Monday, December 29, 2008

Christmas sewing and street style

Well I finally came down with the flu, full-on this time.  I've had small bouts of illness over the winter but Saturday night I started feeling a bit icky and woke up yesterday with a fever and aches and cough and all the rest.  I felt bad enough to stay home from work today though I'll be back tomorrow regardless.

I have to say though that having the Macbook makes being sick so much better!  I watched documentaries all day yesterday when I wasn't napping, and most of today, and I didn't even
 have to move out of bed or off the couch.  And there's a bonus: it keeps me toasty warm.  Very crucial with the flu.

Anyhow I was lucky to get sick after Xmas instead of before, and though I didn't have time to sew everything I wanted to for gifts I got the most important ones done.  Couple weeks before Christmas I cut out the pieces for several small boxy zipper bags and not quite so many shopping bags. 

 I organized all the materials into their own ziploc bags as I do for my projects, and as you can see to the right.  

Then I gradually sewed them up, finishing 2 shopping bags and 1 zipper bag in time for Christmas Day, and getting some others started to send out late or give as gifts throughout the year.

Today I felt marginally better and although I slept most of the day I also did some web 
surfing and online shopping.  First I poked around on in their section on beauty icons, mostly from the past, which I love for finding retro looks and beautiful old photos of starlets and divas of yore.

I am also interested in street fashion blogs, and I rediscovered the Sartorialist and Facehunter and also found links in another blog (can't remember now which) to a blog on stylish older people called Advanced Style which is fab!  I wanted to find some street style from Eastern
 Europe, preferably Warsaw, Prague, or Budapest, but haven't had any luck yet.  
I love that Eastern style, so chic and sort of world weary especially in the winter time, but I haven't seen any street fashion blogs based in those cities exclusively.  I found one or two Moscow sites, but they seem younger or more party-scene-oriented than I prefer.  I also like this Copenhagen blog, but it doesn't seem to have as frequent postings as some.

One of the things I bought was a wrap sweater from Target, as seen here.  My only reservation about it is that I am most likely to wear it when it's cold out, obviously, and I don't know how I can wear a jacket over it very well.  I was hoping to find some images of folks pulling it off but couldn't so far, so if anyone has suggestions please let me know!

Sunday, December 07, 2008


I thought I had posted about this already, but on
 second look it seems not.  While I was procrastinating working on my wedding dress, I decided there was no possible way I could work on something so darn important until I spent, oh, like 10 hours shopping for organizing supplies and then another 5 or so using those supplies to organize my entire sewing area.  Yay!
Now this of course was classic procrastination and avoidance, but it really turned out to be a good idea and made it a lot easier to do the dress--and all my sewing--when I finally got around to it.  which was of course mere days before the wedding itself, but that's no longer important.

I like seeing other people's systems for organizing themselves, so I took some pictures to post here for anyone else who shares my obsession.  Of course it's all very messy again by now, since I've actually been using the space, but for a few brief shining moments it was perfect as pictured here.

The top picture shows the thread holder I hung up above my cutting table which also holds my sewing machine.  I put various zippers, bias tape, hem tape, lace, and ribbon in zip lock bags which I also hung on the extra pegs, and 2 clipboards on the bottom row of pegs to hold pattern instructions for easy reference as I cut or sew.

the bottom picture is of peg board which I hung to the right of the sewing table for all my scissors and rulers and tape measures, etc.  I also left space at the top for zip lock bags with unfinished projects, though I hope to eventually cut back on those by, you know, finishing them.  Or giving up and getting rid of some which I've already done.

Under the table, where you can't see it all, is a laundry basket with mending, a shopping bag with scraps, and some cutting mats and other things too big to hang elsewhere.

vintage buttons

On the Saturday after Thanksgiving I went to Calistoga for the day with my friend L. She is not a sewer like me, but she has many obscure interests, and she was a very good companion for the day as it turns out because one of the best things we did, besides drink margaritas and then hang out in the hot tub at Calistoga Spa, was to shop in little antique stores and clothing resale shops.  

I'm pretty sure there are very few people in my life besides L. who would be willing to spend as much time as we did looking at vintage buttons. We went shopping around, and this one really fabulous consignment shop drew us in with promises of sequined caftans and rhinestone clip on earrings and gold lame turbans, but kept us there with a wall of vintage buttons to peruse!

The clothes and accessories were awesomely flashy, just like the kind of things that I could see my dear old Mamaw and her twin Mildred going ga-ga over.  They're no longer with us, but I like referring to them as the Glamor Twins of Marlow, Oklahoma.  They used to wear matching outfits that included plenty of gold lame, normally in the form of appliqued sweatshirts, and they carried gold mesh cigarette cases and wore gold lame wedge mule shoes with clear lucite rhinestoned uppers.  

That was the kind of stuff they had in this shop.  Unfortunately it was all
 either too expensive or too small or too incongruous for me to buy (where would I wear a lame turban?  hm, not quite sure), but we did find vintage buttons that I was interested in, as well as some belt slides (or they could be scarf holders, not sure  yet).

When we told our friends, even our most fabulous friends, that we spent almost an hour pawing happily through old buttons they looked at us like we were insane.  But I don't care.  

I have plans for most of the buttons, as you can see from the fabric that they are pictured with here, and will post more about it all as I get around to it.  I already started on the card print dress which will have the red buttons on it.  That one is a Burda pattern that I've made once before in a cheetah print. 

The wooden ones will go on the pictured plaid, probably in a 1960s or 70s vintage shirtdress pattern I've been hoarding for a little while now.  I'll have more to say about the card print dress, and maybe a couple of other projects I've started planning, in the next post.