Friday, January 29, 2010

What's your Happy Garment?

Have you ever thought, "I can't be bothered dressing nicely today," or, "Whose business is it what I wear? It's my life." In other words, Dear World, I'm feeling depressed and I want to look like it. The truth is that what we wear effects both our own demeanour and those around us.

This is my Happy Hat.

Looking at it makes me smile. It makes other people smile, too. It's particularly productive to wear on grey days.

I have comfort clothes that function like chocolate at the end of a tough day -- a green hooded fleece jacket is my first choice -- but that merely gives me pleasure. Knowing that what you wear gives other people pleasure provides quite a different dimension to wardrobe satisfaction.

What's your happy garment?

Friday, January 22, 2010

Pause at the Mirror: How to Be Confident in Your Appearance

"I looked in the mirror," said the woman, "and it was not my friend."

How often do you encounter a passing mirror and grimace in distress at your image? How often do you apply a quick pat, a twitch, a tweak, a dab of paint, and hope that the world will somehow overlook your flaws and be enchanted by your beauty?

I've learned to laugh at myself and not take my appearance too seriously. I have a chronic illness, I see the accruing damage it's done, and I've had to accept the possibility that the vision of gorgeousness that's surely hidden in me somewhere may never be revealed to the world.

Have you ever met a girl who was unwaveringly confident in her appearance? I mean in her private moments as well as the public ones. I've met cocksure gals whose pride in their appearance is a cover for their secret insecurity, and I guarantee there's not a woman on this planet who when honestly examining herself does not flinch. How, then, does a woman develop confidence in her appearance?

The good news is that a priceless, timeless value lies in my inner beauty, beauty that reflects the nature of Christ. Placing primary significance on this gives me a confidence in who I am and how I look that cannot come from what I see in the mirror.

The body passes away. The soul is eternal. When was the last time you peered at your soul? Did you grimace? What attention did you give to it?--as much and as often as you do to the preparations of your outward appearance?

I pray that we'll develop a passion to "put on Christ" as our inner beauty treatment, and be as devoted to it as we are to our outer body care.

Image No. 1: Shadows distort shape and highlight flaws.
Image No. 2: No makeup, just positioned at a different angle to the light source.

Check how you're positioned to the light source, Jesus Christ!

Friday, January 15, 2010

Zipping here, zipping there

If you're wondering why the recent fixation on zips, visitor numbers to Boutique Narelle fall off dramatically over Christmas and New Year, so I decided to take a holiday myself and not labour over complex, time-consuming posts. But for those of you who still have time for 'Net surfing, I've added special wishes. = ) I hope you've enjoyed the pictures, too.

May you have a blooming wonderful year!

Sunday, January 3, 2010

MothersWorld Sale

For a year I've been gathering information regarding clothing options for pregnant and nursing mothers, but as you may have noticed, it hasn't made it to post yet. A chance glance (ooh, how I love those!) at a newspaper this morning brought a website to my attention, with such exciting results that I'm interrupting my planned post-chain to bring it to your attention.

The two skirts above are the same style, currently on sale at $77,
reduced from $109.

The denim skirt below is on sale for $87, reduced from $105. refers to itself as the number one place for maternity wear in New Zealand. In my research to date, such stores tend to require a deep pocket and are distinctly lacking in modest options. However, MothersWorld is currently offering 20% off everything -- while stocks last. This post includes a sample of what's available.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Zipper Tip 3

From left: Invisible zipper, regular zipper.

An invisible zip costs more than a regular zip, so why bother with one that's more expensive? The short answer is it depends on the appearance you want for your finished garment.

A regular zip has a chunky head and pull tab, and the zipper teeth are visible unless covered by a fly or a flap formed from the seam allowance.

Above and below: regular zippers with cover flap formed from the seam allowance,
set at centre back of skirt.

An invisible zip is designed to be invisible. The method of insertion is different to that of a regular zip (no, you do not need a special sewing machine foot), and all that should be visible on the finished garment is the zip head and slender pull tab.

Invisible zipper set at side of skirt.

Once I learned how to insert an invisible zipper, I developed three reasons for preferring its use.

1) I like to keep the lines of the garment uninterrupted by 'housekeeping'.

2) On garments like chemises that have a side zip that sits close to the armpit, the less bulky the tab the more comfortable the wearer will be.

3) I've noticed that exposed zip pulls on regular zips (usually skirts and jackets) quickly lose their pristine paint job. When grey metal shows through the paint (see image below), the garment looks old and worn. I make garments to last, so I want zips in them that will uphold the family honour.

A zipper head and pull tab in the process of shedding paint.
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