Lilacs to Welcome the First Day of Spring

Lilacs to Welcome the First Day of Spring, the artyologist

Happy first official day of Spring! A quick look out my window still shows piles of snow, despite what the calendar says, so today I am sharing a look back to these photos I took last Spring. I took this set last June, but never published them so, since there are no flowers growing around here yet, nor will there be for a quite a while longer, I thought I would share them with you today, even though they are almost a year late!

Lilacs to Welcome the First Day of Spring, top view of tea, the artyologist

We did get another huge snowfall this past weekend, despite my wishes to the contrary in my last post, but yesterday it was such a warm day, that the snow is melting fast. I have decided that there will be no more photos including large drifts of snow here on the blog, until next winter! This might mean that all of my photos will need to be taken indoors, or I won’t have any outfit photos for a while. . . but I am so ready for winter to be finished. So until spring really feels like it is here, I will have to make do with looking at last years photos, and enjoying the bouquet of tulips my mom bought for me last week!

Happy Spring dear Readers!

Is it looking and feeling like Spring in your part of the world?

Lilacs to Welcome the First Day of Spring, tea cup, the artyologist

Lilacs to Welcome the First Day of Spring, books, the artyologist

Lilacs to Welcome the First Day of Spring, tea and lilacs, the artyologist

Lilacs to Welcome the First Day of Spring, bouquet with tea, the artyologist

Lilacs to Welcome the First Day of Spring, bouquet, the artyologist

Lilacs to Welcome the First Day of Spring, bouquet and tea, the artyologist

Vintage Modern Mix: Astra Fur & Denim

Vintage Modern Mix: Astra Fur & Denim, the artyologist

The surest way to get a snowstorm, is for me to plan a blog photoshoot. So, if you have plans on a certain day, just make sure I haven’t planned blog photos- because we will get the biggest snowstorm of the year. (Or a windstorm, or a rainstorm, or a blindingly hot day if it is summer.)

I kid you not; I have been wanting to do photographs of this outfit since December, and every time I’ve attempted to, an abnormal weather phenomenon has occurred. Mostly in the form of snow. Yes, this is Canada, after all, but it’s not always the land of ice and snow . . . it seems to save that for when you have plans to go and do something! Two weeks ago we had what was I hope our last major snowstorm of the year, since we are very ready for Spring to start showing up around here. Thus, this past Saturday, I finally managed to get photographs (which my sister kindly took for me) since, it is getting a bit too warm for this coat and I wanted pictures before I can’t wear it anymore. Far be it from me to complain about the sunshine, but it does mean it is time to put this coat aside for the season, which is kind of sad.

Vintage Modern Mix: Astra Fur & Denim, the artyologist, coat

This is my favourite vintage piece, an Astra Fur from 1967, which is slightly reminiscent of wearing a carpet. (See this post to find out how I can date it so precisely!) I realized when I wore it on Saturday, that the lining is starting to shatter, and the faux fur fabric is starting to pull apart. When you hold it up to the light, it’s starting to look similar to a Swiss cheese 🙁 Wearing vintage can be very fun, but it also means taking a chance on wearing something that has perhaps seen better days; after all, nothing lasts forever, even if it has been taken care of. Part of me wondered, fleetingly, if I should continue wearing this coat, but then I remembered that this is my absolute favourite coat, and I don’t wear it often, but when I do, I enjoy it so much. While I want to keep things forever, and I do take care of my garments, ultimately I want to wear them and love them; not have a closet that is actually a museum full of things you can look at, but can’t touch. Where do you draw the line between wanting to preserve something, but also recognizing that it’s still just clothing?

Vintage Modern Mix: Astra Fur & Denim, the artyologist, boots and jeans

Anyways, getting back to the outfit; to be honest, I don’t actually like wearing jeans, as I don’t find them to be particularly comfortable. However, the one combination that I love is vintage fur and denim! The first time I ever saw a fur coat paired with jeans was on The Sartorialist back in the day (was it really actually 10 years ago?!?!?!?)

I absolutely loved it, but never worked up the courage to wear it myself until only a few years ago. Now that I have moved to town and walk almost everywhere, I have worn this combination several times. Walking around town, especially in the winter when there is lots of snow and ice, requires sturdy boots, which go so well with jeans. I love the contrast of the “proper” fur coat, with very casual denim. And, the best thing about this coat is that it looks so fancy that I don’t have to dress up underneath, when I’m running errands, because it hides everything under it 😉 To finish off my outfit, my go-to is this cross body purse and, when it’s cold, a beret and scarf. This is just my sort of easy vintage modern mix: practical and yet still a bit fancy. Because, I like things to be extra fancy. This outfit is a bit of an anomaly from my usual style, and yet it’s nice to mix things up sometimes, isn’t it?

Do you have any fragile vintage garments that you can’t give up wearing? Do you like to pair modern pieces with vintage ones?

Vintage Modern Mix: Astra Fur & Denim, the artyologist, coat

Vintage Modern Mix: Astra Fur & Denim, the artyologist, purse detail

Vintage Modern Mix: Astra Fur & Denim, the artyologist

Vintage Modern Mix: Astra Fur & Denim, the artyologist, purse detail 2

On a Winter’s Day

winters-day-pinecone, the artyologist

Since moving to town last fall, I don’t get to enjoy the winter frost as much anymore. We don’t get the ice fog, and resulting frost, in town the same way that my family’s house in the country does. And when we do, there are a bunch of obnoxious houses in the way blocking the view 😉 So, a few weeks ago, when visiting my family on a frosty day, I took the opportunity to run outside and take some photos of the landscape, as it was so incredibly beautiful.

Have I already taken many photos of the frost in winters past? Yes! Does that stop me from taking more? Nope! Sorry there are so many photos- everywhere I looked was another interesting detail or view I wanted to capture! Also, even though these photos were taken a few weeks ago, and we almost into March now, (and with that: spring!) it still looks every bit of winter out there, so I thought these photos wouldn’t be too out of place.

winters-day-red-shed, the artyologist

On another note, I’ve been quite busy this past week, as I was preparing for, and then showing my artwork at an art show this weekend. (The same one I went to last year, and talked about here) (Also- hi and welcome to anyone who has found my blog through the show!) The show went well, but even though it is now over, I think things are going to keep getting busier, because. . . I start a new job tomorrow! I am very excited about it! With that change in my schedule, though, I am going to have to make some changes to the blog.

I’ve been keeping to a fairly regular schedule for the past year or so, posting on Tuesdays and Fridays, but lately that hasn’t seemed to be working very well for me. Since the fall time, my schedule has changed a lot, and I’ve had things keeping me from blogging. I think it is time to let the pressure off, so I have decided that it is OK to post less frequently. That was a self imposed rule anyways 🙂 I still want to post once a week- and as I have time, maybe some weeks I will be able to post more than that! Anyways, I just wanted to let you know why it might get a bit quieter around here. Oh, and because this blog wouldn’t be much without you, thank-you to all of you Dear Readers who follow along! I hope you all have a wonderful last week of February and first of March! (Spring is just around the corner, I can feel it!)

winters-day-3, the artyologist

winters-day-gas-tank, the artyologist

winters-day-seedheads, the artyologist

winters-day-2, the artyologist

winters-day-chicken-shed, the artyologist

winters-day-pine-branch, the artyologist

wood stack, horizontal, the artyologist

winters-day-gas-tank-2, the artyologist

winters-day-1, the artyologist

winters-day-tire, the artyologist

winters-day-4, the artyologist

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. 🙁 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 from 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. 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 afraid 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? 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 😉

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? 😉 haha!)

You can get a copy of Tanith’s pattern here

*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