Thursday, August 29, 2013

Boden: Weekly Offers Are Back!

Hey, all!  I am literally 40 minutes from leaving my house to get on a plane to fly to CA with my brother and baby for a wedding, but the awesome pdxelizabeth let me know last night about the return of the weekly offers over at Boden*.  Last spring Boden started offering "Spring Trims" which were a set of items that were an additional 15-20% off of their normal price, but were also STACKABLE with other coupons and promos, which made the deals extra lovely.

*There are offers for men, teens, kids, and babies, too. 

This current promo can be used with my current sidebar coupon of 15% off, so that makes the savings on each of those items around 28%, which is pretty good if one of the items is on your "must have" list.

Since I am heading out today, I won't be on the internet at all, quite possibly until much later tonight, so if you have a question, ask away, just know it could be a while before it is answered.  I have such awesome readers, though, I see that sometimes when I can't answer a question quickly, someone will jump in and answer it for me, which I am very appreciative of, so thank you all!!!

Any picks from this current sale?  Would love to see what you all choose!

Here is the current coupon, but I do want to point out that the 15% is only if you spend $100 or more, so bear that in mind.  Of course this is Boden, and $100 doesn't take many items to reach, but you must have $100 in your basket to get the additional 15% off.  (Boden must be doing well this season, it has been a long time since I have seen a coupon with a limit like this.)

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Made by Me Files: McCall's 6519 Top, Burda Magazine 02/2013 Shorts (Again!), and Kwik Sew 3905 Girls' Dress.

Hey, all...obviously I have been busy here in the "real" world, both CW and Rex started school again (Rex--Monday; CW--today, kindergarten!), so I have been a bit unavailable.  Tomorrow Angus and I are headed to CA for my cousin's wedding, so (big ole knock on wood) I may have a few moments to get some junk done in my "virtual" world, too.  Ahhh, vacation (even if one of my rugrats is with me, lol)...

Last week I finished an outfit that I made with the intent of wearing together, the top made from a beautiful quilting cotton called " Tree of Life" by Free Spirit that I received as part of a remnant assortment from and the shorts from a multi-tonal chambray from Robert Kaufmann (a little pink is mixed in the weave of the purple) ( similar color here, my shade is nearly sold out).

I had known the chambray would become shorts, but when I received the quilting cotton in the bundle (you never know what you will receive, but most of the time there are three yards I can use for something for me, and around four yards for projects for the kids), I was stumped.  I knew one yard wouldn't cut it for a skirt, but I wasn't sure if any top pattern I owned would work either since most women's top patterns are cut long and with a ton of ease.  Then I realized my McCall's 6519 pattern had a top pattern in it that could be made for my smaller pattern size (10) as long as I shortened it for my shorter torso.  As long as I did both of those things, I could just squeeze this yard onto those pattern sheets.  (It took me nearly as long to lay out the pattern on the cotton as it did to sew the darn thing up, ha.)

As you can see, shortening the top had no ill effect, in fact, it allows me to wear the smaller size since had I kept the length to its original length (an extra two inches), the hem would have been right on my mid-hip, which is where I am widest.  Having the hem fall so much shorter means the 39.5 inch hip measurement is more than adequate ease for my frame at that part of my hip.  I also get to show off the darling shape of the shorts.

The shorts should look familiar if you are following my sewing journey, these are the same ones as I showed off here at this post (from the February 2013 Burda Magazine).  I changed up a couple of things, I made the pleats in the front smaller and facing out to the pockets (that was a mistake, oops), and I shortened the waistband so the shorts would fit a touch better.

My dad loved this outfit because he said it reminded him of 1950s "mom" wear.  :-)  There is definitely a retro feel to the look, especially if I tuck the top in, which I only did for the photos to show of the shorts shape.  In reality the top's cotton was a bit too thick to wear tucked in and didn't lie as well as when I had it untucked.  I do plan to tuck tops into the shorts, but the material of the top needs to be a bit thinner.

Side view.  I think I won't stop making either pattern because both work well for my body.  The top doesn't constrict me in the armholes, since the holes were made deep enough on the pattern that I don't need to adjust anything for my square shoulder shape, but the top still fits closely to my body, not overwhelming my rather "underwhelming" bustline.

The shorts feature the "Burda Crotch Curve," which apparently is a big deal in the sewing world, since many of the American designed patterns are far too shallow and/or not angled properly for the true shape of many women's lower half.  And so you all know, it isn't even big-bottomed women who need the "Burda Crotch Curve," since I have read that some flat-bottomed and small-bottomed ladies like it, too.  Hmmm.  I have made pants and shorts from other companies, and I have noticed that the area down there is a bit more *enclosed*, so maybe we do need to give the Germans some credit.

Rear shot.  I had to take a bit of the back seam in to make the waistband fit properly (the waistband is a size smaller than the hips).  I should have just made a dart and sewn it flat, but since I am still fairly new, it didn't even occur to me to try that.  Oh, well, next time.

I properly sewed in an invisible zip (thank you, invisible zipper foot!).

All in all, I spent about three hours total on the top, and about three hours on the shorts.  I suspect those times will be dwindling down as I make more from these patterns.

I spent the good majority of my weekend making this dress for CW.  I had cut the ADORABLE Riley Black Little Red Riding Hood fabric ( main fabric here and similar contrast fabric here here) a bit before sewing it up last weekend, I like to cut all at once and then sew all at once, I cut a darling romper for Angus at the same time that I am also entering in the contest (still have to publish those photos).

I knew that I wanted to give her this Kwik Sew dress before she went to school so she could wear it to her teacher's meeting with her, but I also knew I wanted to enter it in the "Sewing for Children" contest, now that I am a member of that website.  I don't have a chance in h-e-double hockey sticks of winning, but maybe I will grab a few votes?  ;-)  I think it looks pretty darn cute, anyhow.

The back features floral buttons that I machine sewed on...killing two needles in the process.  Whoopsie.  I forgot that if you want to machine sew a button on, you need to slowly turn the handwheel and make sure the needle goes in the hole, then measure the zigzag length by doing the same process with the hole right next to it.  By the fourth button, I got it, but not before my darn machine was getting mad at me (I should treat her better!).  I used this tutorial to teach me how to sew the button (I used my open toe embroidery foot to hold the button down), but forgot to re-check the simple details first.  Don't follow my example!

Here is another set of pleats that look okay but weren't the way they were supposed to be.  LOL.  Oh, well, guess that makes this dress "extra-special."

I heard from someone that the Amish like to have mistakes in their quilts to show they are handmade.  We'll go with that on this dress, too.
I ADORE this shot.  I think I might print it out and frame it.

The dress was very easy to sew up, but because of the buttons and buttonholes (both my first real attempt at them), the dress took about two hours longer than it should have to sew up.  The Kwik Sew pattern and instructions are very beginner-friendly, and this particular pattern is great if you have a little girl.  (Especially one who owns an American Girl doll, since there is a pattern for a matching dress for her, too.  Yes, I will make CW's American Girl doll a matching dress.  No buttons, though!)

Okay, you all have a great day.  No news of a Boden sale for Labor Day, but I will be keeping my eyes open for you all. 

Talk soon!

Friday, August 23, 2013

Boden: Winter 2013 Preview Picks!

UPDATE 09/16/13: The current coupon for the Winter line is directly below this sentence.  Though it has two sweet little girls wearing mini Boden in the photo, the code is good for all items, including those from womenswear and menswear.  :-)

Well with the code PRV3 expiring tonight over at the Boden Winter 2013 Preview site, I figured I should do a picks post already.  The code may stick around for more time, like it did during the autumn preview time, but still haven't heard officially if that is the case.

If you do hear that the code has been extended, definitely let us know in the comments.  :-)

Onto the picks!

Chic Tweed Shift. This sublimely tailored, simple silhouette is utterly perfect for so many different, church, weddings, parties, you name it.  I love the grey/silver color, but the pink version is pretty special, too.  The pink and silver versions are a cotton/acrylic blend, while the black has a bit of wool in there.

Contrast Collar Tunic.  It's been a while since I have put a tunic in my bag from Boden.  I bought so many once upon a time, but recently I haven't been blown over by the choices.  This one, though, yummy.  Very cute and the color is deliciously bright for a rather dank part of the year.

Dorchester Dress.  I have heard from many of you that you love the explosion of pink that Boden has issued for the fall and winter, so I suspect this dress may have jumped into a few of your bags.  :-)  Good choice, it looks amazing on that model, and I think its shape will work for us less than model perfect, too.

Love the shape but not the color?  This comes in two tweedy options that are less "in your face."

Felicity Dress.  Love this sweater dress, especially the contrast black Peter Pan collar.

Do note that the sizing on the garment measurements lists some pretty teeny numbers.  The ribbed detailing will stretch, so a 26" bust becomes much larger, so I would say go with your normal Boden knitwear size and you should be fine.  (I would grab a 6 in this.)

Pleat Neck Shift Dress.  Gorgeous yellow lace version is not for sale, but you can see its photo.  Say what?

There are two floral printed versions for sale, but I want to know about the lace versions, darn it!

Ponte Broderie Tunic.  Oh, you pretty golden* tunic in a gorgeous ponte fabric, you will be mine.  I hope you fit, too, on first wearing, as I don't want to have to return you and wait for you to come to me a second time. 

*Okay, it is probably that version of golden that turns out to be green/gold, so be aware.  In other words, its color will be the same as this jacket of mine from them (last photos).

Retro Tunic Dress.  Ooh if I had no hips (or at least less of them), I would be all over this.  Someone out there buy this so I can live vicariously through you, please???

Winter Audrey Dress.  You all know I own this in two colors already (grey here and green here), so yay for new colors (including the darling polka dot versions!).  If you haven't given this dress a try, I highly recommend them.

Thea Dress.  This is a jersey dress that seems to be parading around as a more structured offering.  Yay for comfort and for the look of less comfort.  ;-)  This blue floral version is such a unique way to show off florals in the middle of winter.

Cashmere Off Duty Sweater.  I have a few cashmere pieces from Boden and without fail, they are super thick and very cozy.  This version is utterly perfect for those mornings in the fall and winter when it is grey, rainy, and cold, the antidote to the funk of bad weather.

Bistro Crop Trousers.  Well if you like your pants printed and loud, these are for you.  :)  I have a pair of Bistro Crop Trousers in a bright pink tile pattern, so I think I am good for now, but I get the allure. 

Eliza Top.  The graphic floral print on this silk/viscose top is lovely and will be a pink fix in winter while being utterly perfect for the spring. 

Ingrid Coat.  I know for a fact some of you already purchased this one since there was buzz about this coat right here on this blog.  If you liked the Mia Coat from this current crop of offerings, but want a longer, more winter-proof coat, then this lady may be the one for you.  I think I will take a chance on it, too, rather than on the Mia.

Heritage Coat.  Oh, this is a sweet little coat, the shearling cuffs and collar really add a touch of old world glamour to it.  I can't tell if the shearling is real or fake, since Boden doesn't have any copy telling us.  It is a rather expensive coat, but it has staying power since the color is classic as well as the shape.

Leather Biker.  Boden has done leather in the past, and they have often done it well.  I really love this particular version, the color is pretty cool and the details are edgy enough without being "try hard."  Good job, Johnnie and co.

Leather Pencil Skirt.  I love this skirt.  There is something really nice about an all leather pieced pencil in a way a normal wool pencil skirt does, but with just a bit of tough girl thrown in.  I may never be Joan Jett, but I can channel her spirit in this.  (I don't have the budget for this one, sadly, but I did grab a leather hide from an on-line fabric shop and plan on making at least a half-leather skirt out of it.)

Merino Off Duty Sweater.  I have the cashmere version of this one above, but I know that the price of that one is steep.  How about it in a merino version instead? 

Notre Dame Skirt.  I am putting this one in the picks because I know that a lot of you LUUUUURRRRRVVVE the Notre Dame.  How about it in a red jacquard version?

Printed Button Back Sweater.  Like the Thea dress, this sweater's floral are so unique for the time of year.  Wear the blue flowers with pride!

Stockholm Coat.  Yeah, I have a puffer coat in my closet that has been unworn for the past THREE years.  Don't need this one, clearly.  But any Minnesotans out there can give their approval for this one, I am sure!

Stripy Stitch Sweater.  I have the yellow Hotchpotch sweater (last photo of me), and like Boden's copy states, this is a winter version of that sweater.  Honestly, the cotton hotchpotch is more than warm enough for most days of our fairly mild winters, but if you are from colder climates, have at it, since this is a really pretty take on a more masculine look.

Textured Silk Blouse.  Didn't J. Crew basically do this same top last year, but without the button front?  I missed out on that one, so I am going to try this one and see how I like it.  :-)  Anyone else doing the same?

Wool Bistro Crop Trousers.  I am buying these because I think I will like them and wear them, and based on the buzz they are receiving, they could sell out, so you may want to take the chance on them early, too.  They have a bit of elastane in them, so you probably should go with your normal size (I am going with an 8 L since some of the 10 L pieces I have purchased in the past have been too big).

Dazzling Heels.  Pretty sparkly Mary Jane heels.  Yum.

Embellished Ballet Flats.  They had these last year and as I remember it, they sold out immediately, so if you have a need (or want, really) for a pair of over the top bow flats, these may sell fast.

Soho Heels.  Nothing I need to say here.  I know that you all get it.

Velvet Sequin Clutch.  What a darling little sparkly velvet bag!  If this goes on super sale, I will buy it as a Christmas present for my daughter in the pink color.

Johnnie b. and mini Boden:
Cosy Sweatshirt Dress.  For those of us who like Johnnie b. items for ourselves, or actually clothe our daughters in it, this dress looks like it would be a great staple to have in the wardrobe, perfect for dressing up with tights and statement necklaces, but also wonderful to wear with leggings, boots, and a casual scarf.

Embellished Sweater.  Oh, come on, I know some of you Anglophiles out there are going to buy this for yourself, right?  I know I am.  ;-)

Pippa Printed Top.  The hot air balloon print got me.  Not enough to buy it, but to show you all.  Isn't this stinkin' adorable?

Button Pinafore Dress.  CW has this in a Scandinavian print version, and I have decided her closet needs a deer/tree/vine printed version, too.  ;-)

Fun Pinafore Dress.  Aw, that owl has a yellow heart on it.  So cute!

Spooky T-Shirt.  Rex doesn't know this is coming his way, but I think he will probably be digging it when it comes. 

Thanks for reading all my picks!

That's all for now.  Do you have any you would like to add?