Summer Making

As an experienced fabric hoarder, I will say it is always extremely exciting to have that “aha!” moment when deciding what to use specific fabric for.

I had been hanging on to this printed cotton for 8 months or so because I just couldn’t decide what to make from it. Especially because there was only about a yard and a half, which meant I was somewhat limited, project-wise. Finally, I found that perfect something (M7603) after my most recent McCall’s pattern haul ($1.99 patterns? Yes. Please.) And hey, look! Another print! I’m on a roll… ;)

This McCalls pattern was very simple, and definitely a great basic to add to the summer wardrobe. I already have plans to make a few more versions.

The fabric I used was more that belonged to my Grandma… I guess I now know where my fabric hoarding habit came from. And the buttons are vintage that belonged to the other Grandma. ;)

Since I didn’t quite have enough of the printed fabric to use for the neck and shoulder binding, I used some solid dark pink which added a great contrast.

I am loving my new [vintage] basket purse. I’ve been searching for one of these for two summers now. I just couldn’t find one I liked enough, so you can imagine how happy I was when I found this one on Etsy from ThreeSparrowVintage. It’s the perfect summer bag because it coordinates with just about anything, plus it’s cheery and puts a smile on your face. ;)

 

Outfit details:

Jeans-Gap; Shoes-DSW; Earrings-Earthbound; Sunglasses-vintage; Basket purse-Etsy

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.

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

Summer Coulottes

Remember in the 90’s when we all used to wear skorts to school and they were the absolute best because you could still run around the playground and do flips and cartwheels?! Ahhh…those were the days.

Well, the other day I made myself what I would consider a more mature and sophisticated version of the skort. Coulotte shorts. They really are fabulous because they look dressy, and are super comfy.

I used McCall’s pattern 7131, which includes varying length options–I made the long pant coulottes back in the early Spring but haven’t worn them yet since they’re a little fancier…Next to make will be the more traditional coulotte length-at the knee.

Turns out, they’re easy to dance in, too. ;)

The fabric I used was, you guessed it, some I had stashed away waiting to be used up. Enter: Coulotte shorts.

This fabric was also really great to work with, a heavier printed cotton blend. It pressed wonderfully, which made the pleats in the front extra crisp.

I’d love to hear! What are your thoughts on coulottes?? Yes? No? Maybe so?

 

Outfit details:

Tee & shoes: Target; Belt: Anthropologie (No longer available);Purse: Kate Spade; Bracelet: Grandma’s

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 ;)

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.