Saturday, March 31, 2012

Regency Inspired Top

Seriously, don't all pin and comment at once. Ha. It is kind of underwhelming if you know how long it took me (Like, if you read last night's post).

If you didn't read last night's post, my goal was to use a historically correct Regency dress pattern and modify it to make it more modern. As much as I would love to wear regency clothing all of the time, {sigh} I would rather not look like I just left high tea.

It is also fully lined- surprisingly easy!

If you would like to make one yourself, you can use this pattern.

Some of my modifications:

1. I used elastic in the neckline so that it would be nursing friendly and less complicated than a drawstring which the pattern uses.

2. I also used elastic in the waistband since I had already done so in the neckline (historic costumers may wish to delete me at this point- it's ok, I agree; it is a travesty).

3. I added lace to make it pretty.

4. I skipped the sleeves.

5. I added a sash.

I love the pretty fabric.

So, in essence, it is a regency dress, but shorter. A lot shorter.

I have a thing for long shirts. This could pass for a dress by some standards. 
So, that's it!

Friday, March 30, 2012

Phew! a loooong day of sewing

I don't know how many hours I spent at it today. Maybe one staring at fabric, drawing sketches and staring some more. But then... I started cutting/sewing at least by 12pm and just finished around 8pm. Seriously?! Sure I took breaks to feed children and play with them a bit, but most of that time was either sewing, ripping stitches or staring blankly trying to figure out what on earth I was doing.

My goal was to take one of these historically accurate Regency dress patterns:

And make it into something more modern. I used this pattern from Sense and Sensibility Patterns.

Honestly, I don't know why it took so long. Nothing was that hard. I just spent a whole lot of time trying to decide what modifications I wanted. There were a couple parts of the pattern that had me completely stumped and I ended sewing the sleeves on backwards. Later I decided to remove them entirely. At least I know what to do now so making more should be pretty easy.

So, stay tuned for my regency dress... top! Yes, a shirt! Anti-climatic, right?

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Grow your own scallions!

Have you seen this pin?

                                                                    Source: via Rebekah on Pinterest

Well, I tried it and it works!

Obviously, it looks pretty sad compared to the previous post. However, the pin has probably at least twenty bulbs, while I have four. The bulbs in the pin had been growing for a longer time (look at the huge roots!). It took about a week and a half for my onions to grow this much. I just put the leftover bulbs in water and put near a window. I left about an inch more of the onions than when I would have when cutting for cooking. Since I don't use scallions very often (and have more bulbs in the fridge), with meal planning, I may not have to buy more for quite some time!

Saturday, March 24, 2012


Daniel is nearly 9 months old and often wakes 3-4 times per night to eat. Sometimes he wakes up once every hour for about three or so hours. Does anyone have any advice at how I might be able to cut back his eating so that I can get more normal sleep?

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Pretty spring dresses from Modcloth

I had some fun making a board of pretty dresses.

Modcloth has such a great selection of pretty dresses- things that you could never find at the mall. Since a lot of them are too short for me to consider modest, I either layer them over another skirt or wear them with leggings or skinny jeans. Modcloth is rather pricey, but I have scored tremendously delightful deals by watching out for sales. If anything else, it is so much fun to look at their lovely things.

DIY: Fix broken glasses

A while long time ago, Katherine broke my glasses. In two. It was not pretty. I sighed many a sigh for my once perfect Ralph and Lauren Italian-made glasses.

The corner piece had snapped! 

Please note, this is not intended to be a permanent *fashionable* repair. However, it will be much more sturdy and look a whole lot better than scotch tape (I tried that route. I also tried balancing them on my nose and holding them in place with a hat.). Also, since many frames are different, this may not work for your exact pair. You should be able to tell by looking at your frames after reading the steps.

What you need is a tiny screwdriver and very thin crafting wire. If you want to be super awesome, use a color wire that matches your frames!

First, remove the screws. There should be two.

This side wasn't broken, but I used the picture for an example of where the screw is located. Of course, you could wrap wire around both sides so it looks like it was always meant to be that way. (Fashion Week, here I come!!!)

You can see the residue from when I used tape. 
Much better!
Cut a few inches of wire.
Just make sure the wire is very thin
String it through the screw holes.

Pull the wire and wrap the ends tightly.

Using wire give the frames stability while still allowing them to move.
Sure, it is not perfect, but it is whole lot easier to manage while waiting for new glasses. I have been dreadfully procrastinating that one. I have a new prescription, but I lost it. By the way, I am going to take the plunge and buy glasses online. It is crazy cheap (Like $20). I mean, really, how many people can actually tell if you are wearing Ralph-and-Lauren-made-in-Italy glasses? Sigh. Can you tell I am going to miss my old glasses? Ha.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

For a mid-Lent pick me up (or vegan snack!)

I have been loving this pin. I started making it, but ended up with something a lot different. It is only a little sweet, so I don't feel bad about it being Great Lent.

By all means, check out the inspiration (Chocolate frosting shots).

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Make your own lace skirt

I finally got around to explaining the simple process of making this skirt. If you don't want to make one *cough* cough* You can buy one for $20.00 in my shop.

I have specific measurements, but it does not have to be exact. Seriously.

What you need:
Meshy lace. I chose a fabric that easy flows/hangs down when you hold it up. It is also very stretchy. I got in the red tag section of Joann Fabric for $5 a yard. The key is to make sure that the fabric will hang down appropriately when you hold it. Some lace fabrics are so stiff and/or light it would be a nightmare to wear. Just imagine wearing it. I have no qualms about holding it up to my waist in the store to imagine how it would look as a skirt. I purchased 2 gorgeous yards and it made three skirts (two small and one medium). It really depends on the size of one's waist and hips. The reason why I got so many skirts out of the fabric is that I cut it lengthwise so I had three super long lengths of fabric. You could use less yardage (for one skirt) if you cut the fabric in shorter lengths and sewed them together. If this doesn't make sense, scroll down to look at the pictures of the cut fabric (and leave me a comment so I know I am not being clear enough)
Color coordinating liner. I chose a nude synthetic knit that had enough weight to it so that it would hang well using the above standards. Get the same amount as you did for the lace. It is important to remember that fabric is sold in different widths as well. Since both my liner and lace were the same width I was able to cut it lengthwise to make three skirts.
Thick elastic. I really like contrasting/bold colors. Part of the reason is that most fabric stores have two options: black or white. You could be fancy and get something colorful online. I prefer elastic that is 2 to 3 inches thick. I like to sew it 1-4 inches smaller than my waist.
Notions: Thread, pins, etc... I highly recommend a rotary cutter.

This is my fabric, folded in half (lengthwise). For three skirts, this would be cut in three long strips. All you have to do it hold it against yourself to see how long you want it, and cut accordingly.

Measuring with a rotary measure and board made this job a lot easier!

Cut both the lace and the liner.


I pinned the lace and liner together to make sure that they would be the same length. As you can see, there was an inconsistency at the top. If either of your fabrics are stretchy, this is a could either mean that the fabrics are two different sizes OR one of the fabrics is being stretched. Consequently, be very careful to make sure that there is no stretching because it will be crooked when you cut it. This sounds a lot harder than it really is. After making sure that no fabric was stretching, I cut the top so that it was even. the fabric I used was a kind that rarely unravels, so I did not need a hem. If your fabric unravels easily, sew a hem now.


The lace is sewn together with the liner in the same seam. This helps the fabrics to stick together.
If you don't have a serger, a lot of seamstresses recommend using a zig-zag stitch on a knit.

I made an extra zig-zag stitch to finish the edges, and prevent fraying.


Using a colorful thread makes it a lot easier to remove after sewing to the waistband!

I found that gathering the waist through hand stitching was nicer than a basting stitch on my sewing machine. Use whatever method you like to gather the skirt.

Cut the waistband and sew with a elastic stitch.

It is wise to hold it up before sewing to make sure the skirt lays straight. 

Pin the skirt to the waistband and sew with a zig-zag stitch (I did it twice). This allows the elastic to still stretch. I have been criticized for this in the past, so if you know differently, I would appreciate an explanation [truly] since I have only ever known to use a zig-zag stitch. I am NOT an advanced seamstress by any means and spend time trying to learn new techniques. I appreciate constructive criticism, or new ideas on how to do things. :)


Remove your basting stitch. If it was handsewn it is super easy.

And you are done!

Have fun!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Apple love

I got a new (refurbished) iPod 8G 6th generation Nano today! I love it. I previously had a 2G 1st generation Nano and it was recalled. If you have one, I would recommend going to Apple's support page to get it replaced. Apparently there is a battery defect in some first generation nano's that cause it to heat up and become dangerous. My replacement was 100% free. I would also like to point out that I bought my nano about six years ago (used) for about $70. The nano that I just received (new) is listed for $129 on Apple's website. I would say that is a good deal.

AND here is a debut with one of my new skirts :)
Top: Forever 21
Cardigan: Gap
Skirt: Made by me and you can buy one here
Socks: Chinese Laundry
Oxfords: Target
Au revoir!

Monday, March 5, 2012

Silly children

This is how Daniel and Katherine play together. He gets super excited about it. His tongue out is a sign of acute joy.

In other news- Daniel learned how to crawl today! He isn't even 8 months yet (though he will be this week). He beat his sister by about two months. I am not surprised because as a second child, he is probably inspired to copy his older sister.

He also just learned to reach his arms out to be held. It pretty much melted my heart.
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