Nuts for Dyeing

I’m not going to lie, I have realllllly enjoyed this beautifully warm “Fall” we’ve been having. Only this week has it actually begun to feel like a more typical Fall with some colder temps. Don’t get me wrong, I adore Fall…but I am also quite the freeze baby–so the warmer it is for longer, I’m more than content with that.

But, you know what this cool weather inevitably means: Jackets! (And coats!) So, for this post I bring you one of my FAVES. I actually made this one last year, but never blogged about it, so I will do that today. ;) And this one my friends, has a really fun story.

I used Vogue Pattern #V9212, and is not the only version I’ve made with it. (Ice dyed: here) Probably because I truly love this pattern. It’s relatively simple and the design is pretty stellar, which is likely why I keep coming back to it. (Expect a couple more in the future).

So here’s the fun story:

I used three different fabrics for the shell of this jacket. Not necessarily on purpose, but because I didn’t quite have enough of any for the whole jacket. But all in all, I couldn’t have hoped for a better outcome. Sometimes, the best designs happen through improvisation.

I used 1-Black wool, 2-Tan faux leather, 3-Walnut dyed cotton pique.

Yes. Walnut dyed. For those of you who may know me and my creative endeavors…dyeing is one of my all-time favorite things to do and incorporate into my sewing/designs. And last year, I decided I’d try out black walnut. I had made some walnut stain before and used it on some wooden home projects, so I thought I’d give it a shot with fabric.

I dyed the cotton pique with walnut dye (boiled down walnuts, basically) and really only had enough fabric to use for the back panel of the jacket, and the upper sleeves. The rest of the jacket used the faux leather and black wool. The result is this pretty cool color-blocked jacket that will be one of my forever favorite makes.

Honestly, the pictures don’t do the walnut dyed fabric justice.

 

I also made the necklace I am wearing. It is made from recycled leather and old mechanic parts that belonged to my mechanic grandfather. I have more like it listed on my Etsy, here.

 

And the shoes…yeah. Those I re-made. Here’s the thing…I’ve been looking for a pair of metallic booties for a while and of the ones I’ve found, my size is of course sold out. So…I thought I’d make my own. The shoes are by DV from Target, and I did a bit of artistic painting to get them the look I was going for. And as with the walnut fabric, these pictures don’t do the shimmery shoes justice.

 

Outfit details:

White shirt: Anthropologie; Black skinnies: Gap; Purse: J.W. Hulme

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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.

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.