Constructing: Indian Summer Shirtdress

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Coco Chanel said,
"If there is no copying, how are you going to have fashion?"

I have to say, when I first saw the Sugar-Coated Dress, I couldn't wait to own it...
but upon trying it on, I encountered one disappointment after another.
Aside from the fact that I'd hoped the colors would be a little more vibrant and was a bit confused about whether it was meant to have a peter pan or stand-up collar, I kept wondering,

How can such a beautiful dress fit me so poorly?

Granted, I do have a rather androgynous shape in...ahem...key places, but come on, work with me here! I even tried on several dresses in the same size, hoping it was just some kind of bodice malfunction. But no, it simply didn't work on me...sigh..

Then, one day, as I was ho-humming my way past 400 uninspiring aisles of GO COLTS! anti-pill fleece at Joann Fabric's, I spotted this fabric tucked demurly in an obscure corner...

My eyes bugged out so far, I may have actually suffered retinal detachment.
Sudden inspiriation!

The colors were brilliant, the fabric design, just short of whimsical, and shoot, I think it actually sang. No disappointment here.

And so, with $24 dollars and a few hours of my time and effort, the Indian Summer dress was born (and it fits perfectly).

Mission accomplished.

My initial sketch

A work in progress

And, of course, my very, very favorite aspect of this dress--
the KRISTINA J. label on the inside!!!

So, what do you think? Does it work as a nice alternative to the original, or not?
I guess it's gonna have to work for me, 'cuz she's all I've got!

Wearing: Layers

Today, I'm happy.
No, strike that.
Today, I'm ECSTATIC!!
I went to Starbucks this morning (which I am actually addicted to and drink everyday), and ordered my first hot drink of the season--a Pumpkin Chai Latte.
That's right...it was actually FA-REEZING here this morning, but is turning out to be the perfect kind of day where the sun is bright, a strong breeze is blowing and one can walk around outside without having a heat stroke.
So, my kids and I celebrated the end of humidity's reign by piling on the layers of flannel and heading to the park...what a life I live.

(J.CREW ruffle cardigan, silver lame' belt and stripe turtleneck, American Eagle plaid shirt, Banana Republic pencil skirt, Nine West boots)

Reconstructing: Charlotte Russe Dresses

Monday, September 27, 2010

I recently fell in love with this printed "dress" at Charlotte Russe, but when I tried it on I was left wondering where in
the world the rest of the fabric had gotten to.
Literally, I would have described it as a shirt, but no,
the helpful teenage clerk assured me it was supposed to be a dress.

Whatevs.

Since I love, love, love the print and purple seems to be everywhere for fall, I decided to buy two "dresses" which I got BOGO (Buy One Get One) and see what I could do with them.
Gotta say, I'm really happy with the result.

(Target Cloche, LOFT and Anthro belts, twisted together, UO Kimichi Blue Skimmers, my own bike)

Wearing: Kimichi Blue

Thursday, September 23, 2010

I would not have normally picked a rain-soaked day
to be down on the river in
my brand new, very white, Kimichi Blue's...
however, I'd promised my son we'd go so he could skip rocks
and it was almost serendipitous in that I got to pull out
my visually adorable little umbrella from Old Navy.
Be still, sad heart! and cease repining!
Behind the clouds is the sun still shining;
Thy fate is the common fate of all;
Into each life some rain must fall;
Some days must be dark and dreary.
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

(Anthro Weave the Ring Skirt, F21 Blouse, HUE tights, UO Kimichi Blue Skimmers, Old Navy Umbrella)

Wearing: Tucker

Yes, I know...there's a cow in my picture, but she and her offspring wouldn't move, so I thought,
Come on, Kristina...you live in Farmland, USA, you might as well embrace it.

My mother and I had this conversation about neck-tie blouses and her reaction was,
"Do we have to go there again?"

"Why yes, apparently we DO, Mom. And as you know, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, so just consider this look a homage to your late 80's wardrobe."

(Tucker for Target Tie-Front Blouse, J.CREW herringbone skirt, Anthropologie Looping Lanes belt and HUE tights, MIA Girl Trainee Boot)

I changed it up a bit for evening.
(Banana Republic skirt, F21 tights, Seychelles Kiss At Midnight Pumps)

Redecorating: One Little Girl's Room

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

There's nothing like getting to
decorate a little girl's room...
my husband (God bless 'im) recently pulled the carpet out of our third bedroom and laid down the white-wash wood flooring from IKEA for our daughter's new bedroom, sans crib and diaper changing table (Woo-hoo!!).

I absolutely cannot paint free-hand, but I knew I wanted some kind of cherry tree motif in the room. I ended up finding this adorable wall decal at Amazon.
I painted the walls a pale gray just because I didn't want the room to be too saccharine sweet, since this also doubles as our guest room.
(IKEA Cherry Blossom Light and Nightstand, Hobby Lobby Old-Fashioned Alarm Clock)
This lamp is dim enough to serve as a nightlight and bright enough as a second light when company comes over.

(IKEA Tranby Mirrors, Alina Gray Quilt, Alvine Duvet, PB Wire Wall Letter, spray-painted silver)

(IKEA LACK Shelves, Vases, Blomster Flowers)

This was an ugly brown light that'd been hanging in the boys' room, but I actually loved the shape, and was inspired by one I saw at Pottery Barn Kids, so I removed all the crystals and spray-painted it this lovely shade of pink.

The paper pom-poms were made from tissue paper, but I've seen them in kits at Walmart and Hobby Lobby.

(IKEA MALM Bed, Target Simply Shabby Chic Silk Drapes)

(Garnet Hill Feathered Friends Percale Sheets)
The other set of floral sheets you see the pictures at the top are from KOHLS.

I wanted a fun, unique way to display all Makenzie's hair bows and I found this AMAZING Custom Made Tutu bow holder from the Add A Lil Charm Etsy store. She'll custom make whatever colors you need and it even comes with extra ribbons on the back for extra storage.
The knob it's hanging on was from Hobby Lobby.

Definitely, need to give a shout out to Marie D's and luvable creations (she makes bows made to match for Gymboree) for all the cute hair things you see here. LOVE THEM...

Restoring: 1970's Vintage Dress

Sunday, September 19, 2010

I'm in love!!!!
I've lived in this town for five years and just recently discovered the adorable vintage
clothing store in Historic Downtown.
I walked in, breathed in that slightly musty smell only associated with old things and felt like I'd come home (am I really a 65-year-old woman or something?).
This little number from the 70's was my very first purchase and I'm quite positive my mother owned
some version of this dress at one time.
Of course, it was a Large, so I had to take it in a bit
and the lace at the bottom was torn and had to be replaced...
but these are piddly details in comparison to the sheer joy of owning a pretty little something that comes with it's own history.

Was it worn on a first date?
By a mother at her baby's dedication?
To the last party of the summer?
To greet a soldier home from the war?

...if only it could tell me it's secrets...
what fun we could have giggling about all the delightful facets of being a girl.

(Vintage Dress, Anthropologie Roaming Frills Cardigan, J. Crew Pink Patent Belt, Target Marylynn Suede Pumps)

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