Thursday, July 19, 2012

Retro Head Band/ Trends I Am Trying

I wanted to show off this retro inspired easy headband I made.  I made a bunch of them but this one is my favorite.  Of course, the knot could also be worn at the base of the neck for a more subdued look if this look is knot for you (wa-wa!). 
This would be an easy project for any beginner seamstress or crafter, with or without a sewing machine.  Basically, you just take two pieces of scrap fabric that are long enough to tie around your head and cut them to the same size, adding points at the end.  Sew the right sides (print sides) together with the wrong sides showing, leaving a spot open so that you can turn the headband inside out when you are done.  Before turning it inside out, make a few small (careful not to cut your stitching!) snips at the seam corners.  This will make the points more defined.  Once you have turned your headband inside out, push the seam inside of the headband so that the edges don’t show.  Iron the whole thing flat and carefully sew up the hole, concealing the last edges inside.  It is best to leave a spot in the middle of the headband open rather than an edge because it is easier to hide when it is in your hair. 
There is no need to measure, and the width of the scarf is also up to your taste preference.  Little imperfections won’t show when the headband is creased, knotted up, and partially covered by your hair.  :)

I also wanted to show off my attempt at color blocking.  I’m not into trying trends just because they are “in”, but color blocking is a fun trend that I actually wanted to give a go before it disappears.  I’m really into fun pretty prints, and flowy or fitted dresses, but I am all for trying something new every once in a while.  This look (below) is a little Tom-Boy for me, but it works really well with the headband, allowing it to be the accent piece of the outfit.  Not a great photo, but you get the idea. 
Another trend I am still loving is the pastel or brightly colored pants look.  I started wearing colored jeans years ago with an awesome pair of electric blue skinnies from Urban Outfitters, but they are really having their moment now.  I hope it is one trend that lasts and lasts (hey, I had my doubts about skinny jeans when they came out, but look at that trend now!).  I really love GAP's colored kakis that are in stores now (pictured).  I wish I had a million of them!  The style is quite slouchy, and looks great with a t-shirt (like I am wearing in the photo), but would look even better with a fitted tank. 
What do you think?  What trends have you been trying lately?  Is there a trend that you thought for sure you would never try that you now love?  Any you wish would die forever? 
Pants and top: GAP.  Teal scarf: given to me by my friend Jenn.  :)

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Still blonde!

Lord knows I wont keep my way like this forever so I took a few fun shots in the car a few weeks back so I could always remember the summer when I was a blonde.  Fun, right?  

Hope you all are having great summers too, whatever your hair color.  ;)

Electric Blue Fitted Dress

These photos are a bit old (and my hair was still yellow), but better late than never to show off this awesome dress!

I got this dress from Urban Outfitters Last year for 15 dollars.  It was lovely, but the back was as large as the front and puffed out horribly.  So, I did a bit of alteration and added a detail to the sleeves to cover up my hand stitching, and wallah! Lovely slinky little spring or summer dress.  Of course, this was before I pulled out the sewing machine and started sewing for real, so it is pretty amateur, but still cute and wearable.  :)

Fits like a dream, right?  :D

Friday, July 13, 2012

Little French Wiggle Dress

This is my favorite dress I have ever made-looks wise.  Comfort wise, not so much.  In fact, I made it so skin tight it won’t even fit properly on my dress form (hence the reason why I didn’t take a photo of the back). 
For this dress, I used the Truffle pattern with the long Peony sleeves both from Collette Patterns (of course).  Isn’t the pattern on the fabric just adorable?  It reminds me of the wallpaper I had hanging in my bedroom when I was growing up.  It had little French “dollies” on it too and I just loved it! 

I have been dreaming of making this dress for a long time and it is finally here!  I’d love to do a photo shoot wearing it sometime soon (hint hint Jenn!). 

Monday, July 9, 2012

Monday Funday

Yes, I hate having to start the work week.   But, since Monday is the day I get to ride into work with my husband, and it is also my husband’s only work day where I get to see him between the hours of 5 AM and 7 or 8 PM, it is kind of a nice day for me too.  :)
Summer is not my favorite season fashion wise since I much prefer the layering and leggings of the Fall.  However, today I decided to embrace the warm weather and take this rare opportunity to show that I actually have a body underneath my usually flowy and billowy wardrobe choices. 

The hot pink tank is from The Loft, and it features delicate mesh ruffles along the top.  This Limited skirt is a hand-me–up from my sister.   I don’t remember where the sweater came from, but I do remember that it was only 7 bucks!   
I also added these two little clips in my hair just for a little extra fun.  Pretty, right? 

I love this skirt.  It is an extra small (clearly not my size), but I choose to wear it high up on my waist instead of around my hips as it was intended.  I love the silhouette it gives me.  Here is a picture of me in the same skirt last summer. 

This skirt reminds me that you don’t have to wear clothes exactly how they were intended by the manufacturer.  Dressing for the day is dressing up for me.  Have fun with it and play a bit!  Fashion is meant to be fun!  :)

Thursday, July 5, 2012

New and Improved Iris Shorts

Boy these shorts were a pain, but I finally got them right! I can tell that anyone who is used to reading patterns at all would find these to be a breeze to make the first time, but I forgive myself for being a beginner.  :P  I'm pretty sure my next pair will be a lot easier.  

Here is what the Iris shorts looked like when I first made them about a week ago:

They were at least two sizes too big, and I couldn't figure out the waistband at all.  However, I think that my inexperience might have actually helped me this time, as I think that they look a little "younger" without it.  I also chose to make them pull-on rather than adding a zipper.   

I took some time away from them because I know that if I am in a rush and work on a project that is frustrating me I tend to ruin it.  But I finally got back to it and sized them down, and they are now awesome!  The insides are a mess, and they are totally flawed, but I love them.  
I wanted to show off how good the fit is (look ma, no muffin top!), and since this blog is as much about self acceptance as it is about fashion and sewing, I figured I would just go ahead and show my perfectly imperfect soft and scarred tummy in the shots. 

Don't ever forget that sometime the beauty is in the flaws. :)  Perfection is boring!


I have been thinking a lot about where we take creative inspiration from and what it means to let a drawing, a movie, a photograph, a setting, or even another person inspire you.  For example: I have always taken inspiration from Audrey Hepburn's style, however, it took me years to realize that letting someone inspire you doesn't mean you have to copy them exactly.  I will never be 5' 7" 110 pounds, nor will I ever have her grace, but that doesn't mean that she has nothing to teach me.  

By all accounts, Audrey Hepburn shouldn't have been a great beauty.  Skinny to the point of being bony, a largish nose and ears and great big black eye brows.  But put all together, it worked so perfectly because she so owned who she was.  Trying to be exactly like her is truly ironic because what made her so beautiful was her acceptance and even celebration of her own uniqueness.  

A few months ago my friend Kimmi gave me this awesome Anthropologie dress that was a bit too big for her.  I nearly snatched it out of her hands when she offered it to me. I just adore it!  I wore it on a date night with my husband last weekend, and I felt so pretty I made him grab a few shots on our way out the door.    

This dress is very special because it is full of unique twists while still being elegant. Not only did they play with contrasting textures in its construction (the dress is light silk while the straps are made of a woven material), they also played with prints adding a surprise panel of pink, deep teal and yellow up the back (silly me, I forgot to get make Jer get a shot of it so you will have to settle for this lousy after-thought photo).   

This dress really inspired me to take some risks in my sewing.   I finally made my first Taffy top from the The Colette Sewing Handbook, and this is the result:  
Front shot.
Back shot.
I work hard to try to make sure my personality shines through in my sewing.  I always want to make sure to make things that I would actually wear, and also that don't look like something I could easily find at the store.  Inspired by "the Kimmi dress", I took a chance and used blue and white bias tape on the shirt, but added bright blue bias tape to the back of the sleeves , and "connected" the two bias taps with a button that matches the white and blue bias tape on the back of each sleeve.  I also added two matching buttons to just one side of the shoulder, just to add a little flourish.  
Sleeve detail.  
Shoulder detail.

I am quite happy with how this top turned out!  Although it looks nothing like the dress, copying was never my goal.  Remember that inspiration doesn't have to be interpreted literally. This has been my main thought today, as I think it is fitting with this post:  

If you aspire to be like someone else, the best you can ever 
hope for is to be an imperfect copy of them. Learn to inspire
 yourself because you are already perfect. 

Thanks for reading!  Have a great day beautiful!  :)