Monday, April 6, 2015

What We Wore Saturday: Handmakes and Bargains Edition

We went to Easter Vigil Mass this year, so no pics were taken the day of, since we weren't exactly running early, and didn't get home till 1:30 or so. But, DH is working late tonight, so it was a prime opportunity to pull out the tripod and torture the kids for a few.
Dress: Vogue 1302
Sweater: Ann Taylor
Shoes: Kate Spade (via eBay)

When this Vogue pattern came out, my very first thought was how it had great potential to be converted to a nursing dress (there was no way a non-nursable outfit would fly for a three-hours-at-bedtime Mass). There was a bit of origami involved in getting an opening in both the bodice and lining layers, but I think it was my most successful attempt at such a conversion yet. I had a couple of issues with other aspects of the construction, but the shrug mostly has those covered. The hat was one of three I made for Holly's wedding out of various Etsy components:
The shoes were a NIB eBay score from earlier in the week. Even at a huge discount from retail, they're close to the most expensive shoes in my closet. I'm trying to move towards buying fewer, high-quality pieces, though, and these will replace two or three pairs of shoes that I wasn't in love with, but couldn't get rid of because they were the only ones that matched a given outfit. So far, I'll say that they're way more comfortable than my usual Kohl's or Macy's heels, so I'm feeling good about shelling out.
"Don't mind me because I am totally NOT dragging my brother towards the wall by his jacket collar..."
Shirt: Gap
Shoes: Jumping Jacks
Jacket: Burda 9781 (OOP, replaced by this)
Tie: pattern here
Pants: Butterick 4002 (OOP)

Peanut (who seems to be doing his impression of "My Son John" here):
Shirt: Janie and Jack
Pants: mashups of various vintage patterns, but view C here is a similar idea
Jacket: OOP pattern (similar to the Eton jacket here)

If there's one sure way to get Bean dressed, it's to offer him something red to wear. With that in mind, I whipped together a pair of red pants, and a matching bowtie (out of real, mill-end bowtie fabric!) I convinced him that suspenders were the way to go, thus getting myself out of making belt loops. His jacket has been wearable for a record three holidays, though I did lengthen the sleeves a tad before Christmas.

Peanut's overalls were inspired by the ones in this post, and were made out of an old pair of men's linen pants. I had to work around a few spots and stains, but my only investment was about $2 worth of buttons! The jacket was all leftovers from other projects, and the shirt was an after-Christmas clearance find.

Both boys made it through all three Triduum liturgies (plus Easter Vespers) like champs. Bean got to hold his own candle at the Vigil this year, which was a significant help to his attention span (he still asked to go out for a drink of water three or four times, though). Peanut somehow managed to gnaw grooves in the varnish of the pew in front of us, but even he was pretty engaged in what was going on ("Oooh! Whatdis?"). I think it really helped to go to a historical church with lots of lovely things to look at, rather than our usual suburban eighties parish.

Though there was plenty of the usual writhing around the pew, Bean was definitely more engaged in the goings-on this year. For some reason, the Good Friday intercessions really caught his attention. He stood up straight the whole time, hands folded, and followed the deacon's chanted instructions to stand and kneel. Maybe he just really likes Catholic calisthenics?

On Easter itself, we slept in (as much as the kids would allow), and put Basilica Mass on the TV while I whipped up a steak-and-eggs brunch. Then we spent the afternoon soaking up the good weather (since gone) with some friends, and finished off with Vespers at the Basilica (more candles!) where Bean, who usually doesn't do any of the responses, chanted along with the Lord's Prayer, the intercessions, and lots of Alleluias. Maybe we'll have to make the effort to find inspiring surroundings more often.

Find more WIWS posts at Fine Linen and Purple!


  1. Love it all! Especially the fascinator and the bow tie - I kept meaning to make my oldest a bow tie but there ended up not being enough time... Thankfully he's low-maintenance :) He really wants me to sew stuff for him though - so far I've pretty much just stuck with skirts and dresses for the girls because they're so much easier! Any good ideas for beginner projects for boys?

    1. Thanks! The bow tie really was easy; I think I might have gotten it done in 20 minutes (at around t-minus 2 hours, with dinner and shower yet to happen; but I'd promised). I may try to blog what I did soon because it's a little different, but this isn't a bad tutorial. I'd cut out the pieces on the bias, though. I've done it on-grain before, and those ties tend to lose their perkiness and get kind of crumply with wear.

      Pants can be pretty easy, but it depends upon what details he'll miss. Bean refuses to acknowledge the existence of pants without a zipper, so that had to stay, as well as front pockets (which are really quite easy). Skipping belt loops and back pockets made these pretty quick and easy all around, though. The hardest part was probably getting him to try them on for the hems!

      Another good project (I'd put it in the "advanced beginner" category), is a camp/hawaiian/bowling style shirt. Simplicity 3852 has pretty clear instructions. The collar takes a bit of thought the first time through, but it's the kind of thing where if you take it one step at a time, it all seems to come together at the end. Once you have it in your repertoire, it can be a summer church shirt in linen or seersucker, a play shirt in a novelty print (Bean is getting one with planets this summer), or a pajama top.

    2. Awesome, thanks! I made a bow tie for Christmas and it really was pretty easy - I hadn't thought of cutting on the bias! And pants probably are a good place to start - he used to have these coral pants that he was always SO excited to wear on Laetare Sunday and Gaudete Sunday, but he outgrew them! Maybe I'll work on giving him a liturgically appropriate wardrobe, since he's nerdy like that ;) I just wish I could figure my darned buttonhole foot out!

    3. Coral pants for rose Sundays sound AWESOME. What a liturgical trendsetter!

      Is there a YouTube video for your machine's buttonhole function? I always have better luck with those than figuring out written instructions. Though I usually forget to buy a matching button for dress pants, and just put a hook-and-bar closure in instead.

    4. There is, and I've watched it a million times and still can't get it to work - I should probably try again with a different fabric, because the seersucker I was working with then was fairly thin and finicky... But hook-and-bar sounds like a MUCH better idea, and my 5yo is actually partial to that kind of closing for some reason!

    5. Probably the seersucker. I've got a seersucker plaid shirtdress that I've hardly worn it because I just didn't even want to look at it after all the trouble the buttonholes gave me. Bean can't quite get buttons yet, plus the hook closure looks like Dad's pants, so it's a win-win!

  2. I love your dress! I've been stopping to gaze at it in the Vogue book for awhile now.

    I'm with you on the fewer, nicer items bandwagon. Whenever I get to doing my seasonal/post-maternity swapout, I'm hoping to do a brutal evaluation of my wardrobe and really clear out things I'm not crazy about, and repopulate with better choices.

    1. Thanks! I doubt I'll make another any time soon, so let me know if you want to borrow the pattern. I took some pictures of my process for altering the top, so I may try to blog those soon.

      I'm hoping to join in with our association's garage sale next month, so I need to go through my closet, too. The pregnant/nursing/none-of-the-above cycle makes it trickier, though. It's hard to remember what I wore all the time two years ago, but I hate to get rid of something, only to really miss it next time I'm at that point. Brutal is probably better than overly lax, though, judging from the state of my closet...