Make it Mondays - How I Do Fashion on a Budget

Ok, so let me be honest here a minute.  I’m not the most fashionable looking girl on the planet.  I love Wrangler jeans, I love me some cowboy boots (and not the cute fashionable kind I’m talking mine have spur marks on the back), and I love hoop earrings.  That’s pretty much me in a nutshell.   

Then there’s the me that buys Elle magazine and lusts after Giambattista Valli blouses.  Oh yea, I’m coming out of the closet here.  I’m a closet fashion lover.  I think it started with the soap opera Bold and the Beautiful (back when it was awesome and they had those over the top fashion shows in places like the south of Italy).  Back in the day Bold and the Beautiful was about two rival fashion houses in L.A.  I was pretty young when it came out but I was shocked that you could design clothes for a living.  What?!?  I sketched clothing designs for my Barbie's like there was no tomorrow and sewed a bunch of Barbie clothes by hand.  It was pretty much downhill from there.  My mom enabled me by buying my first sewing machine for me when I was 13.  I made all my prom dresses.  I made clothes for school.  I was able to indulge my love of funky clothes and most importantly have things that flattered me and looked like they came from a high end boutique.  (Good Lord I hope so anyway.) 

 I don’t buy them often but I still pick up an Elle from time to time or a Marie Clare to see what’s up in the fashion world and what I might like to knock off.  I also love to watch New York Fashion Week videos online.  So.  Awesome. 

But, a lot of those beautiful clothes just don’t translate into the everyday life of a girl that lives in rural Mississippi.  Yes I work in a professional office, but we’re not that formal.  Black dress pants and a cute top go a long way to looking professional when most of the people in Wal-Mart and the grocery store are wearing sleep pants, flip flops, and tank tops.  I like to look put together, but I don’t want to be too overdressed.   No matter what Oscar Wilde says.  I try to strike a happy medium between, professional, approachable, comfortable, and easy to care for. 

So, I like beautiful.  I like fashionable.  I like nice fabrics.  I also do not have a ton of dough to spend on clothes, nor do I want to.  See our issue here?  I like fashion but think the price is ridiculous.  This is why I sew.  Sewing is how I do fashion on a budget.       
So what are my sewing suggestions? 
1.  Separates
Nothing makes your closet more mix and match than separates.  Blouses, simple jackets, and skirts are some of my go to's. 
2.  Quality Fabric
The more wear you get out of a garment the less it costs.  Ok, hear me out.  Say you spend $20.00 on a top.  If it only lasts a few washings, say 4, it costs $5.00 a day to have that top.  If you get 20 wearing's out of a top then it costs $1.00 per day to own that top.   I have learned over the years to spend just a little more on fabric and it actually saves me money in the long run.  (Do I always take this advice....) 
3.  Sew what you LOVE
I love 3/4 sleeve tops.  Love.  I wear them all year round.  They go in and out of fashion, but they are a staple.  Audrey Hepburn was never wrong.  So, I have a tried and true 3/4 top pattern I can sew in my sleep.  I know it fits every time.  I know it looks good, and it's something I reach for time and again.  Don't just sew the trendy stuff.  Sew classics that you love and can mix and match with newer trendier pieces.
4.  Take your time
Don't rush.  Listen to me.  Look at me.  Right in the eye and repeat after me.  SLOW DOWN.  TAKE YOUR TIME.  Don't feel pressured to churn something out in a day.  If all you have is 15-30 minutes here and there, fine.  It might take me a week to make a simple top, but I know it fits, is finished well, and is going to last. 
5.  Have fun!
If you're just getting into sewing know that you are going to mess up.  It happens.  I've been sewing for almost 20 years and I still have days when it's best for me to either step back, take a breather, or throw it away and start over.  Not every project is going to be a success, and that's okay.   
Have a great day my lovelies!


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