05 March 2011

I caved, OPI "Take the Stage" Swatch

After my high dungeon speech about OPI turning on its customers and requiring full price sales only, I was inundated by Burlesque swatches.

I was grabbed and shaken about by "Take the Stage" a strongly red copper almost glass flecked shimmer.  Being that I also came across a sale, I purchased it ... and perhaps "Rising Star" and "Tease-y Does it!" came along as well.

Now that I have applied "Take the Stage" I cannot understand all the gushing OPI love I keep reading for Burlesque.  This thing is almost a nightmare to work with.  It doesn't have enough pigment and the first coat is a streaky, smeary mess.  The followup with a second coat just reveals all the cuticle drag and bare spots from the first coat. 

Take the Stage is basically a heavy micro glitter in clear coat.  As such, the streakyness is very bothersome to me.  I do not see it so much in photographs, but in person the problems are obvious.  In the photograph, the outer edge of my pointer finger has a long streak (left side in the picture).

It probably needs a third coat, but I don't have that much patience.  Especially since this dries really, really slowly.  It is not as bad as an Orly for me, but it is close.  I ended up having to redo two nails after 30 minutes of drying resulted in severe smudging.  I don't know what I caught them on, but they looked horrid.

So even though the color is spectacular, the formula is horrendous.  Just not worth it.

AND, obvious VNL at two coats.

Tossed into my give away pile.

Luckily, very little from the "Texas" collection is calling to me.  I feel a slight need to defend the state against such a poorly thought out color story.  I will only say that it is obvious a native was NOT consulted.  We would never have given approval.

Additionally, OPI's "Smok'n in Havana" re-release keeps whispering to me.  But everytime it "pssts" in my ear, I look back to my Take the Stage photos and think, "Naah."

I still haven't tried "Rising Star."  I figure it will have the same issues as "Take the Stage."  Luckily, "Tease-y Does It!" has a pigmented base, making the wearing experience far more satisfying than "Take the Stage."  Weather did not co-operate for photographs.  Next time.

Conclusion, OPI really lets the warm toned down collection after collection.  It is either nothing but bad colors, or a good color with a craptastic formula.  Hey, Zoya, whaddya got goin' on?

McCall's 4249 - Indian Salwar Kameez

Since Halloween fell on a weekend in 2010, AND it was Renaissance months at the Texas Renaissance Fair (it runs for about two months in the Fall), I needed something fun to wear to our Sunday fun day at the Renaissance for the 31st of October.

The festival, as most of them seem to be these days, is a chest fest.  You've never seen so many pecs and so much cleavage in your life!  A cell biologist would be in heaven ... there's cleavage here and cleavage there and cleavage everywhere ... Oh, geologists would like it too ... cleavage, cleavage, cleavage.

So I pulled out my costume patterns, unearthed the carnival patterns from my Burda World of Fashion, and started planning out a typical Renaissance Fair Gown.  But then reality intruded and I thought, "Where will I ever wear this?"  If it will be useless to me after one wear, I don't have a great deal of urge to complete the project.

Another pattern lurking in my costume collection is McCall's 4249, it contains a "belly dancing" costume and a Salwar Kameez costume.

Granted, I couldn't see wearing the Salwar portion of the costume, the pants, anywhere else.  BUT, I could see wearing the Kameez over other pants for work.  So began a long search through Indian and Pakistani modern dress sites and runway shots.  I came to the conclusion that both pieces of the suit come in a vast array of styles.  There are short or tight versions of the salwar available.  And kameez come in lengths from mid-calf to tunic (mid-hip).  I could do anything I wanted and still have a fairly authentic Indian costume.

Then I had to start looking through the stash. 

I chose two pieces of rayon, one embossed and one plain woven, to complement each other.  The top went together in two days, and the pants were completed even more quickly.

Pushing a size 16/18 in patterns for pants, the 12 was waaay too small.  I enlarged the pattern a bit, but not enough.  They were still a touch tight at the lower thigh when sitting.  And I felt that they were far too large at the ankle, but my calves kept me from narrowing the lower leg anymore.  I suspect some strategic pinning in the photography examples on the pattern front.

I actually put a wide black rayon spandex waistband in these, to reduce bulk and make it more comfortable.  Except for the pulling when sitting, the pants were remarkably comfortable.  Now I know why it is the chosen style of dress for a large portion of the world. 

The kameez is a nice pattern with a gusset, first time I've ever used a gusset before.  And I loved it.  I had such range of motion.  Definitely something more of my clothing should have.

Considering how much I have to lengthen bodices (two inches), I often feel the necklines are too high.  And I did feel this one was a touch too high, but better than adding to the cleavage population at the Festival.  Besides, I plan to wear this to work, where such displays are distracting.

The bodice was self-lined and I slit the top fairly high, making pockets easily reachable.  Even in a 12 (I measure to a 14), the bodice is too big, and I will take it in (mostly at bodice front) should I make it again. 

I was stopped on our way out by a lady who commented, "I love your outfit.  It looks so comfortable."  And it was.  Nothing was binding, no body parts had to be hiked into uncomfortable positions, and all my undergarments fit easily underneath. 

Now I have to figure out what to make for Ren Fest 2011.

The hubster went in Swiss Camouflage,  an SPH4 Helicopter Pilot Helmet, and menacing face covering.  He got a LOT of attention.  The pattern "Alpenflage" is not necessarily uncommon, but still a rarity to non military buffs.