Thursday, September 30, 2010

Limiting Factors with Fashion

I am sewing...I swear! I'm almost done with my blanket coat and will post pictures later. But this post stems from lunch on Tuesday with my BFF from middle school. We've known each other from over 25 years.

Anyways, we were discussing our "styles" or lack thereof. We used to be fun, unique, stylishly dressed women when we were younger. We wore things others wouldn't and definitely had a style even in high school when it wasn't cool to be different. You couldn't really group us with other groups as we did our own thing and didn't even dress like each other, but ourselves.

We're both 40 now, with kids. She works at her own business from home and I work in a very conservative company and even more conservative department. She lives in the land of "Juicy" across the butt and I live in the land of holiday sweaters. We're both curvy girls. I'd say I follow trends more than she does, although I like to do them in my unique way. She is pretty edgy and rock n roll'ish. We were trying to figure out how to get back our styles with our limiting factors.

Age, size/shape, opportunity, geography, motivation!

I may be a bit further ahead in getting out of my rut because I work outside the home. For me, I notched up my dressing a bit. Instead of wearing jeans somewhere, I would put on a skirt. I always add accessories now, whether it's a scarf, belt or jewelry that's fun. I read up on the rules for my body type so I know better how to dress it. I follow blogs and snoop shop for inspiration. At this point, I feel pretty comfortable with how I am dressing. Now that I know the rules though, I'm having fun breaking some of them. I'm not dressing as fun and edgy as I'd like to be but once again, there are those limiting factors. I don't want to dress like everyone else but I don't want to look like an idiot or be inappropriate for my situations either. But more often than not these days, I remind myself that I'm 40. Not in the sense that it should be limiting, but that it should be empowering! Do I really care what anyone thinks anymore? If I'm not going to do it now, then when will I do it? I figure as long as my son isn't horribly embarrassed by what I wear, then I'm good ;-)

For example, I want one of these harnesses so bad I can taste it...

Here's the shop link AudraJean Etsy

I found them on the Fashion For Nerds blog. She wears them, her husband makes them. And she wears them amazingly well! I just keep wondering if I got one, would I wear it or would it just sit in my closet while I look at it. I don't think I could wear it to work, soccer practice, the grocery store??? I guess I said that too about all the dresses I have now and I wear them now, everywhere.

Oh well, enough deep thoughts for the day. Off to finish my coat!

Friday, September 24, 2010

A diversion from sewing...Flyball

As I have said, besides sewing, dogs are my major passion. We have a houseful, 8 total, some rescue, some not, all loved. Here is my canine family:

Widget (Border collie mix)

Swiper (Border Staffy) in action

Tohrment (Border Staffy) trying dock diving

Stewie (Cattle Dog) and Vivid (White Staffy)

Swiper in the most coveted spot in the house!

Flea (Rescue rat terrier)

The Old Girls - Gracie and Treacle (Staffy Bulls)

No sewing today since I'm readying for the tournament this weekend. We host two a year and this is our annual End of Summer Slam as we call it.

Slammers Flyball

And to see Flyball in action, here's one of my favorite YouTube videos. This person out in Oklahoma does the most amazing job editing videos of Flyball tournaments. Watch your volume, it's set to music but the dogs are barking, and yes, it's this loud and more at a tournament. Any dog can play from Yorkies to Newfies, and Mutts. The reason I became involved was because I had a mixed breed dog about 15 years ago and it was the only sport that allowed them at the time.

Runnin' on Tulsa Time

We'll be heading out to St. Louis in mid-November for the U-Fli Championships at the Purina Farms! Can't wait!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Another Simplicity 2369

I couldn't resist and made another one. I really like this pattern. I don't normally make two in a row of anything. I'm fickle and lose interest quickly but I REALLY like this pattern. This time I did the length of B, the sleeves of A (more or less) and the ties for that? There will be a quiz ;-) And I also lengthened and tapered the cuffs for the sleeves. I wanted to try a bit of the leg o'mutton look that I wore to death in the early 80's. Alas, it is back in style again. I would have liked to add even more length, but I was scraping the bottom of the barrel for fabric as it was and this was all I could get. I like them though and I figure if at a later date I don't, then I can just hack them off and hem the sleeves like the previous version.

This is a wonderful lipstick red (pictures are off a bit) ponte from Fabric Mart. I 'think' it is a cotton blend. It was wonderful to work with and luckily very wide so I was able to get the whole dress in 2 yards of 60" wide. Fabric Mart has quickly become my favorite online store.

I'm experimenting with taking pictures using my timer. One of my problems is that my house is full of warm woods and nothing looks good photographed against is. Outside on my porch works well but I need a volunteer, preferably a somewhat interested one, to get decent pictures. I put this blue fabric (courtesy of a mystery box), up on the door and I think it helped. I like how I look much better in these pictures than in my other ones.

If you look close you can see some of my poison ivy!

I've been slacking on my self stitched stuff. I was home sick yesterday and now I'm on vacation for the rest of the month. I did wear one of my Nancy skirts to the store yesterday, but nothing self stitched today unless you count my modeling.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Simplicity 2369 and SSS20

This went together so quickly. What a great pattern! I made View B but subbed in View C's sleeves. I was so happy with it till I saw the pictures. I really hope that I'm THAT unphotogenic. I must have some serious body dismorphia or something because I don't think I look that much like a brick! I think (hoping) that it's because these pictures are taken straight on and all you see is my top heaviness. But this is why I get frustrated with blogging and doing pattern reviews :-(

Anyways...I ad-libbed a little with the facing. It's supposed to be turned back down and topstitched but I liked it like this.

And I'll be wearing it tomorrow.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

SSS16, 17 and Grumpy photographers!

I managed to get my tempermental photographer to snap pictures of me in the morning. Day 16 turned out ok, but Day 17 was pretty scary. Gosh forbid I have to ask him to take a second, not him, he's too busy and important. I need to teach one of the dogs how to take pictures for me ;-) I've tried the timer but it just doesn't quite get a good picture. Oh well...

Day 16 - My one and only shot with the skirt riding and the lining showing. This is one of the new Vogues for fall - Tracy Reese 1203. The skirt is super easy and flattering. I'm planning on making at least one more.

Day 17 included this shirt, my olive green cargo pants and my new boots!

Up next for me is Simplicity 2369 View B with the sleeves from C. I didn't plan on sewing this next or using the fabric I picked out but sometimes you just gotta go with the flow. I have it all cut out and ready to sew. I think it will be a quick project (knock on wood).

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Burda 7442 Done

Well, I'm not quite sure what to say about this one. I like, I don't love it. I started sewing it and about halfway through I thought, nope, not gonna like it, so I ended up getting kind of sloppy in my sewing. At best, I get a C+ on the technique for this. It's an odd pattern. There are no facings. The top is doubled completely and the skirt is supposed to be lined. It does give it a more polished and finished look on the inside I will say, but dang is it a lot of fabric! I'm still not quite sure of the purpose of the skirt lining to be honest. The upper edge of the skirt is designed to be unfinished but I put a narrow hem in mine. I can never get a neat enough cut. The skirt then goes over the top of the top to create a casing for the elastic, which is really fiddly to do. I also used a thicker elastic. I wanted something heftier.

The armcyes were too low for me but I didn't catch it until it was too late. And IMO there was way too much sleeve cap ease to pull in the sleeves to get them to fit. I'm becoming more a believer of reducing sleeve cap ease.

The sleeves are SUPER long even with the elastic in them. I could have cut off several inches and it still would have worked.

I'm not in love with this right now but it is growing on me. It's not my normal color so this was an experiment and since green is in this season I thought I'd give it a shot. The fabric I used was some of the Vera Wang poly knit from FabricMart Fabrics and I think it was either in the $1 or $2 a yard section. I bought it in just about every color they had. I don't mind the poofiness of the pockets, in fact, that's what makes this dress. I would definitely make sure you make it out of something drapey or you'll look like an Oompah Loompah no matter how tiny your hips are.

SSS 15

A quickie post for the outfit of the day.

Burda 5-2009-114 Dress which even though it was a practice dress out of cheapy Joann's shirting material is one of my favorites. I had a big wide red belt on over the cardigan and my fashion consultant (aka DS age 8) didn't like it so I took it off. It was very Mad Men'esque but accentuated my curves substantially ;-)

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Self Stitched September 12 and 13

As usually I was running late on a Monday...I didn't get to snap a picture of my outfit but I will try to piece it together for Day 12:

Here's the skirt Burda 8-2009-122 in denim.

And I've been playing with Polyvore...what a fun thing and here's the outfit I wore (more or less). It's the exact shirt, very similar shoes, except mine are 9 West and the jewelry is pretty close.

SSS 12

Day 13 - I managed to snap a shot. The skirt is what I made. It's a Burda mag skirt but I can't remember the number. It has a tulip shape and is made out of high quality quilting cotton in a tie dyed fabric. I was running late (no!) and told my DS who is 8 to pick me out something. He came back out of my closet and said, "How do you feel about something bright?" I said sure and he picked out this skirt.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Self Stitched Days 7, 8 and 9.

Before I post these, mind you my photography is an 8 year old boy who reluctantly takes these for me.

Day 7 - Top is the sadly out of print Simplicity 4020 in a lovely silk jersey is super happy colors. I'm sorry the photo didn't turn out well here but the fabric is seriously fun. I bought it from Fashionista Fabrics awhile back. Sorry no longer available as far as I can tell. The pants are a Burda Magazine pattern 7-2009-102 out of black RPL from Gorgeous Fabrics.

Day 8 - I hope this counts. The skirt is a hand knit present from my mom. It's a gored skirt out of variegated silk/cotton yarn. Everything else is RTW.

Day 9 - Burda 7-2009-109A. This is a big tent but has some great sleeve details. I like this dress despite it's 'tent-ness.' It does not photograph well at all. I really don't think I look this huge in it or at least I hope not. Everytime I wear it I get oodles of compliments. It's a great seasonal transition dress. In the winter I've worn it with tights and long sleeved blouse under it.

Day 10 is yet to be photographed...running late in the morning and Day 6 was a bust. I was home cleaning house.

Friday, September 10, 2010

New Burda Envelope Patterns

I was at Joann's yesterday and couldn't believe my luck when I saw they actually had a pattern book and the new patterns. So I bought a couple. I wasn't even planning on buying any of them from this fall's offer but these grew on me. These are the one's I bought. I love the fact that the models have some curves. I don't think I would have bought these if the model had been rail thin. Seeing her on the cover with the curves made me think I could wear these as well.

This one, the dress version, I already cut outlast night in some of the emerald green Vera Wang poly knit from Fabric Mart. It was one of their $1 or $2 a yard sales so I figured if I didn't like it then oh well. I think the pockets will lay down pretty nicely with a drapey fabric. I love the jumpsuit but I don't think I can pull it off. The top is doubled and the skirt is lined. I'm afraid this dress will end up extremely heavy. I'm going to try and not line the skirt and see how it goes. The construction should be very quick and simple. There was a lot of cutting out though.

I am seriously considering this one. I have some fabric similar to the short version of the dress on the envelope package that would look wonderful.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Self Stitched Days 3,4 and 5

I was gone those three days play Flyball so I wore my team jacket that I made last year. It's a Burda Magazine pattern which for the life of me I can't figure out how to find a link for. Could Burda make it any more difficult? Nope, I don't think so :-( No wonder everyone is complaining!

Anyway, it is a great jacket. It's out of some really nice quality Polartec fleece (not the cheapy blizzard stuff). I made my son one too in a pullover variety. I took it to a local embroiderer who put our team name and logo on it. It's a princess seamed jacket with side zip pockets. If I make it again, which is highly likely, I'll leave off the pockets. They are too small and pretty useless and only add bulk. The other odd thing that I remember is that it didn't have any front facings...hmmmm, so I drafted some. This is all from my old lady memory so I may be wrong.

Yeah, I found the link to the archive of the Burda. It's 1-2010-105.

Slammers Flyball Team

I have some pictures for Days 6, 7 and 8 but I'll post those tomorrow.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Self Stitched September

Well I saw this awhile ago and wanted to join but got busy doing all the landscaping and lost track of time, so I missed the signup before September 1. I love the idea of wearing something you made every day for a month. I do try to do that on a regular basis anyways. It's gotten to the point at work that everyone asks me if I made what I'm wearing and I get disappointed looks if I say no. If nothing else I throw on a scarf that I've made. I've also made a cami/short set that I wear to bed. I've got a couple nightgowns on the cutting table as well.

Self Stitched September

So I'll be participating in spirit. This week, since I was off and exhausted from landscaping my evening attire included a couple of these from a free pattern on

Nancy Dress

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Non sewing activities

So, I've been a bit of a bad sewing blogger again. I have been sewing a bit but not much. It's been too hot to sew winter stuff and I'm over sewing summer things. Our furnace took a caput this spring so we've been without AC and with a sewing area upstairs, it's been nearly unbearable.

Here's what I have been working on!

We put in the patio last year but finished the walkway and the retaining wall this year. Added about 8 yards of topsoil to help with the grade, another 150 or so blocks to go around the tree, 2 yards of rocks, and 100 square yards of sod!

The dogs are going to be relegated to their new "play" area so the humans can enjoy the patio.

Ah, Happy Feet!

The next phase will include more blocks in front of the deck, more river rocks, and a fieldstone retaining wall along with probably more sod. I'll never plant grass seed again after finding out how cheap sod it. Maybe I'm lucky that we have several sod farms in my area but at $1 a sq. yard it's so worth it!

To do: