Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Magazine Holders

I had been meaning to decorate these magazine holders for probably over a year. Plain ones, from Ikea:

I finally got around to it yesterday. I decorated four holders: one in greens, one in blues, one in reds, and the last one in yellows.

I used paper that I had purchased in Florence during a trip with my sister in October, 2009. The paper was sold in packs as remnants; it's the same paper that the artisans use to make beautiful journals, for example.





My magazines are much happier now.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Shirt Refashion

I finally finished fixing this shirt. It took about two seconds so I don't know why I didn't finish it earlier!

I simply changed the buttons (because the original ones were coming out of their backing).

Original buttons:

New buttons:

And I took it in 1.5 centimeters on each side, including the sleeves. It looked like a sack (in cute fabric) before and now it looks a little more shapely:

Thanks to T. for taking the photos! That makes one more thing I can wear during the remaining of Me-Made-June.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

New Shoes

I went out into town yesterday to take advantage of the summer sales, specifically looking for some sandals. And I bought some awesome, comfy sandals, but of course they weren't on sale. ;)

Here's the link to the Mephisto website if you want another view: Mephisto.

I also wore my cream-colored blouse (Simplicity 2501) for the first time:

I haven't worn it previously because it has black marks on it from my tailor's chalk that I can't get rid of:

Normally this goes away after one time in the washing machine, but it's still here and I've washed it twice. Anyone have any suggestions? The belt covers it up, but I don't want to be obliged to wear the belt every time.

I was planning on wearing this with my turquoise pants but when I put them on this morning they were a little obscenely tight. I did NOT take a picture of that. :) They fit last summer...apparently I've been eating too much pasta!

Anyhow, here's what I've been wearing for Me Made June. There's only 5 days left!

The weather has warmed up and I've been able to wear some skirts. Hopefully it stays at its current (beautiful) temperature and doesn't become too hot.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Gorgeous Free Wallpaper for Your Computer

Julia and Yuriy from the Mr and Mrs Globe Trot Blog are giving away FREE computer wallpaper. Check it out at their shop: Handle With Care.

They have five designs and I'm having trouble picking between these three:

Live What You Love:


Home Is Where You Are:

Gorgeous, non?!?

It can be a little confusing when you look at their site because the images are priced at 1 cent, but in fact you just need to click on the size that you like and save it to your computer. There is no need to pay!

I am in no way affiliated with Julia and Yuriy (I don't even know them), I just love these designs and thought you might too. Please don't print or resell these images :)

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Heidi and Tao

Here's a photo of us at the costume party:

That's Tao and Heidi next to Jem from Jem and the Holograms (aka, the birthday girl). Here's what her cartoon version looks like:

From Google Images.

And here's a photo of my crazy bodice. As I couldn't button the last button I decided to just leave it off.

This is going to be recycled into a future quilt project. :)

Monday, June 20, 2011

Glasses Have Arrived

Thank you everybody for helping me pick out my new eyeglasses. Here were the choices:

I chose Option #4:

My eyes are still adjusting to the new prescription. That doesn't explain the squint; I'm always like that.

And here's what I've been wearing for Me Made June. I've had to repeat a lot of items because I don't have much! This shows days 9 - 18 (in no particular order), except day 10. The image file for that day is too small for it to work with this collage. On days 17 and 18 I wore the same thing, except for the evening, when I changed into my Heidi costume. :)

Thank you Drew and T. for helping with the photos and have a great week everyone!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Busy Week

I didn't have time to post this week because I busy trying to finish my costume (plus T's costume) for a themed birthday party on Saturday the 18th. Our friend was celebrating her 30th birthday and she decided to throw a big costumed party with the theme being animated shows/cartoons from the 80's. So of course I started working on the costumes on maybe...Monday, only after having picked out the character on Saturday. Note to self: never do that again!

T. decided to go as Tao from Les Mystérieuses Cités d'Or:

Here's his finished outfit, sans accessories:

If we ever have to dress in costume again, I think his outfit could easily pass as an ancient Roman, non?

And, despite never having watched the show, I decided to be Heidi from Studio Ghibli's Heidi, Girl of the Alps:

Both drawings came from Google Images.

I don't have pictures of me in my full outfit (forgot to take some last night at the party - too busy partying I guess), but here's one that shows the finished skirt:

I wanted the majority of my outfit to be made of pieces I could wear again. It seemed simple enough, a red skirt and a red tank top. (I purchased a yellow t-shirt for the undershirt). I used Simplicity 2367 again for the skirt (this time I placed the waist band correctly but still managed to f** up the zipper). I'll be able to wear it after I fix the zipper and the finished product actually fits in with two of my current challenges:


Plus it'll give me one more thing to wear during Me-Made-June, yay!

The red top, however, was a disaster. I tried to adapt the bodice from New Look 6587 in order to make the top. The top ended up too big in the bust and too tight at the waist. It's so tight I can't even close the last button. Definitely not a wearable object in 'real' life and unfortunately there's no easy fix. Actually the easy fix would be to start all over again but I don't love the idea of the top that much so I have no plans on doing so.

Nonetheless I'll try to get a photo of me wearing the full costume so you can see the damage :)

In the meantime I need to get my house (and head) back in order after a crazy week of sewing. Plus I didn't go to bed 'til 6 am today. That is the first time ever in many years that I've crawled out of bed past noon.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

New Look 6870: Peasanty blouse

The project belongs to both the Colette Spring Palette Challenge and the Summer Essentials Challenge. I have a vague list for my Summer Essentials Challenge; hopefully I'll get it together soon and share it with you :)

I had some problems. The instructions for inserting the sleeves were rubbish. I finally just had to put aside the instructions and look at the cover picture to figure out what I was supposed to do. But once I did that I had no problems (except my finicky sewing machine).

I also had problems with the bust darts. I suppose I should've done a small bust adjustment but I still don't know how to! So I sewed the darts as indicated in the directions and here was the result (excuse the chest close-up):

Little pointy triangles: no good! So I undid the darts and just did gathers instead. And I changed to a different bra - that also helped:

This was my first time sewing with cotton voile; I didn't find it much more challenging than usual. My needle was too big though. And the holes do show a bit where I took out stitches.

Another new thing for this project was using the elastic. I inserted the elastic around the neck; unfortunately it got twisted at least two times during the process and I was unable to fix it. It also doesn't show too much (I hope).

Things I did well: this time I did a much better job making the little button loop; and I'm happy with the stitching around the neck:

The weather is too cold to actually wear this outfit. And it was drizzling a bit when we went outside to take the photos so we did it quickly. I forgot to ask T. to take a photo of the back. But here's a funny shot:

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Me Made June Collage #1

I haven't been doing posts on my Me-Made-June outfits, but here's a collage of my outfits for the first 8 days:

The tops are all sewn by me, EXCEPT the butterfly top and the shirt (and cardigan) I'm wearing in the photo next to the statue. The brown linen pants are sewn by me.

Thanks to D. & T. for taking the pictures. Clearly I need to break out some skirts!

Monday, June 6, 2011

News of Various Sorts

I have bad news and good news. The bad news is that my knitting project that I've been working on for over a year - and which is approaching the end - has a huge boo-boo. One part of a skein was apparently not treated in the same manner as the rest of the skein and is consequently a different color (and texture).

You see the whiter band there? It's glaringly obvious in direct sunlight, but I knit mainly inside and so hadn't noticed.

Of course I didn't notice this until after I had knit several inches. And I really don't want to rip back and take out that yarn because at that point I'm already well into the decreases. I'd never be able to figure out how to reconstruct it correctly; the moss stitch is too complicated for me. So I'm thinking I'll just finish knitting the sweater (it's for me) and dye the whole thing (maybe a nice grey?) afterward. Is that insane?

Have any of you done something similar? Any brand of dye you recommend? I prefer natural dyes, if possible. The yarn is supposedly 100% wool but I don't have the label. I bought it at a warehouse near Paris that sells overstock, discounted yarn and things like that.

In happier news, yesterday I started a spring/summer shirt that is part of my Colette Spring Palette Challenge: New Look 6870, view C, without the lace.

I'm using this fabric: Alexander Henry Fulham Road Bell. I purchased the end of a bolt and there wasn't much left. I couldn't lay out the sleeves as indicated on the pattern instructions, but I'm hoping it'll work anyhow.

And while I was watching the French Open finals I needed something (fairly) mindless to do, so I dug out a shirt that needs taken in and I ripped out the side seams. This is the fake before-shot, as I forgot to take a real one:

The designer - Pronk - has placed one continuous seam going all the way up the side and into the sleeves. I just opened up the whole thing as it seemed easier.

I can't decide if it's a good idea to sew one big seam like that or not. I suppose it makes for faster sewing. But if I had only wanted to change the sleeve band width, I might have been annoyed to find myself having to open up the entire side seam as well.

Anyhow, this shirt has been out of circulation for at least a year because it's just baggy and unflattering as it is, so hopefully this will salvage it. The shirt is fine in every other way, EXCEPT the buttons.

I love the buttons; in fact, they are the main reason I bought the shirt in the first place. Unfortunately, about half of them have fallen out of their backing...or whatever that's called. So I also need to replace the buttons. Still, it should be a relatively quick fix.

Those are my projects for the next week or so. I'll do a post later to catch up on Me-Made-June; I'm loving checking out everyone's outfits.

Saturday, June 4, 2011


My friend Drew and I went on a day trip to Bourges yesterday. It was a cute city; I especially liked the area behind the old Gallo-Roman ramparts. Unfortunately I didn't take a picture over there; that was stupid of me.

My second favorite place was probably the Palais Jacques Coeur, who was the mint master for Charles VII. My outfit for Me Made June (day 3) is shown next to his statute:

Here are some other photos in and around the palace:

If you like travel photos, I found this blog not long ago: Mr and Mrs Globe Trot. It's written by a couple of newlyweds who took 6 months after their marriage to travel around the world. They take beautiful photos. If you don't want to read the blog, you can simply look at their Flickr photo stream.