SweetLeigh

A Sustainable Life. Make Magick.


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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.

retroshift

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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ReFashion 2015: What A Year!

 

Thanks so much for joining me for ReFashion 2015 Loves! IT has been a great year and my ReFashioning has given me so much joy. I love creating. And if anything I hope it has sparked you to look at how you use your closet. I hope that this year you are more mindful about what you need vs. what you want than in 2015. I hope you consider whether what you want can actually be achieved in the closet you have right now.

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This journey was a bit of a surprise. I have been chronically unemployed and out of the traditional job market for years now and besides not being able to afford the influx of fast fashion available in plus sizes, I grew tired of seeing so many people in the same clothes that didn’t quite speak to me. And if they did, I realized that the devil was in the details and that I often could re-envision what I have in my closet to meet those sometimes transient needs….

I hope ReFashion 2015 reminded you and inspired you to creatively play in your closet. Know that you don’t have to settle for what a manufacture created, but can personalize your closet. If you don’t sew, and don’t do DIY consider tailoring your clothes to fit you the way you would like them to. And don’t forget to alter them around trends that speak to you.

Anatomy of a ConsciousBabe

The planet is hurting from our wasteful ways which causes people to hurt, whether it is chemicals in the manufacturing process in our clothes and contaminating our water or the literal garbage we create by not recycling them reducing our carbon footprint, is EVERYTHING. People being exploited for their labor is always something to keep in mind. Consumers are always demanding more. But do we need more?  We must call on big corporations to be responsible to their workers and to the planet.

Part of me really likes living off of the fast fashion grid and choosing this extreme variation of slow fashion. I often prioritize other things besides my wardrobe and taking time to make all that I need is not possible. The point is not to make everything in your closet, but to recycle, reuse, shop vintage and thrift often and maybe first. The point is to be mindful. Mind the chain of people affected by your shopping habits. Shopping local, shopping small, supports community and sends a message to big retailers to be more mindful too.

This Is REFashion Kimono

Lastly, ReFashion 2015 is very much about body love, and my body politic. As someone who lives outside of traditional sizing, including plus sizing at a size 26/28 currently with a non h/w proportionate body type, I decided to make my clothes work for ME. I don’t have expectations to fit into mass manufactured clothing. Even when I do, I generally alter my clothing to my tastes. I invest in my closet so that I use it. I invest in personalizing my clothes so that any and every item in my closet works for me. How many people can say that every item of clothing is working for them?

I don’t believe that my body whatever size and shape should fit into the clothes as they are made. Because they don’t. And that is not something I feel good or bad about. If your body is made for commercial fast fashion more power to you, but understand that it is not true for many bodies of all shapes and sizes.  I believe the clothes that I wear should fit my unique body. And I’ve found that that requires some help a lot of the time. So I encourage you, to dig deeper, look further and take your closet into your own hands. Harness your creativity, love your body as is, and make your closet work for YOU. You deserve it!

I will be back with more ReFashion and more Makes in 2016. I have plans for my sweet little shop to include more post consumer made millinery accessories and some home goods too! Let me know what kind of things you’d like to see in the SweetLeigh shop. Sewing Patterns? ReFashion Kits? I’d love to know! Thanks for joining me on the journey loves! Happy New Year!

xoxo,

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ReFashion 2015: Upsizing The Patterned Jean

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And we’re back with another ReFashion 2015! I am not much of a jeans kind of a girl, or a t-shirt kind of a girl, so this is my take on jeans and a t-shirt! This ReFashion is another Upsize! When I bought these cute bongo jeans from KMart, years ago, I knew it was a tight fit and the fact that they don’t have any stretch to the material is not a good thing for me.

The waist is way lower than I like and I generally stay away from cropped pants, but I actually LOVE the tropical leaf print so much I figured I would make it work. Years later, I finally have!

Tropical Trousers ReFashion Details

Most of how i converted these poor fitting jeans into comfy stylish jeggings is in the graphic above. I also removed the zipper and sewed up the crotch. After removing the waistband and adding more room on the sides of the jeans with double-knit fabric, I added a new longer and wider waistband with elastic. This made the pants a pull on style and the strong stretchy material keeps them from becoming baggy with wear.

 

Tropical Trouser ReFashion1Tropical Trouser ReFashion

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I played with different shoes to get a different vibe. I also tried the look with a heavy cardigan and my favorite Black Drapey cardigan, but the leather was my favorite. And I love a metallic leopard pump. If only I could walk in a pointy toe for longer than it takes to look adorbs! Luckily I have some pointy-ish faux snakeskin flats that will do nicely.
Sequins Kimono ReFashion 1

The kimono style robe in this pic is my favorite ReFashion & this outfit is my favorite pattern combining this year so far. The full tutorial will be up next week. This number used to be a fabulous thrifted skirt! Can’t wait to get into the nitty gritty about it! ❤

xoxo

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ReFashion2015: Minimal Glam

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So I debuted this number last week in a post in homage to Halloween. Although it was the center of my Afrofuturistic Cleopatra I knew it could be an easy and fun option for holiday gatherings that bring folx together around this time of year.

Make Sequins Dress

The quick and dirty on this sweet little number was pretty simple. Although the dress is more of a Make then a typical ReFashion, it was made from thrifted fabric and the styling elements are either thrifted/resale, refashioned, or investment pieces. I pulled out some seriously neglected shoes and styled it up.

Holliday look 1

The first look features some very fab Jelly shoes in a glossy black, I ‘ve had them for years and they always come out when I want to be comfortable and a little saucy. You might remember the lace crop top I made for my Halloween costume last year. The Sweater Coat is one of my favorite staples that I have made. Whenever I want to style something up I throw on this sweater coat to add a little texture and pattern.

It’s made from a medium weight knit fabric and lining both from Michael Levine Loft. The Leather on the cap sleeves are recycled from a leather skirt most of which I’ve used for SweetLeigh Millinery.

Holliday Look 2

This outfit is as simple as it gets. I added a handmade slip that was part of my Mermaid costume a few years back. I removed the crinoline and tulle fishtail I had attached to the bottom. The slip worked great to provide a comfort zone around my deep V neckline on the dress. I simply added some silver platforms from New Look. And lastly I love this little knit metallic thread jacket that I found at a thrift shop when I lived in Brooklyn, almost 10 years ago! Wow that’s a long time…

Holliday Look 3

This look might actually be my favorite for its ABSOLUTE comfort factor. Turning my deep V dress into a romper I slipped an oversized white shirt underneath topped it off with my leather jacket and kept it casual with my creepers. I scored those babies at a Domino Dollhouse closet sale. Wicked happy day! And here I am feeling pretty holiday ready! Not to mention just enough glam.

Holliday Minimal Glam - Yes please

I tend to under accessorize the main accessory generally being lipstick, hence my “minimal glam.” I have only been wearing my gemstone rings for their powers. But, I think a great evening friendly bag is on my list of makes! Back soon with more ReFashions.

xoxo,

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ReMake: Sandal Boots Refashion

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My favorite time has always been Autumn. The fall always meant going back to school, new beginnings, and time for layers, sweaters, coats and boots! While thrifting I found some Ralph Lauren ankle boots they were a bit too small in the heel but I was determined to make it work as they were a great quality leather boot and I had found the style of boot I was after! I opted to convert them into sandal boots with an open heel and peep toe. Living in Cali this is a year round option but a great transitional piece for summer into fall and of course spring as well. This post also introduces my new feature ReMake, my take on DIY refashioning. Think, Eco-Glam.

First, a little inspiration! My style has been bordering on bohemian and school marm, aptly named Cool School Marm Boho. I wanted something that would work with dresses and leggings both of which I have been wearing to death.

ReMake- Sandal Boots Cover

The supplies I used were:

Heavy Duty Fabric scissors
Seam Ripper (To remove the hardware)
Nail Polish Remover and a rag
Sandpaper or a metal industrial file
Craft Paints (Metallic or Otherwise)
Craft Paint Brush
Optional Leather Punch

Don’t forget to protect your hands and surfaces while painting. I prefer to use magazines or scrap fabric that can be reused again.

PicMonkey Shoe Collage1PicMonkey Shoe Collage2

I hope my pictorial above is self explanatory, but just in case, I modified the boot’s shape by cutting out the heel and the toe first. Then using my leather punching tool, (found on ebay for about $20) I punched different size holes in the boots. I prepped the boots with nail polish remover to remove any protective coating and then painted them a metallic black. I’m ecstatic with the results and have already gotten many wears out of them. I hope this inspires you to get creative and shop your closet before you hit the shops!  If you do, please share your refashion with me!  Look forward to more Sustainable Style features on how to ReMake your wardrobe dolls!

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