Tag Archives: personal style

Colorblock Jacket

After languishing on my make list for well over a year, this jacket made its way into my closet and I finally managed to get some photos of it that aren’t mirror selfies! These are once again courtesy of my 3 year old (equipped with a tripod).

02-04-18 The Jacket 1

The image below was my original inspiration for the color-blocking and I’m especially in love the fabric I found for the sleeves in the home decorating section of my local shop, Fabric Town. I was also surprised how close I was able to match the bottom portion with a designer knit from Mood (I got on a birthday trip in September of 2015…that’s how long I’ve had my eye on this!). The brown linen upper, gray linen binding and cream stretch jacquard I used for lining were all from JoAnn’s. My goal was a simply shaped statement jacket I could throw on over a variety of outfits and judging by how many evenings I’ve reached for it this week, I’d say I accomplished that. It’s neutral enough to go with most of my closet and colorful enough to make me feel fun and creative. Win win!

02-04-18 Jacket Inspiration

I used the same Butterick pattern (B6328) that I used for my “Used to be a Tablecloth” project since I knew it fit and was the basic shape I was after.  Starting with View C, size 8, I modified the pattern to match my inspiration photo and to accommodate my preferred construction method. Per the instructions, only the front portion is lined but in my opinion it was easier and more neatly finished to fully line the body. These are the changes I made to the pattern:

  • lengthened the front 4″
  • matched up the front and back side seam notches and lengthened the back to match the front (the recommended construction required different seam allowances on the front and back so they weren’t originally the same length)
  • measured up 11″ from the front and back hem to create the color blocking, cut and added seam allowance to both cut edges
  • measured up 9″ from the sleeve hem to create the color blocking, cut and added seam allowance to both cut edges
  • omitted the collar piece

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The construction was pretty straight forward. First, I sewed the color blocking together for the two front pieces, the back and the sleeves.  I chose to line only the body of the jacket so I could wear it for multiple seasons, so I took extra care to finish the exposed seams inside the sleeves.

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Out of laziness, I had off white thread in the bobbin and by sheer luck, the white stripe of the sleeve aligned exactly where the lace hem tape needed to be sewn down inside so the thread blends seamlessly into the outside of the sleeve…don’t think I could have planned that if I tried!

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The body and lining were constructed as usual and with the lining placed inside I used handmade binding to finish the armholes inside and the front and neckline on the outside. The outside binding was a design decision because I felt like it needed one last element to pull all the different fabrics together and the inside binding was just the best way I could think of to properly finish the raw edges without creating a full sleeve lining. I didn’t originally purchase the stretch jacquard with a lining in mind but I’m really happy with the look and definitely the feel of it.

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The one issue I ran into was with the pockets. The jacket was complete with in seam pockets, but even after tacking them down inside, they just made the jacket hang weird and added a ton of bulk at the widest part of my hip…not a good look for an already oversized jacket. There was a lot of unpicking to get back into the pockets to remove them but I’m glad I took the time. I’d thought to use patch pockets instead but was concerned that since the lower portion is a knit fabric I’d have issues with sagging there as well so I just left them out. Kind of a bummer, but with a preschooler in tow I generally have to carry more than I can fit in pockets anyway. This is my second project with failed pockets so I’ve got to get this figured out eventually.

02-04-18 The Jacket 3

As you can see by my living room, I love lots of color and texture so this jacket is 100% ME and feels amazing to wear!

We’ve had some very warm daytime weather the last two weeks which had me digging into my spring/summer storage box sooner than I’d planned, but I’m looking forward to going through the process I did for my winter wardrobe and preparing my next seasonal closet. Even though fashion week is currently showing Fall, I’ve collected my inspiration from the August Spring shows and hope to be back soon with that, plans for my next sewing project, and take-away’s from my first seasonal closet. I’d also like to note for the record that I haven’t stepped foot in a thrift store to look at clothes once this year…a true victory for me 🙂

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Slow Style: Sewing Roadmap

My beginning down this rabbit hole goes back to this post from December 2014. I found myself with a new baby, a new lifestyle and a wardrobe in major need of reinvention. I needed a plan. I chose to invest in two great pairs of new pants and thrift all my day to day tanks, tops and sweaters, most of which are still in heavy rotation. The capsule / color planning resulted in an easy mix and match closet, however some pieces turned out to be a projection of who I thought I’d like to be and the pieces that would project my creative side and suit my day to day activities were missing. I was getting a little bored and needed a new plan. Since the gorgeous high fashion and couture clothing on my Pinterest board was out of reach and I swore off fast fashion, it was time to put that Fashion Design degree to use. I made my Slow Style commitment and ordered myself a custom dress form. Time to sew!

Inspiration Board for Custom Designs

Pinterest Sewing Plans Screenshot

Now, in the same way I don’t want to run out and buy a bunch of fast fashion, I don’t want to waste time and materials sewing things I won’t wear. So, I went back to my Pinterest board with a fine tooth comb to determine which pieces would fill the voids. I looked for practical ways to bring elements I loved from my ‘Costume and Couture‘ board to easy to throw on shapes and styles that I knew I could reach for everyday. These pieces became my ‘Sewing Plans’ board, and I think it’s a perfect representation of my ideal style which I’d describe as modern bohemian urbanite meets 90’s romantic grunge. I have 7 pieces in the pipeline. They’re all about easy to wear separates with interesting draping, textures and embellishment. The perfect blend of luxe and lax, ultra feminine and edge. The more contradictions I can squeeze into an outfit, the more pulled together I feel.

Getting clear on my style concept, as I learned from Into Mind, really is the perfect roadmap for bringing my ideal slow style wardrobe vision to fruition. For now, I’ll probably still purchase basic tanks and tee’s second hand as mine wear out, but the more unique pieces that truly express my personal style will come from the studio…and I seriously cannot wait to mix, match and layer them with my existing wardrobe. I’ve been super utilitarian for a while and need more pretty in my life!

The Refashion Rack

04-23-16 refashion rack

There’s not as much careful planning going on here, but this is my refashion rack. To give you an idea of how bad my shopping addiction once was, pre-baby my child’s entire bedroom was my walk in closet so I built the garment rack to double the size of my adorable little 1950’s closet. I’m happy to say that everything I own, including seasonal and special occasion garments now fit inside my closet. Anyway, the rack is comprised of things I had boxed up in my studio forever plus some things I purged from my closet more recently that I couldn’t part with. These are things I always thought I’d dye, embroider, mend, or deconstruct to repurpose the fabric. I’m sure I’ll spontaneously pull projects from here along the way as the mood strikes me. Should be fun to finally make some of the things I dreamed up long ago and never brought to life. One of which is almost ready to share so I’ll be back with that soon!

Are you on a similar journey? Tapping into the online slow fashion community of makers is bringing me so much joy and inspiration. I’d love to connect!