Friday, February 27, 2009

Used to be Super Crafty all the time...

Sorry, I haven't posted this week. Not that I haven't been busy thinking about projects. I just haven't been able to do any hands on work.

Well, I did finally finish some scarves for my sisters and BILs but the light wasn't there to fully photograph them. Luckily (or unluckily) the weather is cooperating so that they can still get some use out of them this winter.

I have a baby shower tomorrow at 2 and I haven't started the gift yet! The mother-to-be was present at another friends shower 16 months ago and loved the gift I made; one of these Wee Wonderful dolls. So I want to make her one but I just found out the baby's sex and nursery colors (below) recently.

Circo Brown Flowers

I have the fabrics already but I don't really want to rush this project and the baby still has three more weeks inside. So, I'm going to make a cute IOU card showing what the completed doll will look like.

I'll also be making another Wee Wonderful for a shower at the end of March where the nursery (for a girl) will be in blue , brown, and other TBA colors. So strangely, I'll actually be making these in typical baby colors this time (pink and blue) though I hope my accent colors will still play with tradition.

Graco Melbourne

Hopefully, by this time next week I'll have some in-progress photos of my projects to show you. Have a great weekend!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Starting up again

I spent several hours yesterday true-ing up the grain on some fabric in my stash to use as a muslin. That was a huge ordeal, this stuff was cut so off-grain it was scary. I also graded the BurdaStyle Anda pattern down a size. Why is 38 the smallest size they offer? There are a lot of women out there with much smaller busts than 34.5 inches but who still have hips in the larger ranges. Since they are now charging for the patterns*, I think they should enlarge their range, both ways, of course.

I also found myself "walking" the pattern and having to make an adjustment. The armhole lengths did not match from the front and back pieces so I had to shorten the back upper bodice. I searched the internet but did not see that anyone else mentioned this problem so maybe unaltered it doesn't affect the finished dress but I didn't want to chance it.

And yes, I chose the Anda because of the many, many incredible versions made by the incurable homebody. I'll let you know how it works out.

The Goal This Weekend...
Dress as Finished Project - Burdastyle Anda

*I downloaded the Anda a few days before they retroactively put a price on it. It is now $3.50.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Young at Heart

You may already be aware of Camille at Childhood Flames and how fashionable she is. If not, check her out on her blog and here at Chictopia/TeenUgly.

Chictopia is also where I discovered the equally talented QueenElizabeth; another teen with great style and mad DIY skilz. (Hey, do the "kids" still say that? Well, what would I know, I'm old now...NOT)

Here she is wearing a dress made from a length of fabric and a belt:

Jan 9, 2009

a lovely vintage frock:

Jan 6, 2009

and a flapper dress she made out of a t-shirt and black video cassette tape!

Nov 1, 2008

Definitely check out her archives for more inspiration from a truly original teen.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Watching Fashion On Film

Fashion documentaries that I'm looking forward to seeing:

Seamless - a 2005 documentary about the Council for Fashion Designers of America (CFDA)/Vogue Fashion Fund competition and currently available on NetFlix.

Jay McCarroll's Eleven Minutes, which will be released in theaters and online at here! TV this Friday, February 20!

The September Issue, which will be released this....September. DUH! It already won the Grand Jury Prize for Excellence in Cinematography at the 2009 Sundance Film Festival.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Why People Love Dogs and Cats

If you love the above-mentioned animals you might want to catch the next airing of the PBS program NATURE. Here is the description from their site:

Why We Love Cats and Dogs

Watch as NATURE shares the stories of pet owners and their beloved animals. From a very special dog named Jerry, to a cat that saved a man’s life, Why We Love Cats and Dogs presents a portrait of some of the most powerful and remarkable connections we experience as humans—the unbreakable bonds with our pets. Included: interviews with animal behaviorists, who shed light on the types of relationships people have with pets, and cat and dog owners.

You can see the full episode online here. Be prepared to cry.

Update: Check your local PBS channel because they keep rerunning this episode.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

MUST SEE: Coraline in 3-D

I highly recommend seeing Coraline in 3-D if possible. I decided to treat myself and found myself oohing and aahing at lots of the effects. I have to admit I was shocked at the price when I got up to the window, so be prepared that you will be paying extra for the 3-D lusciousness. In my city, the non-matinee priced ticket was $12.

However, from the previews, there will be at least three more animated in 3-D movies coming out in the future. So, hopefully, I'll get a chance to recycle and BMOS (bring-my-own-specs.)

Everything was so beautiful, made even more special knowing that most everything seen was handmade. Just wait till you see the garden and the two "performances" within the film.

Wow, I want to say so much about this film but then I don't want to ruin anything so I will just say that the talent accumulated for this film was amazing! Also, here is a stream-of-conscious list that I wrote in the theater of things that stuck in my mind. After you see the film they may make sense and if you want to discuss, we'll just talk in the comments, ok?

French & Saunders
They Must Be Giants
origami moths on clothespins
canopy bed
bustle skirts
lazy susan
kangaroo mice
mushrooms and damp


Monday, February 16, 2009

Fashion In Film: The City of Lost Children (1995)

Director: Marc Caro, Jean-Pierre Jeunet
Ron Perlman, Judith Vittet
Costume Design: Jean-Paul Gaultier

Something about this image and the outfit makes me think FRENCH.

It fact, it made me think of costumes from a Jean-Pierre Jeunet and/or Marc Caro film. Perhaps it's a mix of Amelie from Jeunet's The Fabulous Destiny of Amélie Poulain and Miette from the Jeunet/Caro 1995 film, The City of Lost Children. The "...Lost Children" costumes were by Jean-Paul Gaultier.

Temptation...but I held firm

I received a gift card to Macy's for my birthday. Which of course means that everything I see that is NOT in Macy's is something I want to buy. I looked through the store and found nothing that appealed to me.

However, walking through the mall I stepped into my old mainstay, New York & Company, and fell in love with two pieces and "in like" with two more.

In like:

Curvy shirt and Safari dress

In real life:

The shirt had a simple design with a covered button placket and a cute quirky sleeve treatment. On sale for $28, if you like it.

Pretend I meant this blurry, ok?

The safari-styled dress was nicely detailed (sorry about the pictures!) The covered placket hid a gorgeous hematite-colored zipper. If it wasn't for the discrepancy between my above-waist and below-waist measurements I would love this dress. However, tightening the belt enough to make the top looked right altered the clean line of the skirt. $60, if you like it.

In love:

Twist-tie dress and textured cardigan

This looked good with everything I tried it on with (see 2nd pic above). And it's not black or gray! It felt really substantial, not flimsy at all, great quality. But $50, not on sale.

Foxy Work appropriate

I thought this dress looked so good on me that I took way more pictures in it than you will ever see on this blog. As I've said before, if you think you look hot in the dressing room, then that item is definitely one that you need in your closet. However, this dress is not on sale and I ALWAYS buy on sale. This dress isn't even on their website so I can't watch and wait for it to go on sale and instead have to keep going back to the store and being tempted with full price, almost $60.

Dress detail and fabric closeup

Saturday, February 14, 2009

My First Party Here

The party was a success. The guest list was smaller because some people couldn't make it and the smallest children were ill and stayed home, but we still had fun. There were pastel cupcakes on a transported cupcake stand (brought by my guests), eggs with mozzarella/cheddar cheese and spinach, English muffins, and hash browns. Regular orange juice and (my favorite) orange/pineapple juice for cool drinks and mint green tea and more Madagascar Vanilla Red tea for hot.

I spent the morning waaaayyyy behind. I was still arranging furniture, storing things away, and doing laundry just hours before the arrival time. In fact, I left some clothes in the dryer downstairs until after guests left, 3 hours later. I didn't even start cooking until after the first guest arrived. Next time, I will definitely cook in advance and have food warming in the oven. Even though I have many planning books by the likes of Matthew Mead and Katie Brown, I guess I'm just not that girl. Perhaps once I get some help for my major procrastination problem I can deal with things like place settings and themed decorations.

A friend brought her new camera; a Canon G10, and took some pictures of my little trinkets and stuff. Suddenly my place looked like it belonged on Desire to Inspire or some other blog with beautiful interior shots. In fact, her camera made all the colors more vivid. With my apartment full of yellow green, blues, red, and orange these pictures were great! I wouldn't recognize my own place. I feel so much better in my apartment. With the new arrangement I can now walk from end of the apartment to the other without bumping into things and knocking stacks of papers on the floor.

children, cupcakes, & color

There is nothing better than arranging for people to come over to get you motivated to clean your a hurry!


Thursday, February 12, 2009

Quick & Easy Sewing skirt and Simplicity 4077

My inspiration pics:

In real life:

The mid-calf length is fine but it's not the cute n' kicky feeling I was going for. Now I could keep this one as is and buy more fabric for a fun one, perhaps in a more fun color than GRAY!

Bonus: Here are pictures of the finished Simplicity 4077* blouse I finished a while ago. After wearing these two pieces to work together, I don't think it was the right combination for me. I felt like Laura Ingalls teaching school. I need to go through my clothes and figure out what works with this skirt to give it a more modern feel.

Yes, I know, I have to get better garment photos on this blog, right?

The finished waist.

When I put the elastic in the waist; at first, I only put it in the top casing. Something felt wrong so I decided to add another row of elastic. However, it feels too bulky now. I guess I'm just so used to waistbands on skirts. I'm thinking I might make a sash like the one below so I can wear tops inside the waistband with style.

Isn't this lovely?

Images: Phillip Lim, Devi Kroell, Phillip Lim, my own, Phillip Lim

*Did anyone else find the underarms and cuffs too tight on this blouse, or is it just me?

Sunday, February 08, 2009

Gathered Skirts - Quick & Easy Sewing

During the past holiday a few weeks ago, I thought I would get a lot of sewing done. Umm, No. Not until the very last minute, did I actually start a sewing project. I needed something fast and easy to get my mojo going so I ran out to Joanne's to find about a yard of fabric to make a gathered skirt.

My inspiration was these simple puff skirts on Childhood Flames. A seam, some elastic, a casing, a hem and done. I decided against a patterned fabric as it would cut down how many things I could wear it with and I knew I didn't want it to be black ('no more!' cried my closet). I had been eyeing this really nice solid suiting fabric the last few times I was in the store. It came in gray and a nice taupe/tan shade. Thin but with enough body to drape well. The other times, I couldn't think of what to make with it since it was so cold outside. However, I decided thick tights and boots could help me out for this project.

So, I draped it around my hips and decided that I wanted a slightly fuller skirt than first thought, so I bought 1 1/2 yards of the gray (denim heather solid suiting at $4.19 per yard). I also noticed that the selvage was almost imperceptible from the rest of the fabric so I vetoed the need for a hem right there. Clever thinking, right? see my other time saving idea was to use the width of the fabric to my advantage by cutting the fabric down the fold line and attaching the two pieces together. Therefore, I could make a simple casing, add elastic and be done. Well, I had not thought of the concept versus the actuality of the fabric I ended up buying. The suiting was 60' not 44/45' .The skirt would be much longer than the one I had envisioned, almost mid-calf length. So if I wanted that skirt in my mind, I WOULD have to hem it. Still not a problem but not in my original plan.

Because of laziness, it is staying the long length for the time being and will receive a very deep hem later if I feel it needs to be. I mean the actual skirt was a party skirt anyway out of shantung or something festive, not a durable suit fabric. So the skirt that was supposed to look like this...

Phillip Lim

instead looks like this now...

Devi Kroell

I'm fine with that. You will see the skirt in a future post, you know, pesky pictures must be taken first.

More pics of similar skirts, these with sleek waistbands:

Phillip Lim

This look by Manuel I just LOVE!

Images: Jargol,, little thoughts, Jake, Lucky

Friday, February 06, 2009

Fashion In Film: Oh, Coraline!!

Have you heard about the Coraline movie? Directed by Henry Selick (The Nightmare Before Christmas) it is based on the novel by Neil Gaiman See the trailer here. Also check out the incredible movie website and more movie info on Gaiman's MouseCircus website. This book, Coraline: A Visual Companion and these alphabet posters look great too!

I am definitely going to see this!

They produced an incredible viral marketing scheme that involved bloggers and related to the multitudes of hand made objects that were used in the filming. These two websites have tracked down the 50 artisan-made boxes that were sent to the various bloggers around the country; Notcot and Super Punch. I would have freaked if I had gotten one of these, especially the one with the miniature tools, seen here.

If I could I would also buy up a lot of the merchandise. I love miniature movie figurines from animated movies. Animation (starting with Saturday morning cartoons) is something that my 19-year old nephew and I have always had in common. He collects the larger "15 in models from sci-fi and horror films. So even though the ones he has are usually extremely gruesome, I can still appreciate the love. A few years ago I had him track down a Harley Quinn from Batman: The Animated Series, even though I ended up not getting her in the end.

But check out these 7" Bendy Fashion Dolls (that's what they called them) of Coraline that will be available in March from Forbidden Planet. I waaant one.

*Though this movie is animated, most of the objects shown were created by hand; in duplicate. The marketing kits that went out included some of the objects actually used in the filming along with Henry Selick's autograph. How exquisite is that!

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Happy Birthday to Me!

Today is my birthday and I have a little gift for you:

I can't remember how I found this man or his cool invention but I've saved the url address for years. You have to try Paul Sadowski's Birthday Calculator! You input the month, day, and year of your birth and you will receive the strangest compendium of facts associated with that date.

Things I found out:

  • One of the top songs in 1969 was In the Year 2525 (Exordium and Terminus) by Zager and Evans. Well, this has been a favorite song of mine* ever since I heard the 1983 new wave/new romantic version by Visage when I was in college.
  • As an Aquarius, the Amethyst is considered my birthstone. However, I've never been a fan of that lavender color (too close to pink) and instead in my adulthood found that I loved the milky iridescence of the Moonstone. Well, this calculator lists the Moonstone (along with Onyx and Bloodstones) as an alternative birthstone for my sign.


*along with the stylistically similar song; 1957's Kisses Sweeter Than Wine by Jimmie Rodgers, of which the 1991 Ann Magnuson/Bongwater version is my favorite.)