Black tie galas…my chance to look pretty and get a new dress. I usually buy a dress that is worn once or twice and then gets stored in my closet. I may look at it from time to time, but it gets no wear. Well I had an event to attend and this time I was hoping to be a bit more practical. No more “one and done.”

I belong to a wonderful family organization called Jack and Jill. Every other year we host a “Beautillion” to recognize our accomplished young men…said black-tie affair…and the ladies wear full gowns in earnest.

I instead went short and made a sequined skirt that I paired with a top I already owned. My thinking is I can dress the skirt down with a chambray shirt and wear to some other less formal affair. The fashion fabric is this yummy ombre sequin fabric and only one yard was needed.

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My pattern source came from a “Style Sew Me” DIY tutorial for a high waist pencil skirt with color block panels. Eryn has a great site with lots of “how to’s” made simple. This particular skirt is super easy to make and she provides a pdf for download with instructions for measuring. The video is a step-by-step review of the pattern drafting, cutting and construction process. Continue reading…

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Chanel, bouclé and tweed. They are inseparable.

No matter what Karl sends down the runway, you are guaranteed to see at least one very loose weave suit or dress…possibly fringed and/or trimmed. You can literally see the individual fibers of the fabric they are so loosely woven…and thick…and I love them both. In fact, I own a few including a Chanel piece…end of bolt…a few season olds…but it’s mine!

My goal is to make a suit, but in preparation I thought I’d practice a few of the infamous couture techniques on this dress. Sort of a practice run.

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As soon as I saw this little short-sleeved top it was a must, but it was sneaky too. It lured me in making me think it was easy to make…and technically it was, but not without drama. BurdaStyle (September 2014 Pattern 125) was the pattern of choice.

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Continuing to craft fit gear with my pink and black theme (Bubble Gum and Licorice), I used this sweet shell pink fabric I’ve had for awhile.

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It’s a synthetic blend, but the contents are unknown to me. One of these days I’m actually going to catalog the incoming fabric with the pertinents so I’m not so clueless come construction time. Either way, its reminiscent of the color of your first ballet leotard so I’m thinking it might be good for a barre class should I decide to get elegant about my fitness. For now, I like the bad-assery of weights, heavy ones at that.  Continue reading…

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I bought this delicious pair of leggings from Marshall’s that I just love! The fit and pattern are perfect…perfect enough to inspire me to create a line of fit gear centered around them. Now my favorite color is shamelessly pink and I’m an ardent wearer of black and grey so the series is entitled “Bubble Gum and Licorice” cause things are just that yummy sometimes.

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This knit tank top is from BurdaStyle magazine 11-2007-123. Yep, that’s right 2007. (It’s so old I couldn’t find it on the website.) A self-confessed pattern hoarder, you know you never can have enough patterns.  Continue reading…

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One last hurrah for the mullet dress. Not sure why I’ve stayed hooked on this trend, but for some reason I just like the style. Burda seems to be in agreement with me because they throw a mullet pattern out there every once in a while…I’m sure just for me. So since I’ve been indulged, I thought it my duty to craft this one from the BurdaStyle magazine August 2014 issue, pattern 116.

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It was love at first site when I saw this dress. Sweet, with a dash of flirty. Right up my alley.  Continue reading…

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Me and Scandal have this thing going on. In return for my dutiful viewing, it gives me a whopping dose of Shonda, smut and improbable plots. But best of all, its a mouthwatering parade of clothes!

It’s hard to deny the influence of Scandal on fashion. It’s given rise to the return of power dressing without those mega shoulders from the 80’s. Olivia Pope, who is as relentlessly coiffed as she is driven, dons wonderful statement pieces that exude power and femininity. Pastels, peplums and tailoring make for beautiful stuff.

But those coats…catch my eye. O.k. the gowns and suits too…actually everything she wears, but those coats though…

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So I decided in honor of the show to make my own “Scandal” Coat and Simplicity 2311 was the pattern of choice. This is a Project Runway pattern that has been around for a few years, but remains a good, solid design. I went for the double-breasted pseudo shawl-collar version in a shorter length. Continue reading…

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For the most part, I try my best to eat some what clean…or at least my version of it. Fresh fruits and vegetables, less processed foods, and so on and so forth. But I DO appreciate a cheat meal! This is what I look like when I do.

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More end of summer sewing. I’ve wanted one of these mullet dresses for a while and settled on Simplicity 1358.

In theory, this is an exceptionally easy dress to make. However…the pattern drafting of the Big 4 (Vogue, McCalls, Butterick & Simplicity) contains A LOT of ease, especially for my figure. Any time there is a pattern piece that you are to place on the fold and cut spells disaster for me. There is no shaping in that, particularly through the back. I’m more of an athletic build with narrow hips and slim through the back, so where traditional ease is included for the typical female figure, I often times have to draft out.

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black dress18_730pxYou can never have enough LBD’s. They’re just so dang flattering and fun. Well I love this pattern so much that I had to make it in black. I made New Look 6123 last year as a test run. It turned out so well that I just had to make it again.

I love no-brainer dressing. For this, you just need killer shoes, earrings and you’re good to go. It’s also a versatile look. The pattern calls for a variety of woven fabrics, like cotton, damask pique, sateen, wool crepe, charmeuse, etc. so you can see that it can be a polished business look all the way through to an after-five look.

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