Dressing for the Summer

I’m sitting here writing on a verrry brisk August evening, and I’m trying to think of where the summer time went.

Oh yeah…I was sewing. I’ve sewn a LOT this summer, and honestly haven’t been able to keep up with posts the way I intended. Included in one of these summer sewing projects has been #v9253 as part of another McCall’s sewing contest. This was a pattern I had really wanted to try, so when they announced another contest, I was definitely up for it.

 

The pattern sort of reminded me of a Kimono robe, so I thought a floral print would be fitting. This fabric is from JoAnn’s and is a rayon Challis…which was lovely to work with and drapes very well for this particular pattern.

I love when a dress gives a great spin ;)

The pattern itself easy to work with and pretty quick, which is always appreciated in my book. ;)

 

Outfit details: Purse-Vintage from Etsy; Shoes-from a friend; Bangles-from various places.

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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).

Complete with Collar and Cuffs

There’s just something about French cuff sleeves that draw me in with star-gazed eyes. They just scream sophisticated when they are on a jacket.

In this post, I’ve made this 1950’s inspired jacket that is probably one of my favorites to date. Here’s its story:

I made the bodice from a Vogue pattern (#8355) but changed the sleeves so they were French cuffs. I gave it a first go-around probably more than 5 years ago now (!), and that first version did not turn out the best because I was not 100% into it. I stopped my process half-way through only to come back to it a few years later. That entire scenario, in my experience, is never a winner. And after all these years of sewing, making and creating, I believe I finally understand my own creative process…and a big part of it is that it does not serve me well to stop half-way through something I am doing. I absolutely need to see it through from start to finish. Who’s with me?

So, a few months ago I decided I’d give this jacket another go. And this time, I was going to start it and finish it completely within a reasonable time-frame. Well, that I did. Along the way, I had to alter the pattern a bit for size–because of course, this pattern is out of print–and in doing that I was terribly nervous that the result was going to be much too tiny for me. But let’s be real, we designers and sewers know that about 75% of sewing involves some kind of troubleshooting because rarely does anything actually turn out the way we imagine.

This jacket pattern called for buttons and buttonholes, which there was absolutely no way that would be happening for my round 2 jacket if I wanted to wear it the way it was intended. My fix was to use a number of hook and eye clasps, because that way I had just enough room for it to fit like a glove. After the clasps were on, the jacket still looked a little incomplete to me, so I took some leftover lining and made some covered buttons (decorative only) to bring it all together. Ultimately, I’m happy I stuck it through this time around because it was totally worth it.

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This jacket is available as custom-order only via Etsy. Varying colors available!

Outfit details:

Jacket, Etsy shop; Skirt from Asos, similar here; Clutch from Target clearance; Shoes from DSW, similar here