Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Easy DIY Glasses Case Tutorial

I've been trying to pick up sewing, but it hasn't been going very quickly.  Mostly because I tend to be somewhat of a perfectionist, and want everything to be completely thought out before I start.  While knitting mistakes can be unraveled and re-done, I feel like sewing mistakes are so permanent!  I have several projects in the planning stages, but the only thing other than this skirt I've actually made so far are a set of padded glasses cases.  I saw the tutorial on a random sewing show on TV, and was so amazed at how easy it was!

The Materials:
All you need are two 8x8" fabric squares... here I bought a package of precut black & white prints:
And some craft batting:

The Preparation:
The basic template is an 8x8 inch square with a rounded corner:
Cut two pieces with right sides together, lining fabric (black) on the bottom:
Cut a piece of batting in the same shape and put it on the bottom:

The Sewing:
First sew along the top curved edge:

Here's the trickiest part:
Open it along the top seam, keeping batting on the lining side.  Then fold it in half length-wise.
Then fold it in half again along the seam:

Sew along the long free edge:

Turn it inside out so the batting is now on the inside, and sew along remaining short free edge:

Finally, turn it right side out and you're done!

The Result!
Here are the first few that I made:

There are certain blogger friends who have been so kind as to send me things for no other reason than out of the goodness of their hearts.  I've been raised to never let nice acts go un-reciprocated, so I decided to make a bunch of these for them as a small thank-you gesture.  Some attempts turned out better than others, but I hope they liked them!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Review: Jack by BB Dakota Romaine Plush Coat

I promised pics of this Jack by BB Dakota Romaine Plush Coat quite a while ago:

But never got around to it because I kept waiting to find time to take it to my tailor to get the sleeves shortened.   But as you have it, as soon as I found time, I also found out that her shop is closed until next week!   So here are some "pre-" tailoring pics anyway, just pretend that the sleeves are appropriately shortened :)

As Jen from FrmHeadToToe showed in her video, the collar can be worn either up or down (and I'm so thrilled that it fits her too!).  Unless I happen to be freezing, I'll most likely be wearing it down more often.


Like I mentioned before, other than the sleeves which currently swallow up my entire hand, I'm pretty happy with the overall fit and don't plan on getting anything else altered.  And while the material is a mix of polyester, viscose and spandex without any wool, it's warm enough for SoCal winters and the ~$50 I spent on it is more than reasonable I think.

Interestingly enough, I spotted the exact same coat currently being sold for $128 on Urban Outfitters!  And as a reader Doris pointed out, this coat can also be found on Modcloth for $70, but the best deal seems to be at Gliks.com for $48 (where it comes in Ivory, Black and Tan) with an advertised 30% off coupon if you sign up for emails.  Definitely (in-store coupon only, but still) not a shabby price for a coat!

I hope you're all having a happy Thanksgiving holiday!  No turkey and no Black Friday shopping for me this year (except for online of course!), but I look forward to seeing everyone's spoils! :)

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Seven Confessions

I've been wanting to take the blog in a slightly more personal direction, so when I was tagged by Elle of Fast Food & Fast Fashion to do a Seven Confessions, I figured it's a good time to share.  So here goes!
  1. I'm a zero-generation Asian - First immigrated to Toronto, Canada when I was 10 and came to the States right before high school.  Been living in the greater Los Angeles area ever since!

  2. I dislike answering phone calls - I constantly check things on my iPhone throughout the day, but I'm notorious for not picking up my calls.  Even my Mom knows to leave me a voicemail if she needs to talk to me, and I definitely am easier to reach through email.  Nothing to do with iPhone call quality, I just don't like dropping whatever I'm in the middle of to be at someone's beck and call.  It also might have something to do with going through internship and getting paged every 5 minutes that really solidified my distaste for ringing objects lol.

  3. I'm a Sinophile - I'm 100% Vietnamese, but my parents say I should've been born Chinese lol.  I grew up watching (dubbed) Chinese dramas, started listening to Chinese music in my teens, and fell in love with the Mandarin language.  I did a second major in Chinese during college and studied abroad in Beijing for a semester.  And while I'm super rusty at speaking it, I still understand enough to be able to watch Chinese dramas hehe.  And yes, hubby is Chinese (Taiwanese really)... but no, that's not why I married him ;)

  4. I'm not a big fan of ice cream *gasp* -  I knoooow... how can I still call myself a woman lol.  I enjoy it occasionally but it's not something I ever really crave.  I do love desserts, but generally prefer salty snacks with a soda or fruit to go with.

  5. I'm a couch potato - When not working, shopping online or blogging, you'll most likely find me parked in front of the TV watching all kinds of shows, movies, and Asian dramas.  Don't really have a favorite anything, and watch a variety of shows including a lot of fluff like America's Next Top Model, Survivor, Project Runway, The Apprentice, etc.  I also love HGTV and will watch it all day when I'm at any place that has cable.

  6. I'm pretty sure I have Delayed Sleep Phase Syndrome - I've always been a night owl, and left to my own devices will tend to go to sleep at 3-4 am and wake up around noon.  But sadly I do have to conform to the normal work schedule and therefore get more and more sleep-deprived as the week progresses.  I usually sleep for 11-12 hours on my days off to "catch up" and frequently will not be up until early afternoon.

  7. I've been in "school" for 22+ years - And I still have at least 2-3 more years to go before I'm deemed competent enough to do my job.  That said, I don't regret choosing medicine, and I wouldn't want to do anything other than my specialty.  And even though residency feels like working AND being in school, finally getting a paycheck helps a bit :)

Now it's tag time!  I hope these ladies will participate so I can learn more about them!

    And finally, what's a blog post without a picture!  I've been really good at resisting the LOFT and Ann Taylor F&F sale, but I have to admit that I've been eyeing this LOFT Scallop Edge Lace Skirt they recently added:

    It's still a bit expensive at $56 after the 30% off though, and I'm afraid if I try it I will want to keep it!

    Monday, November 15, 2010

    Urban Outfitters: Scuba, Military & Faux Fur

    I was recently lured into my local Urban Outfitters store by an "extra 50% off sale items" sign out front.  And while I didn't find any worthwhile sale items to blog about, I did try on a few other things, including a seriously small skirt... the BDG Zipper Miniskirt in XS ($38):

    I couldn't believe how small this was!  I'd say the XS is probably similar to a size 10 kids skirt unless you like your skirts really really skin-tight.  I also grabbed a size S in another color to try because even that looked tiny as well:

    To be honest I'm not sure which size fits me better!  They both feel quite short though (or maybe I'm just not used to having skirts hit me at that length).  The material is a stretchy knit, and almost reminds me of the recent LOFT scuba material except not quite as thick.  They only had those two colors in store, but a quick search online showed that it's available in seven different colors.  I hate paying retail so I passed, but maybe if it goes on sale :)

    Next was the military-esque Collection Officer Coat in XS ($79), which looked like it ran small as well:

    Sorry about the grainy pics, my iPhone picture quality is usually better, I think their mirror was dirty or something. The coat looks pretty good in front, but side view was still a bit boxy and the sleeves were a little roomy. I also wasn't sure about the rather drabbish green color, but it also comes in a blackish grey online:

    And finally, since I can't seem to find the H&M faux fur collar that I saw on ExtraPetite (or any other H&M items for that matter), I tried on the UO version - the Pins and Needles Faux Fur Collar ($28):

    The color is a darker brown and it seems a bit shorter, but otherwise it's pretty much the same idea.  I couldn't make myself pay almost twice the price though since the H&M version is only $15, so again I passed.

    I couldn't find any juicy UO coupon codes, except for GIFTED which gives 10% off full-price items, and wasn't tempted enough to make an order.  Will be biding my time and browsing online in the meantime, waiting for a good sale and/or coupon codes! :)

    Friday, November 12, 2010

    Gap 30% Off Sale: Wardrobe Basics

    Wondering what to get during the Gap Give & Get 30% off sale?  I'd probably recommend the Legging Jeans, which I'm really loving as does many petite bloggers.  Was wearing them earlier this week (sorry about the gloomy weather):

    Cardigan: LOFT V-Neck Long Cardigan, size XXSP (see post)
    Jeans: Gap Legging Jeans, size 00P (see post)
    Shoes: Tory Burch Reva Lizard Embossed Flats, size 5.5 (see post)
    Scarf: LOFT floral scarf (see post)

    I've been holding out for a 40% off coupon to grab another pair in the dark blue wash, but when I checked again today, all the sizes were gone except for 00P and 0P!  I decided that I would probably regret missing out on it more than I would miss the extra $7, so I decided to order :)

    If you need a filler to get to $50 for free shipping, I also really like their Favorite Ribbed Tank in XSP ($7):

    The material is comfortable, the armholes and neckline are good, and the thicker straps are good for hiding bra straps.  It's just a basic tank, but believe it or not, it's not that easy for me to find a tank that isn't cut too low, fit too loosely/tightly, and is flattering and priced right!

    I'm also a fan of the Long-sleeve Thermal T in XSP ($10):

    I got it for wearing under scrubs, but it's actually quite slim-fitting and flattering.  The only thing to note is that the bottom hem is curved (which I hadn't realized when I bought).  It doesn't matter to me because I tuck it into my scrub pants, but just a FYI.

    To get in on the sale, a multiple use in-store coupon can be printed here.  Gap also sent out one-time use online codes via email, if you need one you can check the AlterationsNeeded Forum for any unused codes.  The sale ends this Sunday, Nov 14.... happy shopping! :)

    Monday, November 8, 2010

    LOFT Yet Again!

    I thought I was all LOFT'ed out, but couldn't resist taking a few things into the fitting room on my last trip to return some things.  First was the Striped Side Pleat Tee ($39):

    It didn't really catch my eye online, but I kinda liked it on, shown here in size XXSP:

    The ruching/gathering at one side was quite flattering and actually gave me a waist!  The arm holes are big though, and obviously it's a pretty casual tee.  I wouldn't pay full price for it, but I'll be keeping an eye out for this when it goes on the sale rack.  MiniMaestra also tried it on in magenta, and I'm not sure which color I like better.

    Next was the Denim Leggings in size 24/00P ($35):

    They weren't too bad... but compared to the Gap Legging Jeans (see post), they were bit longer and the material wasn't quite as comfortable.  The backside was a bit more flattening as well, so I decided to pass.

    I also tried on a couple things that have been talked about by other petite bloggers - the Pleated Tweed Sheath Dress and the Sculpted Sheath Dress, both in XXSP:

    They were both too big on me and would've needed alterations.  The deal-breaker was that they both suffer from the odd tummy pooch that's great if you want to look a bit preggers (the tweed dress especially so since the darts all seem to be converging on the tummy area).  It was a little hard to pass on the $25 black dress, but I consoled myself by caving on this Flutter Silk Dress that was on super sale, originally $128 marked down to a crazy $9:

    I previously bought this when it was on sale at $48 (see post), and had decided to return.  But when I saw a 00P still left... how could I resist a 100% silk dress at 93% off!

    Thursday, November 4, 2010

    Starbucks GC Winner & Petit Plume Winnings

    And the lucky winner of the $25 Starbuck gift card giveaway is....


    Congrats and I hope you enjoy it!  Thanks everyone for entering! :)

    Incidentally, I also received my own package today from the Petit Plume giveaway hosted by Curls and Pearls, so I thought what better time to show them!  The first item was this T-shirt with a pretty hand-drawn design which hubby dubbed the "Twitter" shirt lol:

    The T-shirt is actually not huge for a size large, and hopefully will shrink a bit in the dryer.  The material is quite soft and comfortable so if it doesn't, I can always use another lounge/sleep T-shirt :)

    The second item was this pin/brooch:

    It's pretty cute and I own absolutely no pins/brooches of any kind (I'm so accessories-poor it's almost embarrassing), so maybe this will serve as my "seed" pin lol.   For some reason I couldn't get the pin clasp mechanism to open, so I ended up clipping it on to the edge of the T-shirt... but I think it kinda works:

    Thanks Curls and Pearls and Petit Plume for hosting the giveaway!  I'd also like to thank Vicky for her Betsey Johnson bracelet giveaway.  Sadly the bracelet was too big for me, but I'll try to find it a good home!  And congrats again to elleandish for winning the Starbucks gift card! :D

    Monday, November 1, 2010

    A Wedding Flashback

    Today is my second wedding anniversary!  Hubby and I met 8 years ago when we moved into college apartments right next to each other... and we've been pretty much inseparable ever since!  Like all couples, we've had our ups and downs over the years (mostly ups thankfully!), but these past 2 years of marriage have flown by so fast!

    Our wedding day, unfortunately, did not go as smoothly.  We'd planned for an outdoor ceremony in a garden gazebo, had it all nicely decorated and ready to go... and then it RAINED!  Not just light sprinkling, but pouring cats and dogs rain.  We didn't even have a plan B, because it so rarely rains in SoCal.  In fact, it hadn't rained for weeks before and didn't rain again for weeks after our wedding... but we picked the lucky six-hour window!  Well, at least they say it's good luck, right?

    Here are some highlights from the wedding...

    The dress:

    The shoes:

    The hair:

    The makeup:

    The traditional gown:

    The traditional ceremony:

    The bridesmaids:

    The bouquet:

    The groom:

    The planned ceremony:

    The actual ceremony:

    The reception:

    The cake:

    The end!

    Hope you enjoyed the quick fly-by!  Some quick notes... my dress was a Casablanca, ordered in size 2 with exact hollow-to-hem measurement (so no hemming required) and then altered to fit.  I wasn't very satisfied with my alterations experience, but that's a story for another day.  My shoes were the Chinese Laundry Baldwin, which have an almost 5" heel but were amazingly comfortable thanks to a high platform (my bridesmaids were both 5'5" so I needed the extra height!). 

    Sorry for the mostly people-less pics, the hubs isn't ready for prime time yet, so I guess I'll have to hog all the attention :)  Speaking of which, I'll leave you with a posey engagement pic:

    I know most couples take candid engagement pics nowadays, but being the fobs-at-heart that we are, we went the traditional route and took reeeeally Asian studio pics with multiple dress/makeup/hairstyle changes and random backgrounds.  The rest of the pics are so cheesy, I'll spare you for now :)
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