Black, White, and Orange Allover

It would be a lie if I told you every single thing I sew makes my heart flutter with joy and love. Because sometimes, things just don’t turn out as planned. But, it is NOT a lie when I say that about this newly completed project. This is one of those things that got me reallly excited.

I’m sure many of you can agree with me when I say, I think my very favorite thing about the entire process of design and sewing is the process of making. There is really not much that stacks up against that feeling of accomplishment/gratification/satisfaction you get when you turn something that started as an idea, on paper into something three-dimensional with form and function. Taking something from concept to completion….gets me every time.

You can’t go wrong with a clean black and white color combo. Add a pop of color, and you’re golden. Unsurprisngly, I was totally movie inspired (hey, Gatsby) for this lovely kimono-esque jacket. And to get the result I was anticipating, there was a bit of pattern hacking involved.


The fabric on the back is actually a velvet burnout panel from Moodย  (#319285) Since it was sort of a weird size, I got 2 and used it just for the back and upper sleeves. I sewed a white underlay because I really wanted the beautiful pattern to be visible–which probably wouldn’t have been as noticeable had I just left it. An underlay on the back and sleeves also helped with stability and allowed me to add the orange lining.

The outer front and lower sleeve front is a black cotton sateen. The back and upper sleeves are velvet burnout with a white underlay. As I said…I had to do a bit of pattern hacking. I combined the body from #m7132 and the sleeve from #m7542 and created a lining for the whole thing. Other than a bit of adjustment to the armscye, they were a pretty good hybrid.

The orange really gives that perfect burst of color.

Yep. All the appliques were hand-stitched because I did not want to hassle with the machine. It took quite a bit of time, but it was worth it in the end. :)

Necklace from local Cleveland shop: Land of Plenty

The Venice lace appliques came from a few places. Some I had in my stash, and some I had to order online. I will tell you, finding the right appliques in the right sizes was more of a task than I anticipated. But alas, I found the ones I needed from Lace Heaven and they worked out perfectly (Isn’t the one on the back awesome? 8) ) They were super fast to ship, too.

At least while it’s snowy and grey outside, this fun kimono is smiling with sunshine-y color. ;)

What’s everyone else sewing right now to forget about all this snow??


The Fuzzy Bomber Jacket

It’s funny, as I sit here posting this and looking at the photos which were taken yesterday, and then look outside the window…something is missing. The snow. As you’ll see in the pics…there is snow on the ground. And less than 24 hours later, it is all gone. Weird how it can take a while to accumulate the 6+ inches we had, but only a fraction of the time to melt when it gets as high as 50 degrees.

Anywho, today I bring you a jacket I had planned for a while and got around to this past week, making it my very first make of 2018. And boy, oh boy…I sure hope the experience wasn’t an omen for the rest of my projects for the year. This one ALMOST got the best of me, you guys. Here’s why:

  • The fabric was a pain in the a$$ to work with. As most fuzzy fabrics are…this one was worse. It shed terrrrribly, and each little tuft that shed would then separate itself into these tiny and fine, nearly invisible little fibers. I didn’t count…but I can tell you that I used way too many lint roller sheets on myself and I still don’t think I got all those little fibers off myself.
  • My choice of contrasting fabric (faux leather with little to no stretch) meant I had to cut every piece (with the exception of the pocket flaps) longer. And unfortunately, I did not have the foresight for this before I started sewing. I probably should have-but sometimes those things just slip by…amiright? So, note:* if you plan on using this pattern and want to use faux leather for the contrast (collar, cuffs, lower band) buy extra, and cut each piece at least 1-2 inches longer than the actual pattern piece. It’s funny too, because when I bought the faux leather, it was the end of the bolt so I just got the extra quarter yard or so in addition to what I was buying. And as I was working through this jacket, I was certainly grateful I got that extra amount.
  • Also note: if you have abnormally long arms (such as myself), then you’ll want to add a couple inches to the sleeve length as well. I’ll just be sporting mine as more of a 3/4 length. ;)

Those were really the main reasons for frustration throughout the process. Other than those, I am actually quite pleased with the way the fuzzy bomber came out. I used McCall’s pattern (#m7100) but added a lining.

I couldn’t tell you where the fuzzy fabric is from because my mom gave it to me and she had it laying around for a while. But the faux leather is from JoAnns.

It’s so interesting to me how details can make such a difference when you are designing/making something–especially a jacket. The kind of hardware especially can make or break the entire aesthetic of the piece. When I was choosing a zipper for this jacket, at first I had a basic plastic separating zipper picked out…but then found the gold tooth zipper and knew instantly it would seriously step up the jacket as a whole. Now that it’s finished, if I had gone with the plastic I don’t think it would have given the same impression.

I think she’s one whose versatility I’ll test out. I’ll dress her up and dress her down to see if she’s game for either. ;)


Outfit details:

Pants-AG sateen pant from Anthropologie (similar); Shoes-BCBGeneration (similar); clutch-Target (no longer available)

Silver & Gold

I told you there was more shiny coming! I said it once (or twice) and I’ll say it again. I’m into the metallic fabrics this year. I’ve sewn more than one (or two) pieces from shiny fabrics this year.

They just add a little extra somethin’ somethin’. But I think the greatest thing about metallic garments are that they are never really out of season. Yeah, you tend to associate them for the holidays–and they are definitely appropriate for this time of year–but in reality, they kind of fit in at any time of the year, especially for those more formal occasions. There are certainly ways to wear metallic fabrics not only for a New Year’s Eve party.




This is one of the most recent shiny pieces I made. A metallic silver wrap dress. I thought I’d use black sateen for the collar, cuffs, and sash since they interfaced better and would add a little more structure.

It’s hard to tell from far away, but the fabric actually has really narrow pleats (from JoAnn’s), which meant it required a little more patience to work with.

Spin tests. ;)

The second part of this shiny ensemble is a gold pleated A-line skirt I made earlier in the year. I think this is that one thing that started my metallic fabric craze. It’s great by itself, but it also looks awesome under dresses and skirts to add a little extra element of fun and surprise.

This coat is an *awesome* vintage curly lamb coat. The label is from Halle’s department store (Cleveland based, back in the day) and the lining is beautifully embossed with some embroidered initials. If you’re loving it, you can find it hereย with some more photos! (And bonus: it’s 20% off until New Year’s Day ;) )

I wore these beautiful earrings from Anthropoloie for my sister’s wedding a few years ago…unfortunately no longer available, but they definitely have some other beauties right now.


What shiny things have you made this year or season? Do they include party plans??


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 ;)

Woman, In Gold

Lately, I’ve been really into metallics. Or maybe I’m just drawn to all things shiny and sparkly ;) But really, they’re fun and can seriously add a whole new element to any ensemble.

To be honest, I made this kimono on a wimb a couple months ago. I was browsing through JoAnn’s one day and found this awesome fabric. The way it caught my eye, I knew I just needed to get some and figure out what to make from it later… And then I found a kimono pattern on a nearby shelf. Aside from its shininess, this fabric is a great knit that’s super comfortable (and was really easy to work with), so a kimono was this fabric’s fate.

Last week, I was in NYC and this golden number was in my suitcase. Sinceย comfort is more favorable while in New York, I dressed it down with leather shoes and accessories. And it made me realize the great thing about this piece of gold: how versatile it actually is. It looks great worn casually, but it looks pretty awesome dressed up for something more formal, too. So, below are my two looks: Casual and Dressier…and I can’t decide which I like better!


Dressed up:

Outfit #1-Tank: Old Navy; Jeans: Gap; Shoes: L.L.Beanย ; Purse: J.W. Hulme

Outfit #2-Tank: Old Navy; Pants & Bracelet: H&M; Shoes: Target (no longer available); Purse: Anthropologie (no longer available); Earrings: Vintage

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

White Cotton Dresses

I had a summer sewing resolution this year to make more dresses. Well, ladies and gentlemen, I am proud to announce that I have actually come through with that resolution, thanks in part to the McCall’s #V9253 contest from my last post, and also thanks to the fact that I’ve been a little bit better with the sewing self-discipline this summer.

As seen on my Pinterest boards, I’ve really been into flowy white cotton dresses lately, and one has been on my Make List practically the entire summer. The design I had in mind included something easy breezy with brown buttons, going either mid-way or all the way down. So when this Butterick pattern (#6363) appeared in my stash ;) it was a light bulb moment…! My perfect white dress pattern. Wooo!

Given it is white, and cotton…a slip is necessary to wear underneath this number. I admit, I don’t mind slips. I know most women (especially younger) feel slips are a bit of a hassle–but seriously, there’s a reason for them. Not only are they are saviors for unlined white dresses, they also bring back a little nostalgia and femininity to the art of dressing, because ladies…dressing is in fact an art form. Mmmhmm.

These peep-toes round out the entire ensemble perfectly. ;)

Complete with the brown buttons ;)

What I really love about a great white dress though, is of course the versatility. ^ This would totally be an appropriate dinner outfit, but if I wanted, I could make it more casual with some sandals, a sweater, and soft waves and take my basket purse to a picnic. ;)

Outfit details:

Bracelet-H&M (no longer available); Earrings-Vintage (mom’s); Basket purse-Vintage (etsy); Shoes-Target (no longer available)