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: 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
|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.|
Last year, I took my first (and so far, only) trip to Mood LA. It was dreamy- I had no idea that amazing fabric existed! Sewing with thick cotton blends with a tiny bit of stretch is the best. My first dress from high quality fabric:
A selfie in front of extra fabric. I need to get better about not buying so much extra.
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:
We decorated our sweetheart table with blue rimmed Mexican glass, potted succulents, my bouquet and the piece of Mexican tin art that David gave me when we had been dating for 6 months. It was the image (two sacred hearts with the words “Estare contigo siempre” (“I will be with you always) that was painted on our invitations surrounded by the flowers.
|photo by Vanessa Ha|
|photo by Vanessa Ha|
This pretty fireplace was outside right by where our ceremony was held. We decorated it with frames with photos of our family members who had passed and succulents.
My dad made our cake platter with tiles that he had left over from when he tiled the fountain. I was really proud of my idea to make a cake platter with Mexican tiles and then I saw it on a wedding featured on Martha Stewart online. Oh well. Our coffee table has a clear glass covering so the cake platter is always displayed.
|photo by Vanessa Ha|
To alter it, I cut the collar out to give it a scoop neck and cut the back into a low V and cut the front half of the skirt hemline to make it a high low. The fabric is so sheer that it lended itself perfectly to this style. I wore a slip under it, but the slip that I happened to have (because I cut it out of another dress) is incredibly tiny so I need to find a longer one (so my aunt doesn’t tell me that I look “saucy”). The sleeves would slip too much when I wore it, so I added a ribbon and tied it into a bow at the top of the dress. Originally I just had the elastic at the bottom of the V but it didn’t do much- both for the fit and style. I meant to cut it out for these photos, but I forgot. Not to worry, it has now been cut out and now lays the way that it should.
My dress came from the UCP thrift store. It was $70 and I wasn’t sure about it but bought it anyway. I yelped seamstresses in the Bay Area and found one who was amazing. For $140, she completely redid the bust and hemmed the lace edges. So, my San Patrick dress totaled $210 for a partially custom made dress. When trying on dresses in a fancy dress shop, I found a sash that I absolutely loved but didn’t know the brand. I was able to find a knock off on Etsy and recreated it. I finagled two friends into working with me until 2am the night before my wedding to put together the flowers that I had hand cut and sewn and then hand beaded. They were amazing, hand sewing and band and attaching the flowers to it. It was finished as the dress was on me, an hour or so before the wedding. After all the work that was put into it, it is now a wall decoration in our home. The sash is made from ivory satin and chiffon from an amazing Berkeley fabric store, Stone Mountain and Daughter. The lace is a scrap from my dress and the beads are Swarovski’s.
|This is the dress originally. I don’t have a good shot from the front, but it is a gathered, sheer material with rhinestones and a sheer halter strap- not quite my thing.|
|2 am sweatshop, day of the wedding with two of my best friends|
|my lovely ladies sewing the sash|
|best friends will do almost anything for you!|
|pinning it on the dress|
|finishing touches being done while I was in the dress, hours before go time.|
|The finished product! Love.|
|This was from our engagement picture session. I also made this flower from black satin, black polka dot chiffon, tan feathers, a fancy bead and black netting. It was a good practice run for the sash.|
|new glasses! I super love them.|