SweetLeigh

A Sustainable Life. Make Magick.


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ReFashion 2015: Watermelon Season

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ReFashion 2015 continues! You may remember this little number from one of my Halloween ensembles last year! This thrifted fabulousness cemented my making an appearance as Frida Kahlo last year. But I knew I’d be rocking this baby for a long time to come and needed it summer ready!

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The simple breakdown:

  1. I opened up the neckline by squaring the front.
  2. Then I shortened the hemline to just above the knee.
  3. Then I hacked off the citrus ribbons. It was too much.
  4. Lastly I have gained weight since I scored this dress so I needed to make room in the torso so I inserted a panel at the back of the dress for more space when sitting and a more tented shape.
  5. Voilà!

So far in the two weeks I have finished this dress I’ve worn it three times. I LURVE it!

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xoxo

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ReFashion 2015: 3 Ways To Be a #ConsciousBabe

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Hi Lovelies welcome to the latest chapter in Refashion2015! It took years for this Refashionista and sewist to be born, but you don’t have to refashion every piece of clothing you wear to be a #ConsciousBabe or my definition of a style saavy woman with a conscious about her clothing. All of the little things add up. In the U.S alone, the average person buys 68 new articles of clothing every year. That’s a lot of clothing coming in to our lives and potentially a lot of clothing going out. Sounds like a huge waste to me. Does your laundry basket always have the exact same clothes in it that you desperately need to wash so you can wear your favorites again? Mine too! The whole concept of saving the planet and ultimately ourselves (did you hear about we Californians looking at one more year of water!?), revolves around the three concepts of reduce, reuse, recycle. Here are three ways to start being #ConsciousBabes.

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1. Wait. Its 2015 and you can now shop 24/7 from the comfort of your living room/bed, smartphone or smart-pad. But buying things at the touch of a button and the speed of light makes for a lot of purchases without thinking.  Not to mention the frustration of an impending site crash as you compete with thousands of other people for the exact same skater dress you just saw on such and such blogger’s Instagram. It’actually pretty frustrating and a lot of energy for an urge.

There is an anxiousness to consumerism that  just doesn’t feel good.  Another reason to love Slow Fashion. The bigger the business you are buying from the bigger their urgency to produce. Large orders with tight deadlines lead to overtime, overcrowding and unsafe conditions for underpaid  labor overseas. Only 2% of clothing bought in the U.S. is made in the U.S. So the likelihood your clothes are made overseas by underpaid workers is 98%.  The lower the price for customers, the higher the cost for workers largely in Bangladesh and China. source

10945392_10152528950357003_7665455097062134732_nBe a #ConsciousBabe and wait. Wait an hour, wait a week, see if you even remember your interest in the thing before you add another item to that closet. Fast fashion is a lot like fast food, seeing is wanting and cravings pass. Wait and see where you’re at in few hours or in a few days. You’ll be surprised how the urge to splurge actually passes. The moral of the story lovelies is Buy Less and Style More.

Tip! I use my Pinterest boards to both garner inspiration, capture aha style moments and essentially keep a style journal. What I pin consistently will inevitably become my next ReFashion or if the object of my affection is something I can not style, make or remake from my existing closet, I wait and see if I am still thinking about it. If so, I begin the process of looking for it. I start with thrift stores and if the desire persists, I start a leisurely search online. You may have caught my recent Spectator Shoe ReFashion, I had been willing those oxfords into existence for months when I happened upon them in a favorite long neglected thrift shop in Silverlake. Hurry Up and Wait!

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2. Get Creative! When I started SweetLeigh I started to put more energy into refashioning my closet. So obviously I am doing this series in hope that some of you join me in getting creative on this journey. But aside from thrifting items to refashion, I am often happilly surprised and delighted on how often I find items that fit my 280 lb 5-4 frame just as they are when Thrift shopping. Manifest lovelies, manifest! We fattie, especially, have been shopping online out of necessity for years. But give a thrift shop a chance. For my bigger sisters in particular I am scoping out a list of Plus thrift shops online loves! The rise of Clothing Swaps is another beautiful way to reuse/recycle clothing and they are everywhere and are likely to feature those trendy items you were obsessed with a while back! Organize one or just search Facebook groups! Believe me, they are everywhere for vintage and contemporary clothes alike. My #Untamed Style Sister Veronica Cid has started this one for Plus size women. Check it out!

Another way to seriously get creative is styling! Some of my favorites skirts are in rotation as strapless dresses and double as tops on occasion. I find that the Styling is everything when it comes to clothes. Yes we all have special pieces we hold with great affection that somehow are left waiting for an occasion, but we also have neglected pieces that can rock double duty Erryday! I call it Style Squared! Double the life and use of an item  by changing up how you wear it.

Tip!: Get Crafty, Its easier than you think. Why shouldn’t that adorable cat sweater that you have worn out become a fabulous wall hanging. Cut out a rectangle from the front panel and frame it. So easy, instant gratification and you get ot keep what you loved about the sweater as art. Before you tell me you’re not creative, you don’t have to think up a single unique ideas, the internet is as full of fab DIY’s as it is shopping sites! Just follow instructions. 😉

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3. Be a ShowOff! This is the best part. Sharing your genius with the world! Because the way you carry yourself is amazing, the way you put yourself together is a skill and the fact that you care about making an impact on the world makes you a BeYoutiful Human! So Tell the word that you are a badass who cares and hashtag it! If you wear a #thrifted or #vintage piece in your outfit make it known!! If you #Refashioned those pants share it! If you are supporting an independent maker who has a small business benefiting their local community hashtag it #shopsmall. Hashtag your next conscious OOTD post #ConsciousBabes, own it and find your tribe! I Love my Conscious Babes! ❤

xoxo

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Sustainable Style: Romancing Yoself!

HeaderHi Dolls! My ReFashion Nation Family’s Thrifty Thursday this week is “The Romance Of Red”. It just so happens to coincide with Valentine’s Day weekend!  I don’t have a sweetheart, but I have started a Love Affair! A Self-Love Affair and today It’s going really well! I don’t usually wear red, but I went to Iguana Vintage looking for a Mexican embroidered dress and scored this number! It made my day when it fit. I still have some alterations to do, but I thought I’d get dolled up and Romance Myself! It was a really good idea! 13096_10152556824852003_3225152480329548553_n

Dress: Thrifted

Shoes: ReFashioned Dansko Clogs (Coming Soon)

Necklace: Gifted

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Today, I Love my perpetually arched eyebrow.

I Love my asymmetrical eyes.

I Love my luscious puckered lips and the gap toothed smile below them.

I Love my mini skunk and the rings around my neck that remind me of a tree. I’ve earned those.

I Love Me.

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Face: Mom & Dad

Eyeshadow: Avon ColorTrends eye duo

Eye Liner: Medusa’s Makeup Black Panther

Blush: LUSH Handmade color in Believe Made by Lukas

Brows: Anastasia of Beveryly Hills Brow Wiz in Dark Brown

Lips: OCC in NSFW

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xoxo

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ReFashion 2015: Upsizing The Vintage Slip

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I found two fabulous vintage slips at a thrift shop a couple of years back. I played around with the idea of selling vintage, but I simply don’t know how to keep my hands off any of it long enough to sell it. Both slips were too small for me, the larger of the two being a size 40 Bust.  But I realized that both of the slips had gathered skirts, which meant that when I took out the seams and separated the skirts from their bodices, there would be more than enough material for my waist. You will often see smaller bodied bloggers re-sizing larger and over sized garments, but I am here to remind you you can upsize garments too!

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So my little diagram above shows the style of the slips as I found them. I deconstructed both of them, meaning picked out the seams so that I had a skirt and a bodice for each slip. Above you will see how I reassembled each piece to create the slip on the right, my final product.

Once I deconstructed the slips:

  • I cut the front side of bodice #2 in half and inserted the front panel of bodice #1
  • I attached the let out skirt #3 to the refashioned bodice.
  • I then picked out the front seams of the adjustable straps to move them closer to the center of the bodice front to sit properly on my shoulders.
  • I saved skirt #4 which is a sheer pleated material to make a sheer skirt. The skirt will be made without a slip so that there is flexibility on how I wear it. Coming soon!

The Moral of the story is that if you are prepared to refashion an item, size isn’t binding. I am a size 24-26 at the waist and a size 22 on top. I have refashioned as small as a floor length size 2 dress that came with a cropped jacket because I knew that there would be enough fabric to work with on my torso. I love my darling new slip!

My motto is when you find something you LOVE at a thrift shop, your size or not, get it! If you love a textile you will find something to use it for. A gorgeous beaded top can become a clutch or convert a too small dress into a crop top.  Your body does not need to fit into some manufacturer’s formula for clothing. All bodies are good bodies and the clothes you wear need to fit Your body.

So even if you don’t refashion, upsize or downsize your clothing, invest in a tailor or barter with a friend who does and don’t hesitate to adapt your clothes to fit you exactly the way you want them to. The sky is the limit Lovelies!

10500352_10152544503337003_2074983950561123122_n 10690245_10152544450022003_4510771681104212673_nVintage Slip – Thrifted & Refashioned by Moi, SweetLeigh

xoxoxo

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The SweetLeigh Indie Gift Guide!

Sending lots of love and out to some amazing independent women of color owned shops, artists and curators. It may be too late to receive these awesome handmade and hand curated pieces before Christmas, but some of these amazing gifts could be rocked for New Years, and obviously enjoyed year round. Some of my favorite Makers and Curators of 2014. I am obsessed with the pure talent and divine art of these shops so sharing the love!

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The Vintage Black Glamour Book by Nichelle Gainer

When I first discovered the tumblr sight Vintage Black Glamour I went crazy. My best of 2012 Online featured the site. Nichelle Gainer is a meticulous amazing woman for having located, researched, dated and shared vintage photographs of Black American Life in the 20th century that was no where else to be found online or on bookshelves! Since she came on to the scene some of those things have changed!  The site of course took off! And now she celebrates the victory of having the first Vintage Black Glamour Coffee Table Book. Nichelle is totally one of my heroes. Vintage Black Glamour Love.

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Brandi is the maker of PurlBKnit. She is so glorious in her techniques, style and if you hadn’t guessed is an amazing photographer as well. I am just in awe of her skill and want everything in her shop. So good! The original design goes on and on and on. Infinite Creative Love.

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Lingua Nigra Jewelry by Alicia Goodwin

My friend Alicia Goodwin is the creator of Lingua Nigra Jewelry. A luxurious line of original handcrafted jewelry made from precious metals, precious stones and other fabulous organics. Her pieces are all unique and stunning. The kind of pieces that you wear forever…. Adorn me.

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Klub Kid Vintage

My boo Ramdasha picture on the right is the brainchild of Klub Kid Vintage. She serves some 90’s RealNESS in alt style. The shops collection of coats is ridiculous! No end to the 90s finds, loud patterns, loud sweaters, mesh tops, sweater dresses styled to perfection. There is some serious inspiration to be had while doing your sustainable shopping!

Whitney Mero Onion Clothing up to size 26-28

Onion Apparel by Whitney Mero

I just discovered Whitney Mero’s clothing line, Onion. Her rayon and jersey draped pieces are instant necessities. Her shop is simple and perfect. If I had to only wear one designer for the rest of my life, she might be it. Capsule Inspo written all over it! I like things easy chic and finished. Whitney is giving me all of that.

Yokoo by Yokoo Gibran

Yokoo by Yokoo Gibran

Y’all Went crazy! when I rocked my first outfit post on the blog in Yokoo Gibran’s Three Ring Chain Scarf. With reason. The woman’s style is divine and taste is impeccable. Her Instagram is a must see too. There is a luxury of simplicity in her work that makes me happy.  So good.

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Peace Images Jewelry

Peace Images Jewelry is beauteous! There is so much to love. Working in brass, copper some precious metals and wood, Maker and curator Cami is my kind of bohemian.  She has made me a fan for  life with these Vision Studs Pictured above. Giving me Life.

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Art prints by Tabitha Brown

Finally, Tabitha Brown whose shop The Pair of Birds houses her illustrations. From favor cards, Alt kids of color “Yearbook” studies to her geometric and space illustrations I am in love.

I hope you are too! The next time you want to support some great work by some amazing women, check out these beautiful makers and curators!

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Thrifted: Halloween!

 TwoFridas 3 jpgFrida Kahlo was an artist, a socialist, a wife, a lover, a survivor, and remarkable woman. I love her art, her individuality, her strength, her non-conformity and yes her amazing aesthetic. So for my Halloween Post I Shopped My Closet to pay homage to the image of this extraordinary woman. Frida!

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Frida Kahlo

When it comes to Frida Kahlo there are three recognizable elements to her image. 1) Although her closet included European style pieces she was known for wearing the traditional Tehuana style of dress. Her family’s roots are in the Tehuantepec region of Oaxaca, Mexico – which is also reported to have been a matriarchal society! Yaaaaaaaaaaas people! 2) Her hair is often braided and decorated with fresh flowers or decorative headpieces. 3) Lastly she is known for her adornment, often wearing large beautiful pieces from her Pre-Colombian period jewelry collection.  Little did she know that her social, political and personal dress choices or timeless personal style would become iconic and forever associated with her.

Two Fridas...1) I am a textile queen and all about amazing fabrics and fit and I am quick to adjust a garment if it isn’t quite working. My idea of a shopping spree generally involves a thrift shop and my first Outfit post is no exception. It so happens I scored this amazing Irene Pulos dress that needed no adjustments, just some light mending. Made in Teqlaquaque, Mexico I found this number at Iguana Vintage. An epic find! Hand embroidered with lime green ribbon trailing from an appliqued and embroidered watermelon at the waist. Underneath I am wearing a beautiful Long Lace skirt over a crinoline. Both were also thrifted from another favorite spot!

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2) My hair is parted down the middle and I made two large braids on each side beginning from my temple and working my way up. Think of two braids facing upwards from my temples instead of hanging down. I then secured them together at the top of my head with an elastic hair band and tucked the ends of the braid under. I secured any loose locs with bobby pins. I removed two artificial flowers from their stems, glued a small rectangular piece of scrap fabric on the back of each flower, securing both ends to create a small loop. I used bobby pins to secure the flowers by the loop to the front of my hair. So simple really. Its my new favorite quick hair do (minus the flowers), and makes me feel quite fancy!
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3) Luckily I have a fun collection of jewelry I’ve collected over the years or found in thrift shops. I picked up the yellow leopard bangles about seven or eight years ago and hope to never be parted from them. About 10 years ago, I started to take my jewelry more seriously and started investing in pieces I loved vs. buying jewelry in bulk. Although I still pick up costume pieces, and thrift shop for jewelry occasionally, I have to LOVE it to take it home. I do keep a running list of incredible pieces that I wouldn’t mind having someday (check out my Fantasy Jewelry Pinterest board). I think Frida would have approved!

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Dress: Vintage, Thrifted
Lace Skirt: Thrifted
Crinolin: Thrifted
Necklace: Thrifted
Bangles: Similar & Similar
Rings: It’s been Far Too Long To Remember

Lastly, I just want to offer a quick reminder, Frida Kahlo is a person, whose signature style I am emulating here. A person, not a culture.  Please don’t forget to be respectful and remember that someone’s culture isn’t a costume. Here is a nice piece on how to avoid cultural appropriation year round. Besides, who would chose to infer a limited racist, cultural or nationalist stereotype when you could be a Sleestak. Have fun, be safe and of course be fabulous this Halloween!

For More Fabulous Halloween Inspo, check out My darling Untamed Style Sisters’ take on Halloween! over at Zaftig Times and Cid Style file! !

Michelle Link!Veronica


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CineStyle: Blade Runner

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Image via @Totxomotxo on Tumblr

I am less interested in “Horror” films than Thrillers and smart science fiction. I caved to horror the year Saw came out, which I loved — it was so well done but I had nightmares for days.  When I think of films around halloween, I think Costume and set design and bigger than life characters and gorgeous images. I think Cabaret, Metropolis and Blade Runner.

Rick Deckard, (Harrison Ford) is a Blade Runner, a detective of the future who hunts down and terminates replicants, artificially created humans who have escaped from the Off World, a colony where they are made to be slave labor for the Tyrell Corporation.  Deckard wants to get out of the force, but is drawn back in when 4 “skin jobs”, a slang term for replicants, who have hijacked a ship back to Earth.  Deckard must search for his targets in a huge, sprawling, bleak vision of the future. The film questions what it is to be human and choose humanity in the face of a world corrupted by corporate greed and power. Ever relevant.

A very sophisticated cast  includes Sean Young, Edward James Almos, Daryl Hannah and Rutger Hauer. 

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Blade Runner (1982) is simply fabulous. A fabulous movie, fabulous set design, fabulous costumes, fabulous story.  Not a hit when released the films popularity and cult following grew out of its fantastic production design. The film is based on a story by writer Phillip K. Dick. Directed by Ridley Scott, Production Design by Lawrence G. Paull and David L. Snyder. Set decoration by Linda DeScenna and Costume Design by Michael Kaplan. 

Utilizing a cluttered urban skyline inspired by Hong Kong and art deco styling it is a perfect blend of science fiction and noir storytelling set in future Los Angeles, 2019.

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“After reading the script, we definitely felt that Blade Runner was of that film noir genre, and we looked back to the films of the 1940s for inspiration. Deckard (Harrison Ford’s character) was as much a Gumshoe as Sam Spade (Humphrey Bogart). For Rachel’s character, our chief inspirations were the tailored suits that Adrian designed in the late 1930s and early 40s. I liked the idea of combining different shades of suiting fabrics to create patterns – something Adrian did. In this case I used amazing vintage suiting woollens in shades of grey and beige, with metallic threads that I was lucky enough to find, which created a subtle luminous quality. I wanted to create a futuristic heroine who was believable in the future, but with her feet firmly planted in film noir past.”                                  — Mark Kaplan

 

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Blade Runner j’taime.

Images courtesy of: Another Magazine and CinemaSquid. For more glorious detail on Blade Runner see the Blade Runner Sketchbook. AMAZE.

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