SweetLeigh

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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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.

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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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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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