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 Mood  (#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??


Holiday Sparkle

Last year it seemed like the holiday season came and went and there wasn’t too much time to enjoy it ( I guess it often feels like that), but this year I made it a point to slow down a little and really enjoy the season. I’ve made several pieces (yay!) I’ve watched a bunch of Christmas movies and listened to lots of different holiday music. I’ve also already made quite a few batches of cookies. I. am. embracing it this year.

And since I don’t recall making anything fun and sparkly last Christmas, I thought I’d keep with the festive attitude and make something RED and sparkly, because how much more holiday can you get than that?!

What actually inspired me to make this dress was Grace Kelly’s character, Margo, from Dial M for Murder. As far as Hitchcock films go, Dial M is definitely up there for me. I absolutely love the gorgeous red dress that Margo wears in one of the first scenes.

Google image

How can you not love this beautiful frock?! It makes my heart flutter with joy.

Here is my version, using Vogue pattern #v8280. What I really like about this pattern is how it looks like the sleeves are a separate bolero kind of piece, but it’s all attached.

So I made the sleeves and back with the sparkle red fabric from Joann fabrics. And the solid red is a peachskin fabric.

By some form of magic, I already had this red belt which literally matches perfectly to the red color of the dress.

Like with most projects, there are some tribulations along the way. And this one was with the zipper. I first put in an invisible zipper, and it just did not look right. ( I think mostly because I need to get an invisible zipper foot for my machine) So I ripped that one out and put in a normal zipper and it looked 100 times better.

Also for the back, I made an underlay for the sequin fabric with lining. It just made it a heck of a lot easier to work with by keeping it from shifting and getting sequins caught in the machine.

Kick pleats!

This fabulous coat is an Oscar de la Renta coat I got on MAJOR sale one year. I don’t remember how much it was exactly, but I do remember that it was an absolute steal and it would’ve been stupid not to buy it. I always wear it around the holidays because it is a heavier coat, but also partly because it has the vibrant and festive red lining…which just matches this dress wonderfully. ;)


Outfit details: Seamed nylons-Dillard’s; Coat-Oscar de la Renta; Clutch-Anthropologie, no longer available.


Watch out: More shiny things, coming your way! ;)

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

Old Movie Inspired

Ask my husband, and he’ll tell you that almost every time we watch an old movie on TCM, I’m running over to the TV with my phone so I can get a picture of a costume that I find inspiring.

I was totally inspired for this next one…by Ann Miller in Two Tickets to Broadway. I used the same pattern  (M7513) as I did for the jacket in this post. And again, I also did some dyeing for it. Instead of marbling though, I did a full dunk of color. I used RIT dye again, and I did a little bit of color mixing (thanks to RIT’s website full of dye recipes) to achieve this periwinkle hue. Here’s how it came out:


It took a little searching to find some appliques I thought would work the best. I finally decided on these from Mood fabrics. They ended up giving just the look I was hoping for.

Leather look pants helped with that edgy aesthetic I was going for ;)

The trim I used was a combination of a normal braid trim with faux leather.

I contemplated making the collar the same periwinkle shade, but ultimately thought it would do well as a contrast piece.

Outfit details:

Belt: BCBGeneration (many years ago); Leather look pants from H&M (last year); Shoes: hand-me-down from a friend!

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 ;)