A Little Bright Jacket

The past few weeks, since all the bridesmaid dresses were finished, I've had yet another project waiting in my queue that I had to get to work on.  This one was a favor for a former co-worker in New York, and I knew the amount of time/effort/frustration/seam ripping that goes into making a jacket from my previously made coat (I made that three years ago?!?!  Holy cow.), so I wasn't too excited to get this one started.  Yay procrastination!

She picked out the pattern (Anise by Colette - as always, a dream of a pattern with wonderful instructions), the fabric, the buttons, the whole shebang.  I was merely the seamstress on this one :)
Although this was just as time-consuming and energy-consuming as I knew that it would be, it also gave me the chance to learn two previously unattempted skills:  welt pockets...
 and bound buttonholes!  Both went pretty swimmingly, thank goodness.
Here are the side and back angles, for your viewing pleasure.  I believe this is an Anna Maria Horner velvet fabric, but I couldn't find it online anywhere, so I think it is probably not in her current line.
 Lined in bright pink (so much handsewingggggggg).
 I realize now the below picture looks like Vanessa is flashing us all.  Inappropriate.
Honestly, so glad to have this beast of a project crossed off my to-do list now.  It has been sent off to its permanent home, where I hope it is enjoying fall in New York (which is the BEST).


Bridesmaid Dress Collection: Catherine

I have yet another collection of bridesmaids I made for a wedding this fall!  These beauties were for Catherine's October wedding, and how perfect is this shade of red for an autumn wedding?!
Catherine had several details in mind that she knew she wanted included in the dress - the rounded square neckline, a wide, cummerbund-like waistband, and box pleats on the skirt.  We worked together to combine them all together into one dress, and these are the result!
Classy AND classic - I just loved the way these turned out and how gorgeous they look on every girl.  I have to admit:  these are possibly my favorite bridesmaid dresses I've made yet!


On Being Pregnant

Today is our due date!  (Though as of this moment, we haven't had a baby yet.)

Here's our entire pregnancy journey in photo form, from the night we found out to one of the last pictures I took, standing in the baby's room.
Through all the life transitions we've had in 2013, being pregnant was only one of many, and is just the start of many more to come.  I didn't do the best job of documenting this pregnancy (the 16 pictures above are basically the only ones I took of my growing self the whole 9 months!), but in these last few days before we welcome a tiny new human into our lives, I wanted to jot down a few final thoughts about what it was like for me, personally, to be pregnant.

I didn't know being pregnant would be easy for me.  Between my back problems and my body's usual way of having extreme reactions every time I get sick or take medication, I fully expected to have a really tough 9 months.  I have been so blessed that nothing could be further from my actual experience, and I really have had nothing to complain about.

I didn't know I would eventually forget what it was like to not be pregnant.  I had always assumed that it would feel so strange and foreign to have this big belly and to feel kicks and flips going on inside of you, but the truth is, it all happens so slowly and gradually, it ended up feeling much more natural to me than I thought it would.  Instead, I hardly remember what it's like to not have a bump!  (I do miss being able to lay on my stomach and the 90% of my closet I can't wear right now, though!).

I didn't know how torturous it would be to wait for something when you don't know when it's coming.  So many other exciting life events - graduation, your wedding day, Christmas, for example - can also be hard to wait for, but the thing about them is, you know the date they're coming.  It is so much harder to be waiting for a baby to be born and have literally NO idea when it will be!  Each day that goes by that he doesn't make his grand appearance, I realize more and more that it's actually possible to miss someone you've never met before; somehow, I miss holding him even though I never even have.  It's excitement and anxiety and joy and dread and confusion and wonder all mixed into one constant, weeks-long emotional state.

2013 will forever be remembered by us as the year as I was pregnant (I've been pregnant for 80% of it!) and it's hard to believe it's almost (and yet, already!) coming to an end.  From 9 weeks in April...
...to 39 weeks in November.
Any day now...we can hardly wait.


The 20 Year Quilt

Practically a year ago, I finally finished working on a quilt that I had started (as near as we can remember) when I was 8 years old.  It was one of those projects my granny got my sister, my cousin, and I started on one summer when we spent time at our grandparents' house, and both Kelsey and Amanda had long since finished up their quilts, so I was bringing up the rear!  I finished the sewing last winter, Granny took it to be quilted, and I picked it from her this summer, fully complete!
What is so special to us about these quilts is that the fabric is entirely from Granny's (gigantic) stash, so it's full of scraps from her former projects over years and years of quilting and crafts.  It's part her and part us and part each other, and I absolutely love it.
Looks lovely on a guestroom bed, if I do say so myself! 
And considering my first ever quilt took me 20 years to make, start to finish, I think it's safe to say I'll be sticking to sewing clothes in the foreseeable future...


One Last Little Trip as Two

Before it was "too late" - before I reached full term (I was at 36 weeks for this trip) - before there will be another human to be responsible for - before there will forever be another part of our family to worry about if we're away - we took a little trip.  24 hours to Los Angeles to be exact!

We packed in a lot - Santa Monica Beach, some delicious meals, spectacular views on Mulholland Drive, Griffith Observatory, a studio tour.  But mostly we just tried to take in the time together.  I'll always remember this weekend and really cherish it, not for what we did, but for who we were in these moments.  Two people on the cusp of parenthood.  Two people about to be completely changed by what the future is bringing.  For now: just two people holding hands on the beach.
I hesitate to call it this because I think it's such a strange word, but yes:  it was a babymoon!  And it was THE BEST.


Bridesmaids Dress Collection: Alex

Alex's black and white wedding was the perfect picture of elegance.  We collaborated on this dress design for something timeless and classic.  I have truly no idea what possessed me to not take any other pictures of this dress besides the one below (silly me!), but the base of the dress was satin with an organza overlay, and also had a thin fabric belt with a fabric flower attached.  The end result was more put together than this single photo I have appears!
I also must mention that these dresses were quite the adventure/sewing lesson/patience tester in working with a delicate fabric like organza (uh, fellow sewists, rolled hems?  The worst).  As usual, though, all was worth it in the end for this pretty result!


Bryant Boat #2

Since arriving in our new home of Las Vegas, another change that's taken place is we graduated a step up from our tiny boat to a slightly less tiny boat!  This one's a genuine 14-footer with a huge mast and a jib and benches to sit on and a little cubbyhole for gear!  We're in the big times now.
We were very pleasantly surprised when we got to Vegas to find that there are lots of opportunities to do very un-Vegas-like activities (because while the Strip is fun...it would get kinda boring, right?).  Lake Mead Recreation Area is just outside the city and it an absolutely gorgeous, gigantic lake perfect for sailing.  We've taken advantage of it was many weekends as possible!
(Also a great advantage to Las Vegas:  the fact that we're in a sweltering desert, so even now, in November, the high temp was 75 degrees today!)
Although my currently-39-weeks-pregnant self can't maneuver around the boat anymore, we sailed regularly until the end of September, and can't wait until spring to get back out on the water.
(Fact:  we're really bad at naming things.  We've yet to name this sailboat, as well as our unborn child!)


Bridesmaids Dress Collection: Julia

Months and months ago, I hinted at this bridesmaid dress collection I made for a wedding in May.  So happy to be catching up over here and revealing it now!

Julia had a specific vision in mind for her bridesmaid dresses that would use a cotton print she had already fallen in love with.  We designed the rest of the dress around using that print for both the waistband and a band around the bottom.  The neutral grey of the main fabric allowed the print to be the star of the proverbial show, and I love how flattering the cut of this dress ended up looking on each and every girl.

It looks like it was such a happy, happy day, and what an honor to play a very small part in those memories!


A Man in Uniform

One of the biggest changes to our lives in the last couple months (there have been soooo many!) is that we're now officially an Air Force family!  This summer, Scott completed officer training, the final step before his official assignment began in August.  He was gone all of July at training in Alabama (yeah, the deep south smack dab in the middle of summer...how fun does that sound?!) and I picked him up at the end of the month as an Air Force Captain.

[And during that month, I gained a huge, HUGE amount of respect for all the spouses of deployed military - wow.  I had one month without him and he was still in the country; I cannot even come close to imagining what it would be like to go through a year of deployment with your spouse halfway across the world!]

Here he is, being all officer-y:
There were a few ceremonies the families got to attend during graduation, several of which involved lots of marching.  Look at my man there, leader of the second element from the left!
Looking good:
Taking the oath:
Celebration time!
Proud wife and proud parents:
With his roommate for the month and now a close friend of ours:
Overjoyed to have him back by my (our!) side:


Baby Monsoon

Completely unintended 3 month blogging break now coming to an end!

Although I always knew I would feel completely, totally supported and loved by our family and friends throughout this pregnancy, I never expected to be thrown a shower of any kind.  At the beginning of my second trimester, we moved across the country to Las Vegas where we didn't know a single soul, far from our loved ones, so logistically, having a shower would just never work out!  [And that's okay!  It's what we signed up for when we became a military family and technology always makes those distances shrink!].

However, we have been overwhelmed and blessed over and over again by the creative and surprising ways that the people we love have found to celebrate us and our growing family!  Not only have we been thrown one shower, but three - it's raining, storming, monsooning baby stuff up in here, y'all!

Shower #1:  Double Surprise from Besties

We went low-key for our annual Girls Trip (#5!) this year.  Of the five of us, two of us are preg (Julie is due just a week apart from me!), so we stayed at a relative's gigantic mansion in Phoenix and lived in the pool for three days.  On our last morning there, Kendra, Rachel, and Jo threw us the most spectacular, precious, and amazing shower that was completely unexpected (I'm still baffled at how they managed to transport all the decorations and presents without either of us realizing!).

Full-on decorations, baby shower games, brunch, the sweetest video message they recorded for us, tons of presents - it was all there, and Julie and I basically felt like mama goddesses.  It was incredibly special and incredibly wonderful.  Thank you, Jo, Rach, & Ken!
Preg buddies.
Three of these bumps are fake...
Shower hostesses/best friends

Shower #2:  Boy/Girl Sailor Shower

When we moved here, we didn't quite know what to expect or what our new military life would be like.  We quickly learned that being in that same boat of uncertainty with everyone else creates really quick, really close friendships!  In a matter of weeks, we found great friends in Scott's co-workers and their spouses, and two of the other wives, Jill and Ruth, threw us a couples baby shower!  These girls went all out with a nautical-themed party, complete with homemade shrimp po'boys, nautical decorations everywhere you looked, sailing flags and anchors and seashells and boats!  It was a really fantastic, casual night - we are so blessed to be part of this group of people.  Thank you, Jill and Ruth!
Nautical everywhere!
Stack of loot.
Tag-teaming the opening of gifts.
Wives' club!  (By the way, in the next month the baby count among us is going to go from 2 to FIVE!)
Baby mama, baby daddy

Shower #3:  Long Distance and Long Term!

As if all that wasn't overwhelming enough, my sister Kelsey also orchestrated a totally ingenious way for us to feel celebrated by all our long-distance loved ones:  She separated a huge list of recipients into 6 groups, and sent out this invitation to all of them, assigning a different week to each:
In other words, we're spending the last 6 weeks of this pregnancy get cards and notes and e-mails and gifts in the mail from all different groups of people from our lives!  How much fun is that?!  I'll tell you:  insanely fun.  Almost every day brings something new in the mail and it's a constant, daily reminder of the amount of support and love we have coming to us from all over.  It's at once reassuring and delightful and humbling.  We love it.  Thanks, Sister!