Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Red Pants Kind of Day

Okay, I just got back from Disney Land (so fun!!!), so just a quick outfit post for today.  I had my husband snap these pictures a while ago (you can tell by the hair) but I never got around to posting them.  Isn’t this outfit fun?  The red pants actually have a subtle diamond pattern on them if you look closely. :)

Pants: the Loft.  Top: Forever 21.  Headband: Urban Outfitters.  Shoes: Dillard’s.   

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Be Mine Valentine

My husband took me out for a very fancy Valentine's day dinner yesterday, and we had such a wonderful time!  I wore my absolutely favorite Emily and Fin dress, my nude shoes and this cute little beaded purse that I have had for years.  

We had a perfect night.  I just love this first picture of us because I look so safe in Jer's arms, and he looks so happy to be holding me.  That is just how we felt.  

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Emily and Fin Win

So, I wore the dress that I made from my own pattern this weekend, and it was less than perfect.  The zipper is too long, and the waist band in the back needs to be higher (I have already altered the pattern, but haven’t made another copy yet).  Also, the fabric is super itchy, although a slip would help with that. 
Really, I should have modeled it more after this Emily and Fin dress that I wore yesterday, since this is my favorite shape for a dress.  I have featured this dress on the blog before, but not with these awesome thrifted shoes!  I usually consider this a travel dress because it is so durable, packs up so well, and is so comfortable, but I got a hankering to wear it yesterday on a normal work day and went for it. 

Even though the dress I drafted didn’t turn out perfectly (and the first one was too small for an adult woman to fit into), I don’t feel discouraged.  I think that part of the reason that I have learned so much this year is thanks to my ability to make mistakes and not let them bog me down.  I truly do feel like I learn more from mistakes than when everything goes smoothly.  I don’t actually have the skill of letting mistakes roll of my back in all aspects of my life, but it comes naturally to me with sewing, perhaps because I enjoy the process so much.  That is not to say that I don’t get frustrated, but I don’t let it keep me down.   
This ability to bounce back and keep going made me think about ways in which our perceived failures can sometimes work to our advantage.  Another example of how my “failures” serve me is the fact that  I am not a perfectionist.  My house is always messy, I cut my own hair by cutting random chunks out of it, and I have never mastered make up.  Good enough is good enough for me, and that really doesn’t bother me anymore.  In sewing, the fact that I am not a perfectionist has helped me learn faster because I don’t worry about every little detail, and I don’t fixate on my mistakes.  I think a lot of seamstresses who are perfectionists are served by that quality because it forces them to be meticulous with every project which may lead to some beautiful pieces.  For me however, as someone who is just starting out, I never would have been able to learn as much in just one year if I had allowed myself to fixate on any one project for too long, and frankly, I think I would have gotten sick of failing and given up.  Instead, I have a closet full of wearable, if not perfect, clothes. 

How do your "failures" serve you in your life?   And on the flip side, what qualities that serve you in some ways do you have to fight against in other circumstances in order to succeed? 

Monday, February 11, 2013

Growing my hair out: February

Here I am in month three of growing my hair out, and the longest pieces are just past the bottom of my jaw.  Actually, I like how it looks at this stage; it is just a bit messy and so so easy to style!  My bangs are taking their time to grow at all, but I really had to cut them super short so that I could get the damage from the bleach out of the way, so I forgive them. 

My hope is that my hair will be to my chin by the summer because once it reaches that point it gets a bit easier to keep with the whole growing out thing. 

Stay tuned for next month, when I almost certainly will have a Campbell's soup baby style short bob!  Oh the joys of growing your hair out.  :P

Chic and Simple Sewing Revisited

I first reviewed this book last year here: Chic and Simple Sewing, and boy was I harsh!  While I still agree that the lack of sizes and confusing directions keep this book from being perfect, I have actually found the patterns to be wonderful and useful.  I want to make everything in this book and I find the patterns easily adaptable and wearable.  I love the fact that nothing in this book requires buttons or zippers, and each project can be finished in a matter of hours and look perfectly lovely. 
Right now, I am working on this dress from the book.

 I got this crazy fabric on sale, and thought it would be perfect for a simple dress like this.  I added interfacing to the collar even though it didn't call for it, and I am glad I did.  Without the belt, I’ll admit that the dress looks like a weird 1970’s moo-moo, but with the belt, it looks modern and cute.  I’m still not convinced that it will be the best shape ever for my body type, but I’ll just have to see how it looks when it is finished.  I would also love to make this dress in a thick, warm plaid fabric someday.  Ahhh!  Too many project ideas in my head, not enough time or fabric to make them all! 
Before I start a new project, I draw what I hope it will look like to help me visualize it.  Here is the mock up for this dress. 

I also want to make a little skirt and jacket combo, but that project is for another day. 

I'll post more pictures when the dress is done.  Hopefully the finished product will be as cute on me as it is in my head! 

Thursday, February 7, 2013


Friends, we are not in Kansas anymore. 
I have made my own pattern!!!  Two, actually, with several different variations.  Bear with me, as these mock up dresses don’t look like they have many differences since I made them both out of this awesome hot pink linen/cotton blend. 
The first has a high, long waist that hits just under the bust.  I accidentally made it in a size extra small, but adjusted the pattern for the second dress to fit my own measurements.  This actually taught me quite a lot about how to create different patterns in different sizes.  If I hadn’t made this mistake, I think it would have been a lot more intimidating for me to try to size the pattern down and figure out how to create the same pattern in different sizes.  As my husband says, the best ideas come from so-called mistakes!   
Here it is in the construction faze.  It doesn't fit on my dress form since it is an XS, but this picture shows how it will sit under the bust. 
And here is the finished dress. 
Sleeve detail.
The second has a thinner waist piece (technical term people), and falls at the natural waist.  For this one, I actually  got my size right!  Whoo hoo!  Here is version 2.  These aren't the best photos, but I couldn't wait to get this posted! 

My goal was to create a simple dress without darts that would still accommodate a woman’s bust.  I am so happy with the results!  I was very very lucky that these patterns worked on my first and second go, with only a few surprises along the way. 
Not to brag, okay I’m about to brag, but the crowning glory of these dresses is how lovely they look on the inside.  I will post photos later, but they are lovely. 
I have been thinking about making my own patterns for a while now, and I am excited to be going down this road.  Granted, these patterns are very very simple, but you have to start somewhere! 
My eventual goal is to sell dresses on Etsy, so making my own patterns was key.  I have more ideas in store, but I will probably start with only a few pattern variations at first and see how that goes.  As always, sewing is it’s own reward! 
I have another new dress, or rather dress and skirt combo to debut soon.  After that, I want to try to draft a pattern based on a vintage dress I recently bought, with a few modern tweaks.  Then, now that I understand how to draft a waist piece, some simple full gathered shirts.  I can’t wait to see where this new adventure takes me!  What do you think?  Would you buy a dress from me?