Winter Cozy

It’s that time. Time to start cozying up for winter. The cold kind of stinks, yeah…but that just means there’s all this opportunity for warming up and staying toasty :) To be honest, in the winter I am often donning a hat and scarf when I’m sitting at my sewing machine and with tea or cocoa nearby. Mostly because, I am inherently cold…as is my sewing room.

One of my sewing goals lately (and for the upcoming year) is to make more practical wardrobe items for myself. I tend to go for the novelty, both to sell and for my own closet–which I am okay with because you certainly need that fun stuff too!–but I want to incorporate more ‘everyday’ items into my sewing repertoire.

That’s why I recently made this sweater coat with a New Look pattern #6536. The pattern itself is an “easy coat pattern”, so by making it from a knit, there were a couple adjustments necessary.

The pattern didn’t call for any lining, again making it super compatible for a knit. Instead, I just left some of the raw edges exposed.

The knit I used was from Joanns (#15488166). It’s a double knit, so I thought I would make the seams contrast (wrong sides together) to add a little interest.

One of the adjustments I had to make was with the sleeves. When it was all said and done, the sleeves looked much too large. Had I used a heavier fabric so it was more of a coat, they probably would’ve been fine. But with a knit, the roomier sleeves just looked off. So, those got nipped in from the armpit to the wrist.

I’ve been making it a yearly goal when winter comes ’round to make myself a scarf. Last year I made a pretty slate blue infinity…and this year I opted for a cranberry red one. I’ve been wearing it with basically everything, so I’m thinking it was a good choice. ;)

I also made this favorite blue wool coat last year. It’s a Butterick pattern (#6385) that I made from blue wool that belonged to my grandma–which she so wonderfully preserved over 40 some years (!!!) More about it on this post.

Even though everything is frozen and dead for the winter, there’s something so peaceful and calm about nature in winter. It’s always a very quiet and tranquil experience. Don’t you think?

 

Outfit details:

Jeans-Gap; Booties-BedStu, similar; Carpet bag/purse-Vintage from FlowerChild in Columbus, OH.

 

Coming up next: Some holiday sparkle ;)

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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

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

Blue Velvet with Tartan Plaid Frosting

I gotta say…I think I might have a subconscious agenda with myself about  using up all the fabric that’s been staring at me every day and wondering when they’ll finally get their cue. Every time I buy new fabric, I feel a tinge of guilt about the fabric I already have at home. But, that’s one of those things with us sewers…we have a bad habit of stockpiling fabric “just because”… because we know that the “right” project for said fabric will come along–maybe in a few days…or maybe in a few months/years. Well, ladies and gentlemen, I assure you, I finally stumbled upon the “right” project for this GORGEOUS blue velvet fabric.

And here’s how the story goes…

It’s been a long time coming for this cobalt blue velvet to get its turn. I knew I wanted to make something really stand-out with it, because it’s pretty stand-out fabric. I used a Vogue coat pattern (#8465) and decided to do a cool fabric contrast, partly because I didn’t have enough blue velvet to use for the sleeves and collar.

At first, I used re-purposed leather for the collar and sleeves, thinking the contrasting material would look really interesting. Well, it did…but something just wasn’t laying right. So…out came the seam ripper and on the coat went some leftover black twill from this jacket that I blogged about a few weeks ago.

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The decision to use plaid taffeta for the collar lining happened sort of last minute. I needed something to use, and there was literally just enough left to use for the lining. Turned out to be the right decision, I think.

dsc_1009 dsc_1007 dsc_1003I suppose the moral of this story is…the “right” project will always come along. ;)

Outfit details:

Coat made by me; pants from H&M-similar here; Booties from DSW (no longer available).

Design on the Surface

You know, faux fur is actually pretty warm. I realized this when we were taking these pictures in 20 +/- degrees. And then I remembered that the reason I hadn’t worn this coat more was because I had it in my head that it wasn’t that warm. Mmm, yeah…it’s pretty warm.

Like the last post, I bring you more surface design. What can I say? Great surface design just gives a piece that little extra somethin’, somethin’. What’s interesting though, is how surface design has evolved. Today, we see brands like Anthropologie favoring it in much of their selection. But it’s still not as commonly seen on the clothes we typically wear in today’s world (we’re not seeing any embellished leggings, thankfully), but surface design was something that was certainly more prevalent in fashions of the 30’s and 40’s. In the 1940’s, women’s clothing silhouettes weren’t all that interesting because of war-time restrictions that limited the amount of fabric used. Well, the fashionable ladies had to do something to remain stylish–enter, surface design–in many forms. Different trimmings, covered buttons, ribbon, etc. just so women could at least still feel fashionable. And let’s be real, that they were. So, I say…why not bring back some surface design?

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Am I the only one who actually really likes the aesthetics created by different shades of white? Off-white and white? Together, they go. ;)

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Outfit details:

Coat, made by me but there is a cape version here; Dress from Macy’s many years ago, similar here; Boots from Aldo, similar here.

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.

How the Flowers Grow…

This month, I’ve been trying to participate in a sewing photo challenge via Instagram, initiated by Bimble and Pimble. Today’s challenge is Prints or Floral, and since today is also Small Business Saturday, I thought I would feature this floral statement coat on both my blog, and for my #bpsewvember Insta post.

Supporting small businesses is very important to me. Growing up, my mom was a small business owner and the exposure I was able to get from that is something totally irreplaceable. She absolutely loved what she did, and for a kid to see that kind of passion at a young age instills some very important values. Small businesses are truly the bread and butter of any economy. It is those entrepreneurs who are just following a dream to do what they truly love or care for and who make a difference in our world that inspire others to do the same. To me personally, (and I’m sure many others as well) supporting those businesses especially in today’s world of giant conglomerates and fast fashion, means a whole lot more.

So cheers to you, small businesses…keep on keepin’ on. You got this.

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This is definitely an early Fall (or Spring!) weather-appropriate coat. Layers recommended for added warmth. ;)

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You guys! I made my very first GIF! Call me a dork, but I was quite proud. :D Expect more in future posts. ;)

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Striped pockets?!

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AND a striped collar. ;)

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These leaves and berries look like they could have inspired some of the fabric pattern. :D

 

Outfit details:

Coat, handmade, here.

Vince Camuto blouse from Dillards, no longer available, but similar here.

Pilcro denim from Anthropologie. Similar here.