Outfitblogging 28 May 2015

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Dress: sewn by me (spring 2015)
Camisole: Target (spring 2015)
Belt: unknown
Earrings: Amazon.com (spring 2015)
Necklace: birthday gift from a friend (fall 2013)
Shoes: Spring Step, at DSW (summer 2011)

It’s a dress! That I sewed myself! The fabric feels as comfortable as wearing pajamas, but the pattern makes it appropriate for work days (with the cami) and party nights (without the cami—vavavoom!). I originally planned to make my own maxi based on a really simple tutorial, but after sewing, felt the pattern too busy for a full-length dress. I cut the hem to my knees and like it much better this way.

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I’ve been wearing these hoop earrings pretty much non-stop. This day I added the Weeping Angel necklace and it’s a lot of fun watching people figure it out and then get a little nervous checking out my jewelry.

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These shoes. Four years. They had a good run, and this is the last time they will appear on the blog. I spent the workday with uncomfortable feet, and on my way to karaoke that night, I stopped off at DSW and picked up a new pair of tan flats, which I’d been wanting for a while but put off buying.

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Outfitblogging 3 Jun 2014

Striped tee with embroidered skirt

Shirt: sewn by me (spring 2014)
Skirt: eShakti (winter 2014)
Shoes: Earth Origins, at DSW (spring 2014)
Earrings: Torrid (summer 2012)
Necklace: Fashion Bug (summer 2012)

I’ve completed another sewing project! Long-time readers may recognize the shirt fabric from a maxi skirt I made when I was just learning how to sew. I liked the skirt, but it was a little bulky in the waist, and I decided I wanted a blue and white striped tee more than I wanted it in a skirt. I also felt ready to graduate to sewing a new project, and this project, based on a super simple tutorial was quick and easy. I made the shirt on Friday night, wore it with denim capris on Saturday, and then Tuesday with this skirt, which is becoming one of my favorites.

Red necklace and cherry earrings

Something about blue and white stripes makes me want to pair with red things, so I grabbed this chunky necklace and tiny cherry earrings. (Confidentially, between you and me, I think these earrings kinda look like scrotums. Just me?)

Black sandals

Again with the new comfortable shoes! I’m tempted to find these in other colors so I’d be able to wear a pair every day.

Outfitblogging 23 May 2014

Shirt over maxi skirt

Shirt: Target (summer 2008)
Skirt: sewn by me (spring 2014)
Necklace, earrings: Optimystical Studios, at Geek Girl Con (summer 2012)
Shoes: b.o.c. at DSW (spring 2014)

Style in my office leans toward the casual side, but I usually reserve my casual outfits for Fridays. I’m sure my knit maxi and tee shirt would be even too casual for some offices, but I could probably wear something like this every day and no one would bat an eye.

I’m pretty happy that I’ve pulled out my sewing machine again and have gotten back into making things. Expect more skirts in the near future! This maxi is so comfortable, which makes sense, as I originally bought the fabric to sew pajamas. I’m not quite as confident in my shirt-sewing abilities yet, but after putting together a few more skirts, I may try my hand at a dress, or something more challenging.

Supernatural necklace

Do you watch Supernatural? Did you even see last week’s finale?! I seriously shouted at my television in the last minutes and immediately started texting friends and reading tumblr posts. I usually reserve this necklace for non-work days, but made an exception and kept those boys close to my boobs heart.

Sandals

The heel on my new strappy sandals gave just enough lift to work with the maxi skirt. Super comfortable. Really, how was I even allowed out of the house with this much comfy?

Outfitblogging 27 Jul 2012

Comic book skirt and tee shirt

Shirt: Target (summer 2011)
Skirt: handmade, sewn by me (summer 2012)
Necklace: thrifted from Impact in Norristown PA (spring 2011)
Earrings: Torrid (winter 2006) and Target (summer 2012)
Socks: Target (summer 2011)
Shoes: Target (summer 2011)

Wow, you guys. This post has been sitting in my queue for a month. I swear I had this scheduled to post before I went on vacation! Oh well.

Here is an action shot of the comic book skirt! I wanted to make this specifically for vacation, but that doesn’t mean I can’t wear it any other time. This is the same pattern as my khaki skirt, but this one fits a lot better. I used the khaki as a learning piece, and when I made this one, I changed the shaping darts a bit, to bring them in closer to the waist. This fit of this is perfect!

Comic book fabric

Above is a better shot of the fabric, before it was made into a skirt. You can see all the comic book phrases on it. How many Marvel superheroes can you spot?

Cherry earrings and white hoops

Because the skirt is so busy, I kept the shirt and the accessories as basic as possible, but I couldn’t resist the little cherry earrings.

Blue dot socks and flats

Even with polka dots, these socks are still not too flashy, and the color almost matches the bias tape I used to bind the hem of the skirt.

Outfitblogging 24 Jul 2012

Khaki skirt with printed shirt

Shirt: Lane Bryant (spring 2005)
Skirt: handmade, sewn by me (summer 2012)
Earrings: Lane Bryant (summer 2012)
Socks: Target (spring 2012)
Dansko, at DSW (winter 2012)

I’d hoped to have been crafty with the skirts before summer had even started, but better late than never, amirite? I wanted at least one comfortable and flattering skirt in a neutral color, and here it is. This is the first skirt I made following a pattern—Simplicity 2288)—and it well very well. It also served as a wearable muslin; if I made any mistakes, I wouldn’t be heartbroken over the fabric, and I could adjust the pattern for the next skirt. (More blogging on the next skirt later.)

I don’t really wear too many V-neck shirts anymore. I almost exclusively bought them when I was in my “hiding my body” phase, because I’d read somewhere that V-necks provide a slimming effect. Anyway, I’ve since discovered that deep scoop-necks look better on me, but I haven’t yet altered or donated some of my V-necks.

Disk earrings

These earrings are pretty, and looked very nice in the store, but wearing them on my ears is a totally different story. They keep turning and flipping and not staying straight. Perhaps I could twist them into place. I’m not ready to give up on them yet.

Star socks with Danskos

Some socks look better with my Danskos than others. The little stars on these are super cute against the subtle design in the shoes.

Outfitblogging 28 Jun 2012

Summer sweater over ladybug skirt

Shirt: Lane Bryant (spring 2007)
Sweater: Hand-knit Marigold Sweater, using Hempathy
Skirt: handmade, sewn by me (spring 2012)
Belt: Lane Bryant (fall 2009)
Earrings: Torrid (fall 2006)
Shoes: Dansko at The Walking Company (spring 2012)

Guys. How awesome is this skirt? I wanted to make all the skirts for this summer, but have only managed to get this one done so far. This one is a half-circle (with little tiny ladybugs all over it!), but based on the same techniques I used for my pink skulls and hibiscus skirt. I would have preferred a shirt with a rounder collar, but I work with what I’ve got. I’ll probably try this combo again in the future, maybe with the cardigan closed instead. I think that would look super cute.

Little earrings

No ladybug earrings, so I settled for white hoops and skulls instead. I really thought I had ladybug earrings somewhere. I should rectify that.

Canvas Danskos

Temperatures hit near 100 F on Thursday, and while I wanted to wear my cute black flats, I knew the top strap would get tight during the day. These canvas Danskos fit perfectly, but the breathable material also leaves room for swelling feet.

The summer of no new shopping

Thrift Store Sign

The other day, Matt and I were taking a walk around DC when he spotted a Dress Barn. He pointed it out to me, but I didn’t feel very enthused about it. I have nothing against Dress Barn, and even bought a very lovely purple dress for a wedding at a Dress Barn outlet store. It’s just… every time I go into a retail shop lately, I have a difficult time finding something that fits me nicely.

This train of thought led me to an idea: a swearing off of shopping for new retail, mass-produced clothing. For the months of May, June, and July, with August acting like a sort of grace period before the start of fall, I will adhere to the following chain of command:

  1. Make or craft it myself. New purchases, like yarn or fabric, are acceptable.
  2. Find it at a thrift shop. Ebay and Etsy count, as do local clothing swaps.
  3. Commission a custom piece, like a made-to-fit shirt from an independent Etsy shop.

The above rules not only include clothing, but also accessories, jewelry, and bags. Certain items are excluded, like socks, bras, and underpants. Shoes are tricky, as I really would like another pair of new, comfortable walking shoes.

While I have traditionally found it difficult to snag good-fitting items at the thrift shop, I’m hoping to put my new sewing skills to the test. I’ve often hesitated to make alterations to items bought new for $60, but perhaps I wouldn’t feel so terrible about fixing up a $5 Goodwill dress.

I am allowing myself three passes, because sometimes things come up! I had a weird thought I would be invited to some formal affair, and would have no summer outfit waiting in my closet for it. In that case, if none of the above benefit me, I’ve got three times to call an out.

With this experiment, I’m hoping to learn more about working with my body’s shape and size to find more clothing I feel comfortable in and comfortable wearing. I want to gain more confidence in my sewing, and finally pull out that shirt pattern that’s been sitting on my table, intimidating and taunting me for weeks. There’s creativity to be had!

I know there are other bloggers who’ve written about similar experiences and experiments. Have you ever put a limit on your spending? What are your preferred methods of clothes shopping? Do you enjoy hacking stuff to make it fit?

Photo credit: “Thrift Store Sign” from S Jones