Thursday, November 19, 2009

Really Up Close and Personal Snoop Shopping and Stashoholism Confessional


I know I am an addict and powerless over my addiction, and yet this knowledge does not empower me to stop! I have been feeling a little overwhelmed by my stash lately, so what do I do but buy more!?!?! It's totally that thing where you have don't have time to sew, so to stay connected to the hobby that you love you buy stuff you *would* use if you had time to use it.

I already HATE all my Fall/Winter clothes and I haven't even worn some of them yet this year so I need to do less shopping and more sewing. This coming weekend should be low key (last weekend was nuts and I felt like I wasn't home for longer than 2 hours the entire time) so hopefully I will sew! I have a woven dress in process and at least 3 knit dresses planned. I managed two knit dresses and a woven when I had my sewing orgy a couple weeks ago. If I can come up with two weeks of new work clothes maybe I will be less grossed out in the mornings.

Anyway, two of the above fabrics were planned purchases. I need a new pair of PJs and the flannel on the right from Joann seemed cute for the pants (and the price was right!), and the orange jersey from G Street's $2.97/yd table matched to make a t-shirt top. I was hoping to find the lime green from the flannel print for the top, but you take what you can get. The knit print...well, you know me and knit prints.


FrontOne of the Fall/Winter things that I don't hate yet is my Tippi Hedren dress. Sadly, though, it is not long for this world. The fabric was from the $2.97/yd table and I didn't notice until I'd made the dress that it was fairly heavily damaged; there are rows of tiny holes all over it and within the next few wears one or more of those spots is going to outright tear. Boo.

I can't decide what to remake it in, though. It really needs a heavier knit to support that collar (though a heavy knit would be very heavy indeed at the knot/wrap skirt portion of the front) and all my knits are lightweight ITYs. I'm thinking *maybe* of the abstract green print I got in Philly, but I think it's only because it's green! The pattern would probably benefit more from a less busy print. I would think about this red print, but (1) I also learned the first time around that a linear print is not the best for this style, and the print, though huge, has a regular repeat, and (2) I have a thing about not wearing colors out of season and the white in this makes it a Spring/Summer print for me. Ditto this hot pink print and this aqua and white polka dots, both of which would be really cute in this dress. Maybe I'll make it with short sleeves when I can think about warm weather clothes again. The pink scales above are on the diagonal, but I think still too regular for this pattern. Other than the green abstract print, the only thing I have in stash that might work for this pattern and of which I have enough, is the black/white/gray print from Philly...but it's more busy than I'd like so I might as well go with the green. *sigh* I really don't need to get worked up about it--I do have three knit dresses in mind before I reach the end of my Winter Knits Inspiration and I've gotta find a pattern for those hot pink scales. I love hot pink.


There's a website called "Daily Lit" that sends you small chunks (around 8 paragraphs) of a short book each day. I'm getting one called "Shoes, Bags, and Tiaras," which is sort of a catalog of some of the shoes, bags, and tiaras in the Victoria and Albert Museum's collection. Each installment is headed with a lovely photo and brief information follows. I am loving it. It's free to subscribe! Just click on the linked title above; on the right hand side of the screen there is a blue box that says "Subscribe."

I have not noticed an uptick of spam and have received only one non-book email from DailyLit--through which I discovered that Diane von Furstenburg is sponsoring Madame de Staël as another free read, so I subscribed to that too.


My friends know I enjoy fashion so they often clue me in on new websites. I don't always love that they've given up my email address, but I know they do it with the best intentions. There are a ton of "sample sale"-esque type websites where there is a "crazy" deal (only $700!!! Usually $1000!!! You will save so much money if you put hundreds of non-essential dollars on your credit card bill!!!!) on something each day, but I haven't clicked on any of the invitations because I'm not looking to buy anything. However, a friend sent me an invite the other day to "Rent the Runway," the clothing version of Bag, Borrow, or Steal. I don't know exactly how Bag, Borrow, or Steal works and I don't want to join to find out, but it looks like you pay a monthly membership fee and then a rental fee for the bag ($15-100/week) and keep the bag indefinitely.

On Rent The Runway, there is no monthly fee (as of now), and you can rent designer duds for $50-100 for 4 days, plus $5 insurance. Postage both directions and dry cleaning are included. For dresses that cost a couple hundred dollars, I'm not sure it's worth it but there are several $1000+ gowns ($200 rental fee on those, natch) on the site. It's an interesting concept, especially if you somehow score an invite to a once in a lifetime event and want some major wow. Of course, designer clothes come in a limited size range so it won't work for everyone. You do get two sizes sent to you, which I think is a nifty feature. I'm guessing that will quickly cost extra.

This isn't something I'll ever do, but it raises intriguing snoop shopping possibilities. If there is a designer piece that you just *have* to do an in-depth study of, you could rent it for a few days and figure out how it's put together. Expensive, but if it's not something you can visit in a local store it could be the only way to get hold of it. The website also has good photos, including detail shots. As of now the inventory is quite small, but once they get more capital from rentals (I'm assuming it's a fairly new website) I'm sure they'll expand the offerings.

Unfortunately, you have to join to website to see anything, and right now it's invitation only (so silly). If you're interested, let me know and I'll send you an invite.


Ann Taylor

Here are some pieces from my recent inspiration file (none from Rent the Runway). This Ann Taylor dress is adorable. I love the shape of it. It's simple, but the pleats make for a very flattering fit--at least while the tulip silhouette is in style. It took me a while to warm up to tulip skirts, but since Burda started pushing them about 2 years ago I've had a lot longer than the rest of the American populace to get used to them and now I'm totally on board. I do think, however, that this is a trend we'll consider ugly when they go out of style--we'll say, "Why did we add volume around our bellies and hips? Ugh." For now, I am all about room for the belly!

Anyway, the interesting thing about this dress is that it's so simple. The sleeves are cut on, so it has only four pieces (bodice front and back and skirt front and back). Easy. It's in a ponte knit; my only exposure to this fabric is the awful, awful, scratchy polyester nightmare available at Joann. I'm thinking this might be a little nicer? More photos of this one here.

Marc Jacobs

I am loving the huge origami sleeves Marc Jacobs put out on the runway. They are interesting and sculptural, and even though they're exaggerated I think they're fairly wearable. Both of these women are celebrities, of course, but I can see a regular person wearing them if the rest of the outfit is fairly fitted. I'm thinking you could get a toned down effect by lengthening the short sleeve of Simplicity 2733, which AllisonC just made

Liz Lemon ShirtdressAnd finally, I have been watching some 30 Rock episodes online and how much do we love Liz Lemon's shirtdress here? Her character generally dresses very frumpy, so I'm guessing Tina Fey decided she just couldn't take it anymore and gave herself one cute outfit in the episode. I love everything about it--the subdued plaid, the princess seams, the pleats at the waist, the puffed sleeve, the self belt, the rounded collar. So. Cute. It's not really for Fall, but I had to share. This was the best screencap I could get, unfortunately. Why do they never show people full length and unobscured so that we can pause and snap their outfits???? Television executives do not understand my needs. Of course, I can hardly blame them for ignoring me as I don't own a functioning television, so I'm not exactly the target audience.

You can see my Fall/Winter 2009 Style File here.


Dissolved Girl said...

I need to head on over to G-Street. I love that print. I have been trying to stay away because my stash is getting mighty big and I have not done any sewing.

Trudy Callan said...

It is hard not to buy more fabric when you're addicted. You choose the most gorgeous fabrics, though.

I love the Ann Taylor dress.

The Selfish Seamstress said...

Oh no, don't take the Tippi dress apart, it's so cute!! (btw, I always see it called that, but why? Did she wear a similar one?) It's too cute to take apart! Are the holes small? If so, might you try applying a little bit of clear nail polish on them from the wrong side to keep them from unraveling??

McVal said...

Oh I love that dress you're wearing at the top! Too bad it's starting to disintegrate!
I'm wearing a Hudson top today from the Sewing Workshop that I made for our state fair, but missed the deadline for. I'm really loving it and it will be my Thanksgiving top this year... Maybe I'll blog about it sometime and model it.
Anyway - my funds are low for new stash stuff... so I'm making do with what I have for now. Maybe I'll get a Joannes gift card for Christmas!

Kate said...

I just love everything about the look you put together for the Tippi Hedren dress - the glasses, stockings, shoes, hair - you look fabulous.
That comment about buying when you can't sew is so true of patchwork/quilting too (my obsession) - that's shy most of us have a whole room dedicated to the stash!
Blogs like yours keep me inspired to look good. Thank you.

gwensews said...

Your Tippi dress is really cute. It definitely wants to be made againp-without holes!

Ann's Fashion Studio said...

Very nice fabric.

I can so relate to you whe you said

"It's totally that thing where you have don't have time to sew, so to stay connected to the hobby that you love you buy stuff you *would* use if you had time to use it".....exactly the same for me at this time :)

Have a great week end.

Kathi said...

I completely understand your problem with the stash - having one and wanting to make it bigger!! I really just need to sew and sew and finish up my stash before I buy more fabric, but it is a compulsion! I see fabric and I want it so badly! I got the December Burda today. I didn't see as many things in it this time, but there were two skirts and a pair of "trousers" (as they say) that I liked. I immediately wanted to go online and order fabric for each!!!!!!
It is like the saying of having eyes bigger than your stomach. I obviously think I have more time to sew than I really have!!

yummy mummy said...

dear trena
I love reading your pattern reviews on Pr and now on your blog. Love how you photograph your clothes and style them. Your output is prodigious and your skill level has improved amazingly. I still don't know how you find the time to sew as much as you do.
Went to melbourne, Australia on the weekend and brought home a suitcase full of fabric (20 pieces), so like you, am feeling just a bit guilty...
love the Hendren dress, made mine in grey cotton lycra, will definitely make it again.

Marie-Christine said...

I llve the Tippi Hedren dress too, please make more :-).
And please invite Cidell over so we can see pictures of all those other ones!