Category Archives: Fashion

NL 6096 & Shiseido Event

Recently, I entered to win an invitation to a VIP event in Vancouver, presented by Shiseido Canada in partnership with renowned beauty expert Dave Lackie and celebrity makeup artist, Nina Westbury. When I  learned I was one of the lucky recipients, I could hardly believe my luck! Back in the day, when I was a makeup artist myself, I would attend product launch events sometimes (and loved them!), so it was a really lovely treat to be able to meet these wonderful people in person and participate in an evening celebrating beauty once again 🙂

As the event was hosted in a lovely candlelit room, my pics are a bit grainy, but I wanted to share them anyway as I think they will get the point across, and you’ll forgive the image quality, right? 😉

I had never been overly familiar with Shiseido products, but my perception was that they had quite a good reputation for quality, and I was not wrong. They place a lot of focus on research and technology, employing over 1000 scientists purely for the field of research into skin care breakthroughs, and even have their own wing at Harvard.

lovely packaging for a lovely product

lovely packaging for a lovely product – Shiseido Ultimune

The event was held at a hotel downtown Vancouver and the care and attention put into the decor and presentation was impressive 🙂

florals

Raspberry flavoured champagne and peonies by candlelight 🙂

The gorgeous table settings and room atmosphere

I was fortunate after the event was over, to have the opportunity to chat one on one with the hosts – all absolutely LOVELY people and so generous with their time, taking a moment for everyone who wanted to talk 🙂

portrait-collage

Me getting to meet some of the loveliest people in the beauty industry! Clockwise from top: Elaine Shigeishi, Shiseido Vice President; Dave Lackey, beauty editor, and Nina Westbury, makeup artist

swag

Sweet, sweet loot!! A swag bag for everyone attending, including eye shadow palette, mascara, eye makeup remover, eyelash curler, and a generous sample size of the new Ultimune Eye. We also received a lipgloss, which has already replaced my previous favourite and taken up permanent residence in my purse LOL.

And for anyone who is interested in what I wore, I made New Look 6096 in a lovely cotton eyelet from Blackbird Fabrics. It was a pretty quick make, but because of the construction method, you really can’t check the fit until it’s done. The top of the bodice and waistband use elastic for fitting, but there is SO MUCH EASE built in that the fabric poofed out quite a bit, between the waist and the bodice top edge. I pinched out a 2″ wedge on each side and sewed it down, elastic and all LOL. Thank goodness my machine is a beast, and can handle half an inch of layers! It’s not perfect, but makes the dress wearable, and I think it works well enough. Obviously, were I to make it again, I would adjust the flat pattern considerably to ensure a better fit.

The bodice instructions call for the fabric to be self-lined but because I was using eyelet as my main, I used a cotton batiste to back it (which I was going to do anyway LOL). In addition, I drafted a short lining for the skirt bit, because, eyelet LOL. I left the lining short enough to allow for several inches at the bottom where the eyelet could shine on its own.


NL6096-1

All in all, a pretty wonderful evening was had – I met some great people, had an excuse to make a cute new dress, and I am looking forward to trying all the new products!! 😀


Experimentation & Personal Style

I’ve been quiet on the blog lately but busy nonetheless. I’ve found myself wandering down a lot of rabbit holes lately, as is wont to happen when one is part of an online community; I am inspired by what others are wearing, new patterns released, trends and so forth, and despite me knowing what’s best for me, I sometimes need to try new things out.

There are goods and bads in this, for me. The main bad of course, is that I spend a lot of time constructing garments that I ultimately find uncomfortable or unflattering, and thus, unwearable. The main good is that I’ve strongly reinforced in my mind what I really love wearing, and also what really doesn’t suit me.

Lessons learned:

BAD: I recently made both the Colette Moneta and Myrtle, both of which feature a softly gathered elastic waistband which does absolutely NOTHING good for my figure, despite how pretty and flattering they are on seemingly everyone else.
GOOD: I like the Moneta bodice & the Myrtle skirt, and i do like wearing knits, so if I can splice them together without the elastic waistband we may have a winner.

BAD: I recently made two different pair of pants – both with a slim fit & side zip; in addition to the numerous woes we all feel when attempting to fit pants, the realization is that I simply cannot comfortably wear anything at or higher than my waist; I just hate the way it feels & looks. Also, personally, I think invisible zips on pants is just stupid. Maybe it’s just me but I break them every time.
GOOD: I’ve identified the main few fit issues I have with pants & I think if I stick with low rise styles I may be able to get at least wearable (if not perfect) pants block with a bit of work – and that would be spectacular because I do love pants 🙂

GOOD: I recently made the Papercut Patterns Midsummer’s Night Dream dress out of silk I got in Australia & it’s wonderful; I totally love wrap & V-neck bodices. Will post soon.

BAD: I stink at the narrow hem foot lol
GOOD: I have a narrow hem foot, and the more I practice the better it gets; even imperfect edges look pretty decent – and less fussy than bias edges on delicate fabrics 🙂

In conclusion, while I don’t have a lot of tangible successes lately, my mind is more focused and I have a clearer idea of what I need to spend my time on. I’m working on three projects that are much more my own style so I hope for some successful, blog-able projects soon 🙂

And since i have no garment photos to show, here’s a photo of lovely white fabrics I’m working with – perfect for this summer heat!!

20140809-150952.jpg


Claiming my blog

Don’t mind me, just doing the thing everyone else did a million years ago… peace 🙂

<a href=”http://www.bloglovin.com/blog/3461627/?claim=hzxenhpapfe”>Follow my blog with Bloglovin</a>


Cake Patterns Pavlova wrap top

So I am truly the master of productivity today – I had quite a busy one but managed to do the prep work on my Pavlova last night, then sew it up, AND get it shot today!! 🙂

The merino-cotton was absolutely dreamy to sew; I’m totally in LOVE!!! It’s heavenly to wear too; so soft, comfortable and flattering!

Behold!!!

20130325-190815.jpg


SWAP Fall/Winter update

Back at the end of September I posted a pretty lofty sewing plan for fall/winter, especially considering fall was well underway! lol

My initial plan was as follows:

••• black linen dress pants
••• blue Anise jacket
••• navy print Jasmine
••• red Renfrew
••• navy wool skirt or shorts
••• vintage gray shirt dress

Of those six pieces I’ve completed three, but I also added in a silk dress for Christmas, a dress shirt for my man, and yoga pants. So the number of projects is on track but I’ve still got a ways to go to finish my initial plan.

There was a second part of that plan involving another six garments for winter but I think that will require some revamping now. I think five per season is a more realistic base, and allows more time for muslins & test garments.

So I removed the wool shorts & added them to my Spring plan instead, for starters. Then taking the two remaining pieces on my fall plan and adding three from my winter plan, this is my new updated Winter SWAP:

••• navy print Jasmine
••• red Renfrew
••• self-drafted wool pencil skirt
••• navy cigarette pants
••• red cardigan

I chose the most practical items from my winter plan to add. I’m dying to make the Tiramisu dress but I’m gonna be strong and add that to my spring plan instead, which is already in the works!! (wait til you see my colour palette!!)

LOL so many ideas… so little time!

One thing I’ve come to realize is I’ve improved my productivity; at the beginning of the year I was lucky to make one thing every month or two – now it’s an average of two per month!! Much better! 🙂

I’ve also learned that I need to plan in shorter sections to allow for seasonal needs (like Christmas), test garments, and extra necessities (like comfy clothes and maybe lingerie!)

I’m definitely still learning, but I can see progress and that’s pretty awesome! ^__^


Sewing With a Plan: Fall/Winter 2012

I love making lists! I have lists for everything; it’s how I keep my life organized & on track.

Trouble is, my lists are always changing, so making a list for sewing is tough because my whims and inspiration can change overnight. Also, my wardrobe is so severely limited (like I mean REALLY – I have NOTHING to wear!) and there are SO many things I both need AND want to sew, it’s hard to narrow it down to a realistic level. I’m so desperate to just have clothes to wear, it’s hard to decide what should take priority.

Up til now, my sewing was organized mainly around sewalongs, as I was just learning the basics, but I haven’t come out with a whole lot of wearable pieces, or very much that feels like ME 🙂 Now that I feel a bit more competent in my skill set, as well as having a clearer sense of my personal style, I want to sew now for me, with a purpose 🙂

Having recently discovered StephC’s blog through Sunni at A Fashionable Stitch, I immediately fell in love with her candid way of speaking and her way of approaching fashion… and pretty much every topic, for that matter!

Steph did a series of posts on planning a wearable wardrobe using basic pieces and colours that harmonize with each other. My feelings towards colour have always been pretty much in this vein, so it felt very organic to me. This one gives a guideline on where to start and I decided to use it as my inspiration to narrow down my choices for Fall’s plan 🙂

My colours weren’t hard to choose, as I’d pretty much already chosen them, but I didn’t follow the suggested pattern exactly because I’m doing two sets instead of one – one wardrobe, split into two sections: Fall and Winter. But it will essentially operate the same way as the sample wardrobe (only double!) interchangeable coordinating pieces that make it easy to dress: just throw anything on, and always look put together, cause it all matches!

My colours are black, red, navy, and blue-grey. Here is my plan for the first set (Fall):

••• black linen dress pants
••• blue Anise jacket
••• navy print jasmine
••• red renfrew
••• navy wool skirt or shorts
••• vintage gray shirt dress

In my second set, (which will essentially become my winter plan) the colours are the same only instead of blue-grey, my accent colour is cream:

•• black wool pencil skirt
•• black wool blazer or jacket
•• cream blouse
•• navy cigarette pants
•• red cardigan
•• black wiggle dress

Now I’m hoping I can actually stick to this plan and not get distracted by pretty new patterns or other sewists’ stellar creations!

How bout you? Do you plan your sewing or do you just wing it? 🙂


Bombshell Promaballoona

It’s Promaballoona! And what better way to celebrate than to don a bombshell dress and hop on a cruise with your sweetheart?

I’ll save the commentary on the making of the dress for another post; this here post is for fun and eye candy lol

20120805-125018.jpg

20120805-125159.jpg

We started off our evening with class: a 1 hour ride via public transit; it was 32 degrees out and we were a little more wilted looking than when we left! 😛

A couple Bellinis at a local restaurant while waiting for our boat to board helped with that, then it was off to sea! 🙂

(gratuitous pic of my sexy prom date)

20120805-125543.jpg

As it got dark and we sailed around the harbour, we watched the finale of the Festival of Light – a spectacular fireworks exhibition ^__^

However, the boat was having troubles anchoring and we ended up crashing into two parked boats, making it difficult to concentrate on the festivities lol. We were outside but here’s a pic of the damage incurred down below:

20120805-125912.jpg

Nevertheless after being escorted back to the docks by police, waiting for a cab, and getting home at 3am, we still had a pretty entertaining evening!

20120805-130050.jpg

Happy Birthday, Oona! Hope you had a great birthday & as much fun (but less cops lol) than us!!


Sew Colette & Spring Palette Challenge: Taffy Complete!

I finally finished the Taffy!

20120511-061904.jpg

Hard to tell but it’s very sheer blue chiffon with an off white bubble pattern.

I made quite a lot of my own changes.

Obviously my usual FBA – yes even with a looser top; believe me, it’s necessary. It was a bit tricky on this one cause of the unusual dart but I managed to make it work 🙂

The most obvious change is that I opted not to use bias tape, as my fabric was SO lightweight and sheer, I felt it would take away from its delicacy. Also I didn’t want the sleeves to stick out too wide, as I don’t need any extra attention on my chest area lol. So I did a rolled hem on the neck, sleeve edge and hem. I think it looks lovely, and really suits the fabric.

20120511-062735.jpg

20120511-062755.jpg

Also I made self ties instead of bias tape ones, again because the fabric is so delicate, I wanted the ties to be more flowy.

20120511-062851.jpg

This was my first bias garment and it was tough to cut because a) my work surface was too small and b) the fabric was so slippery, even with spray starch. Nevertheless I LOVE the look and feel of bias tops so I would do it again 🙂

I also sewed the first step of the french seam for the sleeve on the wrong side (even after checking it twice lol) It was this mistake that caused the long delay in me finishing it, due to my own shame and disgust lol. In the end, instead of seam ripping on my delicate fabric I just finished the sleeve seam with the serger.

Other than that the blouse sewed up fairly quickly and the fit is great – I’ll post pics of it being worn soon 🙂


Colette Spring Palette Challenge

Hi All!!

I have edited my pinterest mood board for spring to reflect my sewing plans, and revised palette 🙂

Check it out here

It was tough because I have a ton more that I want to make but I wanted to keep it simple, and be practical so that I can ensure that I finish everything. I decided to keep it to four pieces for now, incorporating the items I’m making for Sew Colette.

  • Item 1: Taffy blouse from Colette Sewing Handbook in dark blue print chiffon
  • Item 2: Licorice dress from Colette Sewing Handbook in blue silk crepe ( I loved the book version so much I wanted to do one fairly similar)
  • Item 3: Jamie Christina Mission Maxi dress in cream jersey
  • Item 4: UFO black linen dress pants from last year hehe

I thought what I’ll do is, once the Spring one is complete I’ll make another for summer, and that’s when I’ll be adding my bolds and brights like my tangerines and red-oranges…. ahhhhh my favourite colours!!! 😀

I have some great plans for summer, like my first pair of shorts, a tangerine silk halter top and the Bombshell dress in a sweet black floral cotton…. whooopeeeee!!!!! 😀

Stay tuned and don’t miss a thing! LOL


Sew Colette: Truffle Dress Complete

Finally completed the March challenge of Sew Colette: The Truffle Dress!!

20120415-184425.jpg

I learned a lot on this challenge as well: how to install a facing & attach it to a zipper mostly. I also experimented with using spray starch to stabilize my fabric; a VERY fray-prone, slippery dress weight rayon. I lined the bodice with cotton batiste and I really like the feel of it.

20120415-184547.jpg

Overall I like the way the dress turned out… except that it’s a bit too tight lol. I can get it on but there’s NO WAY I’m wearing it to go out for dinner lol – I’d be afraid of a major wardrobe malfunction! lol. No worries though; I’m on a health & fitness plan and have been losing weight so I’ll bet I can wear it comfortably, soon 🙂

Gratuitous closeups, including kitty trying to hide under it lol:

20120415-184810.jpg

20120415-184819.jpg

Now onto April’s challenge: The Taffy Blouse!! 🙂