Oct 19 2012

sew. much.

I’ve been sewing a lot lately.  Just before my birthday, I had mentioned to Dave that I wanted my birthday present to be a shopping trip to get some new things that were a bit more versatile (classic basics, if you will).  So I started to search the interwebs and had some ideas pinned on Pinterest, when I suddenly realized how expensive my birthday request was potentially going to be.  I decided that many of the things I wanted could be easily made, so I took birthday money from my parents and bought as much fabric as I could possibly muster (you can get a lot with a little if you search long and hard).  Also, because patterns are friggin expensive, none of these were made with a pattern.  Everything was drafted by me.

The first outfit is something that is inspired by a 1950′s tweed suit that I already own (much like this one, but it has a velvet tie at the neck, and the skirt is a circle, not pleated)…but it doesn’t fit me anymore (goodbye 16 year old figure).  I decided against a jacket though, because A) Too tricky without a pattern. and B) I just really wanted a tweed vest.  The fabric I found had wrinkles added to it, and I’ve yet to get them out completely (the vest is a little smoother than the skirt…but that’s because it’s a LOT of fabric to iron. PS if you know how to get out stubborn wrinkles from wool…telllll meeee.)  I still have a bunch of this fabric left over and I plan on making something like this dress ( I actually have a pattern for this).  The blouse was one of my birthday presents, and is silk…and lovely.

This skirt was inspired by one from modcloth.  But it was to expensive for my liking, and I I knew it would be easily made.  It was originally supposed to be a full circle, but I didn’t get enough of this fabric, so it ended up being a half.  The top was one of those things that just emerged as I sewed it.  It started just as a t-shirt…then I decided to add the peter-pan collar (it’s hard to see, but it’s cream lace).  And then I gathered the sleeves and added a cuff, and then added the buttons to complete it.

This next top was based purely on the fact that I can’t get enough of blouses with bow ties on them.  End of story.  It’s a simple blouse with flutter sleeves (they look funny in the picture..erg.)  The black circle skirt is probably one of my favourite most versatile things I made.  It falls just below the knee (which is my favourite length for skirts) and it is so flipping fun to wear.  It’s impossible to not want to spin in circles when you wear this thing.

I made this outfit in September, but I haven’t shared it at all, so I’m including it.  I was inspired to do this skirt by something I saw a girl wearing at the beach in the summer (mostly because it had a big bow in the back and I loved that).  It’s a dirndl skirt (a big rectangle, gathered at the waistband).  The fabric I found at the thrift store, and had bought it originally to do pillow covers.  So I now match with my throw pillows.  Heh.  This blouse took me about an hour to make and it came from not wanting to wear what was in my closet.  I had this fabric from the thrift store and thought this would be the perfect project for it.

The back bow tie is my FAVOURITE part of this silly skirt.  Love it.

And finally…this blouse was inspired by this top from modcloth.  Much like a lot of the things I make, it changed as I made it.  I hate making sleeves, so I just left them off, and then ended up liking the silhouette they made.  I had these black buttons and black seam binding leftover from another project and used it to finish the top off.  The fabric is a cotton remnant that I got for $3 (I still have about 2 meters of it left).
Altogether fabric for all of this totalled about $70 (that is also including thread, zippers, lining–which I also used to re-line my vintage coat).  I have a bit of fabric left over even!  Most of these projects didn’t take me very long either.  I finished almost everything within the week of my birthday (with the exception of the orange and teal outfit).  So in the end, my birthday shopping trip was a lot more focused on a few small things that I needed (cardigan, shoes, silk blouse and a hat).
Whew!  This makes it seem like all I’ve done is sew lately.  Well…partially true. ;)  But it’s a fun hobby.  And I’m pretty sure I’ve saved about a million dollars too, so that’s a bonus.

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Oct 18 2012

lately…

…I celebrated my 27th.  With pumpkin pie, of course…

…These things have been changing colour and falling like crazy.  Best ever…

…It’s been cold enough in the mornings that this little one wears her plaid cloak for our walk…

…It’s been raining.  A lot… (which I like)

…Walks in places like this get better and better…

…I’ve been editing/working in this kind of light.  Much more relaxing. Also, lately I just redid the lining on my vintage jacket, which up until now has been named “Kitty”…however…

…As I was taking off the fur on the collar (to re-line it) I found a coat check ticket slipped in between the fur and the collar.  Turns out Kitty’s name is actually Dolores.  I plan on sewing the tag back into the coat, along with my name (and the date) on another piece of paper.

I’m excited that fall is in full swing.  I’m taking full advantage of all the pumpkin/spiced/basically-any-festive-fall-foods that I can.  All the while wearing slippers, cozy pyjamas and reading on the couch while it’s cold and rainy outside.  Those are the best kinds of evenings.

I Hope your fall is going splendidly!  Next thing we know it we’ll be singing Christmas songs and sipping eggnog.  Oh wait…I’ve been doing that already…(to be fair, I’m practicing Christmas songs in choir, and Dave bought eggnog because it was on sale…so there. :P )

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Oct 5 2012

who cares about etiquette?

I don’t know about you, but there are times when I can’t help but wonder “what on earth has the world come to?!” I’d like to say not many social faux-pas shock me anymore…but…it seems our culture is constantly thinking of new and exciting ways to be offensive/rude/careless…etc.

For a long time I’ve had a dream of writing a book that was a combination of social etiquette/home economics (a sort of “life” textbook if you will). It’s a project that goes on and off the back burner often for me. I occasionally play out scenarios in my mind, though, of droves of offended people telling me to back off and stop telling them how to live their life…and that scares me off from writing. The last thing I want to do is offend. However, there are subjects that I seriously want to have some open discussion on with anyone who is willing to read and comment. So if you get offended easily and don’t want to consider different ideas of lifestyle, maybe just ignore this series I plan on doing on etiquette. :)

In the last few years I have been in a position where social etiquette is very important. My husband is the pastor at a local church, so being a pastors wife puts attention on me that growing up I was not very used to. As I am naturally reserved, I tend to engage with people in a group setting only if I am approached. I also find large group settings to be a bit of a sensory overload (the church common area is prime territory for a brain black out. 200 people all talking at once. Too much.) Add on top of that the fact that I am a performer (so obviously I’m not scared of being in front of people) and you have something that throws people off at times. With all that in mind, it’s easy to understand why some may think (and have told me after being aquatinted with me) that I come off as…um…”snobbish”. So my challenge in the last few years has been to present myself in a way that is still authentic to who I am, but doesn’t come off as closed. Thus, my focus on etiquette. It’s been a learning process for me, and I’ve read numerous etiquette and home economics books from all the way back to the 1850′s up to the 1950′s. There are a lot of ideas in them that are strange and foreign to our culture, but that doesn’t been it’s all bad. (Don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater, folks).

I have a thousand and one ideas of what I want to write on. Everything from etiquette in the workplace, to how to be a good host of a party, to what’s appropriate (or not, rather) to wear when you are running errands (leggings aren’t pants, my friends). If you have any ideas that you would like me to expound upon or discuss, leave a comment, or email me (there’s an email link in the top of my page).

I’m excited to share about something that I feel so strongly about. Proper etiquette has gotten a bit of a bad rap as something only uptight people care about, but I think it’s time we start to care a bit more about it, don’t you?

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