Sewing Segment: Shape Shift

Hey loves! I’m back from my blogging hiatus, and I am thrilled to be behind the laptop screen again! I really didn’t want to wait this long to post, but my life has been even crazier than usual. I feel like I have been doing everything under the sun—shooting some promo for products, moving into a new apartment (and, yes, an apartment tour is in the making) and starting my Junior year of college! Getting used to my new place and adjusting to a routine has been difficult, and my weekly planner is once again filled with assignments, meetings, work hours, and class times. Despite my schedule being jam-packed, I knew I had to revive my blog because it is so therapeutic for me to write about my passions, and I know you all wondered why The Closet Comber went MIA! The good news is that my planner is also filled with tons of fun outfits and shoots in the next coming months, but for now, let’s focus on this cute look! This week, I chose to wear a dress that I made (wow, it has been a long time since I was able to say I sewed something!), threw on some simple sock booties, and carried my red Bendel bucket bag….try saying that 5x fast! For all my seamstresses out there, this one is for you! Even if you aren’t much of a sewer, this dress is easy to make and a great beginner project for anyone looking to make clothes. Let me tell you, it is a bit stressful, but oh-so-satisfying to wear something you put the effort in to make. Of course, sewing is not for everyone, so for all of my ladies who would rather not pick up a needle and thread, stick around to read up on how to transition from summer to fall with luxe prints! Keep on scrolling for tips and tricks to style/make a cute shape shift! 

Believe it or not, this little dress has been years in the making. It all started out with a Project Runway obsession when I would watch the designers’ creations come to life. One of my favorite parts of the show was when they would go to Mood Fabrics in NYC’s garment district to buy the fabrics for their pieces. It looked like a dream…surrounded by bolts of luxurious textiles in every color and texture imaginable. From watching at just 7 years old, I knew one day I would go to Mood and make something of my own! Well, on October 5th, 2017, I finally got to recite Tim Gunn’s famous words when I said, “Thank you, Mood!” with a bag a fabric in my hand and a smile on my face. I FINALLY went to Mood fabrics, and it was amazing and a day I will never forget. In fact, I was blogging at the time, so you might remember my “New Adventures in New York” post when I gushed about my Mood experience (click on the Archive tab on the sidebar and scroll to October 2017 posts to see the cringeworthy iPhone 7 pics hahaha)! 

Fast forward a year after I bought my fabric, and I made my dress (about time)! I didn’t buy a ton of fabric because, to no surprise, it was not cheap! So, I was nervous to screw anything up, but I figured I bought it for a reason. I chose to stick to a simple shift dress because it is classic, easy to sew, and doesn’t require yards upon yards of fabric. And, I opted for this fun print because the bold, saturated colors were so unique and eye-catching, reminding me of the 70’s…my favorite fashion era! I can’t remember exactly what type of textile this is, but it definitely has some sort of synthetics that make it lustrous. The only thing to be cautious of is the fact that shinier fabrics can sometimes be slippery and more difficult to sew. Luckily my teen sewing lessons paid off, and I didn’t have too many hiccups when creating this piece. For a quick rundown of the process—first, find a pattern you love (simple shift dress patterns are abundant at any sewing store), prep your fabric by washing, cut out your pattern pieces, READ the directions, and start sewing. It sounds simple, but there is always a lesson to be learned with any project. 

Now, I know what you are thinking; if you did the math correctly, you would notice that it still has been a year since I made this dress. I am not sure what my excuse is for waiting this long to unveil it, but the wait is over! I thought this is the perfect time of year for this piece because the temperatures are still warm, but it is almost officially fall. So, you want to wear garments that are weather and season appropriate, and this dress allows you to do just that! The yellow, brown, red, and orange shades scream fall, but the sleeveless style ensures you won’t be too toasty during these 80 degree September days. If you want to wear this later in the season, you can always throw on a cute jacket or cardigan for crisper nights. This is a great layering piece because of the bold geometric print that certainly demands attention… I anticipate many graphic prints to be on display all autumn long! Because the print is so busy, I wanted to make this a mini dress that would show some skin and make it easier on the eye. That is also another reason why I wanted a basic shift—the print should be appreciated in all of its glory and not masked by a crazy, distracting silhouette. You heard the story of my much anticipated dress, so it’s your turn to get creative! Comb those closets (or fabric drawers) for vivid fabrics or minimalistic mini dresses that enable you to smoothly transition from summer to fall…color, print, and all! 

The rest of this post will be a bit like déjà vu because you are all probably familiar with my bag and shoes from previous posts. However, I love this Henri Bendel bag so much that I can’t help but talk about it again and again. I am still actively mourning the loss of Henri Bendel, the luxe department store that closed down in January of this year. Bendel’s was an iconic part of NYC and of the fashion industry, and any Gossip Girl fan would know that it was the epitome of chic. I, unfortunately, was never able to go to the Fifth Avenue flagship store, but I did have the experience of going to one of their other retail locations. And, most importantly, I was able to snag this bag before the website also shut down. I not only love this bag because I am a #Bendelgirl, but because it is simply stunning. The bucket bag style is another nod to the 1970’s, and it is a great structured piece that complements so many outfits. The size is perfect—not too small that I can’t fit anything in it, but not too big that I find myself carrying everything I own (and consequently nothing I need). Besides the jaw-dropping cherry red color, my favorite part of this bag is the handle. The handle’s scalloped edges and gold button detailing set this handbag apart from the all the others. It is certainly a classic piece with a quirky touch that is subtle and sophisticated, but also delightfully unexpected. The uniquely shaped  handle coincided with the geometric print of the dress—I guess I can’t say I didn’t learn anything in 10th grade geometry class! Because Bendel’s is no longer with us, I will stop rubbing salt in the wound. So, if you weren’t able to purchase this bag over the winter, don’t worry because any red bag will do. In fact, there are so many fun colors in this dress, the accessory choices seem endless! Opt for an orange tote, mustard satchel, or chocolate crossbody to mimic the rich colors of the upcoming autumn season! 

A full dosage of color calls for a more subdued, but equally exciting pair of shoes. This mini shift dress has a mod vibe that pairs perfectly with ankle booties. My boots in particular are called, “sock booties” because the soft, pliable suede molds to your foot and ankle like your favorite socks. Sock booties were all the rage for the last few seasons, and style influencers like Kim Kardashian couldn’t get enough (also probably because her designer/rapper husband released Yeezy sock boots)! Basically, anyone who expressed interest in fashion could be spotted with a pair of these shoes on their feet. Personally, I am someone who loves trends, but I wouldn’t participate if I didn’t truly love whatever is the latest and greatest. Anyway, all babbling aside, I am still loving the sock bootie trend, and I don’t believe it will ever go out of style—so I guess you can say they are a staple and not just a “here today, gone tomorrow” situation.  The reason these are so adored by me is because they are minimalistic and streamlined. There is something so beautiful about the understated simplicity of a black suede sock boot. There is a basic side zipper and a roughly two-inch heel, and that is about it! Sometimes, you don’t need the craziest pieces around to be noticed or make a statement. My outfit, though, isn’t for those who shy away from color or print, but that is another bonus to these shoes; they balance out a more dramatic look. The shoe stands out, but it doesn’t compete with the rest of the ensemble. They all exist in harmony, and that my friends, is how you know an outfit works! If you would rather stick to actual socks and forget the booties, then try a suede sneaker or a timeless oxford! 

Is anyone else deeply saddened by the fact that it is officially, completely dark out by 8pm? It really puts a damper on my photo shoots when I have to race against the clock. If it gets too dark, I start looking very ghostly (as displayed above)! I was just finishing up our shots when I noticed these pretty black-eyed Susan flowers, and I couldn’t resist taking a picture by them, as if I was their biggest fan! So, my photographer literally had to take a shot in the dark, but at least we got to capture these cute lil’ flowers that matched my dress. I remember my grandma, Ruth, used to like these flowers because she had some outside her house near her porch. There were only a few, but you couldn’t miss their bright color when you visited, and I now just automatically associate them with her. They bring me a sense of happiness, not only because of their cheery hue, but because they remind me of the summer days spent with my grandma—hands down, the best days of my childhood summers. Sadly, summer is quickly coming to an end, though it felt like it was already over the minute I stepped foot on campus. Summers are always fun because there is warm weather and less stress, but having other seasons makes me appreciate summer when it’s here. As much as I am sad to let go, I don’t think I could live somewhere where it’s warm all year long. First of all, I have way too many coats and jackets that need utilized (lol)! How about you guys? Do you want summer forever, or do you enjoy changing seasons? Let me know in the comments below! The only thing about the transitioning is the weird weather we have to dress for! Luckily, you can bust out the sewing machine and whip up a dress that walks the line between summer and fall. Comb those closets (and fabric bins) for fall-like, groovy 70’s prints to pair with bold accessories for the cutest transitional look. If you are too busy with the same back-to-school/crazy schedule/busy life antics like me, then I will try my best to link similar pieces below for you to shop! Have a great week! It feels good to say, Happy Closet Combing! 

P.S. Since I am back at school and my photographer is back home, I probably will be back to biweekly posting. But don’t fear, I am not going anywhere! 

Links to same/similar pieces: 




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