Saturday, May 31, 2014

Just Beachy

Can I just say.... I LOVE this dress!!

It was made back in February.... I know that was forever ago and it was cold and snowy outside at the time. It didn't matter though because I was making this for a trip to a beach resort. When I travel on a plane, I like to be comfortable, covered and warm but when traveling to a warm destination, I also need to be prepared to hit the glorious heat. I find maxi dresses perfect for travel. I wear cozy leggings, a long sleeved cardigan and a scarf layered over a maxi for my travel to the airport and on the plane. All of which can be removed and tucked into my purse before we land. Toss my hat on my head and I'm set!
I only wish I had gotten a nice picture of this dress when I wore it on my vacation!

Dresses Made this :)

My review:

Pattern: Newlook 6122 I made view B in the longer length.

Fabric Used: Hampton Cotton Jersey

Instructions: I really, really wanted this dress to work! All went along very well until I came to the elastic back. Using the elastic guide, I found that the elastic was too long for me. Not sure what to do, I searched up reviews of this pattern and came across this post on How Good Is That?  Maria was kind enough to answer my question and I was well on my way again! Her answer was pretty simple and to the point but it was just what I needed to regain my confidence to continue. Thank you Maria! 

Changes I made: I didn't make any changes to this one...

So, how do you like to dress for travel? Does anyone else hate packing as much as I do?! Cause I LOATHE it.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Me Made May Update

Wow! Me Made May is so close to the end!   

Day 19 I wore my Fall Fatigue jacket. This had become a staple piece in my wardrobe.

While out with husband on Day 20 I wore my Fall Floral blouse. I took that chevron fabric for "a walk" around the store and then put it back....I'm not missing it. The sign of a good decision.

Ahhh....Day 21 and the beautiful weather we had that day! I wore a not yet blogged Newlook 6122 maxi dress that I made for our trip south in March. I promise to post about it soon!

I couldn't believe that we caught the sunshine for these pictures! It had been a downpour just moments before and after. Day 22 I wore an old friend...Simplicity 2444.

Day picture that day. I wore these shorts that I think will given away. They have some serious wedgieness business going on!  

Photo bombed by kitty! I'm a dog person but I think this cat knows that and always comes to me...
he lives up to his name...Rascal.
Since I missed Fridays polka dot theme, I thought I would double up on them in my Polka Dot Peplum and a RTW cardigan on Day 24.

Day 25....brrrrr. I brought out my Burda Style 7447 pants. Why don't I wear these? I need to make more of these and maybe in shorts length. Of course I also wore my Spring Fever Moto jacket. I can't stop wearing this one.

May is going by quickly and I am learning that I really do like my self made garments but I also have some areas that are lacking...tops and pants. If only I can remember this when planning a project or when I am at the fabric store being sucked in by gorgeous dress worthy prints!

When at the fabric store, what fabrics do you immediately gravitate to?

Friday, May 23, 2014

Hello Old Friend

Does anyone remember when I said goodbye to my favorite pattern Simplicity 2444?
Yeah, me neither.

Ok, I do. I knew at the time that I needed to give this pattern a break. Well, I didn't make any more of least I don't think I did...but I already had this one in my closet and I realized during Me Made May that I had never blogged about it.

Pattern:  Simplicity 2444

Fabric used: Floral linen "look".  

Changes I made: This dress was made early in my it has a front center seam. I realized at dress number three that I neither liked nor needed to put this seam in. I cut it on the fold now. I also like to line at least the bodice now instead of using facings. 

Repeat worthy? Uh duh....

This pattern redefines a TNT pattern for me. I always feel like myself in this style dress. I have even used the bodice to make a jumpsuit....shocking! You definitely haven't seen the last of this one!

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

MMM'14 Week Two

I'm a bit slow at getting this weekly round up done and
it looks as though my week has eight days... I never was very good at math. 

Day 10 I wore my sparkly baseball sweater

Day 11 was my Fall Maxi dress that I have decided needs to be worn more often.

Day 12 I revealed my Floral Frenzy skirt for Project Sewn.

Day 13...nudist day. Juuuust kidding!!! I wore my pink striped me-made tee but didn't get a picture. oops

For Day 14 I brought out my "Easter best" and dressed it down with denim.

Day 15 I wore an unblogged blouse that I have decided I like and maybe I'll blog about it soon.

Day 16 brought out a favorite Simplicity 2444 dress.

Day 17's great weather sent me outside to do yard work in my first Renfrew.

Day 18!! Half marathon day that lead to pajama day in an unblogged simple tee.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Photo Tips from an Amateur....truly. amateur.

A sweet blogger and fellow Canadian , Gillian of Crafting a Rainbow, recently asked me about my pictures...and who took them. I shared on Flickr for Me Made May that my daughter, Emily is a budding photographer and offered to take my pictures for May. I was thrilled to say the least! So she has been taking the pics, doing her thing, including adding her awesome watermark and then generously allowing me use them on my blog and the flickr pool. This is not the norm though and won't likely continue because she is a busy girl. And despite my begging, pleading and bribing...she will someday move out. So that means my boys (husband and son) will be back at it in no time.
I thought I would share my tips, although limited, to getting a better outfit picture. 

Be relaxed. This may sound obvious but when I'm relaxed, it shows in my picture. Your photographer has a lot to do with this too. My boys are funny and they like to make fun of me. Laugh at yourself... it's funny to be outside taking pictures of yourself. Be silly!

Know your camera. I have a good Canon camera and use a 50mm lens for my outfit pictures but it would all be useless to me if I didn't read my manual. Cameras have so many great features and functions that we never use. Most of us just open the box, point and shoot. Try different settings, take the same picture repeatedly on different settings to compare. This may take some time but life is about learning new skills. Practice on your loved ones...I always think that taking someones picture even when they say they don't like it, makes them feel loved and special. As well, you will have some fun memories.

Go outside. If you'll notice, about 95 percent of my pictures are taken outside and usually in bright sunshine. The sun makes my hair look shinier, the colors are brighter and I'm just happier outside.... 
You can see the difference in these two pictures, the one on the left is when the sun was behind a big cloud.

Shine some light on your butt. Standing with the sun shining behind me and slightly to my right works best for my pictures. I don't squint so much and the colors in my outfit are not as washed out.You can see in these pics that my shadow is cast mostly in front and slightly to to my left. Have the photographer stand where the light isn't directly hitting the lens. Also,don't be afraid to use your flash outside as well to light your face. This is one I often forget to do myself. Trial and error..find out what works best for you!

 Put some shades on. When I have to take my pictures in direct sun, I put my sunnies on. My eyes are very sensitive to sunlight. VERY. So you will usually see my sunglasses on my face or at the ready.. on my head. For pictures in direct sunlight I can't seem to keep my eyes open... so on go the sunglasses and you don't even know that my eyes are closed under there! I just close my eyes and smile!

Have a set of standard shots to take. By this I mean...head to toe shot (front and back), upper body, lower body( which ever you are showcasing) and a few detail shots. Explain this to your photographer and they will know what to take. It can speed up the process and not frustrate you or them. Of course you can always crop but I find that the pic can get blurry and I don't know enough about editing or have the editing software to fix that. These pics were too bright but they give you the general idea..

Strike a pose. This part always feels silly. But so what!! Just go ahead and do it until it starts to feel natural and have a good laugh in the process. 

Edit. I don't have much to say about this one because my laptop is as old as the hills and I don't have Photoshop. There is an edit feature on google + but again my laptop is too old to be compatible. This isn't a bad thing though, it forces me to learn about photography and my camera. The most I can do is brighten and saturate the color an bit. Which I do to make the colors more true to life. When a skirt is hot pink in real life I want you to see that it is really HOT pink. So there will be no surprises when we meet on the street.  I don't use contrast because I don't know how and I think it makes my wrinkles more prominent. We don't want any of that now do we!

So there you have two cents on photography. I am no pro and maybe some of these tips would make a pro cringe but...hey...they are working for me until I learn more, which is what I am always striving to do.
Happy shooting!

For anyone interested in my camera details...I use a Canon EOS Rebel T3 with a 50mm lens with lens hood to protect my lens and keep out unwanted sun glare. 
Note: The pictures used in this post were not taken by my daughter but by my son, husband or mom. :)

Monday, May 12, 2014

Floral Frenzy

Or as my daughter calls this skirt...Floral Brilliance. (??) I had this fabric in my stash knowing that it would become another McCalls 6706 skirt but felt that I had made so many of these that maybe I should give it a break. Then cue...  Project Sewn's next season and this week's Floral Frenzy challenge. Out came that fabric and this skirt materialized. I think I could almost make these in my sleep now!
I thought about linking up all the skirts from this pattern but there are too many and I'm just too lazy. This is the second post in one day...way too much typing, not enough sewing.

 I wore this with my new biker jacket today. I'm loving this jacket..

 For those of you looking for the details of this skirt....  

My review:

Pattern: McCalls 6706

Fabric Used: A good quality quilting cotton.

Instructions: Were easy to follow and worked out perfectly.

Changes I made: Pockets. I love pockets so I made a back seam and moved the zipper to the back and inserted pockets in the side seams. I also made the waistband a little wider.

Don't forget to head over to Project Sewn to vote for your favorite contestant and sewalong contestant!

Oh Yeah...I Almost Forgot...

Me-Made-May! When I made my pledge I think I promised to share my outfits here once a week. It has been more than a week but the first one was so short, that I didn't bother. So here they are..eight days of me-mades.

Comfy Knits
Spring Fever
Fall Floral
Walking on Sunshine
Fall Fatigue
Something a Little Different
Long Waisted
What have I learned this week about what my wardrobe?
1.Red is a good color on me.
2.My skirts are more comfortable than my jeans.

If you are participating in MMM, how is it going for you? What are you learning about your Me-Made wardrobe?