Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Oak Leaf Beignet

Beignet skirt with oak leaf applique

Have you ever been so intimidated by a project that you put it aside for days/weeks/months? This was one of those projects for me. I started with beautiful dreams of romantic embroidery and charming woolen appliqued silhouettes. However, when I started trying to do embroidery on my machine - I hit a wall. It was much more difficult than I anticipated. I was also intimidated by the buttons. I've sewn buttonholes before, but this skirt has 11! I knew it would try my patience.

This is what a dizzying amount of buttonholes looks like.

I used vintage Czech glass buttons from my trip to Czech Village.

Intimidation and irrational fears are not your friend when you are learning new skills. Although your mind may tell you that if you stop working on a project - you can't mess it up, keep in mind that you also can't finish a project you aren't working on. This seems obvious, but I have to remind myself sometimes. The best medicine I've found for intimidating tasks, is charging head-on and taking no prisoners. That is exactly what I did with my embroidery and buttonhole concerns. I made myself finish them, and although the outcome wasn't perfect, I'm still pleased. Not everything has to be perfect. Even with imperfections - this skirt turned out super cute! Now I'm less afraid of buttonholes too!

Melissa - Buttonhole Champion - Ready to take on the world

The skirt is made out of wool fabric with cotton lining. The oak leaves are cut out of wool and the buttons are vintage Czech glass buttons. I used the Colette Patterns Beignet pattern. Josh and I celebrated the finished skirt with a trip to Galena, IL and a photo shoot. Galena has a historic downtown area with fun boutiques, beautiful old buildings, and several great restaurants and coffee shops.

We stopped for coffee at one of these local shops - yum! Josh, my photographer / fiance-extraordinaire liked the coffee too.

Josh at Rendezvous Coffee & Tea in Galena

It was another lovely day in Galena. I'm soo happy this skirt is finally done, I felt so guilty looking at it without buttonholes for months. Now I just need to finish my Colette Violet blouse. How many projects do you all have waiting to be finished?

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

The Velvet Collar

I love vintage clothes. This little number I picked up at Fred and Ethel's in Rock Island, IL. I was really attracted to the bright colors and of course the velvet collar and bolero! And if that wasn't enough - it buttons up the back!

I usually like dresses that cinch-in at my natural waistline. The waistline of this dress hits somewhere between a natural waistline and an empire waist. Later I saw the tag and realized why the fit is a little strange... It says "SEARS - Girls Fashions - Designed for the Growing Girl." Haha! At my age, I hope I'm not growing too much - unless it's more fabulous.

Growing pains aside, this vintage-find is a keeper. Now a dance for joy!

More exciting news

My friend Jessica just started an amazing blog - Musings of Mice and Men. She is an uber talented, hilarious, and creative woman. Her blog focuses on fashion, literature, and anything else she comes across. Check it out and welcome her to the Blogosphere!

Saturday, February 16, 2013

My Valentine

Happy February 15th one and all! I hope you all had a marvelous February 14th. Josh and I kept it simple. We exchanged gifts on the 13th (because we didn't want to wait) and we made dinner together last night - stroganoff! Yum!

I recently designed some Valentine's Day paper for work, and I used one of the unchosen samples to wrap Josh's present (he got a harmonica). It was so fun to wrap with something I designed!

Now I am inspired to make more of my own wrapping paper. Printing might be more expensive, but I could save it for special occasions. Oh what fun I could have  :D

Chocolate covered pretzels with crushed Andes mints

We also had our work Christmas party recently. The original party was canceled because of a snow storm. I made chocolate covered pretzels with crushed Andes peppermint mints sprinkled on top. They were so yummy! Next time I want to make them with dark chocolate - that would be heaven.