Saturday, March 31, 2012

Dress It Up - Wear a Cardigan!

Confession time.

I think I have almost the same amount of sweaters as I do summer and winter tops combined.

Ahhh. That felt good to get off my shoulders (confessions are good for the soul...)

But really, I wear sweaters three out of four seasons. I have some thick, chunky ones for the really cold days of winter, a couple standard weave for fall, and then a few 'paper-thin' ones for spring. Depending on the style of the cardigan and what I'm wearing with it, I wear them zipped up, buttoned up, open, or in the case of one odd one, there is a "built in" eternity scarf - or whatever it's called - that I twist and drape around the back of my neck. (I liked the color more than the style...)

As before, Pinterest continues to inspire me.

Cardigan's can be belted, too!

If you're needing some pizazz to your outfit, add a couple of flowers or a vintage pin.

Don't be afraid of vintage styled sweaters, either. "Back when I was growing up, boy, they sure did dress classy" as my dear Grandma would say. I think they had the cute details that today's lack.

How excited I was to find a vintage-inspired cardigan from Anthropologie a few weeks ago. AND on clearance (reduced at least twice, I think), AND something that I could actually let myself buy without feeling guilty about spending the money on it. ;)

The cardigan was described as "pintucks, ruffles and a sweetheart neckline transport you to an era of suppertime traditions and Model T's." Who wouldn't be charmed by it and its details?

::ahem:: Please excuse my messy hair, my unmade bed, and thrown-on-the-bed pajamas, too. I literally rolled out of bed and "threw my clothes on" before doing anything else. ::ahem:: So without further ado, I'm wearing a white lace camisole (Maurices), a thrifted white knee-length skirt (New York & Company), and the "Orchard House Cardigan" from Anthropologie.

PS. Do you like knowing the brand of clothes I post? I personally can't stand it when people post pictures of their outfits and say "thrifted" for certain articles of clothing when I want to know what store or brand it came from so I can be on the look out for 'this or that' when I'm thrifting myself. ;) But maybe that's just covetousness? :P

Monday, March 26, 2012

I'm Dreaming of a 1914 Dress

Several years ago my parents bought me Anne Shirley's Wedding Dress pattern, and just this spring I've pulled it out with some fabric and started dreaming. I've had the gold silk duponi in my stash for a year or so now (shh...I only paid $2 for the yardage, thanks to one of my wonderful thrift stores!), the vintage buttons, and very recently picked up the lace fabric (also from the thrift store).

I'm thinking of making the underskirt with the silk, and then the whole dress out of the lace, but line the bodice with the silk also so it would be underneath the lace. Make sense? I'm not going to make the sleeves like the pattern, but I haven't come up with any other ideas yet.

After I publish this post, I'm going to look up what those buttons are saying. Here's hoping it's not anything to crazy! ;) Am I the only one who finds vintage metal buttons fascinating?

Do I have an occasion for this dress? no...
Why am I making it? um...for fun?

Maybe it's because of Downton Abbey? maybe...
Perhaps you like the Edwardian era? oh yes...
Or you grew up with Anne of Green Gables and always longed for a kindred spirit? most definitely...

Saturday, March 24, 2012

The Loveliness of Toile

According to Wikipedia: Toile is the name of a fabric that entered the English language around the 16th century from a French word meaning "linen cloth" or "canvas" — particularly cloth or canvas for painting on. The word toile can refer to the fabric itself, a test garment (generally) sewn from the same material, or a type of surface decoration (traditionally) printed on the same fabric.

Mom likes to decorate with toile by using it in accents around our home, as you can see in this picture of the lampshade and clock on the antique end table in our living room. But there are other things that we have in toile prints. Mom has me looking for a toile settee when I'm out thrifting. :)

So as I mentioned in my post earlier today, I'd have a couple items in the shop that were toile, though I'm quite tardy in listing them. One looses the time quite easily when moseying around in antique shops.

I was originally going to sell them as a set, but at the last mintue decided to list them separately. If you'd like to purchase both, send me a note via etsy, and I'll send you a $2 off coupon code to use when checking out.

Dress It Up - Wear a Belt!

For a long time I've always associated wearing belts jeans or dress slacks. But then over the last couple of years, I've seen more and more pictures pop up of women wearing belts with their outfits.

Like these two pictures, you could wear it over the waistband of a skirt with a tucked in tank top, or a pretty blouse. Or, wear it over a loose shirt or tunic like my friend Laura did below. It could be skinny or wide, black or brown or any color that might add some "pop" to your outfit.

I opted to wear it over my shirt since it is longer in length, and being an hourglass-shape who still needs to lose a few extra pounds, things don't look to classy tucked into anything around my waist!

I'm wearing a thrifted white shirt (Jones New York brand), a thrifted red toile circle skirt (no brand), and a thrifted skinny black belt (Kohl's). What's odd is that up until the day I wore this, I never paired either of these together even though all of them have been in my closet for 4+ years!

PS. Later this morning, look for a couple things in the shop that are inspired by today's Dress It Up outfit.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Patterns GALORE for sale!

Major sewing room cleaning and this week it's my pattern bins being sorted through.

There are newborn to ladies sizes. Dresses, jumpers, blouses, shirts, skirts, aprons, accessories, historical reproductions, and vintage.

10 patterns listed. 70 more to go. Yes, I'm serious. They are being sold here.

EDITED to ADD: Ooops! Ebay only allows 50 free listings per month, so I'll have to list the 30 more on the first of April. Take a look what I do have though before they all go!

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Dress It Up - With a Scarf

A week has already past, and it is time for the 2nd installment of "Dress It Up"? Time flies. :)

Today's "tip" to dress up an outfit is from the below picture that I found on Pinterest. A simple black cardigan (maybe over a silver-white button up blouse?) can sometimes be just that: plain and simple. Which of course there is nothing wrong with such, but seeing how another "plain and simple" color, ie. gray, in the form of a scarf can really make boring = classy. 

So with that in mind: this is me a couple Sunday's ago before going to church. I was wearing a pencil skirt in plaid (The Limited) paired with a plain black sweater-shirt (Covington - thrifted), gray tights (The Limited) and black tall boots (Covington). And of course the gray scarf (Macy's) to complete the look.

Have a lovely weekend, ladies!

Friday, March 16, 2012

Busy Hands

"Can't we turn off the light?!" asked my sister numerous times when watching Downton Abbey in the evenings. Not all of the time, but usually I like to keep my hands busy when I'm sitting down for several hours watching movies.

Over six years ago a friend taught me the lost art of tatting and within an evening or so I completed my first tatted bookmark in the shape of a heart. If one does knitting, crocheting, or anything else that requires two hands, she assured me that tatting will often come easily to a new tatter.

Ever since I've been tatting more than knitting and crocheting. It's very portable, requires very little space, and not to mention quite fun. I haven't made lace or doilies yet due to time constraints, but I'm content with making bookmarks.

I have four collections in the shop this evening, but wanted to let you know that I take private custom requests as well, so please ask if you're interested!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

New Life

Shadows and signs of spring by the porch this morning.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Edwardian Inspired Heels

Over the weekend, I brought home some Edwardian looking heels made in early 1990s (?) from the thrift store and as soon as my youngest sister saw them, she looked at me seriously and said, "I think we're watching to much of Downton Abbey."

But shes loves Downton Abbey AND the shoes as much as I do. I'll have to keep her from stealing them. ::winks::

Having grown up on Anne of Green Gables, Anne of Avonlea, Road to Avonlea series, I found myself quite at home watching Downton Abbey (other than those dreadful scenes to fast-forward). Being predominately English,I have been glued to it and find the culture very appealing. My father has been to England on many occasions because of his job, and he tells us that it is like a home away from home for him. Of course we girls beg him to take us one of these days. ("Daddy, it would be a perfect summer vacation!")

Finishing the 2nd season just last night, I'm full of inspiring ideas to go through my patterns and fabric stash to make up something from the 1912-1918 time period. Having patterns from Sense & Sensibility as well as Hint of History I'm trying to decide what to make. No worries, you'll hear about it all when I get to it. :)

Post-script: A blog reader kindly notified that she couldn't post any comments, and after looking into it, it was a dreadful error on my part and the issue has been resolved. I am now gladly welcoming comments. :)

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Dress It Up - A Pop of Color

Does anyone else find Pinterest helpful, fun, inspirational, and yes I'll say it: addicting? :) I thought I'd do a weekly post on Saturday's called "Dress It Up" by sharing inspiration that I get from Pinterest and how it effects my wardrobe but without having to spend an arm and a leg to do it.

Today's inspiration is either called "A Pop of Color" or "Colors Mix-matched."

This outfit not only grabbed me because I have a canary-yellow purse in the same shade as this one, but I never would have thought of pairing it with a grass green coat. It looks fabulous though, and the yellow adds such a happy tone to an otherwise dreary winter setting.

A couple of weeks ago I decided to be bold and put together something that I never would have considered wearing together. Wearing a slate blue turtleneck, a jean skirt, and a black & white weave sweater, I paired it with a mustard orange scarf.

Pop of color? Check.

While out doing errands that day (as you can see my royal blue purse on my shoulder and finishing a cup of tea as I was heading out) I received at least one compliment on the ensemble so it must not have been a hideous choice.

Would you ever put blue and mustard together? Go try it! :)

Thursday, March 08, 2012

Panjandrum of Duck

[photo credit]
Just this morning I operated on my second duck. A week or so ago Daddy approached me about a duck whose head was barely on to its body. Definitely "hanging on by a thread" you could say. I was able to fix it, and the duck is as good as new. This morning's patient had suffered from a gaping wound in its back, though thankfully quite mendable.

Now lest you all think we have a duck farm or I've been a quiet veterinarian for some time, I should mention that the aforementioned ducks are stuffed and feathered toys that our family dog Sadie has enjoyed playing with. She still has one more duck that she hasn't injured, but probably because it's her most prized possession.

Thursday, March 01, 2012

Fresh Beginnings

As my friend Mrs. Smith would say, "Happy New Month!" The beginning of a new month is almost as exciting as a new year. There can be new beginnings, fresh resolves, and renewed vigor. As some of you may have seen, I have freshened  up the graphics on my blog and one of my shops in the attempts of uniforming them to a small degree, but I'm not sure if I'm satisfied with them quite yet.

Thankyou for your kind understanding in allowing me to take a month off of blogging and less social networking. Little did I know that it was Providential! Truly, "The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord" (Ps. 37:23) even when His leading doesn't always make sense. That simple trust is something that I've been having to learn all over again. Or maybe it's just in a deeper way.

Almost two weeks ago, I found myself lying helpless on the floor audibly crying out for God's help. As I described the incident to a friend: my body was shaking uncontrollably, all sense of feeling leaving my feet, hands and fingers as they grew nearly unmovable, my skin turning an ash-gray color, and seriously thinking that this is what it's like to die. Such an event found me in the ER with the doctors uncertain as to what was wrong with me. They did suggest some things, and while I'm resting and drinking lots of fluids, I've chosen to explore some natural help for this health problem.

[If any of you would know of family and friends who like vintage styled aprons, tote bags, skirts, etc, would you consider telling them about my etsy shops? Please don't feel obligated, but I'd be eternally grateful for any word of recommendation you could pass on to others! Receiving hospital bills with the monetary sums of four didgits look overwhelmingly impossible to pay off. Back to trusting in God...]

Speaking of health, it was such a fun challenge to stay away from sugar last month! I made all sorts of treats with using honey like apple crisp, cinnamon rolls, and other delights. Of course around Valentines Day, we brought out the cookie cutters, real sugar, and frostings to decorate cookies. And no, I didn't eat a single one! ::wink::

A friend of mine flew out to visit an actor friend of her's at local university and she stayed with our family in between theatrical productions. It was great fun to visit with her, talk and laugh late into the night, watch movies she had never seen such as Lantern Hill, Somewhere In Time, Little Dorrit, and Jane Eyre. We also did some exploring in the snow, which she is not accustomed to with living in the south.
 It was as if we had entered Narnia that day where the tall evergreens stood staunchly against the winds, but across the lake the wind and sun played a musical fairytale-like dance with its rays and swirling snow.
But company has left and so has good health since the ER visit, but little things like crocus' in the south-facing bed beginning to bloom and many friends having babies or news of wedding bells keep me in good spirits. I've ventured out a few times to help a friend with some estate sales she and her husband are having (and I've come away with a few treasures from there myself!). 

My sewing machines will be put to good use this next month with Mother-dear needing a few garments, a friend's daughter in need of a few jumpers, and other odds and ends. Just yesterday I was given several lengths of cream colored cotton lace in various designs and widths, large piping for home decor use (like pillows), and three wooden handles for tote bags. Just last night I excitedly went through my stash of fabrics and found enough fabric to make some totes for the shop. 
The first one is in the shop this morning with the other two to follow sometime this weekend. I forgot how much fun it was to make totes, and these, with wooden handles make it all the more fun.

Well dear readers, this probably gave you more than what you wanted or expected to read, so until next time, have a lovely week in March!