Friday, November 21, 2014


Another me-made garment today!  I bought this fabric a while ago from Gorgeous Fabrics in both green and blue because I couldn't decide which I liked better, and I think they look really fun together.  I was inspired by Liza Jane's two versions of Tina Given's Jaqueline Crop Top, and thought it would be a great way to combine these two fabrics.

I modified the pattern slightly, based on Liza Jane's recommendations, by adding 3" to the front and 6" to the back, which just makes it have slightly more wearable proportions.  After I sewed it all together, I had some weird fit issues in the back, so I also took the sides in about 3" each, which helped, but it is still is a little off.  I shortened the sleeves to match the center seam as well.

Don't look too closely at the any of the hems though, because I had a really hard time with this silk.  The pattern calls for finishing the neckline with bias tape, which I attempted to make, but it kept getting sucked into the feed dogs, so I just gave up and serged the edge and then folded once, which ended up pretty puckery, as did the hem.  Oh well, I'm still learning. :)  I also think this will be the perfect Thanksgiving outfit - I have as much pie as I want and still be comfy!

I think the shoulders are too large maybe?  While it is supposed to be poofy, the fit of the back just looks off, I think.  It was even worse before I took in the sides.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Getting back to the light

If you were a reader of my other blog, you may remember the search for a dining room chandelier, and my love of the bird chandelier, but even though it's still available and $100 cheaper, John still can't get behind it.  Silly man.  Anyway, that search has sort of fallen by the wayside, along with a lot of the little details of putting together our house, but I ran across these amazing glass globe pendant lights, which are found in a really neat store, The Line, via Honestly WTF.  They are definitely out of my price range ($2110 each), and I really don't think I can learn how to glass blow to make them myself, so I may just be out of luck on this one.  Sigh...the search continues.

(photo: The Line)

Green and Tweed - 11/20/14

Last time I wore this skirt I paired it with green and black, this time I went green and brown.  I prefer it with the black I think (there is no actual brown in the skirt, just orange), but I like to mix things up a bit.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Ay Yi Yi - 11/19/14

Sorry I've been MIA, but life has been a little crazy lately.  Monday I had a meeting in Baltimore in the morning, another in DC in the afternoon, and then I got back to Philly close to midnight.  Needless to say, I don't have a picture from Monday.  Tuesday I just worked from home and looked like a slob, so also no picture.  That brings us to today, which for some reason I didn't look too closely at the photos, and I look a little bit like a crazy muppet.  Ignore the hair, apparently that got fixed at some point before I looked in a mirror.

Friday, November 14, 2014

A Wardrobe of Watches

Over the years, I've honed my watch collection, and it's pretty much ideal at this point.  I have three, of which at least one goes with every outfit I own, and I love them all.  I figured I would do a little overview, since they typically aren't easy to see in my outfit photos.

The collection:  gold/silver, black/gold, and black/silver

I've had this watch for at least 8 years and it's my favorite.  I think it was like $15 at Target, and is now on it's 3rd watchband, but I love how tiny and simple it is.

While I love how tiny my other black band watch is, I also love how big this one is. :)  I wear this one the least, but it is fun, and adds a bit of variety.

I was a silver person for most of my life, but over the years, I've slowly been adding gold in (it depends a lot on what my hair color is at the moment).  This is a classic watch that blends all my jewelry together.

Well there you have it, hopefully this was interesting!  How about you, do you have one watch you wear all the time, or a dozen?  

Favorite Sweater - 11/14/14

I love this sweater - it made at least a weekly appearance last year, and I expect it will do the same this year as well.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Birds of a Feather...11/13/14

I'm trying out a more boxy style of top, and not sure how I feel about it.  I do love the pattern though, which is a kinda feather print, I think.  

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Pants on Fire - 11/12/14

I'm a big fan of the sweater vest over another shirt, especially since my new office is super warm compared to my old office (it didn't take much, but still).  The few days I've worn sweaters I thought I was going to die.  And of course I can't not mention the bright red pants.  I've been wanting a pair for at least a year or two and have had a few failed attempts.  These I bought at a consignment store, and skinnified the legs.  I like the fit a lot better, but the hip area has stretched out as the day went on, and they are a little baggy.  I also didn't wear a belt, which might have helped.

I've also dialed back a bit on the make-up - this is about the minimum I like to wear.  It is just a tinted moisturizer and mascara.  I guess I'm craving simplicity lately, because it's also the second day in a row I've forgotten to put on jewelry.

Oooh, Pretty...

I find that most people (if they are so inclined to make things out of yarn) are either crochet people or knitting people, but not usually both.  If Totables is any indication, I'm a crochet girl, but every now and then I think about becoming ambifiberous (like ambidextrous, but just for yarn :) ).  My few forays into the knitting world haven't been too successful, so I've tended to stick with what I know.  But today I came across this beautiful cowl on Purl Bee, and now I want to knit.  Obviously, it would not be difficult to crochet it instead, but I love the texture of the knitting.

(photos: The Purl Bee)

The colors are oh so pretty, and fit nicely with my color palette.  Now I just need to decide if it's worth $99 for the yarn plus learning how to knit plus the time it will take me to knit it (I'm guessing all winter).  Hmmm...

In the Center of it All

So I'm a little ashamed to admit that we've lived in the Philly area now for three months, and we've barely explored at all.  When I first moved to DC, all I did was explore.  I guess I didn't have a house to put together or an incredibly busy work schedule, but still, there isn't really an excuse.  I work right in Center City, and yesterday was so gorgeous out (68 in November, what's happening?), so I wandered around on my lunch break and broke out my extremely under-utilized camera.


Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Feeling Wild - 11/11/14

This yellow tank top with a black and white skirt is a summer staple wardrobe for me, but I'm just not sure how I feel about it with the velvet jacket.

Adventures in coffee-drinking

I'm a bit of a coffee snob, so I usually brew my own coffee and bring it into the office in the most amazing thermos ever.  Every now and then I get tired though, and stop on my way in to grab a cup of coffee.  Lately I've been going to a coffee shop/bank combo.  It's a little weird, but they have Peet's coffee, and it's tasty.  Unfortunately, a side effect of going to a bank to get your coffee means that it's closed on Veteran's day.  No biggie - there is an Au Bon Pain up the road, and I love their yellow cups.  I'm a sucker for plain graphic and clean packaging, it gets me every time. 

So for the next couple of blocks, I anticipated my fun yellow cup, and was happy.  But oh no, Au Bon Pain decided to mix things up a bit, and now I have a grey cup with white stars on it.  It's nice, but not the bolt of yellow I was hoping for.

Grey and Black - 11/10/14

I've been going back and forth about how I feel about this dress.  I made it maybe a year ago, and it was not intended to be a dress. It was actually a jacket pattern, and I didn't have enough fabric for sleeves, so I made it a vest.  It was so long though, I always wear it as a dress, and the belt is the only thing holding it together.  Unfortunately though, it's not intended to be wrapped like that, and there are no darts in the back so it has some unattractive shaping.  I think I'm going to just shorten it and actually wear it as a vest - what do you think?

Casual Friday - 11/7/14

I'm a little behind here, but today I'll play catch-up.  I figured I would dress up my jeans by wearing my suit jacket - they average out, right?

Friday, November 7, 2014

Outfits to not take inspiration from...

This link is just too good not to share, great for a Friday afternoon laugh:

11 outfits of the 70s with perfectly reasonable explanations

My personal favorite - Completely forgetting his overnight bag, Darius had to borrow clothing from his lover, Carol Brady.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Rainy Day - 11/6/14

It's a rainy grey day today, so a grey sweater it is.  I just got this grey sweater, which may be silly because I already have a grey crew-neck sweater, but this one is much more loose and has a wonderful texture to it.  Looking at the pictures now, I think the scarf is kind of strangling me, and I have already taken it off anyway due to the warmness of my office, so imagine it without the scarf. :)

Sewing Plans

Last night I decided my sewing studio (is it really pretentious to call the attic my sewing studio?) had just gotten way too messy, so I sorted through the piles of fabric on the floor that I threw there in my mad dash to try and come up with a costume last week.  It is seriously ridiculous how much fabric I have.  My project list has 42 items on it, and that's not all, folks.  Anyway, I'm slightly more organized now, and ready to dive in.  I bought this lovely purple herringbone wool a while ago from Mood, and have grand plans for it.

I've had at least one of these photos saved in my inspiration files for a while now, and I think it would look fabulous in the purple:


Now here's the rub - I'm positive I've seen a vintage pattern for something like this somewhere, but I can't find it.  It wouldn't be that difficult to draft my own (as is my typical fashion), but I'm trying to be better about learning how to properly sew and not just make up my own way, and patterns are really useful when it comes to that sort of thing.  Anyone ever seen a pattern like this before?  What do you think, is it a fun shirt, or just a little crazy?

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Back in stripes - 11/5/14

Waldo costume aside, it's been a while since I've worn stripes, which is sad because I love them.  I recently got this dressier peplum sweater which I find really fun.  I'm not sure how much the belt stands out, but I do like trying new things, like twisting the end under to make a pseudo-bow.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Blue & Tan - 11/4/14

Lesson learned:  I decided I still really like tan, I just like it better when it's away from my face (i.e. pants and shoes).

Monday, November 3, 2014

Me Made Tweed Skirt - 11/3/14

I purchased this lovely boucle tweed fabric this summer, with a skirt in mind, but it took it a while to take shape.  Friday night after trick-or-treating, I retreated to my sewing studio and drafted my own skirt pattern, based on Deby's tutorial (which is fabulous), and cut out my fabric.  Sunday I went to work, and sewed away.  

A basic skirt is not a difficult thing to sew, but I did encounter a few roadblocks.  The first time I sewed in my invisible zipper, it was not lined up correctly, so I took it out and tried again, but that time my sewing machine got angry with me for some reason, and decided to sew through my index finger.  Ow.  That resulted in running downstairs to interrupt football and having John bandage me up.  My mom sewed through her finger when I was like ten, and I've dreaded the inevitable event myself ever since (I'm one of the most accident-prone people I know - only my dad is worse, so at least I get it honestly).  Not to be defeated by simple machinery though, I trudged back up to conquer the zipper.  I got it all sewed up beautifully, and then zipped it up, forgetting that I had trimmed the zipper, and there was no longer a stop at the top.  That resulted in the zipper pull flying off and ruining the zipper.  This is how my sewing goes usually - it's quite frustrating.  Anyway, I gave up on the zipper and decided to go with elastic, since my hips aren't that much bigger than my waist, and my weird dimensions mean I can get away with it.  It also helped that I cut the waistband on the bias, mostly to be pretty, but it also means that it's stretchier than it would be on the straight grain.  It's a tight squeeze to get it up and down, but it fits beautifully when on.  

Sorry for the blurry photo - for some reason, my camera doesn't focus properly when I use the remote and I haven't figured it out yet.

I used the selvage edge for the hem - both a nice design detail and a time-saving device!

Waistband on the bias - saved my butt when it came to the elastic instead of zipper.

It didn't take much fabric at all to make, so I have about 2/3 of a yard left of the fabric.  I'm thinking of making some sort of vest/top out of it.  What do you think - would that look silly?  What style top do you think would look good?

Wrapping up in a blanket - 11/1/14

I don't normally do weekend posts, mostly because I dress like a slob and don't do a whole lot, but I am madly in love with this sweater, so figured I would do a post.  Saturday, John and I did a quick day trip to the cabin to winterize it a bit, and I wanted to wear something pretty warm, so out came my blanket sweater.  Seriously, this sweater is amazing.  It's loose, and the front is open, so it's not stifling, but it's like being wrapped in a blanket.  I'm not going to lie,  I also wore it on Sunday.

Here's Waldo! - 10/31/14

Thursday night I decided I wanted to make a Halloween costume (the extent of our Halloween plans was handing out candy), but after spending a few hours and not getting far, I gave up and went looking in my costume bag, and fell back on an oldy, but goody, my Waldo costume.  Quite popular with the kiddies, I must say.