Hooray, it’s here! I’m so excited to have made it to the finals of So You Think You’re Crafty
, and I want to thank everyone for their votes so far! For my wild card project, I decided to make myself a complete outfit, (it’s actually my first new outfit since moving to Korea almost 8 months ago, since I am too tall and big for Korean clothes, I have one sweatshirt I bought here that I had to get in an extra large, and it fits me like my regular size small in the US would, except my wrists hang out. A LOT.) I wanted to make something that really encompasses my style and philosophy in making things, so this outfit is a combination of my own original design, along with a cardigan knockoff from Anthropologie. (I am personally really attracted to fine fabric and detail work; and I also love the challenge of making something for a lot less than I could buy it for in a store.) AND I am so excited to have the weather starting to warm up, so I can finally wear something that isn’t a coat, so without further ado, I present my Wild Card project, a Springtime Dress and Cardigan (goodness I hope it’s more exciting then the name!!!)
The cardigan was inspired by the Felted Flora Cardigan at Anthropologie
, (the picture on the top right is Anthropologie’s version.) At Anthropologie, this cardigan is $138 and made from cotton; my Cardigan began life as a plain beige, 100% cashmere cardigan that I got at a thrift store for $8. I used 5 different colors of wool roving to needle felt the flowers and leaves onto the front, and I changed out the buttons for a set of 1930’s, mother of pearl buttons that were still on the card, (I’m not gonna lie, it sort of hurt me to take them off the card…) I am so pleased with how this turned out, and I actually like the colors on mine much better than the pinks of the Anthro cardigan (and seriously it’s cashmere and the whole thing cost less then $15, that’s a $123 savings over the original one!!!)
I have a very difficult time finding dresses that fit me off the rack, I have a thin rib cage, but I am unusually busty (something I try to minimize the look of) and I am tall for a girl (I’m 5’9″) So in designing this dress, I really wanted to make something that looked like it could have come from a great boutique store, (the one’s that never have anything that fits me) without directly referencing any particular dress. The fabric is a luscious green rayon, with beige leaves, and orange and mustard colored birds in the print. I bought this fabric a few months ago here in Korea at the fashion fabric market (it’s called Dongdaemun) without really knowing what I was going to do with it (actually my husband picked it out) and when I made it to the finals I knew it would be perfect for a spring dress! All of the materials in this dress cost less than $20.
The fully lined bodice is done in a crisscross design, with gathered shoulders and a wide band at the waist. The band at the waist has random pin-tucking done in different angles and directions creating subtle texture; elevating the dress from ordinary to extraordinary in its detail. (Well, at least I think so! I am a huge fan of fabric manipulation rather than always adding extra trims.) The dress is closed by a hidden side zip, and the lace at the hem comes from a vintage slip I picked up years ago at an antique store, attached to the bodice as an underskirt. The leather belt is held in place by 2 hand embroidered loops on the sides (another old school technique that I feel like makes a couture difference when making clothing.)
I am very excited about this whole look, and I will actually be wearing it for our family portrait this spring (I somehow managed to make my husband a plaid vest for his birthday in matching colors, and my son an outfit for Project Run and Play in the same beige and greens, so I just need to get on making an outfit for my daughter, that I already bought the fabric for at the same time I got my dress fabric!) And best of all, I really feel like I encompassed my true crafting style of making something of quality, for less then I could get it from at a store (less than $35 for the whole outfit!!!) that is uniquely my own.
Thanks for taking the time to read everything 🙂 and I would really love your vote over at So You Think You’re Crafty!