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!

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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.

DIY Duvet: Shibori Style

On this unusually warm February day, I bring you some more shibori. Who woulda thunk? ;) Honestly, I can’t get enough of shibori dyeing. I think it may be one of my favorite things to make because (and I know I’ve said it before) every piece is totally unique. When you tie something up into a shibori bundle, how it will turn out is a complete mystery and I think that’s what makes it so exciting. You can literally experiment tying and dyeing in endless ways and each way will produce completely different results.

So, the other day a light bulb went off in my head as I was lying in bed staring at my down comforter thinking, “man, I really need to get a duvet for this thing.” But, duvet covers can be very expensive because they are a bit of an investment for your bed and bedroom.

AHA! That’s when it happened. “I could make a shibori duvet!!” And so, the next day the project ensued. Instead of spending a pretty penny buying a pre-made duvet cover, I spent about $28 in total to make my own! And it was *totally* worth it. Now I have this beautiful duvet that is completely original and it will sure last me a long while.

In this post, I’ve laid out a little step-by-step in case you feel inspired yourself. :D

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Really, not much is needed to make your own duvet cover:

  • 2 White Flat sheets (the size of your bed)
  • Fabric dye, I used Rit dye in Denim Blue
  • String or rubber bands for your bundle
  • Thread
  • Pins
  • Buttons (about 5)
  • A bit pot for your bundle (I used a lobster pot)
  • (And additional sewing supplies of course: Scissors, Iron, Sewing machine…)

I just bought a couple flat sheets made from 100% cotton from Target so that I could ensure the dye would take. I also didn’t want the cover itself to be super heavy, so the weight of a normal sheet is perfect.

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  • First thing I did was scrunch up one of the flat sheets, and tie it up with a lot of string.

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  • Then I got my dye going on the stove until there was steam coming off the liquid… In went the bundle!
  • I let it sit in the dye for a few hours because I wanted a pretty rich, deep color of blue. It depends on the shade you want to achieve as to how long you leave the bundle in the dye. Obviously the shorter amount of time, the lighter the color will come out. (*Also take into account that some of the dye will bleed when you rinse it out and tumble dry)
  • When you think it’s time to take out your bundle, pour the dye out and cut the string from your bundle. Begin to rinse until the water runs clear. (This step can be a bit more strenuous than you’d think…you’ll get a good arm workout ;) )
  • Ring out the water from the sheet and throw in the dryer for about an hour. (*Unless pre-shrunk, your sheet will probably shrink just a bit. Just remember when you are stitching it together with your second white sheet. To avoid, you could wash and dry the second sheet also)

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  • When your dyed sheet is dry, find a large flat surface to spread out both the dyed sheet and your second white sheet and pin right sides together on both long sides and one short side. The un-pinned short side will be the opening for your comforter.
  • Stitch!

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  • After your three sides are stitched together, turn right side out and press the three seams flat, so they’re nice and crisp.
  • On the white sheet, fold and press one edge. This will be where you make button holes. And the shibori’d side is where the buttons will be attached.
  • Measure your buttons and mark where you’re placing the buttonholes along the edge. I used 5 buttons and evenly distributed them.

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  • Once your buttonholes are stitched and buttons attached, you’re ready to slide onto your comforter!
  • Yay!! :)

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Give it a try and let me know how it works! :)

Ice Cold Blue

I did it again. I made another ice-dyed coat. I had been dreaming up this one for quite some time, but only just executed the project. And like a lot of projects in life…it didn’t come out the way I thought it would. But, you know what they say: good things happen by accident.

For this go-around, I first made the coat out of Vogue Pattern #9212 (instead of the basic coat style of my initial sketch) with a white twill fabric and then used your tried and true Rit Dyes to do the ice dyeing.

My sketch here:

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I had actually anticipated it including a lot more white–to look more like traditional Shibori with indigo dye (kind of like the stuff in this post from a while ago) But, I think I was a bit overzealous with the dye this time around, so it ended up totally covered with blue. And even though it didn’t turn out how I had hoped…it still ended up pretty awesome.

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I thought I would make the lining totally electric, since the coat shell turned out pretty dynamic.

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I don’t currently have this listed in my Etsy shop, but if there is any interest in a custom version, please send an email my way. ;)

Remaining Outfit details:

Denim-Gap; Belt-an old men’s belt; Booties-Lucky Brand

Design on the Surface

You know, faux fur is actually pretty warm. I realized this when we were taking these pictures in 20 +/- degrees. And then I remembered that the reason I hadn’t worn this coat more was because I had it in my head that it wasn’t that warm. Mmm, yeah…it’s pretty warm.

Like the last post, I bring you more surface design. What can I say? Great surface design just gives a piece that little extra somethin’, somethin’. What’s interesting though, is how surface design has evolved. Today, we see brands like Anthropologie favoring it in much of their selection. But it’s still not as commonly seen on the clothes we typically wear in today’s world (we’re not seeing any embellished leggings, thankfully), but surface design was something that was certainly more prevalent in fashions of the 30’s and 40’s. In the 1940’s, women’s clothing silhouettes weren’t all that interesting because of war-time restrictions that limited the amount of fabric used. Well, the fashionable ladies had to do something to remain stylish–enter, surface design–in many forms. Different trimmings, covered buttons, ribbon, etc. just so women could at least still feel fashionable. And let’s be real, that they were. So, I say…why not bring back some surface design?

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Am I the only one who actually really likes the aesthetics created by different shades of white? Off-white and white? Together, they go. ;)

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Outfit details:

Coat, made by me but there is a cape version here; Dress from Macy’s many years ago, similar here; Boots from Aldo, similar here.

The “Carrie” Coat

I have a confession to make. I am a bit obsessed with ALL of the coats Sarah Jessica Parker wears as Carrie Bradshaw in Sex and the City. I’d say it was how I related to Carrie the most…she obviously had a love of coats and jackets, which has also been the truth for me since I was a teenager. Well, about four years ago, I was gifted the entire 6 season set of DVD’s for Christmas and it opened up a whole new world of “Make it” ideas for yours truly.

One particular coat that Carrie wears in Season 4 (?) is this amazing surface designed ivory coat that she wears over a blue dress when she goes on her first date with the politician. This is hands down my favorite coat she wears in the entire series. So, of course I decided I had to make one for myself.

I wanted it to be warm enough to wear in the cold weather, so I made it from a Wool blend felt, and then surface designed the entire front…collar included. I knew it was going to be a project when I decided on how I wanted to execute this ivory wonder, and I can honestly say, a project it was. But sooooo worth it… ;)

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Hand appliqued surface design. I used a bunch of different trims, and made some of my own appliques with various fabrics.

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I also made this 1940’s style dress out of faux suede. I only made it last Fall, and it has surely made its way to the top of my “favorites for Fall and Winter” list.

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Just couldn’t resist a few wintery pics, since this weekend was our first official snowfall of the season. ;)

 

Outfit details: Coat and Dress, made by me; Needlepoint purse-vintage; Boots by Aldo, similar here.

Basking in Shibori Glory

A rush of Adrenalin. This is what happens to me when I have a creative light bulb go off. This is also what happened to me the other day when I was wandering around the fabric store, lost in my head of ideas but probably appearing dazed and confused. I can assure you, I was not dazed and confused, only entirely consumed by the right side of my brain.

This post brings you that flashing light bulb. A shibori dyed sweatshirt. I know, I know…”there she goes with her dyeing again”…but you guys…I’m seriously into it, and my addiction is only getting stronger. Textile science is so cool, and the nerd in me obviously agrees. What is sooo awesome about shibori is that it is near impossible to replicate something identically. Every piece of shibori is one-of-a-kind, unique to itself…just like you and me! :D (*Enter cheesy, after school special song*) Seriously though, no two pieces are the same, and truthfully you never really know what you’re going to get until the process is done.

Well, I went a little shibori crazy. I started out just doing the sweatshirt, which I have listed in my Etsy shop, and which you can purchase from 7 color choices, and 4 size choices. But then as I was standing there with a giant pot of dye in front of me, I thought…”what else can I throw in here?” So, I went ahead and also made a 100 % cotton shibori scarf, (also available made to order in 9 color choices) and 2 100% silk purses–which are listed in the Etsy shop, as well.

Check out my Shibori glory below:

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One-of-a-Kind evidence, right here. I was totally in awe when I noticed what looks like little perched owls on the front of this sweatshirt. There ain’t no way that is happening again.

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What else is so cool about shibori dyeing is how different textiles take the dye in their own way due to their own properties. If you look at the cotton scarf and the silk purse-you can see how the color differs slightly.

 

Outfit details:

Shibori scarf, purse, sweatshirt: Found here!

Gap slim straight denim

BedStu Sonic booties, no longer available but similar here.