Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Out and About Dress - Party Animal

Have you checked out the Out and About Dress pattern from SewCaroline? If you haven't you should. It is a fantastic pattern for sewers of any skill, and it is so versatile. I made my first Out and About Dress last week, and I can't wait to make many, many more.

Drumroll for my first finished project in months...

While I am not much of a party animal I feel like this dress deserves the name! I finished it last week to wear for my birthday date with Josh. It's a quick sew, and I love everything about it. It's easily transitional between winter tights and spring shooties, and it looks great with any solid scarf I have. It truly is an out and about dress...I can wear it to work (like I did today!), out to grab brunch with friends, running can be dressed up or down. So. Great. I'm really excited to make a couple more for an upcoming travel trip I have--this can definitely be packed without worry of wrinkles!

I found the fabric back in early January at Hobby Lobby--it was on clearance for $3.99 a yard. I bought three yards and originally planned to make a knit Laurel. My plans soon changed when Caroline mentioned on her blog that she was planning to release the pattern in February. I am so glad I waited! I've been eyeing up those Lady Skaters some bloggers have been putting out, but to be honest I was looking for something with a fuller skirt.

Honestly I can't even say enough about this pattern. From the ease of use to the directions it is just top notch. I bought the pattern the day it came out, and the only downside was that the yardage was printed wrong (you need about three yards for a large, not two). BUT that's okay. I could always use some more knit fabric for fun tops and the like. I already have a few more dress ideas in the works, too! One in (almost) every color sounds good to me.

Also, I feel a little famous, but I already made the Out and About Dress Pinterest board since I posted my photo to flickr! I'll take it. ;)

Look at all those other fabulous dresses! Moral of the story? GO DOWNLOAD THIS PATTERN. You won't regret it.

Stay tuned for more exciting things! 

Friday, February 14, 2014

Turning 25: Looking Back and Moving Forward

TODAY I turned 25. I went from being 24 to 25 at 5:30 a.m. (I think) My mom always tells me the story of the day I was born (not the gore guys--ew). She said she told my dad at around midnight that it was time to go to the hospital, and he said they had plenty of time and went back to bed! Four hours later they welcomed me into the world. Weird.

Unlike a lot of people I know (or at least read about on the internet) I am pretty excited for the occasion. Twenty-five isn't a quarter-life crisis for me. Instead it's cheers to another year of life, which has been pretty great lately--even if I've been MIA on here.

I wanted to look back because a year ago I made a 25 before 25 list. Let's recap and see what I did/didn't do.

1. Travel to the Pacific Coast
Check! Josh and I traveled to Newport Beach, CA in June. It was fantastic to dip my toes in the Pacific ocean and experience the West Coast!
2. See Ben Folds live
I didn't get to do that when I was 24, but I do get to see him live at 25. He's coming to play with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra in June, and Josh and I are going as our anniversary present to each other. So. Excited.
3. Find my style
I think I will always be trying to find this. I'm not there yet, but I am definitely on my way.
4. Make a dress I love
Floral Laurel = check! And many more to come.
5. Adopt a dog/puppy
Still working on this. I would loooooove to adopt a dog that doesn't shed (Josh is allergic).
6. Celebrate Hubby's 25th in a big way
I surprised him with friends and family at a Pirates game. Check and win!
7. Reorganize everything
we did just move, so I am in the process of organizing everything. I think that counts.
8. Write more
Another goal to work on in 2014!
9. Create my own tutorial(s)
Still working on this, too. Hopefully 2014 will bring some good ideas!
10. Visit Laura in NYC
Still need to head to the Big Apple.
11. Go to Mood in NYC
See #10.
12. Start and keep an inspiration journal
I've been keeping a notebook for ideas in my purse, and it's been really great to have!
13. Explore Pittsburgh
I can get to Squirrel Hill without using a GPS. Definitely working on this!
14. Blog every day
HA. Jokes. Too much.
15. Volunteer
I've been doing things here and there in our community, and I plan to continue that in 2014.
16. Learn my camera/Take more pictures
This will definitely be something high on my priority list in 2014. I did okay with this, but haven't been taking as many pictures as I've wanted!
17. Design a line of cards
I've made a lot of cards, but no design line yet.
18. Start a monthly boardgame night
We do play a lot of board games (see future pics of our living room builtin), but no monthly night yet.
19. Go on more dates
We went on a ton of dates in 2013. Excited for 2014!
20. Create monthly meal plans/budgets
Failed miserably at this. It's definitely something I hope to get better at--it's so difficult for me.
21. Read at least 10 new books
Failed at this too. Definitely want to read at least one book a month starting this month.
22. Send birthday cards this year
I did okay at this. I didn't get a card out to every single one of my friends, but I did do my best.
23. Make (sew) something completely different/out of my comfort zone!
I started an Archer button up (totally out of my norm), but its a WIP. Pants are definitely on my sewing goals list this year!
24. Run a 5k
Check! I ran my first 5k (non stop--no walking) in August and hope to run another this year.
25. Lose 25 lbs.
This didn't happen either, but my health is definitely a focus for me this year.

It's great to be able to look back and know that I did a lot in 2013. Now I'm looking forward to a new year with lots of exciting things in store. I mentioned that I've been reorganizing after a move, and that's because we bought a house! That means in addition to my usual sewing/life posts you'll be seeing a lot more DIY home action around here. Sewing/hobby room transformation anyone?

The process for moving in and organizing is definitely take a lot longer than I expected, but it is so wonderful to be able to come home to something that is [our] own. I can't wait to share more!