Wednesday, January 20, 2021

Black Cashmere and Grey; Panthers, Birds, Cat and Sewing

Hello, my friends! I'm kind of in a grey daze lately. The weather's grey, it's January, it's cold, it's rainy and windy and the brain fog has descended. However, I'm trying to DO things to keep my spirits up, as I will show you in a bit - I did some sewing! Oooooh!

My clothes today reflect my state of mind. Black, grey. 
Colours you don't see me in very often. 

  • Dress - Claudia Nichole Cashmere, consignment; purchased here for $51.00
  • Vest - Pink Martini, consignment; last worn here in September 2020 with red, black and white
  • Shoes - Gentle Souls; last seen here in December 2020 with Monster Vest and stripes
  • Coat (below) - Mallia, consignment; last worn here in December 2020

My hand felt this lovely 100% cashmere dress last night (ooh, what's this?) while I was just randomly fondling things in my closet (as I do), and I remembered I had it! Oops, I guess I should wear it.
I'm wearing rubberized snakeskin print tights (sorry, hard to see - it's still dark out!). Even if I'm not wearing bold colours, I can still play with loads of texture.

I like the dress on its own, but it's even better when you add a layer, right? This grey knit vest brings attention to the big ruffled sleeves. 
I did feel like I was in pajamas all day - cashmere is so soft! - and I wrapped my vest around my legs at the office. 

Without vest, so you can see the nice shape. I just liked the belt detail with the vest. More texture! 
You can see how wide the neckline is on the dress - it is a little loose on that shoulder, which should tighten up when I wash it. I have a black cami on underneath in case the front neckline drooped or gaped (it did not). 

Masked up - this one's from Mango's, a black and white paisley.
My coworker Camille was in so I swooshed the vest at her. Oh my gosh, I miss my fashionable colleagues. 

Outerwear - I love this look. I felt like a spy! 
That coat is amazing to wear - baby alpaca! I actually felt a lot better for wearing all these soft comforting textures. 

  • Hat - Marks & Spencer, consignment, Powell River
  • Fur boa - thrifted
  • Wool/fur gloves - vintage, thrifted

The stuff: 
I've worn these shoes with the vest before - they're a good match. 

Grey bling: 
Once I picked the belt, I remembered that I also have a pendant by Shi Studios. 

  • Belt - Shi Studios
  • Buckle - Shi Studios, thrifted
  • Necklace - Shi Studios
  • Silver cuff - Karen's
  • Pewter cuff - Robert Larin, vintage 70s, vintage mall, gift from L
  • Pearl/crystal earring - Swarovski, consignment
  • Silver/crystal ring - Soul Flower
  • Volcano ring - Mom's, vintage 70s
  • Hematite ring - thrifted

For a lark, I dug up the first time I wore the belt (with its original buckle) (here) and the necklace (here), for my birthday week in October 2009, over 11 years ago! I still have the skirt in the belt outfit, and those are my first pair of Fluevogs (which I also still have) in the blue velvet outfit. 

Canada Post Santa finally came for L and I - we bought ourselves (well, L paid for them, heh) each a piece of NFL gear for Christmas. L bought himself a Larry Csonka Miami Dolphins jersey, but I already have a bunch of jerseys that I only wear on game days. I didn't need or want another one. 

I have been wanting a proper Carolina Panthers bomber jacket forever though - y'know, something I can actually WEAR. In public!
Boo-yah! This is from the Erin Andrews' collection and it's cotton - like a light sweatshirt. I really wanted something outrageously satin and pouffy and Lady Gaga-esque, but alas, my "unique" taste is not well-represented by the NFL. 

I like that the name and the logo are properly sewn on and not ironed on decals. I do wish they had lined up the name a bit better (Panhers?), but I'm okay with it. 
I think it was around $129.99 on sale. There was probably a bunch of shipping and US/Canadian $ conversions and such too. Anyway, I'm very happy with my cute bomber jacket and you can expect to see it in casual outfits in the spring. It's far too light to wear in the winter! 

Yesterday, while I was looking for Vizzini - he'd gone missing! - I noticed these three starlings on the maple tree outside. 
"Yeah, that's her. I heard she terrorized a squirrel."

First the squirrels and now the starlings! 

You know that lack of personal interaction is lacking when you start thinking the animals are out to get you. 
"Oh, we are. You finally noticed."

I did eventually find Vizzini - he wasn't in the tie box, wasn't in the closet, not in his house, not under the bed or under the covers. 
"Another excellent hiding spot discovered!"

He never sleeps in the same spot twice - so weird. I made this little bed for him when I put his post back after taking down the Christmas tree, with one of his blankets there to keep him from going behind the curtains (something he likes to do) and nibbling on the lights (something he would totally do). 

Once I had bothered him, he got up and bothered me back. I had an assistant while I did some hand-sewing - I bit the bullet and hemmed the puzzle dress! 
"There must be something here I can eat."

Pre-cutting. I considered trying to unstitch the lace seam tape and re-use it, but it's hand-sewn to the back of the dress and it's machine-sewn with very small stitches on the seam. Too much work for too little reward.

I took a really good look at the fabric on the skirt portion and how it was sewn/cut, and decided to use the pattern as my guide. Vizzini tried to bite the scissors while I cut it - very dangerous! 
It helped that the fabric rolled ever so slightly when cut, but doesn't that look nice and straight? The material was silky and easy to work with - despite the loud print, it's actually very good quality fabric. No fraying, snagging or running/laddering. Not all 60s/70s fabric was crappy! 

Here's the finished product, hemmed and ready to wear again.
Don't be scared, it's not as short as it looks! I measured the length and gave myself extra. It will hit below my knee and look fabulous with boots. 

I got my sewing badge in Brownies, you know. 
I'm about 11 years old there, c. 1977-8, about to "fly up" to Girl Guides.

So I have to show my work! I learned to sew and embroider back then. 
Nice, neat stitches. 

The test is the front! 
A couple slight puckers (someone was trying to bite the thread), but from a distance, it's invisible. Yay! I'm always happy when an alteration goes well (many do not!). 

I also moved the buttons on my Desigual coat, which has always been too tight on me. May as well make it more comfortable! 
"There are not enough things for me to bite here, Woman."

He swatted at the removed buttons and tried to chew on them. 

Finished - I moved five buttons over about 2 inches, which does leave a gap on the side. 
Do I care about that? Nope. Am I happy that I can comfortably button this again? Totally! 

There we go, a very exciting time, to be sure. How's your week going? 


  1. I like the look of this outfit, it looks very galactic.
    Oh wow you cut the new maxi, I thought it fit you beautifully on a recent post, what will you do with the fabric that was left over?
    This week started off horribly. I was driving to work and my car lit up, there was a small fire in the's in the shop being diagnosed as I write.
    Tuesday my aunt passed away due to heart failure caused by covid, I am just overwhelmed at not being able to do anything about current situation. I feel terrible that i cannot even hug my cousins.

    1. Thank you, Lorena. Yup, I did - it was too short to be a proper maxi for me, and I knew I would not wear it. It fits great, just not a good length originally. I am not sure what to do with the fabric! I thought of pockets (but I'm not that good of a hand-sewer!) and I also thought of a turban!

      Oh NO! OMG, that is crazy! Your car caught fire! And, honey, I am so sorry to hear that you lost your aunt to COVID. That really sucks. I do know how that feels - I haven't been able to mourn my friend Karen's death at all. I haven't hugged my mom since February 2020. :(

  2. You know I'm not a lover of grey but I have to say, that outfit is wonderful, the drama of the sleeves, that Klassy waistcoat and how the black is the perfect backdrop for your fabulous accessories...that belt!
    You can't beat some sewing on a miserable day although it looks like Vizzini had other ideas, little monster. You've done a brilliant job on shortening the puzzle dress, look at those neat stitches! It hangs perfectly.I bet you can't wait to wear that Desigual coat again now you can breathe in it.
    Love young Sheila in her guide outfit (I was only a member for 2 months, I hated it, I was so shy, knew nobody and hated the uniform!)
    If anyone can make that NFL jacket look fabulous, you can! xxx

    1. Thank you, Vix! I enjoy dabbling in grey and black once in a while, and as you say, it's a good chance to show off my accessories.

      I did enjoy the sewing, although Vizzini was a pain. I was very proud of my neat sewing! I am looking forward to wearing the coat again.

      Heh, my Brownies uniform - so ugly! I only stayed in Guides for a few months before I finally quit. I did learn a lot of good skills, though!

      I can! I'll make an awesome outfit!

  3. I think you do monochrome so well Sheila even in black and grey! :) I miss the office sometimes it's strange not having that interaction with coworkers, but I'm so glad we can work from home.

    You did a great job with the dress! I used to be able to sew - I have a few things I sewed in school that are still going strong, but I can't remember any of it! I have to get my mum to put buttons on, I should really re-learn!

    1. I don't consider this monochrome, but I guess it is, Mica! Thank you! I have really missed seeing my coworkers - there were a few in today and it was so nice to see them and catch up a bit!

      Thank you - I'm sure you haven't really forgotten (it's one of those skills that comes back quickly). You can sew a button - it's easy!

  4. Yes, it's that time of year when outside life dims our emotions. Smart of you to use clothing as a pick-me-up. You still own your first pair of Fluevogs? Wow. They'll be showcased in the museum. Didn't you know? I'm establishing the Sheila Museum of Fashion and Cat Photos. As curator, it'll be my duty to decide what goes on display and what stays in storage. Tough job. :)

    1. January is a rough month, for sure. Yes, I do still have them - I should wear them one of these days, just for fun.

      LOL, I love your idea of the SMFCP (catchy!). You have full access to my closet, of course!

  5. Grey daze and brain fog: tell me about it! You certainly aren't alone. I've been trying to keep myself busy too, which doesn't mean I've been doing anything useful, which makes me feel ever so slightly guilty.
    Seeing you in shades of black and grey might be unusual, your outfit is still wonderful, and I'm sure wearing that cashmere dress must have been a sensory delight! Those sleeves are fabulous, and so is the belt. And ooh, baby alpaca sound delightful too!
    You did a great job shortening and re-hemming the Puzzle Dress. Doing things like that by hand - which is what I do too - is a real labour of love, and so rewarding too! I usually find that once I've successfully tackled a sewing job, I am ready to start another, and finish a couple of projects in one go. It'll be great to wear that Desigual coat again without being uncomfortable.
    Look at you in your Girl Guides uniform! So cute! xxx

    1. It's easy to forget that I'm NOT alone these days, Ann. Sharing my brain fogginess helps. I often fell guilty if I don't Do Something on my days off. I've been reading a lot the past few weeks.

      Thanks so much. Wearing a full cashmere dress was a freakin' delight! It's so soft. The coat is too - baby alpaca is wonderful.

      Thank you! I was so proud of myself, that I did a really neat job of it. I am now eyeing other things in my closet and considering what I could do. I'm looking forward to wearing the coat again now that I can comfortably button it.

      Heh, I'm glad you enjoyed it.

  6. I love this outfit, everything about it - the coat, the hat, the sweater vest, the dress, everything. I'm usually a more colorful type person too, but everything about it looks so snuggly. Have you thought about putting your masks with your accessory pictures? It would be cool to see them close up with each outfit. Thanks for all you do!

    1. Thank you so much, kind stranger! I have thought of including my masks, but I wash them as soon as I get home, which is when I do my "stuff" pictures, so they are either moist/used or wet. I'll try to include a picture of them so you can see them better. Thanks for the lovely comment.

  7. Love the way you styled your monochrome outfit, with textures and interesting shapes (those sleeves are fab, and your long vest is so cool!), making it look Fab and Cozy!. Sometimes we need to wrap ourselves in cashmere and an amazing glamourous coat!
    Lovely that you managed to shorten the dress, and looking forward to see it 'in action'.
    And hope that Vizzini keeps himself away of all the dangerous sewing stuff!, scissor, safety pins! omg!

    1. Thanks so much - I didn't consider this monochrome, but I guess it is! I love the big sleeves, so fun. It was very soft and soothing. The coat is a work of art.

      I did - and I'll be wearing it very soon!

      He was very naughty, going after all my stuff!

  8. Oh yes, these are my ,, colors,,! I adore the black coat outfit! Nikita is what pops up in my head! I think it's elegant and cool looking. I always, back in the days, wanted a real American bomber, a black and white one. I found that so cool. But I never had one. I still love it! I have chicken, from the neighbors, in my garden every day and find myself talking to them.....from behind the window......

    1. Thanks, Nancy - ah, yes, Nikita, totally! I felt very badass in it.

      I love bomber jackets, but they can be tricky to style.

      Ha ha! I'm talking to squirrels and you are talking to chickens. :) What a world.

  9. And so I discover another (awesome) point that we share in common, my dear friend: we were both in the GGC. The numerous years I spent in Guiding were highly enjoyable, provided me with an abundance of skills, helped to bolster my confidence, and no doubt is part of the reason why I strive to be well prepared whenever possible.

    Love your elegant black and grey ensemble. It's me to a tee (as my current profile pic illustrates - I'm wearing those very colours in it 😄).

    Many hugs & wishes for a relaxing, enjoyable weekend.

    Autumn Zenith 🧡 Witchcrafted Life

    Autumn Zenith 🧡 Witchcrafted Life

    1. I loathed Brownies - as a shy introvert they were a bit of a nightmare to me, but I credit my mom with making me stay in them! The skills I learned were very useful, and I don't regret it now. I'm also in the "be prepared" camp, Autumn!

      Thank you - it is very "you"!

  10. Beautiful outfit. The long grey knit complements the black dress wonderfully and I love the shoes.

    1. Thank you, Ivana! I hope you are feeling better? Take care, my dear.

    2. Yes, I'm feeling better, shoulder is fine, but I have had some other worries recently so I haven't had the time to post. Fortunately, things are looking up.

    3. Aw, take good care of yourself, honey. Sending you good vibes.

  11. Hi Sheila, I left a comment a few days ago which was still there yesterday but is gone now - Blogspot is gobbling my comments again! Love the new length of the dress, and your caramel boots. I have a similar colour pair. Rgds Lise

    1. Oh, shoot, so sorry to hear that, Lise! Thank you so much!

  12. I have several dresses that need hemming, but I am terrible at it - it's never straight when I'm done. You did a very professional-looking job on the dress. I never liked doing "group" things when I was a kid so I avoided brownies and guides. I do regret not learning some of the skills they provided though.

    1. I was super-nervous about this! I'm glad that the pattern was laid out so that I could use it as a guide.

      I loathed being in brownies and guides, although I'm glad of the skills I learned.


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