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I am a mother, a new grandmother, and a teacher. But whatever happens in my life, I keep sewing. I have worked as a political communicator and now as a teacher in my formal life. I have also written extensively on sewing. I have been a frequent contributor and contributing editor of Threads magazine and the Australian magazine Dressmaking with Stitches. My first book Sew.. the garment-making book of knowledge will be published in May 2018 and is available for pre-order from Amazon


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Sunday, July 14, 2013

Vogue 8880

It seems to me that I have been cooking for the last month and my sewing has been quick and easy.

I decided that I needed something cool to wear with skirts and had some lovely swiss dot that I thought would be comfortable to wear.

So to be the last person to get on the peplum bandwagon before it left the station and I decided to make Vogue 8880:

Here it is on Vogue's favourite crabby model.

And here it is on me, less crabby I hope in two views. One I think is a better picture of me and one that is a better picture of the top, construction wise. The skirt is the Magic shirt in stretch cotton poplin made last summer:

I am pretty pleased with this top from the wearablilty point of view, and will probably make another one with longer sleeves in a knit at some point. 

O.K. I have a styling question for you.

I got new glasses. 

I felt I needed an update but so far around here the only person who likes these glasses is Miss Scarlett. She is three and also thinks wearing sparkly princess crowns is the best way to dress up so her's is a minority opinion stylewise. I told my daughter that I thought I needed to look hipper and she pointed out that was fine except I am not exactly hip (your own kids tend to miss these things in you) and she wonders if I have spent too much time in the East Village this year. Personally I am not sure I have spent enough time in the East Village.


Over the last year I have let my hair go natural a.k.a. grey owning to the fact that hair dye does not one damn good thing to my hair, even my hairdresser says she has never seen any head get so frizzy and fried with the mildest of all formuals (she muttered something about my hair was short on protein, which didn't seem to me to be a highly scientific analysis).

Anyway I need some honest second opinions since it seems to me that these new grey glasses are bringing out the grey in my hair, so my question is - should I colour it? Hair dye is cheaper than new glasses.

Does anyone know of any really natural DIY haircolour that works - there are a few around, but I have no idea if they are a good idea or not.

I am thinking this through because I have no intention of fading out, owing to the fact I am hipper than they know.

What do you think?


KayoticSewing said...

Barbara, In my opinion, the hair color suits you fine.. the glass frames could use some color though.

There are lot of online stores where you can get prescription glasses for $25 or so.. You can upload your pictures to see if the frame suited your face.

Pamela said...

I love the hair and I love the glasses! Would you consider seeing how they look with a softer shade of lipstick?

Anonymous said...

As a fan of the natural hair and lighter glasses, I'm wondering if the hair, glasses and white top are a bit too much light color all at once? Not that its a great hot weather solution, but maybe something colorful at the neck of the white top? Scarf or big beads that tone in with the skirt?


Sheila said...

When I gave up colouring my hair tried light frames-silver. They made me look washed out so went to a mid to darker coloured frame which looked balanced. In past when I wanted a colour of frames that I could not buy, I popped the lenses out and used a pot of Humbrol paint-what is used to paint model planes/trains etc. Paint lasted several years until new lenses were needed. Another thrifty idea is buy cheap frames in colour you want and have lenses cut down to fit?

margk said...

Barbara, your hair looks great. In my own experience, I can't wear colours quite as strong as before my hair went grey. (But I definitely can't wear pastels either thank goodness! ) maybe get your "colours" done with your natural hair colour...love your blog!

Sandra said...

I like that top on you, a lot. I think I'll have to add 8880 to my wish list. Okay, about hair color and glasses. You cannot imagine how much I wish I had advice for you, but I am in the same boat. Except that in March, I colored my hair myself, then had to use Clairol Oops, yes a real product, to remove the pink, which left me with clown hair. Ay-yi-yi. So I will be watching these comments closely. About the glasses, I like them on you, and I think there is nothing wrong with taking style tips from three-year-old girls. ;) They are unencumbered, those little cuties.

Anna Christina said...

I think it would be a shame to color your hair when you have such a beautiful shade of grey. Many women covet that look. Your glasses are cute, but I once had a pair that washed out my coloring and know how frustrating that can be. It doesn't seem to be a problem in your pictures, but a second pair of inexpensive glasses might be good for days when you want to wear less vibrant colors.

Marie-Noƫlle Lafosse said...

I love the hair and glasses too.
I am totally with you about or kids missing our hip side.
Sorry I can't help with the hair dye.

Shirley Ann said...

I'm 45 and thinking of stopping the endless battle of color with my hair. It doesn't last long, permanent or temporary, and does more damage than good. I think your hair color looks lovely and the glasses look nice. I see you and not your glasses. Love the blouse and the skirt.

Pam from South Australia said...

Barbara I let my hair return to steel grey just over 12 months ago. I feel immense power over not having to colour my hair constantly trying to hide those greys. I have found tho that my colours have changed dramatically...pre-grey I wore warm autumn shades....post-grey it's all about black/white/brights. My specs....a red pair and a black pair and I wear lots of red lipsticks too. I am not fading away but finding new ways to invent myself. In my group of friends I am the first to give up the hair dye, they are not so keen. Wow, I think that makes me a trend-setter. You too?

wendy said...

Love the top, it looks really cool and easy to wear. I'm with the try different colour glasses camp as a first step. Much easier than starting to dye your hair.

kbenco said...

Your hair looks great. If you aren't happy with your glasses Zenni Optical makes glasses that are very competitive with hair colour - I see Kayotic Sewing says there are quite a few online sites, but I've only used this one.(Miss Celie's Pants led me to it.....)

Cleverclogs said...

I like both the glasses and the grey!

Kelley said...

I LOVE the colour of your hair, but perhaps you could try a different cut if you felt the need for a change. That has got to be kinder to your hair but still with the potential to get some edge.

a little sewing said...

Barbara, my first reaction at seeing your photos was WOW I LOVE your look. I love your hair, both the color and the style. The glasses are cute. The peplum top is a winner and I love it with that skirt. I read a few comments ad then decided to stop reading them and write my own because I think you look hip and some people are legitimately hip at every age - be who you are. Having said that, fine tune your look if YOU want to, but frankly I appreciate seeing a woman who looks interesting, vibrant and creative. If I didn't know you already, I'd see you as sometime I''d like to know. Do what YOU like and stick to your guns! And I need that pattern.

a little sewing said...

One more comment - the first time I noticed someone wearing clear frames,it was Bill Clinton and the frames looked just beautiful with his white hair (I can't recall what he was talking about, ha ha)
I tried clear frames and they didn't work on me, but I inherited my mothers hair and she didn't get really gray until she was well into her 70's.
Anyway I suspect the clear glasses make the gray look good. But you know this is just one random persons opinion ...

Kathie said...

The top, your hair color, and your glasses are all great. When I got to the point where I needed glasses all the time, I decided to have a "wardrobe" of them... we have multiples of most every other thing we wear every day, why not glasses... and I tried Zenni Optical. They're teriffic! I have red, brown, blue and zebra striped glasses now... all at extremely reasonable prices!

mizpurple said...

I like your gray, but don't like mine. I have had good luck with Robert Craig haircolor, available online. It has no chemical smell at all - no ammonia, peroxide or alcohol. It comes as a dry powder you mix with water.

Rebecca Clayton said...

I agree with Miss Scarlett about the glasses, which makes me wonder whether she might be right about the sparkly princess crown....Have you tried it?

I also think your hair looks good.

Anonymous said...

Your hair and eye glasses are fine ... trust yourself ... you picked the glasses and you decided to go natural.

(My opinion as a 60 year old, naturally curly and salt & pepper hair (shoulder length) women ... by the way ... I continue to get compliments from many people (all ages, male & female) wherever I go ... similar aged women sometimes say they wish they had the courage to be natural too ... it is only the close family that were negative, and finally quieted their personal opinions after overhearing others positive ones ... it is hard for them to see us differently for some reason ... (previous to 50, I had been coloring my hair, making it straighter/styling it - can't remember getting compliments then)

Lynda (Toronto)
I enjoy reading your blog and hope to get back to sewing again.

Mary said...

I am gray haired too, and wear glasses. I have been gray since my 20s and colored it until my 40s. It is white, my skin is very light, and I forget to wear lipstick often. So, I tend to fade away sometimes. All of this to say-I like the entire look with your new glasses, and think that you should experiment a bit with some colors of blush and lipstick before coloring your hair.
You look GREAT in the pic-I hope you don't color it.

FWIW, I have black frames, blue frames and red frames.

LinB said...

My own curly mop of hair is nearly white when I leave it alone. I started dyeing it four years ago because 1. I was constantly being mistaken for my husband's mother (ick) and 2. My same-aged friend asked me to dye my hair so that everyone would think SHE looked younger (most people who know us, know that we are the same age). It's a right royal pain in the rhinoceros to keep my roots dark -- "reverse ombre" is never in style. I like the light frames on you. Just be sure to always pencil in eyebrows, and line your eyelids, and you'll be good to go.

AngelatheCreativeDiva said...

Your not the last person to get on the peplum bandwagon. I haven't made one yet. Love the outfit. And the hair. You reminded that I have some of your skirt fabric in my stash. I guess I need to pull it out one of these days. IMHO you could totally rock funk glasses! red, cobalt blue, green, tortoise shell, purple!!! Try a few "fun glasses" just to see.

Anonymous said...

I think going natural is the way to go. Why waste time coloring when you could be sewing or doing other things you enjoy more?

I've worn glasses all my life and recently have acquired more than one pair. I now love having options. A second set of frames in a muted cherry red (or your favorite color) would look nice with white/plain tops to avoid a washed out look. I would wear the gray frames with printed, bright, or busier tops.

Bunny said...

I like the grey hair and glasses. I say let it all stay. I think you look great in these pics, fit, happy, glowing picture of health. Why tamper with all of that goodness?

debbie said...

The answer I'm giving isn't what you asked, but since you asked.

The natural hair color and the frame color look good on you. What I think is the problem is the shape of the frame. They're too log (top to bottom) for your face. That makes them do two things- make your eyes look a bit droopy and the lower part of the lens has that coke bottle bottom look. Maybe not as noticeable in real life? That's my opinion, anyway.

Cactusneedle said...

I love your natural hair color and like the glasses frame to go with the hair. I just helped dh pick out new frames and told him I tend to go for a look where the frames "disappear", ie don't stand out. That allows the face, and especially the eyes, to be center stage. Some like the frames to make a statement, so I guess it's personal preference.

Carol in Denver said...

When I first saw your photo at the top of this article, I thought, boy, she looks fresh and pretty. Your skin is glowing and you are seeming to enjoy yourself.

Your gray hair and glasses look god together. With that quiet background you can wear any and all colors you care to without overdoing.

badmomgoodmom said...

I really like the gray and natural look. Think about all the hip things you can do when not sitting in the salon with all those chemicals!

I prefer darker eyeglass frames. But, YMMV.

FWIW, I was in a restroom last month and a teenager stopped fussing with her own hair and stared at me. Then she asked, "Excuse me, but is that your natural hair color?" LOL.

My natural honey blonde streaks are turning gray and it is very high contrast. (Mixed Asian and Dutch heritage.)

Anonymous said...

Barbara, I love reading your posts and although I've been lurking for ages this is the first time that I've have commented, so forgive me if I appear too familiar.

First off, you're ok as is and yes, you could look better, most people could, just look at celebs on their days off.

Your specs are a bit too wide and deep for your face shape. I would go for oval or rectangle rimless or with unobtrusive rim, that are narrower in width and that fit closer to your face. You want people to notice you not the specs, I'm not a fan of feature glasses too Elton I think. Then, like someone upthread says always enhance your eyes.

As for hair I think you are one of the few that could carry off silver and a statement cut, you have a neat jawline, think, Betty Jackson, Eileen Fisher, Judi Dench, Helen Mirren. Aveda salons are not cheap but their products are natural, and obvs you'd have the upkeep costs as well.

So it comes down to preference really and how much effort you can put in. We can all scrub up well when the occasion demands it, that's good enough for some folks.

I know when I go grey it will be a dirty grey and I'm too sallow for silver which I think can be a real wow and give a two fingered salute to aging.

Patty said...

I let my hair revert back to its natural state about a year ago. I had been coloring and highlighting to cover the gray, and now I'm happy to say it has been one of the best decisions I have ever made! Key for me is to have a short, 'trendy' haircut (it's all about the styling product!), fill in my eyebrows and wear brighter, jewel-toned colors. I have received nothing but compliments and support for my decision....hey, I'm 57, it's natural to be gray! And it hasn't made me feel any older or less hip, just the opposite ;-)

I think maybe in this pic of you it may be the expanse of white so close to your face...I'd like to see a pic where you add a bright scarf or bold jewelry.

Louisa said...

Interesting and conflicting comments! I personally like your new look but so many are influenced by current fashion and subjective taste. I prefer someone who looks like they are happy and comfortable in their skin, which you definitely do! Don't forget to listen to your own voice.

As for me, the joke is that I will dye anything (curtains, fabric, yarn, underwear, etc.) but NOT my hair. It can go grey at its own leisure. I consider it an important badge of my Elder status. Along with wrinkles and flabby skin. ;)

Anonymous said...

Absolutely love your hair colour! I would go natural if I could--strawberry blond + white = mud! Not a good look on someone who barely is a shade or so deeper than glow-in-the-dark pale!

I agree with others about the size and shape of your glasses. They're just a bit too big for your face. But if you like them (ditto for Miss Scarlett), that is what matters!

Just want to let you know that I really enjoy reading your blog. I rarely comment--I won't use social media (they're too careless with personal information)--and "anonymous" seems a bit rude!


Scenic Route said...

OK, I normally don't comment when there a zillion other comments--but this hits close to home. Love the hair the frames the outfit AND the lipstick :) I embraced natural about 1 1/2 years ago against lots of advice. LOVE it. So does my husband. It has been very liberating $ & time wise. My colors now are narrowed to b&w with accents of hot pink, red and purple. Easier fabric shopping ;) I look after my skin and keep makeup subtle and (hopefully) flattering. My adult daughters love the current look. Interestingly, I'm pretty much the only one in my circles to do so. ??? They compliment, then claim no guts. I just couldn't stand the time nor the $ anymore. No regrets! You look great--go with it!

Kay said...

First thing I thought when I saw you in the top was, "Dang, she looks good!" I think you look at least 10 yeas younger. These were thought I had even before I read about the new glasses and hair color. The hair color doesn't really register with me, but the shape of both hair and glasses are super flattering. The glasses in particular give you a softer, more youthful look.

When I turned 60 I decided to let my hair go gray. I didn't want to be one of those 90 year old women with a freakish shade of hair. But after almost 2 years I had to admit to myself that while the soft, light gray in front was pretty, the roadkill gray of the back was really ugly. I use L'oreal Excellence Dark Blonde and color myself. The condition of my stick-straight, limp hair is actually better after coloring, but your curlier hair may react differently. Also, if the color in back is the same as in the front there's probably no reason to mess with it. It looks great already!

Anonymous said...

Like lots of people here I also gave up dying my hair because it was doing it no good. I feel pretty good about my silver grey hair now. Glasses - I think a bit more colour and definition. Someone made comment about the shape and I think that might also be worth considering.
Love your blog,

Texan said...

Its been a while, I have been out of sink with blog land for a while. I am back in the working world, has thrown me for a loop, still adjusting :O)...

I like your hair, I would stay with it. I am scaring 50 myself and I say the minute I start seeing grey this girl is going with it. Call me nuts but I like grey, silver, white hair. Yes I admit I am hoping for white as white can be but will take what I get, obviously. No plans of coloring what ever I get.

Anonymous said...

There comes a time when all of us have to give up the hair color. It was necessary in my case as any kind of coloring product was making my scalp flake and itch and it wasn't dandruff. Fortunately I had my mother's hair color and she grayed out beautifully. Until my hair grew out I had to cut it quite often. Bad time for hair beauty.

Eventually I went to rimless glasses. Eye makeup shows up much better and they are just way more comfortable for me. In short makeup looks much better and it defines and keeps away that faded look.

Before I could get away with wearing beige and brown, but not anymore. Pastels must be a few shades darker than before. The one color I cannot wear is lavender. It has to be almost purple, otherwise it just makes you fade away into a lavender haze. Just like wearing Harry Potter's invisibility cloak. I never wore gray anyway, but I imagine that color would do the same.
Good luck,
Tracy in VA

mary townsend said...

Cute blouse! I'm not at the hair dyeing stage yet, so no help there, but I like the glasses! I try to sew with organic where I can from www.organiccottonplus.com, but I'll check out your sources too