Everybody loves a freebie.

One of my favorite daily reads is over at Grosgrain, written by the insanely creative Kathleen Frances.  She makes amazing dresses, costumes for her kids, posts endless amounts of tutorials, and is just an inspiring seamstress.  Plus, she taught me how to fishtail braid my hair.  Even better, she does things like this:

And not only are they free, they are also being provided by 30 different talented sewing bloggers, so it's a great way to find new sewing inspiration on the 'net!
So to anyone out there reading this blog who has been thinking about starting, expanding, or picking back up their sewing, now would be a really great time to do it!  It's Day 3 of Free Pattern Month today, and we've already seen these free goodies:


1 midi skirt header

Did I mention these are all free?  And that there are 27 more to go?



I present to you the website you're going to want to waste fifteen minutes on today: 
Below is just the tiniest preview of the goods.  High fives to you, Anne Clark, for inventing this tumblr, whoever you are!

Three days to go until we all get up at 4:00 AM to find out what she's wearing and cross our fingers that Prince Harry behaves himself!!!


The time I got to have fun and Scott didn't.

Scott and I made it to early service on Easter morning (where I saw Elizabeth Hasselbeck!  It's probably messed up to do celebrity spotting on Easter Sunday, but I'm just saying.  She was there).  The rest of Easter afternoon (which was a gorgeous day!), I did this:
Glorious Lamb Cake, made with love by Mary and Laura
*All pictures stolen from Mandy's and Laura's facebooks :)

While he did this (and I visited later):
Sometimes it's a little sad when he's got work to do on holidays that I would love to spend together, but that's the life of a wife with a professional school husband.  On the other hand, I sort of like watching him make crowns for his fake patient :)


He is Risen

The angel said to the women, "Don't be afraid!
I know you are looking for Jesus, who was nailed to a cross.
He isn't here! God has raised him to life,
just as Jesus said he would."
Matthew 28:5-6

Happy Easter!


The Ribbon Skirt

I've been wanting to make a skirt with a ribbon waistband for a long time, and when my friend Jo offered me a whole spool of this thick black ribbon, I knew exactly what I was going to do with it!

I looked through my scrap drawer to find any leftover material from other projects that I could use to make a little spring skirt.  I grabbed two florals, one for the skirt and one for the pockets, and got to work!
Ribbon waistband, two florals
The whole thing only took me about 2 episodes of Dawson's Creek (or an hour and a half, in regular time measurement) to make.  I've been doing lots and lots of sewing for a big project I've been working on (which I can't reveal to you for another month or so, but trust me, it's big!  And probably my favorite thing I've ever done!), so it was nice to whip something up for myself real fast as a little break from that.

I of course paired it with my favorite shirt of all time, which I would wear everyday if I didn't think it would eventually get really stinky.


Unexpected Detour

Most people who have talked to me in the last week or two have heard my complain about the weather in some form or another.  I'll complain to anyone who will listen.  I'm tired of the rain, I'm tired of it never hovering around 50 degrees, I'm tired of wearing coats and tights when it is practically May!  My dislike of the weather has really been taking a toll on my mood.  In other words, I've been grumpy.

Last night, however, on my way to UES for my Wednesday night class, a very fortunate series of events led me through Central Park (I planned to take the A to Columbus Circle and get off and walk to the Eastside from there on Central Park South and then up Lex, but instead I missed the A by approximately 2 seconds, so I took the C and got off at 72nd and cut through the park instead.  Did you follow that?).  And on my little jaunt through the Park, I was more than pleasantly surprised to find some incredible views I haven't seen in months, some super green grass, and blossoms on the trees, and finally I was reminded that despite the weather that is driving me crazy, this is why I love this city.
Movie set!  Which, according to this website, was Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close.
Spring, have you officially sprung?


Four More Books

In between all those fancy times I've been having, I've also been doing a little reading!  Here are my most recent four:

YA picksJessica Darling series by Meg McCafferty
One of my best friends, Rachel, got me hooked on the Jessica Darling series.  The first book, Sloppy Firsts, is set in Jessica's junior year of high school, so it's a little bit more mature (okay, lots more mature) than your normal YA fare.  The books are written journal style, all from Jessica's biting, sarcastic, painfully honest perspective, and the result is pure hilarity.  It will more than just remind you of high school; it will remind you exactly what it felt like to be in high school.  Second Helpings follows Jessica through her senior year (in which McCafferty literally perfectly captures into words the tangle of feelings you had upon high school graduation).  The third through fifth books in the series follow Jessica through college and into the "real world" - Charmed Thirds is up next for me!  P.S.  Extra points for these books' swoon factor:  there's a mysterious loner hottie you will obsess over.

Soon-to-be-a-movie PickWater for Elephants by Sara Gruen
Oh the down and dirty charms of the early 20th century traveling circus.  This book has been super popular for a few years now, though I just now got around to hopping on the bandwagon.  Narrated by Jacob Jankowski, our main character, it alternates between his current status as a 90-or-93-year-old nursing home patient and his memories from 70 years before when he first ran away with the circus.  This book is just a great example of good storytelling.  It draws you in, keeps your attention, makes you care about the characters, and comes to a completely satisfying full circle in the end.  Added bonus:  circus performers!  The movie (starring your man crush Rob Pattison and your girl crush Reese Witherspoon) comes out this Friday, so read it quick, folks!

Most Recent Book Club PickDeath in Venice by Thomas Mann
This classic German novella describing the demise of a famous author is somewhat autobiographical to Thomas Mann himself.  While this certainly wouldn't be considered a "beach read" and was slightly laborious to get through, we had some great discussions about it at book club, just last night.  It's a creepily foreboding story of a normally disciplined and controlled man slipping into passionate abandon, all set in the romantically mysterious city of Venice, peppered with about 100 allusions to Greek mythology:  in other words, an English major's dream.  Added bonus:  vocabulary booster!  I didn't know what about 20% of the words used in this book even meant!

My previous book recommendations found here.


Prom for Grown-ups!

Over the weekend, Scott's dental school held its annual formal.  Isn't it nice to have an excuse to get really, really dressed up?  The event took place at the Downtown Association, where Scott and I previously attended the sailing club dinner.  I guess you could say we're basically members now.

This particular party had everything we needed for a good time!  Those dental students really like to cut loose (and they deserve it!).

Hors d'oeuvres, dinner, drinks, and looking dapper


Bridesmaid Dress Redo #2

My sister got married in 2006, and chose a really gorgeous bridesmaid dress for me to wear.  It was so elegant and so flattering, and I held onto it these past 4 and a half years, always hoping I would have another occasion that would call for a floor-length black gown.  Amazingly, that occasion hasn't yet popped up.  You would think I would be attending black tie affairs every weekend, right?  I have considered wearing it to go through the Whataburger drivethru while grabbing some HBCBs though...

Anyway, I decided that although I love the dress as it is, if I ever want to wear it again (and I do), some changes were going to need to be made.  Here's the before:
And one of the funniest pictures of me wearing it at my sister's wedding:

I look totally devastated, but I'm not!  Seriously, I love my bro-in-law!  I was really happy!  And Kelsey is so pretty!

I digress.  Lately, I've been really into the peplum silhouette:  a pencil skirt underneath, flared skirt around the hips.  Kind of like this one:
Salt and Peplum Dress
Salt and Peplum Dress, Modcloth
So I chopped that old dress up and sewed a few parts back on, and here is my after:

And yes, I even had an occasion to wear it to!  I'll show you that tomorrow.

And if you're interested: Bridesmaid Dress Redo #1


Married to Rock

Last night was the debut of Bleeding on Probing--an epic rock band for which my husband plays bass.  Who would have thought that with an audience full of dental students and medical students, things were going to get this crazy?!
That's my man, in the skull t-shirt and jean jacket.  And black wig.
Ah, there he is again.  Climbing on couches.
All four members of Bleeding on Probing.
Steve Dadaian, actual rock guitar god (seriously, he met Slash and Slash told him Steve was a better guitar player than he was)
The bassist and the drummer.
So proud.
Remember our T-Shirt Factory from last week?  Here are the results!

And lastly, before you watch this, be forewarned:  This may actually melt your face off.