Sew My Style 2019 – February

This month’s prompt for Sew My Style included two pattern options, the Sheona Top/Dress by Athina Kakou and the Givre Top/Dress by Deer and Doe.  Both are pretty basic tees that are extended to knee-length straight dresses.  I really can’t wear straight dresses like that since they don’t flatter my body shape, so I opted to keep it simple and sew the Sheona Top.  I didn’t have any knit fabric on hand for this, so I ended up finding a cute little anchor and “x” print from Girl Charlee.  It’s *so* hard to find cute knits that aren’t florals or juvenile prints, so I maybe went with something a little more simple than I would otherwise, but the price was right at $6.75/yard and it’s 100% cotton jersey instead of a polyester blend.  Before I sewed the top above, I did end up sewing a wearable muslin out of clearance fabric from Joann’s that was marked as “youth” fabric, but also the only cotton knits they had in the store that weren’t awful floral prints were in the youth section, and it was either the fabric seen below, or rainbows and donuts (I WAS SO TEMPTED THOUGH).

The fabric is kind of sheer in spots with a sort of burn-out effect and there are all these little lady bugs doing funny things like laundry, pushing a carriage, playing jump rope, etc.  It’s adorable, but definitely designed with someone younger in mind.  However, that’s never stopped me from wearing silly prints before, and it’s not about to stop me now!  I sewed the lady bug top at size 24 thinking that since I was between sizes, I’d best size up since the pattern mentioned negative ease in the hips and that’s the opposite of my shape and comfort in terms of fit in clothing.  I have Hips with a capital H, so.. yeah.  Anyway, the 24 ended up being a little big – the shoulder seam is a little low, there’s too much space around the bust (another issue I have with fit in general), but the hips were right!  So, I decided to cut down the pattern to the 22, but kind of cut between the two sizes at just the hips which worked out pretty well.  I also opted for the short sleeve in the final version since I tend to layer cardigans over short sleeves.

It’s not a bad fit!  I mean, it’s a fairly stretchy fabric for being cotton knit, and of course being a knit fabric means it’s got a fair bit of forgiveness in the fit anyway.  The length is surprisingly spot on, considering I’ve got a super short torso and most tops end up mid-thigh instead of just above the widest part of my hips where they should be.  If I did this again, I’d probably make the short sleeves just an inch longer, and see about maybe scooting the waist curve up a few inches.  Maybe I’d even take the bust sizing down too?  It’s a lot of fiddling around for a t-shirt, but having a go-to pattern that fits would be really great.  Also, learning how to do those adjustments on an easy-to-sew pattern would make future sewing pattern adjustments even easier.

Overall, I’m really happy with how this came out, and I absolutely will wear both the ‘muslin’ and the final t-shirt.  The pattern was incredibly easy to follow and sew, and I finished them each in maybe an hour or two between cutting and sewing.  The designer also has TONS of modifications and pattern hacks available to change the neckline, sleeves, hem line, etc, so once I’ve got a solid base fit on this, the possibilities are nearly endless which is what makes it such a great starting point for other sewing!

If you want to check out what other sewists made this month, check out the hashtag on Instagram, #SewMyStyle2019.

Sephora Play! February 2019

I don’t even know where to begin with this one.  There are repeat items, and man .. I really don’t care about Clinique.  Clinique engages in animal testing and it’s always felt like something more suited to my grandma than me.  I want to see indie brands who are cruelty free and do something new and unique, not the same old boring crap some company has been doing for far too long.  Sephora, you’re better than this.  Also, the website “View Box” detail hasn’t matched what I received for this and last month.  Minor nitpick, but clearly something is wrong on Sephora’s side.  Either I’m getting the wrong box or they’re not showing the customization on each box on the website anymore.

  • Kat Von D Saint & Sinner perfume – 50 mL / $65 – (Two samples, 1.5 mL each, value of $3.90 by volume) Received in the August 2017 Sephora Play box, so I’ll just point you there. (link).  But also, Kat Von D is also apparently an anti vaxxer, and I’m pretty much done with her as a result.  She backtracked later, saying she just had concerns, but you don’t make a post saying you’re going to raise your child “without vaccinations” and then say LOL JK later.
  • Wander Beauty Baggage Claim Gold Eye Masks – 6 masks / $25 – (One mask, value of $4.17)  I mean, this is neat, and it’ll be fun to try, but this isn’t a product I’d ever buy for myself.  The price point is way too high to be a regular-routine kind of thing, and I just don’t need them.
  • Caudalie Vinoperfect Radiance Serum – 30 mL / $79 – (10 mL, value of $26.33)  I find it kind of hard to believe this tiny sample is worth $26.  While I don’t think I’ve gotten this in the Play box before, I know I have samples of this around from other Sephora orders, so this is just not that exciting.  Also, that tube is only about 1/4 full, with the product only coming up to just under the line above “Radiance Serum” which is a total waste of packaging.
  • Bite Beauty Amuse Bouche Lipstick – .15 oz / $26 – (.05 oz, value of $8.67)  The color I received is “Sake” which is described as a Dusty Mauve.  You know, basically the same shade as the other Bite Beauty product I got last month.  I still love this company and they’re cruelty free and awesome, but two products, two months in a row in the same color?  Mix it up a little!
  • Clinique Moisture Surge – 1.7 oz / $39 – (.24 oz, value of $5.51)  The first bunch of ingredients are silicones and glycerin, which is really not that exciting.  I mean, I’ll still try it because I’ve got crazy dry skin, but .. meh?
  • Clinique Quickliner for Eyes Intense – .012 oz / $18 – (.005 oz, value of $7.50)  It’s a black eyeliner pencil.  Yay?  I mean, again, nothing new.  If it had been a unique color or new formulation or something, I might have been interested.  But.  Clinique.  Black.  Eyeliner.  It’s basically plain oatmeal.

So the total value comes to $56.08 for a box that only costs $10.60 per month.  For a personal value, while I’ll use the lipstick and everything but the perfume, I’m just not excited about any of this.  It’s all old news, repeats, and nothing thrilling.  I’m not even sure this box was worth $10.60 since I can pretty much get any of those as samples with purchase or using reward points from other orders.  Sephora, if the point of this box was to get people to try new things to encourage future purchases of the full size items?  This was a complete flop.  I mean, again, for $10 a month, I’m having a hard time cancelling the box, but after the last two, I’m getting closer to just saying the hell with it.

Sew My Style 2019 – January

It’s reveal day for January of Sew My Style 2019!  I decided to join on this year in hopes of sewing at least one thing a month (while we’re home anyway), and having a fun challenge to work along with is great!  They set the prompt or pattern choices every month and then you go off and interpret the basic guidance however you wish which gives me just enough structure and just enough creative freedom.  January’s prompt was, “Anything Goes Workout Gear,” which left the field WIDE open.  I had an old order sitting around from the now defunct Sprout Patterns which just happened to be a pair of Sloan Leggings from Hey June Handmade in a cute Tetris print by SpaceFem.  The beauty of Sprout Patterns was that the size you selected came pre-printed on the fabric, so there was no pattern paper cutting, pinning, lining up prints, etc, etc.  It was a pretty great idea, but rather expensive, so I’m not entirely sure how popular it was.  This was my first experience with a Sprout Pattern and I have to say it went rather well!

The fabric is Spoonflower’s Cotton Spandex Jersey (93% natural cotton, 7% spandex).  I washed and dried the fabric first then cut out the pieces which maybe took all of 15 minutes for all 8 pieces which included a waistband, waistband lining, a pocket, and the left and right legs, plus two pieces of knit interfacing for the waistband lining (not included).  There were instructions to add an optional clear elastic around the waistband to help them stay up, but I really never have problems with waistbands slipping off my hips and butt so I opted against the elastic.  This was my first time sewing knits, so I took some advice and picked up stretch needles as well as Maxi-Lock stretch thread.  I did sew a couple test runs on the leftover fabric between the pattern pieces (there was LOADS), but kept having trouble with the top thread snarling up into nests occasionally on the underside.  I used a zigzag stitch and adjusted for stitch length and width a little till it got better, but it still wasn’t perfect.  Later I read that because I was using a traditional machine and not a serger, I probably should’ve only used the stretch thread on the bobbin and not the top thread, so, lesson learned!  The snarls are small and don’t happen frequently, so I left it as is, and it doesn’t seem to affect the final garment.

These maybe took me a few hours, even with making some mistakes, having to rip back the entire leg seam (I sewed it the wrong way the first time, d0h!), but if I sew this pattern again, it would probably take an hour tops.  Since the fabric is soft and stretchy, there’s a good amount of forgiveness for mistakes and fit, so they fit rather well!  The waistband comes up pretty much to my belly button, and even though I picked the petite XXL size, I still had to take off 3 inches for the hem, and just ran a zigzag stitch around the bottom to make it easier.  The ankles are a little loose, but I have that fit issue with most pants/leggings since apparently I have a plus sized butt, calves, and thighs, however my ankles are ‘standard’ size.  Go figure!  I don’t mind the ankles being a little loose since it’s probably easier to pull them over my feet, so that’s all good.  The pocket is REALLY great and was a fantastic addition to the pattern with minimal extra effort.  It’s big enough to even hold my Pixel XL although just barely, and isn’t bulky to the point that it sticks out or ends up lumpy under clothes when empty.

If you want to check out what other sewists made this month, check out the hashtag on Instagram, #SewMyStyle2019.

Medusa’s Makeup January 2019

Another month, another Medusa’s Makeup subscription box!  This is the one for the current month, January 2019, and it arrived at least a week ago, maybe more.  I did say I’m getting back into blogging, but there’s some catch up to do here.  Anyway!  This month featured four items and a bonus clear zip bag, and as usual, everything is vegan and cruelty free.

  • Totally Baked Eyeshadow – 2 g / $9 – (Full size product)  The color is “Fer Sure” and it’s a coppery red color.  The eyeshadow is incredibly pigmented, but it can be applied lighter or a super-pigmented gorgeous metallic color.  This is the kind of color that works really well to kick up the green in my eyes, so I LOVE this one to bits.
  • Lip Balm – .1 oz / $8.95 – (Full size product)  The flavor is “Cha Cha Cha Cherry Bomb” (HELLOOOO EARWORM!) and it smells exactly like a very popular brand of cherry lip balm, but this one is vegan and cruelty free.  Perfect timing for my dry, chapped winter lips.
  • Metallic AF Lip Gloss – .2 oz / $11 – (Full size product)  The color is “Bad Medicine” which is a metallic light pink gloss.  It goes on like a gloss but then dries almost like a matte lipstick, so it sticks around for a while.  The color and metallic shine may be a bit outside of my makeup comfort zone, but I think using this as a layer over a darker lipstick might be fun to try.
  • Mystical Eyedust – 3 g / $11.95 – (Full size product)  The color is “Psykhe” which is a really interesting chameleon of a color that looks purple and brown but with a gold shimmer.  It’s a really neat color and I can’t wait to use it.
  • Makeup Bag – ?? – Bonus item this  month!  I’m not a huge fan of plastic, but I do like having bags like this for travel, and I’m pretty sure this one would be okay to use as your carry-on baggie of liquids on a plane.

The total value of this box comes to $40.90 plus the value of the bonus makeup bag which is pretty great for a cost of only $16.95 per month!  It looks like the price went up $1 this past month, but the longer term subscriptions of 6 and 12 months bring the price down to $15.50 and $14.95 a month respectively.  I love that all the products are cruelty free and vegan, and it’s just a fun box to get every month.