Wednesday, June 24, 2015

First Lady Style

To be honest, at first I wasn't impressed with Michelle Obama's fashion choices. Some of the clothes she wore (back in 2008/2009) seemed a little odd to me. Not surprising since I'm not exactly a fan of modern fashion. So I just stopped paying attention to the First Lady's clothes. I have very little idea what she's been wearing for the past 5 years, but I happened to come across these photos of Mrs. Obama and daughters' recent trip to Europe and I am totally smitten with several of the dresses she wore on the trip.

I doubt I would ever wear anything with this much lace but this gives me ideas. I like the blue and yellow together.

This is lovely. Simple cut and a scattering of colorful flowers.

And this is my favorite. I am seriously lusting after this huge paisley print. Unfortunately, in all of the pictures I could find of it she is either sitting down or standing behind a podium or a giant bouquet of flowers.

There are several more at the link above. I also like the orange shirt dress and the one with the black bodice and print skirt.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

I Am Not a Princess

I have always liked princess seamed dresses. (and blouses but especially dresses) I had one when I was six years old that my mother made. It was dark red with some kind of tiny geometric print and had long, straight sleeves and a high neckline and buttoned down the front. I loved it. It seemed to me that it was a very grown-up style dress. Sadly though, as a grown-up I have always felt that princess seams don't do me any favors. However, a few years ago I decided to make peace with my physical imperfections. (well, to try to at least) Concealing them under sack-like clothes doesn't really help. And after trying a few princess seamed blouses and dresses, I've decided that the style really doesn't look too bad on me?

Anyway... The local quilt shop had a sale on batiks recently. This lovely green came home with me and let me know almost right away that it needed to be a princess seamed dress. I used a blouse pattern, McCall's 6076 and lengthened and flared it out into a dress and left off the sleeves and added pockets.

Everything in my yard is very green right now. I thought I should pick something not green for a background. Here's a closer look at one of the pockets: (You might have noticed my phone in the other pocket. Of course, that's why I must have pockets.)

I'm kind of loving it. I love the colors and it's comfortable. Maybe a little bit old-fashioned house-dressy (which isn't really a bad thing) but also kind of nice.

Monday, June 15, 2015

It Was On Sale!

Denver Fabrics was having this incredible sale, hundreds of fabrics for two and three dollars a yard. You might think that with a sale like that I could have found more than just four fabrics that I had to have and in fact I could have bought more but for some incomprehensible reason I restrained myself and this is what I ended up with:

Going clockwise from the top left:

The first is a brown stretch "baby" corduroy. It is destined to be slacks. I always need brown slacks in the fall and winter. This is a nice, soft, stretchy fabric so these will be very comfy.

The pepper print is a lightweight cotton. It will be a top and I'm thinking I might make it soon, like sometime within the next two or three weeks.

The beige fabric is ripstop cotton. It will probably be a shirt for my husband. He likes his shirts to be made of fairly weighty fabrics. But I'm also thinking that it would make really nice cargo shorts for me. I'm trying not to give in to that selfish temptation.

Finally... I am an idiot. You would think that in all the years that I've been sewing I would have learned all the different kinds of fabrics by now but this last fabric was not what I was hoping for. They call it "peach skin" so I was envisioning something that in some way resembled the skin of a peach. It doesn't. Well, it's not shiny and a peach is not shiny but that's about the only thing and not enough, in my mind, to justify the name "peach skin". It's actually a very lightweight, silky polyester - not the sort of thing I ever wear. Yes, I did know it was polyester but that can mean so many things in terms of weight and texture. Anyway, I love the colors but that's about it. I don't like sewing this kind of fabric and I never wear it. I'm not considering it a total waste yet. I could swap it for something else but I'm not going to rush into that. It can sit in the stash for a while.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

The "Chartreuse Is a Neutral Because I Say So" Top and the Problematic Orange Skirt

Okay, no stalling; here it is. I won't say don't laugh because I know you will anyway. Or at least I hope so. It's better than, "What the...?!"

First I have to talk about the skirt. I made it years and years and years ago. It actually started life as a dress. I can't find the pattern. (i.e. If I took the time to look for it right now this wouldn't get posted until August.) It had a square neckline and pin tucks in the front, no waistline. I had made one other dress using that pattern and the neckline was too wide and the armholes too big. I tried to fix the problems on the second try but it still didn't come out quite right.

So I got this wild idea to turn it into a skirt. And I love it. (though I would rather the dress had turned out better.) The length is a little weird - longer than my usual mid-calf length but not long enough to be a maxi. It's a bit longer than I intended and I've thought about shortening it but I actually like it just the way it is.

But the only top I had that would go with it was a white blouse. It looked okay but I really wanted some choice besides white. I don't wear white very often because I have a deep-seated fear of clothing disasters involving massive quantities of barbecue sauce or blueberry pie filling. Yes, I know such a disaster would equally ruin a green blouse but... well, you know... it's a mental thing. So anyway, this lovely skirt has been hanging in my closet for years, rarely worn but not forgotten.

Then I got this crazy idea that the color this skirt needs is green - a crazy green that doesn't even match the little green leaves on the skirt. The pattern is Kwik Sew 3511. I had made the version with the collar a couple of times but this was my first time making the scoop neck version. It's a bit deeper and wider scoop than I'm comfortable with. It's not indecent by any means. It doesn't even reveal any cleavage. It's just that I feel like I have this vast expanse of glaring white chest. The only solution, of course, is big jewelry. This two-strand wooden bead necklace is the biggest I have. I think it works okay but I feel like I could find (or make) something better.

So, it's a little crazy but I like it. I am so going to wear this in public and if I end up on so be it.