Thursday, February 27, 2014

Sew Grateful: Ulyana Sergeenko Challenge

Yesterday was Sharing Resources Day for Sew Grateful and I didn't post anything because I don't have tutorials of my own or new inspiration to share with you. (I will mention that I pin a lot of tutorials and tips here on this pinterest page so you can check that out if you're curious.)

Today is Sewing Project Day, meant for us to show off our projects using patterns that we won in a contest, using an online tutorial, or a project inspired by someone else.

I think everyone has been inspired by the amazing ladies competing in Project Sewn this year. If you're a regular reader of my blog, you know I swooned quite a bit when Kathleen from Gosgrain chose Ulyana Sergeenko as her inspiration. Well, first I had to google her, then the swooning happened.

Anyway, I posted a few of my favorite outfits worn and/or designed by Ulyana Sergeenko and it seemed many of you agreed she's amazing.

Okay, I know the point of this post was to showcase a finished project that was inspired by the sewing community, but as I'm just now coming out of my winter funk, I going start a project from this and I hope you'll join me!

So, ahem, I'm officially announcing the Ulyana Sergeenko Challenge!

She has quite a few different looks. I put together a pinterest board to help you find the perfect look. (You know, assuming you're into bold, dramatic, classic styles.)

These looks are outside of my comfort zone and some may not be incredibly practical, but I'm going to push through my doubts and make these because they are incredible.

So what do you think? Are you in??

I think April 20th would be a great end date as that's nearly 7 weeks away and may be enough time to shop, find patterns, and make up several outfits. Leave a comment below if you want to participate. Leave a comment, tweet at me, or send me an email at with your finished outfit and I'll do a round up post in April of everyone's amazing creations.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Sew Grateful: Reflections

Sew Grateful week continues with our reflections!

This year I have extra feelings so hopefully I'm able to fully articulate them and keep it interesting to you, my readers and friends.

I am usually grateful to the sewing community for introducing me to new blogs, new dresses to be inspired by, new and easier ways of sewing with excellent tutorials, and for sticking by me when I inevitably take every winter off.

These last few years have been rather hard for me for various reasons and sewing has been such a wonderful creative outlet for me. Of course, it's also incredibly frustrating at times - but there's really no better feeling than completing an outfit and wearing it out into the world.

This year, and I know we're only two months in, but this year seems like things are finally starting to turn around and for the better. I have so many projects on the horizon and so many life changes to initiate. I also finally started using my social media to connect with other people who sew and knit and only amazing things are happening from that. Really, my thought was along the lines of, "I already follow their blogs... what else could they possibly have to say anywhere else?" Silly me.

Part of it was insecurity on my end. Who would want to listen to me and my stream of consciousness? I'm continually amazed that not only do I have followers, but my numbers increase every so often. Why do people want to see what I'm making? Who wants to hear about how I can't thread my serger to save my life? Is another cat picture really necessary? (Yes.)

I love all of you that listen to me, put up with me, and ultimately support me. You tell me how wonderful my items are when I (finally) make something wonderful, and you tell me how to fix things I made that are pretty crappy. Sometimes I just have to start over. That's life. Life is all about starting over and trying again and I am so, so grateful that I have so many wonderful people supporting me throughout it. Thank you all so much!

Monday, February 24, 2014

Sew Grateful Vintage Pattern Giveaway

This is one of my favorite times of the year just because I started my blog right before Sew Grateful about two years ago and I learned so many useful tips and met so many wonderful bloggers that I still consider myself friends with today. Because of that, I have a few things to give away.

I'll have more details going up tonight about each pattern - though if you are concerned about something, feel free to leave your question in the comments and I'll answer it as soon as you can. I'm not sure if all pieces are there or not, but I bought it from a charity that ensures that all or enough pieces are there for you to complete the items.

I ship worldwide. Contest ends Sunday March 2nd at 11:59 EST.

First up is Simplicity 7129. Bust size 32 and 33.5.

Next is McCall's 2806. Skirt, pants, jacket, dress, and somewhat creepy cover. Size 12, bust 34.

McCall's 3324. I really love this one, but I never see myself wearing it so I must pass it on! Size 12, bust 34.

And this is just a cute book you sew together! Vogue patterns 1959. It seems like a lot of fun for the right child and parent.

Okay, guys. Leave a comment letting me know which pattern(s) you're interested in and make sure there's a way I can contact you if you are the winner.

For additional entries, you can follow my blog here or some form of social media (facebook, twitter, instagram, etc) Please leave separate comments saying that you did/do follow so I can easily count your extra entries.

Thanks to everyone who entered. This giveaway is now closed. And congrats to the winners: Kestrel, Laurie, and Diane!

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Inspiration: Ulyana Sergeenko

So in my sewing hiatus these last few months, I've been working on a lot of other various projects in addition to doing some soul searching. During this time a question was posed to me: if no would judge you, who would you be? What would you personality be like?

The question gave me pause because I had an answer ready to go. Before that question, I thought that I was fairly true to myself. I thought I knew who I was and generally what I wanted, but if I wasn't even acting like myself, what else was I in denial about?

When I was writing out my new year's resolutions, I noted that I was unhappy with my wardrobe and I wanted to change it up a bit. It's not that I wanted to move away from the vintage style, but I wanted to incorporate more comfortable options into my wardrobe. But after thinking about the question posed earlier, I started to wonder why I liked vintage clothing. Was I really dressing for me? Who was I trying to impress?

The thing is that I am not totally pleased with vintage. I mention many times that I want wearable vintage, not costume vintage. I want the timeless lines and silhouettes, but I don't want to look like I time traveled.

I started doing the Architect Wardrobe thing from Colette and I noticed that when it came time to choose words for my wardrobe, in addition to the usual "timeless, modern, and classic," I also chose "boring" and "plain."

Something was happening, clearly.

Anyway, guys, I was bored at work and while I was checking out the first round of Project Sewn entries, I decided to google Ulyana Sergeenko. Here's what W magazine says about her:
Porcelain-skinned and with a pinup figure, the 32-year-old wife of the Russian insurance billionaire Danil Khachaturov is both adored and imitated for her glamorous 1950s babushka style (think full skirts, fitted mohair sweaters, and a head scarf tied à la Grace Kelly). Sergeenko has parlayed that sartorial acclaim into an eponymous couture label, which she presented in Paris this past summer. Her debut collection featured clingy knit tops, quilted skirts, floor-sweeping greatcoats, and enough sable to swaddle the Russian army.
Guys, I found my style icon.

I've never had one before, so I'm really excited. Her clothing is so gorgeous. It's timeless and vintage inspired, but it's also gorgeous and dramatic and very mature. I'm so in love. Here's all the pictures from google:

So yeah, I'm going to try to incorporate more fun and dramatic looks into my "timeless, vintage" style.

Additionally, I'm pleased to report that I finally dusted off my sewing machine last Sunday and I made progress on my cape! I fixed the collar, made "arm holes," decided the front wasn't as bad as I thought and I could leave it, and started sewing together the lining.

I doubt this will happen, but I hope to cut out and sew a quick jersey dress for the Project Sewn sewalong this week as well! If I don't finish, keep an eye out as I have great things planned... I just need to get moving!