Saturday, September 25, 2010

The Right Attitude

"I buy things because I fall in love with them. I never buy anything just because it’s valuable. My husband used to say I look at a piece of fabric and listen to the threads. It tells me a story. It sings me a song. I have to get a physical reaction when I buy something. A coup de foudre – a bolt of lightning. It’s fun to get knocked out that way!”
-Iris Apfel

I really don't buy clothes or go shopping very often.  I worked in retail for several years, and because of that shopping just doesn't feel recreational anymore.  And that's a good thing!  I think a lot of women get caught up in that shopping high, buying things that aren't needed (and sometimes returning them--shopping bulimia is a big pet peeve of mine!).  It becomes a fleeting kind of therapy.

I've had more time to sew this year than I've had in the past, and it's been much more rewarding than any shopping trip.  It's creative, yet practical.  If I think my wardrobe is lacking something, I can make it, instead of hunting down something sort-of-similar within my price range.  I'm finding that my average-girl budget can go much further with fabric and a few hours of "labor" (or, FUN!).

Now that I've been sewing regularly, I've finally found a shopping trip that I do enjoy (other than grocery shopping, that is...):  Fabric shopping!  When I walk into a good fabric shop, I really do feel like I can "listen to the threads" as Iris says.  One can feel the potential emanating from every bolt.  "What could I be?" they ask. 

I haven't stopped buying ready-made clothes altogether (see last post...actual recent purchases!), but like Iris, I prefer to wait until I "get knocked out".

P.S.  I bought a new camera this week.  I can't promise better photography, but my photos won't be grainy now.  Yay!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

New additions

Just a quick outfit post!  I had been coveting some Anthropologie pieces recently, and finally pulled the trigger.  

Top & wedges, Anthropologie
Shorts, old thrifted Levis

Hope everyone had a great weekend.  I spent mine eating rabbit hot dogs and duck burgers.  Yummm!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Let's Make a Dress--Part 2

So, I've dyed, rinsed, dried 5 yards of fabric, and harvested vintage fabric from an unused jacket.  I decided not to fully line the dress as indicated on the pattern instructions--the mere thought of an extra layer made me feel sweaty.  Yuck!  I used this pattern--super easy to follow.  Just cut the pieces & follow the instructions, pin, sew, and repeat until your piles of fabric turn into a dress!

I did run a little short on the main fabric, so I cut the pocket and belt linings from sari silk left over from another project (actually several projects, but that's for another post)...

This was the first time I got to use my new overlock machine, a birthday gift from my parents.  If you do a lot of sewing, I think you'll understand my excitement.  It makes everything so much easier, and finishes all those edges that would normally fray in the wash!

While sewing my buttons on I watched Cartoon Noir via Netflix.  Check it out!  Especially the mannequin short "Club of the Discarded".

But anyways...voila!  The finished product:

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Let's Make a Dress--Part 1!

One of many things on my long, long list of projects is a 50's style shirtdress--full skirted goodness in some sort of lightweight cobalt blue cotton.  It's hard to imagine anything heavier in this weather!

 I couldn't find the exact shade I wanted at the local fabric shops, so when I came upon a pure white crinkled cotton gauze at Jo-Ann's, I whipped out a 50% coupon (courtesy of mother-in-law) and got away with 5 yards of fabric for only $15. Ahh, so that's how coupons work! Scooped up a packet of Dylon in "Ocean Blue", which was the closest to the shade I was hoping for. Not cobalt, but still a good saturated bright blue.

Some quality time in the kitchen cooking up some delicious fabric...

While waiting for my fabric color to process, I dug up a vintage jacket I bought at Feathers last year.  I loved the fabric, but hadn't worn it much.  Hmm, was it time to give the jacket a new life?

I think yes!!

To be continued....

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Vintage, perfected

A few months ago, I found this adorable peach full-skirted 50's dress at Feathers here in Austin.  It fit perfectly, but I had only worn it once as the length wasn't quite right. Well, my husband & I have now become obsessed with Mad Men--we got sucked in last season and have since caught up thanks to the magic of Netflix!  I was inspired to revisit this dress and lop off just enough length to prevent Stubby Legs Syndrome, while keeping the original mid-century vibe.

The original--
(That's Albie!)

Ta-daaa!  Slightly shorter.

In the end I only took about 3 inches off, but it feels like a huge difference.  This was lovely in its original form, but this length will be better with flats I think.  Hooray practicality!