School House Tunic #2

Ever since I made my first School House Tunic for the Fall Palette Challenge I have been wearing all the time, pretty much, if it's clean, I'm wearing it.

I fell in love with this pattern for three reasons:

  1. I can cut it out and sew it up in day, and I'm not a quick sewer;
  2. It looks nice enough to wear to work;
  3. It is soooo comfy!

It's also fairly easy to adapt. For this version I added some more substantial button loops (thanks to Mags and Bristol for help with the placement) and I've got fabric lined up for a longer version with some pintucks planned.

The fabric in this one is slightly stiffer than the last one, which gives it a crisper shape, and I'm in love with the Anna Maria Horner print.

  • Top: School House Tunic, made by me
  • Skirt: made by me
  • Tights: Target
  • Shoes: Clarks
  • Robot Bracelet: by Hobomoon on esty

I can't wait until I have time to sew a third version. Do you have a favorite go-to pattern?

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Tying Up The Week

Um, wow. How did it get to be Friday already? Heck, I'm not even sure where November went. In any case I wanted to pop in over here say "hi!", and I thought I'd throw in an outfit post, since this one is just about the opposite of the skirty outfits I've posted in the past.


There was a period in high school where I would wear ties all the time, now the only one I own is this one. I like to think of this outfit as the chic girly take on classic grandpa style, with the gray cardi and wool tie. Also, I love my new boots and I'm sure you've all experienced how hard it is to find the perfect boot.


Sweater: Pas de Valse, knit by me.

Button up shirt: Banana Republic Outlet

Tie: John Henry, was my dad's.

Jeans: Old Navy

Boots: Clarks


In other news, I've been busy Christmas decorating and crafting, and I hope to share some of that with you all soon! And oh yeah, I cut off all my hair again.

Happy Friday!

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OOTD: Making it Work for Me

Shabby Apple - Southwest Style Remember a few weeks back when I said this sweater wasn't my favorite, but that I'd probably wear it a ton anyway? While I still think it isn't the most "me" thing I've ever made, I have been wearing it a lot, and as the frustration of making it has worn off, I've grown to really like it. It's cozy and very versatile.

In this outfit, I paired it with another "out of my comfort zone" piece, the very red Red-Fox dress.

Shabby Apple - Southwest Style

I fell in love with the dress, and bought it even though as a red-head (ish- auburn really) I've always avoided red. My last attempt at styling this dress I shared didn't quite work for me, the red/black was just too harsh methinks, but this "southwestern" take is a much better fit. The turquoise necklace hints at it, but if I had cowboy boots, it would be really southwestern.

Necklace: from my Mom

Cardigan: made by me

Dress: Red Fox by Shabby Apple

Belt: from my Mom

Shoes: Bass Outlet

Shabby Apple - Southwest Style

When you end up with items that aren't in your usual style, how do you make it work for you??

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Watercolor Memories


I know I said my next sewing project would be a blouse, but I got distracted and had to make this dress first instead. I feel that the finished project is very Anthropologie-looking, so I tried to do my best Anthro-model impression above.


I've been loving watercolor florals for some time now, and when I saw this silky print at JoAnn's on my last visit I had to pick it up. I combined the fabric with Butterick 5028, a pattern that's been languishing in my stash for at least four years, waiting for the right 6o-inch fabric.


The pattern is all of three pieces, but I made a few mods, including lengthening the hem by about 1.5" and changing the neckline to a scoop neck. Later when I remembered I don't like scoop necks on me, I added the fabric loops to the front straps to change it up just enough to my liking. I still need to tack the loops down so they don't slide up, but I'm very happy with the finished project.


The fabric is nice and drapey, and despite being polyester (lined with yellow gingham in the bodice) it's very breezy and comfortable. I will say that my last two experiences with poly (this and my Lady Grey lining) have not been the best for my machine. They're so tightly woven that a very sharp needle is necessary. Lesson learned: universals no, sharps yes.

I also did my first attempt at a lapped side zipper using the instructions that came with the zipper, which I found very clear. My zipper's a bit wonky at the top, but that's because I didn't line it up the best and this fabric didn't deal well with seam ripping. I'd definitely do it again on another project.


I definitely loved this pattern, and I think if I could find the right white 60-inch eyelet fabric I'd make another in a heartbeat, probably with the original v-neck front and sash.


Another note, I like the drapy-ness of the back bodice on this one, but if you were concerned about bra straps showing, you could tack it together at the cross over point for something more stable. The back hem looks a little weird in this photo, I think because the weight of the fabric isn't enough to counteract the pull of bodice or it's static-y  or I could be standing funny- I'm not sure.


Dress: Me-made

Butterfly-Wing Necklace: Birthday gift

Belt: from shirt I no longer have

Sandals: Born Concept

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A Chambray Day

I'll admit that post-Lent, I've missed doing outfit posts, so I'm bringing 'em back (albeit not daily-maybe weekly). Chambray Day

I've been thinking a lot about personal style lately and I've been trying to think what, if anything, defines my style. I have a hard time putting my finger on it (though my knitting circle can select with great accuracy, what would be a "Leah sweater") and I thought by continuing to document my favorite outfits, I might be able to get a better grasp on my personal style.

Chambray Day

Chambray Dress: Bass Outlet

Forecast Cardigan: Made by Me

Boots: Naturalizers - perhaps unsurprisingly, I've worn a hole in the bottom of these :(

How do you define your personal style? Any tips for pinning it down? Does it help you in any way or do you think it doesn't matter?

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Lent 2011 - Wrap Up and Reflections

The number one question I was asked about this Lent challenge was whether I was wearing a different skirt or dress every day - to which I answered a resounding "no"! I have a lot of skirts and dresses, but not 46!! I'll even admit to wearing the same outfit more than once, but the official breakdown of skirted items worn (a total of 19)  is as follows:

Skirts (11)

Me-Made (7):

Lent 2011 Day 2Lent Day 30

Lent 2011 Day #13Lent 2011 - Day 33

Lent Day #15Lent Day 22

Tone on Tone (Lent Day #17)

Lent Day 21Lent Day 42

Lent Day 26

Easter Beignet


Lent 2010 - Day #3Lent 2010 Day #5Me and the MagnoliasCherry Blossoms

Lent 2010 Day #6Lent Day #14Lent Day #12Scout's Honor (Lent Day 44)

Lent 2011 Day #9Lent Day #10Lent Day 41

Parlez vous Beret (Lent Day #16)Lent Day 36

Obviously, when it came to skirts, I wore my store-bought skirts more than me-made ones, which I figure was due to two reasons:

  1. They're generally more casual
  2. they're more neutral.

So the lesson here is to make more casual/neutral skirts, or get used to fancy pattern mixing. And hey!! My next sewing project is a grey twill skirt - sounds casual/neutral to me!

Dresses (8)

Me-Made (5):

Lent Day 1

Looking Work-y

Lent Day 27

Lent Day 29

Lent Day 43

Vintage(2): Lent Day #8

Lent Day 34

Store Bought(1): Lent Day #7

I have a handful of other items, but they're more definitely summer-wear.

The other thing about the specific outfits was that my level of comfort with an outfit was inversely proportional to the amount out compliments I got on it. That is: the less sure I was about an outfit, the more likely it was that everyone else would.

Best compliment I got: (on Day 36) 'It's like Ugly Betty, but not ugly!"

The hardest part of the challenge: Staying warm in the cold Maine spring (and my subsequent annoyance with tights) and figuring out to what to wear on the weekends.

What Your Clothes Say About You

This Lent challenge also been an interesting experiment in how other people "read" my dress.

For example, on Flickr, I've been asked to include some of the above photos in groups like "Offbeat Modest Dress" and "Way Too Pretty To Wear Pants." The latter whose group goals include the following:

I would really love it if some of the women who post their pictures to the group would consider undertaking a pledge to stop wearing pants (that's 'trousers' for anyone in the UK...) for a month, or a year - or ideally forever :-). That way, the group can help to promote feminine beauty by setting inspirational examples." (The group of course was founded by a man).

This doesn't count the numerous"favorites" from Flickr "creepers" who favorites are filled with pictures of women in tights, or turtleneck sweaters, or some other clothing-based fetish. All of which were quickly blocked.

Carrying It On

All in all, I call this Lenten challenge a success. Some mornings I would have rather not done it, but I'm glad that I did and had a lot fun looking at my wardrobe in a different way and trying new combos with my existing piece.

While I did wear pants to work yesterday, it felt kinda weird and I was less excited about it as an outfit, so super-cold or wet days aside, I think I'll be wearing a lot more skirted items day to day.

Now the next challenge is to come up with the next challenge!! (Suggestions, as always, are welcome!!)

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Happy Easter!!

Easter Beignet

Happy Easter!!

I know that technically I don't have to wear a skirt today, but it's Easter and I finished it last night, so I figured I would wear my sparkly new Beignet skirt.

Easter Beignet

It took me about a month from muslin to finished project, but I think the time was well worth it.

Easter Beignet

The shell fabric is a lovely blue twill from my stash and the lining is a super soft polka dotted poly-charmeuse from JoAnn's. The lining fabric was a bit of pain to work with (it frayed terribly until I finished the seams), but it feels fantastic.

Easter Beignet

The buttons are pale blue slimlines. I considered doing a more contrasting button, but decided I wanted this skirt to be a versatile as possible, so I kept it tone-on-tone.

Easter Beignet

The sewing was not difficult, although attaching the curved parts of the lining to the facing can be fussy. The reason it took me  so long was purely due to the large number of seams -meaning a large number of seams to finish.

Easter Beignet

That said, if I came across a good fabric, I'd make it again and I think this iteration will get lots of wear especially since the twill can be dressier (like today) or more casual.

Easter Beignet

Top: Ann Taylor Loft - from Material Objects (consignment)

Coral Necklace: American Girl Co. (to go with my Felicity doll, when I was ten or so)

Skirt: Beignet, made by me

Shoes: Bass Outlet

Chocolate Bunny: from Mom

Jelly Beans: on loan from Mr. Cleaver

In the next few days, I'll do a post-Lent round-up/wrap up. Hope you've enjoyed this challenge as much as I have!

Domenic Duck

PS - Don't forget  today is the last day to get $1.00 off the Domenic Pattern in my Ravelry shop!

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Scout's Honor

Scout's Honor (Lent Day 44) I was once told that wearing this scarf made me look like a Girl Scout. So for today's outfit, I figured in for a dime, in for a dollar and paired it with a brown skirt and some knee highs.

Scout's Honor (Lent Day 44)

Scarf: Vintage Vera, purchased at Ferdinand

Cardigan: Old Navy

Flower Pin: Made by Me

Skirt: Ann Taylor Loft

Socks: Made by Me

Shoes: Bass Outlet

I don't have any experience with the Girl Scouts myself, but I was a Boy Scout sister for many many years (My father and brother and two cousins are all Eagle Scouts and my father and uncle both served as Scoutmasters).

Scout's Honor (Lent Day 44)

As such I am displaying the Boy Scout salute in these photos. Maybe they're the same, I don't know.

And since I brought up Scouting, I have to admit that I'm very torn about the BSA and whether I'd let my imaginary future children join. Scout's Honor (Lent Day 44)

Scouting is such a huge part of my family and I think it teaches fantastic life skills, but I have a huge problem with the BSA's discriminatory membership policies regarding gender, sexual orientation, and religious affiliation (or lack thereof). My hope is that by the time I have children old enough for scouting, it may no longer be an issue. (It should be noted that the Girl Scouts of America does not mirror the BSA's policies, nor does the non-gendered Canadian Scouts).

Scout's Honor (Lent Day 44)

Politics aside, this is my last weekday of Lent (Day 44) and I'm thinking come Monday, wearing pants in going to feel kinda weird! (Though I won't miss the tights)

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Lent Day 43

Lent Day 43 The pollen levels in town today are 10 on a scale from 0-12, so I am unfortunately a booger factory today :(

Despite my seasonal sniffles, I popped on a cheery summer dress, made seasonal with a wool cardigan and boots. Lent Day 43

Cardigan: Forecast, made by me.

Dress: 4th of July Dress, made by me

Belt: Off a shirt I got at Sears. No longer have the shirt.

Wool Tights:

Boots: Naturalizers

Lent Day 43

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In the Green (Lent Day 42)

It was terribly dark and stormy this morning complete with  Thunder! Lightning! and Hail!! Lent Day 42

So the only place well-lit enough to take my outfits photos was the kitchen - speaking of which, I don't know if I've shown pics of the kitchen yet - if not here's my kitchen!! Or at least a corner of it.

Lent Day 42Though I find the colors a bit dated, I can't complain about the serious amount of storage and counter space in this kitchen.

How much storage?

The cabinet over my left shoulder is my baking cabinet (baking power, sprinkles, vanilla, boxed mixes, etc.); the one behind my head holds wine, liquor, and cereal (strange combo I know); and the cabinet over my right shoulder is dedicated solely to tea, hot cocoa, and coffee filters.

Yes, I have enough cabinet space to have a dedicated tea cabinet. Which is pretty darn awesome (especially since we've expanded our loose leaf collection since Dobra Tea opened).

No wonder I'm sitting pretty.

Lent Day 42

Top: Banana Republic Outlet

Wool circle skirt: made by me

Tights: Target

Shoes: Bass Outlet

Tea Towel (on cabinet door) : made by me

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