Thursday, January 1, 2009

The Bright Berry Astrid Boucle "Not So Floppy" Flower Jacket

First off, HAPPY NEW YEAR everyone!!! I wish that everything you desire comes true for you this year!!!

Now that I've gotten that out of the way, I have to share what I did on New Year's Eve. I arrived home on New Year's Eve to a package from J Crew. Like with any addiction, with my heart's thumping rapidly in my chest, I rip open the package to find the Astrid Boucle Jacket - you know, the one with the floppy flower. I grabbed a pair of scissors and slit open the bag, pulled the jacket out, ripped open the tissue that was covering the flower. Normally, by this time, I would have gotten my instant high, but as soon as I laid eyes on the flower, my heart sank.

I am an optimist. YES, I AM! I have blue skies, white puffy clouds, and beautiful warm sunshine in my rose-colored world. I live my life with the "just because it didn't work out for someone else, doesn't mean that it won't work out for me" attitude. And when I saw that droopy, sad, imancipated, almost dying, it needs love and water, silk flower lying like a limp "you know what" in my hand, I knew that I had to "make it work". This sad flower was not going to remain a sad flower. I knew that I had it in me to make it bloom, .... to make it look like the flower that it was portrayed to be in the beautiful, glossy J Crew catalog.

But first things first! I had to make sure that the jacket looked good on. Having read a few posts about the sizing on the jacket, I decided to size down when I purchased it. I normally wear a size 4 and ended up purchasing a size 2. And with most of my online purchases, I then spent the next 2 weeks fretting if the 2 was going to fit. Would it be too small? What if it's too tight in the waist? What if I can stretch out my arms and steer my car? What if I can't breathe in it? What if the armholes dig into the pit of my arms? ARGH! As you can see, I'm slightly irrational in addition to be obsessive when it comes to online purchases. Too bad that my purchases can't simply show up immediately as opposed to weeks after the fact. Naturally, I keep my irrational thoughts to myself. I honestly think that my Husband would leave me if he knows how insane I really am. But I digress.

The size 2 is the perfect size. As you can see in the pictures, the fit is awesome. This jacket is supposed to be a classic-fit, but by sizing down, I was able to get it to be a little more fitted but still with room to spare. The sleeves fall past my wrist (I'm quite tired of the bracelet sleeves - they appear like my jackets shrunk at the Cleaners), the waist hook and eye closure hits at my natural waist (which I really like since it makes my waist look smaller that it really is) and the color, Oh My Gosh! the color is truly AMAZING! I absolutely LOVE the Bright Berry. The color looks rather garish on the J Crew website but in real-life, the color is fabulous. It's a rich, highly saturated shade of pink. I love it!!! Okay... with the exception of the sad, droopy flower, that is. But I can fix that. I know I can!

So, right after nice home-made Italian dinner with my husband and our daughter, (of which my husband made while I was trying on my Droopy Flower Jacket and working out), I started my mission - that is, to revive my droopy flower.

I removed the flower from the jacket. The flower is attached to the jacket via a small pin with a safety clasp. The pin is actually sitting on top of a little mount. I removed the pin from the flower but snipping the threads that attached the pin to the flower. I then restitched the opening where the pin was placed originally.

Then with the pin in my hand, I had to go back and use some of that Grade 3 Science I had leant from many years back. To "prop" the flower, I had to minimize the amount of force (or in this case, gravity) exerted on the flower. I first moved the pin to the side of the mount. By moving the pin off the mount and close to the pivot, I was in essence, shifting the load, thus lifting the top of the flower and since the force (gravity in this case) was minimized, the flower was better balanced.

Once done, I started ironing the petals of the flower (since they were flattened upon arrival). The petals seemed to revive themselves during the ironing. The flower was then turned over, shakened by hand to fluff it up a bit. Once I liked how the petals curled and fell in place, I held the iron over the flower and lightly steamed the petals in place. VIOLA! My flower now looks just like the one in the J Crew Catalog. It's a plump, lushious, beautiful pink flower. It's like my sad little flower went through an Extreme Makeover and came out looking amazing!

Yes, your flower will require a little love when it arrives but at the current price of $59.99, this jacket is sooooo worth it. I am now tempted to get it in the Golden Avacado as well!

What do you think of the Golden Avacado? Should I get it?


Em said...

I saw the golden avocado in person. Just be aware that it looks alot brighter and is more of a lime green in person... still really pretty though!

I found your blog through the JCrew aficionada blog.. I was interested to see how you made your droopy flower not so droopy! It looks great.

FabulousFloridaMommy said...

Love this jacket...I got it in the Charcoal, but in a size 4. I'm thinking of getting the Bright Berry, too. Is it the same color as the Bright Fuchsia Victoria Cami?

The 4 is also a nice fit, and I think I could do the 2, as well. I would suggest you get the charcoal over the avocado if you go for another one. :)

Crew_Girl_In_Canada said...

Hi Em,

I hope my post was able to give you some ideas on fixing a droopy flower. I really like the way my flower is looking right now. I intend on removing the flower when I store the jacket in my closet and replacing it when I wear it. If I don't remove the flower, I fear that it's going to get crushed and I would have to go through the entire process again. Anyway, it's hanging off my Armoire right now and has been for the last 3 days and it's looking just like it does in the pictures.

Is the Golden Avocado a Lime Green? Oh, I wasn't expecting that at all. I own the Golden Avocado in the Lea Merino Cardigan and in the Perfect Fit Flower Tank and both those are a muted Olive-y shade of green. Hmmm... I may have to rethink this.

Crew_Girl_In_Canada said...

FFM, this jacket is exactly the same color as the Short Scarf Boucle Jacket and essentially the same color as the Victoria Cami. When playing around with the jacket, I actually stuck the Fuschia Cami under the jacket. It's virtually the same color and it looks great together!

I wish I had purchased this in the charcoal. I'm kicking myself for not getting the charcoal. It's completely sold out online now. URGH! Have you seen the Golden Avocado in person?

I'm surprised you got the 4. I would think that it would be huge on you since you're smaller than I am. What's the 4 like?

Did you order yours online or pick it up at a B&M? If you see a 2 in the Charcoal, would you please let me know? I so want it in Charcoal!!!

FabulousFloridaMommy said...

I was looking at the Bright Berry initially to wear with the Bright Fuchsia Victoria Cami because my BF Melanie had a snag in the arm and had to be returned. I think the Victoria will look FABULOUS under it, as long as the 2 colors are extremely close or the same...sounds like they are, so I will also be purchasing the Bright Berry to wear with the Victoria (once the price goes down some more).

Anyways, I found the Charcoal 4 at my B&M...initially I didn't get it wanting to find the 2 online, but it wasn't available. I went back in to my J.Crew on Wednesday to get the it for $35. Then Thursday the 2 showed up online again, but I wasn't allowed to exchange it for the 4, so I'm keeping the 4. It actually fits nicely, but isn't as fitted as the 2 would be. It looks VERY Chanel-like, and I LOVE it with my new BR gray turtleneck, matchstick jeans, and black suede knee boots. :)

Em said...

Hello again... yeah, it really is bright. I saw one in the store.. it's WAY brighter than the flower tank in the same color. I was pretty shocked when I saw it in person because I had my eye on it online. It's not TOTALLY lime green but it is definitely bright. I still think it's cute but it would be hard to wear... definitely harder than if it was actually the muted darker green of the lea cardigan or the flower tank.

If I ever decide to get one of the droopy flower astrids, which I surely will since I can't resist, I will definitely be using your flower reviving method!

Emily said...

Love your blog!! I've developed a fascination with J. Crew lately too. I love seeing all the pics, very cool.

Slastena said...

your post is a lifesaver; I got Flower Astrid in Avocado ( so, yes, you should get one too- it does scream "Take Me Home"). I am thinking of enhancing it in a future(maybe turning into Casading Flowers if I ever get to making taht many flower pins), but for the tiem being I need to rvive taht flower and you did an amazing job on yours, so I will jsut follow your instructions.
Thank you very much!

A Bigger Closet said...

The bright berry is a wonderful color on you - so is the fit snf style. The color definitely looks much better than on the JC website. Also, very helpful information re. droopy flower revival technique. Thank you. I ordered this jacket in the Charcoal before Christmas but it arrived missing the flower! Since I was told it would take at least 2 to 3 weeks to 'locate' a replacement flower, I reordered (also needed a smaller size). I really hope it comes with the flower this time! I'm tall with long arms so it's more 3/4 sleeve than bracelet, but I still like the style of the jacket.

Crew_Girl_In_Canada said...

FFM, so I tried a WWFIFY today and unfortunately, there's no Charcoal in size 2 anywhere to be had. You're very fortunate to have gotten yours! I agree, I think the Charcoal would be stunning. But at this point, I'm thinking that I may have to get the Golden Avocado afterall. I'm dying to see it on someone.

Slastena, would you be so kind as to share a picture or pictures (you take amazing pictures btw!) of your Golden Avocado Flower Astrid? I would love to see it on you. Also, you've got such an eye when it comes to putting outfits together - just like FFM. I would love to see what you (and FFM, hint! hint!) would pair with the green jacket. It may be what I need to make the purchase.

Em, will you be getting the jacket in the Pink or the Green colorway? Thank you for your kind words. I hope you're enjoying my blog. If I can be of any assistance to help fuel your J Crew Obsession, I would only be more than happy to assist. Wink!

A Bigger Closet: How in the world did J Crew lose a flower? That's just crazy! Don't they have quality control? I'm glad you were able to reorder in a smaller size. I guess it's a blessing in disguise. I like the Jacket without the Flower but the Flower (when not sad and droopy) does add that extra OOMPH. Like yourself, I love the style and the pink is quite stunning. I'm terribly envious (in a good way, that is) and am kicking myself for not getting the Charcoal sooner! But congratulations on your score! Enjoy your purchase. :)

♥ Chloe said...

Oh wow! Man, your way of getting the flower to look nice was much easier than mine (which involved jabbing about 10 more safety pins into the flower and spray starching the living daylights out of it).

The jacket looks perfect on you! I have it in the bright berry as well- isn't it such a fun color??

♥ Chloe said...

PS- I love your sense of humor and writing...I've linked you on my blog. I hope you don't mind! :)

Crew_Girl_In_Canada said...

Chloe, thank you very much for your kind words. I absolutely LOVE your blog - particularly your post about the Charlie Brown Snow Globe. You had in howling in my office! Of course, I had to have my entire staff read it as well. It was a hoot!!!

Yes, the Bright Berry is an awesomoe color. It looks fabulous on you too!

I'm thrilled that you've linked me to your blog. I'm honored! Thank you!

Em said...

Crew Girl in Canada, I finally broke down and bought this jacket in bright berry today for $35 after discounts. I couldn't resist, especially knowing I would come home and look at your blog to figure out how to fix the flower! The one on mine looks absolutely terrible. I am going to attempt to fix it tonight. I will report back on how it goes. Thanks so much again for posting your directions!

melissa said...

I bought this jacket in both the charcoal and fushia ... and I did exactly what you did with the droppy flowers! :)


Em said...

Man, I forgot how terrible I am at sewing. I attempted to re-sew on the pin... didn't work so well. Hopefully the flower won't fall off my jacket in the middle of the day! I'm about to start ironing it...

Crew_Girl_In_Canada said...

Melissa, I'm envious (in a good way, that is!) that you got the Charcoal. I'm still looking for a size 2 in the Charcoal! Enjoy your jackets! :)

Em, how did your flower turn out?

Slastena said...

Crew_Girl_In_Canada ;
I haven't had a chance to revive my Astrid. You should see my closet- all boxes and clothes in haphazardous order. I just close teh door so it doe snot start falling on me.:) As soon as I get things a little in order, I will
definitely post pics. I appologize if that happens too late.

The reason I bought it in green is that I already own several tops in pink: Starlet jacket and BT scarf coat.I thought green would be a pleasant addition.

Em said...

My flower turned out well but not as well as yours!! It looked great but it has been sitting for a few days on the jacket and now its drooping. It looks much better than it did when I got the jacket so I guess I should be happy... but I want it to be perky! Oh, I guess it doesn't matter. I just started a new job so I am excited to wear it to work. I work in a court and I think they may be a little shocked to see bright pink but they will just have to get used to all of my bright and lovely JCrew clothing!

Thanks again for your how-to on the flower.

S said...

Wow, thanks so much. I bought the charcoal version several weeks ago (I thought it was a great price back then, LOL.) Anyway, I finally took the flower/pin apart tonight as directed - interesting to see how it was constructed. THere is actually a piece of fabric that covers (thimble shaped) all the gatherings of the petals, which started to slip off after I removed the threads holding the pin in place. I had to go around the bottom and stitch that back on, first, then re-attached the pin as you indicated. It looking amazingly better, even before using the iron/steam.

Thank you for your venture to improve this, as it is benefitting many of us!


lady cake said...


I just bought the Astrid Boucle in the Golden Avocado (4) and I love it. To me, it does not look lime green at all. It exactly matches the color of my GA merino turtleneck, and is a kind of fantastic pea soup shade that looks amazing with charcoal pants and also dark denim. Slastena, you have amazing style sense. What other ways might I "work" this funky jacket? I plan to wear it soon with my navy Elizabeth halter top underneath.

Wish I had the charcoal Astrid boucle too. I tried the berry, but it overpowered my peachy/pale complexion.

Thanks for the tips on reviving the flower!