Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Purple Cords and Pretty Hair

Today I did my first attempt at an Edith hair style. Looks pretty good I think!

Looking at her hair, it's neater but also looks longer in the front and shorter in the back. Mine's just the opposite but that's just due to the length my hair is now. I think it'll be a bit closer when my hair's longer.

And here's my purple corduroy 40s jacket! (Simplicity 3688)

I'm very happy with it, though I think I'd make the sleeves a smidge longer next time.

Buttons on pockets with button hole.

Buttons on sleeve with out button holes.

 Inside of bound button holes.

Outside of bound button holes.

Lining-plaid quilting cotton on the body and green garment lining for the sleeves.

 I can't recall if I've ever shared this blouse on the blog before. It's another version of Colette Pattern's Sorbetto with a self-drafted collar and sleeves from Wearing History's Smooth Sailing blouse. I also added self fabric ties at the side seams to give a better shape. The fabric is white with tiny yellow polka dots!

And in case you are wondering, I did snap some pictures in my Edith's black floral blouse too! Check out the facebook page for a sneak peak! (And you might as well like my page while you're there.)

Monday, January 30, 2012


Guess what? I've lost 14 lbs since November! Woohoo!

 May 2009 Wedding weight
(so hard to find a wedding picture where the bouquet is not covering my midsection lol)

I lost a lot of weight in Spring '09 before my wedding. I actually had to stop working out so my wedding dress wouldn't have to be taken in. That summer I lived at school to do my thesis research (my husband was in Iraq) and I lost even more weight because I was feeding myself with just a microwave to cook with (and not getting paid that much!).
October 2009-Right before hubby arrived home

Then my husband came home (yay!) not only did we eat out all the time but when we did eat at home, my husband would make up my plate and give me as much food as he gave himself. And then we rolled right into the holiday season and before I knew it I'd gained 25 lbs. After that I slowed way down but still gained about 10 lbs over the next year.

October 2010-Near my highest weight (oy hips)

Enter my husband's weight loss competition at work last spring. I wasn't officially entered but I was hoping my husband's gungho attitude would keep me motivated. I lost 5 lbs during the eight week period but was still way heavier than I'd been in my entire life.

Spring 2011-post weight loss challenge

Summer 2011- I promise I lost weight since the last photo! Just goes to show you much clothes matter.

My weight continued to creep down until I started a low carb diet (~75 per day) in November. When I lost 3 lbs in the first week, I knew this diet was for me. I made it through Christmas without gaining any weight and am down a total of 14 lbs.

Winter 2012  

I've still got about 15 lbs to go before I reach my goal weight but I'm hoping to be in great shape by summer.  So far I'm down 3" on my hips, 1" at the bust and 1/2" at the waist. And I'm thinking that if I bought a new pair of pants, I'd be down a pant size.

All of this self-improvement has really got me in the mood to spruce up my hair. I am growing it out (and my bangs) and I just feel like I need to do something to it.

And I'm thinking about a perm! I have a friend who is a hair dresser who has permed her own hair and it looks a lot like this picture (except she's blonde). I'm not sure how this would go with vintage styles but I've always wanted curly hair and knowing someone I can trust with my hair makes me feel confident enough to maybe try it. (Plus my hair is so fine, I'd welcome a bit of damage!) I'm also self-conscious about my high forehead. Having a thinner face just makes the long shape even more prominent so I think curls would add some volume to the sides of my face.

So bring on the weight loss and perm stories!

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Lady Mary's Closet: The 1920s Sweater

There is not a lot of knitwear in Downton Abbey but I did spot one in epsiode 7 of season 1 (and I've seen one in season 2 too!).

mary knits

Mary wears this lovely grey blue sweater when she arrives home after remaining in London with Aunt Rosamund. It's got a cream button placket and grey blue buttons. She pairs it with a cream skirt and a simple white blouse and pearls. I always find it interesting when the Downton costumers put together a look with unusual (to a modern viewer at any rate) color combos. Generally, white and cream together is a no go. Not sure what color blouse I think would look better but I adore the grey blue color of the sweater!

mary knits back

Here's a back shot of the sweater. It's a nice slouchy sweater that reminds me so much of 1920s sweaters. Perhaps Mary has brought back some of the latest fashions from London!

This one has such a similar color palette!

Don't they look so warm and comfy!

Looking to make your own 1920s sweater? This 1918 pattern on Ravelry would be a nice pick or start with any slouchy ribbed cardigan pattern. Knit the button placket and collar in cream to get the two tone look. Not a knitter? Modify a thrifted sweater by sewing on a fabric button placket and collar in contrasting color.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Pink and Pizza

Ah, Saturday! After a lovely morning lazing around the hubby and I went to Dewey's Pizza for lunch.

It was actually ridiculously warm for January so I took the opportunity to get some outfit pictures.

Top: gift from a friend
Skirt: me made
Shoes: Payless
Knee socks: I've had them for forever

Oh, and best of all it was blue out today! Ohio can be so grey out in the winter.

Ok, so maybe it wasn't as warm as I thought! It was windy and that made it a bit chilly.

Hope you all are having a lovely Saturday!

Friday, January 27, 2012

Knitting help!

 I've been knitting away and finished a sweater. It's a 1930s sweater pattern from A Stitch in Time Volume 2.

It fits pretty well in the front. It's supposed to be a bit blousey and there's not shaping between the arm hole and the ribbing on the bottom.

But just like my last sweater, the back (and neckline) mysteriously grew when I blocked it. So I reblocked it and the back was smaller for about 5 secs then it stretched out again. This sweater is knit in three pieces and then sewn together so I'm seriously tempted to unsew it and unravel the back and knit it up in a smaller size. I really can't see myself wearing it as is. The neckline is huge and my bra straps keep peaking out. Plus if you look closely at my right shoulder, it's a slightly different color. I ran out of yarn had to go get more, but they were out of my dye lot and this was the closest match I could find. So if I reknit the back, I'd probably have enough leftover yarn to reknit that part of the sleeve too. And I could knit the neckline in a smaller needle to make it tighter.

*sigh* But that'd be a lot of work. Advice would be appreciated.

In other news, I have a Dressing Downton piece almost done and I'm itching to size up a pattern from The Edwardian Modiste (probably a chemise or slip to start with). And tomorrow is set aside for party dress sewing!

Have a lovely weekend!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

I need a party dress

Valentine's Day is right around the corner and I'm going out to see another show at the end of February so I've decided to make a 1950s party dress.

Lovely aren't they? I've opted to go with Butterick B5556 a '55 reprint.

And I picked up 5 yds of black taffeta with a lovely velvet print on it for 50% off. I'm doing the version with the collar.

So, of course, I have to research some black 50s party dresses. 


Black velvet dress available here.

 Looks like my dress will be in good company! Now off to go work on the muslin.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Lady Sybil's Closet: The New Frock

I finally got to go fabric shopping for notions and fabric for more Dressing Downton projects! One is almost ready to go but I'm making a dress for Valentine's day so that will be up in the sewing cue first. So here's Sybil's new frock to tide you over.

New Frock 4

I adore this aqua color!

New Frock 2

And *gasp* it's almost pants! And check out the shoes! Alas my full length picture was not cooperationg.

new frock 3

The bodice has this lovely insert. Complete the look with white gloves, a head band and pearls!

Downton Abbey Costumes

This costume was on display in various places. (Not by me though. :( )

New Frock 1

I just love all of the details on the bodice!

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Dressing Downton: Suits

There are some really fabulous suits in Downton Abbey. These three lovey suits are from season 1 episode 2. The girls wear them to the ceremony where Isobel is made director of the hospital board but these suits pop up in other episodes too.

 Sybil wears this darling powder blue suit with tassels.

Driving Sybil

Edith's suit is a lovely coral pink.

Edith's salmon suit

And Mary's suit is grey with adorable black frog closures and tassels again!

Girls in suits

Mary also wears this suit when visiting her aunt (who also has a killer suit!).

mary and aunt suits 2

mary and aunt suits 2 back

I just love the unusual shape of the back of the collar!

Snap Shot

This candid shot is just too cute!