Stripe and Floral Print Mix Dress

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Last fall, I was especially fond of mixing prints together for outfits. So, I dreamed up this dress one day while looking through my fabric stash.

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Now that fall weather is finally making an appearance,  I am excited to wear this dress more again. The colors are very fall appropriate and it’s easy to put together layered outfits with this color mix.

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I made this dress using the Jennifer Lauren Vintage Bronte pattern. I just shortened the shirt into a bodice and added the skirt from my Verity pattern.

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Both knits are thrifted materials.

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Honestly, not too much else to say about this dress. It was a pretty quick and simple dress to sew up, but I still wanted to share her.

I was apparently feeling particularly goofy while taking these photos a few months back. So, here are some derpy poses and faces for the road. 😉

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See ya’ later. I hope Monday treats you well!

Posted in clothing, diy, dress, fashion, General, sewing, Sewing & Crafting, Verity Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | |4 Comments

Wheat Bushel Shirtdress & Superimposed Portraits

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Moving right along through the unblogged garments…I’ve got another dress to share that I made last year. I made it around my birthday last August, so it fits a bit loose on me now, but not enough to bother me. I always wear belts anyway.

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This dress is one of my favorite dresses, especially since it can easily go from season to season. I wore it with tights, cardigans and boots in the fall and winter.

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The material was a thrift store find. It’s a rayon blend of some kind. The wheat block print is reminiscent of a fabric from the ’40s.

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I lengthened the Deer & Doe Bruyere pattern to dress length and kept the same shirt hemline. I also made the dress sleeveless and finished the armhole edges with bias binding.

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The picture above had me laughing pretty hard. When I was editing it, my face reminded me of the faces in those floating superimposed head ’80s style portraits that everyone loves to (justifiably) deride.

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That sent me down an awesome rabbit trail in my family’s group message (Yes, my family is awesome and we have an ongoing Google Hangouts thread between me, my four sisters and my parents. :)) about old family photos. I asked my mom if she had any superimposed, floating head portraits of me as a baby, and she found a real gem.

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The face I’m making in the recent picture looks more like mom’s face in the picture below. Side note: doesn’t my mom look so beautiful?! Love you, momma! :*

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This post took a bit of a turn from sewing, but does anyone else have any awesome floating head photos of themselves or family members?

Posted in clothing, diy, dress, fashion, General, Life & Writing, Reconstructing & Thrifting, sewing, Sewing & Crafting, vintage Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | |5 Comments

Reinvigorated Kitchen Chalkboard Decor

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So, by now you have figured out that shades of turquoise and aqua are like a drug to me.

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Yes, I definitely have a problem. And yes, when observing my color addiction, people have been known to reference Marie’s purple obsession in Breaking Bad.

Here is a terrible photo of my wacky kitchen. As you can see, I have little blue accents everywhere. ;P Whatever… The color makes me happy, so why fight it?

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Also, gotta love those wacky ’70s scallop cabinets in combination with that ugly tile, right? Ha! Just so much going on in there. It’s extremely dark in the kitchen because it’s pretty closed off from any natural lighting. One day the kitchen will be renovated, but for now I’ll just enjoy its “retro” (although, probably not in a good way, in this case) charm.

Anyway, this chalkboard shelf…decoration…thing in my kitchen was an upcycle from a thrifted item. I think I bought it for about $2.

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I liked the decoration the way it was, especially the little decorative painting on the drawers. However, it had damage and marks on the wood, so staining it wasn’t really an option once I filled in the nicks and holes. I also didn’t really like the traditional green color of the chalkboard. So, I painted the chalkboard with black chalkboard paint.

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I added hanging loops to the back because the original piece only had two giant holes at the top, which I filled before painting.

Seeing this chalkboard sign as I walk out of the kitchen throughout the day really does brighten my mood.

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I should mention that my entire house is not shades of aqua and turquoise. It’s pretty concentrated in the living room and the kitchen. So, I’m just mostly crazy, not all crazy. The guest room and bathroom, for example, are grey and purple.

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Since it’s in the main household thoroughfare, it’s the perfect place to write inspirational quotes, bible verses, reminders, or even little love notes to my husband. <3 (Go ahead and gag, if you want ;))

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That little travel alarm clock from the ’60s was a flea market find.

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Well, I’m off to write a new love note on the chalkboard sign. Let the gagging ensue! ;P

Posted in diy, General, Home & Garden, Reconstructing & Thrifting, repurposed, retro, thrifted, upcycled, vintage Tagged , , , , , , , , , | |Comments Off on Reinvigorated Kitchen Chalkboard Decor

Pleaty Pleaty Please Dress x2

Today I have two dresses to share with you that I made from a self-drafted pattern last fall.

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The grey dress with flowers was the test garment, and the teal dress is the garment I made after I tweaked the pattern some more. The teal dress was meant to be worn to a wedding that we sadly did not end up attending.

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I was originally considering buying a dress, but I had the look of this bodice floating around in my head for a while, and I couldn’t get it out. I didn’t have a prayer to find something similar, especially when I factored in the particular color I wanted (it had to be a teal or dark emerald green color).

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I’m not sure why I still believe that I’ll ever be able to find ready-to-wear items that I like. I still go out and browse clothing about once a season or two, because it’s fun to see the styles of the moment. However, aside from undergarments and some active wear, I haven’t purchased more than three or four pieces of RTW clothing for myself over the course of the last several years.

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I used my raglan pattern blocks from this self-drafted shirt as a starting point for this dress. From that block, I drafted a basic surplice neckline for the bodice front, and a v-neck with center seam for the bodice back.

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I added the pleats to the front neckline by using the old slash and spread technique. The front bodice pieces have a self facing, and the rest of the neckline is finished with bias binding.

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Surplice and wrap necklines usually tend to gape or have a cut that is too low on me, but check it out, no gape and a modest neckline cut. *Party time!*

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The test garment is semi-wearable.

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The bodice was a bit too short and the waist was a bit too big. I also cut the skirt a smidge shorter to squeeze the dress out of a small amount of fabric. I added elastic to the waist, which is a look that I don’t much care for, but it looks fine with a belt. Unfortunately, the short length of the bodice could not be remedied.

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Anyway, test garments are important when creating new patterns, and it’s always a bonus when you can still have a wearable garment.

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Have you ever had an idea of what you were looking for in a garment but had trouble finding anything suitable? That is one of the many benefits of designing and sewing your own clothes (or knowing a seamstress who can make your vision become reality ;P).

Posted in dress, fashion, General, pattern, sewing, Sewing & Crafting Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | |8 Comments

Vintage Floral Sleeveless Bruyère Shirt

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This is one of my favorite pieces of clothing from the last couple years.  I know that may not be evident from my face in some of these photos, but I really do like this garment. I just took way too many photos of different garments in one day, and I was 100% over it.

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I used the Deer & Doe Bruyère pattern. I omitted the sleeves, changed the armholes slightly and added bias binding.

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I can’t remember what sizes I cut, but (as with all patterns) I cut three different sizes for the bust, waist and hips. I do remember taking the side seams in when I made it, because there was a bit too much ease in some areas for my taste, but that is pretty typical.

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The shirt was actually a bit too tight when I made it (I was around 20 lbs heavier), but now it is a bit loose.  It still looks fine with a belt though.

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I really need to make full bust adjustments to every pattern I use, but when I made this, I was too lazy. Nothing a safety pin along the button band couldn’t solve.  :O I know, shame on me. But it has a looser fit now anyway, so I guess it worked out.

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When the pattern first came out, I was unsure about the shape. To be honest, it draws a lot of attention to my hips. However, I liked the design too much to pass it up. Besides, the older I get, the more accepting and appreciative of my body I am, so I’m not really self-conscious about it.

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I have worn this shirt a lot since making it almost two years ago. So, this fabric gets an A+ for wearability and washability. It looks about the same as the first time I wore it.

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The fabric is a vintage floral cotton that I was saving in my stash for years. I saved it for four and a half years, to be exact. I found the fabric on this thrift haul. I still can’t believe I finally allowed myself to use it. Looking back at that thrift haul makes me really miss the thrift stores in Maryland.  That’s probably the one and only thing I miss about living there. 😛

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The best thing about this shirt is that I can wear it during every season, because it works really well with a cardigan. How can you not love a garment you can where year round?

Posted in blouse, clothing, diy, fabric, fashion, General, sewing, Sewing & Crafting, shirt, vintage Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | |3 Comments

Turquoise Blue Coffee Table & Lace Accent Lamp

Today, I want to share one of my favorite pieces of furniture that brightens up our living room.

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Normally, I’m not a huge fan of painted furniture. But, I really wanted at least one piece of colored furniture. The original piece was black with hints of red peeking through, which just wasn’t my style. Plus, since all of our pieces of furniture have been hand-me-downs, I’m always trying to figure out ways to really make them mine.

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Here is the coffee table two November’s ago. It is difficult to see in this picture, but the black had little hints of red peeking through. It just wasn’t my style.

So, I decided to paint this coffee table blue. About halfway through, I found myself wishing that I hadn’t made that decision, because it was a very time-consuming process.

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The first step before painting was sanding off all the old paint. This coffee table had two layers of paint on it, a black layer and a layer of red beneath it. If it had been possible to get every last bit of paint off, then I probably would have contemplated staining instead of painting. Unfortunately, that was definitely not a possibility. I even had difficulty making progress with an electric sander.

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My beautiful baby sister helped me get through that beast of a sanding project. There is probably even some of her blood staining the wood under the new paint.

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She stayed with us for a little less than a year (from August 2014 to June 2015), which was an absolute blast. Sisters are the best!

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It was a fun project to work on together, and I was very grateful for her help. I’m not sure I would have persevered through the project without her. It might still be sitting in the garage unfinished. ;P

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I had to fill in it A LOT of holes and divots, most of them had to be filled and sanded about three times. This table has already had a pretty long life, and there was ample evidence. We were able to get most of the paint off, except in a few spots in the cubbies, but I stopped taking pictures, because let’s face it, how many pictures of a half-sanded table are really necessary?

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The painting was the most enjoyable part, but unfortunately, I didn’t manage to snag any pictures. Probably because I had paint all over my hands. Yep, I am one of those people who can’t paint anything without getting paint all over myself at the same time.

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Anyway, the result is a nice bright accent in the living room. It will look much nicer against the contrast of a wood floor one day.

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These photos show my paper flowers that I made at the beginning of this year so that I would stop buying fresh flowers so often. ;O

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I was having a lot of fun experimenting with making little fresh flower arrangements for a while last year.

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Sometimes I used flowers from the store.

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Other times, I used a combination of flowers and foliage from my garden.

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This is one of my favorite summer arrangements made from items from our front planter bed: lamb’s ear, Echinacea (coneflower), and monkey grass flowers.

I still get fresh flowers from time to time, but having the paper flowers has helped me not pick up fresh flowers every other time I go to the store. Anyway, side trail over.

I also wanted to point out our little accent lamp.

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I got a little paint happy last year, so I painted the lamp, as well.

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The base of the lamp was originally white and it had a standard old pleated cone-shaped lampshade. I found a lampshade with a more modern shape at the thrift store, and I toyed with a few ideas before I decided to cover the shade with lace.

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The lampshade blends in with the color of the wall in that room right now, but one day that will change.

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I have a snake plant on that side of the coach and a Christmas cactus on the other side. They are in matching pots, because the look of these pots is exactly what I wanted. The peachy & coppery shades, correspond with some other decor and some bricks in the fireplace.

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I’ll give you some other glimpses of repurposed and DIY decor soon, as well as a peak at the progress in the Maryland house.

I hope everyone is having a wonderful weekend. What projects have you been up to lately?

 

Posted in diy, General, Home & Garden, repurposed Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | |1 Comment

Pleated Raglan Sleeve Top & Thrifted Plaid Blazer

This post sat as a draft for over two years. So, let me just dust the cobwebs away here…Ahem.

I took these photos in our house here in TN, just before we moved in. So there may be some literal cobwebs in them. 😂

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The room in which I’m standing in the photo above is what became my sewing space. It’s a large upstairs space and it gets a lot of natural sunlight. So, of course, I laid claim to it.

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So, let’s talk about the shirt. This was made from a self-drafted pattern. As a reference point, I used a ready-to-wear shirt that had been a favorite, well-loved shirt for years.

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I knew I wanted a shirt with a pleated raglan sleeve, so I drafted a raglan top from my basic shirt pattern and played around with the sleeve until I arrived at the look I was going for.

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The two pleats intersect, with one crossing over the other, to create a flattering sleeve structure.

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Most normal raglan sleeves look strange on me, but this has become one of my favorite patterns. This top was just the first iteration of this design, and I have made a few small changes to the fit.  I even used it as the basis for a dress that I will share soon.

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There’s a keyhole in the back of the shirt, because, why not?

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When I first made the top two years ago, I liked to pair it with a blazer and jeans because it was winter.

IMG_9852I found the vintage blazer at a thrift store a couple of months before these photos were taken. It gives off a very 70’s vibe, which I don’t mind (in moderation). It was just a smidge to small for me in the bust region, but I wouldn’t button it very often anyway.

These photos are really making me want to go get bangs again. I feel like they make me look younger…Of course, I am two years younger in these photos , so I guess that’s a factor. 😛

Posted in clothing, fashion, General, jacket, pattern, Reconstructing & Thrifting, retro, sewing, Sewing & Crafting, shirt, thrifted, vintage Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | |Comments Off on Pleated Raglan Sleeve Top & Thrifted Plaid Blazer

Happy Independence Day

Hello, friends! It has been a long while since I have been active on this poor neglected blog, but I have still been sewing (as if that is a surprise).  I finally photographed a bunch of makes to share with you over the next couple of weeks. Here are a few of them.

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I won’t bore you with details of my absence, other than to say that I was low on time and energy due to my job and some health struggles. The good new is, I’ve been taking steps to improve my health and my body is steadily healing. I am feeling more motivated than ever to share and interact with the lovely online sewing community. I have missed blogging and keeping up with everyone, and I have some exciting things on the horizon.

Anyway, since it’s Independence Day here in the US, it’s the perfect day to share an outfit with red, white and blue in it.

Deer&Doe Anemone skirt made from vintage napkins

I made this skirt and crop top combo two years ago for the 4th of July.

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The skirt pattern is the Deer & Doe Anemone skirt.

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The material was actually a partial set of vintage napkins that I found in a thrift store several years ago.

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I made the crop top from a large unworn knit shirt that was in my to-be-reconstructed bin.

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The outfit has a bit of a retro vibe, and it’s perfect for a picnic or just lounging around on a warm summer day.

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A Cuda ear made an appearance in the bottom right corner of the photo above. If you follow me on Instagram or Twitter, then you know that we got a super sweet German Shepherd a little over two years ago. His name is Cuda, and he is best buds with Newton.

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Speaking of Newton, he says, “hi!”

Not much more to say about the outfit, but I’ll have more project posts coming soon. I also have a vegetable garden this year, so I’ll share some photos of that in the home & garden section of the blog, as well as some photos of progress on our Maryland house (yes, we’re still working on it) and some other fun DIY home decor projects I’ve done over the past couple of years.

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Posted in clothing, General, Life & Writing, Reconstructing & Thrifting, retro, sewing, Sewing & Crafting, shirt, thrifted Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | |8 Comments

Houndstooth Peter Pan Collar Verity

Today, I bring you a dress that has been staple of my winter wardrobe. Well, when I say it has been a staple, I mean it’s the only dress I’ve been willing to wear when I actually think about wearing a dress (which, if I’m being honest, has been maybe three times in the last month). It has been downright frigid, for what feels like a year, and all I want to do is wear pants, a sweater and a huge coat.

I’m sure I say this every year, but I am so ready for spring. I am decidedly a dress kind of gal, so I haven’t felt like myself lately. I will have a personal party when I have the opportunity to shed those cumbersome winter layers and don a dress without suffering from hypothermia. I think I’ll have an understanding of what it’s like for a butterfly when it emerges from its cocoon.

Anyway, moving on!

IMG_9672This is another garment that I finished many months ago. It’s finally getting the moment of fame it deserves.

IMG_9671I used the Verity pattern, with some changes. First, the skirt has less flare. Since I only had a small section of the houndstooth fabric, I redrafted the skirt to fit the amount of fabric that I had.

IMG_9678I also drafted a fun little peter pan collar because, let’s face it, I’m obsessed with peter pan collars. Deal with it! 😉

IMG_9691I plan to either create a tutorial for drafting a peter pan collar for Verity or offer a pattern piece. So, those of you who have the Verity pattern will have another collar option to choose from.

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I was having a lot of trouble getting the remote to work that day, so you’ll have to forgive its overt presence in some of the photos.

Both of the fabrics that I used for the dress were thrift store finds. While I can’t remember how much each of the cuts were, I’m sure this dress was less than $3 to make.

IMG_9674As you may have deduced from the pictures, the materials are not ideally paired. One is a lightweight knit and the other is a double-knit. I was aware of the material differences before I made the dress, but I’m stubborn, and I forced the union anyway. The weight of the skirt does pull the top of the dress down a bit. Aside from that, the combination was a success, as far as I’m concerned. It’s like an oddly matched couple; strange at first, but somehow it works.

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IMG_9681Oh yeah, I should probably address the purple cardigan. Unfortunately, I did not make it. When my mom and sister were visiting me last November, we found that one and a white one on clearance at Anthropology. The cardigans are totally my style and the exact length that I normally prefer. They also have some pretty details, and I have a feeling they’ll last me a good long while. You’ll definitely be seeing them in heavy rotation for the spring.

IMG_9670Well, there you have it: a winter wardrobe sort-of-staple. Now, if only spring would hurry up, so I can shed the coats and sweatshirts and feel like myself again. Is anyone else feeling the winter doldrums?

Posted in General, Moxie Patterns, Sewing & Crafting, Verity Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | |33 Comments

White Lace Shirt & Orange Corduroy Skirt

Many months after the first teaser, I finally have some pictures of my white lace shirt to share.

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I’ve worn this shirt several times with my orange corduroy skirt that I finished around the same time. So, I decided to include that skirt in this post as well.

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Both of these garments were made back in November. The shirt was made from a self-drafted pattern. It’s a variation of the same pattern that I used to make this dress and this dress and shirt.

Despite what the gaping between buttons would lead you to believe, the fit of the shirt is actually not bad. I really should have used more buttons. However, I only had 6 of those pearly buttons, and they were the only buttons that matched. I’ve been working on using the supplies that I have rather than buying new supplies.

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One of the snags visible above was in the material before I made the shirt. I bought the lace at a thrift store, so I can’t complain. The other snag is from an unfortunate fingernail incident. Oh, the woes of working with and wearing lace.

After looking through these pictures, I also noticed that the collar is a bit uneven. I’m not sure if it really is that lopsided, or if it just needed a good pressing. I suspect the latter. No matter what, I still like the shirt, even with the snags and the shoddy collar. 😉

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I added an underlining behind the lace for the plackets and the collar because those areas needed more structure. I used a bias tape (made from the underlining material) to finish the neckline.

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The sleeve are my favorite thing about this shirt. Only one short edge of this fabric had that scalloped border. Lucky for me, it was the perfect amount for the sleeves.

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I have worn this shirt several times untucked, with jeans and a cardigan. I realize that it looks strange untucked with this skirt, but I didn’t feel like changing into my jeans. 😉

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The skirt was made from a self-drafted a-line skirt with inseam pockets. It’s like a Kelly skirt without the pleats and with inseam pockets instead of front hip pockets.

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My current favorite way to wear this skirt is with this vintage sweater that I found at a thrift store.

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Well, I feel better now that I’ve finally posted about some new garments. I can’t believe it has been over three months since my last post about a sewing project. Yikes!

I’ll admit to feeling a bit guilty about not posting. However, when blogging weighs on me too much or starts to feel like a chore, I’ve learned that usually means it’s time to set it aside for a while. I’m sure some of you can relate. 🙂

Posted in General, Sewing & Crafting Tagged , , , , , , , | |18 Comments