Posts Tagged ‘thrifted’

Draw it Sew it: Shifty Dress


Today’s post is coming to you super late. I finished this with Celeste today, but didn’t get a chance to take pics until 8pm. Days like these I want to kiss my camera. 2500 ISO never looked so crisp.


Last week’s winner was the floral chiffon, but only by a little. After sewing up the muslin in a similar fabric I changed directions. The muslin sewed up quite puffy. A puffy drape plus a slip would add too much bulk for my taste. I’m glad I switched courses. I love how this fabric drapes! It really feels like I’m wearing nothing which is perfect for the hot days ahead.


I also opted for a straight hemline because as I was cutting out the material, I realized that I would have just enough fabric for a maxi skirt if I cut it straight. So straight it was!


It’s a simple enough dress, but this rayon was pretty shifty. The stripes weren’t printed straight, either, so matching up stripes wasn’t an option.


I modified this pattern for wovens. I’m sure you could do the same with the seafarer top or just go for the staple dress pattern. I had something so similar on hand, I figured I’d save time and money by modifying my pattern not printing and taping a pattern together.


PDF patterns are great, but my printer is not working at the moment and my time is worth something. I would rather purchase a regular pattern. I would LOVE it if pattern makers would actually provide pattern downloads in 24×36 dimensions. I have to send it off to a copy shop anyway, why not get it printed on a large format printer and save myself some time taping?

Just my little beef. Sorry I just had to get that off my chest. Anyone out there feel the same?


I also added a polka dot print for the sleeve cuffs. I can’t get enough of this polka dot print. It, too, is incredibly soft.


I’m just a bit too excited about my new shift dress. I jumped into the office while Chris was working and begged him to compliment me on my new “muu-muu”. He just smiled and said, “I love you.”

I’m glad he still does.


Outfit details:

So what should I do for next week? I want to make a swim cover-up. Do you like the long, dramatic dress or the shorter, subtle dress? What do you think?

@melissapher: Dramatic (yes) or subtle (no)? #sewing #fashion #swimsuitcoverup #diy


Tutorial: Galaxy Print


I’ve noticed that if I can’t do something in my studio (if it makes a huge mess), I rarely muster up the motivation to start it. This was one of those rare occasions. I made this galaxy print from scratch. It was fun and painterly, I think I may actually do it again sometime.


This fabric was originally a painful juvenile raspberry color. I could have made it work, but it wasn’t me. I had a few items piling up that weren’t quite the right color so I had a dyeing party in my wash room. I didn’t care what colors came out as long as they weren’t the same colors that went in. I threw this knit and a couple of others into the wash with a high concentrate of teal dye and let it do its thing. It was awesome to see how different each piece came out!


The purple that came out of the dryer was just begging to become a galaxy print. I read a few things on spot dyeing, but just went for it. I ended up having to do it all over again, but I figured it out in the end. It wasn’t terribly time consuming once I figured it out. Full explanation after the jump.


Sewing up the peplum didn’t take much time at all. I basically used the block I made from my high-low circle dress, but drafted up a new circle piece on the bottom.

I didn’t want the peplum to be too flouncy, so it’s not a full circle. Long explanation short, I used a slash and overlap method I learned from Carrie in a pattern making class I took at Sewing Summit last year. I can provide a full step-by-step tutorial if y’all are interested. Just pipe up in the comments.


Constructing this top took about an hour and a half. I feel like I’m getting much faster when I use patterns that fit me already. It definitely helps make sewing “cost” less.

Outfit details:

  • necklace: Forever 21
  • top: handmade, hand dyed
  • belt: thrifted
  • pants: Pac Sun
  • shoes: Target


I’m so happy with how this peplum fits! I think they’re such a flattering silhouette for any body type. At some point Chris and I will add another baby to our family. It’s nice to know I’ll have a few pieces in my wardrobe that will work for the first and fourth trimesters.

Speaking of the awesome pooch-hiding superpowers of peplum tops, I’m over at Über Chic for Cheap sharing the things I’ve learned about dressing a postpartum bod. It’s got some funny illustrations so you’ll want to head over.

Get the instructions how to make your own galaxy print after the jump.


Sewing: Stripe Maxi Dress


I loved the way the Renfrew worked with my circle dress, I had to make a maxi dress to add to my wardrobe too! I used the modified top and sketched out the remaining pattern based on my hip and leg span measurements. And it worked out perfectly. My biggest mistake was not pre-washing the fabric.

I swear on my own grave I pre-washed, but it shrank. Not that much, though. It could’ve been the difference between our old washer and dryer set and the new one. Th new washer and dryer gives me sparkling clean, toasty clothes now.


I didn’t want to stress the bottom hem of the dress a whole lot with my movement, so I made sure the bottom was extra roomy. I believe the final sewn circumference of the bottom is somewhere around 60″.


I  made this right before a wedding reception two weeks ago. When I say right before, Chris found me in my underwear putting the finishing touches on the dress when he came into the sewing room to tell me we needed to go. I worked like a maniac getting this done in under 2 hours.

It’s just like sewing a tee; but a really, really long one. The hem of the dress took me the longest amount of time, and I’ll still have to fix it as it rolls up even after I press it.


I thought I’d try to be cool and tie a knot at the bottom of my skirt for some pictures. I like the picture it took, but it does not translate well to moving around. It feels like I have a massive dangling growth hitting my knee all the time. I wonder if fashion bloggers actually have their skirts like this all day or if it’s just a styling thing for pictures. I’m inclined to think the latter.


I forgot to take any pictures of the side seams! I matched up the pattern perfectly on both sides. You get a subtle v where all of the black stripes match up. Probably my proudest moment.


The neckline bunches here because of my forward sloping shoulders in the picture. Normally it all lays flat.

  • Outfit details:
  • necklace: handmade
  • belt: thrifted
  • dress: handmade
  • shoes: hand-me-down from Sarah

This dress is already a summer staple in my wardrobe. What’s your summer staple?


Sewing: Stripe Scoop Top


Is it a sad day that this was inspired by a tee I saw at Walmart? I got this striped jersey from a fabric destash last year and have been at a loss for what to make with it until I saw this product listing. istillloveyou-sewing-simple-knit-stripe-top-1

I’m obsessed with those cheap jeggings, btw. Perfect for a baby bump. It’s no announcement, beyond the fact that I’m getting baby hungry.


I already had a pattern drafted up from a floral shirt project from last year that just needed a couple of tweaks. The pattern now fits me perfectly. You better believe I’m going to make a million more shirts in this shape. Since it only has two pattern pieces, it took me about an hour and a half to sew this thing up. I had plenty of fabric left over, I made a shirt for my neighbor and still had more left over for a bubble skirt for Penelope. I’m still not done with that skirt, but it’s close. I’m just dragging my feet on attaching the waistband.


It’s a light-weight jersey that I know I’ll be wearing the heck out of this summer.


My friend Kristin just made a similar shirt and posted her pattern as a free download so you can make your own.


Outfit details:

Sewing: Cascade Wrap Skirt


You know I’m obsessed with Megan Nielsen patterns. Maybe because she’s my favorite client, or maybe because she makes kick-trash patterns that are modern, simple and on-trend. Maybe both.


I tested out her cascade skirt pattern months ago, and I’ve been so anxious to share it with you. Now that her collection is released, I want to show it off!! I made it out of a purple heather knit (this will be the pantone of the year next year, I’m convinced), and I LOVE the drape, texture and fit.


I was a little hesitant to try a wrap skirt pattern, but I loved the technical drawing so much I couldn’t resist.

See, one of the first skirts I ever made was a wrap floral skirt, with the help of my mom. I liked it and hated it. Any time a gust of wind came, there my panties were to say hello. And I live in a fairly windy spot, on top of a mountain. I didn’t want to go to the trouble of making an awesome skirt that I could only wear on “special” (aka non-windy) occasions. But I did it anyway.

I’m glad I used a soft jersey here, the jersey tends to stick to itself to conceal not-cute mom undies.


I totes feel like a salsa dancer or something in this skirt.


I wore just about this exact outfit at Alt Summit earlier this year (minus the shoes and plus a blazer). I felt so fancy and comfortable at the same time.


Outfit details:

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