Normally Tchad and the folks up here just hammer away at blog posts and put things up as they come across the cutting tables and fly through the workrooms. Today we are going to try something new. We are reserving a section of the blog for former students and other sewers (especially in Chicago) to have their say and their way with this little piece of online real estate.
Today, and for our first post in the Other Voices section, may we present author Karen McKinley…
…In Praise of a Glamorous Aesthetic…
Okay, I’m going to be a little judgy here.
Is it just me or are people getting awfully casual at formal events these days? The last time I went to the symphony I saw plenty of people in jeans – and one person even in sweatpants!
Now I know all about limited means (I am actually the Queen of Limited Means) but I also believe in dressing appropriately for the occasion. And it’s so easy with patterns like Butterick B5232…
Being someone who loves vintage I was thrilled to find this shrug pattern, which is technically labelled a Victorian Jacket but I thought a 1950s glamour aesthetic would work just as well in using it.
For my fabric selection I went to Vogue Fabrics in Evanston. It is my favorite place to shop for fabric. They have a wide variety of what I call everyday fabrics and, in particular, they carry faux fur. My pocketbook barely took a hit with the purchase of a yard and a quarter of it along with a workable, soft poly lining.
Bit of advice from the seamstress: faux fur phoofs everywhere when you cut it! And I mean it got everywhere: I found bits of fuzzy black faux fur on my stovetop the next day.
Also, right-sides-together means fur on fur and it was a little tricky sewing it because it slipped everywhere but in the end I was so pleased with the results! For my purposes I did Jacket B except for the collar, in which case I substituted collar A.
Now all it takes is a little vintage costume jewelry to accessorize the look…and you have yourself a glamorous aesthetic suitable for symphony going! The brooch was my grandma’s but Chicago has all sorts of wonderful vintage shops (my personal fave is Vintage Underground in Wicker Park) to choose from for scoping out a good deal. I once found a faux diamond bracelet (1980s style) at a resale shop in Evanston for $1.
So there you have it. There’s no need to suffer the fashion crime of underdressing when you can sew your way to style on the cheap. It’s just too much fun this way.
Karen M. McKinley began her love of writing when, at twelve, she tried to pitch her own version of Return of the Jedi to George Lucas. Though Mr. Lucas was not impressed, she has been making up stories ever since. She has been published in Remarkable Doorways, Hair Trigger, and Goreyesque and was a contributing writer for The Aether Chronicle. She is currently working on her first New Adult genre novel.