Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Make Your Own Pattern

I’m not a perfectionist, I tend to ignore recipes, I don’t like following directions and I like to make it up as I go along. Who wouldn’t want to work with me?

Sometimes the results are disastrous; sometimes they turn out alright….and on occasion things work out really well for me!

When I sew an article of clothing I like to either sketch out a plan with measurements or make a pattern to avoid wasting fabric. For last week’s Fashionably MADE post I made a blouse. I did so by creating a pattern from a shirt that I already owned. I liked the fit and knew that it would be fairly simple to replicate.Most fabric stores sell pattern making paper by the foot which has dots or numbers to help guide you. The prices range anywhere from $1 - $4 per yard. No thank you. I have a much less expensive option. Make a pattern out of newspaper! I learned this trick from my friend Elizabeth. Her Grandmother Lita came from a large family and her parents passed away at a young age. Lita sewed clothing to help support her family and use to make patterns out of old newspaper.

Material Needed:
- Newspaper
- Scissors
- Pencil
- Paper
- Measuring tape
- Article of clothing to replicate

Start by looking at your article of clothing and recognizing the number of pieces used to make it. In this case, the blouse I was recreating had 5 pieces. Front, Lower Back, Upper Back, sleeve cuffs.

Sketch a picture of each piece and measure the dimensions of each piece and make note of the dimensions on the paper:Measure the dimensions out on your newspaper. If the newspaper is not big enough in some spots, make note. Example –3 in blue ink. This lets me know to add 3 more inches on this side of the fabric when I am cutting::Once you have all of your pieces, you are ready to start pinning to your fabric and start cutting away.
The Final Result:Saving money, finding a way to recycle my newspapers, before putting them in the recycle bin and crafting up a new project. Sounds like a win all the way around.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Fashionably MADE: March Recap

Being that it’s the last week of March and the first month of the Fashionably MADE series I thought it would be fun to do a recap of what I wore and made this past month.

Week 1: Fashionably MADE
Made:Yellow blouse, green and orange necklace Wore: Cardigan: Nordstroms, Yellow Top: Stacy, Green Braded Necklace: Stacy, Orange Necklace: Minzer on Etsy, Pants: Hudson, Shoes: Steve Madden

Week 2: Fashionably MADE: Purse
Made: Purse Wore: White Button Up: Bloomingdales, Slacks: New York & Co., Purse: Tago Design on Etsy, Shoes: Calvin Klein, Bracelet: David Yurman

Week 3: Fashionably MADE: Tailored Pants & Ring
Made: Tailored Pants & Ring Wore: Coat and Belt: H&M, Sweater and Scarf: Nordstrom’s, Pants and Shoes: Marshalls and tailored by Stacy, Wire wrap ring: Made by my sister in law

Week 4: Fashionably MADE: Wearing my Heart on my Sleeve & on my Blog
Made: Blouse Wore: Blazer: Banana Republic, Blouse: Stacy, Pants: Kate Spade, Shoes: Steve Madden, Bracelets: David Yurman

Whew! March went fast! I love this series. It’s certainly helping to keep me on track to come up with and create new projects and it’s also pushing me out of my comfort zone.

"If you want more, you have to require more from yourself"- Oprah Winfrey

Being pushed out of your comfort zone is a good thing. It means you’re trying.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Balenciaga of Spain at the de Young

On Friday, I was fortunate enough to attend the preview event for the Balenciaga of Spain special exhibit at the de Young Museum.The exhibit displays a beautiful overview of the work of the amazing Spanish couturier Cristobal Balenciaga and will be on display from March 26th until July 4th.Being that I am absolutely not a fashion expert I’m not going to try and get all fancy about what I saw….but I will tell you what I would do if I were to go again and some things to look out for should you decide to go.

-You are not allowed to take pictures. I wish I had brought a sketch book to quickly jot things down that inspired me.

-When you first walk in you will see the pink gown (shown above). I appreciated the detail of the words matching the dress on the black background. Simple but impactful.

-I didn’t get the headphones so I can’t speak to that but as you go along, stop and read the text. It’s a quick read and gives you great history about the designer and his inspirations.

-The first area has two sides: There are suits, evening gowns and dresses. Make sure you look at both sides before going through. I walked the right side then decided to circle around to the left at the very end and had to fight the foot traffic of people as I was the only one going that direction.

-My favorite suit is gray with the AMAZING collar (you’ll know it when you see it)

-Don’t miss any of the freestanding dresses incased in glass. Take in the 360 view of the dresses.

-The green dress that looks like a pea pod…looks unusual at first but really, look close at how it is meant to be warn. Try and figure out where your arms go. This was my favorite dress.

-The flamenco section. Wow. Notice the boleros. Doesn’t that look like something you would wear today?

-Don’t forget about the dresses in the middle of this section. I almost overlooked them.

-Many of the paintings you see on the walls of the exhibit were the inspirations that the designs you see were drawn from!

-Example: Balenciaga's "Infanta" dress from 1939 was inspired by the Diego Velázquez painting

-Example: The black evening ensemble with "chou" wrap from 1967 was inspired by the La Duquesa de Alba painting

-After I had finished seeing everything, I was disappointed that they didn’t show any of the sketches for what we saw. Wrong!

-If you walk through the gift shop they have the sketches just on the other side. This could have easily been overlooked and would have been greatly missed.

-They show the sketch of the green dress that I loved. There is also a lovely quote about Balenciaga from Coco Chanel.

-Just before you exit, there is a black and white video from a Balenciaga runway show. The entire video is less than 10 minutes and it’s worth watching.

-It’s fun to see how casual the runways used to be and they even show a model in my favorite dress! It was like seeing the dress come full circle!

As you can tell….I LOVED the exhibit. I was thinking “That dress would fit me!” or “I would love to try that on!”. I kept waiting for Hamish Bowles to come around the corner and insist that I put one on. A girl can dream right?

Credits: Image One, Image Two

Thursday, March 24, 2011

How To: Boot Cut Pants to Strait Leg Pants

Looking for the perfect strait leg pants but don’t want to spend a ton of money? For last week’s Fashionably MADE I wore a pair of black strait leg pants that I had tailored from an inexpensive pair of boot cuts.When I bought the pants they were boot cut. With a few simple stitches, I turned them in to strait leg pants.

Material Needed:
- Pants that you want to turn into strait leg
- Thread and a sewing machine
- Rotary Cutter
- Ruler/Measuring tape
- Pins

Start by turning the pants inside out:Place your measuring tape at the thinnest part of the pants. Usually the inside seam by your thigh. Take the ruler or measuring tape and stretch it down the length of the leg, making sure that there is the same amount of space between the outside seam and where you will be sewing.Pin a strait line that you will follow from the top of the inside seam to the bottom. Make sure the bottom front of the pant lines up strait with the bottom back of the pants.Repeat the steps for the other leg of the pants.

Sew a strait line from the top to the bottom on both legs.You can turn the pants back from inside out and try them on if you want to check to make sure they fit properly before cutting the excess fabric.

After you are sure that you are happy with the new fit, making sure that the pants are inside out, cut off the excess fabric with your rotary cutter. Turn the pants back with the right side out.Simple as that! You’re ready to hit the town in your new strait leg pants! This is a great project if you have a pair of pants that you would wear more if they were strait leg. Tuck them in your boots, wear them with your super high heels…..They’re super versatile.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Fashionably MADE: Wearing my Heart on my Sleeve & on my Blog

Every time I wear an article of clothing that I made I get a little nervous. Will it unravel at the seams and leave me sitting in a disheveled pile of fabric? Is it poor taste? Is it ugly? Does it look like a total craft project?

Sometimes this fear keeps me from posting thing’s I’ve made on the blog. This blouse is a perfect case in point. I made it weeks ago, ready to wear and yet it remained on my mannequin.I loved the print of the fabric but I was worried that the material could dip into looking more nightgown than 9 to 5.Blazer: Banana Republic, Blouse: Stacy, Pants: Kate Spade, Shoes: Steve Madden, Bracelets: David Yurman

I showed it to a few friends over the last few weeks and it was met with mixed reviews. Knowing that I liked it, I decided to get over myself and my fears and just trust my own judgment. So here it is. My “Fashionably MADE” blouse!The cut of the blouse is actually based on another blouse that I already owned. I modeled a pattern after it to create the blouse you see in the pictures. Next week on the blog, I’ll show you an extremely inexpensive way to create your own patterns from clothing that you already own.

So what do you think? Did I make the right call to wear the black with white hearts blouse in public or did it deserve to stay in the bedroom?

Monday, March 21, 2011

New Mexico: The Land of Enchantment

This is Bear. I’ve known him for half my life. Next to Ginger, he’s the coolest dog I know. He has lived in three states; more than most people. Currently, he is living in New Mexico along with my Dad, stepmom and Boomer, a chocolate lab.This past weekend, Christoph and I headed out to New Mexico for a short weekend trip. We packed four days worth of activities into two days. My Dad lives near Albuquerque so on Saturday we headed to Santa Fe with a stop in Madrid for some coffee.We spent the day snowboarding at Ski Santa Fe. The conditions were great!We then headed to the Square in Santa Fe. Did a little shopping, I got moccasins and one of those geode rocks that you have to break open yourself.Christoph and I were especially excited about the abundance of queso in New Mexico. Delicious.On Sunday we took the dogs for a run in the field then did some wine tasting at a local winery. It was a fantastic weekend that was packed full of fun activities!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Ginger and San Francisco Politics

Ginger made it to the top 25 in the 7x7 Magazine Cutest Dog in San Francisco Contest!

This means….It’s time to get serious and announce Ginger’s political platform. Being cutest dog in San Francisco is a very prestigious position to hold and with that comes a great deal of responsibility. Before you cast your vote, it’s important to know where Ginger stands on some of San Francisco’s most controversial issues.

First and foremost, if Ginger wins Cutest Dog in San Francisco, she promises not to run for any other political offices. Including Mayor. Because, she could win.

*Click on the link for more information on the topic

VOTE for Ginger HERE!

Limits on dog’s access to parks:San Francisco is in the process of creating a dog management plan. There is a proposal to ban dogs from Muir Beach and require dogs to be leashed in many areas where they have historically run free, including parts of Crissy Field, Ocean Beach and Fort Funston. Ginger is not on board with this considering that Crissy Field is one of her FAVORITE places to play.

Plastic Bag Ban:San Francisco was the first U.S. city to approve a ban on plastic grocery bags. As Cutest Dog in San Francisco Ginger would like to encourage other dog owners to choose biodegradable dog waste bags.

Shark Finning:Illegal shark finning is a practice that involves cutting off the tails and fins of living sharks, which are then thrown back into the ocean to suffer and die. Ginger does not support this practice. It makes her sad because she thinks she is part shark :(

If you still love her (and you should!) VOTE for Ginger!

Fashionably MADE: Tailored Pants & Ring

This week’s Fashionably Made will be followed up with a simple “How To”.

It has been dreary and rainy the past few days in San Francisco. Since I have to go to work I’m forced to get out of my PJ’s but I still want something soft, warm and comfortable.Coat and Belt: H&M, Sweater and Scarf: Nordstrom’s, Pants and Shoes: Marshalls and tailored by Stacy, Wire wrap ring: Made by my sister in law
I’m wearing layers and a cozy scarf. The pants were tailored to fit by me. When I bought them they were boot cut. With a few simple stitches, I turned them in to strait leg pants.When I set out to find pants like this, the only ones that I could find that were remotely similar were expensive! Knowing that this was a simple modification, I found an inexpensive pair of black slacks with a nice fit and decided to alter them.

Stay tuned for an easy to follow tutorial on how to turn boot cut slacks into straight leg!The ring was a gift from my sister in law’s sister….so that also makes her my sister in law right? Anyway, it has a beautiful teal bead and is wrapped in silver wire. It’s a fun pop of color!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011


You guys. You are never going to believe this.

Last month one of the photography bloggers I follow posted about a photo shoot give-a-way on her blog for twitter followers. Without a second thought I entered the contest.

Today she announced that I won. I won! Seriously, I won!

Twitter: cchangphoto The winner is @HelloCupcakeLLC! :) you believe that? I can’t.Christine Chang is ridiculously talented. When I say that she is one of my favorite photographers, I really mean it. Just look at some of her work. It will stop you in your tracks. Make you crush on her clients and make you wish you were a part of the moment she has captured. Pure talent.In all honesty, I’m also really excited to meet her in person. She seems pretty rad.I’m so excited to work with her! I’m thinking some nice individual portraits of Christoph and me…..and probably Ginger.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Live Colorfully

Last Thursday I attended a blogger get together at the Kate Spade store on Grant Street. It was being hosted by the fabulous Elizabeth from Mission Closet.The event was an opportunity to meet some local bloggers and to presale some beautiful items. 20 percent off everything in store!!!!Kate Spade recently launched a new website and announced that this year will be the “Year of Color”! It will feature 12 signature shades, with a new color unveiled each month. This month the color is yellow.I love the concept and think it’s a very clever way to spotlight their collection.I love just about all things Kate Spade and found a few items to lust after. I was being responsible at the event. Responsible meaning that I only bought gifts for people associated with the wedding. Nothing for myself!The dress and wedges are on my wish list. I do have a birthday coming up in a few months…..hint, hint.Elizabeth from Mission Closet and Me

Thursday, March 10, 2011

My Cube

This is where I live 40+ hours a week. My cube. Isn’t it glam? It has a window!I’ve been working full time since 2005 and have always been in a cube. After a few years of cubicle living I grew tired of the dull gray walls so when I started at my current job in 2009, I decided to jazz it up!I made my screen saver/computer background to match my walls (created in photoshop) and I got the décor at Marshall’s.This project was extremely simple, quick and inexpensive! I went to the fabric store, bought three yards of fabric that I would not tire of, 6 yards of ribbon and fabric pins. I cut the pieces to fit the cube walls, pinned it up then covered the seems with the ribbon and more pins. Easy, easy.What do you think? Are you inspired to do a cubicle redesign?