Monday, March 15, 2010

Jumping in with both feet: vintage sewing patterns

I can "sew". I use irony-quotes because I can:
1) hem things really poorly
2) sew on a button
3) execute poorly on my grandiose ideas

Some failed projects have led me to lately realize that I need to stop inflicting myself on fabric and start actually paying attention to what I'm doing, as well as try to build my technique. Ironing down seam allowances? Using the correct stitch on my machine? Checking the tension? These are all things that are soon to be a part of my sewing-future, probably along with alot of other time-tested bits of sewing wisdom that I've been ignoring.

So, nothing like jumping in with both feet, right? Goals are made to break you, right? Since I have scant experience sewing with a pattern, I decided to not only get a pattern to sew with, but to buy a vintage pattern! That's several inches too small for my measurements! Yay for me!

Here's the object of my affection:

(from - specializes in larger vintage patterns!)

I've been inspired reading Gertie's New Blog for Better Sewing, and Anna, the owner of the BootyVintage shop, also passed me a few links on how to upsize patterns. I also have a willing friend (hi Jen! Hi!) to help. It takes a village to shoehorn this ass into a vintage dress, but it is going to happen.

Updates to come - I'm still waiting on the pattern to arrive in the mail.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Complainy blogging makes me feel bad, but produces a great skirt.

A little bit back I posted about the high-waisted skirt I got from Jibrionline. Even though I was cautiously happy about the skirt, it didn't arrive completely as pictured and I needed to get it altered a tad to fit. The wonderful Jasmine, owner/purveyor of Jibrionline, read my review and comments and offered to make me a new skirt for free! And let me keep the original! I was amazed!

So, the skirt arrived last week and I couldn't wait to wear it. At her suggestion, I picked the awesome mustard color since I did technically already have it in black. It fit perfectly out of the box, and is a heavy material so it isn't transparent even though the color is light.

I would recommend it 100x, it is an awesome skirt! Alot of the issues I had with my last skirt are solved - I got her to shorten it a little, there is gathering into the waistband, the material feels less tableclothy due to the gathers and shorter length, and the waistband fit me perfectly. In Jasmine's words:

"small designers definitely like the constructive criticism. We are at a place where we can actually hear from our clients....the beginning! :)"

Without further ado, wrinkly from the package:

Tank: Old Navy xl
sandals: target, 11, last year

And to warm it up a bit, since it's still winter here:

Side view:

Close-up of tee and necklace:

With coat:

Tee: value village, marked a 2x "st john's bay", $2!!!
necklace: from $1 bin at fremont farmer's market, inspired by this eshakti one
boots: target kady
coat: target merona 2x, earlier this season

I'm so pleased I found that awesome floral tee! Just another notch in favor of shopping at the value village.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Old Navy clearance dress, eShakti review

Here's some stuff I've been wearing lately.

I gathered the ruffle with a brooch, here's what the dress looks like without:

Dress: Old Navy (has been on clearance for dog's years, only $15!) - 1x
Brooch: $1 bin, fremont farmer's market
cardigan: kersh, xl

The dress runs pretty true to ON plus sizing. It's a soft modal type jersey, kind of sheer though, but it hits me just at the lower knee (and I'm about 5'8"). I really like the ruffle, which is only in the front, so I can wear cardigans without it bunching weirdly in the back. I am also looking forward to using different brooches and different gathers (off centered, forming a twist/rosette thingy, etc) to change the look. Not a bad way to spend $15!

And here's the eShakti dress that I posted about awhile back ... of which I went to grab the current link, but it isn't on their site anymore.

Dress, eShakti, size 20W
Cardigan: kersh, xl
boots: target kady, size 11
necklace: a gift from husband
kneesocks: american apparel over the knee white cableknit

I died over this dress, with its huge functional buttons and pinup/summery feel. I'll say the execution was a little lacking in making it plus sized, but it was fixable. The straps were way too long, making the dress saggy and too low cut. I took them up a little (about 2.5 inches) and it fit much better, except the boob part isn't big enough and cuts me off a little. It's not tight or uncomfy, just kind of funny looking from the side. I even went up a size with my bra measurement hoping they'd get it right, but oh well!

The good thing is, I also went up two inches on my height to try to get the skirt to be longer without paying the customization fee, and it totally worked! That may have been one of the reasons why I had to take the straps up, but it was worth it.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Boots for big calves

I think I wore boots nearly every day this winter. Not because it was super cold, in fact, the winter here in Seattle was one of the warmest on record, but because boots are AWESOME.

I despaired of finding any boots that would fit my 18"ish calves (most boots come with a top circumference of 15" or so), but then I found some awesome ones that were mid-calf and cut at a slant at Target. They don't have them anymore, or I would post a link, but I seriously wore those brown Target "Kady" boots every day for months. I also own them in black.

(just a handful of the 100 or so pics I have of me wearing them:)

They are wearing out, but luckily I found and snagged the last size 11 pair at a random Target in Florida when we were visiting Bob's folks over Christmas :). I packed those suckers in my carry on, alongside the identical worn-down pair. I'm sure the security folks thought I was crazy. But these? Not your average cheapo pleather boots (or "vegan leather" as I've heard fake leather called). These fit my calves. They are worth a little neurosis.

I added to my boot collection last month when I bought these beauties:

They are Miz Mooz brand "Marissa" boots, size 10. They run a full size too big, so I bought them a size smaller than I normally wear. They are honestly hard to zip, but they do fit my calves and are comfy to wear all day. I love the buttons, they feel so victorian and kind of steampunky but also very feminine. Also, there is tons of room in the toe box. I would recommend these to anyone that has calves at or smaller than 18". Note that these are not "wide calf" boots, and that the description on most of the online shoe shops list the circumference as much smaller than 18", but they really do fit me. I wouldn't have known they fit me unless I saw and tried them on at a little boutique that a friend recommended called Kick It. The owner, Angela, was a darling and helped me try on lots of boots until we found some that fit my calves. I was overjoyed. I probably should reserve such intense feelings for, you know, relationships with people and my husband... but finding a pair of boots that fit me? at a regular store? while shopping with my girlfriends? That just never happens to me. So, inappropriate level of joy be damned, I was happy.

Add to this one pair of cowboy boots that I bought at a real live cowboy store in Austin Texas (as my coworker stayed in the car, stating that "this is where fashion comes to die"), and you have my entire boot collection:

Boots are awesome, like I said. So, if you've got great big calves like I do, try these brands: Miz Mooz, Lumiani, and Ros Hommerson. They either run wide or come in wide calf!

Happy booting.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Upcoming posts!

Hi all! Apologies for my longer-than-expected absence. You know, work, life, stuff gets in the way. I have been wearing adorable outfits and documenting them when possible, so there will be some upcoming OOTDs.

Also, look forward to a review of some eShakti items that I received, as well as a review of the first ever item I've received free as a result of my blogging!

(if anyone from an online plus size retailer is reading this, you can send me free clothes too! I will review them!)

And so this is not completely devoid of pictures.... the life of Rebecca isn't all cute outfits. Sometimes you gotta wash the clothes.

I refuse to confirm if those are my pink stripy underpants very prominently in the front.
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