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Albion at the Oregon Coast

Today, Kristen is sharing the Albion she made for her husband. Check out her customizations along with some gorgeous ocean views! -Sarai

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Last weekend, my husband and I took a trip to the Oregon coast to celebrate our first wedding anniversary. It was the perfect little getaway full of relaxation, beautiful panoramic ocean views, and just a touch of adventure.

I think the Oregon coast is one of the most beautiful places in the world. I always look forward to the few times a year we drive to visit the lush, foggy forests, lava-strewn beaches, and dramatic sea-side cliffs.

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The day before we left for our trip I managed to put the finishing touches on the Albion jacket I had been working on for Alex for awhile. If you’ve purchased the Albion Companion Book you may recognize this jacket as the one I made for one of the step-by-step guides. Shortly after completing the book I let the jacket sit around for awhile before I added some handmade toggles.

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I’m glad I was a little slow though; I think it made a perfect anniversary gift.

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To our surprise, the weather was about 50 degrees and sunny all weekend. We couldn’t have asked for more perfect weather in Oregon in February.

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Alex reported that the cotton twill jacket was the perfect weight for the slightly chilly day.

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The jacket includes several customizations including a zipper, handmade toggles, a drawstring at the waist, as well as a drawstring in the hood.

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If you want to make your own jacket, don’t forget that there is still time to get in on the Albion sew-a-long over at our new Sewalongs site!

Like what you read here? Subscribe to our blog via email so you don’t skip a stitch! And sign up for our weekly Snippets email for even more sewing tips and tricks.

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Wardrobe Architect: My Silhouettes

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I thought I’d share the silhouettes I came up with for week 4 of the Wardrobe Architect.

I decided that it would be easiest for me to create different silhouettes for warm and cool seasons, since I tend to dress pretty differently depending on the season.

Fall and Winter

Let’s start with Fall and Winter. These were really easy to throw together since it’s Winter now and I could just look at the outfits I’ve been wearing constantly for ideas. I was able to break them down into five main styles.

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Fall Silhouette No. 1: I live in knit dresses in the Fall and Winter (and Spring too, really). They are so comfortable and easy. This is one of the styles I wear most often, with a fitted bodice and a full, above-knee skirt. I sometimes put a semi-fitted sweater over it. It’s important to me that the sweater is short so it sits around my waist, or I think it interferes with the fullness of the skirt too much.

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Fall Silhouette No. 2: A fitted mini or pencil skirt with a semi-fitted sweater is another staple silhouette for me. I almost always wear flat shoes with short skirts.

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Fall Silhouette No. 3: The shift dress is a must for me all year long. Most of mine are Laurel dresses. Since shifts are usually short, I’ll go with flat shoes. And I’ll usually add a cardigan for warmth.

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Fall Silhouette No. 4: A fitted pencil dress is so perfect in the Fall. Some are knit, some woven. I like them with long sleeves and a knee-length skirt, to balance out the fitted shape. A big warm cardigan or sweater coat also keeps it from being overtly sexy, I think.

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Fall Silhouette No. 5: Cigarette pants are one of my most-worn shapes. I usually wear a sweater with them for warmth, sometimes with a button-up shirt beneath. Any kind of shoe works, though I wear flats most often.

Looking back over these silhouettes, it’s obvious that it makes sense for me to own a decent number of nice semi-fitted warm sweaters, since I wear them so often. And that I should probably have a few more knit dresses.

Spring and Summer

Our summers in Oregon are warm, sunny, and surprisingly dry. We usually have at least one major heatwave.

The thing is, Summer only lasts a few months and the rest of the year is cool and wet. But being a gal who grew up in sunny southern california, I am drawn to summer dresses like a moth to a flame. I have way more than I need, and most of them scream SUMMER. So one thing I’d like to do is have outfits that are a little more transitional.

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Spring Silhouette No. 1: This is probably my favorite thing to wear in the summer: a cute sundress with a fitted top and a full skirt, and a pair of heeled clogs. It is so comfy and makes me feel lovely. Most of my sundresses are vintage and bright colors or prints, and I’d really like to add more in pretty neutrals instead.

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Spring Silhouette No. 2: Again, the shift dress is a standby because it’s so classic and comfortable. Just add flat shoes or sandals.

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Spring Silhouette No. 3: This is a silhouette I’d actually like to wear more than I do when it’s hot. Every year when the heatwave arrives, I am dying for a really bare, strappy, loose fitting dress to keep cool. I don’t think I actually own a single one currently, but I’d like to.

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Spring Silhouette No. 4: This is another workhorse silhouette for me, shorts and a button up. I balance the short length on bottom with a cool, loose fitting button up, maybe in cotton lawn or chambray. I wouldn’t mind adding some linen shirts in there maybe. The great thing about this outfit is that I can do anything in it: ride my bike, work in my vegetable garden, go for a long walk… all thing I love in the warmer months.

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Spring Silhouette No. 5: This is another silhouette I’d like to wear more than I do. I already do the cigarette pants a lot, but I’d like more loose-but-bare camisole style tops to wear with them. They’re chic and pretty, and show off my shoulders which I rather like.

Honestly, this exercise was a huge eye opener for me. Although I knew I liked and wore all of these things, I found it really helpful to actually list out the silhouettes I wear (or want to wear) in this structured way. I can really start to see the holes now, and I’m so looking forward to planning out my Spring/Summer capsule wardrobe soon.

If you’ve done yours (or just have some thoughts on the exercise), please feel free to add a link in the comments!

(If you’re curious about any of the items used in these collages, see my Fall Collection and Spring Collection on polyvore for the details.)

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The Great British Sewing Bee is seeking contestants!

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Just a quick note for those in the UK:

The Great British Sewing Bee is currently looking for sewing enthusiasts to take part in their third season! I’m sure many of you are familiar with this adorable show (which previously featured Tilly and Lauren, amongst many other talented home sewists.

If you think you might be interested, email sewing (at) loveproductions.co.uk for more info. Good luck to all!

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Friday chatter: How do you treat yourself?

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One of the things I’ve been trying to do lately is give myself regular treats.

Not rewards for working hard or for accomplishing anything in particular. Just little daily niceties as a reminder to treat myself nicely, to enjoy the little things, and to slow down a bit.

The problem is, I don’t want to always reward myself with material things, because I don’t like the idea of relying on spending money to feel better. Plus, I tend to think that spending money is the opposite of slowing down (since that money has to come from somewhere, you’ve usually traded your time for it).

Here are a few ways I’ve tried to treat myself lately:

  • A hot bath and a good book (usually from the library, though I’m enjoying the subscription to The Paris Review Kenn got me for Christmas.)
  • Sitting in front of a roaring fire at the end of a long cold winter day (Kenn’s been doing the upside down fire method, it’s awesome).
  • Taking time to sew something for myself or my house (preferably with a cup of tea close at hand).
  • Giving myself a manicure.
  • Packing some delicious food and going for a hike.

I was curious if any of you guys had more suggestions.

What are some good ways to treat yourself that don’t involve buying things?

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Weekend Reading: Sapeurs, seasonal scarves, and what to remember when you shop

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A few good reads and links for your weekend. I highly recommend checking out the first in particular:

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