Changing Your Clothes

Shopping, Sewing, Upcycling, Repairing: Make the most of your clothes!


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Special Favors

2012. What a year! Looking back now, I think primarily about 2 events in my life: The first was when my daughter very nearly died of a sudden, total liver failure (still inexplicable), and what has happened since that terrible time in early March. The second was the official start of my blogging life, at the very end of July.

These seem totally unrelated, don’t they? I suppose they are, in most ways, but here’s where they come together for me: I am most profoundly grateful for both experiences. Continue reading

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Practical vs. Extravagant: The Great Debate

Last week, when I was trying to plan a special holiday outfit, toying with various pieces of fabrics and patterns, I found myself in a familiar place of indecision. I had put together a selection of more or less coordinated fabrics from my over-abundant stash: I started with a gorgeous sequinned fabric with cutouts and a fabulous pointy border, which I thought would be most appropriate for a skirt, but this would necessitate some sort of lining. I came up with a tie-dyed georgette which looked wonderful under the sequins, but which was semi-sheer, so I found a bright coral satin for the undermost layer of what was now a 3-layer skirt.

(Those of you with sharp eyes and memories may recognize this satin from my recent post about making a skirt from a custom-fitted muslin; the satin lines that skirt. Good thing I like this stuff— even after making this second skirt, I still have a lot left over!)

Finally, I added a coral stretch velvet to make a simple top (with all that going on in the skirt, the top really needs to be simple). Here are the four fabrics:

Fabrics for dancing outfit

Fabrics for my dancing outfit: The sequinned beauty with the tie-dyed georgette underneath and showing through the cutouts in the sequinned piece, and the satin underneath both (you can see a little of this by itself in the lower right corner). In the upper left corner is the stretch velvet.

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Merry Christmas, everyone!

Here’s a little holiday cheer for all my CYC friends! (Talk about changing my clothes!)

Click on the link (or the screenshot) to watch this funny video, starring ME!

http://www.jibjab.com/view/L13Mdg6Fqp3wsyuMlKuI

Video screen shot

A screen shot from my Christmas video; click on the picture to go to the video!

 


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More Winter Warmers: Styling Up Your Cold-weather Gear

As much as I always look forward to cold weather (at least since I moved away from Ohio’s sub-zero winters), I’m sometimes stymied when it comes to giving all those sweatery layers a good dose of style. Let’s face it… the practicalities of dressing for winter weather tend to outweigh my parallel urge to make a fashion statement. If I’m starting with, say, a thick (read: less than shapely) sweater, how do I raise the style quotient without sacrificing warmth?

Refinery29, bless their fashionable hearts, sent me this slideshow today, showing 7 fantastic ideas for giving your cold-weather staples a glam upgrade. Here’s one of my favorites (and an answer to my previous sweater question):

Chic Winter Layers

Great idea for layering a thick winter sweater, courtesy of Refinery29! (Click on the picture to go to this picture in the slideshow.)

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Changing Prices: Bargains on unique Knittique samples !

Here’s a last-minute gift idea, especially for that impossible-to-buy-for woman: a one-of-a-kind Knittique sample! These are the pieces I design and make in the process of creating my original knitwear patterns for Knittique; each is made with 1 or more of my own Scraplet Skeins, which are one-of-a-kind skeins I create by hand-tying multiple strands of yarn together to form a color sequence within each skein. (The skeins and patterns are also available in Knittique’s Etsy shop.)

Included in my sample sale collection are capelets, wraps, and pillow covers, and right now, I’m adding more at least once per day! And because they’ve all been very gently used— meaning tried on occasionally in yarn store trunk shows, and modeled for photography, including on Lola the Mannequin— I’m offering each of these truly unique samples at ridiculously great prices!

Here are just two of these extraordinary samples:

Aquamarine Capelet

Aquamarine Capelet, made with the Aquamarine Scraplet Skein from Knittique’s Birthstone Collection. (Click on the picture to go directly to this capelet in my Etsy shop.)

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Dressing for Dinner (and dates, and parties, and…)

At this time of the year, I feel like I’m being inundated with so many articles/blog posts/advertisements that pop up to tell me how I should dress for office parties/dinner with in-laws/New Year’s Eve parties. I also can’t help wondering how many people actually DO any (let alone all) of these things— it’s as if I’m being not-so-gently lectured: I should be going to more parties! And have the perfect outfit for every one of them! And this is where I start to feel not just socially inadequate, but also a distinctly “Bah, humbug” attitude coming on.

Well, help arrived this morning right into my e-mail box! This slideshow from Refinery29 is a holiday-wardrobe masterpiece, showcasing 30 dresses, each with a suggested wear-to scenario. I was just flipping through it and, instead of getting depressed, I couldn’t help fantasizing about living the kind of life that would require fabulous dresses for even half of these events! (Hey, it could happen— I have officially designated 2013 as My Year of Dreaming BIG!)

Here’s one of my favorites (both the dress and the party idea):

Dress for Gatsby-themed party

Dress for Gatsby-themed dance party, from J. Crew. (Click on the photo to go directly to this slide in Refinery29’s slideshow. Each slide includes the maker, price, and a link to the maker’s site.)

As you’ll see in the slideshow, a wide range of styles and prices is represented, so you’re sure to find something that inspires you! Do you have plans to attend any/some/all of these events over the holidays? Which one would you be the most likely to wear??


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Changing My Method: Making a Muslin

Last week I got an almost-last-minute invitation to a cocktail party, and decided it was the perfect time to make a skirt I’ve been thinking about for a while. I already had the fabric: pale grey wool bouclé with tiny clear sequins sewn all over it; I pictured this as the perfect pencil skirt, with a contrast lining that would just peek out from the off-center front slit.

Problem: I didn’t have a pattern for this mythical wonder-skirt, or at least not one that I trusted to fit me.

Solution: I used my Garment Designer software and my own measurements to create a custom pattern.*

Since I was in a bit of a rush to get this skirt made, I didn’t photograph the entire process, but I’ll do my best to describe what I did.

First step: After creating my basic skirt design in GD, and plugging in my measurements, I generated a sewing pattern (the software calculates the pattern using my measurements) and printed it out. Obviously it wouldn’t all fit on a letter-sized page, so it automatically tiles the pattern into multiple pages, so all I had to do was tape them together; the patterns print out with handy guidelines to help align the pages properly. (You can see the pattern for the skirt back in the first photo, below). Continue reading