sweet dress recipe giveaway

I'm going to be away for a while but I thought I would leave you with a giveaway.

I would love to send one of you this Japanese pattern book called Sweet Dress Recipe. I know that many of you are curious about these books, so this would be a good chance for you to see one. I am very fond of these books. I believe that they are easy enough to use, even for those of us who do not understand one stroke of Japanese. The pictures tend to be detailed; just remember to add seam allowances and make sure you note that the measurements are in centimeters. Even if you don't sew, they are immensely enjoyable because the styling is always very sweet.

To enter, please leave a comment below. Please leave your email address (written as I have written out my email address in the sidebar) if you do not have yours available on your profile. This giveaway is open internationally, as always. I will select a winner at random when I get back on October 4.

Have a wonderful week! Good-bye!


concrete blouse

I have been frantically trying to make myself new clothing in an attempt to curb the overwhelmingly covetous feelings that come with browsing beautiful fall collections. This weekend I bought some really pretty fabric at The Workroom; it looks as though it's been bleached, which is something I am totally in love with right now (I'm not alone in this). The colourway is called "concrete," and it does remind me of concrete with a little bit of pink in it.

I only bought enough for a blouse so I pulled out the Japanese sewing book collection (incidentally, if you're curious about these books, please be sure to check back tomorrow, okay?). I had really fallen for this plaid Toast dress earlier in the week and decided to incorporate my favourite elements from it: the chunky bow and the wide collar. I picked dress 27 from this book and did my best wrangling to add the bow. I think I'm going to change the sleeves. I was so sick of gathers by the time I finished this blouse (they made stitching on the facing a pain, so I did it by hand, which was also a pain considering I was in one of my typically manic rushes to finish) that I didn't feel like gathering the sleeves. I think I need to pull in all this extra volume, though, and I don't really like them as they are now.

It's very smock-like, and it makes me feel huge, but in all honesty I don't need a blouse to help me feel huge. It's pretty much a permanent situation (forgive the bad attitude; I spent some time trying to get some nice pictures of myself in this blouse today and it's left me with this).

Also, I've been wearing red lipstick lately and I think I like it. This is Revlon matte lipstick in "In the Red." I added some gloss overtop for shine.


pure rummage trunk show

Fieldguided will be participating in the Pure Rummage Trunk Show at The Workroom! Hooray.

Sunday October 18, 2009
the workroom
1340 Queen Street West

I'm most excited about the fact that Grant Heaps will be selling at this show. I've been to his house: trust me, you don't want to miss this.

I'm going to have a bit of vintage clothing with me, including a few pairs of sweet oxford shoes, the famous axe print dress, and that cream-coloured coat I love so much but will never wear. I'll have housewares and some sewing supplies, etc. Please come!


carly waito

6" x 7"

5" x 6"

4 1/2" x 6 5/8"

Smoky Quartz
4 5/8" x 6 5/8"

Carly Waito (who you may remember as half of Coe & Waito) has been making absolutely stunning paintings of minerals in oil on masonite lately. I am completely in awe of them. I saw a few in person at Board of Directors about a month ago and couldn't believe that they were made with paint. Click on the images above to view them larger.

She's going to have a show at Narwhal Art Projects this December; watch her blog for details.

I loved this post of hers. Such creatures of beauty and wonder who live in my neighbourhood!


one year ago

One year ago today I was cutting out the pieces to make my A.P.C.-inspired plaid cape. It's still one of my favourite things that I have made.



Quite a few months ago, I finished my first ever wholesale order, which were these neckties.

Ten in total, three types of shirting fabric. I shipped them off to Zurich, received word that they had arrived, and forgot about them (inasmuch as one can forget about something that occupied quite a bit of one's time, of course!).

I was just catching up on my blog reading when I came across this post by Sarah McNeil. It seems that she shipped off some brooches to the same shop, Townhouse, which is now open! And my my, is it ever beautiful. Maybe I can hitch a ride to Zurich to see it for myself. What an honour to be considered for sale in this shop.

(via Townhouse)


cherries in the snow

I was talking to Laura Jane a while ago about the colour red. She was surprised that I don't wear it and all I could do was shrug and say that it just isn't me. I read every word of the nogoodforme Guide to Red Lipstick, but I'm still too timid even to wear red lipstick. This may be because when I was in grade 9 I decided to "reinvent" myself, which included ditching my navy blue Sally Jesse Raphael glasses and wearing the brightest shade of red that Maybelline made in 1992; my best friend told me in the nicest (not really the nicest) way possible that I had to stop wearing it. An early trauma!

I really love the colour red, but I don't like having it close to my face. I long to wear red clothing! We've all seen the pictures of the fall 2009 Built By Wendy collection, with its charming pops of red through all the black (above). I have fire all through my astrological chart (Leo rising, moon in Sagittarius). Maybe it's time for a new transformation: maybe once I embrace red and start wearing it, I will become a more confident version of myself! Let that Leo roar, etc. I truly think I am a red girl underneath it all. I really am a funny sort of intro-extrovert!

I have made attempts. You may have noticed the red skirt I was wearing under my coat: that skirt is my red skirt from Minimarket that I bought at Robber this summer. It is my favourite skirt, which is high praise from a girl who wears skirts almost every day.

This coat is from Built By Wendy fall 2008, and it's the same pattern as the one I made. When I found this picture recently I did wish I had picked red wool over charcoal.

Incidentally, persimmon is the shade for next spring! Remember it.



I am starting to drive myself a little bit mad thinking about how I'd like to have a leather purse for fall -- this pursuit of mine is endless! How many bags does one person truly need? How much fringe, how many studs?

I do love the Annie bag from Etsy seller renneslechateau. The leather she uses comes in such beautiful colours and buttery textures. Oh, and Julia has a lovely blog, too.

I am particularly interested in bags made from recycled leather: please tell me about your favourites!


a new coat

I finished my Built By You coat yesterday! I bought the wool about a year ago, but was too intimidated to make it then. I needed a new winter coat at the time, but wound up finding a cute, black, trapeze-style one on sale, and it served me well all winter. I intend to use that coat again, so when I decided to pull out this pattern recently, I chose the view with the short sleeves. It can be a late fall coat.

I am happy with it, although (of course!) there are many little mistakes. I used black satin for the lining and didn't do the best job of hemming it evenly. I also put the buttons on the wrong side, on purpose. The pattern itself didn't give me any major trouble. I wasn't too concerned about fit (the thing is completely shapeless, and that's the point), but I did chop off about seven inches around the bottom and three or four inches off the sleeves, because I suspect these Built By You patterns are graded for people who are very, very tall. Oh, I did have one issue: the collar seemed to be short and didn't line up at the centre front as I wanted it to. This did create a problem because after trying to line them up, I am now convinced the centre fronts are now completely crooked. I'm going to overlook it, because whatever! I made a coat!

In all, I think it took me about five or six evenings to make.

Oh hi I am the worst "model" ever
(these pictures were taken in a rush before I ran off, late, to work)

Making this would have been very difficult without my new-to-me sewing machine. Although I'd had my heart set on a Bernina, I recently bought a secondhand Husqvarna. It was a good investment, I think: I made this coat without a single broken needle.



I'm sure many of you are aware of this, but Lula magazine has relaunched its website in anticipation of the release of issue #9. These are stills from a film on the site entitled "I Put a Spell on You." I am excited to find the issue itself.


small home improvements

Making our apartment a home has been a slow process. We still have so many little improvements to make. For example, you'll note our floor: linoleum. Hideous! We are thinking of painting the floors white (DIY here). At some point. Although I wouldn't be surprised if we found beautiful hardwood under the linoleum, knowing this apartment. Most of the walls are covered in painted-over wallpaper, it seems.

For now, we have added a low bookcase and a mirror to our bedroom. Geoff's dad built the bookcase out of fir plywood (total cost: $60). The measurements match the bed frame; Geoff designed it, inspired by a photo in Apartamento magazine. I am thrilled with it, and Geoff's dad enjoyed making it, which is nice.

The mirror came from underneath the cottage! It had been lying there for years and years and is wonderfully weathered now. The gilt has rotted away. It probably came from a bank; Geoff's grandfather was an architect with the Bank of Nova Scotia and was able to fill his home with cast-offs from bank branches. This was in the 1950s, when each bank was a special project, adorned with beautiful objects. Imagine!


five years

Yesterday was the five year anniversary of our first date! We spent the day walking around and eating treats and enjoying each others' company. So, nothing too different than usual! Geoff made me this little drawing and we exchanged a few presents. It was such a perfect day. We bumped into a few friends, too, which always makes me feel extra happy. We had a wonderful dinner at Julie's Cuban and rented some Truffaut afterwards.

Oh and we read such lovely and wonderful wishes from so many of you on Twitter after I wrote a Twitter update to say that it was our anniversary. Thank you, thank you! I was overwhelmed.

The one sad note of the day: I had made this dress the night before but didn't end up wearing it; it was a little disappointing! Lesson learned: do not make a babydoll-style dress (dress 'N' from Stylish Dress Book 2) out of silk dupioni -- unless you want to look like a teepee! It is too stiff a fabric for a style that lacks structure. I found the silk for $10/m at the Designer Fabric Outlet and only bought two meters. The pattern called for 2.7, so the dress is quite, quite short. The print on this fabric is so beautiful, though, so I very well may end up wearing it anyhow!


do i dare?

I am in the process of making myself a new coat which means that I may end up putting this '60s beauty on Etsy. Or I could keep it and go as "You know, Mad Men and stuff" for Hallowe'en.

rue ring

Earlier I was browsing Creatures of Comfort -- precisely the kind of activity that makes me feel very, very sorry for myself -- and I came upon this ring by Rue. I can be very picky about jewelry (I don't wear it often), and I love this little ring! The painted silver looks like delicate porcelain.

If you don't mind a little cheek, I will just state that my birthday is 107 days away.


bekväm clothing

I haven't yet found my fall dress, but these two dresses by Elise of Bekväm Clothing would both be perfect. The Dorrit dress (above) is made of navy silk crepe de chine, and the Wilcox (below) is made of organic heathered jersey. I love the wooden buttons; I learned through reading her blog that they are English rim buttons. Such a lovely detail!

Elise is an absolute sweetheart, as you can see from this interview with her on one of my favourite blogs, Camp Comfort. I cannot wait to see what else she has up her perfectly stitched sleeve.
The first dress, the Wilcox, goes on sale in her shop Wednesday, September 9.

(Photos via Bekväm Clothing)