SweetLeigh

A Sustainable Life. Make Magick.


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Moodboard: Winter 2017 is Here!

Winter Moodboard.jpgEven in southern California, it’s time for cozy makes, stews and baking, and communing and meditating with the darkness! It is also time for riveting reads while deep under the covers and catching up on loved series-even though Game of Thrones is breaking my heart by making us wait til Summer! But I digress. So since I completed my Work Capsule Wardrobe, my theory being if I dress for the part the work will come -I am working in a temp capacity and for now enjoying changing gigs periodically. Day job a gogo.

Now that I’m working a steady gig for a while I haven’t had as much time with my makes. But that’s okay. I’m very inspired to do more planning around sewing and refashion. You can follow some of my magick and yoga on Instagram, like my solstice cards this year and my favorite tarot spreads and magick moon rituals.

I’m very inspired to do more planning around sewing and refashion. As usual, the New Year inspires a lot of clearing and cleaning for me and of course organizing which I went to town on this weekend with a new Ikea shelving system that makes me so happy! It also reminds me that there is a lot more purging and/or making to do and that there will be no buying of fabric in 2017! For real, it’s time for some major stash busting.

So much of last year’s refashion and make plans are still in play! And I have also inspired by other sewcialists online to partake in projects like #MakeNine2017 and get to know other sewists and makers in this great big interwebs universe. And lastly I look forward to discovering new creative inspiration everywhere I can. Happy 2017 lovelies.

xoxo,

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Work Capsule Wardrobe: Shop Your Closet Pt. 1

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I was feeling very unsatisfied with my sense of having decent ‘work clothes’, as I continue looking for a great job. I have been slowly updating items in my closet. I decided to have a movie montage moment and try on some neglected items and finally assess what I have in my closet. It’s going on two years since I’ve done that! Remember ReFashion 2015? Well, it turns out I have quite a bit! I’m not much of a traditionalist, love pattern on pattern but I do like to be appropriate to the job and don’t mind a professional dress code. And I think what I have pulled together from my dear little closet can serve me very well!

In the last week, I have refashioned a thrifted dress, made a classic black pencil skirt from two older makes that didn’t quite work out and made a tunic sweater from some sheer knit chevron fabric salvaged at my favorite, Michael Levine Loft. Most importantly I found a few older items that haven’t been seeing the light of day that are perfect for a work wardrobe.

Four out of five of my tops were me made,  or made by me, for comfort, fit and my style. The exception was the Alfani black cold shoulder button down shirt that is one of two new store bought clothing items I have bought in 2016.  AND I LOVE IT! It is a staple and I got if for something like $20.00 on clearance at Macy’s.

My rare purchase preceeded my knowledge of the #GrabYourWallet boycott. In case you didn’t know there is a boycott of Trump products and his corporate funders and supporters in opposition to the racist, transphobic, homophobic, xenophobic and islamophobic rhetoric that Trump uses and promoted throughout his election campaign. Macy’s announced that they would continue to not carry Trump merchandise or his subsidiaries again after the election. For me that made my rare purchase doubly satisfying and a WIN/WIN! However I have learned they are still carrying Ivanka Trump merchandise. So no more Macy’s for me given the opportunity.

Five tops, five cardigans or light jackets, five bottoms, three dresses and three pairs of shoes make for a lot of options, and I was pretty impressed with the endless combinations available to me once I actually tried some options on. Here are about 20 outfits below.

Ofcourse, I’m still going through my closet so I can’t say it ends here. But it’s a good reminder that I have more than what I need. Plus, I am already working on complementary makes and alterations. For instance, my tunic sweater is fairly sheer so I am making a slip with a ruffled bottom to wear underneath it so that I can wear it as a cozy little dress. And I can think of a pair of ankle boots and heeled sandal that could also be office appropriate to add to this capsule collection. But then again, this is part 1 and there is more to come! See you then! ❤

If you like and want to support the blog consider donating at PayPal.me Be well!

xoxo,

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Basic Black#ThriftyThursday

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So it’s been ages since I did a Thrifty Thursday but was inspired upon seeing Confession of a Fashiontista ‘s Sheri’s latest blog post. She runs  Refashion Nation and organizes weekly themes to inspire folx to show off their thrifted and refashioned treasures! I actually found my treasure yesterday! These men’s Brogues fit perfectly are nicely broken in and have many more years in them. I am psyched to have found a new comfy and stylish pair of Black shoes suitable for both work and play.

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The other gem of this post is my second refashioned shirt dress. The first is a denim number you can find here! I live in that dress have nearly worn it out already. This time around I finally used an old bedsheet in a refashion. It was gifted to me in a huge bag of fabric I inherited. I used it to create a skirt to add to a button up shirt that I wasn’t wearing. I love my boxy new shirt dress which is as Basic as it gets! And I definitely need to grow the basics in my closet. Below is a couple of visual maps on how I did the refashion. It is fairly self-explanatory.

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And there you have it. A basic number that I can wear to work, or out for the weekend with my docs or peep toes or sandals… this is L.A.! I’m not mad at this little black day dress which will be hard at work for me for a long time to come.

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If you like and want to support the blog consider donating at PayPal.me Be well!

xoxo,

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ReFashion 2016: Resort Style, Body Acceptance & Fatkini Fall!

fatkini-refashion2016It’s been AGES since I did a ReFashion post! I have done a lot of hemming, mending and alterations that I just couldn’t manage to post yet, but hope to get around to it. Why a fatkini for fall you may ask? The practical reason, I have access to the apt building swimming pool without tons of children screaming and splashing (who are now in school!), so I tend to swim more at the end of summer. Also living in sunny Southern California is year round incentive!

The other reason is that in all of the collections fashion designers put out annually, my favorite is usually resort wear. Resort collections generally consist of great separates that can be worn year round in warm or cold weather and yep includes killer swimwear. I feel the need to be prepared, for when someone wants to take me away for a fabulous tropical holiday! (((Manifesting)))
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I made this skirted swimsuit bottom last year and didn’t manage to get a DIY up for it. So when I finally decided to turn this built-in bra from an old ill-fitting camisole into the base of a swim top to match, I was excited to complete the look! This top was one of those projects that I kept putting off since I hadn’t made a bra, or bathing suit bra top before.

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The project turned out to be easier than I thought and one of my favorite DIY’s EVER! It’s not perfectly sewn, but it was very well thought out. I experimented with straps successfully and have a nice heavy-duty elastic lining the top and bottom of my side straps. All of my materials were gifted, salvaged and refashioned, including an old bra closure for the top closure.

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I’m fatter than last year and feeling it. As I decide how to best practice more consistent care for myself I realized I was starting to fall into old habits of shaming myself and my body, particularly my belly, which has also grown. So making a new suit top that doesn’t completely cover that belly was a true act of love, resilience, and acceptance. I really love the suit so much and feel quite adorable in it. And let me tell you, feeling attractive doesn’t hurt when it comes to body image which you probably know already. But it’s always good to be reminded.

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I often reflect on how I’m coping with the world and how where I am at, largely depends on my ability to stay the course when it comes to taking care of myself. If I am not taking care of myself then I find myself reacting, to the people and world around me. When I am in my moon cycling (Happy Full Moon by the way), when I am honoring creating sacred space for myself, it turns out that I am far more resilient than I often remember. Making and creating is as empowering as meditating and spell crafting for me and is very much a part of my holding sacred space. So look forward to more ReFashions loves! Autumn is so my time of year to #MakeMagick! Ciao bellos!

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If you like and want to support the blog consider tipping me at PayPal.me Be well.

xoxo

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ReFashion 2015 Kimono Style Robe

 

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Last week I previewed my kimono style robe along with my upsized pants to jeggings ReFashion. This week I’m breaking down the Kimono Style Robe ReFashion from a thrifted skirt! I was a huge fan of this skirt on first sight. It was unusual, and a steal at $10.00. I scored it on FB from Zoe’s Vintique which also sells on Instagram. What you can’t necessarily see in my picture is that it’s covered in reflective sequins. Le sigh.

First of all, being a large bodied woman in the world, gathered skirts, especially gathered elastic waist skirts are one of the few items I often find at thrift stores that fit me, as is. Gathered skirts are also very simple to upsize. Secondly, with a few fabulous exceptions, I am not crazy about wearing this style of skirt, so repurposing this style is ideal for me. Also, they are generally found in paisleys, florals and ethnic inspired prints perfect for a kimono or robe.

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The breakdown. My approach to all ReFashions follows the same formula. Envision your new garment. Deconstruct your old garment, if necessary. Reassemble your garment. Finish with  attention to detail. Rock your new garment!

Materials: A Mid-length full gathered skirt, scissors, a seam ripper, a threaded sewing machine or needle and thread for hand sewing. The same result can also be achieved by using heat bond and an iron to close seams.

Kimono Style Robe How To

  • First I picked out the seam of my waistband and side seams. This left me with a long rectangle of double layered fabric.
  • I then oriented the fabric so that the decorative border would appear on my sleeves.
  • Next I turned the garment inside out, sewed up the top seam and then the side seams about 2/3 of the way up.
  • Next I cut off the excess decorative border on the inside of the kimono. I then reattached them to the bottom of my kimono.
  • Lastly, I finished up by hemming the neck seam.

Tip: If working with a beaded or sequined fabric you will want to remove any beads or sequins where you plan to use a sewing machine or the heat bond tape method.

Optional: With excess fabric make a simple tie belt so that you can wear it as a robe.

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So needless to say, I’ll be making more of these babies. If not for easy layering in fabulous outfits then for lounging around the house. I quite like lounging around in my ReFashioned Kimonos.

I will wait til January for my year end review on ReFashion 2015, so I can try to fit in another couple of ReFashions before the year is up!

This Is REFashion Kimono

 

 

xoxo,

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ReFashion 2015: Office Nook Makeover

Office Nook Makeover

ReFashion 2015 Home Edition! So I’ve been coveting beautiful home spaces and thinking about projects that I could immediately implement without spending any money to beautifying my living space. Not to mention focussing my energy on manifesting my ideal living situation.

I decided to do a simple makeover of the space where I write and edit all of these fabulous blog posts! So I started with making over the poor battered and dented lampshade.

LampShade Trim and Measurements

I have a huge roll of this black and white trim  that I scored from Michael Levine Fabrics Loft space. The Loft is where I get most of my fabric and is where Michael Levine Fabrics sells their end pieces, and unsold unseasonable fabrics.

  • I first measured pieces of the trim to fit the lampshade.
  • Then I took out my rarely used but much-loved glue gun and started laying out my trim on the lampshade.
  • So simple, so effective! Instant gratification!

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Next, I tackled my cork board! Oddly enough it never occurred to me to put it near the computer!? So Once I did that, I wasn’t feeling it and decided to quickly remake it with a simple white paint job.

  • I used Non-toxic water-based paint and let it air dry in the sun.
  • I removed any paint splatter from the frame with nail polish remover.

Desk Mat

Lastly I was determined to cover up the very worn out surface of the computer desk. A particle board assemble yourself desk that is ancient so I decided on the simple cosmetic fix of a desk mat. I made a slip cover over a simple cardboard box big enough to cover the damaged desk.

  • I used the skirt of an old dress I deconstructed years ago to make my slip cover, I love the pattern.
  • I used the cardboard to cut out the shape and sewed 3 sides of the rectangle.
  • I then added a small rectangle at the bottom of the slip cover meant to fall over the edge of the desk.
  • Lastly, I made an envelope closure at the top of the slipcover, so i could tuck in the fabric and secure the cardboard once inserted.

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Voila! My new streamlined workspace! I love black and white but I need to add some warmth so we’ll see how my new space evolves! But it is already feeling better working here. Next I will be moving onto my sewing area for my next Home Refashion 2015.

xoxo

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ReFashion 2015: The Rock Star Cape

11043130_10152602660757003_7941020441858267809_n1Its Thrifty Thursday and the Gone Thrifting Crew is having a Rock Star moment or theme this week! Can you guess who my Rock Star is!? None other then Goddess Janelle Monae! Golly I Love that woman! Talented, gorgeous, fresh, an amazing artist and she has impeccable style. This is of course also a ReFashion, because there’s got to be a ReFashion 2015 Project.

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In case you’ve been living under a rock, Janelle Monae is a divine creature who fuses Soul, R&B, Good ole Fashion Rock and Roll with Pop and manages to make it all seem so very fresh and new…. The first time I saw her in concert, there has only been one time thus far but many more to come as far as I’m concerned, she rocked a cape. She did this stellar number to a James Brown tune, complete with James Brown theatrics and I knew she was one of the most amazing people on earth. Talent and impeccable style. Here’s a sampling of her on an off stage style!

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Back to ReFashioning! Below is a pictorial on the steps I took to transform a thrifted Ulla Popken lined tweed skirt that my mother actually found for me, and transformed into a boxy cape. The inspiration for which is here.

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The first part of the process essentially was removing the waist band. I cut off a few inches of the fairly long skirt from the waist down to leave an intact hem. Then I separated the waistband to use as banding for the arm holes. I measured against my neck to determine how much space I needed for my collar and sewed up the remainder. I then shaped that closure to create a rounded shoulder. Once that was done I tried on the cape in process to better determine where I would cut out my arm holes. Once those things were complete I moved on to finishing.

Make Cape 2Next in the process was attaching the simple skirt lining with top closure modifications. I cut the arm holes in the lining after sewing in lining and before creating the arm hole banding. It was a pretty simple project and for the most part I am happy with it. I installed a zipper closure, but did not do a great job. Plus I think I will go back and adjust some of the shaping. I was totally going for 80s alternative Denise Huxtable, but its a little too boxy. But for now, I’ll Rock my Inner Janelle Monae!

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xoxo

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