Wednesday, November 27, 2013

What I'm Wearing to Teach Today: Two Ways to Look at It

Sweater:  Knit by me; pattern from Knit Wear Fall 2012; yarn - Nature Spun Touche Teal
Shirt:  Theory
Skirt:  Tan Jay (?) (thrifted)
Boots:  212
Tights (not seen):  Wolford

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Nesting & Refining

I'm in two familiar states again - nesting and refining.  The nesting was necessary after a three or so week period where I was up late (like 4:45am late) on more than one occasion and other obligations messed with my sleep schedule.  Plus, it's the last few weeks of classes, and it can get crazy.  So this weekend I mended (which is also part of the refining state) and cooked - a lot.  Tonight it's Chicken Tortilla soup from the The Art of Simple Food by Alice Waters.  Good "oh-my-the-first-storm-of-the-season-is-coming-but-it-won't-be-nearly-as-epic-as-advertised" soup.  Damn, if we were snowed amazing would that be?

The refining state is where I go back to thinking about the way I live, what I need, and why I'm bored with my closet (might not seem philosophically linked to you, but it is - trust me).  The refinement stage encompasses different elements at different times but almost always has to do with getting my life to more closely match my values and desires.  Don't underestimate the importance of desire.  I believe that if your values and desires are complimentary, it can transform your life.  I don't know that for sure, but I believe it.

Wow.  I sound like some new agey life coach.  When do I get my own TV show?

Meanwhile, back on the couch (unintentional psychiatry joke)...I'm knitting the Carnaby skirt, which I'm really excited about.  It's a little bit of a risk, knitting a little skirt for myself.  I say "little" because it'll fall mid-thigh or so, and that's little for me.  But I'm also happy to be making something for my own wardrobe.  Little by little I'm putting things I've made into rotation and slowly weeding out the items that no longer work for me. (Okay, if one of my students wrote this paragraph, I'd have put a box around every "little" in it; pointing out the repetition of the word.  But I'm off duty.)

I could go on about the things I'm hoping to make soon*, but that's not where my attention is at the moment.  It seems that I'm also going through a bit of a "hippie/dress-me-in-jersey/oooh-that-looks-comfy" phase.  Frankly, I'm just a little concerned - am I losing my style?  Is it morphing?  Is this the real me?

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Mending Impulses

I've been experiencing a bit of a sewing urge and mending seemed like the best thing for what little time I have free at the moment.

I don't know how long I've had this J. Peterman nightshirt (yes, that J. Peterman), but I think it's at least ten years.  I love it, but it's started to show its age.  In fact, the description says it's made of cotton flannel, and there's nothing flannel about it now.  While the ladyfriend suggested I just buy another one, I thought I'd repair it instead.  Besides, it's made in China, and I'm looking for alternatives to that.

Some time ago I saw a beautifully patched Japanese farmer's coat at the Textile Museum in Toronto.  I loved how it was patch upon patch, which spoke not only to the thriftiness of the owner (or owner's spouse) but also to the care and attention they believed the item deserved.
Patched Japanese Farmer's Jacket
Another patched jacket
So I started fixing the nightshirt.  Here were the most pressing issues:

A tear in the sleeve
 Frayed cuffs
 Little holes at the bottom of the front placket
First I ironed the sleeve.  I put this in here because in the past I would never have bothered to iron it, but I had picked up Mend It Better by Kristin M. Roach at the library (love, love, love the library), and that's the first thing she suggested.

Then I whip stitched the edges of the tear and cut away the excess threads.
I had bought a stack of fat eighths at the workroom in Toronto awhile ago, ostensibly to make a gift for some kids, but that never happened.  So I chose one and made a patch, ironing the raw edges under.  I used a whip stitch to sew it in place.
Then I tackled the cuffs.  While Ms. Roach didn't have a section on this, I knew that making bias tape and sewing it to the cuffs would probably be the best option for me although I don't know why I thought making bias tape at home (with few real sewing supplies around) would be a breeze.  It wasn't bad actually, but next time I'd make it a little wider.  For some reason I thought 1/4 inch would be good.  Nonetheless, with a little running stitch and patience I got 'em done.

Finally, the little holes.  For these I decided embroidery would be best.  It's clear that I'm a little rusty despite my super cute (if I may say so myself) sampler I made awhile back.
I'm excited to continue to extend the life of this and other items I have.  It just feels so right.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

What I'm Wearing to Teach Today: Still Life with Bike

Hat:  Amy Downs
Turtleneck:  Neiman Marcus
Skirt:  Bellanatur
Tights:  Wolford
Shoes:  La Canadienne
Bike:  Dahon Curve (thrifted!)

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

What I'm Wearing to Teach Today: My Mind is Elsewhere

Top:  Kedem Sasson
Skirt:  Banana Republic
Tights (not seen):  Wolford
Boots (not on):  La Canadienne

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

What I'm Wearing to Teach Today: Trying to Look the Part

Suit:  Gormont (thrifted)
Top:  Rowan pattern/Kidsilk Haze knit by me
Stockings:  Wool - brand unknown
Shoes:  Isaac Mizrahi

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

What I'm Wearing to Teach Today: Today's Birthday Suit

Sweater:   Valerie Stevens
Skirt:  Comme des Garcons
Stockings:  Wolford
Shoes:  La Canadienne

Monday, November 4, 2013

What Did You Do This Weekend?

I passed both my firearms and hunter education courses this weekend.  I can now get a Possession and Acquisition License for firearms as well as my hunting license.  Whoo-hoo!