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If I had I daughter, I would name her Audrey...

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Read it

Fifth Avenue, 5 a.m. by Sam Wasson

An engrossing retrospective on Audrey Hepburn’s film career and the daring way she used her shortcomings to redefine style.

 

Wear It

Vintage copper bracelet, Week Five Slow Clothes. Thanks for reading, Chiquita!

It’s already Week 6 of the Slow Clothes challenge (wearing vintage/thrift/handmade clothes at least once a week all year long). Last week was busy. I got all the way to Sunday without making a post for Week 5. ”Who cares?” I thought. “Nobody is reading anyway.” I think all bloggers occasionally have defeatist thoughts like this.

But just when I thought no one was looking I was busted–at church on Sunday morning. “Is that dress vintage?” my friend Chiquita asked.  It was not. “You didn’t post this week!” she said.  That’s what I love about good friends. They not only care; they keep you accountable to your word. Fortunately, I salvaged the week  and my integrity when I glanced down and realized I was wearing a copper vintage bracelet. I bought it 15 years ago at a family estate sale. We think it belonged to my husband’s great aunt. Evidently, Aunt Grace traveled the world and bought jewelry almost everywhere she went.

Learn It

If you really think about it, you’re at your very best when you are learning. Your mind is wide open. You’re present, eager, and engrossed. Time stands still.

I hope you had a lot of those moments this summer. I sure did. It started in New Orleans at a library conference.  I love the gaudy extravagance of New Orleans. When I wasn’t conferencing, I window-shopped, ate, and visited old friends.

Making the most of a morning lull in New Orleans, Robert Mullens, owner of G20.

The Mullens, owners of G20 in New Orleans

 

I met Robert Mullen and his wife, who own G20 Apparel, a jazzy little shop on Iberville just across from the Ritz Carlton. I rounded the corner on a morning walk and there he was doing chin-ups from the doorframe of his shop. There’s something to admire: finding a way to incorporate exercise during life’s little intermissions.

Their shop is filled with fun, affordable fashions. I would have come home with a pair of shoes if it weren’t for my narrow shoe size. G20 is great place for young women looking for something cute to wear for a night out on the town.

La Red Rooster, a New Orleans hat shop

Just around the corner from G2O Apparel was a neglected hat shop, La Red Rooster. I’m a nut about hats. Actually, I’d wear one everyday if it weren’t for the weird way people look at you—because I’m better in a hat than without. It looked as though someone walked off and left this store. Or maybe they lacked the gift for merchandising. But the hats were adorable!

Down the street from La Red Rooster, I fell in love with this sign over a dress shop with outrageous dresses in the window. We don’t have signs like this in Indianapolis.

What does a doggie blogger wear to a social media/tech conference?

My next mind-bending experience was Blog Indiana, a two-day conference co-founded by Shawn Plew and Noah Coffey. It’s a banner event for web, tech and social media people in Indiana–stupendously well-organized and informative for anyone involved in these fields. Put it on your must-do list for next summer. Plew and Coffey founded the event in 2008 and it has grown organically since then based on the rapidly growth and development of technology. I learn tons here every year. And I get to meet famous people/dogs like Blue, the Butler mascot. Blue has his own blog. If I had a dog, he would blog, too.

I finished summer with training in two hobbies: sewing and fitness. I’ve been sewing since I was in high school, but other than some decorative sewing, I hadn’t made a garment in years. Sewing seems like a perfect way to slow down the shopping impulse and be a little more deliberate about what we choose to wear. That’s the Big Idea behind the Slow Clothes Challenge. I want to make some clothes during this year-long challenge. How about you?

Making this dress for Becca reminded me of the many dresses my grandmother made for me. It's very rewarding to sew for little people.

I started small with a dress for my great niece Becca. In a heartbeat I realized that my skills had gone to pot. What can you do about that when you’re decades away from your last high school home-ec class? Attend a conference, of course! Fortunately, Indianapolis has an active community of seamstresses. One way to meet them is through the local chapter of the American Sewing Guild, which holds its annual expo in August.

Judy Kessinger, FitNice Systems, with her husband Bob, who minds the store while she's giving trunk shows.

That’s how I met Judy Kessinger and her husband Bob. Based in Louisville, KY, Judy has built a business (FitNiceSystems.com) teaching people how to make clothes with a customized fit.  She’s funny, pretty, smart, entertaining—and a hugely inspiring teacher for anyone who wants to enjoy making beautiful things to wear.  Her mantra: taking the stress out of seamstress.

Like a good golf pro, Judy makes you believe you can do it. For those of us with perfectionistic tendencies, she poses this question: “Who looks at the inside of your garments?” I attended her pants workshop and walked away prepared to make the perfect pair of slacks. I’m just a hemline away from wearing them. Her class was loaded with helpful tips that trim time and make things easier when you sew.

If you can’t attend one of the retreats she offers in Louisville or Los Angeles (she lives in L.A. five months a year) you can buy one of her videos and learn–although it won’t be nearly as much fun as spending time with Judy. I stalked this poor woman for two days trying to get a decent photo in the dim light of the expo hall. During that time, I stood back and observed countless others saying the same thing: “You inspired me!” I am now a member of her unofficial fan club.

Shi, Pilates and water aerobics instructor, fellow seamstress in arms. I caught up to her digging through this bin!

When I arrived at the Expo, there was Shi, my water aerobics instructor. Another seamstress! I had no idea!  We worked side by side on our pants and compared notes afterwards. Shi has been my water class instructor for the past two years, giving me another fun way to incorporate more cardio exercise in my fitness routine. I’ve enjoyed these classes so much that I decided to get certified to teach this summer.  I’ll be taking the test later this week.

And that’s the end of one bodacious summer of learning. What did you learn this summer? Share it with us!