Thursday, May 29, 2014

OOTDs: Silky Vintage and Made by Me.

Hey, all!  Happy Thursday!  :-)  Just a quick reminder before I start that the 30% off dresses promotion ends tomorrow night over at Boden(At least that is what I believe will happen since the sale started last Saturday morning.  I would be more than fine if Boden made me a liar by continuing it into the weekend.)

Okay, in honor of May and the "Me-Made May" phenomena that happens all over the sewing blog world, I thought I would parade out five recent outfits that feature one item that was made by me, in conjunction with a bunch of non-made by me items, of course, since I have only been doing this sewing thing for so long.  I expect that maybe in a few years I could actually feature entire ensembles made by me, but I ain't there yet.

Day: Sunday, May 25, 2014.

Where: Angus's friend's birthday party.

Ease of Wear: (3.5 of 5 stars--5 being the most easy to wear.) The Silky Vintage Top (currently at 25% off here) is very comfortable and I am stoked I bought the size 6 since it was fitted enough in the upper bodice while being nice and swingy at the hip portion, where I need it the most.  I like this one so much that I decided to purchase the multi-colored yellow floral version to make up for the fact that the Selina dress didn't work at all for me in either size I tried (see the original review of it here at this BWRR). 

The shorts (see original post on them here), though, are the reason for the fallen ease score.  I am okay with *why* it fell since the shorts are now so big on me in the waist that it is somewhat laughable how close they came to falling off of me by the end of the day.  See even though they look fine in the original shots (the last three), you can see that I had to untuck the top in the first photo to cover up how loose they had become.  (The fabric is a loosely woven linen/rayon blend and while it is very nice to sew and feels pretty soft, it is very stretchy and very wrinkle-prone.)

Cool Factor: (4 of 5 stars--5 being the coolest--for both outfits.) I think this is a solid effort.  Feels very vintage inspired, of course.  LOVE the buttons on the back, adds to the retro feel.

Anecdote from the Day:  Angus's friend loves Mickey Mouse Clubhouse as much as Angus does so he was THRILLED to see all the Mickey/Minnie decorations at the party.  He was also one of the only boys and so he felt like he was the littlest king at the party.  Oh dear.

Day: Monday, May 26, 2014.

Where: Hanging out with friends and their kids.

Ease of Wear: (4 of 5 stars--5 being the most easy to wear.) This pretty little skirt that I made last year (see here) will always be one of my favorites since it fits my shape so nicely, and is a mini without being too mini.  I realized after wearing it that I have nearly a yard of this gorgeous tana lawn left, and I can make a top from part of that (still plan on making some hair ties for some blog friends from the rest of that, cough cough, I know I am late).

The sandals are great and went well with the outfit, but do feel a bit tight upon first wearing them.  They do stretch out, though, so there's that.

Cool Factor: (4 of 5 stars--5 being the coolest--for both outfits.) I have had this tee for a while, having bought it back in 2010.  I never thought of pairing it with something more "upscale," and have always worn it with shorts or pants, but after realizing the colors worked exactly right together, I knew I had to wear it with this skirt. 

Anecdote from the Day:  I spent half the night holding our friends' littlest boy, who fell asleep on my lap in a monkey position.  He's only seven months, so I was in heaven.  I love little tiny babies.  So cuddly and squeezable and huggable!

Day: Wednesday, May 28, 2014.

Where: Volunteering at the school, Winesday, and Rex's batting practice.

Ease of Wear: (4 of 5 stars--5 being the most easy to wear.) I felt good, but bear in mind that it was stupid hot and humid yesterday, I had a migraine in the morning, and the only way we could get to Winesday this week was to drag all three kids with us.  Since bringing all three to the world's most uppity Whole Foods is insane, I decided to put Angus in my carrier on my back so I would at least have one kid away from all the goodies in the aisles.  Yeah, my poor top was a bit soaked after that.

Cool Factor: (4 of 5 stars--5 being the coolest--for both outfits.) This top is made from a beautiful tana lawn from Liberty of London (see the original post on it here), so that ups the cool factor a bit.  The combo of the slim denim shorts and darling tied striped sandals with the top make it look very 50s/60s, so I would say I felt pretty cool, even if my poor tired soul was anything but...

Anecdote from the Day:  So even though I felt crazy for dragging the three kids to Winesday, it turned out that this week's theme was "for the kids."  Well, hot damn, I chose the right day to do the impossible.  The foods were all things kids love, and of course my three went crazy for the yumminess (food only, of course).  Their favorite was the tomato soup, which was pretty darn tasty.

Day: Thursday, May 29, 2014.

Where: Bowling, G Street Fabrics, Barnes & Noble, and School Pickup.

Ease of Wear: (4 of 5 stars--5 being the most easy to wear.) Yesterday was H-O-T, and today was cool and rainy.  Ugh.  I prefer hot to this, honestly.  I felt weird dragging out my boucle sweater (post on that one here) in late May, but the temp barely reached 65.  Sigh.  At least I had it all washed and ready to go.  And I am glad I had a cool-weather top to wear for part of my Made by Me outfits quest.

The shoes are too loose, should have bought the 40.  They work, but the toe area is very wide, and the 40 would have likely been more narrow there.

Cool Factor: (3.5 of 5 stars--5 being the coolest--for both outfits.) I don't know that I love the whole look together, but I am glad I wore the pieces together, and popped some crazy neon color in the sandals.  Otherwise my grey outfit would have blended into the cloudy background.

I really like how my makeup turned out, though.  Very simple, but I felt like it worked.  Now if only I could get my eyebrows freshened up, and a good ninety hour nap, I could take care of all of my cosmetic wants.

Anecdote from the Day:  I got a 139 in bowling.  Whoop!  Now why can't I get that score every time I bowl?

Day: Sunday, May 11, 2014.

Where: Mother's Day Mass, Zaytinya, and 9:30 Club to see Elbow.

Ease of Wear: (5 of 5 stars--5 being the most easy to wear.) This dress may be one of my favorites I have ever made for me (see more on that here).  I find getting shift dresses to properly work on my slimmer upper body and larger lower half very challenging, but hey, you make your own, you can make it fit you just right.  Aw, yeah.  Go comfort!

So you all know, I am not dumb, and did not wear those darling J. Crew strappy wedge sandals to watch Elbow in the concert.  I changed into a pair of black sparkly flip-flops for that.

Cool Factor: (4.5 of 5 stars--5 being the coolest--for both outfits.) I think it is pretty darn cool, and since neon tropical prints and shift dresses are "in" (see this Just Cavalli one), I would say yeah, I looked cool.  (And was still "modest" enough for mass.  So yay for that, too.)

Anecdote from the Day:  Zaytinya is great, and I love almost everything Jose Andres does, but I still prefer Oyamel, and its tasty fried grasshopper tacos.

At the Elbow concert, there were about ten percent of the crowd who must have only been at the concert to *go and do something, anything* that night, because they kept TALKING LOUDLY while the wonderful Guy Garvey of Elbow sang his sweet tunes all romantic like to us.  I kind of wished that Guy would have come down to them and gone, "whatcha you all doing?"  But he didn't.  Instead this kind of nerdy fifty-year old guy walked up to them and said "SHUT UP."  LOL.  Go, you!  I loved that!

Okay, that's all for now.  I hope everyone is ready for a nice weekend.  :-)

Monday, May 26, 2014

Boden: 25% Off!

So this image has nothing to do with the 25% off sale (well except those items above are on sale).  I just thought it was so precious!  I actually wore the green version of the Silky Vintage Top this weekend, it is really cute IRL.

Hello, and a Happy Memorial Day to all my American friends.  Here in the DC area every Memorial Day is marked by the sound of Rolling Thunder, which allows us to have a audible reminder of the service the men and women of our armed forces have given to our country during its history.  They specifically ride to honor all captured troops (POW/MIA), btw, but the reminder of all our troops' service is not lost in their ride.  I love it all, and look forward to seeing all the men and women on their loud motorcycles come in once a year, flags whipping in the wind behind them.  Very cool.  However you plan to celebrate, do enjoy!

Okay, so I announced on Saturday that Boden had started the 25% off sale very early (two days to be exact).  They had started the 30% off dresses sale on time but the 25% off everything else sale was not supposed to happen the same day as the start of the dresses sale.  Whoops!

Oh, well.  They didn't end up pulling the sale yesterday or on Saturday, but I can officially announce that the sale is going on today.  :-)  It is slated to stick around for a while, which is great since popbacks can happen at anytime.  (I will probably announce any sightings of popbacks at my facebook page--here on the blog it takes too long to get posts up, etc.  So if you want to follow over there, go ahead on over and check it out.)

The 30% off dresses sale ends on Friday, I believe, so that is more limited than this 25% off sale.  From what I can tell, the sale is working on dresses, and a lot of the very popular dresses are losing stock F.A.S.T.  There will likely be popbacks in dresses, but just as a reminder, if you see the color/size you want and it is in a pink "low stock" box, that means there are less than five available.

Alrighty, off to enjoy my Memorial Day.  Will be back this week with outfit posts.  As much as I love these Boden sale posts, they seem to come quickly and in spurts, lol.  And since I usually only have enough time in my day for one post (if that, being honest with myself here), I push the outfit posts to the backburner.  ;-P

There is a link to the sale in the sidebar, but I have put one below, too.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Boden: 30% Off Dresses!

Hello!  Happy Holiday Weekend!

So if this misses you, I am so sorry, but I also figured that if I didn't tell you about this, I would feel terrible, especially if you are someone who was hoping for a good price on an item that you had been waiting for...

To start, the folks at Boden have started a 30% off dresses promotion, which is great, and is an especially good deal if you wanted to get a popback dress and it pops back in your size and color before this promotion ends.  I gather the dresses promo is ending next Friday night, since it started this morning.  I could be wrong, and if so, I will amend this post.

I went ahead and purchased the Casual Jersey Dress and the Laid Back Dress since those two are in pretty good demand, so I will be pleased if the two sizes I purchased fit me and work for my frame.  Unfortunately for Boden if they don't work, I am not even bothering with exchanging since the exchanges I have made this season have not worked for me, including the Selina dress (will get to the second review soon--first is here at this link) and the Ariette dress (again, will get to the second review soon--first is here at this link).  I am just really pissy that Boden's sizing has been so wacky this season that I need to send a message of "not standing for it" if the online garment measurements and what I received are off again.  Based on the charts, the Casual Jersey dress should be just loose enough (but not too big) in the 8L, and the Laid Back dress will be a bit loose through the chest and waist, but will fit my hips in the 8L.  (I am okay with the Laid Back dress being a loose shift style since my most recent sewing project was just like that and I love the way it wears and feels.)

Okay, enough on the dresses.  If you have a desire to see a dress on me or someone else, there have been many reviews of dresses this season over at the BWRRs, so take a look there, just in case.

In addition to reading prior BWRRs for the dress reviews, you may also want to look at them for other clothing items since (and this is probably a mistake) Boden has put the 25% off everything banner on their homepage as well.  I went to the site with my sidebar coupon (which is for 15% off) and ended up seeing what is in the screengrab up top.  (Take a look...I have never seen competing banners before!)  Anyhow, this promo is not set to start until Monday, based on what I see over at the affiliate program, but for some of you, grabbing what you want today (as long as the 25% off stays active) may mean you get what you want before someone else does.  I don't need anything, so I didn't join in, except to buy the Crystal Hairclip (stupid thick hair does better with big clips like that--and it is so pretty).  But for a lot of you, I think this is the % off you wanted to see before diving in...

Just so you know, the 25% off may get pulled, and if it does, I will correct this post.

Okay, you all have a great weekend. 

Below is the current promo, and the one I used to get to the homepage above.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Boden: Autumn/Fall 2014 Preview Picks (Coats, Shoes, and Accessories).

UPDATE (July 21, 2014): Some of the fall 2014 items have rolled out, including many of the below.  I have received a coupon from the people at the affiliate program.  You can find it below this first paragraph or in the sidebar of the blog if you need a coupon.  I will eventually be updating this post with proper links to the items that are available, so you can easily find the items you love below on the regular site.  :-)

15% off with free shipping coupon that is valid once you spend $50 or more!

Hey, all!  Happy Thursday!

Before I get started on the picks post (number three of four--this is the last one for womenswear, though), I wanted to let you all who want a popback on the regular Boden site to take a look around, because in the world of "perfect" timing (yeah, that perfect is sarcastic), the site got a whole bunch of popbacks this morning, *after* the better 20% off portion of the diminishing discount ended.  Now the discount is 15% off, which is okay, but it sure would have been nice to have some of those popbacks when the site was 20% off!  :-P

Okay, as you all know by now, to receive 20% off with free ship and returns here at the preview site, make sure to put the code H6G9 in the shopping bag page.  THIS CODE ENDS TOMORROW AT MIDNIGHT, so bear that in mind.  After that if you order from the preview site, you pay the full amount (not recommended, btw). 

Reminder that the other picks posts can be found here for dresses/tunics/skirts and here for tops/shirts/knitwear

Okay onto the coats, shoes, and accessories.

Autumn Trench.  I have one trench from Boden, and my stepmom owns one, too, so we can definitely recommend these above to anyone looking for a great transitional coat.  These two above are unique, especially the one with the allover bird print.

I LOVE how the model looks in the animal print version, btw (very top photo).  Just beautiful. 

British Tweed Blazer.  I know I can't shut up about my J. Crew Bella Jacket in Pink Herringbone, but the color and tweed is so pretty and feminine together.  This jacket is a great option if you always wanted the Bella in pink tweed but missed out.  Although this collar is meant to be laid flat, you can always pop it to get more of the "Bella" look.  Plus take a peek at the cute London print lining.  Love!

Edie Jacket.  This jacket is actually short, 3/4 sleeve, and very reminiscent of the 60s.  This would be very lovely worn atop a little black dress and a pair of heels (may I recommend the Jackie Heels below?).

Eliza Coat.  Pink Coat Sickness. My adoration of pink coats knows no bounds.  Must sell other pink coats to make room for this coat.  LOL.  I will, too, especially if this one ends up fitting me well.

Lebdury Pea Coat.   This color is amazing, and would very much make you the brightest person on any grey day.  And if you are buying Boden, you know doubt think *that's a very good thing.*

Rainyday Mac.  In years past, people have sent me reviews of the Rainyday Mac for my BWRRs, and this is the very first season I have actually wanted one for me.  (I love the British print one with all the guards.)  Question for you fans...should I size up to an 8R?  It seems that the measurements would indicate that, plus the online reviews all say the coat runs a touch small.  If you could weigh in, I would be so appreciative.  :-)

Fashion Pointed Pump.  Colorblocked Flats are not my thing, but I know a lot of you love them, so I made sure to include this pink/aubergine colored pair in my picks for you all.

Flat T-Bar Point.  I love the look of a beautiful heel but as a flat.  Eventually I will try and grab these on sale a little further down the line.  It could sell out, but I will take my chances.

Jackie Heels.  These are so chic.  Everything about them is so polished and ladylike.  They come in half-sizes, too!

Low Heeled Loafer.  I am recommending the loafer again.  I don't own a pair like this, and since I wear loafers more than any other type of shoe, I know these will be one of my best "cost per wear" purchases of this next fall.  I really hope that these are a bit more subdued in real life, not because I can't handle the shiny, but because I am hard on my shoes and would prefer that any dings that happen don't immediately mar the appearance of the shoe.

Mary Jane.  Yoohoo, J. Crew fans of their Fall 2008 may just fall over from excitement at the fact that you can buy the Penelope Mary Jane (well a close approximation, anyhow) again.  From another retailer, but as we are all able to say emphatically...Boden's offerings are often more old school J. Crew than the current J. Crew can say.

Smithfield Boot.  So my relatives in Mississippi buy cowboy boots for reals in an actual Western shop there in their town.  I have to say showing these short cowboy boots off may be a real affront to true-blooded country-western types in the USA, but dang (said with a southern accent, of course), these are pretty darn great dupes.  From a British company.  Buffalo Bill Cody may just be rolling over in his grave.  Sorry, sir.

The Lace Up.  Okay, I am so not a fan of these, but I have seen they are getting a real buzz over at all the various social media that Boden has out there, and I would be a real bad Boden blogger if I didn't let you all know that, just in case you are a fan. 

Wellie.  Cute!  I could see Boden making these for the kids, so the fact that they made these for grown women is pretty awesome.  I don't wear wellies, but I probably should in the weather we often get.  (Maybe on sale, though, if they stick around long enough.)

Casual Shopper.  This bag is stunning.  The color, the piping, the subtle hardware.  Good show, Boden.  Your bags get better and better each year!

Draycott Bag.  This reminds me so much of the Edie bag.  I don't really love the Edie bag, but I *know* a lot of you did, so this may be just for you.

Thurloe Bag.  If you want the cute British print but don't want to wear it all over your body, this bag may be the right way for you to show it off.  :-)

Umbrella.  Yay!  This umbrella is so cute.  They have had specialty umbrellas shown off in their catalogs in years past, but they have never had them for sale.  They finally listened to the fans of their unique prints and made them available!

Okay, that's it!  Hope you have a great rest of your day, and thank you, as always, for spending time here at my blog.  I may not always remember to say it, but I am so grateful for all of you.  :-)

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Boden: Autumn/Fall 2014 Preview Picks (Knitwear, Shirts, and Tops).

UPDATE (July 21, 2014): Some of the fall 2014 items have rolled out, including many of the below.  I have received a coupon from the people at the affiliate program.  You can find it below this first paragraph or in the sidebar of the blog if you need a coupon.  I will eventually be updating this post with proper links to the items that are available, so you can easily find the items you love below on the regular site.  :-)

15% off with free shipping coupon that is valid once you spend $50 or more!

Hi!  Happy Tuesday, everyone.  Was meaning to get this post out last night, but time got away from me.  So I am going to dispense with the usual chit-chat and just move onto the picks already.

Today's picks focus on the knitwear, shirts, and tops from the Boden Autumn/Fall 2014 collection.  British readers, the links below say sweater, but that is pulled directly from the US preview site.  They are still called jumpers over at your preview site.  ;-)

As per usual, there is a code for 20% off with free ship and returns which will expire THIS Friday, May 23, 2014.  I will make sure to publish a post on that Friday to remind you all that the code is expiring so you don't forget.  The code is H6G9.  (That code is only for the United States, btw.)

Pattern Sweater. These two sweaters are on my radar because they are so cute with their ditsy birds and guards.  Adorable.  I have worn the Heritage hummingbird sweater from last year a lot (even dared to wear it with outfits I didn't photograph--gasp), so I know the style will work for me.  Only concern is that these will also be prone to pilling as the hummingbird sweater is...if so I will suck it up and continue my fabric shaving, but I really wish I didn't have to...

Spot Collar Sweater.  This sweater seems like it will be calling a few of you all by name.  It has a peter pan collar, darling dots everywhere, and is in a lovely shade of mid-pink and a dark pinky/plum.

Embellished Sweater.  This color for fall, yum!  And those beautifully placed jeweled dots!  This sweater is one of the handful of items that will not be debuting in late July.  The items that are rolling out with this sweater in late August all seem to be more formal or made for celebrations, so I gather rather than wait for the winter rollout to debut the festive wear, Boden plans on capitalizing on early birds by getting these out sooner than October this season.

This one seems to be a bit expensive for what it is.  The material composition is the same as the Pattern Sweater above (pill alert!), but those extra gems everywhere have given Boden and co. shiny dollar/pound signs in their eyes!
Grace Sweater.  Love this color.  Swoon!  Would have to wait for it on sale, but I do plan on waiting for it on sale since it is so pretty, and its shape is very ladylike.  It seems  to be the Sophia sweater (review here) made in a "solid," so if you have this spring's Sophia sweater and like it, you may want to consider this one.  Having said all this, the Sophia sweater sold out FAST, so I am not sure I will be able to get this once it rolls out, as it may not make it to a greater discount.  Sigh.

Hotchpotch Sweater.  Its a hotchpotch that isn't too crazy!  The other incarnations of this sweater are less tame, but I figured I would toe the proverbial line by showing you a hotchpotch item that likely will appeal to more individuals.  (Though if you are a fan of the crazy side of Boden, just go to the next item for your fix.)

Intarsia Plaid Sweater.  Ah, there it is, a bit of the crazy, wacky, fun side of Boden.  Look at that plaid--on the bias!  In bright colors!  Looking a bit 1970s!  :-)  Not sure what this will be--will it sell out because it is so unique and special or will it languish in the stocks waiting desperately for the right Boden customer to see its appeal and buy it?  Any thoughts?

Curzon Coatigan.  I initially wasn't going to include this in my picks, but its shape and color started to grow on me.  I also love how practical it is, especially if you live in a climate where winter may mean days where a true winter jacket is unnecessary most of the time.  Or for those of you in true winter climates, this topper would be great for indoor wear or for in the car whilst driving.  (I hate having a thick coat on when driving--what a pain!)

Charlotte Top. This top is very wacky, but it appeals to me.  I *think* I may be able to get this on sale later in the season, and I hope to.  I didn't even notice it until I saw the model wearing it (see the photo at the top of the post), but it looks really cute on her.  I love the plaid fabric with the darling eyelet.  I wonder if they took eyelet fabric and dyed it to have plaid or if they took plaid fabric and made the eyelets.  Any sewing fans have a clue on how this was done?

Chepstow Top.  In basket right now.  Will not let this one sell out like it did last year before I can get my hands on it.  I thought for sure this peasant style jersey top would be a dud last year and one month after it debuted I took a look at its item page only to be dismayed that almost all the colors and sizes were sold out.  Sad!  This year I plan on being a happy camper early on...of course knowing Boden, they overordered and I will see a TON of stock well into next winter's clearance time.  ;-)

Long Sleeve Breton. This top is always popular amongst Boden fans.  Heck, it's even popular amongst non-Boden people*.  I have a lot of Breton stripes in my closet (most supplied by J. Crew if I am being honest), but this color combo is really fresh and a bit different than what you usually see.  Even though I love it, not going to be buying it as, again, so many stripes already in my wardrobe.

*Why is it that when Boden was gifting all those items last year to all those "well-known" bloggers that they all chose the Breton top?  I started to roll my eyes every time I saw a blogger picking the Breton again and again and again.  If the c/o item was an actual "wow that's a Boden item," then I silently cheered them on for picking something that you can't find elsewhere (bonus points if it was an embroidered fun item).  The Breton people, btw, seem to have moved on from Boden since then.  Surprise!  ;-)  (But all of this can be discussed later, lol.)

Lottie Top.  I want to but this to wear to bed since it looks so comfy.  (Modal and Cottton jersey blend--YUM!)  But if it is going to be an item I wear as pajamas, I probably should wait for a really good discount.  I mean I guess I could wear it out in real life, but I really really really want it for loungewear!

Metallic Organza Top.  This is another top set to roll out in August.  I can tell you that from a sewing perspective, this top is not all that difficult to sew up, even with the underlayer, but that fabric is darn expensive, which explains the cost. (Say that with a discount this fabric is $10 a yard, which makes this top $15--1.5 yards estimated, but that $15 is before adding on the underlayer fabric, labor, marketing, etc.)  Even though it is all poly, all poly and organza does not mean bad quality.  Take a look at some of these poly organza items from B&J fabrics to see what I mean.  I purchased this spring's Embroidered Flower Top and will see how I like that one before I even consider this one, but I will say this one's beautiful floral embroidery is exceptionally lovely and would look amazing with a nice pair of slim black wool trousers and a pair of well-made ballet flats.

Paris Blouse.  I know last year's Paris Blouse had its fans, so I would be a bad Boden blogger if I didn't include this year's version, but I would have anyway since the fabric features little swans, all cuddled up, just so.  Because of the design, you would think it would read young, but from afar, you can barely tell what they are, and because of the wise color choices, all of the blouses are fine for someone older than ten to wear out and about.  The black and white version above is especially chic.

It features a relaxed fit, but is all viscose (woven--very shrinkable, be warned).  If you own this and have seen how much it shrinks and would like to chime in, please do!

The Shirt. Have to finish the picks with this button-up featuring British guards and the Union Jack.  Since I am getting the Pattern Sweater, I will not be buying this shirt, but if you are an Anglophile, you could always buy both and wear them together.  I would then live vicariously through you.  ;-)

Okay that's it for today.  I am saving the best of womenswear for last, tomorrow I will publish my picks on coats/jackets, shoes, and accessories.  This upcoming season features some amazing finds in all three categories.

If you would like to buy a popback from the diminishing discount, I provided a link below just in case you need it!