Monday, February 17, 2014

Best Excuse for Shoe Shopping!

I knew that I'd eventually write about our family's upcoming adventure on my blog, but I didn't think it would come about in such a roundabout way.  But I can't think of any other way to write about the outfit I made for "Inspired by Shoes" week on Project Sewn other than to tell you why my shoe collection is in major overhaul right now.

I love shoes, but I have a hard time investing in the good quality shoes that are going to last me a while and be comfortable AND stylish.  So I usually end up buying lots and lots of cheap, cute, disposable shoes...except that I then hang onto them even when they are worn out and gross.  

Not even all of them.

So, when we decided that we would be moving our family to Tokyo this spring for 1-2 years (how's that for a lot of fanfare for such an announcement?), I knew that I would need to make some big changes in my shoe wardrobe.  I wear a size 9 (sometimes 9.5), which can be hard to find in Japan, so I wanted to get the basics that I would need while I was still in the states, and I wanted to get good stuff.  Which meant getting rid of 15 pairs of worn-out shoes, and buying (so far) 4 new pairs.  Which brings me to my outfit!  

My outfit was inspired by this pair of shoes:

Image from, where I bought my pair

Burgundy, with a print (well, sort of) and an open back, and it can be dressed up or down.

Gotta watch my posture--looking a little maternity here!
I knew I wanted to make a casual skirt, because it would go well with the style of the shoe and also show the shoes off.  I made mine out of a much larger skirt that I found at goodwill--a nice, thick mini-striped interlock--and used Adrianna's tutorial from Crafterhours on making a fitted knit pencil skirt.  

This went really quickly, because I made the pattern a while back for my Mad Men-inspired skirt for last season's Project Sewn Era challenge.  I did a hidden elastic waistband this time though and (gasp!!) skipped the pockets for a more streamlined look.

To go with it, I made a top that I had been wanting to make for a while.  I saw this tutorial from Jess at Me Sew Crazy for an open-back knit tunic top, and thought it was so cute!  

Perfect with the pencil skirt or a pair of skinny jeans.  The burgundy and black bird print knit that I bought from Girl Charlee tied in the color of the shoe nicely, and of course the open back of the shirt mimics the slingback of the shoe.

The back looks pretty low, but I can actually wear a regular bra with this.
I made my sleeves more fitted and longer, and I lined the bottom part of the tunic as well as the bodice because the bird print knit was so thin, and I didn't want it to be see-through. I made the lining a tad longer so it would show at the bottom, but I left the sleeves unlined.

To top it off, I had a wrap dress that my friend passed into my upcycling pile that happened to be the same color as the shoes, so I made an open cardigan to tie the outfit together.  It was so simple--I saw the idea here, and adapted mine to my liking by curving the bottom edges and adding an elastic band to the back at the waistline.

I love the way the pieces work together, and that they are so versatile in other outfits!  And they go great with my new shoes!  Think this outfit will work for a mom-on-the-go in Tokyo?

And yes, there will be voting!  Starting Friday and running through Sunday, you can find my image along with all of the other sew-along submissions at the bottom of this page, where you can VOTE FOR ME (I'm lucky number 13)!!

My assistant did a great job of staying out of the photos until I was done :)

Silly girls!


  1. I am amazed you were able to make an entire outfit! (I am a sewing newbie). Looks great! Good luck living abroad! Sure to be an adventure.

  2. So cute! I love this whole outfit (AND THE SHOES). You did a great job!

  3. I love your outfit! I think you'll look very hip in Tokyo (or anywhere else for that matter!) I'm hoping to get my outfit photographed tomorrow and posted.
    Kristi - kopykat

  4. Terrific outfit! All of those pieces really will serve you well. They look great together. Good luck on your new adventure!

  5. Great outfit! especially the tunic - love how you took inspiration from the shoe back.

  6. Great job! I love your shoes and your outfit as well; especially the tunic. Lovely fabric.

  7. Love that tunic and the fabrics you paired together for it- very cute! Shannon

  8. good work on the upcycled skirt and I LOVE those shoes ;o) I'm linking up a skirt to skirt fixation this week too ;)

  9. Love those shoes; definitely a good reason to sew up some new clothes! Thanks so much for linking up...we are honored! Be sure to come back Friday and vote in both the sew along and for your favorite contestant's refashion!

  10. Great outfit. Best of luck. :)


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