Friday, October 26, 2012

Phew - it's done!

I'm going to call this skirt the "I don't have TIME for this!" skirt. For some reason this project dragged on all month. I didn't even take my time to make it perfect, I just found myself feeling so blah about the thing that I was sloppy and slow at the same time! The plaids are kind of matched, but mostly not, the seam-finishes are miss-matched, and the fit is a bit wonky, but honestly... I don't care! It is what it is, and it's time to move on to new and different things.

Here's a very brief peek at the finished plaid skirt (oh, I do love the color scheme of the fabric). More/better photos to come.

my completed plaid Colette Ginger.

Between finishing this skirt today and other day-off errands, I took on the thrilling task of washing my pile of wool sweaters. Since I refuse to go to the dry cleaner, and I'd recently acquired some "dry clean only" wool sweaters, it was time to roll up my sleeves and get to washing. I used a simple tutorial from Solanah of Vixen Vintage c/o Casey's Elegant Musings. It was easy, just kind of time-consuming.

In other news, I've got everything prepped for my next (hopefully quick) sewing project. It'll be another Colette pattern, as it turns out: the Jasmine blouse.

Up Next: Colette Patterns' Jasmine blouse

I'm hoping this top can become a versatile basic, as I'm planning to make it in all one color. I'm going to use a creamy white rayon I picked up at a yard sale a month or two ago. I have grand plans to wear the finished product tucked into my plaid skirt. :)

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Some October Finds

This month has been a bit bleh. I'd known in advance that it was going to consist of several busy weeks at work, but when that pairs with booked weekend after booked weekend (after kind of booked weekend), rather than the lazy, whatever-I-feel-like weekends I love, that's when the blog starts to become more neglected than I'd like and very little sewing gets done. My plaid skirt is all but completed - just waiting on a finished hem, so I won't be sharing that quite yet.

I have managed to pick up a few items so far this month, during the couple of random estate sales I've squeezed in and antique stores I've managed to stop by, that I thought you all might like to see.

cute 1960s dress patterns

classic, usable vintage buttons

1960s blue pillbox hat with a bow!

Pillbox hat complete with tiny hair combs

Friday, October 12, 2012

My 6-Month Seamless Pledge Recap

On April 1st, I began my 6-month Seamless Pledge.

My initial pledge was this: I'm not going to buy any new, mass produced, RTW clothing for myself. If I need to make additions to my wardrobe for whatever reason, I've got to either buy used/vintage or make it myself! (with the exception of underthings - those I might try my hand at making, but will absolutely not be buying used, so I've given myself leeway to purchase new ones if necessary)

At first it was difficult for me, but I channeled my deep urge to shop into perusing vintage clothing online and in antique stores, as well as modern used stuff at my local Goodwill. This usually resulted in diffusing the craving for shopping, since there's usually less instant gratification in shopping used/vintage, as you've got to sift through things to find what you like and then see if it'll even fit.

After a little while.. maybe a few weeks? I found myself a bit numb to the whole clothing shopping thing in general and had no deep urges to buy. When I saw something cute online or in a shop window, I took a mental note to use it as inspiration for sewing.

I did cheat a few times, but I actually don't really want to call it cheating, because I didn't feel guilty...and I think it made sense to do. I received a few gift cards to clothing stores (modcloth and j crew) for my birthday in July and ended up using them to buy clothing - shock! I took the time, though, to make sure I was purchasing well made things that would get a lot of use in my wardrobe, as opposed to the "frosting" type pieces I'd usually gravitated to. I also allowed myself, without the use/excuse of a gift card, to buy a couple of pairs of jeans (can't sew yet), shoes (can't make, difficult to find used), an athletic/outdoorsey rain jacket (no idea how to sew, couldn't find used), and a few underthings new, rather than used, during my seamless pledge - a slight departure from the specifics of my original pledge, but I always made sure to look at used options first before buying new.

Despite what the fact that I purchased a dress from modcloth (with SEWING-themed fabric) the very moment the pledge ended for me seems to indicate, the pledge really did make difference in my mindset. (Just FYI, though, that dress was made in the USA and is good quality enough to hang out in my wardrobe for years to come, so there's that.)

"Well-Thread Dress" from Modcloth

It might sound like I'm doing a lot of explaining why I didn't completely adhere to the strictness of my initial pledge, but I really did drastically change my habits and got a lot out of this experience. Not only did I really focus on NOT buying fast-fashion, trendy, impulsive, cheap, low-quality pieces, but I also was able to hone in on the things that I already had in my closet.

I took the time to examine EVERYTHING clothing/apparel related that I owned, and only let myself keep things I would wear for REAL. I donated SO MUCH stuff, you guys! Heaps! Mountains of stuff that I'd been holding on to, and that had actually been like subconsciously dragging me down. I'd kind of been ignoring the little twinge of guilt I felt every time I stepped into my closet and tried to come up with something exciting/satisfying to wear, passing over SO many things I'd bought on a whim, liked for a month, then either got over due to the trendiness, or didn't feel comfortable wearing due to the low quality or change in fit.

It sounds a bit dramatic, but it kind of was life-changing for me, someone who has been in LOVE with clothes and shopping for them her entire life, to be not only not shopping, but also ridding myself of all of this closet baggage! I've always been good at purging things from my wardrobe bit-by-bit, after a while, but this was the biggest dumping of items yet, and I feel like the choices I made will impact my daily life. Yeah, it's just clothing, but I feel like I've started to actually build a sensible daily wardrobe that I can rely on for whatever needs/events/occasions life throws my way, and not always feel the need to shop -- it's a bit freeing. The basics have been covered and I'm just trying to fill in a few gaps here and there, with special focus on now trying to only sew things that really make sense for me.

Get ready to see some more separates in my finished projects section in the near future. (My sewjo may be a little bit rusty right now -plaid skirt is still under construction- but I'm getting there!)

Have any of you taken the Seamless Pledge? What changes did it bring about in your life?

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Fabric Store Deal!

Hey guys, I promise I'll have updates on the plaid skirt I've been sewing forever. I am actually working on it in my spare time here and there, and when I say hopefully I'll be finishing it this weekend, I mean it!!

In the meantime, I'll just keep updating you on sewing-related things I've purchased, since that seems to be my real forte here.

The awesome G Street Fabrics livingsocial deal is back again, so for any of you in the Washington D.C. area, I HIGHLY recommend taking advantage of it!

Who doesn't need more of this!?

Here's the link to follow, and if 3 of you purchase it this way, mine could be yay!


Either way, though, whether through my special link or not, this is a great deal. G. Street has a nicer apparel fabric selection than Joann (the other main apparel fabric store option in the area), and a great remnants section, too. In fact, it's where I picked up the silk remnant I used for my Milly Wedding Guest Dress.

I'm getting excited just thinking about it!

Friday, October 5, 2012

Bad Blogger!

Sorry guys, I've been a bad blogger! I've had a busy week which has meant little (read: zero) sewing and even less blogging. I still haven't finished my plaid skirt or shared my reflections about my seamless pledge, which was officially completed as of October 1st.

I have, however, somehow had time to snap up this cute little number I've had my eye on for a while. It was really calling to me...

"Well-Thread dress" from

You should click the link in the caption, so you can see a closeup of the fabric - IT'S SPOOLS OF THREAD and LITTLE NEEDLES!!

Now, I'm off for a little weekend trip with some friends, but I promise to be a better blogger once I return.