Wardrobe Architect: Week Four

Building Silhouettes. This week is about making a series of templates to build future outfits from. I used Polyvore to find clothing shaped like what I want my wardrobe to eventually contain. I tried to keep the pieces color neutral, in shades of black, grey and white, so that I wasn’t distracted by playing with color too soon (although I can’t wait to do that!). I divided up the sets into Summer and Winter looks, although you may notice that some of the winter sets are the same as a summer set with the addition of tights and a sweater. Winter is so short here that it doesn’t seem worth it to create an entirely new wardrobe for it.

Summer 1

You can see one of my favorite summer looks here: a fit and flare dress, ballet flats, and a shawl for when my shoulders get cold (as does happen in the A/C here in summer). I’ve stayed away from accessories; that’s a later week. This is just about building shapes.

Summer 3

Another summer silhouette, this time one that I’m looking forward to integrating into my life. A pair of shorts, a cute flowy tank, a cardigan, and strappy sandals. Sweet, but still casual and easy.

Winter 4

Winter this time; a tulle skirt, sweater tights, boots, and a cute lace-trimmed pullover. I’d probably wear a tank or button-down under the sweater, but it wouldn’t be visible so I left it off the set.

Winter 5

One more winter, just to show how the same items can change when paired differently. The same lacy-trimmed pullover (I seriously need this sweater!), paired with jeans (I’m still trying to decide what style of jeans I need to be wearing), and the ballet flats from summer. In the colder months, I’d probably also add hand knit socks and wrist warmers. I only have two silhouettes with pants in my collection (you can see the rest of my silhouettes here, incidentally), because part of my impetus to make a capsule wardrobe is to get away from jeans+tee and jeans+camisole. But I still think that they can look cute if styled properly.

Knitting: Elin Mitts

Working on a new knitting project for the first time in forever. These are the Elin mitts from Viffla.

Finished the cuff on my #elin armwarmers. It's been a while since I've been excited about knitting anything.

Finished up the cuff! I did ten repeats instead of nine, and honestly probably could have gone with eleven. They fit snuggly but not too tightly.
Progress on the Elin mitts.

Knitting on the cuff. I ended up doing 35 rows instead of 30, since I am freakishly long limbed, and I like where it ends up sitting on my arm.

Elin progress.


Finished the thumb increases. I added more of them since they didn’t reach all the way up to my thumb joint. Nine increase rows, instead of five. I think part of that is my gauge, and again, part of it is that I’m just long. I put the thumb stitches on waste yarn, leaving the original wrist stitches plus two, and then picked up two stitches in the gap. Unfortunately I think that’s too many, so I’m going to rip back and just knit the wrist+2 stitches. I’m looking forward to finishing this mitt, though, so I can get to the other one!

Wardrobe Architect: Weeks 1-3

A couple of friends of mine, Theresa (from Whimdulgence) and Alyssa are doing the Wardrobe Architect capsule closet project. Sarai is revamping it as we speak, but we’re doing the original run. The basic premise is that you figure out your core style using images and celebrities, determine what silhouettes and colors work for you, and then build a wardrobe of interchangeable mix and match pieces from those, over a course of fourteen weeks. We’re not holding ourselves to specifically that schedule, but moving forward as we finish the “assignments.”  I thought I’d post the first couple weeks of progress here, and update as we go.

Week One: Personal Style. This week is about finding out where you want to go with your style. We filled out a PDF questionnaire about our history, and how the things around us have influenced our thoughts on fashion.


Week Two: Core Style. This week is about narrowing down your style to some major icons and influences. We filled out another questionnaire, and created Pinterest boards with some inspiration pictures. Theresa called my personal style what would happen “if Zooey Deschanel and Cate Blanchett had a lovechild.” Some other style icons I picked were Anne Hathaway and Grace Kelly. I’m sure you can see where this is going; modern and whimsical and relaxed vs vintage and feminine and elegant.





Week Three: Exploring Shapes. This week is about figuring out what kind of shapes make you feel best. We had to fill out another form (so many!) in which we rated from one to ten, the different cuts of clothing. Does a jewel neckline make you feel playful or confined? Do short skirts make you feel alluring or exposed? It should come as no big surprise that my two most comfortable silhouettes are fit and flare dresses, and slightly flowing, drapey skirts.

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Next time: starting to build my own silhouettes!




I’m not even sure how to begin with this. I lapsed updating more than a year ago, almost a year and a half. I was just starting up Opus Elenae and I tried to do NaBloPoMo on both blogs and got overwhelmed. I stopped updating completely, and because I had already decided to throw myself into my SCA recreation work, it was easy to just… let things slide for a little while. And then longer. And then I got out of the habit and barely even thought about updating at all.

A couple of things happened lately that made me think about picking up the loose ends over here and start up again, though. I finally finished my Color Affection shawl, which took me forever, because I have been doing nothing but historical projects for the last 18 months. I haven’t made knitting a priority for a long while. But it feels funny to finish something without blogging about it.

The other thing was that I was talking with my friend Theresa, who blogs at over at Whimdulgence, over the last week about sewing, and sewing bloggers, and fashion and fashion typing. And because it was a hard week and I was stressed out, I decided to sew a dress. Because we were chatting during the process, I took lots of pictures and sent them to her. And I thought that it would be so easy to blog about the dress now that I’d taken so many pictures of it.

I think really my hesitance about taking up blogging is twofold. First, I worry about time. I have so many other things I want to be doing, and I don’t want to sink SO MUCH TIME into this blog that I am not doing the other things I want to. Secondly, I feel like I don’t know what the scope of this blog should be. Opus Elenae is very strictly reenactment-based. The things I make and the places I go for the SCA. But this place? I want to talk about sewing and tea and knitting and fountain pens and art and books, and my kid, and take pictures and and and…  I guess that’s what they call a “lifestyle” blog, but I guess I don’t really know what that means, and I’m afraid I’ll wander and get tangential. In any case, I think I’m going to start, tentatively, trying to blog here again, and see what happens.

While I figure it out, have a couple pictures I took from a recent camping trip with friends.

Camping with Friends

Camping with Friends

Camping with Friends

Camping with Friends

Camping with Friends

Camping with Friends


I splurged the other day. Totally worth it.



First I had tea…

Then the Bebe rode a giant yellow armadillo.


Gratuitous Self Portraiture

I’ve been feeling really pretty lately. This is kind of a big thing for me. I was an awkward adolescent (at least, I perceived myself that way) with a gorgeous best friend growing up, and always felt like I inhabited a face that hovered on the pretty side of plain.

But recently, in the last year or so, and especially in the last few months, I feel like maybe I’ve started to grow into myself. I inhabit my body, if not always comfortably, with grace. I have a confidence now that would have been completely foreign to my fifteen-year-old self. And I think that’s been showing in some of the pictures I’ve snapped of myself lately.  So have some gratuitous self portraits that have made me feel really good about myself recently.

Having a good hair day.

Good hair AND good makeup? I think I just used up this week's beauty karma.

Perfect end to a fantastic day.

Felt pretty today.

Fall selfie. 'Cause braids.

Halloween 2013

I’m a little late posting our Halloween pictures this year; sorry. I’m still collecting my thoughts and feeling really behind on this whole NaBloPoMo things this year.  This year was the first year since Nick and I started dating that there wasn’t a theme of any kind for our Halloween costumes. I feel a little bit like a failure.

The Bebe wanted to be Tinkerbell, and our friend (with whom we went trick or treating) happened to have a costume from when her daughter was younger that fir her perfectly.


I went with a slightly cheater-ish Lizzie Bennett, from Pride and Prejudice. Here’s a kind of crappy mirror shot, showing my pretty curls (if I’d been thinking harder about it, I would have pin curled them the night before) and the infamous letter from Mr Darcy.

This year's Halloween costume: Lizzie Bennett.

Nick took the totally cheater  way out and wore his Elizabethan court doublet. I have a rule that I don’t wear any SCA garb for Halloween, unless it’s the best thing to portray something different (i.e.: last year I wore my green cotehardie to be Kat Stark from A Song of Ice and Fire). But he wore it to work and won third place in a costume contest, so that’s cool.


You can see here how my hair was falling out of its curls. It’s cause I used the stupid curling iron instead of pin curling it. Won’t make that mistake again. I do love the way the Regency stuff looks on me, though. And OMG LOOK AT THE BEBE.


I love both the scoop of the back neckline and how I managed to make a substantial looking bun, considering that my hair is SO SHORT still.




Been doing a couple of sketchy things lately, playing around on toned paper, and trying to keep my hand in. I drew some faces on kraft paper with Platinum Carbon ink in my LAMY fountain pen, and white and sepia prismacolor pencils:

Playing around with toned paper.

And I drew a youngish Hermione. Aiming for fourteen or fifteen years old here. Stuff has just gotten pretty dark.


Kind of a blurry picture of Princess Irulan from Dune. Basically, I wanted an excuse to draw an ridiculously elaborate headdress.

Princess Irulan.

But I liked it so much that I’m going to turn it into a finished painting. And maybe sell it, if I like it enough, after.

I liked this little doodle enough to make it a painting. It will be one of three, and they will all be for sale when finished.

Chai Date

Today’s tea date is brought to you by home-made, stovetop-brewed chai. It was so delicious.



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