Summer Sewing

One of my goals for this summer is to sew as much as possible. And since I am a terrible procrastinator, this hasn’t happened very much. I did, however, get a pair of shorts sewn.

First showing project in a long time. I feel so 50’s when I wear these!

Well, shorts are practical for about 3 months in Wisconsin.
I was out shopping with my mom and grandma when I had a whim to go to the fabric store. Lucky me found out that there was a sale on Simplicity Patterns. $1 each! So, knowing that a vintage reproduction pattern that I have been coveting is a Simplicity pattern, I snapped it up. Along with two other vintage reproduction patterns.

The three patterns that I picked up. The top two are 1940’s style, the bottom is 1960’s.

I’ve been working on the top pattern’s shirt for the past couple weeks. I’m not very good at sitting down and doing it all in one or two days. I figured this is OK, because it’s a 3/4 length sleeve that I won’t be wearing until this fall.

A better photo of the pattern I’m currently making. The fabric that I picked out is an embroidered batik, and it makes me feel like a fortune teller.

I’m actually really excited to learn how to do a lot more sewing techniques. So far with this blouse I have hand-stitched the neckline. I used to be horrible at hand stitching, so I avoided it as much as I could. I realize I do need to know how to hand stitch, and the only way I’m going to become better at it is by practicing.

I’m also becoming a fan of darts. I worked with them in the shorts I made last month, and now I’ve put in eight darts (all in the sleeves) for the blouse.

I think my next project will be a skirt. The other 1940’s pattern has a skirt that has a darling waistband that is scalloped. Hopefully by the time I finish the skirt, I’ll be ready to make some Katherine Hepburn-style trousers.


Summer Days

Now that summer may actually be in full swing for most people, I’d like to talk a little about my goals for this summer. I’m excited for this summer. Once I’m done with the mass media ethics class I’m taking I’m hoping on volunteering more at the local museum, where I mostly volunteer as a soda jerk. It’s lots of fun, but on slow days I have to make sure that I bring something to read or write.

Besides my class and my volunteer job, I have a lot planned that I want to do this summer. Should we start with my reading goals?

Here’s four books off of my reading list. I’ve managed to make it through two other books. Lots to go!

My big reading list book is Ulysses. I’ve read a lot of James Joyce’s short stories, but only read the first two pages of Ulysses before this. I think I may have grown into this book now, as opposed to when I was 17. Have any of you read Ulysses? What did you think?

I have a lot of mysteries on my reading list this summer. It’s one of my favorite genre of books. Elizabeth Peters and her Amelia Peabody series are great.

And then I have my sewing projects. I’m currently working on a pair of short. The pattern is from the 1970s, but I think they have a 1950s style to them.

The shorts pattern cover and fabric. I think this print is just great. Who else has shorts like that?

I’m currently just basting together the patterned fabric and the lining, but I’m hoping that this weekend I’ll be able to work some more on them.

My other sewing projects include a lovely 1952 blouse that I got at our gigantic antique store in Eau Claire. It looks simple enough to make, so I might be doing that once I get my shorts finished. I also have a 1912 themed party that I’ll be attending in late July, and even though I have a 1912 dinner dress that my mom made me a long time ago, I want sew up something for that party.

A mood board of what I’m thinking of sewing for a 1912 themed murder mystery party. 1 and 2 from OMG That Dress, 3 from Mothic Flights and Flutterings

I’m partial to the Irene Castle dress. It may be the fact that it looks so much more cooler and comfortable than the other two. I’m not sure if my friend has air conditioning at his house, so it might be in my best interest to go with something with not sleeves to stay cool. My guess is deciding on a costume will be a lot easier once I get my character.

I’m working as much as possible on my writing this summer.

And finally, there’s writing. I’m currently working on what is supposed to be my historical mystery novel. It’s chugging along better than I had planned, which makes me happy. Other than this, I do want to do some family research and interview my grandpa and grandma. I think a written family history would be great, especially with the stories that my grandparents tell. I also have a couple ideas for scripts floating around, so I might have to do some outlining of those this summer.

I’m excited for the rest of this summer, and even though I’d love to be back at UW-Eau Claire, I don’t want July and August to  go by too fast.

The 30 for 30 Challange

I ran into this challenge sometime last winter. The basic premise is to take 30 pieced of clothing (tops, dresses, skirts, pants and shoes) and for 30 days make a different outfit. I had wanted to do this last spring, but Wisconsin had some funky weather in April, and I didn’t get into it.

So this is what I’m going to do for the next few weeks. I promise I won’t bore everyone with a post every week of those outfits. So what I’ll do is put up a separate page here and update my outfits as the days go on.

This is the jacket I wore on Day 1.

So, first up, I’ll give you a short run down of my separates for this challenge.

  1. Jeans. Because that’s all the pants I own (OK. I do own two pairs of dress pants, but they are the most uncomfortable pants I’ve ever worn in my life).
  2. Mostly black shoes, a pair of pink boots and these. They are pink and orange and crazy. And I love them.
  3. A little less than half the tops that I have are cardigans/sweaters or jackets. I have a jacket obsession.

Day 1: Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Day 1 jacket detail.

  • I wore a pair of dark jeans, a fuchsia sweater, a dark 3/4 sleeved jacket and Vera Wang pink and orange flats. I had to take the jacket off early in the day because it was far too warm in class rooms.

Day 2: Thursday, February 23, 2012

Day 2: A light blue beaded cardigan paired with skinny jeans and my plain black flats. No realy imgination went into this because I do wear this sometime. I just haven't worn the cardi in a while.

  • Thursday I wore a pair of dark blue skinny jeans (which are pretty uncomfortable), a blue beaded cardigan and my usual plain black flats. This isn’t a really original outfit for me, but I hadn’t worn this particular cardi in a while, so I decided to add it to the 30 for 30 Challenge stock pile. It’s a very spring-like top, so I think it’s appropriate.

Day 3: Friday, February 24, 2012

Day 3: Friday's I have little walking to do, so I don't have to worry about my feet hurting me in heels. Today I wore a pair of lighter jeans, with a white button down and black wingtip-esque heels.

  • It’s an actual full length photo! You can get the idea of the whole outfit! I like Fridays because I can wear whatever shoes I want to (within practicality regarding the weather). Today I wore a pair of light/medium (they’re as light as I will go on jeans) Levis, with a white button down shirt and my black wingtip-esque heels that I’ve had since I was 16.

Here's a close-up of the shirt I wore today. Nothing fancy.

This shirt might not look it, but it is exponentially comfortable. It’s super soft. Usually with button downs or other fancy shirt I switch to a Tee when I get home, but this one I can stick to all day.

So, that’s been the start of my challenge. I’ll try to update the page at least once a week with a little description of my outfit.

27 days left!

Keeping Creative

My mom once told me that she likes to do something creative once a day. I’ve been trying to follow that advice.

Some days it’s easier than others. I’m sort of glad that I have a major (well, mix of majors) that allow me to think creatively. I suppose you think that journalism doesn’t sound like a very creative thing to go into, but it is. I’m also involved in classes and clubs at school that help me stay creative.

But right now I feel like I’m not keeping that creative vibe. I have a studio photography assignment, and I have ideas, but I just can execute them. Or I don’t know if I can. And I haven’t been writing lately. That makes me sad.

This is my little jar for misc. sewing supplies. The little dress on the hanger is a key chain Anne made for me.

Writing is one thing that I really care about being creative about. It’s what I want to do with my life, and when I go for more than a few days without writing anything creative I go a little crazy. At least I have somethings that help me to stay sane on the creative side. I talked before about how I like to do fashion drawings. And obviously photography. I like to be creative with sewing.

I don’t sew very much (I blame the time I don’t ever seem to have), but when I do I like thinking up what colors to use for fabric, and then what trim to use. It’s fun.

Water color painting.

Finally, although I’m not very good at it, I really like water color painting. I mostly paint flowers (because they are easy).

Source: via saltykisses

I first found this 33 ways to stay creative last summer, and recently re-found. How do you keep creative?


End of an Era

As Eli mentioned her college I suppose that I will have to talk about my own. Although I am transferring to Eau Clair at the end of this year, it is not because I dislike this campus outright. I attend Dordt, a small Christan College in Iowa. Personally it is a wonderful place to be, but I need to be closer to my family and cannot afford the cost of a private education. Also if I plan on having a smooth transition from undergrad to graduate school I would like to do so within the state university system. Anyway I have some beautiful pictures of Dordt’s campus ( It is named after the cannons of Dordt which came out of the synod of Dord. It has something to do with reformed theology which I have never bothered to research in depth.) All of these pictures are credited to unknown Dordt students and faculty that have decent camera’s. (and yes I will complain for a while until I gain access to something that doesn’t take facebook only quality pic’s)

Sunsets, the only reason I accept the treelessness of Iowa.

Like most college's there is heavy landscaping, however; it sticks to the natural grasses and plants that grow in the area.

This is the campus in late November. Note the amazing lack of snow, now understand that snow has not remained on the ground for more than a couple days and it is February. This is very odd when dealing with the Midwest.

This is literally what it looked like Yesterday, and then the sun came out and melted everything.

The Greenhouse, I wish I could live there. I need greenery to keep sane in the horrible winters that seem to always last forever.

Dordt's Prairie.

A Week of Reading

I’ve been terrible at keeping up with my ‘fun’ reading.

I can usually read at least a book a month, and I try to keep track of the books that I read in a journal. I was looking at said journal recently and realized between September 2011 and December 2011 I managed to read two books.

My bed side table of books I need to read.

So, I have set a goal for myself this week (specifically Monday the 9th through Monday the 16th): to read three books.

This week's goal books.

So far I’ve been getting there. I managed to finish Mrs.Frisby and the Rats of NIMH. I saw the movie over the summer (after many years of not seeing it. Funny thing is, the cat, Dragon, is still stuck in my memory), and I wanted to read the book. It wasn’t until this weekend when I went through some books that my brother was getting rid of that I found the book. I finished it in a little over 24 hours. I haven’t read a book that fast for a long time.

I’m currently working on a mystery called Million Dollar Baby. I got it for Christmas and am really enjoying it. It’s one of those books where you come for the mystery but stay for the romance.

My final book I want to finish by Monday is Cat Among the Pigeons, by Agatha Christie. I call myself a mystery novel fanatic, but truth be told, I’ve never read an Agatha Christie novel. Shame.

So, here’s to hoping that next week I can tell you that I managed my goal!

Shelf of books. The far left book is a very old copy of through the looking glass. The second to right book is a funny 1930s romance.