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)

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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

Blue Velvet with Tartan Plaid Frosting

I gotta say…I think I might have a subconscious agenda with myself about Β 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 jacketΒ 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).

A Coat with a Statement

This month on the cover of Vogue was a feature on Statement Coats. I just love to see coats getting their rightful attention. Yes. I do make things other than coats, I promise. But coats and jackets have just always been my thing. I don’t know why I am so drawn to them, but to me a great coat is a game-changer. And maybe it’s because I am from the North Coast, or as our family calls it, the “Fresh Coast” in Ohio…where we’re not quite East enough to be considered the East coast, but we’re certainly not that Mid either, even though we are always categorized with the rest of the mid-west. Anyway, being from the Fresh Coast, we most definitely get our fair share of cold. So, when you have these cold winters with not much to look forward to other than making snow angels, well a GREAT coat is an ABSOLUTE necessity in the Fresh Coast wardrobe. It definitely adds excitement to getting dressed on those cold days, too.

Well, this one my friends, is a very special one. I’ve been waiting patiently to debut her, too…if only this Ohio weather would make up its mind. And I will preface by saying, this particular coat is not for sale- BUT I can always do custom orders to color/size specifications, just send an email my way. ;)

Sometimes, when you least expect it is when the inspiration strikes. And that is how this one was. I knew when I was hunting and gathering my materials that THIS one was certainlyΒ going to be one of those game-changing coats. A definite statement coat. She’s quite possibly my favorite to date.

Here is my Before picture that I posted on Instagram…

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And after…

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Place for bird watching.

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Watched some birds! Ducks :)8

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My original design for this coat involved a fur collar. And thanks to my vintage hoarding habit, I found one stashed away. This one is faux chinchilla fur. There are some other fur collars for sale in my Etsy store, here.

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Applique applied by hand. Time consuming? Yes. Worth it? Of course.

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Outfit details:

Coat: Made by me (Although this particular coat is not for sale through my Etsy shop, if you email me about a custom order, I’m sure we can work something out.) Fur collar: Vintage, similar here.

Jeans: Gap

Shoes: DSW (no longer available)