Thursday, May 16, 2013

Graphite Tulip Skirt

In case you haven't noticed, I've been trying to do a better job at photographing things for you guys over here. (I say TRYING, because it's a learning process, as you can see in the picture bellow where I have my eyes closed. Oops!) Anyhoo, I finally clued in that, you know, MAYBE it's not so nice for you all to see pictures of the washing or my messy room in the background. So I've been trying to give you more interesting photographs.
As part of these efforts, I made my poor sister get up at 5 AM the other day and we drove to this carefully selected location for the "golden hour", which is either one hour after sunrise or one hour after sunset. It's supposed to give a soft light without harsh shadows -- at least this is what my travel journalism teacher tells me!
This spot is usually pretty deserted -- at least, it is on a Sunday morning when I come here with my running group. I found out quickly enough that it's NOT SO DESERTED on a weekday morning. In fact, it's seemed to be quite the opposite (although you would never guess from these pictures). Turns out, it's the road of choice for big truckers and other heavy machinery driven by men of that disposition (read, scruffy with questionable manners).

All this to say that, there I was, in the wee hours of the morning, standing by the side of the road with ultra high-heels and a mini skirt and it occurred to me that, hey, I may possibly be sending signals of being "open for business", as in, "lady of the night open for business" open for business. And soon enough, the truckers did confirmed my assessment in openly sharing (read, yelling) their delight.
The things that you guys make me do! I hope that you're at least a little appreciative of the pictures! Anyhoo, I will let you go do whatever else you need to do right now -- prepare dinner, go back to work, continue reading your blog feed or work on that sewing project -- and I will save the details of the skirt and construction notes for a next post, because I'm running out of time myself!

Happy sewing everyone!

Monday, May 13, 2013

The Garden Party Skirt

I've adapted the pattern from the peplum skirt I had made for my sister. The silk for this skirt has been in my stash for probably over eight years, so it's nice to finally see it take the form of a garment!

This silk being much more stable than the awfully temperamental fabric I used last time, the peplums came together without a glitch -- except, perhaps, for my unnecessary use of interlining which ended up giving a tad too much structure to the peplums.
The inside of the skirt is lined with baby pink Bemberg, which gives it an all-over luxurious feel. I'm not a big clubbing person, but if I were, this would be the perfect skirt. I'll probably end up wearing it as a fun bottom with opaque tights and a cropped jacket or something in the fall and winter. I'm wearing it here with my Pyjama Dress.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Antiquing in Aberfoyle

What a lazy day spent strolling around the Aberfoyle antique market near Guelph, Ontario. These lovely vintage buttons were a steal for $5. Especially the faux-marble ones in the middle, the wonderful Art Deco feel of which inspire in me a vision of a sand-washed silk black blouse.
Unsurprisingly, I found myself being much more interested in the sewing related artifacts than the wide array of housewear on offer. Mind you, that might change once I actually have a place of my own to furnish and beautify... soon! In any case, these buttons are pretty much the only further thing that will fit in my suitcase at this point!

I paired my Catwoman Minoru Raincoat with my heaviest-duty rain boots, a combination that's kept me warm and dry in the face of mud and cold.

Are there antique markets close to where you live, and if so, has it led to interesting sewing finds?

Tuesday, May 07, 2013

MMM -- Week 1

Wednesday: First day of MMM'13 and I'm soooo happy to finally be able to participate, as you can see in these photos. I spent the day at home working. Nothing special. I'm wearing store-bought pants (RW and Co, Spring 2009) and my Granny Smith Blouse, the bright green colour of which definitely energizes my day. The blouse is comfortable, but I don't feel that it fully reflects my aesthetic anymore.

Thursday: I'm wearing a store-bought dress which I can't get enough of since gifted to me recently. The jean jacket is refashioned. (I've never blogged about this piece but I think I will soon, as this is probably my most-worn piece of all times and you will likely see it very often this month!) I wore this outfit to the First Thursdays Event at the Art Gallery of Ontario, where I've enjoyed drinks with friends among the works of art to the sound of some of the city's best dj's. I love how the event opens the door to a new way of interacting with art.

Friday: I'm wearing my Val-d'Or Blouse and store-bought chinos (GAP, summer 2009). Nothing too eventful planned for the day and I feel almost guilty to "waste" such a luxurious silk blouse for a banal day spent in my basement. That said, I'm reminded of how flattering this blouse is and I try to understand why exactly I've stopped wearing it. I don't understand why. It's probably related to my being overly-critical of the things I make and my blowing the flaws out of proportions. This realization makes me pretty grateful for Me-Made-May -- and for Zoe for starting this initiative. This is a great blouse and I must wear it more often.

Saturday: I'm wearing my Blue Upcyled Shirt (blogged about here and here) which I still love very much almost three years after making it. Although not shown in this shot, I'm also sporting my trusty Weekender Bag, which is still my go-to big bag for anything from grocery shopping expeditions to weekend trips... and long days of lounging around in the sun with friends under the pretext of hosting a yard sale! With my upcoming move, I did have quite a few things to get rid of, among other things, my Ottawa skirt, which I sold for $5. It stung my heart a tiny bit to see it go, but it just wasn't working for my figure and fit the lady I sold it too so well. Do you also have hard time parting with self-stitched garment?

Sunday: A bib for the GoodLife Toronto Half-Marathon -- along with a 1 hour 55 min pace band -- suddenly fell on my lap yesterday, in what I took as a sign that I was ready to break the two-hour mark. I haven't been talking about it a lot on the blog, but I've been hardcore training these past four months for my second marathon. If you're wondering what kind of crazy idea has gotten onto me, readers, I have to say that it's all Winnie's fault, with her insane account last March and her Run-Faster Bows which resulted in these super fast Turbo Shoes. Because of that, I was able to break the two-hour mark and I too was able to become "a different kind of runner". Yes, Sunday was truly a beautiful day.

Monday: Still basking in the glory of yesterday's accomplishment, I'm wearing my Pansy Dress and my refashioned jean jacket. I'm still finding this dress a bit too girly for my taste, but it was just the right attire for a romantic promenade to admire the cherry blossoms in High Park. So pretty! I'm getting a lot of compliments for this dress and the denim jacket tones down the girliness. Also, the cotton lawn feels super soft and fresh.

Woah! What an eventful week it's been in Toronto. We've had gorgeous spring weather and bright sunshine and although this coming week will definitely be less busy on the social front, I hope the weather will be just as nice.

Happy sewing everyone!

P.S. Have you heard about the mega sale over at Vogue Patterns until May 8th? My mom and I have gone crazy and probably ordered too many patterns!

Friday, May 03, 2013

In love ❤

Readers, I'm in love.

We met last Saturday at the Creativ Fest...

Her name is Opal -- Husqvarna Viking Opal 650.

She's Swedish... *sigh*

It was love at first stitch. 

Wednesday, May 01, 2013

Happy Me-Made-May!

Guess what day it is today?? It's the beginning of Me-Made-May 2013!

Me, acting all Michelle Obama in my Grannysmith Blouse 
I'm too excited for words. As I've said before, I've been eager to partake for several years.

(For those of you not familiar with Me-Made-May, it's an event initiated by Zoe from So, Zo... and it involves wearing something you made for the entire duration of the month.)

I was going to do a strictly me-made month, but I now feel the need to be more realistic, so I'll be wearing something I made four days per week only. If I can do more, that's great, but if not, that's OK*. My goals with this challenge are to:

- Celebrate the clothes I've sewn for myself and the hard work I've put into it. Try to see the imperfections of the garments as a testimony, or a reminder, of a lesson learned, rather than a source of self-reprimand. After all, if the garment is still in my closet it means there's more positive than negative to it. Focus on what's working, rather than what's not working -- see the glass as half full!

- Reflect on style and the sewing choices I've made so far. How are the clothes working for my lifestyle -- practically and aesthetically? How is my quest for personal style coming along? Do I feel that my self-stitched wardrobe is representing me -- my personality & my worldview?

- Up my game in self-care on a day-to-day basis. I work from home, so I have zero incentive to dress well and make any special efforts in that respect. Why bother, when I'm going to be spending the day translating alone in my dark and humid basement? BECAUSE IT MAKES ME FEEL GOOD. In a effort to separate work and home life more clearly, I'll be giving the following routine a try this month: Wake up, put on my self-made outfit, do hair and make-up as if I'm going to the office. Take picture for MMM'13. Go out and walk to the nearby Tim Horton's. Get coffee. Come back home "to my office". Now I'm working.

Having established what I aim to achieve this month, I would like to kick off this year's MMM'13 with my most popular garment of all time: the Grannysmith Blouse.

Happy Me-Made-May everyone!

* Oh, and for your blogging sanity, I will be grouping all my outfits in one post at the end of the week. 
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