The Every Rose Skirt

It sure is Monday...

Before 9:00 AM today, I dropped my camera on the ground and got a fatal error message.  Then I got lipstick on my brand new cowl scarf I made over the weekend (of which I would have liked to take some pictures)!  The day can only look up from there, right?!

So my poor little digital camera is down for the count, but I still have a webcam!  Fatal error messages cannot stop me!

This skirt can be henceforth known as my homage to Bret Michaels, who I adore.  I had to endure a few "thorns" this morning, but at least I still have this "rose" of a skirt to wear today!  HA!

Kardashian-sized booty!

(For the threadheads:  Burdastyle's Marie Skirt Pattern - and it's FREE!)


The 5th Anniversary of Mary's 21st Birthday

Happy birthday to Mary!  She chose to celebrate last night with a little ice skating at the Standard Hotel.  It was a supremely fun time, even with our varying skating skill levels (Mandy has her own pair of skates, Scott has played hockey, and Sophie, our resident Australian, was surprisingly advanced considering she grew up in a country with no ice).

We had such a good time, and of course love celebrating birthdays with friends.  Happy actual birthday today, Mary!


Pop It, Lock It, Polka Dot It Top

Just kidding.  I won't be doing anything related to Miley Cyrus while wearing this shirt.  Or any other time in my life.

For Christmas I asked for (and received!) a sewing book full of patterns called Chic & Simple Sewing.  I like to be chic and I like to keep things simple, so I figured this book was basically written just for me.  The book contains 20 different patterns (tops, skirts, dresses, jackets, even a CAPE!), none of which need any zippers or buttonholes, so it's great for beginners!  I will say that the instructions themselves are a little bit lacking, so I'm not sure this book is something you would want to learn how to sew from, but once you've had a little experience, it would be a great next step.  And all the projects are split into seasons and even have a difficulty rating, so it's easy to go through and pick out the easiest ones to start with!

Anyway, the author, Christine Haynes, refers to this top as a great t-shirt alternative to wear on the weekends while running errands, to step up your chicness factor just a little.  I literally copied the example in the book exactly, using a black fabric with white polka dots, because it just looked so darn cute.

The pattern calls for elastic at the end of the sleeves, but I actually liked it better without, so I didn't do that.  Also, the back neck is supposed to close with a hook & eye, which I did do, but it came undone about 12 times throughout the day, so I'm going to put a little bitty button back there instead so it will behave and stay shut.

And, as always, how I wore it to work:

Heels + cardigan = work appropriate 4eva
Wishing everyone a great weekend, with the least amount of snow possible!


Where I Come From, They Call This a "Snow Day"

On the radio this morning, I heard that this was officially the snowiest January on record for New York.  I admit, I'm tired of it snowing every other day, and I'm tired of wearing galoshes to work, and I'm tired of bundling up to the point of not being able to move, but on the other hand...it's really kind of pretty, isn't it?



Interview with a Seamstress

I have no need to blog today, because Sam already did it for me!  (You might remember when I made her 21st birthday dress a few months back.  So fun!)  Sam willingly and happily took several hours out of her week to e-mail me back and forth about sewing - and let me tell you, I held nothing back.  And then she looked through all my pictures and made pretty collages of me, like this!

I feel famous!
To read her interview with me (of which she did a spectacularly awesome job and in which I talk at extreme length about the whos, whats, whens, wheres, and whys of sewing) click HERE.

Thank you, Sam, for making me feel so absolutely special!


A Make It Work Moment (or Hour...or Six Hours)

I won't tell you yet what this is for, but I will tell you:
I spent an entire Friday night doing this.
No pattern - just some fabric, some pins, some scissors, and lots of patience with myself.
This is not the final version - the real one will be prettier!
I am so thankful for Vanessa!


The Replacement Pants

A few weeks ago, I retired my pair of Cropped Wool Pants, for many different reasons, the main one being they just didn't fit me right.  I had already used this same fabric to make my Ruffled Front Dress, and amazingly still had enough left over to make another entire pair of pants!  It's the fabric that keeps on giving.  Except not any more.  Because this time I used it all up.


I AM OBSESSED WITH THESE TROUSERS.  I love the high waist, I love the pleats, I love the huge cuffs, I love the pockets, I love the wide legs.  I love literally everything about them.

They remind me of something Katharine Hepburn or Marlene Dietrich would have worn.

Plus they're comfy and feel good.  All day long!

Zipper on the side.
Pleats in the front.

(and for any threadheads out there, the pattern is Burda Mag 07/2010 #127!)


On the Horizon

The winter blues are getting me down around here.  It is cold.  It keeps snowing just often enough to make sure the ground is always wet and slushy and gross and guess what the weather forecast is for the next 5 days:

THIS QUALIFIES AS A BUMMER.  Yes, there is a tiny bit of sunshine in there, but those temps are not warm enough for this girl!  But in positive news, next week the sunset time will finally be after 5:00 PM again!

Anyway, to bust out of these winter blues a little bit (because let's be honest, we have 2 more months of winter in store, so I'm going to have to accept it), I thought I would do some looking ahead to some things that are just ahead, and some that are a little bit farther away (which I did a few months ago as well):

In 3 hours and 3 minutes:  Official weekend status <--you will not be sorry if you click there

In 3 days:  Another episode of the Bachelor.  Michelle, you are so bananas!

Not 29.  Not 31.  30.
In 14 days:  Girl Talk in Philly

In 41 days:  3rd annual Girls' Trip - this time to Dallas!

In 49 days:  I will turn 26.  4 months before Scott does.  Ha!  I'm older than you!

In 4 months and 1 week:  Wedding weekend with these two!

In 4 months and 3 weeks:  The concert of my 8th grade dreams

In 11 months:  Christmas!  Already!

In 2+ years:  The Hunger Games WILL BE A MOVIE.  Hurry up and cast this thing, people!

In 40+ years:  Retirement


The Cold Weather Skirt

First of all, please note that this a fake outfit.  It is waaaaaaaaay too cold right now to even consider going outside without all your limbs properly covered!

My co-worker Brittany and I have a tradition of what we like to call "Monday Funday."  That is, we always go to lunch together on Mondays, almost always to my apartment, and find something amusing to do while we eat (like watch videos from our favorite musical group, perhaps).  Well, this Monday, we didn't have to go to work, so we decided to make Monday Funday an all-day extravaganza!

Brittany hauled her sewing machine all the way up 90 blocks (mostly by subway, people, she's not a bodybuilder) to our house, where we set up shop in the kitchen and proceeded to sew our brains out.  While eating chocolate.  The result of her Monday Funday Sewing Extravaganza MLK Day 2011 can be seen here.

And here's mine!

This is such a basic little skirt, you don't even really need a pattern.  It's basically two big squares for the front and back, and four skinny rectangles for the waistband.  Seriously.  That's it.

This corduroy is leftover from the vest I made last year, and I had just enough to make this little mini, inspired by this skirt from UO.  Opinion:  Will it be possible to ever wear my grey corduroy skirt with my grey corduroy vest?  Where must the line be stopped between just enough grey corduroy and excessive grey corduroy?  If denim on denim is a Canadian tuxedo, what does that make corduroy on corduroy?  Also, does corduroy remind anyone else of the year 1998?

I added some pockets of course, because it is apparently impossible for me to make anything that does not have pockets.
All in all, I'm basically in love with this skirt, super glad I made it, and will be sticking my legs in some tights soon so I can wear this thing out into the NYC winter!


The Laptop Sleeve

This weekend I made a little house for my laptop!  I've never had a cover for it (and it's almost 3 years old!), so I figured it was about time to provide it with a little extra protection for traveling.

So cozy!

Using this tutorial from Sew Mama Sew, the whole project only took about 2 hours from cutting to completion.

Aren't the zig zags just happiness-inducing?  And also, sort of remind you of Charlie Brown?

And it's always more fun to sew with a friend!


Retirement Party

I keep the clothes that I have made and the clothes that I have bought in separate closets.  Sort of unpractical, I know, but I do this so that I always look at the clothes that I have made first, and try to draw as many outfits as I can from that closet.

And I cherish the clothes that I have made, because I worked hard on them, and they all hold memories.  But sometimes, some of these clothes just have to go.  I shouldn't wear something just because I made it if it has something else glaringly wrong with it!  So, this week, I had a little retirement party for a few particular pieces.  They have been good to me, but it is just their time to say good-bye.*  Please join me as I raise a glass and toast each one for their stellar (but no longer needed) performances.

To my Patchwork Dress:  You're pretty cute!  And I made you all in about 8 hours, in the middle of the night, in a wild fury of inspiration, using scraps from all my different projects.  The problem is, I've only worn you once (to one of my bridal showers), and in the two years since then, I've had a lot of trouble finding another occasion to wear you.  So here's to you, my one hit wonder.  I still think you're cute.

To my Little House on the Prairie shirt:  When I made you, I thought my mix of a floral with striped seersucker was pure genius.  You did turn out pretty well, but I can't ever figure out a good time to wear you.  You look weird with all my skirts and work pants, and when I wear you with jeans, I feel like I am an extra in a Western movie.  So, I'm sorry, my sweet little top, but to the retirement bin you must go.  Cheers!

To my Mash-Up Skirt:  You were a good idea, in theory, but in execution, you sadly just don't really work.  You just don't fit right, and you don't really go with anything.  Thank you for your valiant effort, though, and helping me get through Self-Stiched September!  My glass is raised to you, my Frankenstein. 

To my Child's Jumper:  The thing is, you look like a sack.  I'm sorry, but the truth must be told.  I do like you with a belt, but I find it extremely hard to find something that looks good worn either under you or over you.  And for some reason, I chose to give you green buttons, which basically means it is impossible to match you with anything else.  I will always love you for being the first thing I made back when I began my re-foray into sewing garments in 2007, but it's time for retirement.  I will always think of you fondly!

To my purple pencil dress:  See how wrinkled you look in this picture?  Yeah, you look like that all the time.  It is literally impossible to keep you smooth.  Thus, you have got to go.  It's my fault really, for making a dress like this out of 100% cotton, so don't blame yourself.  Your instant wrinkle factor (and also your kind of weird sleeves...did I draft those myself or something?) has taken you out of the game, forever.  Au revoir!

To my Cropped Wool Pants:  You've been a staple.  You've real been there for me.  I appreciate all your hard work.  But you wrinkle in strange places (ahem, crotch) and my calves are apparently too big for you, because you always get weirdly stuck on them, and it is bothersome.  But fear not!  I am working on your replacement right now!  Same exact fabric, better made pants.  So you, my friend, will have to retire, but your spirit will live on in this second incarnation!  My best to you!

*  It's time to say good-bye, yes, but they aren't going far!  I could never bear to throw any of these away, so they are just retiring to a bin on a shelf above my closet, where they will have a warm and happy little existence...and I may pull them out of retirement at some point if I ever need them :)


I Would Like to Thank the Academy

Yesterday, Nuha tagged me this Stylish Blogger Award!  I must say, I feel pretty much the same way towards her as well since she also revealed that she has the same boots I bought for my Merchandise of the Month for January!  We're like style sistas!

This is such a sweet, kind honor!  Especially since I once wore this:

And really, really believed I looked as hot in this ensemble as I'm acting like.  Oh, 2005.  Such different times.

As the tradition of this award goes, here are seven little things about me you might not yet know from reading my blog.
  1. I have been a redhead, a blonde, and a brunette at some point in my life, but all naturally!  I've never dyed or highlighted my hair, not even temporarily.
  2. I lived in England for a semester while I was doing my student teaching on an Air Force Base, and will forever say to anyone considering living or visiting overseas for an extended period of time:  do it.  You will not regret it.
  3. When my sister and I were little, we used to read so much (Sweet Valley High, Babysitter's Club, and Nancy Drew were some favorites), that if we ever got in trouble for anything, we would get grounded from reading.
  4. I played the trumpet for 4 years in school band and 3 years after that in church band.  I once played all 12 major scales in less than 60 seconds.
  5. I have never had a pet in my life (except a puppy for 5 weeks in college, which doesn't count because I had to give away because I wasn't home enough to take care of it).  However, I did get to take the class hedgehog, Spike, home for Spring Break in 5th grade, but he caught the flu at my house and all his spikes turned green, and everyone in my class got really mad at me.
  6. When I was 20 years old, I got a new retainer, and willingly chose for it to be zebra-striped.
  7. I love the Backstreet Boys.  Oh wait, you had already heard that?  Oh, well!
Also in the tradition of this award, you are to pass it on to another blogger.  I can think of one blogger (who is actually my friend in real life!) who really deserves to be called "stylish" today, because she just did her first all-fashion post!  Yes, Sam at Love Never Fails, this means you.  Go check out her sassiness in the snow and high-five her for her moxie.