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Rose Cafe Bustier + M7971

Shoes | Coclico

      I finally made the very popular Rose Cafe Bustier dress pattern in a gorgeous deadstock Amour Vert silk. A few months back I met up with a lady I know from the sewing internet and she took me to Fabrix, which mostly stocks deadstock/leftover/overstock fabrics, and which I definitely recommend if you are in SF. It is the type of place where you probably never know what you are going to find, but you'll probably always find something good. In this case, this 100% silk (which has an abstract animal print and is such a pretty rich berry color in person) was only $6.99 a yard! I bought 3 yards but wish I had bought a little more. I initially thought about turning it into a slip dress, but the slip dress pattern I have is cut on the bias, and this fabric isn't very wide, so I decided against that because I was worried that there was not enough extra fabric to recover from any mistakes. After seeing a few inspiration photos online, I landed on making a Reformation style dress (sample photo below) by using the RCB pattern for the bodice, mashed up with the McCall's 7971 for the skirt. I also decided not to make a toile, to test the fit, and decided to just cut right into the silk.

Mexico City: Outfits & Shopping

Windbreaker | Oiselle
Pants | Rag & Bone (secondhand)
Purse | Me Made (Free All Well Full Moon Bag)
     I'm a chronic over-packer, but when I went on a recent trip to Mexico City I restricted myself to a carry-on and purposefully left room in the bag, anticipating I was going to do some shopping. I basically wore the same thing everyday but here is a look at those outfits, along with some photos of the shopping (All of the brands are Mexico based brands and I did not get all of these pieces, btw).
     I think the MVP article of clothing was the above windbreaker, which is the Oiselle April Showers Anorak. I bought it on clearance about two years ago and never really needed it in Dubai, so it's been mostly sitting in my closet. It's very lightweight and has a hood and front zipping pocket. The sleeves have elastic ends so they fit snugly and it is very easy to squash into a ball and fit into my purse (the circle purse above) even when it was full with a wallet, phone, keys and hand sanitizer. I would say it is more water resistant than outright waterproof but worked well when we got caught in the daily light rain. (It was of no use in the full-blown thunderstorm.)

Office Attire

     Recently, every time I open Instagram I swipe the app closed about 10 seconds later. It feels noisy and chaotic, which I'm taking as a reminder that if I want good old-fashioned fashion content I should get back to writing and reading blogs. I did some travel in April that involved a week of working in-person in an office - an office that crucially had a pretty good bathroom selfie-mirror. I was equipped with only a very small portion of my wardrobe, so I thought I'd share my actual week of carry-on-suitcase work outfits. To set the stage: it was in the Bay Area, so the weather was temperate (and hot a few days) and the dress code was lax. 

Wedding Guest

Image from TVPStore on Etsy.
    I'm going to a wedding in June and have been toying with the idea of making my outfit. I have been without my sewing machine for the last month and it has made me eager to dive into a complicated project with a high-stakes fabric. The dress code is cocktail. Right now, there are three ideas in the running:
1. The Vintage Look
     I recently purchased the sewing pattern at the top of this post. It's a Vogue pattern that was released in 1971 and designed by Italian designer Alberto Fabiani I love the full sleeves and that voluminous cape-like thing in the back. I wasn't able to find my exact size, this pattern is probably 1-2 sizes too large, so I'll have to take it in a little. (As an aside, I wish Vogue made their vintage designer collaborations available for purchase. Currently, you have to hunt down old versions through Etsy or eBay, and I'd bet they still have them in their archives. Maybe it comes down to a contractual and/or IP issue and they legally cannot? On the other hand, Vogue doesn't even make their current patterns available via pdf so it could be a lack of tech savvy and vision.)
     What I am thinking, with this dress, is to keep the shape the same but make it a short, mini dress, that I wear with towering velvet heels or maybe over-the-knee boots. I love it in white with a bejeweled neckline (although that would likely rule it out to wear to a wedding) but otherwise am picturing a brocade fabric, something with a luxurious texture or maybe metallic threads running throughout.

To Sell (Out)?

At the open mic night. | Alice + Olivia Jacki Dress

     For the last 6 years or so I've been very into New Year's resolutions. I like them to be specific, light-hearted and not time-bound (other than within the year) so that you can't have already failed in February. For me, the resolution is usually something that I already want to do but reinforces that it should be prioritized for that year.  Past resolutions have included: start a blog (check), perform at an open mic night (check), learn to sew (check), take a kite surfing lesson (check - turns out kite surfing is not for me) and last year's was: do a pull-up (half-check - I've been getting much stronger and am now able to do one chin-up). 

    One of the resolutions that I have been mulling over for 2022 is to try selling something that I've made. I had a full closet before I ever sewed my first piece of clothing but I don't plan on stopping sewing anytime soon. I like making things as a way to tap into my creative side, have fun and relieve stress. If I keep sewing in order to reap those rewards it makes sense to send items off with other people who might like them, instead of letting them sit unused or infrequently used in my closet (and assuming there are any other people out there that would like them). 

Malhia Kent

Malhia Kent
     Happy New Year! I thought I'd start the year off by talking about a trip from 6 months ago, when I visited Paris and one of the coolest fabric stores I've ever seen. The store is Malhia Kent, which makes fabrics for haute couture and pret-a-porter brands. All their fabrics are made in France and while you can't buy the designs that they produce for haute couture brands, their storefront is PACKED with other offcuts and small samples. Usually all these little pieces are 10 euro a meter, but I happened to be there during a rare sale, so they were half-off. They also sell fabric on the roll by the meter and while I don't remember the full price for those it was quite a bit more (understandably so - they are gorgeous). The store is also cash only, so I sent my main squeeze to find an ATM and I started picking through the tables, contemplating how much fabric I could squeeze into my carry-on luggage. I found some amazing pieces and spent the first few weeks just staring at them. Finally, I got up the nerve to cut into one of the pieces and make a garment.