Thursday, March 26, 2015

The Wild West, Mountain Men, and Fashion Inspiration, Part 2

If you read Part 1 of this series, you'll know that I currently have Utah history on the brain.  Here's another look from my mini-collection inspired by the Wild West, Utah's mining industry, and the beautiful mountains that surround my home here in the Beehive State.
You may recognize this lace; it's from the same Gunne Sax dress that I used to make a a skirt for myself.  You know me...if I can recycle, I will recycle! I am really excited about the combination of knife pleats and box pleats in this look.
The diagonal darts as well as the selvage edge trim turned out really well, I think; I love the way all the different lines work together to form some fascinating detail and were inspired by Stewart Falls, one of my favorite hiking stops along the Mt. Timpanogos summit trail here in Utah.

The very best part of this ensemble is that it cost me a whopping $3.75 since the lace was free (found in my mom's basement) and the stretch denim for the top was a remnant (and I used a coupon for extra savings). Ah, bargains...you complete me.

Stay tuned for one more installment in this series and have a wonderful day!
 

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

The Wild West, Mountain Men, and Fashion Inspiration Part 1

My two daughters have both studied Utah history this year in school which means that I have also studied it by default (why do my children's homework projects always end up being a 95/5% split among me/them? I'm trying to do better at relinquishing control!). Additionally, I've been obsessed with the AMC TV series "Hell On Wheels" which captures the building of the Transcontinental Railroad in gripping historical fiction. As you likely know, the Transcontinental Railroad was completed high in the Wasatch Mountains at Promontory Point, Utah in 1869 and I really love living in the shadows of those beautiful mountains. The mining, trapping, railroading, and homesteading history of Utah is fascinating and I'm glad to be learning more about my home state since I'm originally a transplant.

While frantically trying to design and create a few looks for a big project I'm working on, I decided I may as well run with the thoughts I already had in my brain and use Utah's interesting history as my inspiration. I couldn't stop thinking about the amazing natural resources that the Beehive State has to offer, so I got to sketching with silver, ore, coal, fur, ice, snow, water, and aspen trees on my mind. I'm thrilled by the results and feel an unusually emotional connection to some of these pieces because they represent everything I love about Utah.

This evening look was inspired by Provo Canyon where the pristine Provo River meanders between jagged granite deposits and the dichotomy between hot and cold (a constant struggle here in the high desert!).
  I added a large, antique brass clasp to the back of the shrug to add some contrast between the heavy, structured shrug and the slinky slip dress. 
 I love the way this photo captures the essence of Utah's mountain terrain and climate; cold and mud require boots!

I'm excited to share with you the other looks in my historical Utah mini-collection! I hope they inspire you to find and celebrate the beauty in your surroundings.  Have a wonderful day!

Monday, March 23, 2015

Everything Is Turning Up Green

Spring is in full force here in Utah and it makes me happy! My trees and flower beds are blooming, birds are chirping, and I love feeling the sunshine on my face. From as young as I can remember, spring has also brought with it a tradition of new Easter dresses for my mom, myself, and my sisters and I've tried to carry on the same tradition with my daughters. Some years we buy the dresses but most years I let them choose the color and fabric, and we always have a fun time coming up with a great design. My daughters share my love of watching seemingly mundane materials become something fantastic.

I found a bit of green rib knit on clearance at Joann Fabric a few springs ago and I could not resist the beautiful, verdant hue.  I knew it'd make a comfy top of some sort so I used a coupon to buy matching satin and came up with these gorgeous gowns.  I love the lines of the deep V and sash in the back and my daughters love the stretchy knit top and swishy, twirly skirt. The best part of these dresses is that each one cost only $7 in materials!

 These gorgeous and comfortable gowns turned out to be some of my daughters' favorite Easter dresses.
 They are playtime friendly and machine washable, which gives them top marks in my book!
 One daughter prefers sleeves and the other doesn't, so I added a small pleat on each side of the shoulder to add a touch of interest to the otherwise simple sleeves. 
I really adore the long, breezy silhouette of these gowns. 

May your world bloom quickly and beautifully this spring and bring with it an exhilarating sense of hope, new life, and possibility.  Happy Springtime!

Please check out Rachael Nelson Photography for more beautiful images or to book an appointment.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

No-Cost Embellishment for Cotton Blend Garments

You all know that I like to save every penny that I can when I create, so here's a great way to add pizazz to your garments without spending an extra cent.  It's quick, easy and I love the results!

video

I also used this technique on a chambray top that I made the other day. I think the subtle fringe finishes off those edges perfectly.

 
If you noticed that amazing turquoise jewelry and fell in love with it like I did, be sure to check out Kotah Bear Jewelry and marvel at all the handmade goodness they have to offer.
 
I'd love to hear how you embellish your garments, especially if your methods are pennywise. Have a wonderful day and happy sewing!

Hello, Again!

After being on a major hiatus, I'm happy to say that I'm back and so excited to share my latest projects with you. Stay tuned for great ideas on sewing, decorating, and cooking on a budget!