diy: velvet skirt

It took me almost 5 hours to complete this relatively simple elastic waist skirt, mostly because I’m horrible at sewing; I’m impatient and make a lot of mistakes as a result. But it’s finished! And I think I’ll actually wear it.

velvet skirt

When I saw this fabric at Jo-Ann Fabrics, I recalled American Apparel’s version. Although this velvet isn’t as thick or supple, it still has a nice texture. (P.S. I have some velvet pieces for sale at Water Lily Thrift if you’d rather buy than make a piece for yourself.)

velvet skirtI didn’t follow a pattern. I purchased a yard of fabric (which I had to cut down by about a quarter or a third yard to keep the elastic waist from getting too thick), cropped it to hit at mid-thigh, and sewed a casing for the elastic. I had major trouble with the elastic waist because the knit elastic I purchased kept folding over inside the casing; I recommend buying woven elastic, as it’s a bit sturdier. I used a safety pin fastened to the end of the elastic to push it through the casing.

I left the hem unfinished, as the fabric curls under naturally, but I may finish it off when I get the energy to work on it again.

The total cost for this project was about $10.00. Not super cheap but less than American Apparel’s $38.00 price tag.

Sources: American Apparel skirt, Outfit

live/wear

livewear

livewear

This outfit is a bit crazy. But this room is a bit crazy, in a good way. Who would have thought to mix a tangerine, oriental rug with graphic, modern art and über contemporary accents (apparently Elle Decor)?

I tried to pick up not only the color scheme but also the sense of texture and playfulness of the room in my outfit, accenting a gray chiffon dress with a patterned cardigan, carpet bag, and statement wedges. I’d like to lounge on that couch and peruse an art book for the afternoon. But I’m not sure I’d like to live here full time. Super modern isn’t really my thing.

While doing some “research” for this post (aka, looking up words to get some context for my thoughts), I stumbled upon this Wikipedia article on hypermodernity/supermodernity. So long, post modernism? Even fashion can be intellectual.

fall prints

I ordered three StyleMint tees on sale through an eBay flash sale and am quite excited about the outfit possibilities (if they ever arrive; I’m prepared to leave some unsatisfactory feedback about shipping times).

fallprints

fallprints

To control my shopaholic tendencies, I try to pair new items with items very similar to what I have in my closet, to brainstorm in a practical and frugal way.

Outfit 1: Thrifted and altered polka dot cardigan; StyleMint tee; handmade knit skirt; knee high socks, Minnetonka moccasins purchased on eBay for $10; ModCloth watch (I don’t actually own that one…yet – Christmas present?)

Outfit 2: StyleMint tee; (of)matter necklace purchased with credit; high waist jeans; Target cardigan (my favorite from last season); Vera Bradley Saddle Up bag in Ellie Blue purchased for $30 on eBay (regular price, $68)

What I enjoy about having this blog, one with an open title, is that there are no rules. I can write on local events, daily experience, and style without worrying about whether or not I’m staying within my own guidelines. There are no guidelines! I think that personal style is a superficial topic. But I also think it’s fun to assess my wardrobe. Getting dressed is like drawing on a chalkboard: an outfit is temporary but it can still be thoughtful and inspiring.

On a slightly different note, I’m fairly certain that I need to go all secondhand/fair trade with my purchases. To use an evangelical term, I have felt convicted – for at least the past 9 months – that supporting companies that source and produce their goods in countries without fair labor standards is unethical, is sinful. If you followed me at my old blog, you’ll recall that I instated a “Secondhand Year” challenge, in which I determined to buy only secondhand and fair trade items for the entire year. I failed due to my own greed and lack of motivation. But I want to pick it back up. Even though keeping up with trends is the worst reason to shop ethically, I realized that it’s not as difficult as one might think to be fashionable and moral at the same time; it just takes a bit more effort. A combination of thrifting, buying secondhand on sites like eBay and etsy, and purchasing from fair trade companies provides a variety of products and price ranges. Companies like ModCloth also allow you to search by “Made in USA.”

I will stop rambling now and allow you to get on with your day.