Finishing Projects

I am one of those people who starts about a million projects but often doesn’t finish them. This year I became determined to change that.

About 3 years ago I had gone to Texas for Christmas, my brother is a pretty big and tall guy and was telling me how hard it was to find a good fitting church shirt. I had just finished up a class on how to make a tailored button up shirt, so I took his measurements, made a pattern, and started working. I got about a third of the way done with sewing when I got the flu and wasn’t able to finish during the break. Started school immediately after I got back and shoved the shirt into my massive unfinished projects box. It got lost and forgotten. Until this past spring. During spring cleaning I picked out all the projects for my family that I had put off. A brown dress for my mom, the shirt for Kyle, pillowcases for William, etc. I was determined to finish in 2016! and guess what, I actually did it all! I literally just prayed things would still fit after several years, and had my mom send over her measurements. It felt kind of awesome. And you know what? They still fit! and my brothers shirt is such that when he loses weight I can easily take it in for him. (He is working hard on taking care of his health now that he has finished all schooling, and can finally get sleep at night and have some time to think about it, super proud of all he has worked for and is working toward)

For his shirt I added length all around, and made the side only slightly curved so it wouldn’t expose his belly when moving around. this shirt will Stay tucked in, unlike the shirts he had before that would creep up on the sides and then not look professional. He has to wear nice dress shirts for his job, so this is a really good thing to have in his wardrobe. I also added length to the sleeves, and made the sides to flare out slightly in the middle so that it would be more comfortable while still looking nice.img_20161225_141943

Advertisements

Aprons

This year we spent our Christmas in Texas! My whole side of the family lives down there within a few hours of each other. Being there during the winter makes me miss the warm weather and Texas skies like crazy! I mean, I love my mountains, but it was so nice to get out of the snow and bitter cold for a whole week. This year I made most of the gifts for family.

One of my main Make-it Christmas gifts this year were aprons! This was my go-to gift for all the girls in my family. I decided to use mostly fabrics I already had on hand and make these cute ruched aprons. Each one took a little over an hour, but that might be slightly off since I cut them out and everything all at the same time to make it easier and faster. I used this pattern. Super simple, easy, but cute.

My favorite part is that it has pockets so you can put in your cooking spoon, some eggs, or whatever you need! img_20161225_165421img_20161225_165424

I love these girls and they are all gorgeous 🙂 Also, I love Texas, 60+ degrees on Christmas and felt amazing!

img_20161225_165224

I made matching ones for mom and daughter! and making one for L’s doll too! I LOVE matching outfits.img_20161225_165433_1

classic 90’s band photo.

img_20161225_165444

I just think they all turned out SO cute! and I got to finish the edges with my brand new serger! (My Christmas present, literally the only thing I asked for) Aprons are just so fun to wear in the kitchen, or when you are eating if you are messy like me. Seriously, I always manage to spill on myself. I am amazed by people like my husband who somehow never drop a crumb. I also made a pink one in the same fabric pattern as my mom’s for me to wear! I didn’t have an apron so I am pretty excited to have a cute one now. I am also making cute less frilly aprons for the little boys! They really wanted some too, so I will have a post on those soon!

diy tote bag

I promise I haven’t been TOTALLY slacking, in fact I have been sewing like a madwoman lately but a lot of the things I have been sewing are for Christmas gifts soooo we will have to wait another month before I can post about them. However there are a few projects I can talk about already! The first one is this cute tote!

Recently I have been giving sewing lessons to a friend from church! It has been really fun, and we made some cute totes for her first project.20161117_111207

We tried to choose a tote that would work well as a church bag, and be basic, but still interesting. I found this tutorial on pinterest and loved it because it has pockets! It was slightly more difficult than the most basic of tote bags, but still definitely a good beginner project. I especially love the weight of it, they add in lightweight batting to help stabalize it more which I think is pretty brilliant.

I made a couple of totes myself before we got too far in the project, since it had been several years since I last attempted any sort of bag. I think they turned out pretty cute! I just used some fabric I had in my stash that I had no plans for.img_20161121_173920-1img_20161121_173949-1

Angel Dresses

Recently at an activity for my church, they did a service project, making angel dresses. Angel dresses are dresses or little tuxedos made for babies who pass away at birth. This way the parents don’t have to think of how to dress their angel baby while they are going through something so difficult already. They get to choose a dress or tuxedo for free, that someone lovingly made for them. When the unthinkable happens, these dresses can be some small form of comfort.

When I realized that we were running a bit behind at the activity I took some fabric and lace to hand sew at home so that I could make a few extras.

This is a great beginner project. The dresses are very simple, and easy to make. They are made from old donated wedding dresses and lace. You can find out more about this and other opportunities  at justserve.orgimg_20161030_125234IMG_20161030_130941.jpgIMG_20161030_130937.jpgimg_20161030_130934img_20161030_130929img_20161030_130925

Finding Nemo Family Costume

img_20161031_182635This years costume theme was Nemo! The little mister was Nemo, I was Darla, and my hubby was the dentist! We had a Very long list of possibilities for costumes, and eventually settled on little mister’s favorite, since he is a Nemo fanatic. I decided to just dye a onesie since it was just too difficult to find a long sleeve one in the right color for under $20. I bought a 4 pack of carter’s onesie’s that came out to about $4.50 a onesie and got a bottle of Rit dye for $2 that I only used maybe 1/4 of. I also thrifted some orange sweatpants for $2 so that he stays nice and warm. I bought some fleece to make the fins, stripes, and hat. I sewed it all together, but it could have all been hot glued just as easily.

For hubby’s costume, we borrowed a set of scrubs from his brother who works in the medical field and put on a name tag with the address, easy peasy.

For my costume I hit up the thrift store, found an oversize purple long sleeve for $3, which i had my sis-in-law who is a wizard on a cricut make the decal for, and a skirt for $5, I thought I would have to take the skirt in, but women’s sizing is just straight up confusing and the size 12 actually fit just right. I made the headgear using tin foil, and some ribbon. I borrowed a button up shirt, and long white socks from my husband, and just wore some sneakers since I don’t own any mary jane’s.

It was soo fun to make it all and we even won one of the categories at my hubs work party costume contest! Made staying up late finishing it very worth it. Plus watching my cute toddler run around as a fish all day was priceless!

Sorry that there are no process pictures, my camera lens got busted and I am currently waiting on a replacement. img_20161031_153514

don’t mind that I look like a psycho in most of these. lol. oh and my hair is pink cause why not.img_20161031_183010img_20161031_183423

He was so sweet! my cutie learned how to say “trick-or-treat” and was very good aboiut saying “Thank you” at every single house! now if I could have just gotten him to wear his hat… img_20161031_182635

Happy Halloween! hope y’all had a good one!

Featured Dress- Nicole

Nicole’s dress was my very favorite. mostly because it is more than one dress! It is actually two dresses in one. Nicole and her mom came to me to see if I would be interested in some custom work that could go into my portfolio since they knew I had just graduated and was looking to start doing some side work. We had a couple of consultations and I drew up some sketches. The mom wanted to see if there was a way to use parts of her wedding dress for Nicole’s dress, but Nicole also wanted it to be very new and unique to her tastes. Challenge accepted. We changed things up sooo much during the process. we went from a zippered back to a lace up back, we made the lace overdress completely detachable from the gold underdress, we added pearls and swarovski crystals to add some bling, and I used 3 different types of lace which I had to hand dye to get them all the same color. This dress took more time than I have ever spent on any one project my entire life, but it was soo gorgeous in the end that I didn’t even mind (seriously though, over 100 hours of hand sewing with heirloom lace cause there ain’t no way after hand dying it and carefully taking it off of vintage dresses that I was going to let my machine possibly ruin it, plus with all the placement of it the machine was ineffective anyway) not to mention the time spent patternmaking, carefully cutting and sewing, and even several hours just sketching and planning. It was such a stunner on her and on the runway though. img_1353img_1356

Just dreamyimg_1385img_1404img_1407

NIcole actually injured her foot days before the fashion show but luckily my wonderful photographer friend Krista was able to step in and wear it for the show! 12828938_681093912033215_6674577883025192781_o

photo cred: mommyandkumquat.com

you know you have good friends when they are willing to wear a dress and get photographed like a zillion times for you,when you know they prefer to be behind the scenes as much as you do!

Photographer Krista Sperry Photography

Flowers by Pam’s floral design

Model Nicole Russon

 

Featured Dress- Emily

Emily is just amazing! She is the nicest, most motivational person I know! Seriously, she helped encourage me the whole way through and make sure I was sticking to my schedule! She also came with me to the pre-fashion show cocktail party which was soo great because I don’t even know how to party anymore. Mingling with important people, and walking in high heels is way more stressful to me than sewing a bunch of dresses. For reals, I thought I was going to trip in my shoes all night but they were just soo pretty. Emily killed it on the runway both at the cocktail party and the show.img_1301img_1308

Also, she managed to show off the amazing train the whole time. yeah, she rocks.20160220_162744

Long worn

For slow fashion October, this week’s theme is long worn. How can we make the most use out of the clothes that we already have?

Today I will tell you about my favorite pair of jeans. These babies have lasted me about 7 years now. I bought them before college and the stretch and slight distressing was awesome. Of course that slight distressing turned into major distressing more quickly than I had hoped. I am pretty rough on jeans in general and these ones were showing it. But I LOVED them, giant knee rips and all.268931_10150237068533128_5910068_n267480_10150237070098128_1077018_n

these were from a fun little shoot with a friend after a summer fighting an autoimmune illness I was finally feeling more myself again and we celebrated by taking these pictures. Of course in my beloved jeans.

After I got married my husband got tired of the giant holes and told me to retire my beloved pair of jeans. I hid them in the closet and came up with plans to refashion them so I could wear them again. I came up with a brilliant plan! I sewed lace into the knee holes so it would be all pretty and kind of put together! except… the skinny jeans made any sort of maneuvering impossible with my sewing machine, so I hand sewed them, and promptly ripped the stitches in the first few wears. I hid them back in the closet for close to a year. I still couldn’t give up that perfect stretch and comfort level that these jeans possessed.

Then I got pregnant and no longer cared how holey any clothing was as long as I could get it to work with my growing belly. Jeans that stretched so well in the bum were a perfect thing to wear! I used them with rubber bands, I used them with a belly band, and I used them for this extremely classy Christmas picture 😉img_20141130_192017img_20141130_191716-smile

this was about 4 weeks before baby chubs was born. This was our Christmas card picture. So much class.

This pair of jeans I was able to wear again days after giving birth. Made me feel so good to fit back into some sort of jeans. Then, this summer I realized I was seriously lacking in the shorts department, so I took the plunge and turned them into knee length cutoffs, cutting them right above the giant knee holes. I have worn these jeans hundreds of times. They are still being worn on any day that is warm enough. It is rare that you find such a magnificent pair and hope I can keep them for several years to come.img_20150118_164011

see? Chubs was like a week old… and apparently super upset, but I am wearing those jeans for the zillionth time!20160823_16204020160823_154007

and finally they have come to be used as the ultimate mom shorts. Still comfortable, still make my butt look good, and still to be worn maybe a hundred more times. Also, in case you were wondering I got them at Pacsun on sale, bullhead denim skinnies. I haven’t found any that fit quite the same from there since though.

I have owned 3 pairs of jeans that have lasted like this and I loved the fit and feel of. I have also owned 20+ pairs that I did not love nearly as much. I have found that thrift stores often have better jeans and since they are slightly worn, you can tell how they will continue to wear. Also, they sell denim patches that you can iron on in places that are getting too worn, so they can live to see another day without an embarrassing tear. I hope you all are able to find that one pair of jeans that just fits better than all the others and makes you feel dang good! What is your favorite piece of clothing? What has lasted the longest, and did you do anything to make it last longer?

Slow Fashion October

I have decided to participate in slow fashion October and this past weeks theme was introductions.

I got interested in slow fashion when I was studying at BYU. I was in a class where we started to barely scrape the surface of environmental impacts of making clothes, and talked a little bit about just how much waste there is in the industry and by the consumers (each consumer throws away an average of 35 pounds of clothing per year). I was fascinated and started to dig in and research things more closely. There is just a ton of information out there. I started to make some changes in my own lifestyle so that my consumption patterns were lessened. I stopped impulse shopping, which was a blessing for both the environment and my wallet. I took sewing more seriously and either refashioned or sewed a lot of my own clothes. If there was just a little thing wrong with clothes I had bought I would actually fix them. I got rid of A LOT of my clothing and I still have loads. I stopped buying cheap clothing that wouldn’t last. In the past year, everything that I have bought has been worn at least 30 times, and I have loved the clothes. I spent a little extra, but that little extra made the difference between 1-5 wears to 30+ wears. Also because I was buying less clothing, it actually ended up costing less overall. All I bought in fact was maybe up to 7 shirts and 1 pair of jeans, 2 pairs of shoes, and some socks. I did however get a lot of hand me downs, so that really made it easier to not go out and buy so much.20160524_174441

This was one of my tshirt buys cause if I am honest I basically only wear t-shirts and jeans or yoga pants, since my pre-baby silk and dryclean only clothing gets destroyed during a normal day with a toddler running about.

My plan for this October is to thrift or refashion all of our clothing for Halloween and our Christmas card. Try to learn more about where to source sustainable materials for an at-home sewer, as well as learning a new natural dying technique if I manage to find the time. I also plan to make a few pieces of clothing using my fabric stash, I always try to use my fabric in such a way that there is very little to no waste. One last thing I plan to do is scour the thrift stores in the area for some gently used toddler clothing as my little one has been having another growth spurt and really ought to go up a size in pants and shirts as most of his clothing has been turning into floods and belly shirts haha. 20160930_174718

see? his pants are all short. He is just growing up too fast!

Are you interested in slow fashion? Is there anything that you would like to learn more about in regards to it? How to thrift shop effectively, or how to fix buttons or zippers to make your clothes last longer? Let me know in the comments!

Featured Dress- Ashlyn

Ashlyn’s dress was one of my favorites! The whole dress was pieced together with scraps I had from a previous dress I had made. Not my favorite fabric to work with, but with a little work I got it to behave right and she looked gorgeous. what I loved about it though was the draped back! I used a vintage necklace and repurposed it for the back of this dress and it was just so fun!

img_1296img_1295

note that this was actually our second fitting for this dress so that whole back was cleaned up nice and fit better for the show haha trying to fit in a photoshoot over a week before the show meant I was very close to being done but not quite there on some of it.img_1280img_1288

I also found that brooch in an antique store in sugarhouse near Salt Lake

Ashlyn and her sister have a blog called Savvy Soles and are beautiful inside and out! So glad I could work with them!