Tuesday, March 29, 2011

LA Woman

I feel that I should apologize for the lack of project posts lately. I just got back from visiting my cute hubby in California for a long weekend. I am hoping to get back to sewing soon but Pete returns home in a couple days and then leaves again a week later so chances are there won't be much crafting going on while he is actually in town. I also feel the need to explain that while this blog was created to document sewing projects and inspirations, the rest of my life will be sneaking in a bit here and there. Hope that's okay with everyone. So here is a "rest my life" post.
This past weekend was pretty amazing. Probably one of my best trips to California. I lived in southern California for four years while in college, sticking around during the summers as well, so is feels like a second home. It's kind of funny though because while I was living down there I missed Seattle so much and was always planning on moving back once I graduated. I love the rain, can't handle super warm weather, and have a slight allergy to the sun, so Seattle is perfect for me and southern California in the summer makes me a little cranky. While I love this beautiful green city more than any other place I have visited, my heart might be stuck in California and I have been realizing it more and more lately. My brother, sister-in-law (who was one of my close friends before her and my brother started dating), and most the people who know me the best and I love the most are all in California. I was able to see almost all of them during this trip, some of which I hadn't seen in about two years. 
Moving to LA for music reasons has been a discussion and possibility for a little while now. There aren't any plans at the moment but I am secretly (or I guess not so secretly anymore) hoping that it ends up working out. A few years ago I never would have thought I would want to move back. Although, if we do move it won't be to the same city I lived in before.  My school was east of LA a bit so I didn't end up spending too much time there. With that being said I guess it has been hard at times to judge whether I could really see myself living in LA or if it's just the thought of a change that I find appealing. This quick trip has made it official. I am ready to try out being an 
LA Woman
I will always truly be a Seattle gal but I think it's fun to switch things up from time to time (just ask my hairstylist). I have a feeling the next few months will make it clear on whether we will make the move or not. The possibility of it is just so exciting!

P.S. Sorry for the lack of pictures from my trip. Pete lost his camera somewhere in the RV and out of the three pictures I took, one was in the previous post, one was just far too blurry, and the last one of my gorgeous preggo best friend didn't turn out :( but trust me, she is one beautiful soon-to-be mama!!
P.P.S. Anyone else love this song as much as I do?! It has been one of my favorites for years now.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Reunited (And It Feels So Good)

As some of you know, my husband is on the road with his band, Ivan & Alyosha. They have been gone for a little over five weeks and it has been a little over four weeks since Pete and I have seen each other. I flew out to Tennessee a few days after they hit the road so we could spend our second wedding anniversary together. I am currently meeting up with the band again for a couple days, this time in southern California. Being apart is definitely not fun but being reunited feels so darn good

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Blue Jean Baby

About three years ago I bought a great pair of jeans. While at the store my friend said they reminded her of the early 90's but that didn't scare me away. I loved the high waist, long wide legs and cigarette pockets. However, after I washed them a few times they weren't quite as long and since I am mostly legs that didn't work out so well. Especially since they are so wide, it just looked funny. Now I am not one to throw anything away, and I seriously mean anything. I could go into all my borderline hoarder habits but I probably shouldn't. When it comes to clothes I don't follow the "if you haven't worn it in a year, toss it!" rule. I'll hold onto something for a few years even if I haven't touched it. In fact, a pair of my current favorite jeans I purchased over five years ago, wore them almost daily for about a year and then stashed them in my closet until last summer. I rediscovered them and since the style wasn't exactly current or what I like to wear anymore, I remixed them into a "boyfriend" style jean. I thought about throwing them away many times but I am really glad I didn't. Basically I saved myself some cash because I probably would have bought some boyfriend jeans anyways. 
Okay, back to the story at hand. I was determined to make these now high water jeans work. I felt some sort of attachment to them. They were my baby, my early 90's blue jean baby. I would often try them on, seeing if I paired them with just the right shoes they wouldn't look so short. It didn't work. So in my closet they stayed until one day this past summer. Boredom took over (which usually leads to odd projects which always leads to a big mess) and I decided to take out the bottom hemline of the jeans. Makes sense right? Well in theory it works. Reality, not so much. They were now too long, even wider, and had a super frayed edge. Even more unattractive then before. So back into the closet they went.
After last weeks little hem lesson I decided to try my new skill out on my blue jean baby. I figured if I messed them up it wouldn't really affect how frequently they were worn. I still think I need to find a *new* perfect pair of shoes to wear them with in order for the look to be just right (at least that's what I'm telling my husband) but they are definitely better then before. 

Before with the messy frayed hem.

After! The perfect length.

Here are the steps I took to get to the final product.

Trimed off all the little strings.

Sewed up the edge so it wouldn't fray.
Notice anything different between the two legs? I sewed the lower one first and forgot to put the foot down so things got a little crazy. I didn't even notice that I didn't put it down till I went to the next leg. I just kept wondering why it was so much more difficult to keep things straight and the speed even than I had remembered... dumb but I learned my lesson!

Next, I pinned them to the new length. The original hemline was at the lighter line. At first I was kind of annoyed that the line was there but I think it adds to the look. After I found the length I wanted, I ironed it to keep it smooth for when I would sew it. I did the basic hem that I learned the day before and was super happy with how it turned out. Now I just have to search for the perfect shoes!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Ode To Sunshine

Although I consider myself a low maintenance girl, it sometimes takes me a while to get ready in the mornings. Not because I spend copious amounts of time on my hair and makeup but because I am so indecisive when picking out my clothes. If I don't lay something out the night before, chances are I will be running out the door a couple minutes late. The past few days it seems that I have been having more trouble than usual. I blame it on this darn sun that has been peaking out lately. 
I love love love the rain and would normally choose a gray overcast day to a sunny one but this sneak peak to spring has got me wanting to bring out my dresses, skirts, shorts and tanks without having to wear a sweater, tights or boots. For instance, the sun was shining in my window this morning as I woke up and since it is the first day of spring (which also happens to be my mother-in-laws birthday!) I felt like wearing either a skirt or dress in a floral print or at least a lighter and brighter color. After way too many try ons my final outfit didn't quite fit the the criteria (no floral and I ended up pairing it with a sweater and boots) but it worked. That is until I went outside. The sun is so deceiving! It was a mere 38 degrees outside so my sweater and boots didn't quite keep the lingering winter air from getting to me. 
Seeing that I will have to hold on to my warm winter favorites a little longer I have decided to make an ode to sunshineI am excited for when I can actually wear cute pieces like these but it seems that dreaming about them is all I can do right now.

Free People

Apparently I am gravitating towards flowing skirts, high waisted shorts, and wooden heels. I didn't even notice it until I loaded all the pictures. What are you dreaming about wearing this spring??

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Things That Make You Go Hmmmm ...

I have quite a few pieces of thrifted clothing for my soon-to-be etsy store that need to be fixed up a bit. Most of them just need the hemline taken up so learning how to hem properly is really important for me. I am doing this whole process a little backwards. I have been collecting clothes for the past few months with the intention of altering them but not having a clue on how to do it. So, for my second sewing lesson we decided to go over things that make you go hmmmm ... also known as hemming.
We went over a couple different methods, a basic hem and a blind hem. The basic hem was super easy so I tried it on a pair of jeans the next day. Ill post of pictures soon of how it turned out. My sewing instructor/family friend brought over a light colored fabric and suggested using red thread to practice so we could see how much of the thread would show. Even though I would use the same color thread as the fabric in the future, the idea is to have the thread show as little as possible so using a different color is a good method for learning.
Now I realize that the pictures below might not be that exciting for most of you but just keep in mind that before this lesson, I had absolutely no clue on how to hem or even the different types of stitches.

The backside of the basic hem. A little loose and messy in areas.

The front of the basic hem. The little dots of red are what would be showing on the outside of the garment.

The backside of the blind hem. I love how clean this method looks on the inside of the garment.

The front of the blind hem. A little more of the red thread showing on this one. 

The blind hem was definitely a little trickier and much more time consuming. I feel pretty confident on the basic hem and might start working on some of my thrifted items soon but will need to practice the blind hem a lot more before I start using it. 
I felt super encouraged and motived after my lesson on Wednesday and like I already mentioned, hemmed a pair a pants the next day. Although I am the one who came up with this silly plan to learn to sew and open a store selling my creations, part of me was (and still is a little) nervous about taking on this project. I am now beginning to think that it might come together much sooner than I had hoped.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Living In A Box

A close family friend (the mother of my two neighbor boys in my story of Rudy and Carole) has offered to teach me how to sew. We have had one lesson so far which basically just consisted of her showing me how to turn on my sewing machines. It was tricky and I learned a lot. Our second lesson is this wednesday and we plan to practice hemming and possibly start on my first real project! 
For Christmas, my in-laws gave me some really great things to get me on my sewing way. I thought I would show you around my little sewing box and what's living inside (see there's the connection between the song title and this post. I had you guessing for a bit, huh?).
First, meet my box. 
It doesn't have a name yet and desperately needs one so feel free to leave me a comment with any suggestions. Come to think of it, neither one of my sewing machines have names either. There is your task for the week, readers. Give me some names! No guarantee that I'll use them but maybe the most creative will win you a sewn treat by yours truly. 
The inside has this nifty clear compartment tray that is perfect for keeping all the little things organized, like this cute little treasure.
It is an antique 14 karat gold thimble that, like most of the antiques I own, once belonged to Rudy and Carole (you can read more about them on the About Carole and Clarence tab). By the way (by the way, every time I say "by the way" I get reminded of this ridiculous song about texting acronyms where they sing the acronym BTW), the fabric under my thimble is what I am going to use for my first project, an apron. Hopefully to turn out like the yellow one on the bottom right of the pattern below.
Under the tray is plenty of room to store larger things like thread, sewing patterns and this fun pin cushion.

Whether it is a strawberry or a tomato or a little strawberry growing out of a tomato, I'm not sure. Either way I like it.
I promise to take some pictures of what gets accomplished on Wednesday. Even if it is just a refresher course on how to turn on the machines. 
I would love to know your sewing supplies favorites or must have suggestions, so please leave me a comment if you have any!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Feels Like The First Time

It might feel like the first time but this is actually the third blog that I have started. The other two (one I have yet to delete) didn't go so well but more on that topic another time. I am determined to not let my bad blogging past affect my bright blogging future. Okay fine maybe I'll touch on my difficulties with blogging just a little bit. I think one of the reasons I struggled in the past was not being able to come up with catchy titles to my posts. Yes, I know that is a pretty lame excuse for not blogging but this is a safe place to share my feelings, right?
To combat my fear of that happening again, I have decided to leave the titles to my posts up to someone else. You may have figured it out by now but the title of this post was written for me by the band Foreigner. Yup, they wrote that song just for me. I really am that special. Each post I make will feature a different song that an artist has written for me. Don't be jealous but my husband is in a band so I hobnob with famous musicians all the time.
I really hope that my sarcasm is not coming across as arrogance and therefore turning you all off to my new little blog. Please stay! How about this? Let's make a deal. I will stop bragging about my super cool life if you promise to follow my blog. Deal? Great! Now I know you are all excited for my next post already but you will have to wait. I plan to start my first sewing project this week so pictures and posts will be here very soon. In the meantime, click the little box below to listen to the song written for me. Also, don't forget to "follow" me with Google Friend Connect!

Note: This blog is still very much a work in progress. Please bear (like the animal) with me while I finish her up. 
Note: This blog might not always be a girl. Since the name includes both a male and female name it will probably change. It might even be twins at some point.