Some beauty fun…

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Oh, let’s just talk beauty. Not controversial at all!

At the wonderful age of almost 70, of course I pay attention to products that help me overcome lines, dry skin, dark circles, hydration…

I started using serious skin products in my 30’s. Including a daily dose of Vitamin E oil, Retin A. Topped with Vaseline. However , now my skin is just too dry and thin for me to use Retin A. I’ve tried substituting Retinol products (mostly from Roc, a few others). But they’re very pricey, and I just did not discern a benefit.

So I’m more practical now. I need products that will stay with me for 12 hours, prevent dehydration, and keep my skin supple.

Foundation – for several years I’ve used a wonderful product from IT Cosmetics – Celebration! I originally bought it from QVC, and it came with an extraordinary brush (get this brush, you will toss sponges forever). And I still have it in my arsenal for photos and so on. It’s great, and I totally recommend it. It covers well, and, more, does not sit in lines and say, look at me. I use the ‘Light’.

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But let’s move on to products that are available in the pharmacy/drug store!

For the last 3 months or so, I’ve been using a new foundation from Neutrogena. Yes, available at the drug store! It is wonderful! It has a very light and hydrating base, it covers well, and it just feels good. Neutrogena® Hydro Boost Hydrating Tint. I use the Classic Ivory, the lightest tint… I like it so much that I was concerned that it will be discontinued, so I bought extra for my ‘beauty stash’. I love this stuff!

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Another concern for any of us who suffer diminishing eyebrows! Here’s a brow product that I simply love. The NYX Micro Brow Pencil. The crayon is soft enough to go on easily, and it is shaped in a rectangle, so I can define the brow line. It has a brush, and it’s working so well for me. I almost never go out with adding my brows 🙂

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Aside: I don’t use lipstick most of the time. Just the feel of it on my lips makes me crazy!

Onward. I have very very dry skin. I  think I’ve tried just about every body oil on the market. My choice, and what I use every day, from Nivea. Seriously, this body oil makes my skin feel so nice and takes away the pain of dry skin. I get out of the shower and use it everywhere. and I slather it on my face every morning.

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OK – are you ready for this? I love love petroleum jelly. AKA Vaseline jelly. To make myself feel like it’s a beauty product, I buy it in a tube. But I love it. I rub it all over my face every morning (yes, on top of the body oil), and it keeps my face soft and hydrated all day. I tried baby oil, in various formularies, but it doesn’t touch this…

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Ah. Beauty. So important. Ciao! Coco

A little sleeve magic…

s3Summer sewing, and my closet has multiples of two great dresses: the Closet Case Charlie Caftan and the Serendipity Studio Diane Kimono Dress. Both are fun to sew, easy to wear, and comfortable in summer heat.

And, as it happens, they both have short kimono sleeves, very similar to a cap sleeve.

About 10 days ago, I got to thinking about those sleeves. I admit to being conscious of the inflammation on my upper arms, and many days I just go for a top or dress with a longer sleeve. Just a few more inches of coverage might raise my confidence level…

The Diane dress was easy to modify – I just extended the sleeve by 4.25″ (as far I could take the sleeve and still cut it out on folded 44″ wide fabric – very scientific). It not only worked, it worked great! I love this length.

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Fabric: Audrey Medallion Calico, JoAnns.

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Changing the Charlie Caftan was also simple. I had changed the pitch on my draft of the sleeve way back when I made my first Charlie. So I just extended it as well, and, as before, used self-fabric bias binding to finish the edge.

 

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Fabric: Packed Poppies by Tim Coffey, JoAnns.

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And I’m off to the drug store wearing poppies! Bye for now – Coco

Tessuti Megan Cardigan – first version

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Yes, it’s the middle of summer, and a cardigan evokes fall sewing. But – the stores are so cold, especially the grocery market! I always put on a sweater or shawl to go in that freezer joint. One day in December, I didn’t have one with me, and my Raynauds Syndrome sent me a swift kick.

Photo12101024_1Since then, I’ve been messing around with long cardigan patterns, with the intention of making one in black ponte and keeping it in the car.

After my disappointment with my self-drafted version (here), lots of you suggested the Megan Cardigan. It really is cute, and I like the pointed side seam detail.

Here’s the line art, such as it is, and the cardigan does NOT look like this…but it’s close. Sort of. lineartA few sewing notes:

  • Based on my measurements, I sewed the size Medium. And it was a silly mistake.  I used a rayon/nylon/spandex ponte de roma, which is very stable. It has very little horizontal stretch and no vertical stretch –  I should have gone up a size. My cardigan is a little small, tight in the arms and across the back – sigh. But it will be gifted, and I’ll make another in size Large.
  • Having only 2 yards of fabric, I shortened the pattern by 4″, and, honestly, I think I prefer this length.

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  • Many people have mentioned that the very narrow neckband is a bit fiddly to attach.  I used an unfinished width of 2.5″, which finishes at about 7/8″ wide. Thanks, everyone, for the heads up!upper front
  • I didn’t use the pattern instructions for hemming and finishing the bottom edge of the band – I think this looks pretty sloppy:

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Instead, I  hemmed the cardi first, and then attached the finished band. IMHO, the result is less bulky and much nicer.

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  • Other than the topstitching, I sewed the whole thing on the serger, 2 needles. What a fun little project – it has just enough going on to keep it interesting.

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Bye for now! Coco

McCalls 7597 V-Neck complete!

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Wow – you’d think I’d hem those jeans! But I have an excuse (of course). I’m not wearing shoes!

Best news – my laptop power cord arrived, and it works! Ahhh.

While waiting, I spent hours and hours working on my v-neck version of the M7597 caftan. The pattern has a high neckline, something I seldom wear. But I love everything else about it – the bib, gathers, back, silhouette, sleeves…

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s2My first v-neck muslin was OK, but the I was not happy with the fit of the neckline. It was a little low (an easy fix), and it wanted to gap on the sides (not so easy). I’m really careful with bias-cut edges – staystitching, direction of stitching, and so on. So I knew I needed to do a little work and research.

I remembered that Jen/Grainline Studio had shared a v-neck variation for her Alder shirtdress, so I took a look. Bingo! I needed to add a bit of concave curve to the v-neck. From her tutorial (here):

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Such a difference:

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Fabric: white-on-white cotton print, JoAnns

 

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This tunic style is one of my favorites for jeans, especially in a crisp white fabric. So ’70s! but feels like home to me…

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Now that I’ve conquered the neckline, redrafted the facings, and updated my pattern tissue, I’m looking forward to a maxi dress. I purchased this gorgeous challis from Cali Fabrics several weeks ago – the colors are so rich and exuberant. And it’s definitely destined to be a caftan, it’s just a matter of deciding which pattern to use, this one or the Closet Case Charlie.

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Parting shot: this little Southern Chorus frog (Pseudacris nigrita) has been keeping me company on the porch for weeks. He has a sweet little trilling call and spends his time in my plants. For perspective, he is sitting in a 4″ pot and is less than 1″ long. Cute thing…

Pseudacris nigrita Southern Chorus Frog

Ciao! Coco

Discombobulated…

frustrated Hi all. Oh my goodness, what a time I’ve had.

Incredible – I managed to lose the power cord to my Samsung laptop during my recent travels. I had no idea how attached I am to my routine 🙂

When I got home, and discovered that I’d lost my power cord, I was astonished. After a couple days of trying to compensate with my IPad (a very old IPad2 from 2010), I got myself into the car, laptop in hand, and went to Office Depot and Best Buy. NONE of the generic cords they had would work. OMG. So I went online with Samsung, and their chat analyst told me what parts I need. But the cost… it gave me pause. $75.

That’s a week of groceries for me. hmmm. Two weeks later, and I realize how much it means to me to get up in the morning, put on the coffee, and take that first cup over to my sofa, turn on the news on the tele, and catch up with my blogger friends and my world.

A new cord will arrive in a couple days. Gosh, I sure hope it works!

For now – Coco