Thursday, February 28, 2013

All the Exciting Things!

I got the Job!

It's as awesome as I thought it would be. The work is super fun and everyone I work with is really nice. I'm really grateful for the opportunity, and I hope to prove myself  as a worthy employee there.

There a ton of exciting things going on around me right now. Here are some of the more exciting ones.

My sister in law had her second baby last Thursday.

I haven't been able to meet her yet because it's flu season and I haven't had my shot yet, but I'm truly eager to.

Mike and Rachel are amazing people, they're some of my role models for what a good marriage should look like.  I'm so happy for them, and I'm prepared to bask in awe as they go on this new adventure together.  When it's our turn to have kids I hope to do as well as they have.

Elizabeth has this really neat project going on that you can read about here. The jist of it is that she's collecting works by kids for kids.  She's going to take these works and compile them into a book for children in hospitals. I really hope it works out, because I think it's an incredible idea

My darling husband has his own really neat project that he's working on right now.  He's hosting a summer workshop for high school students who are interested in all aspects of movie making.  During this workshop the students will be able to work with professional grade equipment and make two short films.  It's a really great opportunity for the students and for us.

Here's Josh's website.  Check it out, and then tell everyone you know about these awesome projects.*

*dont tell everyone you know about my job,  that might be weird if they don't know me.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Some of My Designs

I've grown to truly love sewing garments over the past couple years.  There's just something magnificent and fulfilling about taking clothe, and making it into more than the sum of its parts.

Unfortunately,  my sewing projects are rather few and far between.

In the meantime I've been scheming  up potential designs.  I hope to make most of these someday, so that I can get better at drafting and sewing.

This design has been kicking around for a while.  It would be a fun coat for me that I didn't have to get out of the kids section.    It  would be grey, with dull metallic buttons and belt buckle.   The skirt portion would have wide pleats in it to add a little bit of fun.  It's the kind of in-style coat that you see everywhere, but with more of me in it.

This is a second coat that I drew in reaction to my first day of wintery weather last fall.  I went outside and was almost in shock about all the dark colors.  Nearly everyone was wearing black, grey, or dark blue.  I honestly thought that something awful had happened and I hadn't gotten the news yet.  This coat would be red, and have an appropriate hood to go with the color.

The front is rather plain,  but the back will have this fun little detail.

More pleats,  because pleats are awesome.  This should come across as a fun mix of a bomber jacket with a flair of militant coats  from the early 1800's.

The only problem with this design is that I would have no idea what color to make the buttons. Contrasting colors just don't look good in my head, while more similar ones just look -blah-.  If you have an idea tell me in the comments.  I would love your feedback.

In December my (then) future sisters in law and I visited the mall while another relative was getting married in the Salt Lake Temple.   We visited the Disney store which provided a remarkable amount of entertainment for our age range. Bethany and Elizabeth both exclaimed on how they would like to have the amazing princess dresses, but in their own size.

These are the resulting designs.

This dress is mainly based off of Bell's princess dress, she's Bethany's favorite princess so I figured it would be a good place to start.   The concept is similar to this dress on pinterest but with brighter colors.  I'm envisioning it in a deep red, but obviously that would be up to Bethany if it ever comes to pass.

I see this dress would be in soft blues and whites and is based off of a Disney play wedding dress*.  It was drawn with Elizabeth in mind since that was the play dress she liked the most.  It's origin is the reason behind the pinned up train on the back.  These are suppose to be outlandish princess dresses after all, there's plenty of room for fun.

Lastly I designed this dress for my friend Stephanie when she told me that she wasn't planning on getting a wedding dress.   Her reason for this being that she didn't really want a dress that she would only wear once, and just couldn't see spending that kind of money.  I figured that if this dress became a reality then we could just remove the second layer after the wedding.  This would transform it from wedding spectacular to "something that she could wear to church".

Of course, I haven't shown any of theses lovely women the dress designs I made with them in mind. As these doodles were were entirely for my own amusment. Meaning that I could be completely off base on what they would like.

Still, if any of you are interested call me.  Mmkay?  You can pay for the fabric and I'll do all the fun parts.

 On a slightly rambly side note I'm thinking about marketing myself as a cheap seamstress around the BYU bubble.   It would be something that I would really enjoy and it would allow the young woman around here to have the approximate wedding or random formal dress of their dreams.   At the same time it would allow me to get better at this awesome talent.

I'm a little nervous about it though because I continue to make small sloppy mistakes** on each project.  I'd hate to do that to someone on their special day. I also wouldn't be able to do any beading which is the big fad right now.

Without putting much thought into it I would probably charge two to three hundred dollars for each formal gown, plus material costs.   This is way cheaper than any wedding dress out there, and incredibly cheap for a custom made dress.  I think it could be a viable idea if I really worked for it.


*which I can no longer find online
**see my previous post

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Red Shirt Woes

I've had this one red shirt hanging out in the back of my closet for as long as I can remember.  The body is inexplicably wide while still managing to have sleeves that are just a little bit too short on me.

I wore it quite a bit when I was younger, but a couple years ago I  put it away with the intent of adjusting it so it would fit me nicely.

you know... later.



That day has finally come.

I used this tutorial online by Carly of Chic Steals which was very clear and made the project seem approachable.

However,  I didn't give myself enough ease of fit so now the shirt is way too tight.

Of course,  I had edited this particular shirt just in time to go to a job interview so I ended up wearing it anyways.

While sitting through the interview I had to pull at the bottom of my shirt to keep the buttons from schrunching together and providing helpful windows into my abdomen.  This is particularly funny when you consider the fact that the listing specifically stated that tight clothes would be inappropriate for this job.

We also spent some time in the interview discussing the same fact.

Still, I'm anxious to try this method out again since I think I just need more practice.*

The rest of the interview went well, and I think I'm a good candidate for the job.  It would really be a blessing to me because the hours are more consistant (and there are more of them) than the job I have now. It's also less heavy lifting for the same amount of pay.

It's also happens to be at a bookstore**, and two minutes away from my house.  Both of  these facts rocket this listing into my hopes and dreams for my near future.

*once I get another button-up shirt
** I'm nearly done with my bachelor's degree and one of my ideal jobs is still working at a bookstore,

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Bitty Baby Dress Pattern Review

Last weekend I went to my sister -in -law's baby shower.  She's having a baby girl later this month and we're all really happy for her.

I made this dress for the occasion, from my fabric stash.  I bought the red floral cotton forever ago in Portland. The satin lining and piping were left over from my wedding dress.

I think it only took about 1/2  a yard of each, so it was totally doable from what I had already.

Click here for the pattern.

I did add a lining to the skirt as well as the bodice, but that wasn't too hard of a modification.

The pattern was really easy to follow, and it only took an afternoon to make.

The only tricky part was sewing the lining to the curvy part of the bodice, I had a hard time keeping my seam allowances even and following the curve on my machine.  It was the first time I'd done anything free-form so take that into consideration.

I would give the  pattern 5/5 for clarity, and 4/5 for ease. I would recommend it if you're interested.*

*and have an adorable baby to give it to.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

My Wedding Dress

I got married last month.  Everything about it was awesome, except for the ovarian cysts, but I suppose that's another story.

Josh and I were mainly able to afford our wedding because of the generous donations of our relatives and other loved ones.  I am extremely grateful to them,  they made our beautiful day possible.

We were still on a budget though, and in order to go on a honeymoon we couldn't really afford a wedding dress.

So I made my own!

I started out by going dress shopping with various groups of friends. For some reason this was more awkward than I expected.   The first thing any employee at a wedding dress shop does is ask you what your price range is.  My real life price range was actually about one hundred dollars, but I couldn't actually say that or I would be laughed out of the store.

I settled on the white lie of about 1000 dollars instead.  I felt that my skill range for making my own very special knock off was about equal to a 1000 dollar dress.  It was still a lie, and that on it's own felt kinda weird.

I also browsed the internet on a variety of sites to get ideas.

Here is the design that I came up with. It is largely inspired by this dress from a relatively cheap knock off site.*

I really like this design because it's fun and flirty.  The skirt has the perfect amount of poof to feel special with out drowning me,  the bodice is simple but form fitting, and the neckline wasn't square like every other modest wedding dress in the world.

Josh will tell you that I labeled this design the "ballerina fairy princess dress" in my notebook, which quite effectively gets across what I was trying to do with this permutation. Although I only titled it that because I had already drawn a ballerina dress,  a princess design, and a fairy-esque dress.**

This was my first time making a pattern from scratch so I checked this book out of the library.  I couldn't recommend it highly enough.  This book did ninety percent of the work for me, and all that I had to figure out on my own were little leaps in logic.

The dress itself is made up of a simple bodice from the book, there are no darts or anything even slightly complicated like that. The  underskirt  is exactly the same level of complexity.

The only only interesting bits of the dress are the sleeves and the skirt, both of which were actually really easy once I figured out how I wanted to do them.

Traditional sleeves are shaped like this.  I knew that in order to add a little bit of interest to the otherwise plain bodice that I wanted to gather the outer edge of the sleeve.  To accomplish this I simply inverted the variables of the shoulder curve, so that the seam would be on the outside.

This is a regular sleeve
This will put the seam on the outside. 

To actually do that I simply sliced the pattern in half and then taped it back together the wrong way.

That allowed me to do a gathered seam for the sleeves that turned out way better than I thought they would.

The skirt is actually made up of four layers of tulle, each layer has six panels shaped approximately like this.
The top is 1/5 the size of the Waistline, plus seam allowance

The bottom two layers are the same size, the upper two being progressively shorter.  I put them together using french seams, which I think is my new favorite thing with semi-sheer material.

I cannot recommend designing and sewing your own stuff enough.  The hardest thing about sewing is figuring out what you need to do.

 When you sew your own stuff you can get exactly what you want without having to make any compromises.  Every dress I tried on was floor length,  had capped sleeves, and a square neckline.  My dress didn't have any of those details and I didn't want any of them.   My dress was me,  it was only that way because I made it.

If you are even thinking about this do it! This is the first time I have sewn a zipper.  That should tell you about what skill level I am at.

My dress cost me about two weeks of my time from conception to finish and seventy dollars.  In real life this wouldn't have covered alteration costs, or a knock of dress from China.

*so I suppose you could say that I knocked off a knock off dress.
** Why settle for one?