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A 30 something blogging about her love affair with Fashion.....among other things!

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Trying again

I love Kimonos. Back in Japan I did buy one or two, always at flea markets but never got to really wear them because they are difficult to. There is a whole lot of stuff you need to pull and tie and I am not really into that. So I got a Kimono cover up or Happi that I like to rock from time to time. Yet I am always on the lookout for another kimono in a lighter fabric. Imagine my joy when I discovered that I could make one easily. I tried and was not super happy with the result. So I tried again using some Punjab suit material found at the supermarket and this tutorial.

Kimono - Did it myself (DIM)
Shirt - Brandmart
Jeans - thrifted
Sandals - Utsav fair

Although this tutorial is relatively easier than the previous one I used, I still have problems because the material ( Art silk) puckers. I really need to learn how to sew satin, silk and chiffon because those materials are much more nicer to use for clothes like skirts and maxi dresses. I need to know what kind of stitch to use. I have to admit that I am not knowledgeable about my own sewing machine. I need to keep on learning and keep on practicing. "Practice makes perfect" as they say!

At the end of the day, I still like the Kimono. It is flowy and the print is pretty. Moreover it is the final touch for the tee and jeans outfits because you all know I need my cover up!

Friday, May 23, 2014

Killing spree

Hello there! How are you all?
I am not doing as well as I want to. In fact I have been boiling and no, it is not the heat. I blame it on India. There are some days, things do not work out quite well and I feel like screaming. It could be an unreliable maid, the crazy traffic ( and never ending honking) or that person trying to jump the line at the counter. I know I may sound a tad entitled but believe me when I tell you that it is always the little things that get to you. Some days ( like the last few) it can be so bad, I swear if I had a gun, you would hear about me on the evening news. Sigh! 

But what can't be cured must be endured. So I am trying to let it go and pray for better days or try to find something that makes me happy ( or keeps me sane)

Thankfully, I have a few things that make me happy: stitching new dresses at home, going to the movies with the kids ( can't wait for X-Men to be out), watching British crime dramas on YouTube and reruns of Sex and the city, celebrity gossip sites
( laughed my butt off at Catergate memes) and this colorful dress.

I cannot believe that this dress has not made it into the blog yet. And for good reason, it is only the 4th time I am wearing it in 5 years The first two times was for a birthday party and to run to the bank ( I was 7 months pregnant), the third time for a lunch at some friends' place and today to watch my kid's play at school. This dress could be the best dress: it is not tight, has a great cut, the vibrant colors that compliment each others, and the fact that it does not require ironing. Yet I do not wear it often maybe because I feel that it is too fancy for a school run or just my ordinary life ( like the five or more other dresses that are still confined to my closet since I bought them). Moreover, the halter neckline makes it tricky to layer. I tried with a tee here but maybe a jacket would have been better.
What you think?

Dress - Charming Charlie
Pants - H&M
Bag - Can't remember
Cuff - Moroccan booth at Africa Fiesta 2011
Shoes - Sole to Soul

Let us talk out these shoes too. I bought them on impulse last Summer. I was attracted to the vibrant blue color and the wedges. But I barely wear them ( only twice so far). Interestingly the day I decide to rock them, the fail me. The ankle strap thingy on one of the shoes detached itself while I was chasing my son. I was walking around with one ankle strap wedge and one wedge sandal. How silly! Now I am wondering whether to fix them or just remove the strap on the other shoe and have brand new shoes. Truth be told, I could not care less because it is not the kind of shoes I would die for ( aka wear it non stop for a while) with or without straps. I think I am going to fix them though; ankle straps are cuter...

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Anti Normcore

Have you heard about Normcore? No?
Apparently it is a new fashion trend that is against trends. It is a movement (movement, lol) that glorifies blandness or never standing out in the crowd. People who are considered Normcore followers dress in bland outfits favoring jeans, tees,  beanies and backpacks.

I am not sure I fully grasp the concept but I am anti - Normcore. There is nothing bland about my wardrobe for I favor color and prints. Jeans used to be my uniform but I sometimes replaced them with printed or colored pants. I wear beanies during Winter and only inside my home  ( and since we moved in Pune, there is no need for Winter wear!). The way I understand it, Normocore is about going back to simplicity and ditching labels. Fashion has become so complicated ( and expensive) with mixture of textures, prints, quirky things that it can be confusing and daunting. It becomes harder and harder to follow trends for they can be crazy, to tell you the truth. Therefore, with Normcore, we go back to a certain simplicity, easiness about dressing up ( or down). I find it appealing. I love the idea of a white tee and pair of jeans. But for some reasons, I can never look chic in them. I do not even own a simple white tee that has not been embellished. These days, I see a white tee as a canvas that I can turn into a work of art ( with sequins or embroidery).

Yet, I also think Normcore is just another excuse to dress down. And I am all for it. You do not know how many times, I just wish I went to pick up my kids in sweats. But I see some Mothers doing it and I do not find their look very proper- they just look like they rolled out of bed. After all I am a Senegalese and ever since I was born, the concept of dressing up even to go to the corner store was branded in my brain. I am sure I am less excessive ( way less, believe me!) that my people, but I still like to be put together ( whether I am or not depends on the days).

That is why Normcore is a fashion trend I will not try any time soon. I am still at the point where I am figuring out my style. But I do know what is not me. And Normcore isn't!

Now let us talk about this outfit. I got inspired by a Girl with curves. This dress is lovely and it was lovelier on me two years ago when I was lighter. I could button it all the way down and move without having the seams bursting. But now it is a different story. I am not going to cry over spilled beans ( or body issues, enough tears and sighs have been sacrificed on that topic), so I found a new way to wear the dress. It is a lovely cover up for my tee and jeans kind of days. Add a colorful belt and scarf and shoes I decided to get rid off two years ago for some reason ( I dug them out of the throw away pile and they were in mint condition, how cray cray am I?), and I am good anti-normcore for the day.

Scarf - Dmart
Dress - G.U.
Jeans - thrifted
Shoes - Ross

What is your style? What trends are you willing to try? What trends do you think are just cray cray? Let me know.

Friday, May 9, 2014

New dress!

Growing up,  I used to be known as the girl who always wore jeans. But now I am happy to report that I morphed into a girl who (almost) always wear dresses. I still love jeans but I can never pass a good maxi dress. I found this one during a trip back home. I went to the market looking for Wax or African printed fabrics and with the left over money I purchased two maxi dresses. Not knowing what they really go for back home, I am sure I was cheated but both at 800 rps, it was still a steal. I really enjoy this one because it is very airy, the print is ladylike and the pleats in front are feminine. I broke it for our last day stopover at Dubai.

Ah, Dubai! What to say? I am thinking that three days are not enough to sight see, shop and catch up with my best friend. Although I managed to do two out of three in three days. The Mall of Emirates was less overwhelming this time, and I did enjoy checking my fave brands that I missed like H&M and Forever 21. I did not buy a single thing there because I was on a hunt for specific items they did not have ( like a canari yellow blazer).  But I did enjoy the shops displays and overall ambiance. I checked several other brands and found good articles. I ended up buying a snake skin peep toe pump ( not on the list but really perfect for my feet) a Zara imitation shopper's bag that come with a matching clutch, a sleeve less blazer and orange pants. 

Seriously, I think we are overdue for a proper visit to Dubai. I am not sure as to when but once the tickets are booked, I will be on a saving spree so that I can enjoy a proper shopping spree in here.

Cuff earrings - Love these but I need new ones that fit better

Blazer - Max
Dress - Sandaga market
Shoes - Lifestyle
Cuff earrings - M.G. road

Sunday, May 4, 2014

It' s got to be....perfect!

I have been beaten by a bug lately: the sewing bug. I watch endless tutorials on the Net ( way easier than being tutored by my teacher), and try to reproduce them. It did make a Kimono last week. Then I proceed to make a collar less jacket but got stuck at the sleeves. It is hard but so much fun. And I am bursting with new ideas. I want to raid a fabric shop so much but I have decided to use my clothes that are too tight or that I don't like anymore, to make alterations. A person once told me that the easier way to learn how to sew is to start with alterations.
Yesterday, I grew restless because I wanted to make myself a blue maxi dress. I had the fabric in hand but it is not a flattering blue ( who knew Royal blue was not my color). The alternative would have been to add a yoke  in a different color or print. So I went ramaging through my closet looking for old tees. I found one but also dug up a skirt in green print that I have never worn for it was too tight. I noticed there were some darts inside and I removed them. Still too tight. Then I remembered I had a dress in a similar fabric that was also too tight. I decided to alter both to make myself a new dress that was not tight. 

I started by cutting the top part of the dress just below the belt. It was a bit tight at the sides so I removed the thread and use the extra seam allowance to add some width on both sides. I had a now more loose top. Then I cute the top of the skirt just below the zipper. The width of the skirt did not match the width of the top, therefore I took in an extra two inches if the skirt. Then I proceed to attach both part, by putting the top wrong side, upside down inside the skirt one the right side. And voila!

It is fairly easy but it took me almost 6 hours to make. First of all my machine was acting up so I stitch by hand the sides of the top. Then I gathered the skirt a bit but it did not work. Finally, when I tried attaching the two parts, I messed up twice, stitching on the wrong sides. There were times I swore at the machine, and other times I was boiling with frustration. But I when I finished and tried the thing on, I could not stop twirling around ( in front of weird looks from my hubby and kids). I cannot wait to wear this dress. I am happy of the overall results even though the prints do not line up. Let me tell you that you feel empowered when you know how to make things by yourself. I go the mall, look at clothes and think: " No need to buy, I am going to make it!". Now if only I had all the time in the world.

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