Posts Tagged ‘thrifted’

Sewing: Super Wrap Maxi Skirt


I didn’t put the question up here on the blog, but I asked what I should do with this triangular rayon challis about two weeks ago. It’s not a print I would normally gravitate to, but I love the colors and the drape of the fabric. It was a $2/yard score in LA.


When I first started sewing the skirt, the opinion was for the long skirt with a slit. Since then, the opinion has changed. No matter. I’m not second-guessing my decision for this skirt. It works beautifully as a wrap maxi.


I’ve mentioned this before, but my beef with wrap skirts is coverage. We live on a pretty drafty mountain and I hate showing off my underwear to family and friends. I do like how easy these skirts are to draft, sew and wear.

With this skirt, I drafted something slightly different. Most wrap skirt patterns (that I’ve seen from the big pattern manufacturers) are rectangles with darts. This doesn’t create a whole lot of room at the bottom for flowiness or for covering lady bits when the wind picks up. Instead, I drafted up a partial circle skirt (just shy of a third of a circle) for both sides, the front flap being only 2-3 inches shy of the side seam rather than a whopping 6-8 inches. That makes all the difference in the world.


The skirt walks really well and doesn’t show off really any skin above the tops of my shins. I say that’s perfect for the upcoming fall and winter months.


The fabric used here is a soft, breathable rayon challis. I love this kind of fabric. It’s fairly easy to work with, breathable and drapes really nicely. I can’t seem to find this print anywhere, but I now have a pinterest board dedicated completely to rayon challis. Check it out. You’ll love it.



Outfit details:

I love my new skirt, even if the colorway is so nuts I only have two or three shirts that actually match. Two Sundays ago, I couldn’t find any clean shirts that matched this skirt (but I wanted to wear it so bad!) that I rummaged through my “to refashion” pile and came across this white button-up.


I bought this button up in the boy’s section at DI for $3 or so. It fit great in the body but not in the arms. I simply grabbed my serger and quickly zipped up the sides of the arms for a more tailored look. Pre-serger, that improvement would have taken about 30 minutes because of pinking or finishing the exposed fabric edges. This time it took me 5 minutes. I felt like I cheated it was that easy.

Have you ever made a wrap skirt before? It was one of the first garment sewing projects I ever did. I think I was 12 or 13.

Thrifty: Basket


It’s been about 7 months since I last went thrift/vintage shopping. The thrift/vintage scene isn’t too amazing in our neck of the woods so I have to drive 30 minutes to get anywhere decent. I know, I know. What’s 30 minutes when there are so many amazing things to be found?


Tuesday, we needed to get out of the house. With Chris and I working from home, we find ourselves needing to get out of the house to avoid spontaneous combustion.

Penelope had been whining to drive to Phoenix all day (Chris and the kids just left this morning). She gets really grating after whining the same thing for 8 hours. So I took her to the thrift store for a little “shopping spree”. I love that she still thinks the thrift store is cool.

We bought a zillion books a few clothes for Penelope and me, some kick-trash leather creative recreation hi-tops for Felix and this basket. The basket is not much to look at, but I’m in love with the size and the angular shape.


This really was a reminder that I still love going thrift shopping. I would like to make the effort to go more than twice a year.

Sewing: Versatile and Easy Maxi Skirt


I had just enough fabric left over (You can find this print here! WOOHOO!) from my shifty stripe dress, I decided to make a maxi skirt. It’s a simple gathered, covered elastic waist banded skirt with two seams (one up the side and one for the waist). I lined it, which effectively makes it reversible. I haven’t worn it reversed yet, though.


I did make a mistake when I sewed it. I sewed it sans slit, thinking the gathers would make the opening at the bottom big enough. Not so!

Since lining it with chiffon, I was effectively wearing an oven on my lower-half. This issue was a simple fix, but it did require unpicking a serged seam (not fun). I figured out an easy and relatively painless way to unpick a serged hem. It took no time at all once I figured this out.


Turn the seam wrong side out, and orient yourself with the top side (the side that looks like above) and unpick the two (or one if you’ve got a 3-thread surged seam) horizontal threads just about every fourth or fifth stitch. Once you’ve done that on the desired seam, pull at the loops and your seam comes apart flawlessly.


The slit makes a huge difference in comfort and functionality.


Outfit details:

  • sunglasses: lulu’s
  • necklace: beehive bazaar (can’t remember vendor’s name)
  • silver bracelet: handmade by my dad
  • bangle: gift from Chris
  • top: thrifted, refashioned
  • skirt: handmade
  • shoes: thrifted
  • sweater: H&M
  • belt: thrifted


I love the way this skirt moves when I walk. So flowy!


Because of the simple construction and the elastic waistband, I can hike it all the way up for a bandeau midi-dress. Just add a sweater and belt and I’m good to go.


The new slit goes a little too high when I wear it as a bandeau, but that’s nothing a little slip wouldn’t fix.


I’m still so obsessed with this print and the feel of the fabric. I know this maxi skirt will serve me well in the upcoming fall and winter months.

Draw It Sew It: Chiffon Raglan Tee


This week the summer colors won out. Again, it seemed to be split almost down the middle. It was a tough decision, though. I couldn’t decide which one I was rooting for.


So I made both. I didn’t initially intend on making both, it just happened that way. Just as I was cutting fabric, I realized that I didn’t have enough pink fabric to make the top. BUMMER!!


I had some left over orange fabric from my circle dress so I was able to cut out a back piece from it. Good thing there’s both orange and pink in the chiffon fabric! It was a pretty easy fix.


Do I feel a little shame for how this shirt inspiration came about? Yes. I’ll tell you why. I’ve wanted to make a raglan tee for a long time. I think they’d be easier to sew than regular tee shirts (no inset sleeves, and I’m right on this point). I just have been either too lazy or too cheap to buy a pattern.

At church a few weeks ago, my neighbor was wearing a very cute raglan tee with chiffon shoulders. I loved how it looked on her; a bit slouchy but perfect for sunday dress. After I complimented her on how awesome she looked, she offered to let me borrow the shirt so I could copy the pattern. And copy I did. It’s an American Eagle shirt that I straight up duped. I know, I know. Y’all can judge me. At least I’m not selling them. You can just buy them straight from the source.


There are a few details that AE didn’t do on theirs – they didn’t use a floral print and they didn’t do my favorite curved hem. I love how curved hems hit my hips.


Unfortunately, both the pink and orange fabrics are pretty stiff, creating more of a boxy look for this top. Since I have a straight figure, I just don’t think it flatters that much. I might try to take in the sides at some point, but I thought I would leave it as is for comparison sake.

Outfit Details:

  • necklace: Forever 21
  • top: handmade
  • bracelet: Wet Seal (eeons ago)
  • jeans: TJ Maxx
  • shoes: H&M


Because I made both. I used the same pattern here (although I did lengthen the sleeves just a bit on this one), just different fabric. This jersey has great drape.


I’m still undecided as to which one I like better. I think this one is a little more versatile and goes better with my coloring than the other one. I’m more of a fall personality anyway.


Make yourself a similar top! Raglan PatternDrapey JerseyPrint Chiffon

Outfit Details:

  • cement earrings: c/o Ardor
  • top: handmade
  • bracelet: wet seal (eeyons ago)
  • pants: Target
  • shoes: thrifted (from Sarah)

@melissapher: What should I sew next? #fashion #style #sewing #diy


If the decision isn’t coming up for you, hit shift command (control) r to hard refresh, or click on the image to take you to the decision on Seesaw’s website.

Draw it Sew it: Swim Coverup/Dress


I am completely exhausted. Keeping up with work and blog posts means that I get about half the sleep I need to function and my house is a complete disaster.

Over the last 5 years I’ve struggled on and off with anxiety and depression. I’m now managing it successfully without drugs, but I have to be aware of my triggers. The lack of sleep and falling behind on my to-do list is triggering my anxiety. For the next few weeks I’m going to be paring down to 3 posts a week rather than 4 or 5 mediocre ones.


Last week’s results were neck and neck, the subtle hemline winning out by 6% of the votes. Short it is! Thinking that this dress would be much easier to sew up than it was, I didn’t really allot myself much time to make it. I started cutting around 9pm Wednesday night. Big mistake.


Turns out, this fabric is evil. It’s cursed or something. I bought it from Michael Levine loft, it was in a crumpled mess, all wrinkled and kinked. I thought that was part of the design. Not the case.

This fabric wrinkles easily and does not iron well. Naturally. It’s a synthetic. Usually synthetics are slow to wrinkle though.


As I was cutting out this fabric, I was fighting to keep it from shifting around and kinking. While sewing, I was fighting to keep the edges lined up together.

It was 3:30am before I threw in the towel and went to bed. I had everything done except for the ties, the button hole on the side and a little fit detail I needed to fix on the neckline. It was going to take me another 2 hours before I could call it complete.


I finally finished it today, spending about an hour just ironing out all those kinks. GAH, this stuff is annoying!

On the bright side, I love the color and I love the drape. It flows really nicely as I walk around. I just need to remake this dress in a different fabric. A real silk perhaps?  It’d be a lot more expensive. I got this fabric for something like $3-4 for 5 yards. I used about 3 1/2 yards.


Drafting up a pattern for this dress was simple. I shortened the high-low on Megan Nielsen’s cascade skirt and I used my basic scoop tee pattern (actually had to draft up a new version since I couldn’t find my physical pattern anywhere) for the top. I needed a curved ruler in order to do this. Otherwise it was simple.


If you look really closely, you can see marks from the steam and my iron (it didn’t burn or melt the dress, but it did make random marks in some spots).

Outfit Details:

  • necklace: Ardor
  • dress: handmade
  • bangles: thrifted, gifts and c/o Apricot Lane
  • earrings: H&M
  • shoes: thrifted


I’m looking forward to wearing it to the pool. I also made it long enough so I can wear it out and about as a dress. I love how it turned out despite the nightmare of working with the material. I’ll definitely make another one.

Which combination of fabric should I choose for this raglan tee?

@melissapher: Which color scheme? #sewing #fashion #diy

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