Archive for the ‘style’ Category

Sewing: Comfy Sweater Raglan with Kangaroo Pocket

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A long-sleeve raglan tee is a favorite wardrobe staple of mine that I’ve longed to make for the last several months. It took me so long to finally get around to making one for the simple fact that I tried to draft one up on my own and failed miserably. The first one I drafted was too straight-edged (literally, I just drew straight lines) and didn’t fit right. The second was too curvy (draped on my dressform) and also didn’t look right. All around too baggy or bulky in the wrong spots. So I went for a pattern instead. Shoulda done that from the get-go. WAAAY easier in this case.

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I used a rayon/polyester blend double knit for this top. I fell in love with the print a week ago. It reminds me of something art-deco/the matrix (minus that hideous computer green), but I wasn’t totally sold on the texture. I tend to steer clear of polyester because I’m so particular about texture. Thankfully, a cycle in the washer and dryer softened it up to perfection.

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The Hey June Lane Raglan pattern* I used recommended I sew up an XS based on my waist measurements (although I wonder if those were meant to be bust measurements?). Since the double knit didn’t offer a 50% stretch like the pattern recommended, I sized up. I almost wish I would have sized up to the medium for a hoodie-like fit (a little closer to what I had envisioned), but the tighter fit is still very comfortable, and lends itself towards a more polished look.

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The fabric pattern is pretty busy – borderline overwhelming – breaking up the print with jersey knit piping around sleeve lines solved the issue.

I winged it with the pouch, and if I were to do it all over again, I’d shorten the top trapezoidal part of the pouch by about an inch and a half.

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The pocket does add a little extra weight to my middle section; but I’m so over the moon how this top fits, I couldn’t care less. I’m sure if I zipped up the sides tighter it would reduce that visual weight. Or I could simply add a structured jacket overtop, no extra sewing required!

It’s been so cold around here, I’m not ready to part with my winter wardrobe just yet. I have plans to make even more early spring transitional pieces in the near future. It’s all about comfort, medium/lightweight fabrics, but long sleeves and hemlines to cover the skin from chilly breezes.

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I finished the top just in time to throw it on and pick up the kids from school (Felix is loving his preschool, btw!). I felt comfortable, warm and put-together. All three major wins in my book. I will definitely make more of these in the near future.

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Outfit details:

  • glasses: coastal.com
  • earrings: c/o Pamela Susan
  • necklace: handmade by my dad
  • bracelet: THP
  • purse: Basik 855, c/o UmbaBox
  • raglan: handmade by me
  • denim: Forever 21
  • booties: Seychelles

A few simlar raglans, in case you don’t want to make your own.

*Pattern courtesy of Hey June. Just a little shout out about her patterns: they’re awesome, well drafted, well written and 25% of all patterns sold goes to Christian Care Foundation, an organization that provides care for special needs children in Thailand. This hits close to home since Felix is now technically “special needs”. We’ve been so blessed to have such great resources at our fingertips to help felix and our family grow together. I think it’s pretty awesome that there’s an organization out there providing supplemental help out there to families that may not have access to the same care that we do.

Sewing: Leather and Knit Tuxedo Skirt Tutorial

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This is the last of the pieces I made for Alt Summit. And sadly enough, I’ve barely used my sewing machines for basic mending since mid January. It’s time to get my rear in gear and sew some more! I’ve got a few great ideas for clothes for Penelope and me. Penelope is finally at a point where she’s not destroying her clothes, so I’m excited to start sewing for her again.

Here was the basic vision that I had for the first day of Alt Summit. It was something simple with the letter lover sweatshirt and skinnies (blogged here), but then kicked up a notch for the evening with a blazer and leather skirt.

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The outfit pictured below isn’t what I actually wore the evening of the event, but it’s something I’ve been doing a lot lately: mixing neutrals. I’ve been mixing browns and blacks a lot lately. I find that it can be easily done, if browns and blacks are the only “color” introduced into the outfit. It’s much harder to mix neutrals (for me at least) when other colors are introduced into the palette.

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Instead of going for a black leather like I had originally sketched out, I went for an oatmeal/white leather. It breaks up the brick pattern nicely and it’s a little more casual.

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Constructing this skirt after my last leather skirt was a BREEZE. I didn’t insert any invisible zippers on leather. The fact that it’s mostly ponte knit allows for more wiggle room when moving around.

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Between the knit and the yoga waistband, I can wear the skirt lower or higher depending upon how I want the overall look to come across. It’s nice to have flexible, comfortable pieces in the wardrobe.

So I’ve been meaning to write up this post for some time, but the biggest hang-up has been the tutorial. It’s so easy to make your own, I thought I would include a tutorial in the post. Click “read more” below to view the instructions.

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Outfit Details:

  • earrings: c/o Ardor
  • necklace: Ann Taylor Loft
  • watch: c/o Feral
  • bracelets: handmade, gift
  • top: Forever 21
  • skirt: handmade
  • shoes: c/o Sole Society

 

 

 

Leather and Knit Tuxedo Skirt Tutorial

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Supplies:

  • 1 yard ponte knit (heavy knit with 50-65% 4-way stretch, see here)
  • garment weight leather (see measurements below for amount)
  • bulldog clips, or paper clips
  • large paper
  • pencil
  • ruler
  • measuring tape
  • regular sewing machine
  • universal sewing needle

(more…)

Sewing: Chiffon Top

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Friday’s Alt Summit ensemble took on a different look as well. The skirt I started to make totally bombed. Instead of freaking out at the last minute, I simply adjusted my expectations. Chris was so proud! I grabbed my floor-length chiffon skirt and kept on going.

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The floor length skirt paired with the light pink fabric I had planned for the top top ended up looking horrible under natural and artificial light. They were just the wrong pinks that they just vibrated against each other. More expectations adjusted. I wasn’t about to go out and buy more fabric to match, so I looked to my stash to see what I could work with.

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Et voila. I didn’t add any leather details on the shoulders as planned. In fact, I don’t know why I didn’t! I think I was in such a rush to finish something that I just forgot that plan altogether. I modified my basic tee pattern to include very drapey sleeves.

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I think the overall vision worked great.

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It’s not necessarily my “style”, but it was exactly the piece I needed to bring the whole ensemble (live floral crown included) together. It also worked perfectly with the vision I had of our Secret Garden Party.

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Now I can’t quite tell if I still like the top or not. I LOVE the print, but I’m not entirely sure the colorway is flattering on me. Sometimes I feel like there’s not enough contrast between my skin tone and the fabric so I look semi-amorphous while wearing it. It’s also sheer, which means I have to wear layers underneath. I don’t like wearing layers if I don’t have to.

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I need to give this top a chance. But I may end up just giving it to someone who will wear it more than I will.

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I LOVE the fit, though. The flutter sleeves are so fun to wear. I have plans to sew more tops like this in the future. Maybe a dress like this would be fun in the summer months? I can’t think about summer now. We just got about 3 inches of sloshy snow. And I think it’s going to keep coming. Must. Make. More. Winter. Clothes!

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Outfit details:

 

 

Sewing: Alt Summit Emerald Outfit

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Thursday night’s look came together almost exactly how I envisioned.

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The only difference is that I opted for cobalt beaded detailing instead of gold chain detailing around the shoulders. The beading took more time than sewing on metal chain. I started laying out my idea in chain, but it started looking cheap.

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The green and blue combo is the new pink and orange. I love these colors together. istillloveyou-sewing-style-beaded-wiggle-dress-2

The outfit was a bit understated, but the beading made it something special. The bodycon silhouette is classic, too.

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Sewing up this piece was easy. I sewed a fitted version of the Renfrew tee and connected it with my wiggle skirt block. No zippers. No buttons. Easy peasy. The beading, however took the longest. Thankfully that could all be done while vegging out to Brooklyn Nine-Nine with Chris. It’s our new favorite show. Go forth and watch it if you haven’t already!

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Beading around the neckline was hardest. I had to use two needles and thread. One for stringing beads, the other for attaching the thread between the beads to the neckline. The neckline is barely big enough to fit over my head, but I still have to be careful when pulling it on and taking it off to avoid busting threads. I’ve broken threads twice already. It’s a 20 minute set-back whenever I break threads. UGH! Still, so worth it, though.

Utah photographer

Image by Justin Hackworth

The night of the emerald party, I paired my dress with a bold metal lace statement necklace from Tai Pan. That along with doing my hair in a low chignon made the dress shine.

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Outfit Details:

 

 

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Sewing: Alt Summit Look Thursday

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This look didn’t come together quite like I had envisioned. I opted for more neutrals than florals, but I still mixed prints like I had originally wanted.

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I couldn’t find a floral blazer like I had in mind, so I ended up finding this really cool textured blazer from H&M, then busted out some really rad geometric stretch fabric I scored in LA way back when.

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Since I bought the fabric, I knew I wanted it to be a pencil skirt, but I was just too lazy to sew it up. I already have a pattern (that I use ALL THE TIME), it’s not like I had to draft up a new one! It was just a matter of changing the thread colors on my serger. My machine is actually really easy to thread, but I do find myself dragging my feet on projects just because I’d have to change threads. Anyone else do that?

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I wanted this outfit to be comfortable, yet very business-like. The heels were the perfect balance of height and comfort. The skirt the perfect balance of something I could easily wiggle on just minutes before the first sessions of the day and still look put together.

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I feel like in some ways this outfit was a little bit of a cop out. I wasn’t particularly creative with the silhouette and I had already made the top back in September. Just because this was a low-stress ensemble to pack, I felt I had less ownership over it. Maybe it was the fact that the blazer was clearly not self-made.

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No matter. I was stoked to have squeaked out a midi pencil skirt out of the 3/4 of a yard I rummaged from LA and managed to match up the side seams. Those side seams are glorious, if you ask me!

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I also perfected my machine serged blind hem. It’s my favorite binding to use on hems that will get a lot of stretch. I don’t have a coverstitch machine (yet?), but this is easily done with my serger with just a few tweaks to the settings. It’s cleaner than an overlock stitch on my regular machine and lot less time consuming than a hand-stitched blind hem. Also, did I mention the threads don’t break with stretch and movement?

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Outfit details:

 

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