Sewabration: Post-Apocalyptic Scavenger

By ari - May 23, 2014

So my darling friends the Shaffer Sisters have invited me once again to be part of their Make for Mom series, except now it has been renamed to the very apt Sew-a-bration of Womanhood. Last year I made the 12 Parsec dress tutorial, today I went a little more epic than a t-shirt surgery and made an entire outfit. It's been a little while since I've felt so much muse, and I really ran with it!

Inspired by post-apocalyptic movies & fashion (check out the Sew Geeky pinboard where I've been collecting my Post-Apocalyptic fashion ideas here), I made this outfit consisting of legging, cowl-neck shirt, hooded cowl scarf and a jacket. It's by no mean finished at all, there's plenty of customisations and add-ons I'd love to make in the future but for now I think I have a great base outfit. Each piece is easily mixed and matched with jeans & tees for every day wear too!

If you fancy a little music while you check out the post, this Spotify playlist is one that I found that I played throughout my sewing of this outfit!

So when I was designing the pieces I wanted for this outfit, the one thing I kept in mind was practicality. I created a character in my head of a scavenger girl, she's probably in some sort of tribe but during the day she's out and about alone searching for items and scrap she can use or trade.

My boots were $19 from Kmart. They're actually rainboots! I wear them everywhere though. The legwarmers were made from knitted jumpers cut into rectangles and sewn up. I have a tutorial for some similar here.

The jacket I made by tracing around a hoodie that used to be Tim's when he was a teenager and kicking butt in karate. The shoulders are dropped, the armholes are quite straight and square which was pretty cool for this style jacket I was making. Inspired by several different jackets, I knew I wanted a huge hood on it and a sort of revere thing going on. I wanted it to just tie together by one fastener at the waist, and when I saw this bronze kilt pin in my sewing box I knew it was the one. It's simple but practical for a girl who has probably just found the jacket in an abandoned shack.

I lined it with pink fleece because A: you're not going to ever see it and B: it's all I had. It's so warm! I was trying it on as I was making it but having to take it off again real quick because the fireplace was going and I was dying of heat! There are pocket in the sideseams because I love a good pocket. On one of the sleeves there is two black bands. I'm not sure if it's like a mourning thing I was going for or like maybe it represents the tribe she is in. Either way it's cool. The other arm has a pocket and an army patch I scratched up and coloured in with a black marker to stop it looking so shiny!

The hood is huge, I love it. I took an iphone pic of all three of the hoods up and my head looked tiny and lost in there! haha. I've had a thing for oversized hoods for a little while, so being able to just go wild with this really made me happy!

Ordinarily I would have preferred using a khaki or a black fabric for the jacket, however I didn't have that much of either fabric. What I did have was a camouflage-print doona cover I bought at the op shop before Supanova when I was originally going to make Edison an Endor Leia poncho (I'm still totally going to do that!). Eventually I'd love to add old patches and badges to it, random little knickknacks so it turn into a really ratty junky piece!

You know how sewing for yourself is all about sewing for your body type? Yeh sewing this jacket does me no favours. People are always like "Ari you've got a great figure!" but really I just have long legs and know how to dress to my shape and put all the attention on those pins! I never wear shirts that are too tight (well, except for in this photoshoot omg hypocrite!) or too short. My shirts always fit me really well and cover the fact that I have a muffin top and a mummy belly. I'm not sure if I wear the correct size bra, you know how they always say that like 75% of women are wearing incorrect bra sizes? I'm pretty sure I'm in that percentage, but in the end the bras I wear make the puppies look better than they really are.

So you see it's all optical illusions! BUT this jacket is ginormous and bulky and doesn't take away the fact that I have a short and squat torso. I don't mind though, I love it! (The jacket, not the torso)

Under the jacket I made a huge over-sized hooded cowl scarf. I actually had to make the hood SMALLER because it was wayyyy too massive. Again I'm in love with it's massiveness. I know it all seems totally crazy and excessive and plain weird to a lot of my lovely blog readers who are probably like "What the hell has happened to Max California?" but then I guess if you've been around long enough this doesn't really surprise you. At all!

The hooded cowl is a big hood shape made from black fleece, but then extended rather long and sewn together to make a big loop.

Evidence of too tight top right there ^

I made myself an adult-sized Bimaa Sweater! Ha! Yeh you thought my Bimaa-love was contained in shirts for only Edison & Vincent? Puh-lease!

Using Kitschy-Coo's Lady Skater pattern, I made the top of it (obviously leaving off the skirt bit!). Making a giant rectangle for the hooded-cowl (it's not shaped like the Bimaa), I made sure it was big enough to it over my head like a hood. It was a fun time in draping actually!

I added a zip instead of a seam, meaning that this shirt can be worn with the cowl down, with it up as a hood, with it unzipped up it looks like a regular hoodie and with it unzipped and pulled down and out it looks like this...

 Yes I love this shirt so much! I want to make a zillion of these, or at least one in black so I can wear it with EVERYTHING. The fabric is super slinky and combined with the colour it really shows every little lump and bump underneath.

Doesn't matter because I was wearing it under the mega jacket!

OH and it has thumbholes! Which was fun to make and I plan on making thumbholes in the cuffs of everything long-sleeved now. They're a little tricky at first to get your head around, but pretty rad and totally worth it!

 The leggings and the shirt are both made from this lovely slinky stretch fabric I scored from the op shop for about $4. I got several metres of it, which rules! The leggings were drafted from a pair of my Black Milk leggings, which are a fit I love and know flatter me! I added ankle cuffs and a fold over waistband but you can't see them in any of these photos ahha.

Are you into post-apocalyptic fashion? Seriously let me know because I feel like I'm the only one in bloglandia that loves this kinda thing! My muse goes crazy when I look at photos of people dressed up or when I watch movies like Waterworld (favourite ever), Mad Max, oooh even Book of Eli! I want to do a Dystopian Future episode of Sew Geeky one day but Kat thinks I'm the only one who geeks out about this. Please prove her wrong :P

Thank you so much Shaffer Sisters for inadvertently pushing me to commence making an outfit from my dreams! Check out the rest of the sew-a-bration at the blogs below or go straight to Shaffer Sisters Sew-A-Bration posts to see them all in one spot!

 The Life Of A Compulsive Crafter | Serger Pepper | House of Estrela | sewVery | Our Busy Little Bunch
Falafel and the Bee | Lexi Made | Winter Wonderings | Kid Approved | Scientific Seamstress
Becca DuVal | Peek-a-Boo Pattern Shop | The Berry Bunch | Little Kids Grow | leighlee
Feathers Flights | That's-Sew-Kari

Jacket:: fabric - doona cover, pattern - self-drafted
Shirt:: fabric - taupe unknown stretch, pattern - self-drafted
Leggings:: fabric - taupe unknown stretch, pattern - self-drafted
Hooded Cowl:: fabric- black fleece, pattern - self-drafted
Leg-Warmers:: fabric- two reconstructed knitted jumpers!
Accessories:: feather - from my chickens, finger bands - black electrical tape

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  1. O. M. G.

    I am dying. You look so freaking hawt. SHIT, woman. I am blown away. Your sci-fi apocalyptic expressions and modeling skills are killing me.

  2. Amazing! I loooooove the look. SELL. YOUR. PATTERNS!!

  3. I love this outfit. I too like this kinda style, although it looks rubbish on me I love admiring on other people. U remind me of Tank Girl in these photos and I adore it. Super sexy

  4. You are incredible! This is so not what you normally see on sewing blogs, but I really, really love it!

  5. My hubs and I are all into the post-apocalyptic thing, man!
    LOVE this outfit! Holy shiiiiiiii!

  6. That is an awesome outfit! I sort of want to bust out my sewing machine and get to town on making something like it. Well Done!

  7. I love this! Good for you, lady.
    If the zombies do come, can we all come over to you for clothing?
    I love that you sewed for YOU!

  8. WOAH LADY! Don't throw me under the bus LOL!?! I LOVE the Dystopian look! It's like you and me with anime vs comics: You're more comics I'm more anime. You are more post-apocalyptic and I am more Steampunk... but really I like meshing the two together! But YES! I mean, PROVE US WRONG PEOPLE!!! MAKE ALL THE POST-APOCALYPTIC THINGS!!!

    And this outfit? A total "10" on the rad-ness scale! You know how much I love it! Thumbholes?! Fifteen year old Kat salutes you. Oversized hoods? A Borders family "must". Various gizmos holders? You're definitely speaking my language! That zippy Bimaa-Skater is the bees friggin' knees, lady. I love this so hard! And you!


  9. Wow this is so epic! (sew epic?) I love general sewing, but I LOVE stuff like this. I already have my dystopian clothes picked out, but now I really think I don't have enough cowls and hoods involved. Or like, pockets for bladed weapons. Or leggings. Oh, I have to rethink everything now!

  10. I love everything you've done here! Really really love it!

  11. I love everything you've done here! I mean really really love it!

  12. awesome. Awesome. AWESOME!!!! Seriously. Sew cool!

    No now PLEASE start working on grading and selling those patterns. Shirt and jacket first please. I'll test. Thanks. ;-)

  13. Dude this is so aaaaaaawesome. You look like a total badass! For the record, I also love post apocalyptic fashion - especially all the big cowl hoods. And ratty looking sweater knits/netting type stuff. You rocked this. The zip cowl is awesome. Your model smolder is totally smoking.

  14. Steampunk AND post-apocalyptic Sew Geeky! Fun for all the geeks! :)

  15. Madam, I do so believe we are soul-sisters. I love the post apocalyptic look! You should totally add Bittersweet by Apocalyptica to your playlist.It features Ville Valo from H.I.M and Lauri Ylonen from The Rasmus and it's mega good stuff! Love your blog!

  16. Dude. I don't know what to say about this outfit that hasn't been said already, so I'm just going to reiterate. This whole entire outfit + you = out of control amazing.

  17. Love that outfit, but especially the top. Awesome!

  18. Super cool - you obviously nailed your inspiration! I think my favorite is the oversized hood cowl.

  19. First of all - I'm also obsessed with waterworld. I prefer it to mad max/road warrior for sure.
    Second - that bimaa style shirt is so cool. I love the zip. When it's unzipped it's like a completely different shirt which makes even more options.
    Third - I am totally into this fashion. Seriously. Something about the back story and the pulled together from bits and pieces thing is so appealing to me. I'm not sure I'd ever be able to pull off a look like that myself, but I could read about it all day!

  20. Love it! I have to sew this jacket for me too. Thanks for the inspiration. Love Boots and huge hoods and big jackets i can feel myself tiny in it! Awesome!


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