Friday, February 24, 2012

Friday, I'm in Love

My no-plans-low-key weekend morphed from, "Oh hey [insert friends' names here], I'm making soup beans and cornbread for dinner on Friday, want to come over?" to a southern-themed dinner party, where friends who show up in flannel-checked shirts or don a southern accent get extra points (and by extra points I mean an extra scoop of ice cream to go with Java Lady's blondies). In any event, I finally get to use a pack of bandana plates that have been in my pantry for quite some time, and I'm pretty excited about it. Hopefully we'll throw in some portraiture hilarity just for kicks and I'll be able to share photos on here. I wish I had a horse tied up out back for our photo-taking shenanigans, but cowboy boots and home-canned goods will have to do for props. Lonesome Dove will be playing in the background, and I hope the dinner is a success (aka, I hope my friends like it) because I love soup beans and cornbread. I'm suddenly wondering how dinner turned from southern to western themed with cowboy boots...ahh, probably because my dad loves Lonesome Dove, my mom makes the best soup beans and cornbread ever, which is the ultimtate southern food in my opinion. I'm just now wishing I was making fried chicken to accompany this fare.

Also, I'm in my first-ever book club. We have our first meeting on Sunday to discuss The Buddha in the Attic by Julie Otsuka. I have to say, I wouldn't have chosen the book to read on my own because its premise is about Japanese mail order brides back in the day (not that it's a bad premise), but I think the writing is pretty great!

Anyway, have a lovely weekend!

Monday, February 20, 2012

Operation Sew-Myself-a-Shirt-Dress Has Commenced...

When I found out that the creator of Oliver + S patterns had collaborated with Simplicity to create some patterns for women's apparel, I was ecstatic. Although I've never sewn any Oliver + S patterns, I love the design, and they make my baby fever spike every time I look at them, no big deal. Enter Lisette's Traveler Dresses pattern by Simplicity:

It's no secret that I love dress shirts, so what could be more appealing to me than making my own shirt dress! I started cutting out the pattern pieces for version C of the Traveler Dress yesterday, also known as our first snowy day in Charlottesville this winter. I took a break to bake some cupcakes because snowy weather always makes me want to build a cake (anybody else love Napoleon?). 

Back to the dress, though. I got some great green Italian cotton fabric at B & J Fabrics in New York back in September, and my original intent was to use it for version A (the blue dress pictured above); however, I have decided to try the fuller skirt version (the white bodice with floral skirt version pictured above) because it'll be more flattering for my figure. I intend to make it in one color rather than the contrasting fabrics shown above. I love the small details in finished garments, so I'm looking for some killer buttons and want to use a contrasting fabric for the inside of the button placket to give it a little R. flair. Big plans, folks, big plans. Also, let me state one of my fears: the collar. I've never made one, but I am intimidated. Another fear: sleeves. I do not consider myself to be a proficient sleeve-sewer, so I'm hoping to use this pattern to overcome this deficiency.

For the Traveler Dress, I am making a muslin. I have made garments from Simplicity patterns within the last few months and was disappointed with the fit. Before, I just went by the size that corresponded with my measurements, but in my experience, Simplicity patterns add too much ease for the finished garments (and to me, it makes the garment look frumpy, which is the opposite of my goal). I know many experienced seamstresses recommend making a muslin prior to snipping your precious fabric, but I guess I had to learn the hard way. For the muslin, I am going down two sizes from what the size chart says I should use, so I will update on my progress. It may take a little longer, but hopefully I'll wear the finished product very happily.

Images: 1, 2

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Valentine's Day!

 That's right, that's a snapshot from Twilight, but you probably already knew that. After being adamantly opposed to the whole Twilight Saga, I watched the first movie on Sunday night with Java Lady, and...I liked it. Besides the hilarious vampire banter and corny one-liners, it wasn't so bad. I know I'm three years late, but whatever. I'm admitting this in honor of Valentine's Day, and I kind of want to watch the other movies in the saga as well. Team Edward gets one point from me thus far.

Here's what I'm listening to today, in honor of this lovely occasion:
  1. "Use Somebody" performed by Laura Jansen (This cover is sooo sexy.)
  2. "Kiss the Rain" by Billie Myers (If you don't at least secretly love this song, please leave my blog right now.)  
  3. "Emmylou" by First Aid Kit (It's so sweet, but has anyone else been noticing several of the Johnny and June references in songs these days? That's right, I'm calling you out Heidi Newfield and Katy Perry.)
  4. "Kiss Me" by Sixpence None the Richer (My favorite part of this song is the harmonica at the end because I think harmonica playing is sexy, which leads me to my next selection...)
  5. "Baby, I'm in the Mood for You" by Bob Dylan (What a classic. I feel like I say that about every Bob Dylan song...)
 Go eat some chocolate (no smooches required) and and have a great Valentine's Day!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Can we talk about my favorite dog ever...again?

I took my roommate down to the homestead this past weekend, and we visited the farm for a few hours on Saturday. My dad dressed her up in all kinds of farm garb (read: Carhart-esque coveralls) so she could ride in the tractor and all that jazz. It was nice and rainy, so coveralls were very appropriate.

Do y'all remember Butch? Well, we got to see him too! It's no secret that he's my favorite dog on planet earth. I was trying to get some snapshots of him tending the flock, but he loves me so much that he couldn't stand being three inches apart from me! Can we talk about the deliciousness? Best dog of all time. I'm still trying to figure out a way to sneak him into my car and head up to Charlottesville without anyone in my family noticing. This dog makes me melt, people. 

 Here he is hanging out with his flock of mommies-to-be:

Monday, February 6, 2012

Beach in the winter, anyone?

The Sunday prior to Christmas, I took a vacation and rolled down to Naples, FL with a friend of mine. I had never been to the beach in the winter, but oh, am I so sold! I wanted a change of pace  and to skip town for a while. I took a couple of books on the trip (Jane Austen's Emma, and Justine Picardie's biography about Gabrielle Chanel), but every day when we hit the beach, I couldn't read because it felt so laborious. So I did what I needed to do the most: rest. I stretched out on my towel like a flapjack and got some quality shut-eye with the help of the Gulf's hum. It was 80 degrees the day before winter solstice. I'm missing the beach today.