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Posts Tagged ‘Fashion’

Oh what a delightful Friday it was!

I sewed until my little fingers were numb, and my baby belly was sore (how that happens, I have NO idea). As I was finishing up for the day, my sweetheart brought up a package we’d gotten in the mail. Not expecting anything, I was quite excited. What is better than a Friday parcel…from a dear friend?

To my delight, this was inside.

A preciously sweet bib — how appropriate considering his debut yesterday — and a perfectly gorgeous handmade aqua and chocolate baby coverlet. I wish I could capture how sooooooft and cuddly this coverlet is! It has velour, flannel, and a few squares of [southern] seersucker. If the baby is a boy, he’s getting a pair of seersucker pants to match his father’s (and now, this beautiful coverlet!).

What a dear friend, and how tremendously kind to just whip up this charming [and oh-so-Mrs.T] gift. Such blessings of friendship, family, and now this precious baby are quite humbling. Mrs. T has much to be grateful for!

SP11 Dress Batch Update:
Cruising along, and enjoying the measurement minefields. I can’t wait to meet the women who will be wearing the dresses — all I have for some are a few inches scratched onto a piece of paper. The mystery is unfolding a bit each day. Another disobedient zipper is installed, and more hand-sewing piles up as linings and hems appear. The colorblocking (french with royal navy blue…oh la la) has an absolutely amazing effect on me. The bride selected it — little knowing it would be one of the hottest trends this summer. She’s a visionary, what can I say?



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Hello dear readers! I have been woefully negligent with providing updates on the projects and pursuits of the Elle Street Inn. I recently was traveling a bit, and then got a touch of the plague, or flu if you prefer. Have no fear, I’ve not forgotten — and will soon let you enjoy the “After” pictures of the Inn, or my baking list (bread, pasta, &c.).

In the meantime, here is a recent glorious find…

As I was again sniffing round my bookshelf for a tempting read I came upon two fascinating books:

1. Three Short Novels of Dostoevsky, The Double, Notes from the Underground, & The Eternal Husband
2. The Mode in Dress & Home, by Dulcie G. Donovan

The first book will provide some good evening reading, but the second book is a little treasure of a book copyrighted 1935 — and part of my maternal grandfather’s collection. This is a little textbook for high-school girls, on the proper mode of all things dress and home related. After glancing over the table of contents, I immediately realized there was much for me to learn from this little text. The activities have little checks and notes on them, so I imagine this may have belonged to one of my dear great-mama’s who taught school.

I started reading the first few chapters and was delighted to find very practical, yet timeless wisdom. So. I decided to share with you the true art of a clothing budget. In chapter 3, it instructs each girl to assess the total income of the family, divide by the number of the household, and create a budget based on her portion. Here is a sample of that page, note how one must account for clothing owned, needed &c. As well as the percentages allowed for each portion of clothing.

The book recommends that a family household ought to spend no more than 15% on clothing. This little fact provides some hard data to allow us to examine our own budgets. When I was single I spent roughly 6-7% of my net income on clothing (outer clothing, underclothing, footwear, and accessories). Thankfully many of those purchases were wise, and now my clothing expenditures are roughly less than 1% each month. Mind you! The standard of fabulous has not gone down, just the percentage of $$ going out 🙂 As the book recommends, and I do agree, it is vitally important to evaluate the amount of money one chooses to spend on clothing, as well as the types of clothing one is willing to buy.
“A well-planned clothing budget, if carried out successfully, will help you to have more and better clothes for the same amount of money.”

A few tips that aren’t in the book, but I’ve found to work well for me over the years:
1. Have the core staples in your closet, and be willing to spend a decent amount for these items. By staples, I mean something that will stay in style, fit and wear well for at least 2-3 years. For me, this refers to coats, light jackets, skirts, & dress shirts.
2. Spend a very little bit on those delightful trendy items that will be oh-so-fun, and that will steal the compliments at a party or event. For example, a cute shirt that is the seasons color, a scarf or accessory on sale. These are items, that can be easily given away after a season of enjoyment. These are also items that show little or no wear — like a scarf of a sassy pair of shades.

Next chapter is on shopping wisely! Periodically I’ll post a little tid-bit from each chapter.

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Well, my designer instincts have taken hold once more. I was in the process of making another little lawn skirt, like my other little creation…you may recall. But, I awoke one morning with the dashing idea to add a little buttoned-up-the-back sleeveless top, and make it into a dress. The fabric is so cheery and sweet, it just needed some little buttons or something more vintage than a skirt could afford (even if I did shower it with chiffon hem flowers). This is the fabric that spoke so sweetly early yesterday morning. The accent will literally be a snip and hair of a trim around the collar and cuffs.

Now, here are the updates to a similar dress I found on ModCloth. AND, while I’m at it, let me tell you: If you need anything lively and unique in the clothing dept (to spice up a winter wasteland wardrobe), I would check out MC before I hit up any other store. They have the most superb collection of beautiful clothing & precious decor. (& the store was founded by highschool sweethearts, awww!) Learn more? ModCloth.

So. With the structured inspiration, here are my adaptations. The skirt is already cut and stitched, so I just have snip and whip up a bodice.

…and then of course stitch the two together. Wish me luck.
Oh, and dear friends. It’s only 14 days till Valentines Day! If you’d like to print and snip vintage valentines check back soon 🙂 OR, if you’d like some fabulous new Valentine’s Metro/Tube/Subway Art, check out Aunty’s mod take on it.

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As promised here are the shoes I’ve renovated. They all had lovely potential before, but just needed some true appreciation and zazz. So, they have each been given zazz and a bit of love. I’m off to find more shoes tomorrow to further invigorate.

These little Valentine’s Day set have such a sweet Victorian, I think they are the prettiest little things ever. Who doesn’t like a little cream grosgrain bow draping over the side of their red pump??

This camel pair, are quite delicate. Only fitting to use a simple chiffon ribbon to accentuate the petite nature of the shoe. Besides, I’m convinced every basic shoe needs just a bit of zip.

& then of course, there are the little Black Beauties which I’ve been crowing about for two months. Finally decided to go with the black silk instead of an accent of another broach. Just love these.

The detail of the bow, in case you were just dying to look a bit closer.

Today will be sewing more on another little romantic lawn skirt, making pasta (with my new pasta maker, thanks Mum!), and some shopping. Busy bee. Perhaps I’ll have something to report tomorrow if I don’t get too excited along the way (and fail to document appropriately).

Ps. 25 days or so till Valentine’s Day!! I can’t wait 🙂 Got this darling image from the Graphics Fairy. Ohhhh my! Just LOVE all the images she’s shared, for us all to enjoy!

The Graphics Fairy

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Aren’t these the most beautiful shoes you’ve ever seen? These are my favs from the current shoe offering. I must say, after reading blog after blog and seeing cute adorable little flats with precious little bows and flowers, who isn’t just dying to make some at home? In my little shop, I try to stick with the traditional and ever versatile bow. But, who can resist a little flower or bit of silk?

Here is a lovely tutorial from Ms. Jewel Box Ballerina on how to make it yourself. Enjoy! I’ll post pics of my endeavors tomorrow.

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I’m always eager to find others who snip, destroy, reinvent and lace up old clothing into new fabulous pieces. So here for your enjoyment, I found these delightful tutorials by Julia Barbee. She has a laid back way of explaining how to snip and sew. Love her boho, pieced together way of working.

This is a great sample of her tutorials. Check them all out for some expert advice!

And if sewing is a little beyond what your skill is, perhaps just snipping out some vintage paper dolls will give you that DIY fix. These really are too precious to resist. Wouldn’t you agree?

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Busy Tuesday! Barely had time to tweet! But the birds have been snipped (will be strung today!). Thanks to some sweet little pint-sized helpers. If those little felt birdies could talk, they would have many giggles to share.

In addition to snipping birds out of felt, one of my favorite, instant gratification projects, is to transform tired (but great conditioned) shoes into new visions of loveliness. Did you ever read the part in Little Women, where Amy paints her boots blue? Jo lets her secret out when they are visiting society friends. Amy just about died with mortification. These days its not so terrible to repaint and refinish shoes. But every time I do, I think of poor little Amy March.

Here is the before — after I removed the wretched gold squiggles.

And now, with little black satin bows, sewn neatly in place.

I really wouldn’t be able to resist these…but alas, not my size 😦

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