Friday, February 28, 2014

Resized: Blue Dress

Merricks Art: does it again. This time she used a easier way to re-size a dress- I really want to try. You can see her tutorial here.

How cute is that!? 
She found the dress on the sales rack of Old Navy for $12!
Learning how to do simple tailoring/sewing really can save you lots of money!
(And you will always have cute clothes that fit you!)
Love this idea... you can be thrifty and still be stylish- without spending a lot of $$.

Wish I had known some of these skills as a poor college girl... young mother...etc.. but better late than never! It is always a great time to jump in a start saving money!

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Color Me Challenge: Work

Okay- I belly ache enough about what to wear to work. (as I interpret)
I thought I would show you what I usually wear.
please try not to fall asleep
Here is one outfit- Navy Blue shirt with khaki pants.
Here's another outfit- Brown shirt with khaki pants.

Then I might pair Khaki's with a sweater- if it is really cold. (which in the winter- it usually is...)
You get the idea... very basic.
But after playing with my Navy colors- I thought maybe I'll add this light purple to the navy blue sweater... it adds something...

You have to admit: it is a challenge- because I can't wear light colors, prints on my top half, no distracting scarfs, earrings, necklaces, bracelet's, etc.. ( I changed sweaters- this one was less bulky/ box shaped.)

That is why I am thinking BELTS might be what I should focus on.
??? and better color combos...
Here's another outfit from work:
I like my blues and greys- what can I say?

Here are some cute ideas from pinterest.

This looks effortless too- classic shapes.
Okay... I'm off to search on pinterest!

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Brown Version

These cozy - knit/stretch dresses are so trending now!
I can't wear stripes at work- but I love, love ... love this time of dress.
But why buy one... for $30 when you can make one for about $12?

That cute blue dress (can see HERE)-- was so easy, so comfy and so fast to sew!
So I made a second!
It's just brown.
kind of boring.
When I bought the fabric- I thought maybe that was too safe?
(I really like patterns- but I am gun shy- in picking out a patterns. Especially one that will work- at work, as an ASL interpreter.)

I am glad I made a solid brown dress.
It is a neutral - that will look great with many of my cardigans.
I can see wearing this and the blue dress a lot!
Did I mention how comfy it is?
It's like wearing cozy pajama's to work! Except- I don't look like I am wearing pajama's.

I cut the dress- exactly the same as the blue dress. (YES! the front is cut smaller than the back- lol)
Besides that goof-up,  I had modified the pattern to accommodate my smaller top half-- to my larger bottom half...
This time- when the pattern with fabric was cut out...
I placed the top piece over the bottom and lined up the silhouette's. I made sure they were the same. (trimmed where the shapes didn't match up)
That took care of the bubble- problem I had with the blue dress.
 (so glad I figured out the problem.)
Sleeves are the same as the blue dress.
So cute! I love this pattern. But I am going to limit myself to 2 dresses.
I feel like I have conquered this pattern.
(I might make another one in the future- a striped dress? Wouldn't that be fun for summer?)
I need to move on... continue on my path- of learning how to sew.
Buttons next! (gulp)
Ready or not...
Here I come!

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Project Sewn: Blue Dress Success!

This week's challenge at Project Sewn- was to sew something that was our strength.
Since I am new to sewing- I don't consider myself as having many sewing strengths.
I learned a great tip on this project.
Don't cut your fabric out- while watching the Olympics!
I wanted to alter/tailor the pattern to my body.
My measurements said I was a size 8 top and 12 bottom.
(I am a classic pear)
I started cutting- and the dots and dash lines that distinguish the different sizes- became blurred.
Who knows what I cut! But I know the top layer was cut smaller than the back layer.
Since the fabric is a interlock knit, I thought it might be forgiving enough- to proceed with the project. (Even if the side seams aren't going to lay- exactly CENTER on my sides because the back part of my dress is wider and longer than the front side of my dress.) lol
Here is the finished version.
Can you see it "bubbling" on the right.. on my hip? Yeah I need to work that out.
I don't plan to wear this dress- without a sweater or jacket over it. I just wanted to show you the finished dress- without embellishments.
I love the color combo of Royal Blue and Light Blue/Turquoise.
(I've had this belt for probably 4 years- and have NEVER worn it. This is why I have a hard time getting rid of anything... because I just might wear it- ya never know! )
I didn't really wear this outfit with the scarf.
( I mean- Yeah- I wore it outside with my coat..
but I took the scarf off with my coat, when I was working.)
but I wanted to show you.... these are my favorite colors and color combination.
I am drawn to these colors! They make me happy!
And I just have to show you a close up of the neckline- Great job on the top stitching - if I do say so myself!

Now.. I need to fiddle more with the bubbling side seam... sort that out so it lays flat. But over all.. I am very pleased with my first dress sewn!

Friday, February 21, 2014

Signature style

Okay- I am so my MOTHER!
When I was a teenager- I was rummaging around my mother's closet to wear something- and I realized she only had Navy Blue dresses! ( Like- 14 different Navy Blue Dresses!) I made fun of her and suggested she branch out.

I went to the fabric store to pick out a pattern and such for this weeks challenge.
(I was trying to be thrifty-  Interlock fabric was 40% off and McCall patterns were on sale again for $1.99. That was my perameters for my selection.)

I picked out Navy Blue fabric.
(Haven't I already documented- I own a lot of BLUE already??)

Whatever- from here on out- I am going to be more thoughtful with my sewing projects.
Also- I am going to make more quality projects and not quantity. I don't need a closet full of mediocre articles of clothing. A few, well made, well tailored pieces would be my goal.

Here is a peek at  next  Monday Project Sewn project.
I can't tell you - how great participating in this link party- has helped challenge me to sew!

Also on the topic of Colors and me thinking of colors.

Wardrobe Architect shared her favorite colors HERE

I have to say- I am drawn the exact same colors!
I just had to laugh! The only 3 colors I would omit: Mint, Warm tan, Blush.
Other than that! Those are exactly the colors in my closet! It was nice to see them all together- and help me see... I DO have a color range.

If you haven't visited Wardrobe Architect yet- you should!
So many great ideas and assignments on how to create a wardrobe that reflects YOU- individually!

And please-- please wont you play along in July? Think about it!
It is exactly 6 months away! Plenty of time to put something together! click HERE to learn more.

Fitting a pattern

Okay for the last Project Sewn next week the theme is "signature style".
 Make something that is my strength. I kinda did that already on my flannel skirt. (click here) Tube skirts I would say are my strength. So instead of sewing another one- I thought I stretch myself.

I bought a simple pattern on sale- $1.99! (love that!) And the fabric that matches this pattern was also on sale 40% off at JoAnn Fabric. (I will admit. I kept those two elements in mind when I was looking for a pattern to buy.)

This pattern is a fitted, knit/interlock fabric dress. Simple construction, no zippers and such. I am a little scared because I don't normally wear "fitted". But I thought having a simple shell dress that I can wear my cute cardigans with, might be a great staple in my wardrobe.

I found a great youtube video - on how to fit a pattern.
I really want to learn how to do this- so when I sew my fabric together- there isn't major re-constructive surgery going on. A little tweaking is fine- but I don't want to have a bag- that I have to form fit to my body.
(or worse yet- there isn't enough fabric to tweak with in my hips area!)

For this pattern, my body measurements said I was an 8 for my bust area and a size 12 in my hips. (I told you- I am a classic PEAR) Instead of buying two different patterns, I bought the size 8- but enough fabric for the size 12 so I can alter the pattern myself in the hips and have enough fabric to do that.

Thanks Joy Bernhardt for such a clear- easy to follow tutorial!

Wish me luck! I will show you my finished project on Monday!!

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Wardrobe Architect

Revolutionary Idea!
Taking inventory of all your clothes.
This was a challenge from the Wardrobe Architect. Why clean out your closet- with no plan.
Click HERE you have to read- and she has a free template to do your own Closet Inventory!

I really liked how she suggested, taking inventory of how I spend my time. Do my clothes reflect this accurately? For example, if 80% of my wardrobe is dresses... do I wear dresses 80% of my time?

I texted my sister this idea- and she said, she would need a lot more pajama's. lol

It got me thinking though.
I use to run every day (when we lived in Hawaii). REALLY! Every Day!

I don't run in Utah as much. More in the spring/summer...less in the fall and not at all in the winter. WHY? I looked at my wardrobe, and don't have any warm running clothes. All my exercise clothes are T-shirts and shorts. No wonder I don't exercise when it is cold? It's not rocket science and it's not that I am lazy...

I don't have the proper clothes! duh
So that simple concept- made me a believer.

I am going to take inventory of my clothes. Then I will really know what I have, what I have enough of, and where the holes are in my wardrobe.

 (I already know I have enough skirts & dresses.  I love buying them... I don't know why. I even like sewing them.. but I don't wear them very often. I wear them more in the Spring/Summer... only on Sundays in the Fall/Winter.)

I picked a 3-day weekend to tackle this project.
It was a TASK- going through all my clothes. (Kinda made me sick to my stomach a little- to be honest.) But it was so good for me! In a therapeutic kind of way.

I made a pile of clothes I want/need to tailor/fix/mend
Made me sort through and pull out clothes I really don't love... why keep them? I have so many other things?

And forced me to face the fact: I should NOT be sewing dresses and skirts! I need to make, pants-shorts- jackets, etc... casual tops.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Inspired by Shoes: Project Sewn

Real Quick! Plan to play-along in July
Okay! The real reason you all stopped by!
Here are my shoes and the fabric for this project.
They remind me of a "Victorian style" shoes. I love Victorian style! Streamline skirts with hemline ruffles. Just all the feminine details of that era.

So that was my vision.
Streamline skirt- I own none. (Okay- one, I made it two weeks ago for Project Sewn.) I normally wear A-line skirts. But for winter- I feel like I wear so much bulk- everywhere- on TOP on Bottom.. I feel like my shape is very non-descript.

So I want to experiment with straight skirts and pencil skirts... and see if they don't flatter my pear figure- when I am wearing bulky sweaters on top.

I bought this pattern- it was on sale (Yay!) and had the details I wanted.

Here you can (kinda) see the cute ruffle in the back.
Here is a closer look at the back of the skirt. (My ruffle didn't look like the one in the pattern package- if it bugs me too much, I am going to rip it out and remake the ruffle. But for now- I am happy with it.)

I lucked out - with matching the lines as I fitted the skirt to me.
Then with the hem ruffle detail- I opted to cut the fabric with the lines horizontal- to make it stand out a tad more.
I wore it to church- and was relieved..... no one asked, "Did you make that?"
YES! Something I MADE looked normal! NOT home-spun!

Great progress for me!
Can't wait to see all the amazing projects over at Project Sewn!

And as far as straight skirts go... I think I am warming up to the idea. I probably could taper this skirt even more and make it a pencil skirt and not feel silly. (Since there is extra fabric in the back ruffle- I would still be able to walk normal.)

(big sigh of relief)
FINALLY  a sewing project that was pretty straight forward- with no major hiccups!

These are pictures of other times I've worn this skirt.. I took these pictures FIRST and then last minute... realized... I am NOT WEARING my inspiration shoes! lol.. what was I thinking!!!

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Up Coming Sew Along- July 2014

I wanted this to be red/white and blue and adorable-- but for some reason my Photoshop would only work in grey/black and white. (I am not very savvy with computers.) But I kinda like the retro-black and white look. It feels like an old Batman show- with a Ka-POW! to point out action moments during the fight scenes. lol

Anyway! Back to the Sew-Along Info.

I am having so much fun on Project Sewn this month. I want to host my own Sew Along Challenge.
As you know- sewing is so liberating!
No more are you tied to the fashion trends in the stores.
No longer do you have to endure ill-fitting clothing!

Learning how to sew this year- is one of the BEST goals I have ever set!
I am having so much fun.

For my sew-along in July I want to celebrate the Independence that Sewing has given us!

I plan to host a link-party for the month of July.
Come and toss in your links- for these categories:
July 1-5: Red/White/Blue- your choice- any project in these colors
July 6-12: Tops/ Blouses
July 13-19: Dresses or skirts
July 20-26: Pants/shorts
July 27- 31: outerwear/ jackets/blazers

5 RULES to Play Along:
1.) Add this image as a widget to your sidebar
and attach the following code as the link:

Display the banner proudly. Let the world know you plan to play along!
The more the merrier- so why not invite your readers to play along too!
This might also serve as a reminder to YOU! Help you finish those projects.

2.) Projects submitted may be altered up-cycled fashions
or sewn from pattern creations.
We want to see your favorite things you have sewn and up-cycled!
How your sewing skills have liberated you!

3.) Projects shared will be items created in the last year.
 (Meaning July 2013- 2014) 
I wanted to give everyone plenty of time to sew, take pictures and not feel rushed.
Enjoy the process- be thoughtful in your selection. Take time to really "finish" the project down to the hem and lining. Create things you really love! (not something your slapped together for a quick photo shoot.) Tried and True pieces that you wear often and are so happy you created!

4.) It would be fun to see you wearing your creations
out and about!
I hear about people who make stuff- and then they never wear it!
 Now that I am sewing- I understand the phobia.
That is why taking pictures is so important!
 You can see what it really looks like on you! It is different than just looking in a mirror.

As you can tell from my own pictures-- this is a challenge for me.
 I don't like posing for pictures- so just know...
 I am adding #4 not to be mean to YOU- but to challenge myself.

I think it will be fun to have a place to show off your sewing creations that you are so proud of!

5.) Plan to visit/comment at other participants blogs.
 (At least 3 others.) What is a "Party" without mingling and getting to know people!

Thanks for stopping by.....leave a comment if you plan to play along- I will drop by and say "HI" on your blog.

  One Additional Rule: If you want to be eligible to WIN a PRIZE!
Follow this blog.
I will have two prizes: one for those dropping links into the link party.
Another "door prize" for people who come (don't submit links to projects)
 but they DO go and visit other people's
links and comment/ leave messages etc.. for the people who are participating!.

 I hope to see your creations in July!

disclaimer: I will only host a link party IF I have at least 20 people leave a comment and say they plan to play along. So get the word out! I do so want to host a link party!!!

Friday, February 14, 2014

Cute Stylist

I found this picture on Pinterest- in my search for professional work attire- that is classical. I love the yellow shoes- and I could wear this outfit interpreting!

Blue/grey suit- on the wish list.
Mustard Flats- I have been looking for some... but I guess this fashion phase is long past.

As I have been "researching" on line- for sewing tips and inspiration, I found a cute blogger at has been very inspirational- as far as my work outfits. (That is her niche.)

She layers, she combines colors/textures, etc..
She occasionally thrifts and tailors clothing... very classy and classic looks.
(My goal this year.)

She has an amazing collection of coats! (Trench type) I am thinking I need to get a trench in a cute color. (I bought my current winter coat in Hawaii- when I learned we were moving back to the mainland. It was $15- has kept me warm... but it is black. NOT a fun color.)

She gives other great tips- like Here she shares how to tie belts.
My boys always roll their eyes- when I try to wear a belt over my sweater or shirt. I could use a little mentor in this area. lol

Monday I will be posting my Project Sewn project. We were suppose to be inspired by SHOES. It was a fun challenge.

happy valentines day!

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Seeing RED: Success!

Remember this big red shirt? (complete with shoulder pads?)
I tried to re size it and in the process, created this "elephant ear" shirt. Not flattering at all!

I got some great advice from the blogging/sewing network!
(I went to the fabric store- to try and find more fabric, I couldn't find a red, but I found some cute polka-dot fabric.)
I started sketching- and trying to incorporate the two fabrics.
After sketching- I realized I really just want a cute RED- shell shirt.
(I was worried that using the polka-dot fabric. That this project would turn to clown costume.)

I was a little skeptical about using another shirt as a pattern (because of my DIY fail here), AND because I didn't have another "shell" shirt to pattern off of.
So I took a baggy T- shirt- that had a nice shape.

I felt a little better about the idea, when I saw that the T-shirt followed the sides I already fit to myself. I used the green shirt to cut/re-size the arm holes of the red shirt.
I used the green shirt to also re-size the sleeves.
Yay! It is cute and fitted and I left it long- so when I tuck it in... I won't have to constantly be tucking it back in- if ya know what I mean....

I am so happy!
A success story- to this cute shirt.

Can I say, I love my seam-ripper! I love that when I mess up- my little seam-ripper can make it all go away... and I have a second chance at it, to get it right, or a third time, or fourth, etc... you get the idea.

Here is the polka-dot fabric. Cute right? But do you see how it could be clown-like? I only bought 1/4 of a yard. I hope to be able to use it.

Monday, February 10, 2014

RED elephant shirt

Think Pink- challenge at Project Sewn!
I love how it is motivating me on my goal this year to: LEARN HOW TO SEW.

I need your suggestions!
I got this great blouse from Deseret Industries.
(A bit big) After thinking about PINK for a week, I thought I could use a cute RED blouse in my life.

(Shown here with my cute skirt from last weeks Project Sewn challenge.)
This is where I need your help!

 I thought it would be an easy project:
Take off the sleeves.
Re size the sides.
Reset the sleeves.
As you can tell- Not a great success story- .... yet!
I don't want to give up on this project, because the color is great!
Once "fixed" it will be an amazing addition to my "work wardrobe".
So I need some advice.
Hind-sight being 20/20- I maybe should NOT have taken the sleeves off.
I should have re-sized it like my coral sweater... just one seam, up both sides, including the sleeves in the seam. BUT I can't change that now.
Any suggestions?

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Coral Sweater Re-style

So, the challenge for this week at Project Sewn is Think Pink!
I am not a "pink" person.
I went through a very short phase- of trying to wear pink, when I realized I was destined to be a mother of all boys! But it was short lived.

I realized - I like blue! I honestly do!

But after evaluating my wardrobe- I realized I did need more CORAL in my life. (look how amazing coral looks with blue and brown?? Kristina is so cute!)


I have a lot of blue.
I have a ton of turquoise.
I have too much black. ( I have actually banned myself from buying any more black in 2014)
I have a bunch of grey...

Coral is a happy color that looks smashing with all the colors I already own.

Kristina posted a cute idea for a sweater:  upcycle.
You can click HERE to read her tutorial.

So when I found this XL sweater from Christopher Banks at my local Thrift ... I thought I could do something simple with it- to tailor it to my size. (Sorry about the goofy face- but this is how I feel when taking pictures of myself- GOOFY.)

Then I found Kristina's idea to embellish a sweater- and I am sooo tempted to add these flowers.
I think they are so cute!
My only concern is.... is this fad already one foot out the door?

I am looking for more classic styles- that never go out of fashion.

I figured, I would work on the resizing and see if I even have any fabric available to add these embellishments. That might have to be the deciding factor.
I used a zig-zag stitch to resize the sides and arms to fit me.
I love it!
 and I am going to skip the flower embellishments. I don't have enough sweater scraps and I like how simple and classic this sweater is. I know it will be a new favorite staple in my wardrobe.

After last weeks- failure, it was nice to have something wear-able!

Friday, February 7, 2014

Little Red Dress: Resize

Stumbled upon this amazing: Re-designer.
How cute is she?
You can visit her on her blog Merricks Art. Here's the link to the tutorial about how she downsized this dress!

So amazing what you can do- when you know a bit about sewing and clothing construction!

What I love- is this process could take a few hours/ one day, while sewing a dress from scratch would take me a week at least, or month more likely.

I am working on my project for Mondays Project Sewn.
The theme for next week is "Think Pink".
I found some fabric on sale at Walmart and thought about making a cute skirt.

I love skirts with inset pleats. I thought it would be cute with contrasting fabric.
("I bit off more than I could chew" in attempting that. I can't alter patterns yet. I need to remind myself- babysteps! first learn how to sew with a pattern! lol)

To add insult to injury, the fabric scorched when I tried to iron it.
But to be honest- at this point I was questioning my skill in picking out fabric! I mean... flowers and polka-dots? Am I 5years old? When I watch project runway-- I am always amazed at how they can mix and match patterns. (I am not very confident at wearing any patterns- let alone mixing patterns!) What was I thinking???

Anyway- the casualty count goes up by one more.
This is like a twisted mystery novel... where one by one... guests die, or in my case articles of clothing are destroyed. I try not to get too discouraged...
Your supportive comments really help!

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Project Sewn: Week One- Attempt 2

I just couldn't leave the first challenge that way- with a DIY Fail. It just left such a bad taste in my soul.... my little, budding, sewing soul...

And especially- when the challenge was to be inspired by a fashion icon- my favorite!
Princess Kate!

So back to Pinterest to find a picture of something I could sew!

I won't make you wait for it. This is the cute skirt I made- inspired by this image of Kate.

I couldn't find the red tartan fabric.
I could find this flannel fabric.

Yes this is a flannel skirt- reminds me of my flannel pajamas growing up! I can see this quickly becoming my favorite skirt.

The reason I labeled my project: Braveheart Inspired on Project Sewn is...
as I was sewing this skirt, my husband walked into the room and asked,
 "Are you going to unite the clan?" Braveheart is his favorite movie- all time, so I knew exactly what he was referring to. lol.

It helped me giggle my way through the project until the skirt was finished. All the picking out and pinning etc. I mean, for an experienced seamstress.. this is probably an hour-project not two days.

After looking at some other people's projects on Project Sewn, especially Kristi (click here), I thought I needed to add lining to this skirt.. lining really makes a sewing project seem more professional and less home-spun. Also, I thought lining will help this skirt hold it's shape better (since it is made out of flannel) and not bunch up when being worn with tights.

I have never, NEVER ever lined anything!  Since this skirt is just a tube...I thought I would be able to handle it.
(Spoiler Alert: This is extra fabric from a future Project Sewn assignment. )

Look at the hem! no.. really LOOK AT IT! I did a dang good job!
My son helped me with the pictures, he said "Why are you standing like that?"

I don't know what I am doing?... awkward model syndrome.

Besides the awkward photos- the skirt turned out cute! (and comfy!)

I love /live for comments - they really help me stay positive as I try to learn how to sew.
So thanks for taking the time!