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 ;)

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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

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.

Made of Sentiment

A couple months ago, my aunt gave me some old yardages of fabric that belonged to my grandmother. Some wool, some silk, some cotton. So, of course I want to make something meaningful to me out of these different fibers.

I decided to tackle the wool first and make a couple different coats (the second one is coming soon in another post).

When I brought out the first few yards of wool to get to work, I saw that the original tag was still attached from when my grandma purchased the fabric. Pretty cool. Especially because J.P. Stevens & Co. was a very well known wool company that began back in the early 1800’s. The textile company was bought out back in 1988, so I’m guessing the fabric itself is from the 1960’s or 70’s.

For being 40 or 50 years old, this wool is in A-Mazing condition. Since wool is known to be a yummy treat for moths, I was surprised to see that there was no visible moth damage. Apparently, my grandma (and aunt) kept this wool totally secure from the fiber hungry little creatures.

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Alright, on with it…here is the coat I made from this super conditioned historic wool:

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(Made from Butterick Pattern #6385)

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An amazing color of blue like this deserves an equally amazing color partner for the lining. I found this really cool dark teal blue crepe with a slight paisley print that I thought complemented it perfectly.

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Working with wool is almost incomparable. It’s such a manageable fiber, and I’ve always thought that the solid colored wool coats like this look even more crisp and finished when they have evident top-stitching. Thus, I top-stitched basically every seam on this baby.

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I’m not exactly sure what my grandma initially intended on making out of this wool, and I doubt it would have ever crossed her mind that her grand-daughter would be the one utilizing it 40 or 50 years after she bought it . Regardless, hopefully she’s looking down and I’ve made her smile. :)

Stay tuned for the second woolen coat I made from more vintage wool!

 

Outfit details: Sweater & denim:Gap; Sorel boots; Scarf is from Portobello market in London.

Blue Velvet with Tartan Plaid Frosting

I gotta say…I think I might have a subconscious agenda with myself about  using up all the fabric that’s been staring at me every day and wondering when they’ll finally get their cue. Every time I buy new fabric, I feel a tinge of guilt about the fabric I already have at home. But, that’s one of those things with us sewers…we have a bad habit of stockpiling fabric “just because”… because we know that the “right” project for said fabric will come along–maybe in a few days…or maybe in a few months/years. Well, ladies and gentlemen, I assure you, I finally stumbled upon the “right” project for this GORGEOUS blue velvet fabric.

And here’s how the story goes…

It’s been a long time coming for this cobalt blue velvet to get its turn. I knew I wanted to make something really stand-out with it, because it’s pretty stand-out fabric. I used a Vogue coat pattern (#8465) and decided to do a cool fabric contrast, partly because I didn’t have enough blue velvet to use for the sleeves and collar.

At first, I used re-purposed leather for the collar and sleeves, thinking the contrasting material would look really interesting. Well, it did…but something just wasn’t laying right. So…out came the seam ripper and on the coat went some leftover black twill from this jacket that I blogged about a few weeks ago.

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The decision to use plaid taffeta for the collar lining happened sort of last minute. I needed something to use, and there was literally just enough left to use for the lining. Turned out to be the right decision, I think.

dsc_1009 dsc_1007 dsc_1003I suppose the moral of this story is…the “right” project will always come along. ;)

Outfit details:

Coat made by me; pants from H&M-similar here; Booties from DSW (no longer available).

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.

How the Flowers Grow…

This month, I’ve been trying to participate in a sewing photo challenge via Instagram, initiated by Bimble and Pimble. Today’s challenge is Prints or Floral, and since today is also Small Business Saturday, I thought I would feature this floral statement coat on both my blog, and for my #bpsewvember Insta post.

Supporting small businesses is very important to me. Growing up, my mom was a small business owner and the exposure I was able to get from that is something totally irreplaceable. She absolutely loved what she did, and for a kid to see that kind of passion at a young age instills some very important values. Small businesses are truly the bread and butter of any economy. It is those entrepreneurs who are just following a dream to do what they truly love or care for and who make a difference in our world that inspire others to do the same. To me personally, (and I’m sure many others as well) supporting those businesses especially in today’s world of giant conglomerates and fast fashion, means a whole lot more.

So cheers to you, small businesses…keep on keepin’ on. You got this.

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This is definitely an early Fall (or Spring!) weather-appropriate coat. Layers recommended for added warmth. ;)

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You guys! I made my very first GIF! Call me a dork, but I was quite proud. :D Expect more in future posts. ;)

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Striped pockets?!

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AND a striped collar. ;)

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These leaves and berries look like they could have inspired some of the fabric pattern. :D

 

Outfit details:

Coat, handmade, here.

Vince Camuto blouse from Dillards, no longer available, but similar here.

Pilcro denim from Anthropologie. Similar here.