February 20, 2014

Old Pink Dress

I'm really trying to embrace these lessons from Ella.  This pink dress is one of my favorites.  The fabric is a wonderful jersey that I bought locally and then hoarded for years waiting for something good enough to use it.

This is how I wore it to work today.  Well with shoes - I wore grey flats at work, but I keep my flats at work and commute in trainers or danskos and since my danskos are red - well you got stocking feet pictures. 

On the commute to work - I starting thinking about what I could have added to this outfit:

Scarf:  pink floral; grey floral; two - tone grey pashmina.  Meh, I wanted to wear a pretty necklace. 

Different Cardi - I let grey pass briefly through my mind, but I've always paired this with the pale pink.  I thought about white - but discarded that as being too bright for the predominately muted dress.  I thought about red, to pull it from the dress, but again - no.  Then I thought what about my black polka dot cardigan?

When I got home tonight, after hitting the grocery store on the way home and then helping JB get dinner started - I asked him to grab his camera and we headed upstairs so I had quicker access to the closet.  I swapped the grey belt out for a white belt and tossed the black polka dot cardigan on. 

What do you think?  Would you pair these together?  Is it a bit of mutton dressed like lamb?  I know I should have pulled the cardigan together and belted on the outside. 


At some point during my workday - It came to me - Ella would have grabbed my grey jacket, rolled up the sleeves and buttoned it.  (Hey I was tired!  It was after 7!!)

I don't know if there is enough of the same colors in the scarf as the dress.  But it does add a 3rd element.  I still have that white belt on under the open jacket.  (I look a bit shell shocked - don't I?)

Oh - and if you haven't seen it - go check out this post from Jenny.  There is something raw and honest, vulnerable and touching about this post.  I've been rolling it over in my head since I read it. 

I think the best thing to come from the Style Session with Ella is that I'm rethinking the way I view myself.  The way I think about my shape and how I talk to myself.  As much as we all love compliments - I honestly wasn't fishing for them with the last post - but rather, trying to open the dialog about society and how women (giant generalization) think about their bodies.  Sadly - most of us are our own worst enemies, we need to remember to talk to ourselves as nice as we would talk to our daughters or best friends.  I really appreciate everyone taking the time to comment. 

February 16, 2014

Lessons from Start Close In

Saturday morning I had a virtual styling session with Ella of Start Close In.  I have been looking forward to this since Lynne first posted about her experience with Ella.  You can read about it here.   

One of the things I hoped to come away with was just looking more intentional - more put together with my clothes.  And to feel good.  See - again - I've gained some weight - thanks menopause! 

Ella and I discussed what the difference is between Joan from Mad Men with her little belly being drop dead sexy and if I tried to wear something similar - I would just feel exposed and like my clothes are too tight.  So - what's the difference?  Is it attitude?  Feeling comfortable in your own skin?  what?

The other thing I've known and apply to my sewing - is the rule of threes.  So, normally I would wear this denim pencil skirt with an untucked tee for running errands on the weekend.  Today, I tucked in my tee, added a belted cardigan and the shawl that I recently knit. 

I will tell you - in this second photo - what I notice first is the belly.  While the open, unbuttoned cardigan is comfortable - my mind says it's open because it's too tight.  What do you all think?  Do you like the trend to leave a cardigan unbuttoned?

The skirt is Simplicity 2154 in denim.  This is how I do jeans Friday's at work. 

So - talk to me please.  How do you feel about fitted clothing if your shape isn't model perfect? 

February 13, 2014

Playing with Print

 I wore this dress to work today and realized I had never shared it on the blog. 

It's another version of the Butterick 5454 wrap dress.  I cut this dress with the grain going all over the place.  I placed the fronts along the cross-grain so that the border was on the running along that diagonal edge.  Then I cut the skirt so the border was at the bottom.  The sleeves were cut with the border along the hem edge as well. 

Rather than put the pleats that the pattern calls for - I gathered the fronts into the shoulder seam and also gathered the skirt onto the bodice. 

Because of the way the pattern feel on the fabric there is a small edge of the border on the back right above the waist seam. 






After all of that - I cut a piece of the border print and appliqued it to the front overlap portion of the skirt.  I made sure to match the print up and miter the corner. 




It's an interesting dress - but it's not my favorite. 

I love the print, I love the colors in it.  It's comfortable but . .  .

there is something about it that I can't explain.  I think I've only worn it twice since I made it back in October. 

What is it that makes a garment something you reach for again and again?



February 3, 2014

Bandwagon Fan?

I was asked to travel to San Jose for a work event.  This is pretty huge because generally, EAs with my company do not travel.  The partner I work for - specifically asked that I travel and attend the event to help.  It actually turned out to be a good thing that I was there because the local EA called out sick.  Anyway - for the social in the evening, Seahawks clothing - or at the very least - colors were required.


Well, anyone who knows me, knows that JB is an EAGLES fan.  There is one Seahawks hat in our house and that's it.  I wasn't going to buy a jersey or shirt that I wouldn't wear.

What I thought I'd do is swing into JoAnn's and get some Seahawks logo'd cotton and make an infinity scarf.  When I got to JoAnn's on the Saturday before I left - they didn't have any Seahawks logo'd fabric. 

What I did find was a deep blue and green striped fabric with a tiny glittery silver stripe between the colors.  So I bought 2.5 yards.  I took it home, washed it, ironed it, played with the layout - cut out another Ottobre Sheath Dress and sewed that baby up in time to leave for the airport at 6p on Sunday!

The sleeves are elbow length with no bands and the neckband was cut with the striped going vertical rather than horizontal.  After I was done I thought - I should have cut it on the bias, oh well.  I put fusible interfacing in the hem of the dress and sleeves.  Otherwise - nothing remarkable about construction.

This dress has seen lots of wear already in it's short lifespan.  It made an appearance in San Jose with grey boots and a silver cardigan - but it was hot and the cardi got ditched early.  Then on casual Friday - I wore it as pictured.  And of course it made an appearance at the Superbowl watching yesterday.  Most of the women there wanted their own Seahawks dress.  But it will remain one of a kind. 

***  While this dress might not be my best look - horizontal stripes, close fitting, clingy knit.  I will say - it's comfortable and forgiving.  I feel very girly and curvaceous and not necessarily as aware of the shortcoming of my shape when I wear one of the 4 dressed made from this pattern that are in heavy rotation in my closet.  So - I think I will continue making this pattern and learn to accessorize to my advantage. 

you can just see the silver sparkle and neckband stripe
going the opposite direction.
***  While JB is getting better at taking photos - he takes more than one, he makes me laugh, we move around the house (remember when he took one shot?).  Now I need to start asking him if my clothes are hung up on anything apparently. 

***  I am really ready for a haircut!  My roots are very obvious.  And long - man, my hair is getting long! 

So - what do you wear that makes you feel comfortable and fabulous?  Is it your 'best' look?  What about the garment makes you feel that way?  Is it a color, style or shape?

So - to answer my heading question - nope, not a bandwagon fan, just a *team player*.

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