A white-collared dress is still high on my wishlist, but the collar fabric came a cropper in the washing machine. I pre-washed the pink cord. Separately. Then I ran a white wash: pillowcases, a towel, underwear, the white fabric. And guess what? Some, but not all, of the items emerged with a distinct pink glow - nooooo! I am going to wash it again, but I am cross. Surely this should not be possible? There must have been pink dye residue lurking in the depths of my washing machine, despite the whole rinsing and spinning process.
So I might crack on with my Colette Jasmine blouse while I think about it. I am considering a contrasting neck-tie using a slice of this charity-shop ra-ra skirt. What do you think? Too busy?I have been reading reviews of the new Colette Sewing Book with greedy attention. I am hoping that FL has listened to my extremely heavy hints and that I will receive a copy on Christmas day... but he can be quite unpredictable in the gift department. I may have to buy my own! I particularly enjoyed the extract over on Casey's blog here, and Ali's piece here.
To quote Sarai of Colette:
"I believe in a personal approach to style. To me, that means wearing things that make you happy. This takes a bit of reflection and a dash of restraint."
Restraint? Really?! If I had deployed restraint, I would not own a pair of day-glo "mental" trousers, as one commenter put it ; ) I suppose it is all about context. Those pink trews are, I admit, somewhat inappropriate for a senior management meeting. In those circumstances, I exercise so much "restraint" I am no longer myself. Which is perhaps a comment on the mismatch between my true personality and my day-job! But I don't see a way to changing career in the near future. So, with "a bit of reflection", I would love to make and wear clothes that are work-appropriate but still "me". I think I cracked it in the summer, with my "40's blouse and trousers" look, but the cold weather has me foxed and boxed in.
I need a plan! Sound the trumpets!! Call my Ladies-in Waiting!!!
Things I like:
There is a side to "my style" which is not being explored at the moment. In addition to "the vintage look", I really love the simplicity of many Japanese sewing patterns: those easy-going dresses with high waists or no waist at all, worn in soft warm layers.
I have until now viewed this as a look for "homewear" and haven't invested much time, effort or cash into making up the styles I love, prioritising my work wardrobe. In the summer, my Lisette Portfolio tunic/dresses absolutely expressed this side of my style.
|Inspiring Dress from Anna Allen at Etsy|
|Anna Allen again|
My initial reaction to the idea was "too casual", but I have seen some of the younger fashion bloggers totally work this look in a way that makes it seem 9-5 appropriate. Keiko Lynn being the prime example.
All it takes is a bit more polish and attention to the details of accessories and make up. And if your dress is a simple pop-it-on-and-go style, you have more time to spend on the "extras" like combing your hair (ahem!)
The key will be finding the right fabric. Which is where I come unstuck. It needs to be warm and not completely plain or I will turn into Little Orphan Annie. Which is what got me thinking about plaid. The stuff in the picture above, earmarked for my Jasmine blouse, is too thin for a dress.
So I find myself obsessing about a sewn-to-order dress I saw on Etsy...
|Velvet Bird dress - eek I might have to buy this one!|
There's a lovely interview with Ms Velvet Bird herself here.
I could wear a polo-neck sweater underneath on a frosty day, a cardigan on top on a normal day, or even throw my bare arms to the wind if the sun shines... ooh! Sold!