Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Butterick 5813 Trouble

Hey there Friends :)

So, when I should be finishing up one project I decide to pick up another!
I've been dyyyyyyying to make Butterick 5813 in version C. Now, I wonder what I chose that style.... ;)
Photo from

I can't wait to make this style!
photo from
Anyways, I spent forever and a day obsessively cutting out the pieces and adding my tailors tacks all over the place. This afternoon, I decided it's time to start stitching. Except, I only made it a few steps before I ran into a little bump. Normally, I'd be too embarrassed to admit that I'm struggling (it's the noob in me), but today I'm in the mood to learn, so I thought I'd come to you guys.

In version C (full skirt), you'll notice the verticle pieces on the side of the bodice front. I've basted them in place, but, at the pivot point, I'm bunching pretty badly.

Pivot point is suuuuper bunchy :/

Another view
But on a side note....isn't this fabric awesome? I'm totally on a daisy kick, aren't I?

Basting stitches
In the photo directly above, it's hard to see, but dead center is the pivot looks like crud! :(
Anyways, I was wondering if you have any tips for little things like this, or maybe my fingers are just spaghetti. In the mean time I'm just going to do some homework. Sometimes I just need to set it down and reset my approach.
Thanks in advance for any suggestions & tips :)

Monday, August 19, 2013

The Daisy Dress is Still in Progress

The Daisy Dress has made some progress since I last posted. I actually hemmed it and wore it out for a test run. I do that with just about every dress I make.

Changes I've Made:
-Added white grosgrain ribbon to the hem
-Appliqued a small cluster of daisies to hem

Changes I Need to Make:
-Straps need to be taken up 1/2"
-Sweetheart neckline needs to be stabilized somehow (I've got an idea mapped out)
-Take in side seams
-Lower dart points, but deepen them at the waist
-Lengthen bodice
-Add more daisies
I think it's coming along swell! ;)
It may be hard to see here, but I've learned that I've been bringing my
 waist dart points up WAY too high. I'm getting a pancake effect..No bueno! 

In regards to my pattern, it's the same one I used to create my blue daisy top here [x]. I did modify the pattern from that project by shortening the straps, widening them in order to cover more of my chest and create a more squared effect (sorry if that doesn't make sense! In short, the straps were to skinny where they connected with the bodice front and showed too much skin in the chest region).

Welp, I guess it's time to get down and dirty with the next phase of this project!

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Learning to Like Yellow


Yellow is a difficult color for me. I find myself naturally attracted to it, but aesthetically repulsed.
Alright, repulsed it the wrong word completely, but I'm having one of those "for lack of a better word" moments.
Yellow is bright, cheerful, happy, whimsical, and fresh. Yet, to me, it is also too bright, preppy, dated, and maybe a tad bit juvenile. Clearly, I've had a strange relationship with this color. While in Santa Cruz, I picked up a cropped cardigan from one of the thrift stores: a simple yellow knit with a crocheted back. It's slowly getting me to lighten up and enjoy it.

What I want to show you today is my current project, which doubles at my current attempt at learning to love yellow.

My idea for this dress was actually sparked listening to Azealia Banks one night. I think she's super rad all around: Her style, her voice, & her music. I was laying there bouncing my head, listening to her and sketching when I started thinking about how gorgeous she would look in yellow. & I admit, I began to get a lil' jelly.

Originally, this design started out as a boat neck, but I still want to perfect my sweetheart bodice top pattern, so I used that instead of drafting a new one. I'll get to the boat neck one day.
Because I wasn't sure if this dress would turn out, and because of my hesitation with yellow, I bought some cheap cotton broadcloth for this project.

Now, technically, all I need to finish on this dress is the hem. But after sleeping on it last night, I've decided to do some additional designing near the hem.

Here's what I've got so far (No laughing it's an odd work in progress!!):

disregard the daisies..

Bodice Back

Not my best lapped zipper..
I don't recall this zipper being as tricky last time, I'll probably end up taking it out and redoing it, but for the sake of fit, I've left it in for now. Speaking of fit, the only places that need adjustments are the darts at the waist by 1/4" or even 1/2" if I wanted a tight fit.

Well, here's what I've been working on for the last week...and it's still going! I probably would have finished it on my day off, but I had house guests for the last few days and there is not a lot of room to sew and entertain haha!
I hope everyone is having a lovely week! Now, I'm off to find some trim, and breakfast!

Friday, July 19, 2013


Hi there, everyone!
July has been a pretty busy one for me. Between work and family, I've found myself spread on the thinner side.
That being said, I decided to approach Wednesday with more relaxed vibe.
I altered a Butterick pattern a few days ago and decided to test it out.

I look so much like my mother here!
The fabric I chose was navy blue with daisies. I'd been eyeing this one for a few months, but waiting for the right project to justify buying it. It's a very soft, vintage cotton. I wish I could date it. The women who work at the shop wouldn't know due to a lot of the fabrics having been in stock well before they began working there. Normar Fabrics opened in the 1950's!

For the lining, I implemented the lightweight muslin I had actually used to test out my pattern. It's nice and soft and breezy.

I used a pale yellow invisible zipper down center back

I've noticed recently that I'm very attracted to blues. It's a very chic, versatile color that goes well with my love of pinks and purples! Besides blue, I'm always looking for great crop tops. Unfortunately, and my fellow buxom babes know too, there aren't many on the market that are cute, affordable and made to fit a C cup or larger (I myself am a DD!)

Grabbing a bite of breakfast at a local favorite! Sweetie Pies Bakery.

I love it paired with this simple stretch jersey skirt and vintage crinoline! 

Paired with a cotton jersey pencil skirt. I was on my way to buy the computer I'm typing on now ;)

This was a GREAT little project. I came out of this learning three things:
1) Zipper needs to go from the bottom up in order for it to fit over your head.
2) I am not a size 14 as far as strap length goes.
3) Next time I'll understitch the straps as the lining peeks out a bit.

It's always nice to be able to finish a project and immediately see where your skills and problem solving are improving/need improvement!

Now, the question remains, should I make a matching pair of pants or a gathered skirt?
Decisions, decision!

Monday, July 8, 2013

Estate Sailing!

It was an already warm Saturday morning & as trucks blazed past my house, I woke up particularly alert. I've been meaning/wanting to go garage sailing (saleling? Ha!) this month, and this morning felt like the one.
A quick Craiglist search had us on our way up valley to an estate sale at an old farm house on a vineyard called "Reese Ranch".

Photo from [x]

The house, built in 1870 has a long, dusty, dirt drive way lined with pretty, pink flowers. 

Photo from [x]

I wish that I hadn't left my camera in the car (I detest being the one to hold it ever since I lost the strap & Jordan won't take a photo if  his life depended on it!) because the inside was adorable. The stair rail was short with carpeted steps, and several rooms for entertaining guests on the first floor.

Unbeknownst to me, Saturday was the second day of the sale. So as I scrounged through what was left of the clothing, bags and shoes I thought, "okay, where is the jewelry?!" Everything was picked over, but a few goodies lingered & I scooped them up quicker than a TV on Black Friday.

I made away with an I. Magnin dress ( I can't wait to take up the skirt on this baby!)

The lapels are so delicate & eye catching!

A Sonni California hat

Remember this dress? ;)
I just need to replace the netting, it has a few holes.

a Trifari necklace

and an AMAZING sequin cardigan with fur trim cuffs. I forgot to take a picture before I left this morning, I'll update as soon as I get home! :)

I really wanted to take some art home, but I felt the prints I liked were overpriced. 
I'm kinda bummed that I didn't get there on the first day of the sale, it was evident that the lady of the house enjoyed higher end clothing. But, I won't beat myself up over it, I put myself on the mailing list for the next estate sale. You can bet I'll be first in line ;)

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Sewing Patterns: Yay or Nay?

Pattern Art by Karen Ross Smith

You know those awkward moments where someone expresses their opinion regarding something and looks at you to nod in vigorous agreement but you completely disagree?

This happened yesterday at the dress shop. I was talking to a woman who enjoys re-purposing and redesigning her clothing. The conversation was quite entertaining! That is, until she started bashing sewing patterns..."They're such a waste of time! Who even  uses those anymore! I never use a pattern" and "they just waste fabric and never fit right anyway". To the latter, I thought, well it seems that you don't understand how to properly measure yourself then..

My lil' hand went up sheepishly..."well, I do actually...I'm studying pattern drafting in my free time."

I could tell by the look on her face she felt she may have been a bit crass, especially when I awkwardly attempted to salvage the conversation with, "I guess..well I can see how they are time consuming. Cutting the pieces out becomes tedious..."

I don't have any friends who sew, therefore all my techniques come from bloggers, my employer, and sewing texts & tutorials. I've always felt that patterns were an extremely important & necessary element to dressmaking. 

Image Source

Perhaps it's the newbie in me, but I enjoy knowing that I've been precise in my measurements & that my garments are on grain. Of course, I don't doubt that once your skills progress your dependency on a pattern becomes less. There are also draping methods as well, but I don't have a dress form so I can't practice that quite yet.

All in all, I enjoy sewing patterns. Do I wish I had someone else to cut out the pieces for me? Absolutely. But, I find them to be extremely useful, and as as an admirer of vintage fashion they are a great way to learn from decades past. 

Do you enjoy sewing patterns or do you find them unnecessary?

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Santa Cruz

Last week I posted that I was heading down to Santa Cruz to celebrate 5 years with my man & also for a mental health break. We had a splendid time!! I'm already planning on going back...maybe in September..but we'll see ;)

Moon Zoom is my new favorite shop! Such treasures!
Cognito, another lovely shop. We spent a lot of time in there.

After walking around for 3 hours and shopping, we worked up an appetite. I love food, but I'm not always down to spend a ton of money on a fancy pants meal. I already get that living in the Napa Valley. So, we decided to hit up this little hot dog shop on our way to the Boardwalk.

It was delish & oh so filling.

After dinner at Surf Dog, we headed down to the Boardwalk. I wanted to show Jordan how pretty it is at night, he's never been! But, alas, it's still early in the season apparently, so when we meandered over around 7pm, everyone was gone! It was creepy haha. It felt like a horror film waiting to happen.

"Your glasses are too shiny"
"Is that better?"

Pacific Street has a bunch of fantastic little antique stores, I found sooo many gems in here, but I had to restrain myself.

Never without my caffeine fix!
Eventually, we wandered back over to the Boardwalk to enjoy sandwiches in the sun. It was an amazingly gorgeous day in Santa Cruz! The sand was toasty, the sea lions were yeah, they were yelping,  and everywhere you could hear laughter. Everyone seemed to be having a great day!

"Let's take a selfie." He never wants to take pictures!

After lunch, we wanted to hit up the arcade. Video games have never been my forte, so we only ended up winning about 180 tickets after spending 10 bucks. Jord suggested we find a little kid playing alone and give him ours. It's always fun making someones day like that.

I almost kicked butt at this one.

I love shooting galleries like this one! Takes me back to Disneyland as a kid.

That particular roller coaster wasn't operating that day :(
I promised a better photo of my Heartbreaker Fashion dress, here it is!

No trip is complete without the awkward experience of finding someone to take a photo of you!
I wish I had taken more photos, but I lost the strap to my camera, so I was afraid of dropping it..but I think these ones are just fine. So, there you have it! My two lovely days in Santa Cruz :)