Some parts of this post first appeared on the Cali Fabrics blog, and I received fabric in return for being part of the Cali blog team.
Sometimes I want to dress to stand out, to establish my identity and stand apart from a crowd. That’s when I wear a something like my Oonapalooza maxi or my Sallie jumpsuit. But there’s a certain joy in normcore dressing too – the generic fashion that pervades Pinterest! This outfit is hella normal, and I kinda love it!
All I’m missing is a giant blanket scarf and a messy bun, right?
How did it all happen?
Well, as part of the mini-capsule I worked on with my Cali Fabrics allowance, I picked this burgundy sweater knit and dusty rose print. The sweater knit is a lovely rayon, and reminds me so clearly of the Club Monaco sweatshirts that were so cool in the mid-1990’s! I’m so glad to find rayon sweater knits popping up more and more, because they sew nicely and drape beautifully. This colour seems to be sold out, but Cali carries it in grey, black, and a gorgeous olive green.
It is, of course, a Helen’s Closet Blackwood Cardigan. I was a tester for this pattern back in the winter, and I wear my previous versions all the time! I like how all the edges are finished with folded bands, which means it is a perfect project if you don’t have a serger or coverstitch machine. I decided to change things on the fly though, and add a wide single-layer rectangle to my front neckline instead, giving it more drape. Turns out, the fabric is so heavy that the drape gave me a neckache and I cut half of it off!
Underneath, we’ve got the new, FREE Durango tank from Hey June. I’ve sewn more than 10 versions of the Santa Fe tank/tee that Hey June released last year, so I was pretty sure I’d like this one too! Durango is modelled after the shape of refashioned band shirts, with a high neckline and slight ease over the waist and hips.
I ended up shortening it 1″ at the waist and 1″ at the high bust to get my perfect fit. To be honest, this had some of the fit issues that the Itch To Stitch Lago tank had, so I’m not really sure why I like this one better! I guess because the neckline and hem shape on this one worked fine, once the extra height was taken out.
Like my recent Ilsa tunic, I’m using double brushed poly again for this tank! I like the combination of drape and soft fuzzy texture, with good stretch in all directions. It took me forever to narrow down which print to buy!
With such a simple shape, I wanted to add some interest in the back. I dug this rayon stripe out of my stash, and colour-blocked it in a chevron shape. My stripe-matching isn’t perfect, but from afar I really like the effect!
I have trouble sewing the perfect tight-but-super-stretchy jeans, so this is a pair of Old Navy knit jeans. I gotta say, they are super comfy and for $25 on sale, are cheaper than what I could sew! I picked up the boots for $22 recently at a new thrift store in town, and I think they are super cute… but after walking around this big park for 30 minutes, it was clear they are not comfy enough for everyday wear. What’s with slippery soles inside shoes? Who wants to slide forward and band their toes with every step? Anyway, the jeans and shoes are cute, but so very mainstream!
And yet… turns out I look good in these dusty shades! Who knew? I think it’s the shades of pink that are making my skin glow, and balancing out the darker burgundy. I mean, I love my maroon velvet Ebony dress from last year, but I’ve never though that the colour made my complexion sing. I do remember a few dusty pink tops that I’ve liked in decades past, so I guess I need to explore these colours more!
Next up I’ll be combining these new projects into a mini-capsule wardrobe based on the Pantone colours for Fall 2017. The burgundy and pale pink of the flowers fit well into the palette, as do the grey and warm brown “buttercream” colour in this print! If I’m stretching it, there’s some blue, too!
For all of you who spent decades struggling to find RTW clothes that fit – Does it ever feel subversive to be able to sew those trendy clothes in a way that actually fits? Yes, I love standing out sometimes, but it’s also fun to be able to fit in like everyone else.
P.S. Helen’s Closet patterns are on sale for 15% off for one more day, so nows the time to pick up the Blackwood cardi if you like mine!