Monday, April 27, 2020

Monday Morning Inspiration/Casual Inspiration for at Home Wear

Over the weekend, I talked to a friend. It was great to reconnect. During the course of the conversation, she commented on my recipe posts, and asked if I will be getting back to them. I also received another note from someone who has followed the blog for quite sometime. She told me how much she enjoys the blog, and how much she has missed my "regular" posts. An apology is in order. I've been cooking, a LOT!!! And too, I still look for inspiration. It's just that I haven't been sharing. 

This past week, I thought of 2 of my favorite designers, and wondered if there would be a spring collection. Since the collections are typically done a year in advance, I hoped that there would be, and thankfully, there is a spring collection for both Carolina Herrera and Maria Pinto(a Chicago based designer).

As I looked through their collections, what inspired me the most were pieces that would translate into everyday wear. Things that I will enjoy whether I'm out and about...or not.

This palazzo pant from Carolina Herrera reminded me so much of the Winslow Culottes from Helen's Closet. 

This tiered evening skirt is not something most of us would wear at home, but it reminded me of the Phoebe Maxi from Pattern Union.     

This fabulous little dress screams spring, and works beautifully with flats or sandals. Love the appliqued flowers along the bottom. 

For something rather fresh, this mix of plaids is quite fun!

How could one not be happy with the mix of polka dots???

Maria Pinto has incorporated mesh into her collection, and I LOVE it!!! A mesh dress over a pair of tights and a tank, such fun!

Here she used the mesh on the back of a jacket. Would look super cute with a fun print tank underneath.

I'm really loving knee length shorts. The picture on the right shows how easy the outfit can be to wear in a more casual manner. 

This asymmetrical skirt is so flirty. The lantern sleeve turns what would be a rather boring t-shirt into something much more interesting. You can find my tutorial on the lantern sleeve HERE.

Nothing could be more simple to throw on than a lightweight denim dress with a center front zipper. The pockets make it all the better for keeping your cell phone handy. 

I hope that a few of the pieces have inspired you. I can't wait to get into the studio and pump out a few new pieces! 

If you know of patterns that closely resemble some of the pieces I've shared, let me know in the comments, and I will share them on the blog.

Wishing you a lovely week :)

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Sunday, April 26, 2020

Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Blessings In The Storm, and the Challenge Continues

Maybe it has something to do with life getting rather small, that our days, for now, aren't filled with all the typical must dos, but I've thought so much of my grandmother. She looms large in my life, from her love of cooking for others, her love of opening her home to guests, to how she dressed. Without fail, she got up every morning and dressed impeccably. She always wore a dress. I once asked her if she had ever worn a pair of pants. She said that during WWII, while working, she had, but was never really comfortable. So once she was able to resume her normal daily activities, she went back to wearing a dress...everyday of her life. 

Over the last few weeks of my little challenge, I've thought of how my grandmother would feel about the "effort" that I am making to get dressed each and everyday. On one hand, I think she would be quite proud, but then, she was always so proud of me :) On the other hand, I think she would ask me why it has become a challenge :/

Last Wednesday I wore my Ginger Jeans from Closet Case Patterns. After I made my first pair, I decided that I had purchased my last pair of jeans. I absolutely love this pattern. I paired the jeans with a self-drafted knit top. And of course, my best accessory, Mr. Berkley :)

I'm missing pictures from Thursday, April 16 through Sunday April 19th, but I will recreate them with the exception of Saturday. I spent most of the day in the bed with a sick headache. Oh well.

Skipping forward to Monday, I wore my cargo pants. Such a great pair of pants to wear when I have some shopping to do. I throw my phone and credit card into my pockets, and then I am completely hands free at the grocery store. You can see my original post about the pants HERE. I paired the pants with a t-shirt that I made from a repurposed thrift store find. I used the Molly Tee from Pattern Union.    

When I was a little girl, my goal in life was to be a cowgirl! My aunt would tell me that you can take the girl out of Texas, but you can't take Texas out of the girl ;) I do love my boots, and I especially love wearing them with skirts. 

I really like the knit top I'm wearing. I used the Elliot Sweater Pattern from Helen's Closet. I lengthened the sleeves, lengthened the front, and eliminated the side slits. The fabric was a great find from Promenade Fabrics in New Orleans. 

I had just a remnant of the black stretch denim left, but it was enough for the Tessuti Fabrics free Libby Aline skirt pattern. I did flat-felled seams on the side seams, and topstitched the pockets, as well as the hem and the center back seam.  

Today, Wednesday, I'm wearing one of my all time favorite dresses. It's the Yuki Dress Pattern from Tessuti Fabrics. I love how the side seams aren't side seams, but angle toward the front. The dress has pockets, always a plus in my book. I also love the scrunchy collar. So easy to wear, just throw on and go. Well, if I had somewhere to go!!! BTW, if you are ever in Chicago, by all means, go by Fishman's fabrics. You would have to feel this fabric to believe it, so soft, just an amazing piece of lightweight wool. They have an incredible selection of remnants that are so well priced.     

Just a couple of notes on the pattern, As you can see from the above picture, the dress hits just above my knee. I didn't want it any shorter, so I finished the hem with a bias binding. 

One of the downsides of side seam pockets is that they can float around on the inside of your garment. A great way to prevent this is to take a piece of scrap ribbon and sew it to each pocket. The pockets will now beautifully stay in place. 

I hope that all of you who happen to drop by are doing well. It's easy to fall into a trap of feeling sorry for ourselves, or feeling deprived. I hope that some happy memories come to you like that of my grandmother for me. When I think of her, I can't help but feel so very blessed.

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Thursday, April 16, 2020

A Little Sunshine From a Soul Painter

Back in February, I was fabric shopping with some friends, and we found this fabulous fabric panel. I immediately fell in love. So vibrant, and cheerful. It screams summer and happy days. The painting is by a very gifted artist, Anne Pryor. Her trademark is Lovitude, a word created by combining Love and Gratitude. You can read more about her HERE.  

I purchased 2 panels as I knew that I wanted to create a summer dress, but wasn't sure of the style. A friend recommended this Vogue pattern by designer Vena Cava. The dress is basically just 2 pieces with vertical tucks to give it some fit through the chest and back. It's an out of print pattern, but there are lots on Ebay and Etsy if you are interested.   

My almost finished dress. I didn't have enough of the fabric to do the cuffs on the sleeves, but I don't think that's much of a loss. Love the square neckline. I still remember an Easter dress that I had that had a square neckline :) Loved it then, love it now!!!

If by chance the panel makes you as happy as it has made me, you can find it HERE along with all the coordinating fabrics.

The dress reminds me that love and gratitude are the best gifts for living a happy life. 

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Tuesday, April 14, 2020

Elements of Joy/The Challenge Continues

A Very Happy Tuesday to all who happen to stop by :)

I correspond with a lovely lady in England. She sent a note to me a few days ago, and I thought that it was so special, and something that we all should ponder. So, I asked if she would mind me sharing an excerpt from her letter here on the blog, and she happily agreed.

"As we enter yet another week of sad and troubling news, I hope that you can find elements of joy in each day. I have for many years now lived each day as though it is both my first and last. This means welcoming each brand new day and looking for the new thing I will experience or learn from it. At the end of the day I make sure I have nothing unresolved with anyone in my life. No chance that if I was not to awaken I would leave someone with regrets that our last words had been .....Because my last breath here will be my first in .... and there will be no room for regrets for me, so it's important that I don't leave others with them."

A week ago today, I began a bit of a challenge. With being home so very much, it's easy to fall into the trap of not getting dressed. A trip to the drug store, my excitement about getting out, and getting dressed prompted me to ask, "for whom do I dress?" What I discovered is that dressing, enjoying my clothes is important for me, regardless of who sees me.

I've done well with my challenge of getting up each day and dressing, missing only 1 day last week. I did dress, but no effort was made. I had thrown on a pair of sweatpants so that I could take Berkley for a walk, came home, got busy, and never officially dressed. 

Last Wednesday I wore a super fun pair of leggings that I recently made. The fabric for both the leggings and the sweatshirt were found at Joann's Fabrics. You can't see it, but the sweatshirt has a small pink shiny dot throughout the fabric. The leggings are a shiny pink and beige velvet. The leggings are the Loveland Leggings from Sew Daily. Super easy to make!!!     
The sweatshirt is the La Megeve Pullover from Naughty Bobbins Patterns. The pullover/sweatshirt has slits on the side, and a great pocket application. 

Thursday was my fail day :(
The outfit that I wore on Friday is from a Simplicity pattern. While I was walking through the fabric store, I walked past the pattern counter, and my eyes just happened to fall on this pattern, Simplicity 9017

I haven't purchased a Simplicity pattern in I don't know when! The neckline is great, but I should have added a bit of interfacing to give it the stand that it has on the pattern envelope. 

Saturday was a leggings and turtleneck kind of a day. Once again, the Loveland Leggings from Sew Daily. It was such a beautiful day. Berkley and I sat out on the deck and just enjoyed the sunshine!

It snowed on Sunday. Since it was Easter, I just had to put something on that felt special. This is the Estes Dress from Sew Daily. Super easy to make, but a little extra special in the red ponte.     

Monday was a Helen's Closet kind of a day. All 3 pieces are from her pattern collection, the Avery Leggings, Elliot Sweater, and Blackwood Cardigan. I added to the front of the cardigan as it was designed to just skim over the breast area, and I wanted a cardigan that came closer to meeting at center front. The cardigan is made from the same fabric that I used for the leggings that I wore on Saturday. 

My pictures aren't the best today. The wind was blowing. At one point, I dropped my phone in the snow. Oh well, at least I dressed, and at least it's made by me :) 
The skirt that I am wearing started life as a tunic for a child. I found it at the resale shop, loved the border pattern, and saw that if I cut the top off, I would have a cute skirt. The sweatshirt/sweater that I'm wearing is a Style Arc pattern, the Carlsson Sweater. I would typically wear a different pair of shoes, but I had to walk through the snow, so...oh well.

I really like the Carlsson pattern. Goes together quickly, and so easy to wear. When I initially made it, I told a friend of mine that I wore it until I HAD to wash it!!! 

As time goes on, I hope that I will keep up my little challenge. I am posting my pictures to Instagram. If you would like to join me, use #idressforme and let me know. I would LOVE to feature your me made pieces!!!

As I close out this post, Berkley is sleeping peacefully, and wagging his tail while he sleeps. Something must be bringing him joy. I hope that you too will find something in each and every day that will bring you a bit of joy.

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Sunday, April 12, 2020

Tuesday, April 7, 2020

For Whom Do I Dress?

The last 3 weeks have been interesting to say the least. When the call came for businesses to close, and everyone to stay at home, it seemed a little surreal. A friend of mine even commented that it felt like the movie, "On The Beach." But once reality began to take hold, I like everyone, felt a little out of sorts. Daily routines have been interrupted, there's no where to go except the grocery store, pharmacy, maybe a hardware store, and even those should be visited the least amount possible. Last week I had to pick up a prescription. As I was getting ready, it suddenly occurred to me that I was actually excited about going to the pharmacy. I got dressed, put on my makeup...even earrings!!! Here something that has always been considered an errand was now an outing! As I thought a little more about it, I asked myself, "for whom do I dress?" Is it just for others, for myself, or a combination of the two? I think for most of us it's the latter. We like to look nice, but we also want to present ourselves to the world in the best possible manner. 

As the day wore on, I noticed that I felt so much better about myself. It really didn't matter that the only person that would see me, other than those that I encountered on my quick trip to the pharmacy, would be my husband. Dressing was important for me. So, I decided that this would not be a one day event. I would get up, shower, dress, and put my makeup on just as if I had somewhere to go, and document it :)

Here are the last 3 days;

On Sunday I dressed as if I would be going to church. It made the entire day special. I'm wearing the Sumekko dress from Pattern Union. I added flanges to the armholes, and made an infinity scarf from my leftover fabric to give the dress a cowl collar look. Underneath I am wearing the Londa's Terrific "T" from Londa's Creative Threads.  

Monday's choice was the free Monroe Turtleneck pattern from Tessuti Fabrics, and the Barb Pant from Style Arc patterns. This is the first top I have made using the Monroe Turtleneck pattern. I really like the pattern. The Barb pants, I've made quite a few. They are quick to make, and easy to pull on. You can find a link to get the Barb Pant pattern for free HERE.     

Today I decided to wear one of my favorite outfits, the Molly Tee from Pattern Union, and my cargo pants that I blogged about HERE

Here's a better picture of the outfit. I just love how the outfit came together :) I always feel great when I put this on! 

So, what have you been doing? Are you getting dressed, or staying in your pajamas? 
I will be posting my pictures on Instagram and using #Idressforme It would be great if you would join me!

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Sunday, April 5, 2020