Product Review: Firmoo Prescription and Fashion Glasses

Last month, the online eyewear store, Firmoo, asked if I'd be interested in trying a pair of glasses to review and share.  Well, since I last bought a pair 6-7 years ago, and my prescription has changed since then, how could I say no?

OOTD: Falling for Cords x 2

What a busy, busy last two months this has been!  (And, we still don't move until late next week!)  There certainly hasn't been much sewing going on over here, as every time I've cut fabric or pulled out my machine, I've had to throw it all right back in the closet for another showing of our house.

But, my me-made items are seeing more and more wear :-)  In fact, for our house-hunting trip to Georgia, I wore a me-made item every day!  My corduroy skirts in particular are now in regular rotation.  I reach for them so often, I've added four more to my queue... which is, of course, on hold but, eventually...


OOTD: Transitioning to Fall in Summer Heat

Labor Day has come and gone, here in the US, and that means no more white! It's time to rotate our wardrobes to cozy sweaters, corduroy, and rich colors... ah, the delightful chill of the autumn months.  Can't you just feel the wool?


Did I mention that in the south the heat is still reaching above 100F!?  And, the humidity... we're talking hair volume-doubling!  So, you might say my sweaters are still safely stored away in the cedar drawers.

Homekeeping Tips: Making a Home Inventory

Friends, the moving process has begun.  Ok, well, really we're just in the keeping the house ship-shape, waiting-game phase right now but, that's progress. Considering I'm a homemaker and this is technically an "all things domestic" space, I thought you all might allow me to share any tips or thoughts I have throughout the process.  Cool?  Cool.

Vintage Finds: Patterns, Patterns, and Tea Dye?

Last Thursday, I received a call from an unfamiliar phone number.  Thinking it must be our Realtor, I answered.  Imagine what a pleasant surprise it was when it turned out not to be our agent but, rather the owner of the little antique shop I haunt for vintage patterns.

You see, I stopped by her shop so regularly for a time, looking for 'new' vintage goodies, she took down my name and phone number, promising to call the next time she got some in.  She called Thursday, for the first time, to let me know a friend of hers was clearing out her closets and had brought in a few bags of vintage patterns, which were so old, they were starting to disintegrate.  Would I care to come in and look?  Of course!!!  Mind, I didn't get my hopes up too much since the condition was said to be so poor but, it couldn't hurt to look, right?

Inspiration - Lace Dresses

I'm not often one to follow trends but, I have to admit, I can't help but to give a little grin when I see that the newest "it" look just happens to fall in line with my plans.

This morning I received an email from Bloomingdale's that gave me one of those little grins.  Apparently, lace dresses are one of the looks for fall.  Fantastic!  I made one last year but, as I mentioned during Me-Made-May, it doesn't get much wear, owing to it's bridal color.  I do like the idea, however, so for the last month or so, I've been working on a plan for a new one.  I've purchased the lace and the base fabric.  Now, I just need the dye and a few notions.  I'm really hoping to get this one whipped up before we move.

In the meantime, let's drool over some of the latest designer offerings, shall we?

OOTD: Mary Gets a Makeover and Goes to the Park

When I first posted my 'Downton Abbey'-inspired Lady Mary dress, I styled it a bit a la Edwardian.  It felt darling dressing up all ladylike but, truth be told, it was a touch much for everyday wear.  So, when we ventured to a French-inspired cafe last week for a celebratory brunch, I opted for a more modern look.  After all, I did name the dress "Modern Mary".

We're Moving!

Hello, readers!  I have very exciting news!  That darling fiance of mine has accepted a new position so, we're packing up and heading three states over!  (Any Atlanta-area sewing enthusiasts with tips/store recommendations??)  This, of course means my time has been otherwise occupied and will continue to be so for the next month (or two...).

Vintage Tag

So, as I was browsing my reader this morning, (attempting to catch up!), I stumbled across a cute game.  Stephanie of The Girl with the Star-Spangled Heart posted her answers to this 21 question game via video.  How fun!  Alas, I'm not one for appearing on camera but, that doesn't mean I don't want to play along!

Make This Look: EGD 'Kristen'

Yesterday, I saw a familiar piece included in a fashion blog post on my reader.  Check it out:

Pattern Pyramid Giveaway Winner

Thanks so much to everyone who entered the giveaway!  It was so much fun seeing which pattern everyone would choose.  

I've left the selection to Random.org, out of 31 comments (one wasn't an entry).  And the winner is:

The Seamless Pledge

While I started sewing in 2008, it was not until this year that I really started sewing regularly and paying closer attention to construction and detail.  Now that I understand more about how a garment is should be made and quality and ethics are each of high importance, I have found myself increasingly disappointed with ready-to-wear offerings.

Pattern Pyramid Giveaway

Well, hello there, readers! Long time, no see! I do apologize for my absence but, I expect you'll be quite willing to forgive me when you see what I have to share! I'm here to host my first ever GIVEAWAY! Yay! I'm so excited about it because, not only are giveaways always fun but, this one takes the fun along a web of bloggers around the world.

TSC Inspiration - A Dangerous Method

Every so often, a movie comes along with costumes that steal my attention.  Recently, we rented A Dangerous Method from Netflix.  It's a period film based upon a time in the lives of Sigmund Freud, Carl Jung, and Sabina Spielrein.  I studied psychology in college so, the topic held a bit of interest for me.  I won't say another word on the movie itself save for the wardrobe. The dresses caught my eye immediately and I found myself eyeing the details of the garments frequently throughout the movie.


Reader Poll - How Many Sites are Too Many?

Have you noticed the new sewing sites popping up lately?  I recently joined Kollabora (which looks quite promising) and before that, there was My Sewing Circle and BurdaStyle... and I'm probably half a dozen more that I don't know about.


TSC: The "Modern Mary" Dress

Two months ago, we were watching the flower show episode of Downton Abbey on Netflix and I got my first glimpse of the blue and white dress that so many people seemed to be raving about.  My initial reaction?  "Meh."  While I certainly preferred it to Lady Edith's (on which Lady Mary made a condescending remark), I didn't see why there was quite so much fuss.  After the episode ended, however, a rather funny thing happened.  "Wait! Horizontal bodice lines and vertical ones down the skirt... that actually has potential to be quite flattering!"  And so, my obsession was born.


Coming up: That's Sew Cinematic!

When Debi first posted about "That's Sew Cinematic," I was fairly quick to sign up. I had have yet to finish the green silk dress from the Oscar challenge on Sew Weekly and I thought this new challenge would give me an excuse. Yeah. That's not happening! But, never fear (ha!), I do still have Cinematic sewing plans. Here's a little sneaky peaky at what's up first.

'Make It, Wear It' Summer Holiday Challenge - V.1 Completed

You may recall, I posted a challenge for myself, pledging that me-made items would account for 70% of my vacation clothing.  Now that I'm back from Texas, the question is "Did she do it?"  The answer?

Simplicity 2582 - The "Summer Breeze" Top

Last week The week before last on Sew Weekly was all about mixing prints. After scanning the local shops, I just couldn't find two prints that seemed right for each other. I did, however, find a floral cotton lawn that I thought would make the perfect vacation top. So, I whipped that up instead.

Me-Made-May '12 - Roundup and Final Thoughts

My, oh my! I am waaay behind!  Things became quite busy here after my last post, between preparing for vacation and working on the house/yard. Then, we were off to Texas!  Now we're back and it's time for me to play catch up.  I'll start with a round-up post of Me-Made-May '12 but, I also have two new things to share so, look for those very soon!

Vogue 8380 - That Cozy Blue Dress

Recognize this little navy number?  I've already worn this twice for Me-Made-May.  It's just so comfortable!  Apparently, when you sew a woven pattern in a knit, it goes from 'yuck!' to awesome!  Allow me to explain.

Me-Made-May: Days 9-15

Hello again, everyone! So, apparently, there's no method to the madness of these posts. I had intended to do one sooner but, I wasn't feeling well this weekend so, there was nothing to show. I've [technically] still managed to stick with it though. Here are my notes.

Me-Made-May: Days 4-8

This week is really getting away from me!  I'm behind on everything, BUT I'm keeping to my me-made pledge of four self-stitched items per week.  In fact, I'm outdoing it!  I've only skipped one day so far!  Here are my outfits and ramblings thoughts from the last five days.

Butterick 4443 - The "Spring Confections" Dress

My latest finished item is another former UFO. Hooray for getting those pesky flying saucers into the closet! Last summer, I had dragged Brandon into Jo-Ann's to look at the new Lisette fabrics. (Poor guy!)  What was probably 45 minutes later, while I was trying to talk myself into a printed blue one, Brandon, likely eyeing the exit, saw this fabric by the door.  He turned me around and told me this fabric looked much more 'me'.  He was right, of course.


Me-Made-May: Days 1-3

The fun of Me-Made-May has finally begun!  I'm already finding this process so enjoyable and so helpful!  I'm getting a lot of new ideas from all of your outfit posts as well! So many new ideas to add to the never-ending queue!

(Woo, that's a lot of exclamation points... do you think I'm excited?

McCall's 4875 - The "At Last" Full-Circle Skirt

I started dabbling in sewing around three and half years ago.  My first project?  A full-circle skirt, of course!  I've adored them for as long as I can recall and I was elated to find this pattern while browsing the catalogs at Hancock for the first time. (I was a newbie - I had no idea how easy it would have been to draft my own!)  I was a good little seamstress and immediately bought a cute length of fabric for it and only it.


McCall 4440 (again!) - The "For the Love of Blue" Dress

When I think about this dress, two songs come to mind: "Dock of the Bay" and "My Favorite Things". I'm landlocked here so, you probably can't tell this about me but, I am a water. baby. Ok, actually, that's how my family frequently referred to me because I was always the first one in and last one out. I loved love the beach!  Given this, it's no surprise that I was drawn to this cute sea shell print fabric at Hancock.  Even better?  It's blue!  My lifelong favorite color. It didn't take long at all to decide this fabric was coming home with me.

Me-Made-May '12 - I'm In!

I love challenges! They're so great for motivating me to sew new items or actually wear the things I make. Zo's challenge in particular will do both! This will be my second self-stitched challenge and I feel much better prepared this time. So, here's my pledge:

Make It, Wear It - Queue Update

It's still a ways off but, friends, I think the idea of a vacation has gone a bit too far to my head! I can NOT focus on anything this week month! I have no finished projects to show you. What I do have is a total of three dresses in progress and two more items which I expect to cut out in the next few days.  It's so easy to get distracted by new, pretty projects!  I know I'm not the only one who does...!

So, what are these projects pulling my attention in every direction?

Make It, Wear It - Summer Holiday Challenge

With summer quickly approaching here, Brandon and I have started planning our next vacation. We're headed to a (presumably hot and humid) beach on the Gulf so, I'll likely spend the week in sundresses and light, breathable blouses with skirts or shorts. Of course, being the sewing addict that I am, I started looking over my sewing queue to decide what vacation-appropriate items I could/should add to it

Red Cotton Sateen - Shorts or Skirt?

Readers, I'd like your opinion. I'm working on my spring/summer queue and recalled a piece of red cotton sateen left over from this dress. I have roughly a yard in my stash and the fabric is very comfortable and breathable so, I'd like to make a summer separate from it. The question is, should I make shorts or a skirt?

Spring Shoe Deals - Nautical Flats

I am an endless sucker for nautical, particularly each year when beach and boating season approaches. This year, being no different, I hoped to find a cute navy and white striped ballet flat.

Whilst Googling, I came across a deal that I had to share. Brooks Brothers has a canvas and leather nautical flat for only $29.60, down from $148!

Mad Men and a Sneak Peak

As the Mad Men Challenge draws to a close, I thought I'd share my first two dresses.  You may recall, I wrote that I was planning to recreate Trudy's darling blue party dress*.  Well, I did... and you can read about it on Sew Weekly but, I was far from pleased with it.  It was my first vintage pattern and I forgot that I would need to make several alterations to account for excess ease and a

Liebster and Versatile!? Wow, me?

Sorry for the delay on this one. I typed this up on my mobile but, I have the hardest time inserting links from there and I was just so busy last week, I didn't have time to get on the actual computer. On a related [busy] note, I dabbled in a bit of pattern drafting/re-drafting for my latest dress. More on that to come!

This was a great weekend! It was relaxing, the sun was shining, the birds were chirpping and... I was nominated for not one but two blog awards! I was grinning from ear to ear at the idea that you lovelies enjoy reading about my silly little projects.

Recipe - Avocado and Cucumber Sandwich

I interrupt this what-seems-to-be-a sewing blog to bring you a quick little recipe. With the warmer months approaching here in the US, it's time to try a new cool, fresh sandwich. Walter also claims it increases clarity of thought! Who knows if that's true but, if it is, maybe it can boost our sewing productivity too??

Vogue 2960 - The Degas Birthday Dress

I mentioned in my last post that I had a brand-new coral dress just waiting to be shown off. Well, all of your crossed-fingers worked because she got to go out and play in a local park on Saturday! The day itself started as "one-of-those days" but, once I started twirling for the photos, I couldn't help but smile!

Hello Spring! - A Peak at What's on my Queue

For the last two week's or so, we've had warm weather (around 70-75F), clear, sunny skies, and the flowers have begun to bloom. So, despite the fact that we're still a few weeks away from Spring, I've been unable to resist brightening up my sewing queue. Here's a look at what I'll be working on in the next few weeks.

First up, Vogue 2960 in a coral, linen/cotton blend. Actually, this dress is finished

The Mad Men Challenge - The Plan

Mad Men, Mad Men, Mad Men... I wonder how many times that title has appeared in the blogosphere in the last month alone! It was even my hand-sewing viewing because everyone raves about it so much and now, there are [at least] two related challenges on the horizon! Perhaps this buzz is because the new season starts next month? Just a guess...

To accompany the new season premiere, the Sew Weekly

Nothing to share...and I'm OK with that

Remember how I said I love it when things seem to fall into place? That didn't happen this week.

This week is all about the Oscars over at Sew Weekly and I had a great dress planned. But, alas, my little fingers just couldn't sew fast enough... (not to mention, there were 8 hours consumed by dyeing!) So far, I've sewn a muslin, altered the pattern, dyed 5 yards of silk charmeuse in two batches

New Look 6348 - The "Forever" Dress

Here it is, a week behind schedule, my new crimson silk charmeuse dress.  Oh, what a long process this was. (I won't go into the dyeing but, if you'd like to hear about it in a separate post or have questions, let me know!)  Because the inspiration dress was silk, and because I don't like synthetics, I knew I wanted silk for my version.  Not only did this mean I had to track down a quality supplier and then dye the fabric myself, but, because the skirt was cut on the bias, it also meant "couture" techniques were needed.

Taking That Glen-plaid Skirt Out For a Spin

Suzie over at "Su Sews So-So" has this great little series of posts called "I made it... AND I wore it" where she shares how she actually wears the items she makes after the initial post.  I thought this was a great idea so, I thought I'd share how I wore a self-stitched item today and how the outfit came about.

New Look 6348 - A Sneak Peak

Well readers, as I expected I've fallen behind in my Sew Weekly creations. A delay in materials arrival meant it could be no other way. Not to mention the fact that I'm taken a very easy pattern and am making it way more complicated and time-consuming than it needs to be. Then again, I'm glad I'm taking my time.

For the first time ever, I've made a sudo-proper muslin! (Aren't you all proud :) ? )

Sew Grateful Week - A Reflection

The lovely Debi, from My Happy Sewing Place, created a plan for a wonderful week where we, in the sewing community, share our gratitude for the others out there who make our hobby that much nicer! What a fantastic idea!

I just couldn't let this week slip by without showing a bit of gratitude myself!

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

I'm so grateful to have found a hobby where I can create something useful and lovely with my own hands.  One that allows me to explore a tradition through time.  A hobby that allows me not to settle for what other's say I should purchase and where the possibilities are endless.

The Great Zipper Search - Solved by Field's Fabric

UPDATE: Problem solved! I received an email this morning from the lovely Field's Fabrics in Michigan stating that they carried both of the zippers I need. Yay!

Field's Fabrics has some of the nicest sales staff I've ever had the pleasure to do business with. I stopped in their Kalamazoo location on the road trip home, after visiting family this summer. Their selection was fantastic and their prices exceptionally reasonable. Don't let their website fool you. If you need something, but don't see it online, call or email their sales department. The turn-around was very fast and Karen was so pleasant! Now, my little Beulon zippers are on their way and I'll be able to finish my dresses...phew!

Yet Another Simplicity 2451 - Tackling the UFO

I love when things seem to fall right into place.

After a disastrous first silk order, I placed one with Dharma Trading.  That order is due on Wednesday.  This panicked me a bit because I like to start my weekly projects on Monday or Tuesday to allow ample time before I submit my post to Sew Weekly on Sunday.  Then, my post usually goes up on Friday and I share it here the following Monday.  However, since even after I receive the fabric, I'll still have to wash it and dye it, I expect to still be working on it on Monday.  This would leave no time to stop to post last week's project here.  BUT, lo-and-behold, look what I found when I went over to Sew Weekly:

New Look 6699 - The "How Projects Evolve" Blue Sateen Dress

While browsing the Sew Weekly archives, a few weeks ago, for the Made This Look challenge, I stumbled upon this adorable yellow sundress that screamed 'home' to me. On the East Coast, nautical isn't so much a fashion trend as it is daily wear during the warmer months. This little yellow dress looked like something I would have worn to lunch with friends by the beach. Throw on a blue/white cardigan, a gold bracelet and a pair of sandals, and I'd be set.

My First Vintage Patterns!

Today, when I headed out to do my weekly grocery shopping, something drew me to the only flea market we have - a little Cherokee-run place on the outside of town, called Pickles Gap. No, that's not an odd auto-correct. It's actually called Pickles Gap. I have no idea why.

I'd been been to these stores a few times in the past, hoping to find a least one lovely vintage pattern to take home. I'm always so envious of the great patterns others in the sewing world seem to stumble upon. Unfortunately, if any can be found, they either aren't even close to my size or they're a style that went out for a reason.

Simplicity 2154 in Gun Check Tweed

Last week, I took a second stab at Simplicity's fantastic retro pencil skirt pattern.  I had planned to do so during the fall but, you may recall, a bit of analysis paralysis got in the way of my attempting any skirt with a lined back vent.  Thanks to the motivation of The Sew Weekly "Made This Look" challenge, I pushed past the paralysis and whipped up a great tweed skirt.

A Whole New World

Now that you all have the song from Aladdin floating around your head, I can discuss my new soon-to-be sewing addiction. 

I've mentioned a time or two that quality fabric is rather limited in my current part of the country. While I can find quality online, it often seems that a) it costs waaaay to much (remember, I'm not paying for it) or b) it still isn't quite what I had in mind.

Simplicity 7030 and "Shirtmaking" - Brandon's Plaid Shirt

Yesterday I mentioned I submitted a post for this week's Sew Weekly "Buttoned-up" challenge.  Well, now it's up!  Did I mention I wouldn't be in the picture? No?  Silly me! ;-)  Actually, my first Sew Weekly creation was for my wonderful fiance, Brandon!

Sew Far, Sew Good

Have you visited The Sew Weekly lately? If you have, I'm sure you've noticed a huge change. Instead of 5 contributors, there are now 130! Incredible, isn't it!? I think it's great that Mena opened her site to so many of us to encourage more challenge participation and inspiration!