DIY Platinum Blonde

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Right at the end of my pregnancy with Plum, I began toying with the idea of going platinum blonde. I was loving the just-past-shoulder length of my hair, which I don’t real ever style and rarely even blow dry (it’s stick straight, so I can get away with air dry on the regular). So cutting wasn’t interesting to me. And I use to have highlights, had done DIY ombré, and was just ready for a BIG change. (See a before photo here in my about me page!) IMG_9594.JPG

I made an appointment with my stylist for the first all-over color lifts and tone. It took three bleachings (and about eight hours) to lift all of the color from my dark brown hair, and I’m glad that I was at a salon with a professional for that first visit. My hair started out virgin, with no previous dye in it, so it was healthy enough to withstand the bleach and stay strong. I wasn’t worried about the expense and time of regular maintenance because I knew that I would be able to affordably and easily maintain the regrowth at home. Read on to find out what products I use and see the process! Read More »

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Stripes and Pleats and the Test of Time

IMG_9357.JPG I pulled this dress out of the closet yesterday as I was getting ready for church. I made it over three years ago as my final project for the Sewvivor sewing contest, and it is still a favorite. Even though I love it, I haven’t had much opportunity to wear it because it fits just right. Luckily, this morning when I pulled it on, it fit! I’m almost finished nursing baby Plum, and although my body is not at all the way it was before my babies (let’s be honest, it never will be and that’s okay), the dress fit. Yay! IMG_9359.JPG I’ve made a lot of clothes for myself these last several years. Gosh, even looking back through my archives on this blog send me spinning a little bit! Some have been wonderful, all have taught me amazing lessons and techniques to better my craft, but only some–few actually–have stood the test of time. Through my closet purging and most recently my adoption of a capsule wardrobe, my idea of my own style and the clothes that feel like me is becoming more clear than ever. That feels exciting and wonderful. I can also feel that with conscious creation of pieces that will stand the test of time, I can build a deliberate, quality, beautiful wardrobe. IMG_9358.JPG Stripes and pleats fit the bill. Stripes for sure. I loved pulling on this dress that was born in my head as a design and created during nap time in the ten-square-feet of my old sewing closet back in a time that now feels so far away. It makes me happy to be making things I love, some of which will follow me on pieces my life’s journey. I hope to make more that will.

I draped the design for the dress, and didn’t make a pattern, but if you’d like to make something similar, this Perfect Pleats Skirt DIY can definitely help at least with the skirt!

Also, my friend Morgan of Pepper Design Blog just had a beautiful baby girl and asked me to be part of her Motherhood Series. My interview tells some about my days as a mom and bits how I try to make it work.

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Hand Sequined Tutu Dress

There is nothing sweeter than a little girl in a tutu. Add sequins and the hand sequined tutu dress becomes a childhood heirloom! IMG_8999.JPG
I made this little tutu dress in trade for a family photography session, and the photographer plans to use it for more editorial portrait sessions. I am totally in love with how it turned out and plan to replicate it in full so Plum has one to keep.
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I referenced this dress when making it, but created the pattern on my own and actually repurposed a maternity dress shirt for the main cream fabric.
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My favorite part, though, was the sequins! I hand applied all of them in a chain stitch, and it was therapeutic, and quiet, and gave me a chance to continue binge watching Parenthood. I’ve come to really appreciate needle arts that I can work on with patience and without a machine. And the effect of a hand-sequined design is just so much more beautiful and ethereal than if I had used a prefab sequin trim. I love how it turned out.
IMG_9005.JPG I think Plum likes it, too!

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Mo blogging

I’m considering the idea of hopping back into blogging more regularly. When I stopped with regular posts two years ago, I was ready to spend more time on other pursuits, namely having a third baby and moving across the country. Now that I’m a little bit settled, I find that I’m missing the ideas and composition and sharing of blogging more often. I’m excited again about the possibilities of doing new things and working creatively.

IMG_8891.JPG I’m exploring some new ideas, including moblogging. The term is circa 2006 for “mobile blogging”, or posting exclusively from a mobile phone or tablet. From what I’ve read, the trend seems to have reached its height a year or two later. But with the incredible camera and editing apps of new phones/tablets, and the seeming ease of both posting and reading more concise content, I wonder if with the right formatting it couldn’t be brought back. Then I would have the best of both worlds! I could blog and share, but also have time leftover for other beautiful pieces of life. I’m going to publish this, now, from my phone. And we’ll see how it goes!

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How to Sew a Leather Jacket

So you know when something just sticks in your head? That’s what happened to me with this black leather jacket last year. I tried it on during my thirtieth birthday trip to Seattle, and haven’t stopped thinking about it since. When I posted about the jacket on Instagram (and how I wasn’t going to bring it home due to the $3300 price tag), most of the responses went something like, “Well, MAKE ONE!” That sounded like a good idea in theory, but I wasn’t sure I knew how to sew a leather jacket! Would it be like sewing costumes, clothes, or wedding dresses? I feel confident in my pattern making, fitting, and basic sewing techniques, and generally have a “make it work” attitude about projects, but in order to make this work I would need time, patience, and the perfect black leather. Leather Jacket-onelittleminuteblog.com-8

Fast forward to October when my friend Merrick posted about the leather dress she made in partnership with Leather Hide Store. Not only is the dress darling, but it reminded me that I should be on the hunt for some buttery soft leather for the jacket of my dreams. I was thrilled when Leather Hide Store agreed to team up with me for this leather jacket project (dubbed #onelittleleatherjacket on my Instagram feed where I posted updates during the making). I had them send me a few different swatches to get a feel for the leathers, and one black piece was just perfect. Soft and a tiny bit stretchy. Thin enough to have a little drape, but heavy enough to be warm and feel durable as well. So, they sent me half a hide, and I went to work. I want to share a whole pile of fun photos of the finished jacket that my friend Dana shot for me, then I’ll give some insight into the making process and a couple things I learned. Also, Leather Hide Store is so generous and will be giving away a beautiful ruby red hide to one of my readers, so be sure to enter the giveaway at the bottom!  Leather Jacket-onelittleminuteblog.com-2 Leather Jacket-onelittleminuteblog.com-4 Leather Jacket-onelittleminuteblog.com-29 When I was cutting out the pattern pieces on the hide, I realized that I didn’t quite have enough to lay them all out flat without making an extra seam concession somewhere. This is where it ended up. One of the two back collar pieces had to be cut in two separate pieces, then pieced back together. It was one of those happy accident moments, because I actually love the addition of the one off center seam along the collar. Because each of the seams is sewn together, then top-stitched on both sides to tack down the seam allowance and reduce bulk, every seam really adds to the architectural detail of the jacket. Leather Jacket-onelittleminuteblog.com-300 Leather Jacket-onelittleminuteblog.com-22 Leather Jacket-onelittleminuteblog.com-6 The double-welt pockets were the most nerve-wracking part of the whole sewing experience. I didn’t add any to the pattern, or on either of the two muslins that I made. So when it came time to add them to the final jacket I was slightly terrified. Luckily, with a practice pocket in leather under my belt, they both turned out just fine. The standard pocket zipper that I bought is 5″, which I actually think is just a touch too short. My hand fits in there, but just barely. I’d add an inch or two if I were to do it again.

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I draped the pattern for the jacket on my dress form and it was so fun to discover the symmetry of the asymmetrical design. Although the zipper is far off center, all of the front pieces of the jacket are the same, allowing the each stage of the unzipping to have a little different look as the wide, square collar folds down little by little. This jacket is obviously primarily inspired by the one I tried on last year, which was designed by Rick Owens. As I worked on this project I enjoyed doing a little research on him, and loved some of his ideas about design–like that on a good jacket the shoulders are narrow, and the sleeves tight and long to flatter the wearer. That’s where adding ponte knit to the sleeves comes into play, rather than having them solid leather. The ponte allows the sleeves to be tight fitting without being restrictive. The result is a jacket that looks less puffy and more sleek. I also had to laugh a little bit at the Rick Owens Quote “Working out is modern couture. No outfit is going to make you look or feel as good as having a fit body. Buy less clothing and go to the gym instead.” Well said. I’ll go to the gym so I can keep fitting into my tight leather sleeves!

Read on for more photos, pieces of the process, and the red hide giveaway!

Read More »

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