My Shoes Have All Been Worn, Again!

Hi, everyone!  I have some happy shoe news for today’s blog post.  My 2013-2014 Shoeperwoman Shoe Challenge has come to an end.  I have been making every effort possible in the last couple of weeks to get the final pairs worn and saved to see another day.  I did it, and I am happy to report only one pair of shoes didn’t make the cut.

Here they are, my final shoe saves:

purple Doc Marten boots

Shoe Save 30 – the purple Doc Marten boots

wedge espadrilles

Shoe Save 31 – Colin Stuart espadrille wedges

Doc Marten Boots

Shoe Save 32 – Some more Doc Marten boots

IMG_7135

Shoe Save 33 – Steve Madden espadrille wedges

Shoe Save 34 - Colin Stewart wedges

Shoe Save 34 – Colin Stewart wedges

Shoe Save 35 - the red spray painted heels

Shoe Save 35 – the red spray painted heels

Shoe Save 36 - the pretty ones.  Charlotte Russe wedges

Shoe Save 36 – the pretty ones. Charlotte Russe wedges

I know I cut it kind of close this time around, but I got it done.  There were a couple of pairs that the weather made impossible to wear for very long, but they did get worn even if for a short amount of time.  It was nice that I was able to keep my shoes in constant rotation by giving myself the challenge to wear them all once again.  After three times doing this though, I am fine with those few pairs that I don’t wear that often staying in the closet for a little while.  I have definitely decided which shoes are the keepers :-)

Thanks for putting up with one more year of me showing you all my shoes.  This year’s Shoeper Shoe Challenge is now finally complete!

Friday Five

Good morning to all you out there on the internet.  Who else is happy that it’s Friday?  What a great, busy week it has been!  But not too busy that I am not able to be sitting here typing away for a bit before I get started with what lies ahead.

So, this Friday’s Five – it’s becoming more and more of a regular post here lately, isn’t it?  That’s absolutely fine by me, and hopefully you all won’t mind me going on a bit about the highlights of my week.

muscadine grapes

1.  The harvest has just begun.  The muscadine harvest that it.  The blueberries and blackberries have all come and gone but the muscadines are making their way into my freezer now.  A couple of weeks ago, we got a few handfuls, but this last weekend was the first big picking.  And big picking this year, was almost three gallons in one day.  Maybe not that many, but I am happy for the slow start to this whole operation.  Come this time next year, I reckon there will be much more on the first day’s harvest.  (We do have over a hundred vines, after all!)  These three gallons will have some more added to them in the next couple of weeks, and I am definitely sure I will have plenty for the first of my very own, vine-ripened batch of wine.  Really, it is pretty exciting!

school work

2.  A successful first two weeks of school.  This part of my life is going very well.  The work is easy, the grades are great, and everyone involved seems happy – as far as I know at least.  I know the first few weeks are the easiest, but the transition back into the routine of it all can be kind of hard at the same time.  No complaints from me about getting back into this year’s routine.

3.  A clean house.  This is just really making me happy this week.  With the back to school schedule and spending more of my time away from home, it is making things much easier to keep up with at the house.  Not as much time around here to make messes.  Even the after dinner mess has been kept under control, and for once on a Friday, I don’t have a mountain of laundry to tend to.  How that happened this week, however, I don’t know, because we are still wearing just as much clothes… Oh, well, it’s all good!

home decor

4.  A little more decorating.  Oh, how I wished I lived next to an Ikea store.  But since I don’t, I hit friends and family up for stuff when they are close to one.  This week, I got another great big poster sized frame for one of the prints that we had made a couple of years back.  It was just sitting in the corner of the room, all rolled up waiting for a frame to come along.  Well, the wait is no more and we have added another something to our living room wall.  I got a little kick of inspiration because of it, and now I can’t wait for payday so that I can go lamp shopping… Or, not.  I do have a nice sized fabric cart over at fabric.com.  Lamps or dress material?  The hard decisions, right?

5.  And lastly for this week, it’s the end of August.  I am happy about this because it means that it is the end of this year’s shoe challenge.  I have only two pairs left to go and three days left to wear them, it is down to the wire, but absolutely doable.  I will have my last round-up post all about that on Monday.

That is all for me for now.  I have some grocery shopping and shoe saving to do, so until next time…  Have a great weekend!

Three Years Later…

IMG_7079

My boy’s room is finally painted!  It really did take three whole years to get this little project taken care of.  Not that we started and then three years later it is done, but rather, three years of thinking about how this was something we needed to do.  All this time I was worried it was gonna be more of a job than I was prepared for – I think I have only painted a wall twice in my life – and you know what?  It was more of a job than I thought it would be.  It was for me at least.

Had we gone with a color closer to what was already on the wall, this wouldn’t have been so bad is my contention.  The room was a light greyish white color.  Instead, we went bold with a dark stand out blue.  Now that it is all said and done, it looks great and my boy is truly happy, but it was a long three days for me.  We started slightly under-prepared.  No drop clothes, only a couple of very old, and very thin, sheets plus some makeshift drops out of trash bags; and, well, really that was the biggest problem in my eyes.  This blue paint when dripped, definitely left it’s mark, and thin sheets are just that, thin.  And trash bags, well they are plastic and stick to your feet.  My slightly OCD-self was constantly checking to make sure all of the painting was being done over the sheets/trash bags, which weren’t really big enough.  This was only a problem for one day, and once we got enough coverings, it was all smooth sailing from there, kind of – or should I say smooth painting?

It was a long three days though, and almost three coats of work.  I observed mostly, until the end.  My job was then to go back over the brush work around the edges of some of the room.  The part of this project that looks the worst, is probably the part that I did.  I think clean up crew is more of my job description.  The boy is happy nonetheless, and he was happy with how it looked even before we were done – teenagers don’t care about perfection I am noticing.  Even though perfection isn’t what we ended up with, it still looks wonderful and both my guy and the boy did a great job.  And even better, they put up with me during the whole project.

Next, the trim and the ceiling are gonna have to be painted.  For some reason we never thought to have the ceiling painted when we were having the house done, oh, and now there is a little bit of blue here and there that needs to be covered up.  Guess who made that mistake?  Surprisingly, it wasn’t I!  These aren’t on the top of the to do lists as of right now though, so I can breathe a sigh of relief knowing that there is no more painting in my near future.

What we need to do now is purchase some things with which to decorate the room.  The shopping part of this project, and it’s definitely something I know I won’t have any problems with.  :-)

Pattern Hacking a 2444

Simplicity 2444

In case some of you are scratching your heads wondering what on earth the title of this post means, let me give you a clue…  It involves sewing and the Simplicity 2444.  Those of you who do sew, or obsessively use Pinterest, may already know all about the term ‘pattern hack’.  (No offense to any obsessive Pinterest-ers.) It is when you take a sewing pattern and mix it up with elements from other patterns.  This bodice with that skirt, or whatever the case may be.  For me, it was a little bit of this front bodice, with that bodice back, and the original skirt.  Confused yet?  I’ll explain.

Last time I was taking about what I had made, it was the lovely Simplicity 2444.  I had finally taken the scissors to some nice material and went at it.  I was a little disappointed with the gaping neck, but a few darts later, it was wonderful again.  After that make, I knew I needed to do some alterations to the pattern to get the next one to come out neck-dart free.  I bought a tablet of newsprint paper from my local Walmart and set my iphone flashlight up under the glass coffee table.  I was ready to trace, cut, and try again.  But I didn’t really wanna cut here and then have to try and figure out how to make up for it somewhere over there, so what I did instead was get a couple of my favorite patterns with necklines that had already been made, worn, and loved, and traced them – the Monique dress front bodice and the Butterick 5748 back bodice.  I lined them up on top of what I had just traced and made some new necklines.  I did not want to get rid of the S2444‘s front darts, those were my favorite part of the dress, but after researching about how to fix the gaping neck issue, I am happy with how I decided to do it.  Plus, I have recently come to find out that I don’t really like high necklines.

Simplicity 2444

The shoulders of both of these lined up pretty well with the original, which made me happy enough to cut into my fabric and see how it would go.  I did drag my feet for a few days and contemplated making a trial top, but then threw caution to the wind, and here is what I ended up with:

retro style dress

I am very happy with the results.

You might remember when I last made this dress, I told you all how I messed up the skirt pleats and that I should make them correctly on my next attempt, well, not so this time around either.  It was a big fat dumb mistake, really.  I didn’t follow the directions this time, just made it from how I remembered the last time – it is a pretty easy make and that wasn’t the problem –  but the one thing I did differently with this, was to cut each piece out and sew it before cutting the next piece.  I knew I had enough material, 3 whole yards, and I didn’t want to spend the whole evening just cutting out the fabric.  It was a cut, sew, and repeat kind of project.  Okay, so long story short, I was so excited about getting a new bodice out of this that I neglected to read the pattern piece to know which skirt part I had, so I cut and sewed the SKIRT BACK twice.  One of which was now fully pleated and serged onto the front of the dress.  A very big head to desk moment for me!  It looked fine and unpicking the whole front side of the dress was not gonna be worth having the front center pleats touching each other.  I will have to get it right next time, and therefore, there will be a next time.

geometric printed dress

One other thing that I changed about the dress was the zipper placement.  The Butterick 5748 bodice has a side zipper and I have come to really like side zippers.  Personally, I think it is much easier to make adjustments to the fit since the back seam is always what ends up being too big for me.  I was really happy about this change as well.  It does kind of roll here a little, but only when I am standing weirdly to the side like this.

Full skirted dress

awkward back view pose

I think my love for the Simplicity 1803 has now been transferred to the Simplicity 2444.  Especially with this hacked neckline.  I can’t wait to make another!  What do you think?  Although, now that I am getting to see the dress in photos, I am kind of wondering if the print of this fabric was a bit much for the darts.  I hope the slant of them isn’t making the pattern seem somewhat off.

Now to you, have you ever successfully hacked a pattern?  I see posts on Instagram all the time with some wonderful results!  Any favorite pattern hacks?  Let me know.

Extra details:  The fabric is from fabric.com, and the shoes are my recent favorite pair of Doc Martens.  Also, I did end up making this dress with a slightly less full skirt than called for.  I used 2.5 yards of fabric instead of the called for 3 by just leaving out a few inches from the fullness of the skirt.

Linking up with:  Snickerdoodle Sunday, Craftastic Monday, Creative Mondays, Do Tell Tuesday, Tuesday’s With a Twist, Simple Sequins and Passion for Fashion.

A Thrifted Shirt for a Busy Day

casual striped shirt

Hello there, everyone.  Is it the middle of the month already?  I wouldn’t believe it if I didn’t have a calendar right here next to me to prove it.  Another month almost in the archives and it has just flown by!  Here I am again taking about thrifting and clothes – there hasn’t been an intervention yet.  Today was all about being casual while getting back into the swing of school.  There was plenty going on and the day was a busy one with school work, a trip to the city and the park, plus laundry, a little bit of cleaning, oh and that little project of painting the boy’s room – it’s finally happening.  I am more than ready for this weekend, that is for sure.

I’m a little late posting today, and I was a little hesitant about taking outfit photos this morning, but I got it done and now I must talk a bit about my item of the week.  This shirt was the only thrifted item I could find in my wardrobe this morning that would work for a casual day about.  (Actually, the skirt was thrifted as well.)  I have plenty of other casual items, yes, but you’ve either seen them, they are not blog worthy, or I couldn’t find any of them when I was looking for something to wear.

A striped shirt always gets a ‘yes’ from me while out shopping, and a very cheap, Goodwill striped shirt gets a super big YES when it’s found amongst a rack of things that I almost didn’t bother to look though.  I found this shirt on one of my quick thrifting trips.  I was near a Goodwill, had a few extra minutes to kill before needing to be at a scheduled appointment, so I picked a few rows and began shuffling through the hangers of clothes.  I much prefer taking my time when looking for that one item amongst many, but sometimes something will show up right away, as was the case this day.  Stripes are a favorite and I am always in need of new shirts.

There’s not much more to say about this one, so that is about all from me for this week.  I’ve got a blogging queue all lined up in my head, I just need to find a little bit of time to get it typed out and onto the blog.  In the mean time, is there anything thrifted you would like me to check out?  Leave me a link in the comments, or tag your post #ThursdayThrift so I can find it and add it here.  Until next time, happy thrifting!

striped shirt 2

shirt – Ambiance Apparel  || skirt – Old Navy || shoes – Doc Martens

What have you thrifted lately?

Danielle Hewitt: The Thursday Thrift on August 28th

*Linking up with: Simple Sequins.