Scout Tee in Floral

I'm a huge fan of Grainline's Tiny Pocket Tank pattern (which is why I made two versions).  In October, she released this short-sleeve top pattern, called the Scout Woven Tee.  I've had this chiffon fabric in my stash for over a year now, waiting for the right project, and I decided this was just the ticket!
Even with doing a rolled hem at the neckline and hems, this only took me about an hour and a half total to complete, while I watched/listened to Gossip Girl and Hart of Dixie in the background (I want Serena's disco hair.  Also, Jason Street's pirate accent was hilarious).  Sewing this up was super easy, and also would be great for beginners!  (Anybody asking for a sewing machine for Christmas?)
I'm so glad I finally got around to making one of these.  Now that I have, I want to make one in tons of different colors and fabrics!  Or maybe make a rainbow of them.  Like my skirts.

Here's how I'm wearing it at work today, but I also can't wait to wear it loose over some skinny jeans the way Jen does.  Love this pattern!


Thankfulness, Big and Small

There are many, many things we have to be thankful for on this holiday.  To name them all would be impossible.  We are blessed beyond what we could possibly deserve.  So instead of listing as many things I could think of that I'm grateful for today, I thought, instead, I would just name two things I'm thankful for:  the absolute biggest thing, and the absolute smallest.
I am thankful for George Washington Bridge.  For me, this structure represents our time here in New York City.  We crossed this bridge as we drove in to the city for the very first time, after our 7-day honeymoon road trip across America, and while we drove along the upper level, I couldn't stop the tears that formed in my eyes when we spotted the tower we would call home the next four years. This is the view from our apartment window, the first thing we show all our visitors when they arrive, dragging them through the rest of the apartment to the bay windows.  We have watched the bridge through every type of weather:  through snow and rain and sleet, through sunny days and foggy days, and even through a hurricane - who would have thought?  We check every night to see what color will light up the suspension cables:  purple or green tonight?  On the 4th of July and 9/11, we see an enormous American flag hanging on the New Jersey side.  We have another cycle of seasons to watch GWB go through before we leave here.  I think fall will be the season I miss the most.  I'm thankful for the George Washington Bridge.

I am thankful for my wedding ring.  Even though this isn't the ring that I got engaged with or married with.  See, I left that ring on a sink in a hospital bathroom in April, and didn't realize it until an hour later.  When Scott ran back in a panic to check, it was gone.  No one turned it in to security.  No one came around asking who it belonged to.  It was just gone.  At the time, it was the absolute worst feeling in the world, and I could still cry just thinking about it.  But now I have this ring.  It is Scott's great-grandmother's ring.  While my first ring represented me and Scott and that proposal in the field by the lake, this ring represents something different, and bigger.  This ring is history.  Family.  Love passed down through four generations.  A husband that forgave me for being so unintentionally thoughtless with the most special ring in the world, and my in-laws who thought I was worthy of wearing a precious family heirloom.  This ring is meaningful in a way that my other ring, though I absolutely adored it and I still miss it, could not have been.  And on top of all that, it is beautiful.  I'm thankful for my wedding ring.

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone!


Turkey-Eating Skirt

So I decided to totally waste one of my precious Merchandise of the Month items by cutting up my maxi dress from June.

Here I am wearing it at what I pretended was a screen for the Harry Potter premiere.  It wasn't.  It was really just part of an art installation.  Oh well.

Here it is right before it got hacked.

I found that I didn't really care for the upper portion of the dress, so I sliced it right off and made it a maxi skirt instead.  Guess how?  Oh yeah.  By adding an elastic waistband.  Would it even be possible for me to make it more obvious that this is my favorite thing in the whole world?
Since Thanksgiving is the most important day of the year to wear an elastic waistband, I made this just in the nick of time.  Gotta leave plenty of room for seconds and thirds and dessert, too!


The Shiniest Dress I Will Ever Own

In general, I don't do shiny things.  I don't like sequins and I don't like metallic.  I hardly even wear jewelry!  I just usually much prefer simplicity and I don't like extra attention.

I threw all those notions out the window for this dress.

On my upcoming CRUUUUUUUUUUISE, there are theme nights (kind of lame).  One of them is "Prom Night" (super lame).  I vaguely considered having my mom send me my actual senior prom dress.  Talk about sparkly - it is literally covered shoulder to feet in red glitter.  But instead, I remembered this gold mesh I had in my fabric stash.  It was a gift from my sister's mother-in-law, who is an interior designer, a couple years ago.  She knew that I sew and just gave me yards and yards of free fabric!  It only took me three and a half years for me to figure out what to do with this particular gold snazziness.

Since I'm somewhat afraid of this amount of sparkly, I decided to combine some of my favorite elements into this dress so I would feel more like me.

First, I made it backless!  The front and skirt are underlined in black slinky jersey, but I left the back open.  I love throwing a little bit of scandal in there.

Second, elastic waistband of course!  The casing for it is made from black satin ribbon.  Also, the skirt is one complete circle.  I've never made a circle skirt for myself before, but it was fun!  And it involved math!  Diameter and circumference...those are words I hadn't used for awhile.

And look!  It twirls!!!

So, there you have it.  My first (and most likely last) gold mesh cocktail dress.  I plan to rock this on my cruise, on NYE, and for next year's dental school formal.  And then retire it forever.

(The original inspiration for this dress is here.)


Weekend: BAM, Friends, Catalogs, Reflection, Music

Our book club group pic above was taken at a very special event - the release party for Mandy's very first music video! If you've been a long time reader, you'll remember when Scott played mandolin with her before. She writes really positive songs with great messages. Below is her brand-new video. I'm so proud of her for really running straight for her dreams and never looking back. Take a look and a listen below, if you like!


How to Survive a Midnight Showing

Even if you are old (ahem, 26) and it's a school night (that is, a work night) and you normally go to bed at midnight (or maybe 10:30...), you can still properly showcase your swimfan-dom of movies you love by going to the very first showing at midnight.  (Sidenote:  I live on the East Coast, so I always get to be among the first people in the whole United States to see things!  Booyah!)  Through these simple steps, you can survive the night of and the morning after without becoming a zombie the next day - and still get to be one of those crazy, crazy fans.

1.  Companions - Don't even pretend to attempt to do this alone.  Find those friends who are as nuts as you are about the movie, and get tickets for all of them.  I've gone with some combination of people that has always included Mary and Brian to every single midnight movie I've attended in NYC...and I think last night's might have been #5.
2.  Showering - You must shower before you go to the movie.  This serves two purposes:  first, when you shower and re-prettify yourself, it feels like you are going to a special event - which you kind of are!  Second, if you shower the night before, you don't have to take a shower the next morning.  This is very important for later.
3.  Caffeination - One hour before your movie begins, pound some coffee or an energy drink.  You may feel jittery later, but it's vital that you not fall asleep.  You are staying up until 3 AM and paying $15 for this movie, for goodness' sake.  Sleep is not an option.
4.  Bathroom - Go 30 minutes before your movie starts.  The line will be long (because tons of crazies love to go to midnight showings), but it will also go much faster than you thought it would because everyone in line is trying to hurry and get back to their seats as not to miss a single moment.

1.  Previews - The trailers that play before a midnight movie are extremely important.  Historically, the movies that we love have always shown previews for the upcoming other movies we love!  Twilight movies show Harry Potter previews (HP 4EVA), and vice versa.  Last night, we got to see The Hunger Games trailer on a big screen instead of on a tiny YouTube screen.  It was worth the price of admission itself.  In fact, when Breaking Dawn was over, Brian was still talking about The Hunger Games, that's how good it was.  Don't skip the previews!
2.  Sustenance - Ideally, get yourself something to snack on, but bring it to the theater with you.  You do not want to stand in line for the concessions.  You know all those crazies who are forming an insanely long line at the bathroom?  They are forming an even longer one for snacks.  Pack it.  Anything you can nibble on will do.  This helps keep you awake.  We made the almost-fatal error of not getting snacks and all three of us were in danger of dozing for the entire movie.
3.  Over-enthusiasm - The great thing about the midnight movie is that everyone who makes the commitment to go REALLY loves that movie.  Laughter is more abundant, people cheer for inside jokes, and it is all-around more satisfying.  Participate as much as you like.  Oh, Jacob rips his shirt off within the first 30 seconds of the movie?  Whistle for that.  Edward over-emotes after he broke one silly headboard bare-handed?  We can laugh at him, loudly; we're all friends here.  Drinking blood from a fast-food cup and straw?  We can collectively gag and groan.  Reacting to anything and everything on screen is, first of all, fun, and, second of all, keeps you awake!

1.  Sleeping in - Whatever your morning routine normally is, strip it down to its absolute bare bones the morning after.  You will have gotten home around 3 AM, and depending on when you go to work, you have precious little time to sleep.  Milk it as long as you can.  I normally get up 2 hours before I go to work to wash the dishes, do other chores, and sew.  The night after a midnight movie, I get up 40 minutes before I go to work.  I've already showered (see #2 under Before), so all I have to do is eat something, get dressed, slap on some mascara and blush (this helps fake bright-eyed and bushy-tailed even though in reality, I'm a tired wreck), and I'm out the door.
2.  Soundtrack - If at all possible, have the soundtrack for the movie you saw the night before already purchased and queued up in your iTunes.  Play it while you get ready for the day, and relive as much magic and awesomeness from your movie as you can.
3.  Redo - When you see a movie at midnight, it feels like it was a dream.  You're going to have to have a repeat viewing at some point (in normal waking hours) to really be able to remember it and appreciate it.  This doesn't have to be in the theater, but let's be honest.  You would pay to see that again, wouldn't you?

Who else joined me in the midnight Breaking Dawn revelry last night?


Friends of Friends

I have a friend at work named Brittany (you've met her before).  Within 3 days of meeting one another, it was clear we were long lost twins, as evidenced our mutual obsessions with anything that originated between 1990-1999, office supplies, and power stomping.  I soon discovered she had a best friend named Whitney (yes, Brittany and Whitney!  They rhyme!  Isn't that the cutest?!).  I've never met Whitney in real life, but someday, we will.  And that day will be glorious.  Until then, we'll have to settle for group e-mails to discuss Ryan Gosling, creeping on each others' blogs, and exchanging pieces of clothing via mail.  Because just like she is rocking one of the Chambray Drawstring Skirts from Dottie Adele, I'm now rocking this ivory scarf she sent my way!  I'm always impressed with people who can crochet, because I have no idea how to myself, and this color is going to look just gorge with my hunter green coat this winter. (Whitney also makes crochet covers for your iPods/iPhones if you're in the market for one!)
Thank you, Whitney!  Can't wait to meet you in real life someday!



The batch of these I make tonight
(not to be consumed all at once, of course)

From Modcloth
(Except I'm making my own version, of course!)
My plan for my newest fancy dress
(for wear on my cruise, for NYE, and for next year's dental school formal!)

This same amount of excitement
(we love movies based on young adult literature series!!!!)