Handsewn

The Pink Tiered Dress

I own too many summer dresses. With that in mind, it doesn’t hurt to add one more, right? I know, it’s counter-intuitive, but it’s the one piece I love to sew. Think of it as a way to properly use up fabric- as I still had some leftover material from the pink pants I made a few months ago. In terms of inspiration, I found this gorgeous tiered number on Pinterest that I had to have. I could have bought it online- but where’s the fun in that? Plus, I wasn’t going to fork over more money when I’m reserving that for my bubble tea expenses.

As added details, I installed a shirring detail for the back and some adjustable tie up strings. I thought it would be a lot simpler than sewing on a zipper instead. Overall, I’m in love with how it fits. It’s so flowy and romantic- I just wish I had the appropriate shoes to match. I think with my matching hair wrap, this would make for gorgeous outfit.

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Handsewn

My Sweet Gingham Two Piece

Nothing says summer like gingham. When it comes to classic picnic attire, fabric knits like linen and cotton come to mind. However, this romantic, July print just screams cottage core to me. You have to consider that I already made my very own gingham mini dress before- coupled with a pair of shorts I made out of the remaining material. But I thought it was time for a 2021 revamp.

I scored this beautiful table runner I thrifted a few weeks ago. Initially, I wanted to recreate this stunning front-tie mini dress I saw on Pinterest- but was soon deflated by the tiny amount of material it offered me. So, plan B- I decided to reroute my plans and opt for this summer spaghetti strap I had lingering in my sketch book. To keep things interesting, I added a cut-out on the front and an elasticated back with a bow for a finishing touch. Thankfully, I had enough fabric to make a matching mini skirt as well.

Annndd…it was a success! This two piece fits perfectly. Well, the skirt is a bit too snug for my liking. It does a fabulous job of defining my non-existent curves, but one slurp of spaghetti and it’s already way too tight. Overall, I think I’m awarding myself a 4.5 star rating out of 5. With the right type of shoes, this outfit will make an adorable romantic ensemble out into the city.

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Handsewn

The Lounge Jacket

Make it loungewear- but make it classy.

This cozy wrap is considered the final addition to my biker short and spaghetti strap set. It’s made out of the same material (which is a a fuzzy, jersey knit I thrifted a while back). I got my inspo from a product picture I found on Yesstyle. Since I’m skeptical on ordering things from that marketplace, I decided to make my own version. it’s a little different- but I like how it turned out. If I were to remake it again- I’ve got to nail the sleeves. The original had a balloon cut- which made it extra elegant.

In terms of styling, I initially thought of wearing all three pieces together. However, I decided to opt for a more casual- public outing sort of look. I wore a set of distressed black shorts and an one shoulder tube I got from TopShop. For shoes, I went for my OG pair of converses.

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Handsewn

The Two Bucket Hats

I really wanted a nice, solid bucket hat for bad hair day. Unfortunately, my two attempts won’t be seeing the daylight anytime soon. On my first go, I utilized this adorable Cookie Monster fabric I found at the thrift store. In order to give it some body, I paired it with this black polyester fabric for its lining. Don’t get me wrong, it’s still adorable- but the structure isn’t there.

On my second attempt, I opted for a nice, sturdy canvas blend. However, it proved too thick for my sewing machine- so I had to do everything by hand. My stitching skills are definitely not up to par (when compared to my grandmother’s god-tier work), but I think it’s not so bad- unless you really squint at it. It’s a bit bulky for my tastes , coupled with the fact that it fits quite poorly.

Well, I didn’t make any statement on this blog declaring that all posts would be sewing wins. Chalk it up to experience- at least I know what to do moving forward.

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Handsewn

The Blue Jacquard Dress

This was probably one of my first ever wins at sewing. I think of it as a milestone- since my previous projects weren’t really up to par. It was a series of mistakes, ranging from uneven hems to weird fits. Fortunately, it all counted as experience and I became somewhat better at pattern drafting and tailoring. This was a design I thought of years back, as the Ariana Grande dress (that she wore on Jimmy Fallon) was becoming more and more popular within social media. Naturally, I wanted one for myself- and I thought it was a great opportunity to put my sewing skills to the test.

I used this beautiful blue jacquard fabric I found at my local thrift store. It was quite a hassle to work with- since the embroidery details kept fraying left and right. In order to get the volume that I wanted, I made an underskirt out of some leftover cotton I had lying around. Overall, I’m pretty happy with the way this dress turned out. If I had to pick holes, the straps are a bit too close together for my taste- but that’s just a minor fix.

In terms of styling ideas, I would definitely opt for pearls and some fancy strappy heels. Major points if I managed to score an Ariana Grande-esque half-down and half-up ‘do with my plain, flaccid hair.

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Handsewn

The Lemon Dress

It’s worth noting that I drafted this gown in preparation for my eventual graduation ceremony. However, that was back in 2020- when COVID-19 first hit. I never even booked my yearbook photos- which is sad in retrospect, but I’ve learned to just let it go. Perhaps one day I could hire a professional photographer to help me take that one-in-a-lifetime shoot. But for now, it’s just me and my trusty phone.

I wanted a dress that was both flattering, summery, and short. Since the ruching effect was a really popular trend at the time- I decided to have my first go at it by choosing this gorgeous chiffon I found at the fabric store. It’s giving me serious Agua Bendita vibes through its botanical print. For the main frame, I opted for the simpler route. I used this old bustier I thrifted years back. I simply copied the panels onto the main fabric in order to cover it up, and I think it worked quite nicely.

I still think this dress is stunning. However, I feel like I’m not the appropriate body type to flatter its design. When I wear it, it gives the slight illusion of hips- with the caveat of a ‘beer belly’ on the front due to the extra ruching at the top. If I had a bit of money to spend, I would have definitely opted for those chiffon bow Jimmy Choos that BeyoncĂ© wore eons ago -but c’est la vie.

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Handsewn

Upcycle: The Parisian Mint Dress

It’s romantically refreshing: that’s the original inspiration I had for this dress. A few summers ago, I had a chance to watch a French film called La Fille du Puisatier starring Astrid Berges Frisbey. It made no sense, but it had the most stunning cinematography. The whole setting was shot in rural France- meaning that each scene showcased the gorgeous villas, landscapes, and untouched wilderness. Since I cannot book myself a ticket to the city of love at the moment- I thought I’d at least simulate the romance- which led me to this project.

I upcycled this gorgeous mint dress from the Black Market here in Toronto. It originally had a regular scoop neckline, but I altered it to be boxed since it complimented my figure better. To make things a bit interesting, I hiked up the hemline to showcase an asymmetrical curve. I’ll have to credit Daniel Fletcher for this idea- as he came up with it during the last few episodes of Next in Fashion.

This dress would look amazing with a matching straw hat and some summer sandals. Fingers crossed I’ll wear it out when visiting Marseille.

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Handsewn

Back to the Basics: Biker Shorts

There’s a 100% forecast that my summer months will be spent inside.

Not by my own choice, but I see you COVID-19.

Instead of sewing up another dress that will probably never see the July heat, I decided to come up with something more practical. I’ve already constructed a pair of biker shorts before, but the results weren’t flattering. The crotch area had this weird bunching in the front and the butt region was…saggy, to say the least. My second attempt went a lot more smoothly, and I managed to copy a pattern of TNA leggings I bought a few weeks ago. The result? Hips. Mom, I got hips.

I made my second ‘batch’ out of this stretchy scuba/velvety hybrid fabric. It’s a little warmer than expected, but I’m pretty pleased with how it turned out. Next week, I’m planning to sew a matching cardigan to make a full set. Stay tuned, everyone.

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The Reversible Isabella Dress

April showers bring May flowers: that’s the kind of vibe I was going for.

As a homage to spring, I decided to make myself another cute dress. Honestly, I’m not entirely sure why I didn’t make a top- as I have way too many gowns tucked away in my closet. Let’s chalk it up to sewing experience, since I did learn a few things along the way. First things first, I’m very proud of the way it fits. It’s not too short or tight. I made something that actually flatters my hips and waist-area (hurrah).

I opted to go for this gorgeous peach pattern fabric and an embroidered lavender cotton. During the construction process, I had a bit of brain-wave- and decided to make it a two-in-one dress. This took a lot of forward thinking, as every little raw hem or stitch had to be tucked away inside. There are a few little errors here and there, but I think with sometime, they could be easily fixed.

To mimic the shirring effect, I had to make a ‘bootleg’ version out of leftover elastic. I think it went well, but I wish I had thought of the casing method on my first go. It ended up a lot neater than my other previous attempts.

I think this little dress would go perfectly with a headscarf and little brown heels. Fingers crossed I can actually wear it as a comfort gown when doing errands or chores around the house.

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Handsewn

The Asymmetrical Pink Cupid Top

Hiya everyone.

I haven’t been on the sewing binge for a while now, but I did create this top a few weeks ago in my downtime. I sourced this gorgeous pink printed fabric from my local thrift store and decided to make a summery top from it. The neckline is a wee-bit asymmetrical, as it’s hybrid between a v-neck and tube top. I thought it gave it some character, with the addition of the lace up detail on the side. It’s not an original design, as I have spotted this top from an image I saw on Pinterest. I can’t for the life of me find the original source, but if I discover it, I’ll make sure to embed the link for others to see.

With a pair of denim skinnies and some white chunky sneakers, I think it would be an awesome look for a causal July date. That is, if the pandemic ever decides to take a break. Anyone down for a romantic dinner through Zoom?

The great thing about this top is- you can actually buy it! I’m listing it on my Etsy page. For more details, you can check out my shop here.

(Psst, I’m currently working on a future project I’m hoping to finish by next week. Stay tuned everyone!)

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