Christmas Eve

For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, 
and the government will be on his shoulders.
And he will be called
Wonderful Counselor,
Mighty God,
Everlasting Father,
Prince of Peace.
- Isaiah 9:6-7

Merry Christmas to you and yours!


A Study in Black & White #3: Striped T

Almost every time I make something, I think to myself, "This is my favorite thing I've ever made!"  So clearly that statement doesn't really hold much weight around here, but this time I think I might really mean it...

For starter's, I love this top because I made it completely, 100%, totally without the assistance of a pattern of any kind - the first time I've ever done that!  All I used was Vanessa, some pins, and some scissors.  I knew I wanted a black-and-white-striped, 3/4 sleeve top because of how cute this gal looks in hers.  I ordered this interlock knit from Fabric.com, and when it arrived, I was super stoked to find it was a little bit thicker - not flimsy or thin at all - so it feels kind of luxurious!

First, I pinned the fabric around her to get the general shape, and cut the rest away:

Then I cut the neckline the way I wanted it to be, cut off the excess above the shoulders, and brought in the sides a little for a better fit:

I sewed that all up, and then made some tubes for sleeves:

Last steps:  attached the sleeves, finished all the edges, and attached the binding around the neck.  The final result:

My mom will agree with me on this one:  I love boatnecks.  So flattering, so feminine, and so classic.

Up next (after a holiday trip home!):  something colorful...


"One Last Christmas" by Matthew West

Did you really have to play this right after I had finished my mascara this morning, Air1?


A Study in Black & White #2: Gingham Button-Up

Okay, so I may have done some more copycatting...

But I've been in love with this J. Crew shirt for quite some time (it is always styled sooooo cutely [is cutely a word?  I'm certain it is, but does it look and sound weird to anyone else?] in the catalogs!).

And I decided to whip one up for myself, using this pattern.  As it turns out, it actually was pretty easy and not all that time-consuming (about 7 hours cutting to completion)!  And although I almost never wear button-up shirts, I'm now kind of obsessed with this!

We moved the photo shoot into the bathroom for this one...exciting stuff :)

Is it weird that I kind of like it buttoned all the way up?


A Study in Black & White #1: A Bag for Toting

So I just realized that the next three projects I plan to sew (including this one) are black and white!  I wish this was on purpose and I was going through some kind of purposeful shunning of color for fashion's sake, but I'm not.  It was simply an accident, but kind of a fun one, so here is Project #1 of the B&W series.

Yet another cross-country sewing project completed with the assistance of Skype and the U.S. Postal Service!

Kendra and I made Renske's minimalist tote bag from Design*Sponge.  It was easy (or at least should have been easy....there was much confusion and laughter and "wait...how did that happen?!" when trying to get the right sides of things to not be inside out), and didn't take much longer than an afternoon, and our men got to use tools to help us with the hardware.  All-around, a good project!

Vanessa will be modeling today as her twin (that would be me) did not bother to get dressed or wash her hair on the day these were taken.

I swear I don't always carry a season of Friday Night Lights in my bag...I just needed something to fill 'er up!


More reasons why I like the internet.

I came upon two new (to me) websites this week, both which blew my mind in different ways.

The first is the Bayifier:  You upload any picture you want and transform it to look like it came from a Michael Bay movie. 

That one blew my mind with awesomeness.

The second is FutureMe:  Where you can write an e-mail to yourself and have it delivered...in the future.

I wrote myself a few, of course, to have them delivered to me at different points...in the future.
That one blew my mind with its time-traveling abilities.

And lastly, nothing really new here, but I sort of re-discovered my favorite Awkward Family Photo.  If you would like to see exactly what I see when I close my eyes and picture 1991, click here.


I Shall Call Her Vanessa

Christmas came early and generously and awesomely from a certain cute bearded guy in red. 
Hint:  It was not Santa.


The Armadillo Dress

I saw this dress online a month or two ago and decided it was something I wanted to make, having just bought a pattern (Simplicity 2337) that looked eerily similar anyway!
Cool as Can Be dress from Modcloth

Last week I had some issues with thinking the sleeves of this dress were deadringers for a certain desert animal often spotted as roadkill.  You probably can't tell, but I did take the bottom of the sleeves in about an inch on each side and while they now look less like our armored shell friends than before, they still kinda remind me of them (could it have anything to do with the fact that the fabric I chose happens to be the exact color of an armadillo as well?  Perhaps.  That's poor planning on my part).  But I'm wearing it anyway!  Because I like it!

Here are my smaller, less armadillo-y sleeves:

And heeeeeeeeeeeeere's the rest:


Inspiration #3: The Long December Coat

One month ago today, I wrote a post entitled "Copycatting" in which I posted three pictures of garments I was inspired to make.  I finished Inspiration #1 and Inspiration #2 fairly quickly, but it took me a looooooooong time to get finished with the final one:  the winter coat.

Here's what I was working from:
I told you about my progress on this coat here and here and here.  I feel like there isn't too much more to say about this coat that I haven't already said, but I will say this:  I am very pleased with the final result - I love the color, I love the lining, and I'm really proud of the hours of work that I put into it.  It certainly isn't perfect but (if there is a) next time, I'll just be that much more ahead on my coat-making skills!

And finally (drum roll please), here's what I came up with!

Don't watch this for too long, you'll get dizzy!
Pattern:  Vogue 8626
Coat fabric:  moodfabrics.com
Lining fabric:  joann.com
Super high fashion photo shoot pics:  my husband Scott, who is cool


The Reincarnated Clutch

Last night, we went to our sailing club's annual dinner at the Down Town Association.  How fancy are we?!?!?  

Well, actually, I'm not fancy enough, because I realized on Monday night that I didn't own any purses that couldn't also be classified as tote bags, and I couldn't take any of those on my schmancy date!  So I reached into the I-sewed-this-but-it's-too-ugly-to-wear-in-real-life bin on my closet shelf (I'm not kidding - this exists), and pulled out a black pencil skirt that has already been through these two previous lives:

It started out as this skirt, which I decided I didn't like because I couldn't walk in it.
Walking ability = very important factor in clothing
Then it turned into this skirt instead.
That had this little vent in the back (to facilitate the walking), and a little bow on the back.
I did some cutting and snipping and measuring and ironing and then I did some sewing and by the end of an episode of Two and a Half Men, I had this:

The bow survived!
And I lined it in red for extra sass:

And I was ready for fanciness!

I'm glad I was prepared, because fanciness is exactly what this place had:

Their tree was 10 times taller than ours, they had huge staircases, and we ate in a room with wall murals.

Also, we looked good.

And I got to clutch this with one hand all night long (and Scott's arm with the other!).


The Curious Case of the Roadkill Shoulders

You can tell me the truth:

Do these sleeves look like armadillos to you?!


You can't see it, so you'll have to believe me.

The winter coat is finished.  I lost track of time at some point, but I'm fairly certain it took me a total of 18 hours - or maybe even more.  This is surely the biggest sewing obstacle I've ever tackled, and I am simultaneously proud of myself for doing it, relieved that I'm finished, itching to start on the next sewing project, sort of never want to look at a sewing machine again, and also want to wear my coat all day, everyday, and brag to everyone that I made it.

Since this was such a huge project, I wanted to document it in a little bit more special way that just self-timered pictures standing in the corner of our bedroom, so Scott volunteered to do a little photo shoot for me!  (And I think I get embarrassed taking pictures in my room...alone...just wait until we venture outside!  I will be mortified)  Anyway, since the sun is now completely gone by 4:15 in the afternoon, we haven't had a chance to take pictures when there was good light, so we're taking time on my lunch break sometime this week, and then you'll see the coat in it's full glory!

For now, here are a few more details about the construction.  Sort of boring, but that's all I've got right now!

Attempts at adding warmth:  the outer layer is a wool flannel coating from Mood, and there are two layers of lining - a cotton flannel for warmth and then the charmeuse (pretty!) lining that is visible.

There were times I was afraid my sewing machine (who deserves about a million high-fives after this one) wasn't going to be able to make it through the SIX layers I was asking it to sew, but it always did!
Oh, the layers: flannel interlining, charmeuse lining, flannel coating, interfacing, coating, coating 
Buttonholes:  the bane of my existence.  But they worked out just fine!  Whew.  That has not always been the case.

And some pretty pockets!  I always try to treat my pockets right.  In this case, with purple, pink, yellow, and green floral lining.

Coming this week:  the whooooooooooole shebang!