Saturday, May 28, 2011

Sew Weekly Challenge: Embellish This or "I ran all the miles and this is my happy dance"

Hello again, Friends! No, I didn't forget about you.  I've been busy preparing for Me Made June, and let me tell you, I am crazy excited about some of the new clothes I am going to wear next week!  I'll post pictures as the days go by...I'd like to have a few surprises up my sleeve.

I started this little number below months ago after finding it in One Yard Wonders (Strapless Tunic pattern). And then I realized I hated the color and it was completely impractical because it is strapless. Strapless bras are the worst.  In theory, they are great...until you wear them and they end up mid way down your rib cage and you try to slyly adjust the girls but that becomes as big an ordeal as trying to pick a wedgie.  Neither of these things can really be accomplished in public without garnering a whole lotta attention.  So I put it on the shelf.  

Finally, I picked it up for this challenge, put in the elastic, and added some embellishment!

I added ribbon around the top and bottom, large purple buttons above the slits, and threw on a scarf that I had gotten through a clothing swap a few months ago. It looks a little Grecian.  I dig that.

While I'm not feeling comfortable enough to wear this strictly as a top, I think it will make a fabulous swimsuit cover up.

Well, that wasn't the only embellishing I did...I disappeared for a few days in front of the machine, so I need to have something to show for it!

I have this grey Old Navy sweater that's just okay. It's a necessary work staple but I wanted to add some pizazz.

...and I pulled this dress out of the "to be finished" pile. I just wasn't feeling a ton of love for it. It needed ...something.

Together, these items make for a perfect summery outfit! Or a perfect "it's 70 degrees and about to downpour on my head" outfit.
Here is the outfit.  I gathered some seam binding and attached the ruffles to the neckline of the dress, while adding some lovely lace flowers to the cardigan.

I needed to sit because I'm completely exhausted...

I just ran the Soldier Field 10 Miler.  This is me after a shower and much interrupted nap (who does renovations on a Saturday???)...

It was pretty cool seeing myself on the jumbotron as I finished on the fifty yard line.

Ah, Chicago.  Some day the sun will return, but not before July, I'm sure. 

I may take another nap.  Because I can.

Close up of the trims and flowers.  I love the cardigan, and the dress will definitely see some use now.  It needed a little spicing up - wearing white so close to my pasty pasty skin is not very flattering.

 It suddenly started pouring, and I was so blissfully happy that it happened during pictures and not during the race. I was soaked through during the run because of the humidity, but seriously, rain gets in your shoes and makes the trail muddy and course slippery. 

And last but not least, my happy dance.

Friends, I hope you are having a fabulous Memorial Day weekend where you are!  Enjoy some sunshine for me!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Happy Monday! Yes, I am serious.

Happy Monday, Friends!  No, I'm not crazy - I am actually super excited that this is Monday.  This is the Monday of a four day work week, and that is a reason for some serious celebrating.

My weekend was hectic...I went to my first Zumba class (OMGwhyarewemovingsofast), I scheduled some ballet classes after reading Angie's post here (love reading her weekly goals - so inspiring, check them out), I saw some fabulous one act shows and my Lizzie's movie premiere!  That was exciting - she looked fabulous on the big screen and I was oh so proud :)

My friend Shel-Belle and I waiting for the movie to start.  I finally broke out the Crepe dress to wear in public - I'm sure that will be happening more often since Me Made June is right around the corner...

This week, the challenge is embellishing...and I am finding it very challenging.  If only I had a Bedazzler...

While I am pondering my embellishing skills (and evaluating my puffy paint supply),  I plan to do some refashioning (big surprise there).  Since my Mom has been giving me most of her old clothes, I've been scouting out tutorials that could help with some of these pieces.  Well, I've got some lovely khaki linen shorts that need love and I think Megan Nielsen's Scallop Hem Shorts tutorial is the way to go... and then I can have one more thing to wear for Me Made June!

I also have a crazy long khaki skirt that needs some love.  It is a fabulous A line skirt, but it hits me right at the fattest part of my calves.  This must be fixed, friends, before it ever sees the light of day.  I'm thinking Disney's Ruffle Waist Skirt Refashion might be the way to go if the fabric isn't too thick.

My Mom also gave me this fantastic Coca Cola sweatshirt that is straight out of the 80s.  I've got big plans for that.  I'm talking Romy and Michelle's High School Reunion big. 

Stay tuned!  And have a fabulous Monday!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Sew Weekly Challenge: Rule, Britannia! Or "Red, White and Blaine"

Friends, while I know this challenge was originally based on lovely Britain, this particular outfit ended up being straight from Blaine, Missouri and Dr. Pearl's and Sheila Albertson's wardrobes.

To start off this red, white, and blue outfit, I checked my closet...
and found a fabulous denim shirt that my Mom gave me.  I've been on a real refashioning kick lately, so you know that this wasn't going to stay a shirt for long.

...and then I went a little crazy. 

I added an inch to the top and bottom of the red and white striped halter, so my assets were covered up.  I also made the straps a little thicker for more support.  I took the sleeves off the shirt and folded the excess under as a pseudo waistband to create this little number:

(This is me modeling my Glamour face.  I am oh so fabulous, dahlink)

It's midnight at the Oasis!

Stool Boom!  From the parlor to the pool room!

Grab your partner by the arm/Take her out behind the barn....


A close up of the stripes and skirt waistband...I love the little 'v' that appeared.

I cannot wait for warmer weather because...

"There's always a place for me at the Dairy Queen."

Have a fabulous day, you Blainians!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

A Redhead's Best Friend

Friends, I gave in and bought a hat pattern because one can only wear so much SPF 100. (Seriously, it's the consistency of paint.  I mean, I like looking like a mime sometimes... but there are days when I want to leave that side of my personality at home.)

I found this awesome hat pattern online via the Sew Weekly..but Friends, IT HAS MATH.  I saw "Radius" and "Pi" and I saw myself sitting on the floor surrounded by mismatched hat pieces and ribbon.  There may have been tears in this vision.  Well!  We can't have that!

So I googled sun hat patterns and Boom!  Amy Butler swooped in and saved the day:

This is in transit to me...and I think I may need to use some fabulous graffiti sheets I have lying around to make a truly one-of-a-kind hat.  Also, I may make the brim bigger because I am obnoxious...and a redhead. 

Are any of you Lovelies making a hat for the summer?  Let me know - I'd love to see your pictures!

Friday, May 13, 2011

Sew Weekly Challenge: Mom or "A Grand Refashion"

Mama Grand has excellent fashion taste.  She gave me this, one of her favorite dresses of all time:

I made some serious alterations to this puppy.  I took out the shoulder pads (but did not make a hat, sadly), shortened the sleeves, gathered the sleeves and added a cuff, took it in on the sides, and hemmed the skirt portion.

I am loving the final result....

I am still crazy about the pockets.  They are deep enough to carry my iPod, work badge, and phone.  I am resisting the urge to tear through my closet and add pockets to every dress I have made so far. 

The back view.  Love that zipper!

The re-done sleeve close up, with button reattached. I had to re cut and gather the top of the sleeve because the shoulder pads had warped the fabric like whoa.
I like puff sleeves though - I blame Anne of Green Gables 100%.

Look!  I have hands!  I can live outside of my pockets for five minutes at a time!

Thanks for the dress, Mom. I love it!

Doing my hair after work and before shooting pictures...The Rob was trying to be artsy, and he apparently does it very well because I actually like this picture.  Maybe I'll take my outfit photos in the bathroom from now on...

I think this is now one of my new favorite dresses, and definitely a great addition to the "work wardrobe" for Me Made June. I really didn't want to wear the same skirt and shirt to work everyday and be known as "that stinky girl with the hair." Me Made June is only three weeks away - eek!  I need to get cracking on more pants!

Is anyone else frantically sewing for Me Made June? I hope you all have a fabulous weekend!

Thursday, May 12, 2011

The Sweetest Piece of Candy I Ever Bought

Friends, this will be the last time I talk about least this week. 

I just bought a pattern.  A completely impractical, unusable pattern.  Those tricksters at Vogue patterns knew what they were doing when they sent me an email with the Pattern of the Week.  They know how my heart leaps at the sight of lace and skirts and tales of happily ever after. 

When I opened my weekly newsletter, it was like rainbows and unicorns and sunsets and the smell of lilacs on a hot summer day.  It was the stuff dreams are made of...

I know, right?  It's a wedding knock off pattern, which is totally fine by me!  Because that wedding dress was a stunner, and I am not the only one who thought so.

I had absolutely no reason to buy this pattern.  I'm not getting married, and even if I did, I'm not nearly as awesome a seamstress as Suzannah from Adventures in Dressmaking (who is making her own wedding dress and the process is AMAZING).

I just looked at it, and like a completely impractical pair of black strappy stilettos, I had to have it.  It even cost me the same as said stilettos - $4.99.  (I know, right?  I pay more for lunch most days.)  Now you want one too, don't you? 

I'm thinking that if I ever did make this, I would shorten the skirt and make it in red.  Red screams passion and a night out on the town with wine glass in hand.  White wine, of course, because I don't want to clash with my dress.  And not champagne, because I am just wrecked the next day.  (All those little bubbles = worst. hangover. ever.)  So, we'll go with Muscat.  Yes, me in this fabulous red dress, wine glass in hand...


Have you ever bought a completely impractical pattern?  I have a feeling this may sit in my stash like a lovely box of caramels I got for Christmas...

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Butterick Summer Pattern Collection

Friends, remember when I said patterns were like candy?  Well today we got a heaping pile of sweet tarts, smarties, jolly ranchers, candy necklaces, and candy buttons!

Butterick has listened to the people and did not get all crazy with the wings and draping. 

First up, this lovely sheath dress with a ruffled neckline.  I love the simplicity of the overall dress style because it really allows the attention to be drawn to the neckline.  If you have fabulous collarbones and are looking to show them off, I highly recommend this.  I can see it in a bright yellow or red for an outdoor summer wedding.  Don't forget the sunscreen, though!  Some of our shoulders have not seen the light of day since last summer and things could get crazay.  And by crazay, I mean crispay.

A simple summer dress pattern, but I think it looks fantastic as a print.  I won't be purchasing this necessarily, as I know waistlines like that do not look good on me, but I love the pockets.  Total farmer's market dress. 

Again, another simple summer dress, but I love the option of wearing it as a top.  It looks cool and comfortable, and would be great in a jersey print.

 I love this dress because it looks like a wrap dress, but doesn't call for the five yards of fabric it takes for a wrap dress.  I love wrap dresses, but I am seriously limited by how much fabric I have in my stash.  I adore the cuffs on the blue dress and the fabric belt that wraps around fully before tying in front.  It's an easily wearable look, which is good, because it's a Fast & Easy pattern.  I would love to see how fast someone could make this! 
 Another summer dress!  And it's wearable!  I love the pink and white versions - the necklines are fabulous.  My favorite part of this would have to be the waistline because it would hit right below the natural waist, allowing the waist to appear slim and move the gathers bulk lower.  I would probably shorten the dress and have it hit right above the knee, but other than that, I think this a spot on, drinking sangria on a restaurant patio, laughing with my friends pattern.
A  tunic top which mimics a wrap dress and offers options like a V, boat or open/one shoulder neckline.  Love it!

 This is hands down one of my favorites in this collection.  I love the lace insets on the sleeves and the cowl neckline!
 The sleepwear option, which all looks cool and comfortable.  I have some decent size scraps of eyelet fabric which might be put to good use in a pattern like this. 

This skirt/short pattern may appear a little lackluster, but the button front skirt reminded me of Colette's Beignet Pattern.  If you're looking for simple, quick skirts for summer, I think this may be the pattern for you.

I realize this is completely impractical because I have nowhere to wear this, like at all, or ever, but I still want one.  In green.  Or a lovely brocade.  This may be a pattern that I buy and keep in my stash because it. is. gorgeous. 

Or I may need it if I ever decide to try out for Moulin Rouge 2: the Prequel.  Or Satine: Zombies Can (Can).

I love this shirt dress pattern for petites!  What a fun plaid to use - very nautical.  All you need is some swim trunks (and some flippy floppies) ... 

Well, it can't all be lollipops and rainbows, because that is just impractical.  Candy shops also sell those weird orangey peanut things, and that is what these patterns are....weird things that you probably should not be eating.

Here we have a knit dress, which really doesn't flatter any shape, but just kind of lays a cat that thinks it is superior to you.  Crazy kitty, laying there, plotting my demise.
And then we have this caftan thing, which may not be completely practical for everyday wear, because it is warm in summer, but might be fabulous in a lightweight material and worn as a beach cover up.  Not the jumpsuit though - just ignore the jumpsuit.  It is the black sheep on the pattern cover.

Friends, what do you think of the new summer collection from Butterick?  Any favorites?  Or disappointments?  I'd love to know - leave your opinion in the comments!

Monday, May 9, 2011

Second Giveaway Winner ...and Mama Grand

Friends, the winner of the second giveaway is.... Jen aka knitstuff!!! Yay!!! Congrats Jen, I will be contacting you shortly for an address so I can send you goodies :)

Well, the Sew Weekly Challenge this week involves honoring our mothers.  While I don't have a picture of her wearing this outfit, I'm honoring my Mom by giving one of her all time favorite dresses some love...

The green and black combo is fabulous!  I am seriously in love with the color and style, but not so crazy about the shoulder pads....unless I make another hat :)  I think I am most excited about the pockets!

I'll be shortening the hem, taking it in on the sides, removing the shoulder pads and taking the sleeves in, shortening the sleeves, taking down the front flap...and I think that may be it.  It's a fantastic piece, and I cannot wait to get started on it!

(No, I do not have Gollum feet - I am just curling my toes.  I mean, I totally have huge feet, but I get all fidgety when I have to stand still for five seconds.)

I love the zipper down the back.  This will definitely stay.  I love when I don't have to adjust zippers.

So, Mama Grand, I just wanted to say thank you for the dress.  I promise to make you proud :)

Love, Your Baby Grand