January 15, 2018

Berry Bright Light

I'm having rather a tough time getting good photos lately. I'm not sure if it's the winter light, my camera going haywire, or a combination of both, but many of my photos are too bright and/or quite blurry! Of course I'm certain some ISO adjustments or the like could improve the situation, but I'm just not informed enough about photography to be sure how to solve my issues. A new lens may be in order...grrr...but enough of me complaining!

What I'm really saying is, please forgive me if these photos seem a bit off to you- they do to me too. I feel like my blog, my YouTube channel, and my uhhh self have gotten off to rather a slow start this new year. Still, I had some good news this week, and bought myself a new dress to celebrate that news, so things are looking up! I just need to actually focus instead of letting myself get distracted by the sludge. Are you aware of the sludge? It's that slow, creeping, tired feeling that whispers "watch this instead of doing laundry..." or, "you can sew that next weekend..." and, "just lay here on the floor and play with the cat all day..."

I am rather fond of playing with our cats, but somehow the work needs to get done! So I'm going to try harder this week. It is Monday after all, what better day to start fresh? I've got some videos to edit, and some scheduling to do, but then I will continue to cuddle my cats. Where is the balance and where can I get some?

Jacket: Vintage, Fab Gabs (Etsy)
Skirt, Clutch, Gloves, Scarf, Flower pin: Vintage
Fishnets: Amazon
Shoes: Remix
Beret: Target

January 11, 2018

Coyote Song Trail

I have noted before that I live in what was once the "Wild West". I was born in California, but have lived in Colorado for 13 years now, essentially living half of my life in each state. I'm about as far from any typical western stereotype as a gal can be: I can't surf the Cali waves, I don't really know how to ride a horse, I certainly don't know how to pan for gold, and you will never see me taking up rock climbing. No, I go out on trails named things like "Coyote Song Trail" not equipt with spurs, nor even modern running shoes, I go out looking ready for a board meeting and I get some really funny looks for doing so. It's for fashion people, come on! It's not like I'm actually going on a hike in my pumps, I'm just here to borrow the pretty scenery. Also, add that to the list- I don't hike...

But despite my being dressed for a board meeting out in the frontier, Coloradans are curiously kind about it, even when they obviously find it quite curious indeed. It's a pretty great place to live all things considered, even if London still has my heart (and might as well be on a different planet it is so different). Luckily the scenery here in the foothills still has a lot going for it even in winter, when everything turns to tan and dies away. I still wish we had at least a dusting of snow! We've had so little snowfall so far this year, everyone seems wary it will all come at once and we'll be buried in it for all of March.

So what does one wear for a little nature walk to check out some beautiful striped rocks jutting out of the ground? Well this time I wore my flecked tweed wool pencil skirt and a soft wrapped knit top in a dark forestry-teal-ish green shade. I'm not sure this style of top is very flattering on me, (a long line bra would help add some sleek-ness, but eh) but I really love the color and it is super comfortable. Like with the grey blue velvet dress I wore recently, I decided on my brown crocodile stamped leather accessories as an accent once again. These Remix heels are already becoming a staple in my shoe wardrobe! 

It's earth toned ensembles like this one that really make me miss having brown hair. I must be super restless as I can't decide what to do with my hair next, and everyone knows when you want to change your hair what you really want to change is your life in some way (the breakup=haircut cliche being the most obvious trope here), it's just that hair is much easier to change! Sometimes I think I've been rather rash and immature dyeing my hair purple, but then I catch a glimpse of it glowing in the sun and its so pretty and I want to keep it a bit longer. Hmm...

I hope all of you are doing well this second week of the new year. Despite only being a handful of days into the new year, I think I need to reevaluate my goals and projects already so my timelines are a bit more realistic. Oops! I always forget that while my ideas and project list may be endless, my time, motivation, and energy are not. Back to that good old fashion new year shuffle...

Skirt: Made by me
Top: Banana Republic
Coat: Thrifted
Shoes: Remix
Fishnets: Amazon
Clutch, Gloves, & Jewelry: Vintage

January 8, 2018

Sequined Sapphire

Though the galaxy tulle skirt I beaded last year was very fun, I actually think this sequined bolero project is my favorite of those two time intensive projects from last year. It all really just came together and I love the different finishes of the brocade, lace, matte and shining sequins, and glittering beads layered together. I figured since you all hadn't seen the bolero and matching dress together, I'd get dressed up and show you!

The set is one of my most favorite "evening" looks I have, and is about the fanciest ensemble in my closet currently. Too bad I don't get to get dressed up very often. This sapphire blue fabric was part of one of Gretchen Hirsch's Joanns fabric collaborations a few years back, and I wish they would reissue it in other colors, as it just glows and is one of the most beautiful fabrics I've ever worked with really. I have a yard of the grey colorway stashed away to make a pencil skirt, so perhaps I'll have to make that a reality sooner rather than later. Imagine it in rich red though, or emerald green, who do I need to talk to in order to make this happen?

A quick pencil skirt project could be just what I need after being stalled on sewing for so very long. I just have so many projects to do, and honestly I need to be prioritizing writing above everything else so I can get a manuscript finished. Sewing is faster than writing by far! Writing is much more anxiety inducing and time intensive. I can finish a skirt in a day, a book however...is proving to be more of a nearing decade long challenge. Do any of you write on the side? I feel like it's such a cliche, "Oh yeah, I'm working on a novel". At least I know I'm a competent seamstress, I'm much less secure in my fiction work ;)

Anyways, I have to go work through some plot details and research now, I hope you're all having a great week so far!

Dress & Bolero: Made by me
Shoes: Remix
Hosiery: Hanes (Amazon)
Clutch, Jewelry, Belt, & Gloves: Vintage

January 6, 2018

New Creations 2017: Everything I Made in 2017

If productivity and creativity come in waves, I really hope I'm due for a tsunami real soon. I haven't completed a sewing project in AGES, the motivation to sew just isn't there. I have been using my time writing instead, which I also adore, but writing doesn't put new clothes in my closet, or help deplete my stash of fabrics waiting patiently in my craft room!

I don't want to stop writing, or making YouTube videos, but I would like to bring sewing back into my routine. Before I talk about my sewing goals for 2018, lets take a look at what I made in 2017...

Dresses: (16)

-Gretchen Hirsch Blue Brocade Dress
-Brown Wool Bishop Sleeved Dress
-Blue and Gold Brocade Circle Skirt Dress
-Black and White Swirl Flocked Dress
-Brown Wisteria Print Rayon Dress
-Green Velvet 1920's Dress
-Floral and Tan Cotton Dress
-White Eyelet 1940's Dress
-Floral and Navy 1930s Dress
-Striped Ivory and Black A-line Dress
-Lime Green Sateen Dress
-Green and White Gingham Dress
-Black and Burgundy Roses Cotton Dress
-White Ikea Floral Dress
-White and Green Rayon Palm Print Dress
-Grey and White Floral Rayon Taffeta Dress

Tops: (9)

Skirts: (11)

Grey Wool Flecked Tweed Skirt
Brown Wool Plaid 1930s Skirt
Black Wool Pencil Skirt
Black A-line Linen/Rayon Blend Skirt
Yellow Plaid Taffeta Circle Skirt
Black Tulle Beaded Galaxy Skirt
Navy A-line Twill Skirt
Ivory Linen/Rayon Blend Skirt 
Green Cotton Twill Skirt
Pink Cotton Sateen Circle Skirt
Brown Top-stitched Cotton Twill Skirt

A total of 36 projects for 2017! While it may seems like quite a lot all totaled up like this, I didn't sew for most of the last half of the year, and therefore this total could have been a lot higher! Oddly in 2016 I completed 34 projects, so I suppose I did better in 2017. My trip to Paris last spring (and few months being unemployed) really gave me a lot of inspiration and time to devote into sewing. I took on the rather large project of embroidering/beading the tulle galaxy skirt which took a ton of hours to complete, and the beaded bolero I made around the same time was also a longer more time consuming project, but I really loved working on those more intensive projects! Perhaps planning another embroidery/beading heavy project to start on this January could help me jump start my sewing again.

As for 2018, I'd like to focus on stash busting and only buying fabric for projects that will have a lot of styling potential in my wardrobe. I did buy some really pretty printed cotton from Mood last fall to make into a new summer dress for this year, so just because I haven't been sewing doesn't mean I haven't been buying fabric! I've got an amazing multicolored striped duponi silk to turn into a blouse as well... hopefully reorganizing my fabric stash soon will spark me to start turning project ideas into completed apparel! I may not complete as many projects in 2018, but I'd like to complete several writing projects and that's a trade off I am happy to accept. I just hope I'll be able to find new ways to style my old things so you all won't get bored here on the blog ;)

What are your sewing goals for 2018?

January 1, 2018

Velvet, Wool, & Leather

Though I barely follow modern high fashion anymore, I still think the runways are of some use to me when it comes to experimenting with styling. This outfit came together after seeing the images from the Fall/Winter 2017 Couture Dior showing where grey velvets and tweeds were belted with rich brown crocodile stamped leather. I though to myself, hey now, don't I have a blue-grey velvet dress somewhere in my closet?

I had never thought to style this dress in a more day wear appropriate way, so thank you Dior! I paired the dress with the high fashion suggested croc leather accessories as well as a tan and brown 1940's jacket. It took me quite some time to decide on the gloves for this look as at first nothing seemed to work, until I finally tried  this olive green ruched pair and matched them with the Bakelite necklace. I really loved the look of the colors all together in the end, this grayed out blue velvet with warm browns and mossy olive green.

I also just wanted an excuse to wear my new-ish (I bought them in the late fall) brown Remix crocodile stamped leather heels. I have lamented before (perhaps too often) about the lack of basic brown pumps out there on the market, and these were really the only pair that fit my picky requirements. They are indeed gorgeous and comfortable, but came at a cost well above my usual range. They are an investment, and I know I will be able to wear them with so many different outfits in the future so I'm not feeling guilty about getting them, but it still stung a bit pressing the submit order button!

I actually hadn't worn this dress in ages, really since I first wore it after making it. I think I hadn't liked it when I first finished it because of how difficult the fabric was to work with and the experience of making it was clouding my feelings about the finished dress. Wearing it again I actually found I really liked it, it was super comfortable and the skirt was suitably squishy and fun. More evidence that sometimes you just need to take time away from difficult sewing projects before you can really judge the result.

Which reminds me, I really need to get back to sewing, I've been on such a hiatus! As usual I've got so many projects and so little time, so I've set aside a day just to plan and schedule things out. What better time than January 1st right?

Dress: Made by me
Jacket, Handbag, Belt, Gloves, & Jewelry: Vintage
Fishnets: Amazon
Shoes: Remix Shoes

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