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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Make: Halloween – The Black Widow

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I am a total Halloweenie hence my second costume post of the month! I had two days before my first event of my season, which was this past weekend and hadn’t really given it much thought when I found some reat inspiration on Pinterest! I found a picture of a model channeling a 19th century veiled woman who I decided was a Black Widow and the decision was made. I was to become Mrs. Black!

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Realizing I did not have a long black skirt that wasn’t completely straight or made out of jersey, I decided to make one! Being a very DIY Kind of Girl I decided to make a couple of key pieces for my costume that I could wear in “real life.”  In my fabric stash I had a beautiful four way stretch woven cotton poly blend.

I found the fabric at Michael Levine’s LOFT store in Downtown Los Angeles, which houses their dead-stock, castoffs, & remainder pieces/rolls of fabric that are out of season or considered hard to sale. The fabrics at the Loft are sold by the pound at a remarkable price. SCORE! Even better, purchasing out of season castoffs saves the fabric from being shipped out of the country to landfills around the world. Bigger Score! I ended up with 5 yards of this gorgeous fabric in jet black and had already made a shirt with it.

photo 2I used the remaining 3 + yards to make a floor length 3/4 circle skirt. I improvised a pattern making the waist about 4 inches larger than necessary and created two pleats at center back creating a small train that could potentially house a bustle. Next, I made a lace crop top/tank. I had been eyeing a few fabulous crop tops in lace and this was the perfect excuse to make one. I intended to wear it over a blousen woven top to mimic an Edwardian look. In the end, it was  a bit warm so I opted to just wear the tank alone and the period is just inferred.
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In my wardrobe is an amazing silk hooded capelette that I invested in about 4 years ago. It is made by local designer Stella Dottir, who makes custom clothing for men and women. I love all that she creates: simple, timeless, dramatic, feminine pieces with an edge. The capelette is something I plan to wear a lot more of, as for the costume, it  did the work of transforming my pieces into feeling period. The sheer silk along with the lace also added another layer and texture to all of that black.

Finally, I made the veil. What’s a Creepy 19th Century Widow without her massive, face-obscuring and by default, disturbing veil!? Some tulle and vintage netting I scored by deconstructing a full skirted size 6 vintage dress (that I will reuse later in my own dress design) – did the trick!

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Click on the Widow to see the Short Film!

Voila! My Black Widow Check out the petite silent film on my Facebook Page!  What will you be doing for Halloween? What’s your inspiration? Who, or WHAT, will you be!?

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