Month: January 2016

Success cover

Seven Steps to a Successful and Happy Life

It can be really hard to recognize when something in our lives needs to change. It’s harder to implement that change when the unknown waits on the other side. Harder still, is thinking of the future with nothing changing. At some point in all our lives, we are faced with an opportunity.  It can be family-based, career-based, or emotionally-based.  Sometimes it can be the right decision not to take the opportunity….and other times, it is the only and right thing to do. It is the last of the two choices that I want to focus on today. Everyone defines success as something different and more often than not, happiness is tied up with that success.  Is there something in your life right now that you feel must change?  Is there some decision that needs to be made to ensure future happiness?  Are you on the brink of success and need a little extra push to see it all come true?  Then read on as I share seven steps I have cultivated and learned on my journey to success …

Historical Designs

An Interview with Beth Shaw of Historical Designs

I am so excited about today’s post, as it introduces you to someone in the historical sewing world I have longed admired!   Beth Shaw of Historical Designs  graciously accepted my request to interview her and share her work and knowledge with all of you.  Beth is someone, who once you learn more about her and her determined spirit, instantly inspires you!  Focusing on authentic historical reproduction items, Beth offers a wide range (I’m talking Renaissance to Edwardian and everything in-between) of historical garments both inner and outer.  Her attention to detail and passion for the art of historical sewing is truly admiring!  I hope you enjoy learning more about this incredible woman and her love of all things historical and furry! 🙂 Beth and her adorable cat! The Interview 1.Your Etsy Shop and website Historical Designs has been a top choice for many men and women interested in historical reenactment and historical fashion. Can you share with us the journey that led you to historical sewing and owning your own business? I actually started this whole …

tea set

The Tea Set

Every woman needs her very own tea set.  It doesn’t have to be expensive, ornate, or exhibiting fine examples of hand painting (although none of that can hurt!)  The only requirement for any proper set is that it hold enough tea for all one’s friends.  While I am more of a coffee drinker and do not know all the in’s and out’s of proper tea, I have come to realize that a tea set is something more than just porcelain.  Below is my personal tea set and it comes with a story that will always make it dear to my heart …though the colors no longer match my kitchen. I came across this set ten years ago while I was in my senior year of college.  Like many college students, money was tight, and I happened to be out one day trying to find a few clothing bargains for my senior student-placement.  I wandered through the mall and ended up in Bon Ton, unsuccessful on my search up to this point.  I began ambling my way …

fur

Sewing Alternatives for Fur

It’s cold.   And when it is cold, one wants to wrap up in something warm, cozy, and soft.  One wants to make sure that any piece of clothing that touches one’s body is warm, cozy, and soft.  Yet, in our 21st century world, what was once our grandmothers choice of warm and cozy…isn’t such a great option today.  I’m talking about fur. Real fur.  And besides the cost, I don’t feel comfortable or right putting it on my outfits. Still, when one sees stunning dresses such as these, it is tempting to want that textural trim everywhere! But never fear, I have collected several alternatives that will add dimension, depth, and character to your outfits, all while keeping the fur on the little bodies who were born with it. Option 1 Faux Fur Available in bolts or as trim, faux fur is the obvious alternative to real fur.  Like many things in life, the more it costs the better the quality.  Just note that the more inexpensive varieties can shed and it, like many fabrics, does …

1943 Ruffled Blouse

1943 Ruffled Blouse Tutorial with Pattern

Sweet and elegant both describe this little blouse from the 1940’s.  I had such a fun time creating it, that I wanted to share the pattern with you!  However, unlike patterns I have created in the past, this one is a bit different.  I have created a drafting guide with the hopes of allowing anyone of any size the ability to recreate this pattern just for them! If you try this, I would love to hear from you!!  Send me an email or connect with me on Facebook! Happy Sewing! Tools to Draft Pattern: Ruler Curved Ruler for Armholes and Hip Curves Pencil Craft or Wrapping Paper Meausuring Tape Knowledge of your own upper body measurements How To Draft: Following the guide below, write down all the proper measurements. On a large piece of craft or wrapping paper, begin marking and drawing the patterns using the picture above and your measurements as a guide. Once completed, cut out and drape on body or dress form.  Note needed alterations and adjust accordingly. Once base pattern is satisfactory, …

winter hats

Winter Hats for the Winter Chill

I am not much of a hat person…but I want to be.  I sometimes wish that hats would come back in fashion so that it would sway me to buy one….or even three!  While it is perfectly acceptable to wear hats on the beach, gardening in the summer, and skiing down the slope, it isn’t all the common in one’s everyday life.  A few bold women will wear those wonderful wide brim hats or the fedora hat so apart of the bohemian style, but that’s about it.  At least where I live. So how can I change this sad state of affairs?  How can I welcome a little fashion topper for my bare head?  Well, there is no time like the present, and the present is winter, soooooo winter hats, here I come! To get the hat wearing juices flowing, I have collected a few of my most favorites for the winter months, both past and modern.  Maybe you will see something you like as well! 😉 1890’s I love when one’s hat, scarf, and muff …

rules of fashion 2

General Rules of Fashion: Part 2

Today we will complete the general rules of fashion and advice that are truly timeless for women of any century.  Hope you enjoy! Style and form of dress Be always careful when making up the various parts of your wardrobe, that each article fits you accurately. Not in the outside garments alone must this rule be followed, an ill-fitting pair of corsets, or wrinkles in any other article of the under-clothes, will make a dress set badly, even if it has been itself fitted with the utmost accuracy. A stocking which is too large, will make the boot uncomfortably tight, and too small will compress the foot, making the shoe loose and untidy. In a dress, no outlay upon the material will compensate for a badly fitting garment. A cheap calico made to fit the form accurately and easily, will give the wearer a more lady-like air than the richest silk which either wrinkles or is too tightly strained over the figure. Collars or sleeves, pinned over or tightly strained to meet, will entirely mar …

rules of fashion 1

General Rules of Fashion: Part 1

I am such a big believer in the idea that fashion rules are timeless.  With only the garment in question changing shape and length over the years, the motivating focus and purpose of fashion has stayed the same.  So with that in mind, and especially for you 1860’s lovers out there, here are some general rules of fashion straight from the decade.  Stay tuned for Part Two on Friday! Neatness This is the first of all rules to be observed with regard to dress. Perfect cleanliness and careful adjustment of each article in the dress are indispensable in a finished toilet. Let the hair be always smooth and becomingly arranged, each article exquisitely clean, neat collar and sleeves, and tidy shoes and stockings, and the simplest dress will appear well, while a torn or soiled collar, rough hair, or untidy feet will entirely ruin the effect of the most costly and elaborate dress. The many articles required in a lady’s wardrobe make a neat arrangement of her drawers and closets necessary, and also require care in selecting and …