Tag Archives: hot damn this is my jam

Merry Christmas To Meeeeee :)

28 Dec

Just dropping in to show off the Christmas present I bought myself yesterday!

Merry Christmas to me!!
Wait for it…

New sewing machine
Wait for it…

New sewing machine :)
Yay! My first Bernina – a 350 PE :)
I guess you could say I was real good this year haha :)

We’ve been bonding since yesterday afternoon, and I must say – she’s a sexy beast of a machine. The mechanics are incredibly smooth and quiet, and the stitches are freakin perfect. Just a gorgeous piece of machinery, and super fun to sew with. It came stocked with a knee lever for the presser foot and a free walking foot (which is golden, since my #1 sewing machine deal breaker is that I need a walking foot, no lie). There are two thread cutters – one by the bobbin winder. GENIUS. Why didn’t I think of that?! The bobbin winder is cool as hell, btw – it’s automatic, as in you don’t have to press the pedal to get it to wind. Again – GENIUS.

Since I’m awesome and live in Nashville, my local Bernina dealer is only about a 20 minute drive away. YUSSS! I’ve actually been plotting/saving for this purchase since October or so, but I wanted to make sure I could pay for the whole thing without financing (or any other debt, for that matter – had to pay off the credit card first!). And lucky me, they were offering $100 off during Christmas. So I was able to splurge a little and buy some bobbins and an invisible zipper foot as well :)

I know you can buy machines online these days, and in some ways they may be cheaper (especially if you don’t have to pay taxes – our rate here is 9.25% and, ouch), but I really recommend buying your machine from an actual local dealer if you have the option. There are so many perks, aside from the whole fact that you don’t have to worry about the machine getting thrown around during shipment (and waiting for it to ship in the first place! Argh!). This store offers free getting-to-know-your-new-machine classes, which I will be taking advantage of – I barely know a quarter of the features on my Pfaff, and I sewed with her for 5 years! I also get free maintenance, cleaning and repairs for 2 years on the Bernina… and a free clean-up/repair on the Pfaff, so I can sell it :) Not to mention the small discount I get on Bernina feet and accessories since I bought a machine from them.

And look – I even got a Bernina seam ripper lol:
lol Bernina seam ripper
I’ve never bought a *new* machine, so I didn’t know they came with branded seam rippers. Ahh, I am tickled.

I just realized this sounds way too much like a sponsered post – it’s not :) I paid for this machine with my own money and the discount I got was offered to anyone who buys a Bernina from that store :) I’m just super excited about my new baby and I wanted to share the love!

As a side note… assuming my Pfaff comes back in good working condition (the repair guy said it probably just needs a new pedal, no motherboard problems like I originally feared), anyone looking to buy a 7570? Holler at me! Haha! :)

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I’m Creepin’ All Over Your ‘Nets

1 Nov

Just dropping in to alert y’all of a couple guest posts that some of my favorite bloggers have been kind enough to dedicate to meeee.

First up, I’ve got a little Q&A with Joanne over at Stitch and Witter about my handmade style:
Guest post on Stitch and Witter!

Super fun stuff, and I’m so honored to join the ranks of all the other lovely ladies who have been interviewed! Here’s my interview if you care to know more about my handmade style :)

Second up, this is kind of old news (and I’m taking full responsibility of being a Shitty Blogger right now, ok), but I also had a guest post over on Lucky Lucille and this one is all about the Peony and it’s mysterious bust darts:
Guest post on Lucky Lucille!
A few people have already told me they found it very helpful, so do click over if you’re having trouble fitting your bust on this dress (or any dress with a similar dart setup, for that matter – I won’t judge you :)).

As a side kind-of-unrelated-but-not-really note, I just want to announce that today I paid off my credit card and I’m officially debt-free! AND FUCK YES I FEEL PRETTY AWESOME ABOUT IT AND I AM TOTALLY PUMPING MY FIST RIGHT NOW.

It took about a year, and it was pretty fucking shitty – remember when I said I wasn’t going to let myself buy new fabric in 2012 (with a couple of exceptions)? Well, now you know why. But it’s paid off – and I’m ahead of schedule, even, considering my goal date was 12/21/12 (yes. The end of the world). I’ve already blasted this all over the web & I’m sure people are real sick of hearing about it at this point – but I’m just so excited! And it’s totally relevant to this blog since I no longer need to take commissioned projects (which frees up time for LT-sewing), and I can actually spend money on sewing things that don’t come from the flea market. So yay!

To keep this sewing-relevant, this is what I wore last night for the Trick-Or-Treaters:
FACT: Skeleton pajamas always come in handy.
Me-made, of course :) I drew the template and stencilled it on a plain black sweatsuit. Everyone needs a skeleton costume, yes?

A Day at the Flea – October 2012

30 Oct

Lord have mercy, the flea market was GOOD to me this month. I’m almost embarrassed by the excess, although I keep telling myself I’m saving money & keeping trash out of landfills. Right? Right!? Humor me here.

Anyway, I went on Saturday with my best-flea-market-buddy-ever, Lauren (and you should definitely go lurk her blog if you enjoy being jealous of beautiful white crocheted lace dresses, because, hot damn). My first mistake was forgetting that October was the “big” month for this flea market. I don’t know what people have against November & December, but for whatever reason, they choose October as their month go to Christmas shopping. The place was PACKED – lots of slow-moving old folks with their dogs in covered baby strollers (sidenote: why? Why wouldn’t you just leave your dog at home? I DO NOT UNDERSTAND). On the flip side, it meant that all the sellers brought out their big guns this month… and we made out like bandits.

Today's flea market haul
Here’s a shitty Instagram pictures of my haul, minus the clothes I bought (oh yes… there are clothes).

40s velvet party dress
This is the very first thing I bought – like, within 15 minutes of getting there. Isn’t she a beaut! I’m pretty sure this is from the 40s/early 50s. I (unsuccessfully)tried to lighten the image; it’s a lovely forest green velvet. The buttons are mother-of-pearl with gold edges. This will definitely be my Christmas dress :)

40s rayon day dress
The second dress is a navy day dress from the 40s. I’m not totally sure of the fabric content, but I’m thinking rayon. Sidenote- the seller & I bickered over the age of this dress. She said it was late 30s, I said early 40s. She said she knew her vintage, I said I know my sewing patterns. Later when I was hemming it up (don’t worry – the original hem is still there, I didn’t cut anything off :)), I found a tag on the inside of the skirt that dates it to 1940. I guess that’s kind of a compromise, huh?
Ps – I know it looks totally ugly on the hanger, here’s an action shot of it on me :)

Butterick 2153
Simplicity 1999
I also got some patterns. Aren’t these darling? The seller remembered me from last month & saved me a box!

I came across that giant box of zippers right before we left. As in, “Let’s lurk this last shed and then go home, I’m cold.” The seller and I haggled a bit on the price, then settled on $15 for the whole box, plus whatever else I wanted to stuff in there. I added a few scraps of fabric, giant covered buttons, and a purse pattern that Lauren was eyeballing. I wasn’t sure if I got a good deal or not, I just grabbed the box & hi-tailed it home.

Zippers!
I know it doesn’t look like much, but there are 83 zippers here! Almost all of them are 22″ (some longer), and they are about 50/50 nylon and metal. Every color of the rainbow! That comes out to about $.18 per zipper, so yeah, I reckon I got a good deal ;) Add that to the giant bag of metal zippers I scored a few months ago; I’m pretty sure I’ll never need to buy another zipper again trololol

You’re probably wondering what my second mistake was.
My second mistake was going back the next day.

with my mom & niece :)
This time, I went with my parents & niece Caroline, who is the sassiest little sass that ever sassed.

true
I would have bought this if it wasn’t $10.

OMG
I discovered that I was a designer in a past life.

haul #2
And here’s haul #2, combined with some stuff my parents bought. Aren’t those side tables amazing?

I missed one of my regular sellers the first go-round, so I was interested to see if he still had anything for me (I usually get my patterns from him):
Vogue Couturier pattern
OH! Ok!

Simplicity 5016

Modes Royale 1415

Sewing Booklets

Pres Kloth !!
(yes, the “kloth” is in there and yes I plan on using it)

Zipper patterns!
Change purse gloves!? DED.

Sewing books via Dept of Agriculture
I actually have no need for these (you should see my collection of fitting books), I was just amused that they were from the US Department of Agriculture. So randumb haha!

Hollywood 1482
I found this pattern at a different booth. I was really excited about it – it was only $1 – until I realized that some idiot piece of shit waste of life SEALED THE ENTIRE THING UP IN CONTACT PAPER. S/he had arranged it in some weird cardboard shadow box with a bunch of sewing notions (not cool vintage sewing notions… like, shit from Joann’s) and plastic-wrapped the whole thing closed. I only wanted the pattern, so the seller punched the front out and gave it to me lol. I was able to rip the top open very carefully with a razorblade, and the envelope contains one pattern piece & the instructions. So boo :( Oh well, at least the artwork is pretty enough to display.

I also bought more clothes!
blanket skirt
50s wool skirt that feels like a blanket.

50s party dress
50s party dress that fits me perfectly (and yes… that is a bird shit stain on the collar lol. I need to clean it!)
This dress was only $5. Hold onto your hats – there is a significant amount of fading down one side of the dress, all the way to the hem. Those spots have been lightened to purple. Hence why it was so cheap. I’m not sure what I’m going to do with it – the sun damage isn’t terribly noticeable when worn (the seller suggested I wear it in the dark haha), but you can still see it. I thought about dying it, but I really like the color as-is. So idk yet. But for $5 – I couldn’t leave it behind!

square dancing dress
This square dancing dress was also $5. I’m not sure of it’s age – it’s handmade, at any rate – but it fits and that skirt is super twirly. MINE.

70s wooden shoes
I also found these beat-up 70s wooden platform sandals for $5.

All in all, a good 2 day haul – and I spent way less than $100 total!

And just to keep this related to all things blog~
outfit!
I’m wearing the blanket skirt today – it goes perfectly with my Chuck sweater ;)

The Chicago Meet-Up!

20 Sep

Chicago meet-up: definitely a success! Chicago itself: definitely one of my new favorite cities. You guys. The public transportation. I can’t even.

knitting on the bus
I CAN KNIT ON THE BUS WTF.

Anyway, I’m sure you’ve already read about the meet-up experience – it lasted two days (you jelly?) – but I wanted to add my two cents as well :) I met up with Liz, Tasha, Meg & Nancy this past Saturday, bright & early. We started out at Bite Cafe, for a meet & eat and a swap that turned out to be of massive proportions. I should point out right now that Liz bent the fuck over backwards in arranging this whole meet-up – she planned the locales, drove our asses around, brought champagne to brunch, even made macarons for us to snack on. Seriously, Liz basically made the day. MADE IT. And I love her for that, and also because she is just awesome :)

Anyway, our swap turned out so big that the poor waitress didn’t have anywhere to put our food. Wah!


I swiped this picture from Liz, this was after we cleared out about half of it lol.
I even came home with a clown sewing pattern. You will all see that later, I promise.

After brunch, Nancy had to go home but the rest of us got to go fabric shopping!

Our first stop was Fishman’s. Doesn’t the store look kind of terrifying? It is, a little. Everyone warned me that it was super expensive, but honestly the prices aren’t that different than how they are here in Nashville. Ouch! We have a low cost of living, but I guess fabric isn’t considered part of that ;) Anyway, lots of oohing & awing to be had – and much fabric petting. I touched so many beautiful pieces of cashmere that I actually did lose feeling in my fingertips for a minute there. No one bought anything – I was saving up all my energy for Vogue. And Vogue, you crazy bitch – you did not disappoint.

Fabric shopping... Dying right now.
Also, pretty much everything was on sale! Aieee!!!

AND BEMBERG RAYON AMBIANCE LINING WAS LIKE $7 YARD.

I am not even ashamed for all my yelling, grunting while pulling logs of fabric out from under other logs of fabric, and using said logs of fabric as a third leg to hobble around the store. I am also not ashamed of the towering pile of fabric we all contributed to, which took up a significant part of the cutting counter.

I LOVE VOGUE FABRICS.

We took a short break in the parking lot, in which Liz took the opportunity to reveal the very best part of the day:
MACARONS OMG
THE MACARONS.
Don’t they look like tiny, delicious hamburgers?!


I love this picture that Tasha took, of us taking pictures of them first hahaha.

After that, we went to Loopy Yarns, where I picked up some harlot red yarn to make my next sweater. They were *also* having a storewide sale, so my total came to under $25 FUCK YES.

Finally, we ended our shopper’s high at Hackney’s, for beers & ciders. I made our waiter take a picture of all of us:
Final stop! Love these ladies!!
This was the second attempt; my eyes were closed in the first one! I may or may not have upset the waiter by demanding a retake haha.

And thus ends the tale of the first day: The Day That We Filled The Trunk Of Liz’s Car With Fabric And Yarn And Macarons.
trunk full o'fabric

The second day, Liz & Felix picked us (us being me & Landon!) up for some vintage shopping with Tasha & Mel at the Vintage Garage. I confess I did not actually go with the expectation of buying anything – the flea market here has me really spoiled when it comes to prices – but I did manage to come home with 3 pieces of clothing, the whole lot for under $50 :) I met Leilani of Thriftaholic and she snapped pictures of me with two of the pieces, so hopefully I’ll see them on her website later! And ooh, even Landon found some cool vintage prints to take home. Which means now I get to shop for vintage frames woohoo.

All in all, a fabulously perfect meet-up. I had a WONDERFUL time & I will definitely be back in Chicago – especially after getting a look at their fabric prices. Liz seriously deserves a gold medal in hostessery for all that she pulled together to make everything special. Also, I can’t remember the last time I laughed so hard for so long but I’d like that to be a daily event in my life, please & thank you.

Now, for some more not-sewing-related-but-still-Chicago-related pictures:

Hellooooo Chicago.
Riding the bus into the city. FUCK this place is huge!

Chicago!
City skyline

Chicago!
The other half of the skyline. Again: huge.

WTF @ this geyser
This geyser was just way too excited I think.

Giant sunflower
The park that we were strolling around had these massive gardens – some full of flowers, some full of vegetables (!!). I couldn’t get over the sunflowers, personally. They were as big as our heads!

I have no idea what this thing is but I kind of love it.
This is the Millennium Park Amphitheater – isn’t it insane looking?!

In front of the Bean :)
Me & Landon in front of the Bean. I hated that Bean, it’s so weird & creepy. SORRY FOR NOT BEING SORRY.

lol crafty beaver
I snapped this on the way to the Vintage Garage. So many dirty jokes come to mind.

Where we stayed in Chicago
This was where we stayed – obviously not a hotel. We booked a room through Airbnb, since even the cheap hotels outside the city are terribly expensive. It was a great experience & I’d do it again in a heartbeat – our host was really freaking cool (I mean, you have to be cool to live in an adorable apartment like that, amirite) and we paid less than half of what we would have paid with a traditional hotel. And coffee was on the house :)

Oh, wait, I guess you wanted to see what I came home with:
fabric spoilz
Fabric & yarn – this does not even count all the goodies I came home with post-swap!

Yesterday was a good day for vintage.
Vintage duds :)

Oh, and for the lurkers in all of us – check out everyone else’s meet-up posts!
Liz’s post, day 1!
Liz’s post, day 2!
Tasha’s post!
Meg’s post!

Now, if you’ll excuse me… I have beautiful fabrics that I must turn into beautiful garments :)

Introducing – My New Sewing Room!

24 Aug

I should really call this a sewing studio – it’s a HUGE room! Huge, I tell you!

Let’s back up a little. When I last left off – three freakin’ weeks ago, eeeewww! – I was still living in a sorry state of moving purgatory. You know what I’m talking about – everything is packed except one of each dish, getting anywhere requires maneuvering around piles of boxes & there are weird outlines on the wall where artwork used to hang. Pretty depressing living situation, if you ask me! We actually did not move until the end of that week, on the 10th. And lucky me – the power company refused to turn our power & water on until the following Monday, so we spent a couple of nights sleeping on the mattress in the middle of the old bedroom (I can handle living a couple of days without one or the other, but not both!). Then there was a full week of unpacking – and I refused to let myself do anything fun until the house was put together (mostly because I know me, and I know it’ll never get done otherwise. Hey, at least I’m honest haha).

Then my old landlord called & said the paint colors in the house were all wrong, and I needed to paint them back. Not wanting to spend $200+ on neutral paint, Landon & I went to Lowe’s & bought out all their OOPS paint, mixed it all together in a 5 gallon bucket & crossed our fingers. The end result was something that closely matches my flesh haha. So I had a painting party with a few awesome friends, PBR, pizza & 90s jams. We knocked out 3 rooms in about 2 hours and told ghost stories and yes, it was as fun as it sounds. And I just found out yesterday that I’m getting my full deposit back! Yay! Money!

So now let me show you my new sewing room!

Sewing Room
Standing in the doorway – aren’t the hardwoods gorgeous?! Unfortunately, this room doesn’t get as good natural light as the bedroom does. Pretty sure I’ll manage ;)

Sewing Room
Turning just a bit, my sewing & ironing stations.

Sewing Room

Sewing Room

Sewing Room
There is actually a closet & more wall that I’m not showing; Landon still hasn’t unpacked all his clothes so I’m not going to show that section because it’s a MESS. Instead – cabinet! Patterns & books & yarn, yay!

Sewing Room
I edited down my stash a bit before I moved, but I still have a metric shit ton of patterns. They are organized by garment type, fyi.

Sewing Room
Speaking of things I have a metric shit-ton of – fabric!!

I forgot to take detail shots, sorrrry! Here are a couple of close-ups:
Sewing Room
Hanging space for rulers & scissors & things that strike my fancy.

Sewing machine art
Have I posted this yet? I made this using an old frame (25¢, painted mint green), a fabric remnant & a sewing machine charm. It makes me so happy haha :)

Some notes on the sewing room, if anyone is curious.
- The cutting table is the Norden Gateleg (Ikea). It is on wood blocks because it’s a tad short for cutting. Eventually I’d like to buy castors, but those fuckers are expensive!
- The fabric shelf is the 4×4 Expedit (Ikea)
- Pretty much everything else (glass cabinet, sewing table, shelves, chairs, even the ironing board) was either thrifted, dumpstered, or a hand-me-down.
- The wall color is Behr Mint Majesty – my landlords painted it for me, but I got to pick the color woohooo!

Here are some other bits & pieces of my house, for those of you who want to be nosy without actually admitting to it (hey, no shame, I’m the same way :B)
Living Room
This is the living room (I’m standing by the front door). I am looooooving these hardwood floors, even if they do make my feet filthy at the end of the day.

Here is an Instagram pic of the other side of the plant:
This is the only part of the living room that is finished haha
Someone asked me the other day if the dude bust was Jesus with his hair blowing – I WISH!

His name is Saul.
His name is Saul, actually.

Living room
This is an ugly picture (I need to hang that mirror, haaa), but I’m including it so you can see the layout of the house. The turquoise doorway is my sewing room (!!), that’s the dining room straight through, and then the kitchen is farther back. The bedroom door is on the other side of the wall.

Dining Room
Here is the dining room! The table/chairs (their matching hutch is in the previous picture) & the curtains are from the flea market. There is a pile of stuff in the floor because Landon’s desk is out of the frame; he’s still organizing that mess so I cropped it out of the picture. Oh, and the lady on the wall is not Marilyn Monroe :)
I don’t really care for that wall color, but it does go well with my curtains.
Sorry about all the bandannas everywhere. Wtf is up with me & bandannas?

So that’s it! I’m really loving my new house – and new neighborhood!! – and I’m looking forward to actually being able to start sewing again. It’s been too long! I just started a new project last night, actually-
REUNITED AT LAST ❤
Good stuff!

A Day at the Flea – July 2012

31 Jul

The flea market hit Nashville again this past weekend, and OF COURSE I went (never mind that I’m moving & throwing stuff away left & right – FLEA!). Joining me was Lauren, new friend Allie and my super awesome sister-in-law, Sarah. Since I don’t have a lot of money to spend, I budgeted myself on a strict $20 and stayed within budget… well, sort of. More on that in a minute!

If we’re friends on Instagram, you probably saw my loot pile after I dumped it on the floor:
And the rest of my flea market loot. $20.
SO GOOD. $20!

Now I’m going to show you every piece of it!

Zippers!
That big pile of zippers was an entire bag that I snagged for $3. I KNOW! I counted them when I got home, and there are 39 zippers. 37 of them have metal teeth. My zipper stash was running on empty, so this was a good thing to come across!

Crewel Pillowcase
That picture-looking thing is actually a crewel pillowcase that I got for $2. I stuffed it with poly fiberfill (side note: I have like 3 bags of this stuff. Why?? I don’t use it for anything, yet it is somehow reproducing in my sewing room! Help!) so it is now a proper pillow. I actually have another embroidered pillow that I got last month for $1, so they’re like pillow buddies now. And that, my friends, is how I started my newest collection.

Wool-blend Maxi
This isn’t fabric – it’s actually a maxi skirt! A nice wool-blend, I think it’ll go well in the winter. It reminded me of Stevie Nicks, so I had to take it home with me. Also, it was $3.

30s Lace Collar
30s Lace Collar, $2
I obviously need a dress to sew this onto – taking pattern suggestions!

MAN-HANDLER
Haha, ok, this isn’t part of my $20 because Sarah actually bought this for me. Isn’t it awesome, though? I need to find a frame for it, and where to hang it! I’m thinking right at the front door, so people will know what they’re getting into >:) Hahahahahahahha

Yellow Buttons
These are the yellow buttons from yesterday’s dress. They were dirty as hell, but they cleaned up real good! $1

Lemon Hook
The very last thing I bought – I had exactly $1 left, and we were walking to our car when Lauren decided that she wanted a utensil holder. I found this lemon-y goodness hook for my last dollar (and yes, there was a utensil holder at the table as well… it even said UTENSILS on it lol)

Retro Tablecloth
Awesome bright tablecloth, $5

Advance 7055
Advance 7055, $1

Fabric Scraps
Dude also made me take these fabric scraps with that pattern. Free! They are pretty small, but I think I can eek out some facings with them. My soon-to-be brown wool old man Thurlow trousers are totally getting the brown/yellow floral facing treatment.

Simplicity 4697
Simplicity 4697, $1
Already have a fabric planned for this.

Simplicity pattern
Simplicity pattern, $1
I want to make a corduroy jacket! With elbow patches!

So that would have been it… except upon leaving, Lauren & I came across this magnificent china hutch that she just fell in love with. When she asked about the price, the guy said it was part of a set he was not willing to break up. The set included a buffet, table & 4 chairs. Jokingly, Lauren asked me if I wanted to split the furniture with her…

I bought furniture. OOPS.
And they were amazing, so of course I said FUCK YEAH.
Seriously! I wish I had better pictures to show y’all, because they are incredible. Definitely 60s, real wood, and they are going to look amazing in my house. I am going to need to reupholster the chairs, but the wood is just beautiful.

60s chair - part of the dining room set
Here’s a bad picture of the chair (you can also see the buffet behind it)
Unfortunately, there is absolutely no space for them in my current house, so there really isn’t any room to walk… I have to crawl over stuff lol. Totally worth it, though!

In case you were wondering – I got all that furniture for $100. SERIOUSLY. I told you our flea market was a good ‘un!

And now, for something completely different – here are a couple sneaky peeky pictures of my our new house :) I stole them off the rental website so they’re a little outdated, but you get the idea!

Living Room
The living room! It’s not this color anymore; it’s actually a soft burnt orange (really pretty!). I just love the big picture window. There is a really great front porch, with a porch swing!

Sewing Room
This is going to be my sewing room :) It is being repainted – I chose Behr Mint Majesty. I just love the windows & the hardwood floors! This picture is actually a little deceiving – the room is HUGE.

In the meantime, I started packing my sewing room yesterday, so I won’t be doing any sewing for at least a week or so. I’m already feeling a bit stir-crazy, augh!

Completed: Gingham Thurlow Trouser Shorts

23 Jul

Fair warning: I am way WAY excited about pattern. Words cannot express.

When Tasia announced that she was releasing a Trouser pattern specifically for those of us with a generous lower half, I was already pretty excited. As with, well, *everyone* who sews pants, there are always mounds of alterations that need to be done before you can even cut into your fabric. For me especially, it’s the kind of stuff that requires a muslin & flat pattern adjusting – the adjustments don’t fare well with pinching & letting out seams. So naturally, I’ve kept my eye out for pattern companies that cater to my body shape so I can deal with less alterations. I already knew this pattern was going to be a go, regardless of the style – but wait, have you actually seen these trousers??? OMG WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN ALL MY LIFE.

I think Sewaholic might be my new favorite pattern company. I’ve made up a handful of her patterns, and the more I see/work with, the more I’m just incredibly impressed. This pattern is no exception – it is wonderful. Thanks to the extra ease allowed for curvy hips & full thighs (and a narrow waist!), these fit almost perfectly straight out of the envelope. There are a million little pieces, but everything goes together supremely well & the instructions are clear & straightforward without being dumbed down. These shorts weren’t just sewn – they were practically engineered.

So anyway, let’s talk about my shorts!

Gingham Shorts
This gingham was one of the few pieces I allowed myself to buy during the biannual 50% off sale at my local fabric store (I’m saving my pennies for Chicago, eep!). I REALLY wanted giant gingham shorts, although a few people gave me the side-eye when I showed them the fabric lol. Whatever, I love them! The fabric is quite sheer, so almost every single piece (save for a couple facings) is underlined with cotton batiste. Cutting out all those pieces, plus making sure the gingham matched up, plus underlining – I think I spent close to 3 hours just prepping everything for sewing! Totally worth it, though. And as an encouragement to anyone who fears plaids – cutting it out kinda sucks. A lot. But once it’s cut, everything goes together with very little drama.

Gingham Shorts
Like I said, the muslin fit pretty well straight out of the envelope. I usually have to make a few drastic changes to my pattern (adding room for a full butt, reducing the waistband circumference & shortening the crotch), so this was a relief! I did pinch out the tiniest bit of length from the front crotch – about 1/4″ maybe, tapering to nothing at the side seams. I also added another small wedge extension – again, about 1/4″ – to the back crotch for a tiny bit of extra room. These are a size 0, btw. Haven’t fit into that size in a few years haha :)

Gingham Shorts
The only design change I made to the pattern was cutting the waistbands & welt pockets on the bias – I didn’t want to deal with matching those stripes. I do have a little bit of rippling at the waistband, which I also had with my Clover jeans (which, come to think of it, that waistband was also cut on the bias. Hmmmmm). But it’s no big deal – I just pressed the shit outta it. Ironing solves everything!

Gingham Shorts
I also took about 2″ off the hem – the original length is a smidge too long for my frame. And anyway, I like wearing short shorts. Deal with it.

Gingham Shorts
Don’t my welt pockets look gooood? I think those & all the action going on with those fly facings (patience, grasshopper, we’ll be looking at that in a minute!) make these pants look super nice. I may make the pockets a little deeper next time, however – these are only about 2″ deep! No room for the wallet!

Here are some close-ups (I told you! I’ve gone craaaazy!)
Gingham Shorts

Gingham Shorts
(I am very sorry, I have no idea why this is so blurry!)

Gingham Shorts
As you can see, I couldn’t get the pocket area to line up perfectly, gingham-wise. The lines on the leg are straight, though, so I guess it’s ok!

Gingham Shorts

Gingham Shorts - front

Gingham Shorts - fly facing
Isn’t the facing fabric so pretty?! It was a (handmade)pillowcase I found at the Goodwill Outlet. I barely had enough to cut all my facing pieces. I just love the colors against the black & white gingham.

Gingham Shorts - inside
You know, in retrospect, I should have checked that the bobbin thread was white when I was stitching on the waistband – that black thread on the waistband facing looks kinda dumb.

Gingham Shorts - back

Gingham Shorts - welt pockets
Close-up of welt-y goodness :)
Oh, and just for the record – I used ONLY the instructions to assemble these. No additional help via books or blog posts for that fly/facing or the welt pockets (these are the first welt pockets I have ever sewn, btw). The instructions were great & I am pleased with the results!

Gingham Shorts - inside welt pocket
Oh, and not only do the pockets have these fun insides, but they are also faced with the gingham so it doesn’t show when you’re just walking around or whatever. I’m telling you – this pattern is legit!

I’m so so thrilled with my first pair of these – I can’t wait to make more! I want to make some corduroy shorts for winter (I’ve never been one for shorts with tights but I think this style of short would actually look really good!), and of course trousers. Trousers in every color, wheee!

Gingham Shorts

Gingham Shorts

Shabby Apple Giveaway

20 Jun

!!! THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED !!!

Who likes a giveaway? Who likes a Shabby Apple giveaway? EEE me me me me me! Ok, maybe not me… maybe I’m just the host. But I’ve got a sweet treat to give one lucky person – could it be you?

For those of you not familiar with Shabby Apple – we are talking about a fab online store that sells beautiful vintage-inspired dresses. Come, take a walk with me down Beautiful Dress Lane.


Overboard is a classic gingham shirtdress


Ipanema reminds me of something Trudy Campbell would wear while hosting an outdoor dinner party


Admiral makes me die with glee, just a little bit. How cute is that model!?


Che Bella! is reminiscent of my Hawaiian dress reconstruction, except quite a bit more regal – it’s like the casual version of a LBD. Love it!


Ming just makes me want to throw big honkin’ rosettes on every tshirt I own


I guess Academia may be a little off-season, but I had to include it because it looks a lot like my Galaxy dress ripoff. And y’all know I can’t turn down something that reminds me of, well, myself :3

Have I piqued your interest yet? Are you ready to throw down for your own Shabby Apple goody? I’ve got a $50 Shabby Apple gift card that is going to end up in the mitts of one lucky reader! You can pick whatever you want with your gift card – one of the dresses I listed above, or pick something completely different off the site. Dresses aren’t your thing this week? That’s ok, they have separates & accessories too!

To enter, here’s what you gotta do:
1. Like Shabby Apple on Facebook. You must do this to enter the giveaway. Make sure you leave me an email address in your comment so I can contact you if you won!!
2. For a bonus entry, leave a comment & tell me what you would get if you won the $50 gift card. The Facebook entry is mandatory, this one is just because I am nosy as hell :)

The giveaway is open to US readers (sorry international pals! I will plan something that includes y’all soon, promise!♥). You have one week to enter; I will close the giveaway on Friday 6/29 and draw a randumb name.

Shabby Apple has also generously offered a coupon code for 10% off any purchase – so even if you don’t win, or don’t live in the US, you can still get on a little deal. Simply enter “lladybird10off” at check-out (and make sure to admire that there is a coupon code with my name on it. Ha! It’s the little things, eh?). This offer is good for a month, so shop your hearts out, y’all!

I think that’s it! Big thanks to Shabby Apple for the awesome giveaway! Good luck, everyone! :)
!!! THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED !!!

My Blogger Swap with Casey

11 May

For the past couple of months, Casey & myself have been in cahoots with a swap we were planning. It started with me offering her my copy of Simplicity 5148 (which – can we just agree that this particular style would look darling on her? Yes? Yes.), and we decided to just take advantage of the opportunity & fill each other a little box of goodies that we swapped out over the weekend. Casey actually had a birthday on Friday, and mine is a little less than 2 weeks away – so the timing was pretty perfect!

I almost feel bad posting this because the entire package was full of the most AWESOME stuff, and it’s just going to make everyone else jealous aha. So sorry, y’all!

Here is the whole pile in all it’s glory:
The whole shebang!
Right?! Are you salivating yet? I swear, every single thing I lifted out of that box made me shriek with delight.

White slip
Here is a pristine white slip, with beautiful scalloped edging. I really love that this slip is white, and not that horrid pink that is suspiciously close to my skin color (like all my other slips).

Linen tea towel
This gorgeous linen tea towel – which, if you’re wondering, looks great in my coral kitchen :)

Acetate fabric
A generous length of fabric – it’s labeled Acetate, and even though it’s very clearly a lining I’m still tempted to sew it up into a circle skirt. Would that be painfully obvious?

Simplicity 4604
Simplicity 4604, a simple – but perfect – sheath dress

Simplicity 8497
Simplicity 8497 – this 60s style dress is one of my favorites (I have 2 vintage dresses just like the long one, although the fabric is quite a bit less formal). I know I’d never wear that brocade full-length one, but I am seriously tempted to sew it up anyway.

Simplicity 8496
Simplicity 8496 – I’m imagining this in a soft wool for fall. I think it’s so sweet!

There were also books in my box…
How To Make Belts & Hems book
How To Make Belts & Hems by Simplicity. UH HUH, my belt-making is sorely lacking so this is a great blessing to appear in my home!

Home Sewing Is Easy book
Home Sewing is Easy – ahaha, this book is so awesome & unintentionally funny. The woman on the cover looks like she’s about to eat her young, and the book is actually written out like a comic book. I love it! Casey – where the hell did you find this, btw??

Creepy lady
See what I mean? She’s totally about to eat a baby.

Home Sewing Is Easy

Home Sewing Is Easy

Home Sewing Is Easy
(on second thought, maybe she’s just planning on eating that other woman instead)

Home Sewing Is Easy
Hehe!

Complete Book of Sewing
There was also the Complete Book of Sewing (the hardcover book at the bottom of the stack). I actually collect sewing how-to books – I know, it’s totally dorky, and I have at least a dozen lol. All mine are from the 60s-80s, though. This one has a copyright from the early 40s and the illustrations are gorgeous.

See?

Complete Book of Sewing

Complete Book of Sewing

Complete Book of Sewing

Complete Book of Sewing

Complete Book of Sewing
(she is beautiful, but what I’m really eyeballing is that scalloped collar. Uh-mazing!)

And what sewing goody box would be complete without a few notions?
Notions!
Lace trim, red buttons, and pretty buckle. I think the buckle *may* be Bakelite – it smells like formaldehyde, anyway :)

Oh, and knitting supplies!
Knitting needles & stitch markers
Those little sheep are STITCH MARKERS. That’s actually what killed me in the end. When I realized what they were (at first I was just a little confused but I still thought they were cute!), I actually yelled & the cat practically fell off my sewing table in surprise hahahaha. These are seriously the cutest things I’ve ever seen. And there are actually 6 of them, but you see 4 because 2 of them are already stuck on a knitting project :)

Sheep stitch markers
I can’t even tell you how much it delights me to reach a stitch marker and then remember that it’s a SHEEP.

Ok, I think that’s it! I hope I didn’t forget anything – as soon as I unpacked the box it ended up strewn all over the house because I was carrying everything around like a mama kangaroo carries around her young… I forgot to take pictures! Oops! At any rate, I can’t even express in proper words how much I love love love everything that was in my little box – best birthday present ever! If Casey enjoys her box even half as much as I love mine, I will consider this a splendid success :)

Thank you, Casey, for organizing this swap with me! Everyone else, I hope this inspires you to reach out & maybe have a mini-swap with someone else – it is so much fun to plan & collect everything, and get an awesome surprise on the receiving end!

If you want to lurk the box that I sent to Casey, she has written a post about it here!

Me Made May – Week 1 Roundup

4 May

Holy cow, is it Friday already? Where did the week go?

Time for a round-up of the first week of Me-Made-May!

I wanted to put these in a cute little collage, but since Picnik died & left me all alone to grieve in private, you get individual pictures. Them’s the breaks.

5-1
5/1
Dress: Simplicity 2458
Belt: thrifted
Shoes: Target

5-2
5/2
Dress: Colette Patterns Rooibos
Belt: Handmade
Cardigan: Thrifted
Shoes: Target

5-3
5/3
Dress: Simplicity 6268
Belt: Thrifted
Shoes: Steve Madden

5-4
5/4 (that’s today!)
Blouse: Colette Patterns Violet
Skirt: Colette Patterns Ginger
Cardigan: Thrifted; reconstructed by me
Belt: Thrifted
Shoes: Target Kids

Sooo… about that Violet blouse… we need to talk.

The original incarnation just wasn’t doing it for me. I know it’s looks super cute in the pictures, but it was very uncomfortable in real life – mainly because those damn armholes were WAY too low-cut for sleeves. Every time I moved my arms, the whole shirt would ride up. As a result, I never wore it and felt very sad inside since 1. dotted swiss; and 2. cotton batiste, aka my two favorite fabrics that very instant.

So I cut the sleeves off.

Dotted Swiss Violet

I wish I could tell y’all that cutting the sleeves off immediately solved the problem, but that would be a lie. Remember those low armholes? They were so low, sans sleeves, that you could see the whole side of my bra without even being sneaky about it. Which, I mean, I’m definitely known to let it all hang out from time to time, but we’re talking about a freakin swiss dot button up with a peter pan collar here. Not really the right vessel for looking tarty.

I used part of the sleeves to add an extra wedge of fabric at the bottom of the arm hole – I ended up having to raise it a good 2″, and it’s still a little too low but I am NOT in the mood to fiddle with this blouse anymore. I finished with bias tape facing (machine-stitched because, again, NOT in the mood). I also took in the side seams a bit more at the waist to give it some more shape, since I was feeling pretty box-like at that point. I’m not 1000000000% happy with the finished result – it kind of looks, well, homemade – but it’s much better than the sleeved version.

The lesson here: don’t buy a loose, free-flowing boxy blouse pattern when you prefer to wear everything with little to no ease.

On a happy note, look at the newest addition to my house as of last night!
YES
YES YES YES
It’s actually Landon’s set, not mine :) But OH MAN it’ll be SO FREAKING NICE to do laundry in my own house! I really love doing laundry (and folding it! Haha!), but I hate dragging it in & out of the house. So I’m pretty excited about this. And yes, this is absolutely relevant to MMM’12 since pretty much all the good stuff is in the dirty clothes bin right now.
Also, check out my reel mower on the right (don’t look at the recycling on the left, please & thank you). I mow my lawn with a reel mower because I’m a BAMF. And also because gas is expensive.

Oh, and my Bombshell dress is almost done – all that is left is securing the vent (seriously, a little 2″ diagonal line haha) and figuring out how I want to attach the strap. It’s lookin’ good and I’m feeling good about it!

I leave you with this -
.
In case you were ever wondering what it looks like when the plastic cone inside a spool of serger thread crumbles into pure nothing.

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