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Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Autumnal Project #1 - Anthro-Knockoff-Plaid-Blanket-Cape

Plaid Cape

As long-time Maker of Clothing, I frequently hear, "Oh, you must save so much money!"

Look, real talk: sewing and knitting clothing isn't cheap. Especially with the madness of "fast fashion," it rarely makes sense financial sense for me to make something I could get in a store. What money I might save on fabric or yarn (unlikely), I lose in time and tools. Luckily, I'm rarely motivated by finances when it comes to my wardrobe, so I carry on!

This Blanket-Cape (Blankape? Clanket?) is the rare exception. I was perusing a certain Fancy-Schmancy Company's website and found myself admiring the Scarves & Kimonos section.

You know you're Fancy-Schmancy when you have a whole section devoted to kimonos.

I was particularly delighted by this plaid kimono, but not so much the $90 price tag. "I could make that for much, much cheaper," I thought. My initial plan was to source a more blanket-like textile from the flea market, but then on a trip to Joann's for Halloween fabric, this plaid caught my eye. It's light and drapey and autumnal and a little bit witchy and it was exactly what I needed to make my Blanket-Cape dreams come true. It's about 2.5 yards, or $20 of material with the 40% off coupon, with one cut up the middle, and the raw edges turned under. I kept the lovely selvages at the wrist, and fringed the bottom for about 2". I assume more will fall out in good time, but I got lazy.

This plaid witch is ready for autumn in Los Angeles. 

Plaid Cape  Plaid Cape

Monday, October 2, 2017

Embracing the Shape, Pt. 1

Thunder Road Bolero

So much of what originally appealed to me about making my own clothes was really controlling both the style and fit of my clothing. As a teenager growing up in the Midwest, I was obsessed with vintage styles, but unable to find anything in stores that approximated the look I dreamed about (think Natalie Wood as Maria in West Side Story or Grace Kelly as Tracey in High Society). No capri pants, no fitted sweater or cute flats.

So I started sewing for myself, and later knitting for myself, attempting vintage styles and collecting vintage sewing patterns from thrift stores. Most of these sewing patterns have never seen the light of day, but I love knitting modern, vintage-inspired patterns. For one thing, they work better on my ample-bosomed, 5'8" frame, and modern patterns are very clearly written, easy to follow and fairly fool-proof. And flattering. Let's all just knit things that are flattering, and make us feel good, right?

A few months ago, I stumbled upon this design, the Thunder Road Bolero, from Amy Appel aka PoisonGrrls. Amy's patterns are a delight to knit, and produce very wearable, vintage-inspired knits. This was the first of her patterns that I queued, and a quick, little, 2-week-long knit in navy Paton's Grace Cotton. It's just the thing to make dresses and sleeveless tops work-appropriate. (Not that the look above would be one I'd wear to work...)

Thunder Road Bolero