Monday, July 30, 2012

Problems with Pastille

So, it's been quiet for awhile. I'm planning my move to France, which includes among other things selling my apartment and getting rid of my stuff. So, the time for sewing isn't plentiful, but I'm getting something done. The Pastille Dress isn't finished, though. It won't take long to finish it, but I'm not convinced it will look great on me. The skirt part is fine, but the bodice... I've had so much difficulty with it. I even took a picture how it's not great, but since I've needed to clean for the apartment selling (read: stuffed everything into the closet), I can't find the cable that would connect my camera to my laptop. So, there won't be any pictures for this post.

It really looks as if the bodice just won't sit great on me. Also I think I should've lined it, since my cotton seems to be a bit more see-through than I expected. Well, I can always wear a slip under it. And we'll see how wearable it is... Well, I don't think Pastille was one of my favorites to begin with. I tried to fix the bodice with fitting and it's better than the original, but it just doesn't sit right and also, I think it's too short. As in the seam will be too high for my waist. Well, as with the meringue skirt, I have a bunch of fabric left, so maybe I can cut another bodice. I'm just not looking forward to that. So if this doesn't work, it might take awhile before I'm wearing this dress...

The #sewing social tweet chat was earlier this evening (well, yesterday, since it's 2 am here...). Once again, a lot of fun and new cool people (and some that I already met the last time). So, my sewing circle is growing :) Looking forward to August chat!

Oh, and one more thing: there's something else I've been doing... But it's on my other blog. So I'll become a quilter. And I've been also doing this wedding present, but I'll blog about it after the actual event, so that the bride doesn't find out :)

Thursday, July 12, 2012

More and more like my grandmother every day...

So, my grandmother used to have everything in plastic bags, the ones usually put into freezer (the noisy kind). Especially if traveling. I mean yes, I do usually put stuff like shampoo and conditioner into one, so that if they break, it's easier to clean. But my grandmother used to put every bottle, pack of cotton swabs, the nail clipper, each to their own bag. I don't know why I found it annoying when traveling with her, maybe because of the sound the bags make. But I should've been more understanding: I'm sure I'll turn into her one day. Here's why:

I got the idea from Gillian. I thought it was the best idea ever, although I didn't know clear envelopes existed. And I don't know where to buy them from here. But then I thought the mini-grip bags are just as good. And I'm not as artistic as Gillian, so I wouldn't be drawing anything on mine anyway, just the basic info is enough. But isn't it great? And I'm starting to think my grandmother was a genius, too :) And if I'm turning into her, it's not too bad: she was pretty amazing woman and I loved her very much. And she's definitely where I get my nerdiness from :)

My Pastille is coming along. Taking it's time... But I'm confident I can finish it this weekend. Unless I managed to screw it up with my pattern alterations. We'll see. I decided not to correct for my crooked back after all, since I really didn't want to correct all the foldings and I'm also not sure if it would've worked. I'm actually planning on a winter version of Merengue, so I thought I would make a muslin and see how it would work, since the Merengue was so easy to make (except for the scallops, but I mean the fit was just right!).

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Pattern shopping...

Well, I didn't want to buy new patterns until I made the ones I've planned, but somehow I didn't hold on to my decision... So, I ordered some patterns and since I pay a bunch in postage, I thought I'd buy few at once:

For the first ones the reason is obvious. The pants are something I could wear for dancing if I don't want to wear a skirt. The 40s retro pattern is also bought with dancing in mind, although I just also like the style. The last one is from the 60s and not really optimal for dancing. I've just watched too much Mad Men. 

The Simplicity 1880 I just had to buy because of the sewalong at A Fashionable Stitch. I can't really participate the sewalong, but I've saved all the instructions in my Reeder, and when I have time I can make the dress. Or both. And the Simplicity 2215 is just so cute. And the best part is that it has the skirt and a blouse. I'm planning way too many dresses and I also need separates!

The last ones are just practical. I think I might need some sleepwear in the future, especially since my Moomin pajamas sucked. And these looked quite nice :) Also the top was an easy pattern and really cheap. And I like the knot. So nothing really deep there.

Designer pattern by Luisa Beccaria
But this is not all. I mean these are all the patterns I recently bought. But I realized that Burdastyle is now published in Finnish! I guess the June number was already a second number, but it's still a reduced price (4,75 €), so I thought I'd buy it. Especially since I had been drooling the jacket pattern already (I really like the asymmetrical look, and not just in jackets...). And also the designer pattern by Luisa Beccaria.
So, I thought two patterns in the price of one is not too shabby and there are couple of other dresses I could try as well.

The same day when I bought the Burda Style, I had my new issue of Suuri Käsityö, which is a Finnish sewing/craft magazine. The patterns weren't really that great this time in my opinion, but there were some knits I would definitely want. Especially the cardigan really looks like me :)

So, quite a lot of stuff when I wasn't supposed to buy anything... But of course I subscribe to the Finnish magazine, so I've already paid for it... And I really think the Burda Style was a bargain. And I think this happens to everyone, right...?

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Colette No. 2: Pastille Dress - muslin

Well, this wasn't really the easiest task. The pattern really isn't made for my body... Luckily I followed instructions and started with the muslin. I got some old sheets from mom for this purpose and I cut the first one up. And then I started sewing the muslin. Well, there were some problems:

In the first picture, there's the biggest issue. The back is just way too big. The same thing can also be seen in the middle picture, but there's the other thing. My back is crooked, so all skirts/dresses/pants look like their crooked on me. I'll try to fix this. And then some smaller issues at the bust area.

I tried to follow the instructions on the book and I think the back got a whole lot better when I did the sway back alteration. I didn't have to correct the skirt part, since I really don't have a sway back, the back was just too big. I know Lladybird at least had the same problem. Her's turned out really awesome... For the skirt looking crooked, I cut more from the side that looks longer, I think it does look better (no pictures from the later fittings...). I think I got the bust area corrected as well, but we'll see. Mainly I just made the darts a bit bigger and this seemed to correct the problem and I also took in the side seam a bit. Hopefully this will look good in the final dress. It seemed to work on the muslin at least. And if there's as much leftover fabric as with the meringue skirt, I can always make the bodice again... I think I will try to cut the real dress tonight, but the sewing I will do next week.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

We'll always have Paris

I was in Paris for a week for an interview and was able to take some days just for fun. So, of course I went fabric shopping... The fabric area is close to the Sacre Coeur and there are few big stores, but there are bunch of little stores that sell 'coupons', which are 3m pieces of fabric. You can get these very cheaply, but most what I was looking at were 20 - 25 €, so mostly on the higher priced side (I have an expensive taste, I know...). But I did make couple of finds that I actually bought.

The yellow fabric was surprisingly only 1,5 m and consequently 5 €, so I just had to take it, since yellow is pretty much my favorite color. Then I looked and looked and didn't see anything for awhile. Or did see, but they were too expensive to buy without having a plan what to make of them. But then,  at the last store I went to, I saw this perfect fabric, that was so 1940s. The first one I saw was with blue flowers and I was contemplating on it, but then I saw this one with red flowers and I was sold. This is what I think when I think about the 40s. So, this will become a swing dress. Hopefully very soon.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Pink = Summer!

Well, about a year ago I was helping to move my dad's aunt (over 90 years old) to a old people's home. Lot of her things had to go and I got this old nightgown she had done herself. She had also crocheted the lace.

Well I didn't want to use it just at night, since the color was so pretty, and the lace too! So I decided to cut it to a new summer shirt. I'm not sure if I should make it more even, but I think I'll just use it like this with no worries :)

Well, it actually looks better in real life than in the pictures, but today was not a good picture day and I was sick at taking pictures... And I don't know where those charleston hands came from, I swear. Anyway, I think it's a fun summer thing to have. And I know this is not the most flattering style for me, but I think I'll wear it anyway :)

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Colette No. 1: the Meringue Skirt

Well, I traced the patterns to my pattern paper, since I want to keep the original intact. Just in case. And then I started planning how I should cut it. And I realized I have way too much fabric. I mean it's what the book says to get, but in the book they assume that you fold your fabric in half and cut all pieces from there. Well, I'm not used to wasting that much fabric. If I learned something in the crafts class at school, it was not to waste fabric. So I cut my front and back skirt pieces next to each other and from my original 2m of fabric I think I have more than 1m left. Well, I guess I can make another skirt or a blouse to go with this one or... And if I can't think of anything for me, I'm sure my nieces would love the color.
My traced pattern pieces: tracing was quite hard,
since the paper was so thin and the lines weren't that dark.
Here I have already cut the skirt, so you can see: lot of extra fabric.
So, that was yesterday, the tracing and cutting, I mean. Today I did the actual sewing. The instructions on the book were fairly clear, so I really had no problems. Except doing all the darts except one twice, since first time I managed to get them a bit wonky and doing the other side of the zipper twice as well. But I think my skirt is better for it. Because if it's not nice enough, I won't wear it. No problems with the invisible zipper this time either (I did one for the Charleston dress already). And now the finishing is even better with the book's clear instructions. I used the youtube tutorial again (I'll include it here, since the last time it was on my other blog):

I was so excited about sewing, that I forgot to take any pictures of the process. Well, here is the finished product, which I think turned out pretty well:

Although sewing the scallops wasn't a piece of cake... And they definitely aren't perfect. They were tugging the fabric a bit, so I added the small bows to cover it up. But I think it doesn't really show in the end. I was having a too narrow pivot, so it ended up tugging the fabric, because I couldn't cut as far as needed. But at least I know what went wrong and can do better next time.

Also, taking photos was quite hard, I don't own a tripod or as you can see not great at posing either. But I managed to get sharp pictures in the end (the problem was I was standing in front of the camera and it focused on me and then when I went further, of course it was out of focus... live and learn...).

Sewing facts:
Fabric: poplin (100% cotton) 9,90 €/m
Pattern: Meringue Skirt from The Colette Sewing Handbook
Year: 2011
Notions: Interfacing, invisible zipper, hook & eye
Time: 8,5h
First worn: for the pictures
Wear again: definitely, probably to work tomorrow, although I have to get another shirt (I don't like it when my stomach is showing).
Total price: 31 €, would be 21 € with only the amount of fabric I needed, but since I bought the fabric for this skirt, I will add it to its cost. And it will be free for any future project.

I also heard that people are still posting pictures to the flickr group for the Sew Colette Sew along, which I sadly missed. So, I thought to add mine there as well to feel like part of the community.

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Sew Colette: The Book

I ordered the Sew Colette book, since I really liked all the clothes and that I can make them and learn different techniques. This seems like a perfect sewing book. My inspiration for buying the book came from the recent sew along. If you click the link, you can see lovely versions of the different garments in the book made by the participants of the sew along. I think the best thing about this book is that I like all the clothes and I will learn so much if I manage to sew all of them. The book is nicely organized, so that you first get the relevan theory and how-to instructions and then you have a project in which you can use and practice the introduced techniques. Since in sewing (and all other crafts as well) you only learn by doing, I think this is a great idea for a sewing book.

The garments to be made are:
Meringue Skirt
Pastille Dress
Truffle Dress
Licorice Dress
Taffy Blouse

I have been buying fabric and I have fabric ready now for all of the 5 garments, or have ordered it anyway. This is the first time I've ordered fabric online, so I hope they are what I think. Then again, I'm not that particular about the exact color, so as long as it looks good, it's enough. I also have the notions ready. I bought the lining fabrics from, and they had a great service: when you buy fabric, you can check a box and they will add a matching thread to your order. I think this is awesome and should be offered everywhere. And if you think you don't need it, you can just leave the box unchecked.

Here you can see the fabrics I have bought for these garments:
Fabrics for Meringue, Pastille, and Licorice

Fabric for Truffle

Fabric for Taffy

The blue fabric is for Meringue, the pink for Pastille, and the green for Licorice. The two others have been ordered from the internet, but since I only did it yesterday, I don't have them yet. As I said, I'm a bit nervous what they are for real. I can't wait to get to sewing all these. I will start with the Meringue skirt tomorrow.

I also bought some extra fabric from Eurokangas while I was wondering what to use for these garments. They have these boxes that have remnant pieces of the fabrics and you can buy them by the weight and they're priced like 25 €/kg. So these two fabrics I bought from that. Originally I thought I would use the orange see through for the Taffy Blouse, but since I found the embroidered one, I just couldn't not buy it. But maybe if it looks good, I'll make another one from this fabric. I originally thought the green one for Meringue, but it might be to thick for the scallops. But I think I could make another version without the scalloped hem from this. Looking forward to sewing something from these as well!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012


I wasn't going to post anything today, but then I saw something which made me want to: The Craftsy courses are on sale until the 2nd of July. If you don't know what Craftsy is, go and check it out. I've been drooling several courses, but I thought I would wait until I have more time, since I have quite a few sewing plans at the moment (more about this in a few days). But they are so much cheaper now, and they never expire!

So I decided to buy the Jean-ious! course and the Sew Retro Perfect Bombshell Dress course. The Jean-ious! teaches you how to reproduce your perfect pair of jeans without taking them apart. So you can basically copy the perfect fit to other fabrics and/or colors. This is something I've wanted to learn how to do, although I would like to do the same for dresses... But maybe this will give tips in general. The Bomb Shell Dress is a course by Gretcher Hirsch whose blog I can also recommend if you like the retro styles at all. She has a book coming out also in the fall that I would love to get. But yes, back to the course: This teaches you how to make a fitted bodice with bra cups and boning! I really would love to learn this, since I need support if I have a dress with which I can't wear a bra. And I would love that halterneck style... I was a bit worried about the boning, but I was convinced at the first ever #sewingsocial twitter chat, that it will be ok with the instructions.

But, I have few (or quite many) projects before I can get to these, but I just wanted to advertise if anyone's interested about these courses, since they have been going up in price recently. Now they were just $ 20 ~ 16-17 €. So, go sign up now! Oh, and look for the next twitter chat on Tilly's blog, since everyone wanted it to be a monthly thing.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Moomin pajamas

Well, this is a long time UFO, that was started here. Finally getting a new sewing machine this spring, is what actually got me sewing. The old one (my grandmother's old) just didn't work properly and even the basic straight stich and zigzag gave me gray hairs. Well, I bought a new machine and I LOVE it! Everything's so easy! Well, not everything, but machine related things anyway. So, I finally picked up the start of my pajamas and went ahead and finished them :) This is also good, since I realized when I was tracking my time spent on different activities that I actually sleep about 1/3 of my time...

The sewing was quite easy, especially since the fit didn't have to be just so. For sleeping, I think it's more comfortable to have something a bit looser. The fabric could've been softer, but I really liked the moomin print. I've always been a big fan of them. I loved the books and comics as a child, and still do. Never really got into the new tv show, though, it wasn't around when I was a kid. It's something we call "Japanese Moomin". So not quite the original like the books and comics. Not bad, but just not for me. But, I'm getting sidetracked, since this was supposed to be about the sewing, not about my love of Moomins. So, the fabric is a bit rough, but I (really!) hope it softens in the wash.

Well, these didn't really turn out the way I hoped. I think I had too big a size or maybe I was that size when I started 2 years ago... I don't really remember. In any case, I don't mind if my pajamas aren't really body-hugging, but especially the top: the part under my arms is just too big and there's no quick fix for it. So, all and all, not a big success. I will learn and do better next time, though. I think I learned this from my mother: just don't make it too small. Which is a good advice as such, but I always end up taking the bigger size and it's just not that flattering. So, I will take the smaller size next time, and really make sure whatever I'm making is fitted the way I like. Although, even if the fabric wasn't the softest and the look wasn't that flattering, this was quite comfortable to sleep in. So, as a sleepwear it performs nicely. When I learn to sew better, I might try to fix the problems, or not. We'll see. I might try the pattern with different fabric and smaller size at some point.

The picture quality isn't the greatest, since I took it with my iPhone. Sorry about the wrinkles, I took this in the morning... Also: there's no way I'm gonna wear this in pictures...

Sewing Facts:
Fabric: 100 % cotton, actually a curtain fabric, don't remember the price (& don't have the receipt anymore)
Pattern: Suuri Käsityölehti 2/1995 (Finnish craft magazine)
Year: 1995
Notions: Satin bias tape, rubber band for pants
Time: no idea... I wasn't timing when I started this. But I would say, I had maybe worked on cutting & the initial sewing for about 2h. So that + ~8h (although watching Mad Men the same time might affect a bit...)
First worn: Last night
Wear again: Probably, since they're pajamas and no one's gonna see me in them... and the comfortableness factor saved them, I think.
Total price: I would estimate ~15 €, but it might be more or less. I didn't keep a record at the time.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

French chic

Ok, so I haven't been updating awhile. I was in Paris for a week for an interview about a PhD position and then last week I was in a hurry to finish my Master's thesis. Well, now that it's all done, I was inspired to post about French chic as I just came from France. I wouldn't say it's completely my style (not enough colour and I don't look so great in black/grey/white), but I think there are some things for me as well.

So what is French chic then? It's the kind of style that looks effortlessly stylish. Read more about it at The Focus on Style or How to be Chic. Also, here's a great video about French chic:

Also, I think this applies, even if it's not particularly about French chic. In any case, I don't think that wearing something you don't feel comfortable in or doesn't feel like you, is going to make you look stylish. It should always feel like you. But you can choose more stylish things that are you and try new things to see if they actually might be you and you just haven't thought about it.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

The right style for YOUR body

I have thought about this before, but especially when sewing the charleston dress: there are certain styles that just fit better for certain body types. No matter how much I love 20s charleston style, I will never look great in it. Then again 50s style suits me a lot better. Well, there are things I will wear anyway, but it is nice to know what really suits you and what to avoid. To help, there's a great collection of videos at Videojug: Videojug - Fashion for your shape

Basically, it's a collection of videos with the tag - fashion for your shape. You can find the best styles and avoid the ones that really don't work. I'm trying to take these as guidelines, not as strict rules, but I think they might help with defining your own style. Also, it's good to look at few different makers of videos. Sometimes the tips disagree a bit, so seeing a few videos gives more idea what's best in general. Also, now that the summer is almost here, they have advice on the best swimsuit styles as well, so if you're updating your swimsuit, take a look at the advice first!

What I realized watching these videos is, that I've noticed lot of the stuff myself while just choosing clothes. Sometimes, when you really like something, though, you might not realize that while it looks amazing on the hanger, it just doesn't look great on you. So, I think I will keep these in mind while planning what to buy/sew/wear. And it will make the decision that much easier.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Pin it! Clip it! Chip It!

There are several sites I like to use to plan wardrobe and sewing. The one that everyone probably knows by now is, of course, Pinterest. If you haven't checked this site out, you totally should. It's basically a website to build inspiration boards. You can pin pretty much any picture from the internet, except from Facebook. You can make any boards you like. You get few ready made, but these can be deleted. I like to use it for planning something special, like I had this inspiration board for my charleston/flapper dress (well, I might still use it and make another one...). If you want, you can follow me here.

Well, I don't talk more about Pinterest, since everyone seems to know it already. But there are other sites that seem to be less known. One, that I like, where you can make mood boards or plan outfits, is Polyvore. I like that you can actually plan what goes together, since I use Pinterest as a more general inspiration. I haven't used it a whole lot yet, but to get the idea, here's one of my mood boards for spring outfit:

Spring style

You can see my other sets and follow me here. I also sometimes pin Polyvore sets to Pinterest. You can use the ready items from different online shops or you can clip your own images with Polyvore's clipping tool. There are also templates you can use, if you don't like the white background, or you can make a template of your own. I did a little practice run, but the sets are easy to design, especially with a white background. Why don't you give it a try?

The last site I want to introduce is Chip It by Sherwin Williams. Here you can take any picture from the internet and their program gives you the main colours from it. Here is one of mine as an example. It's not as social as the other sites, but you can also pin these images to Pinterest. It's a great way to get colour palettes, if you like colours in a certain picture.

I'd love to hear in the comments what is your favorite inspiration site!

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Pattern love

I did some internet shopping and these arrived earlier this week:

I saw a liverpool dress somewhere and fell for it and once trying to find where to buy it, fell for the anna tunic as well. I've looked at Amy Butler fabrics before, but for patterns I had mainly seen bags. And I want sew clothes. But, back to the package: I was very excited! Because besides looking pretty these clothes look like they are comfortable as well. Then, I opened one, and what did I find...

Yes, these patterns are those ready to cut ones. The ones I've heard about, but not really seen before. So, I'm a bit disappointed. I mean if you cut one size and gain weight, you can't make another one. So, I think I'm trying to trace these in case I want to make another size/length. But it will be harder, since the paper is quite thin and might wrinkle/break. We'll see how it goes.

I still love the patterns and I even got some fabric samples and extra (very cute!) buttons with my order. And how can I not make my namesake tunic :) And I think I can get over my disappointment, since while writing this I also surfed in the internet a bit and look what I found: Alternative to cutting the pattern!!! My life is good again :)

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Sewing tips for beginners

Ok, so I've decided to change things around a bit. As I've read more and more blogs, I seem to enjoy the sewing blogs the most. So, what I've decided to do, is to keep sewing here in this blog, which is still also about style, but maybe more sewing than I originally thought. All other crafts and also non-clothing/accessories-related sewing will still be posted in The Monday Night's Sewing Circle.

But this was not the subject matter of today's post. While I was sewing my charleston dress, I noticed some things that might help someone else who is also either a total beginner or has a bit of experience like me (or I have quite a lot of experience, just that it was long a go and I was a kid). So here are my advice:

1) Use the slow gear, if you have one: I have this awesome thing in my new sewing machine, where I can change the maximum speed of sewing. I haven't used the fastest yet, but I use the middle one for straight and easy stuff and when I have a slippery fabric like my charleston dress and especially when sewing something curvy like the armpits, I found the slower gear totally awesome.

2) Pin & baste. And I mean baste by hand. Also iron. Especially with slippery fabrics.

3) Make a muslin. I didn't for my charleston dress and I wish I had...

4) Don't take shortcuts. Even if you want to or don't see the point of doing something that's in the instructions. When you get more skill you know where you can cut, but for starting out, it's better to do it all, especially if you want your clothes to look nice :)

5) Unpick, unpick, unpick. Unless your fabric shows it. But if you make a mistake, it usually is worth it to take it apart and do again. So many times that you get it right (this applies to any crafts, really). It's sometimes so annoying, but generally worth it.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

My Flapper Style

Ok, time to post about my fascination with 20s style. This sort of crept up on me, since first there was a 20s party and I had to get a dress. I found a nice red one in a costume store,  but it wasn't the greatest quality, so in the end it didn't last so well with dancing. Because I got further into this, when I took a solo charleston dance classes from our rock 'n' roll & swing dance club. I totally fell head over heels for charleston. It's just so much FUN! We also did a flash mob at the invite premier of the Artist in Helsinki (and got to see the movie for free). Here's a video about it, and you can see my red dress (I'm in the first row).

Well, after the red dress fell apart, or the decorations did, and the form wasn't that perfect to begin with, I decided I would make myself a dress. Especially since I didn't really see anything that I could buy that was in my price range and that I would like to wear. So I ended up sewing one. While making it I realized that my body isn't really the best for 20s fashion (see: What to do when taste and body don't match?). But I like it anyway, so I try to make the best of it.

But I had problems with this dress and not the least because I was in a hurry to finish it. But I did, in time for the Speakeasy party. It still needs some work, I didn't have time to add the lace and the lace isn't finished yet, but the dress was wearable - sort of. It worked for the night  with the help of safety pins. The upper part doesn't sit quite right so I had to attach my bra to the dress with safety pins and because the bra was as flattening as possible, a sports bra, the safety pins were eating my flesh pretty nicely. Luckily no one else could tell. But I will try to make this a bit usable, when I figure out how.

The dress actually looks pretty good in the picture and you can only barely see the line that comes from my sport bra. So things to be done: fix the upper part, decorate with lace and find a flattening sports bra without seams. I'll let you know how that goes.

Sewing Facts:

Strech satin (97% polyester, 3% elastane) 11,90 €/m, cost 20, 23 €
Barbara lace (70% cotton, 30 % polyamide) 16,90 €/m, cost 8,45 €

Pattern: Charleston dress, 20s, Suuri Käsityölehti 9/2009 (20s style pattern from Finnish sewing magazine)

Year: 1920s/2009

Notions: I added the zipper (2,55 €), which wasn't included in the original pattern. As I have planned this for dancing/20s parties and I want to try to create the whole look with hair and make-up, I want to be able to get into the dress after I have done my hair & make-up. Also planned some decorating, which will be added later if I can work out the kinks with this dress.

Time: ~13h
This includes learning to use my new sewing machine and few times taking the sewing apart. And yes, I think I'm just slow. I also tend to pin and then baste (by hand) all the seams before actually sewing.

First worn: Speakeasy 12.5.2012

Wear again: Sure, if I can fix the bugs.

Total price: ~35 €

Blog posts in Monday Night's Sewing circle about the dress and making it:
Charleston dress
Charleston dress: invisible zipper
Charleston dress: ready to use

Monday, May 14, 2012

Colour blocking

Well, I know I'm a year late, but as the colour blocking seems to continue this year, I thought I'd write about it. Especially, because I really like the idea (big fan of colours here). I think one of the clearest examples what it is is explained by Wendy from Wendy's Lookbook (see the video below). I found the beginning a little bit annoying, but it gets better :) She demonstrates well how to choose the colours as well as giving some examples of outfits. The video is about 10 min, but most of it is examples, so the beginning was the thing for me (the things about the colour wheel and choosing different combinations).

Color Blocking for Spring/Summer (2011):

Wendy has also made an introductory video about colour wheel, that I thought was fun and here also you can see the way of choosing which colours to combine:

The Painter's Color Wheel with Clones!

I have also included a colour wheel here for reference:


And of course some examples how to apply this. First there are some lovely examples from Shabby Apple's collection: The Block. I especially love the combination on the left. It's so vibrant and fun.


You should also check the tips of Fabulous after 40 about colour blocking. Don't let the title of the blog fool you, the tips are good for people under 40 as well. And if you want more ideas, just go to Pinterest and search for color blocking. And of course there's Google, but I think Pinterest gives better results.

Michelle Obama does colour blocking

Colour blocking on runway

Friday, May 11, 2012

Planning my wardrobe - part II

So, in part I I said I would track my activities and make some charts of the ways I use time (and of course, it all started from here). And so I did. And here are my charts. I have used categories that make sense to me, so I've mainly thought of different clothes I would be wearing, which is why sleep time is separated from home time. I add here the whole 2 weeks chart, but also the chart for week 1, since the second week wasn't really a normal week, because I had a day off from work and there was a national holiday as well, so there's more home/friends time in the second week.

What is fairly noticeable in both of the charts is that I spend a whole lot of time at home (I hadn't realized how much, although I think I've been spending a bit more time at home now than normal for personal reasons). And then from the rest a major part is spent at work (which I knew). So I think this is what I need to think when I plan the things I want to buy/sew for myself. But I also think I want a change to what I'm wearing in general. My work doesn't really require any specific clothing (not even office wear), but I'd like to be more professional looking. At least part of the time. And until now I've tended to wear old stuff that doesn't fit great at home, but I always feel better when I wear something pretty. But it needs to be comfortable too. I actually bought some pajamas from the sales after Christmas and I love them. They're comfy, but still look good. And that's what I'm aiming for clothes to wear at home.

I also notice that even though I have big plans for my swing dancing outfits, it's actually not a big chunk of my time. Then again I think dresses could be also worn at work. I think for a long time I've just wanted to blend in and I've sort of succeeded in good and in bad. So now I try to think what I actually want to wear and think less how other people will react and how they like what I'm wearing. This is actually hard: where to draw the line? I mean if you think about your style, part of it is that you want it to be a message, so it's not totally independent on what other people think. But when part of the message is that I don't really care what you think, then it gets a bit tricky. And then there are of course situations when I do care what other people think.

But I will keep these charts as a guideline of the new things I might buy and/or sew. But I think I really need to think about this, since I would love to just have a bunch of new dresses and skirts. But with skirts you also need cute tops to match... We'll see how it goes. As for the anomalies, maybe I'll try to chart my time again during summer or maybe fall when I see how my new life is shaping out.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Blast from the past: Buffy the Vampire Slayer, season 1

I've been rewatching the season 1 of Buffy the Vampire Slayer lately (I'm a big fan of the show, and Joss Whedon) and just had to write about Buffy's style on that season. I just find it very nostalgic, since her clothes could've been picked out from my closet at the time. Now, don't get me wrong, I don't actually think the style is great anymore, but it just makes the show that much more real to me, since I was about Buffy's age when the series began airing and I was actually living in US at the time.

The best example is definitely this outfit:
I wore a lot of stuff that looked like that... Also Cordelia's pants seem familiar, although I think mine were orange. Buffy's outfit actually include boots, which you can also see in the group picture below. I loved boots, I think I still do. I still would wear boots, it's just very hard to find ones that fit with my shoe size, I shop in the children's section in Finland.
These next ones are few more examples:

People tend to not like the first season of Buffy that much. I do. It's just a bit different than the rest. But I love the way the series grow with Buffy. The first season is a bit more fluffy, but then again, the main characters are 15. And I also like teen shows/movies, especially the ones I used to watch, like all the Molly Ringwald movies. I just think the first season is very much the style and way of life of someone that age. And as I said, the style used to be so me. And also, you can see the spark start here.