Post-baby, I've been overhauling my wardrobe and trying to find a sort of effortlessly stylish 'uniform' for myself, that would make it easy for me to get dressed in the morning and feel good about how I look all day long. So I've decided that my uniform is:
- flats in the summer, boots in the winter
- easy dresses
- tops with interesting details
The idea being that it simplifies getting dressed: grab a top, cardigan, throw on some pants and some flats. Done! Doesn't that sound easy? Doesn't easy sound so good? Except there are gaps in my wardrobe. I had a big purge after the baby, since quite a bit of my wardrobe suddenly seemed a bit young (part of that is I turn 35 this year, not just because I had a baby), or just wasn't fitting as well as it could. I'm hoping that this will help me look at my wardrobe in a new light.
So, here are my pieces: 15 items:
2. black skinny cargos
3. black office pants
4. blue cardigan
5. green cardigan
6. black cardigan
7. multi coloured chevron top
8. black sandals (not pictured)
9. colourblock flats (not pictured)
10. black floral dress
11. floral chiffon blouse
12. black polka dot blouse
I'm three items short- I'm going to pick on the fly (and if it stays chilly, one of those items will be some boots). Maybe if I'm lucky it'll be three new things!And if I get bored with what I've picked, I'm counting on accessories to breathe new life into the mix. Update: It's chilly again today, so I've added in boots.
Last month I heard about the Spring Tops, Tanks, and Tee KAL started by Shannon, and I instantly knew I wanted to participate. And since I was feeling ambitious (you know, that beginning-of-a-KAL ambitious, when you think you are superhuman and your schedule is wide open and you'll be able to knit like like the wind), I decided to cast on for two projects. One for me, and one for Lila.
For Lila, I've long admired the adorable Marguerite top, which I think would be perfect for summer. I've chosen to knit it in a creamsicle orange (Tanis Fiber Arts blue label fingering in 'Orange Blossom').
For myself, I wanted to make another Wildflower tank, since I never got the original back. I've chosen a lovely green silk, and it's coming along really well (by really well, I mean it's on the needles):
It's so weird to knit your own pattern after a long time has passed, because I feel like this is the first time I've ever seen it. I'm knitting a size up, since I haven't lost the last 5 pounds from my pre-pregnancy days and I'm feeling a little resigned to them at this point. But I still fit into my pre-pregnancy jeans, so it can't be that bad.
Mods: Changed the t shirt to a great dress, and added the mesh lace all the way around the neckline, and customized the raglan increases. Great details on her mods can be found on her project page, here.
What Makes This Awesome: I love the detail of the lace all around the neckline, and her solution for adjusting the raglan increases. The extra mesh lace at the hem of the dress ties it all together, for a very polished look. The dress is amazing- I love how it's chic enough for work or an event, and yet looks comfy and easy enough to pull on for the weekend. It's the perfect dress!
Mods: Changed the oversized, long-sleeved pullover into a form fitting, summery sleeveless dress. She even over dyed the yarn! Project page can be found here.
What Makes This Awesome: I love how Corinne took the really show stopping element from the original design- that gorgeous swirl- and incorporated it into a knit she wanted to make, which was a summery dress. I love how modern and fresh it looks, and is a great example of a pretty knit for hot weather. Corinne also didn't like the yarn she had bought- she didn't love the original colour (see photo below), so she bought some dark brown dye and over-dyed the finished knit (see top photo). I love that idea- suddenly all the yarn in your stash has renewed possibilities. I'd love to knit a dress as pretty as this!
I really like that about knitted dresses for babies. They often outgrow the length much faster than the circumference, but add some leggings and - presto!- it's a cute tunic. Can't beat that. This dress is particularly good for that, since the wide, apron-like shaping of the top gives a lit of wiggle room on fit.
And oh, look- she's rocking her sparkly chuck taylors! These were the birthday shoes we didn't quite manage to get photos of at the time. We put them on her a lot, and she gets compliments on her fab shoes wherever she goes.
So. Much. Drool. Also- Chair pushing is the most fun ever.
Over at the Jordana Paige blog, there was a recent post with interviews on craft bloggers who are moms, and how they make time for it all. I was one of the moms featured! Check it out here.
Mods: Added eyelets and used a striping yarn for a lovely rainbow effect. Project page with great details can be found here.
What Makes This Awesome: The original pattern is full of texture, but sometimes it's nice to mix it up and add something else, like eyelets, and stripes! Striping yarns can add a lot of visual interest to a richly textured pattern like this, and the eyelets (which I especially love) underscore the lovely, dramatic shaping. The eyelets seem so at home in this modification, it's like they were a part of the original pattern. Perfection!
I love Pinterest. It is truly inspiring to open up Pinterest with a fresh cup of tea in my hands and take in the vista of beautiful tiled images in front of me. Gorgeous clothes and jewellery, fun DIY ideas, tips and tricks for every single things you could possibly be into. I love pinning, it's the best visual bookmarking tool yet.
Sometimes it can be a bit much, though- if you don't have time to scan hundreds of little images and follow through on the links. So I'm going to start do a weekly round up of my favourite pins with you guys every week, a variety of things that I'm currently loving.
And if you want to find me on Pinterest, click the little blue 'P' on the top right, beside the tabs.
We held Lila's first birthday party with family up north in Sudbury this past weekend. It was a learning experience, most notably by the fact that we took so few photos, it was a total photography fail.
I don't know what happened. It's like we forgot cameras existed, or that we'd want to take certain shots. So the hard-to-source, non-disney character kitty-themed birthday party napkins, plates, and decorations? undocumented. Lila's awesome pink sparkly chuck taylors? Not a photo to be found. A single family photo of the three of us? Nope. A photo of the wonderful brunch spread, complete with hash browns, sausages, bacon, scrambled eggs, pancakes, maple syrup, fruit and mimosas? Not a shot.
Which is interesting to think about- it seems it's a hallmark of the times that if you did something awesome and didn't photograph it to death, it feels like a loss. In reality, there are probably only five photos of my first birthday (and judging from those grainy, late 70s photos, I was not having a good time), and yet it is still clear I was wearing a frothy meringue of a pink dress, a party hat, and a look of pure misery.
But here are the shots we did get, either on our camera, or a family member's camera, or a cell phone snap (subtext: quality will vary!):
I have two uncles with birthdays around the same time as Lila's, and in my family we tend to batch our birthday celebrations. Although according to Lila's face, she's not happy about sharing the limelight. I made Lila a delicious banana cake (recipe here), to look like her favourite toy, a little plush hand puppet kitty (which you can see in the bottom left photo, actually). Lila is normally a great eater, but she just picked at her brunch spread. That is, until the cake came out:
That top left photo is probably my favourite of all her cake eating shots. She ate two pieces! Although there are so many good shots that we didn't get, here are a couple of Lila playing with some of the decorations. You can see a little of the kitty-theme in them:
Mods: Added length to create a tunic, worked in reverse stockinette and added a dramatic cable for visual interest. Project page is here.
What Makes This Awesome: Mary was smart to choose a really simple original pattern to modify, because it was a great backdrop for her to get creative with her knitting. Changing it up from stockinette to reverse stockinette gives the tunic lots of texture, and adds to the drama of that big, bold cable on the side. She took this sweater from simple to stunning!
The last time I was in Sudbury, I paid a visit to Sweet Yarns, a really wonderful little shop in the south end that has a great selection of yarns and a really friendly vibe. I went to get a replacement needle for a project I was working on, and ended up chatting with their knitting group while I browsed the yarn, and ended up taking home a couple skeins of Malabrigo Rios in 'lotus', specifically to make the Honey Cowl:
This cowl, particularly the bigger size that I'm making, is a lot of mindless knitting, which is great- it's the kind of project you can do while carrying on a conversation, and it's a nice fit for yarns with a lot of colour shifts, which often look so attractive in skein form and then become a bit of a mess when you try to knit anything with them. However, it's not my only knitting project on the go, since I often like something a little more challenging for when I'm feeling like a super knitter. But more on my other projects later.
While trying to get photos, there was a little helper who was eager to get in on the action:
See how some stitches are already coming off the needle? Good helping, Lila!
Once year ago today, at this time, our darling little Lila arrived in the world, and changed my world forever. Lila, you are not a perfect baby, but you are the perfect baby for us. We love you more than you will ever know!
Mods: Using the stitch pattern from the scarf, Birgit created this one-of-a-kind laceweight pullover, with a high neck. She also made a cardigan version with the same stitch, here. Pullover details with great notes on how she made the sweater can be found here.
What Makes This Awesome: I think Birgit made a great choice in silhouette of this sweater- the simple high neck and long sleeves emphasize the gorgeous all-over stitch, which gives the hems a lightly scalloped edge. Choosing laceweight yarn is also smart, it keeps the knit lightweight and emphasizes the drape and delicacy. In the additional photos on her project page, you can see the pretty pearl buttons at the back of the neck. This sweater is practically a work of art!