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) :)

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?

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!!

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:

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!


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