On My Inspiration Board: Historical Outerwear

historical outerwear cover

Anyone who knows me, knows that I love coats.  I mean LOVE coats.  I have a variety that I have purchased or received as gifts over the years, and I adore each and every one of them.  Coats are, in many ways, the ultimate accessory.  They can complete a look, add shape and detail, and during the cold winter months, can be a total outfit unto themselves.  Coats are also one of the three areas of fashion where I believe one should invest… the other two being handbags and shoes.

 If properly chosen, a well-made and designed coat can last for years and may never go out of style.  Just take a look at many of the choices below…I would wear any number of them today and still fit right in!

Notice the similar look between these two coats?  Adjust the collar on each and they are very reminiscent of each other!  





Here is another example….





With so many wonderful coats, wraps, shawls, and capes to choose from, one board just wasn’t enough.  So I created to for each century.

I hope you enjoy the few I have selected and I hope it inspires you to find that perfect winter garment!

historical outerwear pt 1

historical outerwear pt 2

To see many more, visit my Pinterest page: Historical Outerwear.


Finding Your “Signature Look”

signature look

Growing up, I always wanted to be known for something….specifically in appearance.  I was well aware of the people who were known for a particular type of perfume, or a certain hairstyle, or a certain type of clothing.  It wasn’t that they repeated themselves, it was that they had a specific style and look and were able to achieve that look everyday.  And that’s what I wanted.

Like every other teenager in the world, growing up was difficult.  It was tough to fit in, tough to be yourself, and tough to get noticed…without getting noticed too much.  It might sound complicated, but I bet you all know what I mean! 🙂  I spent most evenings in junior high and high school practicing beauty techniques (and being a child of the 90’s, lets just say there was  a LOT of glitter involved), hairstyles, and attempting to turn my meager wardrobe into something special and unique.  You see, I was under the impression that signature looks were like nicknames.  They came to you in some way and you hoped that you liked what people choose.  And having had one pretty embarrassing nickname throughout high school, I was very concerned about the appearance aspect.

But as I have reach adulthood and entered into my thirties, I have discovered a few things.  A few   rules about life and fashion.

  1. Never “save” and outfit for another day.  If it’s cute and you like it, wear it!
  2. Highlight your best features.  We all have them.  Don’t believe that you are the one creature on the planet that doesn’t….you do!  Show it off! 🙂
  3. Decide how you want to be noticed, and stick with it.

It’s the last one that I want to talk about today.

Decide how you want to be noticed…and stick with it.

Signature looks are not, I repeat, are not like nicknames.  They just don’t happen upon you.  They are carefully cultivated and nurtured out of a one’s likes and dislikes.  To show you want I mean, I will use myself as an example:

It isn’t a surprise that I like vintage fashion, but in my everyday life I also like modern fashion.  So I blend the two.


By choosing fabrics that are reminiscent of the more feminine fashion of the past, but with the more structure fabrics of today.  I, like most women, am self conscious of my body and therefore will adjust and tweak to feel more comfortable.  Loose, flowy blouses in soft patterns, colors, and textures paired with stiff leggings or structured trousers are my signature look.  Meaning, I feel great in them, I feel confident in them, and I have a variety that are reminiscent of each other, but unique enough that each outfit feels special.  And how do I know this is my look?  Because I choose it.  And I like it.  And I feel put together and confident in it.

Are you ready to create your own signature look?  Here a few ideas to get you started!

Light and Airy Fabrics

If you like the way fabrics wafts and floats around, then let that guide your wardrobe decisions.

This adorable polka dot dress from Dainty Jewels is a perfect choice!


Or this stunning green pleated skirt from Neesees Dresses...


Textured Fabric

If structure is your thing, why not try any of these stunning options!

Dita Von Teese, as featured in the blog Second Hand Challenge, is a wonderful fashion icon for the textured look.


Miss Victory Violet featured a stunning example of texture and structure in the skirt by Emmy Designs.



If details make you giddy, then let the accessories become your signature look.

These adorable shoes from Ruche are stunning!  Perfect for a tweed skirt or long jeans!


Jewelry is also a wonderful way to make a statement.  Whether gold, silver, rose, or beaded, choose whatever compliments your skin tone and your fashion sense!


Gold earcuffs from Lanie Lynn Jewelry

And the same thing works with makeup!

I like my eyes, and therefore will focus the attention on them the majority of the time.  But I feel that my eyes are a wee bit small, so a light coat of jet black eye liner slightly winged at the tip does the trick!  While there are always exceptions to the rule, try to pick one main feature of your face and show it off in all it’s glory!










To see some examples of modern, vintage-inspired makeup , check out THIS POST

So take control, discover your look and find whatever makes you feel beautiful!

Remember, happiness is the best “signature look” of all!


“Fashion is not something that exists in dresses only. Fashion is in the sky, in the street, fashion has to do with ideas, the way we live, what is happening.”

– Coco Chanel

Vintage Inspired Makeup Bag Tutorial

makeup bag

With such an easy design and construction, this makeup bag can be yours in as little as 60 minutes!  

Make several in different sizes and coordinating fabrics for a truly personalized collection.



Vintage Makeup Bag Pattern 


  • Fabric scraps in coordinating colors
  • 7 -9″ zipper
  • Ribbon/ lace trims
  • buttons


  1. Sew the two smaller top pieces right-sides together.  Repeat for other side.


2. Attach the larger square to the smaller piece, right sides together. Press.


3. Attach trim where desired on each side.


4. Insert zipper on top of bag.


Putting in a zipper5. Stitch the two sides together making sure to get the edges of the top that border the zipper ends.  Trim seams and turn right side out.



6. Decorate the outside as desired.  Attach ribbon to the zipper for easy opening.


Now fill with your favorite cosmetics!






From My Sewing Table: January

january sewing table

Happy New Year everyone!  2016 is here and is ready to be the best year ever!

Can you tell I am a glass-half-full kinda gal? 😉

El Nino, unfortunately, has played a rather large role on the winter season so far.  While I thoroughly enjoyed the holidays, I have missed the cooler weather and snow!  My new winter jacket is just staring at me from the coat closet begging to be worn…but it will have to stay hanging up for a little bit longer!

It’s resolution time again, and I have always been hesitant about the tradition.  I have found that starting something cold turkey without giving it enough careful thought and attention can often result in failure.  I prefer to keep working on projects and goals that I have started at a time when I was ready for a new start…even if they happened in August.  It is amazing how more often those plans and dreams actually come true! 🙂

Nonetheless, January is still special amongst all the months of the year, as it brings a truly clean and fresh feeling.  January can mark the start of a wonderful year, or for many, the end of a very sad one.  Whatever January means for you, it will be that much better if you meet that fresh start in the middle.  Fresh starts are only truly fresh if you work hard to eliminate that which could tarnish it.

My life right now seems to be quite a whirlwind as many exciting changes are on the horizon, both personally and professionally.   I love every minute of it and can’t wait to share these changes with you as the year goes on.  But I have to remind myself that taking time to appreciate and embrace the opportunities that have been happening to my little family is as important as the effort put into helping them come about!

In the sewing world, my machine has been running full throttle with very little rest time.  I have been in a 1940’s-1950’s time warp and am loving the hours spent lost in patterns, fabric, and trims.  While I may not have much to show for it over the next month or so….I hope to by Spring! 😉

So welcome the new year with all it’s freshness and (hopefully soon) it’s coldness!


A few posts to watch out for this month:

  • Making a vintage-inspired makeup bag
  • Finding your “signature look”
  • Join me as I interview Beth from Historical Designs, and learn more about her story and beautiful custom-made historical clothing.

january insp