The Atlantic

Looking at these pictures now, less than a week after they were taken, it's hard to believe the weather permitted short sleeves and bare legs at the beach. 

Summer does not fade out gracefully in these parts, nor does it immediately concede to autumn come the passing of the equinox. The change of seasons here, on the coast, is a battle-- stretches of summer weather, punctuated by days of plunging temperatures and delightful sweater weather, only to have summer rear its head again. Generally, come Thanksgiving, autumn will have triumphed, claiming its victory for a few short weeks before war with winter is declared.  

A few weeks ago, Hurricane Matthew brought us a heavy dose of sweater weather. Days before his arrival, in the calm before the storm, the air was thick with sticky tropical humidity-- souvenirs from his journey through Haiti, the Bahamas, and the Floridian coast. As he pushed past us, he left behind all that cool dry continental air that he had consumed throughout his travels, the air that in fact had weakened him and saved us from catastrophe.

Unlike our inland neighbors, we fared surprisingly well here on the coast of North Carolina. We were spared Matthew's immense rain shield and his hurricane force winds and were able, once he had passed, to resume life as usual (after we cleaned up some downed branches and trees). The beach, however, was not quite so lucky as I discovered on my twilight stroll several nights ago. In spots, Matthew's massive waves devoured the dunes leaving little more than minute mounds where mountains of sand once stood. 

Matthew rolled into town on a Saturday, leading with a torrent of rain and departing with howling winds in his wake. All the while the storm lashed our home, I sat in our spare room piecing together a skirt from a swath of thrifted novelty fabric that celebrated the mother of all hurricanes, the mighty Atlantic ocean.

After the storm passed, it was so cold I was worried I'd have to wait to wear this skirt when it warmed up in the spring, but fall's fickle nature provided me with the opportunity this week.

The Outfit:
Sweater-- TJ Maxx
Blouse-- thrifted, no tag
Camisole-- JC Penney
Skirt-- thrifted fabric, sewn by me
Shoes: (seen below) Target

Sewing is a new hobby of mine and this skirt was the first project I've seen to completion on my own. The hem is crooked and the side zip is a disaster (perhaps this silky fabric wasn't the best to start with) but I'm pleased as Punch to actually have completed something.

I could not believe my luck when I stumbled on this fabric at a thrift store; the ships, the fish-- it was just the perfect bit of kitsch for my seaside life. And at $3 for several yards, I couldn't resist.

With my skirt, I wore a new thrift shop find that has gotten a lot of wear this season-- a semi-sheer blouse, and my favorite sweater that I lovingly refer to as my "rag." This lightweight knit is perfect for taking away the chill of  overly air-conditioned rooms in all seasons, and makes me feel  little less self-conscious when I wear it over a sleeveless top or dress.
 I have a few of these "rags" in my closet currently and I think, perhaps, something similar might be my next sewing project since they get so much wear.

I'm excited to give this pattern another try and hopefully hone my hemline and zipper sewing skills. I was a bit nervous about how short the skirt turned out, as most of my skirts fall below the knee, but it's not as horribly unflattering on my chubby legs as I had expected-- especially since this skirt will get the most wear during the summer. 

I wore this outfit to do some thrift shopping and pick up a few things for this year's rather elaborate Halloween projects. This year's spooky efforts involve dozens of flat bed sheets, buckets of fabric dye and lots of tassels-- I can't wait to share the results!

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