Thursday, March 31, 2011

New DIY Projects - Skirt and Pearl Ribbon Necklace

A quickie post here on some things I've been working on :)  First up is a partial DIY outfit.  The shirt is from Old Navy and I added silver studs to the shoulders to give it a little bit of oomph.  The mustard paper bag skirt is another DIY project paired with a rope belt to echo the nautical feel from the striped shirt.  I would model this but I no longer have a waist and a paperbag waist-type skirt looks best at the waist LOL.  Thus I'm planning to wear this skirt below my preggy belly :)

Next up is a variation of my pearl ribbon necklace.  This is a new accordion/folding technique I'm trying.  This necklace was made for a dear friend and features wine-colored pearls paired with pewter ribbon.

A close-up:

I've gotten a few questions regarding why my Etsy store is so empty - I am just far behind in making listings, but if any jewelry piece piques your interest, please just let me know and I can either list it on Etsy or sell it directly to you.  You can always reach me at sewpetitegal(at) :)

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Color Brigade: Striped Blue Blazer, Fuchsia, and Charcoal

Time for Kileen's Color Brigade!  Today's blue - fuchsia - charcoal outfit is a an attempt of mixing items that I don't typically wear together.

Blazer:  Banana Republic, Blue & White Striped
Top: LOFT Deep Cowl Neck Shell, Fuchsia
Necklace:  Kohl's
Bracelet:  DIY Chan Luu Inspired (see tutorial here)
Pants:  Banana Republic Charcoal Gray Trouser Jeans
Shoes:  Ann Taylor Perfect Suede Pumps, Granite

I really love these BR trouser jeans.  I usually wind up looking rather short and squat in this type of style but I *think* these are a little more flattering because they are more fitted in the hips and thighs.  The best part?  They are super soft and were $10 at the clearance outlet!!

And belly progress :D

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Carrie Bradshaw Inspired DIY Floral Coat

I spent my day today staring unblinkingly at the breathtaking fashions worn by Carrie Bradshaw in E's SATC marathon.  Season 6 was on today and I fell in love with Carrie's beautiful coat seen here:

Floral Beccaria Off-White Velvet Coat

I sooo wish I had a full-length picture of this.  I really only caught a glimpse of it in the episode but I couldn't stop thinking of it.  Hence, my version (though of a much less pretty print):

Post-pregnancy, I'll add some darts in the back to make it more fitted as well as buttons to the front.  Right now I know I can't button anything so I left it plain.  This is definitely something that primarily works in spring and maybe summer.  What do you think?

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Petite Fashion Challenge #6: Dress Up Your Basics & Giveaway Winners

And the winners of my giveaway are Really Petite, Read My Life as Carrie, and Daisydn - congrats!!  Please contact me within the next 3 days at sewpetitegal(at) to arrange for your prizes!  Remember, first to contact me gets 1st choice and so on of prizes :)

The lovely and stylish Stylepint is hosting this month's Petite Fashion Challenge!  Check out her blog here for OOTDs and Bay Area fashion show posts.  I personally heart PFC posts and enjoy looking at all of the different entries - so many fashionable ladies and so much inspiration!

This Month’s Challenge

“Dress Up Your Basics”
Jeans and a tee is a classic outfit starter. Depending on what you layer over this basic pairing, you can change style and feel of the entire look. This is your chance to show your personality and your creativity.
For this challenge, start off with a jeans and tee basic look (it can be any style or color) and dress it up to show off your personal style with accessories, jewelry, and whatever you’d like to add.

I technically need to add another "P" in PFC for "pregnant" - enough preggy talk yet?  :)  I went pretty toned down for this PFC - partially because my DIY didn't turn out the way I wanted and partially because I then ran out of ideas :(

This is a basic white tee that I added some feather pads to and paired with a turquoise necklace and purple platform sandals.  Originally, I wanted to put feathers on each shoulder for an epaulet look but unfortunately couldn't get them to lay smoothly.  Oh well!  Looking forward to everyone else's entries!!

Tee:  Banana Republic, old + added feather pads
Necklace:  DIY Turquoise Chain
Jeans: LOFT bootcut
Sandals: Frye Bridget Studded Sandal (buy here)

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

To Sew a Vibrant Sundress & Color Brigade

Woohoo - it's 70 degrees outside AND it's Color Brigade Day (see Kileen of Cute and Little's awesome weekly blog feature here)!  What better way to revel in warm weather than a new dress project?  This dress uses McCall's M5654 View B and $1/yd fabric so this dress cost a whopping $2 to make!  The bold pattern of the fabric really drew me in and it has a little bit of a grosgrain ribbon feel with fine ribbings throughout that also allow it a bit of stretch.

The dress is originally intended to be flowy / tent-ish but I'd rather belt it for now and let it flow later on in the pregnancy.  How would you wear this?

Dress: Sundress DIY
Necklace: DIY Turquoise Chain
Belt: Old Navy
Shoes: Frye Joy Vintage Slide (buy here)

Warning!  Preggy bump up ahead :)  Also a closer up view of the DIY Turquoise Chain necklace.


Don't forget to enter my giveaway here for a chance to win one of my handmade pearl ribbon necklaces!  3 winners will be drawn on the evening of March 24th!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Meet My Baby Bump + LOFT Fitting Room Reviews

I have a very interesting post for you today.  I went to LOFT both last week AND this week (I just can't stay away).  When comparing pictures, I noticed a massive change in baby bump-itude!  You may think it's odd that I'm still shopping for non-maternity wear.  During my 1st pregnancy, I mainly wore my normal sized clothing - now granted, they were mainly tops in the following categories: voluminous wovens, stretchy knits / jerseys, and cardigans / blazers (unbuttoned) but 1). this really helped my ego and 2). saved me lots of money.  The only maternity garb I invested in were pants and skirts.  I mistakenly bought a few maternity tops - BIG MISTAKE - they were all so muu muu-esque that it made me feel much bigger than I was (which I did not need).

First, pictures of me from last week:  (L: OOTD, R: LOFT Ruffle top - can't find link)

Second, pictures of me this week: holy baby bump!

 LOFT Assymetrical Neckline Drape Dress, XS (buy here - solid color only)
Sorry about the fuzzy pics - apparently being pregnant also makes my camera hand shake!  I HEART the colors / print of this dress sooooo much!  The soft jersey material also makes it maternity friendly (post-maternity, I can belt it and wear it with cardigans or blazers).  I was THISCLOSE to buying it but I decided to use my $25 savings card on 2 sweaters instead.  From a size point of view, this is going to be super loose on anyone smaller than me and unfortunately, I didn't see this in petites.
Verdict:  Will wait for sale

LOFT Wide Stripe Boat Neck Sweater, S (buy here)
Stripes?!?  Sign me up!  I tried this on in both S and XS - both actually fit the same with a roomy torso.  The main difference was length.  XS looked very cropped on me whereas S looked more like a normal sweater so I decided sizing up was better for me.  Fit is pretty loose (even with preggy tummy!) so I'm guessing this is intentional.  Smaller ladies may want to try before buying as it will be an oversized fit.
Verdict: Buy - can't resist stripes.  Plus they had the BOGO 50% off promo.

 LOFT Crop Sweater Jacket, XS (buy here)
You can't tell in the photos (sorry!) but this sweater has the cutest nautical details!  The collar and pockets are lined with a navy/cream striped pattern and the neck features cute rope ties.
Verdict: Buy (same reasons as above)

 LOFT Draped Shell, XS (can't find online)
I love the print and draped ruffle detail of this shell!  I think this would look gorgeous with some muted gold pearls or cameo pendant on a long necklace.
Verdict:  Buy - on sale for $20 and accommodates the belly

I think my New Year's Resolution to watch my shopping has gone out the window at least for the month of March.  Darn you LOFT and your super tempting sales!  Did you shop this weekend?  How are you doing with your resolutions?

Thursday, March 17, 2011

New Feature: Preggy Chronicles Vol. 1 - Hiding the Bump may have noticed that I have been looking a little puffy in the middle lately.  There's a good reason for that!  Hubby and I are expecting our second child in October and we are ever so EXCITED!  Our 22-month old son is the light of our life and we are in awe of how much we cherish his tiny little being.

In light of this, I present to you the Preggy Chronicles Volume 1: Hiding the Bump.  Traditionally, the 1st trimester is shrouded in secrecy due to the risk of miscarriage.  It's only after this period that you usually tell all your friends and coworkers.  So what happens if you're like me and start developing a bump sooner than you're ready to tell?

Here are some tips that I've found helpful:

  • Avoid stretchy knits!  They show every little bump - even if it's just a big lunch.  Wear wovens instead.  They have a tendency to be a little more voluminous and will mask tummies.
  • Tuck in and puff out blouses.  The tucking allows you some shape definition and separates top from bottom.  The volume of the puffing hides your bump.
  • Blazers are your new best friend.  Blazers (leave unbuttoned) help visually slim a flowy blouse while still hiding your bump in the side view.
  • Wear front ruffles (from neck to tummy) or scarves.  The added volume camouflages very nicely!
  • Photo tips - shoulders forward and butt back.  Whether you're a blogger or someone who is posing for a photo, I've found that if you lean forward a little bit while holding your rear back, you'll keep your tummy from sticking out.  Note that this really only works in photos (and not from the side!).  Otherwise people will wonder why your posture has morphed you into a duck :)
  • Set up a system for side-sleeping.  I am a back sleeper but baby gets the best blood flow if you sleep on your side (left is optimal but either is better than back or of course belly).  I have tried ten million pillows and only one has met my needs - addresses ear pain, is firm, and is at the right height - Side Sleeper Pro (but buy it at Bed, Bath and Beyond stores for only $20).
Happy St. Patrick's Day!!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

J. Crew + Cee-Inspired OOTD

This OOTD is purely Cee-inspired.  Have you checked out her super-stylish blog?  Be sure to take a gander at her 30 for 30 challenge because this gal does amazing things even when her options are limited.

Anyhoo, how exactly is this Cee-inspired?
  • Crewcuts gingham button down?  Check.
  • Blazer?  Check.
  • Necklace under the collar?  Check.

Shirt:  Crewcuts Boys' Button-Down in Large Gingham, Sz 14 (buy here)
Blazer:  J. Crew Twill Blazer, Navy, Sz 0
Necklace:  DIY Triple Strand Pearls (buy here)
Skirt:  J. Crew Canvas Military Skirt, Sz 0 (buy here)
Shoes:  Frye Joy Vintage Slide (buy here)

This post also doubles as this week's entry into Kileen of Cute and Little's Color Brigade.  Today, I'm pairing Navy, Gingham, Olive, and Brown - wild, I know :)

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Houndstooth Capelet Sewing DIY

This week's sewing project is a mini-capelet made of a blue and black houndstooth (LOVE the color and print!) material.   To make your own, use Butterick B5395 view A with a shortened length and a cozy, vibrant fabric.  Though the pattern shows a multi-button capelet, I preferred to do one dramatic button at the collar.

As far as styling goes, I know I should probably pair this with a skinnier pant but I really wanted a grey bottom and only had trouser styles.  How would you wear this?

A close-up view:

Thursday, March 10, 2011

LOFT Outlet Finds and Reviews

I did quite a bit of damage at the LOFT outlet a little over a week ago.  They had an extra 25% off sale items and then 40% off select items.  I felt a bit like my 2010 self when I bought all of it but I think they were all very good deals and definitely things that I did not feel lukewarm about.  I originally took iPhone fitting room photos but then found that my toddler has figured out how to delete photos :P

First up, is an Navy Blue button down shirt with white polka dots in XS.  This shirt runs a little big like all LOFT (regular store and outlet) XS items.  If you are my size, you'll find that it is a tiny bit loose so tucking in is your best bet.

Top:  LOFT Outlet, Blue & White Polka Dot Blouse, XS, $24.99
Necklace:  Long String of Freshwater Pearls
Brooch:  Cameo with Pearl Dangle (can also be worn as a pendant)
Belt:  Talbots Gray Croco Belt
Pants:  Banana Republic Pinstripe Trousers
Shoes:  Gucci Magenta Wedges

Next is a Navy Blue shirt dress in Size 0.  Again, this runs a bit big and fits more like a true size 2 (sorry about the overexposed shot, I'm still fiddling with settings on my camera).  I think this is a great staple piece that will look nice with different accessories.  I don't think I did a very good job here.  How would you wear it?

Dress:  LOFT Outlet Navy Shirtdress, Sz 0, $24.99
Necklace:  DIY Mixed Media Pearl Necklace, (buy similar here)
Bracelet:  DIY Chan Luu Inspired Bracelet, Bronze, (see tutorial here)
Belt:  The Limited Leopard Print Belt
Shoes:  Gucci d'Orsay Pumps, Camel

Finally is this Black and White skirt in size 0 that was only $7!  Once again, this fits more like a true sz 2.

Top:  The Limited Red Button-Down Blouse, XS
Necklace:  DIY Triple Strand Pearl Necklace, (buy similar here)
Skirt:  LOFT Outlet Black and White Skirt, Sz 0, $7
Shoes:  Ann Taylor Perfect Suede Pumps, Granite

Not pictured, but I also bought 2 pairs of jeans for $5 each.  What do you think - are these worthy of keeping?  I'm leaning towards "yes" on all items :)

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Color Brigade: Blue Plaid, Khaki, and Magenta OOTD

It's Color Brigade Day!  Be sure to check out Kileen of Cute and Little's weekly feature for gorgeous color combination inspirations :)

I'm still thinking of the J. Crew catalog look of plaid button-down + full skirt so when I found a plaid shirt in Old Navy's Boy section, I went for it.  The fit is actually not too bad.  It fits a little loosely in the torso and sleeves but the the shirt / sleeve lengths are perfect.  Plus, it was only $10 so you can't beat the price.

Shirt:  Old Navy Blue Plaid Button-Down, Boys Sz Lg, $10 (buy here)
Necklace:  DIY Mixed Media Pearl Necklace (buy similar here)
Belt:  Banana Republic Chain & Leather belt
Skirt:  Old Navy Khaki Tiered Skirt
Shoes:  Gucci Magenta Wedges (Left) and Frye Joy Vintage Slide (Right - buy here)

I'm a little perplexed on the shoe situation.  I love the pop of magenta with the wedges on the left and I think the lower heel balances out the shorter hem.  However, I feel like my legs look so much better with the Frye slides.  Which would you choose?

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Easy, Draped Maxi Dress DIY Tutorial

One of my resolutions this year was to try draping a garment (a la Project Runway) rather than using a commercial pattern.  This is my first try with it and it seemed relatively simple so I thought I'd share a tutorial on it too :)  The dress I made is a very basic Grecian-inspired, draped maxi using a super soft jersey material.  The best thing about it is that you only have to sew 2 lines - one side seam and the hem.

Draped Maxi Dress DIY
(I know I need to shorten the hem, but I'm still trying to decide if I want to add drawstrings up the side to adjust the dress length as I choose)

See full tutorial after the jump:

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Beauty Favorites Via Ski Petite

The lovely Ski Petite, one of our community's newer bloggers (check her out here), tagged me in a recent post of Beauty Favorites.  I will be the first to admit that I'm a little bit of beauty novice though I do have a few tried and true favorites I'd like to share :)

Questions:1-Which lipstick/ lipgloss did you use most often in 2010?
I discovered this on accident by getting it free from a friend.  Cover Girl TruShine in Peach Shine is my all-time favorite.  It gives you a sheer covering of natural-looking color without stickiness.  It has since been discontinued but I bought a BUNCH off eBay right after the stores got rid of them.

2-What was your favorite eyeshadow this year?

My favorite eyeshadow is actually Sephora Creme Caramel used as a base - great pigment and smooth application.  I use this with my favorite eyeliner, Loreal Bare Naturale Gentle Mineral Eyeliner.  This eyeliner never irritates my eyes / contact lenses and gives you a nice, high-pigment color.

3-What product for the complexion (foundation, blush, etc.,) did you use the most?
Lancome Ageless Minerale in Natural Honey 10 is another product that gives you a sheer, natural looking color.  I love how light-weight it feels on my skin and the accompanying brush is super soft and spreads product evenly and effortlessly.

4-Your favorite nail polish color of 2010?
Sally Hansen Insta-Dri in Mauve It - I like to paint my toenails but not my fingernails.  Fingernails chip too easily for me and it drives me nuts to have to look at it all the time.  Toenails however are much more chip-resistant and a better investment of my time :)  This gives a nice, feminine color to toes in spring / summer and I love that it dries so quickly!

5-Which skin care product would you not give up under any circumstances?
I have pretty sensitive skin and many types of balm / moisturizer really irritate it.  Aquaphor, however, works on all types of dry / chapped skin (lips / elbows / hands) and never irritates.  Even our son used it when he had eczema as an infant.

6-What is your favorite personal care product?
Urban Decay Primer Potion makes even the most wander-happy eyeshadow / eyeliner stay in place.  Before this, I had constant raccoon eyes at mid-day and would have to remove the eyeliner and re-add in place.  Now, I can go the whole day without worrying about it (unless I happen to tear up at something which happens rather frequently - I'm such a sap).

7-Your usually worn fragrance in 2010?
Marc Jacobs Daisy - I fell  in love with this after smelling it in a magazine insert.  Good job on the marketing MJ!

8-What was your personal favorite jewelry piece?
Aside from my engagement ring, I really love my DIY Mixed Media Pearl Necklace.  I wear it all the time and love how it lends an instant touch of drama to more simple ensembles.

9-What have you discovered in 2010 that is new for you (new products, inspirations, blogs, hobbies, etc.,)?
2010 was the year I discovered bloggers and the petite blogging community!  I can't tell you how much I value you all for your advice, camaraderie, and kindness.  You've made such a big impact in my life :)  2010 is also when I started sewing and making jewelry.

10-Do you have resolutions for 2011? If so, what are they?

  1. Spend more quality time with the family DOING something.  We have a tendency to be a relax in front of TV type of family and I'd really like us to bond over more activity type items.
  2. Be more deliberate in my shopping.  Items purchased should either be super deals or something I REALLY want.  No more lukewarm purchases!
  3. More DIY!  Elevate skills from novice to intermediate.
  4. Related to #3, create a garment from draping rather than a pattern.  
  5. Shop in my own closet and try different combinations for new outfits.

11-Tag other people:

In lieu of formally tagging, if you have not yet posted your Beauty Favorites, please do share!  I love learning about new products!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Color Brigade: Paisley, Olive, & Brown

This week's entry for Kileen of Cute and Little's Color Brigade features Paisley, Olive Green, and Brown.  I was feeling earthy today and since we are still experiencing some unseasonably warm temperatures, I decided to go with my new maxi dress from H&M.  You can't really tell in these photos but the paisley print is made up of peaches, creams, and tans - it's quite pretty and the dress was only $19.95!  They also have a blue paisley version in stores.  The fit is pretty decent and something about the top really amplifies the bust - which can be good or bad LOL.

Jacket: LOFT Twill Cropped Military Jacket, Olive Green
Dress: H&M Paisley Maxi Dress, Peach/Cream/Tan
Necklace: DIY Mixed Media Pearl Necklace, (buy similar here)
Belt: Old Navy, Brown
Sandals: Frye Joy Vintage Slide (buy here)

Sorry about the slightly washed out photos.  I was trying a new camera lens and I think I set the exposure too high.  I'm still such a photography newbie!  Anyone have any DSLR tips / settings for good indoor photography?


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