Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Love in the Afternoon

I've always been an Audrey Hepburn fan. Always. In a time filled with blonde bombshells, she exuded glamour and charm and gave all us flat chested brunettes a shining ray of hope. One of my favorite quotes from her is from a 1989 interview with Barbara Walters in which she said,

"My look is attainable. Women can look like Audrey Hepburn by flipping out their hair, buying the large sunglasses, and the sleeveless dresses."

Though she was speaking more of her Breakfast at Tiffany's look, which is certainly iconic and stunning and yet also easy to emulate, I thought today I'd go for one of Hepburn's earlier looks. I've always loved her romantic looking pageboy bob from when she starred in Love in the Afternoon (1957) with Gary Cooper.

I didn't quite get all the bends since I used sponge rollers instead of pin curls, but I'm still pretty pleased with how it turned out.

shirt dress

I've slowly but surely been working on McCall's 4769 this past week and a half.

Due to silly me picking a pattern with a horizontal stripe in it, I've decided to make it sleeveless to preserve my current level of sanity. I've never made anything with any sort of stripe in it, so it's already a learning experience without the addition of sleeves. I'm really wanting a blue plaid dress for fall, but I will hunt for a different pattern, probably one with kimono style sleeves. Fewer seams to match = fewer headaches for me. Something like this dress pattern for sale on etsy right now would be perfect. (Bonus that it's in my size! Definitely saving that to my favorites.)

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

be still my heart

The other night I was browsing through some sewing blogs and came across a post about a traveling exhibit called, "The Golden Age of Couture: Paris and London 1947-1957" that is currently on view at the Frist Center for the Visual Arts in Nashville, TN through September 12. The most beautiful dresses and accessories from designers like Dior, Balenciaga, Givenchy, and Chanel as well as the foundation garments used to create the New Look silhouette will be on display for the public's viewing pleasure.

This gem is one of the many cocktail dresses in the exhibit.

Nashville is a tedious 9 hour drive away from where I live, but it's short enough to tackle in a day and because my husband loves me so much we are planning on making the trip as a family over the next long weekend we get, probably Labor Day. The Nashville viewing is the only U.S. stop on the exhibition's five city tour, otherwise you're going to have to go to the Victoria and Albert Museum in London where these pieces of wearable art call home.

Monday, July 19, 2010


Just playing a little catch-up on things I wore this weekend, as well as what I'm wearing today.


Just running some errands in my new skirt. My hair was pretty frizzy and wild, but I didn't really want to go out with rollers in my hair, and the errands couldn't wait.

headless housewife.
Friday night my husband and I had date night, so I had to kick it up a notch. I was in such a hurry to finish getting ready that I cut my head off and didn't have time to redo the picture. The blouse and jeans I got at Kohl's and the heels from Shoe Carnival. I didn't end up wearing the heels for the night though because they kept slipping off the back of my heel and the last thing you want when wearing 5 inch heels is compromised stability. I'm determined to put whatever little pads and grips I have to on these shoes to make them work though. They are too sassy not to find a way to make them wearable!


A simple cotton dress for running errands and a trip to the park! I gotta say, it's a pain to iron all that skirt and a complicated bodice such as this, but so worth it. I knew the day promised to be hot and humid, so I back combed my hair at the crown and then put it in a pony tail with a leopard print scarf I made from scraps of fabric left over from making my leopard print pencil skirt.

Now, mind you I'm not always dressed to the nine's. So for a little balance of reality, my outfit du jour:

Well, there it is in all it's glory. House dress, slippers, hair in rollers and no make-up. Gotta keep it real.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

another F.O. and peach perfection

Yes, this is the third time I've made this pencil skirt, but I really just love it and I bought the denim to make this months ago and there's no time like the present to get it done since September is quickly approaching. I'm pretty jazzed about this for the simple fact that dark denim pencil skirts go with EVERYTHING! I've owned many in the past, and even during my last pregnancy my denim maternity pencil skirt was one of my items that got the most wear. (I had a knee length one with a secret fit belly from Motherhood Maternity, and I gotta say, that secret fit belly was AWESOME!!!! It's like a bella band attached to the top of the skirt and it truly did fit from my 2nd month through my 9th month and post partum and I'm not even one of those gals that barely looks pregnant at 9 months. I get HUGE and I look like I'm 9 months at 7 months easily.) Moving on from that little rabbit trail....

I also wanted to take the opportunity to show my June Blossom of the Month that I mentioned in an earlier post. Isn't it beautiful?

Monday, July 12, 2010

all for a day's work

Several months ago, I heard a story of a husband and wife who were going through marriage counseling. The husband was saying that on the days that his wife stayed home and didn't go anywhere she was always wearing ratty sweat pants and over-sized t-shirts and had her hair in a messy pony tail, but when she knew she'd be leaving the house to go to a meeting or get together, she'd put on something nice and fix her hair and make-up and that he wished he could come home to the put together woman more often. The wife replied that she didn't see the point in doing it on the days she didn't go anywhere because no one was going to see her.

Who was her husband? Was he "no one"? That story has really stuck in my mind and resonated with me. My husband and I have been together for seven years now and have three children- all boys. He has watched me give birth to all of them, two of them completely drug-free births to 9 pounders. Needless to say we are comfortable with each other and he has seen me at my most unglamorous. I know that I am his standard of beauty, but I still want to be the best that I can be, so every morning I get up and go to the gym. When I get home, I make lunch for the kids and I, and after lunch is over I make a point to clean myself up. For me that usually means rolling my hair, putting on some make-up, and changing into a dress or blouse/skirt combo. Don't get me wrong, I don't always look like I'm on my way to a cocktail party, but I am a big believer that you should never stop dating your spouse, and during the brief time that my husband and I were dating, I made sure I looked good.

This is what I'm wearing today. I made this skirt the day before Easter Sunday and it's probably one of my favorite things in my closet. It's red denim with an awesome cross hatching all over in white. It's flattering, it's comfortable, and can be worn just about anywhere. The apron is there to protect my outfit from the hazards of house cleaning. I saw this fabric online YEARS ago and just had to have something, anything in my wardrobe made out of it. It's boomerang barkcloth for crying out loud! How could I NOT be completely in love with it? Finally a few months back I was browsing through Boojiboo because I wanted another apron in my rotation, and I pounced on this one.

Now, I'm not saying that every wife needs to have on a pencil skirt, heels, and red lipstick when her husband comes home. I'm not saying that at all. What getting "cleaned up" looks like for me, may not be the same for you. Maybe you are more of a laid back, jeans and t-shirt gal. That's fine! Be who you are! This isn't about being something that you aren't, but about making the most with what you've got. This also isn't something that my husband or anyone else has pressured me into doing. No one has ever told me that I need to look a certain way when my husband comes home. This is just something I do because I want to do it. I want to look nice for my husband. Men are visual after all, so why not try to look my best? I don't do it because I want my husband to love me, but because he already loves me, even at my worst. But just because he's seen me at my worst, doesn't mean he needs to see the worst of me every day.

What exactly *have* I been up to?

Hello. My name is Dott, and I am a text-book procrastinator. Ugh. I do it every time, think over and over to myself, "I'm okay on that deadline. I've got plenty of time." Only to realize at the last minute, "Woah! No you don't! You don't have any time at ALL!!! Get your butt in gear!!! Everything has to be done now NOW NOW!!!!" Ahem. So, I didn't really do any sewing at all in the month of June. Yeah, that's right. I pretty much wasted an entire month. There's still the rest of July and August till Self-Stitched September kicks off, though, and I vow to make the most of the next six-ish weeks. Last week I finally sat down and sewed the Vogue dress I last posted about. For some reason I was really intimidated by this pattern. Maybe it was the princess seams? I'm not sure. It ended up going together extremely easily and then, as always happens, I felt silly for making a mountain out of a mole hill.

I really love the way it turned out. I had to take it in a bit in the bust, but I pretty much have to take EVERYTHING in in the bust. Still though, I'm quite pleased with it.

I'm wearing the July Blossom of the Month from Belle Blossoms. Last month the B.O.M. was a rose and I received a beautiful peach colored rose. This month it is all about the orchid, and I could not be happier with it. Both blooms are incredibly realistic looking. They look as if you could bruise the petals. Orchids are some of my favorite flowers (I had green cymbidium orchids as one of the flowers in my bouquet and centerpieces when my husband and I renewed our vows back in May.) and the tropical flower is a great accessory for my Hawaiian inspired dress.

I'm not sure what I'm going to sew next, but I figure that I need to make at least one item a week from here on out to have a decent amount of self-stitched inventory. I'm thinking separates is probably the way to go.