Buy it or Make It

When I see a ready-to-wear garment I like and serendipitously find its sewing pattern twin, I feel like the winner of a secret matching game. To keep track of them, I started a pinterest board on my new sewing-only account called Buy it or Make It – a rhetorical question for the enthusiastic seamstress.

This Badgley Mischka dress was just released as a pre-Fall pattern (Vogue 1460) by McCall’s and it is my jam on sprouted wheat toast. I am all about the dolman sleeve for no fuss fitting and the high cowl neckline is just the right amount of soft and sexy to balance the sleek pencil skirt.

Buy It or Make It #1

Peter Pan collars are terribly cute to me, but that’s the problem. They can look TOO cute if not handled properly. But, Peter Pilotto produces a peter pan collar like a prince (given his price tag, that irresistible alliteration is now a double entendre). I would take Vogue 9109, a multi-cup size pattern (my favorite kind), and reshape the collar pattern to make it more like Mr. Pilotto’s sharp, wide-set one.

But It or Make It, Vol. 2

Nina Ricci didn’t reinvent the wheel with her draped cashmere coat, but seeing it sure does inspire me to make a cheaper version. It’s hard for me to think about third and fourth layers while drowning in summer humidity, but a quick project like Butterick 6244 (sewn unlined with double faced wool) could be just the thing to kick off serious winter sewing when I’m actually ready for it. Luckily, the planning of it can happen while enjoying A/C.

Buy It or Make It, Vol. 3

The sporty asymmetry of this white Victoria Beckham dress is really appealing to me. McCall’s released a multi-cup pattern, M7185 that has a similar look. The pattern has a full skirt variation — my default style choice — but, I might be widening my (or rather narrowing) my horizons next season by sewing a slim skirt style or two.

Buy It or Make It, Vol. 4

Which of these styles would you like in your life?

A Shared, But Reserved Obsession for Sunflowers

I love sunflowers just as much as Van Gogh did. This week’s Art Challenge, the unseasonably warm late winter weather, and my unplanted spring garden had me dreaming of sunflowers and feeling inspired by their beauty and practicality (i.e., cripsy-sweet apple slices dipped in sunflower seed butter).

Van Gogh's obsession with sunflowers

But when it was time to choose a fabric for my Art-themed garment, I wasn’t really excited about wearing sunflowers, but still wanted their yellow and black color scheme and intensity.

Enter: Freespirit’s Van Gogh Rayon Challis collection and in particular, this print.

Some of the florals on the runway for spring 2012 had a bent toward tropical, so my choice is surprisingly on trend − not that I’m trying too hard keep up with the sometimes questionable, always finicky trends of fashion. Those who do, make a day job out of it, I’m sure. It is comforting to know folks won’t be surprised to see me walking down the street in a loud, Carnival cruise-worthy floral print.

Robert Cavalli's Floral Print Pants

Roberto Cavalli, Spring 2012

J. Crew Floral Print Suit

J. Crew, Spring 2012

Ashish's Floral Print Dress

Ashish, Spring 2012

I’ll be back later to share the garment constructed out of my tropical, Van Gogh-inspired floral fabric.

Rushing for a Refashion

My garment for the Refashion challenge was still brewing in my head as of last night. And, it’s due tomorrow! My procrastination has left me with only an evening’s time to upcycle this brown dress from Target. I’ve made some quick design notes and plan to resurrect last week’s accessory to make this 11th hour stunt pan out.

I’m dying to add inseam pockets (something I’ve surprisingly never sewn before) to this sheath. Pockets would upgrade it from “meh” to functionally cute. But, I may not have the time. We’ll see. Stay tuned. Given my ticking clock, the results are sure to be interesting.