New Elevé Dancewear!

Hi all, this post was supposed to go up last week, but I’m pretending last week didn’t happen altogether, so there we are. I’m also still out of ballet and we’re going on six months now. I am considering going tomorrow but we’re just going to have to wait and see how it goes. My husband’s been working a lot, I’ve been trying to see how long I can go between food shopping trips before we literally have no food in the house, it’s just been crazy. I’m also still in a lot of pain. So even though we need to do things like eat (I should really just sign up for Amazon Fresh at this rate) I’m basing my attendance off of my pain scale and how much I’m willing/able to just suck it up. Right now there’s like a 50% chance I’m going, which in all fairness is way better than the zero percent it was last week. I really just need more injections. Not just to be able to do ballet, but just to be able to live. IDK, I’m expecting my doctor to call me by Friday. If he doesn’t I’m going to call to make an appointment on Monday and I’ll leave a message for him then. I’m lucky, my doctor is awesome. I actually have his home number and he told me I can call him any time. But I hate being “that patient” so I leave him alone (except that one time but I meant to call the office).

So even though I may or may not be wearing these anytime soon, I wanted to share my new leotards. I bought them forever ago so I can’t remember how long production was, but I don’t think it went outside the normal quoted times. I did have contact with the company. I asked for the solid fabric on both my Anna, and my Tri leotards and Jessica their awesome customer service rep contacted me to be sure that’s what I really wanted. I told her I definitely wanted to do a solid back on the Anna, but that I had been waffling on the Tri when I placed the order. I told her to surprise me. They sent the mesh and I was right, I did love what they picked! So it was kind of a fun surprise. I know some of you might not want to play that game. But I’ve bought from them so many times I felt confident I’d love whatever was sent.

First up is the Anna. This one is a Large, no back hole, and a bust liner. The colors are Bluish Purple and Orange, both are matte.

IMG_5971

IMG_5972

IMG_5973

As you may have guessed, I had trouble getting the colors to photograph accurately. There will be a photo at the end that shows all three leotards with a more accurate representation of their colors. But this one is still a little off. The color is deep, but not anywhere near this intense/fluorescent. I would say it is more blue, calmer, and very pretty. It’s a great contrast to the orange which I really like. I had debated getting the trim in white, but with the intense colors of the rest of the leotard, I was worried it wouldn’t stay crisp. Any bleeding and the look is just ruined. Knowing how some of the more intense colors have bled on me, I didn’t want to take the risk. I actually have this in the washing machine right now, on the delicate cycle so I can’t say if these colors do bleed. Probably should have washed it by hand for reviewing purposes. But I just wanted it done and I tossed it in without thinking. I probably should take this opportunity to point out, none of my reviews are paid. If I were being paid I’d probably be a LOT more thorough and wouldn’t skip the little things. But I buy all of these with my own money and my reviews are 100% my own thoughts! So while I miss a bit here and there, you can rest assured I’ve not been swayed in any way.

The fit on this was standard and comparable to my other Anna’s. I love the fit of this one in particular. The length is good, it’s not too tight or too loose. It’s a fantastic style if you want or need to wear a bra. Especially if you get a solid back. No one will ever see it. Obviously you’ll get lines or indents where it is, but you won’t have straps or anything peeking out. So great for fuller busted women. The style never seems to ride up either. So all around, perfect for those who are looking for something simple, easy to move in, but also don’t want to flash a ton of skin. It’s still really cute so you won’t feel dowdy in it either. It really is the ideal blend of traditional ballet leotard functionality and modern styling.

The next up is the Laico With Sleeves. This one is size X-Large, has the full back, bust liner, and the “above elbow” length sleeves. The base is Velvet Roses, and the top is Black Mesh.

IMG_5965

IMG_5966

IMG_5967

Once again, the colors of this are off. The base is very much a true Navy. The color you’ll see in the last photos with all three is almost 100% spot on for color accuracy. The color looks so weirdly intense here but I liked that because the trade off is a very clear look at the flocked rose design. I have to say, comparing the flocking on this to something like my Wear Moi leotards, this is miles away better. It’s very well done, there doesn’t appear to be any shedding, and it’s very soft. It’s not at all stiff and crunchy like this stuff can sometimes feel. The fabric really flexes well and the designs don’t split apart. I have so many leotards that my Wear Moi ones aren’t worn enough to show serious wear. But just based off of my initial impressions of both, I feel like this fabric would hold up far better over the long term. No flocked design lasts forever though so I would generally recommend hand washing this one if it’s a real favorite to preserve it’s lifespan. I did buy this one in an X-Large. It’s a size that Elevé really only offers in this style. I do feel that this particular style runs smaller than some of the others. So if you generally buy a large, you may want to go with the size up in this one. If you’re unsure you can always contact the company and Jessica is fantastic. She’s always happy to help. You can send her your measurements and tell her what size you usually wear in their brand and others and she should be able to help guide you. If you do want a leotard with sleeves, and you don’t have those amazing, incredibly thin dancer arms, having the X-Large option. I have thinner arms. Especially for someone 31 with a kid, but they’re hardly twigs. You can see them in some of my other review posts. I have normal person arms. These sleeves are seriously my perfect fit. It’s also worth mentioning that I do have disproportionately long limbs (we make a lot of positive ape index jokes in my family as I’m not alone) yet these sleeves literally stop, right above that first bone in my elbow (not the part that sticks out, but if you feel on your arm, you’ll find it it’s like that first divot above the joint). I would so trust them to make me a long sleeved one. I’d probably contact them first to give my measurements to be sure. But I feel like they cut the sleeves long. Yay!

*You can see my review on the Wear Moi ones here, please excuse how heavy I look in those photos! I was on a med that made me gain a lot and I didn’t know how bad it was at the time, so that review is a little skewed on sizing as well.*

The last one up is the Tri. I bought the size Large, no sleeves, with the bust panel. The base is Dragon, and the top is Arabian Mesh. Sadly it would appear that Dragon has been discontinued, Maharaja would be the closest alternative. I actually debated between the two when picking a fabric for this one. Overall I’m happy with my choice though I may still add Maharaja to my collection (availability permitting) in the future.

IMG_5968

IMG_5969

IMG_5970

Before I say anything else, I want to take the opportunity to point something out here. The design is perfectly centered on this leotard, both front and back. Some people won’t notice things like this, or just expect it as a given. But I do notice these things. This is something that takes extra effort when cutting the pattern and it’s an added expense for the company. When you cut fabric with a pattern like this you’re wasting quite a bit. When working with a solid, or a busier pattern you can just cut with a focus to getting the most pattern pieces out of every yard. With fabric like this, you’ll ultimately throw yards and yards, from every bolt, away. They did not charge extra for this fabric even though some small Etsy businesses would probably (and fairly) add a surcharge.

That said, I love the feel of this fabric. It’s definitely different from all of my other ones. With patterned fabric you never really know what you’re getting. Some are shiny, others are matte, the stretch is often different than that of a similar fabric that’s solid. This one is incredibly soft and would go as far as to say this is not their standard milliskin but more of a microfiber. I haven’t contacted the company to ask, but it’s a very different feel. Despite that, it had decent stretch and wasn’t restricting. I do feel that this particular style is cut a smidge shorter than some of the others, so there is that. But it’s not restricting in any way. This feels on par with my other Tri styles. So it’s not the most comfortable, that probably rests with my Anna styles. But it’s not going to bother me during class. I do sometimes notice that I have red marks on my shoulders after wearing leotards in this style though. So something to keep in mind if you’re going to be in this all day, or if you have a long torso. I have an average length torso, my height is 100% in my limbs. I have my measurements listed on another Elevé review but I can’t remember which one. If you’re here just for these reviews (and I know some of you are) then you’ve probably already seen them. Keep those measurements in mind when considering what size to buy.

I wanted to include a photo or two of all three side by side, the colors in these photos are most accurate.

IMG_5975

IMG_5974

I feel as though the first photo shows the Velvet Roses most accurately and the second photo better showcases the Bluish Purple. It is still a bit more blue than purple in real life, but this is much closer. If you’re looking at the Elevé website the swatch they show looks pretty much identical to this, but the real life color is not this purple. It’s just very difficult to capture in a photo.

I’m often asked questions about liners, how transparent different fabrics might be, and so forth. It seems like Elevé has settled on using a piece of the leotard fabric to do their bust liners. I support this. They did use a plain piece of white spandex for the last one, but it matched the interior color of the fabric. I find that matching the leotard often works out better than going with a “nude” color because not everyone is the same version of nude! At least for the bust, it hides a colored bra a bit better. That’s just my opinion though. I found all three of my fabric choices to be opaque enough to hide a bra. I don’t usually fuss over the color of the back so I didn’t double check with the orange color. But I feel confident that most of my bras would hide well under it. I personally don’t care if my bra is visible under mesh. Sometimes I wear one, sometimes I don’t. All of my bras are purchased with the awareness that they may be seen. So bright colors and cute patterns, I don’t mind if they peek out. Or even if the entire back is on display.

I’m sorry there aren’t any shots of me in them. I’ve just really not been up to it. I did try them all on and record my thoughts so I could share them. I’ve taken photos of myself in these styles in the past and you can refer to those to consider fit. I hope to get better at the selfies in the future and one of these days I’ll find a full length mirror I like! At that point I promise to update this post.

If you want to see more of my Elevé posts, click on the links below.

https://thekoolchicken.wordpress.com/2014/08/14/my-eleve-leotards-are-here/

https://thekoolchicken.wordpress.com/2015/01/08/my-newst-eleve-leotards-a-review/

https://thekoolchicken.wordpress.com/2015/01/15/my-leotards-are-going-back-answers-from-eleve/

https://thekoolchicken.wordpress.com/2015/03/22/my-replacement-eleve-leotards-have-arrived/

https://thekoolchicken.wordpress.com/2015/06/08/a-review-of-my-newest-eleve-leotards/

https://thekoolchicken.wordpress.com/2015/07/20/eleve-skirts-and-pointe-shoes/

Heaven help me, I think that’s all of them! As always if you have any questions or comments please feel free to leave them down below. I always try to reply in a timely manner. The company is also super great about answering customer questions so I highly recommend contacting them. Good customer service is kind of a big deal with me, and this company is one others could stand to learn from. They have started a Ready To Wear line. Every style is limited stock and once supply is gone that’s it. So if you’ve wanted to try the brand but were unsure if it was worth the 6-8 week wait, this is your chance! They also accept returns and exchanges within a 2 week period on RTW items. So if you were hesitant to order based on size you can buy the size you think you are to try them out. But be fair! Don’t buy just to size them and then send it back and place your “real” order. They’ve made these in their most popular styles and color/pattern combos. So order something you’d really want to keep. There’s plenty to pick from!

sally_rtw_frt_KMJ2197__09213.1467318585.960.1280

Something else worth mentioning, the absolutely beautiful Secret Garden spandex (shown above) and mesh appears limited to the RTW line. I hope it’s eventually added to the custom options. But even if it isn’t it’s great that they’re thinking ahead to help limit the cookie cutter look with fabrics only available in one form or the other.

That’s all for this post. For those of you that have been waiting for this I’m sorry it took so long. I don’t have any more leotard or ballet posts planned as I’ve been out for so long. Elevé did have a Fourth of July sale but I didn’t partake in it given my circumstances. Perhaps during their next sale.

Advertisements

DIY Tokidoki Unicorno

Hi everyone, I’m back. Sorry I’ve been gone for so long this time. I had a lot going on here and the blog just goes to the back burner when life gets a bit hectic. Today I have something new to share.

IMG_8110.jpg

This little guy is a Tokidoki Unicorno. If you don’t know who they are you can read about them here. Basically I’ve loved this brand for some time. Years ago they did a collaboration with Smashbox and one of my favorite blushes of all time was from that collab.

100_0512[1]

This photo is from what appears to be a now defunct blog, but she talked a bit about this blush on there. It was very purple, so ideal for cool toned skin! I bought a few other things from the line and loved them all. I also bought the totally impractical (yet amazingly awesome) brushes they had when they did a collaboration with Sephora.

02_SephoraBrushSet

If you click on the photo it’ll take you to Tokidoki’s blog when they first announced the line. I still can’t believe that was in 2010! Crazy! In that post they share some of the other things that were going to be included in the line (though not everything) and I did of course indulge in some other treats. 🙂 Like I said, I’ve loved them for years.

But like so many things, a person forgets. I know they did a collaboration with Hello Kitty years ago (they’re very collab happy) and I loved it. Well, it looks like they’re doing another. It’s not very big, that or I missed most of it. But I was in a comic book shop in Seattle and I spotted some Tokidoki x Hello Kitty blind boxes. To say it reignited the love affair is putting it mildly. I bought two on the spot and have since gone on to buy far more. Oops.  I love them all though. Another thing I love is the Unicornos. For the record, I’m not one of those unicorns and rainbows girls. Well, okay I kind of am. But I’m not really into this kind of unicorn.

unicorn-06

Yeah… You know the type. Flocked paintings and such. It’s not for me. What I am into is more this.

IMG_8119

They’re totally cool and fun right? Girly, but not uber girly. That yellow one in the front is a boy after all. 😉 So yeah, I love these guys. The big ones are from the series 4 blind boxes (full disclosure the yellow one in front is a Chaser so odds of getting him are lower). The one with the Hello Kitty is from her blind boxes, and the little ones are “frenzies” and they’re series 2 blind boxes. These guys all just sort of combine a bunch of things I love. For starters COLOR! I’m totally digging the rainbow of colors you see here. Next would be their size. I love little things. That sounds weird to say but I don’t know of another way to put it. Tiny Swarovski figurines, Pandora beads (OMG Pandora beads!!!!), and Tsum Tsums. They also have that element of surprise. I got into blind box videos on You Tube because of my son, but these days? I’ve been known to watch them even after he’s gone to bed. There’s the collection element too. I like limited edition things. Two lipsticks that are basically the same but one is LE, yep, I need the LE one. These being part of a limited series somehow makes them “better” to my warped brain.  I’m also enthralled with the detail work on these. Sometimes you get figurines and they’re just kind of blah. The faces are weird/deformed, the paint is sloppy, etc. These are crazy good quality. Honestly. I was actually really surprised. I don’t know why, Tokidoki never does anything halfway, but still. If you’re the type that likes to collect this stuff you’ll be impressed with the quality.

I’m loving these guys so much that I’d like to think it’s understandable when I about lost my mind after seeing the DIY Unicorno. I don’t want to make my own, I need to. I’m already brainstorming ideas. I don’t expect to complete it anytime soon. The responsibility is too great to rush such a thing, lol. I really just want to be sure I’m going to be happy with the design. There are quite a few of them out there, and Tokidoki held a contest a while back, so there are some seriously impressive ones out there. Aside from the super cool ones they themselves make of course. I think I really want to look over all of my favorites, and try to combine them somehow. I’m thinking a floral theme featuring blues and purples. But plans are subject to change of course. I need to do a few drawings. Maybe I’ll share them here? If nothing else the finished product will be featured here. I do know that no matter what, it will feature some accessories. If you noticed things like the butterflies and snowflake on some of the little ones, I want to mimic that. It’s something I loved in  the existing ones.

The finish on this is very different than I expected it to feel like. Take a look at it out of the box.

IMG_8114

IMG_8115

If you’ve ever handled their blind box figurines you’ll know they’re smooth for the most part. If a figure is white, it’s solid molded white plastic. This is a bit different. This feels almost as though it’s been painted. I looked over my existing Unicornos and discovered some parts of them that looked and felt similar. On the manes of Yuki and Lily (the butterfly and snowflake ones) in particular they had something similar going on and those parts are painted. Now I can’t be sure but I suspect this white base coat, as I’m calling it, is more or less a primer to help any paint or markers you use work better. When these first came out they came with Tokidoki branded Sharpies. They were real Sharpies that simply featured Tokidoki characters. These new ones do not come with the Sharpies (though you can still buy the special markers on the website). You can also buy an “Adios” vinyl figure like this one that comes with two. Personally I can’t see spending $6 on three markers in colors I have right next to me just because they have a cartoon on them. But everyone likes different stuff I suppose, spend your money on what you like. I know a lot of people on You Tube have opted to paint them, I’ll probably go that route.

Either way this is a totally cool craft for any kid or adult. Personally I started coloring as a kid and never stopped. The world has recently caught on and finding quality coloring books has certainly gotten easier! But if you’re ready to take your art off the page and try something a little different this would be a great option. I bought mine from Barnes and Nobel for $15. I have their membership so I got an additional 10% off which was nice. And since this is classified as a toy I was able to get Kids Club points (Kids Club is free but the membership is $25 a year). I was spending so much that day I decided to bite the bullet and get the membership. It almost paid for itself in that one transaction alone, gulp. I’m still glad I have it. They offer coupons several times a year to card holders and with the Kids Club ($5 coupon for every $100 spent on qualifying purchases) picking up more blind boxes and such will be far less expensive! If you don’t live near a Barnes and Nobel you can find it here for the same price on Amazon. There’s even free one day shipping for Prime members! They also have the Donutella version on there are well. 🙂

As always I bought everything with my own money. I’m not getting anything from Amazon or Barnes and Nobel if you buy from them either. All photos link back to their sources too!

Goodbye until next time!

My Visit To Yumiko in NYC

Two weeks ago I said my husband surprised me with a trip to NYC for my birthday. We were already on the East Coast and he decided it would be easy to drive into the city and spend a couple of days there. So as a treat that’s what we did. I had the opportunity to get fitted for pointe shoes at both Gaynor Minden and Grishko (more to come on that in a future post) and the following day I was able to visit the Yumiko boutique. I’ve been there before and it was just as fun. I know in the past I’ve said I really prefer Elevé leotards to Yumiko’s and that’s still true, but when an opportunity like this comes up you take it.

Now the first thing you’ll find is that you need to ring a doorbell when you get there. It’s not in the safest of neighborhoods. My husband decided to take my son to the park directly across the street to play while I shopped. My husband is from the burbs and didn’t notice anything amiss, fortunately my mother and sister are city dwellers. Naturally they noticed pretty quickly that the nearby public restroom was actually a crack den. So try not to visit after dark and maybe don’t go by yourself. If you’re in the store you’re okay though, you’ll be locked in.

The store itself is tiny and chic. The leotards they have on offer are basically what you see on the website. They generally have two of each style in two different color ways. One will be an exact match to what you see on the website. For example, on the site you’ll see the Becky in Cassi, Brule, and Chilli. That exact model was available in store. They also had it in another color way I can’t recall (I really liked the purple and orange as I’ve been thinking of doing one like that for some time now). The sizes for each varied, some were only in small, others were in a medium, and they actually had a fair number of larges to pick from. They also had a number of the dip dyed pieces on hand. I tried on a really beautiful Wendy that was in a stunning blue but despite being labeled a large it felt like a medium- it was also well over $200 and that’s just crazy money. I did not feel bad putting that one back. I can fit into a large, despite preferring the x-large. So I did buy two. Here they are.

First up is the Heather.

IMG_6773IMG_6775IMG_6777

Yeah, had to do that to a few photos. I’m horrible at selfies. Not that this is supposed to be a picture of me anyways, it’s supposed to show the clothes.

I like this one. I tried this one on on a lark. I usually avoid spaghetti straps because of the shoulder thing but I think they actually look okay. I usually wear a crazy colored sports bra under this. As you can see from the very last photo, the white tag (by the little tag on the outside) is visible underneath. So this one like so many other Yumiko’s is semi sheer. This blue wasn’t that bad though. There were many (and I mean many) that I picked up and instantly put back because I could see thorough the fabric on the hanger. I don’t know who they’re selling some of these sheer pastel colors to. But they have a no exchange, or refund policy so I sort of think they’re just hoping people look at them and think “oooh pretty” and just walk out without trying them on knowing they can’t bring them back. The fabric is beautiful, honestly no other company is using anything like this. Their spandex is different. But it clearly has a trade off. I decided not to wear a bra or tights for these photos to show that you don’t need to. It is opaque enough for that (it has a shelf liner, all in store leos come with them). But I prefer to wear both to class. And when I wear a funky bra, usually something neon, it’s not so sheer with the bust panel that it looks odd. You really can’t see it from the front and I don’t care if you can see it from the back.

IMG_6817

This is the interior. I really like how they’re using FOE on the bust panel. It lays flat, is comfortable, and doesn’t bunch or shift. This one did not have a crotch liner, I did not notice one on any of the other models I tried on and I must have tried on seven or eight styles.

IMG_6816

As you can see the back straps are free floating, they’re not sewn down so it’s more comfortable. This fabric looks crumpled because I had washed it (I’ve already worn it) and I took the photos then kind of left them on the floor in a ball while I did stuff with my son before taking these photos. I know its weird that a leotard is holding wrinkles, but it’s just part of the nature of this fabric. It’s strange and silky.

I had a very difficult time taking color accurate photos. Both for this leotard and the next one. The colors of this one are Turchese/N and White/N. The blue is downright electric, not for the faint of heart. the other color they had available in the store was a yellow called Sun, a very accurate name. You can see it on their website here.

This one is one I’ve wanted for quite some time. It’s the Marieke but it’s sleeveless. I have one with sleeves but I regret getting sleeves on that one and have debated getting a sleeveless one for some time. Well, when I was in there store I made it a point to try on one of these and fell in love.

IMG_6779IMG_6781IMG_6783

Now there’s just one little problem, and you may or may not be able to spot it. The bust panel. It fits very differently than the one in the Heather. You see now that I’ve worn this one a couple of times I’ve noticed it, but I wish I spotted the problem in the store, before I shelled out nearly $100.

As you may have noticed, I, in all my rectangular glory, am not particularly well endowed. I am not wearing a bra at all in these photos, I am a B cup at best. Yet, the bottom of the bust panel rides up and cuts across my boobs in a very visible way. I had just put this on so perhaps it hadn’t had a chance to rise up yet, but it’s too short on this one. I have to call it a defect because obviously I’m flat as the day is long. Not super flat of course, but I’m hardly popping out of my top- ever. When people complain about empire waisted tops and say who are those made for cause they cut across the boobs most every woman. Yeah, they’re made for me.

So I’m probably going to be forced to cut it out and that stinks. But I don’t really have a choice. I’m sick of having to mess with my boobs during class. It’s not a good look.

IMG_6820

The color of this one is also off. The pink feels pretty spot on, but I feel like this is coming across very blue when in reality is has a much cooler slate grey thing happening. Imagine a slate blue grey color, that’s the actual color. I tried moving these to different rooms to access different light sources, but they refused to be photographed accurately. Not sure why. I know some colors are just difficult to capture, but I wasn’t aware blue was one of them. Maybe it just is for me.

The colors for this style are, Paros/T Mauve/T

When you buy in store you are limited with your sizes, they do not carry x-large which is a shame. I really prefer it for the length. I can make do with these, though I’m obviously much more comfortable in a longer length given that I’m so tall. Here’s both of my Marieke leotards so you can see the difference.

IMG_6823

As you can see, there’s really no difference in width at all, it’s all length. I’d say it measures almost two inches, so it’s significant. In the future I may wish to simply buy online. But there is a savings if you buy in store. For me it worked out to be about $22, and that’s just what I saved on shipping. When you buy in store you’re not charged any sales tax or shipping, it’s just what you see on the tag. So my leotards were $71 and $72, that’s the base price for each plus the $10 upcharge for the bust panels. Then add to that the time you save. If you like the colors you see in the store, why not just buy what you see? It’ll be a 6-8 week wait just for production, then it has to be shipped- from Spain. All Christmas orders had to be in by October 1st and that date has long since passed. So the convenience factor is not to be overlooked.

When I bought mine I was given a reusable bag, it was quite cute.

IMG_6824

The only dance shop that didn’t seem to do this was Capezio. No worries. I really liked this one though. It’s such a good size.

And here’s an updated shot of their color chart.

IMG_6636

Full disclosure, the colors on this are a bit off. I was indoors and the overhead lights were competing with the outside natural light but I did my best. Please use this as a guide, don’t assume anything you order will be perfectly identical to the swatches in this booklet though. Also, this booklet is not going to be valid for much longer anyways. I was told by the shopgirl that they’re coming out with new colors in the Spring. Though she did not state whether or not the whole line would be overhauled, more colors would be added, some would be removed, or what exactly would be happening. Just that the line up is changing. So if there is a special color you feel you can’t live without, you need to consider ordering in the next few months, because it may not be around much longer.

As always I do hope this is able to help those looking to purchase one of these. Designer leotards are definitely a vice of mine. This week is Thanksgiving here in the US and the day after we have what’s known as Black Friday, a big shopping holiday. I can’t remember but I think last year Yumiko did something for it I can’t remember though. Be sure to check their Facebook page as that’s where they tend to announce such sales. Elevé always does something for either Black Friday or Cyber Monday, last year I think it was 15% off. They announce sales on their Facebook page first usually and if you’re signed up for emails you’ll get them that way as well. So if you were thinking about getting something it might make more sense to wait until the end of the week to see what deals may be offered first as these are expensive. Just be aware that neither brand will be able to deliver in time for Christmas.

I don’t plan to partake in the sales this year. But if any of you do please feel free to share in the comments section!

See you all next week!

Designing Fabric For Spoonflower

Okay, so over the past month I’ve gone from hating Spoonflower to kind of loving them. Go figure.

I was browsing their site over the past couple of days and realized that most if not all of the fabric I’d purchased or pinned was just gone. I contacted one of the designers and she told me one of the Disney people contacted them and forced them to remove their designs from their shops citing copyright infringement. Seriously? There’s tons of Frozen knock offs on eBay but no, they don’t care about that. They’d like to bully random individuals who are making designs inspired by “their” characters. Kind of enrages me. It’s like how they’re actively trying to copyright the name Aurora even though they didn’t come up with it. This is an issue because if they succeed then every performance of the ballet The Sleeping Beauty will now have to omit the name of the main character (and it’s where the name originated). Now don’t get me wrong, I think they should protect their brand. But their deranged desire to own the world needs to be scaled back a bit.

Any-who, there was a design I really loved. I shared it in a past post (the link now goes to nowhere) and I bought a swatch. A single swatch, sob. I’ll never be able to get more- unless I make my own…

This is how it all started. I wanted to see just how difficult it would be to make my own fabric. Turns out, not that hard. I mean, the really fancy stuff is pretty hard and I’m not even going to try (at least not yet). But I really wanted that specific design. I’d just ask the designer if she’d be willing to sell me the image, but I don’t know who s/he is. So I can’t contact them. So I tried making my own. I first had to draw my main character.

IMG_9319

Look familiar? Yeah, he’s a cousin. Some modifications have been made and I’m not sure I’m finished. I may add some spikes to his back for a little variation. But I think he’s now generic enough I can still get the “look” without veering too close to copyright infringement. He looks pretty similar to many Chinese dragons without the added frills and facial features that make him who he is. Makes sense too, they studied Chinese dragons before finalizing shapes for him. So unless Disney can claim copyrights to all Chinese style dragons, he’s mine. I typed “Free Chinese Dragon Clipart” into Google images and this is some of what I found. So I think I’ll be just fine.

chinese-dragon-clip-art-13 chinese-astrology-fire-dragon how-to-draw-a-chinese-dragon-easy-step-8_1_000000127359_5

Obviously this is not a new shape. And looking at these make me want to add spikes to the back of “mine” even more now. I didn’t want him to have facial features or any patterns to him, I really wanted him to remain a solid color. I thought that would give me more flexibility in what I create. Here’s one sample of a soon to be fabric in my shop.

IMG_1350

Sorry about that, but it’s my actual file and I had to draw that. You want one you draw it, deal? This is just one little sample, I did about a dozen more. Some are actually totally different but with leaves. I wanted to branch out and try the software and see what I could come up with. I think they look okay considering this is all just on my first attempt. You can see everything I made here in my shop. Please be aware that none of this is currently available to purchase. I can order all I like. But I am required to actually buy a swatch of each before I can make them available for public sale. What is nice though is that I can buy my own designs at a discount. And to order sample swatches it works out to something like a $1.25 per swatch instead of the usual $5, I also get 10% off each yard! I won’t complain about that. 🙂

I had been thinking. I need some new pajama pants at some point. I own three pairs and as you can imagine they’re in pretty heavy rotation. Only one pair actually fits, so that adds to the fun. I’m thinking I may want to design a really special fabric and when I do I’ll buy a couple of yards and do an actual tutorial. I think that might be fun. So if anyone wanted to make the same pair they’d be able to. I might do a few little tutorials like that. Come up with a special fabric just for that and share a how to. I like it when other bloggers do it, so why not join in on the fun? I’ll need to start coming up with ideas of designs. Maybe start carrying a sketchbook again. I think Target sells tiny moleskin ones. Perhaps I’ll pick one up the next time I’m there.

In the mean time feel free to let me know what you think of the designs, here or there. I’m not too good at this yet so I probably won’t be able to accommodate many, if any requests. I am able to draw though so who knows?

Crafting In Small Spaces

I wanted to get something up before going to bed tonight and since I spent some time organizing this today I figured this is what I would write about.

Before going away last month my husband bought me a little sewing table. It’s the Sauder Sewing and Craft table from Amazon. It was inexpensive, would fit where I needed it, and had great reviews. You can see it here, http://www.amazon.com/Sauder-Sewing-Cinnamon-Cherry-Finish/dp/B005405RBS/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1395224974&sr=8-2&keywords=sewing+table

Prior to buying this I just had my machine on the dining room table. That was fine for short term, but it was getting annoying having it there. Now I have a nice home for my machine and embroidery unit that doesn’t take up very much space at all.

Here it is.

Image

As you can see I have a stylish little child lock on it. My son likes to court disaster so this is to discourage exploration. Although he has figured out how to get it off already, he mostly leaves it alone because the lock means “off limits”.

I usually have the cover on my machine but I took it off while I was working and hadn’t put it back on. The thread rack was also from Amazon and is fairly nice. It was a lot less expensive than the one my Viking dealer is selling and it looks pretty much the same. I don’t have the space inside the cabinet to store it so it sits on top. Really it doesn’t look too bad, but I do need to put the colors in order. 

 

Image

This is what it looks like open. There’s a lot of “stuff” crammed in there but I don’t have a lot of other places to store it. I really need to get  the hall closet in order. But it’s one of those things. If I try to work on it when my son’s awake he feels the need to “help”. But if I try to work on it when he’s sleeping I disturb him (the closet is right by his door). What I need is a couple of hours and my husband to get him out of the house otherwise it’ll never get done. 

But back to the cabinet. The hanging shelves are ugly beyond belief but that’s nothing a little contact paper won’t fix (insert evil laughter). Sorry, inside joke. Moving on…

The hanging shelves have removable dividers. I haven’t really played with them much but they’re okay. They’re actually quite spacious and deep. There’s more than enough room for you’re usual sewing supplies. I have all your basics in there, thread, spare needles, pins, random specialty feet, etc. and I still have loads of space for more.

The shelves to the right are fairly deep and are perfect for my patterns, hoops, notebooks, stabilizer, and more. The biggest roll of stabilizer is several inches too long, but it’s fine on the floor there for now. The shelf above it is meant to store the actual machine on when you’re not using it. But I found it works better for housing the embroidery unit. The only thing is the embroidery unit is so big that I had to pull the cabinet out from the wall a bit more, otherwise the door wouldn’t close. This is more an issue of the machine being really big, not the cabinet being too small. For reference that’s a full 25 yard bolt of muslin it’s sitting on and it’s the exact width and length of the shelf, so it’s a good size. I have my biggest hoop laying on top of it all as it was just a smidge too long to fit on the shelves.

I’m very happy with this cabinet and would totally buy it again. Once we build our house I’ll have a real craft room. But I could see this ending up in the garage or something. It’s a nice little table and seems relatively sturdy. It is the Target, Ikea type stuff but still, nice for what it is. It’s only required to last me a couple of years and I’m sure it will. I can’t wait to get to work on my upcoming projects. I’ve been looking online at fabric and I need to go to JoAnns too. Hopefully I find just the right stuff soon. 

My First Yumiko!

As promised here is my review of my new Yumiko.

First off is shipping- it took forever. They say to expect 4-6 weeks for construction and shipping but it was more like 8. Then, after all I paid they shipped it in one of those plastic bag mailers and it was just stuffed into a plastic bag with my name, the colors, size, and style number printed on it. I was so happy when I ripped open the package but after thinking about it I was pretty miffed. This leo was more than a hundred dollars, and they couldn’t even be bothered to fold it? So it arrived wrinkled and if it was handled roughly at all it could have been seriously damaged in shipping and I would have had to wait another two months for a replacement. I don’t think it would kill them to spring for a box and wrap it a little better. 

Now for the actual leotard.

ImageImage

The first photo is the front and the second is the back. As you can see the neckline in the front is about two inches higher than it is in the back. The wrinkling is due to the way it was packaged. For those who are interested the style is Marieke, and the colors are lavender for the body and atoll for the trim.

Image

I was aiming for better light here but didn’t get it. For the most accurate color look for lavender on the color chart I posted before. It rained all day here and I could not get an accurate color shot to save my life today. Anyways, it drapes quite nicely and I think that’s probably part of why they fit the way they do.

Image

This is a shot of it inside out. As you can see the lining is the same material as the rest of the leo which I think makes it feel more substantial. The lining is only on the front panel and is not on the back or the sleeves.

Image

Please forgive my juvenile chipped and sparkly nail polish. 😉 This is the lining and the front panel. 

Image

That’s the tag, I’m sure it’ll be gone after my next class.

 

Full disclaimer it’s been a while since I’ve been to a class so any muscle I might have had has been transformed to marshmallow. I hope you all appreciate this.

Image

ImageImage

As you can see I’ve yet to perfect the art of the selfie. I’m positive there’s a way to do them so I appear less flat (both front and back) and slimmer but I have no freaking clue how. 

I happened to have on one of those stretchy bras I talked about before and decided to keep it on. That way you could have an idea of how low cut it is. It comes to camisole level for the most part. The leg opening is generous and I opted for the normal low leg. My inseam is 36 inches (yes, you read that right) so I don’t need the high cut to make them look longer. Nature took care of that for me. I was surprised the sleeves were long enough, I was worried since my arms are super long too. I don’t think I’d try the full sleeves but I’d defiantly get 3/4 ones again.

Image

I wanted to include this side shot so you can really see the difference the front panel makes. This fabric isn’t exactly being stretched to the max and it’s still quite sheer. So if you’re getting anything this color or lighter I highly recommend getting the full front panel and not just the bust panel. Otherwise you may end up embarrassed…

 

All in all I’d say I’m very happy with this purchase. It was expensive but this leotard is so comfortable and it’s really well made. The fabric just feels nice, both in my hand and on. I could see this particular fabric lasting a very long time even with less than stellar care. If I do take care of it I’m sure I’ll have it for many years to come. I will probably add one or two more to my collection before the year is out. Now I just need to find a new studio so I can put this one to work!

If anyone has any questions feel free to ask them in the comment section, I’ll answer you as soon as I can!

 

Almost Here

I’ve bought a new sewing machine and I can’t wait until it gets here. Supposedly it’ll arrive Tuesday and I hope so. I’m really looking forward to trying it out. I bought some stabilizer, pre wound bobbins, embroidery thread, and an extra smaller hoop to go with it. I decided to get a machine that could also do embroidery since I like that sort of thing. I forever find myself staring at the monogram section of J. Crew and Neiman Marcus (did you know you could get monogrammed Uggs!). I love monograms and have a number of bags with mine on them. I have an L.L. Bean backpack I needed in a hurry so I skipped the monogram on that one and I still regret it almost six years later. Now I can finally add one and I couldn’t be more pleased. This is the machine I bought

Image

It’s a Brother se400, I bought it from Amazon. It was very reasonably priced and received fantastic reviews. Now obviously I would prefer separate sewing and embroidery machines, after all who wouldn’t? But I’m short on space in our new apartment and liked the notion of only having to deal with storing one machine. We’ll probably start to build our new house in a year or so and I’ll have a proper sewing room with a place to keep these things then. I figured I could use that time and this machine to learn about machine embroidery and research the really fancy ones. Then when I’m ready to make the investment in separate machines I’ll know exactly what I want.

This machine will only embroider a 4×4″ space but I think that’s fine for now. It’s not an especially large area but what am I really looking to embroider right now? My son is still a baby and onesies aren’t that big. I like monograms and small accents added to cuffs and collars, so I don’t need anything too big just yet. Everyone online says you outgrow that 4×4″ section quite quickly but I’ll only be using it for a short time in the grand scheme of things. I suspect I’ll even still use it after upgrading to a larger “better” machine. No reason not to if I needed to do a few things at once. We tend to travel on short notice and it’s nice to think I could add a few designs to a number of things before hopping on a plane. No matter how fancy and fast your machine is, they can only do one project at a time.

I’m very much looking forward to adding little characters and accents to things, not just monograms. Brother customers have access to iBroider.com where there are lots of designs to pick from and they have about 100 different designs with Tigger on them alone. That will make my little Tigger fanatic very happy. I see tiny Tiggers being added to many of his bibs and such. They also have all the regular Disney characters, flowers, nautical accents, borders, etc. There are literally thousands of designs to pick from. At first I really wanted the machine with all the Disney designs built in. But when I compared the cost I realized I’d be paying about $400 more and wouldn’t get a larger embroidery space and would have a bunch of characters I didn’t want/need. I’d rather save the money and buy just the characters I want. Right now I have 13 different designs I’m mulling over in my cart and the total is only $87, and I haven’t even factored in the 20% off they’re offering this month. So for $370 (that’s the cost of the machine and embroidery designs after discount) I can have everything I want with little I don’t. So while the Disney machine might have been nice, I don’t think it’s worth the $700 price tag. At least for me.

Now as you can imagine I have ideas stacking up in my head. At some point I expect they’ll topple, lets hope I can see some come to fruition before then. I’ve bought some spandex and FOE to practice on. I figured I could make some covers for my magic band. It would also give me an opportunity to try my hand at sewing with super stretchy material. If it goes well I might try to make a leotard, but I didn’t want to spend a bundle on the fabric before I’ve had a chance to experiment. It’s $17 a yard or more and who wants to waste something that expensive? You can only mess up so many times before you just have to chuck the material and at that point you could have just gone out and bought a ready made one for less. So I’ll try the magic band covers first and I’m hoping to add my name to them as well, maybe even a Mickey head or two. I know it’s ambitious to think about embroidering on a fabric I’ve never even sewn with before, but go big or go home right?

Here’s a look at something else I’m planning to make.

Image

It’s just a simple infinity scarf in a lightweight jersey knit. This one is from eBay and costs around $17 after shipping. It’ll never get here before I go away next week but they have plenty of jersey at JoAnn’s and I’m positive I could make several for that price. A half a yard would do just fine for a single scarf. I plan to add my monogram to it. I checked online and they only have a few choices but it seems as though their fashion knits are 40% off. So that plus whatever coupon I find would mean I could make one of these for a steal. I did the math and it looks like I’d spend around $4 or less to make one, assuming I could find another coupon- and you can always find another coupon. This scarf appears to have been sewn into a tube, but I’m thinking I’ll just leave it flat, sewing only the ends together and leave the edges raw. I like that look as I want something super casual. Here’s hoping I can get down there this week, I’d like to make at least one, but preferably two. One in pink, the other grey so I can wear them with everything.

Beautiful On The Inside

My husband had to go away for a few days so I’ve had a lot of free time to work on projects. One of the things I wanted to do was make the inside of my drawers pretty and functional. So I hopped on Amazon to see what they had and I wasn’t disappointed. I’ve always been intrigued by those honeycomb like dividers for underwear and sock drawers. You always see them on organization blogs and shows, but I don’t know a soul who owns one. I decided to just bite the bullet and order some. I got lucky, Amazon had these ones.

Image

They come in pink, white, and blue. I was so excited because I’d only ever seen them in white before. The packaging they came in was largely in Chinese, so I’m guessing that’s why I’d never seen them in store. I may have to keep an eye out the next time I’m in a Chinatown though. They’re totally worth the suitcase space. I bought the only two they had in blue and today when I went back for just one more I found they had sold out of the white so I bought a pink one instead. Fine by me, the white had been more expensive anyways. It might have matched my colors a bit better, but pink is prettier so I’m considering it a blessing in disguise. 

I have Amazon Prine so they came within two days. One box showed up the next day, the other arrived today. They were a bit tough to snap together. It’s not that it was complicated, it just required a lot of force and my fingers were sore by the end. They’re a very sturdy plastic. In the future I could disassemble them and hand wash or run them through the dishwasher if I wanted to. I probably won’t need to if I’m just keeping socks in here but the packaging suggested using them for hair things and makeup. So if you did that then you’ll probably want to wash them and the cheap fabric ones just won’t survive that, these will. Here they are in action.

Image

This is my sock collection. I’m missing some Peds and a couple of other pairs but this is pretty much it. Before I installed this I had them all laid out flat and couldn’t have fit anything else in. Now I have space to add even more if I want! They didn’t completely fill my drawers, that’s why I bought the third pack. I plan to take them apart and mix the colors to make it look a bit more interesting. Perhaps a stripe running down the middle?

Image

As you can see this is how they snap together. The plastic is pretty sturdy too.

Image

Now I hate to disappoint people but I will not be showing you my underwear drawer. I’m sorry if you were here for just that, it simply won’t be happening. Besides, the sock drawer is way more interesting.

 

Now I’m going to show what I did in some of my bathroom drawers. I’ve gone from having three full sized drawers all to myself down to one set that I have to share. So far it’s not that bad. I mostly share the top one, and I have the bottom two for myself. I’ve been using the very last one for just overflow of some things, razor blades, toothpaste, q-tips. Basically the stuff we buy in bulk from Costco, not very exciting. I’ll show you the top two though, as they’re what’s used everyday. Lets start with the top one. 

Image

This drawer is about 80% my husbands and 20% mine. I only use the floss picks, toothpaste, and q-tips, everything else is his. I added the shelf paper. It’s not the adhesive backed contact paper but the friction backed puffy stuff. I got it at Wal-Mart and I love it, it’s so cute! As this is a rental I didn’t want to use the contact paper because I didn’t want to risk it not coming off later on. This was a good compromise and serves the dual function of being both cute and practical. Before I put it in there the drawers were just grimy from “others”. We cleaned them, but still. It also keeps everything from sliding around in there. There’s one other thing I did, I trimmed the q-tip box. I know it seems like a weird thing to bring up but I figured why not. I don’t like things just crammed in places. Just trimming off a half inch of the top of that box meant the alcohol swabs now fit perfectly giving us more room. Little things like that can make a big difference.

Image

This next drawer is way more interesting. I got the organizer at Home Goods and it fits my flat iron perfectly. I also loved how there was just enough room to also stash my sectioning clips with it. Aren’t the colors great with the blue divider and Hello Kitty background? I found them at Target for $2 for a pack of three and they work really well even though my hair is slippery. The other side has my combs, pins, hair ties, and bun maker. Side note, can I just say how much I love that bun maker? The polar fleece is fantastic! My hair always slips out of the foam kind but with the fleece it just works. I paid I think $3 at TJ Maxx but it’s worth it’s weight in gold. 

Image

You may have noticed my hair ties were on a little metal ring. It’s called a binder ring and you can get an 8 pack for $1.87 at Target in their office supplies section. It comes in a multi pack, 8 different sizes. Now at first I was super excited, but using them disappointed me. I’ve bought these in the past, I paid a lot more on Amazon but the quality was way better. So even though you get multiple sizes with this pack I’d skip these. They did come with two huge ones and two really tiny ones that I like, but in the future I plan to go to Staples or some place like that. I’d rather pay a bit more and get ones that actually open. Plus they make colored ones now…

Image

Now I know what you’re thinking , “koolchicken that’s a trivet”. Well you’re right. I know you’re probably wondering how I got from hair stuff to this, but I’ll tell you. I put my flat iron on it to protect the counter. At my other house I have one of these that’s made for that purpose. It’s slightly raised and longer, but this works just fine- and it was $3 at World Market. It usually sits on top of my flat iron in the back of the drawer but I took it out for the photos. I wanted to share this though, I think it’s a good idea. 🙂

 

Lastly, in case you were wondering how I fold my socks so they look nice in the dividers I’ll show you how I did it. I’ve been folding them this way since my mother taught me how to fold at like age two. Some of you probably already know how to do this, but my husband had never seen it before he met me so I thought I’d share.

Image

Step one, get really cute socks and put them one on top of the other.

Image

Step two, fold those suckers in half.

Image

Step three, grab them like this and get ready to flip. Not you, the socks! Safety first.

Image

Step four, you’re doing it. Keep going, don’t stop now!

Image

Step five, admire you’re super cute socks! From here I fold them in half once more and stuff them in the dividers. They fit perfectly and look nice at the same time. My husband thinks this will stretch out the elastic in the socks. I have never found this to be an issue, but he insists I don’t do this to his socks. So just be aware, if there are elastic sensitive people in your home they may not appreciate your nifty sock folding. Tragic.

 

To The Bedroom

When thinking about what to title this I was reminded of Muppet Family Christmas, one of my favorite movies. There’s a scene when Swedish Chef is complaining about all the rats and chickens in his kitchen. How ridiculous, they always have rats and chickens in the kitchen! So Kermit sends them up to his [Swedish Chef’s] bedroom as that would be preferable saying “Up to the bedroom, up to the bedroom!” As he shoo’s them out. I just love those crazy Muppets. But now, on to todays post.

 

The other day I showed you all my linen closet and some of my bathroom. So today I’ll share my bedroom since it’s attached. I wanted to keep my new bedroom very simple. I wanted blues, beiges, and browns, just like in the bathroom. But for the bedroom I wanted it to be darker tones, I thought it would be more restful. Here’s a shot of my room.

Image

Image

So the first photo shows the room with the table lights off, and obviously the second is with them on. There’s really not a lot more in here, just my dresser and that’s it. I wanted a minimalist look this time as my other room has more “stuff”. All the furniture here is from Ashley and after comparing the prices to IKEA my husband and I found that unless you want to go bare bones, cheapest of everything, Ashely Furniture is about the same price. Now is the quality as good as say Restoration Hardware, no. But it’s not junk either. The plan was to keep this stuff for the next year or two then either donate or sell it. But I may actually keep a few things, if not all of it. There’s no reason I can’t have a guest room with this stuff in it.

Image

I initially picked a different bed frame and the nightstands and dresser are from that collection. But then I changed my mind and swapped the bed for this one cause I couldn’t stop thinking about it. I kept the other stuff though because I thought they were prettier, and they still match really well.

Image

The little lamps are from Ikea and I love them. They’re pretty bright and that’s good since the overhead lamps in this place are awful. I didn’t want to but I may end up having to get a side table and lamp for my living room. I can have every light in the place on and it still feels like I’m sitting in the dark. I think these cost $15 and they do a great job while looking pretty, you can’t beat that!

These next two photos are closeups of my linens.

Image

Image

The top photo is a closeup of my duvet, I got it at Pottery Barn. They were running a sale and of course every duvet in the place was discounted- except this one. But I had a coupon so it’s okay! I looked everywhere for a nice duvet and I really think Pottery Barn had the best ones for the best prices. I walked in there after going to Macy’s and finding nothing but overpriced, scratchy, nonsense. Seriously, over $300 just for a king sized duvet that’s polyester? Who do they think they’re kidding! I got this for under $100 and it’s soooo soft. I bought my duvet clips from Bed Bath and Beyond (they sell the same ones on Amazon for double so check BB&B first!). I bought my comforter from Ikea and it’s two layers. One is a level 1 the other is a level 2 (I think) so you can use it year round. I don’t know what it is about Ikea comforters but I love them, this new style makes me love them even more. They’re down alternative too so I don’t have to worry about itching. 🙂

The next photo shows my King size pillow cases. I bought these at Home Goods, they were $10 for the two pack. I think they mesh nicely with the colors in my comforter and I loved the raised design. It plays quite nicely as well. Both designs work with the shower curtain too, it helps the spaces feel connected.

Oh, and for the record. I have a king sized comforter and pillows but a Queen sized bed. I just prefer it that way. I feel like it makes the bed so much more cozy and there’s less fighting over the covers.

Image

This is my dresser. It sits directly across from my bed and is the only other thing in my bedroom. I do sometimes have a clothes horse off to the left of it in the corner but it gets put away when there are no clothes to dry because I don’t like looking at it.

Image

The things I keep on my dresser are things I both use, and enjoy. Like I said in my last post, I like to decorate with useful things. Now perfume isn’t exactly useful, but it is enjoyable and I do use it. Mine came in bottles I thought were pretty and I can’t see the sense in hiding them. It’s not bright enough in the room for the sunlight to hurt them (I had all the lights on and the blinds open to take these photos and it’s still pretty dark). So why not keep them out where I can enjoy them. The little box sometimes holds my earrings. I picked it up when I was in Alaska at House of Russia. It’s a tiny little paper mache box that’s completely done by hand, layers and layers of paper painstakingly combined and then hand painted and lacquered. I think it’s beautiful, too beautiful to be hidden away.

Image

I bought this frame at Home Goods for a few dollars and still haven’t printed out a photo for it. I want to wait until I have found all the frames for the house and then I’ll have some printed at Costco. I don’t want to have to make several trips just for photos. The bear (who’s outfit matches the room completely by accident) is our “first born” and she’ll be 10 next month. I gave her to my husband a few months after we started dating and she’s pretty special to us. That bear has been to more countries than some humans, but she’s more of a homebody these days as she’s getting old/fragile. The pacifier and pram are from the Swarovski outlet. I love those little nicknacks even though I don’t own many. I like to wait for them to be discontinued and then I pick them up on sale from their outlet stores. You just have to be committed to checking every time you’re near one, but it’s worth it for the savings.

Image

This last photo is another example of style meets functionality. I bought these from Nordstrom for $10 each (they sell them online and in stores). I could have just gotten a dish from anywhere, but I elected to spell out my monogram. I thought it was a cool way to use such a traditional style element. They’re also functional as I use them to hold my jewelry from time to time. But even when empty they still look great. The sassy little cat with the bow on her head is named Katie. I had been waiting for her to go on clearance for a long time but it was worth it, I got a $20 savings!

The Capsule Wardrobe

If you’ve ever perused style blogs you’ve probably heard about capsule wardrobes. I’ve wanted one for a really long time, and I’ve finally done it. I decided the time was right with my move. Going from a perpetually hot climate to a cold one meant I needed to buy clothes, so why not do it right? We live in a world of excess, so having 10 pairs of jeans, 50 tops, and as many dresses is the norm. So is loudly announcing you have nothing to wear despite a closet bursting at the seams. I used to be like that but over the years have slowly whittled things down to more manageable levels. But I still wanted less. 

Right now I have the following in my closet:

2 pairs of skinny jeans

1 pair of bootcut jeans

1 pair of nice slacks

1 sweater dress (can be dressed up or down)

1 “fancy” dress

1 black wool skirt

2 cashmere cardigans

3 cable knit sweaters

2 v neck sweaters

2 sparkle cardigans

2 oxfords

1 short sleeve t shirt

1 3/4 sleeve t shirt

Plus an assortment of camisoles 

 

Laid out like that is seems like a lot, but really it’s not. It’s four pairs of pants, two dresses, nine sweaters, and four shirts, that’s nineteen items total. I get really cold so I bought more sweaters than anything else since I’ll never leave the house without one, in fact I’m usually wearing 3-4 layers. I don’t have many shoes either, seven pairs total. Most all of them go with everything in my closet, if anything they all go with everything except the dress pants. I have to wear heels with those.

One of the most important things in creating a capsule wardrobe is making sure everything works with everything else. Right now every sweater I have will work with every bottom. The shirts will all pretty much work the same way but not everything will work perfectly, but as they’re mostly layer items that aren’t really seen I don’t worry. After all, in the summer when I’m most likely to want to wear just a t shirt my wool skirt or lined dress slacks will be a bit heavy. So I’ll just be sure they look okay with my summer weight bottoms, I already know they look good with my jeans.

Another thing to consider is color palette. I had a hard time with this the last time I attempted a capsule wardrobe. This time it just sort of came about organically, I didn’t have to sit around comparing swatches. I went with mostly neutrals this time which made things easier, it wasn’t a conscious choice it just sort of happened. I found a grey sparkle cable knit sweater at Banana Republic factory store and fell in love. I kept moving through the store and found really cute pants. I wanted something to try them on with so I grabbed a pale pink button down. When I tried everything on it all looked great so I grabbed a white button down as well. Jeans work with pretty much everything so I picked up a couple of pairs of skinny jeans at the J. Crew outlet store and I had the skirt (also J. Crew). I think the tipping point for my colors came at Anthropologie. They were offering an extra percentage off their clearance and I found this sweater:

Image

It’s called the sequin flurry sweater and it’s super cute and cozy. That pink sweater combined with the pink button down and grey sweater convinced me to look for grey, pink, beige, white, and navy. They’re easy colors to find, there’s also a lot of variety when it comes to those shades. Last time I had purples, blues, and teals. That might not seem difficult to work with but not every blue works with every purple, and it can be really hard to find purple anything. So neutrals are best for people looking to start a capsule wardrobe. I figure as things wear out I can replace them with bolder shades should I wish and they’ll blend with everything, but if I’m going to keep up with this I think most of my clothes will be neutral in color. It’s just easier and they always look good.

Here are some other cute things I bought to create this wardrobe.

Image

This sweater dress is so cute, comfortable, and slimming. Most sweater dresses are very unforgiving but this one is great. I probably could have gone with a small, but they only had a medium. I think the medium fits fine, it’s just a smidge more loose than a shown on the model.

Image

I got this on clearance from Anthropologie as well. They really didn’t forget any detail with this. The sleeves are rolled and then there’s a little strap that buttons. The button is mother of pearl and there’s even lace on the strap. It’s really sheer (despite the photo showing it opaque) so I’ll have to wear a camisole underneath it but I probably would anyways so it’s not a big deal.

Image

These are the “Gwyneth” from Kamik. I’m totally in love with them. Kamik uses this stuff called RubberHE, I don’t know much about it except it’s synthetic and PVC free. I love that because I’m allergic to rubber. I’d kill for Hunter Wellies but they’re made of latex. 😦 These are a great alternative if you’re allergic to latex. They also make another version called the “Jennifer” that’s quite similar to the Hunter boots and I have them in black. They’re both really comfortable and have removable inserts so you can take it out for more room or add in your own. 

Image

These are the Sam Edelman “Felicia” flats, I have them in black and nude. They have to be the most comfortable flats ever. The leather is so soft (so is their suede version) and they come in every size from 4 to 13 and offer both regular and wide widths. I think that’s pretty impressive, there aren’t many women’s shoe companies that are catering to such a broad range. They’re also pretty cushioned for a ballet flat. They don’t seem like like they are at first glance but I’ve spent an entire day on my feet in these at Disney and felt fine at days end. So if you have a hard time finding comfortable ballet flats I highly recommend this brand, not just this style.