Handmade |Foxy Cardigan (NewLook 6378)

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The foxes are here, the foxes are here! Yes this is a perfectly lovely and breezy summer weight cardigan – for saving you from a little breeze or sun – but let’s cut the fluff, the fox is the real reason this thing is a stunner. This was one of the first pieces of fabric I bought purely because I couldn’t walk away from the print and despite it not being a practical fabric for me (previous experiences with rayon did not end well) the fact that it was never seen again after I bought the rest of the bolt heightened the preciousness around it. I hoarded it for years for fear of not picking something worthy enough or messing it up.

PATTERN: NewLook 6378

MY NUMBERS: 34 – 27.5 – 37″ (Height 5’2)

PATTERN SIZE MADE: XS (32/34 – 23/24/ – 32/33)

ALTERATIONS: None. Made as per instructions

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This is a cardigan pattern I’ve made before (see the first version in knit) so I felt pretty confident with the process and in all this is a great easy sew which I definitely welcomed because most of my energy was spent on making sure this delicate, slippery rayon fabric lined up properly and did what it was supposed to do (especially with that curved hem).

I sized down in this pattern to account for the generous cut in the style, no fit issues.

DETAILS | There’s quite a few bits of contrasting colour details in this cardigan from the light blue top-stitching and the flash of bright yellow in the bias edge finish. Admittedly this particular store bought bias tape is not my favourite as I find it slightly too stiff for the fabric but I’ve yet to conquer making my own. Using what I already had in my box, I do love the peek-a-boo colour contrast. I’m just hoping this won’t make the edges wavy/pucker after a few washes.

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This cardigan is such a smile inducing number that I can see it being worn casually as a cover up, lounge wear to through over a camisole or even as a bathrobe – the feel against the skin is cool and comfortable – exactly what I’d want to be wearing all summer!

Happy Sewing,

G

January Bits & Bobs

Not quite a favourite post, I thought I’d round up some goings and happenings from the month of January…

COZY | This is absolutely the the theme word for January and it’s completely validated by my recent accumulation of UNIQLO clothes. With a few shops around town and easy skytrain access, I found myself popping in regularly to look for an item here and there. While their fit can still fussy, I’m really loving a few of their casual items such as their cotton turtleneck shirts and furry zip up mid-layers. I talked about their rayon button up shirts in my 2018 favourites as well and I can’t wait until they bring back a few more colours for spring.

ALL THE GREEN THINGS |… literally! Over the holiday season I discovered my love for pesto and proceeded to make an unusual amount of pseudo-Italian meals in order to try putting pesto on everything. Come January, I had finally (judge as you may) bought my very first avocado. Now as you pick yourself up from the floor in shock, let me explain – while I’ve certainly had this in sushi over the years, I’ve never actually eaten it any other way nor have I bought one from the shop. Annoyingly, before I could make up my mind whether or not I liked it, the rest of my bag had gone brown… so the verdict is still out on this mystery fruit.

TIDYING UP | Netflix blessed the start of 2019 by releasing an exclusive show Tidying Up with Marie Kondo, a TLC style series of episodes where Marie teaches everyday Americans (or ought I say Californians in particular) how to find organization, inner peace and joy. While I have dabbled in her best selling book, it was great to see her in action and must say I found her charming. After binge watching the first few episodes as soon as it, I will say that the format of the show didn’t hold my attention though I liked having it in the background and would happily continue to keep it on if they decide to release a next season.

TWO GUYS IN BASEBALL CAPS | The internet is truly a strange and wonderful place because a few weeks ago I stumbled upon the traveling singing duo Endless Summer and was instantly smitten by their covers of popular songs. Brothers Clint and Bob setup their guitars in the middle of nowhere, play you a song and its simply perfect – I’m fairly certain I had a smile the entire 3 minutes 19 seconds of Stand by Me. Their acoustics and harmonies feel authentic, inviting and it helps that they have a sprinkle of country which I love. Now for the cherry, I just found out that the brothers were actually part of the wildly popular, teenage-girl-scream-inducing band The Moffatts… so now you really do have to check them out.

Chat soon,

G

 

IT COSMETICS | CC+ Cream Matte

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Cue the dramatic stage lights everybody – today we’re talking about the IT Cosmetics CC+ Cream Matte SPF40* which launched in 2018 following the incredibly successful original CC+ Cream. Same same but different, this  version came as a response to those who either preferred a more matte finish or had oily skin and had trouble making the first version last. This matte release contains similar claims but is tweaked for those with larger pores, oily and/or acne prone skin challenges.

Here’s what IT Cosmetics has to say…

Developed with plastic surgeons, Your Skin But Better CC+ Oil-Free Matte with SPF 40 delivers color-correcting full coverage, anti-aging skincare and SPF 40 broad-spectrum physical sunscreen—all with a poreless, natural-looking matte finish that lasts! This multitasking, complexion-perfecting breakthrough instantly camouflages skin imperfections including dark spots without creasing or cracking and is clinically tested to reduce shine and control oil for up to 12 hours. It’s also infused with charcoal to detoxify, colloidal clay to absorb oil and tea tree extract to combat blemishes—plus, an advanced anti-aging serum made of hydrolyzed collagen, peptides, niacin, hyaluronic acid, vitamins and antioxidants. You’ll see powerful results instantly and more dramatic results over time!

THE BASICS

Brand: IT Cosmetics
Product: CC+ Foundation Matte
Details: SPF 40
Colours: Fair (11 listed on website)
Size: 32ml
Price: 48CAD
Would I (re)purchase: Probably yes.
Shop this product: IT Cosmetics, Sephora, QVC

Identical in basic packaging to the original CC+ Cream, the matte version differentiates itself by being blue instead of silver but the rest of the squeeze tube and pump dispensing design remains the same. I have to say that I love how practical and easy this is, you can get every last smidge of the product out plus it’s safe and worryless to travel with if you need to. There are currently 11 shades listed on their website and my closest match would be Fair – ultra porcelain, fairest of fair with yellow skin tones – and while I appreciate a brand finally putting yellows in fair shades, I would hardly say this is ultra fair. It matches my NC15-NC20 skin just fine though and does not oxidize. I rarely say this but I adore that this has SPF40 in a physical format without compromising on the look of the foundation itself. Continue reading

SEW WHAT NOW | Projects to start 2019

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First week 2019 down and I am in full swing project planning mode! Having just filmed my new years sewing intentions video (editing currently in progress), I want to give you a sneak peak at what’s ready to go on my cutting table. This fresh spring colour palette wasn’t intentional in this combination but I suppose that’s just what’s on my mind lately.

SOMETHING FOR MAMA | This will definitely be one of my bigger projects this upcoming season so I wanted to get started as early as possible and that is a new coat/cardigan for my Mom. The blue cotton is a traditional Chinese indigo dye fabric that was gifted to her by a friend who bought it from local artisans on a trip then lugged it 9650km across the Pacific Ocean when coming to visit us. They had been dorm mates in university and I chuckled at the fact that she knew exactly the kind of folksy aesthetic my Mom loves out of everything she could have chosen as a gift. I thought the sentiment was particularly special and decided it would be fun done up in Butterick 5318 – the pink as the outer colour with a surprise indigo pattern as the lining.

SMALL LUXURIES | An exceptionally lucky find in the clearance section recently are these crepe back satin pieces! As a practicing seamstress still learning my craft, I do try to sew from the discount aisles as often as I can so when these unexpected beauties popped up, you bet I had to snag them. I love the idea of small luxuries, where more basic items are elevated by colour or the quality of material and in this case it ticks both boxes. Crepe back satin has always been a fabric I wish I had the occasion to wear more of (the crepe texture on the backside makes gives it a more substantial hand) and sewn up in a few Ogden camisoles, I think it would be a lovely luxury to add to my daily wardrobe.

FOR THE LOVE OF PANTS | I often tell people that in my head I dress like a Stepford Wife but in reality I can’t bothered with anything that I can’t be practical in. So this brings us to the topic of pants! This striped cotton is something I owned since the end of highschool (if memory serves me correctly) and this year I’m finally cutting into it for some wide legged elastic waisted bottoms that I promise look much more flattering than it sounds. Last year I completed a pair using Simplicity 1467 which turned out great and I think this new combo would be fantastic for summer with either some high heeled wedges or cool girl white sneakers.

Happy sewing,

G

BEST OF 2018 | Products I recommend

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Well hello to the first post of 2019! I’ve been doing some deep digging the past few weeks to consolidate a list of my best purchases from the past year. Whether you want to call this yearly favourites, most used items or just stuff I made my everyday more pleasant – here are twelve things that rocked my 2018.

THINGS MENTIONED

I also want to pop in a special – thank you – to everyone who followed me over to this new blog platform. It’s scary to rebrand yourself after so many years on the internet and while I’m sure I lost some subscribers in the transition, this new identity feels so much more authentic and fitting. I hope you’ll enjoy it as well.

Chat soon,

G

Beauty Look | Berry & Bright – ft. Shu Uemura x Maison Du Chocolate

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This one is for all you chocolate lovers. Shu Uemura‘s limited edition holiday 2018 collection this year features a delicious collaboration with La Maison du Chocolate – a Parisan boutique creating confectioneries of it’s namesake. A few weeks ago, I posted a video preview of the items I have in my hands courtesy of the always generous Shu PR and today I’m sharing a complete look created using the products themselves, of course with a holiday theme.

The two big colour items in this collection are the Ganache & Praline eight pan eyeshadow palettes; Dark Cacao which takes on slightly cooler, taupe tones with flecks of gold and alternatively, Framboise Berry which includes nuances of reds in the form of berries, terracotta and copper. As a challenge, I decided to create my look centered around only the red shades so in a way this is a dark eyes and dark lip combination!

MAKING REDS MORE WEARABLE

  • Pile on the foundation | My skin is certainly far from model perfect but when wearing red tones, be it lips or yes, any redness of the skin is enhanced so it’s a good time to go higher coverage.
  • Be selective about colour placement | I focused the heaviest berry colour on the outer corners of the eyes and also smoked it out a little around the lower lash line. If you look carefully however, I didn’t connect the colour all the way around the eye – instead the lower outer lash line is lined with a bronze metallic pencil.
  • Skip the heavy liner | This look has no eyeliner on the top what so ever and it’s a conscious decision to keep it from looking too theatrical. However, I did balance it out with false lashes – which I thought was a must – in order to still enhance definition for the eyes. I highly recommend choosing lashes that aren’t super dense, focused more on length and has a clear band to blend in better with your own natural lash line.

PRODUCTS USED

SHOP SHU UEMURA | Online & Sephora

I would love to know what looks you are excited to wear for this holiday season and if red is in your plans as well!

Chat soon,

G

5 steps for a better year of sewing

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UPDATE YOUR STATS | Ideally, you’d be doing this before starting every project but being mindful to remeasure yourself periodically will save you from unplanned surprises when things don’t fit. Granted, you may want to wait until after you’ve fully digested the holiday leftovers and get a friend to help you with the tricky parts like shoulder width and hips. I like to put my numbers on a sticky note right on the inside cover of my sewing notebook so it’ll be an easy reference whenever I need it.

INVENTORY YOUR STASH | No matter which method you use to organize (or not) your sewing stash, chances are there are deep dark corners that you have no idea what is hiding in there. Brave the uncertainty and have a thorough inventory of your fabrics, sewing supplies, books and notions. Knowing what you have, and maybe discovering a few new things you forgot you had is a great way to get a baseline for how to approach your projects in the new year. Make a list of items that need replacing and create a spot where all your supplies have a dedicated home – I’ve found that being prepared is the first step to a successful project.

GIVE YOURSELF PERMISSION TO LET GO | Guilt. You know it, I know it and it’s often what prevents us from letting go of projects that are going no where. The difference I found with sewing, as compared to my other hobbies like makeup, is that the process to learning creates a lot of failed tangible material objects. You feel guilty for cutting into that nice piece of fabric only for it to look less than flattering when trying it on and even more guilty to get rid of it because of the time and energy already spent on it. Sometimes an item is worth re-strategizing and sometimes, if it brings you anxiety just to look in it’s direction – just let it go! The money was spent the moment you bought the fabric and it’s served the purpose of practice so stop hanging onto items you dread working on and start fresh. Continue reading