outfits

The First Sewing Project of 2018: Tanith Rowan Designs Grevillea Beret

tanith rowan designs graevilla beret, the artyologist

This hat is my first sewing project of the year which, ironically, wasn’t even on my #makenine list! However, I am delighted to have finished one project so far this year, especially since my other current project is taking a lot more time to finish than I would like it to.

When I shared my Style Resolutions post back in January, Tanith of Tanith Rowan Designs asked whether I would like to review and test her new hat pattern, the Grevillea Beret, since one of my resolutions had been to wear more hats this year.

I said yes, of course, and just this past weekend I got around to making the hat. I have never had much success sewing hats- I made a newsboy style cap for my sister once, which was really cute, but so many of the hats I make for myself seem to fail. I once attempted to make a pillbox, but it turned out looking more like a fez. šŸ™ So it was with trepidation that I approached this pattern, hoping that it would turn out well, but also afraid I would end up with another fez. Well, of course, I should not have feared! Tanith has made a wonderful hat pattern- and I love how this hat turned out!

When I first got the pattern, I spent quite a while trying to decide which fabric I should use, because I wanted to make sure that it was something that would coordinate with my wardrobe. After almost cutting it out of a different fabric, I remembered that I had some green wool scraps left over fromĀ my cape last year. I only had a few strips (several inches wide) and I wasn’t sure that I would be able to fit all of the pattern pieces in, but, as Tanith mentions, this pattern is good for recycling leftover pieces of fabric and all of the pattern pieces fit. (With absolutely no room to spare- and none leftover! Yay for using up fabric scraps!)

grevillea beret, back, the artyologist

I made the eight section hat, with a narrow band, and I didn’t topstitch the segments. This is because I am that seamstress who looks at a pattern (even one with every combination known), and picks out the one option that isn’t pictured on the pattern. I think that the topstitching gives the beret a sportier look, and also stiffens the pieces, so my hat is rather soft and floppy compared the pictures on her pattern. The wool I used was also rather soft, compared to melton or other stiff wool. The weight of your fabric is definitely something to keep in mind.

The hat went together very quickly. I made it in a few hours including: laying out the pattern, cutting, sewing, unpicking my bad stitches and then resewing, and then finally pressing and steaming the hat into shape.Ā If you’ve been following my sewing projects for any length of time, you will know that a finished project in that short amount of time is pretty amazing since all of my sewing projects take me forever to complete.

grevillea beret and cape set, the artyologist

After I finished sewing the segment pieces together, I laid the hat out flat, and even though it wasn’t pressed yet, I could tell that it was going to be too small. Because I was afraidĀ of the hatband also being too small which would result in the hat sitting on the top of my head like a pancake (strangely enough…not the look I was going for), I measured my head and then cut my hatband out at that measurement + seam allowance, sewed the hatband together at the sides, and tried it on to make sure it fit. Because there is a 5/8″ (1cm) seam allowance included in her pattern, I simply resewed the segment piece seams at 3/8″ and then tapered the seams towards the bottom to fit the circumference of the hatband. Once I had resewed the seams it was a simple matter of attaching it to the hatband, adding a covered button and then I was done. Tanith does mention in her pattern that any seam or cutting discrepancies can drastically change the size of the hat- just 1mm in cutting error will result in a 1.6 cm difference once the pieces are sewn up. My hat might have also turned out too small because of printing error- I did print it at 100%, but there could have been a problem there too. Either reason, it doesn’t really matter in the end because she, fortunately, included wide enough seam allowances for me to make the necessary adjustments with no problems! I would recommend if you sew this pattern, just measure the pieces before you cut them out to make sure the sizes are all right.

So, what was my opinion of Tanith’s pattern?Ā I really like how this hat turned out, and am thrilled to now have a matching cape and hat set. I am already contemplating future versions too; velvet would be nice, and perhaps some more outerwear and hat sets, because you can’t get more vintage than that, right?

grevillea beret review, the artyologist

As for this outfit, which I wore on Sunday, I paired the hat and cape with a fur collar, black tights and shoes, and my kraken necklace, which I thought deserved an outing. Peeking out from under my cape is the Vogue 8789 dress which I seem to be wearing on repeat lately. I tried the outfit with a black purse, but it was just too much black, so I ended up choosing this silly plastic covered feather clutch which I rarely ever carry, because it’s too small to hold anything other than my phone and a lipstick! But, it was a perfect finishing touch, and I always love wearing ridiculous vintage pieces, if I can šŸ˜‰

All in all, I am very happy, both with this pattern, and how this outfit turned out- despite the freezing cold these photos were taken in. (The sunshine is deceptive) I was tempted to do an indoor photoshoot, but decided that a cape and hat set needed to be set against a winter background, so my sister and I braved the weather just long enough to quickly snap these and then run back inside to sit by the fire and warm up with a hot cup of tea!

Have you ever sewed a hat before or would you? Have you seen or tried out the Grevillea Beret pattern yet? Would you make a matching outwear and hat set? And- is it starting to feel like Spring where you live, or are you still in the depths of Winter too!?!

(Ps- I was wondering why the pattern was called the “Grevillea Beret” so I Googled it, of course, and discovered that a Grevillea is a type of Australian flower. I wondered whether the hat looked like the flower. . . but then I looked at the image search here and it does not look anything like it! Although- a Grevillea inspired hat would be most interesting, don’t you think? šŸ˜‰ haha!)

You can get a copy of Tanith’s pattern here.Ā 

*I was provided this beret pattern free of charge in return for being a pattern tester.

kraken necklace, the artyologist

grevillea beret, side, the artyologist

feather and plastic purse, the artyologist

grevillea beret and cape, the artyologist

A Peachy Keen Valentine’s Day Outfit

A Peachy Keen Valentine's Day Outift, the artyologist

Yes, I had to give this post a title like that, because there is just so much peach in this Valentine’s Day outfit that I really couldn’t do otherwise, could I?

I used to think that I didn’t like pink, because I don’t own very much of it, (I keep saying that every year when Valentine’s Day rolls around. . ) I have realized over time, though, that it’s not that I don’t like pink, but that I am not drawn to cool toned pinks; I love warm peachy pinks, corals, and tawny dead shades of pink.

My mom and sister found this adorable fabric, of which there was just enough to make a gathered skirt, in the thrift store last summer. I’m not one for novelty prints, so this is about as novelty as I get, but how could I resist when it has little dancing people and bunches of flowers on it- and also what better thing could there be to wear on Valentine’s Day? In keeping with the Valentine’s theme, I also decided to wear this pendant with handwriting on it- something about it feels romantic, and my cameo earrings, which have always been a romantic kind of jewellery as well. My Brave Leather belt finished off the look- and also kept the peasant style top and gathered skit from looking frumpy. I tried the look with a narrow belt, but this one looked better: never underestimate the power of a wide belt! šŸ™‚

A Peachy Keen Valentine's Day Outfit, details, the artyologist

I’m getting a bit tired of the cold and snow, to be honest, and I have been forced to spend most of my days indoors lately. Yesterday it finally warmed up enough to run errands without my face freezing off, which was so nice. The cold weather is getting to be a bit of a drag, but on the other hand, if I’m inside I can wear whatever I feel like, without having to worry about layers and toques and scarves. . .Ā  So, when planning what to wear for Valentine’s day- I decided to ignore the fact that it is still Winter, and as a result this outfit is quite Springlike. I am not going to go out in these sandals though! (I repeat: these sandals will not be worn in the snow!)

Today the forecast is not bad, but even if it is cold, I don’t have to go out in it and will just sit at my work desk dressed up in this un-seasonably appropriate outfit, enjoying the Valentine’s spirit (aka- eating a chocolate tart) and staying toasty warm beside my plug in heater should the temperatures dip again šŸ™‚

I hope you have a lovely Valentine’s Day no matter how you spend it!

Do you like to wear a themed Valentine’s Day outfit? Do you like the colour pink? And if so are you drawn to cool or warm pinks?

Valentine's necklace detail, the artyologist

Peachy Keen Valentine's Day Outfit, the artyologist, fifties style skirt

Valentine's Day, Brave Leather belt, the artyologist

A Peachy Keen Valentine's Day outfit, the artyologist

A Peachy Keen Valentine's vintage autograph book cover, the artyologist

A Peachy Keen Valentine's vintage autograph book, the artyologist

One Circle Skirt Seven Ways

The Circle Skirt Strikes Again, the artyologistYou know those weeks where you seem to be busy doing everything, but at the end of it, you seem to have done nothing? Yep, that was last week. So, here I am again- because that is kind of ironic that in my last post I said that I plan to keep on blogging. . .Ā  and then I just kind of vanished!

I have been thinking lately about wardrobe basics, and pieces that go with everything. I need a few more of them in my wardrobe because, I am not kidding, I spent about half an hour getting dressed on Sunday. That may be a bit obsessive, but I think it was because everything I tried on didn’t really go with anything else. There were other factors involved. . . but I started thinking about my tan circle skirt and how I have worn it so much already, since making it in June. I didn’t realize that it has made it onto the blog six times already! It’s the same thing with my black circle skirt (which is what I ended up wearing on Sunday). Those two skirts really are the workhorses of my wardrobe at the moment.

So today, here is one circle skirt seven ways!

Rural Holiday, the artyologist, a roman holiday inspired outfit, sunny-standing-beside-bicycle

Here is the first time I wore it, for my participation in #thevintagefashionchallenge prompt of a film inspired look. Little did I know then that this circle skirt was going to be my best sewing project of the year!

photos with friends, the artyologist, nicole-spinning-skirt

The first picture in this post, and hereĀ above are two times where I styled it almost the same, but with a different hat and shoe choice.

A Period Incorrect Outfit at Heritage Park , sitting on step, the artyologist

The skirt was the best thing to wear on holidays, as the wrinkles came out nicely- and I only had to pack several different tops and accessories!

Modern Girl Goes Vintage, the artyologist

One of my favourite outfits of the year, with a bit of a modern vintage mix. Also I just love combining navy and brown.

An Outifi Containing a Pleasant Surprise, vintage Laura Ashley, the artyologist

Not my favourite outfit– I liked it better when I was wearing it, than when I saw the pictures. The black opaque tights look too heavy to me- I should have worn sheer black pantyhose instead. Also- my hair was doing a thing. . .

One Circle Skirt Seven Ways, the artyologist

Here’s how I wore it a few weeks ago, for a day spent at home. I love how the skirt can go from dressy to casual withĀ  different top and accessories choices.

Hmm. . . I seem to be wearing a lot of black and white with this skirt- maybe I should see about trying to pair it with some colour!

Do you have any garments that you wear all the time because they are easy to wear and go with everything? What are your wardrobe staples?

Cashmere is a Sweater

Cashmere is a Sweater, the artyologist

In the famous words of Ogden Nash:

Christmas Present

Cashmere is a sweater.

Mere cash, even better.

While I wouldn’t say no to mere cash, I must say that I do rather like this cashmere sweater. (I didn’t get it as a Christmas present though.) I got it a few years ago from the thrift shop, and I didn’t ever have anything to wear it with, as it has quite a brown undertone, and so it sat forlornly on my shelf. I thought that when I wore it last Sunday, it was the first time, and so I made a pronouncement to that effect to my mom and sister, who immediately said that, yes I had worn it before, and the last time I wore it, I had said the exact same thing. Well, apparently I don’t recall my outfits, so I don’t know if this was the second, or third or maybe the tenth time I’ve worn it. However it is the first time it is appearing on the blog, so at leastĀ there is thatĀ first!

Cashmere is a Sweater, the artyologist, wool circle skirt

This is also the first time this wool skirt has appeared on the blog. Actually, now that I think about it- this wool scarf too. And these fishnet tights. I think that’s all.

The reason this skirt has not shown up before, is because I didn’t finish sewing it until December 30 at 11:00 at night, so I could wear it the next day. I sewed the majority of the skirt back in October, but then never finished hemming it. Hems are such a bother aren’t they? So, on December 30, I sat down and finished hemming the skirt. And then the next day, I didn’t even end up wearing it! But that’s OK, because I’ve worn it a few times since, and it really is the best addition to my wardrobe. (And if I hadn’t finished it then, it might still be in my sewing pile!)

I hated sewing with this material (100% wool, they said, but it has a bit of stretch, so I’m not sure), but the finished garment is wonderful. It has the perfect amount of drape in the skirt and itĀ hangs nicely. That accursed little bit of stretch makes it actually quite comfortable. It’s black, so it goes with 75% of everything in my wardrobe. And looks good both with or without a petticoat- exactly my kind of skirt. It’s funny, I never sewed a circle skirt until this past June, because I was always afraid that they wouldn’t be flattering. But, since that first one, I’ve now made two more, and am planning for another- they are actually the perfect kind of skirt for me, and I can’t get enough of them!

Cashmere is a Sweater, the artyologist, beret and coat

As for the rest of the outfit, the reason I am wearing two different hats, is because I walked to church wearing the beret, and then changed into the hat once I got there. It is small enough that it fit in my large purse, and that way my ears didn’t freeze, because obviously itĀ has no warmth! (If you interested, IĀ did a guest post on how I embellished this hat, on Chronically Vintage, right here.)

And, a note about this scarf; I was selling my artwork at a farmer’s market in December, and the lady beside me was selling beautiful knitwear. I started looking at her table, and none of the pieces she had were the right colour/style etc. and then she pulled this wool scarf out (she hadn’t put it out on the table yet) and it was The One. I’ve been wanting a wide blanket scarf like this for a while; the sort of thing you can pull over your head when it’s windy. Anyways, I’ve been wearing it quite a bit lately, because it has been so cold. It was definitely a good investment. Although, I do seem to have this bad habit- I go to these markets to sell, and yet I seem to come home with things. . .

Have you ever been unsure of a certain style of garment,Ā butĀ once you try it, it turns out to be the bestĀ thing ever?

Cashmere is a Sweater, the artyologist, embellished hat

Cashmere is a Sweater, the artyologist, scarf and coat

Cashmere is a Sweater, the artyologist, sweater and necklace detail

Cashmere is a Sweater, the artyologist, beret

Cashmere is a Sweater, the artyologist, purse