Monday, July 11, 2016

Boden: Fall 2016 New Arrivals Are Really Here!

I remember the days that Boden would do this glorious rollout of a gazillion items for fall/winter (with only a very small holiday rollout in October), so now it feels a bit less celebratory than it used to, but this one feels a bit more special than the past few seasons.  I think it's the fact that they went to Italy (I believe) for their catalog shoot, and well, that makes for a special looking set of photos/clothes.  :-)

Besides the soft rollout of a few items that they did a few weeks ago (I discussed that in this post), they have been keeping most of these items under wraps.

Before I briefly talk about what I am seeing in the new arrivals, I did see that the affiliate program has updated their coupons/links, and I have inserted two in this post to help you save 15% off.  You do have to use the code 5H7B once you are at the shopping bag page, and I have made sure to note that wherever the links are.  

15% off plus free shipping & return over $49 with code 5H7B, valid 7/11-8/7

Okay, some picks, etc.!

Above is the Lucinda Knitted Dress and the Carolyn Ponte Dress.  They are both very pretty, and I love LOVE this image.  More of this in your catlogs, Boden.  Some of the shots feature the models contorting themselves ridiculously (like the very crooked neck of the model in the Floral Lace Dress shot, yikes!). 

I have a similar dress to the Lucinda Knitted Dress (I love it, btw), so I have no desire for a new one, but the Carolyn Ponte Dress seems perfect for a teacher, and I just love that yellow color.  We'll see!

This is the Floral Ponte Dress (I bought this one in my larger dress size of 8 Long), and I actually brought this with me on vacation (I am in GA/SC until Wednesday) so I have plans to wear it tomorrow night.  I most likely would be unable to update this blog after wearing it, so check out my Instagram to see it (I usually update my Instagram at 7 pm).  Later this week I should be able to do a more in-depth review of it here at the blog.

Finally, the Mia Jersey Tunic...I praised its beautiful fit in this post, but I really think you can see how flattering it is here on the model.  The sides of the front have very deliberate seaming, and the placement of the darker splatter/animal print is there, and it very much slims and highlights the curves.  It feels magical to me.  :-)  I sized to the smaller of my dress sizes on this one (6 Long) and it's fitted without being too tight.

Do you all see anything you are loving?  How do you feel about the models' poses?  The location? 

Remember to use the code 5H7B to receive the 15% off.
Boden USA

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Made by Me File/OOTDs: Four Recent Dresses!

Hey, all! This will be a photo-intensive post, but to ameliorate how much reading you'll need to do here, I will save the nitty-gritty details about construction and pattern/fabric reviewing to the posts on that I have made at either or the Fabric Mart blog. Those links are scattered about. :-)

I hope all of you have been well. I have the night off from children and hubby (I am in Georgia with his family and they all want to go and get Krystal and see a movie, I gently declined both), so I am using it to my full advantage!

This is a dress I made in April for our annual auction at our school.  This year's theme was "My Big Fat Greek Auction," and it was recommended to wear dressy blue and white.  I think I accomplished that.  ;-)

The other years I have done the same, made up a dress to go with the theme.  Last year's was on Space, so I crafted a galaxy printed dress, and the year prior was Kentucky Derby, and for that I made a floral sheath and paired it with a light blue hat.

The dress is made using Vogue 1499, an Anne Klein pattern, that features a full, pleated skirt, and a fitted bodice with distinct seamed details and cap sleeves.

It was an easy make, but because I lost any stretch in my fabric by placing the border so it would run parallel to the floor, I had to be extra sure I was right about my size on my bottom half.  It fits, and it fits well, but if I gain any weight between my waist and hip, I will definitely be unable to wear it in the future.  (Must always ensure I get my steps in and swim!!!)

This dress is magic, I can see why Anne Klein has it in her collections. (It is also available in a yellow stripe and grey stripe!)  It is very fit and flare, so it truly emphasizes the waist, and if you use a border print fabric, you can make sure to place the print in a way that draws the eye to it.

The fabric was a leftover from Maggy London (her London Times line), and because I like to sleuth for designer fabrics and how they were used originally, I found this pin of the same fabric being used in a similar way.

I had a great time at the party, and the dress did well, as I felt comfortable and a bit carefree.

I wrote a blog post at Fabric Mart and did a review of this at Pattern Review, if you would like to see more on this make.

I made this dress for my June make for Fabric Mart.  I was unsure of where I would wear it, but after I was done with it, I decided it was comfortable and lightweight enough to wear to a winesday night a few weeks back.  It held up well, and didn't wrinkle at all, even though it was steamy and hot that day.

The dress is made from a silk double georgette, which is (to quote a lol sentence I recently read in a sewing forum) "the devil's favorite fabric."  It is a right B**CH to work with, and though I spare you the details on working with it here, you can read all about it over at the Fabric Mart blog (link is below the last photo).

For all of its work, the fabric sure is beautiful, and suited the pattern's silhouette quite well.  And because I underlined it in a light blue cotton voile, it was easier to work with (eventually).  It also was incredibly breathable and airy and feels fabulous next to my skin.

The pattern is a reprint of a vintage 1969 Simplicity pattern.  It is Simplicity 1059, and is an a-line shaped shift dress with a v-neck, and can be made sleeveless or with longer sleeves.

I knew I couldn't choose a pattern that was super fitted or had too many seams with the georgette, so this fit the bill perfectly.

This was a very simple make, and had I chosen another material (like a cotton lawn), I would have had a very quick make on my hands.  I definitely think I can push one of these out in a few hours given a less fussy material.

Apropos of nothing, this shot makes me laugh.  Angus wants to be in all my photos now.  I love this shot, it's one of my favorites since his recent turn as ootd photo bomber.

This dress was written up at the Fabric Mart blogThe pattern was reviewed at Pattern Review, as well.

I was in Indiana with my bestie, Lynn, in May, and because I can't ever say no to the siren song of a fabric store, we went to Joann's where I spied this beautiful and luscious Nicole Miller (for Joann Fabrics) scuba knit. 

I had no plan for it, but I knew I wanted to make it ASAP, and probably in a dress.  I have worn it a few times since, including on a recent trip to Wisconsin (to the House on the Rock, which if you know this place, you will know my dress looks muted in comparison, lol).

This is made from McCall's 7122, which is a dress that features raglan sleeves, a slight a-line skirt, and a slight scoopneck.

The back was cut in two separate pieces, and though I prefer to sew up ones cut on the fold, this type of seaming means there is a gentle shaping, which helps shape the dress to the waist and the hips.  I really do like the shape of this garment, and have plans to make future dresses from this pattern.

The fabric is crazy, but as you all know, I like the crazy colors and crazy prints.  I am not quite to Pucci levels of crazy, but I appreciate the Pucci lovers out there for their unconditional love of the crazy.  ;-)

Nicole Miller has quite a few fabrics with Joann's, you can check them out here.

The pattern review is at Pattern Review.   

My birthday make!  I always like to have a special bday dress, and this year was no exception.  I had seen this fabric a few months back in one Julie's Picks (it's a member only fabric subscription service) and I knew I would have it and make it as soon as I could.

In the end, a comfortable, feminine dress was on order, and I really loved wearing out that evening.  I went to China Chilcano, which is a Jose Andres restaurant that fuses Peruvian food with Chinese and Japanese food.  It was amazing, and I really enjoyed my Pisco.  Yum.  After we went to see "The Lobster," a kind of terrible (probably in a good way) hipster movie at a super hipster movie theater.  BUT!  One of the actresses, Lea Seydoux, is a July 1 baby, too, so I was in the virtual company of a fellow 7/1 child.  (It's also the bday of Gigi of CA, my actual birthday twin Sufjan Stevens, and of course, CANADA!)

The fabric is a cotton stretch poplin, and features these little triangles in varying shapes and sizes abutting each other.  It is very distinctive.  The color is a deep brown/orange color and white, and I definitely do not have anything in this color in my closet.  Would I have loved this more in a different color?  Probably.  Am I better off having it in a shade I don't have anything in?  Yes, for sure.

Blurry shot, but it shows the adorable cutout back nicely.  This is why I made this pattern up, because it has this cutout.  It is made from Butterick 6351, and features a straighter skirt with an elastic waistband (back only), a tulip shaped crossover back bodice, and a button closure.

I had to line the skirt in a slippy fabric to ensure it didn't get caught on my underwear, but other than that, I kept to the plan of the pattern very closely.  I love this cutout.  It is very summer, and since my birthday is very summer, too, I couldn't think of a better choice for my (much older than I think I am) birthday.

Here's a closeup of the fabric.  Swoon.  So pretty and different.

After sitting for a while at China Chilcano, the dress became a bit crumpled, but it still did well overall.  I told my hubby to take a photo of me in front of the FBI building because I understand they are meant to raze one of my favorite buildings in the city (yes, I am one of fifteen fans of Brutalist architecture).

This dress was reviewed at Pattern Review.  :-)

I hope you all are having a great summer!  I'll check back in with you soon.

P.S. Boden fans, they have upped their sale to "up to 60% off" with an extra 15% off dresses and tops and skirt.  That's decent.  I just wish they had more in their sale, instead of shuffling some of the older spring and summer stock to "new and now."  The link to the sale is below and remember to use the code 3W5C for the extra 15% off those extra items that are eligible.

End of season sale! Extra 15% off Sale Dresses, Tops & Tees, and Mens/Boys Shirts., valid 7/7-7/1

Monday, June 27, 2016

Boden: Fall/Winter 2016 Preview is Up...And a Summer Clearance Gets Started!

Barbara Dress.  Yes, the name of this dress correctly matches the Bush family member I could most see wearing it.

Well, you is time again for another preview of Boden items for the upcoming months, along with the beginnings of the clearance sale for spring and summer items.  In the past these previews were earlier and the clearance was later, but whatever, since I am slow to get things posted, it works for me.  LOL.

Okay, so preview first.  I was pretty stoked by the last preview that happened last time.  In fact, I was stoked enough to chance ordering a few items early.  (This time the card was correctly charged, etc., miracle!)  I have received three of the four items (one was a dress for CW), and for the most part, they live up to my expectations.  So early fall 2016 is looking good.

Sadly the latter part of fall/winter 2016 is looking a bit dire and bland.  I looked and looked at the preview site in hopes of finding a "grab me" image for this post's first image, and the best I felt I could do was this gorgeously colored Barbara dress.  The cobalt certainly is striking, as is the seaming detail.  But then you view the other shade on the model and the frump comes up fast.  Sad!  I don't know where the way was lost, but seriously, Boden, I can buy these items for WAY cheaper at the Loft.  Or Target.  I am not sure if it's me (possible) but this new set of somethings is leaving me a bit blue (and not the bright cobalt blue either).

I am sure that Boden will turn it around for their holiday 2016 offerings, as they always seem to, and to be honest, besides their adorable summer sundresses, my second favorite thing they make are their pretty and sparkly holiday garments.  But my dollars are secure in my wallet for now for this particular set of months for this year. 

If you are so inclined to enjoy their preview, there is a code for 20% off.  It is 3M7K and lasts until my birthday (July 1!) at 11:59 pm.

I do have hopes to write up (a very brief, I am sure) picks post by Thursday, so if you have any thoughts on what you like, definitely let me know in the comments section.  :-)

This is one of the items I received in my preview order.  This is Floral Ponte Dress.  As I ordered the long version in a size 8, I knew it would be longer than this, and it does hit me right at my knee (the top part, though).  The dress fits well.  It is a touch big through the shoulders and neckline, but the hips fit great.  It is a very pretty dress, and the fabric is comfortable, stretchy, but not the sort of stretch that stays stretched out.  I chose well here and because it is short-sleeved I can wear it now as well as later. :-) The floral design is just as you see it here on the model, so they accurately represented it.  I suspect this will end up on their site sometime in early July.  I highly recommend it, and will get a photo of it on me asap.

This is the Mia Jersey Tunic, and I chose to buy it in a size 6 Long.  It is a true tunic, hitting right at my lower thigh.  It is a very flattering print, very slimming.  It fits well, nice and tight, but not too tight to be uncomfortable.  I think the modal/cotton blend should keep it shape and not shrink (provided I don't dry it in the dryer), but if it does shrink, I will just send it back and grab the next size up.  (I really hope it keeps the shape it is as I LOVE it the way it fits right now!)

I also ordered the Ottoman A-Line Dress in the size 6 Long.  It is cute, but I need to try it on with proper shoes and accessories to see if it looks cute on me, too.  Right now I have only tried it on barefoot and in a rush, so it looks a bit blah, though I love the deep pink color.  I also worry about it stretching out and not swinging back into shape, so the jury is still out on this one.

Boden USA
This link will take you directly to the sale.
Okay, so they aren't calling what is on right now as "clearance" sale, but it is the precursor to that.  Anyhow, the sale is on some items, and of those, only a handful are at the 50% off mark.  I am sure I will have some picks, but I have only just looked around (I was in Wisconsin over the past few days).  Do you all see anything that is a good buy at the newer lower prices?

If you want something that isn't in the sale, you can use the code 6R9E (it is published on their website under "new and now") for 10% off.  I suggest you use it only if you need something OR it was a popback you were desperate for.  ;-)

Alright, I hope to be back soon with more.  I do have hopes to publish a post on some recent sewing adventures, but if you want to see it right now, you can check out one of the projects here at the Fabric Mart blog

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Boden: Pretty Ruched Wrap Dress. Three Other Reviews. And a Very Late Mention of a Sale.

So, yes, again, I am late to the "let's tell the few folks still reading here about the sale at Boden" party.  On the plus side, at least I am still trying to write here and not publishing it solely at Instagram.  ;-)  So A for effort?  Or at least a B-?

Anyhow, the sale finishes out tonight and is for 30% off dresses.  I  have a coupon at the blog (and at the bottom of this post) that allows you to get 25% off using the code 3H9P on other items not in the sale (I used it the other day to purchase a pair of shorts, for instance, along with a dress).  The 25% off does not take anything additionally off of the 30% off dresses, though.

I have one dress in this review pile, along with a pair of sandals, a pair of shorts, and a top.  The shorts and top have been reviewed before, but I've never formally reviewed the top, and this is a second colorway of the shorts.

Okay, onto the reviews!

Pretty Ruched Dress and Georgia Woven Sandals.  Size 6 Long and 41.  Sorry for the crappy picture quality.  I have a better, clearer version at Instagram.  I thought the one I emailed myself was better, but the phone lied to me.  Ha.

The length is wonderful for those of us who are tall, especially in the lower part of our frames.  Unfortunately for some tall ladies, this length does not translate in the bodice.  It is decidedly more short than what women with long torsos may need.  I am fine, but as I have mentioned (a gazillion times!), I have an unnaturally short torso for my height.  This doesn't bode well for me in talls at J. Crew where they lengthen everything, but at Boden, with them only concentrating the extra length in the skirt or inseam, I am set. 

The bodice is also very form-fitting.  For a jersey dress, I found it very supportive, and had I gone with a 4, which I sometimes can wear in the jersey tops, I would have been too constricted.  Definitely purchase the size that correlates with your bust and waist size.  That form-fit, though, is very flattering, and seems to suit a range of figures, especially in the surplice neckline.

You can really tell how short the bodice is here.  The skirt is very full, btw, and has pockets that are deep and generous.  (Perfection for teaching!)

The woven sandals are beautiful.  I need the 41 for length, but they do run wide for me in this size.  I know had I purchased the 40 they would have fit in width, but they would have been a touch too short.  This is often my issue, so I am going to get over it for once.  It is nice not having my feet fully fill up the entire footbed!  I may end up adding non-slip grips to the underside of the sandals if they stretch out, but for now they're fine.  I love the mix of gold, black, and pale pink.  It is really pretty!  The mix is also of matte leather, metallic leather, and patent leather. 

The print is lovely, and is interesting without being too much.  I did choose the red/coral as I have another dress from them in a similar style to the green version.  I have very little in my wardrobe this color.  I am definitely a citrus/forest colors fan, and the reds and purples are not really represented.  It's nice to wear something a bit out of my comfort zone.  :-)

The fabric is soft and substantial, a nice weight for summer without being too sheer.  Boden really did well with this one.  Hopefully they'll bring it back next year with new colors and prints!

Pretty Ruched Dress and Georgia Woven Sandals.  Woven sandals are nearly sold out in the navy/black/white version, but are pretty well stocked in the other two color choices.  The dress is nearly sold out in petite sizes, and the printed versions are selling well across the board (the long styles are pretty well-stocked, though).  Solid colors are moving a bit slower.

Richmond Shorts and Maggie Ottoman Top.  Size 10 6" and 6.  The shorts were formally reviewed here (the black color) and the top was given the "written" review treatment here (very short, though).

These shorts make me so happy.  I feel about the Richmond shorts the way I feel about the Turner pants from J. Crew.  They fit me so well.  I have worn and washed the black pair I own already a bunch, and they keep going, looking good, fitting well, etc.  I love them so much I purchased the green/teal color, too.  (And the white!)  I am selling half my shorts that I own (probably at the Facebook group for J. Crew/Madewell/Factory, if you are interested) now that I have a bunch of shorts that I either made for me or all these Richmond shorts.  I am never going back to bad-fitting shorts.  Woo!   The shorts review I did of the black (link is above) is valid for this pair, so I won't go into duplicate info, but these second, printed pair do deserve a bit of online love from me, too.

The ottoman top is more versatile than I thought it would be.  I initially thought it may not work with a busier print, but the pairing of this top and the shorts seemed to play nicely, so I am glad I accidentally put them right next to each other one day when folding clothes.  ;-)  The fit is really great for my frame, it hugs and conforms to my curves (or lack thereof up top), but doesn't bind or ride up.  This material is good! 

I have read that the seaming on the top has been off for some ladies, and that could mean the stripes don't match.  I have a good version, so if you buy a bad version, return it and send them my photo.  That is unacceptable.  Those machines in their factories have differential feeds/walking feet and can handle matching plaids and stripes.

The placement of the print matters on the shorts, too.  The version I have seems pretty good, but I would have hated for the big floral to be dead center on both of the front legs.  The more abstract, the better, in my opinion.

Both the shorts and the top are made from stretchy fabrics that conform, but do not stretch out.  That is key.  The woven stretch material they use for the shorts is especially amazing.  I want to know who they get their fabric from and get some for me.  It is really hard to find stretch wovens that give that much without bagging out of shape.

There is a small exposed zip on the back of the top.  Nothing obnoxious, really, but for some of you, it may give you pause.

Richmond Shorts and Maggie Ottoman Top.  The shorts are selling well, but there seems to be plenty available in the 6" and 9" length.  The 4" length is pretty much sold out in all colors.  (I can wear the 4", but think it is pretty short.  The 6" is short for women with longer legs, my inseam, btw, is 34".)

The top is selling well in the black and white stripe, but this blue version is still readily available. I think the black/white (especially when paired with the black shorts) looks very "prison-ready." 

Okay, that's all for now.  School ends tomorrow.  I do have a lot planned for summer, but it should be easier to get online and bug you all again.  Yes!  I have missed my blogging!

Below are the links to the sale the affiliate sent me.  Remember to use the code 3H9P if you need 25% off anything not part of the 30% dresses sale.
Boden USA

Boden USA

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Boden: Pretty Jersey Dress, Easy T-Shirt Dress, and 30% Off!

Hi, all!

Happy Sunday!  I know many of us have tomorrow off and I hope for all of us it means incredibly lovely weather.  :-)

Boden had started a 30% off sale on Friday, but because I work Friday, I didn't have a chance to do anything more than a very basic announcement over at the blog's facebook page.  I actually can sit still for a few minutes this morning, so I thought I would get a couple of reviews done (only one with photos, though), and let you all know more about the sale.

First the reviews!
Pretty Jersey Dress.  Size 6 Long.  This is a very old school Boden kind of dress.  Of course I bought it.  ;-)  I am pleased that they are willing to still have some of the styles that brought many of us to their company initially.  (For some of us as early as 2004!)

The jersey is a cotton/modal and very comfortable.  There is actually less need for a stretchy material in this dress since the style is a bit loose (that gathered skirt is attached to a loose waist--it doesn't even cinch in at my waist, it appears that way, but that is because the tee portion is a touch fitted).  The only reason I could see any of you all needing to size up is if you are incredibly blessed in the bust department.  I could have sized down to a 4, but I like how this style looks loose, so I am fine with the 6.

The length is wonderful for teaching, it hits right above the knee.  If it fell any longer, I would definitely look pretty frumpy.  I do not recommend going with a longer length unless you are taller than 5'7".

The pockets are deep and generous, and held my phone and my ID all day. 

I wish I had straightened out my skirt before taking this photo, that bump of fabric above my bottom is from not fixing it before taking the photo.

You can see the looseness in the bodice here, nothing big, but because it is a stretchy knit, it is completely unnecessary ease.  Again, don't care, but if you hate excessive ease in knits, this may not be the dress for you.

If you are long-waisted, this style may be too short-waisted for you.  I have a short torso, so this waistband is actually at my real waistline, but I totally get and understand why those with longer torsos would prefer something less "babydoll" in silhouette for themselves.

The print is a pretty little abstract dot print, with a true dark olive background.

Pretty Jersey Dress.  There are plenty left, but most are on backorder.  Mine came before my expected date, so maybe yours will too?  The blue is selling well, so if you like that color, bear that in mind.

Easy T-Shirt Dress.  I ordered the 8 Long in the white shade.  I should have ordered the 10 Long in order for it to fit properly and well.  It is NOT a jersey t-shirt dress, it is a full on woven rayon dress.  UGH.  Dumb, Boden.  Many of the reviewers are like, "you say t-shirt dress, and that means we are expecting something stretchy, knit, and more casual."  I actually like it in the woven rayon, but my hips need more material in a woven material.  Rayon knit means I sometimes can size down since it is so stretchy, but in this style, I thought I would do a size 8 to have it look more like it looks on the model.  Grrrr.  Dumb, Boden.  ;-)

Anyhow, it fits in the 8, but barely, and the pockets become non-functional.  And there is the completely expected shrinking after washing, so I have to send the 8 Long back.

Having said this, though, the dress is nearly sold out in the white shade.  So if you love it, and it's in your "WOVEN size" in stock, then grab it.  I see there is a 10 L on sale today, so I grabbed it, but I am going to be honest, I am not holding out hope it will work for me.  I suspect that one will go back, too.

Now the sale info...

So the sale is pretty basic, 30% off everything that is current season.  It does not apply to clearance stuff, and this is the sale I like for buying items that will NOT be 30% off in the clearance sale when that rolls around in early July.  (Most of the time items that don't get to 30% off are the ones that are very popular during the regular season, you can tell those by how little of the items are left in stock right now.  The Rose Dress would be a good example of this.  When it goes in clearance, it might get to 15% off, which is about the regular "sale" price during the season.)

The sale ends midnight tomorrow night.

The link below will get you to the sale, but remember to use the code 2Z7C to receive the 30% off.
Boden USA