Hello, New Blouse! Nice to Finally Meet You

I finally wore it! What “it,” I hear you ask?

Why, the Alexander Blouse!

Let’s go back in time, shall we, to get a full sense of how shamefully I should wear the Procrastinating Queen Crown?

I started the Alexander blouse back on, oh, March 19!  See? Here it is, with the pattern laid out for cutting:

That same day, I work on it for long enough to find out that I’d cut the top in four pieces rather than two (what’s with the putting both together at the shoulder to cut business?  Sheesh. Thank goodness for seam allowances.  And seam rippers, of course.

Then I put in the darts, take them out and redo them to make them line up better with my, um, anatomical proportions.  As in, I close the darts higher lest it look like my boobs start at my waist.

Then I put the peplum ruffle on, pin the back shut (why oh why must you have buttons on the back, Alexander Blouse?  Don’t you know how impossible that makes you to fit properly?), try it on, screw up courage, and look in the mirror.

I look in the mirror.  I make horrified face.  I rip it off and cry a bit.  Because ladies who wear the Alexander Blouse style do not go  around showing off their stomachs in their lady blouses.  I made the whole shebang too short.  Cue expletives.  I dry my eyes and pretend like nothing happened when Husband asks what all the door-slamming two minutes ago was all about.

One day week later, I pick it up again, remove the ruffle, and draft an extension/midriff piece thingie (see?  I told you I’m totally self-trained, hence I have no idea what that part is called in sewingspeak.  And, being bilingual, I already never know what anything technical is called in eitther English or Spanish). I attach it.  I try the blasted thing on again.  I have my doubts, but it’s workable and I don’t need to slam any doors (I do a long-suffering sigh instead.)

A few days later, I pick up the blouse to add the buttons.  I realize, as anyone with no sense would, that I’d rather start a new dress–fresh project, no problems to fix, better procrastinating strategy.  I toss Alexander Blouse into the To-Finish pile  in the Room Whose Door I Shut And Pretend It’s Not Where Half-Finished Sewing Goes To Die , where it languishes for I’m-not-saying-how-long.

About a week later,  I dig out said Hellblouse and hem the bottom and the sleeves and put in the buttons.  I ask myself where the buttonloops should be attached.  I realize I should have put them in with the interfacing.  I swear some more, but less hair-raisingly than before.  I have a cup of tea and go at it gently with the seamripper, put in the loops, cross my fingers, and hope for the best.

I put on the buttons–all minus three at the bottom, because I’m lazy and worry that the buttons won’t line up (never mind that there’s a button guide piece to tell me where loops and buttons go.  Do I trust it?  Yeah, right. Plus, I’m half-assed and forget such a thing exists.)  I put the Alexander Blouse on the third dining room chair, to guilt myself into attaching the last few buttons during a Law and Order binge, a Dexter binge, or any other crap TV binge.

More days go by.  Yes, I know.  I’m more into doing my nails and Core Fusion during TV time–no buttons get attached.

Last weekend, I catch a marathon of The Hills.  It coincides with preparing outfits for my last week of work.  I realize that I am not about to start wearing pencil skirts and heels when I start working from home from next week, that the Alexander Blouse DESERVES a proper 40’s-inspired outing–lipstick, hair waved, and all.  I also feel the need to counter the trash I plan on watching all day long with the modesty and ladylike accoutrements of times past.  I finish the damn thing before Heidi Montag gets her supaboob job.

I wear it today.  I accessorize with blue granny and mommy bling, red lips and nails, and plenty of insouciance.  I deduce that Burdastyle made the Alexander Blouse solely for ME.

In other words, I rocked the shiznit out of that blouse:

Now I can wear it with shorts.  And not slam any more doors over it.  What a relief!

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Not going to bore you with any more than the basics of the day–I had an awesome breakfast:

The weekend's vegan muffins with coconut, banana, kiwi, and pineapple, plus pineapple and papaya on the side

And a fierce dinner–a quick and easy Indian Sweet Potato Hash (the recipe now posted at the Chomping Shop):

And 32 laps were put down at the pool.  I swear the last two extra laps made extra goggle indentations that lasted for a couple of hours after the swim, but I don’t care!  I like having battle blemishes, anyway.  Even ladies like to feel hardcore sometimes…

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Back To Our Regularly Scheduled Programming

Note:  this is last night’s post.  It seems WordPress had a hissy fit and did not publish it, after all….

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Today I feel like a rock that had been placed over my head.  I hate the Migraine Family Curse, and I especially despise it in hot weather when the bedroom is too bright and the living room AC is too loud.

But enough of that.

Apart from the general lying around yesterday, I did manage to sit up for two hours and finish the adjustments on my two linen skirts (tip:  if clothing is so loose on you that you can get in and out of it without unzipping, it’s probably not cute on you anymore–time to get thee to a tailor or deal with it yourself.  Safety pins do not count as “dealing with it yourself.”)  Why undertake such tedious hated tasks while ill?  Because resistance is low–and it’s not like it can make you feel any worse, right?

Hence voila, today’s wearings:

I have seriously missed this skirt in the past two months of suit-like black skirt boredom.  Welcome back!  The top is H and M standard, the necklace a present from the Most Fabulous S, and the shoes from Target.  Aviators courtesy of a cheap store next to the supermarket and my desire to have people confuse me with Little A–we’re always told we look alike and we could probably fool people if we wore the same sunglasses.

In other sewing news (and, if you are either averse to sewing, male, or both, you may wish to look away right about now), I had a fabric store frenzy this weekend!  It was a planned visit, but it turned into a proper frenzy when I saw the always-appreciated “storewide sale” sign up.  25-35% or more off everything?  I’ll take ten, please.

I actually brought home four cuts of gorgeousness with very specific ideas of what I wanted to make with them.  If I buy fabric without an idea in mind for it, I’ll never decide what I want to make, let it sit for a year, and then lose all interest in it.  Charming, I know.

So how do we feel about this beautiful, breezy, purple-checked cotton:

For a dress like this one, from Anthropologie?

And this monstrously huge flower print in a satiny cotton:

Possibly for something like the Anthropologie Rainforest Morning Dress:

Or their Serengeti Sundress?

I also picked up this violet and peach madness, which was a total steal at 10 TT (about US $1.75) a yard.  I think the fact that it borders on tacky makes it VERY cool indeed:

So I can totally see it doing something like this Anthropologie Cooling Magma Dress–a plus being that I have a pattern with a similar bodice and I’d only have to draft something up for the skirt:

Final purchase was a blue flower-patterned and metallic-striped turquoise chiffon:

Which I’m imagining for a floaty blouse like the Anthropologie Tiny Tucks blouse:

Or possibly even something like this (Parachuting Petals by Anthropologie, great name!):

Please note that I don’t have shares in Anthropologie, nor do I actually own anything from said store (and, with the cost of most items, I wouldn’t want to, even if I had the money–I’d be terrified of spilling coffee or ketchup on it).  But I love their designs and I love that they let you download their images, which works well for demonstration purposes for y’all.

Given that I’ve only just started to draft my own stuff and Frankenstein things together (i.e. use two different patterns to make something new), I think I have my work cut out for me.  But once work slows down, I’m up for the challenge.  I  just need to buy a lot more pins–and a good supply of patience.

As for shakings du jour, a gentle swim was had, which did wonders for my tight shoulders and sense of normalcy after yesterday, when the only time my heart beat faster was when watching Dexter.

And food…. I must issue a general apology for general food boringness these days.  Trust me, the food sure doesn’t taste boring, but I’m relying on a lot of standby dishes, leftovers, and make-ahead meals and not pushing the envelope here.  I’ve been a busy girl lately.  Same as with the sewing, though:  you can expect ramped-up production of kitchen concotions of a new and interesting nature in a few weeks, once the commitment schedule calms down a bit.

Lengthy preamble over, the only blog-worthy meal was this–pasta with white beans and tomato sauce:

It’s a real old-time recipe for me–it’s actually the first recipe I ever made when I moved out on my own!  Nine years later, it still tastes great and reminds me of good times in Montreal.  I love it so much that, if you come back tomorrow, you may find it posted in the Chomping Shop (hint hint).

Why is this the only blog-worthy meal, you ask?

  1. Breakfast was banana oatmeal again. Again. Because bananas are faster to cut than apples (and cheaper).
  2. Lunch was a sardine sandwich with a green salad.  If it looks like catfood and tastes like catfood, it’s best left alone (or to the cats).  I love sardines.  I love mustard.  I don’t like it when they morph into catfood.  Bitter catfood.  Never again.

That’s it for today.  No Dexter, no migraine–bedtime.

Swim? Sew? Neither–But a Girl Can Dream

It’s a day of almosts and hypotheticals around here.

My swim today almost happened, but didn’t.  I pranced to the pool, donned the new bathing suit:

And slathered up in sunscreen.  I went to grab my goggles and voila!  They were MIA (or rather, chilling in the drawer I moved them to a few days ago).  Frustration ensued, as did a questioning of the necessity of seeing where I was swimming–it was a yes, so the swim was a no.  Damn.  After working up the courage to show stomach to the two and a half other lunchtime swimmers I see…  Oh well, maybe tomorrow I’ll brave a double workout day, because it’s boiling hot and I’m dying for some pool time.

The sewing hypothetically could have happened, but I have a guilt problem, you see, and it is caused by this:

My clothes-to-be-fixed pile.

You see, I’ve told myself that no new sewing will take place until at least two nip-tuck-needing items are fixed.  And, given that I sew in twos (if not three or fours), it would take just one fitting and pinning to fix two entire items.   But fixing items would involve:

  • bringing out the machine and peripherals, which would mean finding another place to plug in the laptop, which is clearly more than I can handle
  • doing piddly little sewing stuff that I find heinous, which would lead to a bad disposition, which would lead to a decreased appreciation of the Law and Order SVU marathon that gives my TV life meaning each Tuesday night

So for now, I’ll dream of all the lovely things I’d like to be making were I not such a lazy madam about easy mending.

For starters, there would be the beautiful Alexander blouse from Burdastyle:

(Picture taken from the printed-out direction of the pattern, which I bought from Burdastyle.com)

Blouse sketch (from printed-out directions of pattern bought on Burdastyle.com)

With this gorgeous, slightly sheer polka-dot chiffon that I bought a few weeks ago:

Trinidad one-cent coin added for scale

There would also be more T-shirt dresses like my self-drafted tie-neck dress and low-back dresss, with other neckline and sleeve variations, as well as simple skirts like this one (snapped while taking pictures at the Old San Juan pigeon park):

And blouses like this gorgeous one from Colette patterns (picture taken from their awesome website):

This is the kind of blouse my new shorts are crying out for

Or some of the more detailed variations of this McCall’s pattern (of which I’d make all except the plain red version):

All in the big bright prints that I love or the saturated brilliant colors that rock my world, these things would make my closet a much happier place.

So, since neither swimming nor sewing rocked my world today, I depended on my food (and the ever-reliable Detectives Stabler and Benson) to do so, in the form of oatmeal banana pancakes from Sunday, warmed up and topped with kiwi, mango, and a sprinkle of syrup:

A black bean, tomato, lettuce, onion, cucumber salad with home-made mango dressing that hadn’t been made in years (and has been thoroughly missed–how could I forget how good this is?):

And African sweet potato, vegetable and peanut stew, which was made a few weeks ago and left in the freezer for the Husband to eat while I was in Puerto Rico for a rainy day:

And though my outfit was neither exceptionally colorful or well-planned (it was selected because it was clean):

It was a great blankish slate for me to wear the beautiful pin my grandmother gave me when I left Puerto Rico last week:

Which, in and of itself, pretty much made my day.

Which items are you currently coveting for your spring closet?