Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Fall Palette Challenge Mood Board

Click for a bigger image!

Sources, from top left, clockwise: Anthropologie Rodna Halter Dress, Marc by Marc Jacobs Fall '11 RTW, Colette Patterns Sencha blouse, Marc by Marc Jacobs Fall '11 RTW, vintage McCall's 5495, Modcloth Rally the Loops dress, Anthropologie Lemon Liftoff Blouse, Modcloth Rust Up dress, Marc by Marc Jacobs Fall '11 RTW. 

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Coming Attractions

Holy moly, the summer has come and gone! We've moved into another apartment here in Boulder, and I have to say, between prepping, actually moving then setting up home, I have been quite busy! I'm excited for the fall, however,  and I have been dreaming up lots of creations and adventures for the coming months.

Speaking of fall, Collette just gave a sneak peak at their Fall 2011 patterns! I'm kind of a huge dork- I've been anxiously waiting to see what they'd come up. As a result of this anticipated excitement, I've also decided to take part in Collette's "Fall Palette Challenge." After a summer filled with simple sundresses, the prospect of sewing some cozy separates has made this challenge all the more appealing.

The lovely Casey of "Elegant Musings" is also hosting a sew-along, sewing a circle skirt. It's funny considering how many full skirts I own, but I've never sewn a circle skirt. For this fact alone, I will be taking part in this challenge as well. I'm trying to figure a fabric of choice, which is currently between a light-weight polka dot fabric or a medium-weight wool houndstooth.

My Etsy shop is going to be going through some updates in the next couple of months, too. I have been brainstorming what I want the shop to be since I opened it, and it has always been my intention to incorporate some other items besides cards. It's going to be a gradual process, but I'll have more to speak of soon!

And there you have it, folks. I've made goals and I've put them down on the world wide web for everyone to see. Hope to see and hear what you're planing, too!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Hidden treasures

Wow- I haven't written an entry in a month. Needless to say, life has been hectic. I've gotten a new job, had a friend come to visit, and I just got back from vacation with the fam. Other than that, I have started multiple projects and, sadly, I haven't completed one. This little treasure pictured above, though, is worth mentioning. My mother-in-law had this quietly tucked away in her garage, and she's asked me to sell it. Isn't it beautiful? I selfishly want to keep it for myself, but I honestly don't have the room for it. I've done some research into the machine and it looks to be about a hundred years old. works. Amazing. Do any of you have experience with old machines?

While on vacation at Tybee Island, Georgia, last week, I picked up this vintage linen that I absolutely adore. I'm a fan of fruit and veggies on fabric. Kinda kitsch...kinda awesome. My plan is to sew the full overskirt seen in this pattern. The romper is cute, too, but I haven't had the courage to sew it up yet. I haven't found the right fabric is probably the real reason, but even so, I've been in a bit of a sewing/creative rut lately. I'm hoping that this can pull me out of it. Hope that you are all well!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

The "Slice of Summer" Dress

Have I mentioned that I love the color yellow? It's a little bit ridiculous. And it isn't a particular shade- I enjoy all shades. This dress was named by another fellow Sew Weekly-er, and I thought that "a slice of summer" was quite appropriate- don'tcha think? For the Sew Weekly challenge last week, I had to pick a children's book to draw inspiration from. I had a lot of favorite books as a kid, so it wasn't exactly easy for me. I actually picked out this fabric from my stash and thought about who might wear it...Madeline, of course!

This book brings back so many nostalgic memories for me...even as a kid, I can remember how I wanted a yellow dress and jacket...and that wonderful hat and silly scarf that she always wore. Oh, and the nun and "twelve little girls in two straight lines"...the illustrations were so great!

The pattern that I ended up using was also in my stash- vintage Simplicity 5022. Not exactly characteristic of a style Madeline wore, but my version, nonetheless.

I opted to leave the sleeves off, but mostly because I was lazy and have the most frustrations with setting sleeves. The bodice was too long for my liking, too, so I ended up hacking it quite a bit. I say hacking because, in my hastiness,  I cut too much. It ended up looking like a maternity dress, but nothing that a good belt couldn't help!

The day that we shot these pictures was so beautiful. Boulder is having it's spring a little later than usual, but I'm enjoying every second of it.  

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Sweet Site-

 I am a little late with this announcement, but I have had a rather exciting past couple of weeks. I was asked to showcase my cards on Papernstich for the month of May and I began working on several new designs. If you haven't heard of Papernstitch, it's such a great site. Basically, it's a space where select artists can exhibit and sell their work. And I must say, all of the exhibits are so good! I am so completely flattered that I was even asked, and it is an honor to share space with such talented people. Please check it out when you get the chance!

I have been working on grouping cards together to make sets and, with the help of my husband, I also created some cool kraft paper envelopes. Nonetheless, I still have a handful of designs that I have yet to photograph and a fun yellow dress to share with you stay tuned :)

Thursday, April 28, 2011

The best vanilla cupcake ever.

I like the classics. It's true. Chocolate chip cookies and vanilla cupcakes make me oh-so-happy. Have you made anything with whole vanilla beans? I had not...before now.

Easter day I wanted to bake, and I admit- I am completely disenchanted by easter bunnies and the general holiday festivities that take place during this time of year. Sure, it's all really fun. When I was a kid, my mom would make me a homemade Easter dress and I loved running around in it, gathering up candies and eggs. It might just be the actual bunny, but I believe that we've all forgotten what Easter is really celebrating. Plus giant talking bunnies are really creepy. Anyway, these cupcakes have been on my to-bake list for a while and it seemed like no better time. They have lots of vanilla extract, vanilla seeds scraped from a bean, and they're fluffy and moist and everything that you'd want in a cake.  The chocolate buttercream is a perfect pairing. True to it's name, this buttercream is creeeeeamy. This recipe is seriously delicious. Also, they make for a pretty awesome breakfast.

By the way, yes that cup is a Prince Charles and Princess Diana cup from after they were married. I couldn't help myself- I got it at a thrift store a couple of years back for all it's silly kitschy-ness.  Seemed appropriate that day considering the upcoming royal wedding. :)

Monday, April 25, 2011

Betty's Sheath

I finally had the chance to get some sewing done last week, and it was completely refreshing. I used a modern pattern, McCall's 5845, which I'd forgotten that I had and was nearly identical to the original dress.

 I did have some fitting issues due to the fact that, like most women, my hips are nearly three sizes larger than my bust. In other words, I'm a classic pear shape. Even though I was able to cut the top and bottom pieces in each size, it was still quite tricky.  I also added two inches to the hem and a tie to the back. I could have added a couple more inches for a nicer bow, but I was pleased overall.

The fabric that I used was from Sosovintage, and yet again, a vintage sheet. The pattern did call for lining the entire dress, but in anticipation to finish (and a lack of fabric), I only lined the top. The fabric is pretty light, so I'll need to wear a slip when I wear it out. Another added detail that I love- a vintage metal zipper was used for that extra retro touch.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Get yourself a mama tattoo- card, of course.


This card took me a bit to get the cursive lettering how I liked it, but I loved how it came out. I also made some new envelopes, modeled after retro airmail envelopes. Happy Saturday!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Embroidered Book Covers. Whaaa?

I just discovered these amazing embroidered book covers. Created for a new series, the Penguin Threads Deluxe Classics, the books are due to be released sometime in October, this year. The artist, Jillian Tamaki, is an illustrator and cartoonist, and her portfolio is quite extensive. From what I read, embroidery is a rather new venture for her. You can read more about the process and opportunity on her blog. So cool!


Saturday, April 9, 2011

Lace & Thimble on Etsy!

Yay! I finally put up a couple of my hand-stitched card designs on Etsy. I have had a hard time will all of this- mostly, I am too much of a perfectionist to be satisfied with anything that I make. I have been steadily working on this shop for about two months now, and it feels good to have some of my work listed. I have about five other cards that I'm super excited to share...but I haven't finished and photographed. Once I get them up, I'm going to have a "Grand Opening" special. Hope that everyone is having an awesome Saturday!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Spring! Summer!

Oh my, it has been far too long since I have posted anything here. I have some rather exciting news, however, as I have been working on the opening of my very own Etsy shop. More to come about that later this week...but for now, I'd rather talk about dresses :)

It's so great to watch a city bloom in color during the spring. Although it isn't entirely evident here in Boulder, CO, I am anticipating what is to come...daydreaming of pretty cotton dresses and tight-less legs. I have an assortment of prints in my sewing stash, and a large majority of florals. I am always attracted to these wonderfully assorted vintage floral sheets, and I somehow always convince myself that I don't have any like this one. Sheesh.

Sometime last winter, I purchased this fabric from sosovintage with the excitement of making a copycat Betty Draper dress. 

I loved the dress for so many reasons- besides the bold Impressionistic print,  the dress has this nice cutout in the back, followed by a fantastically long tie. 

Another dress that I have been anticipating on the machine is another reproduction, seen and sold on Etsy-

I love shift dresses for the summer, but a yellow shift with daisy applique is especially sweet.

I also bought some sea foam colored fabric to make my early mentioned Audrey dress. So many dresses and so little time, it seems!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Stylish Blogger Awards!

I am quite new to the blogging world, and I'm so honored that the ever so sweet Molly would think of me for this award. :) Her blog is so sweet and full of inspiration. As required, I will happily provide seven facts about myself:

1. I have four brothers. Not one sister. To say the least, this provided me with a very interesting childhood. I grew up wanting to be "one of the boys"...and for it, I was always thoroughly reminded that I was actually different. Which was a little bit confusing then. Somehow, though, I always loved dresses and playing with Barbie.

2. I love a good piƱata smashing. I ordered two for my wedding, a bride and groom, before I realized that it might be a little inappropriate to actually destroy them. I kinda forgot that. The bride and groom were not harmed...but I couldn't say the same for the poor burro... 

 3. I have Mexican/German/Swedish/Dutch ancestry. I wish that I knew more.

4. Ernest Hemingway is one my favorite authors. The Sun Also Rises, A Farewell to Arms and The Old Man and the Sea are some of my favorite novels. His memoirs, A Movable Feast, made me love him even more. (Not to mention, an acute desire to drink wine in France and watch the bulls run in Spain).

5. I often dream of opportunities to travel. Last fall, I flew across the Atlantic for the first time to visit friends that live in Germany. We saw many castles. 

6. I still don't know what I want to be when I grow up. I started college to study art and ended up with a license to do hair. My heart has always been somewhere in the arts, but I don't know that I'll ever find rest in one field.

7. I crave cheese all day. I don't know that it is particularly healthy, but I could eat an entire block of cheddar cheese if you gave it to me. 

I would like to award this Stylish Blogger Award to the following amazing and inspiring bloggers who follow my blog. Thanks for following me and my creative attempts! What are seven facts about yourself? 

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Audrey and Paris When it Sizzles

 Audrey Hepburn's classy style is one my favorite. Always sweet, feminine, and effortlessly chic, her style is something that I  am constantly pulling inspiration from. Although Paris When It Sizzles is not my particular favorite (as far as Audrey movies go), but there is one yummy sherbet-hued sheath that I have been thinking about recreating. It has a simple "wiggle" shape, with a tie waist belt and a super sweet neckline. I wish that I had a picture to show it- the front collar transitions into a softly draped cowl in the back.

I've never sewn anything with a drape, so I'm a little bit intimidated. I found this pattern on Etsy that is interesting because it is basically the reverse of Audrey's dress, minus the buttons.

I'm not entirely sold on the color for me, but I am looking at a color closer to coral/pink. Any advice and/or suggestions for drafting this pattern are welcome!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Ode to The Chocolate Chip Cookie

I love love love chocolate chip cookies. There is something so comforting about a deliciously gooey chocolate chip cookie. Completely satisfying. Up until a couple of weeks ago, my most reliable source for a batch of homemade chocolate chip cookies came directly from the back of a bag chocolate chips. The recipe is pretty standard- cream the sugars and butter, add your eggs and vanilla, then combine with the dry ingredients and drop in the chocolate.  This was my method- I had no idea that this infamous comfort cookie could be made any other way. The chocolate chip cookie, in fact, turns out to be a little more than I thought. 

In 2008, The New York Times published an article entitled "Perfection? Hint: It's Warm and Has a Secret." I don't know why I never heard this before, but you should always chill your dough in the refrigerator before baking. The difference? According to opinion in the article, chilling the dough allows "the dough and other ingredients to fully soak up the order to get a drier and firmer dough, which bakes to a better consistency." I had never heard this. It most definitely did not mention this on the bag that I had so faithfully taken to. Apparently the Queen of Cookies, Ruth Wakefield, wrote in her cookbook “At Toll House, we chill this dough overnight,"  but Nestle somehow left this portion off the back of their chocolate baking bars since 1939. Shame! 

In my opinion, Alton Brown's Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe is, hands down, the best recipe around.  In summation, his recipe differs by the melting the butter, using bread flour,  and an egg and egg yolk. A bit of crunch around the edges and soft in the middle. The true test? They are still delicious after they've cooled. Trust me. I recognized this this cookie with a three-part hand-stitched tribute. It's serious. 

2 sticks unsalted butter
2 1/4 cups bread flour
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 cup sugar
1 1/4 cups brown sugar
1 egg
1 egg yolk
2 tablespoons milk
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips

Heat oven to 375 degrees F.
Melt the butter in a heavy-bottom medium saucepan over low heat. Sift together the flour, salt, and baking soda and set aside.
Pour the melted butter in the mixer's work bowl. Add the sugar and brown sugar. Cream the butter and sugars on medium speed. Add the egg, yolk, 2 tablespoons milk and vanilla extract and mix until well combined. Slowly incorporate the flour mixture until thoroughly combined. Stir in the chocolate chips.
Chill the dough, then scoop onto parchment-lined baking sheets, 6 cookies per sheet. Bake for 14 minutes or until golden brown, checking the cookies after 5 minutes. Rotate the baking sheet for even browning. Cool completely and store in an airtight container.

      Saturday, February 26, 2011

      "The Chuck Dress"

      What a week! I am only finally starting to feel relief from a terrible cold I've had all week. So glad, too, so that I can share my dress! 

      Overall, I'm really pleased with how it came out. It was rather easy to put together, although there were a couple of fitting snags in the beginning. I used two pattern pieces to help me map it all out. The top half of the dress was roughly taken from this pattern, from Burdastyle
      The pattern was originally for a basic high-waisted slim skirt that included variations, including the dress that I used. Halfway through drafting it out, I realized that this pattern piece was not at all what I needed.  In fact, the only detail that remained the same was the overlap in the front. 

      The skirt portion of the dress was taken from this vintage 60s pattern. 
      I made the sleeveless variation of this dress last summer, and I loved the way the skirt turned out. It is basically gathered from the front and back of the hip, with "soft pleats" that  match the front and back darts. 

      A matching fabric-covered belt always makes me happy. I could always trade it out for a solid colored belt if I wanted to accentuate the waist a little bit more, but I love this retro look. Nearly every vintage dress pattern that I have has the instructions to make a fabric covered belt. At one time, apparently, "belt and buckle kits" were sold beside every other sewing notion. I haven't had any luck in finding one locally, but they are pretty easy to find online. I found mine on Ebay. I was so excited to make the eyelets, too, and I bought a special plier to poke the holes and smash them. (Do you sense how much fun I had?) :)

      I did a center lapped zipper, and I hand-picked it rather than sewing it on with the machine. You can't see so well how this effect looks (sorry!), but here is a great article on it-

      While I was sitting around, lousy sick and sniffly, I made a daisy hair clip. I wanted to hold a daisy like the one that Chuck holds in the photo...but I thought that it might be a tad cheesy. I'm so glad that I sided with the daisies in my hair...


      Now if I could get that matching yellow coat!