Monday, September 28, 2015

DIY fashion with Simplicity 1693

Pin It This spring I was looking through a fashion magazine and saw a tank top I really liked.  It appeared to be neopreen or some sort of scuba knit with cut-outs and the model wore it over a layered skirts.  I have loved the look of neopreen and decided to try it out when JoAnns' had some on clearance.

I used view F of Simplicity 1683 because it is so basic.    I wanted something with very few seamlines.

source


I have not yet tried it with a full skirt like the magazine picture that inspired me but it has been a staple all summer long.  I think I will try it layered with some winter clothes too and see how it looks.

Anyway, the pattern was super easy and if you want to highlight a fun fabric, I think it is a good choice.  It does have a considerable amount of volume, so be aware before sewing.

Do you look at magazines and try to duplicate a look?

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Monday, September 21, 2015

Making of Frozen

Pin It I always loved to play dress up.  My mom would make our Halloween costumes and she made them so well.  She usually designed them such that they were PJs for the rest of the winter or dress up for years to come.  That was probably the best part; her quality was such that they were good for more than one night.

My love of wearing costumes has not faded as I got older but the opportunities sure have.  So  last winter when my friend suggested we go to the Miner and Trapper Ball (a costume ball associated with Fur Rondy in Anchorage) and dress up, I quickly agreed. We decided on joining the fad and dress as the Frozen sisters.

I wanted to do it right, so I used the Disney sanctioned Simplicity Patterns.

source
Simplicity 1210
Anna bodice

Simplicity 1210
appliques ... there were a TON

Simplicity 1210
Anna Skirt

Simplicity 1210
Elsa bodice

Elsa via Simplicity 1210

Anna via Simplicity 1210

Since we were going to drag our reluctant men in costume, we let them choose whatever Frozen character they wanted and we laughed at their choices.  Jake decided to be the villain, Hans and Jeremiah said he wanted to be the "sauna guy".

For Hans, I used the Uncle Sam costume in McCalls 6143.  It worked perfect!  The button holes are from Urban Threads and added a perfect touch to make it more of a military look.


McCall's 6143

Hans via McCalls 6143

For Oaken, aka the Sauna Guy, I simply used a raglan pajama top I had on hand (Simplicity 1605).

Oaken from Frozen

So there were the step by step photos of putting it all together.

a Frozen DIY wardrobe
all of it together ready to go

It took a lot of time but I made all of our outfits minus the men's pants!  And I almost forgot to tell you, we won our division!!!

Miner and Trapper Ball



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Monday, September 14, 2015

My favorite German city: Berlin

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My favorite city in Germany was Berlin. We spent four days there and it was not nearly enough. With this great city we balanced seeing art, history, and Lego adventures.

traveling with kids

Berlin has an energy about it that is hard to describe. It is very urban and has a fast pace. The public transportation is great, as usual for Germany, and was our primary mode for moving around. We parked at our apartment (We stayed at a place in the nearby suburbs right off a train line that we found from HomeAway.com) in a residential area within three blocks of the S-baum.

traveling with kids


traveling with kids
The museums in Berlin have extensive and amazing collections of art and architecture spanning from antiquity to present. Depending on what your interests are, you can choose how to best use your time.
My children, especially my oldest who was eight years old at the time, are big fans of ancient civilizations. So, we headed off to Berlin Neue Museum and Pergamon Museum. All I can say was that the collections are amazing.

traveling with kids

traveling with kids

traveling with kids



The building was built as a large shell specifically to house these collections that were taken piece by piece from their place of origin and reassembled in Germany. There is some controversy with the gathering of the collection, but I will not go into that here.

traveling with kids
We also spent some time looking at more recent history throughout Berlin. We saw the Arch modeled after France’s Arch de Triumph Check-point Charlie and the Berlin Wall.


check point charlie

Berlin Wall

To see all those places required a lot of train rides through the city which was fun for the kids, but tiring after a while. We were able to see a lot of the city this way and the kids had wonderful discussions with us about the historic events associated with each sight.
In the midst of all that sightseeing and history lessons, we scheduled some just plain fun. We went to the Lego Center. The kids needed a break and frankly the place is fun for all ages, including moms and dads. The two older ones (elementary and pre-school) went with their dad and built cars that they raced down ramps and visited every station with every type of Lego imaginable.
I took our toddler to the areas that had giant blocks and then moved to the Duplo sized blocks. We had a blast together and she was just as entertained as the older kids.

legos

legos

As you enter, there is a room that has all the major architectural sites in Berlin built in intricate detail with Legos. It was fun for the kids to identify everything they had seen wondering the city in Lego form. What made it more fun was that there were Star Wars scenes built into/around each building. As we entered, the kids were given a brochure that contained a scavenger hunt for the children to find all sorts of Star Wars characters around Berlin.

lego city

lego


I highly recommend that no matter where you travel that you include play in your vacation planning. The kids gained a lot from seeing the art and history, but they also needed time to unwind and do something that was simply FUN.

traveling with kids


I hope that someday you get to explore Berlin with your family too.  And if you have, what was your favorite part?


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Sunday, September 6, 2015

Simplicity 1460 as a Lace Dress

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My husband accompanied me once to a trip to the fabric store.  I know *gasp*!  And to entertain himself he went over to the pattern books.  While he was there, he noticed it was a rare sale day where you could buy five patterns at $1.99.  Never being a guy to pass up a deal, he started picking out patterns of clothes he wanted me to sew.  Or more accurately, clothes he would like to see me in.

lace dress

Well, one of them is this vintage looking lace dress.  Lace and sheer are very fashionable right now and the feminine cut was appealing.  I bought some grey lace with a metallic sheen and found some navy silk I had left over from a previous project.  I chose to sew view A.

Source and Pattern Review store site


lace dress

Sewing this lace was not intuitive because I needed to make actual seams and darts for the dress, but I did not want them to look awful showing through the lace.  But it turned out that a standard seam with a finished zig zag edge looked just fine.

lace dress

 After putting it all together and styling it just like the pattern envelope, I was a bit disappointed.  I am just not sure if this style looks good on me.  I think I look better on a different silhouette.  I have worn it a couple times this summer and like it better when my hair is up (for some odd reason) but still feel frumpy and self-conscious in it.

lace dress

The pattern itself was nice and would recommend it for clarity and trueness of fit.  But, I don't really think it is me contrary to my husband's hope.


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