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!

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Beware the Frozen Heart

 I am more than a little obsessed with Disney's newest animated release, Frozen.

The animation is absolutely STUNNING, and the music is GORGEOUS and CATCHY, and the story is HEART-WARMING and SAD and FUNNY and ohmygosh I JUST LOVEITSOMUCH!!!!
I've seen it twice so far (after my first viewing on Thanksgiving, I braved Black Friday to buy the soundtrack because I hadtohaveit) and now I have plans to go two more times this week. I don't know WHAT I'm going to do in the terrible time between when it leaves theatres and when it comes out on DVD...
It miiiiiiight just be my new favorite Disney movie, but I'll have to watch it 200 more times to be sure. Apparently it has been compared it to Beauty and the Beast, and I can see why--it has a similar emotional weight and beauteous animation.
One of my favorite artists, Brittney Lee, was a visual development artist on the film, and she also illustrated a book based on the movie, called A Sister More Like Me (which I obviously own... I am currently a maniac.) She makes the most beautiful paper art, which you can see on her blog, and her animation style is just so PRETTY!

I've been stalking Frozen blogs and stuff looking for concept art and fun facts and whatnot, like any normal person does after they see a movie they like (right?) and I've found lots of beautiful pictures, both concept art and fanart. 

these three were on tumblr under the Frozen tag

Also, most importantly, this:

Have you seen Frozen? What did you think of it?

Monday, November 25, 2013

Puffed Sleeves and a Ponytail

We were experiencing a bit of an Indian summer here when I took these pictures! Short sleeves during the day were perfectly sensible, like, three days ago... this is unfortunately no longer the case. Winter is well and truly here (at least until we have a random 70-degree day in January. It usually happens... it gives me the strength to carry on through the rest of the winter.) I like dressing for cold weather, but I am kind of a weenie and don't like actually experiencing the cold weather.

Blouse: Modcloth
Shoes: Modcloth
Skirt: Made by me from a pattern I altered

This is my last hurrah of warm-weather clothes, my sweet summer children. Winter is coming.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Wallpaper Skirt

Lately I've found myself drawn to fabric that looks like old wallpaper. I thought that this was beautiful when I first bought it, and then, as I was sewing the hem, I thought, "Well goodness, this looks like wallpaper in a Victorian bordello." For a second this perturbed me, but then I decided that I liked it all the more for this and happily finished hemming, and then proceeded to wear this skirt all the time.
I added the bow to this blouse when I first paired it with the skirt, and it has been living there happily ever since.

I had admired these shoes for a while on ModCloth, and then ended up finding them at a local factory outlet store for $15 less! Hooray hooray!
(Also, say hi to Calliope the Cat!)

Blouse: TJ Maxx
Skirt: Made by me, fabric from Hancock Fabrics
Shoes: Factory Connection, but you can find them here.
Ribbon: The Paper Sandbox on Etsy

Monday, November 11, 2013

Harvest Queen

Autumn is here and it's beautiful! (It's been here for a while, but it's just so pretty that I can't stop talking about it!) All this fall loveliness is having a pretty strong effect on my sartorial choices. Brown isn't usually a color I gravitate towards, but lately I really seem to like it... Especially when it's pretty and coppery like this dress fabric!
My lovely sister Gwendolyn took these photos for me at a farm down the road from us. This pretty cornfield looked like a perfect background for this autumney ensemble, so we parked the car on the side of the road and took some pictures. Mercifully, we were not chased off by any angry land owners with shotguns.

I made this dress from this vintage McCall's pattern. The sleeves were a headache to put on the dress, but I'm very happy with how it turned out! The fabric is from a vintage sari I purchased on eBay. The portion of the fabric that makes the back of the bodice was originally intended to be the front, but I wasn't paying good enough attention to what I was cutting out and realized too late that I had cut out the wrong piece. Fortunately, I'm a little obsessed with how that fabric looks on the back, and I figured out something else to do with the bodice, so hooray, hooray!

Dress: McCall's Pattern 4551
 Shoes: by Chelsea Crew, found on eBay
Necklace: Queen of Rags
Hair ornament: I have no idea!

I would just like to give a shout-out to Kentucky for being really, really good at autumn. IT IS SO, SO PRETTY HERE! Y'all should come and visit. =]

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Clothes to Craft In

This is the kind of outfit that makes me feel like I should be making something--I think it's the Oxford shirt. They make a person feel industrious.

Also, MY SMOCK MATCHES MY CRAFTING OUTFIT!!! What a lovely coincidence. I shall craft all the day. I have Christmas ornaments to work on!

I got the skirt and blouse at The Nitty Gritty yesterday--the whole outfit cost $10! I got the smock there as well, several weeks ago.
What do YOU like to wear when you craft? Do you have designated outfits? 

Friday, November 1, 2013

Halloween Costume: Briar Rose from "Sleeping Beauty"

I love love LOVE Disney Princesses and their wonderful hair and outfits and songs and affinity for woodland creatures, but so far in my life I have never dressed up as one for Halloween! I've been trying to create a perfect Mary Poppins costume for the past 3 Halloweens now, but time always gets away from me and I end up having to search through my closet and costume boxes to see what backup costume I can put together. This year, I put together a Briar Rose costume!! She is one of my very favorite princesses, and I think her movie is the most beautiful Disney movie of all time!

I even found a woodland creature lurking around the apartment! =]

Blouse: my Gramma's from the 1940s
Corset: Borrowed from mah besfrand, who bought it at Pop's Resale & Vintage
Skirt: Made by me (fabric from Wal-Mart, of all places!)
Wig: eBay, styled by me

I hope your Halloween was full of lots of treats and dress-up!

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

A studio for a Charlotte

This August, I moved into an apartment with six other girls (we're like the Von Trapp family up in here.) I have my very own room (a first for my college experience!) and have been having the best time decorating! My original design concept was turn-of-the-century circus performer, with a striped canopy over the bed and circus posters on the walls and some of my parasols hanging from the ceiling. I soon realized that particular design wasn't going to work out for me finance-wise, and so decided that I would like my room to have the feel of an art studio, since I do most of my sewing and crafting in there!

The walls and faux fireplace (I HAVE A FAUX FIREPLACE!!) were originally a not-so-charming combination of a brownish-maroon, khaki, and a grayish-green. I painted them all white (except for a stripe around the top... I have neither an edger nor a ladder!) Not having to match my decor to my walls has proven handy, and I've just been throwing everything I can find together.
I collected roughly a zillion postcards during my travels this spring semester, and cut apart some old calendars for poster art and hung them on a piece of twine with mini clothespins!

I found this print of a map at Street Scene Vintage and tacked it up on a bulletin board so that I could stick pins in the places I've been! (The map is from when the USSR was still a thing... it made for a bit of difficulty finding where to put my pin for Krakow, Poland--but it's so pretty!) I made a border using Polaroids of Instagrammed pictures that I took while abroad (I ordered them with a nifty little app called Printic.) I like the idea, but I don't know that I'm entirely happy with how it turned out... any suggestions for improvement?

Have a marvelous day!