Kayla Turns 8

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Today is my niece’s birthday and tomorrow is her party. She really wanted a sleeping bag for her AG doll. I decided I would make one for her from scratch.

I used my daughter’s AG doll to make two squares long enough to fit and wide enough to fit, doubled (just the width). I sewed them right sides together with the bottom left open. Then folded it in half and stitched the bottom and sides together leaving it open for a few inches at the top (maybe 5 or so… I eyeballed it.) I then took some matching cotton scraps and made a small pillow that I velcroed to the sleeping bag.

The bag is made from 1970′s vintage pre-quilted fabric that I bought from Selvedge Shop. Sandra is one of my favorite sources on Etsy for vintage fabric. Go check her out if you love vintage fabric and patterns. The cotton was scraps I had left over from lining the jacket below:

My first commissioned garment made for Hyde Von Hitchcock, lead singer of Absinthe.

2012 Goals Check-Up: January

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It’s now the beginning of February and I’m wanting to check in on how I’m doing towards my goals for the year as of the end of last month.

  1. Sew more clothes for myself and the kids. In Progress/This is actively being worked on. I am working on scrubs for my new job (Yay!), some wardrobe essentials I’m sadly lacking, and I plan to make the girls’ Easter dresses.
  2. Boost my little side business, sewing custom clothing and alterations. This will become a priority this month.
  3. Complete the BSN portion of my RN to MSN Education degree. I’m nearly finished my first course. At my current rate I’ll be done my BSN portion of my education by October 2012. Woo hoo!
  4. Save money for our first house. We are budgeting and saving! Yay! We plan to rent a house this spring, for 12 months, and then buy after that lease is up.
  5. Improve my relationship with Bill and the kids. In Progress/Some days are better than others, but I am trying my best.
  6. Finish one knitted item. I started working on my in progress vintage sweater last weekend. I’ve been working on it when I have nothing to do. I hope it’s done by fall.
  7. Walk the neighborhood at least 3-4 days a week. This will not happen until spring, I’m sure. I have been working out 3-5 days a week at the gym, though. Yay me!
  8. Organize my sewing area and bedroom. Sewing area is in progress. Bedroom is a beast and very overwhelming. I’ll get to it soon. We’re planning on moving and I need to get that stuff under control so we can pack and go when we need to.

 

Planning My Wardrobe: Sewing the Basics

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I’ve done some review of my basics checklist and here’s what it looks like now:

I’m going to need to make myself some things to have my basics covered. So far I have two things in progress (WIP = Work In Progress). The blouse needs the buttons sewn on and the cigarette pants need their waistband attached and then to be hemmed. Not totally sure if I will crop them or not. I ‘m going to wear them for a day, or at least a few hours, after I get the waistband done to determine if I want them full length or not. Here’s the patterns I’m using to make my items:

Basic Blouse = Simplicity 2339 View B

Pull Over Tops = McCall’s 2818 Views A and C (bottom two in pic)

Little Brown Dress = Simplicity 2648

Circle Skirt = New Look 6149

Pencil Skirt, Wide Legged Trousers, and Cigarette Pants = Butterick B5391

Trouser Style Jeans = Butterick B5682

Fitted Waist Jacket/Blazer = Vogue 8333

Bras = Bravo Bella Bravo #2 Bra Pattern

Week of Busy!

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So, there was no Menu Plan Monday and Fitness Friday this week. I really had the best of intentions to get them put up but it just wasn’t to happen. Life happned and those two days were BUSY for me. I did plan my meals, and generally stuck to it. I also did my workouts and I’ve lost 6 pounds total to show for it. Yay! Hopefully life will slow down just a spec and I’ll be back to posting on Monday and Friday like I planned.

Planning My Wardrobe: First Step = Knowing My Style

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Before I went about making a list of things I knew I would wear all the time I had to figure out what I would wear all the time. Basically, I had to determine my style. Developing my style has been a lifelong process. I’ve never been afraid of fashion or trends. Typically I was one of the first to wear a trend in my social circles. As I got older I developed a more refined style that included a lot of classics with a hint of trendy items, usually accessories.

I was a kid that often wore hand-me-downs, and I loved playing dress up with my mother’s and grandmother’s clothing. I can remember being 4 or 5 and prancing in my mother’s Aigner high-heeled boots, or singing on my grandmother’s hearth in her gorgeous costume jewelry and fancy dress coat from the 60′s. Loving retro and vintage fashion has always been a part of me. Now I fully embrace that and want to show it more in my wardrobe. I figured my best bet would be to develop some style icons and look at how they dressed to pull ideas for things I really would enjoy wearing all the time. Here’s the ladies I love style-wise:

Sophia Loren

Cinched waists, tight but classy clothes, pencil skirts, wiggle dresses, fur outerwear, and LEOPARD PRINT! OMG! I am so addicted to leopard print!

Marilyn Monroe

Tailored, fitted, wiggle dresses and pencil skirts, bombshell silhouette with great support undergarments.

Jean Harlow

Bias cut, fur outerwear, satin, silk, velvet.

Katharine Hepburn

Loafers with a little heel, wide legged trousers, tailored blouses and blazers.

From these I came up with my list of things I would wear most often, and that I would get the most use out of. My own basics. I hope you enjoyed your peek at my style inspiration.

Planning My Wardrobe

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This weekend I pretty much cleaned. Yeah, envy my exciting life. lol Seriously. I was just tired of my desk looking like a bomb went off. So Friday night I cleaned it up. I swear it’s cleaner than it’s ever been since we built it. It’s not done yet, as I still have to go through the hutch on top of my desk. Once I do that, planning to do so this coming weekend, I will post pictures. There will be no before pics. Sorry, it’s too embarrassing. lol Well, I LOVED the results of my newly cleaned and organized desk surface. So much so that Saturday I decided to really tackle the rest of the house. It looks AMAZING! I got the kitchen, baths, and great room taken care of. I still have to handle the entry, master bedroom, kids’ room, and my sewing nook. It’s so awesome to be able to exist in orderly living spaces! I took today off, as I felt I deserved a day of rest. I did some sewing for the play I’m the costume designer for, and did some light cleaning (laundry and dishes). I took a glorious nap and then after dinner read one of my favorite blogs, The Glamorous Housewife. She has some excellent posts on vintage and vintage inspired fashion, and wardrobe planning.

I’ve never really planned my wardrobe. Ever. And it shows. I have a lot of pieces but a lot of them are not really my style, don’t fit the way I’d like them to fit (I’m growing to hate ready to wear more and more as I sew more), or are orphans (nothing matches them). I’ve also come to realize that I have a definite style and my wardrobe isn’t exactly living up to all I am. I am not a jeans and t-shirt kind of girl. I actually hate jeans. They have a purpose, a utilitarian one, in my mind. I would wear them to paint or work on cars or something, but I actually wear them almost daily… and I hate it. I like trousers, skirts, and dresses. Well tailored pieces that look impeccable. I hate t-shirts. I literally only wear them to the gym or to sleep in (rarely), because that’s their purpose to me. Utilitarian. I like blouses, sweaters, and other tops that have a bit of a fancier appearance. I love the lines of 40′s, 50′s and early 60′s clothing. They fit my hourglass figure perfectly. So, my style is best described as retro elegance with a splash of glam.

With that in mind I’ve come up with my Diva Basics (because I really am a diva lol). These are the things I wear, or would wear if I had them, all the time, mixed with other pieces and accessorized perfectly.

Just off the top of my head I have:

  • 2 V-neck sweaters, one in brown and one in khaki
  • 2 cream colored cardigans (one beaded, one not)
  • I know I have some pullovers, but I need to go through them because a lot of them I know I don’t wear
  • 1 pair knee high boots
  • 1 pair vintage heels
  • 1 pair loafers
  • 1 trench coat
  • 1 overcoat
  • 3 sport bottoms
  • 5 sport tops
  • 2 bras that kind-of fit, but I have on order a pattern and supplies to make 2 that REALLY fit
  • approximately 12+ panties, I need to go through them, though
  • 4 pair nude nylons
  • 4 pair tights
  • 1 full slip
  • 1 girdle

And I have in process:

  • 1 basic blouse, it just needs buttons sewn on
  • 1 pair cropped cigarette pants, needs the waistband sewn on and the hems done
  • 1 overcoat – I have a tan wool one, but I have wanted a faux leopard fur one for AGES and I’m making one. It’s not quite halfway done.

I’ll be going through my wardrobe this week and weeding out what I don’t love anymore for any reason. Then I will reassess my checklist. I really need only clothes I love.