Tag Archives: reconstructions

Me-Made-May ’14: Week 5 Round-Up

30 May

Ahhhh, you guys! Me Made May (and thus, the daily photographs) is almost over! Can I get a FUCK YEAH!?

This is going to be a longer than usual round-up, because I went on vacation and obviously I had to change outfits a couple times each day. That’s what you do on vacation, right? ps, sorry in advance.

5/24
5/24, Saturday
Dress: Lady Skater
Shoes: Keds

First day of our vacation! Here we are en route to Santa Rosa Beach, at a food truck somewhere in Alabama. I knew we’d spend the day in the car, so I opted for a comfy knit dress. I’ve always thought this dress was very fall-like, due to the colors, but the fabric is definitely summer-appropriate as well :)

5/25 pt. 1
5/25, Sunday I
Pajamas: Lakeside pajamas

I’ve been wearing various other me-mades throughout the month that haven’t made it into photos (workout wear, pajamas, leggings, underwear, etc), so here’s some proof! I brought two pairs of Lakeside pajamas to wear while on vacation – the ones you see here, plus a new set I made a couple days before (I used this cute strawberry print cotton lawn to make them, if you were wondering!)- and wore them all week. In addition to being awesome pajamas, they also make a great swimsuit cover-up! Although, to be fair, I started out wearing the set and ended up in only the shorts(+ bikini top, obvs) by the end of the week.

Speaking of bathing suits…

5/25, pt. 2
5/25, Sunday II
Swimsuit: Papercut Patterns Soma Swimsuit (no blog post on this… yet! But here’s the link to the pattern :))
Sunglasses: Franco Sarto
Hat: Scarlet Begonia

Hell yes I came with a handmade swimsuit! THREE, in fact! This is the first – the result of my pattern testing for Papercut Patterns a couple of months ago :) I haven’t had a chance to write up a proper blog post, but here’s a sneak preview :)

5/25, pt. 3 (sorry! Last one for today)
5/25, Sunday III
Top: Refashioned from a men’s Hawaiian shirt
Shorts: Rite of Spring shorts
Shoes: Keds

After spending all afternoon at the beach (no, really, I laid up on a float and bobbed around in the ocean for hours and it was glorious), I reluctantly put on clothes and walked around the shops with Landon. I didn’t buy stuff, but I did buy liquor. Priorities, y’all.

Also, that shirt. This is the third vacation I’ve dragged it to (and no shit, I literally wore that same outfit last May HAHAAHAHA whatever, it’s good, I’m not apologizing for shit), so it’s basically my official vacation shirt at this point. Unfortunately, it’s also way too big now. My alterations were pretty shoddy (it was a very last-minute job), and I’m thinking I may just need to send it to the nice Goodwill Bin in the sky at this point.

5/26, pt. 1- my other @papercutpatterns Soma bikini + a photo bombing niece  #mmm14 #mmmay14
5/26, Monday I
Swimsuit: Papercut Patterns Soma Swimsuit
Sunglasses: Franco Sarto
Hat: Scarlet Begonia

Exact same get-up as the day before, but check out how different it turned out! This is version 2 of the Soma Swimsuit, and the second one I tested (yeah, I tested both. I wasn’t asked to, but after making the first one I kind of went crazy. I almost made 3, tbh). I used this version to play with stripes and decorative elastic, and I LOVE how it turned out. Seriously, my favorite swimsuit ever! Again, expect a blog post on these bad boys soon :)

Oh yeah, and that bratty kid in the background is my niece :) I told her she could photobomb my picture and she sure did me proud.

5/26, pt. 2- dress: Sewaholic Lonsdale; shoes: Fergalicious.  #mmm14 #mmmay14
5/26, Monday II
Dress: Sewaholic Lonsdale
Shoes: Fergalicious

I wore this for a dinner out with my parents+Landon’s parents (the first time they met! It went very well :)), and unfortunately forgot to take a photo until right before bed. Oh well! Also, I love this dress and I should totally make it again.

5/27, pt. 1- swimsuit: closet case files bombshell  #mmm14 #mmmay14
5/27, Tuesday I
Swimsuit: Closet Case Files Bombshell
Sunglasses: Franco Sarto
Hat: Scarlet Begonia

Last bathing suit! This is one I made last year, and I still love it :) Especially good for those days when I realized I’ve just been drinking beer and eating key lime pie all weekend and oh god it’s time for the beach. Hahahaha!!

5/27 forgot to upload this yesterday! Drinking wine in Seaside, FL :) top: thrifted; skirt: Tilly's Miette (tie-less); shoes: Fergalicious #mmm14 #mmmay14
5/27, Tuesday II
Shirt: Thrifted
Skirt: Tilly’s Miette
Shoes: Fergalicious

Post beach, Landon and I spent the afternoon in Seaside, checking out the cute houses, the shops, and drinking free wine (the best part!). Again, with the top – that’s another unofficial vacation top (that I bought… 3 years ago, at the Goodwill on Santa Rosa Beach, ha!) that’s about to get the Goodwill shaft. It’s just too big :(

5/28 channeling my inner mermaid before heading back to Tennessee ☀️ top: Megan Nielsen cropped briar; skirt: Megan Nielsen cascade.  #mmm14 #mmmay14
5/28, Wednesday
Top: Cropped Briar
Skirt: Cascade

Last day on the beach! I thought it would be fun to take the photos of my Cascade by the cascading waves (you can’t even tell in this picture but they were AMAZING that day!). The wind was blowing like crazy, and I think it makes for a really cool picture :) This picture also vaguely reminds me of <a href="this picture from the Little Prince, which makes me happy :)

5/29 dress: deer & doe Belladone; shoes: Sam Edelman; necklace: Fabu #mmm14 #mmmay14
5/29, Thursday
Dress: Belladone
Shoes: Sam Edelman
Necklace: Fabu

Back to Nashville! It was at this point that I realized we were almost at the end of May – and I haven’t worn some of my favorite stuff! So out comes the Belladone :) I tried to style this a little differently than usual – I generally wear it with brown or yellow, but I do like the red :)

5/30
5/30, Friday (today!)
Dress: Simplicity 1803
Belt: Thrifted
Necklace: Chatterblossom
Shoes: Born

My other favorite dress – and our star pattern for the OAL. I love this pattern and I’m glad I finally have a reason to buckle down and make another! Which reminds me – the sewalong starts on Monday! Eep! :)

Speaking of which – those of you who are participating, do you feel like you need a post that covers fabric selection? I was planning on skipping straight ahead to cutting and marking, since I figured most everyone’s already chosen their fabric (and thus makes a post on fabric selection a moot point) – not to mention a lot of y’all are sewing different patterns (which means different fabric requirements) – but you tell me!

Sooo I guess that’s almost it for Me Made May! We do have one more day of the month (and you bet I’ll be wearing me-mades and begrudgingly taking a photo, ha), but I’m not going to include it in this round-up because it doesn’t fit with my ~schedule~. Sorry! If you want to view the rest of the weeks, here they are:
Me-Made May: Week 1
Me-Made-May: Week 2
Me-Made-May: Week 3
Me-Made-May: Week 4
I also have a Flickr Album of all my MMM photos, if that’s more your jam.
If you’re sick of looking at me, that’s ok too – I’m sick of looking at myself at this point :B

I am glad I participated this year, because I definitely learned a lot about what’s lurking in my closet – namely, that there is WAY more than I think there is! Seriously, so many pieces didn’t even make it out this month, and that’s kind of sad considering I only repeated one skirt and a couple of tshirts. I’ve had some size fluctuations over the past couple of years, which means a lot of my summer wear doesn’t fit anymore (and while I altered some of it – such as the Simplicity dress I’m wearing today – a whole bunch of it got sold/donated instead). After that giant purge, I was under the impression that I didn’t have a lot left to wear in warm weather – which is clearly not the case! With that being said, despite my overabundance of clothing, there are still tons of pieces that my wardrobe is lacking. I’ve got plans to make more separates, including shorts (gah, I can’t believe I didn’t wear shorts once this month, wtf?) and tshirts, as well as workout wear, loungewear, and more bathing suits! Serious question… how many bathing suits is too many? They are REALLY fun to make, ok.

How did your Me-Made-May turn out (if you participated)? Did you learn anything life-changing about your closet? Are you SO sick of taking photos? :)

Ohh, I almost forgot – I promised y’all outtakes! Let’s revel in the unflattery together:

MMM'14- Outtakes
Most of my photos end up looking like this haha. I dunno why, but I always close my eyes when the picture is being taken (not to mention… whatever my mouth is doing. I guess I was in the middle of talking haha. OK FINE I BASICALLY NEVER SHUT UP)

MMM'14- Outtakes
If anyone happens to see where I left my arm, I’d appreciate your help.

MMM'14- Outtakes
Original photobomb did it better

MMM'14- Outtakes
Look at the fear in Amelia’s eyes hahahahahaha

MMM'14- Outtakes
I just think this is cute. Amelia doesn’t care much for being held (despite my consistent grabby hands at her), but she loooves having her butt scratched.

MMM'14- Outtakes
Hey, that’s almost a good picture! Until you zoom in a bit…

MMM'14- Outtakes
That, my friends, is the face of a cat who’s completely given up on life.

MMM'14- Outtakes
Ok, this is my favorite outtake and the one that made me laugh the hardest. This is a really unflattering picture of both of us – I’m pulling some kind of weird face (again, seriously, probably in the middle of talking) and Amelia just looks PISSED.

MMM'14- Outtakes
If that doesn’t look like the devil incarnate, I don’t know what does.

Have a great weekend, everyone!

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Me Made May – Week 5 Roundup

1 Jun

Well, Me-Made-May is finally over – 5 weeks/31 days of handmade with daily photographs. I’m not even going to pretend I wasn’t relived to NOT take a photo of myself this morning :)

Since I was on vacation pretty much the entire week, I tried to be creative with my photos (mostly because I didn’t want to drag the tripod, camera *and* laptop with me to Florida lol). It was a bit of a struggle on a couple of the days, mostly because I spent lots and lots of time in my bathing suit… but I managed!

5-26
5-26
Shirt: Sewaholic Renfrew – modified some more since it’s original inception; you can’t see it too well but I cut the ribbing off the bottom & replaced it with wide lace (just like my Taffy blouse)
Pants: Colette Clovers
Necklace: Vintage bracelet I turned into a necklace
Shoes: Rugged Warehouse
Shades: Pangea
After a long day of driving (nearly 8 hours in the car! Plus 2 hours at some rando gas station after a belt in Landon’s car snapped & we had to wait for my dad to fix it. Which was preferable to towing it to some shop & paying them assloads of money to fix it, by the way!), we made it to Santa Rosa Beach! This is the view/balcony via our condo.

Santa Rosa Beach, FL
Uh huh.

5-27
5-27
Top: Giant men’s Hawaiian shirt resized by me
Skirt: Vintage, dyed by me
Shoes: Rugged Warehouse
Couldn’t get anyone to take a picture of me, so I settled for one of those awful mirror shots in the fitting room at Goodwill haha.

5-28
5-28
Top: thrifted – from the aforementioned Goodwill, no less!
Shorts: Simplicity 5110
Shoes: Walmart
Hat: Not mine, just trying on the goods
This was taken in a cute little town called Seaside, just a few miles from Santa Rosa Beach. We rode our bikes there, and I spent the entire time dying over the bike paths-
Santa Rosa Beach, FL
Totally flat, totally separate from the main road (which is on the left). It was SO NICE! I wish we had commuter/non-greenway bike paths like this in Nashville.

Seaside was really cute – there were tons of bikes
Seaside, FL

And shopping
Santa Rosa Beach, FL

And food trucks
Seaside, FL

And pretty things to look at
Seaside, FL
Santa Rosa Beach, FL

And a bonus outfit shot from Monday, 5/28:
Santa Rosa Beach, FL
Birthday dinner with Landon (and the rest of the family). I wore Vogue 1174. I knowwww I should have worn my birthday dress (I even brought it!) but everyone else was pretty casual so I decided on the blue dress at the last minute. SORRY.

5-29
5-29
Dress (worn as a swimsuit coverup): Hawaiian Sundress
Hell yeah I spent the whole day at a waterpark. And then Fudpuckers (where my little brother lost his debit card & the kind man at the bank verified the last transaction was from “pudfuckers” lol), and then some chintzy tourist shop called Alvin’s.
From left to right – Maddie (Matt’s girlfriend), my mom, Caroline (my niece), Matt (little brother!), me, my dad, & Landon.

5-30
5-30
Top: Jalie 2921
Skirt: Vintage, dyed by me
Party Hat: YEP
Last time at the beach! I gave up on trying to wear cute outfits & just put on something comfortable for the drive home :)

5-31
5-31
Dress: Colette Parfait
Shoes: Target
Purse: Thrifted
Scarf (tied on purse): Flea Market
Last day of Me-Made-May! I celebrated by going to my favorite fabric store for their 50% off sale :)

So yeah! I consider this may a total success – albeit not nearly long enough, as I still have masses of handmade clothing yet to be worn. Oh well! Since wearing my stuff wasn’t really much of a challenge, I tried to mix up how I wore it, and I think I did pretty good! I can’t think of anything this challenge made me realize I had gaping, except maybe some summer jeans – which I bought fabric for yesterday, btw! I also used this challenge as a kick the butt to get me into my mending/fit-fixin’ pile, for certain things I never wanted to wear (I’m looking at you, Swiss Dot Violet!)

The only thing that I didn’t like was the daily photos… it got old pretty fast, and felt pretty narcissistic the entire time. I did find myself getting more comfortable in front of the camera, until I got to the point where I didn’t feel like I needed to take 40+ pictures to get that ~one perfect shot~.

Here are the rest of MMM’12 posts, if you missed them the first go-round!
Me Made May, Week 1
Me Made May, Week 2
Me Made May, Week 3
Me Made May, Week 4

And a big big BIG thanks to Zoe for pulling the whole thing together! Apparently, this was the biggest Me-Made-Month yet; I hope we made you proud :D

So today is June 1st, and here I am wearing all handmade anyway hahaha
6-1
Top: Leotard reconstructed by me into a tank top
Trousers: Vogue 2925
Cardigan: Thrifted
Belt: Thrifted
Shoes: Thrifted

Me Made May – Week 3 Roundup

18 May

Sorry for the radio silence this week, peepz. I have been house/dog sitting since Thursday night, which means I have not had access to my sewing machine for almost a week! I opted to not bring it with me since there was just so much stuff to carry around (and plus, I make giant messes when I sew ahaha), figuring I would just knit instead. Spoiler alert: didn’t get much knitting done either. Whoops! Anyway, I’m back at home now so hopefully I can get some sewing done over the weekend, maybe :) I miss it so much!

5-12
5/12
Top: Sewaholic Renfrew (unblogged, sorry!)
Jeans: Vogue 2925
Shoes: Walmart
This is basically the same outfit as Friday – I had cute stuff packed, but it ended up being really cold & rainy so I stuck with jeans for the second day in a row.

5-13
5/13 – Mother’s Day!
Dress: Actually, this is two pieces… the dress made me look like a box, so I separated the skirt from the top & sewed white elastic for the skirt waistband. I can wear them together or separately, woohoo.
Cardigan: Agatha – my first sweater :)
Belt: Thrifted
Necklace: Fire Finch (Nashville)
Shoes: Walmart (man those things are filthy… I should wash them)
This is me & my mommy, in her sewing room. Isn’t she so pretty?! Love her :)

5-14
5/14
Top: Yardsale
Skirt: Style 1568; it’s supposed to be culottes but it looked awful in this linen/cotton blend (too stiff), so I converted it into a skirt. The linen would also explain why it is wrinkled as fuq – I swear I ironed the night before!
Cardigan: Thrifted – ended up wearing it tied (like how I have it on 5/15) after this picture was taken.
Belt: Thrifted
Shoes: Nine West
Earrings: Thrifted
Brooch: Flea market – it’s a skunk holding a flower ahaha

5-15
5/15
Dress: Colette Patterns Peony
Cardigan: Thrifted
Belt: Thrifted
Rose Brooch: Crocheted by me :)
Shoes: Target

5-16
5/16
Top: Thrifted, altered to fit by me
Skirt: Thrifted – it was originally a child’s dress. I cut the bodice off & replaced the busted shirring at the waistband. Insta-skirt!
Cardigan: Agatha
Belt: Thrifted
Scarf (worn at neck): Vintage
Shoes: Target

5-17
5/17
Dress: Colette Patterns Ceylon
Shoes: Nine West

5-18
5/18 (today!)
Top: Colette Patterns Sorbetto
Skirt: Colette Patterns Ginger
Belt: Thrifted (holy shit I wear this belt a lot lol)
Shoes: Target kids
Necklace: Flea market

ALSO, today was Bike to Work Day… don’t worry, I managed to wear something Me-Made :)
5-18 - before work
5/18, pre-work
Tshirt: Stenciled & resized by me
Pants: Lululemon (obviously not Me-Made, but I wrote a review on ‘em if you are interested!
Shoes: Converse
It gets very hot/humid here, so I brought a change of clothes for the office haha :) Oh, and I guess you could also consider my basket Me-Made – it started out as a purse from the thrift store, I just cut the handles off & zip-tied it to my bike. Baskets are expensive!

As a side/non-sewing note, Bike to Work Day was really awesome!
Bike To Work Day
There was a great turnout

Bike To Work Day
I mean, really forreal

Bike To Work Day
Tons of food & drinks (including coffee, yeeeeeah)

Bike To Work Day
The mayor even showed up to talk to us :)

Bike To Work Day
The best part, though, was having cycling partners on the commute :D

Did anyone else bike to work today?

Me Made May – Week 1 Roundup

4 May

Holy cow, is it Friday already? Where did the week go?

Time for a round-up of the first week of Me-Made-May!

I wanted to put these in a cute little collage, but since Picnik died & left me all alone to grieve in private, you get individual pictures. Them’s the breaks.

5-1
5/1
Dress: Simplicity 2458
Belt: thrifted
Shoes: Target

5-2
5/2
Dress: Colette Patterns Rooibos
Belt: Handmade
Cardigan: Thrifted
Shoes: Target

5-3
5/3
Dress: Simplicity 6268
Belt: Thrifted
Shoes: Steve Madden

5-4
5/4 (that’s today!)
Blouse: Colette Patterns Violet
Skirt: Colette Patterns Ginger
Cardigan: Thrifted; reconstructed by me
Belt: Thrifted
Shoes: Target Kids

Sooo… about that Violet blouse… we need to talk.

The original incarnation just wasn’t doing it for me. I know it’s looks super cute in the pictures, but it was very uncomfortable in real life – mainly because those damn armholes were WAY too low-cut for sleeves. Every time I moved my arms, the whole shirt would ride up. As a result, I never wore it and felt very sad inside since 1. dotted swiss; and 2. cotton batiste, aka my two favorite fabrics that very instant.

So I cut the sleeves off.

Dotted Swiss Violet

I wish I could tell y’all that cutting the sleeves off immediately solved the problem, but that would be a lie. Remember those low armholes? They were so low, sans sleeves, that you could see the whole side of my bra without even being sneaky about it. Which, I mean, I’m definitely known to let it all hang out from time to time, but we’re talking about a freakin swiss dot button up with a peter pan collar here. Not really the right vessel for looking tarty.

I used part of the sleeves to add an extra wedge of fabric at the bottom of the arm hole – I ended up having to raise it a good 2″, and it’s still a little too low but I am NOT in the mood to fiddle with this blouse anymore. I finished with bias tape facing (machine-stitched because, again, NOT in the mood). I also took in the side seams a bit more at the waist to give it some more shape, since I was feeling pretty box-like at that point. I’m not 1000000000% happy with the finished result – it kind of looks, well, homemade – but it’s much better than the sleeved version.

The lesson here: don’t buy a loose, free-flowing boxy blouse pattern when you prefer to wear everything with little to no ease.

On a happy note, look at the newest addition to my house as of last night!
YES
YES YES YES
It’s actually Landon’s set, not mine :) But OH MAN it’ll be SO FREAKING NICE to do laundry in my own house! I really love doing laundry (and folding it! Haha!), but I hate dragging it in & out of the house. So I’m pretty excited about this. And yes, this is absolutely relevant to MMM’12 since pretty much all the good stuff is in the dirty clothes bin right now.
Also, check out my reel mower on the right (don’t look at the recycling on the left, please & thank you). I mow my lawn with a reel mower because I’m a BAMF. And also because gas is expensive.

Oh, and my Bombshell dress is almost done – all that is left is securing the vent (seriously, a little 2″ diagonal line haha) and figuring out how I want to attach the strap. It’s lookin’ good and I’m feeling good about it!

I leave you with this -
.
In case you were ever wondering what it looks like when the plastic cone inside a spool of serger thread crumbles into pure nothing.

Recon: The Hawaiian Sundress

30 Apr

I’m still slogging away on my Bombshell dress – although right now it appears to be more of a bed than anything:
Current Bombshell state

More on that later! Today, we will talk about my newest recon.

I actually started plotting the making of this dress on Friday afternoon – I found this sweet Hawaiian maxi dress and I spent the rest of the afternoon obsessing over how to make my own. My drive home from work ended taking A FUCKING HOUR AND A HALF (I drive about 5 miles & it usually takes 15-20 minutes – tops! 25 minutes is long enough to make me feel desperate, no lie) – thanks, Country Music Marathon! – so I had plenty of time to plan the making of my new dress. I realized the head start was actually hanging in my closet.

Hawaiian Dress Recon - before
If you’re feeling underwhelmed, well, so was I. I picked this dress up at the thrift store last summer – I loved the print, and it’s rayon which is my faaaavorite fiber to wear in the summer. Also, it was $2. Unfortunately, it’s a big shapeless muumuu. I thought I could cinch it with a belt and be done with it, but belting that much fabric leaves some weird gathers & poof, so this was a dress reserved for hanging around the house.

This was a REALLY easy (and fast!) recon – I sewed a strip of wide elastic at the waistline, cut 6″ off the hem & sewed that to the elastic neckline. Done and done!

Hawaiian Dress Recon
The original inspiration is sleeveless, but I actually like the extra ruffle the sleeves give, so they stay… for now.

Hawaiian Dress Recon

Hawaiian Dress Recon
It is hemmed a little short – you can’t tell from these pictures, since I have the tripod angled, but I could definitely use an extra inch. Although I did wear this to shop the flea market with my mom on Saturday & she never mentioned the length (or lack thereof), so maybe it’s not as bad as I think it is.

Hawaiian Dress Recon

Hawaiian Dress Recon
I got a LOT of compliments on this dress! Probably more than I’ve ever received for any of my clothing – funny! It seemed like every other person I ran into had something nice to say about it :)

Hawaiian Dress Recon - no belt
Oh, and thanks to the elastic waistband – it looks great without a belt! This will be extremely important once the rest summer heat+humidity hits :)

Some construction notes…
Hawaiian Dress Recon - elastic waistband, inside
The elastic waistband was really easy to insert – I measured the elastic around my waist, and then sewed it to the middle of the dress (try it on first to check the placement), giving the elastic a good stretch while I sewed it on. I just used a straight stitch, since it’s not a really high-stress area.

Hawaiian Dress Recon - elastic waistband, outside
From the front – it gathered up nicely, I think!

Hawaiian Dress Recon - collar ruffle, inside
To make the ruffled collar, I sewed cut-off dress bottom (hem intact!) to the inside of the dress, wrong side up. Again, I stretched it as I sewed so it would gather up.

Hawaiian Dress Recon - collar ruffle, outside
Then just flip the ruffle of the outside, hiding the seams.

The hem is finished with a small rolled hem. No, I didn’t take a picture. I’m sure you can use your imagination ;)

Hawaiian Dress Recon
And that’s it! Easy, breezy, beautiful… err, this’ll be great for Me-Made-May :)

As for the flea market… well, the pickings were pretty slim this go-round :( I did meet two vendors who said they have loads of fabric they need to sell off, so I gave them my contact information and hopefully I can spend the money I didn’t spend at the flea market on their fabric :) Haha!

I did pick up this pattern… there’s not a listed manufacturer anywhere, just the pattern number.
Pattern 8452
I love the button placket.

Pattern 8452
It’s undated, but based on the fact that it’s unprinted & it has THIS across the top of the (sparse)instructions, I reckon it’s from the war era :)

I also bought two pieces of stretchy fabric, although they were from the thrift store, not the flea.
Floral stretch fabric
Probably going to save this one for winter, it’s kind of… velvety? I like how loud it is, though. And yes, my cat is modeling because she refused to get off the table.

Stripey poly stretch fabric
This is polyester, but I just love those 70s stripes!

Bombshell list
The Bombshell is making excellent progress – and it still fits! YAY!

Completed: Embroidered Silk Shell Top

22 Mar

shell top

And another one down!

I don’t remember if I mentioned this or not, but I picked up this silk turquoise skirt at my favorite thrift store about a month ago – at half off, it was $2. And it was plus size, and long, which meant lots of fabric for me to play with. Silk for $2? I’ll take it! I was able to salvage some giant pieces of fabric, plus the lining. And the zipper, for about 5 minutes (until I forgot that there wasn’t a zipper stop and I immediately pulled the zipper off the teeth. DERP.). I know the tag says ‘dry clean only,’ but I washed a little swatch of the fabric in the sink & it didn’t seem to be an issue at all – no water spotting, no weird shrinkage. Anyway, I had enough fabric to make the little top in Simplicity 4400 (which, I might point out, is the very first vintage pattern I ever bought – at the same thrift store, no less!). I was even able to finagle the pieces so that I kept the original skirt hem intact. Yeah!

A word about this pattern (and every other vintage pattern I’ve ever sewn up) – there is still ease in vintage patterns. Lot and lots of ease. Notice the size on that pattern is for a 32″ bust? My bust is actually 36″ – and the top fits me perfectly. I have noticed this a lot with vintage patterns, so do what you will & make a muslin (or tissue fit, like lazy me :3).

To keep this top from being *too* simple, I embroidered a rose by the right shoulder:
Silk Shell Top - embroidery
I got the design from Hoop Love Vintage Transfers on Flickr – a GREAT embroidery pattern resource! To transfer the design, I laid it over a sheet of wax transfer paper and traced with a pencil. The stitches here are split stitch (on the rose) and back stitch (on the leaves & stems). Oh, and if you are apt to try this – make sure you staystitch those curved seams before you start! It’ll keep them from stretching out with all that extra handling :) I probably should have serged my edges too, since this silk frays like nobodies business, but you know me… livin’ on the edge & shit.

As a side note, can we discuss these wtf directions?
Silk Shell Top
I’ve never seen this before – it’s a dart, but without the dart legs. I have to make my own dart legs. How intriguing!

Ok, anyway, back to my top.

Construction was fairly simple & straight forward. I opted to hand-pick a center zipper (instead of the machine-stitched lapped zip in the directions) and did not topstitch the facings, as I wanted the top to be simple so the focus would be on that embroidery. The top sewn as-is ended up being too billowy for my tastes, so I added vertical darts below the bust for a little shape. I originally planned to wear it tucked but I think I prefer it untucked now! Unfortunately, the arm holes are a little on the tight side but, eh, I think I can deal.

Silk Shell Top
(huh, I really need to re-press those dart tips!)

Silk Shell Top

Silk Shell Top

BONUS: Tucked!

Silk Shell Top

Silk Shell Top

Silk Shell Top

Silk Shell Top

Silk Shell Top - handpicked zipper
Hand picked zipper – I got a little obsessive & tried to match the stitches up on both sides hahaha

Silk Shell Top
Remember when I said I broke the zipper that came with the skirt? Well I found this one in my stash – and it matches perfectly! Talk about a happy accident!

Pretty pleased with this little top – I think I’ll get a lot of wear out of it this summer. The silk is so deliciously soft, and I just love the color!

Silk Shell Top

recon: taffeta christmas skirt

5 Dec

my favorite kind of recon – easy easy!

holiday skirt

i’ve been pining for a plaid taffeta party something for a couple of weeks now – didn’t care if it was a skirt or a dress. i actually wanted to make a taffeta peony, so i started lurking plaid taffetas online. well, i scrapped that idea to the back burner when i realized how expensive that stuff is – and i wanted silk!

so imagine my delight when i found a little girl’s plaid taffeta party dress during my saturday shopping trip with lauren. it’s polyester, but whatever – PLAID. and $2.50!

holiday skirt - the before
here’s what i started with. it’s pretty small, but that empire waist is exactly my waist measurement. and before anyone gets sad about the death of a little girl’s plaid taffeta party dress, i will point out that it’s a walmart brand. pretty cheap stuff to begin with.

anyway, i removed the skirt from the bodice (and discarded the bodice – not enough fabric to do anything with!) and cut the hem off the bottom to form a waistband. since the hem is on the bias, i stabilized it with horsehair interfacing to give it some structure. i shortened the zipper & stuck it back in there with the skirt lining. the hem is just a simple rolled hem. easy!

holiday skirt

this whole project probably took about 2 hours, and now i have a new skirt to wear for christmas parties :) i already wore it this morning to put up the office christmas tree.

holiday skirt - waistband

holiday skirt - inside

i even had enough taffeta left over to make a matching headband.

matching headband

i look like a damn christmas present.

holiday skirt
i’m okay with that :)

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