Clothing Musings

There it was, a wax-sealed letter, inside a red-ribboned box.

Two deep breaths, one, two, a gentle pop of the bottom edge, and the thistle was in halves.
Enveloped in the letter was a McKittrick pin, handcrafted by The Tablinum.

I love presents, especially handcrafted ones. So, when The Tablinum offered me a pin, I was ecstatic! I traded some coins and cloth for this little treasure. It reminded me of my yesteryears when I exchanged crafted goods with others. They were always filled with surprises.

This surprise came with a intricate packaging incredibly fit for a Sleep No More memento. It brought back memories of all my wonderful experiences, including the wide-eyed wonder and breath-holding excitement.

Thank you so much for this gift!

My laundry basket was becoming Mount Everest. Ever since I moved to my new apartment, I haven’t been able to do laundry. The nearest laundromat was light-years away!
Mount Everest!
Today, before the rooster’s crow, my friend/roomie and I traveled to a distant land to purchase a washing machine. We entered a realm of lush trees and beautiful brick houses, a sight sorely missed in the city hubbub.

We had found this machine machine on Craiglist a few days ago and went to inspect the unit. It was a sturdy portable washer, the Haier HLP21E model. We were super delighted with this purchase. However, this little thing was a hefty 60 lbs!
The sellers took pity on our poor car-less souls. They offered to deliver the washing machine to us. What awesome folks!
With a little scouring on the internet, I found a manual online. Contrary to most instruction booklets, with serious business looking images, this one was filled with smiling cartoon people and anthropomorphic washers. It’s awesome!

Connecting the unit was simple enough. All the hoses were already in-place. However, right after I tightened the quick connect sink adapter, I discovered I was bleeding profusely from my hands! Beware! That thing is sharp!
My first load was laundry was a pajama pant. It came out squeaky clean.
I was super please with the washing machine, and learned a few tricks not covered in the manual. The facet can be left on since it auto adjusts the water level. Also, when there’s still a wee bit of water left, running a rinse/spin procedure will drain most of the water out.

Now, no more carting down laundry up and down stairs. No more walking for blocks to the laundromat. No more socks gobbled up by industrial washers.

This is luxury.

While the recent wedding I attended was spectacular, the days leading to it were not.

Having never been to a wedding before (or any other black-tie event), I was in a panic about what to wear. Once again the internet gave largely unhelpful advice. “An evening gown or a dressy cocktail dress,” it said.

What did that mean?!?!
Were sleeveless dresses appropriate? Or knee-length ones?

After consulting a few slightly more seasoned friends, I ordered a dress online: Arabelle in Jalapeno.
It was beautiful, chic, and many vanity sizes too large. It seemed I still haven’t learned my lesson about how strapless dresses will always fall on me.
Unfortunately, the Arabelle misfit happened the weekend before the wedding date. I ran around all weekend looking for an alternative. I eventually purchased a vintage Slyvia Cuur dress from a local consignment store. It was my first vintage dress, and I probably grossly overpaid it out of desperation, but finally, I had an outfit for the special day.
Sylvia Cuur
With a bit a self-tayloring, the Slyvia Cuur dress fit wonderfully. It featured a spiffy front zip and a faux tie. Oh how I loved ties.

I slept easy for the next few nights until my mom frantically called me after receiving pictures of my new dress. “It wasn’t formal enough!” she relayed the message in a panic-stricken voice.
The very next day, I once again dashed about the local stores. My mission was to purchase the first formal dress that fit, no matter how hideous. Off the racks at Macy’s, I grabbed a XSCAPE one-shouldered ombre dress with flowers.
Much to my surprised, the dress fit quite well, and looked fabulous. I’d never gotten this lucky before!

In the end, I wore the Slyvia Cuur dress to the rehearsal dinner and the XSCAPE dress to the actual wedding. I got a lot of compliments on the dress, which was quite nice.

Here’s what I learned about what to wear to a black-tie wedding:

  1. Strapless and knee-length are totally acceptable, unless it’s a ultra-conservative setting.

  2. Dresses needn’t be fancier than the shiny one-colored dresses listed on J. Crew’s website, and certainly doesn’t need to cost as much

  3. My lovely vintage dress with floral prints ARE formal enough. In fact, I saw some other lovely ladies sporting floral dresses. The strictness seemed to be much looser with women and their dresses than men. Most men I saw were in tuxedos or nice suits and jackets.

Hope this helps some future wedding guest neophyte!

A little while ago, Marley asked me if the fabric for the Caroline Dress was available on Spoonflower. I’m happy to announce it is, thanks to the amazing folks at Sleep No More.

Time to indulge your SNM-obsessed DIY-er!

May I interest you in a bowtie?
Bowtie Loose
Bowtie Tied

Bowtie Patterns:
David Bowtie – BurdaStyle
How to Make a Bowtie – Prudent Baby
Bowtie Pattern – LA Times

Caroline Pattern:
C Dress by Masty (with minor modifications)

Sleep No More – Spoonflower
Sleep No More Fabric

I can’t wait for summer.
Over the weekend, I visited Florida, and savored the sunny beams.
If only home was as lovely.

I dream of warm nights lounging with friends and ocean waves unfurling over my toes. Of course, I also dream of summer insects, like cicadas.

Cicadas are awesome. Their gentle hiss greet summery days, and they leave intricate exoskeletons for collectors.

Two years ago, I waterjetted rings featuring cicada wings.

wing ring
I named them Butterfly Landings, due to their deceptive appearance.

However, that is injustice!
Those wings belong to cicadas!

To rectify, I now present to you Brood XXV.
Brood XXV

Brood XXV back

This is their second reemergence from the jewelry box.


We’re definitely experiencing some schizophrenic weather here.
Last weekend was super gorgeous, with blooming trees and song birds frolicking.
Last night was so cold that I woke up shivering.
With the oscillating temperature comes my dilemma of to carry or not to carry a bag.
I only need three items on me: phone, wallet, keys. Anything else is deadweight.
Phone 'n Stuff
In the winter, the pockets of my purple coat serve as my bags of holding.
However, under warmer weather, I need to supplement.
Why don’t they make girl pants with bigger pockets?!
My trusty messenger of four years, a demure Fossil canvas, was found today with a gaping hole.
Cause of demise? Old age.
RIP dear friend.
RIP Fossil
It’s bag hunting time.
time to hunt
Some bags fluff their color and shape.
 Others bare their metal tooth and chains.
However, I’ll be on the prowl for the elusive wonder.
I’ll rummage through bins, peer over shelves, stalk online as well as off.
It’ll lead me to mysterious corner boutiques and deep into the internet jungles.
The hunt could last for months and months.
 Eventually, in a moment of weakness, I’ll resort to black magic and revive my messenger. 
Zombified and gruesome, it will moan a constant reminder that its time had already past.
I’ll get desperate, and do anything to rid myself the dangling rags.
I’ll binge, preying on bag within sight of my cross-hairs. The casualties will be many.
The future does not look pretty.
Or maybe my elusive wonder will come to me.
Coach Leah Opt Art Small Shoulder Bag

Last night I dreamt I went to McKittrick again…
…except in my snazzy new dress!
I’d wanted to make a 1940s dress ever since my first Sleep No More escapade.
The vicarious excitement from my friend’s recent trip set the motors of my tiny sewing machine in motion.
With permission to incorporate the McKittrick pineapples, I designed and printed my very first fabric through Spoonflower.

Spoonflower Fabric

I present to you: Miss Caroline.

Miss Caronline with Mask
It features a bold print, sweetheart neckline, and long sweeping skirt; a refined version of my Dandyweeds Dress

Miss Caroline
Caroline Dress
I’ll be donning this for my second visit to the McKittrick in May.
I’m looking forward to all the things I apparently missed.
I really want a 1-on-1 experience but those seem wretchedly rare.
Either way, I’ll be bloody bold and resolute.
Mad Dash
Maybe I will pay fortune a visit.
I hear she has favorites.

*Edit: Apparently they aren’t pineapples, according to scortchedthesnake, they’re thistle, whoops ^^;

*Edit again: Fabric now available on Spoonflower, with approval {Link}