11.28.2012

fire hazard

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Sooo... this is pretty much a complete 180 from my last make...

I made myself some faux leather leggings. I blame this on Pinterest. Then again, I blame a lot of things on Pinterest these days, so maybe it's time I (wo)man up and take responsibility for my own actions, or something... 

Let me explain. A couple months ago I made the truly rare excursion to an H&M store. This never happens. But one of the things I wanted to check out was leather leggings. As the fine purveyors of cheap trends that they are, I knew H&M would have an example of this particular trend in stock, and lo and behold, they did. So I tried them on and I remembered why I hated shopping at H&M. They fit like crap, they smelled weird and they squeaked when my thighs rubbed together. They were also somewhere in the realm of $30. Pretty steep just to try out a trend. Coincidentally (or not coincidentally at all) around the same time I decided to check and see if the local fabric store had any non-hideous options for fake leather. And, would you look at that! They did. Enter the dark-chocolate-almost-black-stretchy-light-weight faux leather of my dreams. 

My husband was seriously worried when I came home with a yard and a half of the stuff.

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I used my trusty stand-by for skinny pants - or really any and all pants - the Built By Wendy SewU pants pattern which I've sliced and diced so many times I feel like it's mine.  After an ill-fated first attempt I decided to omit the center-front zip fly and instead installed an invisible zipper at the side. Way cleaner finish.  Because of the zip fly debacle I had to scrap my first try at the pants fronts and I didn't have quite enough leftover fabric to cut a whole new front out of. So I cut the pants fronts in two pieces, adding a seam just above the knee. I figured if they were real leather pants they'd probably have similar seaming anyway - and what the hell we're having fun here.

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I have to admit - a lot of questions and doubts went through my mind as I was making these. Questions like...

- Is it wrong to sew something so trendy? I know a lot of the sewing blogging community is anti-trend but what's so wrong with it? I actually feel like I might wear these crazy pants for many years to come. They're surprisingly versatile...

- Can you wear leather leggings and not look like Sandy at the end of Grease? I thought that if I paired them with opposing textures and long layers I could prevent this. However my husband just told me that I look like Princess Leia on the Forest Moon of Endor (that's Ewok Land to all you non Star Wars nerds...like me) in these pictures, which wasn't really a look I was going for either... Editors note: Nick would like you all to know that he is NOT a Star Wars nerd. He just happens to know about the Forest Moon of Endor...

- Which is worse? Buying real leather hides from animals or buying fake leather from petrochemicals? Either way, I'm guilty of both sins.

And the big question...

- Are these pants going to melt to my legs???

No really! This is a serious concern of mine! It just so happens that on the two occasions when I wore these to work we had a bonfire (remind me to tell you what I do for a living again... it's pretty awesome...) The first time I was so wary of the flames and my legs catching on fire that I left to go change into something less...combustible. The second time I called my husband to bring me another pair of pants.

I also don't know that I will ever wear these in the car on the off chance I might get in an accident and the engine explodes and my pants catch fire and melt to my legs and I have to go to the hospital where they pick little pieces of burnt plastic off of me with tweezers and my legs are forever scarred from my ridiculous petrochemical pants...Good thing I rarely drive.

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I made this top too. I was very inspired by Papercut Patterns Sloppy Josephine Tee which I decided was the perfect casual top and was all set to buy it. Until I saw that it wasn't available to download and it had to ship all the way from New Zealand and I wanted it noooowwwww (P.S. I will plan ahead in the future because their new collection is seriously blowing my mind!) So I pulled out my ruler and french curve and set to work drafting my own. 

Then I got totally frustrated and remembered that there is a raglan t-shirt pattern in the Built By Wendy SewU Home Stretch book. Those Built By Wendy books... I had no idea they would be paying off big time when I bought them! So being much more comfortable altering patterns to my liking than drafting from scratch I went ahead and deepened the neckline, added a little bit of "dolman" to my sleeve, and added a longer, curved hem. 

From there it was so easy-breezy-beautiful-covergirl! I cut into this sheer, white, tissue-y rayon jersey and, I swear to God, I blinked my eye and a second later I had a new t-shirt! A t-shirt that I have been wearing literally every day since then. No really. It's getting kinda gross...

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And with that lovely thought, I'll leave you!

To all my U.S. friends, I hope you had a lovely and relaxing Thanksgiving, and I hope your hangover wasn't as bad as mine!

xx

70 comments:

  1. Firstly, greetings from Western Australia.
    I love the faux leather pants, they look awesome. Your seam in the front leg is just what I would have done and it looks like a design feature. I am sure you will get a lot of wear out of them. How do you launder them ?

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  2. it's the hair that give you the Princess Leia look - love that whole outfit and thanks for the intro to papercut patterns!

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  3. I don't think Sandy from Grease or Princess Leia in Return of the Jedi are too bad "inspired by" looks. Either way I think you made up some fairly awesome pants.

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  4. If there are leather pants on my sewing blog reader, they must belong to you! I could never do it but you sure can. I think they look great but a quick Google search does say that, uh, yeah, you should stay away from fire. Be safe!

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  5. wowza i really like those!

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  6. An excellent question! Windex?


    No really - I just give them a soak and a rinse in warm soapy water and call it a day.

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  7. Oh, wow! I am in awe of your entire outfit! I love the look of leather leggings/jeans on others, like for instance they look amazing on you. Jury is still out on how well I could wear them though, as well as how often... That t-shirt, however, I would wear all the time!! Been thinking I might gift myself a serger this xmas, and will try to score a used copy of BBW Home Stretch as well. I could be happy with a closet full of such lovely Ts! Okay, and as long as I'm on this whole tip of trying to "clone" your entire, amazing outfit–uh, yeah, that's the best Star Wars nod I can do–what can you tell us about those shoes? I've been looking high and low for a reasonably priced, not too high-heeled pair, maybe kinda like those...?

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  8. Yes! I was also on the hunt for a reasonable priced pair of ankle boots! I had been fooling myself into thinking I would save up for some the $300+ pairs I've been seeing out there, but eventually I had to give myself a reality check. These are from Urban Outfitters. I ordered them online, they are called "Ecote Eliana Ankle Boot" and they were $70. I can tell you that they are pretty darn comfortable, I've worked and walked in them all day, and they look very cute on. I would highly recommend them!

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  9. This is definitely a far cry from your previous makings but I love it. I also love all of the scenarios you consider that could happen while wearing these pants. Here's another - what if you were riding in a car that suddenly combusted and set your pants on fire. What if at the same moment John Travolta burst onto the scene with a fire hose singing "Grease Lightning"? What would you do then? Would you then want to be Sandy from Grease? Or would you still want to be Princess Leia? I'm just saying... it could happen...

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  10. Cool pants! And you know how to wear them!

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  11. I freaking love the pants. And yes, wear them now, before they can melt to your legs! I like the T too. You look so stylish but effortless at the same time. :-)

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  12. Awesome.
    Where do you buy your knits? You have some of the drapiest, sheerest, greatest knit tops.

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  13. Is it current John Travolta or John Travolta circa "Grease" and "Saturday Night Fever"?? Because let's be serious, it makes all the difference...

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  14. Brilliant post. And, what a fun outfit. I've been seeing leather leggings everywhere recently. The funny this is that only a few months ago, my friend tried to give me a pair that she didn't like. I turned them down because I just didn't get it. The next day I saw someone wearing a similar pair online. And all of a sudden I got it. Things always work that way.

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  15. Ahhhhhhhh! This whole outfit is fab! I would totally wear these, although, let's face it, my dress-in-all-black rocker days are totally over! You look cool as shit! I love the raglan tee-- I can't get enough of them!

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  16. PS-- I'm seriously obsessed with Papercut Patterns these days. It's not good.

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  17. I love this look! I'm impressed with how good these leggins look, it's totally making me want a pair. And the t-shirt looks really cool too! To be honnest, i find that $22 is a bit steep for a Tshirt pattern, but you're almost making me reconsider. thanks for sharing this look!

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  18. What a great couple of pieces you have made. Love your style/styling. I just came over after checking out the new Papercuts myself. Love the new pattern line. The first release didn't have anything tempting enough for me to drop the cash for their steep prices, but maybe from this one.

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  19. you are rocking this look! love it!

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  20. Fantastic look on you! Great teaming of pieces too :-)

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  21. They're great! The seam above the knee add an interesting detail. I love it with the top. And if it reminds anyone of princess Leia, that is a compliment!

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  22. I definitely noticed the 180 as soon as I saw the first picture but I love this outfit! I think the over-the-knee seams give these pants a beautiful detail and it makes them more interesting. Great job!

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  23. As soon as I saw them I thought, "Sandy!" This was compounded by the fact that Halloween before last my best friend got some faux leather leggings from American Apparel for a Sandy costume. She rocked them again on New Year's that year with a sheer black flowy top that had dark gold sequins on it making me forget the whole Grease connection. I like yours, and I like the trend. I don't think its really a trend for my my thigh girth, though. :P

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  24. Sallie. please don't melt those beautiful gams. We need them for you to stand on and model YOUR F*CKING AWESOME LEGGINGS (although I would be more nervous about you melting in faux leather in the Texas heat). Screw anti-trenders. Trends are fun. I could literally not be more trendy as I type this in my platform Isabel Marant knockoff sneakers and oversize cableknit sweater (yeah, I found one at Zara). It's FUN to change shit up and wear different things every season. Some trends stick and become classics (remember when skinny jeans were a "trend"? Try finding a pair of bootcut pants now. I DARE YOU) and these leggings may very well be that for you, as long as you don't catch your legs on fire. And also, I need that t-shirt. It's like a sheer vintage baseball jersey!

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  25. Thank you! I bought this from a fabric store in Houston called "High Fashion Fabric" - I'm not sure if it's a chain or not - but it's sort of the only game in town for Houston. Generally they don't have anything I want, but I'm always on the lookout! I love sheer and drapey jerseys. I've also seen some jersey's that look comparable online at Mood, but I would always suggest buying a swatch from there first.

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  26. I like the knee seams! A happy accident in the form of a ~design feature. And no, I don't think there is anything wrong with sewing trends - although I'm not one to dump my clothes when the trend is considered out. I just keep wearing them! So maybe I'm not the best person to ask.


    Seriously loving those Papercut patterns. I actually considered opening an Etsy shop just so there would be a US stockist. Because, unf.

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  27. Totally. I would absolutely support your Etsy shop! New Zealand - why you so far awwaaayyy???

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  28. I figure I have about 3 good months where I can wear these leggings without them trapping an insane amount of Texas sweat. And, oh, I will wear the sh*t out of them in those 3 months goddammit!
    And have no fear - I've been keeping my distance from fires. It was just so funny because as I was making them I was like "How often do I REALLY come in contact with fire? Like... never..." and then the first time I wore them out we decided that what we really need at work is a fire pit... go figure...

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  29. They look soooooo gooood!!! p.s. I don't think there's anything wrong with being a Star Wars nerd or taking fashion tips from Princess Leia ;) lol

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  30. Yeah, I totally think of Sandy as soon as I see leather leggings. I figure as long as I forgo the perm, black leotard and high-heeled sandals I should be okay, but you never know!! Sometimes my musical theater roots kick back in and I JUST CAN'T HELP MYSELF!

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  31. Thanks!! Yeah, truthfully it's probably more likely that you'll see me in this getup than pretty dresses these days, but I like to have options!

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  32. Thanks Elise! That Princess Leia did have some pretty awesome style...

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  33. I feel the same. I quite like a number of their patterns this time around, and the shipping might be more worth it to me if I order more than one...

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  34. Yeah, why are raglan tees so good? It's kind of funny how big of a statement these pants make. I just thought I could wear them like normal black pants (and I do) but they make even the sweetest outfit look suddenly edgy and rocker. Takes some getting used to!

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  35. I swear I never thought twice about leather leggings and then I was looking at Zara online one day and they were pairing all their t-shirts and sweaters with them and I just became OBSESSED! Yeah, I guess like you it just kind of clicked all of a sudden.

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  36. Thanks Stacie!! Yeah, these are definitely for cool weather ONLY!

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  37. Haha! Thanks! No worries, I've been keeping my distance from flames.

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  38. Anytime! I love feeding people's sewing pattern addictions!

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  39. Haha! Thanks Rochelle! No, I don't think there's anything wrong with it either.

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  40. these are so awesome!

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  41. Cool leggings. You just sent me over to check out the new Papercut patterns collections and it looks like they have free shipping until the 16th December. Put them on your Christmas list!

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  42. Amazing! I always love your style. I think I especially love it because it's a style that would never work on me but I love anyway. Also, I'd never heard of Papercut Patterns. I love learning about new designers!

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  43. 1. jealous, as usual. ;)

    2. i admire your bravery for going near fires and wearing those in texas.
    3. one more reason to love those built by wendy books. i don't have the original one but i should get it for that pants pattern, it sounds like a good starting point for well fitting pants!

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  44. I LOVE this scenario!! I'm in for anything involving Grease era Travolta!

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  45. This outfit kicks ass!!!! I loooooove that top! Making something, and then wearing it for days, is (for my money) a guaranteed sign of its success! Looking like Leia can only be a HUGE plus. Especially if Han Solo might appear when you're in costume ;p


    The pants, it must be sad, are hawt! Seriously worth the potential chance of them melting to your legs. Well....maybe.

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  46. Sweeet. I love that you ran out of fabric and just squished it in somehow XD. Re trends: I don't sew stuff that's on trend because I prefer to wear whatever suits me and flatters my figure and because trends look dated very quickly.
    Also, (unfortunately) 99.9% of Uni students wear fast fashion due to poverty/ idiocy/ some combination thereof-so being on trend at Uni means vanishing into a herd of ill-attired cheap China crap XS. I don't want people to think (even accidentally) that I bought something made in a sweatshop, but that's hardly a problem now I've been sewing for almost 3 years and everyone knows I only wear me made (also I don't hang out with anyone that wears fast fashion.. everyone I know either op-shops or saves up and support locally made brands). Also, that top is awesome-I like the cuff thing you've got going on with the sleeves. It was 40 degrees here yesterday-totally need to make some summer stuff.. XS

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  47. AWESOME outfit all over!
    I noticed the comment below re laundering... I toss my faux leather skirt in the machine on a gentle cycle. Came out perfectly alright :)

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  48. Fantastic! I recently bought a pair of similar leggings on a whim and haven't been sure what to wear them with. Yours look great! I've got a few months to figure out how what to pair mine with as it is now heading into summer here in Australia but I just wanted to say yours look excellent!

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  49. I loving this outfit! I think I need some leather pants in my life :) I really like your re make of my tee. The fabric is gorgeous, It's exactly what I would use!

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  50. gorgeous photos. A trend you've definitely nailed!. Whats the squeak factor like?!

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  51. It's not too bad!! They make more a slight "rustling" sound, which I'm okay with.

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  52. Awesomeness. I don't think there is anything wrong with sewing something trendy. I actually prefer to sew trendier things. Mainly because it's exciting. I would much rather buy "cake" items and sew the fun stuff. I love the anticipation of "is this going to look crazy? Or will I love it?" And I love your leather leggings. I also really like that seam at the knee. I bought some purple faux suede last year with the intentions of turning them in to skinny pants but never did. Maybe I should....

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  53. Yes! I'm not shocked, it totally seems like something you could and would wear. That big scarf is gorgeous. I got obsessed with having a pair of leather pants a couple of years ago. I imagined myself in all kinds of outfits with them (one of those with a big drapey white tee). I wish, wish, wish that I could find some of that waxed/laminated stretch denim that looks like leather, because one of my worries is that with actual leather/pleather I'd just sweat too much in Texas. I tried on a J Brand waxed pair last year that felt like heaven and I've been hunting for a suitable fabric ever since. Hasn't quite trickled down to retail fabric....

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  54. Those pants are amazing!!! (I'm getting close to finishing mine). The top is beautiful too. xoxo

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  55. You could totally try getting a nice quality denim that you like and then using Otter Wax and waxing them yourself. I've thought about doing waxed denim/cotton in lieu of leather too and my one issue is that the wax coating wears away, but I read that you can just buy wax and freshen it up yourself. So I don't see why you can't wax from the start!

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  56. Your pants look awesome! Are they not too hot, being of fake leather? I was thinking of trying to make something similar but with patches of fake leather combined with ponti instead of all fake leather. I'd love to make a real leather pair but figured I better do a few practice versions first!

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  57. Hi Susan! Thank you! I've only worn these pants when it's been below 70 degrees (F) and I've been quite comfortable (I'm also a relatively "cold" natured person). This fake leather is pretty thin, and the back side is like a silky poly knit, so they slide off and on very nicely. Could definitely see making a pair of leggings that are part faux leather, part ponti knit. I would just be mindful to match the weight of the fabrics. Good luck!!

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  58. asewingodyssey.blogspot.co.ukDecember 8, 2012 at 1:22 PM

    You're such a hot chick Sallie! How do you do pretty and demure so well (i.e your gorgeous dress in the previous post) and then totally rock something fierce like this!?! I love these leather leggings and only wish I had the figure for them myself ;o)

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  59. Love both garments, they're so refreshing and modern, I love the fabric you chose for the top it just hangs beautifully and the pants are just perfect no hint of Sandy at all unless you sewed yourself into them hehe. LOVE!

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  60. asewingodyssey.blogspot.co.ukDecember 13, 2012 at 12:48 AM

    Oh, and please do tell us what job you do...I'm so intrigued now!

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  61. The pants are fantastic!

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  62. Love your pants! I nominated you for the Very Inspiring Blogger Award. You can find more info on my blog http://sewionista.blogspot.de/

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  63. i am honestly not sure which i am lusting after more, the leather legging/trousers or the josephine-inspired T. i did shell out for the josephine, not knowing that my BBW book had an answer, and i love the sheer knit there--totally drooling on my keyboard.

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  64. I love this outfit so much! Oh, to have legs like yours...

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  65. I'm pretty sure I've already commented to say how much I think these pants are awesome, but just in case I'll say it again...theses pants are awesome...I also said so on my blog when nominating you for the "one Lovely Bloge\Very Inspiring Blogger Award" :)... Happy New Year!

    http://petitejosette.blogspot.ca/2013/01/a-feature-and-award.html

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  66. What a lovely look <3

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  67. I just found your blog and I LOVE it!! I just ordered the Built By Wendy book so I can make this tee. I will end up with one in every color! Also, I must know....where did you get that gorgeous scarf?!

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  68. Can you make me a pair?! do you have a store on etsy or anything like that? I am so dissatisfied with all the faux leather pants I have tried on in stores, but yours look fab!

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