Thursday, March 29, 2012

A Little Detour

By now, we all have figured out that I love fashion.  Big surprise, huh???  So, today, I want to take a mini detour to share a new-found love.  The new love of sewing and crafting! 

When I was a kid, my mom made ALL of our clothes, right down to matching blue corduroy overalls for her and me!  There is photographic evidence somewhere!  She sewed all of my baton recital outfits.  Also a ton of photographic evidence!  She could do anything with her machine.  She tried, at various times, to pass that along to me.  Sometimes I was interested, sometimes, not so much. 

Last year, my Christmas present (which I bought myself!!) was a Singer sewing machine, on sale at Target.  Oh wait.  By last year, I mean 2010!  Guess where that machine has been ever since?  Yep, sealed up in the box in our basement.  It makes a great Barbie house or pool or whatever the girls use it for!  But, at the inspiration of my dear friend, Hilani at, the machine made an appearance about two months ago. 

She convinced me that I could make these Starboard skirts.  So, my sewing odyssey began.  Simple Simon & Co. Starboard Skirt Tutorial 

My first lesson was very professional.  I learned all about tension, length and threading the bobbin.  I learned about needle size and how important it is to buy good thread.  Hilani is a great teacher!  On my first day, I made this:

Since, then I have made these for the girls:

They love them.  They are comfortable and they get to pick out their own fabric!  It has become a great bonding activity.  The skirts take me about an hour to whip up!  Not bad for around $7 (for one yard of the fabric).  Yay for frugal me!

But, that wasn't enough.  I wanted more and more and more!  And so the Style U scarves were born!  Style U scarves are my baby!  I am addicted to finding new fabrics with fun colors and great patterns.  I promise to update all the new fabrics this week!  My husband now lovingly refers to our dining room as "The Sweat Shop".  We may need to finish the basement soon so that I can give the dining room back to the family. 

But, why stop at sewing?  I have taken up dying jean jackets to freshen them up and give them a new life!  Don't get rid of that 80's jacket you have been hanging on to!  Dye it!!  I used this tutorial to dye an old jean jacket for a friend. Dye your jeans or jacket.  Here are the before and after photos:


Also, with the help of the sewing goddess, Hilani, I figured out how to put the original hem onto jeans.  What used to cost me anywhere from $20-$30 now takes me about a half hour and the cost of a little bit of thred.  Yay me!  It isn't perfect on this first attempt, but I will get better!

Now, we can't mention crafting without mentioning the best, most creative, funnest (is that a word??) website ever created, Pinterest.  I love Pinterest so much!  Anything and everything you could ever think of is on that website.  I mean, check out my boards!  I have My Men (view at your own risk). I have my trip to Ireland. I have all my fashion stuff.  I mean, name it and you can find it on there! 

It also inspired a really fun girls' night for me and some of my friends.  Hilani blogs about it here.  I look so forward to these nights.  The rules are that you have to make a craft that you found on Pinterest and you have to bring a food item that you also found on Pinterest.  It really is a great time!

Here are some of the craftier things that I made with the inspiration from Pinterest: Nutter Butter Pirate cookies
A hanging "chandelier" centerpiece for Christmas:

I never thought I would be a "crafter".  But, it has become my therapy.  I have a mind that never stops.  Ever.  But when I am sewing, my mind is quiet.  I have to concentrate on other things and it is great.  Oh, also watching all four seasons of Mad Men helped too! 

Explore Pinterest and find some fun, easy things to do.  There are a ton of kid-friendly crafts, too!  Spring Break is here so find some fun stuff to do with the kiddos.  We are making this for dessert tonight: Peanut Butter Ball


Sunday, March 11, 2012


Ahhh, my favorite acronym of the season!  It is music to my ears.  Oh, you don't know what it stands for?  Come on, my fashionistas! 


You could say this is all Brad Goreski's fault!  Brad's show is where I first heard pop of color.  His pop was his socks.  Fabulous for the men in your life, but I am not wearing socks all that often lately!  So, how can you add a pop of color into your wardrobe this spring or summer?  The possibilities are endless.

Even if your wardrobe consists mostly of neutrals and you don't normally wear a lot of color, it is easy.  Don't be afraid of the color.  This is where you can be very creative without it being too overpowering.  Color is fresh, color is fun and color is easy!

So, where do you begin?  Begin with something easy.  Belts.  Right now, skinny belts are really in!  You can pair them with a great pair of capris and a little white t-shirt.  You can wear one with a short sleeved cardigan.  They really are very versatile.

Beautiful colors:

Let's talk my favorite, shoes!  Shoes!  Shoes!  With shoes, the possibilities are endless.  Flip flop, wedges, peep toe pumps, ballet flats. And don't be afraid to mix your beautiful pop of color shoes with a top of a different color!  Because if one pop of color is good, two is great! Go wild! 
Last but certainly not least, we will once again discuss scarves!  Yay!!!!!  I love scarves.  I love scarves so much that soon, very soon, I will be launching a line of Style U Scarves, all handmade and all with a pop of color!  Stay tuned for my scarves, but until then, use scarves as a super easy pop of color!  You can wear them in a ponytail, as a belt, on your purse, and a million different ways around your lovely neck!

Now, let me add that there are other ways to add that great pop of color.  The most obvious, and maybe the easiest, is in your jewelry.  Bright bangles, big earrings, a fun necklace.  Instant color and an easy thing to mix up and change.  Purses are a fun way to add color.  Don't worry about "matching" your purse to your shoes or any other fashion "rule"!  I have a great blue bag that I use in the spring and this year I plan on using purse scarves to help dress it up.  A purse scarf is also going to renew my old standby, my black Coach purse.

On that note, as I've alluded to, I have been a sewing machine (no pun intended), thanks to my great pal, Hilani of Handmade by Hilani.  She taught me how to use my sewing machine and I have been spending every waking minute sewing a plethora of products for all of you to buy to add your pop of color to any wardrobe!  When I say every waking minute, I mean it!  My children have no clean clothes, my husband very carefully just asked me "Honey, can I help you with dinner?" and the house looks like a bomb went off, but I am doing it all for you!  So, the products will be up in my new online store soon.  Very soon!  Just as soon as I figure out how to get a good picture of the products. 

Thanks everyone!  Remember, don't be afraid to find your style!