Tag Archives: sewing

I’ve worn some clothes lately

I’m having difficulty keeping up with things like blogs and Etsy and such this summer. Work has been crazy and draining, leaving me with little energy for much else in the evenings. I’m starting to get back on track, so today I have a few outfits to share. I’ve even felt like my fashion game has been lack lustre, so I’m glad that I’ve been able to throw together a few gooders lately. 

I’ll start with an outfit that, as I took the pictures, I thought “I can’t believe I’m taking pictures like this that I know I’m going to blog about – I look pretty lazy!”. I took these photos before running out the door to a belly dance practice one night. I really wanted to wear the pants and hadn’t photographed them yet, so I decided to take pictures right then, with unstyled hair and little makeup!

burda pantsThe pants I made myself from an old Burda pattern. The fabric is from a huge collection that a crafty friend gave me a few years ago when she was downsizing. The shirt is a PJ top from Joe Fresh that I bought to wear as “day clothes”, not as PJs. 

I love these pants a LOT, but given where I live, I get all the weird looks when I’m out. It really makes me just want to wear them more! I need to make more in different colours and fabrics now! If you want super comfy pants, make or buy some pantaloons! 

In additional Fabric Friends Gave Me news…

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I got the fabric for this skirt from another friend who hosted a craft supply swap in the spring. This skirt is so full and bright and obnoxious and I LOVE IT. I also made the blouse from some $5/m crepe. In this midst of making it, I found a little lace applique and thought I needed a little breast pocket, which needed a little lace. 

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This outfit is so simple, yet I really love it. I had been looking for a black and white striped top for ages, but couldn’t ever find one that was just right. Finally, on a recent trip to Denver (more on that in a future post!), I found one in my first ever foray into the Gap. I don’t shop at the Gap because I find their clothes way too overpriced for how plain they are. But they were having a sale, and US retail has WAY better prices/sales than Canada, so I figured I’d go in and check it out. I got this top for like $12, so score! I was also pleasantly surprised to find that I could totally fit into Gap clothes. Next time they’re having a sale and I need some basics, it might be worth it to check them out again. 

The pants are by the ever-stylish Sears brand Jessica (size 18) and the shoes are size 10, shitty, from Target and totally falling apart after 2 months. 

Lastly, in this self indulgent post to end all self indulgent posts, is my favourite outfit of late. I wore this to go to the art gallery yesterday. 

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Pants: Tripp NYC, 18 //  Purple polka dot cami: Torrid, size 1 // Lace tank: I don’t even know. Sears maybe? 1X // Jean Jacket: Old Navy, 2X  // Leopard brooch: made myself  // Wristlet clutch: Vera Bradley (my favourite discovery while state-side)  //  Necklace: amethyst amulet that I got at a crystal sale and strung onto a chain  // glasses: Derek Cardigan // headwrap: bandana from a clothing swap among belly dancers last year. 

I’ve really been into wearing Rosie the Riveter style headwraps lately. Especially the one in these photos. My eyeliner game is pretty fierce there too. 

I bought some more fabric in the states too that I want to sew up soon and share. 

What have you been wearing lately? What’s your favourite accessory or “look” right now? 

 

Take care of each other!

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An Update

Oh dear, it’s been almost exactly 7 months since my last post! It was a hard winter for me, which bled into the spring and part of summer. I had the usual winter/early spring depression that left me feeling unmotivated and uninspired to do anything but the bare minimum. I visited with a friend the other day who always inspires me to put more creativity and art into my life and it made me want to get back to the blog!

I’ve gone on lots of adventures, made some cool things and wore some neat outfits. I’m not going to post everything from the last 7 months here because my life isn’t that interesting. But I do have a few things.

First up, Almond “Florentines”!

My mom used to make these all the time and referred to them as Almond Florentines. I had a bunch of graham crackers left over and wanted to make some. A quick Google search indicated that she didn’t really make Almond Florentines as they’re traditionally known. This is more like a simplified version. They’re delicious and tres facile.

Ingredients:

1 cup of butter

1/2 cup of brown sugar, lightly packed

Graham crackers

Slivered almonds

Directions:

Pre-heat oven to 180C. Line a cookie sheet with aluminum foil and the set down a layer of graham crackers.

In a saucepan, melt the butter and add the sugar. I used 1 cup of butter, but ended up with extra butter/sugar left over. You might want to use something between 3/4 and 1 cup.  Stirring constantly, let butter/sugar boil for 2 minutes.

Pour the butter mixture over the crackers, completely covering them. Sprinkle with almonds and put in the oven for 10 minutes. I put mine in for about 5 minutes, then turned the oven off and let the pan sit in the oven for the next 5 minutes. The oven is just setting everything, not really cooking.

IMG_0001When you take the pan out of the oven, the butter mixture will still be very liquidy. You might think it’s not done.

IT’S DONE, TRUST ME. But it’s also very hot. Put it on the stove top or counter and walk away for an hour.

No, seriously, walk away. Don’t touch it. It’s too hot and not ready to be enjoyed yet. You’re just going to burn yours-

I told you not to touch it, didn’t I?

After the hour is up, you’ll come back and your little cookies will have this lovely smooth candy coating on them. You can just break a cookie or five off and enjoy!

IMG_0002So tasty and delicious, you’ll have to try hard not to eat the whole pan in one night!

 

Also while going through my photos tonight, I was reminded of the totally awesome cat sweater I bought in the spring!

 

cat sweaterOutfit details:

Sweater – Target, XL // Skirt and rain jacket – made by me // Tights – JoeFresh, C  // Blouse (collar) – Zellers, XL // Shoes – Target, 10 // Glasses – Derek Cardigan

LETS ALL MARVEL AT HOW THE CAT ON MY SWEATER HAS THE SAME GLASSES AS I DO.

I’ve got a headboard tutorial planned and am also working on several sewing projects right now, so hopefully I can get some updates posted soon. But for now, those florentines aren’t going to eat themselves.

Take care of each other!

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Ugly Christmas Sweater, 2.0

Last night, I got home from work and decided that although I already had 3 projects I was in the middle of knitting, none of my gifts were wrapped and I still had a gift to make, I definitely needed to make a dress right then.

I’ve had this ugly-ass fabric in my closet for years. Every once in a while I pull it out and drape in over myself in various ways, thinking “do I dare?”

Screen shot 2013-12-19 at 10.39.09 PMIt’s “nordic print”, which I generally find ugly, but with bonus teddy bears! Extra eye-bleeding, hard to look at nonsense!

So I laid it out and started cutting. In a few hours, I had this:

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It turned out super cute, as far as I’m concerned. I got a million compliments on it at work today. It has pockets, is super comfy and basically feels like I’m wearing my jammies all day.

I’m really in love with this collar:

IMG_0004I threw some vintage buttons on there at the last minute for a bit of decoration and really like them.

I’ve wanted to make something with a collar like this for a while but was afraid of it. Turns out, this collar is dead easy. So I foresee more dresses like this in my future. Maybe not as loud as this one, but we’ll see. I still have a good 2 metres left of this fabric that I’m trying to figure out what to do with.

For now, I definitely have to spend the weekend finishing up gifts and wrappings them. And of course celebrating the solstice!

Happy Yule, Solstice, Christmas and whatever else you’re into!

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It’s Almost the Best Day of the Year!

I love Autumn, and more specifically, Hallowe’en. As such, I end up being so busy in September and October that I don’t have time to update the blog!

I’ve been up to my ears in costuming – for myself, for friends and fellow burlesque/belly dancers. Usually because of this, I’m all Hallowe’ened out by time I actually get to October 31st. This year though, I was able to pull some stuff from my closet and some pieces from a recent burlesque performance to put together a witch costume.

This is the first time I’ve ever dressed up as a witch. It seems like a pretty mundane costume, but growing up with my mom and grandma being seamstresses and later myself, I always had interesting costumes. Some of the homemade things I’ve been over the years are:

The Statue of Liberty

A pop can

A magician’s rabbit (with the bottom half of me being an upside down top hat)

A zombie ER nurse

The Rumor from Umbrella Academy

As well as Big Bird, a bear, a butterfly, a fairy, a pirate (3 times) and a cat (3 times).

Last night I was going to a play that SaskArtGirl was in and it was a costumes-encouraged event. I threw some stuff together and said “Hey, lookit me! I’m a witch”.

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The blouse, skirt and petticoat I made for various other projects (the skirt for belly dance, the petticoat for my regular wardrobe and the blouse for a pirate burlesque piece). The underbust corset I got at Taboo last year. Hat is from Target, socks are from Sock Dreams and the boots are Steve Madden. The necklace came from a vendor at a belly dance show a few years ago.

There was a little costume competition at intermission and I won first prize! (This is the 4th costume contest I’ve won. See – studying costume design in university DID pay off! sigh…)

Screen shot 2013-10-26 at 10.54.44 PMI won 2 tickets to the Regina Little Theatre’s One-Act Plays Cabaret in the Spring, 2 tickets to any regular season production and a bowl of candies!

Tonight I made a wreath for my apartment door. I have some new neighbours who are kind of jerks, so I hope this wreath doesn’t grow legs and walk away..

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I didn’t have a foam base to start on and I’m stuuuupid-broke right now, so I had to work with what I had around the house. I found a tutorial to make a wreath with rolled up pieces of newspaper, so I did that and wrapped masking tape around it. Then I wrapped black and white broadcloth around it and the green ribbon. I had a papier-mache  skull in the closet that I painted black (because I’m the kind of person that just has ready-to-paint skulls and coffins kicking around…). I finished it off with a black lace bow. I have to say I’m pretty impressed!

Next up, I’m got a belly dance costume to make for the end of November (but sooner that later so I can practice in it), and some new things for the True Knit Art Show on November 9th. The fun never ends! (No really, this is fun. Even when I don’t have time to sleep and my house is falling apart around me…)

I’m hoping to get one more Hallowe’en post in with it being the best day ever and all. Hopefully later this week!

Take care of each other and stay spooky!

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OOTD: I Love This Dress!

I made this dress just before my vacation, but my skin was out of control and I didn’t want to take any pictures! It’s cleared up a bit now, so here ya go:

red dress 3 The fabric doesn’t photograph well, but it actually has tiny white microdots on it.

I made the dress from a composite of 3 patterns and sizes. The shoes are Alegria and glasses are  Derek Cardigan. I have a bit of money left in my work benefits for glasses/contacts for the year, and there’s a new pair of glasses I found that really want. I’m just waiting to see if Clearly Contacts holds a sale of some kind and then I’ll probably order them.

This is currently my favourite dress (even if it did blow right over my head while leaning into my car this afternoon!).  I wore it to meet a friend for coffee tonight, even though I got pen on the skirt at work  and should’ve taken it off to clean it. It’s one of those garments where I just don’t want to take it off! Ever.

I said I was going to go to bed early tonight. And I believe myself every single time I say that!! Currently, I’m working my way through Community on Netflix, so my routine lately has been to get into bed and watch a couple episodes. But then I just keep watching and before I know it it’s 1:30 in the morning! That’s not happening tonight. It’s not.

Take care of each other and go to sleep!

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A Dress Making Machine

I’ve made (finished) 3 dresses in the last week! There was, of course, the previously-blogged zebra dress made for a friend’s wedding, and then I made a darling red & white polka dot dress that I didn’t photograph because my skin is out of control and I felt hideous on the day I wore it. Of  course, after I changed out of that outfit at the end of the day, I thought “dude, you could’ve just photoshopped your skin to look better!” Duh. Next time!

Then, on Saturday, I was at the Folk Festival here in Regina, which is always a great venue for people watching. After looking at all the gorgeous dresses and skirts my fellow festival-goers were wearing, I decided that I really needed a jersey knit maxi dress. It would be the ultimate comfy garment for festivalling. I didn’t have tickets to the main stage acts this year, so I was home around 7 last night. Plenty of time to whip up a dress for Sunday at the festival!

I knew exactly what fabric I wanted to use and knew exactly where it was. So when I got home, I got to work and after just a couple hours, I had a new, comfy dress to wear today!

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Dress has POCKETS because every dress should have pockets, especially when you’re going to an all-day event and need a place to stash money and your phone, while still having it at the ready.

Also: sunglasses! These glasses have been lost all summer and I found them last week in my car (which I had searched 3 times already). I have several pairs of shades, but these are my absolute favourite. I bought them when I was a 15 year old Riot Grrrl, after seeing a picture of Courtney Love wearing ones similar in Spin magazine. For a pair of cheap sunglasses, they’re really held up over the last 18 years!

Folk Fest is now over for another year and I have a wicked sunburn to show for it (I even had sunscreen on!). I guess I’ll have to wear a strapless dress (with a cardigan) to work tomorrow because I really can’t handle straps digging into my red shoulders right now!

I do want to make a new cross-body bag for my holiday yet (because I’m crazy and always need to sew all the things before going on a holiday), so I might update with that later in the week. If not, watch for vacation pictures when I’m back!

Take care of each other and wear sunscreen!

It’s Been a Busy Spring!

And the summer appears to be just as busy!

I checked my last post and it looks like the last time I updated this was on my birthday – April 28. Holy snapdragons!  At least it’s been creative, soul-enhancing things that have kept me away from the blog and not dumb things like work and mental health issues.

I have a few things I’ve made and OOTDs to post, but today I want to do a special OOTD. A belly dance OOTD!

I’ve been belly dancing for about 4.5 years and focussing on ATS (American Tribal Style) for the last 2. The costumes are very involved and very personal, which I love. You start with a good base and just keep adding stuff as you go! The dancers I know are constantly changing, evolving and adding to their costume.

You start with this:

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The pantaloons I made myself, back when I was dancing cabaret bellydance with my group Hellwa (“beautiful” in Arabic). They’re a really fluid satin with 60″ wide legs (yes, I still trip and get tangled up in them all the time!).  The choli (the top), I also made myself. It’s made from panne velvet, with a bit of craft cotton for the elastic casing along the bottom. It’s open in the back and ties to keep it on. This was basically my “practice choli”. I’ll still wear it for performances, but I have some gorgeous turquoise panne that I want to use now that I know how to make it fit well. I also have a scarf and some flowers in my hair, from Ardene’s.

Next step: skirt!

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This skirt is from FlyingSkirts.com. The lower tier has 15 yards of fabric in it. Most of my fellow-dancers wear 25-yard skirts. I’ve also added 2 necklaces: one from a vendor at a belly dance show a few years ago (the short one) and one from the merch table the last time the Belly Dance Superstars were here. The wooden bangle is from a friend.

And then…..

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Fringe, from eBay and a tassel belt. I made the belt from a couple pieces of craft cotton, with heavy interfacing between the layers for stability. Then I added some mirrors and pom-pom trim, as well as the yarn tassels! It was a process, I tell you what. But an addictive process! I already have ideas for a couple more!

And…

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Zills (finger cymbals), some rings and bracelets and a bindhi.

Here’s a detail  of some of the stuff I wear: IMG_0017

 

Clockwise from top: choli chain – old necklace from Avon I pinned into the inside of the hem; wooden bangle – from a friend; spikes – from Aldo; gauntlet – my teacher brought back from India when she was there a couple years ago; stacked purple ring –  Smart Set; Long filligree ring – Torrid.com; big-ass turquoise rock – Ardene; green and silver ring – Lia Sophia; Silver bauble bangle – thrifted; purple bracelet – Smart Set (I don’t usually wear it with tribe stuff, but put it on for this picture); Bodhi seed Buddha bracelet – from a vendor at the Folk Fest last summer. My nails are rather understated – just a light gold french tip – as not a lot  of people wear nail polish in my tribe and I didn’t want to stand out too much with the crazy manicures I usually do. But I couldn’t just leave them plain!

So there you have it! And my costume is stil pretty “intermediate”. The senior dancers at the studio have a ton of other, cool accoutrements and costuming bits from years of collecting. I really wanted to share this though, to show that you don’t need “special” things  or to travel to exotic locations to put together an ATS costume. Most of my stuff is hand made or bought at the mall. I have a couple “authentic” pieces that were brought back from Middle Eastern/North African countries, but for the most part they’re all mundane things that are brought together to make something special.

In the fall, I’m “graduating”, if you will, from my group, Ya Rayah (“the travellers”), to the senior ATS group, Ya La Habibi (“Let’s Go, Sweetheart!”). It’s literally a dream come true to be asked to dance with women I’ve looked up to since I’ve started dancing. I’ve already danced little gigs this spring and summer with them, but I start classes and rehearsals with them “for real” in the fall. Super excited!

I think I might type up a couple entries today and set them on a schedule so I get some posts in this month, in case things get crazy again.

Until next time, be good to each other and keep dancing!