Saturday, November 27, 2010

I'm back!

I know, I know, I've been absent for a while, but I just lost most of my inspiration to write- after all, nothing new ever happened! But I have big news~ I am now employed, and so there will be more activity going on! The bad news is that I'm going to be working from home... so no social interaction with coworkers, but then again I only have one real co-worker, and he's my boss, so yeah... I do plan to try to get up and dressed everyday, it would just be weird to be calling people and working while in my pjs, but I'm more than willing to bet there will days where I do just that! hehe

In other news, I'm going shopping in Raleigh next Friday, and goodness I hope I can find some new clothes and makeup! Also, great chance to really get dressed up and seen out and about~

Well, thats it for right now, I'll be back soon.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Such a long time...

Its been awhile between posts, sorry about that... I've been trying to get my computer back up and running after reformatting the hard drive, and I'm slowly getting there. I'll try to give a nice post tomorrow or Saturday, since its Friday night outfit~
Other than that, not much going on right now, I've been applying like mad for a bunch of jobs, but so far no luck. I'm trying really hard to keep positive, but things certainly aren't happy in my little bank account... ugh. I guess this is why we save for the hard times, but I just don't like dipping into the savings... bah!

Friday, October 8, 2010

Computer woes~

Err, I just typed up a post, but my computer ate it...
The jist of it was that I've had to reformat my hard drive, and that I'll be absent for a little bit as I try to get everything set back right. With any luck I'll have a new post up for you before the week is done.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Still working on it...

I'm still fighting with the design templates, so continue to expect changes... now back to your regularly scheduled  entry:

I think I might have some luck off this round of applications! I've got no less than 3 to fill out tonight, and another three outstanding. I think at least one of the outstanding three might get a nibble- I've been by to talk to the manager informally twice, and I think she really liked it the second time I stopped by. Thats just a part time job, but she has already put forth that they would be willing to work around a full time work schedule... hmm 2 jobs at once? I think I could handle it- goodness knows my finances need the help.

Man I really hope at least one job works  out- one or two of them are at my mother's own workplace, so if that inside connection doesn't work, I just don't know what will. Several are even directly related to my BSBA, which is great, cause hey, I went to university for something right?  I might even get to work to help small businesses! I love small businesses- they really are the backbones of our communities. Did you know that something like 70% of Americans are employed by small businesses? That is a LOT of people.

Ok, thats all I want to say right now, don't want to jinx myself somehow- usually I don't say anything at all about job applications, just because NONE of them have so far worked out, and I don't really like for everyone to know that I've tried sooo many times, but I'm going to try to be optimistic.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Watch out for debris!

Just a note to let you all know that I'm trying one more time to edit the layout and header... last time I gave up after the background image refused to co-operate, but I'm determined this time to get it right!

Also, you may be interested in knowing that since I am planning to welcome a Dollfie at some point (you know, when I actually have the money...) I have given her her own little space. Right now there won't be much going on, but hopefully sometime soon will see her arrival. You can find the new blog here! Rest assured, this blog won't take over my life or anything,  it will probably updated far less than this one- I just wanted a place where I could talk about Dollfie without mucking up this blog, and somewhere that she won't be off-topic, like on Den of Angels...

Friday night pics~

It really really feels like Fall! I'm so excited by the weather lately, I just love the turning of the seasons. I wore jeans tonight- it feels so novel, wearing jeans without risking boiling inside of them. I really, really liked how my makeup and hair turned out tonight, so my usual before dinner outfit shot turned into a small round of cam-whoring, but oh well. I don't take great pictures too often, so while the camera was being kind to me I took advantage of it!
Full outfit shot

Every photo session must have at lest one stupid pose with victory hands, yes? You can see a bit of my Tiffany bracelet here- man I love it. I had just cleaned it too, so it was nice and shiny. 

Friday, October 1, 2010

A fast week

How fast the week has gone by! Its mostly rained all week, and while I usually don't like rain, I haven't really minded it. I guess its because its been so long since we last had rain, and we need it so badly that I just can't help but want more to keep coming. Not too much though- it would be terrible to go straight from drought to flood (feast or famine principle I suppose)!

I've been slowly but steadily working on my dress, all I have left is the hem and serging the raw edges, oh and the button holes, which I still don't have buttons for. Oops... I'm not in any true hurry it get it done at least, its too summery to wear now with fall on us, but it will be waiting when warm weather returns next year~
Want a sneak peek?
So cute! 
Well, thats going to have to be it for this post, I'm super sleepy, and my bed is just calling my name! 

Monday, September 27, 2010

Bad blogger...

I've been such a bad blogger! I'm really sorryyyy!!!!!! I just didn't feel like doing much of anything lately... but I'm back now!
I finished off that dress that I was stuck on... but I don't plan to wear it... because the neckband turned out terribly, so its just a Frankenstein dress. I will be able to use the pattern to make new dresses though, since I was able to fix the problems on the pattern once I had a dress made from it to see what the problems actually were.
Ireally came to love the color, I might just revisit this dress again and cut it off into a top... the hem is too short on this dress to be decent, among other problems.  Don't even get me started on the neckband/ruffles! >
I think I need to lengthen the front bodice too... I think my chest just looks...ugh I need a breast reduction! 
You can't see her in this pic, but my dog is laying down right in front of my mirror, looking very unhappy about having her sleep interrupted to have pictures taken! 
Really Ma? Can't you take your pictures some other time?

Overall, I'm very happy with the way everything turned out, I accomplished what I set out to do, I made a replicate of my favorite dress, but I certainly didn't get it 100% right the first time. I'm definitely going to have to change parts of the pattern, than make another dress to see how the "new" pattern turns out, and then maybe I will have my favorite dress. I have it right now, it just doesn't fit quite like I want it to, and the hems have to be adjusted. Most of the stuff is an easy fix, its not like I'm going back to square one, but I still feel mata mata (still have a long ways to go before perfection). 

Oh yeah....Somethings changed....
Can you spot it????
Its back! Its Back!!!!!!!!!
 I've had my Kenmore for just over a week now, I've already put it to good use- I finished off a super cute skirt...

I just slapped it on over my no attentions to the face behind the camera or the outfit...
Its hard to tell, but the print is tulips (looks like cherries from a distance, doesn't it?)! The fabric is seersucker too, so it just had this awesome summer feel to it, even if tulips are a early spring flower... See the trim? I tried to make the skirt a bit shorter than my previous ones, but I succeeded a bit too much! It was near obscenely short -so I slapped on some eyelet trim, and pulled the "waist" band down on my hips- viola! It works much better now and the trim looks great- I think it looks better with it than without. 

And I am working on a real dress... you know, one thats actually made from a pattern..The pink fabric on the machine is what I'm making it out of. I got the better part of the bodice done this afternoon, maybe I'll finish it by Wednesday... We'll see haha!

****Switching gears here!****
Hmm.... Friday night outfits.... I didn't get a pic of Friday two weeks ago's outfit, and I don't remember what I wore now.... but this last Friday I wore:
AHHHH! Too dark room strikes again! You can barely see me... at least I like how I look in the picture? Normally I take BAD pictures, but I look sorta cute in this one, rather like what the really cute girls who have awesome outfits look like on their blogs... I'm going o have to remember this pose! 
We had super yummy Japanese food that night! 
and then...
We went out randomly one day and I just loved this outfit. Nice and comfy, feminine... too bad my feet disappeared- but in truth thats what I love soooo much about this skirt- its so long! ^.^

Man, what I long post this became.... I wanted to go ahead and get everything out there, so nothing thats "old" news got put off any longer, but now I have no new topics in store.... oh no! I'll think of something, don't worry! ^^

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Stuck on details...& Friday night outfit

I've hit a snag in sewing my dress... I've never sewn a neckband before, so while I wait for my mother to help me sort that out, I'm sort of stuck in sewing limbo. I don't want to start a major project, and I don't have any patterns on hand anyways. I do however have the fabric. My grandmother gave me this wonderful hunter green light wool, and I'm just dieing to make into something for fall/winter! I've got several small projects that I'm considering working on, but I just haven't felt motivation yet. I really need to get the whip cracking though, I have wayy to much fabric stored, and there is most likely more on the way, so whats here needs to get used, or let go (I do have a bit of my mother in me... I just can't stand it when then start looking junky- some clutter is ok, but overcrowding is not).

Just a quick little plug here, but the wonderful Sara Mari over at Moments Like Diamonds is having a giveaway for some cute accessories. Check it out here.

We had guests for Labor day dinner, so bonus outfit!
I made the skirt, the tops from target. I wanted something girly, but comfortable, and I didn't care if it was slightly frumpy; this was the result. I had just finished the skirt, so I wanted an excuse to wear it anyhow.

For our Friday night outing, I wore a favorite outfit of mine:
Over-sized grey sweatshirt and black leggings. Sorry the pic is bad, I forgot to get one in daylight. 
My hair wasn't quite co-operating with me tonight, so I stuck a headband up there to tame it (its growing out, and just entering the "in-between" stage). I took a pic, but it was super crappy, so no detail shot, sorry! 

Well, heres hoping that all you folks have a wonderful weekend! And remember those who lost their lives in a terrible tragedy that occurred 9 years ago tomorrow.  My heart goes out to those who lost loved ones, and to the survivors who still struggle with lingering damage inflicted on that day (be it physical or mental). We will never forget, but we will move on. God bless America!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

the Frankenstein dress

So today I tackled something I've been wanting to do for quite some time: I recreated my favorite black dress. The black dress is stating to show its age, and in another year it might have to be retired, so yesterday I traced out all the different parts of the dress. I didn't go any further than that because we had family over for dinner, and I was dead tiered by the time they left.
Today, I took those weird pattern pieces that I made, cut them out of fabric, and went to work.
All ready and waiting to be stitched up!
First thing that I did was pin everything together to see if it would actually match up:
Stuck together beside its pattern "donor" Can you see the resemblance? 
Then, oh so carefully, I tried it on to check the preliminary fit.
Wow it looks bad, but it did fit, as much as if could at this stage.
The next step was to figure out just how everything fit together, and what needed gathers where (the original dress has gathers). I wasn't sure if it the dress pattern that I got from the donor would actually transfer the extra material that allowed gathers, but it did! So now I have gathers in the same places as my black dress.  Once the gathers were figured out, I actually had to make the gathers, which probably took at least 1.5 hours, it might have been longer. after that, it was just sewing everything together. 
The front, gathered and stitched together, waiting for the rest of the dress.
A sleeve! I was so proud of myself, getting the sleeves figured out and attached all on my own.
I've mostly got it finished now, just some trim work and the ties for the bow left to do. I put them off until tomorrow, I was staring to get a bit tired, and a fresh mind in the morning might help. 

I'm going to help clean my grandmother's house tomorrow, so I have to get up early, but who knows what I'm going to bring back? Maybe some fabric? Maybe food (my grandmother can't let anybody leave without giving them food) maybe nothing, but its been a while since I last saw her, and I want to see her. 

Sunday, September 5, 2010

I just couldn't wait to get my sewing machine back...

SO I snatched my mother's to use upstairs for a bit. Usually using her machine means setting it up on the covered-up  dining table, but I wasn't feeling like going through all that trouble, so I asked if I could bring it up.

But first! I finally got a picture of my in my dress that I made. I wore it Friday night (a steak place, with just my parents and sister- my aunt was sick, so her family didn't come this week) and to my grandmother's house for dinner tonight for Labor day.
Sorry its so dark, I forgot to take a picture in daylight. 
Whats this? you ask- isn't your bed usually behind you? Why yes it is! But I re-arranged the furniture in my room, so now the desk is behind me. This way I get the most sunlight out of my tiny window sitting at my desk. 
My bed used to sit there! (notice the uber small window)
And my bed, where my desk used to be.
So what am I so impatient to finish up that I just couldn't wait the two weeks it might be to get my sewing machine back?
Observe the (abridged) pile of stuff to finish...
I have already finished that first fabric- I wanted something that would hold my threads...
Again- the lack of sunlight did not help- and I just couldn't get the pic to lighten any!
Thats just a variating on the bento bags that I've made before, longer and more narrow this way. I can also use it as a trash bag if I put a plastic bag in there, so it does double duty! 

I'm still waiting to hear back from a prospective job, I really hope I get a call soon, I need to fund those sewing machine repairs! 

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Its a sewing machine!

My grandmother sent me a sewing machine! That might not be salvageable, but more on that later...
Tada~ Isn't it pretty?... no!? well, olive green isn't exactly my color either, but beggars can't be choosers!
The colors are a bit off in that pic, see this one...
This is more like it. (I sticky noted it because I don't have a manual, and was trying to mark down the function of everything) 
This machine is probably from the 60s or 70s, so its getting on in age, I took it to the mechanic today to get it serviced and fixed up. The bobbin winder is broken/ not moving from age, so hopefully it can be fixed. The mechanic did tell me that if the bobbin winder can't be fixed its pretty much scrap, so I'm really hoping that he can get it running. 
Funny story: when I called to ask about getting it serviced I asked if the store worked on vintage machines, and the lady asked me how old I meant by vintage. I told her it was from the 60s or 70s and she just laughed and laughed! Once she calmed down she told me "thats not vintage at all!" and told me she didn't think that 40-30 years was that old. (I still call it a vintage machine, its old! But vintage sounds better...imo) When I brought my machine in to the store, she and the mechanic had another laugh at me calling it vintage, and the mechanic joked that it was older than him (its not, btw, I think he predates it by a good 20 years). It was all in good fun, I wasn't  particularly upset by it, I actually responded to her at one point "its olive green! You can't possibly call it new! She agreed that the color was certainly dated, and I left hoping to get some good news soon. That mechanic was able to tell me more about the machine in under a minute than what I reverse-engineered working with it the better part of yesterday afternoon and night! 
I had to consider if it was worth getting fixed, as it is rather old, but the mechanic assured me that if the bobbin winder can be fixed it will run for years yet and should be a great machine to learn on, so I will have it fixed if it can be. 
Doesn't it just look solid? Like it could withstand anything I could throw at it. 

I have soooo many pictures of it! I was trying to make sure I had the threading saved... I took pictures and wrote down how it was threaded so that I can re-thread it once I get it back (being positive).  One of my favorite pictures is this one:
I just love it for some reason, I think it has this artsy feel to it... 

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Opps, been a while...

I'm so sorry! I got slightly busy this week, and haven't really bothered to take out some time to make a new post. I have a really good defense though, I made a dress, nearly found a job and am getting used to/ fixing a new sewing machine.
While I haven't started on that pattern that I posted up a few days ago, I did take some time to make a totally different one.
It looks almost nothing like the "pattern" that I used...
I started on it late Monday afternoon, I think all I got done that day was the serging on the skirt and the ironing the hems and I might have stitched the skirt and gathered it, I can't really remember. On Tuesday I got the top more or less finished, and then set to work trying to figure out exactly how I wanted the skirt gathered. I pinned it all together that night too. Today I actually sewed the thing together and hemmed the skirt, because I realized that I hadn't done it yet. Once I had it on for that first time, I was like nope, this doesn't look good... so my mom and I decided that a belt was in order... so I made a belt. It wasn't supposed to be hard, but then I managed to un-thread the serger as I was doing the sides of the belt, and getting it back right took forever.  All told, I might have spent 10 hours on it, including stopping to fix/thread the machines and to rip out seams that didn't look right and do them again. It could probably be done in one go if a more experienced seamstress was working on it, nothing was too hard, technique wise.
Mia acting like she isn't doing something she knows she shouldn't be doing, even as I take a picture of her doing it. Isn't she cute? 
I'm super late posting my Friday night outfit this week, its almost Friday again! 
I felt like wearing more fall outfit, so I wore jeans for the first time in weeks. I didn't actually go out with the cuffs of my jeans rolled up, btw, it was just a bit damp outside as I was walking the dog for the last time and I didn't want to get them wet.

Wow this has been a long and random post, hasn't it? My brain is just kind of mush... I think I'm going to bed early tonight! 
I'll leave you with a preview of a gift my grandmother gave me today~
It may look odd and boring, but it really made my day!

Friday, August 27, 2010

I put this out on the web for help

This is the post I put out to several communities asking for help translating/ understand the pattern/ making the pattern. I'm putting it here in case anybody who sees it this way wants to chime in with some help...
Coming soon are my Friday night outfit and cute kitten pictures!

Calling all you seamstresses, or those who can read Japanese (bonus points if you are both)! I've got this magazine (which I didn't scan...  :wink: ) that is full of patterns that you have to draw (draft? is that the right term?) Since I am all for having comfy clothes around the house and I am trying to learn to sew clothing, I thought that I might give one of them a try. Now I did take two years of Japanese, but sewing terminalogy wasn't exactly covered in the courses, so I am asking anyof you ladies and gents if you might be willing to help me out. I've given the pattern my best shot, and now am looking for help filling in the blanks, and for general sewing help.
Please feel free to give any help with the "translation"(I didn't actually "translate" anything, I just tried to sum up what I knew in my notes) if you can.
I've made notes all over the two pages that relate to this pattern, commenting on the sewing and the Japanese...
Page 1
Page 2
On left, the completed dress; Magazine's picture of the completed project).
For those of you with any sewing experience, I would greatly welcome any help that you can give regarding this. I've never had to make a complex pattern like this from scratch to use for sewing, so I'm slightly nervous, but you have to learn sometime, right? Any tips/tricks?
Also, the waistband looks really complicated, and I would prefer if the dress was cut as once piece from top to bottom... but I want to keep the drawstring... do you reckon that I could leave off cutting the dress horizontally and just sew the back of the drawstring channel to the inside (does that make any sense?), instead of making the channel separately and then sewing the three pieces (top, waistband/drawstring, skirt) together ?

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Even MORE fabric!

I got new fabric today! My dad came back from my grandmother's house with his truck full of boxes of fabric. Even the bed of his truck had boxes. The bad thing is that I only found out about the fabric about 20 minutes before he had to take the unwanted stuff to another lady's house (she goes to our church, and runs her own sewing business, so the fabric doesn't go to waste) so I didn't have very long to go though everything. My mother was also watching me go through it this time, and if there is one thing in the world my mother hates its clutter, so I had to go pretty light on the pickings anyway. Most of the fabric he had were knits or not suitable to being made into clothing, so that helped too.
I did get a fair amount of scraps for my rag bag:
So bright! I would have loved to find more of the pink plaid and the yellow piece whit the heart flowers! Age appropriateness can be damned, I would make something out of that yellow piece in an instant if I had more- maybe something like a summer dress...
I think that these were supposed to be part of a window treatment, but all I can see is  some really awesome trim on a funky skirt or dress.
A pattern! That I can't use because it's too small... my bust requires a size 14... T_T (I swear that this picture was right side up, but Blogger refuses to show it that way) I'll probably just send it off the next time my dad carries more fabric to the seamstress.
I'm not 100% on this fabric, I might send it off to the seamstress too...but there is definitely enough here for me to make something out of if I want to.
Another iffy one... I'm thinking a dress if I do keep it.
This one isn't going anywhere! I love it. Pink roses... need I say any more? Its not cotton, and I'm going to have to think on what to use it for... it may be that there is only enough to make a skirt out of, so I'll have to check.
Another one I love. The circles remind me of shippo, which are one of my favorite Japanese motifs (you can find out lots more about treasure motifs here, of which shippo is meant to be a representation of seven). This fabric is a nice thick shiny synthetic, more suited to fall or winter wear. I'm not sure if I have enough to make a  dress out of it, I may just have enough for a skirt. Thats ok, because I like skirts, and I have much better luck find tops that I like in stores than I do skirts or pants, so if I end up making a ton of skirts I might just have a good selection to choose from.
 This fabric is completely sheer, and definitely meant to be worn with something underneath. I actually got a pattern in those magazines that uses just such a fabric as a top layer on a dress, so I'll look to see if I have enough to make that pattern probably.
Tada~ just when I needed it, I got several yards of sweatshirt material. I'll use this to make up my first try at the patter that I posted about last night. The picture looks like it was made using a fleece for the magazine, but I think this should be similar enough.
 I also got a circular knitting needle sized 6 ( I didn't have one before, and I had wanted one that size), a snap making tool, snaps, a crochet hook, an embroidery hoop and an assortment of buttons:
 Just some of the random stuff that I got.
By far, however, was the lace! I got a ton of lace! I LOVE the stuff, I didn't choose to name my blog Buttons and Lace for nothing... I just love lace, and though that it summed up my tastes pretty well. 
The bottom lace is a favorite of mine, I just love how detailed and delicate it looks. 

I love the boldness of the pattern on the top lace, it just demands attention. 
So much! I'm going to have fun with all of it...
As I was putting up the fabric I found a little bag with this stuffed inside. Those butterflies are just darling! The lace is sooo small, I just loved it instantly. The crochet hook gives a bit of scale- I think it must be meant for either children's clothing or for small trim given the size. 
Random rickrack and trim that I picked out. I grabbed a brown bag that had all of this jumbled up inside. I grabbed it for the brown and white ruffles, but the red and white trim could add a fun accent somewhere. The red white and blue... that may be given away. 

Well... I have a kitten demanding attention at the moment, so I should probably end this here and give her some. We went to see a baseball game this evening and she hasn't quite forgiven us for her consequently late supper. 

Wednesday, August 25, 2010


So in my effort to use up more of my fabric stash and learn to sew using a machine, I got my hands on lots of scanned Japanese sewing magazines. I am now in the process of translating/ understanding them (some stuff I get just by looking at the pictures, some I know because of previous experience, and some of it I can "read" well enough to not bother translating). I'm going to post up for help translating/ making sure I've got everything figured out once I get my notes typed on the files, and then once I have everything figured out I'm going to have to draft the pattern. Yes, I did just say draft the pattern! Do I think I can get this right first time around? Not a snowball's chance in hell, but I am going to try. I expect that I will have to try and fail then improve before I get a real wearable garment, but I also expect that doing this will:
 1. Test my Japanese skills, then improve them- after all sewing terminology wasn't covered in my Japanese classes
 2. Teach me me about making up my own pattern from diagrams (I have a sewing technique book that reports that this is actually a easy skill, if you just use a grid to determine how to scale up the piece. We will see about that.)
 3. Test my patience, I like fast results, but this isn't going to be fast or easy.
 4. I'm going to be sewing something more complicated than I skirt- so I have new techniques to learn- like how to sew on armholes.
 Heres what I have my sights set on:
(Left one)
Tada~ roomwear! I actually have a whole magazine full of different roomwear, pjs and comfy clothes! Here is what I've gotten so far on the pattern sheet:
Looks like a bit of a mess right? I still have to make more notes on it and the second sheet, then post it to a couple different boards from help/ feedback.