Jewelry For Travel

The topic of this post is simple jewelry designs to help pull your looks together while travelling.   Of course, these can be worn at any time and necklaces add a little interest while coordinating with basic clothing pieces.   These are me-made, and more inspiration can be found on Pinterest.    The post I wrote about my London trip better shows my overall cohesive plan.

The necklace on the left is a wire wrap technique, which means that wire is wrapped with a loop on each end. The bead is in the middle.  A series of loops link together forming a long necklace.

The necklace on the right is a simple stringing project where beads and spacers are strung in a pattern with a closure in the back.

Variation = Versatility
Both necklaces complimented my wardrobe pieces by combining neutral colors. To offer the most versatility, I constructed them by varying the lengths and varying the bead size.   Although I love scarves as an alternative to spice up a neutral outfit, I prefer to wear necklaces if the temps are warm.

Questions To Ask 

What kind of trip will it be?  A beach vacation, a work conference, or a family reunion all require specific wardrobes, so the jewelry included (if any) will be different.   I want simple and easy ‘go-to’ items that add detail that makes the outfit looked finished and that I put a little extra time into the overall look.   I don’t pack items of great value, but I do ask myself if I would be really disappointed if the item(s) broke or were stolen.  Although I would miss these pieces if something happened, I also ask, ‘Can I remake or replace this jewelry?’  If yes, then in the bag it goes.

Assorted beads from my bead stash

Assorted beads from my bead stash

40 inch assorted bead necklace

40 inch assorted bead necklace

Discover Your Preferred Necklace Lengths
Trends in jewelry come and go. Classics like pearls and gold chains seem to remain strong, but it is the length that is important and very individualized.   I like more substantial pieces and have a shorter and longer length I keep coming back to that seem right for me.

If I want a longer necklace that has the potential to be doubled up, I have discovered that 40″ is a good length for me, especially if I include a closure in the back.  That way I can unfasten it and place the closure in the front, avoiding pulling it over my head.   Another length I prefer is at the collar bone.  I have written about it here and here.  Toggle closures are bigger and can be fasten easily.

Navy, gold, silver, light pink, shell, pearl beads

Navy, gold, silver, light pink, shell, pearl beads

A closer look. Most beads from Joann's

Many of these beads are from Joann’s and from my stash

Design and Composition

Sometimes it helps to take a closer look at the beads, their arrangement and the tiny beads or spacers in between. I have written about going into stores and making a beeline to the accessories to check out the jewelry designs. Keep an eye out for jewelry that can be re-purposed or re-designed to your taste.  If you like to bead, you may recognize in the picture above some of these beads from the Joann’s.   Often the collections are a blend of beautifully colored beads.  All that is needed is to string them up!

Small lobster claw closure

Small lobster claw closure used with a split ring

Metals Used Instead of Color
Using colored beads is not the only way to add interest in a bead design. Sometimes adding metals does the trick.   Adding the wonderful warmth of copper or the cool tones of silver and pewter translate as color and can add so much to the overall color scheme our eye sees.   Gold can be used instead of yellow and blackened silver can add the black to ground a design and add some shine.

Since mixing metals is a current fashion trend, I used gold square spacers on the sides of the navy blue stone beads and pewter/dark gray spacers (above photo) to incorporate a dark gray into the design.

Gold pewter toggle closure

Gold pewter toggle closure

I didn’t get many outfit posts recorded, however, here is one taken while walking late across the Westminster Bridge toward Big Ben.

Dressed for Big Ben

Dressed for Big Ben

Other simple choices for travel were the earrings I packed.  All of them were purchased and could be worn interchangeably with the necklaces.

Do you have some versatile jewelry pieces you like to pack?  Do you even bother to pack jewelry?  Would you consider making your own jewelry?  Please share your comments below, cuz’ I want to hear!:)

Happy sewing , creating, travelling, packing, etc.!:)

-Dana

 

My Dressing Your Truth Experience

Dressing Your Truth Type 2 Accessories

Dressing Your Truth Type 2 Accessories

Right after I explained in my last post how I would be making an effort to post more often and regularly, I promptly discovered Dressing Your Truth by Carol Tuttle and disappeared again.   The information was fascinating to me because it was such a different approach to one’s style and how we present ourselves every day.   I discovered it while reading other blogs and blew if off as too far out for me. But I kept seeing it referred to as a way to better understand yourself.  I signed up for the course and have enjoyed the information and yet I continue to be challenged by the complete overhaul of my closet…..and fabric stash.  My previous posts on black accessories are best suited for the Type 4 Energy Types, according to Carol.  I’m not sure I can accurately describe it any better than a few bloggers have in their posts, especially A Colorful Canvas and Forty Plus Style.

Of course, Carol Tuttle does a thorough job explaining what it is all about in the free online assessment course.   I also read the book It’s Just my Nature by Carol Tuttle to gain a better understanding. If you are at all curious, I encourage you to take the course and see if you can identify your Energy Type.  Unlike other personality assessments and/or having your colors done, this is based on the energy you possess and how you move through the world.  It is DEFINITELY a different approach and one that challenges the existing fashion standards and rules.  You may sail through it knowing exactly what type you are.   Or like me, it may take a while longer to decide.

What type am I?
After reading and reviewing the course info, I assessed myself as a Type 2, a soft and subtle woman.  I had mixed emotions about it.  On the one hand, it fit me because I related to more of the Type 2 personality traits of being softer, more subtle, sensitive,  quiet and needing alone time to regroup and recharge.  T2’s need to ask ALOT of questions, gather information and focus on details. We move at our own pace and don’t like to be rushed. I have been this way since I was a child.

On the other hand, I didn’t want to identify with these qualities as I saw them as wimpy, weak and docile.   In the facial profiling examples, my facial features are more Type 2 than the others, and comparing to other systems, my coloring is low contrast which was complimented by the Type 2 grayed and subtle tones.  I guess I have known this for years but did not want to commit to it.  I find myself flip flopping on dressing this way 100 percent because I still love the broader range of colors and metals found in the other types. Oddly though, I find it helpful and challenging because it gives me direction and focus that ends up with items that all blend nicely together.  Some of the other aspects that keep me on track are:

1.) Design line – Elongated s curves, softened rectangles, elongated ovals
2.) Texture – Plush, soft, comfortable
3.) Fabrication – Medium weight, relaxed, draping, soft, and feeling comfortable to the body.
4.) Pattern – Blended and flowing patterns, muted and subtle designs, low contrast color combinations, diffused backgrounds
5.) Color – Pure colors plus gray, dusty, muted

I identified with all of the types, and originally thought I was a Type 1, but I lack the buoyant, high energy movement.  Type 1’s are often seen as the ‘life of the party’, bubbly and childlike. I did relate to the desire for many choices, random behavior (switching topics and projects), and wanting my clothing, sewing projects in full view resulting in a messy sewing room!   Type 1 outfits and accessories are light, bright and sparkly, with animation and fun details. Sounds good to me!

I also related to the Type 3 Rich and Dynamic Energy, but do not have that PUSH that is described that provokes a response in people….it can be confrontation and a bit bold.  NOT my nature. Some other traits of the Type 3 energy are being active and needing to physically move. They have a more dramatic style, edgy hair color and styles, liking bold statement clothing and jewelry.  I like this style the most, and find myself shopping in the Dressing Your Truth store in the Type 3 area because I love the colors, texture, jewelry and statement.

As for Type 4, I have aspects of this type, but not enough of this Type to have it be my primary.  Type 4 is Bold and Striking.  It is a still and reflective energy, but again my facial features don’t really fit this profile and I don’t have the high contrast.  Type 4’s are analytical, thorough, need time alone and can reflect back what they see in an effort to perfect and improve things. The fashion industry promotes more of this style and coloring to the world, even though few of us look great in bright, bold and black colors.  Thye Type 4 energy does not resonate with me so it was the easiest to remove from my list of possibilities.

If you have followed my blog, you know I LOVE color in my wardrobe and accessories, so as I attempt to follow some of these Type 2 suggestions, here are some recent finds that are being incorporated due to their color, design lines, fabrication, texture and pattern. If you want to read more about my prior color consultation experiences, you can read about it here. My views have changed since then after learning about the energy portion. Black and White have never been recommended for my coloring as they are too harsh. I have, like many, filled my closet (and stash) with the black/white/black&white fabrics!! As for now, I have set them aside. The idea here is to present an entire package that is cohesive, unique and reflective of your entire being, not just hair, skin and eyes.

Thrifted open crochet waterfall cardigan

Thrifted open crochet waterfall cardigan

Bugle Bead Necklace from Charlotte Russe

Bugle Bead Necklace from Charlotte Russe

I decided that visiting thrift stores would be a great way to start the process of adding Type 2 clothing into my wardrobe. Here is one of the sweaters I found at the Goodwill as the temperature soared outside. I’m grabbing items that no one wants right now before our temps drop in the Fall. The necklace was purchased at Charlotte Russe.  These two sweaters look like the same color, but the waterfall cardigan has a metallic thread running through it as well as gray/white yarns.  The shawl sweater is more of a grayed down brown. Both have soft features, fabrics and textures.

Thrifted H&M Grayed Brown Shawl Sweater

Thrifted H&M Grayed Brown Shawl Sweater

This sweater is a bit thicker and I’ll have to wait until it is pretty chilly out to wear it, but the fit and color were great, so into the cart it went.  Necklace is self made with mixed beads and shell oval drop.  See?  I made this YEARS ago and haven’t worn it much.  Subtle, soft colors are bringing this back in to the forefront.

Thrifted Charcoal Hillard and Hanson Cotton Cardigan

Thrifted Charcoal Hillard and Hanson Cotton Cardigan

This dark gray is my new substitute for black, so it will be a staple in the wardrobe. The scarf was also thrifted for $3 and I threw it in with some things I was dyeing and changed it’s overall white background to blue which also toned down the other colors. Love it now. I will be covering more about my dyeing fabrics in a future post.

Thrifted light blue ruffled vest

Thrifted BCBG light blue ruffled vest

Okay, so this may be a bit much on the ruffles, but I liked it for its design lines and s curves. As long as there isn’t too much else going on, it will be the star player of the outfit. Belt is a pewter color, thrifted.

Type 2 Handbags

Type 2 Handbags

My handbag collection expanded a bit with these two beauties. The dusty peach satchel was a find at Macy’s on sale, and the cross body is from Nine West from Burlington Coat Factory.

In addition to all of this, I have separated my sewing patterns into Type 2 styles, sorted through my fabric stash, made beaded jewelry and dyed fabrics. There will be more posts on the dyeing of fabrics, how the five elements have changed my creative outlook on dressing and sewing, thrifting successes and what I am doing with the fabrics in my stash. Thanks for reading and I’d love to hear what you think about Dressing your Truth and what your thoughts are on the subject.

Small Black Capsule

Adding beige, gold, gray, cream to the mix

Adding beige, gold, gray, cream to the mix

I know that black is not one of my best colors, or so I’ve been told, but I can’t help myself. It is just too easy to work with and sew into great go-to pieces for reliable, pulled-together looks. With my fascination with capsule wardrobes, I have a Pinterest board filled with many variations of what constitutes a ‘capsule’. I’ve noticed some pins that claim ‘9 pieces, 9 outfits’. This doesn’t seem like a winning formula. I prefer the 12 items creating 96 outfits or some kind of math equation like that,  stemming from my reading of Nancy Nix-Rice”s book, Looking Good Every Day: Style Solutions for Real Women..

From my daily stalking of Pinterest and book reading, I have learned that a ‘capsule’ begins with core pieces in one or two neutral colors consisting of interchangeable tops and bottoms such as pants, skirt, tank, jacket. Next, add in some coordinating prints in the way of tops or scarves, colorful linking jewelry connecting the colors together and Viola! Easy Breezy dressing. Another great source for capsules is the website Vivienne Files. covering clothing and color combinations galore.

I spend a lot of time planning out the right fabric with the right pattern and I when I am thinking about wearing pieces multiple times, I want them to go the distance and last from season to season.  Trendy pieces are downright fun to make and wear, moving in and out of the wardrobe. This was an effort to make some practical pieces that fit my lifestyle making it easier to mix with my wardrobe.

Here are three pieces I recently finagled out of 4 and 1/2 yards of 60″ wide fabric. The pants = 1 and 1/2 yards, top = 1 yard, shirt = 2 and 1/8 yards making for a small capsule with many possibilities.  Due to careful pattern placement, I was able to squeeze more pattern pieces onto the 4 and 1/2 yards, when technically I was short an eighth of a yard. If I have a large expansive piece of fabric, I can usually be a bit more conservative about pattern placement and conserve fabric.

Here are the three patterns I chose: McCalls 6613, Loes Hinse Cruise Pants – similar, and Burda 8987 out of print (OOP). (A favorite tank pattern can be cut on the bias to recreate this idea.)
IMG_4093
The fabric is from my stash, pre-serger, because when I pulled out the 4.5 yards from my cabinet, I noticed that I had not serged the raw edges. I religiously do that now as I find it reduces the wadded up fabric disasters in the dryer. The fabric content must be a linen blend with a white slub thread running through it in a cross hatch pattern. It has great drape, is 60″ wide, resists wrinkling, and comfortable to wear.  I can’t even remember where I bought it, but my tip is to buy the fabrics that feel great to your hand.

A few tips I can pass along when shopping for the easy care fabrics: Do they wrinkle when you do the squeeze and release test? How does it hang vertically or on the bias? Since buying fabric can often be a gamble, I look at content, care, drape (hand) of the fabric and it’s future versatility with other garments in the wardrobe. Will it go with at least 3 other items in my wardrobe when finished?

McCalls 6613 Palmer Pletch

McCalls 6613, View C, Palmer Pletch

The reason I picked this shirt was that I wanted a yoke and back pleat resembling a man’s shirt.   I wanted it roomy and able to be worked as an outer piece (shirt + jacket = shacket? or jirt?).  Anyway, I knew I would be giving up the bust darts, which are a favorite for me to get the right fit. I sacrificed that for the other features like those of View C which offers bias pockets and a bias front band. With a camera flash, this shirt looks like a charcoal gray, but it is black. Can you see the bias detail?
M6613
The sleeves are rolled up with a tab buttoned to the outside which is how I will wear the sleeves most of the time.

The tank is a V neck, seams to be more forgiving than the tanks I have cut on the lengthwise grain, and the armholes are drafted just right. Have I mentioned how much I love bias cut garments??

The pants are pull on with the addition of self drafted pockets placed on the outside, not in the side seam, and more toward the front of the pant. This kind of pocket adds NO bulk to the hips.

Now for some accessories. After reading Imogen Lamport’s Inside Out Style blog post on getting more mileage from beauty bundles, I realized that I have plenty of black/white/gold accessories that could be grouped together to make for easy selection based on what the day’s activities hold. The inspiration for Imogen’s post came from the book by Brenda Kinsel, Fashion Makeover: 30 Days to Diva Style.   I provided the link to Amazon because it is available at a reasonable cost, has great tips and wonderful illustrations.   It is just a jumping off point.  Take from it what you can.
Here is a grouping that blends with my yellow hair a bit better….

Adding beige, gold, gray, cream to the mix

Adding beige, gold, gray, cream to the mix

A dressier look with pearl cluster necklace from Macy's clearance table

A dressier look with pearl cluster necklace from Macy’s clearance table

This mixed pearl cluster necklace has a gold chain and is a larger scale piece, so I would choose smaller gold accessories.
I might put a white cardigan, or a black jacket with this combo…..

To see more about the accessories, click here to see the slideshow.

A warm red, gray, white scarf

A warm red, gray, white scarf

 Simplicity  short jacket with drawstring neckline

Simplicity short jacket with drawstring neckline

IMG_4083
This Simplicity 1621 jacket has no hanger appeal, but is actually pretty cute as a shrug/jacket.   I will post about this in the future as I have plans to alter the pattern a bit.  I want to leave the front the same but lengthen it to a cardigan length or duster.  The fabric is a linen look, which is a rayon/linen blend.  The front hangs a bit on the bias.  I finished the edges with a rolled hem.  The sleeves are simple;  rolled up thereby keeping the look casual.

For more ideas about accessorizing, see more on my post Accessories: Black/White/Gold/Silver.

Do you have some patterns in your stash or in the recent pattern books that could be made up into great capsule pieces?