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 ;)

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.

tag

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.

Chenille For Real

“What could I do with these?” is what I asked myself about the re-purposed wool sleeves I used for this coat. They had come off of another wool sweater coat of some kind because it was decided they would be better suited on some other garment. And well, they are. I found the fabric I used while rummaging around textile piles, seeing what I had and what I could use for what. It is a multi-colored woven chenille with a really cool diamond pattern that you don’t really notice up-close.

I admit, setting these thick wool sleeves was a bit of a challenge, but we made it through. And I’m glad we did. This coat is what their ultimate destiny was, after all. ;)

I will say, we took these pictures on a pretty chilly Fall day. This coat helped with the chill by far, but I only had on a long sleeve t-shirt underneath… so if you tend to err on the side of freezing all the time (such as myself), then I suggest throwing on a little something more, or heavier, under this multi-colored beauty.

 

*Warning: Photo-heavy post ahead. Sorry… but all the Fall colors! 8)

dsc_0528 dsc_0565 dsc_0576 dsc_0581 dsc_0599 Faux leather floppy hat is by Converse for Target years back.
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Have a couple versions of this necklace in the Etsy shop right now.

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Mono-clasp closure. This one is also vintage and re-purposed.

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See those diamonds? ;)

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Outfit details:

Coat: Here

Denim: AG, similar here

Necklace *versions of*: Here

Earrings: Made by me

Hat by Converse for Target, No longer available.

BedStu “Sonic” Booties, No longer available but similar here.

Basking in Shibori Glory

A rush of Adrenalin. This is what happens to me when I have a creative light bulb go off. This is also what happened to me the other day when I was wandering around the fabric store, lost in my head of ideas but probably appearing dazed and confused. I can assure you, I was not dazed and confused, only entirely consumed by the right side of my brain.

This post brings you that flashing light bulb. A shibori dyed sweatshirt. I know, I know…”there she goes with her dyeing again”…but you guys…I’m seriously into it, and my addiction is only getting stronger. Textile science is so cool, and the nerd in me obviously agrees. What is sooo awesome about shibori is that it is near impossible to replicate something identically. Every piece of shibori is one-of-a-kind, unique to itself…just like you and me! :D (*Enter cheesy, after school special song*) Seriously though, no two pieces are the same, and truthfully you never really know what you’re going to get until the process is done.

Well, I went a little shibori crazy. I started out just doing the sweatshirt, which I have listed in my Etsy shop, and which you can purchase from 7 color choices, and 4 size choices. But then as I was standing there with a giant pot of dye in front of me, I thought…”what else can I throw in here?” So, I went ahead and also made a 100 % cotton shibori scarf, (also available made to order in 9 color choices) and 2 100% silk purses–which are listed in the Etsy shop, as well.

Check out my Shibori glory below:

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One-of-a-Kind evidence, right here. I was totally in awe when I noticed what looks like little perched owls on the front of this sweatshirt. There ain’t no way that is happening again.

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What else is so cool about shibori dyeing is how different textiles take the dye in their own way due to their own properties. If you look at the cotton scarf and the silk purse-you can see how the color differs slightly.

 

Outfit details:

Shibori scarf, purse, sweatshirt: Found here!

Gap slim straight denim

BedStu Sonic booties, no longer available but similar here.