Friday, February 28, 2014

MM2014: Fabulous February

Friends, February has been BITTER cold.  I'm 8,000% over it and if I weren't so pasty, I'd be heading for the tropics immediately.

February 13

Rocking the grey Simplicity 3688 trousers for the hundredth time since this year began, my black v-neck altered sweater, and my Sweetly Sheer Sorbetto.

February 14

Valentine's Day.  I tried to rock pinks and reds all day with my jeans, starting with my pink top from the Michigan Avenue Ensemble.

For my evening outing with my Valentines (my bestie and her husband), I switched to my newer red Colette Jasmine blouse.  

Sadly, boyfriend wasn't in town, but my friends were fabulous Valentines in his place.

We had dinner and then to a nearby ice cream parlor for treats, where I read Dragons Love Tacos out loud for them.

That book is AMAZING.

February 15
I like to spend Saturdays and Sunday afternoons in my kitchen, because for one whole hour, the sun blasts through the window and warms this one spot.  I like to stay in it as long as possible, usually with tea.

I'm wearing a refashioned cardigan (from a sweater), my orange tee, and my mini bloomers.  That plus the sunbeam equaled incredible comfort.

February 16

Same sweater and tee...I know, I'm a slob ... BUT I did change my bottoms. 
Also, this is my teddy.  I got him when I was three and in the hospital to get something removed from my face.  He is very pleased to meet you all.
(I feel no shame that I am going to be 30 and still have stuffed animals around)

February 17
Mondays call for comfort, so I opted for the Most Comfortable Dress Ever

February 18
So this is what my Renfrew bodysuit looks like in normal light.  I paired it with my black Simplicity 3688 trousers and a fancy necklace in order to offset the color.  I'm pretty sure this color does nothing for my skin, but oh wow, I was really comfortable at work all day.

Close up.  Yeah...not really digging the color on me, but I love how it feels.  Maybe we'll just leave this as something to layer under items?

February 19

It is everything I can do not to wear this flannel blouse every single day. I paired it with this McCall's pencil skirt (that has since been dyed since this fiasco) and some wine colored tights.   

February 20

Today was a day of difficult decisions.  It was 40 degrees out, pouring rain, and I didn't know whether to wear my long puffy coat or my raincoat.  WHAT TO DO?!  I finally settled on wearing my shower curtain raincoat with my Catherine jacket (for warmth), and that seemed to work ok.  I was still cold, but I think that was partly from the fact that I still have not found the perfect buttons for this raincoat and so it just ties closed.  I really need to fix that.

Underneath was all color.  I paired my shrug from my Grandma's pants with my Simplicity 3688 trousers and my silk blend blouse. What I really love about this challenge is that it's forcing me to work with what I have in my closet, and I've never paired this shrug and blouse together before.  I really love the look of this, so I see that happening again in the future.

Also, I wear my apron to cook all the time.  Cooking is a fantastic way of heating up the apartment in the dead of winter.

February 21
Jeans days are my favorite.  I wore my plaid Renfrew and was snuggly the whole day.

February 22

A candidate photo taken by the boyfriend.  My long sleeve Renfrew, jeans, and Simplicity 5800
I actually like doing the dishes. It hearkens back to my days working in food service, and doing the dishes was a good way to lose yourself in your thoughts for a time.

February 23
So. So. Sick.
You can see how red my face is from the fever. This cold was brutal and I can't recall the last time I've had one so bad.

February 24

I got sent home from work early for being sick.  I tried to be fashionable, but it didn't make me feel better.  I wore Mama Grand's skirt, my sparkly Renfrew, and some sweater tights.  I was warm, but I think that was partly from the fever.
The best thing about this day was coming home and finding love notes covering the whole apartment.  Boyfriend put post-its everywhere before he left for his next run, and 
I've left most of them up :)

February 25

Home sick. I wore my altered college shirt and my new mini bloomers.  I felt like my skin was on fire, so this was the perfect outfit for the day.

February 26

Finally felt human enough to go to work!  I wore my grey Simplicity 3688 trousers and my altered Mama Grand sweater.  Also, my new L.L.Bean boots arrived and THEY ARE THE BEST THINGS EVER.  I especially liked that they came with a signed note (in pen!) from the person who made them in Maine.  High five, Kathi!
(L.L. Bean doesn't pay me or anything, but their products keep me warm during the Polar Vortexes, so I am sharing my joy with you)

February 27

I love this outfit.  I paired my Colette Sencha with my Simplicity 3688 trousers, and I think I need more Senchas in my closet. 

February 28
Two months in, ten to go!  I'm wearing my black polka dot McCall's blouse, my pink Colette Cinnamon, and my jeans.  Feeling fabulous, and ready to start the 30:60 challenge tomorrow!

Have a fabulous weekend all, and see you for the start of the 30:60 challenge tomorrow!

Thursday, February 27, 2014

The Return of the 30:60 Challenge

Friends, in an effort to ward off the chill of March and April, as well as conquer many of the projects that I've been admiring on Pinterest/cutting out and leaving in dusty piles/dreaming of for months, I'm bringing back my 30:60 challenge starting March 1.  30 projects, 60 days.  This time, I'm not just limiting myself to scraps.  I plan on mostly working from my stash, aside from a few projects that call for fabric shopping (and minimal shopping at that).

I decided to revist the challenge after noticing how many projects still get used regularly.  It was definitely a good motivator to get things done, and I reflect on it often when I use/wear these favorites:

The lavender sachets (these still smell fantastic!)



I've already got a list going of projects that I definitely want to tackle in the next 60 days, but I think I am most excited about the first one.  Stay tuned for 30:60 starting March 1 and lasting through April 30!

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Me Made 2014: Rounding out January and sliding into February!

Friends, Me Made 2014 is pushing through these winter months! While it hasn't stopped snowing or dipping below freezing, I've managed to stay warm with just the things I've made - whew!

January 28

I spent the whole day in my bathrobe because I LOVE IT SO MUCH. 

January 29

I've been incredibly productive the last three weeks.  At last count, I think I made 7 new tops, one bathrobe, one pair of pants, two skirts, and two mini bloomers.  It helps that it is so cold out that I've stopped making plans for the weekends and just stay in and sew. 
I made two new McCall's 5929, one in bright cherry red.  I've been longing for a vibrant red blouse in my wardrobe, and this works perfectly.  All the ruffles in front warm my heart! I paired it with my flannel circle skirt and some grey sweater tights.  I was quite snuggly at the office.

January 30

This blouse is also new to the wardrobe! It was stuck in UFO status for at least six months with just the collar needing to be finished. Of course, once I finally focused on it, the collar only took 30 minutes.  It's New Look 6808, view C with the bow collar.  I paired it with the Running Around in Circles skirt (and tights, of course).

January 31
My second McCall's 5929 blouse, this time in plaid flannel.  LOVE. I love flannel, and making a semi-dressy blouse in flannel is one of the best things I have ever done.

I assembly lined this and the cherry red blouse. My secret to assembly line sewing is to sew the same pattern in the same color thread. I found I could make two blouses with red thread, so I tested it out and it worked like a dream.  I just needed to fill lots of bobbins ahead of time.  I've got more blouses planned out this way, even two more in this pattern, both calling for black thread.

I'm just going to take a second and pat myself on the back for the total fluke plaid matching on the bodice and button plackets.  I felt like a plaid matching boss when I noticed that.

The plaid on the sleeves even match to the plaid on the bodice! It's a plaid matcher's dream, you guys.

February 1
February is cold. I don't like it.

February 2

We cast on for our KAL here in Chicago!  My friend and I met over the best cup of chai tea in town and got our knit on. I wore my Catherine Jacket for good luck, the Colette Cinnamon because I really like it, and the jeans for comfort.
(Sometimes I don't make my bed for days. True story.)

February 3

I am doing my best to work color into my winter wardrobe.  I feel like most of the folks in my office have resorted to neutrals to match the weather outside, but I am holding out. 
I paired my Roman Holiday skirt with my purple Simplicity 2501 blouse.  Since both are made from the same set of bedsheets, I thought it only fitting that they be paired together.  Not going to lie, I am loving this look!

February 4:

I don't think it is possible to have too many Colette Jasmine blouses in my closet.  I need more. More bow blouses. In all of the colors.  Also, I love this mustard pencil skirt.  I wear it constantly.

February 5

I've been working on cooking more.  It is better for my budget and healthier ... well, mostly healthier. I'm making chicken and broccoli here, something I normally order from a Chinese restaurant but much cheaper when made in my kitchen.

(Also, Tigger slippers.  The heads bob up and down when I walk.)

I made this blouse from an old nightgown.  I liked the tiny flower print, but needed to underline it to make it more opaque.

I kept the pocket from the nightgown and made it part of the blouse.  It holds my cell phone and work badge perfectly.

February 6

So every once in awhile, I get tired of wearing pants around the house.  I decided to pull my Jamie Christina Mission Maxi out of the closet and wear it around with my Catherine Jacket.  I really like this combination - perfect for working from home when the radiators are on full blast.
Also, can I just say that I know I am pear shaped, but holy cannoli, I feel like it is really emphasized in this photo? Yowza. Hips don't lie, friends.

February 7

Jeans day at work is my favorite day of the week. It also helps that jeans day is every Friday, so the weekend is right around the corner.  YAY!

The sweater is an altered one of Mama Grand's, and the blouse was a UFO that I finally finished after having it lay in a pile for 4 months.  There is something really satisfying about having something hanging in your closet instead of shoved into a plastic bag at the bottom of a pile, don't you think?

I really like how this version of Simplicity 2501 turned out, even if it is a bit sheer. 

I thought the print was darling with the tiny roses, but I'm definitely going to need to employ some camisoles or sweaters when I wear this out.

February 8

Saturdays, I LOOOOOOVE YOU.  I was rocking my high school memorabilia all day, with a shirt and sweatpants that I had altered to make them better fitting.  Seriously - what kind of fashion sense did I have in high school?  (Answer: none. I used to wear visible boxer shorts under jeans. Those pictures have all been burned.)

February 9

I finally broke out the Eva Dress Overalls and yet another McCall's 5929.  Best friend Stephy and I went for a walk around the neighborhood and I was quite comfy. I really need to employ these overalls more often - I forget how much I love the fit and look of them.

February 10


There are no words to express how long I have wanted obnoxious plaid pants in my closet.  These are just the right amount of obnoxious, right between "WOW - bold choice" and "Avert your eyes! They are BLINDING with those colors."  

They are like really long clown pants with darts.  Oh, Simplicity 3688, I adore you so.

I wore these with my red McCall's 5929 and some fabulous red heels around the office.  I think my coworkers were a bit surprised at all the color.

The best thing about these pants is they feel like a wool blend of some kind, and the inside is delightfully fuzzy and soft, so I was so warm ALL DAY.  Wind chill below freezing?  Not an issue.

I'm making an active effort to use up all the zippers in my stash, so I threw a green one on these pants as green wasn't represented in the plaid.

February 11

A new Renfrew paired with my black Simplicity 3688 trousers.  This Renfrew was made out of a remnant that I picked up at Vogue Fabrics some time ago, and since it's sweatshirt material, it's perfect for the weather right now.

I couldn't resist the allure of the pink plaid, but trying to line up the lines properly was incredibly difficult. Eventually I gave up trying to make the off-kilter plaid work and turned everything on it's side.  I didn't care how the cowl laid, but I cut the front bodice and sleeves along the bias. 

The back needed to be pieced together, and sadly, I didn't have enough to cut this along the bias as well.  I matched the horizontal plaid as best as I could, but you can see the wonkiness of the print along the center back seam. 

It's still comfortable, and I'll still wear it, but I will never understand how or why it was printed going every which way.

February 12

Yet ANOTHER McCall's 5929! I love this pattern.  I paired it with my Malory Archer skirt, which I usually never wear but I like how it looks here.  I'm trying to use all of the items in my closet and it's fun to see how I can style odd pieces to make them work in my day to day life.

Friends, I hope you're staying warm, and 2014 is treating all of you right so far!