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)

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

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

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

What a Mint

If you’re a designer or maker, you will understand when I say that there are some things you create that feel just a bit more special than the others. Maybe it’s a project that you dreamed of and made it come to life, or maybe it was something you had a long-time idea for and then finally took the steps to actually execute, so the whole process seemed like a long time coming. Or maybe just certain ones make you feel more excited than others.

Today, I bring you one of those pieces. One that makes me feel just a bit more excited. This was something I thought of making for a while, and didn’t actually take AS long as I expected it would altogether. Which is always welcome.

I won’t lie. I’ve really been loving this kimono trend. They really are great pieces to just throw on. I had the idea to make this for a little while, knowing that I wanted it to be mint green and have a lot of beading. Then I decided that a kimono style would be perfect because it’d bring a different take than what most of the retailers are carrying right now. And just as I’d hoped, the mint green works really well with all the silvery embellishment.

I know what you’re thinking. “That’s a lottttta beading.” Yes, it is. But I most certainly did not do that myself. I’m all for finding new uses for old clothes, so this beautiful beading came from a formal top I found at a thrift store that I cut up into pieces to use as appliques for my jacket.

This was the first time I’ve actually experimented with scuba knit. And I must say, it was a good experience. So you can probably expect to see more scuba-knitted pieces from me in the future. ;)

I like the idea of styling this jacket in a sort of semi-formal way with jeans and heels, but I am already imagining how I can wear it for a more formal occasion–like under a dress or with a great pair of pants.


Outfit Details:

Jacket: altered pattern #V9253; Jeans: Gap; Sunglasses: Jessica Simpson; Shoes: DSW (no longer available) but similar here; Clutch: Anthropologie (no longer available)

Dressing for the Summer

I’m sitting here writing on a verrry brisk August evening, and I’m trying to think of where the summer time went.

Oh yeah…I was sewing. I’ve sewn a LOT this summer, and honestly haven’t been able to keep up with posts the way I intended. Included in one of these summer sewing projects has been #v9253 as part of another McCall’s sewing contest. This was a pattern I had really wanted to try, so when they announced another contest, I was definitely up for it.


The pattern sort of reminded me of a Kimono robe, so I thought a floral print would be fitting. This fabric is from JoAnn’s and is a rayon Challis…which was lovely to work with and drapes very well for this particular pattern.

I love when a dress gives a great spin ;)

The pattern itself easy to work with and pretty quick, which is always appreciated in my book. ;)


Outfit details: Purse-Vintage from Etsy; Shoes-from a friend; Bangles-from various places.