Friday, January 24, 2014

Confirmation About Clothing Types

So I've been having fun with Dressing Your Truth.  As I went through the basic Type 4 course I was pretty disappointed.  There was very little that I hadn't figured out all by myself.  There are, however, additional resources that are pure gold (or, in my case, reflective silver because that's my best metal).  I'm still going through all that and will be for quite a while.  What I was so exited about today was getting confirmation of personal fashion dos and don'ts.  I already had a pretty good idea about what does or doesn't look good on me, but salespeople and the fashion industry try to convince me otherwise.  Their voices are pretty loud and so I start to think maybe I can pull off something I really shouldn't try.  Example: leggings.  I felt vindicated to see that one of DYT's resources on body type says to avoid leggings on fuller calves.  True dat.

In the picture below you can see what I look like in my black exercise leggings.  Leggings aren't my best look and I knew that.  Even with a shirt long enough to cover up mah bidness it's still not a good idea for me.  There was a salesperson a couple years ago who told me my concerns about leggings were just my imagination.  Same with skinny jeans.
Genetics + chocolate chip cookies = full calves.  It is what it is.
Even after getting a good look at me in leggings there are still some who suggest I just wear boots over them and it'll look great.  The picture below is me in the only pair of boots I've ever owned.  They are wide shaft boots made "to accommodate fuller calves".  When I zip them up I lose feeling in my toes.  I'm slimmer now than I was when I got them as a gift, so at least now I can actually get the zipper all the way up.
Yes, the tags are still on my boots.  And yes, that is leg fat coming out the top.
Can you see now why I like being told what I already knew?  Straight leg and boot cut pants are my friends. My type of beauty is the "bold, striking" beauty and I'm so glad they don't just tell me to go for whatever is bold.  Now I just need to keep training my eye to the difference between bold and bright.  I bought a new lipstick last night and I'm still not sure about it.  I was going for the orange shade and I wore it with a coral and white striped shirt.  What do you think?  Does it work?  Jury's still out for me.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Dressing My Truth

I'm trying something new.  Well, I guess "new" isn't necessarily the right word.  Stuff like this has been around for quite a while and I remember looking through my mom's book about seasons many years ago.  I digress.  Anyway, last week I purchased the Dressing Your Truth course.  I'd seen suggestions for it on Facebook and finally decided to check it out when I saw something about the free beauty profiling course they send to your email.  I found it very interesting.
Type 1 makeover
After going through the free course it was pretty clear that I'm a Type 4, the "bold, striking" type of beauty.  I'm good with that.  Actually I'm very pleased about it, which is also kind of the point of the course.  What sets this course apart from other similar systems is that it has less to do with skin, eye, and hair color than it does with personality and how you express yourself.  I appreciate that this course shows that every woman has her own type of beauty and how to dress herself to honor (they use that word a lot) that inner and outer beauty.
Type 2 makeover
As a 12 or 13 year old girl I and other girls in our church youth group were draped in fabrics to find our season.  Before any draping happened we were told about common personality traits among the "seasons".  Winter seemed to have more negative than positive qualities to it.  When my turn to be draped came I didn't care which season I was so long as it wasn't the winter.  After trying a few different drapes on me, the woman talking to us got a look of pity/apology on her face and said, "You know what?  I think you're a winter."  I was so disappointed.  I didn't want to be a winter.  That memory has stuck with me for a long time.
Type 3 makeover.  This one is my favorite.  She looks amazing!
Now that I'm a Type 4 with Dressing Your Truth I wouldn't have it any other way.  I learned to love myself for who I am years ago and it's refreshing that Dressing Your Truth attaches value to that.  It's not as life-changing to me as it has been to others, though I do like the extra permission to just be myself and appreciate the gift that is to myself and others.  Moving forward, the challenge is embracing the change in clothing and adopting things that I might not have tried before.  For example, in the transformation video for the Type 4 women they put a woman in an orange shirt.  That's the one color I've never felt I could pull off.  Now I really want one.  I also need to figure out accessories.  Hopefully I can get comfortable with those again.
Type 4 makeover
I've decided to document the process of dressing my truth.  I took a before picture knowing that the shirt was off.  I like it a lot, but it's not quite right.  Hopefully at the end of 30 days of trying to dress my truth every day I'll have a really fun after picture too.  I'm toying with the idea of posting a picture every day, but common sense tells me that won't happen.  So here's my before picture:
Before.  The stripes are good for my Type but the color could be better. 
It's not terrible but I'm hoping that by the time 30 days is finished I'll be looking really fabulous.  Let me know if it's something you have tried or want to try so I can see how it goes.

P.S.  If you do decide to buy the course for your Type, wait until you get the email with the $99 cost or the $33/month for 3 months price.  Just a hint.  Also, all the makeover pictures were taken from the Dressing Your Truth site.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Mary's Mini Wardrobe

Huzzah!  Blogger is working for me again!  Now I can put up the stuff I've been planning on.

My biggest project of 2013 was a mini wardrobe for my cousin Mary.  She's a grad student living out of state and I was asked to make her some new clothes while she was in town for the summer.  It didn't seem like too large a task at first.  Then I remember I have three kids and that makes it take ten times as long.  Oh well.  Mary and her parents are good and patient.  Her parents told me she needed some new clothes for symposiums and other similar grad school activities.  In Mary's words, "My mom and dad want you to make me some clothes they won't hate."  I love my family.  :)

Perhaps my favorite part of the whole project was my creative freedom.  I was told Mary needed two blouses, two skirts, two dresses, and a blazer.  The day I took her measurements I asked a couple of questions about favorite colors and prints to give me an idea of what she likes.  Then I went to town.  There are few things that can get me so giddy as fabric shopping with someone else's money.

The Blouses

First up is the button-up blouse.  It's just a pretty basic top with pleated sleeves.  I chose the pattern because of the options with cup sizes.  There's no gapping between the buttons there.  Yay!  The fabric is and emerald green polyester with a nice, fluid hand.  The pattern was pretty straight-forward.

Blouse number two is Butterick 5610.  I wish I'd chosen a fabric that holds the pleat better, but it was certainly pretty.  The purple has a black lace printed on it.  This pattern is also very straight-forward.  The only thing different from what one might expect is that the yoke and sleeves are cut in a single piece.

The Skirts

My favorite part of this project, hands down, was the skirts.  I used a pattern I'd been hanging on to for a few months.  I love the seam lines on Vogue 8750.  It added a lot of visual interest.  I knew both Mary and her parents would love it.  The skirt are classic enough to please them and have an unexpected twist to make her happy.  As interesting as the pattern looks, it really goes together quickly, easily, and logically.  I really need to get around to making it for myself.

I love the fabric for the skirts as much as I love the pattern.  When I spotted the royal blue moleskin fabric it practically leapt into the cart.  The fun twist on this skirt was the facing.  The pattern uses a grosgrain ribbon and I chose one with rainbow stripes.  Her mom was unsure about it when she saw it in the bag of goodies but i assured her Mary would be the only one to see it.
She probably would have appreciated it if I'd cropped out her toilet...maybe later
As much as I loved the blue skirt, the houndstooth is my very favorite.  Mary had said she liked that pattern.  I'm a sucker for it myself.  The moment she told me she liked it I knew the straight skirt needed to be made in houndstooth.  As icing on the cake, I decided to put red piping in all the interesting seam lines to really make them stand out.  If anyone could love that skirt as much as I do, it's Mary.
How great does she look in that outfit?!  Seriously, she's a knock-out.
 The Dresses

 Mary's dresses were also a blast to make.  I can't find the pattern I used for the black and teal dress (borrowed it from my mom) so there's no link for that one.  The top is cut on the bias, though you wouldn't think so because of the print.  It has a cowl neckline and gathering detail at the waist.  The hardest part about working on this dress was adjusting the cowl so it wouldn't fall to her navel.  We were going for "classy" with all these items and visible bra simply doesn't fit the bill.
The dress is both lovely AND comfortable
The second dress was also lots of fun.  The pattern was pretty boring.  I chose it because, like the green button-up shirt, it allows for a fuller cup size.  The fabric was a real find.  It was on the clearance table for $1.99/yard, plus an extra 50% off.  Ninety-nine cents a yard?  Yes, thank you.  Because the dress pattern is so plain-jane I knew I could do something more daring with the fabric.  It's a stable knit that's smooth on the inside and has a touch of texture on the outside.  Kind of like moleskin but also very different.  I thought this dress would pair really well with a bold-colored belt and shoes, so there's still room for embellishing.  Probably the highest praise I got for the dress came from Mary's dad.  He told me he usually thinks animal print is trashy but that it looks nice on Mary.  It's always gratifying to pleasantly surprise a customer.  Even better when it's family.

The Blazer

Oh, the blazer.  The #&%@! blazer.  Of all the pieces in the mini-wardrobe, this is the one for which I gave most responsibility to Mary.  I am thoroughly convinced that a dressy jacket like this is one that you must love or you will not wear it.  Ever.  To make sure it was something Mary would like, I chose several patterns of different styles and had her select one from the narrowed-down list.  Vogue 8845 is what she chose. 

I was excited to try out the pattern because its construction is so out of the ordinary.  The sleeves are a raglan style attached to the back yoke, the lapel is wide and dropped, and all the shaping in the front is formed by the pleating.  Click on the pattern link to view the line art and you'll see what I mean.

My excitement for the jacket was short-lived.  Out-of-the-ordinary style details require...creative work in altering the pattern to fit the person.  Mary has several fitting issues, particularly in the shoulders, forcing me to be brilliant.  Brilliance takes time.  Lots and lots of time.  As you can see from the picture, I did finally achieve brilliance and was successful in making it fit.  It may sound like I'm simply bragging about the jacket but that sucker was a beast!  I always keep patterns after I use them as a just-in-case-I-ever-want-to-use-it-again.  The joy I felt at tossing this pattern in the garbage was palpable.
Hated the pattern, but it looks good on
As a bit of info about the jacket fabric, I chose a washable polyester so it could be tossed in the wash.  The button on the front is attached with snaps because it can be neither washed nor dry cleaned.  I just snipped off the shank and attached the snaps on back with epoxy glue.  Because everything took so much longer than anticipated I had to ship several of Mary's items to her apartment at school after she went back.  It was less than a week of wait time (I think) so not as bad as it could have been.  Doing work for people gives me a great deal of satisfaction, I just need to remember that trying to do sewing work with kids in the house is a challenge.  All in all I'm pleased with how the mini wardrobe turned out.  Mary rocks everything she wears.