Book Review: How To Build A Girl (Fantastic and Groundbreaking)


How To Build A Girl, Caitlin Moran

This was in my top ten books I read in 2016.

Shame on the publisher for putting a skinny girl on the cover because this is not a story about a skinny girl, nor is it a story about a fat girl who wants to be skinny. This is a story about a fat, sex-obsessed, music obsessed, poor teenager who struggles to step outside the boxes of social restrictions and become the woman she wants to be.

There have been SO many coming-of-age stories written about boys, and a few more written about skinny, generally pretty girls, but this one is the best and only one need ever read if representation and joy and reality are what you want. It’s rowdy, bawdy, tender and REAL. The fact that she is fat is not even that central to plot—this girl believes in herself and thus so does everyone else. She reminds us that fat girls get laid and are sexy and smart and have great fashion sense and that it’s perfectly okay to reject SHAME.

Truly a hilarious breath of fresh air; I hope author continues to write about real girls becoming real women until such time as no one even wonders what size jeans they are wearing. 5 Stars.

OOTD: Vogue 1502 With Variations

OOTD 07 31 2017 AOOTD 07 31 2017 BV1502_01

So, I made this from Vogue 1502, and the bottom picture is the cover of the pattern. I decided, because this is how I roll, to make it in a stretch instead of a woven, and to add to the difficulty, I used a stretch mesh with small ruffles all through it that was SUPER see-through. Also, I applied “must not buy anything new” as a rule to force stash busting.

The best part of using stretch in a woven pattern is that you get to eliminate zippers, but I can also tell you I did not pick the most perfect fabric given the pieced yoke at center front, but I made do and I think it’s okay.

Other items of interest:

The pattern provides for a sort of built in camisole and slip, which I used a nude knit for, but I also backed the bodice with a palest gray power net due to how transparent the fabric was. This turned out to be a mistake, as the gray and the nude made the skirt and bodice look like they were different colors. How did this get solved? Well, ultimately the dress was still too see-through on the bottom, so I added that draped peplum affair. Which I like, and I don’t think it has the “emergency fix” look.

Also, since I used a stretch, I didn’t have to cut all that bias binding, I just self bound with the mesh, and I eliminated the bow–I loathe bows. I’m just not precious enough for that.

I do plan to try it again in a woven at some point, as I really like the dress.

OOTD: Pants Can’t Be Full Enough (Vogue 9257)

OOTD 07 26 2017 AOOTD 07 26 2017 B

I found this loud, rayon twill (with some stretch) fabric in my stash and have no idea where it came from. Did someone give it to me? Did I steal it? I don’t know. BUT, I also ordered Vogue 9257 for the super wide legged trousers and they seemed a good match. This is also my first actual zippered fly front–in theater we never make things with zippers if hooks will do, and I typically make pants with side zippers.

So, I love the pants, but I HATE them with this blouse. After wearing them this way I switched to a red, loose blouse that was far better. Sadly, it has not been photographed.

Book Review: The Art Forger (Quite Good!)


The Art Forger, B. A. Shapiro

Really interesting, strong female character? Check. Fascinating look into the world of counterfeit art? Check. Suspense, drama, this book really had it all and I found it immensely enjoyable. Kirkus noted that it was a stronger on process than on plot, but the process was so fascinating that I didn’t mind that yes, one could poke some holes in the plot if one were feeling pokey, but I was too interested in the descriptions of painting, copying a great painter’s work exactly, and the main character’s internal ethical struggle  to worry about that. 3.5 Stars.

OOTD: Patchwork

OOTD 07 24 2017 BOOTD 07 24 2017 A

So, maybe two years ago, I got obsessed with making my own patchwork fabric. I made maybe three, four garments and lost interest, putting the whole project in the closet instead of listing it on Etsy as planned. This is one of those pieces, along with a cute top I got at La Tienda de Jardin and a necklace I found on clearance at Lulu. Also some cute MukLuk sandals that Choux has since, sadly, destroyed.