Lofty Goals

The other night I spent a little too much time on NET-A-PORTER.COM drooling over absolutely gorgeous dresses that are well beyond my not-so-deep pockets, as well as sewing ability. So, of course the next logical step was to pick my favorites that seemed doable (whatever that means) and find patterns that resembled them as much as possible (in my would-be seamstress' eyes).

THIS IS A WISH LIST. As in, I really wish I could stay focused long enough, afford the materials, have the time, and fully understand how to make the following dresses:

Juicy Couture $140

Simplicity 2360 in view A?

Tucker $295

Simplicity 2175 in view A with the smaller ruffle? May be a bit of a stretch...

Alberta Ferretti $1,305

Butterick 5343 in view B with ties at the shoulders?

Diane von Furstenberg $345

McCall's 6347 in view A + bias cut strips? Not 100% on the sweetheart portion.

Sonia Rykiel $495

New Look 6895 in view F lengthened + giant bow?

Sonia Rykiel $1,120

Versus $1,650

Butterick 5554 in view A with some serious modifications/color-blocking.

I got so excited about the last two dresses that I even sketched them out to try and better understand exactly what I'd need to do to recreate them.

Sonia Rykiel: chopped to bits to account for the midsection and the sweetheart portion, then adding neck and armhole binding. I also realize the side panels are MUCH smaller in the original— Whatever.

Versus: cut below the bust, possible cut-outs, plus inverted pleats with separate underlays, right?? Making my own pattern for that shrug also seems easy enough.

Figuring out whether godets, gores, or pleats would work best for the Versus dress took a minute, too. Then I realized inverted pleats with separate inlays made the most sense, thanks to the sewing book my mom got me for Christmas. Yay, mom!

An added bonus is I already own a few of these patterns, though I'm fairly certain the cost of materials can and most likely will get out of hand. Luckily I buy all of my patterns on super-duper sale so they won't cost me more than 99¢ a piece. Being resourceful when you're on a budget can be pretty easy if you have the time to shop smart, so I'll be going to thrift stores, second hand shops, yard sales, and so on to find inexpensive fabric. JoAnn also does an awesome job of sending out coupons for 40-50% off on a regular basis, which I think can be applied to notions, but I'm not completely positive. I also really enjoy this entire look, so I'll just add it to the list:

I wish I knew where I found this photo, but I can't remember!

Simplicity 2848 in view C + a flat collar, right?

In a perfect world I would commit to some kind of schedule, but that may be too difficult for a TON of different reasons. Maybe this can become a monthly challenge for me or something? We'll see... My Parkahh! has been sitting in my studio waiting since October/November!! I'm terrible ;x

Doesn't this dress look like the love-child of the Versus dress + the knit Sonia Rykiel?

ML Designs


Sew Enthused

;\ I know. I don't appreciate the title either! But I'm starting to get all obsessive with project planning again, and it's making me lose my cool.

First of all, I don't do online shopping; I don't really do shopping at all to be honest. Being eternally broke helps me maintain this stance, so I'm not up-to-date on stuff (to be as vague as possible). BUT HOLY CRAP!! HAVE YOU SEEN THESE SHORTS?!

I am dead, ModCloth. DEAD.

I want to put useless, too small heart pockets on EVERYTHING! Look at how silly her hand looks trying to wedge itself in there. And I don't even care, I'm going to do it!

The only thing that can possibly add to my enthusiasm is when craft and sewing supplies go on sale. The Cynthia Rowley dress I really wanted to make for the swap? It was finally back in stock and on sale for 99¢ so of course I bought it, plus this little number:


I plan on wearing nothing but skirts and dresses now that the weather is finally warming up. Mostly. So, I need to get started on my stash. Though I love looking at all the new patterns available, I have so many I haven't even touched yet! Just look at these things:

I'd be lying if I were to pretend I didn't have more, but I'm not too fond of them so... moving on! Another project I've started working on (finally) is the lattice and swirl shirt from a back issue of Crocet Today! — the one I got for Christmas. It's really tough though. I feel justified in hating the pattern to pieces because it has mixed reviews on Ravelry and a fair share of women have given up, so I'll just come back to it later. Having several WIP is totally ok (says the chick with the longest self-imposed to-do list (just wait till you see my next post!)).



Thanks for nothing, Blogger! This should've been posted yesterday because it was Andrew's birthday!! I got him a Devil's Food Cake with Chocolate Buttercream Icing.

SO yummy (seriously).

It says Adam as a joke because people tend to misspell my name so often, he calls me Jennie-Lynn or Jimmy Larry and I call him Adam; we're nerds. I also made him a simple little lunch bag kit using some fabric from my stash that I've had for ages:

Andrew's birth wasn't the only thing that made yesterday pretty awesome, in fact ReadyMade Magazine did its part to spread some joy into my little world, too! I was contacted by Polly, a blogger for the magazine, with a request to feature my Anthro inspired necklace! What the what?! Her write-up was especially charming.

Pearl over at The Beading Gem was also kind enough to feature the necklace.

So much love, you guys; it's almost too much? No. Never! Blogger ate some of the lovely comments I received which is a bummer, but I'm obviously really happy so many people enjoyed my tutorial. If you make a necklace YOU MUST POST PHOTOS. It's required. Then you have to link me to them so I can cry happy tears from being so proud.


Frenzied State

A few days ago I decided to start making jewelry again. It takes a certain level of boredom on my part to finally break out my pliers and billions upon billions of beads. That combined with the perfect inspiration, which Anthropologie regularly slaps me in the face with. I have a list of necklaces that I ADORE, but they're all well above my spending limits (which really just means anything over $8 (let's be honest)).

The first necklace on my list is the Spectrum Frenzy Necklace.

It's playful and bright, totally perfect for spring. Originally it was priced as $58 when I first laid eyes on it (it's on sale for $29.95 right now), but that was $50 over budget. Right away I knew I could SO make it using materials I already had! Have I mentioned my ridiculous collection of craft supplies? I can't even tell you why I have so much, I just do and it comes in real handy when I get inspired. The only supplies I needed were white pearl-esque beads and one giant crystal bead for the closure.

The closure is my favorite part!

If you're interested in a SUPER brief "tutorial" (more like fauxtorial), keep reading.

Step One: Gather your materials! I would love nothing more than to give you an accurate count for how much wire and beading you'll need, but I can't. I used less than half of a 30ft spool of bead stringing wire (the Beadalon stuff). Probably a whole lot less, but it never hurts to have extra just in case.

- Beads! Seed beads, glass beads, pearls, crystals, etc...
- 18-20 medium sized beads for the upper portion of the necklace
- 1 large bead for your closure
- Flexible Beading Wire
- Crimps (2)
- Wire Cutters
- Long Nose Pliers
- Patience

Step Two: Let's start with the closure! String a crimp bead followed by a seed bead onto your wire. Alternate between seed beads and special beads till you've created a length long enough to loop around your large closure bead. Loop the end of your wire back through the crimp and using your pliers, close the crimp.

Step Three: Thread a seed bead followed by a pearl (or whatever you've chosen as your medium beads) and continue alternating between the two till you've used half of your medium beads (9-10).

Step Four: Thread enough beads to create a small hoop approximately 1/2" or 13mm. Loop back and slide the wire through the 1st bead and pull to tighten.

Step Five: Repeat Step Four, gradually making larger hoops until you reach the 9" mark of the necklace (the midpoint) then begin decreasing hoop size. My largest hoop is 1 1/2" or 38mm and the necklace is 18" long (including my "pearls").

Step Six: Repeat Step Three until you've used all of your beads. Add an additional crystal bead or two, then thread your last crimp followed by your large closure bead and one seed bead. Loop your wire back through the large closure bead and your crimp. Pull tightly so the beads are snug. Using your pliers, close the crimp and clip your wire. Thread the remaining wire through your beads to hide the end.

Step Seven: Wear the shit out of your awesome new necklace!!

The necklace is aptly named frenzy because man, those hoops move in all directions with each move I make! But I'm totally in love with the result and really pumped to start on the next necklace on my list.

A few notes:
  • Be careful not to put kinks in your wire or it will affect how it curves!
  • Some beads do not have holes large enough for you to thread wire through them twice. Use a clear bead which can handle the wire twice as the first bead in the loop and problem: solved.
  • At random points you can loop back through the 3rd (or so) bead and give yourself a bit of a spacer between the hoops if you feel it's becoming too cluttered.

Disclaimer: This is my interpretation of an Anthropologie product and the design is not my own. I had hoped this went without saying, but please, only use this tutorial for personal use. Thank you!