Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Cropped Linen Top (++ How to make it!)

Lately, I've been trying to work out of my stash, rather than ordering new fabric. This fabric is something I've held onto for about 5 years, so I suppose it was about time I use it. The reason I held onto it was that it was a gift from my first internship, working for a lady in Chicago. It was unpaid, but she gave me cuttings of some of her fabrics - really amazingly unique stuff. This is a double weave linen, a beautiful burnt orange color on one side and light tan on the reverse. It's loosely woven and crumples in the most delicious way, as linen often does. It also has a great sheen and iridescence. I decided to make an airy little high-low hem shirt with some frayed edges to take advantage of the looseness of the weave.  

As I've been trying to make more videos, I'm learning a lot about how much I need to improve what I'm explaining! Legitimately, guys? I have no idea what I'm doing in this tutorial-making-process. How fast is too fast to speed things up? Is it better to jump cut than to do 8x speed? Am I under-explaining or giving too much detail? These are the questions.

But I guess, maybe I'll get better with time.  Check it out - let me know what you think! 

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Friday, August 25, 2017

Indigo Blue Handmade Dress (Plus a DIY Tutorial!)

While I hate getting dressed up in my day-to-day life (hi, leggings), I do really love the occasion to get fancy and have a good time - as long as it is occasional. This, I will note, is a huge shift from my style about 6 or 8 years ago (history of which is well documented on this blog). I used to love wearing heels - when I had nowhere to walk to. Now, comfortable shoes dominate my life, and tight dresses kind of make my stomach hurt. Is this what getting older feels like? If so, I'm into it. Comfort all the way, please!

That said, we have 3 weddings to attend this fall, and I'm a huge fan of getting dressed up for weddings, because they don't come around all that often. And if you're wearing heels, it's usually just for a few hours. (Spoiler alert: I don't wear heels even then.) But due to my style and taste changing, weight loss, and finding different priorities to ask of my clothing, I don't really have much wedding-appropriate attire. So obviously, I need to make a few dresses between now and November. :)

This is a little dress I made over the course of a weekend out of some lovely indigo-dyed cotton twill. I got the fabric in Chicago at the same place I picked up the fabric for this other dress - along with lots of other fabric you'll see being used sooner or later. I think all told this dress cost me about $5 in materials.

Part of the reason this dress came together so quickly was that I was using pattern pieces from my wedding dress! Having a princess seamed pattern that fits well makes designing so much quicker - I just frankensteined the pieces a little bit to make this high-necked sleeveless cut and low back.

And of course, it has pockets! If you're making your own clothes, putting in pockets is a must. 

Okay and finally.... here is a tutorial for it! I'm working on improving my video skills, and I think I can get a lot better at explaining how to do things. But I want to learn by doing, so I'm going to probably keep making imperfect tutorials and get better as I go! Hope you enjoy and maybe learn something! :)

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

diy little black dress

Man, I don't know what gets into me sometimes, but there are days where I decide I need to make a new outfit, right now, for an event that might be a mere few hours away. Ask my college roommate about the times I would stay up late sewing something to wear the next day - it happened quite often. It has been a while since I've been struck with this pressure - I mean, I was busy sewing a certain other dress for a few months there - but Saturday, with plans to go out dancing, I decided I had nothing to wear, and only a new dress would do. So I dug through my fabric stash.

By the way, I am now totally down for having a modest fabric stash if it is filled with things I've bought in recent years. Last time I moved, I went through my big bins of fabric and sold a bunch of it in a facebook group. I had been holding onto fabrics from high school. There was also a ridiculous amount of scraps amassed from old projects. It felt so good to pare things down to only the fabrics I really loved, even if I didn't have specific projects intended for them. 

In my stash I found an interesting cotton baby french terry, which I honestly don't remember purchasing. Apparently I got it from Mood. Maybe during their Black Friday sale? I wouldn't normally be drawn to a french terry for a summer dress, but it is actually a really nice weight for this swing style. It holds its own in the breeze, and basically feels like I'm wearing pajamas. It's super sleek on the face side so it doesn't collect cat hair very much at all, which makes it a pretty magical fabric for a girl with a tortoiseshell colored cat that loves to sit on everything.

So Saturday at 2pm, I decided to make this dress, knowing I had to leave for an engagement at 3. Good thing this baby's got FOUR SEAMS! Easy as pie. Once I nailed the fit, I just serged the whole darn thing, including the edges. Who has time for binding these days?! Mostly joking, but this fabric doesn't necessitate it at all. The overlock edge finish works just fine!

If you were wondering, it's pretty great for dancing in, as long as I don't spin too much. It's also great for wearing to work on those days you don't want to get out of your jammies. (Every day for me.)

My sunglasses and necklace are both gifts from Mike, and my shoes are from Etsy - I wore them for my wedding and now they are getting a lot of use because they are comfy as can be!

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Sunday, July 23, 2017

Workout Tank Tutorial + Pure Barre Love

I don't think I've talked about it on here much or at all, but over the last few years (post-college) I have been working hard to cultivate a lot of healthy habits. This ranges from sleep quality + quantity to nutrition to water intake, but my favorite is absolutely my newfound love of fitness. 

Let me take a few steps back: a few years ago, I knew nothing about working out. I would dabble in jogging and yoga or pilates videos, but nothing stuck because I never enjoyed any of it, and I could never get myself to work through that initial soreness that comes from working out the first time. And then I graduated, and got an office job, and realized I had to find a way to move intentionally, because the majority of my day was spent sitting on a computer. So a few months into my job, I joined a gym through work and went with a friend to a Zumba class. I loved it. We went back, often, and went to all sorts of other classes: the kind where you do burpees, jump up and down from steps, and try not to throw up. And - man, I didn't love the burpees, but I had realized that group fitness was 100% my thing.

This led me to sign up for a Pure Barre class with another friend, in March of last year. At that point, I had lost weight, gained muscle, and felt pretty good about my fitness capabilities. I figured I'd be able to handle a barre class, no sweat. 

I was so wrong. There was a LOT of sweat. It was really, really hard. My muscles were shaking like Jell-o Jigglers, and I was so confused about what to do for many parts of class, and it was really painful in a really great way. I immediately signed up for a month package, mostly because I just wanted to get better at this crazy class. Additionally, everyone at the studio was kind, friendly, and it was the best workout atmosphere I had ever experienced. I couldn't get enough!

4 months of Pure Barre, comparison photos.

And now, almost a year and a half later, I am more obsessed than ever. I go every day. At 6 A.M. I never thought I would be that kind of person. But I am so much healthier, happier, and energetic for it. It makes me a nicer person. I've made amazing friends there, and I look forward all day long to the class the next morning. And to be perfectly straight forward, the results help keep me going. The changes in my muscles are so fun to watch, and I love knowing I'm strong enough to do most anything I need to. Almost 300 classes in and no signs of stopping!

January 2017 > June 2017, Pure Barre nearly every day. 

December 2014 > May 2017
 So now that I have gushed about barre long enough to totally lose y'all, let's get to the meat and potatoes of this post. I do a lot of workout laundry, and I have even been wearing things out. I want to endeavor to make more of my workout wardrobe, because that stuff is expensive. I also want to share more tutorials with you all, so this seemed like a perfect opportunity to dive in.

I made this out of an old t-shirt that was a little too stretched out and pilled for daily wear, but would be completely acceptable for working out in. This took me, even with filming, less than an hour to put together. It has been years since I have done a t-shirt reconstruction, but I think I might have to get back into it. The results are so gratifying, and it is so quick to do! Plus - it's FREE.

So check out the video, and let me know if you make one! Also feel free to let me know if there is anything you'd like to see me make a tutorial for. Now that I'm not planning a wedding, I have a lot more time to rediscover all my other hobbies!

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Saturday, July 8, 2017

best day ever

Thank you for the beautiful comments on my last post! Two weeks ago today we had the best day ever, in every possible way, with our very favorite people. We had such a good time that nobody really took many photos, so all I have are some screenshots from snapchats. (Bonus sneak peek of the dress!) We are so thankful that our families and friends celebrated with us and put in a lot of work before and after to make it the party of our lives. Nothing went awry (except that I knocked over a couple cakes and we forgot to play slow dance songs) and the memories we have from the day have got me still smiling non-stop. 

More soon, just wanted to pop in with a brief update. :)