November 19, 2010 § Leave a comment

I have been craving some new clothes lately.

I picked up a couple of cute things at the Built by Wendy sale a couple of weekends ago. I cruised by the Steven Alan sample sale yesterday and wasn’t impressed. I’ve got my eye on some items at the Brooklyn APC outlet (as always). But today, my cheap fix arrived!! A lovely bundle from Forever21. They have a bunch of nice 100% silk pieces at the moment that are sweet, fairly well made and exceptionally well priced. I have a few stacks of silk in my closet for some shirts I intend on making whenever Avery gives me an early night. Even the fabric alone for these shirts, cost more than one of the finished F21 pieces. I mean, the quality of silk is much lower, but still…I’m not complaining.

Minton is very kindly helping me model here. I bought this shirt as it’s pretty close to the pattern I drafted up the other day and I wanted to compare and nose a little bit. It was $22.80 and is 100% silk.

Ignoring the horrific creases in this shirt, I love it! I grabbed this one also to take a look at the pattern. I’m in the mood for loose shapeless silk tees and tanks and this one did the trick for me. I can no longer find it on the site, but the pattern IS really simple so you guys should just be able to whip one up! For the record, it was $24.80.

This dress has a distinctive Built by Wendy air to it. In fact, here’s the BBW dress I grabbed at her recent sale.

Of course, the BBW version feels far more luxurious and the shape fits better. The print is also much more unique and less cutesy. I know I’m no model or anything, and the thing needs to be steamed, or at least hung out for a bit, but I swear that F21 number looked way cuter on their site…

As a retoucher who gets paid to make things look better than they really do, I’m amazed every time I get surprised by this.

So there is it. Cute silk stuff for a steal. I’ll be posting pictures of the silk pieces I make when I finally get around to it. Also, as I was digging through the troves of…um…less appealing (?!) stuff on the F21 website to find these items, I came up with the idea of doing a round up of good buys to keep a wardrobe fresh and under budget. (I still need to find a way to afford that $1200 leather jacket I’ve been eying. (Hah!)) So, yes, starting this month I’ll have a 12 FROM 21 on the 21st of each month. I hope it’s useful!


Twentyone. Again.

May 10, 2008 § Leave a comment

I had never been a fan of this store. In fact, it would be fair to say that I mocked it. Repeatedly.

However, I recently put together an online order with a friend of mine. We had talked each other into buying things, mostly we were both dead poor and in need of some new clothes.

The box arrived and when Keiko and I opened it we were hit with a musty smell. Hrm. It wasn’t proving me wrong so far. But I pulled out (and aired) all the clothes and then started trying on. Everything we had selected had been cotton, simple and cute. And everything I tried on was great! Sure, the quality was lame, but the styles, fit and fabrics weren’t half bad. Fair to say, I was impressed.

Now I am attempting to not allow myself to be a regular Forever21 shopper. I know the old Kate would have laughed at me, curled up her nose at my denim jumper and flat out snarled at the cute little panties I ordered. But new Kate can’t stop making online shopping lists and then deleting them.


Here are some things I can’t seem to shake wanting:

Built by me.

April 28, 2008 § Leave a comment

I made some changes to the Built By Wendy pattern 3835, adding pockets in the side seams, changing the sleeves and playing around a little with the neckline.

little dress

I think I might actually shorten this into a shirt. I just think I’d wear it more that way, the length and cut of the skirt on this dress isn’t wildly flattering on me, even over pants.

The adorable blue pinstripe cotton fabric was a gift from Cristalle. Hearts.

First Summer dress of the season.

March 25, 2008 § 5 Comments

little blue dress

This was a play around version. The top stitching on it is rather embarrassing! But it helped me sort out some quirks with the pattern that I’ve changed. The next time I plan to make it out of a much thinner fabric (this time I used a heavy cotton duck, a Cath Kidston print, Blue Daisy I think). A cute little summer play dress however. Fun, fun, fun!

little blue dress


I made this.

March 24, 2008 § Leave a comment

With a degree in Fashion Design, I know that I should make more stuff. For the longest time, it has been mostly due to the lack of a sewing machine and now that obstacle is removed, I can strive forwards into a new, homemade, summer wardrobe! Fantastic.

My first project was a Built By Wendy pattern. I decided to stick to the pattern 100% and just blast through it to refresh my memory on how this whole thing works. I can’t say I was wildly impressed with the pattern cutting or the instructions, but ho hum. I suppose that just goes hand in hand with working from patterns. I had hoped for something a little different from the Built By Wendy stuff.

I would have changed the sleeves and the fastening on this top. But it’s still pretty cute. I bought the fabric at an adorable little vintage store around the corner, here in South Williamsburg.

Built By Kate

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