February 27, 2013

Pepsi Blue Pencil Skirt

Pattern: Burda Style 7069 view b with lining
Supplies: Wool from mother, zipper form stash, sheet lining, rayon waist facing from stash (a preview of one of my spring projects. :-)

The moths got into my mom's fabric collection a while ago and ate some holes through this beautiful length of bright blue wool.  She was going to get rid of it, but I snagged it and figured I could work around the holes.  It has been sitting in my stash for a couple years just waiting for the perfect project.

Then I saw this picture on facebook:

The lovely Mimi and Hosanna!
I met them at Winter Retreat, and you met them here. Anyway, Hosanna is super cute and always fashionable.  I saw these pictures on facebook and got inspired to make this skirt!  I knew I had the wool in my stash and had just gotten this burda pattern for the other version, so it was a no brainer!  She was so kind as to let me use her picture. :-)  Thanks Hosanna!

At Joann Fabrics the other day I looked at the wool and it was priced $36 a yard.  Yikes.  So this skirt would have cost at least $50 for just supplies.  With the time and custom tailoring *wink* this skirt is probably worth $100.  And I didn't pay anything.  Frugality FTW!

I've ironed this like crazy, but it was folded for so long that the crease in the front is especially stubborn.  Hence the wrinkles.

I'm so glad I checked the measurements on the pattern envelope on this one.  Burda is made in GERMANY.  Their patterns are made to flatter american women, they say it like it it.  I run a size 10 in Simplicity and Butterick and McCalls pretty consistently, but I made a 14 in this and it was almost perfect (it was a little tight for my closet).

Back slit.  I took these before I hemmed it, but I used an invisible hem anyway, so you can't see it. ;-)

View B is very long.  I wanted a knee length skirt, so I ended up cutting probably 4 inches off the lining and 1 1/2 inches off the wool before I took massive hems out of both.

 Outside: Front - Back (pre-hemming, obviously. :-)

 Inside: Front - Back

Nice neat lining on the inside. :-)

I didn't have an invisible zipper, so I just did the simplest/smallest insertion I could.

I purposely put a different fabric in for the facing because I just love articles of clothing (especially shoes!) that have that surprise creative fabric.  It just makes me smile.  Seriously.  All other things being equal I would choose the piece with the cute inside.

After I finished the skirt I put is on with heels and everything and found that it was the perfect pencil skirt.  Bummer.  See, pencil skirts are designed these days to be a little more than just straight, they like to hug you.  What I'm trying to say is that is was to tight.  Some things just...uh, don't need extra attention.  So I had to go back in and let it out a bit.

Now my grandma, mom, and both my brothers are happy with it. :-)  
Oh, and I'm happy with it too, I think I forgot to mention that...

Can't wait to use this pattern again with the other view or maybe a black pencil?  Everybody needs one of those, don't they?

Great!  Now, how to work this super loud and bouncy piece into my rather quiet and laidback wardrobe?? ;-)

February 25, 2013


It is with heavy heart that I write these words.  It is with tears and prayers that I share this, because it is real.

It is breaking my heart.

I know a girl.  She is a beautiful brown haired brown eyed girl of 16 or 17 today, but I met her a decade ago.  She was young and somewhat lost.  I did what I could, and when she came over we talked about sewing and clothes and boys.

She looked up to me like a big sister I think, but I didn't realize it.  She fought for attention.  She struggled for approval.  She strived to fit in, to be liked, to be noticed, to be acknowledged.

I knew she was insecure, but because the incredible blessing of a family and sheltered life I lead I didn't realize the implications of that prolonged insecurity.

Then she moved away.  I only saw her once a year when she came back to visit, if even that.  We weren't close, and I didn't reach out.

I caught bits and pieces from mutual friends and I knew that she wasn't fitting in at her school, and knew her best friend there turned out to have ulterior motives and that she was reaching out for, what I now understand to be help and support.

Yesterday this dear, sweet child tried to take her own life.

At the ER they said she'll make it.  She is going to be ok.

The rest of this is extrapolation on my part.  Ok?  Really, she is going to be ok?  What drives a person to the brink of suicide?  How lonely and lost must one feel to want to leave it all that badly?  Her family loves her.  I know that.  They care for her and look out for her, so what drives a person to feel so utterly alone and unloved?  

After the shock of hearing the news the first thing I wanted to do was hop on a plane, fly out there and just hug this girl.  I watched the above video on facebook today and was shaking and crying by the end.  This is all pretty raw and unprocessed, which isn't usual for me.

I wasn't there.  I don't know what happened with her, or with any of the other kids in the video.  I know this happens, I know this is reality, and it just hurts even more.  Words matter.  What you say makes an impact, and don't you forget it.

James puts it like this in James 3(italics and bold added):
How great a forest is set ablaze by such a small fire! And the tongue is a fire, a world of unrighteousness. The tongue is set among our members, staining the whole body, setting on fire the entire course of life, and set on fire by hell. For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and sea creature, can be tamed and has been tamed by mankind, but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse people who are made in the likeness of God. From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers, these things ought not to be so. Does a spring pour forth from the same opening both fresh and salt water? Can a fig tree, my brothers, bear olives, or a grapevine produce figs? Neither can a salt pond yield fresh water.
 So for now, let's watch what we say, ok?  No, you know what?  Let's watch what we think to.  If you don't think that someone is inferior for his size or what he thinks about pork chops or what someone's face looks like you aren't going to say it.  These people are made in the likeness of God!  God's image!

 They have dignity and worth and beauty because of it.

Go love them.

February 21, 2013

Awkward & Awesome Thursday: douze

  • Accidentally matching and older man in my new toastmasters club.  He welcomed me to my first meeting as an official member with: "If I had a scarf on, you wouldn't be able to tell us apart!"  *Insert grumpy cat meme: NO!*  Sir, I sincerely hope not.  
  • Trying on a number of outfits on a given morning and thinking "That would be cute...if you were pregnant!" for every. single. one.
  • McDonalds.  I always hear or see something unusual when I go in there.  Yesterday, on the way to the bathroom I walked past a disheveled looking middle-aged man.  From behind I could hear him muttering and signaling to the emptiness in the far corner of the room to "call me."  When I passed him again on the way back he was in quiet conversation with the space across from him.   He was the only person in that wing of the McDonalds.
  • Getting super psyched about the hand-me-downs that my grandma was going to donate to goodwill, and being rather nonchalant about the retail clothing (designed for people my age) that my grandma actually bought for me.  Yes, I wear clothes that my grandma was even giving away.  Don't laugh.  You'll be jealous when you see the upcycling projects I have in mind. :-)

  • My acne regime is working.  This is quite a breakthrough.  I've not the blessing of clear skin and I hate having to put make up on, so being able to look like this⇧ without any make up is super cool.  Hallelujah!
  • Singing.  Playing the piano. dancing.  It's all good.
  • Productivity.  I've started using lists again and I have never gone to bed more mentally exhausted.  It is not like a muscle that you can massage out, all that information gets stuck in your head and there isn't anything you can do but sleep.
  • Italian.  My brother Hudson is learning it through Rosetta Stone and announced the other day that he can't wait till we will be able to converse in it.  I guess that is a hint to started. :-)  So I've started.
  • Climbing a climbing wall for the first time and Emily's birthday party.  Yes, this is old news, but I'm going through photos to post so it is on my mind. :-)
  • Memorizing scripture again. Just do it.  Just start with one verse.  One more, just for today.  You will not regret it, I can guarantee it.
  • Planning to not do school tomorrow and sew instead!!!!  People! I'm so. super. excited.
  • You guys!  My followers!  I went from 118 to 121 and had 6 comments to moderate.  That just makes my heart do a little flutter jump.  Thanks.
  • Let my life be the proof, Lord!

February 14, 2013

Love isn't Fair

"They're wrong. 

They say "all is fair in love and war," but they're wrong.  

Nothing is fair in love and war... Love is even more unfair[than war].  That deep love, true love, not the physical, worldly, sensual, self-seeking infatuation, but love that we can have because God loved us.


  While technically they are just, they are not fair.  Why is there forgiveness, for example?  Fairness and forgiveness?  How does that make sense? It doesn't exist.  Fairness would be to hold the grudge and get revenge until the debt has been paid. 

 To give when you'll get nothing back isn't fair, but that is love.  To trust unquestioningly.  To sacrafice.  Why should you sacrifice?  That isn't fair, they should do their own work, pay their own consequences.  How is it that they get off free?  This isn't fair, but this is love.  

THIS is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his son to be the propitiation for our sins!  

This is sacracfice.  

This is forgiveness.  

This is love.  

This is my JESUS."

These words come form my journal a couple months ago.  I haven't shared my heart here before because it is scary.  Exposing yourself opens you up to getting hurt.  But sometimes you just can't hold it in anymore.

This past year I have learned more about love than I ever dreamed there was to know.  Coming to your knees again in realization of what it was that actually happened at the cross has a way of setting all your priorities straight.  

This Valentine's Day let's share the greatest Valentine to ever be given: the cross.  

Through our lives and lips let's show the world God's pleading to "Be mine."  Show them the only love  that fulfills and satisfies.  The love that is colorblind, status-blind, forgiving, and oh, so sweet.  That love that keeps on giving even when it is rejected over and over again.  

That love that sent Jesus to take the punishment that I deserved and die on the cross while I still hated and rejected Him!  It isn't fair.  I should have been the one killed for my sin.  Oh, how He loves us!

"But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us."
Romans 5:8

This is the most amazing Valentine you will ever find.  Be HIS.

February 12, 2013

Carolyn's Black Satin Formal

Check out this post to see the original sketch, design plans, and supply list...

Well, we pulled it together!  And it was even better than I imagined!  +Carolyn Atherley and I worked together on it and I think she learned a lot!  I look forward to our future projects. :-)

Patterns used: Simplicity 2398 and Simplicity 4070

Back and Side views without the sash.

February 8, 2013

Emily's Purple Holiday Gown

*accessorized with a black bolero and aviators. ;-)
Pattern: Butterick 4967
Supplies:  All scrap fabrics!  There is some chiffon, satin, knit, jersey, taffeta, some rayon stuff, and some cotton weave for the lining part.

Some of the fabrics are from projects I haven't blogged yet, like the Arabella, but others are from projects I made for other people or scraps picked up along the way.  The taffeta was from this masquerade gown a couple years ago, remember?  The piece that I couldn't quite squeeze out of my scraps was the dark purple knit in the middle.  That is from a length of cloth that I'll be making a dress out of in the somewhat near future. We'll see how busy school is. :-)
I love this style on, well, everybody, but especially little girls.  The problem is, Emily is 8 already.  She is very tall.  And this pattern I have is only sized to size 6... I really wanted to make it though and loved the idea of using scraps, so I did some math and lengthened each tier accordingly.  It was all very helter-skelter, but I'm so happy with the way it turned out.

February 7, 2013

Awkward & Awesome Thursday: onze


  • Driving your brother to the library to pick up books that he needs for school the next day.  Simple enough, right?  Yeah...no.  After looking around for a while we finally find 1 book that will work.  Better than nothing.  Than goes to check it out.  Oops, we forgot all the library cards.  Well, we usually  just use our mom's anyway.  "Can I see some ID?"  Sure!  Reaching for his back pocket...no wallet.  Hmmm, must have left it at home.  But my sister has some!  Of course I do!  I mean, duh, I drove him here.  I'm supposed to be the responsible adult, you know?  "Your driver's license is fine."  *reaches into purse* Looks down into purse* Gives lady a distressed grin*  Funny thing Ma'am, uh, I don't have it with me.  I can't believe I drove the car without my license!  Anyway, just to prove we weren't some homeschool delinquents who jacked a car and were planning to steal the library book as well, we drove home to get my license and came back so we could check out the one silly book.  Awkward enough by itself, but compounded by the fact that also standing there was an acquaintance of mine who is also the big sister of two of the guys on the same basketball team as Than.  I suppose though, +Allison Bunke that it is better you saw the worst of us.  We shall have to redeem ourselves by having y'all over to go sledding, drink hot chocolate, and play some boardgames.  What do you think?  :-) 
  • Trying to figure out how to respond when a friend repeats back to you the same information you told her a couple months ago...I guess I should just be flattered that she remembers, even if she doesn't remember where she learned it. :-)
  • We're going to visit my brother this weekend!
  • This new workout I'm doing every morning.  Thanks Hannie! (P.S. She is also an amazing photographer and designer, she is designing my website!  You should check her out on facebook.)

  • My Social Justice course I'm taking through CollegePlus!  It has been so worthwhile.
  • This song by Kate and Sarah Sparks. Home.
  • Helping chaperone Emily's 8th birthday party.  Little kids are the bomb. :-)

February 5, 2013

Men's Grey Suede Vest

Pattern: Simplicity 2870
Supplies: Grey suede from joanns, lots of interfacing, black buttons from stash (one doesn't match, shh!) back buckle from stash, and black lining from the insides of recycled garments. :-)

This project was for my youngest brother, Nathanael.  I bought the fabric for it for him for his birthday last year and consulted him on some design elements, made a sketch, and completely forgot about it.  So did he. :-)  Which was nice, because I made it as a surprise over Christmas and he was really happy with it on Christmas afternoon.

I went for the more modern look with the rounded bottoms and straight back with the buckle to adjust the size.  In his own words (to somebody else, so they really count :-) he said he was really surprised at how well made it was.  So I guess you could take that a couple different ways, but it meant he thought is was high quality and something he would buy at a store.  

February 3, 2013


I know you are all checking your RSS feeds and just want to see pretty pictures or read very short quotes, but I would ask you to slow down and just take the three minutes needed to read this hymn in its entirety.

Don't skim it.

Read it, and let it wash over your soul anew this Sunday afternoon.

Prayer is the soul’s sincere desire,
Uttered, or unexpressed;
The motion of a hidden fire
That trembles in the breast.

Prayer is the burden of a sigh,
The falling of a tear;
The upward glancing of an eye
When none but God is near.

Prayer is the simplest form of speech
That infant lips can try;
Prayer the sublimest strains that reach
The Majesty on high.

Prayer is the Christian’s vital breath,
The Christian’s native air;
His watchword at the gates of death;
He enters rest with prayer.

The saints in prayer appear as one,
In word, and deed, and mind;
While with the Father and the Son
Sweet fellowship they find.

O Thou, by whom we come to God,
The Life, the Truth, the Way,
The path of prayer Thyself hast trod—
Lord, teach us how to pray.

You have the extreme privilege of speaking to the God of the universe, and he listens.

Is prayer your "vital breath?"