Thursday, February 26, 2015

OOTDs: Dressing Up, Wind Whipping Style.

Hi!  Happy Thursday.  :-)  I have been nose to the grindstone, and with great concentration, furiously sewing up my son's suit for his First Confession on Saturday.  I started the project last week, and whenever I could find the time, I worked on the blazer.  I am *still* working on the blazer, but at least the shell is done, I just need to finish the lining.  I am actually insanely proud of the work so far, but I won't exhale until the finished product is being worn by him on Saturday.  Anyhow, wish me luck, and I hope that explains a bit of why I have been away so much lately.

Also, NADA is going on with Boden, sale wise, so there's that, too.  I had plans to do the Boden Weekly (haha) Review Roundup this week, but with the details I need to follow to the tee with the blazer pattern, I realized something had to be given up.

Okay, I do have a few brief moments to show off a few recent dressier outfits I wore in the past two months.  I have definitely been more focused on casual wear, especially since Rex is housebound and I am going nowhere, but there have been a few occasions that required me to give a little more effort than a pair of Turner pants and an embellished sweatshirt.

Day: Friday, January 16, 2015.

Where:  Fairly certain I went grocery shopping with the Angus that day.  This was before Rex got injured (that happened 1/25), and I saw I took photos of him fooling around the house that day, so because I got dressed up and I have photos of him at the house, I have to assume that Harris Teeter was the reason for my "dress up."  LOL. 

Ease of Wear: (4 of 5 stars--5 being the most easy to wear.)  I never know what size to get at J. Crew or J. Crew Factory when it comes to these straight shift style dresses (this one is the Factory Printed Shift Dress).  I always know that the bust and shoulders will be too big unless I get a size 4, but my hips don't lie and are a size 10, so that's what I chose to purchase.  That was a wise choice, but I still could use a half-inch more if I am being honest, I would prefer just that little bit of extra ease.

Cool Factor: (4 of 5 stars--5 being the coolest.)  Love this look.  I need to wear this again before it gets too warm (ha, no threat of that here in Southern Canada aka Virginia).

Anecdote of the Day:  Angus made some cute faces when I was taking photos of him that day.  Other than that, nada.

Day: Thursday, January 22, 2015.

Where:  A friend's father's interment at Arlington National Cemetery.

Ease of Wear: (3.5 of 5 stars--5 being the most easy to wear.)  It wasn't about ease that day, since the occasion called for very formal.  I am glad I had proper funeral clothing, but with the very chilly day and windy weather, I have to admit that I was close to frostbite (especially on my feet) by the end of the ceremony.  But again, more than okay by me, we were honoring a man's service to his country on this day, my cold feet are nothing to complain about.

Cool Factor: (N/A of 5 stars--5 being the coolest.) Again, unimportant.  Not a concern of mine that day.  The look is very proper, very put together, and in sedate coloring.

Anecdote of the Day:  I cried at one point, even though I had never met my friend's dad.  The ceremony was so moving.  I felt honored to be there for her and was in awe of how reverent the military is in honoring their deceased veterans.  And the day, though bitterly cold, was incredibly beautiful, and from what my friend said, she knows that her dad would have been so pleased with both the weather and the ceremony.  :-)

Day: Monday, January 12, 2015.

Where: Subbing.

Ease of Wear: (4.5 of 5 stars--5 being the most easy to wear.)  Super comfortable, and the outfit kept me warm.  Let me give a shout out to the J. Crew Factory Harper Double Bow ballet flats.  These shoes fit well on first wearing and have been worn at least fifteen times since I purchased them in early January.  I bought the 9.5, which is my normal size.  They are great for folks who want something pretty but are also flat enough for those of us on our feet all day.

Cool Factor: (4 of 5 stars--5 being the coolest.) Exactly the right look for substitute teaching.

Anecdote of the Day:  Everyone loves that collar necklace from Accessorize that I bought when I went to Ireland two years ago.  I have a pattern for collars from Simplicity, so I bet I could figure out how to make the base from a firm fabric (like canvas) and bedazzle it with beads.  Hmm...

Okay, thanks for stopping by!  Hope my next post is sooner than later, as that means the suit sewing didn't do me in...

Monday, February 16, 2015

OOTD/Review/Made by Me: Knotted and Beaded and Crocheted.

Day: Monday, February 16, 2015.

Where:  Star's Beads in Vienna for a class on crocheted wire beaded jewelry.

Ease of Wear: (4 of 5 stars--5 being the most easy to wear.)  Dang boots had to be worn since it was supposed to snow up to eight inches (with it starting while I was in class), so I had to wear them for traction and safety.  The pants have a boot cut but were not super wide, so the pants got a teeny bit bunched at the top of the cuff of the boots.  Oh, well.  Could have looked worse, just wish I could have figured something else out (I was a bit time crunched, though).

Cool Factor: (3.5 of 5 stars--5 being the coolest.) Meh.  The sweater deserves a cute skirt and ballet flats.  On the plus side, the merino wool/cotton blend kept me warm enough.

Anecdote of the Day:  My friend, A., from high school, invited me to come with her to a class on how to make crocheted wire jewelry.  I am always willing to give something crafty a try, so I said sure.  A. LOVES making jewelry, and is really good at it, so I knew if I screwed up, she could hold my hand a bit.  I can crochet, I didn't even realize it until I was watching a knitting video and they showed the crochet stitch, and I was all, OH THAT'S SO EASY!  LOL.  For the longest time I thought crocheting was harder than knitting.  Anyhow, it was an awesome time, and I loved being able to see my friend and make something really pretty at the same time (photos are at the bottom of this post).

French Knot Sweater.  Size 6.  At least Boden's knitwear is pretty much consistently true to size.  I usually buy a size 6 and all three sweaters I have shown off this weekend (Rainbow Knit here and Tilly here) are this size.

The fit on this one is a touch more fitted, but it is meant to be.  It is not tight-feeling, even with the cami layered underneath, though.  There is a nice amount of recovery in the wool blend that it fits and hugs properly without either stretching out or feeling to constricting.

That said, I do think the fabric is a bit thin, and in the white you can see everything below, so be choosy with your undergarments.  I wore a white cami, but if I had plans to tuck it in, I would wear a nude one.  It also shows bulges from the straps, so I need to invest in a cami with bralette that is also seamless (I am sure that won't be too difficult, chortle).

The length is nice, hits at the high hips.  The sleeves are three-quarters, which on me equals just a bit below the elbow.  They are never the proper length on me.  (Darned monkey arms.)

The French knots are hand tied, from what I can tell, and are a bit delicate, but nothing major.  The consistency of the knots is off, though, see that yellow up there, OFF!  I am just persnickety enough to be slightly bothered by it, but the beta blockers I take (for migraines!) must be helping because I don't care if I can't see it.  ;-)  The rows are very straight, so I will hand it to them on the *level* (slaps knee).

I would say to be careful with the tufted underknot on the wrong side of the fabric, though, and definitely hand wash or hand wash cycle on the machine.

And lay flat to dry, of course!

French Knot Sweater
French Knot Sweater.  The sizes and colors are fully stocked.  Though the 20% off knitwear and outerwear ends tonight, you would be fine to wait if you need to wait for a better deal.

20% Off Outerwear and Knitwear ends at 11:59 pm tonight:
20% Off All Knitwear, Coats, Jackets and Skiwear, Plus Free Shipping When You Spend Over $49

Crocheted Wire Necklace with Pink, Pearl, and Grey Beads.  I am just so excited by this necklace.  It was much easier to do than I thought it was going to be, and am glad I took the time to go to the class today.  I have hopes to make one again in the future.  (But with all my sewing and knitting to do, this will be lower on the totem pole.)

I chose the colors of ivory/grey/pink to match the dress you all saw on Valentine's Day over at Fabric Mart's blog.  My friend, A., had most of these beads in her bead stash (I only bought the smoky grey ones, example of one is front center).

Okay, that's all for now!  Have a great night! 

Sunday, February 15, 2015

OOTD/Review: Mint, Mustard, and Grey. And Another Tilly.

Day: Sunday, February 15, 2015.

Where:  My house. Boring.

Ease of Wear: (4.5 of 5 stars--5 being the most easy to wear.) Again with the Turner pants.  I now own them in four colors.  They are up there with my Pure Collection tie-waist trousers (last photo, also worn with *another* Tilly Sweater**, lol) as the best pants ever.  I *do* own traditional pants, with proper closures, but it has been remarkably easier to just wear these ones instead.  (I will give a shoutout to the pants I have made since they are tailored to fit me properly, but I only have two pairs that I have made, so they don't get a bunch of wear.)

The temperature outside is 17 F.  So I am more than happy to wear the current Tilly Sweater, which was one of the sweaters I promised I would wear at this blog post.  I am very happy to report it feels great, it is keeping me warm, and is a wonderful color to wear on such a cold day (gives me the feel of early spring).

**Can Boden give some other ladies a chance at having clothing named after them?  Sophie, Tilly, Laura, is getting boring.  May I suggest Dina? 

Cool Factor: (4 of 5 stars--5 being the coolest.) The Nike shoes help up the score, but again, a very basic outfit for a very basic kind of a day.

Anecdote of the Day:  Mardi Gras is Tuesday, but Mr. Dina's parents leave tomorrow.  I love making gumbo, and they seem to like my version, so I will be spending the next couple of hours preparing it.

Tilly Sweater.  Size 6.  Though the carnation color seems to be getting the most attention, it is this light aqua/slightly mint color that is sold out/low stock in many sizes.  I guess they ordered more of the carnation and navy, and ordered less of this mint color.

The 6 fits awesome, hitting right at my mid-hip.  The neck doesn't constrict, and while there is little shaping in the garment, the wool is lightweight enough to be drapey and show a bit of the natural curve my body has.

This view really shoes how lovely the knit is, the scalloped design is a bit unusual, and if hand knit, would undoubtedly be over the top expensive and would have taken the craftsperson ages to complete.  Fortunately for us, a machine can do this and we benefit by getting a sweater that looks more expensive than it actually is.

You can see the dropped shoulder line here.  It is not obnoxious the way some styles have been in the past year or so (especially at J. Crew, much to Gigi's discontent), but it is still present, and if you loathe that detail, stay far away.

I think this is the best representation of the color.  The color is amazing in real life, it seems a bit snowy with a blue/green undertone in it, but the lightest of blue and green.

This is not an accurate representation of color, but I wanted to up the shadows for dimension's sake so you could see the beautiful patterning in the knit.  Also, this wool is super soft.  I am not prone to itchiness when it comes to wool, but I read that others felt like this wool was also very soft and not scratchy, so for you sensitive ladies, this may be your winning knit.

Tilly  Sweater
Tilly Sweater.  Navy and carnation are fully stocked.  The mint is selling well.

Okay, have a great day, will be back with one last review tomorrow night (right before the sale ends) of my last wear of the weekend.  (I will be wearing the French Knot sweater!)

Saturday, February 14, 2015

OOTD/Review/Made by Me File: Pretty in Pink Rainbow/Roses.

Hi!  Happy Saturday night.  Yes, I know it is Valentine's Day.  I only ever celebrate it by dressing up in festive outfits.  With the boys of this family having their birthdays in February (well, March for Angus), Valentine's Day is WAY down on our "must do" list.  Mardi Gras gets way more attention than it, too. 

But I still have a big crush on the pretty pinks/reds/ivories of the day, so here are two outfits featuring those gorgeous hues.

Outfit one first, then (as promised in this post) the review of the Rainbow Knit sweater, and third, the outfit that also features a very recent made by me.

Day: Saturday, February 14, 2015.

Where:  Rex's Birthday Party!

Ease of Wear: (4.5 of 5 stars--5 being the most easy to wear.) I really really love these Turner pants from J. Crew.  My husband made fun of them the first time I wore them and said no words today.  Success!  He has grown used to the pale pink elastic cuffed wonders.

The sweater was more than adequate to keep me warm, but I did make sure to layer it with this pretty tulip-printed Liberty shirt from J. Crew from a few years ago.  The Eliza coat was actually plenty cover for this morning, it is only recently that the winds have picked up and the snow has begun (it looks frightening out there, I have never seen snow blow sideways!).

Cool Factor: (3.75 of 5 stars--5 being the coolest.) I don't know, it is an all pink ensemble.  Granted, it is appropriate for the day, and I was at my kid's birthday party, but yeah, I don't know if I can't rate it any higher.

The heeled loafers are a fun neutral, not quite silver/not quite pewter, they helped ground the all pink ensemble.  So that helped.  Plus the coat is getting quite a bit of airtime from Boden over at their facebook page (they celebrate *other* bloggers, lol, example one, and example two). 

Anecdote of the Day:  Wheelchair bound, we weren't sure if Rex's birthday party at the laser tag place could still go on, but yep, they were all ADA compliant, so we were able to wheel him around in the actual games.  I sucked, though, because the loafers have a slippy bottom, and he DESPERATELY wanted me to push him up the steep ramp in the game.  He weighs a lot, as does the wheelchair, and I was slipping.  I don't even know where my brain was when I dressed this morning, hello!  I have actually played laser tag before and have worn tennis shoes, but not today.  He blames me for his poor ranking (8th out of 20?).  His daddy propelled him to a much better ranking (3rd of 20).  We now have the one example of Mr. Dina's white tennis shoes being the better option.  :-D

Rainbow Knit Sweater.  Size 6.  It features a curved hem, contrast hem, and very long sleeves (they are long on me, and I have really long arms).  The fit does get looser as you wear it, I changed out of the button-up upon returning home, and it has stretched out so that the back and front are a bit looser so the sweater is hanging a bit lower.  But is an all cotton knit sweater, so no surprise there.

Back View.  I don't have the usual horizontal lines at my mid-back the way I usually have on almost all of my tops.  That is a small feat, and I am thrilled at this fit.  And it is great the length of the sweater hits at my upper hip, which means I don't have to worry about it being too tight at my tush.

Close-up. I know there are no greens in the sweater, but I really like the tulip print with the stripes.  It just worked, somehow.

I wrote up a written review yesterday of the Rainbow Knit Sweater and I have more photos of the beautiful Eliza coat here.

Eliza Coat
Rainbow Knit Sweater
Eliza Coat and Rainbow Knit Sweater.  Neither is close to selling out, but the Eliza coat can be worn now, whereas unless you will wear the Rainbow Knit sweater *now* and later, you can wait for a better price on that one.

Day: Thursday, February 12, 2015.

Where:  Rex's Valentine's Party at school and his birthday dinner.

Ease of Wear: (4 of 5 stars--5 being the most easy to wear.) It is a made by me dress, Simplicity 2246, which is a Lisette pattern for shirtdresses.  I chose to make the more fitted silhouette (view a), because darn it, I can make adjustments to suit both my smaller upper body and larger lower half, so I don't have to go for the more full-skirted version.  Yes!  So on the fit side, it wears well.  I do wish I had a better time with the hem, and if it could be just an inch longer, I think I would be more comfortable with it.  My main issue with this outfit is because that night the winds came and the temps dropped to 20 F, OMG, and with the wind chill, it felt like 4 F?  I don't know, it was B-A-D.  And yeah, the Eliza, so pretty, and the rose print rayon challis, lovely, but not the right outfit for those temperatures.

Cool Factor: (4 of 5 stars--5 being the coolest.) This look had its fans.  I like it on me, but it may be too twee or feminine for some.

Anecdote of the Day:  Rex is not back at school, and won't be for a couple of weeks, but we were able to arrange for him to come that day so he could see his friends, get his cast signed, exchange Valentine's cards, etc.  I was so grateful for the school for getting the classroom set up so he didn't even have to go down the stairs (the other 2nd grade teacher is on the same level as the ramp so she gave us her classroom for an hour).  It really meant the world to him, he was in such great spirits after leaving the party.

For those of you interested, you can check out more on how I made the dress (there is a lot of information for sewers there) at the Fabric Mart blog.  This was my make for the month of February, and let's just say I was pretty excited to make a festive Valentine's look for my blog post this month. 

Hope all of you have a very happy Valentine's Day!

Friday, February 13, 2015

Boden: 20% Off Outerwear and Knitwear. Till Monday!

Instead of just doing a normal "sale" announcement post, I am going to write up some brief reviews of some of the pieces that fall in this sale category that I have received from my preorders but haven't yet found the time to get around to blogging about. 

It is also so frigid and cold here this weekend that I have an excuse to wear multiple layers of clothing, so I will for sure wear the sweaters and the coats from the selection on sale and get those photos posted tomorrow and Sunday (I have my in-laws in town so they can help with childcare while I get the posts written--yay!!!).

Okay, so the deal is, as per usual, you can receive 20% off any piece of outerwear or knitwear that is part of the regular season items.  This 20% off does not apply to anything in clearance.  Sadly you are unable to stack promo codes, so the 15% off coupon (in my sidebar under the sale coupon) won't work on top of the 20% off.

This sale ends Monday night according to the site, so you have a few days to ponder your choices, and I have three days to enjoy wearing my new knitwear and hopefully keeping nice and toasty whilst doing so...

Reviews (or links to former reviews):

Rainy Day Mac
Rainy Day Mac. (The photo link may be bad, the affiliate has not updated this product since last fall, use this link to get to the current offerings.)  I have worn this a lot since purchasing last fall's version.  Apparently the sizing stays the same, so my review of last year's should hold true for this year's version.  Review here.

Eliza Coat
Eliza Coat.  The coat I own is from last fall, but they carried over the coat to this season, so it never even made it into clearance.  Every. time. I. wear. it. I receive compliments.  I wish it was made from thicker fabrics just for right now since it did absolutely nothing for me last night when I wore it out when the wind chill was 5 F.  BRRRR.  But I knew better, lol.  Review here.

Ingrid Coat
Ingrid Coat.  This coat looks exactly the same as the one I own from Fall 2014, so I am going to guess they just changed the colors.  Review here. 

French Knot Sweater
French Knot Sweater.  I bought this in a size 6.  I chose to get the ivory shade.  It is a beautiful sweater that is properly represented, color-wise, on the computer screen.  It is made from a lightweight cotton/merino wool blend, but is a bit sheer because of that.  I will absolutely have to wear nude underthings (either a cami or bra) when wearing it.  The model in the back shot is apparently wearing a blue tee under it, but it doesn't show through.  I suspect a bit of *le photoshopping*.  ;-)  I don't know if the navy is as sheer, but I imagine probably not.  It fits a bit tighter than my other sweaters from Boden, so I would say size up if you have broader shoulders or a bigger bustline.

Rainbow Knit Sweater
Rainbow Knit Sweater.  I also purchased this in a size 6.  I bought the color the model is wearing at the top of this post.  I love this sweater.  It is very comfortable, with just a bit of ease, but not so much I am swimming it.  Its colors are so lovely together, I really do feel a bit like an understated rainbow in it.  The open knit (it's a cotton) is perfect on its own in the spring and possibly summer (not 'round here, though, too hot and humid), but can be worn with a shirt under in the winter for an extra layer.  The open knit is opaque enough that you can do that without looking foolish. I am so enamored that I am tempted by the other colors, but I need to exhibit restraint.

Tilly  Sweater
Tilly Sweater.  I chose to purchase the freshwater color in a size 6 to replace this sweater of mine that I love but is not my favorite silhouette on me.  Unfortunately it is not an exact color replacement, but it is close enough that I am satisfied (yes, I am selling the J. Crew one).  The Tilly reads as almost a light mint, but with a bit more blue in it.  It fits well in the 6, a bit big through the torso, but I like its length, which may be too short for some of you who have a longer torso.  It also features a dropper shoulder line, so definitely keep that in mind if you are not a fan.  The collar is really nice, and if the retro thing is up your alley, this will make your decision easier.  The wool is less thick than the photo would have you believe, and I think it wears better this way. 

Milano Dress
Milano Dress.  I did a review of this one in the fall.  This is a great dress, I can see why the carried it over to the spring.  :-)  Review here.

Do you all have any favorites from the sale?  Let us know!!!

Too bad we can't buy the Wendy coat.  RIP, Wendy coat.  (Well, I think RIP...maybe she is just in witness protection.)

The sale ends Monday night.
20% Off All Knitwear, Coats, Jackets and Skiwear, Plus Free Shipping When You Spend Over $49