic for me. It won’t go away, nor do I want it to.

That said my friends, I have decided to jump on the #m7542 contest bandwagon. I first saw McCall’s post on Instagram about a month ago and thought it would be a good opportunity to make a new top that I could blog about. Then I read the contest rules and saw that you could enter more than one version…annnnd that’s when I tripped and fell down the rabbit hole. The ideas began to flow, and I won’t tell you how many design ideas I actually sketched out but I will tell you that other than the one in this post, I did make a second one featuring a different sleeve version. So stay tuned for an M7542 sequel post. ;)

Okay, on with it…

For my first go around for #m7542, I wanted to make it light and warm weather friendly. I really like the embroidered blouses that have been popping up all over–especially with vintage sellers. And that red and white color combo gets me every time. Those blouses were the inspiration for the top in this post, except I really wanted to make the sleeve stand out, since it is #theyearofthesleeve. So, you’ll notice the fluttery attachments got a little extra attention. ;)

I chose a (barely noticeable) printed 100% cotton fabric to use for the body and sleeves, and for the ruffle I used a white embroidered gauze and red lining.

(^ Am I about to sneeze?)

My, how they drape so… 8)

CLE <3

I thought the back needed a little something special, too.

 

 

Outfit details:

Jeans-Gap; Belt-Anthropologie (no longer available); Purse-Vintage Coach from a local vintage store; Sunglasses-Jessica Simpson; 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.