Sunday, November 25, 2012

Categories of Colors

I do use the seasonal colors, but they are a starting point, not a finish line.  And I don't care for the newfangled breakdowns - I think we should do our own.

Best Colors:  These are the colors, when you wear them, people tell you how amazing you look.  Time after time, these get you positive attention, from everyone from little kids to the lady in the back of the church.

Okay but not great colors:  These colors work for you, but not all that well.  I have strong coloring, so although peach and aqua are "my colors", coral and turquoise are much better.  Quiet, every day, doesn't clash.  Maybe a little too strong, maybe a little too weak, but - you wouldn't throw it out of the closet.

Colors that actively make you look ill:  Everyone has that color, if you wear it, you will hear, "you look tired".  You might feel the best you ever have.  People will try to send you home for a nap.

Colors that wear you:  These are colors that, on paper, should look good on you - but they don't.  One of the reasons I like the seasonal colors is that the other types of color analysis forever want to put me in colors that wear me - like cobalt blue.  It's not that these colors look *bad* on you, it's that people see the color before they see the you.  These colors are also known as "that shirt looks great if I wear the right shade of lipstick".

Too bright/too muted colors:  They are semi-okay, but somehow they make you look a bit hectic (if you wear muted colors) or a bit muddy (if you wear clear colors).  Autumns, even redheads, don't generally look good in orange sherbert.  You'd think they would, but they don't.  I don't look good in teal.  I can wear most other colors of blue-green, but teal is just ever-so-slightly off.  (And not Chinese blue, which wears me). 

The universe being limited, one wants to get as many as possible of one's clothes from the "great colors" bin, then get the secondary colors from the "okay" bin, eliminate the ones that make you look ill, and limit the rest severely.  People are forever wanting to wear black and/or white - but those tend to wear the people, not the other way around. 

There was a decade (we know it as the 90s) where they packed up all the color and took it away.  Not great times for Springs.  I wore a lot of charcoal, a lot of teal, a lot of oatmeal.  All of those colors are marginal colors on me... but it was as close as I could come with what was offered.   Let's be real - not everyone is going to sew, and even so, you're going to be able to get your hands on what you can get your hands on.  I did what I could, and I accessorized brightly.  But it was good to know where I was aiming!

Hope this helps a bit.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Seasonal Colors

I've spent some time this evening expanding the seasonal color boards on my pinterest site.  They're not complete (of course!) but you should certainly be able to determine the mood or "feel" of the seasons.  (See the sidebar to your right for links).

Talking to folks, I find that not everyone has the emotional relationship to color that I have, so this may or may not be helpful - but use it for what you can.

Autumn:  Earth.  You want to think nature, nature, nature.  Muted, textured, woodsy, the colors of the harvest.  Feel:  NATURAL.  Tea dying?  Yes.  Dyes made from pounded beet root?  Probably.  Leather and fur and wood?  Yes, yes, yes.

Summer:  Watercolor season.   Cold, muted - sometimes vibrant, but more often misted.  Very classic.  Navy and wine and just a bit off white. 

Spring:  Floral.  Clear, warm - delicate colors, often very specific colors.  Spring colors must have life.

Winter:  Extreme.  Intense.  The darkest darks, the brightest jewels, the whitest of white - and nothing at all in between.  Snow White... lips of blood on skin as white as snow, with hair as dark as a raven's wing...

Hope this helps - and hope, more to the point, that the expanded pinterest palettes are useful.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Lounging Tank

I have been looking all over tarnation for a pattern for a shirt that looks decent with or without a bra.  Yes, of course I want to look put-together on a daily basis - I also want to look decent first thing in the morning or late in the evening. 

I've had this camisole pattern for ages - it's from Folkwear - but I've done some pretty substantial changes (eliminated the waist gather, eliminated the buttons, moved the pintucks).   Since I wanted a shirt, not a cami, I went a step further and lengthened the hem substantially, front and back.

I had a lot of fun with embellishments.  Yes, I'm girly and I'm proud.  And I have a fancy schmancy sewing machine!

I started this shirt around noon and was done - including the pretties - by 4pm.    I'll be making a dress-length version in the very near future to fill a wardrobe hole - something to wear around the house after a bath.

The fabric was from the remnants pile at my favorite fabric store.  It's a quilting ish cotton, but seems a bit softer than traditional quilting cotton.  I don't much care for the beading lace, it's a little stiff and ravelly. 

Details first:

Pintucks!  Embroidery!  Ribbons!  Lace!  Yes, you *have* entered the girly zone.  :)

And now on moi.

It's cute, yes?  And very comfy.  :)

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Tap Pants

I'm not sure that tap pants are a wardrobe staple, but they're something I've been meaning to make.  As a piece of lingerie, they function to keep your modesty when you're dancing or active in a skirt.  They also make good lounging lingerie - if your lifestyle allows for such things.

The loveliness inherent in these pants is mostly in the embellishments.  Lace insets are a must!

I self-drafted this pair... it took me one afternoon to draft the pattern and one afternoon to make the pants.

They'd also help minimize pantylines - or eliminate them if you chose to wear these instead of panties.  (Personally I think this pair works better "in addition to" - but a different cut might change that).

Little lovely things to make your step a little bouncier.  :)

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

The Other Senses

Most of the focus of a fashion and sewing blog is visual. 
But sight is not the only sense by which we are perceived, particularly by our husbands. 
Today I'd like to consider the other senses:  Touch, Smell, Taste, and Sound.

Touch:  The texture of your clothing, your skin and your hair is of primary importance in the overall loveliness of your presentation.  Even if you can't magically lose 50lb overnight, you can still wear a silk nightgown to bed - or a cashmere sweater to the mall.  When you are soft to the touch, you are more desirable to touch, which makes you lovelier. 

Not only does texture please your husband's hands, it can put a private smile on your face.  Who doesn't feel more lovely when she's wearing a silk slip or really soft stockings?  Am I the only woman who strokes fuzzy sweaters or jackets when I come across them in the mall?  Why not let yourself enjoy actually wearing the fuzzy for once?

Perhaps your tastes run harder... regardless, recognize that the texture of your clothing (and hair/skin) does convey a message.

Smell:  Have you put on a bit of perfume lately?  The rule of thumb is that you shouldn't smell at all to anyone who isn't in hugging range, and that seems wise to me, especially in this age of allergies.  But to those who get close, isn't a little scent nice?   Part of the way we decide who we do (and do not) like is the scent of their skin, however subconscious that evaluation is.  Adding perfume - or bath oil, body powder, scented shampoo - to one's natural scent (or to camoflague it) is yet another part of the package. 

One does wish to use scent that works with one's natural fragrance - and yes, fragrances change according to body chemistry.  You also don't want to wear clashing fragrances.  No baby powder over Chanel No. 5, if you please. 

Scent, more than any other of the senses, is tied closely to memory - and to the subconscious.  Be very careful what image you evoke with the scents that you choose.  Perhaps you want more than one!

Taste:  Only your husband will ever get close enough to taste you! But there's a bit of fun to be had in bubblegum flavored lipgloss - and one should understand what the other aspects of one's presentation might bring to the flavor party.  (Scent in particular - some perfumes taste absolutely ghastly).  Chew a bit of mint gum or nibble on some fennel in the garden - allow yourself to fully inhabit the body you wear.  Allow that sensation to come forward in your smile and your laugh.

Sound:  How mellifulous is your voice?  Yes, you can make it more soothing and more pleasant.  Also, have you considered how your clothing sounds when it moves?  A soft noise makes for a very feminine presence.  Read an old book and learn about the sursurration of taffeta petticoats, or contemplate why is it that we consider ankle bells ever so slightly naughty?

Allow yourself - at least in private - to be fully present, unforgettable.  Call attention to your smallest move.  Certainly this impacts one's self-awareness, and that affects presentation.

A woman is not merely what you can see........

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Four Little Dresses, All in a Row

Remember last week, when I said that one of the things that quilting cotton *is* good for, is children's clothing?

I needed a palate cleanser, after working for a month so slowly and carefully on my jacket.  Fussing and bussing and muddling through.  So this week I tried to add some cuter options to my 8yo's closet.  Now, if only she'll choose to wear them!

Hanging next to one another, presumably you can tell that theyr'e all made from one pattern.  Hopefully that's not quite so obvious when she wears them to school.  I used different trim and different trimming methods on each dress.  Lots of bows and butterflies.  She was so happy last week when I was cutting this out - "are those for me?"  (Because I wear a lot of butterflies, lol). 

I hope she wears them and enjoys them.... she is pretty solidly behind the leggings and tunic brigade, and I get so tired of seeing the sloppy.

Even little girls should be lovely............