Sunday, January 21, 2018

Embroidered bootcuts

Shortly after I put embroidery patches on my combat boots, the second of my three floral embroidery patches found a new home on a pair of jeans.

Unlike the first one, I specifically recall that I'd ordered the blue-on-blue patch to cover up some unsightly stains on a different pair of boots. I had thought to spruce them up and sell them, but the colors never really looked great together, so instead, I just left them undecorated, and still sold them! This meant I had a lovely blue embroidery patch with nothing to do.

I also had a pair of regular old bootcut jeans that I didn't much care for. The wash was a dingy greyish blue, and the waistband was annoyingly low. Nevertheless, I decided to keep them for crafting experiments. Originally, I'd planned to paint them, but seeing as that ambitious project never got off the ground after several months, I set the bar lower and decided to use them for quick-and-easy iron-on embroidery!

Really, that was all there was to it. I ironed the patch on! Easiest DIY ever!

For their first (and, let's face it, probably only) wear, I paired them with all blue. Blue sweater over blue camisole, blue earrings (not seen in picture because I decided to be subtle for once), and of course, my periwinkle hair!

Friday, January 19, 2018

Embroidered boots

Over the summer, after my boyfriend kindly funded the purchase of a new pair of combat boots for my birthday, I suddenly had an old pair just lying around with nothing to do. I could have sold them to some poor sap who doesn't mind walking around in a big flaky mess that leaks profusely whenever it rains, but it wasn't long before I had a better idea. I would embellish them!

Resuscitating old shoes is my new favorite activity. I've recently done it to my purple slouch boots, my boring beige ballet flats, and my brown hand-me-downs. Since embroidered everything was the top trend of 2017, I figured adding an embroidery patch would be a fashionable way to wring a few more months of life out of these trusty old boots as well.

Sometimes with my crafting projects, it's hard for me to remember what was cause and what was effect, and what inspired what. In the case of these boots, I know that I purchased several embroidery patches on eBay, but I can no longer remember whether I bought them intending to decorate the boots, or whether I bought them for another reason, and then realized I could use them on the boots. Either way, I had three different styles of embroidery patches when I started this project, and I used one of them for the boots.

The set that I used was a very common motif among embroidery trends last year: two rose-themed patches, usually placed side-by-side on a shirt.  The fact that they were mirror images of each other meant that they would lend themselves equally well to embellishing a pair of footwear.

[The picture is not mine; I merely use it to illustrate a common way I've seen patches like mine used]

The patches originally were too cumbersome to fit or look good on the boots, so I cut them in a few strategic places to make several smaller patches.

I sealed the cut edges with clear nail polish.

After a couple of positioning tests, I attached the first patch to one of the boots. I used Tacky Glue, knowing that it comes out in water, because that way I could reuse either the patches or the boots or both, should I get bored with the new style.

I stuffed the shoes with fabric so they would have a smooth, unwrinkled surface, carefully set the remaining patches so that both shoes would be symmetrically aligned, then I let them dry for a day.

Then I let them dry for a week.

Then another week.

Then almost a month!

I finished this project around December 15, but traveling, nasty weather, and the winter blues (read: not leaving the house for an entire weekend multiple weekends in a row) conspired to keep these boots out of the public eye for much longer than I wished. I wore them once last week, but was unable to get a picture of them because I was in such a rush. Finally, on Sunday, I broke them out for a spontaneous evening date with my boyfriend. Why I bothered to wear fancy boots when they would be spending half the evening hidden under a chair in a darkened room, and the other half the evening allowing my toes to freeze while we waited outside, I'll never know. OK, I do know. It was so I'd have the chance to feature them in this blog!

I also wore my cropped marled burgundy sweater. You might recognize this sweater from when I combined it with another one. After wearing the Frankensweater once, I decided I hated it. I tried to clean up the joins a little bit and tighten the waist, but it was a lost cause, so finally I just ditched the bottom part and hemmed the top one for a much more cropped sweater than the original.

Cropped sweaters necessitate an underlayer, so I wore a burgundy tank top. The tank top looked good with the boots and sweater when I tried it on, but appeared much more purplish in the photos. I'm not colorblind, I swear; but I think my camera is!

Thursday, January 18, 2018


I don't know if you remember my first black-and-white striped top, but I do. I loooooved it when I first got it, and I loooooved it right up until it bit the dust. It was a sad day when I finally decided the collar had lost all hope of its original shape, and the holes had gotten too big too ignore any more.

Since this beloved shirt and I parted ways, I've been waiting patiently for something similar to replace it, but consistently I've just come up empty. Nothing compared to its perfect fit and its perfectly sized array of stripes. That is, until Monday.

On Monday, I went to the thrift store for the 50% off Martin Luther King Day sale. I was just about to head to the checkout when my eyes fell on this sweater. The black and white stripes were about one inch wide, just like the old one! The shape looked tailored and the size looked fairly form-fitting, just like the old one! In short, it was a very acceptable substitute for my long-lost shirt!

I had already been to the fitting room once and had no desire to go again, so I threw this top into my bag untested, and crossed my fingers. I am pleased to say it was a great fit! It's not quite as cool as the old sweater (the white is not as white, and I'm not crazy about the henley collar, or the fact that the stripes on the bottom hem are askew), but after years of waiting, I'll take what I can get.

To commemorate my old sweater and celebrate the new, I decided to take a trip down memory lane, and do a modern take on the original's last hurrah.

I no longer have the teal skirt I wore in that look (I decided it was too short for work, and it, too, was showing the signs of age), but I recently acquired a new one! I put the same boots on my feet, but wore them pulled up instead of folded over. I still have the jewelry I wore in the original look, but I also have some cool new jewelry, so I chose to wear that. I figured a bird in a cage would be a great companion to the prison stripes on my shirt.

Friday, January 12, 2018

The temperature is swell, but the earrings are stupendous!

It may be damp and dreary, but look! I'm posing outside in January!
At least once a winter, we are blessed with a warm spell that turns our sad northern landscape into a semblance of spring, and every time, I'm compelled to celebrate like it's never happened before. Apparently, I really like to celebrate this occasion by wearing green pants, since I did it in 2016, and I did it again today.

These are some new pants I got from, one of several straight-legged pairs I purchased to expand my work wardrobe. In an homage to the spring-like weather, I chose a floral color for the top—a purple shade that, sadly, clashes with my hair.

For the shoes, I went with velvet ballet flats that I got for just 5$ at Shoppers World. I haven't been going there much recently, but this shoe purchase reminded me that it's an excellent store for the occasional great bargain!

Although the last two weeks have seen me accessorizing mostly with scarves and necklaces, today I decided instead to go with my old standby—statement earrings.

And what a statement these ones make! Sporting huge plastic gems in every color of the pastel rainbow, and dangling all the way past my collarbones, they are the biggest earrings I've ever worn for this blog (although I do have one bigger pair that I don't think I've ever pictured)! A little outré for the office, but hey, it was a Friday!

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Book Look

The skirt is new(ly thrifted) and very brightly colored, but with its cut and ankle length, it's not exactly at the height of fashion. It's also wrinkled and slightly see-through. For this reason, I had to wear the blouse over it rather than tucked in. Sadly, the blouse is also slightly see-through, and combined with its too-large fit, I ended up looking decidedly frumpy. The only good thing about this outfit is the scarf. I managed to tie it in a cute bow with the tails dangling down to just the right length. If only the blouse had been better-fitting or tucked in neatly. If only I didn't have so many issues with transparency. If only! I would have been the very picture of fashion.
Earlier today, I couldn't wait to ditch this outfit. I told a friend, "I need to shower and change out of my librarian clothes," and for some reason, that changed everything! My outfit was still a little dowdy, but compared to your stereotypical old-fashioned librarian, it was a paragon of boldness! 

I decided I had to blog it, so I tugged the blouse back and hid as much of the extra fabric as I could, to fake a better fit, and took a few pictures! Shhhh! Don't tell everyone my secret for making the frumpiest outfit look photogenic!

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

A little lavender

I finally got around to dyeing my hair a pastel purple, as has been my dream for two years at least! While I'm mostly happy with the effect (it took me two attempts), the color ended up darker and slightly more bluish than I'd envisioned. I think I've been a little too conservative with the bleach, which has been keeping my hair darker than the platinum base required for a truly pastel color. I'll figure it out. By the time pastel hair is a relic of the 2010s, I'll have it down to a science! In any case, while I have this shade, I'll make the most of the unevenly tinted periwinkle!

While dressing for one's hair color might be a little restrictive on an everyday basis, I do like to make sure my outfit complements my hair on the first day after a new dye job. When I colored my hair pink in October, I matched it with pink jewelry and shoes. The previous summer when I went green, I wore green shoes.

For this new lavender hue, I decided to build my outfit around, not purple, but a color that goes well with purple: green. Since the hair isn't a dark shade, I made sure my green was equally pale, choosing a top in a muted seafoam hue. Then on my feet, where darker colors are a logical way to ground an outfit, I went with my trusty old teal shoes. The color combo looks weird in the picture, but it was just right in real life.

Confession: I originally wore a royal purple necklace, but it kept getting stuck on the collar of the shirt, so I took it off, and I'm glad I did. Sometimes simplicity is best, and I like how the only pop of dark purple in this outfit is the earrings, which just occasionally peep from behind my hair.

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Bluer Velvet

My blue velvet dress is one of the oldest things in my wardrobe (not necessarily by actual age, but the thing I've had the longest) that I still wear in public. It was out of style even when I got it (which might be how I was able to score it new with tags for just five dollars, if I remember correctly), and by the beginning of last winter, I was getting ready to send it out to pasture when the velvet trend struck. So I kept it around, but honestly, I can't remember if I wore it at all that winter.

This year, fortunately, velvet is still going strong...and I happen to have recently acquired a pair of blue, crushed velvet, thigh-high boots!

When this outfit idea occurred to me, I thought long and hard about whether I really had the guts to wear a blue velvet dress over blue velvet boots. That's a lot of blue velvet. It might be overkill. But then I decided overkill is what the Unfashionista does best!

I wore the velvet dress and the velvet boots! I briefly contemplated also wearing big blue earrings, but I decided enough was enough. Since my clothing was kind of bizarre, I'd just go conservative with the jewelry. I put on a classy silver necklace, courtesy of my boyfriend (he's pretty much the only reason I have any jewelry at all that's not outlandish!) and some subtle silver drop earrings.

The more I looked at the getup, the more I liked it. It has a lot of things going for it. The monochrome look is always polished—something about the outfit reminds me vaguely of a suit, the epitome of class! The modest dress and the completely obscured legs make for a weirdly anachronistic vibe, but velvet and especially velvet boots are both styles of the moment, so it's got a contemporary appeal. Although I'm not sure I'll look back on this outfit a few years from now without regret, today at least, I'm wearing it with pride!