8 Weeks to a Better Me: Week 3

7:36 PM 1 Comments A+ a-

So, on to Week 3...

But first, last weeks goals:

1) Take a ballet class. Didn't happen. The studio I have a Groupon for only offers adult ballet once a week and I couldn't make it last week. Hopefully this week, but, if not, my Groupon expires at the end of June so I'll
have to hurry!

2) Take at least one yoga class at my studio. Made it! I went to class with my favorite 93 year old yoga teacher! She is the best marketing tool my studio has. Over 50 years of taking yoga and she's still going!

3)Do yoga at home 3 times this week. 4 times actually. Gloating just a little...

Also, my studio is starting to offer hoop dance and this video is seriously making me want to go...

Week 3 is about healthy eating. I consider myself to be a pretty healthy eater, in that I really like to eat fruits and veggies and I cook most nights, but I'm sure in the grand scheme of things I'm rubbish, so here are this weeks goals...

1) Drink only one Dr. Pepper a day and drink a full bottle of water. Instead of an addiction to crack, I have an addiction to Dr. Pepper. And it's probably just as bad for me (and maybe as expensive). I usually have 2 cans a day and although I'm not ready to give it up altogether I do recognize that I need to cool it a bit and drink more water.

2) Eat three to four servings of fruit and veggies per day. I may already be doing this most days but the problem is that I'm not sure and I need to work harder at being mindful or eating healthy things.

3) Finish reading Naturally Thin by Bethenny Frankel. I'm not trying to lose weight right now but I think her approach to being mindful and balancing what you eat is a good one and something I need to put into practice daily...

This was officially my only full day of work this week! Half day tomorrow and then off the rest of the week for a family graduation! Hooray for days off!

Happy Tuesday Shoesday!

Chicken Fried Steak and Old Friends...

4:04 PM 7 Comments A+ a-

So I was able to finish the skirt in time for dinner with the fam and the best chicken fried steak in the world...
but sadly, the blue dress did not get finished in time to wear to the wedding shower for my sweet friend Lance and his beautiful bride-to-be Tessa! (I know everyone was on the edge of their seats about that one ;) However, I did get it finished when I came home Sunday afternoon and I have a graduation this week so I think I'll wear it for that (and hopefully get better pictures!)

This is a close-up of the bodice. SO complicated, especially since the fabric kept picking, but worth it in the end...
This is what I've been working on today. I promised myself I wouldn't buy more fabric after re-doing my sewing room and discovering just how much I had, but I've had my eyes on this pattern and fabric from Etsy for awhile and I finally decided to bite the bullet and get them both.
Hope everyone is having a great Memorial Day! And thank you to our amazing Veterans and current Service Men and Women. We appreciate you more than you know!

Lemon Gelato and Sewing Craziness

8:51 PM 1 Comments A+ a-

Haven't sewn in a few weeks and of course, when I get back to it I'm way over ambitious! I'm working on Simplicity 2250, in a royal blue broadcloth from Fabric.com, view A. It's kind of a nightmare because the bodice is full of darts and pleats and the fabric is picking like crazy! Also, I thought that this fabric was 60" and then discovered it was 45" after I already had my heart set on using it so the lining and pockets are a mishmash of different fabrics I had lying in the scrap basket. I'm trying to get it finished tonight to wear to a wedding shower back home this weekend. it has to be finished tonight because I'm leaving to head home tomorrow afternoon... (sorry the pic is terrible!)

I'm also trying to finish this Cynthia Rowley skirt I started forever ago and never finished. All it needs is a zipper and a hem and then hopefully I can wear it tomorrow night to dinner with my parents, the boyfriend and his parents. We're going to the home of the world's best chicken fried steak so, yes, you can be jealous of me now. Hopefully I'll have great pictures this weekend to show you!
Alright, break's over, back to sewing. But first, a shout out to my love Brit who's living in Turin, Italy and eating a TON of gelato this year. Had this after work for you doll. Supposedly it's "authentic"...
Madi and E, love you guys too!

8 Weeks To A Better Me: Week 2

10:22 AM 2 Comments A+ a-

Obviously I am not capable of getting this post up on Sunday or Monday so maybe, for the purposes of this challenge, my week starts on Tuesday...

As far as last week goals go:

1. Find a design I like for my blog. Done! I like this one a lot for now, but you never know, I could hate it in a week!

2. Create a banner. Done! Love it!

3. Practice taking pictures. Sorta. I took a ton of pictures with my Iphone and various photo apps and I feel like I'm taking good pictures on those, but I still need to work on photos with my camera for outfit posts...

Week 2 is about fitness and health and the guest blogger on Sometimes Sweet was Amber from I Love You To The Moon, a blog which I've recently discovered and absolutely adore! (And Amber's a fellow Texan which makes me love her more ;)

My three goals this week are to:

1) Take a ballet class. I took ballet for 8 years as a kid and loved it but I haven't done it since I was 14. I have a Groupon for dance lessons but I haven't used it yet so I'm hoping to start this week.

2) Take at least one yoga class at my studio. I LOVE my studio but I never seem to make it over there, so I'll try to at least once this week.

3)Do yoga at home 3 times this week. Yoga is my workout of choice and I try to do at least 20 minutes everyday but I'm not always consistent. It really calms me down and makes me feel stretched out and great so I really need to work on doing it more often and, as my yoga teacher would say, with "intention"...

Also, I know I haven't sewn in FOREVER, but I did make a necklace last night with beads I picked up at Michael's the other day, so that counts as crafty right?

Happy Shoesday Tuesday!

New Shoes

9:19 PM 3 Comments A+ a-

So I know everyone and their dog has been covering their shoes in glitter but I'm jumping on the bandwagon...
These shoes were old and pretty scuffed up so I was about to give them away until I realized they were one of the few things in my life not covered in glitter and obviously that had to be corrected. Also, thank you Michaels for putting your ridiculously expensive Martha Stewart glitter on sale!

Before and After
After covering them glitter, I put them on top of the TV, aka one of the few places the cat can't get to, to dry and now I'm kinda digging the look of having them there. Not sure why I haven't decorated with shoes yet seeing as you're supposed to surround yourself with things you love...

On another note, the boyfriend and I had date night at Olive Garden tonight and began to talk about our favorite Starburst flavors, as you do, and we both agreed that obviously red and pink Starbursts are the best. Also, obviously, when you have spent 20 minutes talking about candy and Olive Garden is right next to Target, you have to make a stop on the way home to buy said candy. On this trip I quickly discovered yet another reason I love Target, they carry Starburst "Fav-o-reds", a bag with ONLY pink and red candies! Best. Night. Ever.

Just Another Manic Monday... (or Tuesday)

1:03 PM 3 Comments A+ a-

(I was planning on getting this up yesterday but didn't get around to it... Oops!)

I have an aunt who I'm very close to that, as long as I've known her (aka my whole life), is obsessed with "organizing her life". I would say, compared to most people, she has a very organized life but it's still a major quest, something she's always striving to do better. Lately, I've been in an on-again off-again funk. Don't get me wrong, I'm generally happy in my life and consider myself to be a very blessed girl but occasionally, in the last few months I've been feeling out of sorts so I want to strive to find small things I can do improve my happiness and general quality of life and constantly work towards making my life easier and more pleasant. Whether it be committing to visit a museum once a month or going to yoga twice a week or making myself cupcakes whenever I feel like it...

When I heard about
Sometimes Sweet's "8 Weeks to a Better Me" Challenge (via Sew I Thought), I fell in love! Basically she's taking one area of her life every week and picking a blogger who is proficient in that area to guest blog on her site. Then she sets three goals for the week based on the theme. I think this is such a great concept and a way to make little changes to improve things and make me happier! I'm always in a better mood when I'm working towards something, and weekly goals seem really achievable and not huge and scary...

Week one is blogging, so my three goals are to:

1. Find a design I like for my blog. I see other blogs that I love but I can't seem to get mine the way I want it. Sounds like I need to read tons of other blogs this week for inspiration... Darn ;)

2. Create a banner. I have the Adobe Creative Suite but literally know NOTHING about it. I'd like to look for a tutorial on banner making for the blog and get one created.

3. Practice taking pictures. First of all, I have a terrible point and shoot camera, but I would like to learn to make the best of it until I can afford a nicer one.

(Speaking of photography, I recently discovered the Hipstamatic app for my IPhone and I love it! I know I'm late to the game. Every time I heard about this app I thought I would never use it but I bought it in boredom and now I'm OBSESSED!)

Also, I finished up my sewing area/dining room and it looks SO MUCH BETTER! Below are pics of the new room (taken with my Hipstamatic app of course!)

My dining table that I could now dine on! Plus my new fabric shelf!

Fabric shelf completely stuffed! This has actually been a good exercise in awareness of how big my stash is! I literally cannot stuff one more piece in that shelf so I'll have to sew before I can buy more fabric. Also, all my new patterns are in the cardboard boxes on the right.
Closet of doom no longer! The cardboard boxes hold vintage patterns and my scraps and trims are stored in boxes on the second shelf from the bottom.
Hope everyone is having a fabulous week!

What's up Blogger?

4:12 PM 0 Comments A+ a-

As many of you know, Blogger has lost its mind in the last few days... I, so far, have only lost one published post and comments and I'm hoping it comes back soon! Until then, I'm probably going to hold back on the posting. Hopefully we'll all be back up and running soon!

High Heel Challenge

10:41 AM 1 Comments A+ a-

(This post was orginally published on 5/11 but was a victim of the 2011 Blogger meltdown...)

Two facts about me:

1. I work in a very small office.

2. I have a shoe obsession.

Due to these two facts, as well as the fact that only women work in my building, we talk a lot about shoes, purses, clothes, manicures, etc at the office. While I was participating in the Me-Made-March challenge, my office mates kept me on track and expected daily reports on what I was wearing that was handmade. After the challenge was over, one of my co-workers commented that I should do a similar challenge and try to wear a different pair of heels everyday for a month, so this month I'm exhausting my shoe collection...

In some ways this challenge has been suprisingly harder for me than Me-Made-March! While I do have an extensive heel collection, around 50 pairs, I'm finding it hard to come up with a different pair everyday, in part because only around half of the shoes are work appropriate and many are sort of wintery looking, so I can't wear them with the summery clothes I'm sporting in 90 degree south Texas. I'm not forcing myself to wear heels on the weekend, however, if I do wear them on the weekend they're out of the rotation.

Below are photos of my shoes, which are currently on display on bookshelves in my bedroom. I'm taking advantage of my single girl, Carrie Bradshaw life and leaving them out since the boyfriend has already ruled that this is "not happening" when we're married...

(the white tabs in front of the shoes mark the one's I've already worn)

Full Disclosure

9:24 PM 1 Comments A+ a-

So I've been in kind of a sewing funk lately... Once my Cynthia Rowley skirt became a nightmare of epic proportions, I put it aside for awhile to start a new project. The plan was to work on the Kate Middleton dress from my last post but for some reason I haven't had a huge urge to sew. I've been in a bit of a funk generally, some work stuff and some family stuff has been kind of a bummer lately, but usually that makes me want to sew more!

Anyway, I had the boyfriend and his huge black dog staying with me Thursday through Sunday nights so when I got home from work today, the plan was to scrub all the boy cooties and dog hair out of my apartment (not that I don't love having you visit JM and Jack!).

The boy and his dog :)

But when I got home, my mess of a sewing/dining room was staring me in the face... Here's the full disclousure part: I live in a tiny apartment and my dining room is my permanent sweatshop. Between my pattern and fabric collecting habit and sheer laziness, the room has gotten to be quite a mess. It seems, no matter how clean the rest of my apartment it, the dining room always makes the whole place look messy and awful! I do subscribe to the theory that, if possible, you should keep your machine up all the time so that you'll sew more, however, I think I need a more organized, attractive space so that I can feel better about the state of my living space!

My "dining" table that hasn't seen a meal in months!

The sad basket of fabric in the corner...

The closet of doom...

So I'm spending the next day or two working on a better solution for this room. I'll keep you posted!

When Denise at Blue Gardenia was featuring sewing spaces, I drooled over many a sewing bloggers sewing space, but by far my favorite was Mena from The Sew Weekly's! So jealous! Here's hoping someday I'll have a space like hers!

Have a great week!

Duchess Kate

4:30 AM 1 Comments A+ a-

It's no secret I'm a huge Kate Middleton fan and since I'm still basking in the post wedding glow (no, I'm not over it yet!), I've been googling pictures of the Duchesses' much talked about sense of style. If I were a good blogger I would find and post patterns to match all of these outfits, but I'm not a good blogger, so I'm just posting gratuitous pictures of gorgeous Duchess Catherine of Cambridge...

I love the classic, simplicity of her style. So lovely! In the spirit of inspiration, I'm going to try to knock off one of her dresses, (maybe the most famous other than the wedding dress) the gorgeous Issa dress she wore for the engagement announcement.

It's also a inspired by this Monique Lhuillier dress, another on of my favorite style inspirations, from her Pre-Fall 2011 collection...

I love the plunging neckline and the wrap waist, so I'm recreating it with Burda 7697, shortened to Kate Middleton length with a vintage, shiny blue polyester jersey (that photographs badly), which, despite being polyester, is really lovely feeling...
Have a happy weekend!

Blog Award!

10:00 AM 4 Comments A+ a-

So, the lovely Dibs of Dibs and the Machine, nominated me for a Liebster Award, which caused me to literally squeal with delight! When I first started this blog I figured no one would ever read it and, in a way, I kind of hoped they wouldn't because I wasn't sure I had much to say! But after a few months of blogging I've gotten so much more support and kind words from the sewing community than I ever expected! It's so cool that this hobby connects all of us across the world!

The idea of this award is to encourage small blogs with less than 300 followers. But before I get to my nominations, I have to say I love Dibs and the Machine! Her projects are inspiring and always things I would definitely wear! I'm also jealous that she can crochet and that she lives in London, since I consider myself such an Anglophile but have never visited!

I'm also nominating the following 3 blogs that I love to read!

Meg at Meg the Grand:I love that she's keeping up with the Sew Weekly Challenges, Something I definitely aspire to! And, I would totally wear pretty much everything she makes...

Emma at The Cute Octopus: As the title implies, she's very cute, as are the animal plushes in her Etsy shop. Cute cute cute!

Valerie at Threads and Thoughts and Things I Love: She is a doll, her clothes are fun and modern and she makes me laugh! Also, she's making me consider reading Hunger Games, which my mom has been trying to get me to read forever!

Sewing Updates

9:03 PM 3 Comments A+ a-

So I've actually gotten some sewing done in the past few weeks! But it's hard to get good pictures since I live by myself, so I don't have a reliable photographer...
Anyway, first dress is from Simplicity 2178, a Cynthia Rowley pattern made from a black sheet from Walmart. The pattern is one of the new spring Simplicity patterns and I loved it the minute I saw it. This is one of those projects that I started intending to wear it to an event and didn't finish it, then tried to finish it for another event and didn't, then did finish it in time for an event but decided not to wear it... Bottom line, it still hasn't seen the light of day but it's a really cute dress and fairly easy to put together, except for the weird pleats and gathers on the skirt...

Next up is a top from Butterick 4132, made with a polka dot satin blend from JoAnns. This top turned out cute but was sort of a nightmare to sew! The instructions on attaching the facings and finishing the armholes were crazy confusing and didn't work at all, so I ended up just folding over the armholes and top stitching... Anyway, it's a good work top so I can't complain!
Finally, this dress is from Simplicity 0599, from the Project Runway line. It's made from a black and white linen from JoAnns. This dress is inspired by a dress from the last scene of She's Out of My League, which I of course couldn't find a picture of, so you'll just have to trust me. The straps were a bit of a problem but overall it came together fairly easily. I underlined the bodice and added a lining to the skirt because the linen was fairly see-through. Love the pockets! I'm considering only making dresses with pockets from now on...

Now I'm working on the skirt on the right (the view the model's wearing) in the floral print. I've gotten so far but my now my machine is freaking out when I try to topstitch the bias tape trim. I'm thinking about putting it away for a few days so I don't rip my hair out and either working on the vintage pjs on the left of the picture or maybe something entirely new. I'm having the same issue that I have when I finish all the books I'm reading, there's too many possibilities for something new and I can't choose just one!

Ready for the weekend!