Thursday, January 29, 2015

Boden: Catch of the Day (Six Hours Left, Anyhow)! Outerwear!


Two days ago, I very belatedly announced that tops and tees were on sale in Boden's catch of the day.  I also made a promise to be back the next day with more on the sale that followed it, which was yesterday, and was for knitwear.  Of course as you all know now, I didn't announce that one, since I chose to publish this post instead.  But I do want to give a big thank you to both Lou and Lisa who did give us the schedule of items that would be in the Catch of the Day sale.

Unfortunately (or fortunately depending on your wants and needs), the American version is different than the British version.

From Lisa (American version):

Boden sent me a schedule of the sale:
Wed: knitwear
Thurs: outerwear
Fri-Sat: pants, skirts, & shoes


From Lou (British version):

It's trousers and shoes Thursday and more excitingly 20% off clearance on Friday and Saturday.

Hmm.  Well, I am not sure which one I prefer.  And I am not sure why Boden didn't make outerwear a bigger deal for the Brits, especially considering half of the United States will start seeing warmer weather in a couple of months, or are already seeing warmer weather simply by existing in the lower 15% of our country, where winter is a sneeze of cold weather for a day in January.  (Ask my mom in San Antonio about southern Texas winters, and she will get enraged at how flipping hot it is there.)

Anyhow, so today is outerwear as the "catch," and if you like something from the section and need it now, go for it.

Regarding any past reviews I have done, I have one for the Eliza coat here, one for the Ingrid Coat here, and one for the Rainy Day Mac here.  I am irritated by the Eliza coat being back as part of the regular Boden section, though, since right before Christmas that same coat could be had for around 30% off.  I know it is only 10% extra off, but that there is a winter coat (okay, it is a "light" winter coat) and should be part of the winter sale schedule and not this transitional time.  I think I am being extra crabby tonight, in case you can't tell.  ;-)

Just realized that the knitwear is on sale today, too.  I went to go peek around a bit and see what was in that section, and all of those pieces say "20% off," so I guess they extended that sale?  Well, good!  That hopefully helps some of you all out there.

Okay, that's it for today.  Tomorrow--yay for pants, skirts, and shoes!  Unless you are in the UK where you get to celebrate an additional 20% off sale items!

P.S. My son is doing better.  His broken leg is still broken, but he is able to be moved without screaming in my ear, so that's good.  He doesn't have to take as much pain medication to feel good, as well.  How fast he will be up and able to use crutches in school is another thing entirely, but I am glad that he is feeling like himself again.  He is napping a lot, so I think that probably helps, too.  Thanks for all of your kind words about him to me, they helped keep my spirits up, too!  :-)

Link to sale.  If you see this tomorrow, it probably will take you to the pants, skirts, and shoes sale. 

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Made by Me File/OOTD: Inspired by Nature.


Day: Saturday, December 20, 2014.

Where:  To say goodbye to my friend, W., who passed away in mid-December.  I blogged more about the death here.  We went to his church in northern Virginia where they held a memorial service in his honor.

Ease of Wear: (4.5 of 5 stars--5 being the most easy to wear.)  In true W. style, we were asked to wear casual clothing to the service since W. was a casual guy who lived in fleece and jeans and boots.  W. also knew that I was (his words, not mine, lol) a "true fashionista," so though I could have worn fleece and jeans and boots, he wouldn't have expected my version of casual to match his.  I had to stay true to what his image of me was, as well as honoring the wishes of his family, so I went with my version of casual, which is exceedingly easy to wear, but since it isn't fleece or boots, doesn't get the full 5 out of 5 stars for ease since the beret, while "stylin'," does start to itch after a while. 

Cool Factor: (... of 5 stars--5 being the coolest.)  Not really a necessary score because this outfit is about W. and not about being cool.  I am sure he would have liked the effort, and would be proud to know that I own a cardigan that has a full on forest on it, however abstract it may be.  (He was a lumberjack/nature man/(his words, not mine) manimal, so the more rustic and down to earth, the better.)

I literally spent days and days crying over W.'s death, as many of you who read here know already.  I didn't know how to process losing him in such a sudden way.  I had kids to watch out for, so that helped me get through the physical hours of the days, but the emotional weight of the emptiness inside was really upsetting.  I had this void of a good friend upon whom I depended for companionship.  He was a tie to so many things in my life, my youth, my love of things "nature," my stupid silly side that I rarely let see the day's light. 

I went through our many messages to each other and it struck me that no matter what, he championed my sewing and creative side.  He was very supportive of everything I made, which was odd considering his way of dressing up was to wear a fancy baseball cap and shoes that weren't boots.   Regardless of his own personal style, he loved mine.  So I figured one way to deal with his death was to make a dress in honor of him for the mass that was going to be said for the repose of his soul (my friend, M., set it up for this last Sunday, 1/25/2015). 

I found two beautiful quilting cottons at fabric.com, the Forest Walk print, and the Cotton and Steel Metallic Netorious Goldilocks that would work well for the vintage pattern I had found to use for the dress, Simplicity 7252 (from 1967).  I wanted the body of the dress to be a forest or tree print, but it had to be abstract, and the Forest Walk was perfect, since from far away it looks more graphic and splotchy than the birch trees they actually are.  The Cotton and Steel fabric is a very subtle silver geometric print on a turmeric colored base, and happens to be an exact match for the yellows in the Forest Walk fabric.  To add some interest, I also included a bias corded piping in ivory at the yoke base and the cuffs.

I made sure to line the entire thing in a slick poly lining so I could wear tights (quilting cottons stick to tights).

The dress sewed up well, but I did have to take in the sides a whole lot since the ease from the bust down to the hem was excessive.  It was very tent-like.  I wanted the silhouette to match the girl on the cover of the pattern, so I knew I had to take it in to achieve that.  I didn't make a size too big, btw, I went with a size 14, bust 34, and through the shoulders, neck, and arms, it fits fine (after I did a square shoulder adjustment, which is very typical for me), so I think there was just a lot of ease built into this pattern. 

If you would like to see more on this project, I wrote more about the sewing side at this Pattern Review.

I also made two small bags in the same prints for my friends who also were at the mass.  The three of us have been spending a lot of time watching out for each other in the past month and a half, so I felt like they needed a tangible reminder that I was there for them, too.  It is really easy to whip up zip bags, btw, I basically followed the instructions at this Purl Bee tutorial (with my own pattern--I wanted one that allowed for the two fabrics to be on the outside, sort of like this bag).  I highly recommend using the Purl Bee tutorial if you are ever looking to make a quick gift for someone else and you have scrap fabric you'd like to use.

After the mass, four of us friends from high school went to Great Falls, which is a national park here in northern Virginia on the Potomac river, where Virginia meets Maryland.  Above is one of the photos I took that day.  I know W. would really have liked this, in addition to being an all-around outdoorsman, he was a very talented photographer.  I felt inspired by him that day and I was glad that I was able to photograph this moment.

Here are the four of us before we set out to hike that day. 

BTW, those boots I am wearing?  Timberland Euro Hikers from 1995.  Yeah, I own some manimal boots myself.  Just don't show them off around here much.  ;-)

You all have a great day.  Enjoy the world outside as much as you can!

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Boden: Catch of the Day Sale! Today is Tops and Tees!


Good Monday evening!

It has been a bit since I have published a post here and in the time in between posts, Boden started up a Catch of the Day sale on Sunday, January 25, 2015.  On Sunday and Monday, they took 20% off dresses.  Unfortunately I didn't announce that sale here, but I did at least manage to get the news out to my Facebook page friends.

The folks at Boden have been doing this Catch of the Day thing forever, and I remember enjoying the extra savings way back when.  I think this percentage amount is a decent savings, but since it is the same amount off as I enjoyed during Preview time, I am not going to participate, but since I know many of you choose to wait, this will give you the same amount off.  :-)

Today the tops and tees are 20% off.  I have only reviewed one top, in fact I only have one top from this new season, the Casual Dip Back Sweater (here at Boden).  (It isn't under knitwear as far as I can tell even though it is called a sweater.)  You can see that review here.

I don't know what the Catch of the Day will be for the rest of the week, but they usually cover the popular categories, so do expect to see knitwear, skirts and pants, and on the last day you will likely see a hodgepodge of all the categories. (I also suspect outerwear since the only ads that the affiliate program have include photos of the "outerwear" catch.)

This tops and tees sale expires tonight, with the next one starting thereafter.

I will be back tomorrow with information about which items are in the catch for tomorrow, and thereafter the catches for the rest of the week.  I included a link to the sale at the bottom of this post.

He wanted light blue and dark blue striped.  The tech was really good at his job!

Very quickly, and so you all know, Sunday I spent hiking at Great Falls National Park.  It was glorious and a few of my friends who were also close to W. (my friend who committed suicide in December) went with me to spend the day hiking in his honor.  Of course because my life is one big adventure after another, I received a call that Rex had been hurt at the ice skating birthday party he had attended while I was out doing that.  My husband had left him there since he had the other two kids to help out with, so poor Rex was hurt for a bit at the party with neither of us there.

We all assumed he had just gotten bruised or banged up but by the time I got to him, he had been howling in pain for a couple of hours and it wasn't letting up, so I immediately suspected a break, even though the physical evidence was not there.

And you know how this ends, right?  He ended up sustaining a spiral tibia fracture (fortunately the fibula was not injured) and now has a full leg cast and strict orders to stay home until the pain subsides, and thereafter to be in a wheelchair unless he must be up and using crutches.  (His school has stairs only since it is very old.) 

It is hard to see him in pain and it also very difficult to figure out how to get him around since he is very sensitive to the pain and since he is also very heavy, lifting him to get him to the bathroom and the bed and the couch is very hard.  If you have *any* advice for me, I will take it, happily.

Thanks for all your help.  As usual, it is really great to have such wonderful blog friends.

Ignore that this says outerwear.  Maybe that means tomorrow is outerwear?  The link is good, I just tried the one in the sidebar and it worked fine to get to the sale.



Monday, January 19, 2015

OOTDs/Review: Millie and a Bomber.


Day: Wednesday, December 31, 2014.

Where:  I know I went somewhere, but I am drawing a blank.  I can assure you it was probably out to eat somewhere, most likely.  I *do* know I wrote this blog post that day, though.  ;-)

Ease of Wear: (4 of 5 stars--5 being the most easy to wear.)  Pretty nice to wear, but I am dinging this outfit for the skirt, since I can only get it on and off by putting it on OVER my head instead of stepping into it like a normal person.  The waistband fits fine at the waist but doesn't stretch enough to get over my hips when I step into the skirt.  Considering how full the skirt is, you wouldn't think that possible, but it is possible, my friends.  Now if you are less curvy on your bottom half, this won't be an issue for you, but if you are blessed with larger hips in relation to your waist, get the size for your waist, but be prepared for putting the skirt on over your head.  Hmph.

Cool Factor: (3.5 of 5 stars--5 being the coolest.) From what I remember, people liked this combo, especially the necklace, but honestly it is very matchy matchy and almost appears a bit crazy old lady.  (Which I don't mind, that is actually what I aspire to be!)

That said, the tunic dress on its own is very cool.  Very short, but nice looking and interesting.  Wasn't feeling the length that day.  Was feeling it back here, though.

Millie Skirt.  Size 6 L.  I did write up a review of it here, but I haven't published any photos of me wearing it until today.

The length is awesome.  Really like where it hits on my leg.  The print is fabulous, too.  I have to hand it to Mr. Boden and co., they really do a British/London print well and every incarnation it seems I fall for it.  I refuse to look up at this blog all the times I have fallen for it, but I do know the only one I returned was a Johnnie b. dress that was super short on me.  BUT I LOVED THE PRINT, dang it!

From the side you can see that is very full throughout the skirt, while the waist is fitted.  This is why I suggested that pears suck it up and order by waist size, since ordering up will only for sure guarantee a huge skirt and possibly a waist that fits too large.  Just my two cents, but I know the 8 or 10 would have been very full on my lower half.

Millie Skirt
Millie Skirt.  Good stocks on all colors, but a few sizes are sold out completely in each color.  (Especially on the smaller and larger ends.  And the longs, as well.)


Crappy quality here of outfit without jacket.  Hello, ancient smart phone!
Day: Monday, January 19, 2014.

Where:  Joann's and Harris Teeter with my stepmom.

Ease of Wear: (4.5 of 5 stars--5 being the most easy to wear.)  For as tight as these pants appear to be, thanks to a significant spandex percentage, they are so flipping comfortable.  These are stupid super sale at J. Crew for something like $25 (stretch toothpick jeans in arcade wash--size 30 tall--my usual size).  Very much worth the money.  The Nike shoes (Pre Montreal Racer) were also a very inexpensive purchase through another stupid super sale, and as I love my other waffle racers by them so much, it was a no-brainer.  Add the perfect warmth the Johnnie b. bomber jacket gave me (it is in the upper 40s today), I was perfectly happy with how easy this was to wear and run around in.

Cool Factor: (4.5 of 5 stars--5 being the coolest.)  You all know I massively {{heart}} ladylike dresses and ballet flats and girly accessories, so this outfit is very out of my comfort zone.  I think this outfit looks cool, but I felt a bit out of my element, so to me it was only 90% cool.  ;-)

Bomber Jacket.  Size 13-14.  Johnnie b. consistently fits me size 13-14 for tops.  Every once in a while I will size up to a 15-16 if a top looks especially fitted, but usually the 13-14 fits great.  I am a size 4 or 6 or xs in most of my tops in other brands (32B bust, btw), so if you use me to compare to you when purchasing Johnnie b., bear that in mind.  I also am very short from neck to waist, so the shorter length of a Johnnie b. 13-14 doesn't affect the fit for me at all (this jacket measures 22" in length, fwiw, the 15-16 is an inch and a half longer).

You can see the sleeves are more than long enough on me, and though I am short through the torso, I have very long arms. 

These kind of pockets are difficult to sew, and they have a lovely faux leather piping at the pocket edge.  The jacket is fully lined in a deliciously slippy poly, and the fabric throughout the outer portion is a thick wool/cotton that is felted, so it is good at keeping the chill out.

All in all, this jacket is worth the full price of  $84, so its insanity price of $28 is ridiculous.  I am not even sure we are paying Boden anything to buy this, if anything they are paying us to wear it, lol.  Not quite, but $28 is a SCREAMING deal for what you receive.

The side view shows that the buttons lie nice and flat when closed.  I let my stepmom try it on (she has a 32DD bust, I believe) and it fit her fine, too.  She would look curvier from the side, but I have significant amount of ease through the bustline, so I am not surprised she can wear it, too.

Bomber Jacket
Bomber Jacket.  This is a sell-out.  Only the 15-16 has healthy stocks, but at the $28 price, that could soon change, too.  I am not surprised by how well it is selling at the very low price, especially considering what you receive.

Okay that's it for me today.  I am glad I was able to get these last two clearance reviews published before the Boden "extra percentage off the sale" ends tonight.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Review/OOTD/Made by Me File: Cashmere Nep and a Chunky Knit.

As promised in my last post (after the update), I have a few clearance Boden items that I would like to review for you all before the big "extra 20% off clearance" sale ends on Monday evening.  But because I am so flipping behind in my blog posting, I am putting my posts to hard work and turning them all into multi-taskers.  So today there will be an outfit of the day, a made by me file (knitting!), and a review.  :-)


Day: Thursday, January 1, 2015.

Where:  Dinner out with some friends.

Ease of Wear: (5 of 5 stars--5 being the most easy to wear.)  It was so cold that night and I wanted to be cozy and comfortable and warm.  This outfit is exactly what I needed.  The Cashmere Nep Button Back sweater (here at Boden on clearance) is very warm and lightweight, the super chunky knitted infinity scarf easily blocks the cold wind, the J. Crew Turner pants (here at J. Crew) are easy to wear and interesting to look at, and as per usual, my loafers are my go-to whenever I want casual but without being *too* casual.

Cool Factor: (4.5 of 5 stars--5 being the coolest.)  The Turner pants are very unique.  They aren't for everyone, but even my most conservative friends really dug them.  They quite liked the silhouette of the pant and the unusual elastic hems.  I thought for sure that when buying them that I would be returning them, but the size 8 I chose (one size down from what I think I should wear at J. Crew) fits great, and the pockets with the exposed zip application meant they were keepers.

I know big chunky scarves are in (well, provided they aren't *that* big), and I was thrilled that after (not even kidding here, people) a YEAR of work on this one, I finally finished my first *people can look at this and not gasp at how shoddily it is made* project.

If you knit, you will no doubt notice that on my left side in this photo (your right side), there are a few stitches that are off.  I was distracted when knitting up a few rows and made that mistake.  Fortunately, it is easily hidden.  ;-)   For the rest of you, it may not even register that there are mistakes.  Regardless of the mistakes or not, I am so excited that my knitting worked and I have an actual wearable garment.

I have to say, if you want to give knitting a try, give the Knit Lab class over at Craftsy a go.  I had tried for years to use books to teach me how to knit and it never made any bleeping sense.  After spending an entire afternoon giving the process a go while watching this class, I finally got it.  Now, I was NOWHERE near good enough, but at least I could make the basic knit and purl stitches.  Problem with my knitting beforehand was that I was trying to learn continental style knitting and my hands like English style knitting more.  Thankfully the Knit Lab class covered the English style and that was when it all clicked.

It took a few months of working on my tension before I was able to get a good grasp on what properly knitted items look like while knitting, but confused me got there.

If you like to knit, I used this pattern for the above cowl.  She had a knit-a-long at her blog and it is full of very useful information.  I made mine a touch shorter than she did hers.  I used this Lion Brand Alpine Wool yarn for the scarf along with size 11 needles.

Cashmere Nep Button Back Sweater.  Size 6.  You have seen the front view above, but the back view is really what makes this sweater interesting.  I am a bit bummed that the placket at the top you see the facing bit on the underside, but at least it is in a great color to be showing through.  :-)

The buttons do stay very well secured, so there is no worry about that.  The color is very close to a baby pink, but the little bits of differently colored specks (the "nep") take it from being a juvenile color to something a bit more sophisticated.

That said, I like to wear this when I want to feel laid back and comfortable, it is a great weekend kind of top.  I mean, of course I will wear it at other times, but it just screams to me that kind of sweater you go to the farmer's market in.  Ha.

I couldn't have sized down in this, it would have been far too tight.  The size up would have been okay, since a little looser is more of the "look" Boden was probably going for.

Cashmere Nep Button Back
Cashmere Nep Button Back Sweater.  The stocks are decent, but the blue sweater is all gone.  That one sold for something like $60 back around Christmas (when they had the extra 10% off) and it was a great deal if you liked that color.  I did like the blue, but have a lot of blue and green in my closet, so I knew I would be better served with this pink one.  The price for the pink version is decent, I think I paid a few dollars more back in December for it.

Okay, that's all for now.  Have a few other reviews coming your way over the next few days.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

OOTD/Review/Made by Me File: Sixth Blog-o-versary Special.

UPDATE (January 16, 2015): There is a new promotion over at Boden for an extra 20% off clearance items that started this morning!  I went ahead and placed the promo coupon in the sidebar and at the bottom of this post for those of you who look forward to sales like this!  I have a few clearance item reviews set to be published, so I will go ahead and push them forward so you all can see them before the extra 20% expires.

Hi!  I almost forgot that today was my blog's sixth birthday.  So bad.  LOL.  I took a nap this afternoon (while Angus slept) and I woke up thinking, "meh, I'll be lazy *again* and post tomorrow."  But then I remembered it was the blog's bday and I felt like I owed it.

So here it is, a super sixth birthday blog post, nothing special, but I decided to have at least one of each kind of thing my blog does in this one post, so you are getting three outfits of the day, one Boden review, and a made by me file.

Day: Wednesday, January 14, 2015.

Where:  Subbing Eighth Grade with a visit to Whole Foods for Winesday with my brother in the evening.

Ease of Wear: (4 of 5 stars--5 being the most easy to wear.)  Couldn't be any easier, really.  Take a pair of woolen stretchy pants from J. Crew (years ago), add in a cozy comfy sweatshirt/top from Boden, and a great pair of booties from Mia, and you have an outfit that makes teaching crazy middle-schoolers a bit more comfortable.  Plus the weather was just awful yesterday (snow in the morning followed by really cold temperatures), and this combo (along with proper outerwear) kept me warm, too.

The sweatshirt is the casual dip back sweater and can be found here.  I wrote a more lengthy review of it in the next two photos for those of you that dig Boden stuff.  This is a current season offering, and one that can be worn now and not just in the spring, so that's good.

Cool Factor: (4 of 5 stars--5 being the coolest.)  Well, I think I looked good, especially with my beret (not pictured), but I suspect that the eighth-graders would have not agreed.  For them, "meh," for my peers and me, maybe a "woo?"

Casual Dip Back Sweater.  Size 6.  I think this sweater is a bit odd.  It appears that it should be a sweatshirt, and I am happy to call it that, especially since its styling with the rib cuffs, hem, and neckline, plus a bit of loopy fabric backing makes it appear so, but I am not 100% in the sweatshirt camp.  It is a fitted silhouette, which I wasn't expecting, but seems to work okay.  It is also much longer than I expected.  Honestly, if they had a size 6 petite, I would exchange it for that since I wouldn't mind if the top ended higher on me.  I have to be careful with proportion here.  If I wear too loose of a pant, the look would be frumpy, for sure.

The print and the colors are just amazing, though.  So vibrant and beautiful.  With the red hair, this blue is a great shade for me, much more than it would have been when I was a full on blonde.

The fabric is so soft and stretchy, it sort of feels like expensive pajamas.  Not a bad thing in my book.

I think this could potentially look good tucked into a skirt, and since the fabric is not thick, it could work, I'll just have to try it out and see for sure.  ;-)


Day: Tuesday, December 30, 2014.

Where:  Running around doing errands with Angus while the eldest two went to an all-day Little Gym camp.

Ease of Wear: (4.5 of 5 stars--5 being the most easy to wear.)  I literally could wear this kind of outfit everyday and never want to change it up.  I mean, great fitting jeans, a beautiful comfortable sweatshirt, patent leather loafers, and an exquisite well-fitted wool coat?  Does it get any easier or better for a mom on the go?

But I know I am a dress girl, at heart, so as much as I dig this kind of look, I do know that if giving the choice, I would live in a world where I could wear dresses 100% of the time (I am looking at you, Miami).

Cool Factor: (4.5 of 5 stars--5 being the coolest.)  Cute outfit overall, but the sweatshirt design and nicely tailored coat really help it out here.

Why didn't J. Crew Factory make a dupe of this sweatshirt, btw?  They duplicate all popular items, why not this one which sold out in a heartbeat last year?


Day: Wednesday, January 7, 2015.

Where:  Subbing as School Secretary.

Ease of Wear: (5 of 5 stars--5 being the most easy to wear.)  I made this dress out of a very comfortable and warm double knit from Fabric Mart from Pamela's Patterns Softly Pleated Dress pattern, so if it wasn't a 5 out of 5 for comfort and ease, I did something wrong.  Hands down, this is my most successful make to this day.  It turned out very well for me, from cutting to sewing to finishing.  It fits well, wears well, and makes me feel good while wearing it.  :-)  Yay!

I had a little bit of fabric left over, so I made CW a tunic from McCall's 6786, which is actually a dress pattern, but if you leave off the contrast hem, neckline, and cuffs, it turns into a tunic.  She says she was very comfortable, too.  ;-)

Cool Factor: (4 of 5 stars--5 being the coolest.)  It is a pretty dress, and CW's tunic is beyond darling on her, but the print and colors and styling may put some people off.  I like it, obviously, but I know I love more *in your face* prints and styles.

BTW, I wrote up a TON over at the Fabric Mart blog about the creation of this dress and the tunic, so check it out if you want to do something similar.  Like I said, it was a very satisfying sewing experience.

Okay, that's all for now.  Again, I am THRILLED to be here for six whole years.  That seems slightly insane, but I am still enjoying it, so I'll keep on keeping on...

And thank you all for reading.  I really enjoy having all my blog friends around. 

As promised in the update above, here is the coupon for the extra 20% off clearance items:

Friday, January 9, 2015

Made by Me Files: The Perfect Pant (McCalls 6930/6711) and a Leftover Jacket (Vogue 8910).

It's been a long while since I wrote up any of my sewing projects!  I have quite a few projects I have sewn up, I just lost my steam to write over the last month, and both of these got left behind. 

First up I will write about my "perfect pant" pattern, which is a mash-up of McCall's 6930 and 6711.  I will then finish up this post with a very *brief* review of a bias cut jacket I made, Vogue 8910.

Evidence of country--horse.
I made these pants up before I left for Mississippi, as I spied this fabric at Joann's, and knew that its color and pattern would work well with this sweater jacket I made specifically for the trip.  I also knew that having a good pair of well-fitting pants in a stretchy cotton sateen is a wonderful idea for any trip (especially ones that involve sitting in cars for hours driving to get to places--Mr. Dina is from the country, you all).
 
Since I had made up some pretty decent fitting pants back when I was in the Fashion Challenge for Fabric Mart using McCall's 6711, and I had read that the block that McCall's uses for all of its pants patterns stay the same, I knew I would probably be okay picking out another McCall's pattern for pants and having it work for my lower half.  (I also had lost some weight from the challenge and the plaid pants I had originally made fit me even better so I figured a new pair would probably be the same.)

I loved the back zip and pockets from McCall's 6711, so I knew I wanted my new pair to have the same thing, but I also knew I wanted a traditional waistband.  Well, the only pattern I saw that had those three things were McCall's 6930, but that pattern is for capris and shorts.  Sigh.

But then, ding!, I realized I could mash-up the top portion of McCall's 6930 with the longer, slimmer leg of McCall's 6711, and have a perfect pair of pants for me.  Yes!

I did check to make sure that the McCall's 6930 crotch curve matched the McCall's 6711, and without fail, it was a near match, barring a slight style difference to accommodate a waistband and lower rise.  So I proceeded to get my shears out and get to cutting.

Like all cotton sateen I have worked with in the past, this fabric was no exception to the "easy to cut, easy to sew" rule.  I love cotton sateen so much.  And provided the sateen is in a print with some stretch, the fabric shows very few wrinkles making it perfect for anyone who travels or moves about a lot.

It isn't especially thick, but for my purposes it is a good all-weather pant.  I felt fine in these in the 75 degree weather we had the day I wore them in Mississippi (December 1, thankyouverymuch), but I also felt warm enough when I wore them recently in more *typical* winter weather (last photo of this review).

Side view shows that the crotch curve works for my particular lower half well.  I love that it both fits my longer and larger bottom, but also works with my flatter front yet slight front thigh bump.  Woo.  I thought only Burda allowed for us to have proper curves.  LOL.

I cut the size 14, btw, the same size I cut for 6711.  My measurements fit the 16 better, but in my experience McCall's runs about one size big across the board (I should wear a 12 up top but always cut a 10).

I wish I had a darker colored grey invisible zip laying around, but I seem to only buy the REALLY long zippers from G Street, and forget to buy the shorter ones, too.  (I like to have zippers laying around, I cannot tell you how many times I have needed one and was very glad I didn't have to trudge out to the store in the middle of a project to get one.)  G Street, btw, has the *best* notions department, at least the one at Seven Corners here in Northern Virginia.  I feel very lucky to have all the YKK zippers in every color, size, and function at the ready and only a few miles from my house.  The same can be said of their elastics, ribbons, buttons, shoulder pads, snaps, etc.  So much choice!

Anyhow, I never seem to have troubles unzipping from the back, but I guess I probably am alone in this.  I really just don't like front zips, except in jeans.  I always feel like the zip on the front feels weird and it bothers me.  Obviously I get over it as most pants are constructed that way, but for me, as a sewer, I will always prefer to put my zips somewhere else than in the front.

Okay so above is how I wore the pants recently here in Virginia.  The weather wasn't stupid cold, but it was only in the 50s that day, so I knew I would have to wear it with the sweater jacket that I had originally planned to wear with it in Mississippi.  (For all that talk about wearing the jacket on my trip, I only had the chance to wear it once--it was just that warm...THE WHOLE TIME.)

Above is Vogue 8910.  I actually wrote up two reviews of this jacket, one at the Fabric Mart blog (has a ton of photos, too), and the review at Pattern Review

Since I have clearly said a lot about it over there, I will just encourage you to check out those reviews instead of recreating the wheel here.  I just know that some of you need to see a photo of what you will be looking at to have a reason to get up and go over there.  ;-)

I know this sounds crazy, especially since it is my first jacket and it is really nice and took ME FLIPPING FOREVER to do, but I haven't even worn it out in real life yet.  I finished this jacket on December 11, took these photos and wrote the Fabric Mart blog post on the afternoon of December 12, and later that night found out that my friend, W., had died.  I feel like this jacket is just such a reminder of his death, and all the pain and confusion I felt thereafter, and I can't bring myself to wear it. 

Thing is, he was a huge fan of my sewing and even joked with me that he would wear one of my creations one day and show off his legs for me in it (I guess I was to make him either shorts or a kilt, lol?).  He supported me during the contest and considering he is a rough around the edges, burly and bearded, LUMBERJACK, the fact that he got into it so much means either he was hiding a secret fashionista side or he really just wanted to be a great friend.  I am guessing the latter.  ;-)

I know he would want me to wear it, and I guess I will, I just need to get past my mental block to do so.  I think I will figure it out, it just seems like such a shame to have this creation of mine sitting on the sidelines since I feel vulnerable wearing it.

Okay, that's all from me for today.  There will be one more creation of mine at the Fabric Mart blog tomorrow, so definitely check it out!  I really like that creation (and their is a mini one in there, too), and unlike the jacket above, I have actually worn that one for real.