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Saturday, July 15, 2017

Cropped Overalls


I don't think I have worn a pair of overalls since I was a kid. Not because I did not want to, but because it has been really hard to find a pair that fits and doesn't make me look 12. I was so excited when I came across SewHouse7 and their Burnside Bibs. It's a simple and sophisticated take on the childhood classic, with a lot of easy variations.

 I wore the overalls with a long lace bralette to add some contrast. I love pairing opposites in an outfit, in this case the softness of the lace with the more utilitarian fabric and design of the overalls. The bralette is also functional, it is nice and cool for the summer and of course super comfortable.

If you're looking for something similar that is ready to wear, check out some of my picks at the end of this post.


I was a little intimidated at first, because it looked fairly complicated, but I was surprised at how easy it was (once I put together the pdf pattern pieces...)! The fabric, from Jo-ann's, was really easy to work with and the perfect fabric for casual and comfortable overalls. I was able to finish it pretty quickly and with minimal use of my seam ripper. I chose the more fitted version with the zipper, and while my zipper is not invisible like it was intended to be, my motto when it comes to zippers is "better done then perfect." Only minor adjustments for fit were necessary, and when I make them again, I think I will make the bib a little shorter. Overall, for my first PDF pattern, I was pretty pleased with the experience.

Pattern: Burnside Bibs by Sew House 7
Fabric: Sew Classic Bottomweight Rodeo Cotton from Joann Fabrics






Saturday, July 1, 2017

Gingham Sundress


Gingham is everywhere this spring, and I've wanted to dive in for awhile, but I also didn't want to wear the exact same print everyone else had. I found this Steel & Cotton fabric at fabric.com, and immediately knew it was perfect for my dip into the gingham pool. I wasn't sure what to do with it, so I ordered a couple yards and hoped it was enough for whatever I decided. (It ended up being more then enough, so be prepared to see more of it soon!)


I was originally inspired by this pin on Pinterest and I knew I wanted to use this fabric for a dress with this silhouette. It was a little difficult to find a pattern, but I was able to track down this vintage McCall's pattern (3952) at an Etsy shop. I actually really liked using the junior's sizing, I only had to make pretty minor adjustments to the fit. My goal with this project was to make a light easy summer dress that I could through on for almost any occasion and still be comfortable, and I think I mostly achieved that.

(My little puppers wanted to make an appearance.)


After I started this dress, I found one that is very similar by Petite Studio NYC (linked below). I LOVE this brand and have been stalking their social media and website for awhile, but haven't quite brought myself to purchase something as the price range is a little high for me. So if anyone has tried any of their clothing, I would love to hear about it! Reformation, another brand I love but haven't purchased from (yet) also has a couple similar dresses. Overall, a super versatile dress and perfect for the summer.


I love this dress with these (faux) wood platform sandals. It feels very 90's, but still modern. These shoes from Payless shoes, they are a great price, and were immediately comfortable with no breaking in. I have narrow feet and ankles so it can be difficult finding sandals with straps that fit, but these were great. Perfect shoes if you want to add a little height without compromising comfort.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Culottes for Compact Heights


Recently, I have started to really get into "unflattering" clothes. It has been a slow progression from my younger days when I used clothing to make my body appear how I thought it should look, to now when I am more concerned with comfort and my own expression of style. 

Culottes for petites are one of those "unflattering" styles, but I love them! They can make you appear shorter, and hide any curves you might have, but they're so cool!  I have tried on a fair amount of culottes lately and have had no success in finding the right length for my short legs, they all either fit like regular pants, or pants that just look slightly too short, which is weird. So of course I made some, and I was pretty scared of this sewing pattern (McCalls: M7475). I have never made pants before, and zippers are my biggest enemy, so the zipper fly was terrifying. I also struggled with the yoke back. It was coming out a little lopsided, and I had to redo the top stitching a couple times.If I could go back and choose a different pattern, I would get one without a yoke. Despite all that, the pattern turned out to be pretty easy so it went a lot smoother then I expected. I had to make a few adjustments though (as is to be expected). They came out slightly too wide and waaay too long, so I cut the length about a foot shorter then the pattern indicated.

I hate having to take things to the tailor unless its for a special occasion, so if you're like me, but don't want to construct a whole pair, it can be really simple to DIY a shorter hem. If you have basic sewing skills, you can certainly just cut, flip up the bottom to the inside and sew (make sure to iron the hem first!), or if you want zero sewing, you can purchase some handy hem tape and instead of sewing, iron it on to the inside of the hem you flipped up. Basically you can pin the tape so that it is half on the folded part and half above it, iron it on, and the adhesive holds your hem up (check the instructions with your hem tape). I have only used hem tape once a long time ago, so I don't remember exactly what I used, but something like this should work: Hem Tape 

I am still on the lookout for some denim culottes or cropped flares. Unfortunately, I don't think I could make my own, as I have a pretty basic sewing machine that wouldn't be able to handle the density of multiple layers of denim. So if you know of any super cropped denim, let me know!

Sunday, April 23, 2017

The Magic of a Matching Set


I love dresses, and a big part of that love is due to the one-and-done aspect of getting dressed. You pick one item of clothing and don't have to mess with color coordination or proportion issues of adding a top or bottom. One thing you do lose in a dress is the flexibility to mix and match with other items  when you're feeling less lazy (sometimes you can layer with a dress but this takes way more effort in my opinion). The answer to this conundrum? Matching sets. You already have a top and bottom that match perfectly in color and proportion, so you can throw it on without thinking about it, but you maintain the flexibility to pair each piece with different items.


I love this print... now, but it had to grow on me at first. I was originally planning on making this outfit with and black and white gingham, but I couldn't find it in the right check size, so I "settled" for this also linear print I found at Joann's. I am amazingly happy with it though, this was just the print I needed. I made the top using  pattern M6968 (it is out of print, but you can find it on Etsy or Ebay). I had to make a few adjustments because it originally came out too big, and when I make it again, I plan to make the darts extend higher as the bust area is still a little too roomy. For the skirt, I just made a simple circle skirt. I intended to make it a flat waistband with a zipper but I cut the center circle too big, so I used elastic instead. There are so many circle skirt tutorials, no need for me to reinvent the wheel. Here is a good one on Merrick's Art.

Don't want to DIY? I linked similar sets at the end of this post.

For more casual days, extra windy weather, or activities that just don't allow for a skirt, the top easily pairs with some high waisted cut offs, or pants. My favorite is to wear it with these high waisted Levi shorts and vintage leather belt (thanks mom ).



Having so many options is especially useful if you have a regular office job. I love wearing the pieces together for a girly, fun weekend outfit, but this would not work at the office.  Fortunately, the skirt is a very work friendly piece, so I can pair it with a button up or other nice blouse for work.





Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Spring Athleisure: Sweatshirt Material Crop Top


Spring is finally here and luckily I have been busy making warm weather clothes! So last week I made a boxy tank top inspired by this top from Gap and I absolutely love it and feel great wearing it. This top is super comfy and perfect for throwing on over a sports bra or bralette.


I can't articulate exactly why, but I instantly fell in love with this top when I saw it in a Gap ad. Maybe it's how simple it is, while still maintaining some structure, or maybe because it just looks really comfy. Anyways, I have never really been able to fit into Gap clothes, so I didn't even bother trying it on. At first I thought it was made of a sweatshirt material, but it is actually just made of regular T-shirt material. I decided to stick with the initial idea of a sweatshirt material, as it would give it more structure.


Not into DIY? Skip ahead to the bottom for some similar styles you can buy.

This was a simple top to put together, since it is boxy by design, no need to worry about a perfect fit. I already had a similar top that I used as a pattern, but really any loose fitting T-shirt or tank top will work. Fold the pattern top in half so that the armholes line up and place it on the fold of your fabric. I used tailor chalk, which easily comes out, to outline the pattern. Make sure to draw your line/cut about a half inch bigger then your pattern, this is a seam allowance so that you can sew the edges without making it smaller then you intended. After you cut it out, place the cut piece on the fold and cut out a second piece. This will be the front and back. Your outline should roughly look like the picture below.

Roughly measure the armholes and neck opening to determine how much edging you will need. I cut 29 inches for the neck and 20 inches for each arm (I ended up having a lot of excess length, but better too much then too little). Cut out one piece of edging for the neck, and one for each armhole, the respective lengths that you measured and 2 1/2 inches wide. Now you have all your pieces cut out.

First, with right sides together (the side of the fabric you want to show) sew together the front and back pieces at the top of the shoulder, then on each side under the curve of the armhole. These seems are shown in red in the picture below. Iron the seams open, they can look a little puffy when you first sew them, so it will look a lot better after being ironed. Try it on to make sure it roughly fits the way you want it.  If not make any adjustments now. The fit will end up being a little shorter and the arm/neck holes will be a littler wider then it fits at this stage, so use a little imagination.



With all your edging pieces, fold them in half with the wrong sides together and iron them down. Then you want to pin the edging to the main piece. Put one of the right sides of the edging against the right side of the main piece and line up the end of the edging with one of the seems you already sewed on the main piece. On the neck this will be one of the side edges, and on the armholes you will want to line it up with the underarm seam. When pining the edging make sure to leave a little piece extra at the beginning. You will need to sew together the two end pieces of edging later. Sew the edging to the main piece. I made my seam 1/2 inch from the edge. When you finish, sew together the ends of each edging together so it creates the closed loop around each hole. Make sure to iron the new seams and trim the excess material.



Now you just need hem the bottom. Simply fold the bottom underneath so that wrong sides are together. I did about a 1/2 inch seam. Iron and you are all done!

Gap (Original Inspiration)
Forever 21
American Eagle

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Raw Hem Jeans: Fashion's Gift to the Short Legged


Raw hem jeans are everywhere this fall, and luckily for this 4'10 3/4" lady, it's a super easy DIY. When you are constantly having to cuff or hem your pants, and even "short" lengths are too long, a style that only requires cutting away length is welcomed with open arms. I also really like the step hem, so I took the cutting a little further and created a petite sized step.



 I probably own about 10 pairs of jeans, but only wear the same 3 over and over again, so picking one to cut up wasn't too hard. I've had this pair for years, and even though I hardly wear them, I still couldn't bring myself to get rid of them. Perhaps I subconsciously knew I would need them for a DIY project in the future, or maybe I just hoard clothes....



First step is estimating the length, so I took a pair of pants that had a good length and measured them up to the jeans I was cutting up. If you want a step hem, make sure you are measuring for the longest length. My mom hooked me up with sewing essentials, so I have this nifty tracing tool and paper that lets me mark where to cut. Sometimes I also use a pencil or pen, but that is a little more permanent so be extra careful where you mark.


Next just cut a straight line across where you marked, or not if you want something with more of an undone look. For the step hem, I cut it all one length first, and made smaller vertical cuts where I wanted the step to start and stop. Then you cut straight across again, but this time only on the area you want shorter.

I ended up wanting a more cropped length then the original pants I measured from, so I tried them on and re-cut several times before getting the right length. I also wanted some more stressing, so I made some cuts at the knee. When I was done, I took a suede brush (a small brush with really stiff bristles), and kept brushing along the freshly cut edges until they started to fray a little bit. I didn't do too much, as I know they will continue to fray with ware and washing.

There you have it, a DIY with shorties in mind. What are your tricks for styling short legs?


Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Embrace Yourself


I love graphic tees, but I'm also very picky about them. I like it when my shirts are unique and really say something about my personality. My Roller Girl T-shirt is a clear ode to my klutzy-ness, and my newest addition follows the same train of thought, and is all about what makes you, you. Your flaws play a huge role in what makes you an individual, so embrace them! I have a lot to embrace, and still a lot of work to do when it comes to owning them.

It's been really exciting to see the various movements toward accepting diversity of all kinds in our culture. While we still have a long ways to go, it is a step in the right direction. Maybe one day, we'll accept that generally people aren't "flawed," they are just unique, and there aren't wrong or right ways to be a person.





On to the clothes...
This outfit has a couple of what I like to call "Deal Makers." When I'm on the fence about whether or not to purchase something, I take the decision very seriously (because financial goals, of course), but there are a few details that can really sell it for me:
 
1. Buying for a good cause- I found this t-shirt from For Better Not Worse, a clothing brand that donates a bag of food to children in need, while at Unique LA, a pop up market that has local designers and artists. I already loved the shirt, so knowing that my purchase would be doing some good locally, made the decision easy. As a bonus, they had a special that day where they were donating two bags of food for every shirt sold. Can't beat that deal!


2. A dress or skirt with functional pockets- I still don't understand why all dresses and skirts don't have pockets. Pockets can exponentially increase the utility of an item! When I'm at the office and want to go get a quick snack, I don't want to bring my whole purse just to carry my keys, a credit card, and phone, and I don't want to hold all that in my small hands either. Even a lot of women's pants don't have functional pockets, and it's really sad. Show me a cute dress and I'll like it, show me a cute dress with pockets and I have to have it.



What features of a product really get you? What are some of your "Deal Makers"?