Monday, July 11, 2011

Shopping Day

Caution: Extreme Photo Heaviness Ahead!

Today was errand and shopping day. First stop, the post office to drop off my sister's package. (From all the nice comments yesterday, I think I need to start taking orders for more of those blinged blue shirts! Uh, NOT!) Then it was on to the Marts — Steinmart and Walmart …

First up, Steinmart. I went in to look for a new pair of white flip-flops. Did I find any? Nope, but the trip was not a loss as I hauled a lot of other pretty stuff out with me instead.

On my way back to the shoe department, I spotted this shell, which I didn't buy but instead snagged with some cell phone pics so I can copy it later, or just dream I will.

All of the embellishment is 1/2" strips of bias, either ruffled or stitched on flat. The neck is trimmed in grosgrain as a visible facing.

Onward to the shoe department, where I tried on and liked lots (no white ones though), and narrowed it down to three pairs. These are black and the straps are stretchy and criss-crossed through a ring at the front.

Next, pewter metallic. I had been eyeing these in white on Zappos and I may end up getting them since this pair fits well. These were on sale and half the price as on Zappos.

Last and favorite. Too bad I just gave my sister that top because these would look great with it.

On to accessories and jewelry …

Another chain belt similar to my gold one I showed a few posts back, but his one is bronze-y.

And a necklace for $7 and 3 pairs of earrings for not much more. I had been thinking I need some bigger (but not crazy) earrings. These will work well for me.

And finally, back through the clothes racks where I picked up two tops to study and return. My mom and sister call me the Queen of Return because I do that a lot. Buy things to look at for a while and then return them. But no harm, no foul, right? It's not like I wear them with tags hidden and then return them.

Except I think I will go ahead and keep this one. It fits (regular size, not plus - wooohoooo!), will look great with my orange sandals and white skirt, and it was only $15.

The reason I bought the top above and the white one below is because they are essentially the illustration views from this pattern, which is the pattern I used for the plain white shell I started before my trip (and which is still unfinished).

Except the print has a little cap sleeve attached, which I liked. First, because the extra coverage is nice, but mostly because it means you can avoid the lameness of turning a narrow hem and stitching to finish the armhole. I think this is much cleaner and attractive.

This is the plain white one. It's too tight (obviously!) and too sheer.

Here it is next to the unfinished McCall's version on the right. Almost identical, but the McCall's has more drape to the cowl. I'm not sure if I really need an FBA because those horizontal stretch folds between the girls happen even if I pull the top up so the wider hip area is across the bust. I'm thinking it may just be what you get with a cowl plus boobs. I'll need to do more research on that and force myself to not be lazy if I decide I really should do an FBA. I do like having the RTW to compare and to see what they did for finishes but it will definitely be going back.

Next, on to Walmart where I picked up two more cheap knit tops to study (and probably keep).

I love this one. It's a raglan cowl with a black underlayer on the front only so you can see the black behind the cowl. I would prefer if the underlayer was white though, so I may just take this apart to make a pattern and re-do it with white. If I don't take it apart, I'm still going to make a pattern or morph an existing pattern. The two views are to show how long it is now and approximately where I'd hem it to.

The yellow lines show the raglan seams, which the black underlayer is sewn into.

And if I thought the top above was long, hoolie doolie - this one is nearly a dress. Maybe it's meant to wear with leggings? Yeah, well not on this girl!

This one will be very simple to copy. It's a gathered neckline (below the band) with a cut-on neckband. On the neckband is an overlay (really just a loop) of gathered print. I can see my TNT Ottobre tee turned into more of these quite easily, don't you agree Belinda? ;-)

The sleevecap is gathered and it's a flutter style, but not too much flutter which I like.

And the modeling session is over. Back into my own clothes.

Parting Shot: Between Steinmart and the UPS store, our daily summer afternoon deluge happened. I sat in the car for 15 minutes waiting for it to pass. I finally gave up and ran barefoot into UPS to drop off my box. I got hosed, but I didn't ruin my shoes since I left them in the car. While I was waiting in the car, I took some cell phone pics to share the joy. Can you tell how deep that car is? That happens in about 5 minutes here, and then 30 minutes later, it's gone and the streets are dry again. Welcome to the tropics. Time to put my umbrella back in reach again, instead of just tossed into the back where I couldn't reach it without getting out and soaked anyway.


  1. Great shopping and like the idea of buying to study and then return.

  2. Man, that rain is something else. I lived in the South for a few years and the summer storms used to amaze me -- and they were LOUD, something we really don't experience on the West Coast.

    I love all your shopping! My shopping success is like that too, a lot of drought and then a sudden deluge. I don't do the "buy and return" thing as much as the "try on for shape" thing. It's easy for me to try something in RTW and decide if I will actually wear the style out and about before I invest in a pattern. In fact, when I get rid of patterns, sometimes it's because I've done "snoop shopping" and realized the silhouette will NOT work on me.

  3. Steinmart is my favorite store for nice fashion jewelry so I am just a teeny jealous of the cute jewelry in your haul. We don't have one around here so I only get to go to one I really like occasionally on trips.The funny thing is I always get oohs and ahhs on the Steinmart pieces though I get some that costs more at other places. I think their quality is better. I don't think I have ever wandered into the shoe section - really love the pewter ones you found. You are looking just great. mssewcrazy

  4. I remember when we lived in FL years ago, the radio announcers would say "9 out of 10 chances, it will rain wherever you are today" and they were right ;-)

  5. Really cute tops and shoes. I have the top black pair in lime green. They are comfy, but definitely not rain-resistant.
    I am interested to know how the grosgrain ribbon was applied at the neckline of the white tank, and look forward to seeing your knock-off.
    The white cowl top - I like your cowl better than the purchased one. Your version has a draper, wider cowl that looks like it lays nicer than the other.

  6. Great shopping trip, thanks for sharing all the pictures and observations with us. I like the last pair of shoes, too, what size do you wear? Because if you get tired of them, just send them on my way!

  7. Debbie, you are such a bad influence... Up until now, I've only snapped furtive pictures of garment details in the dressing room with my camera phone. We did this with the Vera Wang wedding gown my little sister fell in love with at Niemann Marcus, while my other sister ran interference to keep the sales lady out of the way. Although we probably couldn't have bought a couture wedding dress just to study, because the store would have wanted to alter it to fit the bride and after that there would be great difficulty in returning it!

  8. I love looking at RTW for ideas! Thanks for sharing your inspiration. Don't be surprised if I steal some of these ideas. :)

    For the gathered neck top I was actually thinking more Simplicity 2603 than Ottobre. Only because the Simplicity already has the neckband and gathers. You could also use your TNT Butterick or HP Sunshine top.

  9. I love looking at RTW, rarely have the chance to try it on and snap pictures (and my pictures don't turn out nearly as nice as yours). I'd love to see a pic of the front shield. How long is it? How does it fit in the garment?

  10. I'm glad that I'm not the only one that buys tops to "study" so I can re-create! I also take lots of pictures in the dressing room...oh, did I just say that?
    Looks like a fun day!


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