Thursday, August 29, 2013

Tiffani Cornish- This post is for you!

After my last hair post, I got this response from fellow Albuquerque blogger Tiffani Cornish who writes Lovelymuggle:

I have been struggling with the question do I cut my hair for some time. Tues I literally almost called up my hairstylist and asked for an appointment! I need to let go and just go for it I know I will love it, it is definitely hard though. I love this length! Its so cute and feminine and flirty! I keep thinking I'm young so I need to have long hair and when I get older I can have short hair. I just need to live life and stop trying to play by the "rules".

Also I love your blog, I read every post, they are inspiring and awesome! You have a talent for this for sure. Keep doing it!”

First of all, thank you Tiffani for reading my blog, and for commenting.   Your compliments made my day!  I really appreciate every single person who reads this blog, and it makes me so happy to hear from you! 

Secondly, I totally hear you, cutting your hair is a major, major step!  I get nervous when people who have always had long hair think about cutting their hair short because if you end up not liking it, it can be really devastating.  Here are some things to consider before making the chop.

1)      If you are the type of person who needs a lot of outside approval, don’t cut your hair short. Some people just don’t like short hair, and some people just won’t understand why you would do such a thing, and they will feel perfectly comfortable telling you as much.  You will stand out, and you will shock people.  For me, this isn’t a problem because I am pretty confident and I don’t really ask for a lot of feedback when I decide to make a big hair or fashion change.  Just remember that if you feel awesome and rock it, you will look awesome.  The people who make the biggest impacts fashion wise are always a little controversial, and believe me, they never need permission to make a change or try something unexpected. 

2)      Look for inspiration from people with your hair type/ face shape.  No matter how much you like how a model looks with a haircut, if her hair is totally different than yours, you have no idea what you are getting yourself into! 

3)      Bring magazine clippings of hair you like to your appointment.  Don’t try to make the hair dresser guess what you are trying to describe, and DON”T let them dictate what you should do.  Be realistic about your hair, but also, be true to your own vision of what you want, and don’t let others talk you into something that just isn’t you. 

4)      Be prepared to play with new fashions and new makeup.  A major haircut is the best makeover possible!  Get ready for a whole new world of options to be open to you. 

5)      With short hair, there is nowhere to hide.  Without long hair to hide behind, your face and your clothes are center stage, so if you have the confidence to pull it off, get ready to stand out in a way that you never have before. 

6)      Learn what products you need and you are set!  Some people think that short hair is harder to style, but I have found that this is not the case at all once you figure out your routine.  For me, when I had my pixie that meant washing it every day (if your hair is very short, you will wake up with crazy hair that has to be washed to be tamed), and then I would add texturizer and a headband, and I was ready to go.  The shorter it was, the easier it was for me to look perfectly put together in no time flat. Now with my bobbed hair, I don't have to wash it as often, and when I do, I let it air dry at night (before I go to bed, not while I sleep) and then use a straightener to mess it up or to tame it in the morning.  I usually just go with whatever my hair seems to be doing most naturally.  If I have to wash and go in the morning, I can put my hair in pigtails while it is still wet.  Walla!  Instant hair style!

7)      If you are making a major cut, think about donating your hair to one of the many charities that help provide free hair pieces for people with alopecia, cancer, or have lost their hair for some other reason.  Then, even if you don’t love your new do, you can feel good about your choice and know that your hair is going to help someone else.

8)      When you are used to long hair and cut it short, you can feel a little stuck when it comes to changing up your look.  Trust me, short hair is just as versatile as long, you just need to learn some new tricks as your old go-to's will be hard or impossible to achieve.  Headbands and barrettes will be your new best friends.  They stand out and make a bigger statement than they ever have for you before.  I have a huge collection of headbands.  They are a wardrobe staple for me!  Also, if your hair is past your chin, funky little messy pigtails now look cute and cool, not little-girlish as they would if your hair was long.  Curl it, straiten it, and play!  Don't worry if it isn't a look you have seen before.  YOU can be the trendsetter.  
9)      When choosing your cut, don’t go for a “safer” choice.  Just get the haircut you really want, not a longer, easier to grow out version.  No fear!  If you don’t really go for it, you won’t ever know if it worked or not.  Just do it and have fun!

It is no secret that I love, love, love short hair. I'm really excited by the length my hair is now (actually, this is super long to me, but I recognize the rest of the world still thinks a bob is short) and I am having so much fun playing with retro curls and funky little head scarves.  I’m not sure how short you are thinking of going, but I could totally see you rocking a longish bob (hint: bobbed hair looks amazing when you let it go a bit curly and crazy!). 

 The majority of women you will meet are afraid to try short hair even if they like it, but I suspect that you know you are gorgeous enough to pull it off.  Never be afraid to go against “the rules” and stand out.  Your looks are the least important thing about you.  Why not have fun with them? If you end up getting the chop, let me know if you want to be a guest blogger for a day.  I’d love to share your thoughts about your experience, as well as some photos!

Just for fun, here are a few hair options I thought you might like, and that I thought would work with your hair.  Cute, right?  :)  I love all of them!

No Thanks Miley-one more rant to add to the pile

Okay people, Robin Thicke’s rape promoting lyrics, video, and actions are disgusting.  If you don’t agree or you don’t care, then I can’t understand you and this post will mean nothing to you anyway.  I have no time or energy to devote to how bad his song or video is. It's hard for me to imagine why anyone would have to.

Please accept that he, and it, are terrible and bad and ear poison and should be avoided at all costs. 

Now that that is out of the way, many are asking, “why the Miley hate? Isn't she just being Miley?  Isn’t she just doing what all pop stars do and showing that she is a grownup who can do what she wants?  Isn’t she just showing that she is a sexual being, and isn’t it anti-feminist to deny her that opportunity?”

Here is the thing folks.  Personally, I am much more offended by her drug promoting lyrics than her unsettling tongue and dance moves.  But since that conversation isn’t even being started, then I have to say, Miley honey, just no more of this.  Please.  By all means, have (safe) sex with whoever you want.  Have sex with as many (consenting) people as you want, in any way that you want, as often as you want.  But don’t let being a sexual object define you.  Wearing almost nothing and simulating sex on stage isn’t the only way to show that you are a grownup, and it just isn’t responsible. 

We all know it’s not all Miley’s fault.  The media vomit that our kids are subjected to is coming at them from every direction.  Every day, boys are getting the message that women are not real people, they are objects to possess and throw away, and if they want more or expect more than they are crazy and clingy. Young girls today are getting the message born into their brains that the only way to get attention or really even be a worthwhile human being, is to be cute or sexy, and if they can do that, they needn't try to be anything else.  Their role models aren't scientists or Dr’s, they are pop stars, and so pop stars need to understand that they have a responsibility to do better for their audience. 

And none of this BS saying that “Miley didn't ask to be a role model.”  Actually, that’s because no one asks to be a role model.  Duh.  There is no sign up sheet people.  You just become a role model to every child you come in contact with because children are watching us to learning how to become adults every minute of every day.  I’m a role model without asking to be one, you are a role model without asking to be one, and Miley is a role model without asking to be one, and her reach goes a lot farther than most.  Your actions and choices matter.  They just do.  Accept it and live a good life according to whatever rules you believe in, but don’t try to pretend your actions don’t matter just because you didn't enter your name into an imaginary database of role models. 

So there you go.  It should go without saying, but please don’t listen to songs like “Blurred lines” and for gosh sakes, don’t let your kids listen to them.  They aren't harmless fun, they are setting a standard for how women are to be viewed and treated.  Furthermore, watching Miley Cyrus try so, so hard to prove that she is a sexual person (and therefore worthwhile and relevant) should make you sad and grossed out, not outraged.  Your sexuality is yours to use how you see fit.  Go ahead, have lots of sex and be free.  Sex is wonderful fun and also a very lovely stress reducer.  But maybe read a book once in a while too, or go on a hike, or if you have the kind of influence Miley does, educate yourself about the world so you can write a song about something that actually matters, not just random drug use and partying in the USA.   

Lastly, remember that we don’t have to like what any celebrity is putting out, just because they are famous.  It is Miley’s actual job is to be an entertainer and if people aren't entertained or don’t like her message, they don’t have to keep promoting her.  You aren't being mean just to decide that you have had enough of this kind of “entertainment”, not just in VMA meltdown form, but really in all of the media you choose to consume.  If you don’t like your Dr, you drop her.  If you don’t like your plummer, you find a new plummer.  It isn't mean, it’s just expecting the best and not accepting sub-par (at best) service.  Furthermore, if you want better role models, demand them.  Demand better from your entertainment industry or keep accepting this garbage without worrying about the consequences.  Just don’t be surprised when the world keeps getting a little dumber, a little less kind towards women, and generally just a little bit worse all of the time.  When the world finally goes into full moron mode and us girls go back to the days when we weren't allowed to have our own bank accounts you will know who to blame, and it won’t be Miley.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Month 9: The pixie is all grown out!

Well, no more pixie cut!  My hair hasn't really been a pixie for a while now, but I am realizing that it has actually graduated to the next stage in hair evolution- It’s a bob!
I love bobbed hair because it is still relatively easy to manage, it reminds me of the 1920’s, and I can actually style it!  Right now, I am able to curl it, straiten it, use barrettes, and I can even do a mini ponytail or pigtails. My plan is still to grow my hair out really long, but I am having fun along the way, especially now that some of the more awkward hair stages are out of the way.

I don’t really miss my super short hair, and that is very surprising because I keep seeing awesome cropped do’s popping up in every magazine I pick up.  Usually that would put me right over the edge and I would have to cut mine.  This time, I am not getting the itch to cut it all off at all, which is good because I really want to stick to my goal. 

Even my bangs are practically grown out, or at least, they are easy enough to get out of my face.  I am really happy with the progress my hair is making.  

So there you have it!  It took me nine months to grow my very short pixie haircut into a fairly long bob.  I don't regret growing it out one bit, nor do I regret spending most of the last six years with short hair.  I'm ready to have my hair long, but if you are thinking of making the cut, just do it!  It may take a long time to grow out, but hair will always grow back, and making a big hair change can be really liberating and refreshing.  Who knows.  You might love it as much as I did!  :) 
Me today!  

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Red Date Dress

Today, I have a simple outfit post for you. This is what I wore on July 24th for my three year wedding anniversary with my wonderful husband Jeremy. We had to work during the day, but after work we went swimming at a local pool, and then went out to dinner. It was perfect.

I wore a Modcloth dress that I got last year. It came with the seams of the sleeves on the wrong side, but since it was a final sale, and since I liked it so much otherwise, I sewed bias tape over the seams to cover them, and it turned out great! I love the fit of this dress, as well as the color, and I felt so happy and pretty wearing it on my anniversary. I am posed by my husband’s other love, his car. Yes, it was the hubbies’ idea to include the car in the photos, but I think they ended up pretty cute, so it’s okay. :)

I’ll try not to get too mushy, but my husband is truly the most wonderful man on the planet. He is so smart, funny, kind, and also such a hard worker. He is the kind of husband who always thinks of me first, takes great care of me, and is really playful and just a joy to have in my life.  Even when we are just getting groceries, we have so much fun together.  

Bag, sample sale in Portland.  Gold shoes, Modcloth.  Dress, Modcloth.  

Out to dinner.  

Handsome husband.  
My hair is already so much longer than it was in these photos!  I'll be posting my last "Growing out the Pixie" post tonight. I'm so sick of growing my hair out, but at least now there are some things I can do with it besides throw on a headband.  Not that a headband isn't still my go-to style, but just saying.  ;)

Friday, August 23, 2013

Red Bike Laurel

The Laurel pattern has been Colette's most popular pattern to date, and it is easy to see why!  This is the easiest, most versatile pattern I have ever used.  I'm sure there are many similar patterns out there, but after finding the Laurel, I will never need to buy another shift pattern again.

I made my first Laurel back in May for my NY trip.  You can see that gold brocade number here.  This time, I went for a cute novelty print (bikes!) cotton version with slightly longer sleeves.  I also adjusted the pattern so that I could make it zipper free for ease and comfort.  I'm in love!

I wore it with GAP leggings, a waist cinching belt that my friend Jenn gave me last year, and my Born platform sandals.  I felt really cute and comfortable in this dress, and plan on making many more cotton versions.  I also plan on playing with different types of fabric using the Laurel since this pattern looks completely different based on the fabric you choose, and it only takes about three hours (or less!) to whip one of these babies up.  I never thought a shift would work on a curvy body type, but I am so glad to have been proven wrong!  Of course, the belt helps.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Every Day is a Party Dress

I really like this dress that I made last Fall, but I was sewing so often back then that I only got one day's wear out of it, and then it just hung in my closet ever since.  So, I decided to give it a second try last week, and I remembered how cute it is.  It was almost as fun as finishing a brand new dress!

The bodice of this dress is just a simple princess cut pattern from The Party Dress Book, but the rest was my own design.  This dress cost almost nothing to make since the striped skirt and tie were made out of vintage fabric I have been holding onto since high school.  I can either just let the sash hang like a tie (as pictured) or I can wear it in a great big bow.  The dress is also reversible.  The other side is just plain greenish yellow, and the skirt is a little less full. I have never worn it on that side, but if I ever do I will just take off the tie and wear it as a strapless dress (with a tank under it again of course since I hate wearing strapless bras).

I'm so glad I gave this dress another try, because I really didn't realize how much I liked it.  Some clothes just don't look as special on a hanger as they do when you are actually wearing them.  That is why it is a good idea to play dress-up in your own closet once in a while, especially if you are getting bored of your old standbys.  Shop your own closet!  :)

Monday, August 19, 2013

Brocade Beauty

 I made this dress for my sister Rachel for her birthday in June, and she loved it!  Yay!  Rachel is a very tiny petite lady, so making clothes for her is pretty easy.  It also helps that she gravitates towards simple shapes, and that I hardly needs any fabric at all to make a piece for her.  Ha!  But it really is true; this whole dress probably took less than a yard and a half of fabric to make.  

I have made Rachel two dresses using this simple pattern, and they both turned out great.  This version is pretty fancy, but the second version is a bit more casual and easy to wear because it is made of a thick, light colored cotton.  I’ll get some pictures of her wearing that dress too.  Eventually.    

This dress however is made out of vibrant blue brocade that I got on my trip to New York in May.  It is fully lined with a light, sea foam green fabric (I’m not really sure what it is made out of, but it is very thin and perfect as a lining material).  It is a good idea to always line brocade pieces because brocade isn't the most comfortable against your skin, and it also frays pretty badly if it gets too much friction from your body.  I don’t always line brocade pieces, but I really should. 

Front view.  
Side view.
Back view: note the cute little key hole detail.  :)

Pretty sister!  :)

I haven’t really been in a sewing mood lately, but I’m going to try to break the curse and make something new this week.  Maybe I’ll even finish up one of the many projects I already have started!  I have a habit of starting projects, getting frustrated and putting them away to try again another day...a day that never comes.  So, I am making it my goal to pick back up some of the old projects I had started since my sewing journey began, and see if starting in the middle can be a little more inspiring than starting a new project feels right now.  I am ready to have some new clothes, so I better get on it!

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Sunny Summer Separates

Here is another post I meant to write in July.  Oh well!  Sometimes I am having too much fun to remember to document my cute outfits.  There are worse problems in the world, I would guess.

Not that it was particularly difficult to draft (no pattern required) but this is another one of my own designs.  This yellow dress is actually a skirt and top combo.  Awesome, right? I wore the shirt portion to the lake over leggings (it is long enough to cover my bum) early in July.  I wish I got some photos, but I was just having way too much fun to remember to snap a pic.  Next time.   

Notice the little pocket on the skirt.  Just big enough for my cell phone.  :)

I made both of these pieces really quickly, and they both had some "mistakes" in them that ended up making them even better than expected.  Isn't it great when that happens?  For example, I was trying to make the gathering on the top centered, but it ended up more to the side.  That was kind of awesome though because it changed how the top fit, making it more sleek and less billowy than I had anticipated.  It was a much cuter shape, especially when I wore the top on its own.  I had always planned on making the flowers off-center, so it ended up working nicely with the drape of the top.  Yay for happy accidents!

 I also wanted to show off this adorable hair clip I got from Anthropologie.  On sale, thank goodness!  I drool over all of their headbands and hair accessories but they are super expensive when they are full price.  The earrings were a gift from a friend, and the shoes are Urban Outfitters.  The blue tank I have had for years (American Eagle maybe?).

We are well into August now friends, and I am starting to panic.  I am not ready to say good-bye to summer.  Not even close!  I need to make a mental note right now to get out and enjoy the sun while I still can.  Swimming anyone?  

Thursday, August 15, 2013

A Dress for all Occasions

It has taken me a while to post these pictures, but I am excited to finally be showing off this simple yellow summer dress.  Summer is my favorite season because I love outdoor activities (especially swimming!) but fall is really my season for fashion.  It would seem like a girl who loved dresses as much as I do would love dressing for warm weather, but most of the dresses I like are pretty warm, and look super great with cardigans and leggings.  Not to mention scarves, boots and wool or felt hats; all of which scream fall!

Every summer, I find myself struggling to figure out how to blend light dresses with office appropriate wear, because lets face it, in the summer the less clothes the better, and that is just not okay for most office jobs (certainly not mine!). So, this summer, I decided to make myself some office appropriate summer dresses that would be cute enough and light enough for outdoor fun without sacrificing style.  

The result was my “Flower Collection”, which ended up being a set of three cotton dresses of my own (very simple) design.  Each of the dresses in this collection are unlined, making them cooler on hot summer days.  It also made them incredibly easy to sew!   I am also excited that I finally learned how to do a full-bust adjustment for myself.  No more squished boobs!

The first of the three  dresses, I showed you here.  It is made of a dark purple cotton covered in a bright flower print, as well as a collar made out of chiffon flowers.  A bright green zipper runs down the back. 

The second dress in this collection is a very basic yellow dress with a large blue flower print.  This time, I used a hidden side zipper.  The simplicity of this dress makes it incredibly versatile and allows my accessories to make a statement without overloading the look.  I wore this yellow dress one lovely July day, first to the zoo, and then later to a dinner theater show, and it was completely perfect for both events!  

For my zoo outfit, I let my hair air dry, then I added this cute straw hat I got from Urban Outfitters some time ago. I put on some comfy flats so I would be able to walk longer, and I was ready to go.  It felt like a perfect zoo dress!  The little flower at the neck of the dress is actually a hair clip from forever 21.  Sometimes I stick cute hair accessories somewhere on my outfit in case I need to get the hair out of my face at some point during the day.  

Later, I fancied the dress up with simple heals bright lipstick and straitened hair.  Suddenly, it became the perfect fancy lady dress! 

I am very happy with these three dresses, especially the third, which I will show you soon.  All of them were simple to make, and just perfect for summer. Maybe next year, summer won’t be such a question mark for me with these dresses in my wardrobe!