Thursday, November 29, 2012

November Use It or Lose It Challenge

I wore the teal striped shirt from my "use it or lose it" challenge the other day. I'm kind of on the fence about this one...

Lemon Grass Studio Shirt - thrifted
Unknown Brand yellow t-shirt - who knows?
St John's Bay brown corduroy pants - JCP
Missoni scarf - Target
Skechers mary jane shoes - Fashion Bug

The shirt fits OK, but it is a tad snug around my tummy if I button it up all the way. Most button-down shirts fit me like that. If I get them to fit in the shoulders and bust, then they are snug across the tummy. If I get them to fit across the tummy, they are way too big in the shoulders and bust. Perhaps button-down shirts are not a good fashion choice for my shape.

Of the three items in this month's Use It or Lose It challenge, the shirt will be the one leaving. The skirt and the dress will stay, although the dress does present challenges in matching up stuff to put under/over it. The fit is its redeeming quality.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Felted Wool Projects

We have a family gift exchange coming up soon; I had something in my stash for Some Postman to use as his "guy gift", but nothing that seemed right for my "gal gift". Nothing caught my eye while out shopping this week, either. And so I opened up my craft cabinet and dug out this shrunken wool sweater:

Drawing inspiration from this blog post that I'd pinned on Pinterest a long time ago, I set out to make some bags out of this old sweater. I have a collection of wool sweaters that I've picked up at thrift stores and yard sales. They've all been felted (washed in hot water, then dried in the dryer to shrink them up tight) so they are ready for wooly projects. 

The first step was to cut off the neck and sleeves.

Next, I deepened the opening at the neck to make the handles. Later, I shaved another half inch from the arm holes and the neck opening so the handles would be a little longer.

From one of the sleeves, I cut a rectangle 4 inches wide by the length of the width of the bottom of the sweater. This became the bottom of the bag.

I pinned the rectangle all the way around. Rather than take tucks as the inspiration project instructed, I just trimmed the edges of the rectangle after I sewed it down, making it an oval. My old machine doesn't like bulky fabrics, so I was pushing it just sewing two layers of felted wool in the first place.

Here's what it looked like sewn up and turned right side out.

I didn't like how the handles looked, and realized after I'd already sewn on the bottom that in the inspirational project, the blogger had rotated the sweater a quarter turn to make the handles be on the front and back of the bag, rather than the sides. This wouldn't have worked for my piece, anyway, since the sides each have seams, and I wouldn't want those showing on the center front of the bag. So, instead, I cut the seams at the top of the handles and reattached them to their neighbors.

Much better!

To add detail to the bag, I used some of the trimmings to add swirls and a rosette, kind of like the inspiration piece. I really like how it turned out!

My camera doesn't pick up on the gold sparkle mixed in with the brown of the wool. It's really a lot prettier in person.

The turtleneck looked to me like it would make a cute makeup bag, with the top of that sleeve I'd cut up used as a flap.

Flap sewn on and the bottom sewn shut.

To give the bottom some width, I sewed "ears" on the ends.

Turned right side out, I added a pretty gold button and a simple slot cut with the seam ripper for the button hole. The nice thing about felted wool is that it doesn't unravel!

The more I looked at the little bag, the more I thought it would make a better purse than makeup bag, so I added a strap made from two pieces of leftovers and a gold ribbon braided together. More scraps were sewn on for swirl accents, and it was finished!

There is still a sleeve and some assorted scraps left...wonder what else I can make with them???

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

What a Frumpy Hausfrau Wears To...

...go from puttering around the house to going out in public...

 George 3/4 sleeve shirt - Walmart
Jeans - thrifted
Pink Converse tennies - Target

Add accessories!!

Butterfly earrings - Walmart
Pink butterfly scarf - hmmm...I can't remember

Monday, November 12, 2012

Veteran's Day Salute

I was blessed to spend Veteran's Day with my Daddy, who is a Viet Nam war veteran. Dad and Mom went to church with us in the morning, and afterward we enjoyed an enormous potluck dinner honoring all our veterans. We had a group of Freedom Riders, and our own Fred S. spoke about his experiences in World War II. The afternoon ended with a flag folding ceremony and Taps. Thank you to all our treasured Vets!

My Sailor Daddy and Me

I love my Daddy!
My outfit for the day included one of my "Use It or Lose It" pieces - the red skirt. I like how it looks paired with a chambray shirt and lace. Not thrilled with the gray tights and shoes. I think boots would have looked better, but they would not have been  practical with all the running around I did in the church kitchen.

 Faded Glory Chambray Shirt - Walmart
George White Lace Top - Walmart
Red Skirt - thrifted
Gray Flats - eBay
Cherries Pendant - Hobby Lobby
(on my own chain)

Friday, November 9, 2012

If It Weren't For The Pattern Mixing...

...I'd say this outfit was a dud.

 Croft & Barrow sweater - thrifted
Loft pants - Goodwill

 Necklace - made by me

Socks - Target
Flats - eBay

I would have rather worn a scarf with this instead of a necklace, but I didn't have one in my collection that looked right. Yep, even though I have 48 scarves, not a single one went with this outfit! Truly amazing. The colors were kind of ho-hum, too, but it was comfortable. At least the stripes and plaid made it somewhat interesting.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Sunday Morning

Old Navy Dress - thrifted
Jacket - thrifted
Boots - Target

Earrings - gift from my sister B
Scarfy-necklace - made by my sister B

First wearing of one of my "Use It or Lose It" challenge items, the Old Navy dress. I wasn't sure I'd even be able to wear it, since it is kind of clingy in all the wrong areas, but it actually did fit. Since it's sleeveless, I had to wear something either under or over it, and I had a really hard time coming up with anything good. This jacket was fine, but it's short-sleeved. I had to wrap a Mexican blanket around myself to wear in the car on the way to church! A friend at church laughed when I told her this - I should have had Some Postman take a picture of it! 

I'm on the fence about keeping the dress. As much as I do like it, it's difficult for me to coordinate other pieces with it. But that is the whole point of this challenge, so I'll give it another go before the month is out. 

This is the first time I've worn the scarfy-necklace that B made and gave me months ago. It got buried in my scarf collection, but thankfully surfaced to the top as I was digging around to find something with which to accessorize this outfit. It adds just the right splash of color.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Use It or Lose It! Nov '12 Edition

Some fashion bloggers are currently undergoing a shopping ban. While I'm not exactly participating in that (I enjoy perusing my local Goodwill too much for that!), I am going to issue another Use It or Lose It challenge for this month. These are my three challenge items; each of them has hung in my closet for at least three or four years and none has seen recent use.

Old Navy dress - thrifted
Wrapper red skirt - thrifted
Lemon Grass Studio striped shirt - thrifted

The Challenge:  Wear each item two different ways by the end of the month, or it's outta here!

Friday, November 2, 2012

A Warm Fall Day

Yesterday's weather was certainly more like September than November, with the high near 80°. I had a meeting to attend in the afternoon, which didn't require dressing in anything special, but I did anyway. Seemed like a good opportunity to wear a skirt and booties!

Top - JCP
Skirt - Goodwill
Booties - Walmart
Earrings - JCP

Sorry the pic is so dark at the bottom that you can't really see the booties, and I didn't take the time for close-up shots. You can see a good picture of them here instead. This poor old top should probably be retired, considering how pilly it is, but I still really like it. 

Anyone out there have a cure for your skirt bunching up at your knees when you walk while wearing tights? This skirt is a wool blend, but it is lined, so it shouldn't have this problem. I found it highly annoying as I walked downtown, visiting the thrift stores. 

November has arrived, according to the calendar if not the weather, and that means Thanksgiving will soon be upon us! There is much to be done in preparation of our upcoming holiday travel plans as well as an early Christmas celebration with my youngest sister, plus all the other Christmas events at church and with extended family. Time to whip out the notebooks for much list-making!

I have saved all of my kids' old partially-used notebooks from their school days, and I use them to jot down my holiday to-do lists, gift lists, menus, etc. This is the last of my stash, but it should be enough for a couple more years. I've found that if I truly need to accomplish some goals, making lists is the best way to assure everything gets done, and in a timely manner. If I go about it willy-nilly, inevitably one or two very important details are omitted and I feel rotten about it. Gotta keep my ducks in a row! (Yes, ducks really DO walk in a row. Especially dancing ducks!)

Another helpful element to my getting things done are my calendars. Yes, I have multiple calendars! One in the kitchen, which is the "family calendar" where church and family events, birthdays and anniversaries are posted; and two in my Green Room. 

These two planning calendars are my brain on paper. Without them, I would forget where I am going and when. The larger one posts appointments, meetings, events and deadlines. You may note that it's not filled in very much...yet. By the end of today, it will be loaded! The smaller one is my health journal, in which I record my exercise on a daily (OK, somewhat daily) basis and my weight/measurements once a month. At the beginning of the year, I also kept track of my food intake in this one, but that has long since fallen by the wayside. 

Yes, I do keep my planners on my ironing board. It's just the right height at which to stand and write, and I can leave the planners open for viewing all the time. My coupon caddy is on the other side of the iron; it's also necessary to keep out in the open for instant access. If the need arises to use the iron, the other stuff can easily be moved to the floor. The ironing board is also used for craft & sewing projects, cutting coupons and packing eBay and Etsy sales for shipping. Guess maybe when we are done with the House Project and my Green Room can be relieved of the computer and office equipment, I should purchase a second ironing board (an antique wooden one??) for all the non-ironing purposes. Hmmm....I like that idea!

And with that thought, I'm off to start making some lists...