Posts Tagged ‘thrifted’

1 Yard Fabric, 7 Bloggers, My No-Sew Midi Skirt Tutorial


Miriam found this gorgeous floral ikat print at Mood back in May. Immediately there were 7 of us hovering over the yardage to see if we could all snag a piece. Like sharks to chum.


Each of us has made something with our yardage. Check out what these uber talented ladies have made with their yardage (in order of appearance of the photo above):

Merrick, Leanne (hers will come later this month),  Miriam, Jen, Andrea, Bethany (not pictured) All joined in.

The idea came that we should all see what we could do with one yard. The idea for a link party was born. And I failed at it miserably.


I love this fabric so much, I want it all over my body at all times. What to make? A dress would showcase the fabric beautifully, but unfortunately the yardage is too short to just use for a simple shift (it shrunk a little in the pre-wash). I could do a raglan dress with the yardage, but I’m not stoked with the patterns I have. I tried to draft a raglan sleeve with my dress form, but the lack of shoulder/arm failed with the muslin test.


Sewing confidence is waning at this point. Also, I’ve been trying to be a good little girl and prioritize business to-dos over blog to dos this week. It’s been hard to get anything done. Do you ever feel so busy that you just freeze up and can’t do a thing? I’m going through that at the moment.


So in a moment of desperation, I made myself a skirt. Sort of. And I didn’t have to commit to sewing or cutting up my precious yardage just yet.


Want to know a secret? I’ve actually done this very thing before. I needed a red skirt, but it was about 5 minutes before church so I grabbed red jersey, wrapped and walked out the door. This works surprisingly well.

Simply wrap and knot. Boom. Done. If you’re looking for a cheap way to make your own mini, midi or maxi skirt and you don’t know anything about sewing machines or knits. . . here you go.


Outfit Details:

Is anyone in the same boat as me? Who else has had a crippling to do list lately?

Above are similar knit skirts (although the print I have is a mystery. I wish I could find it online) for under $35.


Handmade: Polka Dot Top and Self Drafted Leggings


Two classes I took at Sewing Summit this year was how to make a basic woven tee and drafting leggings from your own measurements. It was great to take the time and draft and cut out the pattern pieces for these babies. Unfortunately, the machine kept eating the delicate polka dot fabric, so I left the sewing for my serger at home.


The top is Jessica’s Simple Blouse top (pattern coming soon). I wanted it to drape a lot so I used a lightweight rayon woven I scored in L.A.. As mentioned before, it was tough to sew on a machine I wasn’t familiar with. They were incredibly nice machines (the price of a reasonably priced car *cough, cough*), but the functions were waaaay too complicated for me to configure in the time we had to sew. Nice thing was, I had all of the markings and fabric cut out, so sewing it up was a breeze by the time I got to it!


I cut my pattern longer in the front and the back for a perfect-for-leggings (aka CYA) top. The fit is a little big in the hips. I was going to change it, my laziness and the boxy top trend is winning out at the moment.


The sheer top is making me wish I had sewn this baby up during the summer. At least I’ll be prepared with more seasonably appropriate clothes next summer!


Drafting the leggings weren’t nearly as complicated as I thought when Miranda posted her how-to draft a leggings pattern on her blog. We took it one step at a time. Before I knew it I had a perfect block of my leg that I could use as a pattern for leggings! They fit perfectlybut I didn’t draft a high enough rise in the back. It’s an easy-enough fix. Now that I have the perfect draft for leggings, you better believe I’m going hog wild making pants this winter. 


If I saw this shirt on the rack at a clothing store, I probably would have passed it up for something with more design elements. It’s given me new insight as to what things I could be making and wearing. I know I’ll get a ton of use out of this basic top.


I’m not sure if this blue is my color, but I’m loving the way it pairs with the black pin-dots.


Outfit Details

  • necklace: Forever 21
  • blazer: c/o Sheinside (here)
  • top: handmade
  • leggings: handmade
  • shoes: thrifted

What’s your absolute favorite basic right now? Leggings? Tees?

Sewing Style: Handprinted Leather Shift Dress


This teal fabric was originally going to be a circle dress, but I passed it up for the pink and orange. I second-guessed my decision until the idea for this dress came along.


However, the plain teal and patch leather pockets didn’t seem exciting enough. I’ve long wanted to do some serious block printing on a garment piece (like my printing idol), so I turned on some Project Runway and set to work.

And work it was! I had the blocks already carved, it was the printing that was hard to do. One of the stamps (mounted on MDF) rubbed my fingers so raw, I couldn’t feel my finger tips the next day. Next time I’m screwing on a make-shift handle to the block for easier to grip.


The front and sleeves were printed in a cross-hatch pattern and the back was printed with a simple triangle pattern (previously used here). I like the mixture of both. It’s different.


I used brown leather suede scraps scored from Michael Levine back in LA. It’s the softest, nicest suede I’ve ever felt, and because it’s garment weight, it doesn’t make the dress boxy or bulky at the hip.


I see the flaws in my printing (so many little white blobs everywhere), but it creates a certain vibe.


I’ve seen boxy fit dresses and tops go down the runway at NYFW lately, it makes me glad that I cut it a bit on the boxy side. It’s comfortable without, but I can go with the belt for a more structured look.


This is my new g0-to dress. I think I’ll be making a few of these in the future.

Outfit details

  • earrings: H&M
  • necklace: c/o Tai Pan Trading
  • bracelets: handmade (1,2)
  • belt: handmade
  • dress: handmade
  • cardigan: c/o She Inside (here)
  • tights: H&M
  • shoes: thrifted


On a related note, it snowed last week!! The first snow of the year had the biggest snow flakes I had ever seen. None of it stuck around for more than 24 hours, but it was quite the awakening that our carefree summer has ended. I still have a lot of weeding and yard prep to do before the real snow hits. And by real, it’s rumored that our neighborhood will get in the range of 10 feet this year. Chris and Penelope are beyond thrilled that they have their skis and gear all ready to rock and roll.


Sewing: Handmade Basics


I would much rather spend $10 at a big-box store for a basic tee than spend an hour making one. But sewing something this easy is a nice way to turn off the brain and and just make.


This fabric, a structured not-so-stretchy jersey 100% organic cotton knit, needed to be a simple tee.

It’s a forgiving knit to sew with, like the quilting cotton of knit fabric. So easy, I didn’t use a single pin while sewing this top!


I made this shirt  fitted to pair nicely under voluminous skirts or with skinny jeans. Because the fabric is so structured, the tighter fit is still flattering.


The top ended up being shorter than I would have liked, but it works. It falls just below the button on my new favorite denim. It’s not ideal for all of my pants, but perfect for my higher-waisted skirts!


I cut the sleeves a little long for my taste, so I’ve just rolled them up. I like the contrast of white that it gives. I can also roll the sleeves down if at some point I decide I want a longer sleeve. Can I tell you how much I’m loving my new denim? I scored these at a blogger event a couple weeks ago at DownEast. They’re worlds better than any of the denim I own and I didn’t have to put darts in them to keep the back from gaping.


Outfit Details:

  • glasses: Target
  • earrings: vintage
  • bracelets: vintage/gifts
  • scarf: soel boutique
  • tee: handmade
  • denim: c/o DownEast
  • shoes: thrifted


Fabric provided by Organic Cotton Plus.


Sewing, then Remixing “Old” Clothing


I made a shirt a couple weeks ago. I haven’t showcased it here because it’s borderline “old”. The idea for a box pleat at the neckline seemed cool in my head, but as soon as I tried on the finished piece, I felt like it came straight off the racks at Coldwater Creek.

It’s comfortable and I love, love the fabric! The style and the fit together are, in the words of Michael Korrs, dowdy. It’s not the kind of tee I can throw on and feel put together. It requires a little bit of styling to get past go. Not the worst thing in the world, but I thought I would share  two tips for taking something “old” and making it contemporary.


Certainly I’m no fashion expert. After seeing bits and pieces of NYFW, I’m second guessing all of my style notions. But no matter. I’m on the slopes of Utah, where Guy Fieri hair is considered a thing among some. So here we go:

Front Tuck (see above image), where the front is tucked in and the back is loose and untucked. Chris doesn’t get it but fashion bloggers do it all the time. So it makes perfect style sense, right?

80s Knot (see below image), where I grab all excess material at the waist and twist it into a little knot, 80s style. It gives me a waist and the shirt some purpose.


Next time I’d like to try a trendier print. And maybe do this in dress form. Belting an untucked shirt isn’t cool anymore, but I could belt a dress and be on my way.

Or I could go sans belt if I had a cool leather jacket, blazer or slouchy cardigan. I can’t get Sophie’s blazer out of my mind. I might need one with leather piecing on the sleeves.


I do wear this tee without styling it. Usually it’s without make-up, bra or heels. It’s incredibly comfortable, but I’m not leaving the house like that.


Again, I’m certainly no fashion expert, but I feel more put together when I wear something with structure and a pair of heels. How about you?

Outfit Details:

  • earrings: thrifted
  • necklace: thrifted
  • top: handmade (fabric here)
  • skirt: handmade (tutorial here)
  • bracelet: DownEast Basics
  • shoes: ALDO


On a sewing-related note, I did my first blind hem by serger. This is a great option for hemming clothes to allow for lots of stretch, without a coverstitch machine. I’ve knotted the heck out of this shirt and no hem threads have busted yet. Major win!

I’m going to be showcasing a LOT more sewing projects on the blog from now until the end of September. I’m prepping for Sewing Summit, so I’ll be spending any spare time on calligraphy, sewing and my photography presentation for the conference.

Fabric provided by Michael Levine Fabrics.


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