It's about exploring and sharing my creative adventures (mostly sewing these days) ~
~those activities that sometimes obsess, usually inspire, occasionally frustrate
~and always provide a delightful maze to wander through.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

The One Piece Mini Wardrobe (Vogue 8263)

Some time ago, way back in August, I had Grand Plans.  Yes indeed, I was going to sew me another mini-wardrobe!  I had been so inspired by the Pattern Review mini wardrobe contest last year, and found that it really helped me plan out projects so that I didn't (continue to) end up with a closet full of orphans who simply do not play well together.  So when the contest came up again, along with an accompanying mini wardrobe sewalong for those of us who weren't quite up to the rules and regs of the official contest, I was in!

Or so I thought.

Fast forward, several weeks later, and I am happy to announce that, at last, one (1) of the planned pieces is finished!

I needed a layered top for my "basklecloth" skirt, and had the perfect blue shade of silk noil in stash, but after one failed attempt at a match (the shirt was OK, just not paired with the skirt - wrong style totally), I decided a simpler pattern was in order, using the same fabric.
Enter Vogue 8263.   A simple jacket with clean lines, and although it's a bit conservative for my usual style, I thought that a touch of silk screening and the right button could make it all work for me.
I made up a quick muslin, did a few adjustments (my usual sloping, forward, narrow shoulders, created a bit more room in the upper arms, waist and hips.....  all was fine, so I cut it out in the silk.

Nope.   Didn't like it.   At all.   And yet.....once I removed the sleeves, I thought it would work very well indeed as a vest layered over a long sleeved shirt.
Yes, some definite possibilities here.  I added some patch pockets, and started thinking about embellishments to personalize it and make it a bit more "me"... I ordered some Marcy T silk screens that I thought would pair well with the skirt.   (Can you tell yet that this is already turning into one of my classic change-directions-seventeen-times-in-the-process-of-making-it projects?)

While waiting for the silk screens, life busy-ness arrived, sewing mojo departed, and the vest just sat, threatening to turn into a UFO.

Until one day last week, when I was welcoming some energy and "spare" time, and used it to clean up the sewing space.  One of my vintage ties had managed to plop itself on top of this vest, and little light bulbs started turning on.....  I went through the tie stash, looking for something that would help marry the vest with the skirt, found one, draped it over the neckline, and ended up with this:
I've now started to get a bit excited, and I've begun to welcome the sew-jo back. :)   I sewed down the tie, then decided to add a few buttons.   At this point I was liking the results, but the bottom hemline was looking a bit wimpy.  I had fully lined the vest, but I STILL have not mastered this whole lining thing, and this, couple with wimpy fabric, was causing the hemline to look a bit wonky.   Did I mention recently that I've never taken a sewing class?  It's time, it's so time.....

Anyway, I solved the wimpy hemline by adding a bias strip (ready-made, vintage from stash) along the edge, giving it some weight and a touch of interest with the strip of color.   I meant to take more in-progress photos, but late-night sewing combined with forgetful mornings and, well, photos didn't happen.

The vest was almost there....just needed a little something else...... I did end up adding a few touches of silk screen after all, and here's the result:
Some silk screening notes:
1.  I discovered, quite by accident, that you can squeeze the paint through from either side of the screen!  It makes sense, but for some reason I had thought it wouldn't work.   This is nice, because you can match reverse images if you want - yay!
2.  Thick blobby paints are not so easy to work with.  This also makes sense, but who has paint extender on hand when you need it?  Oh, everyone but me?   Well, it's on my shopping list now....
Back View.
I'm starting to learn the concept that less is more, at least sometimes....

Closeup of the tie and vintage button
This pattern has an in-seam buttonhole at the yoke.  I just wrapped and folded the tie around the buttonhole and stitched it down.  The button here is a vintage fabric covered button from stash.  Have I mentioned lately how much I LOVE my vintage button stash?

I removed the interfacing from both ends of the tie.   The extra oomph was fine at the upper collar edge, but it was too bulky for all of the folds and twists at the ends.

The tie, by the way,  is a Jerry Garcia design from the "Paris in the Rain" collection.  I scored a batch of his ties at a thrift store, and love the fabric designs on them!

The finished vest being worn:  :::Aside:  Doing the happy dance because I FINALLY found my camera remote, after delaying this post for a week because it was lost:::






Going for the "Yeah I'm short and I'm admitting it" look:


Fully lined - self fabric on yoke, silk from stash on back & sides:
A shout out to one of my favorite RTW manufacturers, Nomadic Traders Co.   The blouse and pants above are theirs, and their fabric is beautiful quality, as is the construction.  Sorry you can't see the detail, especially on the pants, but trust me, these clothes will last a very long time! Although I haven't bought any RTW since I started sewing (yay!), I used to never miss their twice-a-year sales at the Berkeley warehouse.   If you're local, and you like natural fiber, trendy-but-classic looks, be sure to check them out and get on their mailing list!  Note:  It looks like they do not have a website for the warehouse sales, nor do they advertise them; here's a link to the Yelp reviews: Nomadic Traders Warehouse

I still have a lot of ties (and I'm looking for more) and a lot of ideas about how to use them.   There are SO many upcycling possibilities out there....please please PLEASE keep me AWAY from the new fabric stores - I have enough!!!!

Oh, and btw, there are some rather fabulous entries in the PR Mini-Wardrobe contest - check them out!   (and if you've been a member for over 90 days, you can vote for your faves)

Here's to wardrobes, clothes that match, orphans that find families, and upcycling!   I welcome comments about any of the above - or anything else you feel like saying, for that matter... :)

38 comments:

  1. Oh, you took this from meh to marvelous. What a versatile and personal garment. And boy am I jealous of that Jerry Garcia tie stash....all I can find in a thrift store is poly from the 70's when ties looked like bibs.

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    1. I whine about the cost of thrift store ties, but I guess I should be grateful I can find lots of nice ones :)

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  2. What a gorgeous vest! I love seeing it evolve through your photos!

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  3. Just brilliant! Your creative touch has lifted this outfit 'way-up'. Sleeves on/sleeves off, jacket/vest, plain/printed they are all exactly the reasons why we sew - we can change our minds at a whim, and whip up something stunning. Off to check out (and vote) in the contest...

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    1. I SO love me a great, totally justifiable reason to change my mind at a whim! ;D

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  4. I love your vest! I love the scarf-like trim, too!

    Making a boho skirt from ties is on my list.

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    1. Ties are just amazing...fabulous fabric, already cut on the bias for you...SO many possibilities!

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  5. Maybe with a few more weeks you could have completed your mini-wardrobe. Color me impressed with that vest and your creativity.

    Inseam buttonholes can be great. I have been known to create a seam just so I can make them.

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    1. I'm noticing a trend...if I start a mini-wardrobe, I generally have it finished by the end of the season in the next year.

      Sometimes, anyway.

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  6. What a fun post and a delightful final piece. Your sew-jo is definitely back.

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    1. Thank you - I will run with the thought that my sew-jo is back! :D

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  7. I agree your sew-jo is definitely back! Beautiful piece that looks great on you. Lovely use of the tie - so creative.

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  8. Jilly, I just ADORED reading the story behind your creative process! You write in such a gorgeous entertaining style. And my own opinion is that you do not need that sewing class, no siree :) you're doing just perfectly fine already!

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    1. Oh my goodness such compliments! I'm basking! :D

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  9. Wow,what a stunning and artistic piece. I love it.

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  10. You have made a stunning vest - the colour is beautiful and so suits you and your embellishments are creative and unique . It looks like you have alot of fun with this one. ( PS I found a great tie at the thrift shop - the grumpy men sitting on the balcony from The Muppets - silk as well ! Made me wish my husband wore ties but perhaps I should go back and buy it to embellish something of mine. )

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    1. I did have fun with this one....now Go Get That Tie!

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  11. Again, you just floor and inspire me! I moan about things not looking like the envelope and you elevate your work to a new and individual creation that is far better than the basic look. My hero!!!

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    1. oh my goodness - usually you leave me in giggles, this leaves me speechless! (in a good way) :)

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  12. Jilly, I do love how your personality shines through your creations. This vest is perfectly suited for you and your style....I just love it. Every picture makes me want to get to know you better..wish we could "do lunch" or even better have some sewing time together:D

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    1. Lynne we just have to make a date! You know that if you're ever in my area you MUST let me know and make room in your travel schedule!

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    2. You know what? I will be visiting your area....sometime between March and
      April...trying to coordinate with a girlfriend and I will absolutely keep you posted!!

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  13. Snazzy outfit! You have a good eye for designing the unusual. Nice work!

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    1. Thank you Gwen - I don't know about that good eye; I honestly feel that it's more like figuring out which bad ideas to toss (sometimes, anyway)

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  14. I love the tie detail--what a fabulous idea!

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  15. Totally fun post Jillian! I love the evolution of the vest, and how you have styled it to be center stage. Your personal color choices are very refreshing for me, as I share your coloring. Have a great Sunday.

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    1. Thanks Mary! (and when are we going to meet, btw?)

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  16. Absolutely gorgeous, Jilly! Beautiful colors and such creative embellishments! Love it!

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  17. Short, fashionable, artistic and adorable - perfect!

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  18. How cute! I especially love it with your white shirt and cropped black pants.
    Don't you love it when inspiration carries you to a wonderful conclusion!

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  19. Your vest has really gone through a transformation. What a fabulous piece and it looks so different when paired with other outfits. One piece that transforms into a huge wardrobe stretcher.

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