Tag Archives: apparel

Good Skirt

I daydream about clothes quite a bit, and when I find something that feels fresh to me, I think about outfits centered around that item or concept. I’ve been eyeing this skirt recently and decided that it would be a fresh breath of crisp, fall air within my wardrobe. However, I bought it without first determining how it would fit into my wardrobe. Shoes would be no problem, I knew this length would suit my favorite flats, but wearing anything resembling a classic blouse would definitely make it skew sexy school marm. To each their own but not my style.

Enter New Striped Tee. The proportions of this tee work so well with the skirt, and the shoes are icing on the my little fashion cake. This is my new favorite outfit.

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Filed under Illustration, Journal, Other

A Fix

If you must wear neon, it should be in the form of a good jacket. A neon pink blazer with side cutouts, more specifically. Edgy and cool and a perfect fit. In these pics I wore it with shades of gray, but I am planning an outfit where I wear it with more colors. I kind of feel like I’m in a classy science fiction novel when I wear it. Or at a Jil Sander runway show.

If you must know (and I know you do) I got this blazer from Stitchfix.

Stitchfix is an internet fashion retailer that I have grown to really like over the past few months because it’s an incredibly convenient and fun new way of shopping for me. What sets them apart from other fashion e-tailers is that instead of you shopping their online store, they automatically ship you items without you knowing what they are sending. When you sign up as a “subscriber” you fill out a fun questionnaire about your personal style, body type and size, and the amount of money you want to spend. You can also specify how often you want a box shipped to you. Based on the info you give them, they style you from afar and then mail their picks to you. What you like you keep, and what you don’t like you send back in a prepaid package. You are charged a styling fee of $20 with every shipment, but you can also use that 20 toward your purchases. What is also nice is that they listen to your feedback about the items that you didn’t want and respond in the next shipment with even better items.

So far I’ve had three shipments, and I have had so much fun with the whole process. Because I am not the one choosing, it takes me out of my shopping comfort zone and makes me try things I normally would not. The result is every couple of months my wardrobe gets a swift kick in the gluteus and I end up with an infatuation like this sweet blazer.

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Filed under Design, Journal, Other

Good Vintage

An opportunity to shop a vintage clothing faire cannot be missed, and it is even more fun with vintage-loving friends. The Alameda Vintage Clothing Faire was on a beautiful sunny day on the small island, in a community hall in the old naval base area. It wasn’t nearly as large as the Alameda Flea Market, but it was the perfect size to be able to look at everything in about two hours. Everyone there was very friendly and familiar in our shared love for vintage.

I enjoy shopping for vintage clothing, the hunt for a hidden treasure is exhilarating. While in design school I worked as a vintage buyer for Buffalo Exchange, and it taught me everything I needed to know about choosing good vintage.  Generally when vintage shopping I personally try to look for classic pieces, that will work with my current wardrobe. Mostly neutral in color, I like to mix these pieces with statement jewelry that I also look for. Rhiannon, my friend with whom I attended, likes to find dresses in rich colors and timeless prints. The fabric of the clothing should be in good condition, no holes, ripped seams, or anything else I cannot repair myself. The fabric quality is what I especially look for. When shopping, I always scan the racks to see if anything catches my eye before I go over and start going through the racks. I run my hands over pieces I like to feel the quality of fabric. A good wool will feel soft whereas a bad polyester will feel like fluffed plastic. I check zippers, buttonholes, and hems to observe the technique used.

One of the pieces I found was a classic navy blazer by Pendleton. It fits me perfectly and has 3/4 length sleeves which are my favorite on a jacket. It is in impeccable condition and cost $40. This is a quality jacket that will last me many years and will polish off many an outfit.

The quality is in the details of this blazer. Handfinished buttonholes, perfect welt pockets, and beautiful buttons. Buttons are a big thing for me, as they can add a lot of personality to a garment. I especially love dapper crest buttons.

This was one the first things I saw when I arrived at the Faire, and I was immediately drawn to its shape and classic nautical motif. The fit of vintage clothing is paramount to finding a good value. The sizing is extremely inconsistent, so I always try them on before buying. The fit of this sweater is Katharine Hepburn, sitting just at the hips with a slightly slim cut. It is also 100% cotton, which means I can machine wash it.

At only $15, the subtle anchor and laurel have me completely charmed. Also, I love white tops- white tees, white oxfords, and now white sweaters. I know it is after Labor Day, but I have no qualms about wearing white when it is done like this.

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New on NatalieShop

I just added some new things I’ve made to my Etsy shop! Click on the images for the Etsy listing:
Grey Grid Tie Blouse with hi-low hem, $150.00

Space Age Sweatshirt Blouse, $150.00

Jade/Rose Turban-Style Headband, $25.00

Snow Bunny Turban-Style Headband, $20.00

Jade Cabled Beanie, $30.00

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Filed under Design, Other

French Bias

This is bias tape that I am making from this soft Italian cotton I got from Britex Fabric a few years ago. I have bins of fabric sitting in my sewing room, and I have decided that now is the time to use it up. This lovely fabric sat in the bin and I would take it out from time to time with an idea what to make, but I would have second thoughts, and it would go back into the bin.

With the right tools, making bias tape is not difficult. You need a bias tape curler, an iron, a clear drafting ruler, a disappearing ink pen, and scissors. You can also get an attachment for your sewing machine that actually curls the bias tape as you sew, which makes it even easier. The print on this fabric makes for  1″ wide bias tape, which is what I want for the garment I am making.

Finishing a garment is one of my favorite parts of sewing. I love doing blind hem stitches, and making the edges as clean as possible. The way a garment is finished is a sure sign of its quality. There are exceptions, as some designers do play with raw edges, but still they are done in a consistently thoughtful manner. My sewing teacher once said that a sign of good finishing is that you could wear the garment inside out and it would still look good.

I am now thinking of how I am going to use this bias tape. I had planned to use it as a visible 1/4″ binding around the armholes and neckline, but now I am considering flipping it to the wrong side and making it invisible. I could use it to bind the seams, or just do French seams. I should have already made these decisions and began sewing, but I discovered I am completely out of thread in the color of the fabric. A trip to the fabric store is in order asap. So here I sit, typing and thinking about French seams and how, when sewn perfectly, can make a simple garment into an exquisite one.

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Filed under Design, Journal