Tuesday, December 29, 2009

"Wolken" Reconstruction

My pile of Threadless shirts never exactly shrinks. It seems like every time I start working away at the ones I have, Threadless holds a sale, and the deals are too good to pass up. Like right now. This is a shirt I purchased back in March. Actually, I got two--one for me, one to sell. I haven't reconstructed mine yet (because that's just how those things go), but here's what I did with the other one:

Wolken // Reconstructed Threadless Tee // Bamboo Knit // M

Wolken // Reconstructed Threadless Tee // Bamboo Knit // M

Wolken // Reconstructed Threadless Tee // Bamboo Knit // M

It's the most adorable design, and I couldn't possibly resist that little fox. I paired it with natural colored bamboo, giving it a v-neck, side pocket, 3/4 length sleeves, and a contrast back.

(By the way, the lake looks very, very different now, a short month after these photos were taken!)


Monday, December 28, 2009

Diamonds in the Rough

I made this shirt absolute ages ago, but had decided it was too plain & hung it on the rack. I planned to eventually screen/stencil something onto it, but could never decide on the right design. Right before the Christmas Sale, I whipped it out, furrowed my brow, and decided that diamonds were exactly what this top needed. (Everything looks good with diamonds, after all!)

The details on the shirt itself: bamboo knit, cowl neck, 3/4 length sleeves, side pocket, long cut. It's like cashmere against the skin!

It's been mad busy here, but I'll try to get more posts up over the next few days. They might edge towards some sentimental nonsense because it's the end of the year, and I'm moving out in three short weeks. (!)

I'm expecting to have separation anxiety because I have to part from my serger. It will be painful.

(This shirt will be listed within a few days, so check the shop soon!)

Monday, December 21, 2009

Unexpected Delights

Just a brief posting to let you know some exciting news: My Sailor Skirt was featured in an Etsy Finds article/newsletter on Friday!

My dear friend, Tany, was kind enough to grab these screenshots of it, and you can also check out the actual article right here.

I've never really been featured on Etsy ever before, except perhaps a gift guide last Christmas, so it was a completely new, thrilling experience! My traffic went way up, and to be featured alongside such awesome, beautiful items was terribly flattering.

So, good weekend? I think so.

(P.S. Substance-filled posts are coming soon! And after Christmas you will be bombarded with gift photos, I promise. <3)

Monday, December 14, 2009

Vintage Inspired Audrey-esque Mod Dress

Longest title ever!

Anyway, I am in love with my new dress! I made it from a sheet & a recycled zipper & some vintage wool... strapping? I don't exactly know what it is, but it suited my needs! I was very inspired by 50's style dresses and the kinds of dresses Audrey Hepburn would wear. (If you didn't know, I adore Audrey & all her movies.) It has a very high front and a boatneck, and then a v-cut in back. Because I was in a rush, I just finished the shoulder seams with a bit of the black strapping.

The skirt is very, very gathered and quite full. It's definitely a little shorter than most skirts and dresses I wear, but I always wear tights this time of year, so it's not as big of a deal. I mean, if you layer two tights, they're practically leggings, and leggings are on par with those ridiculously tight skinny jeans people wear, right? And people sure don't wear those with skirts! (I'm trying hard for justification here, work with me.)

I feel instantly put together when I wear this dress. Classy, sophisticated, and cute all rolled into one! I am not certain I look that way... but feeling that way is what really counts, right?

Sunday, December 13, 2009

"Rockstar" One-Shoulder Top

So, I cleaned my sewing room [insert gasps here] & ended up using the last of a couple of my older fabrics from my collection to make this top. I'm really on a one-shoulder kick right now. I also really, really love puffy sleeves. The puffier, the better, right? I'm pretty sure that's a rule.

Rockstar One Shoulder Top // Size Small

Rockstar One Shoulder Top // Size Small

Rockstar One Shoulder Top // Size Small

Rockstar One Shoulder Top // Size Small

I just listed it in my shop!

What else have I been making? Shhh, Christmas presents! You'll see the soon enough, and all I'll say is that I'm really, really pleased with how they're turning out. Here's a hint: I've been knitting. And felting. And cooking.

How about you guys? Are you doing handmade Christmas gifts this year? Buying on Etsy? I know most people are cutting back, & going handmade--or at least, supporting independent artists--is a terrific way of doing that. If you're lost for ideas, Threadbanger, TB Forums, and Craftster are some of my favorite places to go! There are oodles of tutorials to help you out.

Friday, December 11, 2009


It's pretty darn cold here in Minnesota. Whenever the temperature gets to zero or below in late November & early December, the lake starts steaming up a storm, covering the entire shoreline in a heavy, beautiful frost. You can be certain it'll freeze within a few weeks! When I saw how pretty the steam & frost looked this afternoon, I knew it would be the perfect backdrop for some photos. So I grabbed this new skirt & my mom (I couldn't be bothered to set up the tripod in this weather... it was far too cold to take the time!), & we got some pretty awesome shots in the snow!

Icicles // High Waisted Skirt // Women Size Medium

Icicles // High Waisted Skirt // Women Size Medium

Icicles // High Waisted Skirt // Women Size Medium

Icicles // High Waisted Skirt // Women Size Medium

It's just your basic, high-waisted skirt, but the fabric is to die for! It's a beautiful cotton with a bit of a sheen... very fine. I actually found it in the upholstery section of the store, but it wasn't very heavy and I knew it would make a beautiful garment. I'm floored by the way the lake & snow compliment the skirt so well!
Icicles // High Waisted Skirt // Women Size Medium

Oh, and my muff. I love my muff! I feel like I should put on a long coat and a victorian hat to go skating with it! It's made from beautiful, white rabbit fur, and my hands have never been warmer. I found it in an antique store for a ridiculously inexpensive price--it was fate!

By the way, the skirt is listed in my shop HERE. Guen from Boardwinos put one of my pieces in a treasury on Etsy, alongside a bunch of talented artists, & it's beautifully put together. It's getting popular, and if you comment & click & click & CLICK on the items, we might make it to the front page! Check it out! Thanks, cuties.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Important Announcement

On Saturday, Dec. 12, I'll be changing this blog address from "mateywear.blogspot.com" to "mateycouture.blogspot.com". I'll change all my links on my shop, livejournal, and other places that link here, so if you're not around to make note of the change, you'll be able to find me through those other places. If you follow me here on Blogger, there won't be any change--just click my link on your dashboard as usual and it'll be the same place.

I think it's appropriate that I make the change. It was about two years ago that I decided on "Matey" for the first part of my shop name, and I made this blog before I opened my shop. That is why they're different. In all honesty, I'm not totally pleased with the name anymore; it's more of who I was at 16 than who I am now. I don't have any plans to change it completely in the near future, but someday I'd like to ditch the pirate theme completely, and choose something more encompassing of my personality and style now--something classic and timeless that I would be happy to keep using for years to come.

Anyway, that's all plans for later on; nothing to worry about now. Just be sure to change you links from mateywear to mateycouture by/after Saturday. Thanks, cuties!


I meant to post this way sooner, but I had the sale, and then I went out of town. So now that I'm home, here it is!

This was a reconstruction from a Threadless "Poetic Irony" tee. I'm obsessed with one-shoulder tops right now! I was super inspired by a top Taylor Swift wore in her Stripped version of "Untouchable". Basically, a super puffy-sleeve, and a slick fitted style.

I loooove the print--it's morbid and beautiful and you can see a better photo here. This shirt sold at the sale, but the other new items need to be re-photographed (when it's not 2AM, which was when I took them before) before I can post them. I promise to do it in the next few days!

Expect some shirts of this style to be listed in the shop... some from threadless shirts, some from just pretty fabric.

Also, I just got accepted to college for spring semester (!), and this probably means I'll be closing the shop during this time. I'll keep you updated on everything, though!

Friday, December 4, 2009

Brief Update (AKA I fail at the Holiday Season)

This week has been a bit of a whirlwind. To be honest, I'm seriously questioning why I'm taking ten minutes to tap out a blog post at 11:30 PM when there's so much to be done, but I love you guys! And you deserve an (albeit brief) explanation.

Basically: It's time for Christmas sales & mad bouts of sewing & trying to get everyone covered for presents. This very minute, I'm preparing for a local Christmas sale. (Pictures to come!) Here are some photos of my stock (TAGGED. Four or five times over. Photos, descriptions, sizes, measurements, care instructions, etc.) & my lovely clothing rack, handmade by my dad. It's a wooden dowel, a washing machine agitator, and a bike rim. (Yes, he's brilliant. He designed & made it in under 1/2 an hour.)

I cleverly did not get the new stock in these photos. You'll have to wait until later this weekend--I will be taking pictures of them tonight.

Oh, fun stuff. Hope you all have a beautiful, snowy weekend! I know I will!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Public Service Announcement

photo credit


& discounted International shipping! Plus, sale items marked even further down & new items listed over the weekend! Check it out, darlings!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Raindrops (In Front of the Sunset)

I have yards and yards of this wonderfully soft bamboo/lycra knit in an off-white color, and I've been making very good use of it lately! This cowl-hoodie was fun to make, for the most part--just feeling the bamboo under my fingertips is a delight! I spent almost five hours appliqueing the rain cloud and rain drops, though, because it was all by hand. But, you know what? It was worth it. (Although, maybe next time I'll just screen print it.)

Raindrops // Natural Bamboo Cowl Top // Small - Medium

Raindrops // Natural Bamboo Cowl Top // Small - Medium

Raindrops // Natural Bamboo Cowl Top // Small - Medium

Raindrops // Natural Bamboo Cowl Top // Small - Medium

The first line of the description on its listing is, "This is a sweatshirt for the stormy days when all you want to do is snuggle with a blanket and tea, but elegantly, of course!" It's so true--you'll want to curl up in this hoodie forever.

For sale HERE.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Pink Monstrosity

I have one more outfit to post before I get back to things I've actually made. We stopped at this great thrift store in Southern Minnesota* when I was on a college visit, and I got a couple really amazing items. This post features my favorite: a petticoat! It's huge, vibrant pink, and oh so fun to wear.

I'm wearing:

- pink necklace - antique store in Morris, MN
- striped shirt - Goodwill, altered
- pink petticoat - best thrift store ever, Mora, MN
- white knee-highs - Target
- boots - Forever21

(I'm also wearing tights & a skirt under the slightly-see-through petticoat.)

Haha, this picture makes me smile, because my nose is red; it was so cold! My hands were fair numb whenever I would run over to reset the self-timer on the camera. I also almost fell off the rock, which would not have been good! I'm so glad I didn't, as I'm not really a fan of swimming in late November.

Silhouette! So exciting.

I promise there'll be a sewing update within a couple days!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Outifts, darling!

Remember when I did this? Once? Back in May? Yes, well, I'm posting outfits again because [gasp] I don't have anything else to post. It's been too long since I've sewn anything! But I was looking at my calendar this morning and realized that the Christmas sale I'm going to participate in is just over two weeks away. Shocking, how fast time goes! I haven't gotten anyone covered for presents, even! Thanksgiving is a week from today. Advent starts... what day, December 6th? There's a chorus singing, "Not ready! Not yet! Slow down!" in my head. Bah.

On to the outfits! These are just a few from the last four months.

This was in September. All I remember is that it was freezing. I'm wearing:

- Handknit merino wool cap - from Mom
- T-shirt scarf - handmade
- Wool peacoat - Delia*s
- Shirt & stockings - Target
- Altered wool skirt - vintage
- Booties - Lulu's

I like this. But these shoes are killer to wear if I'm walking anywhere.

- Necklace - dazeoftheweek.etsy.com
- "Liberty" tee - threadless.com - resized
- Black jacket - I think it came from Ragstock? Anyway, my friend surprised me with it, & I've had it for about 4 years & it's one of my favorite pieces.
- Belt - reconstructed from pleather pants & a broken belt.
- Bubble skirt - handmade
- Stockings - Target
- Vintage French peeptoes - wonderwardrobe.etsy.com

Summer! So long, long ago...

- Owl necklace - adriannemae.etsy.com
- Most Amazing Shirt Ever (my absolute favorite thing) - handmade
- Belt - thrifted
- Lime pleated skirt - thrifted
- Porch Swing Peeptoes - Modcloth

And here's basically the same outfit, but transformed for the cold weather:

Things different in this outfit:
- Jacket - Ragstock
- Black belt - from a friend
- Chain necklace
- Red tights - We Love Colors
- Fishnets - Ragstock
- NEW BOOTS - Forever21

Aren't the bee-yoo-tee-ful? The outer is a really weird material, but it looks like suede and it's not like I have to feel it, so it's not a big deal. They've got a really low (1 1/2") wedge heel, so perfect for walking, and... you probably know how I feel about straps and buttons on boots. Super fantastic. These just became the Porch Swing Peeptoes of my fall/winter wardrobe, haha. (Did you notice how often I wore those?)

I'm a huge fan of daily outfit photos because you can look back on them, analyze what you wore, easily reuse outfits, know what not to do, and see how your style progressed. What I can tell you now is that I definitely need to switch it up and wear something besides high-waisted skirts!

So, guys, do you take outfit photos? Do you plan on starting? Let me know if you do, and we can keep track of each other! Also, how are you doing on Christmas organizing & planning? Overwhelmed as I am, or neatly ahead of the game?

Monday, November 9, 2009

Exposed Stitching: Drapey Cardigan


I've been meaning to make this for a couple months, because draped cardigans are too cool to pass up. I used this really neat slinky rib-knit fabric I found--it's perfect for this piece because of the sheen! There are all these crisscrossing lines of serger seams, and I finally dusted off the rolled hem plate for my serger and did a ruffly lettuce finish on all the edges. So exciting!

Seafoam Draped Cardigan // Size Medium


Seafoam Draped Cardigan // Size Medium

I'm also wearing this black bodysuit that I just made & fell in love with. I don't know why I didn't make one before; I wear high-waisted skirts all the time and it feels so messy when you have shirts tucked in. I've still got work to do on this one--I might add some kind of sleeves or finish the neckline differently... or just make a few more!

(The cardigan is for sale HERE!)

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Cropped Jacket

I'm finally posting about that secret project I mentioned a while back! I hope the build-up wasn't too big for the actual project. Anyway, a few weeks ago, I received an email from Stephan Hoglund, a local photographer, wondering if I had anything to contribute to a winter photoshoot. I agreed to bring in the skirt, and said I'd try to get another piece together.

I had had a gigantic black wool coat lying around for about a year, and I'll admit, I was pretty terrified to cut into it. The insides of tailored coats are usually complicated, heavily stitched & interfaced, and unfortunately, if they're well worn, kind of messy. But when put under a deadline, I do my very best work, so when I had only three days to make the piece, I breathed in deeply & pulled out the seam ripper.

I sketched up five or six possible ideas, and then changed it again as I was in the process of making the new jacket, but all turned out well. I meticulously pressed ever single seam, and serged all the edges of the impossible polyester lining. The night before I was to bring it in, I stayed up until 2AM working on it, and then got up five hours later to finish. It was tedious, but very, very worth it.

Here's a shot I got that night, before it was finished. I fixed the un-evenness of the bottom band before I sewed the zipper in.

The details? Cropped length, swing sleeves, big cuffs, high collar, chunky metal off-center zipper, military-inspired tabs, and bright red lining.

Here are some of my favorite pictures:

There are also a few photos of me modeling it, which I'll post as soon as they're edited. This jacket will be for sale sometime this month in my shop, and the skirt will be re-listed at the same time.

So there you are, real, professional photos, and a jacket I'm extremely proud of. Thank you for looking!

Edit (11/11): I took a few "pick up" shots to get details for the listing on etsy, and wanted to post them here!

Cropped Jacket // Wool // Bright Red Lining // Small / Medium

Cropped Jacket // Wool // Bright Red Lining // Small / Medium

The jacket is now for sale, too, in my SHOP. xo!