Thursday, August 28, 2014

Finding style

First - I hate you blogspot! I should have written my post somewhere else first and then posted it because blogspot ate my post! Grrrrrrr!

Well, here's take two to the post I spent way too much time composing this afternoon!

I envy women who have style - women who look comfortable and complete in their clothing and accessories. I realize that this takes effort and time.  A lucky woman might have a great wardrobe and/or a great body so that whatever she pulls out of her closet looks great, but to make it complete one still needs to know what to combine and how to accessorize it.

I have neither a great wardrobe nor a great body, but I do feel like I have style...albeit in my head. I have lots of ideas and opinions about what I like and don't like, but not much seems to make it into what I wear. If only Cinderella's birds and mice could turn my fabric and pattern stash into the wardrobe I envision!

I could use these helpers!

Of course I could just buy clothing instead of waiting for my fabric and pattern stash to magically turn into a great wardrobe, except that I really don't like to shop. I used to love to shop for clothes when I was a teenager, but these days I am overwhelmed by the volume of clothing in the department stores, and I am intimidated by boutiques. I think, probably unrealistically, that clothing in boutiques will be pricey, and everything will be smaller than size 10. I am also afraid of the boutique salesperson talking me into buying something I will regret. After all, style is personal, and the salesperson is a stranger who has nothing to go on except for the clothing style I wear coming in. (And no, I do not have any girlfriends to go shopping with.) This is of course based on the assumption that salespeople in boutiques help the customer. If I have to shop I still prefer the anonymity of the department store. Except for Nordstrom's there isn't anyone to help (or bother) you in the department store. They've cut corners. Sales are now handled in centralized kiosks, and they don't have enough people to keep the racks neat and return clothing to them. The dressing rooms are a mess, which is of course really the fault of piggy-shoppers...but I digress. I view the department and franchise stores (Zara, H&M, etc.) as a sea of cheap clothing, churning over with new styles every few weeks to whet the appetite of chronic shoppers. The prices may be low but I have no place in my closet for thin, throwaway clothes. I am also dismayed at the inability to find a middle ground between junior "sexy" and middle age boring. But most of the time when I'm shopping for clothes I think that I should be home sewing them instead!

So what is my style? It's safe to say that what's in my closet is rather boring - I did say that I don't have a great wardrobe. Since I'm not working outside the home, I haven't had a real incentive to pay attention to what I wear. Most days I just pull out whatever is clean and fits, which is typically jeans and a t-shirt type shirt. My jewelry consists of a watch, my wedding rings, and earrings. The earrings rotate among three or four pairs even though I have a jewelry box full of earrings - as well as necklaces and bracelets. My shoes are usually flat, comfortable shoes due to problem feet. My most comfortable shoe is actually a sneaker, but they're black so I pretend they're not sneakers. With all the walking I do here, both everyday grocery store runs and marathon walking when I tour the cities of Europe, comfort is paramount.

I've decided that I want to find a better style. I need to work with what I've got since I won't go shopping, and I don't think there will be any magic mice and birds to help me sew. I'm a perfectionist so I probably wouldn't want their help anyway! Today I needed to go to the produce market downtown so I dressed in my usual jeans and t-shirt. But I dressed it up just a little, with a bracelet, different earrings, a necklace, a scarf, and I put on some low heel, ankle boots since I wasn't going to be walking far. I felt better walking around, a little like someone with some style. What do you think?

Just a little bit more style to my usual casual wear

Monday, August 18, 2014

Where has the summer gone?

It's mid-August and I haven't posted since June. I haven't sewn anything since June partly because I've been busy with house guests, but also because what I wanted to sew is for summer, and now it's cold out! Well ok, not cold, but it's not typical August hot here:

I would much rather have these temps than hot (no a/c here!) but I'm not really motivated to work on the summer tops I was going to make. I traced off a couple of patterns in June, but this is as far as I got with one of them:

With some creative layout, I think I will be able to squeeze out New Look 6213. Fortunately the fabric doesn't have a direction to it.