Saturday, December 31, 2011

DIY Alterations: Lined Coat Edition

Do you remember this camel coat from a few weeks ago? Well, I took it in to my tailor to see how much it would cost to have it taken in, since it is so loose at the waist. He looked at it and said, "Usually for a lined full-length coat, I would charge $75, but since you are so short, I will charge the same as for a suit coat - $40". It was a nice gesture, but I would rather put $40 toward a new coat than spend it on an old one that I hardly ever wear.

So then, I was left with two choices: give it away or alter it myself. What do you think I did?

First, I needed a strategy. I noticed that there was a seam going all the way down under each arm, which meant that I could simply slim the waist just like I have done to many, many blouses. But first, I needed to get at the inside of the seam underneath the lining. 

So, I pulled out my trusty seam-ripper (my most used sewing tool) and separated the lining from the coat along the bottom. I tried to rip out as little as possible, knowing that I would have to sew it back by hand in the end, which resulted in about a 10" hole at the bottom of each of the two seams that I needed to work with. 

Here is a view of the seam pulled through the hole between the lining and the coat bottom. 

I pinned it the way I thought I wanted it and then tried it on to make sure of the fit. 

Then, I sewed along the pins, making sure to join with the old seam as gradually as possible over the hip area.

After I was happy with the final fit, I cut off the excess fabric.

Finally, I sewed the lining back to the coat. I think the proper stitch is a slipstitch, but really, I just winged it, since it would be covered by the lining anyway. 

Drumroll, please! 

Ta da!

And from the back...

What do you think? 

In case you are wondering what I am wearing underneath the coat...

Coat: Ann Taylor (circa 5 years ago)
Sweater: Old Navy (recent)
Jeans: Ann Taylor (recent - Petite Modern Fit Bootcut)
Shoes: BCBGeneration (via TJ Maxx)

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Amp up your classic styles

You may recognize this dress that I bought recently at the Banana Republic Outlet. You can see my original post here. I decided to amp it up a little by adding a skinny belt and a bold sweater. 

What do you think?

Dress: Banana Republic Outlet
Belt: Charlotte Russe
Sweater: Target
Showes: Rack Room Shoes

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

The Long and Short of It

With so many bloggers wearing cropped sweaters lately, I thought I'd give the trend a try...without buying anything new. So, I paired a hip-length sweater with one of my favorite dresses, then safety pinned it together in the back at my waistline and tucked it under. 

The jury is still out for me. It is hard to make it look right in the back. I do like how it makes the dress look like a high waisted skirt, though. The more casual feel is nice too. What do you think? Any suggestions?

And here is the dress on its own. Depending on how I accessorize, I feel either very Sicilian or like a 1950's housewife in it. Can't you see June Cleaver pairing it with pearls and running a vacuum?

The long full skirt is fun, but do you think it is too long for a petite girl like me? Would it look better knee-length?

Earrings: Francesca's
Sweater: LOFT
Dress: Petite Sophisticate Outlet (went out of business a few years ago, I think)
Shoes: Aerosoles (via Kohl's)

Monday, December 26, 2011

Love and The Giants

My husband loves the NY Giants....Need I say more?

Giants Apparel: Old Navy (mine is a girls XL)

Saturday, December 24, 2011


With Christmas fast approaching, I dug this semi-neglected, emerald green camp shirt out of my closet to wear to work this week. I slimmed the sides and am pretty happy with the way it fits now, especially when paired with a skinny belt and my $5 pencil skirt (or a pair of dark skinny jeans). I think I will start wearing it more often.

I finally mustered up the courage to try out our Digital SLR camera today. It is a Nikon D50 and nearly collapses my little tripod. I just used the self-timer with the automatic setting. Any tips for a camera novice?

Earrings: Ann Taylor Factory Store
Shirt: Old Navy (DIY Slimmed)
Belt: Ann Taylor Factory Store
Skirt: Ann Taylor (DIY hemmed)
Shoes: Aerosoles (via Kohl's)

Thanks for reading and have a fantastic Christmas, everyone!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Got the blues?

I've got sleepy eyes in most of these pictures. Please ignore. 

I'm really into blue this season. I think it gives a nice contrast to my skin and hair. 

Turtleneck: Gap (old)
Necklace: Francesca's
Boots: Nine West
Ring: Charlotte Russe

How do you brighten up your winter blahs?

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

To Ugg or Not to Ugg?

I have noticed that on the blog circuit, Ugg-style boots get a really bad rap. They are considered ugly and merely utilitarian, much like Crocs (which I also happen to like). These particular boots were a $15 score from Old Navy last year ('Adoraboots' are back for this year too). 

Sure, if I am trying to dress up (or look taller), these are not my first choice, but if I am going to the grocery store on a cold, rainy day, they do a great job of keeping my feet warm and comfortable. And hey, I don't think they look bad at all with a skinny jean. 

I found this grey sweater for about $10 at PacSun last year and was sold on the brassy sleeve details. Katie actually bought the same one in white on that shopping trip. It is a size M, but I think it still works since it has a draped style to it. The main problem with the larger size is that the sleeves are pretty loose. I tried to shrink it a little by washing it in hot water and putting it through the dryer, but it didn't seem to help. Maybe I just need to try again. It is 95% Rayon and 5% Spandex and the washing instructions call for washing in cold water and laying flat to dry. Any ideas for shrinking it a little more? 

Either way, without such a sweater, how could I manage to transform from mild-mannered mom to superhero in just seconds?

Sweater: PacSun
Necklace: Forever 21
Tank: Gap Outlet
Jeans: Ann Taylor (here)
Boots: Old Navy (here)

Do you wear Ugg-style boots?

Monday, December 19, 2011

Christmas Party for Leif

My husband Leif works for a small real estate property management company in town and they had a sit down dinner at the Ocean Grill.

This restaurant is iconic in Vero Beach because it has served exceptional food with ocean views for the last 32 years.

Here are a few pictures from the evening.

I bought this dress at H&M a few years ago for $10! Can you believe it?! I've worn it to a wedding and now a Christmas party. It's very versatile since it is so festive.

 Dress: H & M
Necklace: Swarovski Crystal
Bracelet: Swarovski Crystal
Earrings: Target
Ring: Charlotte Russe
Shoes: Payless

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Sequined Skirt

For my office Christmas Party this year, I tried out a new sequin skirt. Anyone who has known me for a long time might be shocked that I would buy such a shiny, girly item. I am a little shocked myself. But isn't it festive? I guess my tastes are broadening from reading so many fashion blogs...

I bought the skirt on sale at LOFT in XXSP (if you are buying it, go small - it is still a little loose around my waist). My favorite features: an attractive elastic waistband and mini skirt cut. I am a big fan of any skirt that I don't have to shorten. 

Earrings: Ann Taylor Factory Store
Blouse: LOFT
Skirt: LOFT (here)
Shoes: Ann Taylor Factory Store

Do you have any suggestions for styling this skirt?

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Christmas Party at a Club

 What are your Christmas parties like?

I work for a rather large company, so our Christmas parties are fabulous. This year it was hosted at a local country club and included a nice dinner, drinks, and casino night with prizes! I've never gambled before so this was really exciting :). 

Here are some of my co-workers and their dates. You probably recognize Sunny on the right from her guest appearances on the blog. We all go to church together too, so it was fun to have friends at the Christmas party. 

 Dress: Borrowed from Katie Andrew :)
Shoes: Nine West c/o Ross
Necklace: Target

I hope your Christmas season is full of hot drinks, parties, and family & friends. 

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Review: Old Navy Shearling Coat

Well, it was worth a shot. In order to get free shipping from Old Navy, I bought this faux shearling coat in XS along with Luke's tiny flannel-lined jeans. I figured, if it didn't work out, I would just return it to the nearby store, and I still would come out ahead with free shipping. 

Fun Motorcycle Jacket Style

Sleeves too wide and long
The fleecy white part is not soft or fluffy at all - more like a well loved, matted down stuffed animal
The Faux suede outside material is very stiff - I feel like I cannot move my arms
Not fitted at the waist - very boxy fit

In the end, I am going to take it back. I like the concept, but the fit is pretty poor, for my body anyway. 

Have you found any great shearling jackets lately?

Monday, December 12, 2011

The Power of Safety Pinning

I love this skirt, but it is a size 4P, so it barely catches on my hips. Since it doesn't sit at the right place at  my waist, it comes below my knees and makes me look shorter.  

So I decided to safety pin the waist to bring up the hem line. 

What do you think of this combo?

Skirt: Ann Taylor
Shirt: Banana Republic
Belt: PacSun
Shoes: Target
Bracelet: Gift
Necklace: Target

Like my mug shot?

Do you ever safety pin things to make them fit better? 
Or do you just get them tailored?