Tuesday, April 28, 2015

OOTDs: Three Times a Turner Sub!

Day: Friday, April 24, 2015.

Where:  Subbing Art.

Ease of Wear: (4 of 5 stars--5 being the most easy to wear.)  Although I had crafted this top to fit me exactly (it was my last entry in the Fabric Mart Fashion Challenge last year), I have gained about three pounds since then, so it was a touch tight through the waistband, but holla, linen is always stretches out by the end of the day, so by noon, I felt fine.  :-)  The pants are awesomely comfortable, which is why I keep praising them to the hills.  I don't think I am the only person who loves the Turner Pant this much, but I *may* just be the most vocal.

Outfit Details:  Top, made using Simplicity 1590; Pants, available still from J. Crew; Shoes, J. Crew.

Anecdote of the Day:  The reason for wearing the top should be obvious, but in case it's not, I wore my hand-painted top so I could use it as a vehicle for discussing the process of creating art.  It actually ended up helping one kid who was stressed out about something not being perfect at the beginning of his hippo art (yep, that's my signed version above, lol).  I told him my top was nowhere near perfect when I started and honestly was far from perfect still, but overall it was a good piece of art.  I think it worked.  He seemed satisfied by his art from there forward.  :-)

Instagram Shot.

Day: Wednesday, April 22, 2015.

Where:  Subbing 4th Grade.

Ease of Wear: (4.5 of 5 stars--5 being the most easy to wear.)  I basically felt like I was wearing pajamas the whole day.  The navy version of the Turner pants (haha, yes, I wore them twice in a week with a wash in between) is a touch tighter than the other colors, but still stupidly comfortable.  The merino wool metallic striped sweater appears that it would be scratchy because of the metallic threads, but the inside is nice and soft.  Very lovely.  I also found the size extra small that I bought to fit well on my frame, but keep in mind I have a very short torso for my height.  For some of you this may be too short.  Hogl is a brand out of Germany, and I had purchased these shoes way back in 2004, when we went there on a spring break.  They are doing well considering their age.  I love this brand and wish they were easier to find in the States.

Outfit Details:  Sweater, a few left at J. Crew; Necklace, J. Crew; Pants, available at J. Crew; Shoes, Hogl.

Anecdote of the Day:  I was supposed to be in the office but at the last minute switched to fourth grade.  I didn't know what the day was going to hold, but apparently there was a big "station" day at the school focused on STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) with an emphasis on CSI kind of work, so I loved it, since as an archaeologist we had to use many of the same techniques that CSI does in its work.  I looked a the clock one minute and it was 1:15, and then LITERALLY five seconds later I looked at it and it was 3:00.  That was easily the best day I have had teaching, ever.  It was fun.

Instagram Shot.

Day: Friday, April 17, 2015.

Where:  Subbing Computer.

Ease of Wear: (4.5 of 5 stars--5 being the most easy to wear.)  I could repeat what I wrote in the above entry.  Gracious.  I am probably boring you now.  But these Turner pants are the black version.  Woo.  Right?  Exciting stuff here, I tell ya.

Outfit Details:  Top, Target; Necklace, Target; Pants, available at J. Crew; Shoes, J. Crew Factory.

Anecdote of the Day:  Rex was out of school for a month when he broke his leg and was wheelchair bound.  Apparently he was missed.  The note above tells what one student felt made them lucky, and one of their "I am lucky" statements was that Rex was back.  I nearly started crying, so sweet.  :-)

Okay, that's it.  Want to point out that I am wearing no Boden in these outfits.  Yes, it is possible.  Haha.

You all have a great night. 

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Boden: Autumn/Fall 2015 Preview is Live!

London Cashmere Sweater!

Hey, all!  Happy Saturday.  I was subbing all day yesterday and was unable to get to my computer till late last night.  There was an email from them letting me know that the Boden Preview was live and ready to purchase from, all with 20% off.

Before I get to the preview, let me take one moment and tell you all about the 20% off tops promo going on over at Boden right now.  This came right on the heels of Boden's dress promo from last week, which I spoke about in this post.  Anyhow, it is "up to 20% off," with the more popular items only garnering a 15% off amount, but because Boden is Boden, there are also quite a few tops that are more than that amount off, including a few for "up to 50% off."  ;-)

Alright, so the preview.  A week ago, some blog friends and I were talking through email and we realized we had all received an email from Boden telling us that things are changing with Boden and the way they process all preorders.  From now on, all preorders will be AUTHORIZED at the time of order, and that hold will be there until your order ships, which usually means a couple of months away.  Umm, no.  I mean, you do you, Boden, but wow, that is like the ultimate, "hey, if you have a low credit line, don't even bother buying from us, because we can only cater to those whose credit lines are ginormous and don't have to worry about putting daily needs items on their cards in the meantime."  I mean, it is possible that I read this wrong, but if I order $300 in preorder, that $300 is tied up until the items ship, but because I have seen Boden operate before with their credit processing, I also know that the initial hold amount could stay on longer, too.  So if my credit line is $1000, that means 30% of my line is tied up for months waiting.  And even though this may be beyond Boden's comprehension, some of us SAVE up to make sure we can pay the amount when we are told it will ship.  At least that was how I did it in the past.  Now I have to save up in the past to save up some random amount so I can buy when the preview order actually is ordered?  Huh.  Okay.  BTW, if your credit line is $50,000, that $300 preview order is a tiny amount of your line squandered away, under 1% of your line. 

Anyhow, I feel it is absolutely necessary that you all know what is going on with the orders so that if you decide to order you are ready for the new system.  I can't order anymore in preview, unless it is with gift cards or credit on my account.  Like a weirdo, I keep my credit line super low, as I hate the idea of carrying a huge credit debt on my record.  I think it is bad enough already, and I am not going to let a huge number sit there in the meantime.  But--if you can handle it and it works for your finances--then just know what is going on! 

Okay, onto the pretty of the Fall 2015 preview.  It is pretty, and there are a few lovely items.  That said, I need for the whole preview to be on view as I think it seems incomplete or lackluster.  I will do a preview "picks" post but fortunately I have nearly a month to do as the 20% off code expires on May 24, 2015.  The code, btw, is 7D4N.

Right now, I only see a few items I would definitely be interested in buying, which for me is a big deal.  Normally I fill that basket up and swoon over everything, so for me to only like a few items is sort of noteworthy.  I am glad they had this Harriet Shift Dress (above) and the London Cashmere Sweater (the top photo in the post) as I was getting concerned I had happened onto a Loft or Ann Taylor preview.  No meanness to Loft or Ann Taylor, I have some great basics from them, but it is a bit "zzzzz" overall.  I go to Boden looking for the unusual, the quirky preppy, the great tailored items in very beautiful, bright, sweet colors.

Do you have any picks?  Would love to read your thoughts since I think maybe I just have skipped right past a lot of the pretty this morning.

You all have a good day and enjoy the preview!

Thursday, April 23, 2015

OOTD/Made by Me File: Rosalyn's Easter. New Look 6262 and New Look 6335.

Day: Sunday, April 5, 2015.

Where:  Easter services and Easter lunch/supper.

Ease of Wear: (4.25 of 5 stars--5 being the most easy to wear.)  I had constructed the dress myself with my sizing in mind, so I was very comfortable.  The only thing that bugged a bit was the underarm portion, which makes me fear that I have even more of a square shoulder adjustment to do the next time I sew up this pattern.  (I don't have a lot of fluff up top, but my shoulders go up at the end instead of sloping down, and since the patterns are all drafted for a much more sloped shoulder than I have, I always have to do a "square shoulder adjustment."  I thought I had done enough of one here, but I must need another 1/8 to 1/4 inch to be truly comfortable.)

Outfit Details:  Dress, made from New Look 6262; Shoes, Target; Tilly Cardigan, J. Crew (available here); Necklace, J. Crew.

Anecdote of the Day:  So in Mississippi and apparently this part of Indiana, people say supper instead of lunch.  Or is it dinner at lunch and supper is what I call dinner?  I don't know, lol.  Here in Northern Virginia, and maybe the rest of the state, supper is dinner, if we say supper at all.  I find it all so fascinating. 

I say yard sale instead of garage sale and every big road (interstates, freeways, etc.) are highways.  Other states round here do the same, but you go further west/north and the differences in terms are more pronounced.  Speaking of pronounced, if you really want to have some fun, ask a Virginian to pronounce either Fauquier county or Norfolk.  Trust me.

Do you have any local idioms that are a dead giveaway you are from somewhere? 

New Look 6262.  Without fail, I knew that I would likely be making the size 10 at the top bit (hey my absent flat-chested self), but because of the smaller waist measurement on the tissue, I decided it would be smart if I made the rest of the dress below the bust in a size 12.  It worked out great, and though I could have maybe squeezed into the 10 at the waist (the hips would have been fine, obviously), the 12 gave me a lovely amount of ease.

I specifically chose the fabrics because I really wanted to make the Rosalyn Dress from Boden since the debacle with my preview orders about two months back.  I didn't ever intend for this to be my Easter dress, but I was so fired up about the way Boden handled processing the credit that I CANCELED my order and got in my head that I could make something just as great as what I canceled.  The top bit is made from a cotton lace broderie fabric I bought from Fabric Mart last year, and the bottom is a home decor print from Waverly (Blossom Boutique Twill Aurora) I knew would look nice with the lace. 

I love how many options New Look 6262 gave me in terms of necklines, sleeves, etc.  I chose the cap sleeve with the scoopneck option, and made sure to follow the instructions for the lace version at least in the bodice.  It asked me to underline versus line my bodice, and so that is what I did.  It did feel a bit odd to underline (I used a stretchy cotton poplin fabric for that) and then use a facing, but the result was great, so I am not questioning it.  I clearly did not need to underline the skirt, but I did end up adding pockets, which I grabbed from Butterick 5211 (they were absolutely perfect as is).

Back view.  I didn't have any long white invisible zips at the house, but because they are invisible, except for the top pull, I just used a baby blue that matched the skirt perfectly.  It is fine!

The Rosalyn dress doesn't have a back zip and since I prefer back to side zips, AND I prefer this floral to the one they have on theirs, I am claiming sewing success on this dress.  I love it way more than the Rosalyn.  Rare for me to say this, but Dina 1--Boden 0.

Rosalyn Dress.  Still a very pretty dress, just not for me.  I think had all of the credit processing been more normal (or at least more timely in dropping the extra charges placed on my account), I would have gone with this one and not even been tempted to sew my own.  Ultimately I was glad I did since I also had enough fabric left over for my daughter's Easter dress, too.  If you do like this dress, it is on sale right now, for 20% off.

For CW's matching dress (which Boden has no version of for their mini line) I used New Look 6335 for sleeves and skirt, while rest is Simplicity 1211.  Since she is a wee girl with few curves, she is super easy to fit (and that makes this super easy to sew, too), but I did decide to make the skirt from one long rectangle rather than three rectangles (one for the front piece and two for the back pieces with a zip in the middle).  This means that her skirt has no side seams but does have a back seam that meets up with the middle back seam of the bodice.  I could have used a zip that went all the way down into her skirt, but again, girl with no curves, so I just added a small 7 inch zip at the top of the bodice and called it a day.  If she does get big enough that I need to add a longer zip, I have the infrastructure in place to do so.  I don't see any big difference between her skirt fullness and the one on the New Look 6335 package.  Hers is plenty full enough but uses far less fabric.  I tell you those girls dresses require SO much skirt fabric.  Ridiculous.  This is like the tenth time I have chosen not to use the full amount because I refuse to waste fabric if the end result will only look marginally different.

I do want to mention two things--

1. Gathering has always been a bit of a bear for me.  This time I did the proper three rows of gathering on the longest stitch length and then pulled them up to the length needed to match the bodice pieces.  In order to make sure the gathers didn't get folded down and smooshed by the presser foot, I made the *bold,* lol, decision to decrease my foot pressure on my machine.  Why in the world I hadn't done that before is beyond me, but wow, what a difference.  I still had to take it nice and slow and maneuver the gathered bits properly so they wouldn't get misshapen by the machine and the foot, but the gathers lie nice and prettily rather than skewing to one side as they want to do if I leave the presser foot pressure at the higher amount.  (They skew towards the opposite side that the presser foot is approaching from, so if the presser foot comes from the left on the wrong side, the gathers all skew to the right on the front, probably barely noticeable, but it drives me batty.)

2. I have laundered these dresses on delicate, in a cold wash, and hung them to dry.  They came out great, even though the skirt fabric recommends dry cleaning.  Just a bit of a "go on and do it" for those of you wondering if you should.  ;-)

I wrote up a pattern review on my dress here at Pattern Review.  It has a bit more of the technical dealings for those of you that care.

I will write up the pattern review for CW's dress soon.  When I do that I will update this blog post.

Okay, you all have a great night!!!  

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Boden: "Up to" 20% Off Dresses!

Clara Dress is 15% Off...

Hey, all.  Eep.  This promo ends tomorrow.  I had thought it was going to run longer.  My apologies for the late notice.  I *did* know about it on Monday, but between work and kid rearing and other stuff, I just couldn't get the post done.  I also was HOPING to have another coupon for you all so that if you wanted to purchase a dress and something else from the range (like shorts or a cardi, etc), that you would be able to with a discount of some sort.  But nada from the affiliate program.  All they have now is the "Boden" banners that get you there to their site but give you no discount.  Ugh.  I hate putting those banners up because I honestly don't want people clicking over to the site and giving me a small commission unless they get something too.  So while I will install a placeholder over there in the sidebar until they start giving me coupons back (it's been nearly two weeks, btw, don't even know what's going on), only click on it if you have a code or something.  PLEASE DO NOT BUY BODEN FULL PRICED.

(Sorry, Boden, you know we expect discounts after years of receiving the percentages off.)

Anyhow, till tomorrow night all dresses, in all "xx chromosome" ranges, are on sale "up to 20% off."  Hmm.  Well, I guess that means the dresses no one is buying are 20% off, while the rest may be 10% or 15% off.  That said, many of the older dresses in the range have stayed at the higher percentage off from last week's tax sale, anywhere from 30-50% off.

As per usual, I have some reviews of dresses, as do my blog friends, here at these BWRRs (Boden Weekly Review Roundups). 

Kiera Dress
Kiera Dress.  I have not had a chance to review this properly, but I have received this one.  I plan to wear it to my son's First Holy Communion.  I chose to purchase a size 8 L and based on the fact that it fits properly through all my bits, I chose wisely.  I would say it runs small, especially through the bodice (though the bodice seems a touch longer than the typical Boden bodice, I may have to take the straps up a touch).  I also have another contender for the WHY BODEN WHY race as they once again made the skirt lining a touch smaller than the skirt itself.  So stupid.  Anyhow, this time it isn't as terrible as it has been in the past, but it may require a seam ripper and a newly sewn side seam or two to ensure it doesn't catch at my low hip.  The colors are stunning (I chose the yellow bird floral one) and the fabric is quite nice.  It is very well made and will last a long time.  Great springtime formal dress for all those occasions.  ;-)

Casual Jersey Dress
Casual Jersey Dress.  Size 6 L.  I have these from last year, so I knew it would fit, and it did, exactly as last year's.  I am glad I didn't size up to the 8 L like I did in the peach one, I think the yellow stripey pattern would have looked very frumpy in that bigger size.  I think I will have to take it up by two inches, but that is a super easy alteration that should take me no longer than five minutes on my machine.  (I could wear it below my knee like I did on the navy version, but I think it will look nicer and more casual a touch shorter.  The 6 R would likely fall above my knee and be too short.  I am so difficult to please, lol.)  The color of the yellow stripes is very pretty, a saturated shade that veers more towards orange than green.  Maybe TANG but not that bright?  Egg Yolk?  TANG and Egg Yolk mixed?  Yum.

Anyhow, I hope to have good news for you regarding the coupons through the affiliate program soon.  I really hope this doesn't mean a "Boden will no longer be issuing coupons through their affiliate program."  My husband does a lot of freelance writing and notices when the companies he collaborates with stop talking with him as much it may mean the end of their contract.  He is often right, though not always, thank goodness.  I wouldn't say I am getting bad vibes from this, it likely is Boden's marketing team trying things out as a compare and contrast, but you never know.  Sigh.

Till my next post, enjoy (sale) shopping!

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Boden Weekly Review Roundup: Such a Long Time! Back with a Seatown and a Sale.

Hi, all! 

It has been a long time, both for updating the blog and having a review roundup. 

I returned from our Illinois/Indiana trip (I instagrammed a ton of it, btw) on Sunday and since my return I have been subbing and sewing.  I finished up both and while you can't see the fruits of my subbing labor, you can definitely view my sewing labor here at this Fabric Mart blog post.

Boden is having a "tax season" sale right now.  It is all that is going on, as far as I can tell.  All of my coupons have expired, and even though I emailed the affiliate program on Thursday asking them when the coupons would be back, I haven't heard back from them (sigh).  I did see the "tax season" promo, and was at least able to get that sale link up as well as announce it over at the facebook page, but I know a lot of you want the coupons, and the moment they come back to the affiliate program, I will absolutely let you know and put them up in the sidebar!  The sale right now is on select items, there are a lot of them in the sale, so if you have your eyes on something from earlier this season (with a few from the first summer rollout), you will likely see it in the sale.  Currently the items in the sale are for 20% off, so a fairly decent discount, especially if you think you would wear the items sooner than later.  The sale ends tomorrow night (Sunday, 4/19), btw.

Seatown Shirt Dress.  Size 6 Long.  I went with my normal "fit and flare" size in this dress and it was perfect, maybe even a bit too big (it stretches out from the cotton/linen blend), but I am keeping it because I think I am more than happy with the way it feels and looks, and doubt going down a size will make it better.  And hey, what is better than a looser fitting summer dress when the temps are in the 90s with saturating humidity?

Love the pockets, obviously, but the openings are a bit small, so it isn't super easy to get your hands in them.

The sleeves are not proper set-in sleeves, rather they are cut-on sleeves, which adds to its retro look.  You can see an example of a dress from the 50s with cut-on sleeves here and it looks really close to this dress, so bravo on keeping it true to era, Boden!

The smallest bit of this dress is the waist, so size for that.  I have between a 28-29 inch waist, and the 6 was more than fine.  Like I said above, I could have gotten away with the 4, but that waist tie does allow me to cinch it in more if I so desire.

The length is awesome in the long, skimming right below my knee.  I wore this to church tonight and it was appropriate for that occasion, but I in no way felt frumpy or stuffy, either.

I typically get pooling at the back of my shirts and dresses, but here there is none, which means that there is ample room in the skirt for my bottom AND the bodice itself is short enough for my shorter torso.  So keep this in mind if you have a longer torso, it may run too short from waist up for you.

I look slightly pregnant here.  I am not with child, lol.  Just a reminder that with this poofier skirt to stand in a way that doesn't just your hipbones slightly forward lending itself to the "with child" appearance.  I suspect if I had more up top I would look less pregnant, but since that WILL NEVER be in my cards (outside of surgery), I need to properly stand up.  ;-)

This print is so beautiful.  Really very unique and special.  Love the red buttons, too.

Seatown Shirt Dress
Seatown Shirt Dress.  This color and the navy/white dots version are selling very well.  Only one of the colors is in the 20% off sale, the orange/green palms version.

Tilly  Sweater
Tilly Sweater.  I wore mine again in the last month (and again in Chicago, those pictures will come later, but you can see it on Instagram if you desire).  I am so glad I purchased this one!  This one is on sale, but most of the small sizes are sold out.

Verity Dress
Verity Dress.  Lou wore this recently to work.  What a pretty dress for her!  :-)

Leather Sandals
Colourblock Breton
Leather Sandals and Colourblock Breton.  Lou gave these two Johnnie b. items a go and reviewed them for us.  

Soho Ankle Boot
Honor Top
Embellished Floral Top
Perfect Party Top
Soho Boots, Honor Top, Embellished Floral Top, and Perfect Party Top.  Avril went for some of the Johnnie b., too, in her recent try-on of some gorgeous sale items.  Check them all out here at this post.

Casual Dip Back Sweater
Sundowner Dress
Pretty Pleat Skirt
The Shirt
Pall Mall Dress
Printed Jersey Shirt
Casual Dip Back Sweater, Sundowner Dress, Pretty Pleat Skirt, The Shirt, Pall Mall Dress, and Printed Jersey Shirt.  A Pear to Remember went through her Boden spring choices, giving us a great review for each one of the above.

Wideleg Jean
Florence Skirt
Wideleg Jeans and Florence Skirt.  Audrey Bella took some time to review these two for us here. 

Seatown Shirt Dress
Broderie Jersey Dress
Rosalyn Dress
Seatown Shirt Dress, Broderie Jersey Dress, and Rosalyn Dress.  Audrey Bella also gave these a try on and shared her thoughts about them here. 

BTW, I finished up my "dupes" of the Rosalyn Dress for my daughter and me.  We wore them on Easter.  I did a review of the sewing pattern here, and eventually (sooner than later, I hope), I will make sure to do the OOTD/Made by Me post here at the blog.

Alice Mid Heel
Eliza Tunic Dress
Alice High Heel and Eliza Tunic Dress.  These seem to be quite popular at Boden, and after seeing them on Lizzy, I can see whyShe also wore them with the Eliza Tunic Dress here. 

Ava Dress
Holland Park Dress
Ava Dress and Holland Park Dress.  We have a new blog friend joining us today, Amy from Shopping and Sewing, which you know means she and I may just be twins.  LOL.  Anyhow, she gave us a look see at these two pretty dresses here at this blog post.

Lara Coat
Lara Coat.  Amy from Shopping and Sewing gives us a look at this pretty coat, too!

Okay, that's all for now!  I am glad to be back and really glad to share all these great reviews with you!  Thank you to all my blog friends for their reviews.  :-)

Spring Tax Sale! Enjoy 20% off select styles at Boden USA!