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 yelping..or..eh 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 :)

Monday, June 3, 2013

Crazy May



I've been quite bad about updating here, but it isn't without wanting! May was a terribly crazy month, between the research papers, mini papers, finals and my freelance job and my two real jobs, I haven't had much time to update, let alone sew a dress to update you all with! The deadline for my freelance job is looming overhead, and very soon I'll be updating you all with lovely creations. I'm DYING to make myself something.

This month my boyfriend and I are celebrating 5 years together. In commemoration, I decided to be a regular Jolene and take a regular 5-day work week so we could spend two days in Santa Cruz. I'll take lots of pictures and post them next week! My boss told me about all these lovely vintage shops, so hopefully I'll bring home a few treasures too!