april rhodes, fabric, handmade, pattern, popover poncho, sew, sewing

Popover poncho

I love capes and the Popover Poncho was such a cute, casual cape design. I waited to buy the pattern until I found a fabric I loved. It’s a poly cotton blend that is thick and double sided (black with white designs on one side and white with black designs on the other side). My nana and I drove up to Michael Levines in LA to fabric shop and I couldn’t turn down the mint sweatshirt knit that I found for $3 a yard. The poncho pattern is single sided, but I figured out how to make it reversible. I’m really happy with it, except I wish I had used a black 1/2 inch binding instead of the 1 inch mint. I think it would have only taken an afternoon, if my machine didn’t keep jamming and if I didn’t make it reversible. I think that my machine needs a tune up, but the thickness of the fabric with the reversible design probably didn’t help. I’d like to make another one with a more colorful fabric and maybe fleeceline on the inside to make it super cozy. Slits on either side of the pocket would be good too, so that I didn’t have to lift the cape up to my hands in the pocket. Though since this is double sided, I can hide my hands in the inside pocket too- sneaky!


Photo location: our front yard
PatternPopover Poncho
Fabric: Gypsyland Jacquard from Joann. I can’t find it online, but I just bought it last Friday in the store. It also comes in teal and black and a similiar multi colored.  Mint sweatshirt knit from Michael Levine 
Alterations: made it reversible! Sewed a pocket on each side. Finished the neck edge with a double rolled over hem. Sewed the bottom edge of the cowl closed about half an inch up (with the cut edge rolled in) and then attached it to neck edge like a sandwich. I also used the sweatshirt knit for both pieces of the cowl to save up the jacquard for another project. I think I have enough left for a pencil skirt. 
Outfit deets: earrings and bracelet- Forever 21, old; velvet leggings: Target
DIY, dress, handmade, new look, sew, sewing

Graduation dress

This is the other dress I sewed from my other bit of dreamy fabric from some Mood LA. I wore it for a few graduations- this is the perfect Spring fabric. I used some leftover polka dot fabric to make a sash to go with it. I really love how this dress turned out. I have tons of extra fabric so I think I’ll try to make a pair of Grainline shorts with it. 

Photo location: Occidental College 

Pattern: New Look A6020 B

Alterations: shortened a few inches

Outfit deets: flower hair pin- handmade, shoes- Payless, watch- Bulova, bracelet- Tiffany & Co

By Hand London, concert, DIY, handmade, jersey, Lady Gaga, leather, pattern, sew, sewing

A dress for Mother Monster

the card I made my sister before the concert to let her know what her birthday present was

Last May, my sister, friend and I saw Lady Gaga in concert. It seemed like the best time to learn how to sew cups and to sew with leather for the first time. Gaga’s worth it 😉 And luckily, it was far easier than I expected. I found this dress pattern from By Hand London and though it was quite an expensive pattern after international shipping, I had never seen anything else like it (*unfortunately, they are out of the printed pattern, but you can still buy it as a PDF download). It’s certainly not an everyday style, but I would love to make it again, though a bit less flashy. 

Being busty, I had to add a lot to the cups to make the dress decent. I made up my own alteration, which thankfully worked. But afterwards, I discovered that they actually had done a blog post on how to modify the cups based on your bra size. I used a purple metallic leather and a jersey floral print from Fabrics.com.

Right before the concert- super made up!

please excuse the akward pose on this one- I was channeling my inner Gaga, I think. 

I hand the stitched at the neckline as I was short on time and didn’t have time to figure out how to feed leather on leather through my machine. I also hand sewed on the straps. 

I was so worried about buying the fabrics online, but I think they worked great together. 

Fabric: Gunmetal Leather, Jersey knit (similar
Alterations: I made thicker straps and had them meet in the middle back instead of going straight down the back. Modified the bust to have larger cups. 
Outfit deets: earrings, bracelet- Forever 21 (old), shoes: Aldo (old)

fabrics, fashion, OOTD, recycle, sew, sewing, upcycle

The queen of upcycles

A few weeks ago, I was at my parents and my dad was about to saw their old (20+ years) couch in half to fit into the trash can. It was covered in a bold floral, which I had been wanting to make a skirt for about a year. Bold floral apparel fabric has elluded me however. I love making clothes with upholstery fabrics. Living in San Diego, I’m not often enough in LA or San Francisco to find good apparel fabrics and I prefer to feel them before I buy them, so online shopping is out. My favorite back up is Ikea. Their upholstery fabrics are relatively thin, but lend more structure to clothing than cheap, thin, quilting cottons. 

All that to say, I made a skirt out of my parent’s old couch. The pattern I used was from SEW: The Sew Everything Workshop, the first sewing book that I bought when I taught myself to sew a few years ago. It was the naughty secretary skirt (a very simple straight skirt with back vent and zipper, no waistband). 

an old shot of the couch before it was cut up
and laying on it with my little one 8 years ago ! !

*added a 4 inch wide waist band with long tails to tie in the back
*shortened about 6 inches to knee length
*had to add a front center seam due to cutting from odd shaped couch fabric remnants 

Photos taken at the Balboa Park cactus garden

Outfit deets: body suit, earrings- F21, shoes- Vince Camuto from Nordstrom Rack, sunglasses- BonLook, necklace- Anthropology , purse- Fossil

And a few more shots for fun: