Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Spending My Time Wisely When Sick

Over the last few weeks I've been fuzzy-headed, coughing, and congested with a long bout of sinusitis. Not being able to concentrate most of that time, I spent my non-working hours watching a lot of TV and reading a few books. Here are the ones I enjoyed, you should check them out.


Difficult People a Hulu Original Series

Lark Rise to Candleford

Playing House (USA)

Odd Mom Out (BravoTV)

Agatha Christie's Marple - loving this one, 23 episodes!


The Civil Wars = which I listen to in large doses before the dark imagery and atmosphere gets to me and I must seek out something fun and happy.

To experience the dark side of southern love, you can also check out their Live At Eddie's Attic, Barton Hollow, and The Civil Wars: Unplugged on VH1. It's amazing to believe this duo met, gained fame, and crashed in less than four years, 2009-2012.


Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn

Dark Places by Gillian Flynn (also a motion picture with Charlize Theron)

In The Woods by Tana French (part of the Dublin Murder Squad series)

The Casual Vacancy by J.K. Rowling (also a BBC series)

* Streamed through Hulu

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

The Gamine Style Of Christine And The Queens

Album From Because Music

Watching the Daily Show with Trevor Noah I was awed by the performance of his musical guest, French singer Héloïse Letissier, aka Christine and The Queens.

Image: Édouard Bride
She is a mesmerizing performer, gorgeous with a face that is a cross between Kyra Sedgwick and Elizabeth Reaser. Her clothing style is enviable, full of sleek skinny suits, slim trousers, and lots of sock-less black oxfords, and her dancing style is surprisingly reminiscent of Michael Jackson's moves.

Image: DR

Check it out below:

Her moves are amaz-ing, even when both feet are flat on the floor.

Image: Jeff Hahn

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

A Possible Problem When Wardrobe Culling

My current situation gives me a different perspective on movements like Wardrobe Architect and an older version I once used, Wardrobe Therapy. Some of these are only about eliminating unworn, ill-fitted items from your wardrobe while others are about curating your wardrobe to reflect your life. After reading a few updates on bloggers choosing to attempt this I thought...thank god, I'm not doing that one!

In my case, a wardrobe that reflected my actual day-to-day life would have me stuck at home with only fleece lounge wear and padded slippers and my work wardrobe as black or khaki trousers, navy blue button-down shirts, and Dansko clogs.

I feel the most important part of a wardrobe life reflection-type project is that the process start before you look at your wardrobe. Begin with looking at your life. Before making your wardrobe reflect that life, make sure that life is the one you want to be living.
  • If you create a wardrobe of clothes that are uncomplicated, casual, and exist within a self-imposed  color palette, will you find yourself envying others that dress with creativity and mystery?
  • If you want to be more dressed up in your regular day, why not start wearing the clothes you want despite the random people asking you "why are you so dressed up?"
  • If you want to wear pretty frocks when everyone else goes casual, always wear the pretty frock. 
I remember attending college parties in thrift store vintage dresses similar to the type that Mod Cloth sells. So what if other girls were wearing band t-shirts, cut-off jean shorts, and Doc Martens? I felt comfortable, like myself, and I wasn't comparing myself to anyone or following anybody's lead.

So, this was all to say that even if I cannot wear what I want to wear right now I am keeping all my stuff (well, the stuff that is still well made and in good shape) because I will be living that better life again!

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Battle of the Bulge

WOW, I really didn't mean to disappear for so long! It was a combination of illness and procrastination. I also had a few mending projects to do for a friend, and then made a spectacularly failed UFO.  In fact, that UFO revealed a problem that I apparently had been ignoring for quite a while.

A few months ago, I had to buy a new pair of work pants because I had outgrown the first ones. The thighs were straining and the stitches were about to give up! I also, for the first time experienced my thighs rubbing together when wearing my summer skirts. I was SO not happy.

Since I moved here two years ago, apparently I have gained a large amount of weight and didn't really notice. To put it the only way I can at the moment, I found out that I am now 11 and a half stone. A stone, a unit of weight measure in Britain, Ireland, and Australia; is equivalent to 14 American pounds. It's just easier for me to say it in stones. This is 15 lbs more than when I was weighed 2 years ago.

I was a very thin child in my teens and always susceptible to anemia. In high school, I hated being skinny and in particular did not like my arms. Around that time, I became aware of female bodybuilders like Rachel McLish, Carla Dunlap, Cory Everson, and Gladys Portugues through the 1985 documentary Pumping Iron II: The Women and that resulted in a subscription to Strength Training for Beauty (1984-86) magazine. I ended up purchasing an 110 pound weight set and remember arriving at college with what could be called a decent "six pack."

More than 20 years later, I am now battling a tummy and love handles, along with the aforementioned rubbed thighs and some unattractive underarm flab. There was a warning sign last May when I tried on this muslin and saw this:

I noticed I was bustier than I had ever been and had a visible roll of blubber right below my belly button. That was a year ago and obviously I have gained more weight since then. As a result, my body image is completely different than it has been for the past 95% of my life. This is hard to reconcile. 

My measurements have obviously changed but in cutting out my last sewing project, Simplicity 6145, I hadn't grasped that fact yet. While I altered the bodice of Simplicity 6145, combining it with the fit of the Grainline Scout, I still thought I would need to engage some darts in the back to accommodate my swayback. Trying on the basted muslin was such a shock! I could barely shimmy it on. I had not once thought of enlarging the waist area and below. 

So for the last few weeks, I have put off sewing and more importantly taking new measurements for the future. I have succeeded in losing 5 pounds somehow and would love to know that I could remove the other ten just as stealthily but alas diet and exercise must rear their heads for that to happen. I seriously could handle getting used to this "new me" however, I have a wardrobe of delicious clothing that I can't afford to replicate or that have adequate seam allowances for me to alter to fit.

So my dilemma is: sew new clothes in the new size or wait and see? What would you do?