Thursday, June 28, 2012

PFC #17: Candy Colorized

It's time for PFC #17!  I've always enjoyed participating in these challenges and I'm so excited about hosting this one.  I can't wait to see everyone's colorful posts!  :)

The Challenge: Candy Colorized
Take a bowl full of colorful candies (M&Ms, Jolly Ranchers, jelly beans, etc.), close your eyes, and draw 2-3 pieces.  Now use those colors (+ a neutral of your choosing) to form the basis for your ensemble.

**Extra brownie points if you post more than 1 colorful ensemble or if you add a DIY element (because I love DIYs so much!) :D**

For this challenge, I used some leftover jelly beans and drew green, purple, and orange.  I wracked my brain on how to combine them as solids, but simply wasn't able to put something together that looked good.  Prints made life much easier.
Green Top + Orange / Purple / Green / White / Fuchsia Skirt + Purple Sandals + Green Ring
Banana Republic Top
J. Crew Number 2 Pencil Skirt, Garden Floral (buy here)
Frye Sandals
Amrita Singh Shelter Island Ring (buy here)
Michael Kors Tortoiseshell Watch
Banana Republic Bracelet

Other options I played with:
Lavender Striped Top + Peachy Coral Necklace + Mint Jeans + Purple Sandals
LOFT Striped Dress (worn as top)
LOFT Modern Straight Leg Jeans
Frye Sandals
Gifting Grace Necklace

A 2-color pairing was much easier:
Orange Print Top + Peachy Coral Necklace + Green Maxi Dress + Green Bracelet & Ring
Banana Republic Button Down
Old Navy Maxi Dress
Gifting Grace Necklace
Lands' End Canvas Double Wrap Leather Bracelet (buy here)
H&M Ring

Be sure to check out each and every one of these lovely participants.  They are (in order of sign-up):

Please let me know if I accidentally left you off the list or if there's something wrong with your link!

How do you mix your colors?

Past PFC Entries:
  PFC #16: Summer Wedding (Under $100)
  PFC #15: Chic Pin-spiration
  PFC #13: Professional Under $100

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Outlet Mall Reviews: J. Crew, BR & LOFT

I probably went to the mall a week too early since July 4th sales are next week, but we were running errands in the area and figured we might as well drop in (by we, I mean me.  I'm sure Hubby wasn't too jazzed about it but he's very accommodating).

J. Crew Factory Thandie Sweater in Stripe, Navy Multi, XS, $27 (buy here)
Ever since I let the Gondola Stripe Top slip through my hands (my size is no longer available, review here), I've been looking for a red / white / blue striped shirt.  And now I've found one!  I have a real appreciation for the way things are cut at J. Crew because they fit my body shape very well - fitted in the shoulders / chest / arms and then relaxed in the torso to hide that pouch.
Verdict: Bought, in store promo was 50% off original price

Lands' End Canvas Anchor Belt, L, bought on promo for $20 but is now back to $50 (buy here)
This wasn't at the outlet mall, but I figured I'd review it since I'm wearing it here.  I bought this belt last week online when all accessories were 60% off at LEC and ordered a Large to sling around my mommy hips.  Based on the size chart, a Large was supposed to fit a waist size (or in my case, a hip size) of 33-36" but it actually measures 38" at the smallest setting and 43" at the largest setting.  Thankfully, the clasp will also work on the braided portion allowing for smaller settings and versatility in wearing on the hips or waist.  Another note, little bits of the leather seem to rub off upon use but you can just brush it off.
Verdict: A good buy for $20!  Just make sure to size down.

LOFT Outlet Lace Shift Dress, 0P, $40
This fits well and follows the rule of skimming the body rather than hugging it.  It's a good rule (thanks Jean of Extra Petite)!  It's a good length for petites but a little too short for my taste.  I prefer my skirt / dress lengths to be just above the knee so that when I sit, a good deal of leg is still covered up.
Verdict: No, but would be good for less self-conscious petites :)

LOFT Outlet Eyelet Blazer, 0P, $39.99
I wanted so badly to love this blazer.  The combination of color + eyelet is just so pretty, but it wasn't flattering on me.  There was too much pulling at the chest and just didn't look right in general.
Verdict: No, not for my body type

BR Outlet Yellow Jacket, 0P
Um, excuse the blue and white neck action.  I was trying something and it does not look the way I hoped, LOL.  The jacket fits well throughout the shoulders / chest / torso, but I just didn't love it.  I think maybe the color was a little too bright for me.
Verdict: No

BR Outlet Braided Colorblock Top, XS
I loved the green / navy color combination of this, but the torso was just too billow-y.  Made me look puffy and pregnant.
Verdict: No

BR Outlet Yellow Striped T-Shirt Dress, XS $19.99
The material was a soft, medium-weight knit (not see-through, woohoo!).  The length was perfect, but everything else was cut too broadly for my frame.  I tried belting it.  Unfortunately, that just emphasized my lack of waist. 
Verdict: No, but a good price and quality if you find one that fits

Today's OOTD:
BR Chevron Tie-Neck Top (old)
LOFT White Cropped Pants
Lands' End Canvas Anchor Belt (buy here)
LV Pochette Bosphore bag (perfect cross body for mommies!)

And patriotic arm decor:
DIY Leatherette Bracelet
DIY Pearl Bracelet
Hermes Clic H, PM
DIY Nautical Stripe Bracelet

Did you do any shopping this weekend or are you waiting for the Independence Day sales?

PFC #17 is this Thursday!  Can't wait to see everyone's entries!  If you need to sign up, just click here and leave a comment.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Safe(?) Print Mixing: Floral (DIY) + Stripes

I love shopping for fabric.  Every bolt that catches my eye yields so many creative possibilities.  The blue and green floral print below was something that appealed to me instantly as a great skirt material.  To make the florals more casual, I dipped my toe into print-mixing with my go-to: stripes.

Thin shirt stripes + bold belt stripes + floral = safe print mix?

Martin + Osa Blue Striped Button Down
DIY Floral Skirt
DIY Striped Belt
Gucci d'Orsay Pumps, Camel
Target Pearl Necklace

Leather Horsebit Bracelet (bought here, but no longer available)
DIY Navy / White Nautical Bracelet
DIY Pearl Bracelet
Timex Watch + J. Crew Strap

Patterned this skirt off of my nautical / military DIY skirt

What are some safe print mixes for you?

Have you signed up for PFC #17?  
This month we have a colorful challenge involving a bowl of candy ;)

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Pencil Skirt w/ Removable Peplum DIY Tutorial

I made a peplum top a little while ago and wanted to try my hand at a peplum skirt.  Since I wanted it to be wearable even after the peplum trend fades, I decided to make it a removable piece.

This will be a semi-long post, so please see full tutorial after the jump.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Petite Fashion Challenge #17: Candy Colorized

UPDATE:  PFC #17 post is up - click HERE!

I'm so excited to host this month's PFC!  Pre-blogging days, I was a neutral color addict.  My wardrobe consisted of black, gray, white and navy. With bright colors everywhere these days, there's no better time to incorporate some visual fun.  To make this challenging, how about we add an element of chance? :)

The Challenge: Candy Colorized
Take a bowl full of colorful candies (M&Ms, Jolly Ranchers, jelly beans, etc.), close your eyes, and draw 2-3 pieces.  Now use those colors (+ a neutral of your choosing) to form the basis for your ensemble.

**Extra brownie points if you post more than 1 colorful ensemble or if you add a DIY element (because I love DIYs so much!) :D**

(Photo from

To participate:
  • Simply leave a comment below indicating your interest as well as your blog URL.

  • Schedule your post for June 28th at 8:00PM EST and link back to this challenge.

  • Non-bloggers can participate too!  Email me at sewpetitegal[at]gmail[dot]com with your photos by June 27th and I'll post it on the day of the challenge. 

Looking forward to seeing everyone's pretty ensembles!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

J. Crew Fitting Room Reviews Part 2: Summer Sale

Update:  Stores are now doing 30% off sale prices, but purchases are final.

It's J. Crew week over here in SPG-land.  If you saw my last post, you'll know that the J. Crew in store sale was SO good, I actually went twice.  How's that for drinking the Crew-lade?  This is part 2 of my fitting room reviews.  In store pricing noted below.

Scoopneck Blouse in Anchors Aweigh, Sz 0, $64.99 (buy here)
I loved ye from afar and I love ye still.  This dang shirt has been on my mind ever since I saw it pop into new arrivals.  The fit was TTS (for J. Crew) with a slim fit in the arms and shoulders with a blouse-y torso.  The only odd thing for me was the sleeve length.  Too long to be 3/4 and too short to be a typical long-sleeved blouse.  It hit a little above my wrist bone.  The small, white anchor print buttons on the shoulders were a nice detail.  Despite my sweeping declaration of love for it, this particular blouse had a fraying tear on the shoulder so I did not act on my impulse to buy it.
Verdict: I was undecided because the cheapie in me didn't want to spend $65 on a blouse with a trendy print, but I'm going to track it down now that the stores have an additional 30% off.
See also on Gigi.  Her post also has links to other IRL pics.

Dizzy Anchors Mini, Sz 0 (do not see online yet)
Not on sale, but I just couldn't resist the anchor print.  I've been loving the dizzy anchors print online but it seemed a bit too much when I put it on.  Such a shame!  Wish the print was just a wee bit smaller.
Verdict: No, print overwhelms

Stripe Button-front Dress, XS and XXS, $34.99 (buy here)
I have a thing for stripes.  As in, I pretty much feel like buying every striped item I ever come across - especially in the blue / white / cream combination.  The XS is overall loose with a mid-knee hem.  The XXS has a better fit in the chest but is still a little loose at the waist.  Though the hem length is much more suited for my 5'2" build.  I can't say that either is exactly flattering as I pretty much look like a striped rectangle in this dress, but I *think* I can save this dress with a belt.
Verdict: Bought, but second-guessing myself.  The material is a nice, thicker type of knit and the cut of the dress masks my belly, but should I really buy an unflattering dress?  I'm going to try this with some belts at home and see how I feel afterwards.
Stripe Crystal Stretch Bracelet, Ivory, $19.99 (buy here)
As I was checking out, a sales associate took a handful of these bracelets to mark down behind the counter.  Curious, I asked to see them and became enamored of the sparkle.  Currently selling online for the regular price of $39.50.
Verdict: Total. Impulse. Buy.  I'm so weak.

In my limited J. Crew experience, I've typically found better deals online from their frequent sale codes.  I'm rather surprised that the in-store deals were so much better this time around.  What has been your experience - better deals in store or online?

Sunday, June 10, 2012

J. Crew Fitting Room Reviews: Summer Sale

I originally went to the mall to check out the Trina Turk collection at BR (see fitting room post here), but of course, couldn't resist heading to see J. Crew too.  It was worth it!  The in-store prices were AMAZING (noted below) with many 50% less than online.

Ella Dress in Garden Floral, Sz 0, $69.99 (buy here)
Yeesh, sorry for the shaky camera hand.  It looked fine when it was iPhone-sized.  This is such a beautiful floral print and like my other J. Crew strapless dress (here), comes with anti-wardrobe malfunction bands inside the dress to help secure your assets.  Fits nicely without squeezing any of that unsightly armpit fat up and is tummy-friendly.
Verdict: Undecided.  I didn't wind up buying it (yet) because I feel like I already have too many strapless dresses (3) already.  Despite the added security features, they still make me self-conscious that something is going to fall.

No. 2 Pencil Skirt in Double-Serge Cotton, green in Sz 2 and pink in Sz 0, $34.99 (buy here)
I could not believe my eyes when I saw that these skirts (currently selling online for $89.50) were now $34.99.  My typical J. Crew size of 0 fits ok in the waist but too tight for my tastes in the hips / butt.  Sizing up to a 2 made a world of difference.  The material is a nice and sturdy cotton that helps smooth the tummy out.  I don't know what it is about J. Crew, but they have some secret formula at doing this with their dresses and skirts.  Makes moms like me VERY grateful!
Verdict: Buy.  My first instinct was to grab one in every color, but I calmed myself down and chose what I thought would be the most versatile - succulent green.

Bennett Chino, Sz 4, $29.99 (buy here)
Sooo, the Bennett Chino is supposed to be the slimmer cousin of Waverly with the website describing it as "superskinny, straight leg."  I would categorize it as slim, straight leg - like the love child of normal chinos and skinny jeans.  It has a low-rise and fits my waist well.  Thighs and knees are a tad looser than I prefer but I can easily slim this myself.  The legs are very long for 5'2" me but since I've been in cuffed pants mode, it doesn't really matter.
Verdict: Buy, seems like a comfortable pant of good quality that I can DIY slim a little

Silk Square, Navy Red, $14.99 (buy here)
And this lovely thing is still selling for the full price of $55 online but is only $14.99 in stores.  I've been looking for a red scarf but I'll settle for a scarf with red for this price.
Verdict: Buy

If you haven't been to your local J. Crew yet, I highly recommend going.  The in-store prices can't be beat.  Check out J. Crew Aficionada and Gigi's posts for sale watch prices.

Update: Yikes, I went back to the store today and bought more stuff *slaps self in the head.*  Will post part 2 later this week.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Trina Turk for Banana Republic Fitting Room Reviews

Coco Rocha wearing gorgeous, vibrant prints + a flurry of blogosphere activity = SPG at the mall to check out the Trina Turk collection at Banana Republic.  It really is that simple.

Trina Turk Crazy Botanical Twist Strap Dress, Sz 0 (buy here)
See also on Jean.
This was my favorite piece from the collection.  It fit pretty well and even helped camouflage some mommy tummy from the side.  The print is gorgeous and  I like it, but not sure I love it.
Verdict: Undecided - what do you think?

Trina Turk Pisces Strapless Patio Dress, Sz 0 (buy here)
See also on Elle.
Yep, these types of dresses are not made for rectangular / pear-shaped (so maybe trapezoidal?) people like me.  Beautiful print, but I look completely shapeless.
Verdict: No, not flattering to my body type

Trina Turk Pisces Strapless Dress, Sz 0 (buy here)
See also on Annie and Bessie.
Whoo!  This one is a little too body conscious for little old me.  Looks beautiful on the ladies above though!
Verdict: No, I'm too matronly for this look

Trina Turk Silk Cowl Neck Top, Sz 0, (buy orange version here)
I was really drawn to the beautiful shade of blue in this top, but ultimately makes me feel a little too island-y for the midwest :)
Verdict: No, neckline is too low and may be a little too tropical looking for me

Mad Men Lace Shell, Sz XS
While I was there, I also perused the sale racks and found this pretty little number for $25.  Such a pretty lace print and it fit well too!
Verdict: A quality lace top for $25?  Of course it's coming home with me.

The Trina Turk prints did not disappoint in person, but the garments just didn't suit me.  Strangely enough, I left with only one item and it wound up being from the Mad Men collection :)

Will you be shopping this collection?

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Hearts Aflutter DIY Tie-Neck Blouse

Today's DIY was inspired by Wendy and her J. Crew silk shirt in Heart Throb.  I used to associate hearts with being a little girl, but then saw how chic it could be.  Not sure I pulled it off here, but doesn't hurt to try!  I made this sleeveless in preparation for summer with a little tie-neck for visual interest.  Unfortunately, you can't really see that detail since the print is so busy.  Just shows I didn't learn my lesson from here.

DIY Hearts Aflutter Tie-Neck Blouse
DIY Striped Belt
LOFT Marisa Cuffed Crop Pants (buy here)
Gucci Magenta Wedges

Leather Horsebit Bracelet
Gold Bangles
DIY Pearl Bracelet
Timex + J. Crew Strap

I used Butterick B5464 as the basis for the blouse, but cut the front on the fold and added a small slit.  Blouse is fully lined with a rolled hem.

How do you feel about hearts?

Sunday, June 3, 2012

LOFT Fitting Room Reviews - 50% Off Sale Items

Most of these items are no longer available online, but my local store had plenty and the SAs can probably find these items via Style Finder for you.  I think if you have one of their credit cards, they will ship it to you for free, but not sure since I've never done it.  Also, they are still doing the additional 50% off sale items so this is a good time to head to the store.

LOFT Modern Straight Leg Jeans, Sz 4P, $25 (buy here)
I've been admiring the mint trend on bloggers like Jean and Blair, but wasn't sure if I was too late to join in.  These jeans fit exactly like I want them - fits waist / hips well, slim in the thighs / knees, and then straight through the calves.  The material is a soft and comfortable twill.
Verdict: Purchased and worn already :)  
One note to add, these stretch and get baggier throughout the day so size down (I wish I had!  Hoping to shrink them in the dryer).

LOFT Stripe 3/4 Sleeve Sweater, XXSP, $10 (buy here)
LOFT Striped Sweater Pencil Skirt, XSP
The sweater has a rather roomy fit in the torso for one of those slouchy, relaxed fits.  I'd normally wear XSP but was able to size down for this.
Verdict: Bought.  I love the stripes and the relaxed torso (good for mommy tummies!).  Plus the price is so good!

I also tried on the pencil skirt for fun.  I love the stripes but it's a little too body-con for my tastes.  I probably should have sized up to see how that looked but was in a hurry (see that little boy / stroller in the background?  LOL).
Verdict: No

LOFT Vintage Eyelet Ribbon Waist Jacket, Sz 2, $45 
This is such a pretty and romantic piece but it made me feel a little boxy.  I also wasn't so crazy about the cuffs contrasting so much from the black.
Verdict: No, not for me.

LOFT Striped Sweater, XS, $25
I loved the way they did the stripes on this sweater - it has a little bit of a tie-dye effect.  This was very light-weight and a tiny bit sheer.  It'd be perfect as a summer sweater if the weather here wasn't blazing hot all summer long.
Verdict: I hemmed and hawed on this one, but ultimately decided I didn't need it.

Button Shoulder Stripe Sweater, XS, $20 (buy here)
So many cute details on this sweater - the buttons on the shoulders, the navy / orange stripe combo, and the overall fit.  This one was a more substantial knit than the one above so could be worn in spring / fall as well.
Verdict: I came thisclose to buying but held back.  I've been buying too many things!

Shopping OOTD
Kate Spade Take a Bow Ring
T+J Designs Dashes of Purple Ring (buy here)
Banana Republic Pearl Bracelet
J. Crew Factory Girls' Bangles

LOFT Dress (with baby bump here, hehe)
Rebecca Minkoff MAC
Gifting Grace Coral Necklace

Do you think it's too late to buy mint-colored items?

P.S. Would those of you who have blogs using the Captcha word verification system please take pity on this little old lady and do away with it?  It's getting harder and harder for these old eyes to tell what those blobs are supposed to be.  Another option to prevent spam comments is to route comments for approval prior to publishing.  Many thanks in advance!


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