Madras Playsuit Separates

HELLO I MADE A FAUX ROMPER. Nothing says Chicago Summer 2017 like formal rompers – check that: formal off-the-shoulder rompers – and I, for one, am so tired of looking at them that I went and made myself a pretend romper with straps that constantly fall off of my shoulders. It’s more of a playsuit, if we’re being specific – a very tightly boned playsuit – just perfect for those super casual days when I don’t need a full range of motion nor do I mind fully exposing myself. I wore the shorts on vacation, and my Mother-in-Law declared them to be the shortest shorts she’d ever seen.

Okay, yes maybe.

Wardrobe Myself - plaid madras romper

I love the effortlessness of a tiny one-piece for summer, but we all know how actually very full of effort they are in practice, so I made two pieces. I’ll do what I want.

Plaid Playsuit Separates by Veronica Sheaffer via Wardrobe Myself blog

Always accidentally getting my feet chopped off in these photos.

Balloon Collage by Wardrobe Myself

Veronica Sheaffer - Wardrobe Myself blog copy

A better jawline, please.

Madas romper via Wardrobe Myself

Matching plaids like a mother.

Madras bustier and short by Veronica Sheaffer - Wardrobe Myself blog

I can also throw this all in the washer and dryer. Take that, silky rompers of Chicago. GOODBYE.

Wardrobe|Myself items completed:

  1. Blue velvet top (+ 1 pincushion)
  2. Green velvet lounge pants
  3. Cropped poet blouse
  4. Crocheted lace top
  5. Crocheted lace skirt
  6. Madras bustier
  7. Madras high-waisted short

 

Crochet Lace Separates

HELLO I JUST COMPLETED TWO SUMMER VACATIONS, A COUPLE OF CRAZY DEADLINES, A WEEKEND AT PITCHFORK AND A BUNCH OF ‘WARDROBE MYSELF’ SEWING. Apologies for the delay. I’ve been dying to share these new pieces, but it can take literally all day for me to photograph, edit and write these posts – primarily because I have not one single clue how this fucking camera works, despite having owned it for something like seven years – and I also need an empty house, for obvious reasons (vanity). But, I’ve got a few new items, and hopefully I’ll be able to crank out some new content in the coming weeks.

HAVE I WON YOU BACK?

Veronica Sheaffer _ Wardrobe Myself _ crochet separates

On a recent trip to the higher-end fabric store in town, I spotted shelves of crazy, crocheted curtain fabrics marked down to $1/yard. This stuff is literally meant to be cut and hung on a cafe curtain rod – no sewing required – and it’s almost always got hearts and cottages and windmills woven into the patterns. I dug through the bolts and found one that had the predictable country motif (i.e. trees and clouds and birds), but saw that if I manipulated the fabric just so … the pattern was completely transformed.

Veronica Sheaffer - Wardrobe Myself project - Crochet top and skirt

I quickly stitched up a top and skirt, both unlined and open in front – I guess to keep the fabric from looking too young. It can obviously be worn over a slip, but also over a brief and bra, or a bathing suit – I’ve worn the top a few times over my poet blouse, which fit really well and looked great.

Sheer crochet skirt by Veronica Sheaffer

Wardrobe Myself by Veronica Sheaffer - sheer crochet lace skirt

My attempts at getting a shot of the top on its own were unsuccessful.

Veronica Sheaffer - Wardrobe Myself blog

Veronica Sheaffer - Wardrobe Myself - sheer lace skirt

But they are, indeed, separates. GOODBYE.

Wardrobe|Myself items completed:

  1. Blue velvet top (+ 1 pincushion)
  2. Green velvet lounge pants
  3. Cropped poet blouse
  4. Crocheted lace top
  5. Crocheted lace skirt

Poet Blouse

HELLO I MADE A POET BLOUSE. Is there anything sexier than a ridiculous amount of fabric, like definitely way too much fabric, draped over your body and billowing all around you?

You: “Um …?”

Me: No.

Wardrobe Myself - flower

 

Wardrobe Myself - designer spends a year sewing luxury wardrobe for herself

Wardrobe Myself by Veronica Sheaffer-flower collage
Artwork by Veronica Sheaffer

rayon poet blouse

draped poets blouse

Wardrobe Myself - sewing an entire luxury wardrobe - Poet Blouse

IMG_8802

It’s sexy because it’s so perfectly easy, and it’s also straight out of an old English novel, full of romance and vicars and scandal. Can’t you just see some gorgeous, socially frustrated man with curling tendrils, ripping this from my shoulders in a fit of wild passion?

With special details like tiny rows of shirring to shape the sleeves, and a draped, detached cowl at the back, and an insanely soft, liquid-y rayon fabric, I feel easy and confident and loved and like a goddamned fascinating poet. Invite me to your dinner parties.

braids and flowers

Wardrobe Myself - Poet Blouse - monogram embroidery
all images by Veronica Sheaffer

I also embroidered a tiny pale blue “V” next to a covered button on the silk wristband. Fucking sexpot over here.

Roses are red, violets are blue
P.S. this blouse is basically see-through. GOODBYE.

Wardrobe|Myself items completed:

  1. Blue velvet top (+ 1 pincushion)
  2. Green velvet lounge pants
  3. Cropped poet blouse

Green Velvet Lounge Pants

HELLO I MADE THESE LOUNGE PANTS. I’ve been super excited to get started on lounging pajamas, because, let’s face it, real luxury begins at home. And the pair of tasteless, jersey sad pants from Target that I’ve been wearing for the last three years were SHAMEFUL. True story: I actually felt sorry for my husband every time I wore them. Now I’m gliding around the house like a goddamn boss bitch in drape-y emerald green velvet. NO MORE APOLOGIES.

Wardrobe Myself - Green Velvet Lounge Pants by Veronica Sheaffer

Veronica Sheaffer - Chicago fashion designer blogger

 

Wardrobe Myself by Veronica Sheaffer
Artwork by Veronica Sheaffer

Wardrobe Myself - Green Velvet Lounge Pants by Veronica Sheaffer -b

Wardrobe Myself - Green Velvet Lounge Pants by Veronica Sheaffer -a

Wardrobe Myself - Green Velvet High-Waisted Lounge Pants by Veronica Sheaffer

dart

I made ties, so the waistband can be cinched or relaxed, as needed, and added pintucked pleats for a little interest. The fabric is beyond soft and stretchy and can be thrown in the washer and dryer, so they’re comfy and easy, but NOT ugly as sin. You really can have it all! I’m wearing them right now, and life is glorious.

Wardrobe|Myself items completed:

  1. Blue velvet top (+ 1 pincushion)
  2. Green velvet lounge pants

I also made the top (for New Year’s Eve), but that’s a story for another time. GOODBYE.

Catalogue: Shirts and Jackets

HELLO I MADE A PHOTO CATALOGUE. Molly told me I needed to share more pictures of everything, and obviously she was right, so after my fancy closet makeover, I photo catalogued everything left hanging. I mean, I did tops and jackets anyway (bottoms are a whole other category – as are jammies and undies). It feels like a pretty full wardrobe, honestly – even after such a big purge – but I still have to live a life while I work on replacing the one I have now. Ohmigod, you guys, I’M REPLACING MY LIFE RIGHT NOW. Anyway, this is the current situation (I think if you right click and open the image in a new tab you can zoom in a little (CONFIRMED)):

Wardrobe Myself - sewing an entire luxury wardrobe
* Anything with an asterisk is something I’ve already made.

The concept is obvious, right? I’m keeping or restyling or repairing or replacing. I’m not going to insult your intelligence any further.

Is this so boring?? I think maybe this is boring for you, but I find it FASCINATING. You should totally catalogue your closet – I have such a new appreciation for my clothes! Obviously do it AFTER a purge – anything you don’t totally love is definitely not worthy of a photograph. I honestly really love everything here. Or I will love it, after I do some repairs and restyling, and when it’s all charted out I can see what kinds of pieces would be great additions. I swear it will be more interesting as I move forward. GOD, YOU GUYS, COULD I DRAG OUT THE INTRO TO THIS BLOG ANY FURTHER?? JUST THROW IT ALL AWAY AND MAKE SOMETHING!

Anyway … only five pieces up there are from other contemporary designers –  the shell in the top right square, the blouse in the third row far left, the denim jacket, and the two dark leather jackets – everything else is either vintage or made by me. That feels kind of great. And with the exception of the leather jackets, I hope to replace the rest of it with my own work. I’m sort of tempted to embroider my initials into everything too, just because that feels like a rich person, luxury thing to do. I once read through the descriptions of a bunch of estate pieces, and all of the (very fancy, hand sewn) undergarments had initials AND dates embroidered inside (the royals also did (maybe they still do?) that). 2017 feels like it might be a date I’d love to forget (at least politically), so maybe just initials for me.

After publishing this post I will begin my first monogram on another completed item for myself. This one is also velvet and also completely impossible to photograph. Excited to try to show you, but more excited to start wearing it. GOODBYE.

 

 

Closet Makeover

HELLO I FINISHED MY CLOSET. Almost. Basically. It was the literal definition of depressing, and I’m so glad I did something about it after all these sad years. I didn’t grab a ‘before’ shot until I had already emptied everything out, but who cares anyway. It’s fun now. And I love it so much.

COME IN:

Closet Makeover on Wardrobe Myself _ pegboard and leopard wallpaper

I JUST rediscovered that kooky leopard 1960s Bill Blass jacket (with matching dress) in a bag of dry cleaning AFTER wallpapering. Can you even? It needs some work, but I’m obviously bringing that back into rotation. IT MATCHES MY CLOSET.

Closet Makeover on Wardrobe Myself _ leopard wallpaper and pegboard

I decided to go super bananas and fill the space with color and glamour and cheekiness, because I’ve been VERY RESTRAINED in the rest of the house. This little spot is just for me, so why not make it reflect my best inner lunatic self?

Closet Makeover on Wardrobe Myself _ shelving and storage

Decor Improvements:

  1. A million coats (and yet, still not enough) of Benjamin Moore’s Deep Green. I should have gone for two or three more coats, but I actually wanted to live my life, so I stopped at FOUR. The shade, though, is so rich and velvety, and it makes me feel like such a bitch.
  2. Gluing this red leopard gift wrap all over the walls and upper shelves (I used wallpaper paste) has given my life meaning.
  3. New white shelves for my shoes. Now they really POP, and I can clearly see that every single pair needs a trip to the cobbler. So luxury!
  4. Replacing the regular exposed lightbulbs with these giant Edison bulbs was a lot easier than getting an actual fixture. Whatever.
  5. Self-affirming poster from my wonderful friend Dean. I love it and you so much. THANK YOU.

Closet Makeover on Wardrobe Myself _ shelves for shoes and rolling cart for purses

Pink shoe puff tutorial on How Old is Too Old!

Closet Makeover on Wardrobe Myself

That shelf on the left is a rolling bookshelf, that I literally found in the alley the very day I started this project, after thinking I needed a rolling shelf. IT FITS PERFECTLY. On the top I keep my pretty clutch purses, and down below are stupid things like winter boots and hiking shoes. Ugh, don’t ask. At least I don’t have to look at them. But, SO ORGANIZED.

I VERY MUCH would like to replace the wire Ikea shelves with a pretty, wooden chest of drawers, but I haven’t even started looking for that yet. Obviously my luxury goals are greatly held up in the meantime. The drawers are full of extra velvet hangers and … wigs.

Closet Makeover on Wardrobe Myself _ clothes and accessories

I cleaned out ALL of my bathing suits and scarves and belts, except for those few things: two maillots and three long ribbon scarves. And the clothes you see hanging are all that’s left after my first major purge. Much of it I’ve sewn myself and everything else will be replaced over the coming months.

Leopard Wallpaper Closet - Shoulda Played it Cooler

Obviously, you can see that space is ultra limited, and I definitely do not plan to fill it back up again. One-by-one I’ll replace whatever’s in there with something better. And even though the priority should be those awful, uncomfortable bras, it will probably be a bathing suit, because I have POOL VACATIONS, PEOPLE. And I also have a sun allergy, so ALSO COVERUPS!

And now I’m off to photo catalogue every single item. GOODBYE.

Wardrobe|Myself: Restyled Blue Velvet

*HELLO. My closet makeover is taking longer than expected, but here’s a piece I made a couple of weeks ago!

In December, I thrifted this boring blue velvet dress for $4 – definitely hand sewn and definitely from the ’80s (hello SLEEVES!). It needed a little cleaning up to the construction, and some tweaks to make it more flattering, but for the price and sheer amount of fabric, I made sure to grab it and then look at it every now and then.

I had originally planned to shorten it and then use the excess fabric to make tons of weird velvet berries and flowers, spilling over the shoulders and onto the sleeves. And I still really love that idea, but of course once I got going, and began to see what a cornucopia of blue velvet produce would actual mean on my tiny frame, I had to adjust my expectations.

SO. I shortened it, used the excess for a high, twisted tie at the neck (hello, Balenciaga) and created tucks in the sleeves to make them a bit more wow. I also removed the back zipper and arm bands and trimmed all of the edges in a really beautiful matching grosgrain I grabbed from the remnant bin at Soutache ($4).

I made a pincushion out of the berries.

Wardrobe | Myself: Restyled Blue Velvet

Wardrobe Myself - sewing luxury wardrobe for myself

I finished it recently and wore it to dinner with a friend that night. She said I reminded her of Marie Antoinette, so I took that as permission to cut off my head and not worry about hair and makeup.

Wardrobe Myself _ sewing blue velvet top with puff sleeves tied neckline _ do not worry about hair and makeup

Wardrobe Myself - blue velvet top with tied neckline

tied neckline

blue velvet top

The fabric is so gorgeous, and keeping it simple makes it easy and wearable, but I’m still sort of tempted to make a bunch of removable embellishments. Definitely going to make two pleated, white ruffs to wear above and between those neck ties though.

FANCY.

Wardrobe|Myself items completed:

  1. Blue velvet top (+ 1 pincushion)

 

If everything goes according to plan, I’ll be back soon with my closet makeover, followed by a total inventory of what’s left hanging. VERY EXCITED TO REPLACE IT ALL.