high-waist shorts all day everyday

chic highwaist shorts

What I hope my end result will be making my own pair of high-waist shorts, minus the cool zipper detailing.
(Image source)

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First attempt at drafting the shorts! Using Simplicity pants pattern #5259 as my guide.  Also, the test fabric swatch of my pattern design from Spoonflower.

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1 yard of my very own fabric.

I’m probably the only one that wants to hold onto summer just a little while longer. 100+ degree days be damned, I sure hate layering up.

There. I said it.

So I’m rebelling with these shorts. Hopefully the rebellion is a successful one because I’ve wanted high-waist shorts for the longest time, and what a treat it would be to have them in a fabric of my own design, right? After making a scale change to my design based on the swatch I got back from Spoonflower last month, I received my fabric order in the mail a week ago. I settled on making shorts because it would’ve definitely been pricey to get more than a single yard to make anything bigger than that. However, if somehow this shorts pattern doesn’t work out, I may totally turn this yard of fabric into a crop top.

Let’s just hope the days are still warm enough by the time I complete these shorts. If not, layering it up with tights it is I guess.

one sleeve + a collar

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A “selfie” shot.  I really loathe that term.

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Missing a sleeve, buttons, and a lower hem BUT this is as far as I’m willing to go for a practice top.

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A much needed quick sew project – McCalls 6128 racerback tank pattern.

My little heart has been set on a button-down shirt with sleeves and a collar.  No real reason that I know of since both of those last mentioned elements are sweat-inducing in July. I rarely make clothes with sleeves anymore. Setting in sleeves in a garment is not one of the sexier moments in sewing — it can be a pain. I haven’t set in a sleeve since my brief stint in fashion school, but this one-armed tester piece has restored some of my confidence. Maybe it ain’t so bad.

You see the pics above and I’m sure you assume my next move is to grab the “good” fabric and get to work, right?

Not so much.

It’s actually quite snug. Not like oh-this-is-form-fitting-and-kinda-sexy-for-a-button-down-YASSSSSSSS snug. More like too too tight around the bust, fitting oddly somehow in the back, and perhaps if I had another sleeve attached then clapping my hands would become a problem. If I took shallow breaths all day and didn’t have to move, I think it would totally be okay.

Obviously that means two things:
1. Seriously glad that I took the time to make a practice before I started on the final after all, and
2. If I want to make this top work I MUST ALTER THE ORIGINAL PATTERN.

Ugh. I may just leave #2 alone. Now true enough, I could possibly just take it a size up, but I’m not that seriously in love with this pattern to take the time to figure out how to fix it in the least. I JUST finally figured out the collar part! Which didn’t turn out to be a big deal. I actually have another pattern in mind to tweak if necessary to get what I want. So til then I guess.

But in the meantime, I had to finish something over my days off. Hence the quickie project.

And I know I don’t mention this enough, but a serious THANK YOU to all you awesome folks who write encouraging notes below!! I at least owe you guys a picture of some mountains or a beach. I’ve been totally slacking on my “fun” travel lately.

Low funds = NO funs.

wish me luck

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Front (so far). Burda pattern #7351, version A.

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Back.

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100% cotton plaid shirting fabric + light denim.

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A side-shot in the reflection.

This is yet another unfinished sewing project that I brought back from my 7 month stint Fresno, California nearly two years ago now (WOW).  In case you were sincerely wondering – NO. This was NOT my final fabric choice for this top. I purchased this fabric at Ikea in Palo Alto at super cheap so I could make a mock-up to see how the pattern fit. I hardly ever do this even though it’s always a good idea to make test garment before the final. Feel free to call me lazy.

It’s a retro-style blouse with a just slightly rounded collar and concealed button closure. What you see is exactly where I left off. I recall never completing this project because I got stuck on the directions for attaching the collar to the neckline. I just didn’t understand the way the instructions were written. I pulled this same project out a few months ago thinking a 1-year hiatus would make it simpler to understand, but no such luck. In the above pics the collar is just resting on the shirt, but I really want this shirt DONE already. I bought some fairly inexpensive fabric (that I shouldn’t have) with it in mind, so I’m going to bust out my sewing reference books and figure this out once and for all.

I just KNOW it ain’t that hard.

I can’t let this dumb pattern get the best of me any longer (!@_$%!!!*).

Alas, it will have to wait a few days of course since I won’t be home for another few days. Duty calls :/

$1.50 salvation army dress refashion

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These $9.95 Forever 21 sandals cost 6x more than the drawstring tube dress I’m wearing. The number of compliments I’ve gotten on this dress after two wearings is absolutely priceless. Happy. Camper.

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Humble beginnings. Size 14 button down collared cotton shirt dress, front + back.

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Hand-sewing gold glass bead embellishments on the existing fabric design.
Ignore the chipped nail polish.

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Closer detail shot of the finished simple beading I added.

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Finished front + back shots.

I stumbled upon this hidden gem when I was living in California about a year and a half ago. I’ve been holding on this old thing with pure laziness + good intentions. This dress was originally priced at $3.00 at the Salvation Army, but apparently on Wednesdays all clothing is marked 50% off. I don’t ever go into the Salvation Army clothing shops really, and I haven’t been in one since. The exact play by play of this purchase is quite hazy now, but all I remember is that dress looked like a tent on the hanger and that the fabric felt like it had been washed a million times. But I loved the fabric detail, particularly on the bottom hem of the muumuu-like button-down dress.

I like showing my shoulders + forgetting the sleeves during Texas summers, so I opted to make this a tube dress and adding a drawstring casing to the new mid-section. Most of this new dress is actually the bottom skirt of the old. I used the top part of the old dress mostly for the drawstring casing.

The navy, off-white + burgundy palette and existing fabric design put me in mind of a kind of nautical look so I added a gold rope trim that I found at JoAnn fabrics to help cinch the waist. I put an elastic band around the top of the tube dress + added gold beads just to give the dress some extra personality. It goes smashingly well with the afro puff.

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personal cards are priceless….well, almost

nancy1Front image of custom birthday card

nancy2Custom inner greeting message. She’s really turning 29, hehe.

nancy3Back of card

nancy4Cookie cake!

In my humble opinion, greeting cards just don’t get the proper press they deserve. I don’t send many out myself, but I definitely admire those few individuals who always take the time + care to still send you a card in the mail for special days. Who doesn’t love to get REAL mail? Those friends of mine that sent me notes + presents when I lived briefly in California absolutely made my holidays. Even if a greeting card is just exchanging hands instead of skipping states, the intentions are exactly the same. You just want to express how much you care, but sometimes a store-bought card doesn’t exactly SAY it.

This card cost $1.99 (tax not included), I was able to upload my image from my computer via Walgreens.com, and it was printed + ready on nice semi-gloss card stock in less than an hour! I made my own custom image to fill the card, but they have plenty of templates ready for your pictures to be uploaded into. And of course you customize the messages inside the card and on the back if you’d like.

Believe me, I’m not cool enough yet to have sponsors on this blog, so I am in NO way affiliated with Walgreens the company. I’m merely suggesting that if you have a location in your area and interested in a personalized gift or note for pretty reasonable price, it’s worth looking into. My friend Nancy + all of the friends that signed the card absolutely loved it! I’m definitely doing this again for sure. And don’t forget that Mother’s Day is coming up soon too!

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Invisible zipper work + boning on the final peplum top fabric

Oh, and this? Yeah. This is the reason I haven’t updated in a while. I just haven’t gotten around to finishing, but here’s proof of progress. I’ve never sewed in boning before, but it wasn’t at all difficult. I’m actually almost finished! For better or for worse, I can’t wait to show you the final results!

 

 

i kinda love this

Button + tufting detail. Pier One Imports, eat your heart out. 

This pillow is huge! 26″ x 26″.

One side of pillow.

Other side of pillow.

It could eat my couch.

I almost have no words. I was up til 3:30am last night. I’m just so happy to be finally all finished with this project + that it turned out as nicely as it did!! I think I actually like it better as a floor cushion than an ordinary throw pillow for the couch? Ahh details, details. Who cares. It’s so purdy. That is all.

how do you eat an elephant

I just ordered this beauty last night. Papercut Medallion Curtain (Urban Outfitters, $39.00)

Cute side table + gold border mirror purchased from Home Goods.

The answer is, one bite at a time. It’s worth mentioning because it’s a reminder to myself to just breathe sometimes. I got myself so worked up yesterday because I got a to-do + want-to-do list miles long, and sometimes you just need to remember that you just do what you can and get over it. I won’t bore you with the to-dos, but a want-to-do is definitely getting this living space in order. Believe it or not, focusing on making this gigantic throw pillow is helping! It’s giving me inspiration and a definite place to start.

Other want-tos include learning another language. Man I want to learn Spanish like YESTERDAY. For one, living in Texas I feel like I should already know it by now, and for another I get tired of pantomiming “wheelchair” or “put your carry-on luggage underneath the seat” to non-English speakers on the plane. I forked over big money for Rosetta Stone Spanish last year and disappointingly dropped off after completing only the first unit in the level 1 series. This year I’m at it again, but this time starting with the Duolingo app on my phone (available for Android users too) + it’s FREE forever, it says. I’ve seen its review ratings no lower that 4 out of 5 stars, you can learn Portuguese, Spanish, French, and German, AND they send you reminder emails everyday!! For me, that’s helpful. Another plus is that it’s always with me, so I can do this in the airport with some headphones without the need to yell phrases back into my phone.

Also, I decided to enroll online and take an Intro to Finance course through the University of Michigan….again for FREE through Coursera. It’s 15 weeks long, and it begins on January 28 if you were interested. If not, they have plenty of other courses to choose from with various dates, and many offer certificates upon successful completion. I just want to get a better grasp of the overall subject and my personal finances. They have the instructors upload videos to introduce themselves and the course. Also, the syllabus is available online. I love to learn, but since I don’t have the time to actually attend a class and since I just REFUSE to take out another loan for school, this is an awesome way to go about life-long learning.

I’m starting up another 4-day trip tomorrow to more awesomely cold destinations, so I’m going to see if I can get some more work done on that pillow on these layovers. I must! I made a pact with my sewing buddy Jeana that we WILL finish the projects we start this year.

Man, this elephant of mine is a monster.

in living color

At Pier One Imports for inspiration. I just love these colorful tufted floor cushions.

Using some stashed fabric + new fabrics to pattern-mix.

Plan to use this embroidery thread to add a repeated running-stitch detail.

Bringing one side of the unfinished pillow cover to work. A big ziplock bag keeps everything together + fits nicely into an overnight bag.

Not gonna lie here – pattern mixing kind of scares me. I’m so minimalist at times. I love bright bold colors, but I work best with neutrals with that one or two choice pops of strong colors. But I am SO very drawn to the “global” styles that Pier One Imports or even Target at times offer. The utter chaos of these fabric patterns just placed next to the other can just come together to be a strong + simple statement piece to add flair to a space. I’ve been lacking “flair” for the longest in my apartment. I can’t decide on a color scheme, nor can I afford most of the pillows that I really want at Pier One.

So since a big throw pillow is such a good start for the new year (not to mention one of my many unfinished projects I need to finish) I am determined to see this through…..regardless of how un-cute this could turn out. It’s a big 26″ x 26″ square pillow, so it’s going to definitely do SOMETHING in this all-white space.

Laying over in Salt Lake City tomorrow. It’s going to be ridiculously cold + I’m staying inside my hotel room to work on the hand-sewing. I cannot wait to show you how the finished product. Regardless of how it turns out – I’m posting it AND putting it on my couch! So stay tuned, haha.

best laid plans

McCalls 6173 leggings, Vogue 8688 top

This was originally supposed to be my NYE outfit. I went to the Neon Indian concert in Austin, TX that night. Glitzy black leggings, black (Target) wedges, and a simply relaxed extra-off-the-shoulder plain heather gray batwing top with a black cami underneath. You will be happy to know that I actually finished this outfit on time! But it was really rainy, and we knew it was going to be impossible to park close to the venue that night, so I ended up keeping the top, exchanging the leggings for black skinny jeans and sporting my grey + hot pink Puma sneaks. So. Much. Fun.

Making edits to the original pattern to achieve that extra off-the-shoulder goodness!

Dolman sleeves + super relaxed jersey fabric are just incredible.

The neckline is actually a bit more exaggerated than I had planned, because the pattern called for a bias-taped neckline. I chose a metallic gold bias tape which laid HORRIBLY. So at the last minute I just took my shears and cut off my hard work. It definitely made for an even wider neck line, but luckily it was okay since this jersey fabric was so forgiving it didn’t need a finished edge on it. Loved it!

Sadly, you don’t get the glitz effect as much in this pic :/

Whoomp. There it is.

Both of these are easy-level patterns, so they were pretty quick projects to complete for the most part. I did have to whittle down the leggings though so they could be a bit more form-fitting. At first they were hanging on me like loose skin. I chose pattern option C so they gathered beautifully at the ankles. I didn’t want to risk them being too short at the bottom.

It’s a late post for sure, but I had a couple Canada overnights the day after New Years so I didn’t get time to post as early as I wanted. But Hey! This is an awesome start for me! Happy Belated New Year friends 🙂