Thursday, September 29, 2016

Outfit: Flower-Dyed Raw Silk Shirt

 Hi guys, I have a new top to show you. I've been working on it throughout the summer. I started with raw silk fabric and then used a technique called Eco-dyeing. I rolled up flowers in the fabric, tied it tightly, and soaked it in an alum bath for several days. After washing the fabric, I sewed this top. I used a pattern from Simplicity, 1366, which is designed by Cynthia Rowley

I'm thrilled to get to wear this shirt, made from fabric that I dyed in such an unusual way! This is my idea of fun. 


These are higher rise skinny jeans from Old Navy, in the tall length. These are really long - I'm 5' 10" and these are extra long on me.  I double cuffed them this time, but I also like them bunched up at the ankle. 


 These shoes are old Clarks, maybe 10 years old! They're leather ballet flats with ankle straps. Here are some suede ones from Sam Edelman.


 Oh, yeah. I altered the pattern just a bit by making the back a little bit longer. If you're wondering about washing this silk shirt, I can wash it in the machine on cold and tumble dry low. I don't have the time or patience to hand wash much these days. It would just sit in the laundry room for a month, and I want to wear it as often as possible! You can actually wash any silk, if you buy fabric and pre-shrink it. Be very careful about washing store-bought silk garments, since they may shrink!

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Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Fall Chit Chat

Hi guys! It's been a while. This late summer and early fall has been pretty busy for me, and I often felt like I wasn't on top of things. My kids started school and then they both got sick. Then I got a sinus infection that lasted two or three weeks and stole most of my energy. We spent a week in Hawaii! After that amazing vacation, it took a while to get back to a normal routine. Now we've got soccer and Spanish club and play dates after school. It's a fun time and it sometimes feels like a lot to do.  

So now I feel a strong desire to take control of some parts of life, like menu planning, getting up early to exercise, and spending my time better after the kids go to bed. I've been spending my evenings mostly watching tv while messing around on my laptop, and I'd love to be sewing, knitting, tidying up, stretching, or doing ab exercises while I watch. OR watch less tv and read more books. Or a combination.

Today I started to solidify a fall wardrobe, and then I felt kind of defeated by the whole thing and decided maybe I wouldn't do it this season. I sewed a new top instead! And then I felt like I wanted to make it part of a fall capsule wardrobe, so I will probably be making one after all. I have some ideas and I think it will be fun. I will probably do something like a 20-piece wardrobe, where I choose some pieces that I want to wear a ton, but then I supplement with whatever else is in my closet. Plus I have some sewing plans, so I'll be adding in newly-sewn clothes, too (hopefully, if I finish them). 

I went through my closet not too long ago, and I liked almost everything. I thought I'd find a lot to donate, but I didn't. I think I've sorted through it enough times that what's left is what I like and what I want. It felt a little disappointing that I didn't have a big pile, but a second later I realized that it's awesome! I don't have a closet full of losers anymore. That's great. 

And I don't need to limit my wardrobe to 40 pieces anymore. I've already proven to myself that I don't need a huge amount of clothing. I don't buy many new things, and I'm getting better at choosing things that I will wear a lot. It's still fun to put together a capsule of things that mostly work together, or that convey a certain vibe for the season. But I love adding in whatever else I have! I don't want my clothes to just hang in the closet because I arbitrarily chose to only use 40 pieces of clothing. 

I think capsule wardrobing has a lot of uses and it can be part of a great process of having a more reasonable, useful, beloved wardrobe. Having rules and sticking to them is a good way to really try out living without excess or over-shopping. Self-discipline is a great thing. I'm not trying to diminish capsule wardrobes at all. I think I'm in a place to tweak the idea now.

I think I'll choose my 20-piece wardrobe this season and keep it in the front section of my closet. Those will be my favorite pieces, the ones I want to wear all the time, that are seasonally appropriate and fit really well. But the rest of my clothes won't have to be banished to a box; they'll just be farther back in the closet. I can easily see and reach for my capsule clothes and then add in other pieces when I have time to think about wearing something different. 

I like the progression from a strict capsule to a loose one. It's been really useful for me and I think some of the ideas will stick with me forever: I don't need to have every color represented in my closet. I don't need multiples of the same item. People usually don't notice what I wear and don't care if I wear the same things a lot. I only need clothes that suit my actual lifestyle.  

Have you tried a capsule wardrobe? Is it something you think you'll do forever, or is it more of a learning experience?

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Outfits 87 - 97 Summer '16

Hi guys! It's still summer for about 10 more days, but at my house, the mornings and evenings are a little cool and sometimes call for long sleeves or pants. I'm wearing jeans a lot more now, and my autumn-colored corduroy skirt, and I'm mixing in some long sleeved shirts. How is your wardrobe evolving as the seasons change?


Breton striped shirt (similar)
Copper corduroy Moss skirt, pattern from Grainline Studio






I made a jumpsuit! The pattern is the Sallie from Closet Case Files. I didn't do a perfect job with the v-neck, but I will wear this proudly anyway. It has front pockets, an elastic waist, and it ties at the back. I made the legs ankle-length.  



Here's how it looks with a jean jacket on top. I like it with a cardigan, too. I should be able to wear it quite a bit this fall, with one layer added. Of course the added layer makes it less convenient to use the restroom, since you have to take off the layer and pull down the top every time. The bathroom inconvenience is the main reason I resisted jumpsuits for the last couple of years! Finally the idea grew on me, and it feels worth it since I think this is really cute. 






Bird skirt, self-drafted pattern




Rayon Willow tank, pattern from Grainline Studio


And here's this outfit with a jacket that my mom embroidered in the 1970s. 




Corduroy Moss skirt, pattern from Grainline Studio




Batik-patterned maxi skirt, self-drafted pattern


Rayon Willow tank, pattern from Grainline Studio
Corduroy Moss skirt, pattern from Grainline Studio

Sunday, September 4, 2016

Outfits 82 - 86 Summer '16

Hi guys! Does it feel like fall where you live? We're having a warm weekend, which is fine with me. The warm days can continue through September and I'll be happy. I'm glad the high temperatures are in the 80s instead of the 100s, and I love that it's cool at night so we can sleep well. 

I got over those pink Vans, so I won't be buying them. Waiting it out can quell an urge to purchase, and it worked for me this time. I still want a long cardigan, though. What are you thinking about adding to your wardrobe for fall?



Boden boatneck tee
Corduroy Moss skirt, pattern from Grainline Studio
Pikolinos oxfords (I switched out the off-white laces for burgundy ones)
This copper skirt feels very appropriate for fall. I'm easing into the colors of fall, slowly but surely.



I made a new dress! The fabric is a very lightweight cotton ikat. It's perfect for summer, so I should have finished it a long time ago so I could wear it more before it gets cold! It's such a great fabric, light and breathable yet opaque and not clingy. The pattern is the Inari Tee Dress by Named Patterns.
Leather espadrilles from Sam Edelman
Similar grey clutch 



Pineapple Willow tank, pattern from Grainline Studio
White cropped jeans from J. Crew Factory
Clarks beaded sandals (here's another cute metallic pair)



Floral Lark shirt, pattern from Grainline Studio
Jean shorts
Pikolinos oxfords



Linen shirt from Boden
Linen Oceanside shorts, pattern from Blank Slate Patterns
Clarks beaded sandals (sold out, but these are cute)

I'm behind on posting outfits, so I'll do another batch in a day or two.