Dreaming of Spring Flowers and Bike Skirts

The freezing cold temperatures, crazy strong wind and predicted snowfall isn’t the only reason why I am currently dreaming of spring flowers and bike skirts. I’ve been busy with both all weekend! Well, sort of.

For starters, I made the McCalls 6794 blouse out of the Liberty of London for Target duvet cover that I’ve had waiting for me. It went together pretty quickly and I am very excited by the result. I didn’t realize how tricky it is to tie a bow behind one’s back, but I’m sure I’ll get better at it with time.

The orange reflective fabric is heavy enough that I stitched it to the seam allowance to reduce the pull on the seam itself. I love that this is so flattering, with just one big piece of fabric in the back, and the sash stitched on in the front. I love sashes.

I have always loved Liberty of London fabrics, but this spring, I am clearly not the only one obsessed with floral prints. Shops everywhere seem to have large floral print clothing!

I really love the Land’s End floral tee and will no doubt order it soon-ish. But the Land’s End Floral Pants, the Nordstrom Topshop floral pants, the Zara floral pants, and the ASOS floral pants are all wonderful and definitely make me want a pair (okay, all of them!). A suit, not so much, but I might consider a blazer. The Talbots blouse I love because it is stripes AND floral print, my two favorite patterns in one of my favorite color combinations, gray and pink, but it’s almost too corporate for my taste, so I’m not sure.  These floral prints remind me of medieval tapestries, like the Unicorn tapestries in The Cloisters in New York. That might be less “spring” than the Liberty of London print of my new top, but I appreciate the slightly more mysterious designs, especially for pants.

"The Unicorn in Captivity - Google Art Project" by Unknown - 6QHwPO4q4grNtA at Google Cultural Institute, zoom level maximum. Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons - http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:The_Unicorn_in_Captivity_-_Google_Art_Project.jpg#mediaviewer/File:The_Unicorn_in_Captivity_-_Google_Art_Project.jpg

The Unicorn in Captivity tapestry (“The Unicorn in Captivity – Google Art Project” by Unknown – 6QHwPO4q4grNtA at Google Cultural Institute, zoom level maximum. Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons – http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:The_Unicorn_in_Captivity_-_Google_Art_Project.jpg#mediaviewer/File:The_Unicorn_in_Captivity_-_Google_Art_Project.jpg)

But floral prints are not the only reason why I am fantasizing about spring and warmer weather. I recently met Lara Neece, of Forest and Fin, and talked about her new bike skirt design. An artist in Savannah, GA, she has a great collection of earth-friendly silk screened tee shirts with her own designs of birds and foxes and things. I love the Lovebirds Tee. She has also designed a bicycle wrap skirt and is in the process of having samples made and setting up her Kickstarter. Since she was visiting the DC area, we arranged to meet and chat, and I got to try on the skirt (okay, over my pants in the cafe….). It is lovely, nice and full, with some innovative details that I will let her share once her Kickstarter is launched. Lara is focusing on having the skirt made as sustainably as possible, but is still conscious of the price point, which is appreciated. I encourage you to follow her on Twitter and Instagram as well as her website and blog for updates on her skirt. It made me wish for spring and summer, because there is nothing better than biking in a skirt! A skirt, sandals, tee shirt or tank top… ah warm weather! How many days left until Spring?!

This is not the typical winter temperature here, brr! #dislike

This is not the typical winter temperature here, brr! #dislike

Crafting a Bike Helmet Wedding Veil

The Mechanic and I are having a real wedding, with an outdoor ceremony, a real photographer, a real wedding dress, a reception, and so on, for about 30 guests. We are also doing the European-style civil, aka legal, wedding a few days before. The original idea was to just bike to Arlington County city hall, do a quick legal ceremony, and have my brother “officiate” at the real wedding. Although the original plans have changed a bit, we still aim to bike to city hall. Actually, in Arlington, there is no city hall – it will be an approved “civil celebrant” lawyer’s office. Much less romantic, although the officiant looks like a character, and I look forward to him conducting the ceremony.

Back to the bike part – I bought a new dress to wear that day, something I could bike in, wear at the rehearsal dinner, and take on the honeymoon in the bottom of that giant travel pack. Huzzah for Lands’ End! But I decided it would be fun to have a veil on my bike helmet. Why not?! If we want biking to be considered a complete transportation option, why can’t I bike to my wedding wearing a veil?! So guess what I made tonight?

I bought white tulle and glitter tulle at JoAnn Fabrics, and added my navy blue reflective grosgrain. The glitter from the tulle goes everywhere! But it matches my silver glitter Nutcase helmet, so that makes me happy. The glitter on everything in the apartment? Not so much.

I’m pretty happy with the results, but fully acknowledge that I threw this together in about an hour, and it is not fancy sewing at all. But for one use only, it doesn’t matter what it looks like, it’s the effect I’m going for that matters!

Alas, now I have to wait until next month to put the whole outfit together! Don’t worry, I’ll share photos of the veil in action on the Big Day.

(My friend LilyLadyBlue made the earrings and necklace and they are so lovely! I can’t wait to wear them either. I might sneak in an early showing of those, instead of waiting until June… Check out her Etsy shop !)