Hello, 2014!

NewYear2014

Happy New Year, my friends! I don’t know about you, but I’m looking forward to what 2014 can bring. I did not party hard last night – in fact, I was in bed asleep by 9:30! In my defense, I think I’m coming down with a cold or something and I wanted to just REST. I was supposed to go to Baton Rouge with Doug to visit friends, but I felt really bad (that, and I didn’t want to get anyone else sick). So yesterday afternoon and evening was spent mostly in bed, with a little bit of sewing early in the afternoon. The good thing is that I think the hardcore rest helped to rejuvenate me, because I woke up this morning feeling MUCH better. This is good, because I have the next two days off!

As for the sewing, it’s going okay. As well as can be expected – I’ve run into a couple of snafus already. First off, my old Brother sewing machine – the one I bought in 1999 for $90, the one that is over 30 years old – finally gave up the ghost and died right as I was starting this project. I managed to get my bodice mockups made, but that was about all the old girl had left in her. Luckily, my amazing boss gave us some Christmas bonuses so I used some of that to buy a NEW sewing machine! Say hello to the Beastie:

My poor Brother sewing machine finally died.  Say hello to the new hotness.  #costuming #sewing #vscocam

This bad girl is UHMAYZING. She’s got a ton of stitches – basic, knit, decorative, AND A BUTTONHOLE. HOLY CRAP I CAN PUT BUTTONS ON THINGS NOW WOOOOOO. I used a piece of scrap fabric to see how everything worked, and so far so good.

Did a little test run, tried out some decorative stitches.  The machine is quiet and FAST!  #sewing #vscocam

I’m currently working on this Simplicity pattern:

SimplicityGown

I’m doing the design on the left hand side but I’m making the two tie-on gauntlets that are in the center image. Also, the skirt was supposed to be the split front, but will be solid like in the right image.

First, I cut my sleeve pattern out the other night and realized that I cut it the wrong way. Whoops! So that ate up some fabric that I was supposed to use for the underskirt. However, I’ve been waffling back and forth about whether I really need to do the underskirt anyway so that’s all right. I cut out the sleeves and then decided that the excess fabric would be best used as a short cape that will be attached to the gown, so I used an old Burda cape pattern to cut that piece out. I think that will turn out well.

Pattern pieces, shears, tailor's chalk, and LOTS of fabric.  The creative process has begun.  #sewing #costuming

Yesterday, I started to lay out my pattern pieces and cut out the velvet for the gown, and discovered that I bought 45″ fabric instead of 55″ fabric. OMG BIG MISTAKE ON MY PART. The main issue is that one piece of the pattern, the one labeled “Overskirt Front/Side/Back” is too big for the fabric. However, the other night when I was getting everything together, I discovered that there are TWO overskirt pieces: that one and another labeled “Overskirt Front”. Putting them together would leave you with a TON of fabric – I’m talking hoop skirts here. It’s a bit ridiculous, honestly. So, I took the Overskirt Front piece and cut out four fabric pieces from that. I started sewing the skirts last night to see if it will still fit, and it’s perfect – still drapes well.

Today, I’m going to head to Hobby Lobby to see about getting lining for the bodice. My Sofi’s Stitches gown has a really nice satin lining, and I’d like to get something like that. Alternatively, something soft AND breathable would be nice. I splurged on the fabric for this gown – 100% cotton velvet – so at least it would be somewhat breathable. (Splurging = 50% off coupons at Joann Fabrics. WHAT WHAT.)

macklemore

When I get home, I’ll be sewing like a FIEND. I really want to get the gown out of the way because I have a few other items to work on for this costume. Let’s just say it won’t be JUST the renaissance gown. Eheheheheh.

The second big thing I need to undertake is cleaning out my craft room. My craft table is an unholy mess. Mainly because my steampunk/ren faire costuming boxes are all on the table instead of underneath it. Our old TV is sitting there and has been there for the better part of a year. This afternoon I’m going to get Doug to help me get it in my car and I can take it to Goodwill tomorrow morning. I have asked around and NO ONE wants a free TV. So, off to Goodwill it goes. Someone out there will certainly want it! Once that TV is gone I can move all my storage boxes back under the table and I can then move my sewing stuff back into the craft room, rather than taking up the entire kitchen table. I can also start going through my jewelry making items and maybe make a few other things for my store. I also need to make some jewelry for the costume, too.

So, that will be my next few days in a nutshell. I plan on making a lot more items this year – not just costumes, but I want to work on making more clothing, too. I also want to bone up on my jewelry making skills – I’ve let those go for far too long! So expect a lot more crafty posts this year, talking about what I’m making and showing you the processes.

I’m looking forward to challenging myself a little more in 2014!

Hey There!

Honestly, I’m not really up to posting a lot – requires too much thought and planning. When did blogging get so damn serious?

Next year is going to be the year of Making Things. I’ve gotten away from making stuff, and have mostly been buying costumes and such. I’m feeling the need to get back to my costuming roots. I used to sew a lot more and make my own costumes, and I haven’t done that in YEARS. I’ve already started working on my first project, which I hope to have completed for CoastCon at the beginning on March. I’m also working on my ren faire garb for my big trip to Texas Ren Fest and the Louisiana Renaissance Festival in October/November. As much as I was into steampunk over the past few years, I’m getting a little tired of it. There’s only so much you can hash out over and over. Don’t get me wrong, I still love the genre and I’ll probably get a bout of re-inspiration for an outfit, but right now I’m wanting a little more fantasy/renaissance stuff.

I’ve also been following a few LARPers and LARPing Tumblrs, and I find that I miss gaming a LOT. Doug and I have been hosting board game nights, but that’s not the same thing. I miss roleplaying. I miss immersing myself in a character. I’ve thought about finding a LARP in the area to attend – I know there’s one in Mississippi, and possibly one closer than that – but that would require taking off once a month to play, and I simply can’t schedule that much time off at work. Since being promoted I need to be there as much as I can. That, and being there more often allows me to take off for my convention weekends, ren faire, etc.

Oh yeah – I got promoted at work! You’re talking to the Assistant Manager of Marketing at Bra Genie now. I’m still bra fitting, of course – that will always come first – but now I’m also learning about the marketing and advertising for the store. I’ve been doing the social media for the store for a while now, and I’ll continue doing that too. I’m accustomed to taking care of social media accounts, but handling standard marketing tools such as magazine, radio, and TV ads are a whole new thing for me. So it will take a little time to learn. I’m looking forward to learning a lot more of that in the New Year. :)

Wow – this turned into a much longer post than I thought it would be. Guess just writing everything out felt better than I expected.

Layering time.

Winter has finally arrived here in Louisiana (although you wouldn’t know it from today’s temperatures – mid 70s and high humidity, ugh)! The past few weeks we had highs in the 50s or 60s and lows dipping in the 20s some nights. The day that I was able to head out to the Louisiana Renaissance Festival, that morning was in the 30s. The three of us – myself, my brother, and his girlfriend Nicole – were all bundled up in jackets, scarves, sweaters, and gloves that day! Brr! (A forthcoming post on that visit later.)

Since I am normally so warm-natured, I don’t do well with layering unless it is REALLY cold. However, the only exception to the rule is my Niki Biki camis. I wear those year-round, since they are so lightweight.

 photo NBcollage_zps490e4439.jpg

At Bra Genie we sell Niki Biki camis in three lengths: long, regular, and cropped. My personal favorites are the long and cropped. The long is great if you are looking for that layered look, or want the cami to stay tucked into skirts or pants. It comes down to the bottom of the hip on me – and I could even stretch it to cover my butt if I wanted to! The cropped length comes just under the bust and is great for coverage in really low-cut dresses or shirts. The reason I love them is because they are not as warm as a full-length cami and so are great for summertime. I wore my cropped camis with my maxi dresses all summer!

OOTD 8/3/12
Red cropped cami

OOTD - 4/27/12
Coral long cami

OOTD - 7/23/12.
Green long cami

(These pictures are a bit old, but you get the idea.)

The fabric is seamless, very lightweight, and REALLY stretchy – I mean ridiculously stretchy. This means they will fit a very wide range of sizes, which is wonderful! However, you can expect them to be very clingy. I’m okay with this, considering that I use them as layering pieces. If you’re expecting to wear them as an outerwear piece, you might need to be on the smaller side of the size spectrum. The other thing I love about them is that the long camis come in a wide range of colors – I’m talking HUGE:

 photo NB_colors_zps6e811f80.jpg

Everything from neutrals to neons to jewel tones to pastels. Seriously, if you need any pop of color or anything to go under a sheer blouse, you can find it. Sadly, the cropped camis don’t have that wide of a color range – I wish they did though!

So if you’re looking for a great lightweight cami to layer under sweaters or sheer blouses all year long, I can’t recommend Niki Biki camis enough.

Check out some other reviews of great camis and layering pieces:
- Darlene at Hourglassy reviews Second Base
- Thin and Curvy talks about Second Base as well
- Darlene at Hourglassy discusses Perfect Cami
- Erica at A Sophisticated Pair’s Perfect Cami review
- June of Braless in Brasil talks about Perfect Cami – and how it works for nursing moms!

OOTD – a comfortable Friday.

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Dress (with attached slip) – Old Navy
Tights – Walgreens (at least that’s where I think they’re from – I’ve had them forever!)
Boots – TJ Maxx
Bracelets – Charming Charlie, Stella & Dot, Trendz NOLA

As you can see, I’ve become rather enamored of setting my outfit pics up in my kitchen these days. I’m using my Joby GripTight GorillaPod to hold my iPhone, and the free version of GorillaCam to snap a bunch of outfit pictures so I can pick the best one. I’m pretty much using my iPhone as my point-and-shoot camera these days – combine the GorillaPod with GorillaCam or VSCOCam and I can get some really amazing pictures of anything, anywhere.

OOTD – lots of outfits!

It’s FALL, Y’ALL.

The temperatures have dropped here in Louisiana, and I couldn’t be happier. I have been able to wear jackets and sweaters and tights and BOOTS (y’all should know my love of boots if you’ve been reading me for a while…if not, just know I FREAKING LOVE BOOTS FOR REALS) and I am so very happy about this temperature change. I also don’t have to shave my legs every day, and this is also a good thing. Not so much for Doug, maybe.

Anyway, I’ve been dressing up a bit more, so here’s a few outfit pics I’ve taken over the past couple of weeks!

October 24:
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Denim jacket, maxi dress, leopard belt: Old Navy
Leather wrap bracelet: Charming Charlie
Pour Le Victoire handbag: TJ Maxx
Jessica Simpson “Cranaby” bootie: 6pm.com
My mom and I took a day and went into the French Quarter to play tourist the previous Thursday. It was lovely – warm in the sun, cool in the shade, and just a perfect day. We stopped in a couple of my favorite shops (The Spice and Tea Exchange and Trendz NOLA), had lunch and drinks at Pat O’Brien’s (which I’ve never been to), walked around and did a little window shopping in stores and at the French Market, and rounded out our day at Stanley with an amazing ice cream sundae.

Some other snapshots from that day:

Bloody Mary at Pat O'Brien's!  #liquidlunch #boozahol #vscocam

St. Louis Cathedral and Jackson Square. #frenchquarter #neworleans #vscocam

Only in NOLA is "not haunted" a selling point for a rental. #frenchquarter #neworleans #vscocam

Lunch at the Pat O'Brien's courtyard today.  #frenchquarter #neworleans #vscocam

Beautiful balcony. #frenchquarter #neworleans #vscocam

October 26 – work:
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Faux-leather jacket: Cato Fashions
Dress: Old Navy
Chevron tights: Torrid
Clarks flats: Shoeffle in Covington, LA
Silver necklace: a Christmas gift from Amber, a former Bra Genie coworker!
All things cobalt, y’all. I’m fascinated with this whole trend of brilliant primary colors that have popped up – crayon-bright reds, greens, blues, purples. With my fair skin and dark hair, I find that most of these colors work pretty well on me, especially the cool ones. So I’m trying to incorporate these into my fall and winter wardrobe. I don’t think you can go wrong with bright colors and classic black. Well, except maybe neons – those colors together are a little too 1980s. Did anyone else have a huge hot pink sweatshirt with neon geometric shapes and black stirrup leggings? Come on, I can’t be the only one…

October 26 – Rocky Horror Picture Show at the Prytania Theater:
10-26-13_Rocky1

10-26-13_Rocky2
Black beret (which is really hard to see): Target
Red neck scarf: borrowed from my manager, Nancy!
B&W striped tee: Old Navy
Skinny black patent belt: Cato Fashions
Red pencil skirt: Lane Bryant
(Not shown: Black fishnets from Torrid, Clarks flats from Shoeffle)
Halloween weekend is not Halloween weekend without a visit to the Prytania Theater for the Saturday night midnight showing of The Rocky Horror Picture Show. Doug and I try to go every year (we actually try to go throughout the year, but we haven’t gone in a while). This year, my fabulous co-worker Julia accompanied us! This was her first time at a theater show of Rocky. We decided to dress up since it was Halloween weekend and all. I was trying to go for a whole “French girl” thing. I got a few compliments – and I think I would definitely wear this again, but a little less costumey.

October 28:
10-28-13
Cardigan and jeans: Old Navy
Echo scarf: eBay
Yummie cami: Bra Genie
Black and tan oxfords: Trendz NOLA
I bought these oxfords at Trendz the previous week and I KNEW exactly how I would wear them. This outfit kind of gives off a 1950s bad girl vibe. Someone at work said it reminded them of Rizzo from Grease. I haven’t seen Grease in a while so I’m going to defer to Doug on the matter, since he is a big Grease fan:
“A little bit.”
There you go, people.
Also, these shoes remind me of my friend Kahra very much. This is an outfit that I think she would wear.

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Denim jacket: Old Navy
Maxi dress and bangle bracelets: Cato Fashions
(not shown: Jessica Simpson bootie from 6pm.com)
One of the things I am actively trying to do this fall and winter is take some of my summer-y clothing like my maxi dresses and find workarounds to wear them all year long. I’m pairing a lot of sleeveless items like my maxis with boots and this dark rinse denim jacket from Old Navy (my absolute favorite new piece, ever). As it gets colder, I’ll probably add in tights and throw sweaters on top of the dresses. I know people have grumped about Cato being “cheap fashion” but I honestly can’t hate on them. This dress has lasted through two summers and it seems like it will last longer as long as I keep taking care of it properly.

Have you been pulling out your fall clothing? What are you wearing with this temperature change?

Life's too short for boring underwear.

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