Monday, March 29, 2010

Windy Days

IMG_0448.jpg picture by Addikins

I owe you an apology! I meant to fill up my week of spring break with a lot of posts & surprises, but it went by too fast and I simply didn't have the time. Hopefully I'll be able to get back into the swing of posting regularly now. I'd like to say a quick hello to my new followers, too--thanks for stopping by! ♥

This is a dress I made over break. I originally tried making the top part from scratch out of rayon, but after an evening of working on it, the fit was off and my machine was messing up the buttonholes. I threw it aside and used an old button-down instead. It's basically just a gathered skirt attached to the top with a white sash in back.

IMG_0451.jpg picture by Addikins

The wind was swirling around madly, so even through I took about thirty pictures (with the tripod I brought back to school!), these three were the only ones where I wasn't bent over keeping my skirt from puffing up.

IMG_0450.jpg picture by Addikins

Going back to class after a too-brief break was difficult, but I'm getting back into routine now. The next month & a half are going to be insane, as I'm working on graduating as well. I am so excited to be done! I've begun to plan my graduation party already, haha. It'll be picnic themed, and while dressing up won't be required, it will be strongly preferred! I'll be waiting until July so that my grandma will be able to make it, although I might have a small party here with my brother and some friends, as well.

Oh, just listen to me, chattering on! I shouldn't be looking so far ahead, when there's so much work right in front of me to tackle before I get there.

On a different note, it's finally spring here! It was in the 60's today, and the next couple days it's supposed to be up to 75! I'm so delighted. I changed outfits four times today--one for class, one for lounging around doing homework, one for dinner, and one for the evening. What can I say, I just kept changing my mind!

This is a pretty scattered post, so I'll cut it off here & go study. Is it spring where you are? Are you celebrating?

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Robin's Egg Blue

These photos would've been up sooner if it weren't so cold in our house. Maybe. I set my alarm for 7:15 so I could get up & take pictures as the sun rose, but when I woke up this morning, it was so cold in my room! Now that we're hovering around the 30 degree mark at night, everyone's gotta have their windows open. Which makes my room cold. Which does not motivate me to get out of bed.

Instead, I slept, and got some photos as the sun set. Good trade-off, eh?

I bought a bunch of fabrics from Joann's to put together my spring wardrobe, and this is the first of the bunch! I love the retro-feel of this fabric, and the beautiful color. I started making the pattern for a princess-seamed bust at about 2:30 in the afternoon yesterday, and I was finishing up the hem a little after 9. Instant gratification!

I've been finding that the more I make clothes meticulously, the more I like making them meticulously. There's such satisfaction in a cleanly pressed seam, or perfect facings, or a well inserted zipper. Mostly the pressing. Man, that gives me such a good feeling. I can hardly believe I used to hate the ironing step!

This dress is mostly self-explanatory, but: it has princess seams, a scoop neck, facings, a built-in contrast sash that ties in back, a side zipper, gathered skirt, and invisible hem.

I have a confession to make: I bought this jacket at wal-mart. [cringe] In my defense? It was a $3 impulse buy. Not much of a defense, but, you know. We all have our weak moments.

jacket - walmart // dress - handmade // boots - target

I feel like I'm showing you my parents' entire property bit by little bit, haha. It's fun, though, finding new places to take pictures! And the lake is always photogenic, I can't help but capture it to show you.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Grasshopper Green Machine

Have I ever expressed my love of antique and vintage sewing machines here? Particularly colorful machines? If I haven't, shame on me. I adore them, and I adore sharing this love with others. I browse ebay and etsy for machines, even though I have no reason (beyond distant dreams of a collection) to even think about purchasing any. Hey, as far as collections go, sewing machines would at least be useful, wouldn't they?

I was given the most beautiful machine about two years ago by a close friend of the family. It's a green vintage Elna, with a metal body and those disk things that you have to switch around to change the stitches. It never really worked for me, so I brought it in for a servicing. It did work right after I got it back, but not for long--something happened with the upper thread getting caught in the tension dial and snapping, and the bobbin case could get loose. I sadly packed it up with plans to maybe try again another time, perhaps after I became a sewing machine repair guru--an eventual plan of mine, for real.

It sat, lonely and boxed up, under the table in my sewing room for a year and a half, save the one time I tried unsuccessfully to get it to work properly. Then, yesterday, I wanted to sew. However, my sturdy Pfaff is in my dorm room, and it would've been pretty ridiculous to lug it home for spring break. So I pulled out the Elna, oiled and threaded it, and put a piece of scrap fabric under the presserfoot. I hesitantly nudged the knee lever. With a cheery whirring noise, the machine sprang to life and took the fabric perfectly. The thread fed smoothly, without getting stuck or snapping. I was delighted!

IMG_0418.jpg picture by MateyCouture

(Ain't she lovely?)
So to make a very long story much shorter, it works. There were a few hiccups, but I'm pretty sure I was just threading it improperly before, because everything works wonderfully now. This little machine feels like it can do anything! It came with a bunch of doodads (including a massive ruffler foot that I'm psyched to try!), stitch disks, and the original manual. I'm completely set! I do miss a few things about my Pfaff (measurement markings on the plate, invisible zip ability, actual petal, etc.), but I'm so relieved and excited this works. It's also ideal for those 50's-housewife-moods, if you were wondering.

IMG_0419.jpg picture by MateyCouture

I won't give it away until I take nice pictures tomorrow, but I made something today with my new fabric. Here's a teaser.

IMG_0422.jpg picture by MateyCouture

Can you take a guess?

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Those Rather Dreary Rainclouds Still Bother Me

DSC_03502edit.jpg picture by MateyCouture

We've had this swamp settee for pretty much as long as I can remember. It used to be on our screen porch, out of the weather, but I remember my dad painting the seats blue and moving it down to the lakeside probably ten years ago (at least). My parents would go have cocktail hour and look out over the lake while sitting on it. I would have tea party-picnics on it with friends (and our stuffed animals!) in the summertime.

But over time, the rain and snow have rotted the now moss-covered slats. It blends in pretty well for having been blue, and it has an endearingly forgotten look to it. In a few more years I'm sure it won't be more than a pile of boards, covered in fuzzy moss and sinking into the ground.

DSC_03472edit.jpg picture by MateyCouture

I realize that my outfit today is a terrible mix of prints and textures. But can you blame me? I was just really excited to be able to wear this coat again!

coat - delia's
skirt - vintage
boots - forever21

My brother is a good looking, well-dressed fellow, and he let me get a picture of his outfit today--and furthermore, agreed to let me post it here and make a lookbook account for him! He kindly puts up with me very well.

fedora - overland sheep co. in taos, nm
vest - thrifted
moccasins - minnetonka
sunglasses - rayban

Finally, here's a shot of the lake this evening!

DSC_03442.jpg picture by MateyCouture

It never has standing water on the ice this time of year, but it's been unseasonably warm these past few weeks. Creeks have been starting to flow and the snow has mostly melted! I'm certainly not complaining, although I might've liked to be able to ski a bit this week... Instead, I'll get to pull out my hula hoops and see if I've forgotten the tricks I taught myself in the summer!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Spring Break!

DSC_0357edit.jpg picture by MateyCouture

Darlings, forgive me. The last couple of weeks have been crazy for me, studying for midterms, finishing projects, and getting papers in. But now I am finally home on spring break (!) and I'm going to make it up to you, okay? Stay on your toes, swing back in often, and I'll show you just how, exactly.

DSC_0353edit2.jpg picture by MateyCouture

It feels so great to be home, but at the same time it's bizarre! Waking up this morning, I briefly wondered if I'd never left, and if it was still January. The thing is, time flew by so quickly. And it will continue to do so, as these next two months will be absolutely packed for me. But it's nice to have this bit of rest right now, to see my parents, and to sleep in my own bed. As a bonus, I have time to take pictures and update here!

DSC_0354edit.jpg picture by MateyCouture

- pearl necklace -
- liberty tee - threadless
- bubble dress - handmade
- shoes - Bozeman, MT (& it was so long ago that I got them that I can't remember what store it was!)

DSC_0346edit.jpg picture by MateyCouture

Tripods make things so much easier. I tried taking outfit photos last week on the balcony with my camera on a chair... maybe I'll show the better ones to you sometime, but it really did not work well. This was quite an adventure, especially taking these ones where I'm next to the tree--I had the camera up on the dock (which is pulled up on shore because the lake is frozen, obviously), so I'd climb up, turn on the self timer, climb back down, and get in position, all in these clunky, hoof-like shoes. It felt like I was in a circus, a little bit!

DSC_0349edit.jpg picture by MateyCouture

Again, keep checking back! xoxo.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Inspiration Wednesday: Outfit for a Perfect Day

Perfect Day: Sewing Edition

Perfect Day: Sewing Edition

To be spent: hunched over a vintage sewing machine hidden in a bright attic, pins in mouth, creating magical little dresses and romantic skirts from antique draperies and vintage lace.

She's Always Overdressed

Perfect Day: Sparkly (Overdressed) Adventure Edition
To be spent: starting with breakfast with friends at a quaint diner, followed by walking alongside the train tracks (and placing pennies on the rail), poking through dusty tomes at a used bookstore, watching puppies in the window, an evening cocktail party with the classiest people around, and capturing the best moments of the day on film.

Perfect Day: Rain Edition

Perfect Day: Rain Edition
To be spent: puddle hopping, of course; smiling at strangers; sampling apple pie; dropping pennies around on the sidewalk for people to find; looking up at the sky and pretending the rain is a cloud's way of kissing your cheeks; and feeding ducklings at the lakeside.

What's your idea of a perfect day? What would you wear for it?

Monday, March 1, 2010

"Nothing is / but what is not."

My fabulous mom sent me my tutu, so I broke it out today in honor of the beautiful weather. It was so nice out! Everything was melty, and it practically felt like t-shirt weather (at least for us crazy Minnesotans. Anything above 30 degrees feels warm this time of year!).

IMG_0385.jpg picture by MateyCouture

This thing is so frothy and fun! Wearing it really made my day better; seeing people's reactions is delightful. Things like a nod and, "I approve," "Your outfit is ridiculous. I love it," and "That skirt is hot!" Haha.

IMG_0379.jpg picture by MateyCouture

My friend Ashley was good enough to come out on the pond in front of our dorms to take these pictures in the setting sun. I've been wanting to get out here for pictures for a long time, but... I live on the 4th floor. It's a lot of effort to go up and down the stairs, and even harder to convince someone to come with as a favor. But I'm super excited with how these turned out!

- Necklace - Antique store
- Tee - I made it
- Petticoat - Thrifted
- Shoes - Ebay

IMG_0390.jpg picture by MateyCouture

Ahh, busy next couple of weeks. My last day of class before spring break is in 12 days, and I am so psyched to go home! Besides seeing everyone, it will be really nice to eat real food, drink real water, sleep in my own bed, and rest up a bit. Maybe get on a normal sleeping schedule. (I almost never sleep in here, it's actually really impressive. But going to bed early is terribly difficult!) Okay, off to study Macbeth.

What about you guys? If you're in school, what are your plans for spring break?