Saturday, November 09, 2019

12 Months 12 Outfits - November

I am way ahead of normal this month...because I didn't actually sew or make anything.   But that works out well, since my sewing time is pretty much consumed with costuming at this point (I will have a post on that...eventually, lol).  But I would not have made this stuff in any case.

If you recall, this month is Outerwear month. I knew it was coming and I debated over what I would do.  I kinda thought I'd just use the trench coat; after all, I used it in the SWAP collection and it worked really well with everything; I had the whole deal to go with it.  BUT...I have needed a new WARM, semi-dressy winter coat for years; I've just kept making do with the old one that had a broken zipper and looked dingy.

If nothing else, this exercise has pushed me....more than once...to buckle down and add something to the closet that I had been postponing...mostly because I wanted to lose weight, lol.

So. Anyway.  I gave up looking for the perfect coat and got a coat from Lands' End that, while not elegant, will keep me warm in Alabama's coldest days.  We get very cold days...but the cold spells don't last long.  More like 3 - 5 days of really cold weather, and then we're back up into mild temps...or at least, mild compared to where I grew up.  Single digits happen (rarely, yes, but they do happen!), sometimes with below-zero windchills, so I need a warm coat for those situations. They happened to have a 50% off outerwear sale going on, so I feel like it was a good time to get it.  I downloaded a picture...they didn't have any of JUST the coat without a person in it...and then just today discovered that it was a very small, low resolution picture.  Tried to get another one, but LE apparently sold out of the coat and the image is gone.  So I'm putting the picture in this month's outfit slide, but I'm not going to try to squeeze it into the wardrobe collection.  It's a black coat. LOL.

You will notice I didn't add a hat; I have a black beret that I could throw in, but the coat has a hood.  Between the scarf and the hood, I didn't think a hat was necessary.  The gloves are  from some past offering at Lands' End...I know that from the tag, but I honestly can't remember if I bought them or if I got them for Christmas.  The scarf is a sentimental thing; it was hand crocheted for me by one of the girls in the high school class I taught at church for a season a few years back.  She worked on it in class, while we were having our discussions, and then gave it to me for Christmas.   The boots are definitely for wearing in the weather; from Propet via Zappos;  there's room enough for some substantial socks.  You can bet this stuff will get hauled to northern Indiana next month when we visit.

Here are the accessories to date:

When I started this journey, I planned to use royal blue as much as possible for the accessories and accents.  Red has been MUCH easier to source...

I haven't changed the garment slide, since I'm not putting the pitiful coat picture in , but just for a reminder, here are the garments I have so far:



One month left...wow...


Monday, November 04, 2019

Thinking about next year....

In the home stretch of the 12-months-12-outfits challenge, I'm finding myself thinking about next year.

I have a scarf that has colors in it that I would like to use to make an entirely different sort of wardrobe than I have this year but I don't think I want to do the full on 12 months.  I just don't think I need to add that many more shoes and bags to the closet, lol.  Maybe I could pick six outfits through the year and add them? The colors in the scarf are navy, gray, white, turquoise and jade...I think it would be lovely, to be honest, but I'd have SUCH  time finding those shades of turquoise and green...The white I already have from this year, and I have a fair amount of navy and gray already in the closet.  So I would pretty much just be adding the accent colors.  It appeals to me because I think my favorites of the wardrobes Janice creates every year are the ones with the soft gray in them...even though this year's gray, with the orange and coral, wouldn't suit me, I still like the aesthetic.

The SWAP rules have been announced over at Stitcher's Guild (note to self...send in that yearly membership fee!!!).  I'm just not feeling SWAPish this year...and I think it's because I've basically done a year-long SWAP and I'm kinda ready to be at least a LITTLE spontaneous.  Plus, this year includes a 'stretch' challenge...as in, work on a technique that is new to you, or that you need to improve.  While that's certainly a worthy goal, it doesn't fit with my concept of SWAP...which is from the original Australian Stitches magazine and involved using TNT patterns and planning your sewing so that you created all 11 new garments in about two weekends worth of sewing.  Hard to sew fast when you're working at perfecting a new or tricky technique or pattern or working with new fabric or whatever that 'stretch' goal is.  Not to say it won't work for the contest; the SWAPs over the years have evolved and they are no longer the 'use a TNT pattern and sew fast' variety anyway.  With 4+ months for sewing, there's lots of opportunity for folks to create wonderful stuff.  But my past history has shown that I. can't. finish...unless I'm using TNT's.  So I will cheer from the sidelines this year...and sew for fun, maybe.

So...no SWAP, but maybe a scaled back version of the 12 months exercise.

On the other side of the Christmas Production costuming, which has started.

I have some Angel outfits that I'm working on...unlike any Angels we've used before.  But that's a story for another day. ;-)

Saturday, November 02, 2019

12 Months 12 Outfits...November Assignment

Janice posted the November outfit selections yesterday; no surprise; she's included a coat virtually every November since she started doing the series.

Let me tell you about my winter coat.  When The Princess was in 5th grade, my sister in law gave her a hand-me-down down coat.  It was too big for The Princess and she didn't really care for it; after a couple of years of it hanging in the closet, I tried it on...and lo and behold, it fit me pretty well.


Conservatively speaking, that was 20ish years ago.

It's a beige-y color that doesn't suit me well, but, you know, we don't have a lot of BITTER cold weather here so I only really wore it during the coldest days.

The zipper broke several years back; it's a below-knee coat with a one-way zipper, so it got a lot of stress. The tape behind the bottom anchor tab just shredded and the thing came off, along with the slider.

I made do with the buttons.

It's picked up some stains here and there...not bad ones, just enough to make the beige look more dingy.  It really needed replacing.

But I did like the vertical quilting; it was about as slimming as a puffer coat could be.

But, y'all, it was way beyond needing replacement.

So, prodded by the 'add a coat to the wardrobe' requirement for this month, I opened up my trusty Lands' End page and discovered that they had coats on sale for 50% off.

I waffled.  I put a coat in the bag and got cold feet and logged out.

LE sent me an email to remind me I had something waiting check out.

That process repeated itself for two days, y'all, before I finally just steeled myself and ordered it.

It's not at all flattering, I'm sure, but it will be warm.  It will zip.  Hopefully...it will fit, lol.

I have boots and a hat; probably have gloves as well.  And there is a scarf I could use, if I want.

So, no sewing is likely this month, either.  But that's probably a good thing; costuming work has finally started for the church Christmas production...and we are not having folks jumping up to volunteer. So my sewing plate will be full anyway.

OH...I had better go download a pic of the coat, just to make sure I have it when I'm ready to do the post, lol.


Tuesday, October 29, 2019

12 Months 12 Outfits - October Outfit



If you want to refresh your memory , here's what Janice picked out for her hypothetical owners of exquisite Hermes scarves....

So, I've managed to hang in there another month, lol.  It was dicey; I didn't sew anything, although I did make the necklace.  Caught a sale at Lands' End and added some red to the wardrobe:


I have learned my lesson; if I order something from Lands' End, I need to download the photo immediately; they pull the pictures of sold out stock way faster than I thought they did.  Anyway, I have a red plaid shirt that I actually wore to work today...and, while it fits pretty well, if I had made it I would have positioned the buttons differently.  Like, so one of the buttons would have been right at the line of the full bust.  Sigh.   It is actually a good match for the sweater; the blouse looks darker, due to lighting, and the sweater looks lighter, because, well, probably lighting, lol.    The jeans are standard blue denim (despite the dark picture) boot cut jeans...from the Lee outlet down the road.  

I didn't put my crossbody -strapped wallet in the set after all; I bought the back pack from Amazon earlier this year and I've been carrying it for a couple of weeks.  It's the PERFECT size.  Finally.  I've been squeezing my stuff in a just-barely-big-enough backpack for ages.  I probably need to invest in a true crossbody bag that that would hold more than my phone and my checkbook.  Someday.  This is working well enough for now.

The necklace, well, there is a story there.  I have mentioned that My Sweet Babboo is part of a frontiersman's reenactment-type group; one of the things he's been sort of interested in and slowly accumulating is trade beads.  About a month ago,  a set of about a dozen or so ceramic trade beads he'd ordered arrived in the mail.  They were really cool; denim blue, with a spiral white viney pattern around a rope spiral pattern  in white, red and royal blue.  They were huge...about 1 1/2 to 1 3/4 inches long.

I managed to beg three beads off of him....and put together the long necklace with some red glass and lapis beads from Hobby Lobby.  It might look better with a leather cord, but it's ok with the chain.  Took me a couple of evenings to put the bead sections together.  It was nothing to add the chain.  Since it's so long, I didn't have to add a clasp.  It works well with the sweater; I thought the necklace needed to be rather hefty to not get lost in the texture.  This one certainly came out hefty! 

So, with two months to go, here is the wardrobe to date:


I am really hoping I can squeeze the last two months on the slides, lol!

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

12 Months 12 Outfits - October Assignment



So, here we are at mid-October and I am just now getting around to discussing the wardrobe picks Janice posted 2 weeks ago

I have been THINKING about it a lot...as we've been driving around and spending our weekends places other than home.

That makes it really, really difficult to get any sewing done, y'all.

So, the October outfits are, in a nutshell,  a pair of pants (ranging from funky to corduroy to denim), a button-up shirt (mostly dress white shirts, but there are a couple of plaids in the mix), a pullover sweater, a crossbody or shoulder bag and a necklace (no feetwear this time!).

But Janice did say that she considered each wardrobe...and what it, individually, needed.

So I'm kind of using that as my basis.

I'm going to go with jeans as my pants for this go round; I don't have any listed in the wardrobe and they will just be pulled from the closet.  As will my cross-body bag...smallish thing that's actually a wallet with a long strap. Actually, that's just going to get pulled outta my everyday bag; I carry it as a wallet but sometimes pull it out and just wear it as a crossbody if I'm just making a quick run somewhere. I have LOTS of options for a necklace. So that leaves me with the sweater and the shirt.  Or some kind of equivalent.

Now, I have a crew-neck pullover sweater that I think would go with the color scheme well.  But...y'all, they have turned off the chiller at work and now we are, um, warm.  By the time it's full on winter and the boiler is going full blast it will be a sauna.  I could pull the sweater from the shelf and put it with the wardrobe for non-work-related wearing, but...is there something I would wear more often if I had it?

Likewise the button up shirt.  I have two white shirts in the wardrobe already...one rather casual and one quite business like.  Should I add another shirt?  A pattern of some sort...or, maybe just a black button up?  I have been wanting to add  a black shirt to my closet for a while and even have some fabric stashed to do it. It wouldn't go with the sweater I have in mind, but it might go with another one.  Or I could find a patterned fabric and sew a shirt that would go with the sweater.

But what I don't have is time.  The running around hasn't quite ended and the costume sewing for the Christmas production is about to kick into gear.  My sewing time for the rest of the year is likely going to be consumed by costuming.

So, what shall I do for this month?

I'm thinking, I'm thinking....

Sunday, October 06, 2019

12 Months 12 Outfits -- September

Oy.  I know it's October 6th; I've been out of town.  I had the whole outfit well before Sept 30; but this has been a CRAA-- ZEE fall and I've had problems getting pictures, let alone posting them., lol.

So, anyway, just to refresh your memory,  HERE is the link to the outfits Janice picked for September based on the selected Hermes scarves.

And, here is my interpretation thereof:



The actual new additions to the wardrobe are the flannel shirt and the stretch corduroy pants, both purchased on clearance from Lands' End in mid-September.  But I was so short on time when I purchased them that I didn't download the website images...and when I tried to do so today, I found that those particular selections are both sold out and no images available.  So I had to do the ol' hanger shot.  And, as per usual, the colors did not come out true.  The corduroy pants look navy but they are a deep royal blue...pretty much a dead match for the darker color in the scarf, which is a wool burnout from Novica (also sold out) and was my travel scarf to keep me warm on the airplane flight to Israel earlier this year.  The pants had to be shortened 3"; I have learned that, while Lands' End petite pants fit well when they arrive...it's not too long before they have shrunk to high water stage.  So I ordered regular inseam length and washed these first, then shortened them.  It was the only sewing I did on this grouping, lol.  The down vest is at least a year...maybe two...old; I've had the lined leather gloves several years.  The short boots were purchased on sale at the end of last winter to replace my previous short boots that popped a rivet on a decorative button.

So, here's the total collection now; I split it into two slides as I was having to make the individual pictures just too small to fit on one:

I will weigh in with my thoughts on the October outfits in the next day or two.


Tuesday, October 01, 2019

A Long Time Ago in a Galaxy Far, Far Away....

(I have my September outfit but I don't have pics yet. It's not terribly exciting...the only sewing I did was hemming a pair of pants.  So while I wait for the opportunity to get pictures made, here's a story for you).

42 years ago Luke Skywalker was given a lightsaber and took off across the galaxy to fight the Empire for freedom and a bit of revenge.

There was an 18 year old girl in Indiana who happened to go watch his adventure late in July and was completely swept away by the story.  She wanted to grab a lightsaber  and go fight the Empire as well.

Nevermind that she was susceptible to motion sickness and threw up on airplanes.  Details.

She went back to see it again in less than a week.  Whoever heard of going to a movie theater to see the same movie TWICE!

Well, that movie played in some theaters for a solid year.  One was walking distance of the university she moved to about a month later, and that theater was a tired little place that charged a dollar.

One. Dollar.

By the time the one-year anniversary rolled around, she'd seen the movie on the big screen about a dozen times.

She could drop the needle anywhere on one of the two LP's in the soundtrack and tell you what was happening in the movie at that point.

She wrote fan fiction.  Never finished it, but she wrote it.

She had the bug but bad.

For the first movie.   The second and third movies...yeah, repeated viewings of those, but not quite as many as the first.

Years later, when the extended versions were released to theaters, she took her kids and felt a  little bummed that Han, Luke and Leia still looked the same.  She sure didn't.

A new trilogy came out...and she watched the first movie, confusingly called 'Episode 1' even though it was the 4th movie, once, and would climb on a soapbox and rail at the obvious plot manipulation.  She didn't even see movies five and six.   (Deletes small rant).

But she loved the Original Trilogy. And, while the third trilogy has its issues (don't get me started on the Bridge of Solo's Doom), the starquesting 18 year old geek has awoken.

And, now there's an actual place where that 18 year old finally has the chance to grab a lightsaber and hop on the Millennium Falcon.

She's still there,  deep in the recesses of the 60 year old lady who didn't take nearly enough pictures that day.

May the Force be with you.

:-D