Thursday, September 22, 2016

10x10 Fall Remix - Day 3

Day 3 of the Un-Fancy Fall Remix challenge I actually went into the office, so had to dress up a bit more!

1) Everlane black sweater vest - from Day 1

2) J. Brand grey cropped chinos - I switched these out from my tan cropped pants, because they went better with my warmer temperature switches.  I bought them a while ago from a consignment store (don't remember which), and I've been on the fence about them a bit.  They fit nicely, but there is something about the color that I'm not a huge fan of, maybe I would like it to be a cooler grey?  I normally wear them rolled at the bottom (you can still see my roll lines), but I actually do like them better straight.  Maybe that was the problem!  I also have a weird problem where I can't ever figure out what shoes to wear them with if my top doesn't have black in it (so I can wear black shoes).  I have some issues with color-matching that I've been working through the past few years. :)

3)  Nine West black heeled sandals - I think I got these from Twice, as I've had them a while.  I like them a lot, as they dress me up a bit, but are still super comfy.  I do not like to wear them with dresses though (something about the point at which they hit makes me feel like they chop me up to much), so I pretty much wear them exclusively with cropped pants.

4)  Accessories - I actually intended to wear a black/grey/white silk scarf I bought in Thailand with this outfit, and it was going to tie all together and be awesome.  Unfortunately, the grey was way more blue than my pants, and it just looked off.  I even debated on putting on a different outfit, but instead went with some of my tried and true jewelry pieces:
  • Sundance tiny silver hoops - I love Sundance jewelry, as it is typically has an artisan feel.  I have these earring both in gold and silver and I wear them to death, as they are my go-to simple earrings.
  • H&M long silver drop necklace - This necklace is the opposite of artisan, as it was $5 from H&M, but I equally love it and wear it to death.  I recently replaced the chain, as the "silver" was wearing off, but the pendant is going strong.  I think part of the reason I love it so much is that it reminds me of a silver teardrop I wore all the time in high school/college.  I don't remember  all the details, but I believe my aunt's dentist had made it out of silver left over from fillings, which is a little bizarre now that I think about it, but it was hand-crafted!  I lost it on a trip to the Netherlands my sophomore year of college and I still miss it dearly.
  • Black/silver watch - from day 2.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

10x10 Fall Remix - Day 2

Another work from home day today, and on the hotter side, so not the most elaborate of outfits, but that's more my speed anyway.  I do have my church small group to go to tonight, so I will leave the house and spend time with other humans, so I did make a bit more effort than yesterday though!

1)  J. Jill green sweater tank - I scored this one at Goodwill this summer, and I've worn it a bunch.  I'm weirdly not loving it as much in the photo though, what do you think?  I'm hoping it will be pretty versatile with layering, so stay tuned as to how else I wear it!  I've been trying to make a muted green one of my neutrals for several years, and I'll get there eventually.

2) Madewell dark skinny jeans - from Day 1

3) Franco Sarto black strappy sandals - from Day 1

4) Accessories - I realized I didn't wear any yesterday, but they are a key element of mixing things up, since they don't count towards the 10 items.  Today's accessories include:

  • Green dangle earrings - these were a gift from John several years ago (from KUKLAstudio) and I don't wear them very much.  I think they are really cool though, and I like to wear them when I have short hair.  One of my goals with this challenge is to mix things up with accessories.
  • Black/silver watch - I've written about this one before, but I bought it forever ago at Target and I love it dearly.  At this point it's on watchband at least #4, and I've put way more money into it in watchbands than its original purchase price ($15 maybe?), but it's worth it.  

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

10x10 Fall Remix - Day 1!

I'm finally diving into the capsule wardrobe world!  Well, more like dipping my toe in, but hey, it's something.  I'm playing along with the Un-Fancy Fall Remix, which means I selected 10 items (including shoes!) and can only wear those 10 items for 10 days.  The idea here is to force me to try new combinations and get outside my normal wardrobe box.

I was going to do an initial post showing my 10 items, but after I gathered them all together, I sat down to figure out my outfits, and realized I was too optimistic as to whether or not fall had actually arrived, and I had to switch out a few of the heavier items for more appropriate items for 85+ degrees, because summer just refuses to leave.  So instead I will just post a daily photo, because today is Day 1, and do a summary at the end.

Without further ado - today's outfit!

These first few days will be pretty simple, since it will be close to 90 degrees out, and I have to keep cool.  I'm working from home today, so it's a simple basic outfit.

1)  Black sweater vest from Everlane - This is a great classic that I bought this summer and have been wearing a ton.  I love the split hem, and it gives a bit of polish that a basic tank or tee just can't quite do, while still being lightweight and cool.  I love the concept of Everlane (transparency and quality), and have tried ordering multiple things over the past few years, but this is the only garment I've kept from them.

2)  My favorite pair of jeans - dark skinnies from Madewell.  I bought them second-hand a while back, I believe from the now-defunct online store Twice.  They fit me so perfectly.  Madewell and Joe's Jeans are my go-to brands for jeans.

3)  Franco Sarto black strappy sandals - I've waxed poetic about these on the blog before, so they are no stranger here.  This is actually my second pair, because I wore my first pair basically 2 out of 3 days in the warmer weather for 2 years and wore them out.  When I went shopping for a new pair of black sandals, I tried others, but these still won out and I got my second pair, which is also at the end of their second summer, and they are still going strong.  I'm shooting for three summers for these!

Monday, August 15, 2016

Summer Sewing

So I'm way behind in blogging my latest creations, but I have two to share that I'm super happy with!  The first is the Willow dress from Grainline Studios.  I bought the pattern right when it came out, but  then I managed to lose it in a closet for about a month (oops!).  I made up the tank version first, but haven't taken any pictures yet.  I did want to try the dress though, and I had the perfect fabric for it, which was a linen/cotton blend I had picked up at Joann's.

For my initial tank version, I sewed it up exactly like the pattern (picture below on left), with the high round neckline.  For the dress version though, I wanted to change things up a bit, and add a deep v to both the front and back of the neckline, like my inspiration on the right below.  I also wanted to eliminate the fold-over at the low waist, as it would hit at a not-so-flattering spot on me, and probably wouldn't even show up really with the busy print.  If you're extra observant, you may notice that I have raised the dart up in the picture above, as it hit a little low on my first version.  It didn't really work though, so I have to research a bit on how to fix that problem.  It's a common one I have, being on the petite/smaller-boobed side of things.


I winged the neckline adjustment, and didn't account for the width of the bias tape finish properly, so I ended up doing exposed bias tape instead of on the inside, like the pattern calls for, because it would have been super bulky otherwise.  I would have preferred it inside, but I don't think it looks bad. 

As far as a pattern goes, it is a quick sew and a great basic design, there are definitely more in my future!  Without further ado, my Willow dress:

My second project is also visible in the above photos - my espadrille sandals!  I had taught some women how to make espadrille shoes earlier this summer, but I wasn't happy with my sample version.  Mostly this was due to me ordering a size too small, and they just didn't quite fit properly.  My solution was to remake them as sandals, and take advantage of the smaller fabric requirement to use up some of my Thai silk, leftover from a throw pillow I made earlier this year.

Again, this was very much a wing-it project, and I made it all up as I went.  I initially thought about finding buckles and doing a more professional closure, but my impatience won out and I just went for ankle straps that tied.  The biggest change was that I intended to double up the ankle straps, but for some reason forgot I needed to then cut 8 pieces instead of 4.  I only had enough fabric for four, and there was no way I was going to be able to do a skinny hem on those bad boys (fray city), so I took advantage of the frayiness and just sewed a double line close to the edge and frayed up to my sewn line.  I really like the way it looks, and think it would have been too thick to double-up anyway.  There are a few things I might adjust eventually (the front piece is maybe a touch loose, and the angle the ankle-straps are attached at is not big enough), but I'm really pleased with them.  Unfortunately, their first trip out I managed to step in both a giant wad of gum and dog poop, but that's just part of breaking them in, right?

Monday, July 11, 2016

Philly Photo Walk

A little bit different than my posts of late, but I wanted to share a fun experience I had yesterday, which was a photo walk through Philly, which was a summer mini course put on by my church, Liberti Collingswood.  It ended up just being four of us, and we started in Center City, meandered through Society Hill and ended up at one of my favorite spots, Spruce Street Harbor Park.  Without further ado, here is my walk!


Wednesday, May 18, 2016

To capsule or not to capsule....

So I've been dancing around the idea of doing a capsule wardrobe for a few years now, and I think I might finally be ready to take the plunge.  The reason for this is two-fold:

  • I've gotten rid of most of my clothes at this point, so I don't have a lot to work with, and might as well formalize it, and
  • we're replacing our steam heat system in a few weeks with forced air heat and AC, which means I lose part of my closet.  Might as well be smart about it and look on the bright side as it forcing me to think through this whole wardrobe thing intelligently!
I haven't gone shopping in several months, but recently have been trying to fill some holes in my wardrobe in preparation for summer.  I know, I know, I should figure out what exactly my capsule wardrobe should be before buying anything, but I didn't think it through in time. :)  I've purchased a few pairs of floaty rayon shorts, which are super comfy, a little dressy looking, and work well with my more casual work from home time.  

A lot of capsule wardrobe instructions include selecting outfit silhouettes and then filling in pieces from there, but I personally like to select a few key pieces and then make as many outfits as possible.  It's probably takes longer and is a little more organic of a method, but I think it works better for me.  I've pulled together 4 sample outfits using one of the pairs of shorts I got, along with items already in my closet:

The first two are definitely on the casual side of the spectrum, just using simple tees, but the second two can be dressed up for weekends out and about with jewelry and other accessories.  As I work through my capsule wardrobe, I definitely want to add in some color, so there are options for colorful shirts, but I haven't gotten around to pulling in some color yet.

What do you think of this method of capsule creation?  Does it make sense, or am I making life too hard?

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Going for the nativity shepherd look....

So my Mom has informed me it's been a while since I posted, and Mother knows best, so here I am! :)  I've discovered how much simpler it is to just post a photo to Instagram and not bother with the whole blog thing, but it's hard to get all the details in.  I've been cleaning up my sewing room lately, and trying to wrap up the random half-finished projects scattered around.

This robe is one of those, in that I cut it out maybe a year or so ago, and it sat there gathering dust since then.  The fabric is an unidentified clearance upholstery fabric from JoAnn's, with a nice texture, but it frays like no other.  The pattern is intended for a lightweight cotton, and uses french seams throughout, but there is no way that was going to work with this thicker fabric, so my first step was to serge all the edges.  I sewed it up basically like the pattern instructions (Purl Soho Women's Robe), but I left off the pockets and I sewed the belt ties into the side seams, instead of having it go all the way around the back, and shortened it a bit.  I also changed up the sleeves, because I felt they were a little skinny with my fabric, so I made them shorter and wider than the pattern called for.

Original Pattern

My problems with the robe started with me not thinking through the pattern placement of the stripes, and the vertical stripes really are what give it the shepherd vibe.  I was intending to leave it the longer length, but that was adding to the effect as well, so chop, chop.  My second mistake was not measuring properly when I cut the neckline.  The entire pattern is just a series of rectangles, and you cut a diagonal line across the top of the front rectangles to make the neckline.  I cut it way too wide though, and it sits funny.  Oh well, it's actually fairly well made and comfy, so for an around the house garment, not too bad!

Shepherd Chic