JUNE 2021 :: Kaftan

This is the sixth blog post in my 2021 Sewing Plans blog series. Click here to see the video where I share my inspiration for each month. My June project was to sew a kaftan.

I’ve long wanted a plain deep v-neck black kaftan. You’d think that would be easy to find — but noooo. There is always something I don’t like about versions I see online. Rag & Bone has a pretty great one but it is $500. And Universal Standard has a great one for $168 but it is made of satin and I really want my kaftan to made of linen or cotton.

Below are images from my Kaftan Pinterest Board. These images capture many of the elements I want: Minimalist design. All black. No extra surface design. Straight hem, not handkerchief style. Deep v-neck. Cocoonish shape. Midi length. Some upper arm coverage.

I shared my sewing process in my Instagram stories. Check out the JUN highlight for process videos and photos.

The image below on the right is me wearing the final dress. Please forgive the bad photo. It was actually the best photo of the lot and I think it does at-least give you a sense of the shape of the dress. I bought the fabric from JOANN Fabrics. It is a linen blend with a heavenly drape. So soft and comfortable. And washable too.

What I learned on this project:

What I’ve learned with this project is that secondhand fast fashion items can be used as patterns for home sewers. When I shop at charity shops I’ve ALWAYS ignored fast fashion items because they are made with cheap polyester fabric and because the construction is generally very poor …. HOWEVER…. often the silhouettes are more inline with what I’m interested in sewing than actual clothing patterns that I can buy in a store like JOANN Fabrics.

I know there are lots of independent designers that are selling clothing patterns online but — A) I don’t know how to search them all to find what I want, and B) I am not interested in printing out multiple 8.5 by 11 pages and taping them together to create a pattern. Store bought patterns come with directions but I personally learn so much about construction from seam ripping apart a piece of clothing. Also, secondhand fast fashion items are sometimes only a few dollars which is probably cheaper than buying a clothing pattern. It’s definitely not great that charity shops are filled with so much fast fashion but if home sewers can use them as patterns it’s better than it just ending up in a landfill, right?

ONWARD!
xoxo recovergirl

MAY 2021 :: Wrap Pants

This is the fifth blog post in my 2021 Sewing Plans blog series. Click here to see the video where I share my inspiration for each month. My May project was to create Wrap Pants. I love wrap dressing because it can grow or shrink with your body. I also appreciate the feeling of wrap dressing — like an apron that hugs you but doesn’t feel constrictive.

Below are images from my Wrap Pants Pinterest board. I love the casual yet sophisticated nature of these pants. I particularly love the black pair by Center For Cosmic Wonder. I think all but the jean pair could be dressed up or down. Watch the video below for tips on how to style wrap pants.

I shared my progress in my Instagram stories. Check out the MAY highlight for process videos and photos.

What I learned on this project:

From now on when I’m sewing something complicated like this — without a pattern –that I’ve never done before — I’m going to start referring to these pieces as prototypes. It helps me to reframe the results as a success. Instead of thinking that I made pants that didn’t meet my expectations, I’m going say to myself — ” I designed and finished a prototype!” πŸ™‚

ONWARD!
xoxo recovergirl

APR 2021 :: Painter’s Skirt

Time flies when you give yourself a sewing project each month! This is the fourth blog post in my 2021 Sewing Plans blog series. Click here to see the video where I share my inspiration for each month. My April project was to create what I call a Carpenter Skirt or a Painter’s Skirt. Below is my collage of inspiration. You can find these images and more on my Pinterest account.

I am enamored with both ends of the fashion spectrum. I love workwear and I love completely impractical high-end couture fashion. I’ve always loved painter’s pants with paint spatter on them but the fit on these vintage pants is very narrow and does not fit my curvy body. I decided to sew a skirt inspired by these pants.

I took inspiration for the skirt from simple 1970s style wrap skirts with big pork chop pockets. Wrap dressing makes so much sense to me. I wish it was more mainstream. Our bodies are always changing. It’s a more sustainable choice to have clothing that can be worn across sizes. The images can be found on my Pinterest account.

I shared my progress in my Instagram stories. Check out the APR highlight for process videos and photos.

The image below on the left is of me from ten years ago. I lived in that plaid skirt when I worked at a public library. I traced the pieces of that skirt onto paper and used it as a pattern to recreate the skirt on the right in drill fabric. I’d never used drill fabric before. It’s so easy to work with. I love how the tops of the pockets serve as belt loops. #genius.

Instead of splattering paint on the skirt I decided to tie dye it. I did not achieve the results I wanted with my first attempt so I will share a final photo of the skirt after I do some more dyeing. Stay tuned! Gotta keep moving or I’ll never finish my May project — wrap pants!

What I learned on this project

  • Sewing from scratch is soooooo much easier than upcycling clothing IMHO
  • Drill fabric is a dream fabric and I plan to use it for more projects
  • I was too shy with color in my first dye session. Rookie mistake.
  • Wrap dressing should be more mainstream

    ONWARD!
    xoxo recovergirl