Posts tagged clothes

Stitch Fix #2

I had my second fix. I think the anticipation of getting your next box of item is so much of the fun!

When I opened up my box, I was super excited to see a mix of patterns and a lot of my favorite color family – blues and greens. Right from the start, I felt like my style was a bit more understood than the first fix.

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The first item I tried on was the 41Hawthorn Capitola Fit & Flare Tank Dress – very practical for our hot Texas weather and a great item for board meetings: professional, classic and a versatile navy blue. Jason really liked this dress – when I came out he was all excited about going on a date! It is a bit pricey, but I’m thinking it may be worth it to have such an elegant dress in my wardrobe.

capitola-fit-flare-dress

The second item, the Delmare Elephant Print Cut-Out Detail Blouse. It’s a lovely silky material with cute vintage elephants, and in theory I like the cut-outs…. BUT 1) I don’t care for peasant blouses, they feel frumpy on me and 2) who wants to wear a strapless bra with a shirt that looks like you should be able to wear a regular bra! It’s going back.

delmare-elephant-blouse

Next, the Jordanne A-Line Skirt. It’s green! And my favorite shade of green! It’s got some neat detailing at the waist and is nicely lined.

jordanne-a-line-skirt

I took one of their other suggestions on the style card and paired it with my polka dot chambray shirt. Pretty cute!

jordanne-a-line-skirt2

On to the Locklyn Ruffle Detail Tribal Print Tank. I really like the detailing on this tank, the sheer top panel, the loose billowing ruffled back. Jason didn’t love this though and I’m not certain it is as flattering on as I would like. Although, looking at the photo may change my mind… (Oh but those leather Madewell green flats? Denim and Stripes Insta Shop¬†for a steal!)

locklyn-ruffle-trible-tank

And finally, the Ritz Mixed Pattern Front Pocket Knit Shirt. I really like the mix of stripes, polka dotted back and floral pocket. It’s loose fitting and I could see this getting a lot of wear during the summer. I’m going to have to think on this one for a bit because it feels very trendy and I don’t want to spend a lot of money on an item that will be ‘out’ next summer. Oh but stripes… ūüôā And a special shout out to The Newest Wrinkle – TX for the lovely Gap skinnies! If y’all haven’t heard about instagram thrift shopping… don’t blame me for telling you about it! Thrift shopping from your phone is dangerous… and many shops support awesome causes with their sales, like adoptions!

ritz-mixed-pattern-shirt

OK, y’all, thoughts on the items I got this round? I am a little bummed that I didn’t receive any items that were made in the US this time – everything was made in China. That will make some of the items easier to send back. I’ll have to mention that in my comments for my next fix.

Do you want to sign up? If you do, I’d love it if you use my referral link!

 

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Crafters Retreat 2013

Have I mentioned that I have some awesome friends? Friends that plan crafting/sewing retreats? Yeah, I do. And I got to go on a retreat this past weekend and it was GOOD. (Read about past retreats here, here, here and here)

And as always, on these retreats, I take a bit of time to complete the yearly felt ornament that I started when Jude was born. This year, sensing a growing theme, I choose Felt Hot Cocoa. Don’t judge my iffy stitching. He looks handmade and that’s part of the panache. Ornaments of years past?¬†Pickle¬†(2012),¬†bacon¬†(2011),¬†owl¬†(2010) ((he’s the only non-food item… I mean, can you eat an owl?)),¬†gingerbread man¬†(2009).

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The porch in this house is one of my favorites and I spent some time there listening to an audiobook, drinking coffee and knitting. With a fall candle. And my awesome socks.

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I whipped up two super simple quilts for two sweet little boys.

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Got to finish a skirt that I’ve had planned for two years… It’s a lined, gathered skirt, with pockets and exposed back zipper (free tute here). I took time to enjoy the process – hand finishing seams, taking things slow. And I love how it turned out. I’ll model it for y’all soon.

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And and FINALLY made some progress on the Macaron Dress that I have had planned for two years!

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Overall, a thrilling weekend of eating good food and getting some stuff done that I can’t seem to find time for at this current stage of life!

 

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still thrifting…

I know I had mentioned trying to figure out the disposable clothing issue but I honestly haven’t given it much mindshare lately. My brain is full of so many things¬†competing¬†for my attention that the most I can handle is sticking to thrift shopping for the time being.

Thrift Store Finds

Which leads me to my latest thrift store haul. My favorite thrift store was having a 50% clearance and I had an additional 20% off. I ended up with 12 tanks, 4 shirts (including the polka dot chambray shirt that I liked so much from Old Navy!!), 5 dresses, 2 skirts, 1 maxi skirt, 1 pair running shorts and 1 pair brand new flip flops. Many of the items still had their original tags! I managed to find mostly Gap, H&M, Banana Republic, JCrew, Old Navy, Loft and lucked out and found some from Anthropologie, Marc Jacobs, Nike and lululemon!

Thrift Store Finds

I was so invigorated by my thrifting finds that I totally overhauled and reorganized my closet. Which lead me to an old pair of favorite sandals that had seen better days. The silver had pretty much worn off the straps…

Old Sandals - Before

So I spray painted them (you can see one of the overspray on the sole of the left shoe)! I’m happy that I’ll get some more life out of these shoes and they won’t be given away any time soon.

Old Sandals - After

Sometimes the simple fixes are the ones that bring me the most pleasure!

 

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Baby Berry Hat/Color Block Hat & other stuff too

I used the pattern for the Baby Berry Hat to make this color blocked hat for a neighbors new baby boy. I knit the infant size, but it seems a touch big for an infant. It’s stretchy and he’ll grow, so I’m sure it will be useful maybe later on in the year! I hope to make the hat in it’s fruit/veggie form at some point as well, because seriously. It’s cute.

Berry Baby Hat

All this knitting has me thinking about how we handle our clothing in America. It takes a long time to complete a handmade item, but I love the process and the outcome. And then I read this article on Colette Pattern’s blog and it got me thinking even more (and then it was followed by this blog entry¬†which got me thinking even more). And it’s all been sitting in my brain, turning over and over, trying to find a place to land.

Last year I made a commitment to only buy resale clothing, and I did pretty well, with one little Mod Cloth slip, mid-year (yeah, didn’t really mention that on the blog, oops). Let me tell you, it felt good to unsubscribe from all the e-newsletters, snail mail catalogues… All the things that taunt you with ‘new’ and ‘glittery’ things. This year it doesn’t feel like a stretch to continue only shopping resale, but I almost want to try to take it a step further… The resale place I have been shopping has a lot of the ‘disposable fashion’ type brands. You wear the stuff for a season, seams fall apart, colors fade, trends pass and you give it to Goodwill; not exactly sustainable. I would love to hunt out pieces that are higher quality – with attention to detail, quality fabrics and less about trends. Now, I’m not really sure what that means in full, especially in the life of a busy mom. I think it’s going to take some exploration and time (especially since, well, I won’t be buying anything for some time since there is no spending money available) but I’m going to give it a try.

 

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thrifty

I haven’t told y’all about a challenge I gave myself at the beginning of the year, mostly because I wanted to roll it over in my mind for a bit before confessing it out loud on the interwebs. In January of this year, I challenged myself to not buy any new clothing for the whole year. Exceptions will certainly be made because I have been invited to be a part of a wedding party this year which will lead to a new bridesmaid dress, shoes are kind weird to thrift, etc. Another mental exception I made was to allow myself to buy fabric to sew new clothes for myself. Somehow that seems quite different that running over to my nearest big box and picking up some new digs.¬†But aside from that, this idea leads me to one of the three ‘r’s, reuse or . . . thrifting.

I have tons of reasons floating around in my head as to why I want to challenge myself this way (you’ve read some¬†my thoughts here before).

  • The most obvious is that it’s much cheaper to thrift – saving money is always good.
  • I have always struggled with clothing, knowing a good majority of it is made in some developing foreign country, likely at the hands of someone that is not being paid a fair wage, is underage or being subjected to unethical working conditions.
  • Additionally, cotton is one of the highest pesticide use crops in the world – those workers are being exposed to high possibility of health complications from those chemicals.
  • On top of that, when you spend your money at a big box, the money does not stay in the community, it goes back to the corporation. Thrift stores are typically local entities, which allows you to keep a higher¬†percentage¬†of money local. Keeping money local often keeps your neighbors and friends¬†employed.
  • Part of me does not like the idea of fashion – it’s so transient. To quote a popular TV show (one I particularly enjoy, actually), “One day you’re in, the next, you’re out.” It reinforces our disposable westernized lifestyles. But being your typical American and additionally, having a strong design background, I feel a strong pressure to look cute and define my own personal style (oh individualism has it’s claws deep in me).
  • Sustainability is important to me.

While I feel like thrifting doesn’t completely set to rest my qualms with clothing/style, I feel like emphasizing reuse is a step in the right direction. One step at a time. . .

I purged quite a bit of clothing from my closet recently so I decided to take a bit of money and see what I could find in one our local thrift stores. Here is my most recent haul where I spend about $110 (it wouldn’t be me if there weren’t several striped items in there, huh?):

The thrill of the hunt - thrifting.

21 items total: 2 light jackets, 8 short sleeve tees, 7 shorts, 2 dresses, a skinny belt and a sun hat.

One pair of shorts still had their original tags on them! The brands are fairly good quality too – Banana Republic, Calvin Klein, Gap, Old Navy, Merona – places I would normally shop. With four pairs of the shorts, I will bring the length up a little bit. Shorts seem to be either butt cheek short or past your knees and I want something in the middle. The nice thing about thrifting is that I don’t feel bad cutting up these pieces to make them exactly what I want. There is also a bit of the thrill of the hunt – you don’t get to pick out what you like and just find it in your size, you never know what you are going to find when you thrift!

 

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summer maxi dress

One of my resolutions for this year was to sew some more clothing for myself so when I saw this tutorial for a simple maxi dress, I decided to give it a go. It’s super simple (four seams total + finishing one edge) and would give me some more experience in sewing with jersey fabric. I found some organic cotton jersey on fabric.com, cut out the pieces, fit my sewing machine with a ball point needle and set to work. I ended up deciding to make a few alterations to the tutorial – mainly creating two trapezoid shaped pieces, with a 33″ width on the botton and approximately 26″ width on the top. I wanted less gathering on the top and creating a taper in the shape of the dress accomplished that. I also added a slit on the right side to allow for easy walkability (is that even a word?). Add a belt and it ends up looking pretty polished (just pretend those tan lines aren’t so bad).

Maxi Dress

Simple, but effective. And very comfortable. I gathered quite a bit of the fabric in the back, and I like the effect that it had.

Maxi Dress

And sometimes my shoulders get cold, so I added a little shrug and thought it looked pretty cute that way too.

Maxi Dress

And because I am a bit of an overachiever (and addicted to pinterest), I made the necklace that you see.

Finger Knitting Necklace

It was fun revisiting the ‘finger knitting’ that I grew up making. I never knew what to do with the yards that I used to create, but this seems to be a pretty functional use! I used some hemp string, wooden beads and copper chain that I happened to have just ‘lying around’! I like it better with the thicker chain, but hey, you make do with what you have.

Finger Knitting Necklace

And in case you’re curious to try this out for yourself, here’s the pinterest link to the tutorial.

Source: psimadethis.com via Beth on Pinterest

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Pillowcase Refashion: Halter Top

I’m itching for some new comfy clothes to wear right now in this crazy heat we’re experiencing but budget doesn’t allow for me to purchase anything for the moment. Maybe once Jason has started his new job (which is this Monday, yay!) I can hit the thrift store to find some dresses to refashion, but for now, I’m trying out some new ideas on my stash that I’ve accumulated over the last couple years. I bought a ‘vintage’ (I use that term very loosely here) sheet set for about $1 last summer thinking I could use the pillowcases to make some little girls some new duds. Upon further inspection, the sheets and pillowcases were a little worn here and there. Tiny little holes pepper the set. I decided to exercise an idea that’s been bouncing around in my head lately knowing it wouldn’t be a big deal if I messed up on this set since the fabric was not in tip top shape. . . Making a simple halter from a pillowcase.

Here’s what I came up with:

Pillowcase Refashion: Halter

Cute right? I thought so. All it took was cutting off the top of the pillow case, cutting the arm holes, hemming the arm holes and creating a casing for the ribbon to run through on the top. Then I tried it on, marked where I wanted some runching and sewed three lines of elastic thread through the waist.

Too bad pillowcases don’t fit over my hips! Thank you childbearing. Lesson learned here: pillowcases do not make good tops for adults! I tried to add some slits to make it fit but the slits would have to go up too high to work. Other lesson learned? I wanted to attempt this again as both a top and a dress. Lots of potential here!

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