Thrift Eye DIY: the boxy blouse

Wow, it has been about half a year since I last embarked on challenging myself to sew more and begin wearing clothes I made myself! As last seen here with my DIY raglan tee.

I had gone to visit my parents a few months back and raided my mom’s fabric closet to look for a linen fabric, but ended up with this orangey polyester instead (no linen was found). I thought to myself, I can make this something! I just didn’t know what that something could be in a) this fabric and b) that I could make at my skill level. Because I had lapsed, it was almost like starting over!

I had wanted a linen because of it’s stiff but flowy structure for a blouse, but this polyester could more or less fit that bill too. I found a simple pattern explanation online (you’re basically sewing rectangles together) - this tutorial was one of the most useful, but I used several others (whose links I have now lost) because of the fabric I was using wasn’t what they used. How hard can sewing rectangles be? I was surprised. I learned lots of things along the way! I thought I wanted a top, then I thought I could make a dress. But I ended up over-estimating the width and lost a lot of the fabric, so if I had measured correctly, I could have indeed had enough fabric to make the dress . Which shows me to not just ball-park measurements to actually measure! Next time I will be using another item to guide the size and allowance, or find a flat pattern I can trace like last time. And surprisingly, the neck was a pain in the neck! I did it and redid it 4 times! I learned too late how a bias strip is supposed to be cut – too late because I no longer had extra fabric left to cut it from. But I saw this grey bias strip at my sewing supply store and actually really liked the idea of the contrast. Working through two evenings and voila! I was going to wear this to work dammit! And I did! :)

Item From Made in… BUY
top me USA -
Zara pants thrifted Morocco -
vintage heels consignment store in Las Vegas Spain -
Bill Blass watch Ebay.com Japan -
L’oreal Infallible Charismatic Coral Target.com - HERE

Thrift Eye, diy top, boxy top pattern, sewing your own clothes

Thrift Eye, diy top, boxy top pattern, sewing your own clothes

Thrift Eye, diy top, boxy top pattern, sewing your own clothes

The look I put together was a pleasantly unexpected combination. Burnt sienna doesn’t always pair well with other colors, but the green pants just seemed to work. The texture in the trousers was an extra nice touch I think. The fact that I had shoes to match (I bought them from a consignment store in Las Vegas in 2006!) was the cherry on the top!

And now…what to sew?! I think I really need to go for that dress!

Pink & Black

I will be honest – I had initially bought this dress many moons ago while on a thrifting expedition. BUT with the total intention to resell it, not to wear it. This is collateral from my days when I was working several part time jobs and reselling clothes on the side. Luckily those days are behind me, but the urge is still strong – to buy things I know I can sell at a later point. I tried on the dress, but the hot pink color left me shrugging my shoulders. It came home with me but went to the bottom of the closet with other things to be sold.

Well, it sat there in that pile for months and months. Then some more. I finally decided to sell all that stuff once and for all (and a promise to myself to stop shopping for others). But the hot pink dress didn’t look so bad after all. And, I kind of liked it! Because of our transitional weather, I had to be a little more creative than how I’d rather imagine myself wearing it (warm weather, not layered, with some beige sandals) – but alas, until then, layers it is. So I kept it uncomplicated with the all black.

Item From Made in… BUY
Marc by Marc Jacobs dress thrifted China -
Uniqlo turtleneck Uniqlo.com China HERE
Spanx opaque tights Nordstrom.com USA HERE
Sam Edelman Petty boots Shopbop.com China HERE

Thrift Eye, style blogger, marc jacobs dress, marc jacobs pink dress, pink and black outfit

Thrift Eye, style blogger, marc jacobs dress, marc jacobs pink dress, pink and black outfit

It didn’t stand up to the wrinkle test after a long day, but oh well…

Out of Print

I’ll keep this post short and sweet – mostly because I noticed there was a huge smudge of I-don’t-know-what on my camera lens AFTER I took these pictures. This was the best of the bunch, and it still looks pretty bad. Sorry. I’m bummed about it because I’m in total LOVE with this sweater! I never thought I’d find it second hand either. I actually just read the Great Gatsby a few months ago too, right before I found the sweater, so it was kind of meant to be. My most librarian outfit to date ;) I do want to support Out of Print more – but until they start making their clothes in the USA….I just can’t buy it new!

Item From Made in… BUY
Out of Print sweater Buffalo Exchange Dominican Republic HERE
Plenty Tracy Reese skirt thrifted China -
DKNY tights DSW no tag HERE
Rachel Comey shoes Wasteland Peru -

Thrift Eye, out of print sweater, great gatsby sweater

Navy blues

When you find out that you’ll be on a boat for a few hours, what do you wear? This is not typically a predicament I find myself in. A luxury really. But one that I had the joy of joining last weekend, and even more lucky we have many boats here that will take you cruising in the gorgeous bay. This atypical January weather has allowed for Spring outfits. My goal has been to wear things I haven’t worn in a long time – what I got was a street guy yelling at me “Hey, you look like the 40′s” all I could do was laugh, he was right!

Item From Made in… BUY
Vintage dress thrifted - -
heart tights old H&M probably China -
Rachel Comey brogues Wasteland Peru -
vintage hat flea market - -
Nars Red Square Nars.com - HERE

Thrift Eye, boat dress, nautical outfit, personal style, vintage dress

Thrift Eye, boat dress, nautical outfit, personal style, vintage dress

Thrift Eye, boat dress, nautical outfit, personal style, vintage dress