Fabulous Fashionistas

Wow!! It isn’t often that fashion celebrates or grants any attention to the style and dress of older women. This documentary is inspiring and a must watch! See article in full here

Jean

“I don’t give a damn of what people think of me or the way I dress, I dress for myself because I love style and design and color.”

This statement may sound like the devil-may-care attitude of a stylish twenty-something, but this sentiment actually comes from the mouth of Bridget, a seventy-five year old Brit, one of six older women featured in the TV documentary Fabulous Fashionistas, which recently aired on Britain’s UK Channel 4.

Bridget

As the title suggests, each of these six women is excited about her wardrobe (some shop at charity stores; others order from catalogues; others buy from fancy boutiques), and throughout the film, each woman explains the evolution of their personal style. Some of their choices are distinctly their own, yet each of them says they are past the point of caring what others think—instead, they dress for themselves and their own tastes. “Style, as one gets older, is more noticeable,” Bridget says. “How I look is to do with my identity and the fun of it. It’s nothing to do with looking younger.” The fifty-minute documentary moves beyond the wardrobe, and is ultimately a heartwarming account of women, ranging in age from 73 to 91, who are still active, engaged, and excited about life.

Gillian

Director Sue Bourne pulls truthful, raw insight and paints inspiring pictures of each of the six women. Bridget, 75, spends her time fighting tirelessly against ageism. Daphne, 85, is signed with a modeling agency and is Britain’s go-to older model. Jean, 75, works in a high end clothing boutique and runs three times a week. Gillian, 87, is a professional choreographer for productions such as CATS and Phantom of the Opera on the West End, and she still works countless hours a week. Sue, 73, is an American transplant who made a name writing low-fat cookbooks, but she now focuses on creating art. Lady Trumpington, 91, is the oldest woman in Britain’s House of Lords. All six women have aged gracefully, without Botox or plastic surgery, and all embrace their lives with enthusiasm and wisdom.

Daphne

Many of the women are widowed, and though the aches and pains of old age are ever present, none of the six embrace the stereotype of the little old lady. Instead, by the end of the documentary, you see that these inspiring women take life one day at a time, and they choose things that make them feel happy and fulfilled. The concept of death is addressed, yes, but none of these women are frightened by the thought. As one of the women says in a particularly poignant moment: “Yes, you think about death. But you choose life.”

The Fabulous Fashionistas: 

(from left) Sue, Daphne, Lady Trumpington, Jean, Gillian, & Bridget

Watch the entire inspiring documentary below:

Thanks to UK Channel 4

Images courtesy of The Guardian

Monica Voluptuous Lipstick

Those of you who have been following me for a while may remember a post I did on my Top Ten women of all time. You can view it here.

Dolce & Gabbana recently came out with a lipstick in honor of my #1 sexiest woman alive, Monica Bellucci.

Her lipstick:

What it is:
A highly pigmented lipstick that gives medium to full coverage in a radiant, satin finish. 

What it does:
Thanks to an intense skin-conditioning formula, this lipstick leaves lips looking plump, feeling soft, and appearing voluptuous. The colors are rich and luminous, with a smooth and creamy texture that glides easily on the lips for buildable coverage. Inspired by Monica Bellucci, Dolce & Gabbana’s main muse, the Monica Lipstick embodies the sensuality of the Italian woman. 

What else you need to know:
“Apply lip color then blot with a tissue after application to help set the color. Then, reapply lipstick. The result is a significantly more intense color effect. It’s a great method to use when you want to draw attention to the lips.” —Pat McGrath, Global Creative Advisor

I will be making my way to Sephora at a full sprint to purchase this.

Cozy, Clean and Simple

Another awesome Etsy  blog post. The following text and images are courtesy of Etsy.

Get the Look Decor: Cozy, Clean and Simple

Published on Sept 16, 2012 in Shop

Photo by Nicola Henry

Iheartmoustaches

This weekend’s Get the Look Decor is inspired by Nicola Henry’s modern country home in Hertfordshire, England. She and her husband began renovating the home two years ago, just after getting married. They both love that they can enjoy the fresh country air and still be in London in just 40 minutes.

For more photos of Nikki’s peaceful home, visit her on Flickr or stop by her blog, Life on Orchard Road. Check out her Etsy shop, Orchardroad, for sewn and knit home goods and accessories.

   
   

[Clockwise from top left: Chair Set by Shamrockfinewoodwork; Can We Shall We Screen Print by misterrob; Recycled Douglas Fir Custom Dining Table by MortiseandTenon; Solid Oak Wall Clock by DesignAtelierArticle; Subway Grates Placemats by KayeRachelle; Crochet Amigurumi Owl by WereRabbit2006.]

Describe your home decorating style.
My home decorating style is modern country. I love Victorian houses and features, but I like modern colours in my house, like white and grey.

   
   

[Clockwise from top left: Vintage Roseville Stoneware Utensil Holder by aniandrose; Linen Cotton Dish Towels by Coloredworld; Custom Canister Labels by decalfarm; French Milk Jar by FrenchByDesign; Oak Butcherblock Cutting Board by QuattlebaumWoodworks; Blue Striped Paper Straws by MarigoldandSageParty.]

Did you decide to decorate in this style or was there an evolution to your decorating process?
Before the days of Pinterest, I made a home scrapbook and added photos from magazines. It didn’t take long to discover my decorating style, but my decorating process is still evolving!

   
   

[Clockwise from top left: White Wood Full Bed with Headboard, Footboard, Siderails by TheSouthernMermaid; White Bed Queen Sheet Sets by nurdanceyiz; 2 Wooden Letters and Ampersand by gracegraffiti; Ladder Chair by itisdwell; Vintage White Gathering Basket by JennythingVintage; Pair End Tables by ExeterFields.]

Where are your favorite places to shop for home items?
My favourite home shop is The White Company. The bedding is beautiful. I also love Cox and Cox for unique items, and John Lewis is a great high street store for home shopping.

What inspires you when it comes to decorating?
My mother. She is very house-proud and has always decorated her home beautifully.

   

[Clockwise from top left: Decorative Pillow Cover by nestables; Fairy Moss Wreath by twigstwineandthyme; Atomic Hairpin Leg Floor Lamp by SelectModern.]

What is your favorite part about your home?
It has to be my new kitchen and dining area, with its Belfast sink, oak worktops, and modern grey tiles. We managed to open it up to achieve a space for cooking and socialising. I love to be in that room.

   
   

[Clockwise from top left: La Vie Est Belle Print by Tessyla; Round Wool Rug Mat by divisionstdesigns; Turkish Bath Towel by AllOrganicTextiles; Porcelain Bird Soap Dish by PrinceDesignUK; Victorian Styled Stained Glass Window by pj57; Organic French Green Clay Soap by HerbivoreBotanicals.]

DIY: Design and Sew Your Own Leggings

Came across this “how-to” article a few moments ago. Etsy is one of my favorite sites! I can spend hours perusing the merchandise and blogs. This looks like a really fun project! Enjoy!

The following is all courtesy of Etsy.com and can be found here

Story by hodgepodgefarm

Published on Feb 28, 2012 in Make

Photo by Richard A. Smith

Cal Patch is a renaissance crafter, with know-how spanning the fields of crochet, pattern-making, sewingembroidery, dyeing, printing, spinning, and beyond. She is the author ofDesign-It-Yourself Clothing, writes a blog, and can can be found teaching classes around New York state (and beyond). For this week’s How-Tuesday, Cal will teach us how to make a custom pair of leggings. From taking measurements, to making the pattern, to sewing it all up, Cal will be with us each step of the way!

I adore leggings. I live in leggings. I always wish I had more leggings: colored ones, printed ones, stripey ones, long cozy woolly ones in winter, and shorter lightweight cotton ones in summer. I wear  them under dresses or tunics, I wear them to the gym, I lounge and sleep in them. As a clothing designer, I’m glad I can make my own, because when I look around I don’t see nearly enough options out there in fun colors, prints, and natural fibers. Today I’m going to show you that you can make your own leggings, too!

You’ll need to measure yourself, draft a pattern, get some stretchy knit fabric, and stitch it up. This isn’t a difficult project, but I’m assuming you’re at least a competent beginner sewer. Let’s get started!


Supplies You’ll Need:

For the pattern:

  • Paper to make the pattern. Get a pad or roll; bigger is better. (I like an 18 x 24” pad of drawing paper.)
  • Pencil and eraser
  • Scissors (for cutting paper)
  • Tape measure
  • Ruler (clear 18” x 2” sewing ruler is best)
  • Clear tape

For the leggings:

  • About 1 ½ yards of nice stretchy knit fabric, like cotton/Lycra jersey.
  • About 1 ½ yards of cheaper stretchy knit fabric, like cotton/Lycra jersey (for the muslin).
  • All-purpose thread to match.
  • Pins
  • Scissors (for fabric)
  • Sewing machine

You’ll need the following measurements:

  • Length
  • Half Waist (Waist divided by 2)*
  • Thigh Circumference*
  • Knee Circumference*
  • Ankle Circumference*
  • Front Rise Height
  • Back Rise Height
  • Distance from Thigh to Knee
  • Distance from Knee to Ankle

Okay, now let me explain how to go about measuring each one, as I’ve no doubt you might have a question or two! I’ll explain them as though you’re making the leggings for yourself, but you can make them to fit anyone, even kids. All of these measurements can be taken while holding the tape fairly snugly; you might want to wear something close-fitting (like a pair of leggings) as you measure. Actually, if you have a pair of leggings that fit well, putting them on will help you in determining some of these measurements that you may never have thought about before, such as where you’d like the waist to sit.

Length: This is really a design decision, but it will also relate to your body.  Hold the tape measure at your side, where you’d like the waist of the leggings to sit (anywhere from waist to hip), and drop it down to your ankle. A full-length mirror should help you see the measurement of your desired length. If in doubt, I recommend going an inch or two longer. You can always shorten!

Half Waist (divided by 2)*: Measure around your waist, at the point where you want the top of the leggings to sit (and where you measured your length from). If this is more like your hip, that’s fine! Just measure yourself there. Then divide this number by 2, for your half waist.

Thigh Circumference*: Measure around the full circumference of one thigh, at its highest point (just below the crotch).

Knee Circumference*: Measure around one knee.

Ankle Circumference*: Measure around one ankle, exactly where you want the leggings to end.

Front Rise Height: This might sound odd, but here’s the best way to get this measurement: Take your ruler and hold it between your legs, as high up as is comfortable.  Be sure the ruler is parallel to the floor. Now measure up from the ruler, in a straight line, to where you want the waistline of the leggings to rest. (Note: The rise seam will be curved, but for now you just want the height, which is a straight line, so don’t measure all the way from where the inseams intersect.)

Back Rise Height: Same as Front Rise, but in the back.

Distance from Thigh to Knee: Along your side, measure from the point where you took your thigh circumference down to where you took your knee circumference.

Distance from Knee to Ankle: Same, but from knee to ankle.

Now that you have all of your body measurements, we just need to do a tiny bit of math before we begin drafting the pattern. First though, we need to talk about an important concept in patternmaking: ease. Ease is the difference in size between you and your clothes. In a woven fabric, the garment needs to be bigger than you in order for it to fit and be comfortable, because wovens generally don’t stretch. This is called positive ease. When working with knits, the garment might be bigger than you, or exactly the same, or even smaller, depending on the style. The latter is possible because knits stretch and mold to fit the body, and is called negative ease. Leggings are generally meant to cling snugly to the body, so you will want to incorporate a bit of negative ease. If you prefer a looser fit, you can skip this step.

You also need to decide on the type of knit to use. Different kinds of knits have vastly different amounts of stretch. 100% cotton sweatshirt fleece has very little stretch, while 90% cotton/10% Lycra jersey has lots of it. Lycra or Spandex (same thing, just different brands) give a fabric the ability to stretch and will also give it recovery, or the ability to return to its original shape after stretching. So if you’re not a fan of baggy knees, you might want to choose a knit with 5-10% of an elastic fiber added to it. My favorite fabrics to use for leggings are cotton/Lycra jersey or rib knits, and wool jersey or rib (with or without Lycra; wool has better recovery on its own than cotton does).

Assuming you’ll be using one of these types of knit, you can deduct 10% from each of the measurements with a * after them for negative ease. These are your four horizontal circumferences. If you are using a knit with less stretch, you might want to deduct only 5% or none at all. You will now use these adjusted numbers in place of the original measurements.

Next we need to figure out the depth of the rise seam. Take your Thigh Circumference (after deducting ease), and subtract from it your half-waist (also minus ease). Let’s call this D (for Depth). Multiply D by 1/3; this is your Front Rise Depth. Multiply D by 2/3; this is your Back Rise Depth. Write these down, you’ll need them in a little while.

So we’re ready to draft our pattern! It’ll be just one pattern piece (there’s no need for a side seam), from which you’ll cut two pieces (one for each leg) to make a pair of leggings.

This is what your pattern piece will look like after you follow the steps below.

Patternmaking Directions

1. To begin, you need to cut (or tape together) a piece of paper that measures at least 4” longer than your Length measurement, and at least 2” wider than your Thigh. Draw a vertical line down the center of the paper (or fold if it’s easier); all of your drafting will originate from this line. Imagine that this line will run down the side of your leg, where a side seam would be; this will be the center of the pattern, and I’ll refer to it as the Center Line (CL).

2. On CL, make a small mark about 2” down from the top edge of the paper. Then measure down the full Length measurement, and make another mark. At this mark, draw a line, perpendicular to CL, that measures your Ankle Circumference. Half of the measurement should extend from either side of CL.

3. From the Ankle, use your Knee to Ankle Height measurement to determine where to draw your Knee Circumference, also centered over CL. Draw the Knee line, perpendicular to CL.

4. Repeat this step, using your Thigh to Knee Height, to Draw the Thigh line. Connect the dots from Thigh to Knee to Ankle on each side. You will probably have a slight angle at the knee point; smooth it into a gentle curve.

5. Now let’s work on the rise seams. On the Thigh line, measure in from the right side your Front Rise Depth, and make a mark. From this mark, draw a line upward, measuring your Front Rise Height, perpendicular to the Thigh line. From the left side, measure in your Back Rise Depth, and mark. From here, draw a perpendicular line upward, measuring your Back Rise Height. Connect the Front and Back Rise points, starting out perpendicular from the top of the Front Rise line, and gently curving up to meet the Back Rise line. This is the Waist line. Next, slope the Back Rise by holding your ruler along the Waist line, at the top of the Back Rise, and drawing a perpendicular line which intersects the Thigh line. Draw curves to fill in the lower corners of the Front and Back Rise lines.

6. All that’s left is to add seam allowance. I use ½” seam allowance on all seams except for the bottom hems, where I add a full inch for hem allowance. Draw the seam allowance around all sides of the patterns, and cut it out. CL becomes your grainline, and you can label the pattern and write the cutting instructions of Cut 2.

Now you can make a muslin, or fit sample. Try to find a cheap fabric that has similar stretch to the real fabric you plan to use. All you really need to sew are the inseams and rise seams to test the fit and make corrections. Don’t bother finishing the waistband or hems since you may want to adjust them; just remember that you will lose a little height at the waist and length at the hem when you do finish these edges in the final garment. If you see anything you want to change or adjust, pin or mark with chalk on the muslin. If you need to add fabric, such as if you want to raise the waistline, just pin on a scrap to extend the edge to where you want it. Then be sure to correct your pattern accordingly. Every body is unique, so are likely to need a few tweaks to get the fit just right. If you only make slight adjustments, you can probably jump straight to your final fabric, but if you change the pattern drastically, I’d suggest making a second muslin.


How to Sew Your Leggings

When sewing knits, you need to use a stitch that will stretch as much as your knit does, or the seam will break. Test a few options on a swatch of the same fabric, until you find a stitch that works well. I recommend using either a stretch straight stitch, or a small (I like 1.5 x 1.5mm) zigzag stitch on your sewing machine (or a serger, if you happen to have one). Fold each piece upon itself, right sides together, along the inseams, pin and sew. You’ll now have two individual leg pieces.

The edges of most knits won’t unravel, so you don’t really need to finish the seam allowances, but you might want to trim them to ¼” and either zigzag over the edges, or sew a second stretchy seam right next to the first, in case any stitches do break. Turn one leg right side out and place it inside the other, matching up the front and back rise seams and pinning together. Sew the rise as one continuous curved seam front front to back. Finish as you did the inseams, if necessary.

Finishing the Waistband

There are several ways you can finish the waistband. I usually use ½” elastic, cut to waist size, and seamed into a loop. Lay the elastic loop on the wrong side of the leggings waist, right at the top edge, pin and zigzag the edges together. Then turn the elastic down, so the waistline seam allowance covers it, and stitch again along the lower edge with a stretch straight stitch or a wide 3-step zig zag.

Another way is to make a folded waistband casing (with or without elastic inside) made from a separate piece of fabric. Cut the piece to your waist measurement (minus ease, plus 1” for seam allowance), by twice the desired casing width (plus 1” for seam allowance). With right sides together, sew the short seam. Sew the elastic into a loop if you’re using it, and fold the casing over it, wrong sides together. Pin the raw edges of the folded casing to the right side of the waist, and stitch around. Zigzag the three seam allowances together to finish.

To hem, turn the bottom edges under by ½”, then turn them again by another ½”, and pin. Sew with a stretch seam along the fold that is ½” from the edge.

Thank you to Cal Patch for sharing this project with us. Be sure to check out her Etsy shop and blogIf you make your own leggings, share a photo with us in the Etsy Labs Flickr group.

Black Pumps

There is something wholly classic and sophisticated about a pair of black pumps. I was inspired to post two of my favorites from my wish list after viewing a post by Linn Hovik on her fashion blog.

I am currently transfixed on two selections.

Walter Steiger 

Christian Louboutin

Classic style with sultry red sole or stunning and unique curved heel? Quite the dilemma…

Razzle Dazzle ‘Em

New York City – Destination for New Year’s celebrations. Times Square is of course the first thought that comes to mind. However, standing in the freezing cold, packed like sardines with a bunch of tourists for hours on end waiting for a ball to drop does not entice me. Also, I have done it already. Well not exactly. Last year my boyfriend and I headed to Times Square around 11:30PM and he talked our way through the crowd and barricades by pulling the whole “in the army and deploying to Afghanistan” thing with all the police officers. We ended up right next to the stage little Justin Bieber sang on. Missed his performance though… thankfully? I don’t think I can hate him. Sorry.

Anyways, New York is the champion of exotic. Check out one of the many masquerade parties throughout the city, or the huge circus parties with lots of beautiful people and wild things covered in glitter. For the more adventurous, there are numerous kinky sex parties involving little to no clothes and rules are optional. Whatever the ultimate plan, these are a few essentials to get the night started.

New Year’s Eve Essentials:

  • Sequin/Metallic dress – a must for any sexy lady on New Year’s. Simple LBD does not cut it. Any sequin or metallic finish is some super sexy flattering style is perfect. Aim high with glitz and glam.
Classy option – Aidan Mattox Bloused Cold Shoulder Sequin Dress found at Nordstrom

Frisky Option - Haute Hippie Sequin Halter Dress found at Nordstrom

Metallic - Herve Leger Metallic Bandage Dress found at Neiman Marcus, the back is simply stunning

  • A luscious pair of heels to go with your crazy, shiny dress. Many of you may turn to the black as it is simple and complements such a wild dress. Do not be afraid to add more sparkle with the shoe or even a burst of fun color or detail.

Cinderella's sold by everlastinglifashion on etsy.com - these would look awesome with a colored sequin/metallic dress, maybe a red or purple!

If you're leaning more towards simple, snazz it up with some feathery or lacy detail. These peacock heels are done by Louisa Cash on etsy.com, check out TheHeadbandShoppe

If those are still too bold, go with a classy black bootie. Suede is great for winter. These are the Adena Bootie by MICHAEL Michael Kors and can be found at Piperlime.com.

  • Now you have a few options. Depending on your plans for the evening and how elaborate your outfit already is, there are three options: Pretty jewelry, a masquerade mask, or a headdress/hair ornament. There are a bunch of masquerades throughout New York City for New Year’s as well as many other parties you may with to remain anonymous at.

Simple and sophisticated - thecraftychemist07 from etsy.com

Renaissance - BridalBijou etsy.com

I adore anything with a veil - HeadFullofFeathers on etsy.com

Peacock delight - BaroqueAndRoll on etsy.com

Simple and cute - byfato on etsy.com

In regards to jewelry, sequin and metallic dresses are done best with big, dangle earrings. Unless you’re wearing a sleeveless dress, I would skip the necklace and go straight for a statement making pair of gorgeous earrings.

Gorgeous! - delezhen on etsy.com

Edgy - Michael Spirito

Edgy - Michael Spirito

  • Jumbo bottle of Grey Goose for home made martinis and fruity concoctions both for pregame and recovery tonics. Vodka is the nectar of the gods. Drink and enjoy responsibly.
Grey Goose Magnum – Can be found at the Whiskey Exchange, Masters of Malt and many local alcohol stores
  • New Year’s Party Favors- Really? I honestly don’t think these are essential unless you’re having a house party in which it is kind of nice to have the tacky streamers and noise makers, but if you plan on going out, leave these home. It is extra nonsense to carry and for you ladies out there, best to bring as little as possible. Not many pockets in the tight, sexy dresses we plan on wearing.
  • For a kinky end to the evening, edible panties are in order. I am not entirely serious about this one, more for fun. If you’re thinking of something special for a loved one, try something new together. The parties and alcohol loosen up the morals and allow for a greater intimacy with less inhibitions. Just remember to share a kiss as the clock strikes midnight.

Candy G-String from Babeland

New Year’s is about fun, adventure and welcoming the new year in style. Express yourself, be wild, be unafraid, and above all, LIVE.