Summer Coulottes

Remember in the 90’s when we all used to wear skorts to school and they were the absolute best because you could still run around the playground and do flips and cartwheels?! Ahhh…those were the days.

Well, the other day I made myself what I would consider a more mature and sophisticated version of the skort. Coulotte shorts. They really are fabulous because they look dressy, and are super comfy.

I used McCall’s pattern 7131, which includes varying length options–I made the long pant coulottes back in the early Spring but haven’t worn them yet since they’re a little fancier…Next to make will be the more traditional coulotte length-at the knee.

Turns out, they’re easy to dance in, too. ;)

The fabric I used was, you guessed it, some I had stashed away waiting to be used up. Enter: Coulotte shorts.

This fabric was also really great to work with, a heavier printed cotton blend. It pressed wonderfully, which made the pleats in the front extra crisp.

I’d love to hear! What are your thoughts on coulottes?? Yes? No? Maybe so?

 

Outfit details:

Tee & shoes: Target; Belt: Anthropologie (No longer available);Purse: Kate Spade; Bracelet: Grandma’s

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.

Ice Cold Blue

I did it again. I made another ice-dyed coat. I had been dreaming up this one for quite some time, but only just executed the project. And like a lot of projects in life…it didn’t come out the way I thought it would. But, you know what they say: good things happen by accident.

For this go-around, I first made the coat out of Vogue Pattern #9212 (instead of the basic coat style of my initial sketch) with a white twill fabric and then used your tried and true Rit Dyes to do the ice dyeing.

My sketch here:

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I had actually anticipated it including a lot more white–to look more like traditional Shibori with indigo dye (kind of like the stuff in this post from a while ago) But, I think I was a bit overzealous with the dye this time around, so it ended up totally covered with blue. And even though it didn’t turn out how I had hoped…it still ended up pretty awesome.

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I thought I would make the lining totally electric, since the coat shell turned out pretty dynamic.

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I don’t currently have this listed in my Etsy shop, but if there is any interest in a custom version, please send an email my way. ;)

Remaining Outfit details:

Denim-Gap; Belt-an old men’s belt; Booties-Lucky Brand

The “Carrie” Coat

I have a confession to make. I am a bit obsessed with ALL of the coats Sarah Jessica Parker wears as Carrie Bradshaw in Sex and the City. I’d say it was how I related to Carrie the most…she obviously had a love of coats and jackets, which has also been the truth for me since I was a teenager. Well, about four years ago, I was gifted the entire 6 season set of DVD’s for Christmas and it opened up a whole new world of “Make it” ideas for yours truly.

One particular coat that Carrie wears in Season 4 (?) is this amazing surface designed ivory coat that she wears over a blue dress when she goes on her first date with the politician. This is hands down my favorite coat she wears in the entire series. So, of course I decided I had to make one for myself.

I wanted it to be warm enough to wear in the cold weather, so I made it from a Wool blend felt, and then surface designed the entire front…collar included. I knew it was going to be a project when I decided on how I wanted to execute this ivory wonder, and I can honestly say, a project it was. But sooooo worth it… ;)

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Hand appliqued surface design. I used a bunch of different trims, and made some of my own appliques with various fabrics.

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I also made this 1940’s style dress out of faux suede. I only made it last Fall, and it has surely made its way to the top of my “favorites for Fall and Winter” list.

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Just couldn’t resist a few wintery pics, since this weekend was our first official snowfall of the season. ;)

 

Outfit details: Coat and Dress, made by me; Needlepoint purse-vintage; Boots by Aldo, similar here.