Friday, November 29, 2013

Black Friday

My current style is practically garish compared to the not-too-distant past. For several years, I wore almost exclusively black. These were my wardrobes:
 

Today, for Black Friday, I am back in black.
 

Outfit details:
Lace top: Charlotte Russe
Velvet corset-style vest: Eternal Love
Lace gloves: Claire's
Velvet and lace skirt: The Black Rose
Boots: New Rock via Pennangalan
Hair clips: Claire's
Earrings and pendant: Party City
Lace choker: My remnant stash

Monday, November 25, 2013

Football Fields of Black Lace

While I was unemployed, I occupied much of my free time with sewing. As I worked my way through my stash of fabric making skirts and dresses, I soon ran out of the lace I like to use to finish hems. I began to build a small mountain of nearly-finished garments waiting for their lace.

Finally I was able to order more lace, which arrived today. Woo-hoo, 250 yards of ruffled black lace!  :D
Now, if I were in a country that uses the metric system (so... pretty much the whole world except the United States of Stubborn), I'd say that's about 228 meters. But since I'm in the US, I am obliged to say that's about two football fields.

Huh? Those of you outside the States may not know this, but Americans are obsessed with measuring things in terms of football fields. Anything and everything can be measured in football fields -- the International Space Station, sinkholes, asteroids, sushi, chicken wings. It's absurd. :P

Anyway...

Why did I buy such an insane quantity of lace? Sold wholesale in 50-yard spools, black ruffled lace is about 30 cents per yard. At retail fabric stores, ruffled black lace sells for $3, $4 or even $5 per yard. Talk about markup! :o  Even with a minimum order of $75, buying wholesale is the better option by far.

I'm sure no one will be surprised to see new lace-trimmed skirts featured in upcoming posts. ;)

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Bats and Lime Dress

I've previously shown dresses that I made with an altered version of McCall's 6027.  Though those dresses fit well, the neckline is so low that I have to wear a shirt underneath. With some additional effort, I further altered the pattern to raise the neckline several inches.

I combined that altered bodice pattern with the godet version of the McCall's 6027 skirt. I used a black and lime green bat-print cotton, with solid lime green cotton for the godets and the trim around the neck and arm holes.



What do you think -- Should I make a green sash to go with the dress?

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Purple Owls Dress

My fourth dress success was made from this purple owls and trees print fabric from Hancock Fabrics.

I used my altered McCall's 6027 for the bodice portion and New Look 6020 for the skirt portion.

This successfully produced the A-line shape I was going for.
 

As you can see, I've had another haircut. The previous length felt sort of "in between." I was still putting it up, which rather defeated the purpose of having it cut in the first place. And it was still heavy, without much movement. So I had it cut short enough to swing freely and had more layers added.

It feels less like a drastic change than I'd hoped. But short of pulling out the clippers or bleach, this is about as big a change as I could get. I think my real problem is that no matter what I do to my hair, my face still looks the same. :P

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Rejoining the Realm of the Employed

The job decision is made! As you all suggested in your comments to my last post, I chose Job Two, the more challenging position. I will meet with HR Friday to fill out paperwork, then I start work on Monday. I'm a bit nervous, but mostly excited. :)

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Three Shoes, Two Jobs, and One Dog

Every year around this time, shoe stores put out their winter stock of boots. Every year, I look for mainstream (i.e., not Docs or New Rocks) tall black boots. Every year, I find none that fit.

I have what my mother refers to as "racehorse legs" -- slender calves, bony ankles, and big, wide feet. Tall boots are always too big for my ankles and too narrow for my feet. That's annoying. But what is absolutely infuriating is that on the rare occasion that I find a wide width boot, it's always a wide calf boot. As if a person with a wide foot couldn't possibly have normal calves. Boot makers of the world, listen up: Wide feet do not equal wide calves!

I repeat: WIDE FEET DO NOT EQUAL WIDE CALVES!

Okay, enough ranting. This footwear story actually has a happy ending.

Though I found no boots that fit, I found three pairs of shoes. Three! It is exceedingly rare that I can find a single pair of shoes that fit. Finding three in one go is unheard of. And they were all on sale! Unbelievable!

I got this pair with cute ribbon laces:
 

This pair of Mary Janes:

And this pair with buckles. They're quite similar to the others, but at $20, they were a bargain.

So what is an unemployed person doing buying shoes? Well, I won't be unemployed for long. :) Only this week, in fact. I just have to decide which job to take.

I find myself in the unexpected position of having offers for two jobs. Both companies apparently really want me and have extended attractive offers. It's a bit surreal being wanted. And the decision is agonizing...

The two roles are similar. The companies' cultures are similar. The compensation and benefits are similar. The main differences are location and job content.

Job One is in downtown Denver, which is appealing to me. I liked working downtown back east, and it would be nice to commute by bus. Job Two would require commuting by car, but it's pretty close to home, roughly a 15- or 20-minute drive.

Job One would be easier and start at a relatively slow pace, I think. This has appeal for someone who's been lazing about for eight months. :P But realistically, I would be unhappy if the job is too easy. I like to have plenty to do. Job Two has a rather intimidating list of duties. No way I'd be bored with it! And expectations would be high because the person currently doing the job is very good. I'd have to be at my best from day one. It's a bit overwhelming.

There is one last thing to factor in. The Job One interview lasted only 20 minutes. I met with a person from Human Resources and someone from the administrative team. I did not meet the executive with whom I would be working every day. I'm a little uneasy about that. It feels a little like a mail order bride situation. :P The Job Two interview lasted almost two hours (and it was intense!), and I met the executives as well as the person who is currently in the role.

Both companies are expecting my answer by first thing in the morning, so I must make my decision tonight. Ugh. I don't usually have this much trouble making decisions.

Whatever I choose, I'm happy that employment is pending. I need the money to pay vet bills!

Friday night, I noticed the cyst on my dog's shoulder had swelled with infection again. :(  So it was off to the vet's on Saturday morning. More draining and a longer course of antibiotics this time.

Though I'm not happy the infection has returned, the situation does relieve me of some of the worry I had about my regular vet's handling of the first infection. It's obvious the cyst can indeed become infected in a very short amount of time (about 24 hours this time). And the vet at the weekend clinic provided the same type of treatment.

Luckily, Bean Sidhe is unfazed by the ugly thing. In fact, she's quite happy to receive a glob of peanut butter twice a day. She doesn't even notice the pill hidden inside.

Now I'm off to continue agonizing over the job decision...

Monday, November 4, 2013

Sewing Machines Dress

I spotted this black and white sewing machine print fabric at Hancock Fabrics and could not resist. It's mediocre quality, but it was worth buying with a 50% off coupon. I used it for a dress.

For the bodice portion of the dress, I used my altered McCall's 6027. I omitted the front seam by cutting on the fold. I combined this with the skirt portion of the jumper from Simplicity 2868.
Simplicity 2868 (out of print)

Alas, the resulting dress was too tight across my big ole butt womanly curves. I solved this problem by adding four godets starting just below the waist.


As for the styling, I'd love a critique from those of you who are more stylish than I (which is pretty much all of you). The tights are too sheer and opaque black would look better, yes? What do you think about the black and white shoes?