Self Discovery – Uniforms

I am technically done with P333, Round 2.  I gave up a couple weeks early and don’t feel too bad because I did complete at least one full round.  This second round, and more importantly – post second round has been very valuable.

After staring hard into my closet one morning before work, trying to figure out what to wear – I grabbed “ol’ reliable”, my teal and purple flannel and built my outfit off of that.  Bootcut jeans, a v-neck short sleeve T-shirt, and my boots.  This moment had quite an impact on me:

I am a uniform dresser!  I keep running into problems when I try to change that.  Getting outside of my core uniform creates closet orphans.  Maybe change is good for some people, but for me – what I have works (I think) and every time I try to change, the cycle starts again (purchase new stuff, purge old, miss old stuff, purge new stuff, replace old purged stuff).

I have worn uniforms every since my first job.  It sort of stinks, I mean – most uniforms aren’t in my flattering cuts or colors, but I do like how it takes all the thinking out of the morning.  Throw on uniform and go; easy, peasy!

After repurchasing some T-shirts (because I got rid of some, when I thought that “buying multiples in different colors” was horrible advise for someone who wanted a smaller, more stylish wardrobe), I realized that uniforms are me and that is what I am comfortable with right now.

I kid myself when I think I want pretty, fancy clothes.  I take off my nicest stuff as soon as I walk in the door, because we can’t have nice things with our stinky, fur factories.  I prefer comfort and ease of care over most things.  I have a special place in my heart for dual purpose or functional clothing.

My uniforms:

  • Skinny jeans + looser top (usually tunic style, sleeve lengths vary depending on season) + ballet flats/kitten heels/boots
  • Boot cut jeans (by the way, apparently those went out of style the last few years, but I didn’t know that – just realized it when I heard they were back in style, lol) + fitted T-shirt/tank (sleeve lengths vary with seasons) + (optional) pullover/button-up + ballet flats/kitten heels/boots
  • Loose pants (i.e.cargo pants) + fitted shirt/tank + (optional) pullover/button-up + ballet flats/tennis shoes/sandals
  • Dress + (optional) pullover/button-up + flats/sandals/heels
  • Casual skirt + top + (optional) button-up + flats/sandals/heels

So, there you have it!  I have very solid preferences:  I prefer a balanced silhouette (loose + fitted), err towards casual, and enjoy layering. I like v-necks, scoop necks, boat necks and square necks – can’t stand crew necks!  I think these cuts work on my body, they fit my lifestyle, and combine in ways that make all pieces functional.  Oh, and I practically live in cotton and cotton blends.

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Hi, My name is Avettestingray and I have a problem…

When I last spoke, I mentioned failing the RTW fast.  Well, it has gotten worse, and I have just returned from a binge at the Eddie Bauer Outlet.  Things just haven’t been working out as planned and I will break down my thought processes here:

“I will only buy underwear and ‘gear'”.  

“Undershirts are underwear, right?  I mean, in the summer, they might be the only shirt I wear, but for all intents and purposes, I am buying these American made camisoles (https://www.shopsecondbase.com/midi/meredith-midi/) as underwear.  Plus, they are American!”

“I should get a couple of wicking tops, for travel…and gym.  Multipurpose and it is gear, right?”  Picked up a couple Kirkland Signature Racerback Yoga shirts (love by the way).

“I need a new bikini.  I have been working hard on my figure and I want to show it off with something a little more “oh la la” this year.”  Purchased string bikini.  “Well, I need a matching sarong that can double as a dress or something.”  Picked up matching sarong.

“Ooh, I need a good, quick drying wireless bra, that isn’t a sports bra.  I’ll just check online.”  Ordered two bras – like them, but they are far more “fancy” than “everyday”, so I kept them but hunted down a better option.

At Kohl’s, looking for good wireless bras and walked right into the Nike Dri-fit top I have been longing for.  It has been sold out online so I gave up all hope.  There it was, in my color, in my size, and on clearance.  “It was meant to be,.”  Scooped up Nike Shirt and a mesh pullover – super comfy.  “It is work out gear – so I am still doing ok, right?”  Finally made it to the bras, grabbed two that looked like they would fit the bill.  Feel in love with said bras and returned to Kohl’s the next day and bought two more.

While at Kohl’s for the second time in a week, “Oh my gosh, an olive green Henley!  I looooved mine until my washer ate it – here is a perfect replacement!”

Last weekend, I spilled olive oil on one of my favorite T-shirts.  Online searches have revealed that Eddie Bauer only carries colors this season that look horrid on me.  Seriously, love these T-shirts – they hold up really well and have a great fit.  Decided to go to Eddie Bauer Outlet today to replace my T-shirt.  It was friend’s and family sale.  “Well, they aren’t regularly carrying flattering colors right now, so I might as well grab any that I see.”  Picked up teal (replacement), brown, and white T-shirt, plus a white and oatmeal striped boatneck T-shirt, an olive chiffon-ish floral button-up shirt, and a very light weight white, blue, and light brown plaid button-up.

FAIL.

In defense – I am practicing the “one in one out” rule, and removed a bathing suit, pair of pajamas, two cardigans, a few t-shirts, a blouse, and six bras.

I also realized something very important about myself, which I will discuss in the next post.

Failed the RTW Fast

I just purchased a pair of pants.

http://athleta.gap.com/browse/product.do?vid=1&pid=405092022

I have the green ones; my husband bought them for me for Valentine’s Day.  I practically live in them and really wanted (I told myself I needed) another pair.  I used the excuse that they would be great for traveling – pack the two pairs, a skirt, and a pair of jeans and I will be ready for anything.  It isn’t untrue, but I didn’t really need them.  I also called them “gear”, since they are hiking pants.  Plus, I wear them to work a lot – but let’s just call it like it is:  they are pants.  To make up for it, I am following the “one in one out rule” and donating three bottoms (a penalty pair and plus I still have to make up for the green pair).  

Sigh.  I hang my head in shame.  

I also got swimwear.  And I think I have been stretching the underwear exemption.  I have purchased A LOT of bras, “undershirts” (which I totally plan on wearing alone during the summer), and I got a pair of shoes.  Summer shopping – for that three weeks of nice weather we get.

I haven’t gotten any sewing done – school sucks up all of my free time.  I will finish this current class tomorrow and then I start my capstone thesis course in a week – which will suck up another four months of my life.

Welp, better get back on track.  At least my failing wasn’t an impulse buy, right?  I mean, I wear the crap out of the green pants – pushing twice a week at work!  (Oh, I also gave up on the second run of P333 – another failing).  However, now that it is over, I keep reaching for the same tops – I must really like them!  I go for them, because otherwise, I just stand there staring at my full (again) closet trying to figure out what to wear.  I really do prefer the “less is more” route!

Budget Issues

While planning a budget, I mentioned that I would like to include fabric, notions, patterns, etc. towards my clothing budget.  That was extremely ambitious, lol.  I think, until I am confident enough in my sewing abilities, that fabric and notions shouldn’t be counted toward my budget – as I will be out of money, and out of fabric, and unable to practice.  That seems pretty self-defeating, so I am just going to ignore the costs of my hobby for now.  Especially when I make something unwearable and have to buy more fabric to try to make something I will actually wear.  Stay posted, as I am pretreating some more Aloha fabric, as I really love it – and want to be able to wear a shirt that fits right!

The Aloha Sorbetto – The top I love to hate!

Since winter seems to be dragging on and on this year, I decided I needed a project to bring a little bit of sun into the home.  Enter the cute grey, tan, green, and orange hibiscus printed cotton I found at the fabric store yesterday.  I have been wanting to take the plunge and make the Colette Sorbetto top as well, since half of the internet has made it.  I just wish I took the time to read some pattern reviews before I cut into my aloha fabric!

This shirt was a PITA, for me, as a beginner.  I have been avoiding all patterns with zippers, since the zipper fiasco of 2014.  I have also been avoiding patterns with bias tape – as it intimidates me for reasons I can’t articulate.  I decided to just take the plunge and do a pattern with bias tape because, how else would I learn?

Learn, I did.  I put the bias tape on the collar backwards (?) and had to unpick all the stitches.  Basically, I started the top yesterday afternoon, got to the point of ripping out the bias tape, and realized I needed to just pick it back up the next day.  So I got up bright and early and put the bias tape on the collar again.  I had some issues with the sewing machine becoming mis-threaded during the night (gnomes?) and didn’t realize it until after the giant bird’s nest – in which I had to figure out how to remove the throat plate (all before coffee).  It did give me a chance to clean the inside out and hammer in the fact that I need to cover it up when I am not using it!

Anyways, back to the bias tape – after many ups and downs, and ripping more stitches out – I finally got it on the collar and arm holes.  The shirt, after hemming, is a little shorter than I am comfortable with (which, has been mentioned in a gazillion pattern reviews), which is a shame.  I was planning on wearing this short to work on the next “Aloha Friday”.  I think I can still wear it as long as I wear an undershirt, but I sort of like the feeling of cotton against my skin now.  I converted this past Friday when I wore the paisley shirt at work; it was so comfortable!

So, I will call this a wearable muslin.  I have been working on trying to add a couple of inches to the pattern, which I already had traced out on swedish tracing paper.  It is also a little tight in the bust, which is weird, because I thought Colette Patterns were drafted for a C cup.  Besides the fitting issues – this is my favorite garment so far.  I love the print, the colors, the contrast bias tape, and the design!

Hmm, after seeing the picture of me wearing it, the arms appear a little tight as well.  Maybe I should think about enlarging them?  Man, I wish I knew more about fit.

Image

Image

My Color Story

My Color Story

I am pretty inept at describing colors, so the following colors are just the names that I call them in my mind. 🙂
I want to really focus on building my wardrobe around this particular set of colors – it is 16 blocks, but it is technically different shades of a handful of colors.

First Row: Neutrals (ivory, khaki/camel, brown, and dark brown)
Second Row: Aquamarine, Teal, Dark Green, Green (avocado?)
Third Row: Peach, Melon, Salmon, Pumpkin Orange
Fourth Row: Rust Orange, Purple, Eggplant, Denim (jeans)

Pajama Shorts Reduex

Pajama Shorts Reduex

The pair on the left was my first attempt for pajama/lounge shorts (for myself – I somehow made hubby a successful pair of boxers). Notice the upside down birds, the terrible length (went with a pattern). I made the other pair this morning, all before noon. I used a self drafted pattern explained in the book One Yard Wonders (Christmas present from my mother in law). These fit WAY better! Plus the birds are the right way! Hubby pointed out that my print doesn’t match at the seam, but I told him that I am not there yet – maybe someday! He said they look much better – than his boxers and my last pair of shorts. I am just happy to see improvement!