Friday, September 28, 2012

Urban Nights

A couple of weeks ago, my husband and I and two of our friends went out to a local event called Urban Nights. Several areas downtown have activities going on like musicians and performers and a lot of the local shops are open late. They have this event a couple of times a year and it's always fun.

I wore my embroidered circle skirt and my new sweater. Yay a finished sweater that fits!

The pattern is from a Stitch in Time Vol. 2 and is called Ribbon Threaded Jumper. So cute! It's knit from a pale green acrylic yarn from a baby line so it's nice and soft!

Bow! The Ravelry page for this project is here. I started it way back in April but I finally finished it.

A cute sewing shop had their grand opening that evening. It was very cute!

The local vintage store was open and packed!

There was a new hat shop! They were mostly modern but there were a few vintage inspired lovelies.

And I couldn't resist a used book store.

I loved this singer's style! So cute and retro. That night I really wanted to go and chop my bangs off again but I resisted.

Fire spinners! :D

All in all, it was a fun night!

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Renaissance Faire Weekend

Sorry this is so last minute, but I'll be at the Ohio Renaissance Festival this Saturday and Sunday in two new costumes. Shoot me an email if you're going to be there too and want to meet up.


Wednesday, September 26, 2012

That's How I Roll

Here's a tutorial for a hairstyle similar to the one that I wore in my All About Hair Rats video.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Try, try again

After Tasha suggested yesterday that I search for particular years for hair dos, I had much more success in finding some cute vintage hairs!

I've noticed that a lot of these short haired ladies have strong brows.

Audrey did too! Maybe that's a secret to rocking a short do.

Also a lot were wearing hats and while that's great for my hat collection, it's not so go for taking to my stylist.

Elizabeth Taylor sported a number of cute short looks.

Short dos look great with uber chic ensembles and loads of jewelry.

I did forget to mention knitting patterns in my pattern inspiration blog yesterday.

Many of the looks feature short curls so a small barrel curling iron is a short haired vintage gal's best friend.

I adore these three ladies with curly wavy pixies!

A super short straight pixie looks fab too. This lovely lady reminds me of Quincy of Q's Daydream.

I really love the left girl's hair do. Alas, the hat's all covering it up!

More curls and giant earrings.

Pixie friends!

Monday, September 24, 2012

Sewing Patterns and Hair

I tend to find looking for vintage hair inspiration online frustrating. A google search for "1950s hairstyle" will fill your page up with shots of modern rockabilly pinup girls and modern celebrities with 50s inspired dos. What's a girl to do if that's not what she wants to look at? I turn to vintage pattern illustrations!

Most patterns have a drawn model or two and are a great place for hair inspiration!

I'm planning on giving my hair a good chop at the end of October and I've been waffling on a style/length.

I'm leaning towards a 1950s short do that's chin length or shorter.

If I didn't love vintage so much, I'd probably have a pixie cut already. I adore shorter hair and tend to feel frumpy and out of sorts with longer hair.

(And by long, I mean it's touching my shoulders)

So once Renaissance Faire season is over, I'm going to take a style cue from these stylish ladies and go short!

If only I can decide how short!

Where do you like to go for authentic vintage hair inspiration? Have you ever tried a cute short 50s cut? (Or 20s bob?) What's the longest or shortest you've ever had your hair?

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Wardrobe: Here's My Closet!

Oona asked on yesterday's post which closet was mine. Since I cheated yesterday and just grabbed some things off of the internet, I thought I'd share my actual closet (especially since I just rotated and organized it yesterday).

My side of the walk in closet. From front to back it's shoe racks, things to be mended, sweaters, blouses, skirts, dresses and then costumes + off season things in the way back corner by the shelf.

I have two hanging shoe racks plus my boots which sit out on the floor back under my clothes plus several pair that live by the front door. I also have a white crate of purses on the floor and one box of off season clothes that gets packed away. My one sweater success lives in a cubby in my shoe rack for now.

My hubby's side of the closet (minus the few things in the front which I guess I left there after rotating yesterday....) He also has a dresser for his clothes.

I don't have a dresser because I loath folding clothes but I do have one drawer for socks, tights, undies, slips, leggings etc. I leave my nondress pants and shorts on top of the drawer. I also tend to throw my clothes that are clean enough to wear again but I didn't feel like hanging up yet.

We also have a nice coat closet. I have a hanging rack for my scarves, gloves, etc on the inside of the door. All of my coats and jackets live in the closet as well as some more of my costumes.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Wardrobe: How Much is Too Much

I've been thinking about wardrobe a lot lately, partially because mine needs a some work. And, you know, I watch a lot of What Not to Wear. On the newer episodes of What Not to Wear, they actually show you everything the person gets. And I'm always surprised at how little they have. Usually, it's only about 30 outfits. My brain goes "How can they possibly live on 30 outfits?!?"....oh, wait, that's only one wear per outfit per month.....

Wardrobe explosion!

 Organized, efficient versatile wardrobe.

So that got me thinking about how much is too much? I've commonly heard quoted that most people wear 20% of their wardrobe 80% of the time and while 83% of statistics are made up on the spot ( ;) ), I think that's probably pretty close to the truth. I've been working over the last year or so, to get myself to the point where I can let go some of my 80% that is worn only 20% of the time (although I usually fail on that when it comes to shoes.....) but now I'm lacking in lots of basics.

80% of this probably never gets worn...

Earlier this year, Tasia of Sewaholic posted about sewing cake vs. frosting where cake pieces are the versatile, basic pieces and frosting are the over the top just for fun type projects. My wardrobe is a giant pile of frosting on top of a little tiny piece of cake. Obviously, I need more cake but how many of those frosting type pieces do I really need? They just don't work for every day life. I've come to realize that I have a lot of pieces that I wear once or twice but then they get shoved behind my latest and greatest sewing project and don't see the light of day again. Sunni of A Fashionable Stitch has also recently decided that she needs a more life appropriate sewing plan/wardrobe.

I have a large walk in closet (especially considering that I'm in a small apartment!) but I'd love to be able to have a wardrobe like this:

Maybe if I live in a loft apartment one day!

Since I live in a state where the things you wear during the winter are NOT appropriate to wear during the summer and vice versa, I think I could use two 30 outfit wardrobes-one winter and one summer-and overlap them during spring and fall. And since the week is about 2/3 work days and 1/3 weekend days, that'll give me about 40 work outfits and 20 weekend outfits. Ok, so I'm good on the weekend outfits but sooooo far behind on the work outfits, especially the winter ones.

I see lots of frosting!

So how do am I supposed to get my wardrobe from an explosion of frosting to a reasonable of cake?

1. Separates

Separates are so much more versatile than pretty dresses so separates make a wardrobe go further. And cute tops will be able to work both in my work and nonwork wardrobes. I'm sure I'll get distracted and sew more dresses but I'm really going to try to work sewing up more separates.

2. Layering

I have quite a few cute cardigans and jackets but I don't wear them too much. I've gotten myself down to just two hoodies so hopefully I'll be reaching for sweaters more often this fall/winter. Summer shirt + cardigan or jacket = winter appropriate top!

3. Accessories

Accessories make things go so much further! I have a rather nice collection but it's sadly under used.  I really want to challenge myself with respect to accessories. I want to conquer scarves, bracelets and get back to wearing earrings every day!

Is your wardrobe more frosting or cake? How big of a wardrobe is too big? Do you rotate your wardrobe? Do you like What Not to Wear?

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Jewel Tones

I've been sewing again from my LA garment district haul!

Fabric: blue purple rayon ($4/yd)
Pattern: Simplicity 3895
Year: 1940s
Notions: zipper ($2)
First worn: September 2012
Wear again? Yups! Love it! There are some nit picky things that I'm not 100% happy with (yay topstitching.... not) but I really love it. It's cute and comfy and a fabulous color.

I just adore this blue purple color on me! I have some extra fabric from this project that is going to be made into a blouse.

Jewel tones are very 40s to me but they also read modern and really help this outfit from looking too costume-y.

I really want to make a self-fabric belt to go with this dress but I need to buy some belt kits first!

The best thing about this dress is the pockets! Such a fun shape!

I've found that I really love early 40s styles. There's something edgy and so stylish about them.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Fall Wardrobe Inspiration

With fall hanging in the air, I've begun pondering my fall wardrobe. Summer is gone and it's about time for a wardrobe rotation. And while I have got loads of cute dresses and circle skirts that are fall appropriate, I'm seriously lacking in work appropriate wear. Ack! I work in a lab so I have loads of limitations on what I can wear (and what I want to wear).

I've been living in two polar opposite fashion worlds lately-vintage fabulousness and frumptastick. (I'm actually sitting here typing in jean shorts and a tank top. *gasp*) And I really want to move most of my life into some nice middle ground. Don't worry. There will still be cute vintage outfits, but I also need some cute things to wear every day.

I've chosen Mary Margaret from Once Upon a Time as my fashion inspiration. Shes' got a cute, vintage, romantic wardrobe. She also has loads of cute outerwear and fall type fashions as the show takes place in Maine (although I don't think anyone in the cast looks warm enough to survive a Maine winter).

 I'll be focusing on romantic blouses.

Cute cardigans are a must. I'm going to try and knit a few this fall/winter for layering pieces.

Peter Pan collars (and really any type of collar) are so retro looking and I want to add some to my wardrobe.


I'll be focusing on berets and scarves for accessories. I do have a nice stash of berets and scarves that need to start making regular appearances in my wardrobe.

I'm planning on stash busting and trying out some patterns from Gertie's New Book for Better Sewing! I really love the style of the pieces in this book!

Have you started planning your fall wardrobe yet?