Monday, 30 September 2013


Sometimes I don't like making muslins.  Sometimes I just want to sew a dress, and I want to do it NOW.  (There are other times when I enjoy making muslins and adjusting patterns).  Sometimes, this leads to rash decisions, and sometimes it leads to a stalemate.

Last time I wanted to sew something right away, I went with a sundress I had made before.  I made a couple small pattern changes, and cut this fabric.  Now, having started I realized that I made at least one mistake... I lengthened the bodice but I didn't lengthen the back piece.  I'm fairly sure that I can put a pleat in the front midriff piece that will balance the two out.

However, now I'm a little stuck in that project.  Rather than finishing it quickly, I've completely stalled out of fear for what else could go wrong.

On the other end of the spectrum, I've been working on muslins for the Portrait Blouse from Gertie's New Book For Better Sewing for quite a while now.  I've made one that was split-sized, between the shoulders, bust and hips.  Then I adjusted it, and did a kind of full bust adjustment and a narrow shoulder adjustment all in one, and moved the hips up a size.  Now I just need to make one more muslin to make sure that I haven't thrown anything out of line with these changes and I'll be able to move into real fabric.

Now, the other day, I wanted to sew.  But I didn't want to make another muslin.  That's all I'd been sewing recently and I really wanted to sew something I could wear right way.   But, I also didn't want to sew the dress, because that means I might discover a mistake that I can't fix.  Worst case scenario, I will have a fairly nice A-line skirt if I've made an irreparable mistake, but that's not always a comfort.

I think I'll just have to buckle down on my next day off and sew the last muslin.  Once I've gotten past that, I think I should be able to make a Portrait Blouse pretty quickly.  And my next project from the book is likely to be the A-line skirt, which won't require a muslin.  (Yay!)

Friday, 27 September 2013

Visiting Generosity

A few days ago, there was a lovely woman staying at our hotel. Now, Judi is an interesting woman.  She's in her late 60s and lives about an hour from where I grew up, in Southern Ontario.  One day, she woke up and bought the cheapest house in Canada.  She looked it up on the internet, sent the agent an email, and bought it sight-unseen, for about $5000.

The first time we met Judi she was driving out to New Brunswick for the first time to see her new house.  She stayed with us for a day or two, and then went on her way.  We got a phone call when she arrived, and then out of the blue, she showed up at the hotel again on her way back.

The house is very cute.  We got to see a bunch of pictures.  It's all worn wood on the outside.  Fairly small, but on a gorgeous lot, near the water.  You can see the ocean from her front porch.  Its just  summer house for now, without insulation you can't really live there in the winter.  She's planning to fix it up though, so we'll see what she decides to do.

She stayed for a couple days.  And spent all of Friday a part of Saturday before she left helping with renovations, like painting, around the hotel.  She also took a trip into the Salvation Army (thrift shop) and came back with a pearl necklace for me!
Isn't it gorgeous!

This is a shout out to the wonderful people like Judi.  Who buy houses they've never seen in cities they've never been to.  Who help with renovations at the hotels they stay at.  Who give gifts to people they barely know.

Thanks Judi!

Thursday, 26 September 2013

Technical Difficulties!

I'm sorry about the Hiatus everyone!  I had company coming up for the weekend, so I wrote all my posts ahead of time and set them to publish automatically.  (I was so proud of myself.  All organized and pro-active and what not!)  Well, apparently, I didn't set them to publish.  They were still saved as drafts.


So, I'm back, and we'll be back to our regular schedule with a post tomorrow morning!

Wednesday, 18 September 2013


For those of you who don't remember the earlier posts of the Snood Saga, the thrilling tale can be found here.

Selfie before Honey is up to take pictures for me.
There was a sneak peak on Monday of the finished snood.  Overall, I'm really happy with it.  No, my stitches aren't even.  No, I didn't manage to follow the pattern perfectly.  However, I did manage to crochet my first pattern.  And I did manage to make myself a snood that is comfortable and looks fabulous.

The other side.  Sorry, it's really hard to see anything here... 

As I mentioned originally, I found the pattern online, and then followed along with a tutorial on YouTube.  It turns out, the pattern I chose was wonderfully simple.  There were a total of four types of stitches.  The Chain, the Long Treble, the Double and the Single Crochet, and the last two were only used at the end for the boarder.  Since so much of it was the same, it made it really easy to learn the stitches.

It wasn't on the original pattern, but the tutorial showed how to add a row that lets you feed a ribbon around the edge.  There is a ribbon on the pattern 'envelope' picture, but it doesn't seem to go around the edge, just sits on top.  I did follow the extra step, but I haven't had a chance to get a ribbon yet.  In part, because I haven't decided what colour I want to use.  I could stick with black so it still matches everything.  Or I could go with white, which will still match everything and give it a little bit of a pop.  OR, I could go with red, which won't match everything, but will certainly be eye-catching...

I did manage to produce a passable version of the hair do I looked at in the second post.  I skipped the curl set, in part because by the time I had it finished it was time for bed and I didn't stay up late to set it.  However, I think everything still worked out alright.  I still need to work on my Victory Rolls.  But, I'd say it was a victory for me, because I was able to wear my hair done up for work, and not only did it stay done, I didn't feel like it was a total mess.

And, to conclude on a completely unrelated, but amazing note:  Bill Nye is on Dancing With the Stars:

Monday, 16 September 2013

Outfit of the Day

Some days, I just like the way I look.  I hope everyone has those days sometimes.  When you look good, and know you look good, its and instant moral and confidence boost.  I had one of those days yesterday.
Apperently, asking if Honey could see my shoes
didn`t equate into please include my shoes...

I was well enough rested to pop out of bed when the alarm went off at 7:00am (and that is a rare occurrence), so I had all this extra time I usually spend getting up, and I wasn't sleepy to boot.  The other thing that helped was that I picked out my outfit before I went to bed.

Now, I will admit to being a little bit OCD about planning things, but I don't usually plan my outfits ahead of time.  However, it made my morning so much smoother I'm considering doing it more often.  Finding clothes take two minutes in the evening, but when I'm groggy and just waking up, finding an outfit takes forever.

So, with all this extra time, I was able to do my hair.  That's right folks!  Not just in a bun, or into a clip, but I actually styled my hair.  Yes, that is my snood, finished late the night before.  And let me tell you, I liked it.  I really enjoyed having my hair looking good.

I also wore my Kasia Skirt for the first time.  (Remember I mentioned that whole Shoe-lemma thing?)  I`m still not completely happy with it.  There are some things I wish I`d don differently.  However, now that I`ve worn it for a day, I definitely like it more than I did when I tried it on for the reveal post.

P.S. Stay tuned for my Snood Review!

Wednesday, 11 September 2013

Shoe-lemma (That's a Shoe-Dilemma)

I really like shoes.  For me, the wrong shoes can completely ruin an outfit.  But, the right shoes are a) usually expensive because I have good taste or b) unusually uncomfortable.

I've been trying to find some good shoes to wear for work.  Something professional, with a practical heel, and closed toed because it's almost winter.  I bought one pair, which I've left at work and can't find a picture of online (But I'll edit one in when I grab it), and I thought they were the ones.  They were amazingly comfy when I tried them on.  And I got sportive and comfy-making inserts.

And they are comfortable.  I can walk in them, I can run when I have to.  But, they are NOT comfy after I've worn them for a couple hours.  And this, is a distinct problem.

Unfortunately, it's a distinct problem I don't know to solve.  And it's a problem for two reasons.  One, is the obvious, my feet hurt all the time issue.  The second, is that if what I have to wear are the semi-nice flip flops, I'm only able to wear pants to work (because I can't wear pantyhose and flipflops).  Which means, I have three nice skirts that I'm never wearing, and one pair of dress pants that I wear every day.

What have you found for comfy shoes that still look nice?  I'm looking at Fluevog.

Opperettas - Malabran at $269.00 CAN
Mini - Bunny at $309 CAN

And yes, ringing in with three digit price tags, this is really more in the realm of shoe-porn as my friends call it.  I've heard they are well worth the price and last forever, but I can't really justify $300 shoes right now... Sigh.

Monday, 9 September 2013

Snood Progress Report

Well, I've been working on my snood for a few days now.  All of the pattern information, as well as an introduction to my non-skills of crochet, are in my first post here.

Even though I'd never crocheted before, I'm finding the pattern fairly simple.  There's really only two types of stitches so far, and I've only got two more rows left.  My stitches aren't even, and I'm not able to conserve my movements the way an experienced crocheter could, but that will come with time.  I've also forgotten to chain between stitches occasionally, meaning I have some mesh squares that are triangles.  I'm not too broken up over it.  As long as nothing terrible happens in the last couple rows, I have a wearable snood, and in a lot of ways, this was more of an experiment anyway.

I seem to have enough wool left that I should be able to make another one once I've finished.

I'm not going to show you any pictures today, I'll save it for the big reveal.  Instead, I'll leave you with this tutorial I found on YouTube for a cute snood and victory roll style.

Friday, 6 September 2013

Special Delivery!

Couple days ago I got a delivery from LadyGrace.  I put in my order on August 15th for a Keira Longline Bra  by Goddess and a Pull On Open Girdle by Rago.  They arrived on Tuesday September 3rd.  Shipping did take three weeks, however the website warns that international shipping (from the US to Canada) can take up to four.  Packaging was nothing to write home about, just the standard plastic wrap in a bubble envelope, but both items arrived safe.

I've worn the Longline bra to work twice now.

Photo courtesy of Goddess, I'm not so bold as to post
pictures of my unmentionables yet!
The first thing I noticed was that it's harder to put on than a normal bra.  Because the row of hooks up the back is so much longer I can't do it up behind me.  The only way I've found so far is to do up the row of hooks in the front and then shimmy it around.  Slow, but effective.

Once it's on, I've found it to be fairly comfortable.  I like the way it hugs my ribs and I think it really helps to define my waist line.  The first day I wore it I wore nylons over top.  The nylons have a tendency to cut in at my waist uncomfortably, my hope was that the longline bra would help stop that with the two rows of boning at the side back.  Unfortunately, it actually just made it worse as I now had not only the nylons cutting into me, but the boning as well.  Today, I wore it without the nylons, and I did still have a bit of an issue with the boning cutting into my hips at the end, however it was only a quick fix, and it wasn't nearly so bad as yesterday.

It has nice wide straps, which I've found to be fairly supportive.  I have noticed though that I'm having some spillage issues.  The cups are fairly high cut, but I'm spilling into the center.  I ordered a 38G, which is the same size of bra I tend to wear in other retailers, however I think that I may have gotten a better fit if I had gone up to a 36H.  There is no underwire in the cups.

Overall, I'm very happy with the Keira Longline Bra and the service of LadyGrace.  I'm definitely going to keep wearing it, and after seeing how it fairs in the wash and with regular wear, I'm seriously considering buying a few more!

Stay tuned for my thoughts on the Rago Girdle in a few days!

Wednesday, 4 September 2013

Cheap&Now VS Expensive&Awaited

I've come to the conclusion that I probably need some more tops to wear to work right now...

Now, I would really like to have a selection of well made, well fitted shirts to wear to work right now.  However, these well made, well fitting shirts seem to either be expensive, or requires a bit more sewing time that I really have right now.  A full wardrobe's worth of self-made clothing is the goal, but is going to take some time to do.  The other option then is to buy a 'Temporary Wardrobe' of cheaper shirts.  Things that look nice and fit well enough to hold me over while I finish making my new wardrobe.

I can't keep wearing the same 6 shirts to work every week, at least not when half of them don't fit well and I'm doing laundry every other week if I'm lucky.  So, I think the only feasible option is the Temporary Wardrobe to get me through the transition.  I've got a day to myself today while my Darling Honey takes the puppy down to the States to get fixed (I'm so excited).  My main task is going to be laundry, but I'm going to try and go shopping as well.   I'll pick up a few more shirts, and that way I'll have a little bit more variety in my wardrobe, and not have to keep wearing shirts that don't fit.

It's interesting to realize how much effort it takes to create a good wardrobe. Especially knowing that back in the 50s and 60s it was simply expected.  But, as discussed in an article by the Huffington Post Seven Ways Your Grandmother Dressed Better Than You there are some other things that have changed as well.  Those were eras when clothing was made better and was expected to last.  The price tag reflected this too.  There wasn't the option of cheap disposable clothing that has taken over the main stream.  This was also a time when people were expected to dress for the occasion, whether it was taking the dog for a walk, or going out to a party.  Now, everything has become far more casual and it's acceptable to go out to the store in pajama pants.

What are your thoughts?  Is it better to budget and plan a little bit to have high quality items that will last multiple seasons?  Or do you prefer to pick something up at a good price, wear it for a month or two and replace it?

Monday, 2 September 2013

Happy Labour Day!

In honour of the last weekend before school starts, I thought I would look at another selection of Harmony in Dress by Mary Brooks Picken.

The College Wardrobe.

Ah, college.  The only time a woman requires any gym clothes.  I had assumed, reading the Home and Business Woman's Attire that clothes for active pursuits weren't mentioned because Mary didn't think they were part of the main wardrobe, but here we are, the college girl is expected to be active.

I've also noticed that the College Woman requires more shoes...  And more underwear... I don't know about you, by my wardrobe really hasn't changed that much since I graduated.