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!

New blue dress

I am a firm believer in wearing the color blue as a power color, especially at work. I used to have two trusty blue dresses that rotated in my work wardrobe regularly (as seen here). That was, until I lost weight and neither of them fit me anymore. But you know what, I got rid of one and hung onto the other and wore it with a belt cinched tight because I hate being wasteful. Still, I knew it didn’t look good anymore. After an awesome thrifting expedition haul a few weeks back, I was finally able to find the perfect replacement! I’m also a firm believer of the one in, one out for a wardrobe that doesn’t overwhelm. This was the perfect replacement dress to the cheap one. I’ve never owned anything by Jigsaw – the dress I had before was a polyester, this one is camel! (I’ve also never owned anything that was real camel).

Item From Made in… BUY
Jigsaw London dress thrifted Romania
Cole Haan shoes Buffalo Exchange Brazil HERE, HERE, and HERE in black
Bill Blass watch Ebay.com Japan

Thrift Eye, dress for work, navy blue dress, jigsaw london dress, camel hair dress, style blogger Thrift Eye, dress for work, navy blue dress, jigsaw london dress, camel hair dress, style blogger Thrift Eye, dress for work, navy blue dress, jigsaw london dress, camel hair dress, style blogger And come to think of it – these yellow wedges are also replacements to my old favorite Target wedges. I used to love those shoes so much, it was sad they were just canvas fabric on basically cardboard. I had loved them so much, I bought them twice – but they were the worst quality (when I have other Target shoes that have held up extremely well!)

Night at the museum

I told you I wasn’t done with the museums quite yet – we have a fashion exhibition currently rolling through San Francisco at the Legion of Honor and I HAD to see it! I love seeing these fashion and style exhibitions whenever I can, they are truly inspiring to understand how different generations have dressed (then to see it come full circle in contemporary fashions!). I kept my own fashions simple but fun.

Besides the special show, the Legion of Honor itself has some amazing classic art

Item From Made in… BUY
Orla Kiely dress Uniqlo China in other print here and here
DKNY tights Nordstrom Rack HERE
Loeffler Randall flats, older style Shopbop.com  Brazil similar version HERE no ankle strap
vintage Bill Blass watch Ebay.com  –
Revlon Infallible lipstick Walgreens.com  Charismatic Coral HERE
Madewell purse Shopbop.com China  this season’s version HERE

Legion of Honor San Francisco

Legion of Honor San Francisco

Legion of Honor San Francisco

Thrift Eye, what to wear to a museum, style blogger

Legion of Honor San Francisco

Legion of Honor San Francisco

Thrift Eye, what to wear to a museum, style blogger

Some of you may recognize the Charles James dress that was part of the MET exhibit last year. What a dress!

High Style at the Legion of Honor San Francisco

High Style at the Legion of Honor San Francisco

High Style at the Legion of Honor San Francisco

High Style at the Legion of Honor San Francisco

High Style at the Legion of Honor San Francisco

Thrift Eye, what to wear to a museum, style blogger

Clicking on the museum images should take you to my Flickr account, which has even more photos!

A houndstooth

So a little while back, I found this dreamy dress. It’s a little Mad Men, it has a great print, and the length is perfect (I like my dresses to be long enough to wear in and out of work). Back in the 90’s, my mom used to have a few houndstooth print things in her closet. I am my mother’s daughter, I love it too. But finding good pieces in the print are hard to come by. So then, to find a coat in the same print as the dress, but slightly different color variation, is nothing short of a wardrobe miracle. The two pieces just had to be worn together right?!

Item From Made in…   BUY
Marc by Marc Jacobs dress thrifted China HERE
Ben Sherman coat thrifted China  –
Spanx black tights Nordstrom.com Honduras HERE
YSL wedges Buffalo Exchange Las Vegas Italy HERE, HERE, or HERE
Bill Blass vintage watch Flea market Japan
Revlon Colorburst Target.com HERE

Thrift Eye, style blogger, houndstooth dress, houndstooth coat, retro style

Thrift Eye, style blogger, houndstooth dress, houndstooth coat, retro style

Thrift Eye, style blogger, houndstooth dress, houndstooth coat, retro style

Thrift Eye, style blogger, houndstooth dress, houndstooth coat, retro style

I look like Sherlock Holmes’ daughter right? 🙂 But I think I hit the jackpot with these two.