Sewn by Me: Zimmermann-Inspired Floral Mesh Top

Last month I had my final fraternity formal of my college career. Obviously I wanted to make something special to stand out on this night. Nobody wants to have the same dress as someone else so why not assure that doesn’t happen by sewing your own look?

sewing trendy summer top

I am always inspired by the constant Zimmermann looks I see on Instagram. The brand is so girly yet edgy and chic. While I am still not at the point in my life where I can comfortably afford to drop thousands on a sundress, I CAN design my own look with similar design elements.

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I fell in love with this mesh floral fabric at Mood Fabrics as soon as I came across it on its roll in a bin. I thought it was incredibly unique to find a floral print on such a thick mesh. The fabric is even a bit transparent, making for a beautiful look up against the skin.

sew in zipper top

I actually used the same pattern I featured in my last sewing post, “Sewn by Me: Cutout Jumpsuit”, to make this top. McCall’s #7626 has truly been the universal pattern of my spring wardrobe. I simply used the bodice pieces of the jumpsuit and disregarded the pant leg pattern pieces. I also decided to make the top strapless and omit using the strap pattern pieces.

I followed the pattern just as I would if making the jumpsuit. I lined the front bodice pieces with black satin fabric and lined the back bodice pieces with the mesh fabric so that the back pieces would still maintain some transparency. I also decided to opt for an exposed metal zipper for design purposes.

Mod fabrics zimmerman inspired

To achieve the “Zimmermann look” I bought thick white mesh trim to add to each seam of the bodice. I used 1 1/2 inch thick trim in the front and 1 inch trim on the side seams. Make sure you sew this onto the bodice before sewing in the lining. This trim was super affordable at Mood and added a really cool element when sewn over the bodice seams.

spring box bag look

Overall, this top was very easy to make. It is the fabric and trim that really makes this top special. It just proves how beautiful fabric can make a huge difference in the things you make. While I wanted to sew a matching skirt for a two-piece look, I think this look still ended up looking chic and beautiful. I paired the top with my favorite chiffon shorts from Aritzia, box bag from Urban Outfitters, and black Aldo heels.

spring fashion blogger

What do you want to see me make next? I am moving onto sewing a lot of pieces for my summer wardrobe so I’m thinking rompers, sundresses, and linen shorts. Let me know in the comments below!

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Sewn by Me: Cutout Jumpsuit

I have been actively seeking out trendy and fashionable sewing bloggers for some time now. Unfortunately, I haven’t had much luck. Most sewing bloggers I find are super conservative in their style and over the age of thirty-five. For someone who is constantly following the latest trends in fashion and is pretty young, this just isn’t the ideal source of inspiration.

This being said, I’ve decided to add to my blog what I’ve found lacking on the internet- a young, trendy approach to sewing. As I make new pieces I will be updating you on the patterns I used, the various adjustments I made on them, and where I found my fabrics.

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You may recognize this jumpsuit from one of my past posts, Not Your Average Housewife. I used the same pattern for this one as I did for that one yet they turned out totally different! This just goes to show that a little bit of adjustments here and there can end in an entirely unique garment.

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I used McCall’s M7626 as a base for both jumpsuits. For the “Not Your Average Housewife” jumpsuit I kept the pattern almost exactly the same as the original. I used the pattern for jumpsuit D but added the straps of jumpsuit C. The only difference is that the one strap pattern uses buckles and the other doesn’t.

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When I used this pattern the second time, to make the jumpsuit pictured, I created a cutout in the front, used an exposed zipper, and tailored the leg seams.

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Getting the cutout just right was a bit difficult. I wanted to make it large enough where I could wear the jumpsuit out to a club and still be sexy but low enough on the top piece that there wasn’t too much underboob (just keeping it real here!). Sounds like a weird issue but it required lots of playing around with the straps and how the fabric would lay when sewn to the pants portion of the jumpsuit.

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The exposed zipper was obviously a lot easier to sew in than the invisible zipper, so I was happy about that. Invisible zippers are probably my least favorite thing to sew. For the pants I simply cut out the original pattern and then tailored the perfect fit to me when I tried the finished ensemble on. I also cuffed the jumpsuit so it would hit just above the ankle and look flattering with all different shoe types.

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I already bought this fabric in a nude color to make another jumpsuit for spring. They are just so easy to wear and a lot of fun to make. Be sure to let me know if you’ve ever used this pattern or if you plan on picking it up. Happy sewing!

Not Your Average Housewife

While I am definitely not a housewife (or anywhere close), I couldn’t help but feel like I was playing the role of a fabulously-dressed, nontraditional housewife as I pushed my grocery cart through aisles filled with potato chips and tomato sauce.

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This idea that women are the ones who do the grocery shopping for the family is still pretty prominent, but us millennial women are reshaping this role every day. We are quickly moving from the ones who bring home the groceries to the ones who bring home the dough. Thank god I’m not bringing groceries home anytime soon or my imaginary children would be eating a diet of purely potato chips.

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It ended up being quite ironic that I chose to wear this home-sewn jumpsuit for this photo shoot. Sewing used to be just another chore listed on the “to-do” list of a stereotypical housewife. However, it has now shaped itself into a hobby rather than a chore; a hobby many women unfortunately do not have the skill or desire necessary to learn.

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I have been sewing since I was 8 years old. The moment I picked up a sewing needle I knew it was something I would be hooked on for life. There is something so magical about being able to construct your own clothing and see your own designs come to life. In our modern age, those who know how to sew (like me) are those who are extremely passionate about art and design. It is something that is no longer viewed as a common skill but rather as a talent and an art. Just look at our society’s fascination with the television show “Project Runway”!

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This jumpsuit has quickly become one of my favorite things I have sewn because of its vintage vibes and perfectly tailored fit. I was able to find this ’70s-inspired plaid fabric at my local Jo-Ann Fabric store and the hardware at M&J Trimming in New York City. I modified McCall’s Pattern #7626 to include the buckle and grommet detailing.

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Don’t let gender stereotypes keep you from pursuing a hobby that you love. This is the age of change and breaking out of the gender roles that society assigned to us centuries ago. If you want to grocery shop in the most fabulous jumpsuit you own, who’s stopping you? If you are a man and want to learn to make your own suit jackets, who’s stopping you?

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The only answer to those questions is yourself. We are the only ones that limit ourselves to the roles society wants us to mold into. We are society and we determine the shape of these gender molds. Reshape your own mold. Get out there and break those gender roles.

Lipstick: Nars Pure Matte                                                     Earrings (similar): Forever 21

Jumpsuit: Madison Mae Designs

Similar Jumpsuits: Forever 21, Honey Punch, Banana Republic

The Science of Being “Cool”

What exactly does being “cool” mean to you? Does it mean you have the most friends? Does it mean you are always the center of attention at parties? According to Google to be “cool” means to be fashionably attractive or impressive. So, as it turns out, being cool has nothing to do with your social status but everything to do with the way you dress.

I think we can all agree that we all feel our coolest in clothing that we feel is stylish or unique from anyone else’s. Everyone wants to be positively perceived by others and many people often count on their looks to make a radiant first impression on someone. Each kind of style has its own connotations. Of course I believe a person should be judged on their personality rather than what they are wearing, but this just proves how powerful fashion can be.

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While many people consider fashion to be superficial, I see it as a way to shape other’s judgements of you. There are billions of people in the world that will never get the chance to talk to you and understand your emotional depth, so why not try to show this through your clothing? After all, hundreds of people pass by you and eye your look up and down every day, so give them something to look at that sheds light on who you really are.

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The brain actually has a part dedicated to processing what is “cool” and “uncool”, called the medial prefrontal cortex. This part of the brain processes what it sees and connects it to one’s social emotions. So yes, it is true that when we dress our best, we feel our best (Bain, “The neuroscience of ‘cool'”). Cool actually equals confidence.

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We all have those lazy mornings when we would rather skip the makeup and hair styling for ten extra minutes of sleep. I have been guilty of this a lot this summer; waking up at 6am and commuting two hours to work is definitely not an ideal situation. However, I believe it is so important to take care of yourself and step out of your house feeling good about yourself every morning.

This outfit is one of my favorites to throw on when I want to feel and look my best without putting too much thought into it. I often wear a dress, booties, and fun kimono when I am running late or am too sleepy to put together an Instagram-approved look. The mesh floral kimono is a particular favorite of mine because I sewed it myself. Wearing something I made and designed myself brings my confidence to a new level because I am representing my own creativity and expressing my personal brand.

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I used to be guilty of teasing my cousin for spending hours primping herself just to drive to the doctor’s office or to a yoga class. Now I truly understand the difference in perception of my own self when I feel “cool”. I am confident, productive, unstoppable, and friendly when I know I look good and I like what I am wearing. If you can put the best version of yourself out in the world, why wouldn’t you?