Return from Staycation

I go back to work tomorrow after a handful of impromptu days off. It was a much needed break from the day job. Not necessarily for fun and travel, but for life maintenance and mental health. You the know the kind. Most of my staycation was analog. Except for my sewing machine and the occasional IMDb search to settle a movie casting argument, I managed to remain unplugged. So, I’ll be doing some catch up posts soon.

For now, a few shnibbets…

Behold, my new back-up sewing machine.

Singer 160 Limited Edition Sewing Machine

Just barely out of the box. Still haven’t even used the auto-threader. For the last two weeks (while finishing in-flight projects on my old Husqvarna), it’s been this pretty decoration on a fold out table. I don’t even know where it will ultimately live, but I’ve welcomed it into my life just the same. Think I’ll even hold out on giving it a name until I see how it sews. Beauty before function. It’s how I roll sometimes.

Michelle Obama, my favorite First Lady and stylecon, is pulling off a yellow-orange colorblocked outfit with purple (worn for the White House’s annual Easter egg roll)! Bold and smart. I dig it. Let’s see…yellow and orange pairs well with PINK (thanks, Jenni), PURPLE (merci, Mrs. O), BLACK (as demo’d by my dressform), and BLUE (a suggestion from the always-clever Gina I still have to try).

Michelle Obama wears yellow, orange, and purple colorblocked outfit

This week’s challenge at The Sew Weekly is to sew something inspired by a favorite city or locale. There is an image of a city on my homepage sidebar. It’s a scene from a movie. I will reward a small, mystery gift to the first person who can tell me the name of the movie. Leave a comment with your guess outrage.

UPDATE: OK, I suck. I accidently posted the WRONG picture! This is the movie image I meant to put on my sidebar.

And, this is the photo I mistakenly had up there.

The first picture is from the movie, The Wiz (1978). The second (wrong photo) is from the real, Wizard of Oz (1939). Ha! So much for my first “giveaway”. I owe the first AND second responder a gift. I’ll be in touch, ladies.

Introducing…The “Look on the Bright Side” Dress

Last week’s Pantone Spring 2012 Color Palette Challenge gave me the chance to experiment with some colors I hardly ever wear: yellow and orange. Solar Power and Tangerine Tango to be specific. I also experimented with lining a sleeveless bodice.

The "Look on the Bright Side" Dress

The "Look on the Bright Side" Dress

The "Look on the Bright Side" Dress

The dress debuted at The Sew Weekly on Saturday. Read more about it here.

Some of the gals were kind enough to give me some styling advice for this dress, as I was pretty stumped by its brightness. I tried to default to neutral accessories, but it just didn’t work. Then, I tried Veronica Darling and Kazz’s suggestion to style it with BLACK.

Enter: store-bought crocheted shrug, 2 yards of plaid chiffon from le stash (that may just get sewn into an infinity scarf), and a skinny black belt. With these add-ons, I just may have a rockable style for this neon spectacle.

The "Look on the Bright Side Dress" with Styling Option

I’m still easing into the colors though, so it’d be ideal to have a few more looks for this dress if it’s going to do more than just brighten up my closet.

What do you think? How would you style it?

I Don’t Need No Stinking Swatches…Well, Maybe I Do

Spring / Summer 2012 Fabric Swatch Board

I was supposed to be cleaning my house. Instead, I organized my fabric closet into spring/summer sewables (including fabrics I’ve already sewn this year) and made a swatchboard — which has become so very useful to me already.

Mena has posted the themes for the next six weeks of challenges at The Sew Weekly (an update to the challenge schedule is coming later posted), so it was time to stop being surprised by my stash (“Oh! Look! I forgot I bought this!” or “What the f**k was I thinking when I bought THAT!”) and figure out what I had to work with.

This exercise woke me up to the fact that I need more solids (especially neutrals) in le stash and le wardrobe. My attraction to prints borders on obsessive, so I gotta remember to sneak in some solid colors. With all of the color-blocking going on these days, there’s plenty of options for me to sew up. The Pantone Spring Color Palette challenge is coming up, too, so I marinated on some inspiring looks to get me ready for fabric shopping.

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I think I may buy some silk yardage this year. I have a bit in inventory (mostly prints), but not enough to make some magic.