Monday, July 17, 2017

A Very Jazzy Lawn Party

The Jazz Age Lawn Party on Governor's Island is something I've wanted to do since I was a freshman in high school, so, of course, when I moved to NYC I was determined to MAKE IT HAPPEN!
The first time I went was last August. THE HEAT INDEX WAS ONE HUNDRED AND FIFTEEN DEGREES. 
We made it through without getting heatstroke, and were crazy enough to come back for Round 2 this year (although this time, with our newfound wisdom, we chose to attend in June instead of August. We keep growing wiser with every Lawn Party, as we learned this year after taking naps on the packed dirt that we should bring some darn lawn chairs next time.)

Not pictured: Our hunky dates. I also made my friend Kate's green dress! 
I was excited about making my own dress before I even bought my tickets, without really even knowing what I wanted it to look like. I remembered a 1930s reproduction pattern I'd bought from theVintage Pattern Lending Library, and its fabulously ruffly skirt that sort of faked a drop-waist without the drawback of actually BEING a drop waist (Actual 1920s silhouettes don't look good on my shape and I'm just too vain to wear clothes that don't flatter me.) I thought a nice white day dress would be a nice, period look, and decided to give up my dreams of making a chemise a la reine out of this fabric I bought from JoAnn. 

I had well-begun the arduous task of making that oh-so-ruffly skirt before I figured out what bodice pattern I wanted to use: it finally occurred to me that the only logical choice to go with all those flounces was a bodice that involved ANOTHER FLOUNCE, as I found in Butterick 6052, option A. 

If I had it to do over, I would have definitely added an inch or so to the waist of the torso, as the pattern is for a pretty high-waisted dress, but I was foolishly not thinkin' before I was cuttin'. 

You can really see the too-high waistline here, but, that's what belts are for. Covering up poor sewing decisions.

The magic gold glitter shoes are from B.A.I.T. and were my Christmas present a couple years ago!
The hat is by San Diego Hats and I bought it at The Nitty Gritty in Louisville.
Overall, I definitely veered into more of a 1930s look than a 20s one, but am mostly happy with the dress and am excited to wear it again! The sheerness, the specks of metallic gold, and the flounces really do make it feel dreamy and floaty. I need somebody to invite me to a tea or a garden party or some suitable occasion. 

Sewing Techniques I Practiced: 
Narrow hems
French seams
Being patient (SO. MANY. HEMS.)

Friday, May 2, 2014

It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year

As I write this, it is Derby Eve/Oaks Day in the great city of Louisville. Yesterday was "Thurby" (cute, right? I didn't know that was a thing until this year) and tomorrow is the big day: Derby Day, the Run for the Roses, the Most Exciting Two Minutes in Sports.
     I didn't realize until I moved here from Small Town, KY the mania that occurs in the city of Louisville during Derby season. Colleges in Louisville end their semesters in mid-April to make sure that the college students have finished their finals and are out of the city by the first Saturday in May to make room for the influx of people. School in the city is cancelled for the Oaks (yes, in spite of the 17 snow days the Jefferson County School System racked up this year, this hallowed day of days is most definitely not going to be used as a makeup day, by God!) Store windows display tableaus of horses and rose wreaths and festive hats, and people wish you "Happy Derby" as you take your leave of them. And of course, good luck trying to get anywhere during Derby week, because the traffic is absolutely ridiculous.
     I really, really love Derby. I've never been to the race itself (someday!) but the whole thing is right up my alley. The idea of a stadium full of people wearing hats and seersucker and bow ties and sundresses makes me plenty happy all by itself, but add in all the tradition, and the bourbon, and the singing/weeping your way through "My Old Kentucky Home" and GOSH I JUST LOVE IT. Tomorrow my family is having a Derby party, and I will do my darndest to remember to post photos!
     Here is a collection of pictures that have been inspiring me sartorially and party-planning-wise this Derby season!

@pinkdoorboutiqueky on Instagram

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Liebster Award!

I was lucky enough to be nominated for the Liebster Award by two kind (and lovely! go look at their blogs!) souls: Abigail of Sweeter Gets the Journey and Paula of Mademoiselle Rock'n'Roll!

This is how this works:
When you're nominated, you answer 11 questions posed to you by your nominator. You also volunteer 11 facts about yourself, then you nominate 11 more people and write 11 questions for them to answer! 

I sort of mixed up Abigail and Paula's questions so I'd just have 11 to answer, some were similar so I consolidated them! Here we gooooo!

1.  Do you or have you ever played any musical instrument.  If so what is it?  If not, what would you like to play?
 I took piano lessons for 8 years, but I was not very good about practicing, which I now regret. I taught myself to play the ukulele in high school. This resulted in one of my Top 3 Proudest Life Achievements, which I am going to shamelessly display to you now:

2.  What makes you laugh out loud?
Silly humor. Arrested Development. My little sister Gwendolyn is one of the most hilarious people I know, she makes me laugh all the time. Never open a Snapchat from her in class or people will think you're a crazy person. 

3.  Are you a morning or night person?
I'm a night person, but I wish I were a morning person. I love the morning time, I just rarely experience it due to my predilection for staying up late. 

4. What do you like to do in your free time?
I love to craft! And to cook, and to sew, and plan adventures. I also love to sing, but that's more of an all-the-time activity than a free-time activity.

5. How long you been with your blog?
A little over a year now, I believe! I had a blog when I was in high school, but I sort of lost interest. I created this one while I was studying abroad in Belgium. I figured I should take advantage of the beautiful backgrounds I would find in Europe!

6. Do you have any fear?
I have an irrational fear of dead animals touching me. I grew up on a farm, and the dogs would kill varmints and proudly bring them up into the yard and follow you around with the dead thing in their mouth, and I was always afraid that they would throw the dead creatures on me. 
...That was gross, sorry for giving you those images. 

7. Your favourite book?
This is a toughie. I realllllly love the novelization of Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie and The Fantasticks by Tom Jones (the writer not the singer... we'll get to him later though. The Fantasticks is technically a script... but holy cow it is so beautiful!) The books I've read the most are probably the Harry Potter series... I adore Harry Potter. 

8. What is one of your pet peeves?
When people don't put their shopping carts in the corrals provided for that purpose. Also when people go out in public in pajama pants. I just don't understand why you would do that. 

9.  If you could visit any place in the world, where would you go?
This is quite a long list, but right now I really would like to visit New Orleans.

10. What is your guilty pleasure?
S'MORES. Also the television show Hart of Dixie

11. If you could have one dream come true, what would it be?
I have several dream roles that I'd love.... But I think maybe #1 would be to play Christine in The Phantom of the Opera. Such a predictable choice, I know. 

11 Facts About Me: 
1. I am sort of a s'mores connoisseur. In fact, last night I created this gorgeous thing: 
Ladies and gentlemen, meet the Bourbon Bacon S'more. 

2. I am a musical theatre fanatic. 
3. I'm a little obsessed with Gone With the Wind.
4. I used to play soccer, and I loved it. I get pretty competitive, so it's probably best that my sports days are behind me.
5. I love planning/decorating/cooking/dressing up for parties. As my friend Jack says, "Themed parties are man's highest form of self-expression." He is a wise man.
6. My life motto is "Girl gotta twirl", given to me by an attractive British man I met in Krakow, Poland. He repeatedly said it as he twirled me around on a street. I find that it applies perfectly to lots of things in my life. Like "supercalifragilisticexpialidocious," it is something to say when you don't know what to say. 
7. Speaking of Mary Poppins, I have been attempting to get a Mary Poppins costume together for the past 3 Halloweens. So far, no dice, but one of these days I will sit down and sew that thing together.
8. I have a deep, eternal love for Sir Tom Jones. No one ever has sung or ever will sing like that perfect man. 
9. I hope to work at Disney World as a face performer at some point! It's been a goal for a while. 
10. When I am an old lady, I plan to develop a Deep Southern accent. 
11. I would much much MUCH rather be hot than cold.

I hereby present Liebster Awards to:
My Questions/Demands:
1. Do you have any funny or adorable stories about you as a small child? Tell us one!
2. What is your favorite physical feature of yourself?
3. What is your favorite personality feature of yourself?
4. What are your feelings on jewelry? (Do you wear any/lots? What's your favorite kind?)
5. How do you feel about Valentine's Day?
6. Name one (or more!) feature(s) of your dream home.
7. Where is your favorite place you have travelled?
8. If you could only put one condiment on things for the rest of your days, what would it be?
9. What is your favorite musical (if you have one! If not, go educate yourself. Haha.)
10. Do you have any interesting hobbies? Tell us about them!
11. Is there a song you can't get out of your head currently? What is it?

Sunday, January 19, 2014

sweaters and high-waisted skinnies

I bought my first pair of non-vintage high-waisted pants from ModCloth's 70% off sale a couple weeks ago, and I am wearing those suckers with everything! Around the same time I shanghaied these boots from my sister's closet and they have become a staple in my wardrobe as well (i.e. I wear them almost every day, with any and everything. Shoes you can wear socks with are a valuable commodity in these cold, cold times.)
Also, I got a haircut back in November--my first major one since middle school-- and have already decided to begin growing out my bangs. Some days I consider trimming them back to acceptable bang-length, and some days I just want long mermaid hair again. Ohhhhhh what a dilemma. You know it's hard out here for a Charlotte.

Blouse: Forever 21
Cardigan: Field and Flower brand, found at a factory reject store
Jeans: ModCloth "The Joys Are Back Jeans"
Belt: Hey Tiger
Boots: Stolen from my sister

Have a wonderful day off!

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Etsy Adventures! Starring Mary Poppins, Merida, Mermaids, and More!

Hello, folks!
Over the break from school, I have been working on an Etsy shop! I uploaded some things today, and I am quite excited about them! My store is called Belles of the Bluegrass and can be found here:

Oh, and HAPPY NEW YEAR! =]

Thursday, December 19, 2013

A furry hat and a jacket that's a native Louisvillian

      A Louisville shopping outing with my sister obviously required some dressing up! I got the chance to wear my new lovely 1940s New Look suit jacket (the skirt was MIA) from The Nitty Gritty! 
      Something EXCITING and INTERESTING about this is that the jacket is from right here in Louisville, from a high-end ladies' clothing store called Byck Bros. & Co. It was started in 1902 by the brothers Byck as a shoe store in downtown Louisville. In its heyday, it hosted designer trunk shows and all manner of fancy patrons! It was also one of the first stores in the area to have integrated dressing rooms.
      In the 70s and 80s, Byck's could be found in shopping malls in the areas, but the last of those closed in 1991. You can read more about it, and other Louisville department stores of yore right here!
      I think it is so neat to be wearing a piece of Louisville history! I imagine that some fancy gal was bopping around 1940s downtown Louisville, doing her shopping, and just casually popped into her local "high-end ladies' clothing store" and found this jacket. And now I have it! From one Bluegrass Belle to another. =]

Jacket: The Nitty Gritty
Skirt: Made by me
Shoes: TJ Maxx (Madden Girl brand)
Hat: bequeathed to me by my mother
Purse: Feather Your Nest
Speckled pantyhose: Veritas

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Sweater Vest Gift Wrapping Tutorial!

         Usually, I am a pretty boring gift wrapper (I just use cute paper and call it a day) but I have been doing lots and lots and lots (and lots) of crafting lately, and the crafting brain juices spilled over into my gift-wrapping this morning! I was trying to figure out what to wrap my brother Wesley's present in (I only have flowery paper, which would not be his cup of tea) when I remembered the wrapping paper that had come in my ModCloth order.
        "That would be perfect, because it looks like a sweater and he loves sweater vests!" I thought. Then, I had a BRILLIANT EPIPHANY: "What if I made the wrapping paper LOOK LIKE AN ACTUAL SWEATER VEST!?"
And so I did! And here's how I did it!

(If you're reading this, Wesley,.... SURPRISE! MERRY CHRISTMAS)

1. Cut enough white paper to wrap your gift normally, but with extra paper at the top. (I had about 4 inches of extra paper.) Wrap your gift as you normally would, leaving the long end of the paper free.
2. Fold the long end over twice, creasing each fold.
3. This is what Step #2 should result in.
4. Cut into the paper, up against the folded-down section, about 2-3 inches, or enough to leave a reasonable amount of paper in the center to connect the flaps you're making to the rest of the paper. Repeat on the other side.
5. Pull the flaps you've created around the the front to make a collar shape.
6. Fold the extra paper in the front towards the back. Don't worry about how it looks, the vest will cover it up!

1. Wrap your present normally in your sweater vest paper, once again leaving extra paper at the top for folding over.
2. Cut a slit down the center front of the vest paper as far as you'd like its neckline to go. (You can experiment with depths... I ended up making mine deeper after I took these photos.)
3. Fold the paper in at an angle, forming the neckline. Make sure the angle isn't too steep, you're going to need to cover up those shoulders!
4. Trim down the paper that's sticking up in the back, but leave the front paper long. You fold that over what you just trimmed and tape it down.
5. Adjust the collar to how you like it and paste the corners down over the sweater vest.

1. Cut out felt shapes like the ones in the photo to the size you want your bow tie to be. My oval-ish thing was about 3.25"x1.25", and my skinny rectangle was about 2.5"x0.75"
2. Pinch the center of your rounded rectangle to give it a bow shape.
3. Wrap the long skinny piece of felt around the part you pinched.
4. Paste in place, making sure the overlap is at the back!

Paste your bow tie onto your collared shirt. I added little buttons as well, I thought it looked a little bare without them!

TA DAAAAAA! My very first tutorial! Please let me know if you have any suggestions of ways to improve my tutorial skills! And if you use this tutorial, I'd LOVE to see a picture of your finished product!