Monday, April 13, 2015

No. 19 ASOS Refashion

As always I dreamed this little number up while I was on the treadmill. After Fashion Week last Fall, I couldn't get fringe off my mind...actually do you think Amanda Valentine on Project Runway Allstars gets the credit for the fringe revival?? Maybe I just didn't notice before her.

So I knew I wanted a white dress and for sake of time I decided to look for a white shift dress that I could just add fringe to. I found the perfect dress at the perfect price on ASOS. Have you shopped their site?! Love, love but the fit can be hard to determine and you usually need to go up one or two sizes. I sized up one for this dress but oddly it was a little too big and needed to be taken in.  After alterations I purchased three yards of fringe at Joann's and voila! 

I love the fit so much that I am going to make it into a pattern, it's a good basic.

Is it just me or can you never have too many white dresses?! I'm obsessed!

Before: (sporting a faux-bob - which would make the fringe a little "flapper-esq". Must remember next time.)

After: Fringe is soooo fun to walk in! ....or to shake in. ;-)


Wednesday, April 8, 2015

No. 18 Ruffle Skirt

I am excited to be sewing again! Allie and Kate are taking weekly lessons and with their machines in the dining room all the time it is a reminder to me to just do it! I bought this ruffle fabric ages ago with the intent of making a maxi-skirt. Well it was put on the back burner until Allie and I were looking at pictures from Fashion Week.... ya, I definitely need to blog that! Anyway, we loved this skirt from Alice and Olivia and Allie decided to sketch it (amazing)!

I remembered this fabric and while the ruffles are not the same as feathers...more mommy-friendly....the color is the same! Before I could start on the project Kate needed some fabric last minute for her class and so I told her to make a ruffle skirt. She decided to make a knee length version which still left plenty for me to make my skirt. Welllllll - then I saw the look on Kate's face and asked her if she minded that I was going to use the fabric too. She quietly and sweetly said that she would prefer to not be a twin with her mom. Cute girl! I totally get it and that gave me the opportunity to make the skirt for someone else.... I just don't know who yet! Last thing - I was going to cut the ruffles on an angle like the feather skirt but it seriously made me look wider! I was surprised by that but no matter how I draped the fabric it just wasn't as flattering as the horizontal ruffle...who knew?!

If you or your daughter want to learn to sew I think that this is a fun and quick project but the end result is gorgeous!

Here is where I bought my fabric:

I literally used another maxi skirt for the pattern. I just laid it right on top of the folded fabric and cut it out. You only need to sew up one side! I did leave a slit at the bottom to make walking easier. I used gold elastic for the waistband but you can order a matching waistband with the fabric which is what Kate used. The fabric has a lot of stretch to it btw and I used the 2 inch ruffles.

Here are some online tutorials for ruffle skirts:

I hope you make one and I hope you'll post pics!!!

It was raining all day and 6 pm in Ohio is a terrible time to take pics... Anyway the lighting was awful but you get the idea.

100 Dresses Update

Time to play catchup! 

Dresses 13, 14, 15:

The entire design process for these dresses was an unreal experience. I couldn't eat because my nerves were on edge! In the end Jenni and I were thrilled with the results although our "modeling" left a lot to be desired. ;-) Haha

13: Piper
14: Haven
15: Camille

Do skirts count?!!! Since I make the rules, yes they do!

Dress/skirt 16, 17:

The design process for these was not as magical as our first experience! We had quite a few frustrations but in the end we love the skirts!

16: Monroe
17. Madison

Thursday, October 17, 2013

No. 12 - The Party Dress

Happy Birthday, Jill!  You are the best cheerleader I know.  I'm so grateful that you are my sister! I count you among my greatest blessings.  I appreciate your humor, your hard work, your mothering, your nurturing, your friendship, and your cooking!  You are so generous in sharing your talents and compliment and build up where others stay silent.  Thank you for organizing family traditions like the Variety Show - I treasure that every year!  I love you so much and hope you like this dress, No. 12.  You are so elegant and this dress was inspired by that.  I think it's totally church appropriate but if it feels too fancy you can wear it to a Christmas party or date, right?!  Sorry the pics are so bad but they were taken at midnight and the lighting wasn't so great. ;-)

I'll mail it out tomorrow!  Love you so much! xox

Friday, August 23, 2013

The Modesty-Police Approved Swimsuit

I have talked to my girls about being modest in the way they dress from a pretty early age.  I think we all have different takes on what is "modest"...this is not a judgment post! One of our rules is that we don't wear bikinis or tankinis that show tummies. While swimsuits are meant to keep cool, I also feel better when I don't have to tug to keep things up.

Last Labor Day as we were planning a trip to Destin Beach (it's a terrible beach DO NOT GO THERE. DO NOT LOOK IT UP, THE PICTURES ARE LIES. IF YOUR FRIENDS TELL YOU TO GO THERE, DON'T BELIEVE THEM.) (some places are meant to be kept secret!) Anyway, the last time I wore my white swimsuit my daughters told me it definitely was not modest.  I tried not to laugh and asked them why not.  They said it came down too low in the front and so I thought I'd better practice what I preach.  I pulled that baby out and got to stitching really fast for my trip!

I purchased white swimsuit fabric and added a "modesty piece" and then added a ruffle to give it a little more style.  I love a white swimsuit and truly I love this one even more now with the changes!  Sorry for the lack of before pictures.  Just imagine that there were two triangles of fabric prior to the changes. ;-)

PS - the swimsuit was originally well over $100 but I got it at a warehouse sale in Columbus for $4. Winning. :-)

No. 11

Dress No.11 is complete. (And you get a story...goes with the theme, right?)

I must admit that the reason I decided to re-do this dress was because I had it and thought, hmmmm good practice and a BIG challenge.  You see Roman's favorite color is orange.  When I was pregnant with Scarlett I saw this dress (already had it in blue) and my pregnant brain said, "You should buy that non-maternity orange dress and Roman will be so excited when you wear it."  And he was.  But then my non-pregnant brain mostly came back and said, "Why do you have an orange dress?"

After months of keeping the dress on the "recycle fabric" pile I realized that it would look better if I paired it with the turquoise braid that I salvaged from another dress...this is how my brain works.  So I trimmed up the braid (both dress and braid are jersey) and started hand stitching it on.  I wanted to try a high-low hemline which was not as easy as I thought.  Anyway, I completely lost my motivation for the dress.  It sat on my dress form the entire 9 months of Houston's pregnancy and I didn't touch it until this challenge.  So all I can say is that I'm proud of myself for 1. finishing it and 2. saving an orange dress....that being said it's still not my favorite.

Not a huge change but I'm learning.

There it is.  Next post: I have a swimsuit makeover.  I also have ideas for No.12 but need to run to the fabric store.  It's another re-fashion and then I'll start on a dress from a pattern!  I'm really excited.
Someone asked me if I hoped to make all 100 dresses in a year and I laughed, at this rate it will be in 5 years which is just fine with me.  Having the goal, learning and challenging myself is what it's all about!
PS - Know anyone whose school colors are orange and turquoise or blue?!  Seriously, this would be an awesome game-day dress! ;-)

Monday, August 12, 2013

My Happiness Project - The 100 Dresses

A few months ago I read a wonderful book titled, "The Happiness Project".  I loved it so much that I bought a copy just to reread and take notes in.  The author, Gretchen Rubin, had an awakening one day on the subway that led her to living and creating this great book.  What I really liked about Gretchen was that she was already a happy person but wondered if she was getting the most out of life.  That is how I would describe myself, I'm a very happy person by nature and choice but I wonder if I'm as happy as I could be. 

In contemplating this I realized that many aspects of my personality have changed over the years, some for the better and some for the worse and some just because.  I look back to when I only had two little girls and a heart full of dreams.  At that time I think I was the most ambitious person I knew - nothing scared me and I didn't hold back.  I had a pretty big dream at the time and I made it happen.  It's one of my favorite chapters in my life.  I think about it often and break it down into why it was so great and what was I doing then that I'm not doing now.  First of all, I have three additional children now and out of necessity my goals and dreams had to change.  What fulfilled me as a "young mother" no longer interests me.  I know what I would have to sacrifice or compromise and I'm not willing to do that...I actually tried for a bit but my inner voice screamed "Nooooo!!!!" (interesting story for another day.).  So I often wonder, what is my dream now?  What do I want most in this life?  What do I want to work for?  I'm happy with my life, I love my children and my husband.  I love what we are creating, although there some things that I would love to change, overall we are in a good spot.

I think I was feeding Houston when it came to favorite book as a child was The Hundred Dresses.  Have you read it?  Do you own it?  Eleanor Estes won a Newbery Honor in 1945 for the book. You need to read it to your kids before school starts!  It is the most wonderful story of a girl named Wanda who was so very poor but mentioned to the school kids that she had a hundred beautiful dresses in her closet at home.  I won't spoil it for you, I'll just say that Wanda has inspired me to create 100 dresses.  I don't know how long it will take (I'm definitely counting the ones I've already made.) BUT I will do it.  I'll post my dresses here and what I'm going to do with them is still in development but I have some thoughts.

Dress #1. The Shabby Apple (before and after)

#2. The Prairie Maxi (before and after)


#3. Silk Sequin (no pattern)


#4. Color-block Maxi
#5. Magenta Maxi

#6. Allie's baptism dress. (First and only time I've used a pattern. Can't wait to try a pattern again!)

#7. Kate's baptism dress.
#8 and 9. Girls' Fall Dresses
#10. This was actually my first dress. Skirt to Dress Re-fashion

#11.  Will debut this week!

I'm so excited.  Many of them are just "re-fashions" or changing things up but I love the creative process and I know I'll learn so much along the way!