SweetLeigh

A Sustainable Life. Make Magick.


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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! ❤

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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 2016: Black Is Beautiful

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The Story

Black History Month aka Black Future Month ends with my little tribute to The Black Panthers and a simple and very satisfying refashion! If you follow my Instagram, you will see that when PBS aired the documentary, The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution I was fairly obsessed. I was raised in a working class all-white neighborhood in the burbs of Los Angeles in the late 1970s.

I learned respectability politics young from my southern mother and my father, an immigrant from the West Indies. For their survival and mine, I was taught it was important that as a Black person I was extra nice, extra likable, and that much more respectable than my white counterparts. It was as if because I was Black, I didn’t automatically deserve respect. Leaving the white pov or white gaze behind is complicated in this country with our very racist history. Long before Beyonce’s Formation, there was the Black Panther Party. The Black Panthers celebrated Blackness, traded in respectability politics for justice, and all the while shone for being fierce in their own skin.

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At one point in the  documentary (where yes, I was driven to tears) the filmmakers interviewed former Panthers and journalists alike on the style of the BPP. The natural hair, the sleek stylish ‘uniform,’ and “swagger!” Whether you are interested in political ideology or not, there is so much fierceness in the message that BPP gave the Black community which was – love yourself, as you are. Their message was that Black was not only beautiful but worthy. Worthy of love, worthy of justice, worthy of self-determination. There is nothing complicated about that. If you have not seen the documentary yet, do!

 

Boot ReFit

The ReFashion

First of all, I love these boots so hard, they were a major investment piece I bought (on sale) about 8 years ago for my first return trip to NYC after moving home. They are made for all weather and are water resistant, have lug soles, working laces, and a zipper for easy access.  I LOVE these fabulous functional boots, but after gaining significant weight they didn’t fit anymore. My smallest calf size was probably about 19 inches and my widest calf is currently 23inches.  I often prefer ankle boots, but when I have gotten higher boots, I generally got away with having them stretched at a cobbler’s shop or have also had elastic inserts put into boots. Any shoe repair can also do this simple alteration for you.

  1. When I tried on the boot years after my last wearing, they  would not close.e
  2. Reasonable people take out their laces which I recommend, but I partially unlaced my boots enough to see what I was doing on the inside.
  3. My solution for making space across the calves? Detach the tongues of the boots! Because the tongue is sewn into both sides of the boot – it can not be placed where you want it on the leg for coverage. Sometimes it’s sewn into one side of the boot.
  4. Use scissors to cut open the seams where the tongue and lacing sides of the boot are attached.
  5. Once the tongue was freed up, I had about 2 extra inches in overlapping fabric on each side of the boot newly available.
  6. At this point, you want to dispose of any loose threads.
  7.  If you like you can add fabric to both sides of the tongue for more coverage. You can also elect to get rid of the tongue altogether for a cute tongueless boot.
  8. Finally, you will want to get longer laces to properly lace up your boots. I haven’t done this yet but am looking forward to it. Remember you can always switch up the color and/or use grosgrain or velvet ribbon instead of standard corded laces. Now lace up those puppies and go!

Dress: Thrifted  Hat: ReFashioned Leather Jacket: Built to Last
70s Vintage Wallpaper: Interwebs

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xoxo,

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Make & ReFashion 2016 Planner

I’m back! It’s taken me a couple of months to figure our what I wanted to tackle on my sewing projects list. Getting gifted three giant bags amounting to 70 lbs of fabric on top of a newly organized bigger stash, means finally getting organized! I have a couple of ReFashions from 2015 that never got done so they are on my 2016 list!

  • If you follow me on Instagram you may remember me disassembling some thrifted clogs! Well, it’s time to get those perfect platform walking height heels hooked up for Cali’s year round clog wearing weather! I’m So ready! I am going to make either a T-strap style or an Oxford style with a secure ankle strap. I’m not very good with slip on clogs, I tend to twist my ankle a lot!

Clog ReFashion Moodboard

  • I have been meditating on how to make my denim jacket more wearable for ages since I don’t wear it. And I’ve decided on a plan of action. Below center is where I’m at, but thinking about going marching band with it. Think Balmain meets fat adorable majorette! Instead of traditional trims, I’m thinking of using patchwork techniques with denim or velvet to create the banding. I am so into it – which is all that matters of course.

Denim ReFashion Inspo 2016

  • I never even started my Velvet number that was calling me so hard! I have two deconstructed thrift-shop-scored blue velvet dresses that demand action. I thought I’d do a simple slip dress and see if I had enough for a jacket too, but now I am thinking of a simple shape like some of the ideas below. And I’m definitely interested in embellishing the velvet! See Adornment Inspo board further down, please!

Velvet ReFashion Inspo 2016

  • The last project that I haven’t gotten to are sweaters! I am freezing half of the time. AS long as I have been alive, I have been underdressed. Even in lovely Los Angeles, it gets cold and often it will get hot and even when it’s perfectly in between the temperature always drops at night so I will always need to be layer ready. These sweaters inspire me BEYOND to get to sewing. Luckily I scored a new light lovely knit in my recent gifted haul and have a couple of really nice knits as well as a couple of heavy Ponte fabrics to tackle projects. I also have a lovely three-tone looped yarn I hope to use as fringe in at least one project.

Sweater ReFashion - Make 2016

  • I went to an 80s Prom this month with my favorite dancing buddy Betty! I think that warrants its own post – and it just got me on a major nostalgia trip! The 1980s was an odd and unique period that somehow managed to reference, the 50s, a new era of Japanese modernist design, a NeoVictorian thing coexisting with a retro-futurism of sorts. I really need to make a prairie shirt, not to mention some asymmetrical cuts in neutrals. I have some splatter paint style cotton with a bit of lycra, some geometrics and a fab piece of grunge-worthy yellow plaid that needs to be used for the love of the 80s.

80s ReFashion - Make 2016

  • I have some lovely chiffon and polyester blend sheer prints that need to become fabulous timeless maxis! I love how simple color blocking becomes art in prints and lace. I am also really feeling my inner Stevie Nicks these days. Easy witchy high style moments in the making.

Print - Colorblocking ReFashion Inspo

  • And of course, and probably most importantly, the BASIX I didn’t quite master last year! I have some vintage leather, recycled denim and a ton of light-weight two way stretch knit blends that need to become easy tunics/dresses, skorts, culottes and drapey tops. Sounds like the Drape Drape books are coming out of storage! It’s time to get the basics down and that for me means easy, comfy, sultry everyday wear.

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  • Lastly, I am obsessed with fabulous artisanal embellishments. I am first and foremost a textile addict after all. Everything from screen printing and hand painting to beading and embroidery is calling me. I think some artistic adorning will be on the immediate horizon! My leather jacket, in particular, keeps telling me they want a makeover. I am here to serve.

Adornment ReFashion Inspo -Make 2016

 Here we go!

xoxo,

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