11 Aug 2010

Restylin' For A New Job

Yes, I totally failed at sewing this weekend. I decided that perhaps it might be a little more prudent to make clothes requiring fit with my tutor Mother this coming weekend as she'd already said she was free and would come help me. As I have a limited stash of fabric suitable for these projects and currently no funds to buy any more, it seemed wiser to wait until I was sure I'd get something usable from the effort rather than a bunch of wadders and no more fabric. I didn't mention this before now because ... well, because I was a little ashamed at how rubbish I've been over the sewing ;)

Instead, I thought I'd tell you about my new job. Or rather the clothes I'm wearing for my new job. I started with the NHS on Monday and decided on Sunday evening that I would start as I meant to go on, i.e. I would dress and wear the make-up that I've always wanted to wear to work, regardless of what everyone else around me is wearing, from day one so everyone expected it to continue, rather than doing my usual of wearing whatever and no make-up and hoping for the best whilst being frustrated and feeling like I couldn't suddenly start dressing up because it went against the style I'd already 'declared' to everyone (and my goodness that's a rather long run on sentence, I do apologise!).

To that end I painted my nails red, pulled out the red lippy, stuck a compact in my handbag for touch ups and pulled out the heels.

You may remember my cursed Interview Outfit that got me no jobs. Having already scored the job, this is what I wore on Day One but with blue T-Bar heels and my 'natural coloured' (read: too tan for my skin colour) seamed stockings. Lipstick in place, hair down and natural, I trotted off to work and as I got out of my car in the car park I promptly ripped my stockings with my handbag. Fortunately, no one noticed a thing all day so I kept them on. I also had a 3/4 length sleeved blue cardi over the top and I have to say, partially done up it made me look like I had a waist, I was totally loving the effect!

Day Two: A grey corduroy skirt with attached plaid cotton petticoat, grey shirt and grey boots. Throw in a cream short sleeved cardi and a brown elasticated belt and I was good to go. Unfortunately, whilst I ran out the door thinking I looked okay I ultimately decided I looked like something out of the 80's and hated the skirt with the boots. Big Mistake. Ballet pumps would have worked better ... had I actually owned any. Note to self: see if eBay have any ballet pumps for sale.

Day Three: Grey high waisted trousers and a blue and white pin stripe shirt, all from La Redoute (as was Day Two). Red braces (suspenders to all you Yanks, but to us Brits that's what holds up our stockings) from eBay, blue T-Bar heels and a short sleeved blue cardi, again from eBay. This was much more me and kinda came off 70's (the trousers are quite flared and wide legged ... just in case that isn't completely obvious from the photo). I felt comfortable and relaxed, didn't care if anyone thought anything of my clothes because I was happy. Much better day than yesterday, but then I wasn't sat in a meeting with 50 people around a big table today which may have helped.

It's been hard wearing the red lippy. It's bright, it's unmissable and it gives a very definite statement about the type of woman I am/ want to be (i.e. one that cares about her appearance). I've spent a lot of years not really caring about my appearance in terms of work due to the nature of the job, the work ethic involved (not to mention the stress, the to-ing and fro-ing between offices, departments and buildings and don't even get me started on night shoots out on location in a disused railway shed) and my very strong desire to blend in.

This new style (or this attempt at a new style) is me very much not blending in and I'm still a little uncomfortable with that. I'm not sure why but I'm more uncomfortable about the lipstick than I am about the clothes (well, apart from yesterday's outfit). I don't feel comfortable reapplying in front of people and I don't feel comfortable checking in my compact after eating/ drinking but I also then spend the time worrying I've got lipstick all over my chin or half rubbed off. A big part of me wants to stop with the lipstick to make myself feel better and that could be okay. Except I like red lipstick and I think what I'm more uncomfortable about is the shade of lipstick I've been using. Ideally I'd like to use a shade like Marianne but my skin tone is completely different, my lips are a lot smaller and I don't look anything like as fresh faced half way into my day (or even half an hour into my day!) so I'm not too sure how to proceed. I'm not even sure that if I find the shade I'll still be comfortable because it's still very eye catching. The shade of red I feel more comfortable wearing is a darker berry red, but I think this is predominantly because my natural lip shade is quite dark and when the lipstick fades it's almost unnoticeable. I've been blotting the brighter shades mostly off but even then I still feel over exposed. Any advice please girlies?

Thanks for stopping by,

8 Aug 2010

Project: Simplicity 1008

Simplicity 1008

I did it! In fact I actually almost did it yesterday but forgot I was having a girly night at the cinema so didn't quite finish it in time. This morning it was a question of finishing off the facings (top stitching them down which I've done rather well if I do say so myself!) and it still needs hemming but, I've done it!

There are several things wrong with it, most noticeably it doesn't fit (story of my life!) and, perhaps, even more noticeably the stripes on the back are upside down, the darts are in the wrong place and it gapes at the back of the neck.

But I love it. Really, I do. And I'm going to wear it to Tescos as soon as I finish writing my shopping list and this post.

I think in the case of ambition vs reality, reality is going to win and my list of four things to sew this weekend will go down to two. So next up is the trousers in blue (because everyone's bought me blue sheets and I have no other colours to choose from).

Notes to Remember
1) Facings are not my friends. Don't pay attention to what the pattern says and use your common sense, it'll mean you don't have to rip out all the neck facings, rip out the stitching attaching the two parts of the neck facings and start again.

2) Check where your darts are before you sew the bloody things up please.

3) If stitching in stripes please ensure back stripes point in the same direction as the front ones.

This was a simple pattern to put together and if I hadn't been distracted by Jason Bourne and dog walks and After Eight mints then it would probably have gone together a little quicker. If I wasn't so scatty. All in all a nice easy pattern to follow and I look forward to making it up as a dress as it's supposed to be.

Thanks for stopping by,

7 Aug 2010

It'll Be A Miracle ...

I've decided it's time to just stop whinging about sewing and just sew, damn it. So this weekend I'm attempting to sew as many work clothes as possible seeing as how I've been such a slack tart and not actually sewn any yet. Oh, and I start with the NHS on Monday. I don't think my new bosses would be too impressed if I rocked up in jeans and a lumberjack shirt afterall, so a sewing marathon it is.

Not only is it a work clothes sewing marathon but it's a finish-what-you've-bloody-started marathon too. First up on the sewing marathon list today is:

{ Source: Tuppence and Ha'penny Vintage }

You may remember my plan to make this as a red and white striped tee for my shorts project. The shorts have stalled but the top is still good to go. In fact, I've already started cutting the fabric. I've never matched stripes, and these aren't horizontal stripes but stripes cut to create a V along the centre seam which doesn't actually exist on the original pattern. I don't seem to like starting easy!

Simplicity 3688

Next up on the list is Simplicity 3688, I'll be making the trousers. Given the sizing issues I've had with the shorts I was attempting (and will continue to be attempting) to make based on this pattern I'm cutting a size smaller than I should and will probably spend most of this weekend tearing my hair out over fitting. But I only have one other pair of trousers suitable for an office so this is kinda necessary.

Eva Dress 1379

Next up is probably the shirt on the right. I need tops. Well actually, I need everything but I have two skirts and a pair of trousers already suitable for office work in my wardrobe but only one shirt (the Style Print shirt I already made) so shirts or tops in general would be a good idea I feel. So it's either the Eva Dress 1379 pictured left or another shirt pattern I haven't decided on yet. Or both. We shall see.

Simplicity 1683

And last but not least on my list is an attempt to finish Simplicity 1683. Still not sure what I'm going to do about the collar but I'll cross that bridge when I come to it.

Hopefully I'll get these done and possibly even have time for something else but, let's face it, I'm probably too lazy to do anything else. I'm only attempting the miraculous because I haven't anything else to wear and I work better under a tight deadline!

Now if I can just coax the kitten off the dining table so I can finish cutting out my stripey top I can begin, and that'll be a miracle in itself!

Thanks for stopping by,

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