Last January, I remember treating myself to a study break during Savers thrift store’s 50% off day. While speeding through the racks looking for quality fabrics, I came upon this $3 Ann Taylor blouse. Although the referee stripes are a little dizzying, I loved the clean lines of the hidden-button collar and the airy 100% silk material. It was just a tad boxy…but sure made for good sewing practice!
As it was my first time re-sizing a blouse, my workmanship was decent at best. Even though I finished this project over a year ago, it hasn’t gotten much wear due to a peek-a-boo gapping problem at the chest. I probably cut it a little too narrow there, but just noticed that this was an issue even when the top was oversized (see upper left photo). A little double-sided fashion tape did the trick – for months I was too lazy to go find this tape, and only have some now thanks to Nick’s mom.
For the full steps I took to re-size this blouse (including narrowing the shoulders, slimming the torso, and shortening and slimming the sleeves), please see this post. I used the exact same approach and even the same well-fitting blouse for the pattern:
On an unrelated note, here’s a quick review of some Stuart Weitzman boots that I tried on and returned. They were over half off at Bloomies from $595, and are currently on sale at Nordstrom and a few other retailers ($298 here – don’t forget that Nordies is pretty good at price matching). I am hooked on Stuart Weitzman boots for their buttery soft leather, sleek silhouettes, and relatively slim shafts, but this style just did not work out for me.
Style: Tall boot with classic-style foot, almond-shaped toe and manageable 3.5″ heel. Inside zipper that goes up halfway, and slim patch of stretchy material (like on the 50/50s) down the back center.
Foot fit: I usually wear between 5 and 5.5 in American brand shoes, and size 5 in SW boots consistently works for me. The middle part of the footbed on these boots felt narrower than usual, and was a very snug fit on me at that point.
Shaft height: Shaft of a sz 5 measured 13″ tall from the back and about 14.5″ tall from the front, measured from the base of the foot not including heels. Please keep in mind that as sizes get bigger, shaft height and circumference may also increase slightly. These were too high for me and hit awkwardly at my lower knee, about an inch above where womens tall Hunter boots do, for reference.
Shaft circumference: Measured about 12 and 5/8th inches around the widest point on a size 5. These are a little wider than the 50/50 because the shaft composition is more leather, and can still stretch a bit due to the back panel. They fit me at my calves, but were too wide at the top opening (which is probably designed to hit at the wearer’s calves). They would’ve fit better circumference-wise over a pair of jeans, but I am looking for boots to wear mostly with tights or bare legs.
I cannot speak to the comfort as I only tried them on for a few minutes, but the quality appeared to be excellent and the leather was extremely soft. Alas, the tall black heeled boot search continues…
Hrm, seeing these photos reminds me to try on skirts/pants at home and test how they fare after a little sitting. I almost always do this, but was so excited to have found this Ann Taylor skirt on clearance (months after admiring it as a new arrival) that I ripped the tags off and wore it to work right away. Within 10 minutes of sitting, deep creases formed on both sides which can’t be fully ironed out, even on my highest setting. Oh well – I love the mix of herringbone and faux-leather trim, and will suffer through the creases until a higher-quality replacement is found.