s i l l a ◊ space

Taking life by the horns & body slamming her… with style.

Choose Your Own Adventure


Since graduating just over a year ago I’ve taken full advantage of the extra time on my hands.  Besides not looking for a job I’ve enjoyed traveling all over the world, sewing to my heart’s content, broadening my Illustrator/Photoshop skills, and even took time to jump out of plane for fun.  While I’ve enjoyed this time to myself I feel the need to take my craft a little more seriously.

I am a self-taught seamstress of at least 12 years and have decided to finally take professional sewing lessons in garment construction.  No matter how good you think you are or how incredible your friends say you are at your talent there is always room for growth.

Here’s to growing and learning together. Now let the Sewing Chronicles begin!

∆ silla



Professor Nick Verreos :: Fashion Industry 101

Although I’ve been sewing for quite some time now there are still a few aspects in sewing I want to either perfect or learn altogether.  There is ALWAYS room for growth. Well, with that being said, I’m interested in exercising my tailoring skills and scoured the Internet to brush up on some basic knowledge about the tailoring world before really getting started with fabric and all.

Lo and behold, Nick Verreos hosts Design School presented by LookTV with 20 videos packed with his tailoring, cutting, and draping expertise. Eureka! Verreos was a Season 2 Project Runway contestant with, remember Tim Gunn‘s ‘What happened to Andrae?’ mantra and the mad hatter Santino Rice?  Dear God I miss those days of Project Runway.

At any rate, him and partner, David Paul run their women’s line,  NIKOLAKI along with custom designing for red carpet status celebrities.  With heaps of outdated fashion design videos out there it’s truly refreshing to see something like this.  These videos were released about a year ago but the guidance definitely has not expired.   Legit advice from experts in the industry right at your fingertips.  It seems so easy to find right? Pshhh… oh Fashion.

Sometimes it can be a struggle to find helpful information within the fashion industry especially if you’re not in the center of it all.

Start your Design School binge with Professor Verreos here & watch all the videos.


Sometimes I Sew :: Button Upgrade

My precious mother-in-law gave me this incredible vintage burgundy leather trench coat over the holidays.  I was absolutely in love except for the outdated buttons.  These large round disks matched the exact color of the coat and showed signs of wear and tear.  So I immediately dove into my treasure chest of buttons and decided to give this trench an upgrade.


Twelve buttons and a couple hours later (hand-sewing buttons through leather can be exhausting!),

voila. . .

MainJktI choose two different style of buttons to add some contrast but still staying within my art deco theme.  Below are some close-ups of my selections.


Next time you’re out thrifting don’t let minor details prevent you from purchasing a great piece.  Be adventurous in your upgrades!



tomboy chic for la petite

Oh my dear vertically challenged beauties!

From shopping in the kid’s department to over extended hems most retailers make things difficult for you to truly express your personal style.  Many styling experts encourage a straight pant to cover your high-heeled shoes to help elongate your body.

BUT what if you don’t wear heels?

High heels are not the only solution to creating a taller silhouette especially if you find yourself to be more tomboy chic than glamour puss.


1.   Ark & CO Blazer $93 :: Make sure blazer hits just at the top of the hip to avoid looking a bit stumpy.  The matte sued finish keeps the sheen of the tank and shoes in balance.

2.  River Island Shaker Hat $50 ::  This hat shape is way more stylish than a fedora (Most overrated accessory!) and adds a tad more height to a smaller stature with a touch of masculinity.

3.  Urban Outfitters Vegan Leather High/Low Tank $60 :: Compliments the iridescence of the shoes but not overbearing. Paired with high waisted pants, the front is elongated with the “high” part of the tank.  Paired with a blazer, the back silhouette is elongated with layers of the “low” part of the tank.

4.  Asos Petite High Waisted Tux Pant $53 ::  Creates a longer leg line especially with the seaming details of the front and satin seams of the sides.  Make sure the hem does not bunch at the top of the shoe.  The hem should float just above the shoe keeping a fluid leg line.

5.  River Island Geometric Pendant Necklace $12 :: Ties in the hues of the Miista oxford to give continuity of your outfit.

6.  Miista Allison Irid Black $321 :: Why these shoes? Because they’re bloody incredible and worth the splurge.  You’ll drool over every pair of shoes this Spanish designer shells out.

Hope this helps you out next time you’re out and about searching for items to compliment your body shape and style.



Oh vanity, vanity, vanity. . .

Before you give yourself a congratulatory martini for wearing the same size jeans since high school, let’s talk.

Vanity sizing has been used for decades by clothing brands to help make us feel better about that size 8 we so proudly wear.  I mean it’s the same size you wore in high school, right?

Honey, it couldn’t be further from the truth…


26-inch waistline

Sultry film star, Lauren Bacall, wore a size 12 in the late 40’s early 50’s.  A size 12 in 1950 was measured at a slim 26″ waistline.  Since then waistlines have expanded yet the sizes themselves have stayed the same. Today, a 36″ waistline is considered proper measurement for a women’s size 12.

This how you can wear the same size as you did since high school.  Now if we tried on those same darling cut-off denim shorts from junior year many of us would be sadly disappointed once the stopping point of those shorts halted at mid-thigh.

2013 sz12

36-inch waistline

Now do not fret my little fashionistas! There is nothing wrong with being curvy and embracing it BUT it’s more important to being healthy about your dress size.  Click here for Dr. Oz’s recommendation for a healthier way to determine your clothing size without false hopes from vanity sizing.

Here’s to being healthy and looking marvelous while doing it!



Sometimes I Sew

Thrift stores are like a orphanages for unwanted merchandise just waiting for someone to love them.  People like me find a few pieces to adopt each visit to give new life and expand our lovely wardrobe abode.

Some pieces are perfect just the way they are but some need make-overs.

Below is a top I found probably from the early 90’s when wearing windbreaker suits was cool to wear at any given time of the week and you didn’t have to own one to work out in.


What I did:

1. Cut out neck to create a deep exposed front & back

2.  Added a 2-inch satin collar

3.  Added 2-inch black/white weave trim on middle back to create support


On your next thrift store adventure, or even if it is your 1st visit, try to be creative.   Think of ways to modernize what most people would consider outdated and make it your own.  Have fun and happy hunting!



Hello Splurge, meet my friend Conserve.

So contrary to fashion blog hype and brainwashing your closet DOES NOT have to include designer everything.  Gasp! Yea, I know so revolutionary.

It is reasonable, however,  to indulge in that occasional splurge moment as long as it is a worthy investment.

Take this ravishing Diane von Furstenberg blazer for example…

Definitely a statement :: Well tailored ::

Quality construction & fabric choice :: ‘Generation pass-down’ approved


Now pair with pieces you may already have in your wardrobe or purchase budget friendly types like these:


Questions to ponder before your investment:

‘Can I pair it with more than one item in my closet?’

‘Would my daughter/niece/goddaughter appreciate this one day?’

How many times have you heard your mom describe those incredible outfits she used to wear in her youth and wish she would’ve kept them?

Happy fashion investment hunting!



1. Diane von Furstenberg metallic blazer   $498

2. Express ivory tunic   $50

3. NY&C black pant w/ gold zipper ankle detail  $65