Monday, November 17, 2014

Boden: 30% Off Select Items and 25% Off Everything Else!

Hi, all!  I swear I have ootds/made by me files to publish here, but Boden always manages to go and have some kind of sale (or brings out their *summer* stuff in November, lol) pushing other posts to the back.  Whatever.  ;-) 

Fortunately I will have some time to get the overdue posts published soon enough, and really, can't complain about a sale, amirite?

This sale is not a big surprise, since they typically will roll out sales like this super close to the end of the season as an attempt to get older/less popular items sold before the big BIG sale starts (usually 40% off right before clearance time).  And they really hope to move some of this before the clearance officially starts.  I would say it works some of the time, with items moving when the price makes it to the sweet spot of a price that is just decent enough on a really cute item.  But other times, the clothing item is just a dud and it literally takes reducing it to 70% off in the second cuts at clearance time to move them.

I usually am pretty bad at predicting what will go to 70% off, but I will tell you I have owned a few through the years that I bought in preview that eventually made it to 70% off, and as long as I wore the item many times before it got to that point, I never mind, since clearly I loved it!  I don't know if that is cold comfort, but it works for me. 

Anyhow, in this mix of 30% off are a few items that I own, including the Amy Dress (here at Boden, review here), the Sophia Dress (here at Boden, review here), and the Charlotte Top (here at Boden, review here).  I do want to point out that the Charlotte Top cost me less than it costs now, so I think you could safely wait on that one unless you see your size is getting low in stocks. 

There is also a current coupon code for 25% off that is actually fairly decent, ESPECIALLY if you end up using it on an item that is popular, likely to sell out, or a popback.  For instance if the much beloved Flat T-Bar Point (here at Boden, review here) pops back for you in your size, 25% off is a great deal, since that shoe has been sold out in all colors for a long time now.

Okay, that's it for now.  :-)  I should be back with more soon, likely the skirt installment that I mentioned in my last "made by me file."

Have a great night!  Talk soon!

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Boden: Summer 2015 Live at the Preview Site and 30% Off Dresses Until Tomorrow Night!

Hi!  Happy Saturday!

UPDATE (11/18/14): Found the code for 20% off Summer Preview items.  It is W8L5, and it expires on November 28!  Enjoy!

UPDATE:  The original post was going to be on the 30% dresses promo, but I just found out from Lou (see below, lol) that Summer 2015 is live at the preview site.  Like her, I feel it is utterly ridiculous.  I think I will have to take a look 'round and write more on this tomorrow.  But--I know most of you love seeing the pretty summer things, so I knew I had to mention it!

ORIGINAL POST: Lou, of What Lou Wore 365, had mentioned to me over at facebook that this 30% off sale would be happening starting yesterday, but I spent about seven seconds on the internet yesterday, so to be honest, I have no idea if it actually did start yesterday or not.

But it is in full swing today, and if you really wanted a dress but had hoped for a better percentage off than last week's 25% off, then this promo is probably for you.  That said, there are a few dresses that were probably better discounted last week when there was a way of stacking promos together (the current 20% off does not stack with this 30% off).  Some of these dresses had been discounted by some amount around the time of the switchover to the winter new arrivals, but because this is 30% off ALL dresses, they needed to keep it uniform.

For the winter dresses, this is the first *big* percentage off, so if you had you eye on one of those, then this may be a good percentage for you.  There are many dresses that are on deep backorder or on nearly selling out and those dresses are probably not going to get a greater further reduction, so if you fancy one of those then you may want to take advantage of this offer.

The best example of this is the Hartland Dress which is very popular (it's the squirrels!), and the colors that are selling out or on backorder are definitely worth the $82 price.  If you can hold out for the white version (selling less well), that one may end up getting a deeper discount eventually (but not guaranteed).

As per usual, if you have an interest in any of these items and want to see them on a person (besides on a model), the Boden Weekly Review Roundups here might have the dress you are looking to view IRL.

Okay, hope you have a great day!  If you have a dress you want to recommend (or a summer 2015 pick!), definitely let us know in the comments!

I know some of you like to get other things when shopping, so if that's the case, I made sure to include the below coupon (the most current code the affiliate offers).

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Made by Me File: McCall's 6844...Heavy Wool Knit Sweater Jacket!

As promised, this is the first post of four that centers around my first big project for the Fabric Mart blog.  The original blog post is here at their site.

What makes these four posts here at my site different is that I will focus on the individual pieces a bit more here, and end with a post on packing with these three pieces as my base for the whole travel wardrobe for my trip to Mississippi in a couple of weeks.  The rest of the posts will be published over the next week.

In 2013, McCall's issued the most amazing cardigan pattern, McCall's 6884, and I, along with every single sewer out there (including Mrs. C, who has made it five times?), purchased it.  Unlike every other sewer out there, I didn't get to my version right away since I am the world's slowest sewer (although my stepmom thinks that title should belong to her, lol).  In fact, though I pulled this one out multiple times over the past year, I never sewed it up until Julie over at Fabric Mart asked me what I wanted to do for my first blog post as an official contributor to their blog.

Because I am me, I had a gazillion ideas, one of which was to use this amazing heavy wool jacquard sweater knit (on sale today!) with view C of 6844.  I didn't know if the folks at Fabric Mart would go for it since it is a dear price for a couple of yards, but they said yes, and upon receiving it, I think I fondled it for about an hour.  It isn't that it is especially soft (though it is lovely to touch), it is that the sparkles from the silver threading combined with the heavily textured diamond jacquard pattern knitted throughout are stunning in real life (I hope you can get a sense of the texture in the above photo).  My stepmom was equally in love and was excited to see how it would look as a cardigan.

I do want to point out that if you are sensitive to wool, I would recommend lining this fabric, and since it is a lot like a felted wool woven, you should be able to do so easily.  If I needed to line it (I am not sensitive to wool, though), I would use something like this since it has a bit of stretch.

Well it turns out that because the fabric is so thick this cardigan is now probably closer to a sweater jacket because of the weight and heft of the fabric.  If you get cold in winter and like to have a wool knit that will keep you toasty, this is your fabric.

Here in Virginia, this is actually a jacket I can wear as outerwear in the fall and spring since there are always quite a few days where the temps will be in the low 50s, and this jacket is perfect for those conditions.  Otherwise this is a great dressy topper for chillier days when you need something to keep you warm inside.

If you can believe this, I had never sewn a sleeve in flat on an adult garment.  Ever.  Children's garments, sure, but not for me.  I was all set (haha) to set in this sleeve, just like the instructions told me to do, but after reading a gazillion and a half reviews of this pattern, especially Detective Houndstooth's awesome review, I decided that this fabric, while not the stretchiest ever, had enough give in it to properly set the sleeve in flat.  Above is how I did it and it worked perfectly.  So unless you have some reason to not sew it in flat, go for it.  I would dare say this fabric is pushing the limits of this particular type of sewing, so I suspect 99.5% of you making this pattern could sew the sleeves in flat.

Detective Houndstooth best describes this procedure, so I definitely encourage a visit to that blog post she wrote.

I know I didn't have to serge the raw edges of this fabric since it is a sweater knit, but this fabric is so special that I wanted to take the extra step to keep the edges tidy.  I didn't serge the hem raw edge, though, since the back peplum wrong side does show when wearing, and so far so good.  If the edge does start to unravel I will probably hand sew a edge finish (ugh...that's a lot of hand sewing!).

I want to point out that with a lot of steam from your iron, these seams were very easy to press.  I knew that I was going to keep the whole seam allowance intact, so I realized that fully pressed seams were the only way to go.  I used my tailor's ham for all of the seam pressing, and even at the armscye I got a very flat finish.  Success.  By properly pressing these down, I was able to control the bulk, and you can't tell from the outside that these were once very thick seams!

Speaking of bulky seams, in order to get what you see above (that is the join of the three fabrics where the collar attaches to the main body), I had to do quite a bit of trimming.

On the left side of the image you see the newly trimmed seam, where only the upper most seam was left full, the two below were trimmed to nearly an 1/8".  On the right side is the full thick seam as it was before the shears came after it.  ;-)

I first found the two lower seams and separated them from the upper layer.

I then cut the two lower layers with the scissors VERY carefully, leaving the top seam intact (it gets folded over the seams under it and is topstitched from the right side, which enclosed the lower seams under the upper seam).  Gosh, I hope that makes sense.

All cut away.  I would say the trimming took me a good ten minutes, and after that pinning the allowances so the upper layer encloses those newly trimmed under layers so it could be topstitched from the right side took another thirty.  Worth ALL the effort.  The topstitching looks great and the seams lay flat.  I didn't serge this seam, either.  Again, if it starts to unravel, I will hand sew a finish.  I really hope that its current state stays, since that is a lot of hand sewing.  ;-)

This pattern's view C is very extravagant.  That peplum flounce is not for the shy, especially in a thicker fabric like this one.  A lighter sweater knit would like fall more loosely and shyly, but this thick knit means that peplum will be super-pronounced forever.  And I am okay with that.  Obviously I don't mind clothing that is a bit dramatic.

What is great is that it is very easy to dress up, but surprisingly very easy to dress down.  It looks super cute with a tee and jeans, for instance.  And since this olive brown color is in my wardrobe in quite a few items (whether in a print or this exact shade), I will be able to wear it often!

Back view of the the pronounced peplum.  I have a rather large bottom, and this covered it nicely, so pear shapes, go for it.  Don't bother to grade up the bottom half, too, since there is more than enough room for all of our "assets."  ;-)

I did make a size small, but in a stretchier knit, I will likely have to size down to an extra-small since I suspect that the stretchier knit would make the small too large for my frame, especially in the shoulders and neckline area.

Even though I added snaps to keep the collar properly back like you see on the pattern cover, this collar looks darling when folded flat.  And since the snaps are black they don't even show up that easily (though my hands cover them in the photos I took from far away).  I may even prefer this way, especially with the collar up like that.

BTW, that is another bonus to this thicker fabric, the collar easily stays up, and I didn't even interface the collar.  (Can you imagine how stiff this would be all interfaced up?)

This is a photo I took this morning of it from above and though you can see the snaps, they are not that obvious, so I am fine with having added them.  It is really hard to get the collar to stay back without them, so it was a nice addition, in my opinion.

Close up shot of the snaps, both closed (right) and open (left).  I like this shot, too, since it shows off the amazing texture and shine of the fabric.  The fabric is not this light, though, I lightened the shot so you could better see how I did the snaps.  :-)

I haven't done this yet, but I did figure out a way I could add one snap to the front part of the collar to attach to the other snaps allowing for me to properly close the front of the jacket so it actually fully functions as a jacket.  I also have plans to belt this jacket since I bet that would look cute, too.  

Okay, that's it for now.  I am so glad I was able to finally sew up this pattern!  :-)

Thank you to Fabric Mart again for the fabric.  So beautiful!

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

OOTDs: Three Celebrations.

Before I start, two things to let you all know about.

1. I have completed my first blog post for the Fabric Mart blog.  Eventually you will see all the pieces I made for that blog post dissected here in separate "made by me" files and in a special packing post, but for now head on over to see the pieces I slaved over the past week.  :-)  I love the end result, and am very excited that I have these for my trip to Mississippi in a couple weeks.

2. Boden's 25% off sale ends tomorrow.  For more information on that one, please do check out this post.

Onto celebrating!
Mr. Dina didn't intend to make this look like a catalog shot, but it turned out that way.  He probably thinks he is a "photographer" now.

Day: Saturday, November 8, 2014.

Where:  Rex's baseball team's championship win celebration.

Ease of Wear: (4 of 5 stars--5 being the most easy to wear.)  The party was at 3 at a local Italian restaurant and even though I ate well (although that time--weird, right--hard to decide, late lunch or early dinner), I didn't feel like I was being pinched or pulled, so I would give this one a thumbs up for comfort. 

The New Balance 620 shoes are a recent purchase.  I have to say even though J. Crew has been falling down style-wise for me of late (too blah and not enough color), their shoe collaborations are awesome.  I took these in a 9.5 and they fit perfectly true to size.

Cool Factor: (4.5 of 5 stars--5 being the coolest.)  This one is pretty cool.  For me.  :-)

Anecdote from the day:  Since I spent all of last weekend celebrating, any moment I had free at the house was sewing.  It was a weird situation to be in, I far prefer to do all my sewing at home for an extended time (cocoon-like and hiding away), but this put me in a different frame of mind.  I didn't dislike it, but my hyper-focus had to be shut down, which was a little unnerving.  It was probably good for me. 

Day: Sunday, November 9, 2014.

Where:  Mass and El Paso for my dad's birthday dinner.

Ease of Wear: (4 of 5 stars--5 being the most easy to wear.)  This dress was made by me, so it fits perfectly, so that made it very easy to wear.  That said, the Naturalizer booties were not my best choice of footwear for that night, though (see the anecdote for more on that).

Cool Factor: (3.5 of 5 stars--5 being the coolest.)  Nice, but very buttoned up.  The scarf is fun and the boots put a fresh spin on an outfit with a tailored sheath, but it is still very conservative.

Anecdote from the day:  I suffer from weird hip pain in my left hip, and it flares up once a year without fail.  I have had this since the very end of my pregnancy with CW and it makes walking very difficult when it comes around.  It usually is around for a week and then disappears.  This is why choosing booties was probably not smart.  This was the first night I experienced it, btw, and have been in a bit of pain since then (though it gets worse at night than during the day).

I haven't seen my brother in ages he has been working so hard.  It was good to just be able to sit and chill with him.  He is starting a new job, so we are very excited for him.

And how cool is it that the Berlin Wall has been down for 25 years?  I remember when it came down in 1989.  Since I had been there many times as a girl (my dad's dad lived in Berlin and that is where my mom's mom is from), the idea that the horrible barrier was gone was truly uplifting.  (One more cool fact--my mom's mom and my mom's dad met during the Berlin Airlift!)

Day: Friday, November 7, 2014.

Where:  Dinner out with my besties from high school.

Ease of Wear: (4.5 of 5 stars--5 being the most easy to wear.)  This one was very easy to wear, the only bummer was the scarf which I needed to keep warm.  I think it looks fine and definitely helped keep the biting cold winds from my neck, but blah for style in this particular outfit.

Cool Factor: (3 of 5 stars--5 being the coolest.)  Necessity is the downfall here.  I just don't love the scarf with it and can't see beyond it.  Really glad I still have this Boden dress in my wardrobe from all those years ago, I still love it as much as when I first bought it.

Anecdote from the day:  I love that I can still hang out with my friends from high school.  They are some amazing women.  I can't get over how much more I laugh and let loose around them than I do with other adults I have met since then.  I don't know what it is, but it is just easy to be fully me around them.  Maybe I feel less judged by them?  I also let my hair down around my kids and my brother, so maybe the "no judgment" thing is a huge part of it.

Okay, that's all for now!  I hope you all are having a great Wednesday!

Monday, November 10, 2014

Boden: Save 25% Off Everything!

Festive Penguins--25% Off!

Hi, all!  Haven't been by to say hi in over a week. Woah.

I subbed a ton last week and was out a few nights, too, which led to a large amount of being off-line.  To top it off I have this large sewing project I am in the middle of for the Fabric Mart blog (the post will go live this Wednesday), so it is fair to report that while not active here, I am active elsewhere.  :-)  The plus side is that I am sewing up some pieces that are perfect for my upcoming trip to Mississippi and will allow me to have a base color scheme/items for the ten day trip so I don't have to lug with me ten outfits.

Okay, so my first post in a while is about Boden, of course.  LOL.  Anyhow, from today until Thursday night (November 13, 2014), you can save 25% off everything (barring clearance) with the code 8A8C.  Now it is possible I will get a set of sidebar coupons that will just apply the code automatically, but that hasn't happened yet, so for now, the code is fine and works (just tried it).  (I received the new link a little bit after initially publishing this post--it is below at the bottom of the post.) You will also receive free shipping and returns.

This 25% discount reduces to some other discount on Friday (I don't know yet--the mailer I received was not accurate on the initial amount off, so I am not trusting it for what we will get off on Friday), but as with any diminishing discount sales, you want to get the savings during the first part of the sale, unless you happen upon a long soldout popback on Friday.

Now for some awesome-er news...if you had an eye on something from way back at the beginning of the season, there is a good chance it is 25% off an already reduced amount from full price.  For instance, the Great British Puffer was originally $148, but went down by 30% in the past few weeks, to $103.60.  Because Boden is smart, and they realize there are still plenty of stocks of it, the 25% off is off the $103 price, taking the puffer down to $77.70, which is nearly 50% off the original price.  There are other examples of this, too, including some of my favorites from the fall season, the Amy dress (was $198, then $138.60, now $103.95), the Charlotte Top (was $98, then $68.50, now $51.45), and the Millie Skirt (was $88, then $70.40, now $52.80--only some colors, though).  I reviewed the Amy Dress here, the Charlotte Top here, and the Millie Skirt here (though the color I reviewed is not the additional amount off). 

You can also look at any recent Boden Weekly Review Roundup for more reviews of items from the fall and winter season.

Okay, that's all for now!  Do you have any picks from this diminishing discount sale?

Link to sale below!

Monday, November 3, 2014

Review/OOTD: Rainy Days!

Since the 20% off with free ship and returns promotion is ending tonight (the original promo expired last night, but the affiliate sent me a new one this morning?!?), let's just start with the review of the Rainy day Mac (here at Boden) before getting to the ootd featuring the Rainyday Mac.  (BTW, the outfit above is *not* the one I am showing off, this one above was blogged about here at this post.)

The size I chose to purchase originally was a size 6, but as cute as it looked in that size, I just knew that I had to size up to better fit my hips.  Of course I knew that would mean that the 8 would not fit me as well in the top half, but I crossed my fingers and hoped for the best.

Well, the best happened, although looser overall, the 8 fits very nicely through the whole body, but doesn't manage to make me look like I am being swamped by British soldiers and buildings and flags, etc.

I was particularly surprised at how well it fit in the shoulders considering how narrow mine are.  Having said that, if you do have broader shoulders, it may be in your best interest to size up.

This coat is SO WARM and cozy.  When I wore it both times, it was raw, chilly, grey, and rainy (but not monsooning out), and this kept me feeling quite warm.  The fleece lining was especially lovely, and I was so grateful that it was carried through the hood and in the pockets.  Especially the pockets.

There is a zip and buttons, and the hood is removable, so they really did think of all things, quality-wise.

I have heard it isn't the greatest at keeping rain out (oddly), but from what I understand the complaints stem from the heavy downpours and not the milder piddly rain.  It is a bummer it won't work as well in heavy rain, but since I was personally only interested in it as a fall coat to keep me warm enough, but not too warm (actually happens a lot to me around here).

I have some close-up photos and other thoughts on it from this BWRR.

Rainy Day Mac
Rainyday Mac.  Not selling out in this color, but some of the shades are definitely low stock or sold out.

Day: Saturday, November 1, 2014.

Where:  Rex's baseball championship game and the Washington Craft Show.

Ease of Wear: (4 of 5 stars--5 being the most easy to wear.)  Rainyday Mac kept me nice and warm, which I needed since we were outside, standing and watching the game in the cold piddling rain for a couple of hours.  The sweater I sewed up last year (blogged about it here) is made from a nice wool/acrylic boucle and also helped retain some heat.

The booties, while darling, did nothing to keep my feet warm.  I should find some fleece socks since apparently fleece works really well on retaining heat (I guess I could make them, too).

I wear the sunglasses because my eye bags were BAD that morning, lol.  You all don't need to see those. 

Cool Factor: (4 of 5 stars--5 being the coolest.)  I like the outfit better without the coat, but as discussed above, I had no choice but to wear it.  One of the vendors at the craft fair liked the coat, but I have to say the coolest "cat" (hardeehar) was my daughter, whose homemade cat costume in a minky fleece was the hit of the show.  My stepmother made it for her and she decided CW wearing it out on a rainy cold day would be the best idea since that minky stuff is super warm.  It got so warm for her, in fact, she had to take the cat hood off to stay cool.

To be six again...

Anecdote from the day:  Rex's team won the championship!  Woo!  Yay them!  :-)

Rex got injured halfway through, he was hit by a ball to his knee while playing catcher, but like the tough kid he is, he went back in and played the rest of the game.  (Makes me proud, I have to admit.)

Okay, that's all for now.  I think my next post will be showing off my son's pizza costume, since I am proud of that one.  It is slightly hilarious, but lots of fun.

The Boden sale DEFINITELY ends tonight, so keep that in mind if you had wanted something with the 20% off.
TODAY ONLY! Shop Boden for 20% Off Everything plus Free Shipping & Returns with code SHOW

Friday, October 31, 2014

Boden: Four Days Only! 20% Off with Free Ship and Returns!

Before I start, I just want to quickly remind you that my blog is not just one "kind" of blog.  I have been blogging for nearly six years and over that time I have added many types of post types to my blog.  The blog is probably best known for the Boden stuff I write about, so if you have recently joined my blog because I am a sewer, I just wanted you to know so you would understand why I write so much about Boden, and less about sewing.  You can read more about it the "About Me" page.  :-)

Textured Off Duty Sweater, Skinny Jeans, Boots.  Yum.
I mentioned the sale last night in my blog post, but I couldn't officially give you any links until this morning, which are at the bottom of this post and in the sidebar.  I am off to the doctor in thirty minutes, so I need to keep it brief.

In addition to the sale this weekend (the sale ends Monday, November 3, 2014), the folks at Boden rolled out some Christmas items and set up a Christmas shop.  There are some cute ideas for presents, including some non-clothing items, like pillows, blankets, and the cutest hot water bottle covers.

They also rolled out the sequin cable sweater (here) for a mere $418.  Eep.   

Okay, since most of you want the clothing they sell, I want to remind you of the BWRRs that you can look at to see reviews from other blogs out there, from some blog friends who commented here at this blog, and from myself. 

In the past few days, however, I have had a few reviews/ootds that feature items from the fall and winter collection, so if you would like to see those, head on over to the links below: 

I wore the Milano dress (here) to substitute teach, and posted a photo at my Facebook page.

I wore the Chepstow top (here) to run errands and meet up with a friend, and posted photos of the outfit here at this post.

Alrighty, must head off to get checked out to make sure I am still working properly, so we'll talk soon!

Enjoy (sale) shopping! Link below:
20% Off Everything plus Free Shipping & Returns - FOUR DAYS ONLY!