Summer Capsule Wardrobe

posted in: Capsule Wardrobes | 0

Recently I’ve been very interested in the idea of a capsule wardrobe; essentially a simplified and versatile wardrobe with minimal pieces. I’ve been working on simplifying my life and belongings and it’s also perfect timing for something like this since we’ll be moving 3 times this summer & fall (it will be a little crazy)!

I came across this awesome website, Project 333, which has great info and decided to try the project 333 challenge which means you try to live with only 33 clothing and accessory items for 3 months. These 33 items include clothing, shoes, purses, jewelry (which I didn’t include in mine, but will try next time), outerwear, and any accessories. You don’t include things like underwear, socks, sleepwear, or work-out clothes. Seems simple?

Creating my project 333 wardrobe was an interesting challenge, these were the main things I considered when building my wardrobe:

  • Lifestyle/everyday wear – since I don’t work in an office or require business attire I usually dress fairly casually
  • Versatile garments – can they be dressed up or down? Can they be worn different ways?
  • The weather – summers in BC can get pretty hot but can also be rainy and chilly
  • Colours – I like grey as a neutral and then adding colours that work together (a lot of the project 333 wardrobes I’ve seen online tend to rely heavily on black, but some color is always nice in the summer)

I think it’s easiest to start by pulling out the clothes you wear most often (hopefully your favorites) and then building from there. This is also a good time to remove any clothes that you no longer wear.

This is what I ended up with!

 

My summer capsule wardrobe consists of:

  • 1 pair of jeans – dark wash skinny jeans
  • 3 pairs of shorts – plaid denim, grey high-waist chambray, & mustard velvet
  • 2 skirts – red chiffon maxi, & pleated blue shorter skirt (made from this dress!)
  • 1 blazer – rust colored boxy fit
  • 1 casual jacket – white over-sized
  • 1 cardigan – loose-fit cotton
  • 1 flannel button-up – plaid red/navy
  • 1 blouse – cream loose-fit
  • 2 dresses – one casual linen & one fancier strapless
  • 1 crop top – matches blue skirt (the skirt and top actually used to be a dress)
  • 4 t-shirts – drapey olive green, loose grey, v-neck grey, & fitted black
  • 3 tank tops – fitted turquiose, looser navy, and trapeze silk
  • 1 belt – brown
  • 1 hat – cotton
  • 1 scarf – multi-coloured stripes
  • 4 shoes – boots, nude heels, sandals, & flats
  • 3 bags – 1 large black, 1 medium white clutch, 1 small yellow

= 31 total!

So I actually ended up 2 short. Now I decided not to include jewelry because I usually only wear just a necklace (which I guess could count as another of the 33 items) but when I do wear jewelry I like to stack a lot of bracelets or wear multiple rings so I easily could have used half of the 33 items just on jewelry. Since this is my first time I’m going to try without including jewelry and depending how it goes, I might try including it next time. Also since I didn’t hit 33, I’m leaving the last items open (I honestly had a lot of trouble selecting other things I might want) and will fill them in if I feel like there’s something else I really need.

**I filmed an update video about how my first project 333 capsule wardrobe worked out.

If you are also doing project 333, building a capsule wardrobe, or just simplifying your closet, please let me know. I would love to see yours and hear any tips you have!

 

Makeup Collection Makeover

posted in: Natural Beauty | 0

My makeup detox is pretty much finished. Using almost all natural beauty products for the last month or so I have already noticed improvements in my skin and I feel so much better using only cruelty-free products.

Simplifying felt great, going through by makeup I realized there were so many products I hardly ever used. I found it easiest to start my replacing the products I use everyday (mascara, concealer, brown powder/pencil, blush, and a face powder) and then build from there. Here is my old and new makeup collection:

My switch to natural makeup

 (there is arrowroot powder in the yellow tin)

My makeup bag is much smaller which I love and it means I now actually use all the products I own! So far every new product I’ve tried has been comparable, most even better than, what I had before. I’ve found the hardest thing has been having to order makeup online and not being able to get a very good sense on what the colour is actually like.

I am continuing to try new brands to find the products that I really love and will be making videos for my YouTube channel about different natural beauty products. I also always appreciate any recommendations!

How To Turn A Dress Into A Skirt

posted in: DIY Projects | 0

If you have a dress that you’re a little tired of, turning it into a skirt is a perfect way to give it new life. Depending on your dress you can even make matching separates (I like my results so much I even included them in my summer capsule wardrobe)!

This is a tutorial designed for a fitted dress with a waist seam* and a zipper. It is a project that requires some basic sewing skills, a sewing machine, pins, thread, a pair of scissors, and an iron is also helpful. You might also want a hook and eye and depending on your skirt, some elastic, grosgrain ribbon, or bias tape – see step 7.

Dress to Skirt sewing tutorial

 

*If your dress doesn’t have a waist seam, you can still turn it into a skirt but you will have to draw a line at the waist and cut above that, you might also need to add elastic or a band to ensure that it fits your waist.

 

Here’s how you do it:

Separate1. Zip the zipper to the very bottom (it’s important that the zip stays at the bottom, because you will be cutting the zipper and need to make sure it doesn’t come off).

2. Unpick the area at and above the waist seam, unpick through all stitching in this area (roughly 1-2 in.) so the zipper is unattached.

3. Cut above the waist seam all around the fabric (I cut about a 1/2 in. above the waist because I still want to make a cropped top with the top part, if you don’t want to use the top part, I would recommend cutting about 1 in. above the waist seam).

4. Cut the zipper (between the teeth if metal) about another 1/4 in. above where you cut the waist.

5. Press down the cut edge along the original waist seam. If your dress has a lining or waistband (like mine) ie. you had to cut through multiple layers, press the cut edges towards each other creating a clean finish.

Press

 

6. Take the zipper ends and bend behind the waist seam, pinning and hand-tacking in place.

pin zipper
inside zipper view

– Either fold the cut end over the zipper or sandwich between outside and inside layers. This is a great trick for shortening any zippers at the top. If you want, for extra security you can also hand sew a thread stop at the top by wrapping thread between the teeth at the end.

Pin Zipper
outside zipper view

 

7. Stitch along top edge, stitching down the cut edge and trapping the zipper (be careful stitching around zipper teeth! It’s a good idea to just use the handwheel in that area so you don’t wreck your needles on the zipper).

– Depending how you want your waistband to look and feel there are a few different optional ways of finishing the waist:

  • you can add a grosgrain ribbon on the inside for stability and a clean finish
  • you can stitch on an elastic if it needs to more fitted
  • you can add bias tape to the inside edge for a clean finish
  • you can also top-stitch across at multiple allowances for stability and a top-stitch look

Finished zipper

* Your waist will have stitching along the top. My waist band had a flap over it, so I decided to stitch under the flap.

8. After everything is finished on the waist, you can also add a hook and eye at the top of the zipper. This will relieve pressure on the zipper (so it won’t unzip while you’re wearing it!) and will hold the waist seam.

 

I hope these instruction are clear, if you have any questions please ask! Also if you’ve tried this project I would love to see your new skirt!

 

 

DIY Scrap Material Bunny

posted in: DIY Projects | 0

Have small pieces of fabric? Why not make this little bunny.

DIY little bunny - free sewing pattern

 

It was designed to use up scrap fabric from some of the clothing projects I’ve recently made. You can click on the picture or this link to be taken to the Fallow Slow Goods blog where you can view and save the pdf pattern which can be printed on a regular sheet of paper.

This little bunny looks great made out of all kinds of material – especially printed pieces! The finished project is about 5in tall, but you can also scale up or down the pattern on your computer if you want to make it in different sizes.

Happy sewing!

Fair Trade Style

posted in: Fashion Picks | 0

May 10th 2014 – today is World Fair Trade Day! So for this eco style post I’ve found pretty, feminine, fairly made products in celebration of spring and beautiful women around the world!

Feminine & Fair Trade summer fashion | Verena Erin

This group of clothing and accessories includes:

1. Sunshine Check scarf by Indigo Handloom, made from 100% cotton hand-woven in India, find it on Indigo Handloom shop.

2. Abigail Embroidered Top hand embroidered cotton, made by a fair trade women’s group in Bangladesh, find it on People Tree.

3. Scout Dress by Samantha Pleet, 100% silk and fairly made in India, find it on Ethica.

4. Tinted Lip and Cheek Balm by Mullein & Sparrow, made from natural, organic and fair trade ingredients, find it on Helpsy.

5. Tigist: Kaleidoscope Bracelet, made from recycled metals in Ethiopia, find it on Raven + Lily.

6. Diana Cut Out Dress made from 100% cotton by Artisan Hut, a fair trade group in Bangladesh, find it on People Tree.

 

Makeup Detox – Natural & Eco Friendly Beauty

posted in: Natural Beauty | 0

I am currently in the process of detoxing my makeup – replacing my current beauty and personal care products/brands with non-toxic, eco-friendly, and cruelty-free alternatives. I’m doing this for health (there are some pretty terrible chemicals in cosmetics that I don’t want to keep putting on my skin), environmental, and ethical reasons.

At first I thought this would mean a lot of sacrifices and not finding my favorite colours and comparable products, but I was completely wrong! With some research and advice from a lovely makeup artist, Kimberly King, who specializes in natural and eco-friendly makeup, I was able to get some amazing products.

I’m most impressed with the quality of the natural cosmetics I’ve tried and even noticing improvements in my skin. They do cost more than drugstore makeup, but I think the quality and knowing you’re getting a non-toxic and ethical product is worth the extra cost.

I recently did a Q&A with Kim after a shoot we did together where she talks about clean and eco-friendly makeup and shares some of her product recommendations:

 

Tell us a bit about yourself and when you became interested in being a makeup artist…

Hi! My name is Kim. I’m a 22 year old professional makeup artist, green beauty junkie, and holistic lifestyle blogger. I first became interested in becoming a makeup artist while still in high school. I have always loved art, creativity, and freedom of expression. I wanted a career where I could experience something new and different each day and, most importantly, have fun! After a couple years in the industry, and experiencing my own health issues, I started researching and began to realize how toxic the current beauty industry really is. From then on, I decided to re-create my business based around my core values – protecting our health and the environment.

 

When did you start using natural beauty products and what made you switch?

I began making the switch last year, when my own health issues began to worsen, and I started to really look into the lifestyle I was living. I would spend countless hours researching for reliable sources on all I could find about the beauty industry, learning about toxic ingredients, labor practices, animal cruelty, corporate corruption, and much more. It was shocking and overwhelming, to say the least, but it was enough for me to take the first steps and begin being part of the solution towards a healthier beauty industry.

 

Do you have any advice for someone wanting to do a ‘makeup detox’?

Baby steps! Start slowly – if you go through everything and throw it out all at once, you’ll just end up feeling overwhelmed and discouraged. Begin with the products used daily, as these are the ones the skin is exposed to the most, and decide on a natural alternative before tossing what you have. Use the internet to look up reviews from others who have already tried the product, blogs of natural makeup artists, and other trusted, reliable resources. Many websites also offer samples, which is a fantastic way to test it out before you buy. Lastly, use your own two hands and create something! There are millions of DIY tutorials out there on natural makeup products – just be sure to use only clean and natural ingredients that are safe for use on the skin!

 

What is something you find people are usually surprised to learn about their beauty products?

I find many people are surprised to learn that you don’t need synthetic preservatives to extend the shelf life, many of which are probable carcinogens and endocrine disruptors. Many essential oils have antimicrobial, antifungal, and antibacterial properties, providing a safe and natural way of preserving products! As far as conventional products go, I find people are surprised to learn about what ingredients are actually in the products and the effect they have on the human body. Many conventional products contain ingredients such as lead, formaldehyde, dioxin, hidden animal products, synthetic colors and additives. These have been linked to effects such as cancer, tumors, behavioral symptoms like ADHD and depression, allergies and birth defects. Even if these chemicals are found only in minute amounts, when using all these products daily, you’re getting long-term exposure to these harmful ingredients. Although we can’t completely protect ourselves from all the toxins and chemicals in the environment, we can choose to use healthy, earth-friendly products, without all the harmful side effects.

 

Do you have a beauty philosophy?

It’s important to be mindful of not only of what we put on our bodies, but also what we put IN our bodies. When a diet is lacking in important vitamins and minerals, and too high in junk, processed foods, and sugar, it can show up through our skin. Many skin disorders such as acne, rosacea, and eczema, can significantly improve by a simple change in diet. Along with the food we eat, lifestyle choices can have a huge impact on our skin as well. Lack of sleep and exercise, dehydration, and stress are just a few examples of lifestyle factors that have a negative effect our skin. Try to incorporate more natural whole foods into your day, stay hydrated, go for a walk, and don’t forget to relax! It’s great for your skin!

 

Natural, organic, cruelty-free makeup look by Kim King | Verena Erin

 

What products did you use to create this look?

For Andjela’s look, I used the following products:

Moisturizer: Bubble & Bee Organic Face Cream

Lip Balm: Epic Blend Hemp Vanilla Lip Balm

Foundation: Sappho Organic Cosmetics liquid foundation in Mia

Setting Powder: Sappho Organic Cosmetics Silky Setting Powder

Blush: 100% Pure Fruit Pigmented Blush in Strawberry

Eye Shadow: Naked Cosmetics Mother Nature #5

Eye Liner: Naked Cosmetics Sierra Nevada #6

Mascara: 100% Pure Fruit Pigmented Mascara in Black Tea

Lipstick: Vapour Organic Beauty Siren Lipstick 

Lipgloss: Lippygirl Extra Virgin Lip Gloss

 

 

 

If someone wanted a simple, everyday makeup kit, what are a few products you would recommend starting with?

I would recommend starting with foundation, either in liquid or powder, depending on your preference and skin type. Sappho Organic Cosmetics has a great line of liquid foundation, and Everyday Minerals is fantastic for powder. Blush and mascara are great additions to any everyday makeup kit. My personal favorites right now are 100% Pure Fruit Pigmented Blush in Strawberry and Peach and 100% Pure Fruit Pigmented Mascara in Black Tea and Dark Chocolate. Organic Extra Virgin Coconut Oil is a number one staple in my beauty and skincare routine. I can’t recommend it enough! I also love Epic Blend Hemp Lip Balm and Giddy Yoyo Raw Love Butter – the texture and scents are amazing.

 

It’s getting warmer- any favorite looks or makeup advice for summer?

Definitely protect your skin! Use a natural sunscreen (my personal go-to is Badger Sport Sunscreen Cream SPF 35). Cover up when the sun is most intense and remember to re-apply your sunscreen after extended periods or long swimming sessions. As for makeup, stick to a more natural look and avoid using cream foundations or heavy moisturizers as they tend to cake up and can even melt in the heat. Consider taking a break from makeup altogether and let your skin breathe (but don’t forget the SPF!). If it’s a special occasion, a bright colored lipstick looks fantastic with a nude face. Also, don’t forget to adjust the shade of your foundation to match your tan!

 

 

Thanks for the great info Kim!

Happy healthy beauty everyone!! xx

 

Shapes & Shadows – Eco Collection

posted in: Fashion Picks | 0

A collection of geometric prints, unique shapes, cut-out details, and high contrast, neutral color combinations. While this group of sustainable summer picks does follow some current trends (and I definitely don’t promote trend-driven shopping!), I chose these pieces because they are all very wearable, transitional, and versatile. Neutrals like black, white, and beige easily integrate into your wardrobe, adding stylish eco-friendly elements to your current outfits.

Summer 2014 eco style picks

 

This group of clothing and accessories includes:

1. Matea Weekender Bag by Mercado Global, hand-woven 100% cotton and made in Guatemala, find it on Zady.

2. Mrs. Bogart straw floppy hat by Goorin Bros, 100% straw and made in the USA, find it on Goorin Bros shop.

3. Arrayan Bracelet by Palma Collection, handcrafted by artisans from the tagua nut (vegetable ivory), find it on Modavanti.

4. Leaf Tank crop top by Samantha Pleet, made fair-trade in India from cotton and wool, find it on Ethica.

5. High-rise Shorts by Study, 100% cotton and made by a weaving cooperative in Uganda, find it on Ethica.

6. Tyler – Graphite shoe by Bhava, made from recycled ultrasuede, organic cotton and reclaimed wood, find it on Modavanti.

7. Srey: Printed Pocket Tank Dress, ethically made in Cambodia from remnant jersey, find it on Raven + Lily.

8. Alem: String Tassel Necklace, handmade from recycled metal beads (melted down from bullet casings), find it on Raven + Lily.

9. Palm Dress by Daniel Silverstein, 100% silk and made in the USA, find it on Ethica.

 

What are your favorite sustainable fashion pieces for summer?

 

Summer Sky – Eco Collection

posted in: Fashion Picks | 0

Living in Vancouver summer *hopefully* means seeing a lot more of the beautiful blue sky. Also indigo is one of my favorite colours – so for my first style post I compiled some blue themed, eco-friendly and ethical summer items from online boutiques.

 

Eco Style - Summer Sky picks by Verena Erin

There is a shade of blue for everyone and all of these items could integrate well into a current wardrobe; adding either a classic touch of blue or an interesting and unique statement piece to your outfits.

 

Learn more about these products:

1. Indigo Pocket T-Shirt by The West Is Dead, 100% cotton and made in the USA, find it on Zady

2. Anena Beach Bag by Catrinka Project, 100% cotton – seed to sewn in Uganda, find it on Modavanti

3. Level Dress by Mary Meyer, digitally printed cotton/silk and made in India, find it on Ethica

4. Nail polish in Caleigh by Scotch Naturals, non-toxic & eco friendly, find it on The Green Kiss

5. Takara Kali Bracelet, hand-cast bronze and indigo dyed silk, find it on Beklina

6. Graphic Pencil Skirt by Osei Duro, 100% hand-dyed linen and made in Ghana, find it on Beklina

7. Erie Dress by Allison Wonderland, 100% linen and made in Canada, find it on Allison Wonderland Shop

 

 

 

1 2 3 4 5 6 7