Thursday, July 29, 2010

Baggy blue dress

I spent most of the day yesterday with my friend, Jonathan. We'd had a bit of a falling out since I'd moved downtown. I was holding a grudge against him for blowing me off on my one day off that week, about 6 weeks ago. I was so angry I'd spent so long waiting around for him! We'd seen each other in passing, he'd come into the bar when I was bartending, but we hadn't quite made up. I'm good at staying mad at people sometimes ha.

He called yesterday, asked how things were going. I've had a bit of a rough time with things in my personal life lately. He demanded we hang out and apologized. After I yelled at him a little, telling him why I'd been mad, we then spent the day running around town running errands. I tried getting my Georgia drivers license, but of course, forgot a key piece of paperwork, my birth certificate. Got a PO box at the Post Office to use as my business address (I'm so legit now). 

Around 6:30 PM, we were hanging out at my apartment and he saw a great photo opportunity. From my bedroom looking out into the hallway, the lighting is great! My apartment has the most amazing light at all times of the day. There are huge windows everywhere, on all sides of the house. I love it! He took a few outfit shots for me.

I bought this cotton dress at Shoppe 3130 in downtown Augusta. It's a non-profit ministry run boutique with a great selection of newer and vintage clothing. They provide help to local women seeking job training skills, and they also help them with professional clothing to wear in job interviews. The shop name comes from Proverbs 31:30: "Charm is deceptive and beauty is fleeting, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised!" 

The manager makes the cutest little felted key chains and home accessories. Very similar to some of the things on the front pages of Etsy and a fraction of the cost! I loved going in the dressing room there and recognizing that someone made the curtains. 

The dress is Old Navy, a size large, and was $4.99. I'm definitely not a large but with the $1.50 adjustable belt I also bought there, it's perfect. Plus it has pockets! I love dresses with pockets! I've unintentionally lost a few more pounds, so the baggier the better. 

Jonathan told me to be "fierce". I tried.

I probably should have put on some shoes for these photos since it's an outfit post or whatever but I hate wearing shoes in my apartment. But I also can't stand my toes showing ever! It's a conundrum. So forgive my bare feet ha.

Time to get on with my errands for the days. It's laundry day later with Rachael; my room is still a disaster. And I'm waiting on a friend to call me so I can go over to her house and show her how to thread her vintage sewing machine she's been dying to use. It didn't come with a manual and she's lost. 

Have a great day everyone!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Resizing: a skirt tutorial

Have you ever found the perfect skirt and it was just a few sizes too big? It sits at your hips instead of at your natural waist? Low waisted is no longer cool, thank god. My college days saw some really low cut skirts and jeans! It's just not flattering, they elongate the torso and draw emphasis to the hips rather than the better option of longer legs, smaller waist.

I have fully embraced high waisted clothing. Being 5'8" and about 130 pounds, my figure has always been pretty boyish and not too curvy. Of course the older I get the more my curves show, which is fantastic! High waisted skirts are perfect; they make me appear thinner, make my waist look smaller than it actually is and draw attention away from my small bust. 

High waisted clothing can be great for other shapes as well. Don't be afraid to try it out!

I bought this skirt at Goodwill in Grand Haven for $4.99, specifically for this blog entry. It's Merona brand, from Target, about a size 8 (the tag was cut out). Myself being roughly a size 4, the skirt sits at my hips. 

It's a great example of how most women's skirts are constructed. A lined waistband, a zipper, and the skirt isn't lined. Because there are no pleats it can simply be taken in on one side. If there were pleats, they'd have to be moved or you'd take both sides in the same amount. This is a project suitable for a beginner.

This is a seam gauge. You will use this for measuring. 

Put on the skirt. Pin it to your size at the top middle and bottom of the waistband.

Also pin the skirt all the way down. I choose to pin it from 1 1/2" to about 1" at the bottom.

Much better looking already. Rachael's new kitty, George looks on.

All pinned.

I like to measure how much it is pinned and write it down in case the pins come out to avoid more work. Measure at the top.

At the bottom of the waistband.

And going into the skirt.

George loves playing and trying to eat my sewing tools!

Remove the pins from both pieces of materials and have them go through only one side, opening up the skirt.

Carefully rip the seam along the skirt. Open it a few inches wider than what is pinned.

Do the same along the top.

Pick a matching thread.

A good way to know its a match is if it disappears when on the fabric.

Don't forget a matching bobbin!

Sew the waistband. Take in both the inside and outside the same amount.

Trim excess fabric but leave enough in case you have to let it out just a tad. The worst is when you cut too much and the you can't add back that fabric.

Sew the skirt.

Iron the waistband flat.

Sew the top of the waistband closed.

Topstitch so it is back to it's original state.

And it will look like this!

Sew the skirt back to the outside of the waistband.

Pin the inside of the waistband down.

"Stitch in the ditch" on the outside to reattach the inside of the waistband. You could also hand stich it from the inside, but I get a bit lazy with hand stitching and this is much easier. 

Your finished skirt! Now Rachael's weird cat, Molly is watching. Doesn't it look so much better?!

This part of the waistband should sit right at your hipbone.

Cute little Molly.

And voila. A beautiful skirt. Only $4.99 and a half hour to make it perfect.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Georgia on my mind

After a quick two weeks in Michigan, Rachael and I finally arrived back in Augusta, Georgia at 3:30 this morning. It was a 14 hours, 990 miles drive. Straight through. We were planning on leaving at 5 AM yesterday, but with the news that I didn't have to work at the bar until 8 PM tonight, rather than 3:30 PM, we took our time leaving. 

Thinking about taking this little shit with me back to Georgia. Ha, never. My mom's cat Squirt is terrible! I had him for a few weeks when he was a kitten; bought him at Preuss' Pets in Lansing, Michigan when I was living there. When I realized having three cats was crazy, I gave him to my sister for Christmas (cause I'm an awesome sister). When Rachael deployed I brought him back to Michigan and he ended up living at my mom's. She loves him so much she couldn't give him back. 

Rachael bought me this cute little romper at TJMaxx for $10 or something. While I can't buy new clothes for myself, I suppose I can't refuse a gift. It was the perfect road trip outfit since it's basically a tube top and shorts.

It's roughly 1000 miles no matter which of the 3 or so routes you can take. We split it up into 250 miles shifts, me driving first. I drove all through Michigan and a little past Toledo before Rachael took over. I-96 was a mess with traffic cones and construction, shifted lanes, and backups. There are two seasons in Michigan, winter and construction.

Creeping up and taking pictures of this awesome Jeep! I want this car!

Rachael's turn to drive! Around Dayton, Ohio... Rachael's road rage was kicking in.

Enjoying the nice weather while we were stopped.

My awesome new sunglasses. $5. They're a cross between wayfarers (the style Ray-Ban made popular in the 1950s) and the blinders old people wear over their prescription glasses. I love them.

On the phone with dad. "No, Dad, we're not in a traffic jam." He told us to drive around the cities on the 275s, and 375s, but we went straight through Dayton. Stopped for about 30 minutes. He would've been angry we didn't listen to him.

Out of the traffic, onward bound. Yay!

So exciting!

I'm torn between missing Michigan and being glad I'm home in Georgia. I was sick for about a week before I left, and sick the entire time I was home. The stress of the drive and not getting enough rest sent killed my immune system and a terrible cold turned into two ear infections and an upper respiratory infection. And of course, when I'm halfway through my antibiotics, I leave them in Michigan, my sister Sarah calling me to tell me they're still on the kitchen table when we're in Kentucky. Typical me.

But right around South Carolina, at 2 AM, my congestion lets up a little and I start feeling not so sick. The weather change definitely had another huge impact on my not getting better. I guess this whole lesson is that I belong in the south. Michigan wasn't agreeing with my body. I do however, like the 8 or so pounds I've kept off since I got sick. Not like I needed to lose anything, but stepping on the scale every morning is a great way to start my day. 

Now adjusting to being back home. My cats missed me, Clementine especially. I was lucky enough to have my friend Sarah stay at my apartment the entire time I was gone, keeping them company. She'd send me cute pictures of them and I even talked to Clem on the phone the other day (I'm not crazy, she talks back). 

It feels great to be home. Off to New Moon for coffee!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Bronson Park Sunbathing

Having been in Muskegon for over a week now, today I finally got to go to the beach during the day to enjoy the sunshine! Rachael and I didn't get there until almost 4 PM but still a beautiful day. Bronson Park, about 3 miles from my mom's house, it my favorite beach by far. It's secluded, more wooded, there's a dog beach! I have so many memories of this place. Growing up so close to Lake Michigan has had a profound effect on who I am now. I can't imagine growing up anywhere else!

It's strange the Muskegon is no longer "home", but as Rachael put it, "where our family lives". Georgia is home now. If only Augusta had a beach, it would be perfect. That poor excuse for a "lake" that everyone raves about there, Clark Lake or something, is nothing like this:  

Rachael and I went swimming. I can't remember the last time we went to the beach together and went swimming! The water was quite cold compared to the Atlantic Ocean this time of year, but so much more refreshing. No burning eyes, no crazy ocean tide and current. Sometime I just can't stand salt water. Every time I've ever been to the ocean all I can think about is how I prefer Lake Michigan.

I guess I may have to start tolerating the ocean it if I'm a going to continue living in the South. I do love how salt water makes my hair crazy and pliable.

These terrible bugs kept biting me! This is the camera case I made for my Nikon Coolpix. It's just like the iPod cases I'd make in college, the start of my entrepreneurship. I found this fabric recently and made more in remembrance of the ones I made almost 7 years ago.

Rachael and I have matching OPI nail polish on our feet. "OPI On Collins Ave"

The shoreline. Today was such a beautiful day. After Rachael and I left the beach, we went to Frosty Oasis down the road and each got superman ice cream cones! It was like we were 5 again. I haven't been there in years either. We probably won't get another chance to spend much time at the beach, so today was great.

I love being "home" in Michigan.