10

The Curated Closet and Curating My Own Closet

As I’ve talked about before, I’m currently re-discovering my style in my stay-at-home life, in my post-baby body. I’ve never really quite been able to put a finger on what my style is, but it has been bothering me recently. The only style book that I’ve ever connected with is Women In Clothes (my review here) and it’s an awesome inspiration for letting your own freak flag fly, but it’s not so much help in figure out what your own freak flag looks like. Enter The Curated Closet by Anuschka Rees. It’s a great book that describes a really easy way to figure out your own style and to build your own wardrobe around it. No trying to make yourself fit into a prescribed category, no lists of things you need to have, no pressure to have a capsule wardrobe. I highly recommend it for anyone who wants a bit of …

6

Dreaming of Hats

I’ve never been a huge hat person. With my very narrow face, I have to be careful about what style I pick, and I’ve always had a lot of hair that isn’t necessarily easy to fit under a hat. On the flip side, with my pale skin I need to be careful to keep out of the sun, and I’d usually rather wear a hat than sunscreen (or both, since I am that pale). I tend to steal borrow a hat from my mom when the occasion warrants it (like our trip to Hawaii). However, with Spring sun in full force here and visions of pushing baby in her stroller all around our neighborhood in the Summer, I’ve been daydreaming of owning a selection of giant brimmed straw hats. Once I start daydreaming of something, the first first question in my mind is “Can I make it myself?”. Enter The Making …

5

Book Review: Fashion is Spinach by Elizabeth Hawes

Fashion is Spinach: How to Beat the Fashion Racket by Elizabeth Hawes is an entertaining and interesting look at the couture and ready-to-wear fashion industry first published in 1938. While it offers a great glimpse into everyday life and the fashion industry of the 20’s and 30’s, much of what Hawes has to say about fashion and the fashion industry seems to still hold true today. (Don’t let the cheesy cover of the re-issue distract you, the inside is a gem!) Hawes is an outspoken, opinionated woman with a delightfully blunt manner of supporting her views, which certainly makes for a spunky and entertaining read. For example: It is almost impossible for me to get into print what I feel when I look at a dress which is obviously made of a material that you could shoot peas through, that has no shape of any kind, but just a belt …

4

Book Review: Coco Chanel – An Intimate Life

  “During the course of an extraordinary and unconventional journey – from abject poverty to the invention of a new kind of glamour – [Coco Chanel] helped to forge the idea of modern woman.” Coco Chanel: An Intimate Life by Lisa Chaney is a compelling account of a complicated woman who left an indelible mark on the way we dress, the way we think of fashion, and our idea of the modern woman. “Indeed, a woman’s wardrobe today is virtually unthinkable without, at the very least, one of Gabrielle’s innovations: a little black dress, costume jewelry, any bag with a shoulder strap, jumpers for women, trousers for woman, suits for women, slingback shoes, a trench coat, a strapless dress and, finally, that perfume in its modernist bottle, so iconic it has remained virtually unchanged for ninety years.” Before reading the book, I knew a bit about Coco Chanel’s life and …

3

Book Review: Fabric for Fashion – The Swatch Book

I won this book in a giveaway from Kathleen of the Fashion Incubator. And I am so very glad that this book ended up on my shelf because it’s already a go-to reference. Fabric for Fashion – The Swatch Book is a great reference that explains and even better shows the difference between different fibers, weaves, and fabrics. The text is easy to understand and the swatches are so helpful and informative. I recommend this book as an addition to the bookshelf of any sewist. I have a few different text books on textiles but I’d much rather turn to Fabric for Fashion for a few reasons. 1 – All of the swatches come glued in! Not all texts on textiles come with swatches and moreover, most make you buy the swatches separately and glue in every single swatch yourself. Not fun. 2 – The organization is really intuitive. On …

2

Canning for a New Generation

Since canning my first batch of meyer lemon marmalade last month, I’ve been in a total canning frenzy. I’ve made salt preserved lemons, Indian lemon pickles, lemon curd, strawberry butter, strawberry jam with Thai herbs, strawberry and lemon preserves, strawberry syrup with chamomile, zucchini pickles, and cucumber relish. Whew. I’m running out of room in our tiny pantry and summer has barely started! All of the recipes that I have used have come from Canning for a New Generation: Bold, Fresh Flavors for the Modern Pantry by Liana Krissoff. I picked up a stack of books on canning from the library and quickly decided that this was my favorite so I bought a copy for myself. There are several aspects to the book that make it the best, in my opinion. The first is that the recipes really do have bold, modern, and interesting flavors. While plain jam is delicious, I will admit …