Sunday, February 28, 2010

Fashion Hacking: Avon Crusade Tote by Marimekko

I KNOW YOU WANT TO OWN THIS BAG. I got all glittery girly sparkle eyes when I saw it too. I don't even remember ordering it really, it was all just a blur of giggles and stories of how we met and how everyone else in the room just disappeared when we locked eyes...
This lovely is the Crusade Tote from AVON and its part of the Avon breast Cancer Crusade campaign. 100% of the net profits are donated to breast cancer research and patient care.
Style be damned, don't we all love doin good deeds? OH BUT LOOK AGAIN AT THE PICTURE! It's chic and philanthropic! AND ONLY TEN DOLLARS?!?!? Seriously like, what more could a stylish girl who wants to save the world ask for?

This is what the Avon lady dropped off a short week later:

Upon inspection I yelled out in my most Renaissance festival sounding accent, "This be not my beloved Crusade Tote! Nay, I say, this crumply heathen be an imposter swathed in the gloriousness that is Marimekko!"
Yes, well, at some point the voice of better sense and character dropped a, "For $10.00 what were you expecting?" bomb and an equally stinging, "This is for charity biatch. deal wit it."

Damn you voice of better sense and character and your righteous, sassy in-your-face-ness.

But because the voice is usually right and it is for charity and it was only $10, I couldn't give up on the tote. I figured it just needed some reconstructive surgery... of The Swan proportions...
Dunn dun duunnnn Dun dun dunn dun!!<- dramatic Fashion Hack entrance music


I wanted my tote to be used as a knitting bag for travel, so it was important to me that it be soft but still rigid enough to stand up on its own, so all my expensive wooly shizz wouldn't end up dirty expensive wooly shizz. My plan was to add a layer of heavy interlining between the fabric and lining to give the bag more structure, and also to keep it from looking like an extra on Golden Girls.
First I checked out the insides. All handbags have an internal turning seam, usually at the lining's bottom seam. This bag was no different.

I opened up the turning seam with a seam ripper, turned the bag inside out and took measurements of the width (side seam to side seam) and height (from opening edge to fold for bottom). I didn't cover the bag's bottom because there was already a thick pad there and I really wanted it to be able to stand on its own (again due to fear of owning dirty shizz). Having the interlining's end at the edge where the bag sits gave the body extra stability.

I purchased the 2nd heaviest fusible available at Joann's and some hot pink thread. I cut out the front and back pieces using a rotary tool (so much faster and easier and cooler than scissors).
I undid the edgestitching along the top edge, scooted my fusible up to the bag's opening edge, fused it to the body and resewed the edgestitching (catching the fusible so it would stay in place even if the glue decided to die at some point in the future).
I turned the body right side out again-- which took patience and finessing since the body was more rigid, and resewed the lining turning seam.
After steam pressing the outside body and handles...


The bag was the perfectly perfect vision I had envisioned!!! I use it all the time now and it works perfectly for my needs!
SO very great when projects like this work out. Now I can lord over everyone with my charitable goody-goodyness with a fabulous looking bag.

So in conclusion, please order this bag from AVON! Haha, ok ok, I know this post has been anything but a gleaming testimonial, BUT I don't work for the company or anything, I just think it's a good deal on a tote that donates to a great cause. In a perfect world everyone benefits no?

Again, I truly don't want this post to be a deterrent from buying this product, but actually an example of what can be done to improve it if you are crafty and looking for a rigid tote bag to protect yo shizz.

Thursday, February 25, 2010


I'm in love.

Imagine rising from a mirrored vanity, silk dressing robe aflutter, to do a weary *one arm over forehead* collapse onto this beauty every evening...
Imagine how glamorous my as of yet non-existent spring wardrobe will look laid out upon a bed so regal...

Think of all the princess fantasies I could live out on this one piece of furniture! The only down side I could foresee would be all the other furniture in my house packing up and leaving out of sheer jealousy, shame and self loathing... but who could blame them really.

The French Bedroom Company never ceases to amaze and inspire.

One day my lovely, one day you will be mine....

On a side note isn't this chair interesting?
Not cool in a "OMGIMUSTBUYIT" sorta way, but more like a if I saw this at a friend's house I would totally sit on it and inspect it and gush about it sort of way.

Question: Do you own any fantasy evoking furniture?
Friends who teach friends stuff are good friends.

Ok so my friend Amy in exchange for sweater construction and fitting lessons is going to teach me how to dye!!!! I'm so excited! The knitting possibilites will be endless! Really the only time I feel limited in the creation process is when I can't find the perfect yarn or fabric in the perfect color. Have you looked for red yarn lately? There's a billion colors available and they're all wrong.

So stifling.

And the fact that tie dye is set to be really big this spring only fuels my joy!

Not feeling the tie dye eh? BAM. Here's some inspiration fo ya:

I want to make a canvas bag, and I figure if I limit myself to only 1 or 2 colors it won't drift into scary hippy territory...

QUESTION: Ye or Nay on the tie dye movement that's blooming this spring?

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Stage One: Defining Needs

"Style is primarily a matter of instinct."
-Bill Blass

I was looking through my horde stash of patterns and fabrics, reviewing my haves and have nots and it dawned on me: I have no outline of what it is that I feel is missing from plus fashion. What are my needs? What are my wants?
Since I'm on mandatory vacation from work (
strep throat blah!) I figured now would be as good a time as any to define my style so that I can continue on my path of focused, conscious and happy dressing.


That last bit wasn't really related to this but there's always time for a cute break, no?

Awwwwww lookkit his wittle puff tail!!! ^_^

Now down to bidness

My absolute favorite wearable clothing designer:
Chado Ralph Rucci

all three looks from the Spring 2010 show

I think their ability to make flawless engineering and advanced technical expertise appear so light and easy and effortless is what just blows mah freakin mind.

O_O gimme a moment to gather mah brains...

Marc Jacobs

looks are from Marc Jacobs Spring 2010.

His work is always innovative, always fashion forward, and always a little bit crazy grandma.

Doesn't the first dress looks like a watercolor ghost-wash pen and ink illustration on a photograph?!?!


looks from Balmain Spring 2010.

Edgy and femme. I would love to wake up and be this woman everyday. This is why I sob quietly to myself in the dressing rooms of Torrid.

Anna Sui

looks from Anna Sui Spring 2010

She puts so much research into her incredible pieces, she should be better known just for all the homework required to produce her lines. Pattern and color are used fearlessly in her world.

Honorable Mention because they are too fabulous to NOT mention:
Dior (couture), Alexander McQueen R.I.P., Issa, Celine, Victor & Rolf and Pringle of Scotland


So the point of this excerise was to find looks I felt in one way or another embodied or reflected my ideal personal style. From the pictures it's obvious that I like color and drama and girly with a little edge.

Doing this periodically will help keep me from buying "good idea at the time" items. I have a tendency to buy things that have one design element I adore, but then realize when I get home that it ultimately isn't my style and doesn't go with anything else I own.

Denim banana peel skirt I'm talking about you...

Never again!