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A Sustainable Life. Make Magick.


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Make: #2017MakeNine

Make Nine.jpgHere are my sewing plans for MakeNine! #2017MakeNine is an initiative by Rochelle of LuckyLucille.com promoting sustainable style and encouraging folks to plan their makes, make more and buy less, which is right up my alley as you know. I will be mainly using self-drafted patterns and hacks for two reasons; firstly as wonderful as indie pattern makers are they don’t make unique and adorable patterns in my size which is currently ranging from 26-32 plus size. One can only wear so many wrap dresses and be expected to do extensive pattern drafting on every single bought pattern…. Secondly, I love changing up the details and making clothing my own. I have become accustomed to “frankensteining” patterns or again self-drafting/copying favorite worn garments in my wardrobe.

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Last year my sewing planner was very much inspired by revamping my wardrobe and included; Basix like shift and t-shirt dresses and separates in solids; a unique textured sweater or sweater coat; denim or leather with studs and or embroidery; the other thing you will see are several 70s silhouettes; and lastly lace and velvet. Not only will I be making the nine, but my mission is to put a big dent in my stash with this project. I have so much fabric, that I love and need to use. So if I love a make, I’ll be making more of the item using some sweet stash fabrics and my rarely used #patternstash.

So I’ve tried to narrow down my inspiration boards to nine or possibly more must-have pieces to add to my closet this year.

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  1. Drapey Cowl Convertable Dress  I am super excited to have found a gorgeous Black jersey at Michael Levine’s Loft. So smooth and gorgeous with a four-way stretch. The book Pattern Magic Stretch Fabrics by Tomoko Nakamichi will lead the way through a version of their Whac A Mole Dress!
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  2. Inspired by Simplicity 8013 I am excited to wear this 70s high vibing very femme dress. This is a frankenstein project since I don’t actually own the pattern. I’m almost done with my first make this year! This one was totally inspired by #thelittlereddressproject. Before #thelittlereddressproject I hadn’t even considered a red dress.tops-to-self-draft
  3.  This plus size top by Rachel Roy for Macy’s inspires me to bust through my fabric stash big time. I have so many stretchy knit and sheer print fabrics in my stash that would be great for this sweet top with or without the mock neck. I am desperate for separates in my closet. But I might come across another top that will work for me. We’ll see!velvet-jacket
  4. VELVET Blazer! This project is long overdue. And so timely. I could really use a sweet little blazer and I love the idea of going glam with it in the blue velvet that I have already deconstructed from a two thrifted maxis dresses. A camisole to follow if there is a little velvet left. I am using this McCall’s pattern, M6611 which I will have to upsize and hope to hack the shall/tuxedo collar that appears in the inspirtation picture above.ShirtDress.jpg
  5. Basix/White Shirtdress. I love a shirtdress but have been unable to settle on a shape for refashioning this shirt. But I love this sweet little peplum version I found on Pinterest. I think this is the structure I need to finally revamp this number!tank-dress
  6. Basix/Tank Dress I’ll be self-drating this one! I will be making it in a lovely rust ponte that’s been in my stash for ages.TshirtDress.jpg
  7. Basix/Grey T-ShirtDress This dress is a must! I love the wrap around waist detail. I will be hacking the Cynthia Rowley Simplicity 2054 Pattern which has a cowl included that I could use in so many ways! cowl-bib
  8. Basix/Cowl Bib I could use a great accessory piece like this to add that extra warm layer to anything from yoga pants and a tee to a dress.Sweater Coat.jpg
  9. Sweater Coat It is soooooooooooooo cold here! Southern Cali, may have never been so cold or wet! And I need to catch up on some winter makes! This white and black textured double knit fabric is dreamy. I can’t wait to add some extra interest with this yarn that is gray, pink and red. I plan to use the yarn as fringe for a little color and fun. I can see this as a major staple in my closet for years to come.


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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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R.I.P. Sharon Jones

So heartbreaking. I was so fortunate to see Sharon Jones and the dap Kings open for Prince. And now come 2016 they are both gone. She was an anomoly. A middle aged Black woman who began her career late and and came out strong. She was and is a goddess! May her music inspire and her spirit live on. Thank you and rest in power Sharon.

BROTHA WOLF

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From The Root:

Legendary singer Sharon Jones passed away Friday at the age of 60 after battling pancreatic cancer. Jones, who was part of Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings, was born in North August, South Carolina in 1956, and raised in Brooklyn, NY.

“We are deeply saddened to announce that Sharon Jones has passed away after a heroic battle against pancreatic cancer,” the singer’s rep wrote in a statement. “She was surrounded by her loved ones, including the Dap-Kings.”

Jones was first diagnosed with cancer in 2012, but went into remission, and it returned in 2015.

Click here to read the rest of this article.

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Work Capsule Wardrobe: Retro Shift Dress

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So I looked through my closet for suitable “professional” day job wear while I search for the perfect day gig and wasn’t impressed. My last refashion, the black shirt dress was the first piece in and beginnings of a work capsule wardrobe in the making. For this dress, I had already made the bodice and the skirt of this dress over the summer with the intention of using them for mix and match separates. I didn’t really like the fit of the two together and decided to make a dress, which kind of makes this a refashion!  Once I had the shift together I had some adjusting to do since the tank started out pretty billowy.

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Then I looked through my drawer of sewing patterns and hallelujah found this sleeve pattern. Which made me ecstatic! A little early 70s vibe was what this simple shift needed for me to make it feel more special and give it some School Marm Boho styling appropriate for work. YAS! This look also fulfills a goal of making a print/color blocking piece as noted in my 2016 Make and Refashion Planner, that I made at the beginning of the year. Sweeeeeeeeeeeet!

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retroshift-5 I am not mad at the results! I made the sleeveless sweater coat above with leather cap sleeves a few years ago now! All of the fabrics here were bought in the last few years from my favorite spot, the Loft, at Michael Levine fabrics in Downtown Los Angeles. The loft is the outlet that sells remnants and bolts and pieces that are out of season before they are discarded which can mean shipped abroad or put in a landfill somewhere. I still love wearing this sweater coat with all sorts of outfits from a t-shirt and joggers to interview wear and will definitely be using it in my work capsule wardrobe. In this case, I am loving how the additional print and cap sleeves show off of the bell sleeves of the dress. You know I love some print on print action!
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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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The Magick Season

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It has been a really busy couple of weeks. I made a decision that seemed to open a gateway of opportunities and have been busting a*$ ever since! This weekend I was working a vintage show doing a fair amount of physical labor for two days then was up until 2 am collaging all of these images to share what has kept me away. It is my prime working season. My favorite time of year when folx order costume pieces from me at SweetLeigh and I am my most playful when it comes to making! See Autumn Moodboard for current inspirations!

First up is SweetLeigh. The Miss Argentina Cape has continued to be a strong seller this Halloween so I have added a Black version for Bats, and demons and vampires alike, to my Etsy. I have capes to make! Folx also love the Bat ears and the Eartha Kitty set! I’m a little sad because I used the last of my fabulous leopard velour up for my final Eartha Kitty set. But I hope to generate as much excitement with a pink velour version for a “pink panther set” which I’m also working on. And lastly, time to start fleshing out my own Halloween costume!

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Do you know Steven Universe!? A cartoon show for kids that should be mandatory viewing for all humans everywhere…. If you haven’t heard, it stars the Crystal Gems, an amazing renegade group of nonbinary Crystals who are trying to save the people of earth from their homeworld leaders. They do this with the help of the half-human/half-Gem child of their compatriot Rose Quartz, Steven Universe! Garnet, Amethyst, and Pearl learn as much from young Steven as they teach and the show is a bastion of queer bi-sexual, lesbian and nonbinary representation, centered around the basics of love and respect for ourselves and others. It is all the things that we should have been taught in school.

Every episode is a life lesson or reminder that we  are enough as we are whoever you are and how you present to the world. Although Garnet is my favorite Crystal Gem, I am pondering what my own gem might look like! Pyrite! Let’s see what I come up with! I will keep you posted.

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My other costume idea is one that I’ve been wanting to do for a while now. I originally thought that a unicorn would be amazing in an 18th century outfit, and then I played with the idea of zombie Marie Antoinette when that was going around. But now I am thinking of another twist on the look, featuring the Hedgehog style wig of the day… mmmmmmmmm hoping I can make this happen!

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I have been working on Refashions! I have a shirt dress that I did rather quickly that will most likely be posted before this one, but had to share something I have essentially been working on since Summer! I love this denim Jacket refashion, if you follow me on Instagram you have been seeing bits and pieces of the process for ahile now. It has lost it’s collar, cuffs, at one point half of its sleeves and then all of the sleeves. But the moment I tapped into my love of magickal symbolism I realized I was on to something special that would definitely inspire me to get back into this jacket. This is a labor of love and magick this applique embroidery spellcasting of mine….

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And finally, there has been an equinox, and a new moon to celebrate. You can catch glimpses of my rituals and tarot check-ins on my Instagram. The lovely Meg of Miller’s Cabinets and Curiousities sent me this article about Lilith and the Black Moon that ended September. A wonderful read that you should definitely check out! In the center of my little collage of magickal moments is an image I regrammed from Black Witch Coven that makes me happy in many ways.  The full moon is coming up on the 16th loves, enjoy. Be true and aim high!

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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