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Archive for April, 2011

Katherine Gets Married

I woke up this morning and ran in to check the news online to see the royal wedding.  I got so excited looking at the video clips and photos that I had to start this post right away and say how wonderful Katherine’s dress is.  The bodice really makes me think of Grace Kelly.  I love the use of lace in the bodice and the long sleeves and stand up collar.

A few key things that I could see becoming wedding dress trends over the next few years are the veil and tiara, wide waist pleats, a return to skirt fullness, and lace bodices.  Some of these things are already in the current vocabulary of wedding dress fashion but I think they could spike into a major trends, much as puffed sleeve wedding dresses did after Princess Diana’s wedding.

Katherine’s sister Pippa deserves a word here, too.  I just loved her maid of honor dress.

The shape is reminiscent of the 1930’s and I love the draped neckline.  This could be a wedding dress at a more casual wedding.

I’d love to be able to inspect this dress more closely.  I’m very interested in the way the bodice of this dress is put together.  Also I really feel there might be shoulder pads in there.  Not big ones, but there is something causing the sleeves to stand away from the upper arms a bit.

Well done, all in all.  I don’t think Katherine could ever look back at her wedding photos and regret her choices.  She looks so classic and beautiful.  I heard that she arrived to the ceremony in a car to symbolize her arrival into the marriage as a commoner and she left in a carriage because after the wedding she is royalty.  A dress like the one she wore also symbolizes as ascent to royalty and she pulled it off beautifully.


All Synapses Firing

You know what I think the most important game is in life?  The apple game.  Maybe you called it something different but as a child I called it the apple game.  It is the matching game in which all the cards are laid face down on the table and each player is allowed to turn over two cards per turn.  The object of the game is to remember the locations of the cards so you can make a match and remove cards from the playing table.

I loved this game when I was a kid and as an adult I often feel those memory-building skills coming into play when I see something I like.  Like these gorgeous tights from Wolford.

They are stunning but they are $55.  Ouch.  Then I remembered We Love Colors.  They carry a wide range of tights and fishnets in an even wider range of colors.  Here are their Diamondnet fishnet tights.

These are available in about 50 colors (no exaggeration) and they cost $9.50.   The color they call Pastel Mint is my pick for the closest match to Wolford’s Opal color.

The pastel mint color

Although the We Love Colors tights are somewhat different and don’t have quite as pretty a pattern I think I would have much less of a heart attack when my $9.50 tights go the way of all things that I would when my $55 dollar tights get a blowout on the second wearing.  I have bought tights from We Love Colors in the past and they are pretty durable.  I like that they have options for plus-size women, too.

Our backyard garden

Jason has quite a green thumb and has before transformed tiny patches of dirt (known as a So Cal backyard) into verdant growing spaces from which we have enjoyed summer bounties.  This year our backyard is just a concrete slab so he built us 4 gigantic wooden planters to hold our summer garden.

He optimistically put handles on the ends but they are so big and heavy I don't know if we can lift them.

We’ve had the seeds in pots for weeks and recently transplanted them and they are going gangbusters.

This is a red leaf lettuce and you can see the leaves beginning to turn.

This variety of watermelon is called moon and stars.

We buy a lot of our seeds from Seed Savers.  They are a fantastic company with a great mission.  You can check out their website: http://www.seedsavers.org/

My parents are avid gardeners as well.  In fact they grow so much produce that they eat it all year.  My mother cans like crazy when the tomatoes and beans start coming in and they freeze a lot of produce, too.  My mother told me they are already eating salads of their spring greens out in Tennessee, my home state.  I hope to be eating some of my own soon.

This year we are growing:

Brown Berry tomatoes

Brandywine tomatoes

Silverbeet chard


Sun and moon watermelon




I like looking at the list.  It makes my mouth water…

Altering a vintage dress pattern

I’m going to be altering a vintage dress pattern I have been hanging on to for several years.  It is from one of my favorite decades of the 20th century, the 40’s.  The 40’s provided some of the most flattering and practical daywear looks for women.  Restrictions on fabric due to WWII led to shorter skirts and trimmer silhouettes and the designs were practical because more women were in the workforce than ever before.  I’m not as big a fan of the evening wear of the era but the day dresses are fantastic.  I’m going to be adapting this pattern.

Look at these ladies, they are ready to go!  I’m pretty sure the one in the blue dress is going to plant some tomatoes in her victory garden while the lady in red is going downtown to buy a hat.

The pattern has a 25″ waist which is too small for me so I’m having to size the pattern up.  Then I will make a mock up in a cheap muslin and after that will come the real dress.  My goal is to have it finished for summer.   Stay tuned for more updates on this project.

Gucci belt, I want you so bad.

A big part of my mission is starting this blog is to push myself to do the projects on which I am vacillating.  Let me tell you it is a long list.  I have a scrapbook of cutout pages from magazines that are full of ideas I meant to follow up on and this spring, in the pages of Elle, I found another item for the file.  I found this Gucci belt that cost $990 dollars and the back of my brain started singing.  I could make that!  I could!  Immediately I picked it apart in my mind and knew exactly how I would make it.  All I needed was the right fabric and some gold cord.  Wait!  You are wondering what the hell I am talking about.  Here is the belt.

Right in the center, gold belt.

So I went downtown and bought this fabric.

It was $15 a yard and the guy would not let me buy less than a yard.  Still $15 versus almost $1000.  I think I made out ok.  I have most of the fabric still.  I could make several more of this belt.This is the finished product.  I lined it with black linen.  I made mine 4″ wide and it is cute but in hindsight I think I might have made it more like 3″.  When you are curvy and you wear a very wide belt it does tend to try to fold over while you are wearing it to accommodate the curve of your waist.  I have worn this several times with dresses and it looks great.  It really glams up an outfit.