Iris Van Herpen study

Marvle: A Sensitive Magazine

Boutique 1861

Friday, November 14, 2014

Monday, November 10, 2014

...  That means thrift haul marathons on Youtube.  My life is glamorous.

I really like writing on this blog, but there are some things that you just can't convey with words and pictures.  So I kind of wanted to start my own Youtube channel.  Mainly to show my own thrift hauls, and to maybe find other people who are a little too interested in style like me haha.  I don't even have a fancy camera or a cool video editing program.  It'd probably be the same 3-4 friends watching each time (although that's not the point anyway).

Bad idea?  I don't know.  But it might be fun...?

Stay tuned!

Saturday, October 25, 2014

My tastes went a little wacky this time around at Value Village.

The weather is cooling down now, and something about Fall makes me want chunky, warm and fuzzy everything.  Thick, homey knits always remind me of holidays spent baking and drinking hot chocolate outside in the chilly air.

White Stage sweater - $3.99

I know this looks like a grandma sweater (it probably is) but I just thought it was SO cute.  I had gone through all of the usual sections without any luck, then on my way out this caught my eye. 

I always see these types of sweaters come back into style every year at trendy stores and sold for a lot more and often with lesser quality yarn.  The flowers stand out ever so slightly against the oatmeal background, so give great 3D texture.  This one is perfect because it fits like a long tunic/short sweater dress without looking bulky, so I can wear leggings and cute boots with it and still look pulled together.

Rug - $4.99

This is the first home item I've gotten from the thrift store.  It was actually brand new, with tags still on, so there was no worry about sunken kitchen stains.  It's multicolored with hints of metallic thread woven throughout, giving a lot of visual interest.  I desperately need more color in my apartment.

Last but not least, the most questionable purchase of the day... this Little Red Riding Hood-esque cape.

Sweater Bee by Banff Ltd sweater cape - $5.99

First of all, it's bright firetruck red.  It falls all the way to the knees.  It has fringe.  The armholes come out front, making arm positioning a little bit of a conscious process.  I thought it was perfect. 

In addition to those details, I loved the simple silver buttons and the pointelle knitting in front and back.  Plus when I put it on, it just fell over my frame in the loveliest inverted bell-shaped way.  It makes me want to go for a stroll in the woods.  The best clothing items induce a visceral, emotional reaction.

This is what I consider a "truly thrifted" piece - vintage, an unknown/bygone brand, weird, but quality-made and it somehow works if you're willing to take the risk.  (I don't want to go thrifting just for current brands or current looks - then it just feels like a cheaper version of Plato's Closet).

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Promising my parents that if they bring my sewing machine, I won't touch it until after my test block...

Sunday, September 21, 2014

I've been on the lookout for a nice plaid shirt for awhile, but it's hard to find one that doesn't make me look like a man, a lumberjack, a preppy boater, a cowgirl, or grungy.  Which is difficult, since those are all genres from which plaid takes its inspiration from.  I wouldn't mind looking a bit Scottish though.

It also turns out that it's rather difficult finding a feminine-appealing plaid shirt in the men's section of the thrift store... so I haven't had any success thus far.

This season I've found two that come pretty close (from LOFT and YesStyle), but I don't have a chance to see their true colors in person and am not sure if I should take the risk and buy them online.

This top is a lovely plum color and the Peter Pan-like collar and henley buttons tone down the masculinity.

This top incorporates the wrap/drape style that I've been interested in trying for quite some time now.  The plaid itself is more of a window-pane pattern, which isn't as harsh on the eyes either.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Found some retro sewing patterns at Value Village today that made me laugh.  I actually did buy a bomber jacket pattern from the 80's that I will attempt in the future though!

Thursday, August 14, 2014

I saw this romper on the online Korean store Somethin' Sweet and thought it was the coolest.  Most rompers I've tried on have been too flowy or just don't look right on me, and I thought this structured cut would suit me better.  And... I love exposed zippers.  As you can see, the back half of the top is oversized and separate from the front.

With relatively straight lines and limited details, I decided to give it a try.

This was my first time making bottoms, so I used a pattern.  Since I kind of free-handed the rest, it ended up having side cut-outs, which aren't too noticeable unless I stretch.  I suppose it adds more visual interest and modernism as well?  Overall, I think it turned out really well!

Thursday, August 7, 2014

There's something about distressed jeans that adds just the right amount of edge and off-ness to an outfit.  I didn't want anything with crazy patches, just something lightly worn like what Olivia Palermo is wearing above.

I started with a pair of A&F jeans that I thrifted for $4 from Goodwill, which were my size and had a nice worn in feel to them.  (Since these were a flare leg, I first turned them inside out, pinned while on, and sewed the legs from around the knees down to a skinny taper.  Then, I trimmed the excess seam allowance and turned them right side out again.)

TIP:  It's important to buy light washed jeans.  Holes on dark washed jeans just don't look quite as believable.

To begin distressing:  Cut two parallel lines running across the leg as large as you want.  With a tweezer, pull the vertical threads out one at a time.  At the beginning, it helps to loosen the fabric edges with something rough before starting to pull.

The vertical threads in denim are a mixture of blue whereas the horizontal threads are all white.  I didn't want to expose the white threads completely since the distressing would fall apart more easily with wash and wear, so I varied the rows that I pulled, pulling less around the ends of the holes.  I used pinking shears (but you can use something else abrasive like sand paper) to fade out around the holes, make them blend in better and look more naturally torn.

Repeat as many times/wherever on the jeans you'd like.  I put two small holes at the hip and one large complete cut on the opposite knee.

Lastly, I cheated a bit and dabbed Fray-Check glue on the corners to prevent further pulling and fraying.

(Sandals - Report)

Taken from my new apartment at school!  It's going to be crazy so... updates will be much less frequent.

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Made this awhile back but never posted it.

McCall's pattern M6789

I adapted it to an A-line, and did not add peplums or use contrast.  Just wanted a simple look.


I'm not quite sure why the back bunches a bit - maybe the back bodice is a little long for my torso?  I still think it turned out really well.  I learned how to insert a lining, understitch, and French tack.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Recently made a skirt for Trusha using this tutorial by WithWendy below.  I used a lightweight but sleek jersey fabric, and used sew-in interfacing at the waistband and zipper for extra durability.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Friday, July 4, 2014

Wednesday, June 18, 2014


I always dress based on my mood.  Lately, it's almost always, I'm exhausted but it's too late to cancel, or, I'm pissed at you but I'm not going for you anyway.  How does that calculate, outfit wise?  Not that great.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

This past month I took basic sewing classes at New York Fashion Academy in Seattle.  Although I've been sewing by myself for awhile, I wanted to see if I was doing things correctly and get a proper foundation in order to learn more complicated techniques by myself later on.  

NYFA was the only place I could find that offered something other than sew-your-own-pajamas sort of classes.  This is a legitimate fashion school, with graduates going on to start their own lines, constructing for different businesses, etc.  It's not like a major university like FIDM or anything, but it has the essentials, which is still pretty great.

I just really like the space.  There's a constant creative, forward-feeling atmosphere from the students as they master their different levels all in one small space.  Plus, it's located in Ballard, which is a pretty quirky and fun neighborhood and adds to the eccentricity.

Sewing I taught me 20 basic techniques, and showed me a lot of things I was doing wrong.  They had us compile a mini binder to reference later. 

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Sheath dress - The Limited  /  Military jacket - Rubbish (from Nordstrom) 
Bag - Liz Claiborne  /  Sneakers - Calvin Klein  /  Necklace (seen here)

Friday, April 11, 2014

1.  Oh, these new heels are pretty comfortable!  I can twirl around in them.  No feet scrunching, gaps, all is good.  I can wear them for the interview day, no problem...

2.  Did my feet get smaller?  Why am I sliding down into the toes?  Why do my heels keep popping out?

3.  Just pretend I'm a ballerina and power through the pain.

4.  My feet are so swollen that the heels fit again.

5.  Take off the shoes, see the ugly results.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Managed to get these two shots during my short trip to Toronto this weekend.  There were a ton of great outfits that I didn't get a chance to capture.  Definitely a place with style.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

My most immediate confidence boost would come from wearing an edgy, fashion-forward ensemble and styling my hair into Victoria's Secret waves for my interview... but then that would be considered distracting and unprofessional.  Who says doctors can't be expressive with their outfits?  Even then, we're going to have to do a lot of walking around during the tour, and it might be rainy and cold over there.

Inner self vs. outer practicality... not worth the risk at this point.  I guess I'll have to reign in the fashionista this time.

My plan at this point (because I really don't want to wear black slacks...):  

Strict Interview

Strict Interview by lea281 

Question : Can you wear tan/brown shoes with black tights?  I can't quite decide.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

"When a woman says 'I have nothing to wear!", what she really means is, 
'There's nothing here for whom I'm supposed to be today.'
- Caitlin Moran

Sunday, February 23, 2014

One local thrift shop has 99 cent clothing Sundays, which is almost as good as free.  I figured it wouldn't hurt if I bought something to experiment on, so I got this oversized blazer.  It was made of nice material and quality construction, but of course the fit was horribly dated.  I'm not sure what brand Paul Stanley is.  I couldn't find anything online except for this old 80's rocker guy from KISS.  Maybe he got into fashion back in the day...?

I wanted something long enough to especially wear with leggings, and was inspired by a lot of "boyfriend blazer" looks such as these:




There was a lot of trial and error.  A LOT of seam ripping and learning as I went.  First while wearing the blazer, I chalked on the sides, shoulders, and arms where I wanted to take them in.  Measured how much I needed to "pinch" in each area, which was about 3 cm all around.  

I took a deep breath, seamripped the inner lining where necessary, and removed the shoulder pads.  I also turned the sleeves inside out and sewed a new seam (on the outer sleeve and the lining) 3cm from the old one, and took 1.5 cm from each seam at the sides (there were two per side).  

After a very frustrating time with trying to fit the shrunken sleeve into the old arm hole (it kept on puckering or poufing, which isn't what I was going for with a menswear blazer), I realized that I would have to shrink the hole at the shoulder seam too, and that it was easier just to simply take the whole sleeve out and realign it, instead of trying to minimize sewing.

(The whole sleeve removed, with lining still attached).

Because the pockets were originally located right at the edges where I took the blazer in, I had to remove the pockets, cut the hole further inward and slide the pockets over.  The blue "right side" that I'm touching was sewn to the bottom flap interfacing side.  The top portion attached to the lining "wrong" side of the pocket would be flipped to the outside of the blazer, and then be sewn to the top flap of the blazer.  That doesn't quite make sense, but you need to plan to keep the pocket open at any rate and you can reason it out that way.

Finally I trimmed and pieced back the lining using a slip stitch (tutorial here).

And viola!  It's a little lopsided (and not very neat on the inside) but when you wear it you can't tell too much.  I'd say a good first attempt!

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About Me

Atlanta/Seattle, United States
What is most interesting is fashion when it's living. I find it inspiring when people dress well - but in their unique interpretation. Searching for people who enjoy having fun with their style and make their own statements. If you want your picture removed, don't hesitate to contact me!
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