Friday, January 31, 2014

Color Challenge: Navy Blue

So I have been thinking about this idea of color schemes.
I feel very dumb.

I searched some more sites- trying to wrap my brain around these concepts.
I found this site VERY very very helpful. (

I was getting kinda overwhelmed at the task of looking- analyzing all my clothes.
So I decided to pick a color range to work with. I like Navy Blue- I own a lot of it. (mostly jeans) So I thought I would start there.
I found all my Navy blue items (4 sweaters, 2 jackets, 1 dress, 2 shirts, 4 skirts)
Then I grabbed the colors next to blue on the color wheel.
I have two purple shirts ( that I rarely wear- almost never.)
I have 2 turquoise shirts, two turquoise sweaters (I wear a lot with jeans or khaki pants)
I have two green sweaters and one skirt
Those were my players today.
I am going to post FIRST in the line up- my normal outfit for church or whatnot.
 Then the next photos in the same row are NEW outfit combinations.

(Normal)                             Never thought about these two. (Last one I could even wear interpreting!!)
I actually bought
this all together.

I normally don't wear this dress- but by itself. I think I got out of the habit of "layering" while we lived in Hawaii for 8 years. Once I saw that green sweater over the blue dress-- I fell in love with that dress all over again! What a gem I had hidden in my closet!
Look how cute it looks!


This is another snooze outfit of mine.

(Sorry about the lighting- the sun was setting. There was GREAT light for about 30 min.)
Here are two new options for this cute skirt!

I also didn't realize what a gem this green sweater is! I honestly only (use) to wear it with that one skirt. Look how cute it is with this skirt!
And I love the look of denim jacket and skirt.. how cute is that?

Here is a snoozer outfit I normally wear with this skirt. (on the left)
Remember the cute outfit I just created?

Did you notice that of all the outfits I posted- only a handful I could wear to work? I love white shirts! I need fashion counseling  therapy about a work wardrobe.

The good thing about this exercise is... you see where the holes are in your wardrobe. Belts- I am lacking and cardigan sweaters are delightful! I want about a million more- after I saw the transformation of that one dress!

Monday, January 27, 2014

Past Project: Christmas skirt

Here is a project I did before Christmas. (See? I've been doing this, or have been thinking about refashioning clothes- long before I set my goal this year. It has been on my mind!)
 I took these before I actually thought I would be blogging about my sewing projects.

I wanted to show you some of my past projects- so you can see some good examples of my starting point.

I found this really cute skirt at DI- right before Christmas.
Unfortunately it was a size 18 and I am normally an 6-8-10 (depending on the brand of clothing.)

Cute - Right? (I warned you before- I have a closet full of clothes that don't fit me.)
Another bonus was- this skirt was right in my price point.
I loved that this skirt didn't not have an elastic waistband. Instead it has a side hidden zipper.

I played with different ways to take it in.
Here I just folded it to one side.
I thought I could add some buttons on the waist for decoration.. and leave the excess fabric... like a mock wrap skirt.

I thought about this type of fold... with the skirt folded to the center... but that seemed a bit too retro to me. It brought too much attention to my bottom half. I don't know- I just didn't like it.

I've seen (and liked) maxi skirts with stripes like this- but this is not that type of skirt.

I ended up folding it- like the first idea.
I wanted to add buttons- but my button holes were a HOT mess. Then I remembered- I don't need functioning button holes- the skirt has a side zipper. (duh)
So I just placed buttons over my hot mess mistake.

I love it and have worn it a dozen times this season.
I've worn it with black tops, brown tops and grey. Red might be an obvious choice- but ironically I don't have any red tops.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Color: Part One

Kristina has a blog post about Color Scheming.
I am clue-less about this so I tagged it as a tutorial I wanted to read-think-experiment with more.

She always looks amazing- but effortlessly put together! How is that possible? Because she knows how to combine color.

After reading her post- I realized I needed a refresher course on the color wheel. (lol)
I grabbed this from a great website (click here) at the Virtual Instructor.
She created this wheel to teach students about complimentary colors. Just what I need!

The Virtual Instructor has this color wheel too. I like it because it shows more shades of these colors.
So my goal by next Friday-  is to post some outfits, NEW outfit combinations, I've created thinking about color schemes.

Feel free to play along! Contact me with your combinations! (laurabethblum(at) Make sure to put in the subject header: Color Scheme.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Rest in Peace: Work Pants

Oh dear Peeps. Mondays I had hoped to show off cute finished projects.

I hate to tell you..
but today we are gathered to mourn the loss of :

This pair of bell bottom work pants. (sniff sniff)
I had such high hopes for these cute pants.
They fit great at the waist- but just flared too wide at the bottom.

My plan:
Take an existing pair of pants that fit and cut down the shape of the work pants.
As you can see- they were a bit too big!

My mistake in hindsight- I should have grabbed another pair of slacks and NOT JEANS.

I didn't think about that- until I had already cut up one leg. I thought- maybe it would still work- (fingers crossed) because the work pants fabric has a stretch to it.

So I proceeded. Because I'm no quitter!
I decided to sew up the in seam, instead of taking the bulk off the outer leg.. that is much simpler than having to deal with the waistband and such. Good decision- right? And I think my sewing process was sound... just I used the wrong article of clothing to use as my "pattern".

As you can see-- the fit is VERY fitted- you can see way too much of my pear/saddle bags- nothing left for the imagination.

Casualty Count: 1

We knew this would happen from time- to- time. But what is important is we learned a great lesson.
Hopefully sharing my loss of my Work Pants- will help spare you and other work pants in the future.

Friday, January 17, 2014


I just got my copy of The Chic Girl's Guide to One-of-a-kind Wardrobe by Kristina Clemens.
Sign me up for the sequel!

I am giddy. Because I have been attempting to restyle fashion my clothes for years! (with not much satisfaction- I should add.) But I lack a lot of the knowledge about clothes construction and sewing skills- so my refashioned items looked very home spun.

Kristina has the skill set I lack. She truly understands  how clothes are constructed and walks the reader through the process of evaluating if a garment is a good candidate for being restyled or not.

She has great advice about fabric colors too. Which colors are easier to match and which are impossible.
If you have set the goal to alter your clothes- this is a must have book- in my opinion.
I am so so happy I splurged to buy the book.

If you have an interest in tailoring your own clothes- this is a great book to have in your back pocket!
I am so glad I bought it! Really.

It's not a typical DIY book- full of craft projects.
It really feels like a cheat-sheet to professional tailoring secrets, that a normal person would have to go through years of schooling to learn... but Kristina has written the cliff notes!

I am in love with the book- and love that some of my garments in my queue-- fit many of the projects she illustrates.

I can't wait to try some of her techniques!

Monday, January 13, 2014

Past Peach Dress Project

I found this dress thrifting a few months ago. This peach dress- use to be ankle length. It fits in the waist and shoulders and I thought this would be a simple dress to hem.

It was a little tricky- the fabric was really slippery. So I ironed on some type of binding tape- but that made it really sticky. I can't remember what I used... maybe it was  no sew hem tape- but that didn't stick very well, so I ended up putting a hem in with my sewing machine... and the sticky tape gummed up my needle.

It is fine- I haven't worn it yet. I see it more as a Spring dress, maybe paired up with a jean jacket. I can't wear it to work- so the hem is fine for just romping around.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Some Inspiration Obsession!

Look what you can do- when you can sew!
Kristina is amazing- I love this dress.

She bought two dresses from Wal-Mart's clearance rack to make this shirt dress. You have to go see Kristina's blog: (click here). To see how she restyles her wardrobe to make unique chic fashionable outfits.

She has even written a book!

I love Kristina's blog so much!
How amazing would it be to have her guide- holding my hand through amazing projects?

I know I said I was going to learn to sew-- on a budget.
But this might be a MUST avoid some DIY epic failures. (Don't you fret- I plan to post my failures along with my successes. Just to keep things real. lol)
I bought the book using some Christmas money- (so thank-you mom!)
I feel like - this is a MUST have- for my goal of 2014. I mean, she is living  my dream.

I would love to pull out of my closet- those clothes I bought- for whatever reason.. but leave me unsatisfied of the fit, form or fashion-- and turn it into something I want to wear every day!

Yes- sign me up.
That is the world I want to live in.

I also love that her restyled fashions are age appropriate for me- and modest.
That really sealed the deal.

Monday, January 6, 2014

Project: Peplum Finished.

So I just jumped in and took the plunge. I took  scissors to my cute black shirt and cut the bottom off of it!

(Well- first, I put it on and measured how much I wanted to take off. Where I wanted to peplum to start. I've seen some peplum shirts and the skirt part starts too high for my liking.)

I watched the youtube tutorial- thankfully I wasn't resizing the Tshirt too.
Natalie does a great job explaining how to turn a regular T- into a cute Peplum.

I got a moment of panic- because a wise woman would have practice on a not-so-favorite shirt first.
I warned you I am very impulsive.

I had to cut two shirts. The peplum skirt part came from a baggy t-shirt I bought from the target sale rack- $3! I didn't want to spend anything on this project.. I was going to use a different shirt, but they were different fabric. The second Tshirt was a thicker cotton.

 I thought ... $3 was worth it.
My goal was to have something wearable at the end.
And I knew- the old shirt just wouldn't look right or drape right.

The only thing I thought was missing from Natalie's tutorial was she didn't run a straight stitch and gather before adding the skirt part to the shirt. (To insure a nice even gather) So I added a straight stitch- you can see the light color bobbin thread.

um.. I guess lesson learned: jersey doesn't gather with a straight stitch?
My thread wouldn't budge at least. So I abandoned that idea and just pinned it as Natalie suggests.

I did like having that light stitch line to follow- as I zig-zagge these together..

 It turned out so cute! I can't wait to wear it to work!
This is a great beginners project!

I know...I know... I promised NO BATHROOM pictures..
but I really like these headless shots- I just wish the photos weren't such poor quality.

Friday, January 3, 2014

Project Canidates

I looked through my closet and started pulling out items
 I would like to refashion/fix this year.

Hawaiian Floral Skirt.
I bought this skirt in Hawaii and love it. The lace detail is beautiful and it fits me! The problem is: What do I wear on top. I haven't' found the right shirt. I am thinking I might sew a shirt and attach it to make this into a dress. I don't wear it as much as I would like- because I get a huge mental block of what to wear with it.

Lace shirt
I have never worn this shirt. Problems: it is shear and I need a shirt under. It is actually cream color, so a regular white t-shirt wont do. Second problem is the shape. It is shaped like a trash bag. The arms are wide- the arm holes hit my waist. The bottom of the blouse has elastic- so it rides to my waist and puffs out.

It is not at all flattering.
You might ask, "why buy it?"
In skilled hands I can see has potential.
Hot Pink jumper
I bought this at a garage sale along with a cute jean jacket- it looks pretty cute together. I love that this dress has pockets- the sleeves are a bit short and the neckline is a bit large.  So I need to raise the neckline and change the sleeves.- or something!

SHADE royal blue romper
I bought this about 4 years ago when SHADE went out of business. It is a cute dress- but the sleeves are capped.. just a little too short for my liking- but the real reason I need to "fix" this dress is the length. When belted, it is too short.
White print skirt
I love the pattern and flow of this skirt. It is silky and drapes nice. The waistband is really baggy- it is strange. I don't wear this as often as I like- because I have to cover the top of the skirt.
Work Pants
These pants are a great fit around my waist- but BELL huge by the bottom.

Denim "bag" shirt
My sister-in-law passed along this shirt to me. I love the little lace detail- but the shape of the shirt is very big and baggy. She passed it along- because the length has shrunk- so it is wider than it is long now. I want to save the details.. maybe... ?? I don't know... we'll see what I come up with.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Let the FUN begin :Peplum Project

It's Jan 1st 2014!
I have been busy today- cleaning and re-organizing our Office so I have a work space for this years challenge.

I want to start with a project- that is not too complicated.
I am trying to set myself up for success.

A Peplum Shirt- made from a T-shirt.
I found a great tutorial on youtube- by Natalie. You can click here to see her simple process. If the link doesn't work. Search Youtube using the labels :DIY natalie creation.

FIRST: I made my Project Journal.
(Let's see if I can keep track of this- the entire year. I am notorious for starting journals, loosing journals, starting NEW journals, finding old journal- writing in two journals at the same time.. etc.. I am organizationally challenged to say the least.)

She has some amazing ideas of how to create cute clothes using T-shirts!

Here is my T-shirt I want to transform into a Peplum. It is cute-- with some upper sleeve details.

I want to dress it up a bit- so I can wear it to work.

Sorry for the washed out picture. I am experimenting with different locations in my house- hopefully I will find the perfect spot (and it wont be in my bathroom.)

Here's to Learning something New!