Wednesday, February 27, 2013

SWAP: Sewing With a Plan!

All right. I'm still writing and stuff, but I'm a novelist so I can't be all, "Look at my new book" every week and I have to have something to blog about. I'm not interested in going over the details of my latest experience in the ER dealing with febrile seizures, nor am I into the issues involved with seasonal depression and how hard it is to be a homeschooling mama of four. There are blogs that I follow that do that, (not the febrile seizure thing, but seriously, I get tired just thinking about it) so I'm going to be all about sewing except when I host tours, which is like having a nice party, yaknow? So, woot! Sewing is sew totally cool!

There's a group that does this yearly challenge called, "SWAP" or, Sewing with a Plan. I stumbled onto this group and I'm gung ho in spite of the fact that everyone started far earlier than I did. I mean, it takes the usual procrastination out of the equation.

I went a thrifting last Saturday while my dear boy went to a LOTR themed birthday party with an exploding Mt Doom cake and everything (sometimes I want to be a cool parent like that, then I realize how much work is involved and get over it) and brought home a whole collection of browns and creams, and it was so marvelous, like fabric shopping only without the feeling of overconsumption that tends to give me heartburn. So... I'm working on transforming this assortment into a cohesive capsule, well, two capsules because SWAP rules state that you must have two small groups with a linking piece.

My first piece comes from a book, ShapeShape by Natsuno Hiraiwa. I saw that this book had a sequel on Amazon and googled for reviews so that I could decide whether or not to add it to my sewing book collection, for pictures because the online book doesn't show enough, and I found a blog, a wonderful, fabulous blog that I want to eat for breakfast every day. A sewing/fashion blog. At any rate, she reviewed Shape Shape, the above book, not the sequel because she read Amazon reviews that rated it difficult to understand and impossible to sew, but commented that none of the reviewers had actually made any projects, but she had, and it isn't hard at all.

Her review was a marvelously freeing thing, allowing me the courage to make something from Shapeshape, which I hadn't done because I read the reviews (after buying the book, ironically enough) and got discouraged. So, I made a very interesting vest using thrifted duds. My second piece is inspired by this. Ellowyne with Ennui is one of my favorite dolls. Wilde Here Love her style! 
Below is another picture.

Kind of says a lot about me that I'm inspired by doll fashion. Anyone else interested in SWAP, or find inspiration in interesting places?

Friday, February 22, 2013

Homefrocks: The sorts of clothes I dream about

Hello! So, after reading overdressed I've started to think that the pantone color of the year, and the other shades are so that we can consume the latest without actually having a new 'style' which takes stuff like creativity and new patterns, manufacturing processes, etc.

So, homefrocks has the "Lagenlook" which is a style (apparently, it's kind of new to me) only instead of being a bit odd and ginormous, everything's flowing and simple, like Alabama Chanin only more variety in fiber from silk velvet (there is nothing more astonishing than silk velvet) and linens. I like that variety as well as the subtle detailing that doesn't detract from the glorious fiber.

Does anyone else have a favorite Lagenlook vendor, or is it all a little bit weird?

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Winter Framework.

Why are there so many more clothes necessary in winter than summer? Layers? How many pants can you layer? If there were leggings that would be a practical option. At any rate here's the list.
Winter coat
heavy wool tweed suit (I went with the suede jacket and pants instead because I couldn't find a wool tweed suit)
Gray flannel suit (this is the beigey sweater and dress slacks)
Elegant black suit
Cashmere turtleneck
cashmere tunic
cashmere sweater jacket
wool pullover
gray flannel slacks
tailored wool slacks
cashmere sweater dress
calfskin boots
snow boots
classic pumps

They add pearls and gold hoops to go with everything all the time. Very exciting wardrobe particularly when I couldn't find anything flannel. They used to make wool flannel, not so much anymore. I wonder why. I remember the first time I found that I could buy wool knit fabric. It was terribly exciting. With ready-made fashion fabric options were downsized but now with the internet, you always have access.

On the topic of fabric and excess, I mean access;) I haven't bought any fabric yet this year. I'm still backlogged on the projects I want to complete, and I don't have any space in my head or in my house for more fabric.

I think one of the problems with this as a sewing blog is the need to complete a new project every day/week, but that makes fabric consumption on par with mainstream fashion, which kind of defeats the purpose if you're interested in sustainability. That's not going to stop me from creating volumes of chef hats for atomizer's birthday party, though. It's theme is chefs and scientists. We're going to do creative cooking and hopefully things will explode. You know, you only turn six once.

Winter Framework: Dressing Rich

Winter Framework: Dressing Rich


Eileen fisher


Tory Burch vneck shirt
$265 -

Fat Face knit top
$70 -

Flannel shirt

Ralph lauren collection

$390 -

Parka coat
$360 -

Lafayette 148 new york

MiH Jeans mid-rise jeans

Oasis skinny leg jeans
$19 -

Mint Velvet high heels
$155 -

The North Face fur boots
$140 -

Pratesi zip bag

Monday, February 11, 2013

Overdressed: The surprisingly High Cost of Cheap Fashion

Okay, this book is interesting, mostly because lately I've been reading all these old books and being indoctrinated in ages past cultural normalities regarding shopping and spending habits. It's fascinating to read the history of cheap fashion when I was reading style books before cheap fashion, so you see how the cultural shift occurred, and why.

So. I'm not finished with the book, I'm taking it slow, but one of the things I've been thinking about lately is shopping as sport. One is bored, one shops. I know I'm a sport shopper. It's nice to wander around and see what's new, see what things are interesting and current, and I'm a cheap shopper, I hate spending money on things I could get less expensively somewhere else, but I'm also very interested in quality, sustainability, and having a personal style instead of an amorphous everybody everywhere wearing the same thing, doing the same thing...

So, I'm trying to shop from my closet. That means that I have a hole, I see it, and I fill it, instead of wandering around and finding something marvelous fall into my arms because it's cheap and so cute and current, whatever.

As a sewist, I love making adorable clothes that are fun and artistic, bright and flamboyant, which is why kids clothes are great for me, but I'm trying to force myself to focus on what I need instead of the, 'Oooh, that would be so cute and fun, I'll make it," and end up having nothing to wear it with because those dark brown skinny pants are boring to make, as are their twin in burgundy. But I will make them, oh yes because I can't make anything else fun until I do, oh, except adorable valentine's pinafore's for baby. They'll be so squealing cute.

On the subject of filling holes, I finally finished a skirt I've been trying to make myself make for years. It's a brown pencil skirt, only, not exactly because pencil skirts while the silhouette I need aren't flexible enough for all the crawling on the floor I do. So, I found the perfect pattern, tada!

So, that's it, but the picture is horrible, so follow the link here:
If you're actually interested. I'll try to post pictures of it in reality although I'm not 100% happy with the hem. It's a little weird.

So my personal challenge has to do with keeping track of all the little things I buy that add up to what I could spend on something high quality and world changing. Hallelujah!

Anyone buy/make anything boring lately?

Sunday, February 10, 2013

For some reason, I'm more interested in summer outfits than winter ones

I'm so delighted about this beautiful summer thing. It's not really me, because I'm not one of those people who hangs out looking gorgeous all the time. Alas. Real life keeps interrupting me. Also, I have a hard time wearing clothes that I can't roll around on the floor in. So coming up, a collection based on ms. look rich but for real people. Okay! I really like her idea of a flexible wardrobe that can go anywhere even if 'looking rich' isn't really my thing.

Dressing Rich, Summer framework

Dressing Rich, Summer framework

Lbd dress
$105 -

Equipment epaulet shirt

Jack will

$195 -

L wren scott


$275 -

Slim fit pants
$36 -

Sigerson Morrison wedge shoes
$520 -

Leather loafer

Forever New zipper bag
$52 -