Thursday, June 26, 2014

I've wanted this for more than ten years . . .

Well, I finally do have a sewing project to share with you!  While it is not a garment, it is something that I have wanted to make myself for a very long time.  As in, I've wanted to make this for more than ten years!  I made myself a knitting needle case.

I am one of those people who decides to start a knitting project, and has the yarn and pattern ready to go.  Then I find myself wondering, where the heck is my size 3 circular set?  Instead of finding it, I'll find the little plastic baggy that I bought it in.  Then I'm still left to wonder where on earth the darn needle is.  I'm hoping that by storing all of my needles in this case, and keeping the case in my knitting bag, I will easily be able to find my knitting needles anytime I need them.  I also plan to insert little slips of card stock in the slot when the needles are in use, reminding me which project they are in.

I mentioned that I have been wanting a knitting needle solution for a while, but I am quite glad that I waited until recently to make this for myself.  One reason is, I customized it to the needles that I use most frequently.  When I first learned how to knit, I used larger sized needles, like US 8 and larger.  Now, I love knitting with lace and fingering weight yarns, so I use much smaller needles.

I got the idea for this needle case off of a picture I saw on Pinterest.  I decided that I didn't really need to buy a pattern, because it is basically a series of rectangles.  I wanted something that would hold eight sets of DPNs as well as eight circular needles.  Ta-da!  That is what I made, plus there is a pocket that is perfect for holding my measuring tape, scissors, stitch markers and any other knitting essentials.

I even got fancy and decided to embroider little numbers on each of the pockets to remind me which needles go where, as well as a flower in the corner.  I used tracing paper to trace one of the flowers from the outer fabric, then I embroidered that flower onto the navy fabric.  I really like this added detail.

Having this needle case is going to help me keep my knitting organized, and hopefully will help me to be more productive in my knitting as well.

Is there anything you have been wanting to make yourself, but just haven't prioritized it?  For my knitters out there, how do you store your knitting needles, is it a working solution?  I would love to know.


Monday, June 23, 2014

Pretty Mommy | Inspiration

Oh dear, I promised that pretty mommy outfit posts would not be the only content on my blog, but it seems I've had little else and haven't even been keeping up with the outfit posts!  My Little One is content to take two half hour naps a day, and it just doesn't leave me with a lot of time for blogging or sewing.  Let me tell you, I have been using up twenty nine minutes of each of her naps to do some sewing - but these little increments don't allow for a lot of progress.
Retro Pocket DressMonte Carlo Dress
In light of the fact that I haven't been able to capture my mommy style as of late, I've decided to share a bit of my inspiration: Boden.  I don't know how I got on their mailing list, but I seriously love browsing through the Boden catalog each time it arrives.  My favorite thing is their use of color; after spending years in an office environment surrounded by black and grey and where navy was considered a "pop of color", it is so refreshing to see bright colors.

I love using the Boden catalog as inspiration for putting together outfits from my closet, as well as for sewing project ideas.  When I find something that I really want to copy, I check out the item online, because they give you all of the measurements you would need to make a similar garment.  They even provide hem circumferences and the length of the front neck drop.  (Although, the obvious reason for this is so if you are buying the item you can get a better idea of fit, not for sewists to make replicas - haha).  Lately there are quite a few items that I would like to copy, I know I won't have time for everything I want to make - but here are few things catching my attention:
Emily SkirtGingham Shirt Dress
Seriously, how easy would it be to buy some seersucker fabric and make a cute dirndl skirt like the one above?  How about finding a shirt dress pattern and adding a few strategic pin tucks to the bodice using a gingham fabric?
Vintage Sun TopStripy Colourblock Tee

The top above could be easily recreated with a cute floral fabric, just use a TNT blouse pattern and add a Peter Pan collar.  A simple t-shirt is made fun with some color blocking.  I bet even the Renfrew pattern could easily be adapted to make this shirt!

What about you, do you use RTW as inspiration for your own sewing?  Have you made any direct copies of something you have seen in the store?  Have you used RTW fashion as inspiration to make something fabulous of your own?  If you have, I would love to know how it turned out.


Monday, June 2, 2014

Pretty Mommy | Who Wears Short Shorts?

This is so embarrassing to admit, but I have only owned one pair of shorts for the past five or six years. They were a pair of denim "short shorts" from American Eagle that were frayed where the hem should have been.  I noticed that they seemed to be getting shorter and shorter every year (they were washed a lot, because hey, I only had one pair!).  Well I finally decided that this was the year they needed to go, and I obviously needed a replacement.  I sort of loath shopping, so it was a chore to find a new pair.  I struggled finding something that didn't make me look like I was trying to relive my teenage years, but also something that didn't say "mom shorts."

These J. Crew shorts ended up being perfect for me.  Yes, the ones with only a 3 inch inseam.  People, I am a short shorts kinda girl, mostly because I am short and anything longer than 3 or 4 inches looks almost capri length on me.  Seriously, I loved these so much I bought another pair in pink.  Now that I will have the opportunity to wear shorts more than just the weekends I figure I need more than one pair.

I wore this outfit on Saturday, which was hot and muggy - and a bit rainy.  Usually in high humidity I opt for a basic pony tail with my hair, because anything else just ends up a hot mess.  However, I have been trying to make a bit more of an effort lately.  As a result I came up with this idea to do two half french braids pulled back into a pony tail.  It has been the perfect solution for me, and I repeated the look again on Sunday.

Honestly, I think my style is still a bit in limbo here.  As I mentioned in my previous Pretty Mommy post, it has been a bit of a difficult transition between my classy office look that I loved, and now my mostly SAHM look.  I miss dressing up in skirts and dresses, and while I know that some moms can still make that look work - I just haven't be able to.

While I am still trying to determine my style, this outfit does have a few elements that are totally me.  Fun shoes and bright colors.  I can't forget to mention that the loose fitting top does make nursing a hassle free event.


P.S. - here's my photographer's attempt to get me and Baby Girl in the same photo.  She's constantly on the move!