Monday, January 20, 2014

WTH, Shams? A Floral Maxi Dress

Why the heck am I wearing a floral maxi dress?

Good question!

Yes, it's true that our weather has been in the 70s.

This is just not right for January.

We've had almost no rainfall this winter so, unless things change soon, we are facing a real drought this year.

But that's not why I've made a floral maxi.

On my first day of work I learned that there was going to be a team building event in Maui.

I had almost no time to prepare for it (no time to shop for fabric or patterns) and I own almost no warm weather clothes. You don't really need them in my corner of San Francisco, where summer almost never visits.

This piece of rayon lycra knit came in a free bundle from FabricMart many months ago. I immediately earmarked it for donation, as I really don't wear prints like this in my everyday life. When I learned I was going to Maui, I dug it out. It's pretty perfect for Hawaii, I think.

The pattern is Annie's Cami, a woven tank top pattern from Style Arc. (I would never call this style of top a "cami" since, to my mind, a cami has spaghetti straps.) I already had this pattern in my stash.

I omitted the bust pocket, the center back seam (which is shaped - a nice detail but I didn't need another seam in this flimsy knit), and lengthened it by 25". I made the hem about 60" wide, thanks to a friend (Lynn C!) who measured my stride with a tape measure. I just barely had enough fabric to cut it out and I wish I'd made the dress another inch longer.

After sewing it up, I removed fullness from the side seams - about 5/8" from each side seam (2.5" total) from the bust and about 2.5" (10" total) from the waist, tapered to nothing at the hip. (This pattern is designed for a woven, not a knit, so it has more ease than I needed, plus it's a size 18 which is not my current size.) I eased the dart (which I had lowered) at the side seam.

You can hardly ask for a simpler sew. I love the fit. I am even happy with the neckline, which I often raise, but I didn't this time.

I plan to wear this with the black voile Butterick tie top that I made in July.


This is a quick team-building work trip, so I don't need a lot of clothes (thank goodness), but I have decided (largely because of the print of this dress) that the primary colors of my travel wardrobe will be black, white, and orange. Yes, ORANGE. I have some new orange shoes from Lit Foot, and plenty of orange jewelry (that I already owned, plus my daughter gave me a beautiful bracelet with orange in it for Christmas).

I also have a great collapsible orange straw hat that I bought second hand some time ago and packs flat. I love red, but orange is fun, too. :)

This hat collapses so that it's completely flat.

My swim "suit" will be in blues. It's not really a swim suit, but I'll post more after I have something to show.

I also can't resist sharing my favorite new sleep shirt.

At work, employees are called "Googlers". There are various riffs to this theme. When you are a new employee, you are a Noogler. In my first week of work, I joined a group called the Greyglers. Yes, these are folks who self identify as older and who might discuss issues relevant to older employees. They also have a workout group which I have not yet checked out.

I was thrilled to buy the Greygler tee-shirt from the Google store. In fact, I went back and bought two more of them so I'll have spares. You can buy one, too.

In the Google store, they call this shirt the "Wise Android Shirt". I don't work on an Android project, and I don't have an Android phone (at least not yet), but I love the little robot mascot, which is why I bought the giant stuffed Android for my daughter (also available in the online store). And I really do plan to give it to her.

Maybe. :)

Clothes for the Hip Dude

Several weeks ago a colleague was visiting my (shared) office. He was standing so that his side was to me as he was speaking to another colleague. Imagine my surprise when I spied an octopus print peeking out of his side pocket.

And my delight.

I could see that the double welt pocket on the back of the pants also had the print peeking out and I gently moved his shirt a couple inches so that I could see better.

Then I thought better of this and I knocked it off. (Though not until after I'd noticed that the same print lined the front fly.)

Those of you who love clothes as much as I, will understand.

I asked and learned that he has lots of these pants. He bought many pairs from a local company called Betabrand.

So I looked them up that evening.

This company, located in San Francisco, has really cool clothes for the hip young set. He favors the pants called "cordarounds". I assume that they are so-called because the wale of the corduroy goes horizontally *around* the body, rather than in the conventional vertical direction.

I now enjoy catching a glimpse of his fun contrasting pockets, but you don't have to resort to any untoward behavior to see for yourself. Here are a few pics from their website, which is a lot of fun. They have women's clothes as well, but I will save that online investigation for a bus ride.

(While I wouldn't wear most of their clothes at my age, I get a lot of inspiration from creative clothing like this. And if I had a son to shop for, I would totally buy these for him!)

UnGreen Cordarounds with Octopus Contrast
Khaki Cordarounds with Geisha Contrast
Chestnut Cordarounds with Bunny Contrast
Graphite Cordarounds with El Diablito Contrast