Here comes summer!

Here comes summer!

My favorite season is around the corner. I love summer. I grew up in Michigan and was surrounded by lakes to swim in. As a youngster I would get to swim all day while my mother cleaned the homes of the “summer people”. It is surprising she let us because she was terrified of the water. We took our swimming lessons in the “ice tea” water of the river.

As a teenager I drove around with a swimsuit, floatie and towel in the trunk of my car and never missed a chance to jump in the lake. That swimsuit didn’t take up much room because it was a little orange bikini. When I was a teen it didn’t really matter what I wore, I thought it looked great. Now I find myself looking at bathing suits with a much different eye. I want a bit more coverage for lots of reasons. And I want some substance to it so there isn’t any jiggling! Funny how what we think about ourselves and our bodies changes over the years.

When I went to college one of my room mates wouldn’t go swimming because she couldn’t stand how she looked in a swimsuit. I felt so sorry for her but didn’t even realize that not going swimming because you hated how you looked was a possibility let alone have any idea how to help her

50 some years later, I have created a video about those messages we send ourselves. I believe hearing them is the first step to changing them. Next week I’ll share some tips on changing them.

For now I invite you to dream about what you will do in whatever swimsuit you get. Maybe you will just lounge by the pool in the warm sunshine, or kayak down the river, or waterski or actually swim! Those days are coming and finding a swimsuit that lets you comfortably do those activities you love is the first step. Did you know you can save some grief in the fitting room by knowing what style of suit will work best with your body type?

You can snag my guide to swimsuits by body type here.

Swimsuits are made from some of the least environmentally friendly fabrics there are so getting one that you love and would love to wear until it wears out is one way to save the earth. Taking care to rinse out the chlorine right after you use it and gentle washing will extend the life.

You may get lucky and find something at a thrift, vintage or consignment shop and if you do I admire your diligence.

I found this article from The Good Trade with links to several swim manufacturers using recycled plastics for swimwear. I plan to try Summersalt when my current suit wears out.

Summersalt also had a quiz to shop for certain features (including butt coverage and torso length) by size to help you choose a swimsuit.  And pricing was quite reasonable.

I hope to be in the water enough this summer to wear out my suit. How about you?

What are your favorite swimsuit memories?

Inspired?

Inspired?

Today a friend wanted to visit the Seattle Aquarium. For some reason it was not on my radar as a must do but I went. And all I could think about was the undersea world must have been Bob Mackie’s inspiration as he dressed Cher. My photos aren’t the best but you get the idea. The outrageous color combinations and flamboyant fish made me lust for glamour and fun. 

Fashion designers get their inspirations from the world around us. What inspires you?

 

Your image brand

In October we toured southern music towns. In Louisville we attended Bourbon and Beyond. The artists all had a distinctive image which matched their music style. Lenny Kravitz was cool rocker dude superstar, Sheryl Crow sexy older woman who didn’t have to try hard to look sexy, Joseph was delicate ethereal, David Byrne was studied suited and barefoot, John Maier was relaxed in a robe. These folks are superstars. They can wear what they want. What came first? Did their style evolve as a result of their music or did their music and style evolve together to create an image without dissonance?

As a side note I was looking forward to seeing what styles the audience brought to the show but the deluge of rain was the semi- great equalizer. There were still distinct styles.

  • The hiker rain gear and hiking boots (that was mine) of gore tex and breathable rain gear. This did not make the functionality cut. In a torrential downpour that went on for hours I was soaked.
  • The did not prepare at all for this type of weather group wearing normal concert clothing and flip flops and sandals or tennis shoes under see through ponchos purchased at the show.
  • The well prepared wearing the type of heavy rubber rain gear and knee high rubber boots you would wear out in a fishing boat.

By the end of the night it didn’t matter. We were all clay mud soaked to the ankle and beyond depending on whether or not you had fallen into the mud pit that used to be a grassy park.

What you wear can project your brand. If your brand is unclear it may be a result of you being unclear about your personal path or identity. And that is OK. We change over time and we lose our way at times as we go through these changes. It takes time to adjust mentally and the style we project to the world doesn’t catch up that fast unless you take the time to work on it.

How about you? Does your outer image project what is on the inside? I am happy to help you evaluate your image and help you reach the image you want to project.

Sew Chic Patterns 1940’s collection

Sew Chic Patterns 1940’s collection

Since last week you may have visited Sewchicpatterns.com and discovered your own favorite vintage style patterns. This week I am  taking a look at their 1940’s collection and seeing which patterns will flatter a triangle shape (which is my body type). The first one up is the Fifth Ave dress. Gloriously beautiful and my favorite. It could work for me if I don’t have all that excess fabric bunched up at the hip and just sew the seam flat. Which I hope would be a minor pattern alteration.  The asymmetrical  Pendleton dress is perfect and looks less complicated to sew (although it is still rated for advanced sewers). What works is that great collar, the design line that quickly leads the eye up and down the body and the little flare at the hemline. The vignette skirt is only a maybe. As pictured with that portrait blouse it might work. The pockets at the hip and the tapering to the knees only serve to emphasize the hips.

Which of these beautiful garments would you add to your wardrobe?

Sew Chic Pattern Co.

Sew Chic Pattern Co.

 

My local Seattle fabric store – Pacific Fabrics (the one that sells great garment fabric) recently sent out a notice about a Sew Chic trunk show. If you are interested it is at their Northgate location from 10 to noon on September 1.

I loved vintage clothes when I was younger and would find them at thrift stores and by raiding my mom’s closet. I found as I aged they didn’t look as fabulous and made me look vintage. As an experiment I browsed the collection to see what would work with my triangle body shape. The website sewchicpatterns.com is broken down into 1930’s, 1940’s and 1950’s style patterns along with several other categories.

Today let’s look at the 1930’s collection. The Myrtlewood dress is my favorite. That belt at the hip line would not work for me so alas I must move on to the other choices. The Fantasia dress moves the sash up above the waist and would be a perfect choice for a triangle. The Constance dress, Ehlen and Portrait blouses are three more fabulous choices because the details are above the hips. These beautiful styles would be perfect for a triangle.

Next week I will tackle the 1940’s collection  to see which of these great patterns I could use. Which of these 30’s patters do you like the best?