Tag Archives: denim

A refashion fest

It is still quite warm here in Kansas City. In fact, today the heat was back in full force. But mostly, this time of year is gorgeous, with less humidity, cooler nights, and pleasant days. I’m still not inspired to get on with my coat-making, but I have been thinking about my Fall wardrobe plans.

I’ve been pulling out the sweaters and going through my wardrobe to look for gaps. One thing I also do between seasons is to assess the clothes I own and identify what I don’t like anymore (and what I can possibly refashion). It’s amazing how much you can do with existing clothes to update an entire wardrobe without purchasing/making a thing.

You’ve already seen the culottes that I narrowed to refresh into a boxier shape that is more current for this year. I also shortened this floor-length velvet dress. I LOVED the glamour of the maxi version and I wore it for the holidays last year, but my life doesn’t call for floor length gowns very often. I tried it as shorter dress but I still didn’t feel the love.

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A little more cutting (and hand-stitching that hem for the third time!) and now it’s become a top that I’m really in love with! I’ll get tons of wear out of it in this version and the portions I cut off the dress can be reworked as a garment for one of my girls.

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Slip dresses have had their moment this Summer, but they’ll also be great for going into Fall. Remember this dress? It was my go-to out-to-dinner dress over Summer, but I’m getting bored of the cold shoulder look (at every turn in my wardrobe anyway!). I cut off the sleeves and rebound the armscye, adding small spaghetti straps to drop the neckline a little. Now I have a slip dress that I can wear alone or layered with a turtleneck and boots.

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I’ve also been playing around with layering. I dug out this old playsuit that I made using a vintage pattern years ago. Layering it makes for such a comfy and seasonally appropriate combo.

Even though I already liked this thrifted vintage dress a lot, it was a tricky one to wear in real life. The weight of the fabric meant it was way too hot for Summer, and yet the style doesn’t really suit colder weather. Converting it to a top has made it much more wearable for me, and the fabric is the perfect weight for Fall.

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I’m also a little in love with dramatic sleeves right now (same as always, right!). But instead of sewing myself a brand new top, I cut the cuffs off an existing shirt and drafted my own big, fancy cuffs to re-attach. This totally elevates the basic white shirt and is going to make my Fall layering just a little bit more… me. There’s a post about this refashion here.

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And while I was at it, I trimmed back and re-bound the armscye of this pretty little top. The fabric is divine but I found the original shape a bit boxy/masculine with the wider shoulder seams. I think it will now work better with more separates. I’ll try to get some photos posted soon.

And finally, I’m also a little tired of the torn denim, bare knee jean, so I took an old vintage skirt and used it to patch up my white denim. These jeans are now so fun and I can’t wait to pair them with a snuggly sweater in the coming months. More photos coming soon on this one too.

It’s actually been a lot of fun finding and reviving hidden treasures in my wardrobe. Does anyone else attack their wardrobe with scissors between seasons?

Spring trends I’ve been rocking

As always, I’m sewing away most nights in front of Netflix. I don’t usually blog about my slapdash, super easy, or repeat makes. I don’t want to bore you! You’ll probably see a quick shot of them on my Instagram and perhaps some process shots on my Snapchat account (find my username: lilysageandco). My blog is generally reserved for makes and thoughts that require a few more words.

Having said that though, I’m going to share my thoughts on what’s trending this Spring, starting with:

Bodysuits and all things 90’s

Bodysuits are so totally 90’s but I kinda love them right now. I thrifted a brand new (vintage) one recently. I like them with high waist skirts but they work equally well with pants.

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The Nettie bodysuit comes to mind as a pattern to try here. I’m very close to purchasing this pattern myself.

Black on Black

Perhaps a hangover from SS2015, but this year I’m also craving a lot of black on black, including black accents with shoes and accessories.

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The Cold Shoulder

The off-the-shoulder trend is still going strong, but I’m graduating to a more wearable “cold shoulder” style. I’ve made one of my earlier makes more wearable with sewn-in shoulder straps. And I’ve been layering my white version for a fun and easy day look.

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I’m also working on a really laid-back shoulder-cut-out dress right now. Inspiration via Chriselle Lim.

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Mules, Loafers, Oxfords

A quick search online yielded these options, all of which I’d gladly add to my closet if my budget permitted.

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Frayed / Distressed Denim (and while you’re at it, denim on denim is a good option too)

This trend has been around for a while now, but I don’t think it’s going anywhere quick. We’re talking all kinds of denims with rips and tears galore. The distress-treatment can also be applied to chambray shirts, denim jackets and skirts.

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I purchased a vintage Lee denim skirt a while back (an estate sale steal) and updated it by ripping it shorter and leaving the raw edge to fray. It needs a few more washes yet (and perhaps a little help with the cheesegrater).

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I made the lace top years ago and have been gradually shortening the sleeves each Summer. It’s lived a long life.

Tie back boots by Big Little // pattern tested

I pattern tested for Lisa Spearman of Big Little recently. You might have already seen the first sneaky peek of my test version on Instagram. It’s exciting to report that the pattern is now ready to go and it’s available in the Big Little Etsy shop until Sunday with a discount if you use the code: BOOTS.

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It was an utterly out of season make for me (38 degrees Celcius days are the norm for us right now) but I still jumped at the chance to be a tester for these. All I could think of was my stash of glorious little wool and cashmere scraps that are too small to do anything useful with, but far too good to throw away. These little slippers make the perfect scrapbust for those particular fabrics.

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My test version was made using Italian wool coating (used here) and pink wool double crepe (seen here, and here, and here). I used denim for the soles and lined them with cashmere (remnants from my Dior coat) for the inner sole and beautiful Italian brushed cotton shirting (leftover from here). I felted all my wool and cashmere in the washing machine and dryer first. Lisa advises on how to do this but it is pretty common sense. Just think hot, hot, hot, until the fabric fibres are so tight and thick that the fabric won’t stretch anymore.

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I had to hide these boots from Miss Three. She was trying to wear them everywhere and I was feeling hot just looking at her. I’ll definitely be making these boots for Miss Five and Miss Seven next. In fact, I think they would make the perfect (and seasonally appropriate) Christmas stocking fillers for those of us in the Northern hemisphere.

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