Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Didn't Wear the New Shoes...

For our big function where I had planned to wear the new peep-toes, Dean pointed out that I'd be walking in grass (and sand actually) tonight, so I didn't wear them. I went with the awesome pointy Nine West heels that Sheila made me buy.

I think they go better with the vintage theme of the dress anyway; something says Mad Men to me. (Although the sweet little bow on the peep-toes says, "Don't hate me because I'm a platform.")

And here's my last pic from Chicago - the Marilyn Monroe statue on Michigan Avenue. I believe SHE'S wearing peep-toes...

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Day 3 - Mostly Meetings

Did you know you can summon a cab with your smartphone? After I shopped for fabric yesterday, I noticed there were no cabs to get me back. So after I'd walked several blocks with no sightings, I googled "taxis." Yellow Cab has an online thing where you type in your address and destination, and they text you back with the driver's name and ETA! Of course, they drive you crazy calling and texting to make sure you're in the cab, but what customer service! It took 7 minutes from the time I started till he got there - awesome.

And now, androgynous Dr. Fun, the drug rep:

I felt like Madonna in one of her music videos, except I'm wearing a shirt and not pearls.

Total cost of nicely constructed lined pants and jacket - $92. I love H&M!

And look at this black grosgrain ribbon they used for belt carriers and at the top of the waistband - isn't that sweet? (I totally needed a cute infinity scarf with this - would've jazzed it up.)

After shopping there, it's hard to justify buying clothes in Nordstrom (a pair of pants there was $168- I mean, really? The H&M pants were $35.) I was going to try Nordstrom Rack which is the "outlet" version, but it was too cold to walk all that way tonight. But hey, I made 3 fabric purchases and I finally found the perfect brown work shoe. I call this trip a success!

Back to Mobile tomorrow night after one more meeting. I'll be catching up with the family, so you people have a good rest of the week. (And Eileen - let me know if you want more info on fabric stores in Mobile and also where you shop in the New Orleans area.)

Day 2 - Fabric

So after lunch I took a cab to Roosevelt Road, where New Rainbow Fabrics and Vogue Fabrics are across the street from each other. Here's a glimpse inside New Rainbow:

I was greeted at the door and offered help - very nice. (Don't you want to make a dress with the leafy stuff? But you'd have to move all the leaves out of the way when you sew, right?) I didn't find anything that grabbed me. It's a small store, smaller than Promenade Fabrics in New Orleans, but they have lots of nice stuff. Knits were $7.99/yard.

Next to Vogue. It smelled funny and nobody offered to help me, even when I was carrying 2 bolts of fabric around. But then I stacked them on the cutting counter and had a great experience.

Two of these were $3.99/yd and the coral (it's not really red) was $3.19/yd! The guy cutting my fabric asked what I was going to make with that one. He said he was invited to Washington, DC to "do a show" and he decided he needed to use it for a "collection." (So obviously he designs and sews, and I guess that means he'll make one of everything?) He advised me to make a fun tank dress for summer. We'll see...

And this is what I wore to meetings today - I think these wide-legged pants from Loft (3 years ago...or as Ann puts it, seasons ago) balance out my hips (just let me be delusional if you disagree, because I already bought a similar pair today). I just wanted to show you my feminine-ish outfit, because tomorrow I'm going to rock my family's world.

See, the high is 48 tomorrow, so I found some work pants at H&M yesterday but I needed a heavier jacket than what I brought, so...well, you'll see. Just think "drug rep."

Saturday, March 24, 2012

First Day in Chicago

This is Soldier seen from the bus I ride to and from the meeting. What a great way to see the sites.

After my morning session, I met my friend Ann, a former Mobilian but native Chicagoan (Chicagian? Chicano?), for lunch and shopping. This store window caught my eye, for obvious reasons.

Holy crap, this is the big window over their door! I wasn't the only one taking pictures of it.

They must have a million vintage sewing machines - all the windows have them and they're scattered through the store....which looks like this inside:

I felt like I was in a 19th century sweatshop or something. Everything is vintage machinery and old wooden floors - too cool! And the clothes are CRAZY! Beaded mini skirts that probably wouldn't cover my assets, crocheted dresses, and this beautiful drapey silk dress that I photographed terribly, just take my word that you would look like a Greek goddess in this thing.

But here's the piece de resistance. After my evening meeting, I spent an hour in Nordstrom's shoe department. Ben (who told me he'd love to "work with me" again and told me to call him if I see something online and want him to ship it for free - talk about customer service!) helped me find a black heel in my price range. When the Ivanka Trump heel didn't work (she is surprisingly affordable!), he brought out some similar styles. The Dior was it, but then he told me it was $590. I told him I'm from Alabama and we're just not used to paying that much for our shoes (sorry, Alabamians). So he found me an affordable Enzo - I love it!

And here's the interesting brown loafer-type shoe for work...although it's bronze; they didn't have brown. (Is it wrong to wear a metallic shoe to work?)

So far, Chicago is a hit! Tomorrow, fabric.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Off to Chicago

Well tomorrow I'm off to Chicago for a big national meeting for work, and I hope to make it to some fabric stores. Robbie mentioned Vogue Fabrics and Cennetta recommended Fishman's and New Rainbow Fabrics - thanks guys! I'm also staying close to Nordman's, so there must be some shoe shopping as well....and pants, since I haven't found the perfect pants pattern for work yet.

I also got this in the mail yesterday. Gwen pointed me to the website quite a while back, and I've watched some of the webcasts. This pattern was on sale if you friended them on Facebook, so I went for it. (My pattern says "For the Youthful Beginner." Uh, wha?)

There are only 7 reviews on PR, but it looks really quick and easy. I'm going to do a muslin first, then use the charcoal silk knit I bought at Promenade in New Orleans a few months ago. We'll see how it goes.

Oh, and the low in Chicago is 48 degrees, so I may get to wear the green dress after all. (As I wait for Room Service and read my Stephen King book....great.)

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Mission Accomplished

Let's review. I started with New Look 6071 (Project Runway!).

My first muslin using size 12 bodice (according to my measurements) and 18 skirt.

Second muslin - downsized to 8 bodice and 14 skirt, but armscyes and sleeves too tight.

Went to a size 10 at the armscye only and lowered it 1/2". Used a size 10 sleeve. Here's the final result. (Sorry, as usual, for the crappy pictures. Even sitting on a table with the timer, they still come out blurry. Maybe the 9-year-old child standing NEXT to it had more to do with it, since he was not present for the pictures of the back...)

I'll take it! There are some drag lines on the sleeves so I still have some issue there, but they're comfortable. There's also some wonkiness at the right back sleeve cap, but I really didn't see it till these pictures. When I was looking in the mirror and moving my arms around, it all looked fine.

When I wear it I will continuously windmill with my right arm. Problem solved.

And Junior, I'm wearing the necklace you gave me that's made out of magazines!

(I know, it's too blurry to see, just take my word for it - tightly rolled magazines.) Now, the problem is that I missed all the cold weather, so I'll have to wait for next Fall to wear this I guess. Question for you ladies - if it's cold in Chicago next week when I'm there for the big yearly meeting, is it wrong to wear this since it will officially be Spring? (I mean those are brown suede shoes, for Heaven's sake!)

Also, for anyone familiar with Chicago - best places to fabric shop? Robbie mentioned Vogue - I had no idea! I need your thoughts before Thursday...

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Goodbye Heejun?

I WILL go upstairs and cut out the moss green sweater knit dress with sleeves eventually. I just wanted to jump on here with my powers of observation and declare my prediction that Heejun is going home tonight from American Idol. I predict that Joshua Ledet, Skylar Laine, and maybe Phillip Phillips will be in the top 5. On second thought, it could be the tall blonde teenager that goes home - she did not have a good night last night.

That is all.

Monday, March 12, 2012

What I Did This Weekend

Lucas had a campout at Fort Gaines Saturday. I'd never been there, and we got to DRIVE IN to unload our stuff. Have you ever driven across a moat? Now you can!

Here's where we bunked - the officers' quarters. Nice, right?

I was on that bottom bunk. No roaches or spiders got on me as far as I know. And I WOULD know, because I lay awake until 5:30 AM, when I fell asleep for one hour till the kids started waking up. There's a reason women don't go on Boy Scout campouts (well, maybe a few, actually) - men snore. And Paul Bunyan was in the bunk next to me, sawing away.

Here's our kitchen - is this not cool?

Here's one of the cannons....aimed right at an oil rig. No, seriously, this is at the mouth of the Mobile Bay on Dauphin Island, and on the other side is Gulf Shores and Fort Morgan. Ever hear, "Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead?" Yep, that was here.

Heck of a sunset.

So that was Fort Gaines - very cool that we were the only people in there. If your Cub Scout group is interested, it's $15/person to spend the night and you have the place to yourself.

And now for something completely different (Monty Python). This car passed me today. I very carefully and safely snapped a picture while stopped at a red light.

Do not adjust your monitor - it is painted with a tiny houndstooth pattern and has a University of Alabama tag. That is a dedicated fan.

Friday, March 9, 2012

2nd Verse, Little Bit Better...

Well this doesn't look so much like a granny nightgown! There are 3 men in the house, and one pointed out that stripes make me look quite hippy. (Horizontal stripes do that? I had no idea!) Seriously, this is a stash fabric that cost $2/yard and I knew it would look bad as a dress, but I actually feel really cute when I'm wearing it, like I'm headed to a tennis match.

I had asked everyone for their first impression. One said, "80's." That's all he had to say.

The other one said, "That makes you stand out. You look really young, like you're going to a prom. And you look really skinny." (Okay, we know who said that.)

I went from a size 12 bodice to an 8, but the sleeves will be too tight at the armscye, so I need to work that out. I originally cut a 16 skirt, but this time I cut a 12.

So the armscye is just a smidge tight, but the sleeve is ridiculous, so I've got to work that out before I do the REAL moss green sweater knit.

In the meantime, I will be wearing this to Publix and Target, and maybe out to eat at a casual place. And shout-out to SHEILA, who was the only one brave enough to comment on the granny dress nightmare - thank you, Sister!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Some Awful Pictures...and I Don't Mean Blurry

This is how it's supposed to look.

And here's my first muslin....

Sorry, didn't mean to scare you. I'm pretty sure it's too big. And we'll ignore the color, because I know I shouldn't wear that shade of pink - it's too close to my actual color. Only a woman with a deep tan could pull that off. Robbie was right about my asymmetrical hips - I thought I was standing straight but it looks twisted.

Here's a different shot. You can almost see exactly where I took a 1" swayback adjustment. It stands away from my back with weird indentations at my hips...maybe a thicker knit wouldn't do this.

Or maybe I need to curve the center back a little more to get it to snug up instead of making me look like I have a pathologically straight spine.

I think I'll try a smaller upper bodice and lift it up to get the criss-cross higher so I don't look like Granny Pete from the front. (I have no idea who Granny Pete is - I think my grandmother said that, as in, "Great Granny Pete, she's as nutty as a fruitcake!")

Anyway, this went together REALLY quick, as evidenced by my finishing it except for sleeves and hem. I even tried to topstitch the neckline, but I didn't have another spool of the light pink, so I cheated with a dark pink in the double needle, and then that sucker BROKE for some reason - odd.

This shall be relegated to "swimsuit coverup" at the beach. The question is, should I now do it in a nicer knit (that moss green sweater knit) with the above adjustments and hope it turns out better? Or is the style just too awful for a pear?

Monday, March 5, 2012

Saw a New Show Last Night

Well I fell asleep halfway through, but this is what Dean found on TV late last night.

Yes, that is Oprah sitting in her PJ's with no makeup on apparently, and Paula Deen is in her nightgown with no foundation or blusher. (I thought it was NO makeup, but she definitely has on eye makeup.) This is Oprah's Next Chapter, which is a new series on her channel, I guess. I LOVED it! They're just sittin' there without their contacts in, drinking coffee in their jammies talking about Paula's issues. Now Gayle is wearing rainboots and regular clothes, but she looked makeup-less too. And nobody's using the clearest diction they have or trying to look glamorous - they just look like they're having a conversation where some surprising stuff comes out.

This reminded me of my yearly get-togethers with my college housemates where we just sit around in our PJ's and talk till lunchtime. Then after dinner we get back in our PJ's and sit around drinking wine and talking...unless there's a hot tub to sit in - then we'll have on our swimsuits.

It's like a slumber talk-show - you go, Oprah! But maybe the eyeglasses and PJ's were Paula's go, Paula!

Friday, March 2, 2012

New Patterns

Yeah, I'm knocking out the dresses left and right, so I really needed to buy these 2 dress patterns. But you know, it was the McCall's pattern sale at Hancock and I had time to kill before picking up the kids, so what the heck. This one was a favorite dress of 2011 I think, or it got great reviews, or it looked nice on somebody else at PR, so I wanted it.

This one looked good on a reviewer, so I made a note of it and grabbed it - $3.99!

And this Kwik Sew 3301 is just freaky, but I wanted a pattern for boy-short undies. My pattern envelope only has the drawings, not the full-size picture of those horrid underwear - ughhh! Those are just hideous - that poor model has probably been run out of model-town.

I actually made it upstairs this afternoon and adjusted the rise on my jeans pattern by 1" front and back, then started to cut it out of fabric for a pair to wear to work, but I realized it was upholstery fabric - it was from that church sale a few years ago. So I went through one drawer of my stash, and that was the end of productive sewing. Don't you love going through drawers and finding stuff you forgot you had and you wish you could use right NOW! This is what Sewista was talking about the other day - not buying new stuff because you have so much great old stuff.

Oh well, have a great weekend and stay safe in this weather!