Wednesday, November 19, 2014

My first ever.....Wellness Wedesday!!

Hello all!

As promised this is one of those new and exciting blog features that I have been cooking up "behind the scenes" I wanted to add something to this blog that everyone could use and I decided that a post every week about becoming a healthier, happier you was just the thing I need! The main focus of my posts will still mostly be vintage and craft related, but I thought this could be a nice break.

I suppose I should start off with a little bit of background as to why this subject is important to me personally. Two years ago when I started my journey to get healthier I was 60 pounds heavier, having some scary health issues, feeling depressed, and sometimes I just really didn't like myself. I found solace in coming home and putting my face into a container of ice-cream, drowning my sorrows in breading, and consuming my weight in ounces of sodas each day. Everything tasted so delicious I just couldn't figure out why it didn't make me feel train of thought was well if I eat this then my happy tastebuds will tell my brain to be happy and that is totally how it works.......right??? WRONG!

Unfortunately, I fooled myself into believing that this was the logical solution to my problems. These bad habits slowly became a lifestyle that I didn't really see a problem with, even though it did not make me feel better mentally, physically, or emotionally. My health issues began with just feeling tired, achey, and after about 6 months of that I began to have severe stomach issues. I was nauseated constantly, having gallbladder attacks, and having a lot of issues just doing simple tasks that at the age of 24 should not have been a problem.

After exploring different medicines, and treatments with a few doctors I began to feel hopeless. I had this medicine for stomach acid, this medicine for nausea, this medicine for this, this one for that, it all began to get overwhelming. I started to keep a food journal and put a little * after I ate anything that gave me issues, this was what set that little light bulb off in my head. I did this for a few days and realized that most of the things I was putting in my mouth were causing issues. I know, I know it sounds like that should be a no brainer but when food is your biggest "comfort" it is really hard to see it as the enemy. I realized that my body was not going to treat me any better until I treated it better.

I started by changing eating the beginning it was rough, and I will be honest I gave up a few times. I would say it was "too hard" or consider the fact that I ate something "bad" as a terrible failure then I'd shove some cookies in my face, and go right back to square one. What helped is I realized one day that slipping up is just fine. Just because I had a donut in the morning doesn't mean I have to have a bad lunch and dinner to follow. One bad food decision does not ruin my whole day!

I began to eat healthier and exercise on a semi-regular basis (I am far from perfect in this area but I am working on it!) after a few months my symptoms were gone. I had more energy, and I felt better mentally and emotionally.... So here I am....2 years ...60 lbs lighter longer on any medicines :)
Left photo at my heaviest weight of 240 Sept. 2012:Right photo taken 2 months ago at 181 :)
So this weeks installment of Wellness Wednesday is going to include my favorite healthy breakfast smoothie recipe:

Strawberry-Banana Oat Smoothie

1/2 frozen or fresh banana (I freeze mine because it makes the shake a little creamier and keeps it chilled)
3/4 C fresh or frozen strawberries 
1/2 cup finely crushed toasted oats (or untoasted really your choice)
1/4 cup plain greek yogurt (optional but it really boosts your protein!)
1/2-3/4 cup almond milk
Ice (optional)

Instructions: Throw it all in a blender :) blend it up, pour into a cup, insert straw and drink away! 
While this is not a low calorie is filled with fiber, protein and no added sugar so please...don't feel guilty about it!  

Nutritional info: Calories: 421, Fat 7 g (>1 gram saturated! woot!) Protein: 21g Carbs: 72 , Fiber: 11g 

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

One Short Day in the Emerald City........

Well Hello Everyone! I am incredibly sorry that it has been so long since my last post but alas, between working a second job and trying to fit in family time my life has been literally too hectic for crafting!! (Le Gasp* .... Le Sigh*) But, I am pleased to report that things are settling into place and my creative ju-ju has come back to me ten-fold! I have several projects and blog posts coming soon that I am really excited about!

So, this idea all started when I had a sudden desire to make my own costume this year for Halloween. I absolutely love Halloween and everything about it! This time of year the leaves are beautiful, Jack-O-Lanterns fill the steps of houses, people get to dress up in fun costumes and just have a great time. To be honest, I have never really had much interest in making my own costume before because I (shamefully) have always bought a pre-packaged one or just threw on a pair of wings and a tiara and called it good! 

Before I started sewing I never would have thought to look at the finished seams, or materials of a costume before because even though they can be fairly pricey, at the end of the night they have always been essentially disposable to me. Well that was certainly not my attitude this year! I browsed a few costume stores and looked at literally hundreds of costumes and I was just not satisfied with any of them! I was a little miffed at the realization that I have been getting ripped off by paying 2-3 times what a costume is really worth since I was basically old enough to Trick-or-Treat! 

This year I decided to take my costume fate into my own hands and see what I could come up with. I knew that I wanted it to have a fun 50's retro-vibe to it and came up with the idea of being a "Wicked Housewife" after finding this wonderful wicked witch silhouetted fabric at Jo-Ann's (It was even on sale! I'm telling you it was totally fate!) I found this fabulous Simplicity pattern with a princess seamed bodice, full circle skirt and cute retro bow detail at the waist and decided to take the plunge! 
I chose view B with that cute bow!

I won't lie, I was pretty nervous about how to sew the bodice because I have never worked with princess seams before, but now I am in absolute love with them! With a little help from Gertie's Blog and the Curvy Sewing Collective I was able to ensure a perfect fit! Huzzah!!!! I clipped, notched, and pressed my seam allowances open on my fashion fabric and my emerald green lining before sewing them together. This pattern is fabulous and I definitely recommend it for anyone sewing with princess seams for the first time! For this project I also decided to give horsehair braid a try when hemming, and let me tell you...what a great idea it was! Not only did it make hemming the circle skirt easier, it also helps give the skirt a little more structure when wearing without a full petticoat underneath. 


For a project of firsts, I am so incredibly proud that this dress turned out exactly the way I envisioned it.Sure I hit a few small speed bumps along the way(like accidentally sewing my lining pieces the opposite way the first time around), but surprisingly I managed to not make any major mistakes! Also, I just have to add...why in the heck have I been skipping the lining step in my dresses?! This is a mistake that I probably will not make again, not only does it make the dress look/feel better when I wear it, it was only a few extra minutes to sew up the duplicate bodice and sew it on! So for all you non-liners out there, give it a is definitely worth it!!

                                                               Seriously, Look at all that lovely 50's-esque poof going on here!!!

***Super Happy Fun Update*** 
I have some fun things that I will be adding to my blog in the upcoming days/weeks. I am going to be adding some themed days as well as one project/tutorial a week. I finally will have some free time to commit to this blog on a more regular basis and I intend to do so with Gusto!!

So for all of you out there reading today I just want to say, Take the plunge and give something new a might just like the results! Remember... A little silliness never hurt anyone, Strive to be healthier in your own skin, and keep being amazing!

Friday, June 20, 2014

Vintage Jackpot, New Dress, and I was Nominated for Something! Holy Moly Batman!

Where to begin with today's post ...I sort of don't know where to start. So many exciting things to talk about in this post it is uncanny! So hold on tight and join me for today's blog post!

Alright, I am going to start with the exciting vintage things I was given for free (I KNOW!! Seriously Free!) from a good friend who's grandmother recently passed. She wanted them to go to someone who would use them, so when she asked if I was interested in any old sewing stuff I jumped at the chance to take it off her hands. I wasn't sure what I expected when I started going through old boxes but some of the things I found really amazed me! There were boxes of sewing notions, fabric, patterns, and even a vintage Necchi sewing machine model 535FA. Everything is in wonderful condition, the sewing machine is all metal and came in its own suitcase, and most of the patterns are uncut! The sewing nerd inside me was (and still is) jumping for joy at all of this treasure. All of these items are amazing and I can't wait to start working with all of it. Also, if anyone has any information about the Necchi sewing machine it would be appreciated!

This is a photo of some of my favorites they are mostly 60's patterns
This is the oldest one. It has no date on it but the pattern is unprinted! 
Box is over-flowing!
Just a peek at some of the fabric!

Not sure what year this is but it is fantastic!

I finished another dress this week! This is my first official "wiggle" dress and I am in love with it! I made it using Vintage Vogue Pattern V8875. I don't know what it is about garments from the 50's but I just love them. This was my first time working with a Vintage Vogue pattern and I must say it was intimidating at first glance. The bodice was a little difficult to put together with the bust dart, side panels, and adding extra material to reinforce the underarm area. So many steps! Somehow I managed to make it through this one and though I did accidentally sew my sleeve to itself at one point (Whoops!) I am pretty excited at how it turned out. Once I got that sewn up the rest of the project was smooth sailing. I made the dress out of a simple blue cotton/linen blend and best of all easy to wear! The only thing I may change about it next time is to go down one more size as it is just a little bit big. All in all......a definite success I'd say! Sorry the pictures aren't the greatest my camera and I were having some issues.

Ok...Ok...Ok! Last bloggy thing of the day! Andie over at SewPrettyinPink was kind enough to add me to her list of Liebster Nominees!
Which is an award for newer, or lesser known blogs to help them get noticed. I must say this came as a big surprise to me and I am so thankful that she chose me as one of her nominees! Seriously, Check her out, what a talented sweet heart she is! So here are my questions she gave us to answer:

1. What is your favourite TNT (tried and tested) pattern? I would have to say my absolute favorite patter to work with is Gertie's Pencil Skirt pattern from her book for better sewing. I have made several of these bad boys in my size as well as others and it is just fantastic all around!
2. If you could quit your job and sew full time, would you? Why or why not? Yes, in a heartbeat! Sewing has become a passion of mine and if I could make enough money at it to do what I love each and every single day you bet I would.
3. What are your favourite types of fabric? Cotton, Linen (and linen blends!) and Stretch cotton sateen! They are definitely my favorite to work with.
4. Is there a fabric that scares you to try out? Why? I have a big fear of working with anything slippery and I also find rayon a bit intimidating. I have 5 gorgeous yards of a rayon print challis that I really need to work with but I am too nervous to even start making the first cut! Why? I don't really know I just don't want to mess up beautiful fabric.
5. What is next on your list of garments to make? I am planning to make a gathered circle skirt out of some fabulous fabric and a blouse from a vintage pattern :)
My Nominees are:
My lovely friend Kristen over at Make the best of everything! Because her blog is always a good source of inspiration for healthy living and she's awesome! 
My super-mom friend Brandy over at Life,Motherhood, and the Pursuit of Happiness  Her blog about her adventure into motherhood is honest, raw and heartfelt. 
You can chose to nominate others for the Liebster Award if you would like but you don't absolutely have to! Your questions are as follows ladies :) 
1. What made you decide to start a blog in the first place?
2. What are your biggest inspirations for blogging? What are the biggest challenges of it? 
3. How do you balance writing/blogging and your everyday life? 
4. What is your favorite kind of pizza? (I know this one has nothing to do with blogging but I thought it was time for a silly one!) 

Thanks for stopping by everyone, feel free to comment or email me anytime. As always ...breathe easy, do what makes you happiest, and absolutely do NOT throw objects in frustration when something is not doing what it is supposed to does nobody any good! :) It will be alright I promise...

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Finally! A wearable muslin of "The Ladies 1958 Party Dress"

Well hello all you lovely people out in blogging land! Thanks for stopping by :) 
I promise I am going to be doing at least one blog post every month if not more! I finally have some time to do some sewing for myself and I am churning out projects left and right. I also am fighting with several projects haha! Details on those to come later I am sure :) 

So without further ado .... My 1958 Ladies Party Dress!

I highly recommend this pattern by Sense and Sensibility Patterns This pattern is great to work with! The instructions are simple, and it fits like a dream with little to no pattern adjusting! I was so happy that I didn't have to mess with doing a FBA to this pattern. It has soft kimono sleeves and the option to do either a gathered or pleated (I went with gathered because I am lazy!) skirt and it is so comfortable. My wearable muslin is made out of a fantastic peach linen blend that I got on sale at Hancock Fabrics for about 3.00 a yard (I know! Steal of the century..and I have enough left over to make a skirt) I decided to make a simple belt to go around my waist with some mint green broadcloth, and fusible interfacing. Instead of lining the bodice as the pattern suggests with the help of some online tutorials I drafted my own neckline facing and am pleased with the results! I apologize for not having pictures of that part I took them with my cell phone which has recently gone to technology heaven so I only have a couple of the finished product to share! 
 This is the kind of dress that begs for a pretty crinoline underneath! It gives the skirt just that bit of extra oomph! That it needs to have that fun 50's vibe. I wrote about my plans for this dress a while ago with the idea that I would make it out of a polka dot fabric...Don't worry! I have not forgotten about my plans! This pattern is so simple to work with, adjust, and to sew up I plan on making a few more of them :)

For the first time in forever ...(don't know you felt like singing that aloud "Frozen Style") I didn't have an issue sewing something and man did it feel fantastic! I don't often have moments like these and it is a great feeling. I have a few more projects in the works that I am dying to share with you without further ado I am going to hop to it! 

As always.... Stay Calm, Have a great time, and don't forget that sewing your zipper in backwards happens sometimes! Grab that seam ripper and get to fixin!

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Holy Update Batman!!!!!!!!

Holy Cow! 
   I just want to say first and foremost I am sorry that it has been such a long time since I updated anything. Life has been crazy these past several months and it seems that I just could never quite find the time! That being said... Let me give you some updates! 

A few months ago I was asked by a local shop to make some skirts for them. I will not lie... I was absolutely terrified. I had a million and one thoughts running through my head at all times making them that I made so many silly mistakes that I had to stop and fix it was just insane! After the first few were done and I got into my groove the rest came easily, my zippers cooperated, serger worked perfectly and my screw ups got fewer and fewer until there were none! Huzzah!! The end result...16 fun vintage inspired skirts.

For these ones I used Gertie's pattern for a full-gored skirt. I just shortened the hemline quite a bit and straightened the waist band. If you haven't made or tried on a skirt in this style I urge you to do so! they are twirly, feminine, and best of all flattering! Gertie's amazing book can be purchased here: I highly recommend it for sewers of all skill levels and ages!

I also used Gertie's pattern for my pencil skirts as well. Let me tell you these were the real winners! I used some vintage material and modern for these and they turned out wonderful! This one is my favorite!

I also made several A-line skirts and Drindl skirts that I self-drafted my own patterns for that turned out really well. Making all these skirts was a big nerve-wracking challenge despite the fact that I have made each style for myself several times now! This is my first time really sewing for others and I can say that I am incredibly proud of them and can't wait to get started on my next projects! Here's a picture of nearly all of them all lined up on my table :)

Also....P.s. A few of them even have lapped zippers! My first attempt can be seen on the left. I may not have done it for all of the skirts but on the ones I did I can definitely say I
am very happy about the results.

I hope that this post finds you well, gives you inspiration, and maybe even makes you try something new :) I promise that I will be back with more frequent updates. I have some really great projects on the horizon that I am just itching to get into.

As always think calming thoughts, a few deep breaths, and belt out a few notes of "Let It Go!" and you will be just fine! :)

Friday, July 12, 2013


  Yesterday I was looking through the channels and one of my favorite movies was playing ....
        That's right! Pleasantville! I have loved this movie ever since it first came out in 1998 and it never gets old for me to watch. It is a great blend of comedy and drama while it shows how life really was portrayed in the 1950's! Women did the housework, men went to work, children were to be seen and not heard, and people seemed to pretend like inapropriate behavior didn't happen. What do I love about this movie most of all? The fashion of course!! When I really sat down and thought about it this was my first exposure to vintage fashion and I have been in love with it ever since. The sweater sets, shirt dresses, accessories, and (eventually) the colors were all beautiful to me! Here are a few of my favorites from the film.
Loving these sweater sets!
How adorable is Reese in this top?

This shot is beautiful from her florally dress to her plaid umbrella!

This is quite possibly my favorite shot in the whole film. This closeup of her bright pink bubble gum and perfect pin-curled hair is just gorgeous!
        I realized that this movie is one of my biggest inspirations for vintage sewing. I have wanted to wear those great dresses and skirts ever since! I am just sad that it took me so long to really start sewing. If I had started at 11 I can just imagine the things I would be able to make by now! I think I can safely say that this movie piqued my interest in 1998 and has held it ever since! What is your earliest memory of inspiration? Was it a movie? An Ad?

       With that being said I have started another project! I have started printing and piecing together my "1958 Ladies Party Dress" That you can find here Ladies 1958 Party Dress I have seen quite a few versions of this dress floating around out there but my favorite image of it is this version   At Edelweiss Patterns' Blog. Her cupcake dress is so beautiful and inspiring that I just have to try it out. So far printing and putting the pattern together has gone alright and I think it will be incredibly easy to work with :) I have chosen to work with a light heather grey polka dot cotton and a baby pink broadcloth for (possibly) a removable collar and belt/cumberbund.


           I am hoping to get started on sewing it tomorrow depending on how warm it gets here. I have a great space upstairs for my crafting but the air does not work as well up there so it gets a little toasty if it gets higher than 85 outside! Hopefully it will resemble something like this when it is done and not a total mess!
This woman is so seriously talented! Check her out at  Edelweiss Patterns
      As always! Thanks for reading. Stay cool, Stay sassy, and stay classy! 

Monday, July 8, 2013

Success! Finally!!

Holy cow!!!
Making a good version of this dress has taken me a billion years. Between fitting problems, life, and just making silly mistakes it has taken me about a month to finally create a wearable, well-fitting version that I am happy with :)

check it out!

I used the same Retro-Butterick as seen in my post below and a fun polka-dotted cotton I picked up at Hancock's Fabric on sale. You have absolutely no idea how nerve-wracking it was cutting into this pretty fabric knowing that it was a good possibility I was about to have a complete disaster on my "crafty" hands!That being said, I still had a lot of fitting issues due to my body shape even after making my initial muslin bodice. I thought that I had the fit just right but having lost some weight since my last post it simply did not occur to me to re-measure myself. This didn't cause a huge amount of issues but it caused the waist and armholes of my adjusted pattern to be too big. So once I got the bodice sewed together and tried on I realized it was way too baggie in some areas. To fix most of the problem I simply took the side seams in by about an inch :)
I also had to make a few adjustments to the neckline because when I initially sewed it the scoop neck was far too baggy and just not figure flattering for me. I cut a small curved section out, added a few tucked stitches and Voila! it is now a sweetheart neckline. The fit of the bodice overall still isn't quite perfect but it is definitely wearable :)


I used the "invisible" stitch along the hemline, neckline, and armholes. It was time consuming but so worth it when looking at my final product. (I know..I know..I should have lined and used facings but I feel like that just would have made this light summer dress too bulky!) I am also rather proud of this zipper I put it. I managed to almost not screw it up. :)

This is one of those projects that I definitely struggled with quite a bit! But after a few candy bars, some Firefly, and determination 8 hours later I had this retro-inspired finished dress that I couldn't be more proud of!

So just remember: Stay focused, have fun, take a few deep breaths and get creative!!