Pink Dresses and Crab Traps

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Will and I love our evening trips down to the yacht club. And whats not to love. The beautiful sunset. The regular dolphin sightings. The $2 draft beer. The all you can eat popcorn machine. That’s what I call winning. And sometimes if the tide is just right, we can throw out a fishing pole or crab net and see what comes back. Well lately my nephew Gio has been coming along with us. If you have been following along my blog this summer, than you know we have been fortunate enough to have my sister and her kids in Charleston while they are working on closing on their new home in New Jersey. Gio has his own little “fishing net” and although the popcorn doesn’t entice him nearly as much as it does me, the crabs are always a big hit with him.

On this particular evening, I was wearing my pink Jorna dress. The fabric in the Ripples in rose from Bari J. for Art Gallery fabrics. I just love how soft their knits are! I have made this dress before (click here for a reminder). I love love love my first version and have worn it so many times that Will has even made that sarcastic “oh cool, that dress again” comment when I go to wear it. Ha. Whoops. So I was eager to make another. My first version was just a little short, so I decided to make it a little longer by adding two inches to the length line but did not change up anything else. Well…hmm.. maybe not such a good idea. The way the sides feel down on my hips I looked like I was carrying two saddle bags on my outer thighs. And not in the sexy Jennifer Lopez way. In the thunder thighs, we hope Jane Fonda workout tapes come back in style way. So I decided to redo the side seams in the skirt part which took out some of the extra fabric from the sides of the skirt. This seemed to fix the saddle bag situation. And whalla! you have it. A pink dress fit for catching crabs!

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Take Nothing to the Grave

I have had a lot of people be impressed shocked when they read my blog posts. “You really do put it all out there” was my sister’s comment. And she is right. I decided about a year ago that there was no point in keeping this infertility thing “a secret” that just Will and I had to keep locked away. I’ve always thought the more people who know about what we are going through, then the more prayers, more love, and more positive energy that can be sent our way. And more love is always better than less love. I have met a lot of great people online through other blogs, both “sewing” friends and also bloggers who are dealing with the same infertility woes that I am. And on top of that, its funny to find out that friends or people you have known for years went through the same things we have, but did so privately.

But lately all I’ve done on this blog is ramble about fabric selection, new sewing patterns, and the Charleston weather. I’ve been avoiding talking or writing about one big thing that happened to us this summer. To preface, let me just state that July 2014 effing sucked. My best friend’s father died and the weekend of his funeral, a weekend where I should of been there crying and reminiscing with one of my oldest friends, I was at home instead. I woke up that Saturday morning cramping and bleeding. I was 9 weeks, 2 days pregant. And I was having a miscarriage. He or she was the size of an olive. We had seen a heartbeat only one week prior. And after two years of trying, four IUIs, and thousands of dollars in fertility treatment, this little ray of light which had given us so much hope was gone in a day. It hit Will and me like a bolt of lightning. I had done everything right: limited my exercising, took my vitamins and progesterone pills daily, and gave up alcohol and all the foods on the “do not eat” list. But it still happened. There was nothing we did wrong. Nothing we could of done differently. But I still look back and question my every move. The Thursday evening before the miscarriage I colored my hair. The pregnancy had me bloated, my skin was breaking out like a teenager at a school dance, and my gray roots were popping out everywhere. So I thought a little makeover would look good. I had wavered about if I should do it or not. All the articles I’d read online said it was safe. I bought the organic ammonia free stuff and opened all the windows. At my follow up appointment, my doctor reassured me that me coloring my hair did not cause the miscarriage. “Some times during the fetus’s development, things go wrong,” the doctor told us. “The pregnancy wasn’t meant to go on.” This baby just wasn’t meant to go on. But I wondered, what if it had gone on? Would it of been a boy? Would he have grown up to cure cancer or be the first man to walk on Mars? Probably not. Would I color my hair the next time, if we’re lucky enough to get pregnant again? Probably not. But did I do anything wrong? I don’t think so.

So that’s my story for the month of July. Maybe by writing it down, by putting it in my blog, some one else out there is able to get something from my story. And if not at least I could get my last “secret” out into the world. A clean slate as we leave for our next big adventure this weekend.

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Juba Shorts

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I have been anxiously searching for a pattern for shorts. I love dresses and skirts but there are those times when you’re going out on the boat or playing in the sand with kids, and a dress just isn’t going to cut it. So when Indiesew.com contacted me to make a version of Imagine Gnats new shorts pattern, the Juba short, I knew just who to make a pair for…. the queen of playing on the floor with kids, the mother of my nephews, and the tiniest woman you’ve ever seen holding a  25 lb 6 month old baby, my sister Amanda. (And by the way, look for more blog posts soon on Indiesew and the great things that are going on over there.  Until then, check out Indiesew.com for more great women’s patterns)

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My sister’s Juba shorts on Indie Sews website.

20140826-091320-33200956.jpgThis was my first pair of shorts I have ever sewn. And my first time using my button hole foot to make something that wasn’t going to be used for a buttons (it’s used to make the opening for the draw string).  The fabric is left over pique fabric from Five Eighth Seams that I used for my Ladies Caroline Dress and the draw string is actually a ribbon that I picked up on a trip to Walmart (shhh… don’t tell Will I shop there from time to time. He hates corporate America).  The instructions were easy to follow and I was able to complete the entire project in two evenings.

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20140826-091325-33205064.jpgMy sister: Motherhood looks great on her resume but not sure about modeling. what facial expression is this?… I am hungry? The sun is in my eyes?

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The best part of having family in town is making something for someone else. Which is something I need to start doing more. What have you all been sewing this summer?

xxoo Priscilla

 

DIY Romper for the Summer

romperSo this post will be short and sweet. To be honest, this is not my favorite creation and I am pretty sure that 5’10” girls should not wear rompers. I look like an adult who squeezed into something from the Gymboree store. That plus my going to the bathroom situation took so long having to untie the top and pull the whole thing down that I’m pretty sure I might have a UTI now from holding it in. But that might be more than you wanted to know. Not all of my DIY creations are my favorite. Some are learning experiences and just end up becoming beach coverups.  But that’s ok. But none the less I thought I should at least share with you my thoughts on the Simplicity 1355 Romper pattern. I used a light weight cotton fabric from Art Gallery Fabrics from the Arizona collection. I love this fabric line and have used it here, here, and here. The pattern was easy to follow and I love that the top has an adjustable spaghetti strap thus fitting the bodice was a breeze.

IMG_0170 IMG_0173The pattern also has an elastic casing on the waistband, similar to the one in the Saltspring dress (if any of you are familiar with that pattern). I thought adding a nice skinny belt would also help cinch in the waist since the shorts are looser fitting. 
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The length of the shorts in the pattern wasn’t my favorite. It was a weird in between short and bermuda length so I ended up taking off 3 whole inches and hemming it another 1/2 inch. I have also been wearing this romper all day in the hot sun helping my nephew search for hermit crabs on the beach, so please pardon the wrinkles. IMG_0177 IMG_0178 IMG_0179 IMG_0180 Even though it is not the most flattering for my body type, I had many complements from it that day. I’ll keep this one in the back of my closet for a rainy day. Hope you all are enjoying the end of summer. See you soon. xxoo Priscilla

Another Saltspring Maxi Dress

saltspring dress IMG_0075 IMG_0086One can never have too many maxi dresses. At least that’s my motto for this summer. I have a few new maxi dress patterns that I want to try out, but rather than trying something new, I decided to go with the old faithful Saltspring dress by Sewaholic. This is the third time I have done this dress (you can check out my other versions here and here). And I loved how each version turned out.

IMG_0087 IMG_0096 IMG_0097This time I decided to change it up and add a double strap. For the fabric, I used a beautiful voile from Art Gallery Fabrics: The Triangle Tokens print from the Arizona collection by April Rhodes. I just love, love this print. And so does everyone else because it sold out in my local fabric store just days after it’s arrival! But luckily for me, my good friend saved me a few yards.  She knew that the way to my heart is a pint of ice cream and a few yards of fabric. Love you Brooke!  

IMG_0108 IMG_0114As much as I love this print, the only downside is that the voile is a bit see through. Although the bodice is already lined, the skirt is not. And my options were to add a lining to the skirt, get a slip, or just wear nude color underwear. Since its still 100 degrees in Charleston, I decided to go with my trusty nude colored Spanx to wear underneath. You can still see through a bit but nothing risqué is showing! I will probably go back and add a lining though so the pockets won’t show through but for now, here it is:

IMG_0119Sporting my new camera bag from Jo’s Totes! Early birthday present from Will =Success!

IMG_0120Cheesing with my “photographer”

IMG_0124Celebrating Brittni’s birthday in my new dress with some super fly ladies.

That’s all of it for now. Until next time! xxxooo Priscilla

Four Friday Finds: the Jumpsuit

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 Jumpsuits are all the rage right now. They keep popping up everywhere! Its still 100 degrees in Charleston so it’s hard to think of wearing anything with long sleeves but I can’t wait until the fall to jump on board this trend. Even my older sister, whose sense of fashion includes macaroni and cheese stain proof dresses and tops low cut enough for her to breast feed at any given moment, has decided she wants a new jumpsuit for the fall.  These four jumpsuit have all been styled more on the dressy side, but I love how a jumpsuit can be worn out to date night with heels or out to the beach with flip flops. I am currently making one now for my sister using a knit fabric. Knit might not be be best choice for a romper (as it tends to border on full body pajamas if its not a good fit) but I am loving how this one is coming along and can’t wait to share with you the final product.

Buy or DIY? A RED Valentino dress

caroline dress Because getting all dressed up in heels and standing on an old wooden fishing docks is naturally my most favorite thing to do, I am happy to show you my latest “Buy or DIY” dress.  I was browsing around Pinterest a few weeks ago (instead of folding laundry), and I stumbled across an adorable pique dress in a gorgeous cobalt blue color. This dress is  part of the spring RED Valentino collection. RED Valentino brand was introduced in 2004, and “is known for casual pieces that are anything but everyday. In addition to the famous shade of red for which Valentino is known, this collection is also named for the acronym of Romantic Eccentric Dress.” This particular dress was from Neiman Marcus and can be yours for the low price of $995. (you see there is a reason I am not a sales lady. I couldn’t even type that with a straight face). From the time I first saw the dress until now, they have lowered the price to $248. However, sorry Charlie but still too pricey for me.

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RED Valentino Pique Dress with Leather Floral Neckline $998 via Neiman Marcus.com

So I searched around for a pattern that would help me re-create this dress. I headed straight to Indie Sew website first because I wanted to see if they had something that I could use before I turned my search to the big box patterns found in craft stores. Glad I did because I found just what I needed! I was so happy to stumble across the Ladies Caroline Dress pattern by Mouse House Creations. This pattern is so customizable that there are over 40 different versions that you can make including a peplum top, a pleated skirt, long sleeves, and much more. I decided on doing a sleeveless bodice and a short above the knee length skirt to help me replicate the Valentino look. I made my gathers smaller than it called for in the pattern so that the dress would fall more like an A-line dress and not so “ball-gowny” (is that a word?). I think that the placement of the waist line in this dress is just perfect for all body sizes too. And finally, I must say, I just love when patterns have actually photos of each step versus a graphic drawing. That made the construction go by so smoothly. I definitely recommend checking out this pattern for anyone who needs a new cocktail dress for an upcoming occasion. 20140807-135953-50393183.jpg 20140807-135954-50394115.jpgIMG_0006IMG_0007IMG_0020 IMG_0002 I searched around for a floral bib necklace that would try to resemble the one with the Valentino dress but I came up empty handed. So glad that I did because I found this one instead. This necklace was one of the items I purchased during the Nordstroms Anniversary Sale and I love it with this dress! 20140807-135956-50396035.jpg 20140807-135955-50395023.jpg IMG_0101 This dress makes me so happy and it has pockets so of course I am in my element. I’m looking forward to wearing this dress to this upcoming wedding season.

Shoes: Steve Madden / Necklace: Nordstroms / Dress: DIY by me- Fabric: Blue Pique from Five Eighth Seams /Pattern: Ladies Caroline Dress by Mouse House Creations

Until next time! xxooo Priscilla

 

Another Foxglove Tank!

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Yesterday was hot and humid. And although I would prefer to just run around town naked, society and my self esteem both prefer me to put something on. Luckily, I had just finished whipping up my second Foxglove tank by Selvage Designs. This time I went with a cotton, simply because I had some in my stash at home. Plus I just love this Crystal Arrowheads from April Rhodes’s Arizona fabric collection and have been wanting to make something with it. I love the pink and mint colors!  My only wish is that this entire collection had been done in voiles and knits. (ok fine, that is not my ONLY wish. I also secretly wish I could quit my job and be a professional dancer, I wish I could get pregnant and have a baby, I wish that we lived in a world that thought it was ok for men to hold hands but not to hold guns, I wish that world poverty would end. And yes I wish this collection was done in only knits and voiles. Ok now we all know how I feel.)  Anyways, well because this fabric was 100% cotton, this particular tank does not have as nice of a drape as my last Foxglove, but it still turned out great and because of the fit, I still didn’t have to use a zipper. One of my favorite parts about this pattern! As we were running around town doing errands yesterday, Will pointed out how the Habitat for Humanity building in downtown Charleston is painted all kinds of crazy colors. So of course we had to pull over for a photo shoot. Perfect backdrop to show off the colors in my tank. IMG_4489 IMG_4471 IMG_4478 IMG_4480 IMG_4481 IMG_4487

Shirt: Made by me     /    Pattern: Foxglove Tank by Selvage Designs    /     Fabric: Art Gallery Fabrics- Crystal Arrowheads – Arizona Collection by April Rhodes     /    Shorts: American Eagle (similar ones here) / Sandals: Old Navy   / Headband: World Market (similar one here)

Hope everyone else is staying cool out there. Or disregarding society and just running around naked. Either one works for me. xxoo Priscilla

Four Friday Finds

It’s Friday. Which means my brain entered weekend mode around 10am. Yet here I am at work just a’waiting for the moment I can peace out of here. So what a better way to spend my lunch break than to do some online retail therapy. I have been perusing Nordstroms Anniversary sale for a few days now. So many great brands for discounted prices. The sale ends August 4 so don’t miss your chance to get some good finds. Below are four of my favorites that may or may not be in my closet by next week:

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And good new. Just found out that we are getting a Nordstrom’s Rack in Mt. Pleasant which is just a hop, jump, and drive over the bridge from my house. Have a great weekend! xxoo Priscilla

Sisters and Rompers

Hello all! I have been so busy this summer, I have been neglecting my blog. First my sister Olivia came to town so there was a lot of laughing and dancing going on. Also, my sister Amanda has been in town from New Jersey for the month so instead of being indoors, I have spent a lot of time at the pool, at the beach, or at the park with my nephews. Normally when I get home from work I do a little yoga, maybe watch a little Ellen, wait for Will to come home and feed me dinner, and then after dinner I wrap myself up in sewing until it’s time for bed. I know what you are thinking: that Priscilla sure lives a wild life. I know. But anyways, now that the kiddos are in town, by the time I get back from hanging out with them, its time for PJs and pillows. But I am by all means not complaining.  I mean come on, just look at them: july collage But luckily for me, my sister Amanda also had an idea for a sewing project. So once the kids are asleep for the night and Will is well feed and happily watching Anthony Bourdain, Amanda and I get busy working on our summer 2014 sister sewing projects: Rompers! Amanda really really REALLY wanted a pant suit (which, without being condesending, had to tell her that it referred to as a jumpsuit not a pantsuit) and I have had the idea for a romper for awhile now. I love wearing sundresses in the summer but sometimes I want to be able to be more lazy and lounge around.  Rompers are easy to wear and they leave a lot of room for dressing up for a night out or wearing with flops to the beach. A wide leg jumpsuit, like Amanda has her eye on, can have a really cool bohemian look that can work for the beach or for date night. Here are some of my inspirations for rompers from Pinterest:

Isidora Romper - Dark Navy

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1 Joie romper / 2 Forever 21 romper /3 Parker printed romper

I searched around for some different DIY tutorials, indie sewing patterns, and box patterns that we could use and came up with on a few finds:

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1 Salme Digit Sewing Pattern- Playsuit / 2 Fabric Worm Bandeau Romper / 3 Simplicity 1355 Misses Long or Short Jumpsuit

In the end we went with the Simplicity pattern, purely because it had so many different options. I am working on version D so I can have a little romper for the summer and for heading to the beach. Amanda, who really wanted a long version, is mixing the top from version C/D and the pants from version A.   Hopefully by the end of next week or so we will be able to show you our finished garments. Check back soon for our progress. My only wonder is, do we make one for Olivia too……

xxoo Priscilla