Friday, November 9, 2012

Sewing Inspiration: Bernie Dexter

    I rarely let myself by RTW anymore. I just can't afford it, plus it fits better if I make it myself. That doesn't stop me from browsing online stores, scouring for inspiration. Lately I've been obsessing over Bernie Dexter's clothing line, specifically her dresses. For any of those that know of her, she's a modern pin-up model with an uncanny likeness for Bettie Page. Her clothing line is 50's inspired, full of Rockabilly goodness. Everything is made in the USA and I just love it all. Unfortunately, her prices are so high, I can't ever justify purchasing anything.

    Her dresses in particular are to die for. From what I understand, Bernie has a hand in everything her line produces and if so, I'm impressed. Her eye for elaborate prints is amazing. I especially love the fabrics she chooses that depict a scene. I'm a little afraid of prints as a whole. I don't mind wearing them, I love looking at them, but I'm terrified of creating with them. I live in fear of going *too far. Bernie Dexter's dresses DO go too far...and look fabulous anyway! I would never dream of making these fabrics into the elaborate dresses she does and yet, it works! I mean, look at these!

 I'm totally inspired by it all. The one dress that has really caught my eye is her new Christmas dress. I must have it and since I can't afford $225, looks like I'll have to make it myself. I'm having a hard time sourcing appropriate fabric. I figured it would be no problem finding a quilting cotton in a Thomas Kinkade-esque scene, but it's proving difficult. I'm not giving up, though. I have a goal of recreating this and wearing it to my husband's annual company Christmas party. That's the only time of year I get to really dress up, ha!

 It's not just the prints I love, though. I also adore the style of the dresses, these two in particular.


   So help me out, dear readers. Have any ideas for patterns and fabrics so I can recreate any (or all) of these fancy schmancy dresses?? What do you think of them? Are they too over the top?

Sunday, November 4, 2012

The All at Once Skirt


       In a never ending quest to build my wardrobe piece by piece I present you with another separate...another skirt, Simplicity 2451.  I bought this olive cotton sateen specifically to fit with what I already have in my closet. I think it goes well with what I have and will go well with what I have planned.


       I made view D. Not much to say here about the pattern. I cut out my typical size 12 out of  less than 2 yards of the sateen and made no major alterations. It sewed up quick, only about 4 hours from start to finish, including hand hemming. This skirt is super short, for me anyway. Can't be flashing cheek when wiping a runny nose! To keep this as long as possible I skipped the suggested 1.25' and used some fuschia lace hem tape to turn it up a scant .25" instead. It probably would have looked better a bit shorter, don't ya think? Oh well, modesty trumps fashion here.


    I had a good laugh thinking about me 10 years ago. If 20 year old Jamie could talk to 30 year old Jamie she would be shocked at the lack of cleavage and leg and vanity in general. Age and children have made me less judgemental, a bit more humble and wow....modest. Well, maybe not MODEST, but I'm certainly wearing much more clothing than I did when I was training to be a professional wrestler a decade ago. Yes you read that right. Moving along....



  Funny story about these pictures. When I went to photograph this yesterday I had just come back from my local yarn store (where I spent way too much $$...oops) and since I was all dressed up I figured I would take some pictures. When I got back inside and uploaded everything I decided I didn't really like the brown boots with the whole ensemble. It was a "what was I thinking?!" moment. Plus, my everyday makeup didn't show up well on camera, I hadn't really styled my hair and the skirt was wrinkled. I went out again today and wore the same outfit but this time with different shoes. I went shopping with my girls and so this is what I look like after 3 hours of shopping that included 1 MAJOR meltdown courtesy of my 6 years old. My skirt was even more wrinkled than before and suddenly the pictures that I didn't like so much from yesterday look much better by today's standards. Days like today make me wonder when I became so old?? Yikes!


 I had a small struggle when I picked this pattern up because it's not really my "normal" style. I don't know what I would call my normal style but I think that I gravitate towards retro inspired, whimsical clothing however I still have a love for the grunge/punk/90's style of my adolescence. This skirt is fairly modern and maybe a little matronly which is something I dread gravitating towards as I get older. I finally decided, what the heck. If I like it, I like it. End of story, right? Plus, I think it can be styled to look more "alternative" than soccer mom. ha. 

 This skirt is named after a song by one of my favorite bands, The Airborne Toxic Event's song, All at Once. It's a gorgeous song about life in general and the changes we go through...and how suddenly they hit us. "In the gut". Felt appropriate for this.