Sunday, April 30, 2017

Sew What Now | Whats on my cutting table


Just as I'm typing up the title for this post, I realize I've been a little forgetful about proper sewing updates. In fact, the last Sew What Now video was from the holidays but this month, a blog post will just have to do. Despite the slow start to spring this year, I'm looking forward to getting a few skirts into my wardrobe because I've wearing nothing but my dark denim and waterproof boots and I am so done.

Handmade wardrobe vintage skirts

SIMPLICITY 7069 | The 70s Slip
This pattern was a impulse purchase after my frustrations with sewing up a Seamwork Ariane slip. While I was initially smitten with the contoured cups and stylish elastic edging, I just didn't have the skill set to tackle it and now it lays in the maybe-later bag. This 70s vintage slip has a few of the same elements such as the bust shaping but in a much more relaxed design and you know...no fussy lingerie elastic. While I will have to make some height adjustments, I love that this is a 5-in-1 design that will pretty much cover everything I'll need to build a basic under-dress collection. This is one of my #2017MAKENINE projects.


SIMPLICITY 1688 | The 50s Librarian
Think cropped sweater, little gloves and seam backed stockings... I immediately feel in love with this 50s skirt pattern when I first saw it. Frankly, I'm always looking for pieces that are fitted but without zippers and this one even allows for a lined option - navy outer with leopard print insides anyone? This would be great as a fall/winter staple but might work in a medium weight twill for spring as well. Piping to the edges? Cool button details? How about an external pocket? Oh the possibilities!


McCalls 5912 | The 70s Casual Chic
Now this is a bit of a remake as I first stitched up a heavy weight test version of this 70s double slit skirt during the winter...except its now too big. The great thing is that practice makes perfect and cutting into this pattern a second time, I found myself breezing through the instructions and this will most lightly be the next completed project post coming to your screen! There's a sneak peek of it over on my Instagram but I can tell you now that the fit (in a smaller size) is amazing and it will definitely be a well loved hit in my wardrobe.


In other news, I've also made a few changes to my original plans for #2017MAKENINE as I've replaced a few of the projects with other additions so make sure you pop over to that page to see what's up and as always, you can find me on social media for instant sewing progress... and maybe a few fails too because what's life without a little variety.



Happy Sunday,


Monday, April 24, 2017

Close up with MUFE Ultra HD

High definition. I can still recall the first time I heard the word being explained on a shopping channel. Award winning make up artist Kevin Bennett was waving around a bottle of the first HD approved foundation and freaking out over how all the tv cameras were officially switching over to this brand new medium. That was Make Up For Ever.

Make Up For Ever Ultra HD

Fast forward to our selfie, Youtube, DSLR and 4K infused world today and there's no better brand I can think of to reintroduce a base product line than MUFE with their Ultra HD skin range. The foundation itself launched a year or two ago but its now joined by a reformulation of the powder and a few additional camera ready prep products that's created to deliver quick, visible and perfecting results. While the original HD products were focused on coverage, the Ultra HD aim is for adjustable opacity, customization and fine textured formulas that sit smoothly on the skin. I had the pleasure of attending a recent MUFE workshop to try out the products and learn how to apply them to my own face along with some pretty snazzy tips.

MAKE UP FOR EVER | ULTRA HD SKIN BOOST*
A pro secret used to boost and revive tired skin on sets: this hydra-plumping serum works to boost skin radiance and luminosity. Skin looks healthy, plumper and complexion is more luminous. Use Skin Booster alone or mix a few drops with your foundation or primer to boost comfort and hydration.
Quick thoughts: This is your ultimate mixing medium booster product that can go in a primer or foundation or as a quick fix spot treat for dry patches and those darned blemishes that's dry and impossible to conceal. Filled with hylauronic acid, it helps to make the best of a bad skin day.


MAKE UP FOR EVER | ULTRA HD LIP BOOST*
A pro secret used to boost and prepare tired lips on sets : this hydra-plumping serum hydrates and smoothes, adding fullness and comfort to lips. Wear alone for naturally healthy-looking lips, or use as hydra-plumping mask before lipstick application, wiping off any excess before applying color. (2 Shades)
Quick thoughts: Quick absorbing and seems to plump up my pesky lip wrinkles without sting or tingling that most plumpers make you endure. I have the clear which means it's invisible under lipstick. Not sure how long the effects last but will report back.



MAKE UP FOR EVER | ULTRA HD PRESSED POWDER*
Created for the very latest high-definition technologies of the film and TV industry, ULTRA HD advanced formulas look invisible on 4K camera and to the naked eye. Perfect for the makeup pros and for you. Last step to ULTRA HD perfection: ULTRA HD MICROFINISHING PRESSED POWDER is a finishing powder that gives a light matte effect and a smooth luminous finish. A real technical and sensory feat, this invisible veil of powder combines synthetic mica, silicone powders and silica to instantly blur fine lines, pores and imperfections for a beautifully smooth complexion. Also enriched with hyaluronic acid. For a perfect ULTRA HD compatible finish, use a very small quantity and blend evenly. Apply over make up or wear alone using a kabuki brush. (3 shades)
Quick thoughts: Yes, you read that right. This finishing powder now comes in three colours from invisible (white) to banana (yellow) and peach. The powder is not really "pigmented" at all but I do believe the coloured options impart a super sheer tint for colour correction. The packaging is now square, metal and contains a mirror on the flip top lid which goes along with the rest of the brand's formal repackaging. I also learned you're supposed to use this after setting your foundation as this is a finishing product - watch this Sephora video to get it straight.


MAKE UP FOR EVER | ULTRA HD LOOSE POWDER*
Created for the very latest high-definition technologies of the film and TV industry, ULTRA HD advanced formulas look invisible on 4K camera and to the naked eye. Perfect for the makeup pros and for you. Last step to ULTRA HD perfection: ULTRA HD MICROFINISHING LOOSE POWDER is a finishing powder that gives a light matte effect and a smooth luminous finish. Spherical micro particles of silica instantly give skin a naturally glowing complexion with an incredible velvety effect and an unrevealed touch. For a perfect ULTRA HD compatible finish, use a very small quantity and blend evenly. Apply over make up or wear alone using a kabuki brush.
Quick thoughts: Made to be lighter, finer than its predecessor, this loose finishing powder now comes with a well thought out sieved container and really just feels like air. I've been told that the loose remains in one universal shade as MUFE was not able to match the same texture in the loose while adding the tints so they decided it was best to have one awesome product instead of a couple of mediocre ones. I'll need to test this more but I do love the new thoughtful repackaging.

With all this in hand plus the informative Make Up For Ever Ultra HD workshop, I'm hoping to film a tutorial with everything in action including the foundation, foundation stick and primer. I'll be sharing all the pro-approved makeup tips and even talk about how I finally confirmed my skin undertone..oh yeah, it'll be a fun one.

Chat soon,

Monday, April 10, 2017

CLARINS | Ombre Cream - Powder Eyeshadow

REVIEW
Clarins Ombre Eye Shadow

I thought for a moment on how to start this post but if I were to condense the following paragraphs into one sentence it would simply be…

Where have you been all my life?

Yes, a little strong here isn't it but my new love for the Clarins Ombre eye shadows run deep. I currently have 5 shades that are all in my top drawer collection and they are often part of my every day makeup look. While not a brand that gets a lot of online publicity, those who have been faithful to Clarins have really been hiding some gems!

Clarins Ombre Eye Shadow

THE BASICS
Brand: Clarins
Product: Ombre Eyeshadow*
Size: 7 grams
Colours: 8 Matte, 7 Iridescente (some LE)
Price: $26 CAD
Availability: Clarins counters, Clarins online, The Bay
Would I repurchase: Yes!
Website: www.clarins.ca

Ingredients: Mica, Octydodecyl Stearoyl Stearate, Dimethicone, Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Bis-Diglyceryl Polyacyladipate-2, Cetyl Dimethicone, Dimethicone/Vinyl Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Hydrogenated Polycyclopentadiene, Sorbitan Sesquioleate, Sodium Dehydroacetate, Isododecane, Disodium EDTA, Tocopheryl Acetate, Bambusa Arundinacea Stem Powder, Barium Sulfate. May Contain: Talc, CI 77891/Titanium Dioxide, CI 77491/CI77492/CI 77499/Iron Oxides, CI 77007/Ultramarines, CI 77742/Manganese Violet, Silica, Tin Oxide, CI75470/Carmine, CI 42090/Blue 1 Lake, CI 19140/Yellow 5 Lake, CI 77510/Ferric Ferrocyanide, CI 77288/Chromium Oxide Greens.

House in small, portable, lightweight screw top jars, the Clarins Ombre shadows come in two general formulas - matte and iridescente (or iridescent for us non-francais). As of their online listing, there are currently 15 colour options between the two finishes although the brand often releases limited edition colours are part of smaller seasonal collections. The spectrum features wearable neutral shades with variations of browns, mauves, greys and pinks but do lean towards the deeper tones. The dimension in the iridescente grey is stunning and check out the swatch on that black #07 Carbon!

Clarins Ombre Eye Shadow
Top - Bottom | Rosewood | Sparkle Grey | Carbon | Silver Ivory | Silver Grey

TEXTURE & APPLICATION
Marketed as a cream to powder formula, I find less creamy than anticipated and much more like a pressed powder. It doesn't have the moist touch like that of Lise Watier for example but are perfectly smooth and easy to apply with both fingers or a shadow brush. I love that there's next to no fall out during application and it's just overall an easy product to work with. Intensity can be controlled by the pressure used when putting on the product but opacity is great with all the shades I've tried. No patchiness and no fuss. While I have not tried layering this with other branded eyeshadow, I don't expect there to be a problem at all. The darker colours would also work great as a soft liner with a slanted brush.

WEAR & LONGEVITY
Without a primer or any other add-ons, these Clarins Ombre colours last a happy 5-6 hours depending on my activity for the day. Once in a while, there will be some slight creasing but the colour never fades until I'm ready to take it off. If you have oily skin, I would recommend prepping with an appropriate base as needed but I find the longevity perfect fine for an average day out or at work.

THINGS TO NOTE
Absolutely none. For the way I wear eye shadow on the regular, these are perfect as they are.

Clarins Ombre Eye Shadow

FINAL VERDICT
The Clarins Ombre shadows are a smooth and easy to use addition to your beauty wardrobe. The colour palette makes them great for neutral lovers and even the seasonal "pop" shades have a soft, sophisticated quality to them so you never look overdone! I love that these apply smoothly with consistent colour pay off every time plus they are quick to put together a look for the office. I'd like to see the permanent collection expanded to include more colourful options but for now I'm tempted to collect them all!

 Chat soon,

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

I made a vintage wiggle dress | McCalls 3461

Sewing Vintage Dress McCalls3461

There's a lesson to be learned here and I'm just going to call it out now; perseverance (paired with Google) makes you a winner. If this dress looks familiar to you it's because I started cutting the fabric two years ago and have only recently completed it with a cry of exaltation! This vintage McCalls dress was one of the first in my now growing collection of decade sewing patterns and the chic illustration along with sophisticated silhouette caught my eye right away but I was in for a wild ride.

Vintage Dress

Pattern: McCalls 3461
My Measurements: 34 - 27 - 37
Pattern Size: 12 (B32-W25-H35)
Edits: Narrowed the seam allowances to accommodate for fit, regular back zip instead of lapped zip
Finishes: Seams zig-zagged, kick pleat at back, sleeves and neckline faced

What I love: The fit on this dress makes me so happy! I really wonder why modern commercial patterns (and indie ones at that), no longer give fit options for different height variations right in one envelope. It's a common misconception that petite adjustments simply mean taking a few extra inches at the hem but a proportioned fit means everything from sleeves to torso and even how high the back slit ends. This feels so much better on than 90% of what I try on in a shop at the mall and I'm smitten.

Sewing Vintage Dress McCalls3461

Details: One thing I quickly learned about vintage style is that darts are a big deal. Closer fitting silhouettes mean the need for more shaping details so there's plenty of front and back darts on the bodice as well as the skirt itself. It helps to create a more hourglass figure even if you may not be blessed with one. On me, this dress actually has a looser fit in the hips but its well disguised as the skirt puffs out a little on its own. It has a back kick pleat which looked intimidating to sew but actually turned out just fine. And pockets? Yes please!

Sewing Vintage Dress McCalls3461

Sewing Vintage Dress McCalls3461

Challenges: One word. Zippers. Having only successfully installed a dress zipper once in all my years of sewing; I was over confident that putting in a 22" lapped zipper as the last step on a full constructed dress was going to be easy. Oh so wrong! First I couldn't even get the entire piece to fit under the sewing machine without wrinkling into a big bundle and then I came the problem of not getting close enough to the zipper teeth. One year, 3 books plus a few Youtube tutorials later and I finally put the entire zipper in albeit not a lapped version. Hey, exposed zips are trendy now right?

Sewing Vintage Dress McCalls3461

All challenges and frustrations aside, this single dress taught me so much about fine sewing and I'm excited to delve deeper into techniques and more dresses! I've also become more selective about choosing proportioned vintage patterns which means I can focus more on the sewing and less on the fitting. Would I make this dress again? Not until the memories of the dreadful zipper fades but I probably will give it another go at some point. Now if only the westcost rains will clear up so I can wear this out!



Happy Sewing,


Wednesday, March 22, 2017

ESSENCE | Satin Touch Blush + swatch

REVIEW

ESSENCE Satin Touch Blush Review

I might be a bit of a makeup hoarder but blush has always one of those things I can pick one and be perfectly happy for months on end. And when it comes to options, the drugstore has some hidden gems - like my recent find from Essence which has quickly gained top shelf residency all for less than a cup of coffee.

THE BASICS
Brand: Essence
Product: Satin Touch Blush
Size: 5 grams
Colours: 3 shades (shown: Satin Love, Satin Coral)
Price: $2.99CAD
Availability: Essence online, select Superstore & Shoppers Drug Mart
Would I repurchase: Yes!
Website: www.essencemakeup.com

Ingredients: MICA, TALC, ALUMINUM STARCH OCTENYLSUCCINATE, ISOCETYL STEAROYL STEARATE, OCTYLDODECYL STEARATE, MAGNESIUM STEARATE, TOCOPHEROL, SILICA, ETHYLHEXYLGLYCERIN, PEG-8, ASCORBYL PALMITATE, ASCORBIC ACID, CITRIC ACID, PHENOXYETHANOL, CI 15850 (RED 6 LAKE), CI 15850 (RED 7 LAKE), CI 19140 (YELLOW 5 LAKE), CI 77491 (IRON OXIDES), CI 77499 (IRON OXIDES), CI 77891 (TITANIUM DIOXIDE).

ESSENCE Satin Touch Blush Review

Housed in an easy to see plastic flip lid pan format, the Essence Satin Touch Blush has slightly varying colour options depending on your country as I've found 3 shades listed on the Essence international website but only 2 shades online and in stores here in Canada. The names of the colours may also vary but look for the quilted design on the powder. All shades are quite wearable and appropriate for pale to medium deep skin tones. To the eye there's micro shimmer flecks in the product but on the cheeks it truly just comes off as a sheen. Personally I find Satin Coral to be more flattering on my complexion with both heavy and light makeup while Satin Love is a little too deep and needs to be paired with a more done up face.

ESSENCE Satin Touch Blush Review
ESSENCE Satin Touch Blush Review
L-R: Satin Coral | Satin Love

TEXTURE & APPLICATION
To the touch, this Essence blush comes off quite powdery but packs a strong punch in pigment even with a light swipe. When used with a brush, there very little powder kick and application should be smooth and flawless. The colours are true to pan and I do love how it doesn’t look heavy on the skin and is instead youthful with a slight satin sheen as the name suggests. With this type of pigmentation, I recommend a duo fiber blush brush and a very light hand to build up the colour to suit your makeup for the day.

ESSENCE Satin Touch Blush Review

WEAR & LONGEVITY
Despite not marketed as a long wearing product, I was excited to find out this is an impressively long wearing product for my combination skin and every time I had a chance to check on my makeup expecting the blush to have faded, it was always still there. I would put this at around the 4-5hr mark easily and even a few more hours if you work in a mild temperature environment. Granted I've worn this in the crazy snow season this winter in Vancouver and it's lasted me the whole work day until I was ready to take it off, all with very minimal fading. It seems to work well with both liquid and powder foundations with little difference.

FINAL VERDICT
The Satin Touch Blush by Essence is a complexion flattering, well pigmented blush with a youthful sheen that will be well loved for the casual makeup wearer who needs an everyday staple that can be put on in 5 seconds. I love that while the brand is often marked to a very young demographic, the colours here are actually quite sophisticated and easy to work with. It's a hidden gem that takes a little hunt to find here in Canada but will surely be worth your time. Go and get it!

 Chat soon,

Monday, March 13, 2017

My first quilt...in progress | #sewwithgerry


Sleep Tight Quilt

I've always made it perfectly clear that despite my love for sewing, quilting was not my calling. And granted while I still don't think I have the patient and dexterity for real piece by piece quilting, I was completely smitten with this Sleep Tight fabric collection designed by Sarah Watts..so much so that I am now in possession of a piece of this all the way from Japan, shelled out money for quilt batting and am now madly Googling quilting for beginners. If you look at the history of the craft, it was traditionally born out of making do with fabric remnants and scraps but has now grown into a huge community. In fact, here in Vancouver, I'm willing to bet there's many more quilters than actual garment sewists. 

With the print on this fabric being the star of the show, I didn't want to cover it all up with machine quilting stitches so instead I'm going to attempt some hand work to go over and around the animal motifs and then finish things off with an extra border to add length and width to the panel. Too much newness for a first time quilter? Guess we'll find out!


Happy Monday,