Category: "Purchased clothing"

Boden USA inspired autumn outfit

by brae  

I haven't written here in so long mainly because minis took over my creative time again.  There just aren't enough hours in the day to pursue all my creative outlets.  :\

But, with the end of summer approaching, I feel the urge to sew again.  And, all the lovely fall catalogs showing up in my mailbox have loads of inspiration.

The new Boden USA fall catalog had this delicious outfit that instantly caught my eye.  I love the colors, patterns and textures.

Unfortunately, it is a little pricey for my budget:

Orange polka dot top - $78
Cable sweater - $118
Tan bouclé skirt - $118
Total - $314

Detail pictures of the items shown in the inspiration picture.

I love the inspiration picture, but several things about the items themselves don’t work for me.  The orange top has fantastic fabric, but I can tell the boxy cut will not flatter me at all.  The sweater has a crew neck which isn’t as ideal for me as a V-neck and it also looks boxy.  The skirt is lovely, but paying over $100 for a pencil skirt that would take me two hours to make offends my sensibilities.

For the top, I’m thinking a fitted tank in Amy Butler Lotus Full Moon cotton.

To me, it’s the orange polka dot fabric that really makes the look.  And, with a cardigan, I like a more fitted silhouette underneath.  I already have the fabric and several shirt patterns to choose from -- this one is Simplicity 2703 for example.  It has some pleated details at the neckline, too, so I could retain that detail of the original inspiration piece.

For the sweater, I found two options that will work well for color and texture.  Each will change the look of the outfit depending on which one I wear with it.  On the left is the Charter School V-neck cardigan from ModCloth at $35.  On the right is the Donegal Cable cardigan from Eddie Bauer at $68.

For the pencil skirt, I could buy beige bouclé, but I already have some lovely beige woven suiting fabric that is softer and more versatile.  I also have a basic pencil skirt pattern.  It might even be fun to punch up the feminity of the outfit with the Vogue 8317 bustle skirt I love so much.

Now to find the time to make it all come together.  :]

Anthropologie Breeze-Blown Blouse

by brae  

I loved this blouse when it first came out a few years ago, but there was no way I could afford the $258 price tag.  As time went on, it went on sale for $130.  Not only was that still a bit steep for me but it was also sold out in the smaller sizes.  I figured recreating one for myself would be difficult since it's the fabric that makes the blouse unique.

The embroidery leads to three-dimensional flowers.

And the lace cuffs are so beautiful.

I've watched eBay and other secondary markets from time to time but figured I'd never find this blouse in my size let alone in like new condition.  Very recently, though, a size 8 popped up on eBay.  Considering I usually wear a 0-2 in Anthropologie blouses, I knew it would require a good amount of alterations.  But, it was new, never worn and $30.  So, I took the plunge!  :]

Interestingly enough, the fit in the shoulders was nearly perfect...just a tad low off the edge.  But, it was workable and meant I wouldn't have to redo the entire top and collar.  In fact, I wonder if the blouse would have fit me in the smaller sizes I had been hoping to find.

As is size 8...

The first alteration I made was to remove the enormous garment tag from the upper back.  Considering the sheerness of the fabric, this big block of a tag just didn't look right.

I then removed the sleeves.  These might have been meant as 3/4 sleeves, but they hit just at the wrist for me.  I raised them so the two buttons were just behind my elbow and the start of the cuff began at the top of my forearm.  Even if they weren't meant to be this short, they look much better in relation to the overall aesthetic of the blouse.  Resetting the sleeves also gave me the opportunity to correct the line of the shoulders.

When I set in the sleeves, I took in the side seams under the arm.  I then finished fitting the waist by taking in the side back and side front seams.  The shirttail hem was a bit long on me, too, so I took that up an inch and a half.

And, here's the final tailored blouse.  :D  Hurray!

And the back...