Tuesday, March 31, 2015

OOTD: A Squirrely Birthday.

Before I start this very quick blog post, I want to remind everyone that if you want to enter the NOVICA $50 giveaway, you have just over a day to enter.  There have been some great comments already over at that post, and thank you for opening my eyes to some beautiful items over at NOVICA.  :-)

Day: Wednesday, March 25, 2015.

Where:  Celebrating Angus's 3rd birthday at our favorite Mexican restaurant (and where we have had many birthdays before...here, here, here, and here, just for some quick examples).

Ease of Wear: (3.75 of 5 stars--5 being the most easy to wear.)  Not really the fault of the Hartland Dress, but I was feeling a bit bloated that day.  And I think the babycord fabric shrunk a bit in the wash (not really shrunk, but went back to its original shape after being stretched out from being worn).  By the end of the meal I felt fine, but it was annoying at the start of the meal.

The margarita I had helped too, lol.

Outfit Details:  Hartland Dress is the only one available, here on sale at Boden.

Anecdote of the Day:  Angus usually LOVES the birthday song and anything with candles on it to blow out.  Well, at least until this night.  He hid his face away while the nice folks were serenading him.  He got over it the moment he saw that it was fried ice cream, though.  Fatty sugary foods...mmm.

Okay, you all have a great night!  We'll talk more later!  

Monday, March 30, 2015

Boden: Mid Season Sale Has Started! Up to 40% Off!

Hey, all!

The Boden front has been relatively quiet lately (except for a small smattering of extra new arrivals coming onto their site), so I expected we would be treated to a good sale soon, and here it is, the Mid Season sale.  :-) 

I always love this sale because a lot of items that are adorable and from a couple of months ago, yet still fully stocked and are a decent enough price to justify a purchase.  (But only if you will wear the purchase soon!)

There are even a few new summer arrivals in the sale, too, they must be items that are just not selling well at all for them to be part of the "up to 40% off" portion of the sale.  Of course, the two items I was really looking at purchasing (from my many botched preorders--ugh) are not in the sale.  Whatever.

The "up to 40%" is the key here, only a few items are that full 40% off, with the rest between 15%-35% off.  I also have the current Boden coupon in my sidebar, so while you can't receive an additional 15% off these reduced items, it does bring the non-sale items down by 15%, so if you want to place an order with both sale and non-sale items, that should help your overall costs.

I actually had a lot of reviews of items that are currently in the 30%-40% off portion of the sale here at this blog post.  Some of them were reviews I wrote, but a lot of them are from blog friends, so I want to give a big shoutout to them for their help with that post.

I am in the process of getting the next Boden Weekly Review Roundup written, so if you have a review for us, do leave it either at the Boden Reviews tab or you can email me at dinagideon AT aim DOT com if you would prefer.

Do you have any picks from this sale?  I would love to see what you think is a great buy!

Here is: 1) a link to the sale, and 2) a link for 15% off any items that are not in the sale.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

OOTE/Made by Me File: Spaced Out in McCall's 2401.

Outfit of the Evening:

Day: Saturday, March 21, 2015.

Where:  Auction for my kids' school.  Past years' outfits can be found here and here.

Ease of Wear: (4.5 of 5 stars--5 being the most easy to wear.)  Well, I made the darn dress out of a knit, so it fit me and it was super comfortable.  My only issue was that static cling thing again...the dang poly sticks to everything when there is even the vaguest hint of dry air (shaking fist furiously at the winter sticking around, boo).  So I had to wear a slip with this and it was a bit too long and even after taking up the straps on it with my sewing machine, the slip still managed to show its lacy hem.  Not exactly the look I was going for, if you kwim.  So I ended up tucking in part of the slip in my tights (about seven inches total at the slip's waist, leaving the skirt to hang loose below the tucked in bit), and crazily enough that worked.  Huh.  I didn't even feel it untuck once.  Of course I drank enough that by 9:45 it could have untucked and fully shown its pretty lace, and I definitely wouldn't have noticed, but based on everyone else there, I am sure I wasn't the only one too sloshed to care.

Outfit Details:  None of these are available, but if you are a seamstress you can find the fabric here at Spoonflower (called Sparkle Star Field).

Anecdote of the Day:  My hubby decided he wanted me to go on my own to the "Space Odyssey" themed auction.  I spent $125 on two things--two cosmopolitans (there was an open bar, but I am always a sucker for the "themed" drinks), and a night of babysitting with three gifts cards for a date with Mr. Dina.  So though by myself, I exhibited restraint in the auction venue.  (Some of those people throw the money DOWN, though.  Dang--what it would be like to say, "hey, I want a $3000 Capitals Jersey or a $1000 wine package.")  Anyhow.  What I needed him there for, though, was a reminder to eat.  Yeah, at my age you think I would know better.  No.  I ended up drinking four strong beverages and had a half a plate of food.  DUMB.  DUMB.

So one of the parents comes up to me at the auction and says, "I knew I knew you, but I just figured out how."  Turns out that we were in the same program at Mason together in college, he was just two years older than me.  Woah.  That is a crazy good face memory on his part.  Anyhow he now lives a few blocks from me and one of his kids is in Rex's class.  Tiny a$$ little world here, you all.

McCall's 2401.  This is a very basic sheath dress pattern that has loads of neckline and sleeve options, and based on the fact that there are three pages of reviews for it over at Pattern Review, this is a beloved pattern, too.  It has probably been around since 1996 if we are going on cover art alone.

I know that Burda 7137 has been made by me twice as a basic sheath dress, but that pattern has far fewer options for necklines and sleeves, and to be honest I don't want to keep making the same thing over and over, even though it is really tempting.

Anyhow, this pattern is not specifically for knits, but I saw some of the reviewers had made it up in knits similar to this performance knit, and I figured as long as I did what they did, I should be successful.

Definitely glad I left off the zipper, didn't need it at all, and glad that I decided to stay with my same size as I would have in the wovens (10 at shoulders and waist, graded out to a 12 and 14 at my high and low hip/hem).  Though the knit has a good amount of stretch, the print is on a white base, so if the fabric was too stretch too much, the white would come through and make the black background far less black, ruining the effect I was hoping to get.

The next time I make this in a knit, though, I will likely size down to the size below since I could tell that a lot of the drag lines/wrinkles came from the dress being a bit too large in certain parts.  It would have been fine in a structured woven fabric, but a drapey, stretchy knit, not as awesome looking.  Plus pressing this fabric was a bit of a difficulty, it kind of reminds me of ITY, in that it is awesome for packing, but really hard to iron.

So--lesson here--the form of the black galaxy print was more important to me than the function with the proper fit with no drag lines.  That doesn't mean I won't bitch about it below, though.  Ha.

This shot shows the full potential of this dress, but I am most definitely standing at my best posture, and the light from the direct sunlight isn't hitting the dress showing off all the wrinkles and drag lines.

I know I should be less hard on the dress, since (hello!) it was worn to a party in a dark space, and honestly, besides the few issues, looks really nice on me, but I am a notorious perfectionist about these things.  >:-(

There is one issue that I absolutely need to correct, and it has noting to do with excess ease from using a knit instead of a woven, and that is my square shoulder.  I often will do a square shoulder adjustment on my woven makes, but not on my knits since the knit fabric stretches to accommodate my straight across shoulder (most patterns make their shoulders sloping), but it didn't work this time, I can see the frown lines radiating from my armpit (especially the right shoulder, that's the one that is "up" more than the left).  I suspect those come from not making the square shoulder adjustment.  I always adjust for my hips, I should just get over it and always adjust for my shoulders.  :-)

Side view.  Haha, I needed to pull that belly in, eh?  I didn't hem the sleeves or the skirt.  The fabric is deliciously fray resistant/proof.  However, I will bring the sleeve hem up.  Unlike most patterns, this sleeve runs long...most of the reviewers with the long sleeves have the hem right at the wrist.  I have long arms and while technically I could get away with it hitting at my wrist, I know if I hem it up, that will take away some of the lower sleeve wrinkles/drag lines.

Back View. Hey! No drag lines or wrinkles at my butt!  It fits nice and proper there and at my upper neckline.  Woo.  (How's that for positivity?)

The waistline clearly shows that I need to make a swayback adjustment OR make a smaller pattern size at the waist.  The ease at the waist is around 7 inches, I believe, and with a 28" waist, which is three inches bigger than what is normally expected from a size 10 to wear, it should have a waist measurement of 32".  That extra few inches of ease is probably too much in a fabric like this and the sway back only makes it worse.  And it is also very possible that I need to reduce the length on the bodice since I have a short back measurement (it is 15.5 inches, and the size 10 calls for a 16" back measurement).

But the skirt fits at the hips!  WOO!

I finished the neckline with a foldover elastic, quartering it and stretching it to fit the neckline while I sewed it on with a zig-zag stitch.

The fabric was in honor of the "Space Odyssey" theme for the school auction I went to that night (I made it in one afternoon, yay, thankyouverymuchserger!), and if you like it you can find it here at Spoonflower

The dress was a hit.  Galaxy print dresses and leggings were everywhere a few years ago, but are out of favor right now (don't care!).  I had hoped to find more galaxy print fabric for sale, but really only Spoonflower had the best versions, so I just jumped right in and purchased two yards.  I loved the fabric and really do love the way the dress ended up looking (despite my fitting gripes). 

In addition to making the dress, I sewed up this pillow (it is a 28 x 28 form) for the auction.  It took a lot of work, especially appliqueing the stars on the fabric, but it was worth it.  I actually found quilting the stars very peaceful, but boy was I glad when it was done.  Don't ask me how much it went for, all I know is I couldn't have afforded it.  LOL.

You all have a great night!!!  Talk with you soon!

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

OOTD/Review/Giveaway: Dancing Brown Leaves with Novica.

Although it is rare for me to host giveaways here at this blog, especially ones that I have not directly paid for, I will, from time to time, happily host giveaways when I am approached by a company that fits into the aesthetic/purpose of this blog. 

About a month ago a representative from Novica emailed me and asked if I would be interested in working with them on a giveaway/review of one of their products here at the blog, and after looking around their site and seeing their mission and their offerings, I knew this was a good fit for my readers and me, so I happily agreed to do both. 

The outfit of the day portion is first, followed by the review of the Dancing Brown Leaves Alpaca Sweater, with the giveaway information as the final part of the post.

Day: Saturday, March 14, 2015.

Where: Baby shower and a visit to a local firehouse with my daughter's girl scout troop.

Ease of Wear: (4.5 of 5 stars--5 being the most easy to wear.)  It was a warm-ish day, so besides a very lightweight rain jacket (not pictured), I was perfectly comfortable in the outfit.

You all know about my love of the Turner pants, so I am sure it surprises none of you to see this pair on me, but I was surprised by how well the pale pink went with the grey/brown shades of the Dancing Leaves sweater.  The sweater itself was not overly warm, or particularly itchy (though remember I am less sensitive to wool in general).  A review of this sweater at the site describes it as a warm hug and I would definitely agree with that sentiment.  It did feel like a warm hug.  :-) 

Outfit Details:  Dancing Brown Leaves Sweater (here at Novica), Turner Pants (here at J. Crew).

Anecdote of the Day:  The firehouse we toured is three blocks from where I grew up, so it was a really cool finally getting to see it from the inside.  There was some spectacularly specific kind of vehicles in there, including a hazardous materials van.  This firehouse was one of the first to respond to the 9/11 attacks at the Pentagon (I grew up two miles away), so it doesn't surprise me they have them, I just was blown away by how advanced and specialized it all felt.  The girls just loved seeing the sirens and receiving pink fireman's hats, though, lol.

Dancing Brown Leaves Sweater These sweaters, beautifully crafted by a Peruvian duo Corina and Jesus, come in alpha sizes only, so I chose the small because I suspected (rightly) that they would not be oversized the way J. Crew's are.  For reference I am typically a size 6 in Boden knitwear and a XS/4 in J. Crew.

I received a $50 gift card from Novica, and though I was tempted to just purchase something at the $50 mark, I kept going back to the Alpaca section of the site, and especially the offerings by Corina and Jesus.  After about a half-hour of deliberation, I decided this was the sweater for me, and put in my $50 gift card info and then place the remainder (around $40) on the credit card. 

I couldn't be happier with my decision.  From a purely materialistic perspective, the sweater is made very well in a unique knitted design in a gorgeously soft alpaca wool.  The neckline is stunning and because of its showstopping design, I didn't feel the need to wear any additional jewelry beyond the rings and bracelets I wear daily.

And, yes, a big part of me was stoked that this amazing sweater only cost $90, whereas I know it would be significantly more expensive elsewhere, and that actually gets me to why this route of purchasing is also pretty awesome, it benefits both the consumers of the products BUT ESPECIALLY the artisans who created the products.  Novica partnered with the National Geographic Society on this and their mission is something that I am glad I get to spread the word about.

Their mission is pretty simple:

They connect: 
Artisans to a global marketplace of socially conscious customers.

They empower: 
Artisans to build a sustainable business from their craft.

They preserve: 
Ancient artistic traditions for future generations to enjoy.

I know some of you know this about me, but maybe you don't, so it bears mentioning.  I was an anthropology major in college and I was very invested in learning as much as I could about the cultures, traditions, and ways of life around the world.  I feel so strongly about supporting anything that promotes the continuation and preservation of all the human groupings around the world, that although really excited I would be able to add a beautiful piece of clothing to my wardrobe, what really got me to say yes to this giveaway was their mission.  

I do know that I expected to receive the package from a warehouse in the United States, but nope, it came direct from Peru, all wrapped up beautifully, with a little card about Corina and Jesus, and a sweet little doll.  I had read that the packages would be gift-wrapped, but hadn't read about the direct to consumer shipments, but upon seeing that, the pin dropped and I understood how the artisans were able to better support themselves from a system like this...rather than a bunch of middle men between the consumers and the artisans, there are now far few barriers, and more of the money stays in the hands of the creative people behind the products.  :-) 

100% alpaca sweater Dancing Brown Leaves (Peru)
Dancing Brown Leaves Sweater.  This sweater was already at a pretty low stock when I purchased it back in February.  That said, there is a L and and XL still available.  Some other beautiful options like the Dancing Brown Leaves sweater, also from Corina and Jesus, are the Dancing Blue Leaves Sweater (here), the Leaf Shadow sweater (here), and the Hypnotic Honeycomb Sweater (here).

Closeup of the beautiful knitting on the sweater.


Novica has offered to give a $50 gift card to one of my readers so they can enjoy a product made by one of their artisans from around the world.  I am partial to the artisans from the Andes, but there are artisans from Bali and Java, Brazil, and India, just to name a few.

In order to enter, I need for you to leave a comment below this post with your email address and one product that you see over at the Novica site that you just love.

The giveaway ends next Wednesday, April 1, 2015, at EDT 11:59 PM.

This giveaway is only open to US residents.

UPDATE: This morning (3/26/15) I received a couple of coupons from the NOVICA affiliates.  They are good until 3/31/15 and 3/30/15. :-)

$10 off at NOVICA! Enter HAPPYSPRING at checkout. Valid through 3-31-15 11:59 PM PT.

10% off select African jewelry and decor at NOVICA! Valid 3-30-15 through 4-5-15 11:59 PM PT.

728x90 Shop Alpaca Apparel Collection

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

OOTDs: More Grey. More Casual.

It seems I could sum up Winter 2014/2015 with the words grey and casual.  Not that was my intention, it is just what happened.  I suspect I found I liked the way grey worked with my new red shade of hair, and so I just kept wearing it.  (Surprisingly, light pink seemed to work with the red hair, too.

Anyhow, now that spring is here, I figured it's about time to wrap up the season of grey and casual with one last post of outfits featuring grey and casual.

I also am turning over a new leaf in other ways, too. 

I have decided to get rid of the "cool" rating on my evaluations of outfits.  I think I started that to be a little tongue in cheek about the whole process of dressing up for others, but the joke got a little lost in translation, so I am moving on and nixing that part of my posts. 

I also have decided to join the year 2010 and join Instagram.  I already see I have fifteen followers, have no idea how that even happened, but okay then, lol.  If you want to join me there I have decided it won't be me showing off my outfits, but instead the outfits laid out in some way or another, with a direction to an IRL photo of me wearing it over here at the blog.  I think the pretty people wearing pretty clothing thing is definitely overdone at Instagram, and I cannot compete there at all, so I will let the objects do the work instead.  (I know the objects thing is overdone there, too, but at least I don't do the objects thing here so it is somewhat novel.  Somewhat.

I will follow people on Instagram, no problem.  But please, if you are going to follow me with the hopes that I follow you and then you unfollow me the next day, you know that's weird, right?  So don't do it.  I am too old for that crap.  ;-)

Onto the outfits!

Day: Saturday, March 7, 2015.

Where: Sewing Class.

Ease of Wear: (4 of 5 stars--5 being the most easy to wear.)  The top was more than comfortable, but I forgot it was a pullover and struggled a bit getting it on...then my daft brain went to the buttons on the front (under the bow) and said, "yeah, probably should undo those next time."  Turner pants--brilliant.  SO COMFORTABLE.

Outfit Details:  Eliza Coat (here at Boden), Turner Pants (here at J. Crew).

Anecdote of the Day:  I went out to G Street to go to a sewing class.  It seems that for the past three months anytime I went to G Street Fabrics, it snowed.  Sigh.  I was starting to get a complex.  If it snows when I go in July, we'll know something is up.

Day: Monday, March 9, 2015.

Where:  At home working on this sewing project (while attempting to home school Rex at the same time).

Ease of Wear: (4.5 of 5 stars--5 being the most easy to wear.)  I am wearing clothes that can be worn outside but are basically pajamas.  Very cozy and great for all the stooping and contortionist poses I need to get into to properly cut and sew up the garments on which I work.

Outfit Details:  None of these are available.

Anecdote of the Day:  Though I am glad I was able to home school Rex rather than him receiving an incomplete for the time he was physically not able to be in school, I found it very challenging teaching him.  It is far easier for me to teach him a classroom environment that at the table/couch.  I tip my hats to all of you successful SAHM/homeschool teachers.  Just because I am a fully certified teacher does not mean it worked well for this situation. 

Day: Wednesday, March 18, 2015.

Where:  Mom's group, a walk with Angus to the mall/Harris Teeter, and the school run.

Ease of Wear: (4 of 5 stars--5 being the most easy to wear.)  I thought the Reese pants (these are an 8 Tall, which is basically the same size I take in the Turner pants) would be a home run, but they aren't as comfortable as the Turner pant.  They are longer, which is great, but the crotch depth and length isn't the same, and I find my shape suits the Turner more.  I will keep these as they are still awesome, but they are not as super wonderful, blah blah blah.

Amazingly, the Hotchpotch trainers were perfect for the long walk to the mall and the grocery store and then back to the school.  Really glad I chose these.  My mom's group friend really liked them, but she was also in a pair of neon yellow nikes, so she may be a bit biased to color.

Outfit Details:  Tilly Sweater (here at Boden, review here); Reese Pants (here at J. Crew); Hotchpotch Trainers (here at Boden, review here).

Anecdote of the Day:  I love my mom's group, it is wonderful to meet people in the same situation as I am, and because it is through the church, we know we have our beliefs in common, as well.  Plus all the boys are very active and a bit nuts, so all of the moms are real chill about their behavior, which doesn't always happen.  (My favorite being the moms of darling, sweet-tempered little girls who literally have never had the experience of the energy and moxie of the little guys--lol--they always are left struggling to decide whether or not to keep their little girl around that.  And to be honest, if I only had the experience of CW, I might be the same way. But on the flip side, I have friends who had only girls and two may be innocent as all get out, but one of them ends up having more energy and spirit than they boys.)

Hey!  It's the outfit from Instagram.  Shame the photo from the camera was so "off," color-wise (no amount of color correction seemed to help).  Sigh.
Day: Friday, March 20, 2015.

Where:  Substitute Teaching.

Ease of Wear: (4.5 of 5 stars--5 being the most easy to wear.)  This is very sedate for me to wear, but I really just wanted an outfit of neutrals with the emphasis being on the pretty lacy texture of the peplum top and the lovely necklace.  All in all, a great, easy to wear outfit.  The Loft pants fit me especially well, too, need to see if I can replicate those in one of the fabrics I have in my fabric storage.

Outfit Details:  None of the pieces are available.

Anecdote of the Day:  I love subbing the "extras."  You know the "fun" classes like PE, Computer, Art, etc.  That day I was able to be with the little wee ones (including CW) for computer.  The way those kids get transfixed, it is a site to behold.  They literally can't stop moving two seconds before they sit down at the computer, but once the educational site loads, they become as still as a rock. 

Day: Monday, March 23, 2015.

Where:  Little Gym, Harris Teeter, School Run.

Ease of Wear: (4 of 5 stars--5 being the most easy to wear.)  It was cold enough to wear a coat, but I didn't photograph it.  Besides the fact that I am pissy that it is late March and I am still wearing a flipping winter coat, this was a perfectly fine outfit for a SAHM day.  I hadn't worn the sweater in a while, and though it is a cotton yarn, it has enough heft to keep me warm. 

Outfit Details:  None of these are available.

Anecdote of the Day:  I receive a text message from Mr. Dina last night wondering where some of the groceries were.  Whoops.  I left the non-perishables in the trunk.  I think he survived, but seemed a bit distressed at the lack of things to feed the children while I was away (I also went to a women's group last night after he got home from work).

Okay, that's it for now.  I have a really great giveaway from a new company to me (and probably you, as well) tomorrow.  Hope you all have a great evening!

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Made by Me File: Emerald Isle Knit on St. Patrick's Day. McCall's 6796.

Outfit of the Day portion first followed by the Made by Me Info.

I somehow, and by accident, managed to line up the side seam's pattern exactly right.  I call the "luck of the Irish" on that one.  :-)

Day: Tuesday, March 17, 2015.

Where:  Bowling!  And whatever else happens today.  :-)

Ease of Wear: (4.75 of 5 stars--5 being the most easy to wear.)  Like wearing a pretty sweater tunic pajamas.  It fits, it is super soft, it is paired with leggings, and I am wearing ballet flats.  The only thing that bugs me, and only the tiniest bit, is that I have a bit of excessive ease through the shoulders, but that is certainly better than too little ease.

Cool Factor: (4 of 5 stars--5 being the coolest.)  It's St. Patrick's Day.  I am a good Catholic girl in an area with plenty of Irish-Americans.  It's about as cool as it is possible to be for the day.  5 out of 5 for today, 3 out of 5 for the rest of the year.  So combined and then halved, you have a 4 out of 5.

(And yes, I will be wearing this on other days, not giving a rat's behind if tunics aren't really cool.)

Anecdote of the Day:  Two weeks ago I managed to bowl a game that was 50 points above my average.  Because of this I received a patch with the words "Star of the Week" on it at today's bowling.  Yes!  They see my progress.  Now, true, my bowling score that was 50 above is other people's AVERAGE scores, but I call victory.  LOL.

McCall's 6796. This is a pattern for a top/sweater, not a tunic, but I have seen so many other people be successful in converting top patterns into dress/tunic patterns that I decided with my two yards of Emerald Isle Knit from Fabric Mart (purchased last year at $2 a yard--I still have two yards to go!) I would give this pattern a go in a tunic shape.  Initially I hoped for a dress, but I really wanted long sleeves and the full collar with buttons, so something had to give, so I decided on a shorter length, with full sleeves and collar instead.  I know I could have cut an additional yard or half yard from my extra, but I have plans for that for other projects.

The collar on mine, btw, is cut the opposite way it was supposed to be, but I had to in order to properly fit it on the fabric.  Because this knit has both cross grain stretch and vertical stretch, it was fine.

All the pattern reviews for this pattern talk about how easy this pattern is to make up, and I was like, "sure, if you say so."  Well, yeah, they are right, it cuts easily, it has no darts, and if you use a serger, can be a very quick sew.  The only place I didn't serge was the neckline when attaching the collar and the hems of the sleeves and the bottom.  (On those I used my lightning bolt stitch.  Apparently that one stitch is a bit controversial--???--but I love it for all of my knitted hems and necklines--nice and stretchy.)

Sizing wise, I went with a ten through the shoulders, sleeves, waist and then graded to a 12 at high hip and down to a 14 at low hip/hem.  It was the right call.  The only reason there is even the smallest amount of wrinkling there at my back is because I have some extra ease at the waist (I think the 10 has a measurement of 33" and I am closer to 29"). 

I have one small problem with this pattern and it is the instruction to set in the sleeves.  Why are there any patterns that call for setting in sleeves on a knit pattern?  There are SO many of them!  It is baffling.  Sure, a structured blazer or formal top, but a casual sweater?  Hmm...anyhow, I ignored McCall's and set them in flat.

The fabric is a medium-weight sweater knit and if I recall correctly is a kind of poly knit with some lycra.  Will definitely keep me warm, but have zero plans to wear this in any temps above 75 F.  The fabric was super easy to sew on the serger, it only took the briefest amount of fiddling before I found the proper tensions on the dials.

I had these buttons in my stash.  How Celtic do those look?  Perfect!  I had an additional one, so I could have gone for the third button the way the pattern instructs, but I prefer to places buttons on my dress form, and this combo, in this position, looked best. 

Hope all of you are having a lovely day.  Wear your green and celebrate Ireland!  :-)

Monday, March 16, 2015

Boden: 20% Off Selected Items, Including Some New Summer Arrivals.

Hey, all.  So I didn't know it this morning, or I would have posted in my first post of the day, but Boden is offering 20% off selected items, including quite a few from the new summer arrivals.  (Not the ones I want, but still.  Ha.)

Anyhow, for some of you this may be the extra % off that you wanted to go and enjoy some of the current line offerings.  The 15% coupon in my sidebar and the bottom of this post do not work in conjunction with the 20% off (drat!), but if you want to sneak in another item that isn't on promo, it will work for those.  I don't know when this promo expires, but when I find out I will update the post.  I will also attempt to get a list of current 20% off items in a special sale review post so you can see what I think about certain items that I own (or have sent back, depending).

I have no idea about some of these new summer arrivals, though, BECAUSE Boden, once again, has severely screwed up my preview order.  Like in the past, Boden has put holds on monies in my account (this time on a credit card with a very low credit line, thank goodness, and not a bank account's overdraft) which made my card company balk and say "no way, Jose."  I swear, I don't get it.  And based on a few emails I have received from blog friends, I am in no way alone in what's going on.  There are quite a few people out there that this is happening to, as well.  Unless I put my preview orders on my husband's card (with a higher limit), I consistently see issues with Boden.  I tell you, nearly every time I receive a phone call saying the credit card company won't authorize my purchase because the double holds (so weird, basically items are charged twice while in the pending status because they are shipped from two separate facilities) push me over my (self-imposed) low credit limit.  Sigh.

So I have declared a breakup with the Boden preview.  From here on out, it is pretty items to look at in my "Preview Picks Post," which are some of my favorites to write, but no ordering in preview.  EVER AGAIN.

I went ahead and canceled quite a few of the orders, and was done, and washed my hands of the process.

THEN--I get a call and an email saying that I didn't pay for an item that had already shipped out from their warehouse.  First--why ship an item if I didn't pay, and second, with three seconds of sleuthing work at my credit card statement online, I did pay and it wasn't even in pending status, nope, "fully paid" status.  Dumb.  So of course I called them out on it, but said, "fine, I'll pay by paypal if I have to," as I don't want the headache of Boden collectors, but added, "if I find out that I have paid double for a couple of items that you say I didn't pay for, but I did, and TWICE, I will be sure to think about my future transactions with your company."  The items did arrive, and since the email have heard nothing from them about it, but to be safe, I have kept the items wrapped up (they are for my daughter), and am more than willing to send them back if need be.

Okay, rant over.  But obviously I am not alone, and while I still love their products and their style, I am getting very tired of things that I was having issues with years ago still being unresolved.  Ultimately they decide how they run things, but some of their customers do not have unlimited bank accounts and/or credit limits that allow for double charges just because Boden can properly process the orders the way. every. other. dang. company. out there can.  ;-)

(I also want to point out this was one of my smallest Boden preview orders ever, and had budgeted for the smaller amount.  Sigh.)

So from now on, it is ordering in regular season only.  I'll live without the extra 5% off and free returns to save myself the hassle of all of that above.

Anyone else have any stories to share?

Have a great day, and happy (REGULAR SEASON SALE) shopping.  Hahaha. 

OOTDs: Colorful Casual.

Been a bit behind in the ootd posting, so in an attempt to catch up will keep the copy brief and focus more on the photos.  If an item is still available, I will make mention of it, but in general, all of these items are older and definitely gone.  :-)

Outfit worn on March 3, 2015.  I went out that evening to G Street Fabrics with a friend after having some dinner with her.  I remember we were talking about the snowstorm that was set to come and wallop us a few days later (and it did, in epic form).

I wish my hair always looked like this.   Since I am not a stylist, I will just celebrate when the right combo happens.

None of the above is available, I have owned most of these for years, but the shoes can still be found at J. Crew Factory if you catch them on popback.  DO not pay $108 for them, though.  I got mine for under $40.

Worn on February 1, 2015.   This was a Sunday, but based on the outfit, I wasn't off to church (must have gone the night before). 

None of these are available, ancient clothing one and all (and clearly I love these corduroy pants).  There is a newer color of those Nikes available, in a grey, so much more of a neutral than my yellow pair.  :-)

Worn February 2, 2015.  This is a Monday.  Rex was still injured, so I was home with him.  I did something that day, if it is just me at home and no place to go, I don't bother with necklaces. 

(I just went to FB and found what I did that day--I met with the school and discovered that I would be homeschooling Rex for the foreseeable future.  No wonder I don't remember, I am trying to block the memory of that from my brain.  I mean I love Rex, and I love teaching, but together at home?  It's been a trial.)

The shoes are the same ones from the first outfit in this post.

The rest of the outfit is old, but I will point out that these are Lou's favorite pants from Boden, and when she saw them on me recently (in a photo on facebook), she asked if those were here favorite Boden trousers.  I happily declared that, "yes, indeed, they are."

Worn on February 4, 2015.  Again, no clue what I was doing that day.  Still home with Rex.  Going somewhere as I have on the shiny puffer down jacket, which is available at J. Crew still, btw. 

Worn on February 24, 2015.  It was a Tuesday and although I would normally be at bowling, that week I wasn't.  However, I did work on Rex's blazer that day, which I needed to finish by the 28th, so it is very possible I nixed bowling in favor of getting it done. 

The Turner pants are definitely still available in the solid shades, though these weirdly printed versions are gone.  (I bought them after finding I loved the Turner pant silhouette and these were only $25 or so.)

I wore this on January 3, 2015.  It was a Saturday.  I have on a necklace, so going somewhere.  LOL.  I love this cardigan from Anthropologie, it is called Jacquard Sweater Blazer, and like most items that I love from Anthropologie, is from the brand Moth.  It is not around, but the fact that it still has a page at Anthro means there are pobacks every once in a while.

Those jeans, btw, are so old, I have had them since 2003, and I will one day clone them into a pattern so I can so up additional pairs for me to wear, they are that comfortable.

Okay, that's all for now, I hope everyone is having a wonderful Monday!