June 18, 2018

Summer Sateen

The last time I wore this dress was in Paris, so it's hard not to feel a bit jealous of past me and that truly quite exciting day. We started at the Musée d'Orsay, went to Laduree for tea, and then did some shopping at Deyrolle. It is rather hard to top all that here at home! On this occasion I was bound for a mere stroll around Denver's Botanical Gardens, but gardens are lovely too, even when they aren't Parisienne.

It was unreasonably hot out unfortunately, but that is to be expected at this time of year. In Colorado it can still be snowing in May, but when the heat arrives it does so with vigor. Stretch cotton sateen like that of this dress is useful in hot weather, no one wants to be wearing polyester in the summer now do they? I paired the dress with a tan snakeskin belt, my Remix sandal heels, some tropical leaf brooches, and a new bamboo box purse that I acquired recently. I may have already had a few wicker handbags in my closet, but I wanted one in bamboo as well, truly--I cannot be stopped. If only I could find some nice bamboo themed jewelry too, but I have yet to fully fall in love with any set I have seen.

My last week has been full of researching the publishing industry, making a list of literary agents to look into further, and refining my query letter. I have noticed several agencies want a synopsis too, so now I have a whole new blurb to research and write! It's funny, they say "query 100 agents before you even think about giving up", but then they also want you to thoroughly research each agent and know exactly why they are the best fit for your novel. Where am I supposed to find all of this time you guys? I need a time turner like Hermione.

My relief from the publishing research induced stress has been watching the anime Mushi-Shi, which is quite excellent and calming even if the stories are often at least somewhat sad. Give it a go even if you aren't usually an anime fan, it's quiet, different than most, and can be found for free on YouTube. Watching an episode before bed has been a recent ritual. Self care can take many forms you guys ;)

Dress: Made by me
Shoes: Remix
Handbag, Belt, & Jewelry: Vintage
Fishnets: Amazon
Sunglasses: Sunglasses Museum (Etsy)

June 17, 2018

Video: Advice for Starting to Sew Vintage Style Clothing

It's always a bit of a bummer when someone gets excited about what I'm wearing only for me to tell them I made the dress myself and therefore can't tell them where to get one for themselves! Well, a let down for them, and equally a slight ego boost and bummer for me I guess. I wish I could tell everyone where they could pick up a similar dress, or skirt, or blouse, but really what I want to tell everyone is-- learn to sew! It is 100% the best way to get the vintage inspired wardrobe of your dreams. 

Then of course seamstresses will ask me which pattern I used and then I have to let people down again because I make my own patterns and can't recommend any of those either! I can recommend learning to pattern draft though. Honestly, I'm no help at all am I?

Well, while I hope to have a fashion label one day so anyone can buy my designs should they like to, and I'm also hoping to grade my patterns so that everyone can at least make a copy of my dresses if they'd like to do that, I'm just not there yet sadly. So here are my tips for starting to sew vintage style clothing yourself. It's a journey to get to the point where you can see a 1950's dress on Pinterest and can immediately make a copy for yourself that weekend, but I'd love to help as many people as I can reach that point someday! 

Remember, no one can play a perfect sonata on day one, and no one can create a flawless couture garment on day one either. Practice and patience make progress, and perfection is irrelevant ;) Happy sewing!

June 14, 2018

Souvenir Style

Both this embroidered blouse and the faux wicker handbag pictured here are labeled made in Hong Kong, though whether they were made for export or as souvenir items to take back from a visit I am not sure. All I know is that I would love to visit Hong Kong myself, but unfortunately wearing these vintage items is as close as I'm likely to get for the foreseeable future. Anyone got lots of frequent flyer miles and hotel vouchers?

 When I finished making this pink circle skirt last year and hung in in my closet, I happened to notice how well the shade of pink matched that of the thread on this blouse! Which was lucky, because I always love an excuse to wear this top, the embroidery is just so pretty. I wish I could find more blouses like this one in my size but all the ones I come across are usually either too small or too large. One with black embroidery on a black ground would be super great to have, or even all white too... We all have vintage wishlists don't we?

Just how many circle skirts do I have these days? Well... you know, can a gal really ever have too many? I still need to make on in navy blue, but the right fabric is eluding me. I've finished making one in dark olive green, though I haven't worn it yet, and I always have my eye on other colors. Perhaps khaki or light creamy beige next? I have plenty of other projects to finish first!

Happy Friday everyone, I hope its a great one :)

Blouse, Handbag, Scarf, Jewelry, & Belt: Vintage
Skirt: Made by me
Shoes: Bait Footwear
Fishnets: Amazon

June 13, 2018

Black & White - Summer Style Inspiration 2018

I like to pull images together that have been inspiring my wardrobe and sewing choices each season, and this time I noticed just how many were in black and white. Narrowing down to colorless images, I think many of these photographs are extra powerful for their lack of color. Fresh and crisp, antique and soft, candids or otherwise, these images evoke the kind of summer chic and breezy style anyone, vintage or not, would love to live in all summer long. 

So linger over these photographs and dream. I'll join you.

June 11, 2018

Countryside Checks

Ahh gingham, it just can't be beat in the summertime. Apparently it is still technically spring according to the calendar, but the temperatures here are skewed otherwise. In this heat a lightweight dress is about all I can handle! Thank goodness for big sun hats too, though I could use some more neutral colored vintage style sunglasses...

As usual I'd like to make about a dozen more gingham projects in just about every color and size of check, but I don't currently have any gingham in my fabric stash, and I do have about a million other projects I already need to finish first before I add another. So in the end I probably won't be adding any new gingham to my summer wardrobe this year. Though I have seen some very cute gingham heels around that are very tempting! This time I paired my long serving navy and white gingham dress with classic retro red for the ultimate Americana look, even if of course I'm not exactly proud and patriotic to be an American these days. Lets not talk about that though right?

I have to say I didn't get as much done sewing/video/or otherwise this weekend, as our household got torn apart and spring cleaned on Saturday since we had carpet cleaning done, which of course threw everything into a whirlwind of dusting and moving furniture around. I did finish another edit through the ye ol' book on Friday night though! It's odd, if I don't read it/work on it for a few days, I start getting down on myself about the book "oh there's no way it's any good", but then once I read it again, I always discover that I really love the darn thing and get excited again! I guess that means I should never stop working on writing and I will always feel better that way. Today I'm starting work on my query letter in earnest. Pray for me kids!

Dress: Made by me
Shoes: Bait Footwear
Hat, Clutch, Belt, Gloves, Jewelry: Vintage

June 10, 2018

Video: Fabric.com Haul!

Stop buying more fabric? What? Never. Here are a few more fabrics I have added to my stash for this summer, and hopefully they will move into my closet soon and won't remain folded fabric very long. I have so many projects planned and yet I still have dozens of more ideas I'd like to get to as well, as always there is never enough time!! I am almost done sewing a new fresh summer dress in pure white sateen, and after that I'll be jumping into a quick one day dress project that I hope to film the process of making to share with you all. I want to get better at sharing my making process with you all, and hopefully video will finally be the best form to do that well. I hope you all had a great weekend and I'll see you again soon!

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