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

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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ReFashion2015 Alterations: Gussets 101

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It’s the end of 2015!!!! ReFashion 2015 is almost over. No worries, there will be a ReFashion 2016! So there have been many an alteration that I haven’t documented this year. Most of which feature my quick go to’s for solving fit issues. Inserting Gussets and using my trusty seam ripper are my main tools! By the way I need a serious upgrade on my seam ripper and have my eyes on this beauty – #seamstressporn 😉

Gusset: a piece of material sewn into a garment to strengthen or enlarge a part of it, such as the collar of a shirt or the crotch of an undergarment.

The first thing I do very often is add a gusset (normally a triangle or diamond shape) into tops and dresses that don’t fit with enough ease. Ease is the space in your clothing that allows you enough room to walk, and sit and eat… you know just be in your clothes without restriction. I am at the high end of mainstream fashion’s plus sizing and often find my belly needs more room than manufactures want to give. I pretty regularly opt for a gusset!

Gussets 101

Sheer Shirt Dress with Gusset

So, the perks of inserting gussets is simply that you can create any additional space you need without dramatically altering the original shape of the garment. OR DRAMATICALLY altering the shape of the garment!  This technique was used on the side seams of this tunic below that I sometimes wear as a dress as well. I had no matching  fabric, but because it was a patchwork style print with the color black in it already I used some leftover black double knit which worked well for me. A new print in a similar design or color would have been an options as well.

Tunic

The boots featured with both of these outfits above are a different kind of quick fix that I will get into on my next blog post. In the meantime, I used gussets to widen the calves on these Gladiator sandals! Really the possibilities are endless.

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I am also in the process of finishing up this denim jacket ReFashion below and about to put insets into the sleeves to create a mini car coat shape! Really the possibilities are endless.

Denim Jacket Redux Gusset

So my loves there is a brief recollection of my love affair with the gusset. A savvy smart stylish ecofatshionista‘s best friend! Get acquainted!

No matter what size you are, no one’s body is made to fit into the fast fashion made for massive consumption. There are too many body’s out here in too many shapes and sizes to think that your body has to conform to fit generically made clothes. Your clothes should fit YOU, and YOUR body! Just remember that! Next up- a ReFashion manifesto and another Quick & Dirty Alterations guide before the new year.

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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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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ReFashion 2015: A Swimsuit Makeover

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ReFashion 2015 Continues. I am late on this one! When my love Sheri from Confessions of A ReFashionista announced that this week’s Thrifty Thursday was Fab Florals, it gave me the push I needed to finish up a new swimsuit bottom. That is a future tutorial, but gave me the opportunity and showcase this swimsuit Refashion.

Fab Floral Swimsemble

Of course my gifted and refashioned kimono is my remade floral, and a great thrifted sun hat make this a Thrifty Thursday special! Some more floral love comes from my me-made swim skirt. That tutorial is coming soon! In the meantime. How do you make a skirted swim bottom a swim top!? Read on!

SwimsTop ReFashion Collage

So I had this hot pink swim bottom for a couple of years now. But I couldn’t seem to find a top I wanted to wear with it. So although I love a fringe suit, I loved the idea of the flouncy swim top. So I endeavored to take my swim separate from the bottom to the top!

  • I used a strapless bra to measure cup height and cut across the brief.
  • Next being a compulsive sewer and having a huge stash of fabric, found some orange swimsuit fabric and some floral mesh.
  • I cut two rectangles of Swimsuit fabric and one of the floral mesh about two inches wider than the former swimsuit brief now tube top.
  • I sewed my rectangles together. Mesh on one side and swimsuit fabric on the other.
  • I then sewed the rectangular to the bottom of my new tube top (mesh inside). Then I sewed the excess fabric from the sides to the backside.
  • Then I made two elastic casings in the swimwear material. I inserted the elastics and attached them to each other first, and then to my tube top.
  • Lastly, I added some elastic strips at the center bust and sides of the breast for a little definition.

The best part is that I can wear it two ways. Upside down creates a long peplum or babydoll effect, right side up I have my flounce. What’s more I can rock it as a top!

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Coming up in ReFashion 2015 are upsizing pants, my first pair of cutoffs and how to make this darling swim bottom!

xoxo

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