Great Day Houston Rodeo Fashionista!

In case you (somehow) missed it: I was one of five lovely models on Friday morning’s “Great Day Houston” showing off some fun Rodeo-inspired “western wear” options from amazing Houston-based stores Emerson Rose, Jubilee, and Erica DelGardo Jewelry Designs!

Indeed it was!

Indeed it was!

I woke up insanely early and met up with my fellow models at Jubilee to get ready! (They were even kind enough to provide donuts and kolaches!) So, at least I didn’t have to get up and immediately look great, there was time to get adequately gussied up. Then we carpooled to the Channel 11 studio, and headed into the Green Room!

Just chillin' in the Green Room for a moment.

Just chillin’ in the Green Room for a moment.

Since our segment was in the middle of the show, we were ushered upstairs, where we chatted and practiced our catwalks.

Since our segment was in the middle of the show, we were ushered upstairs, where we chatted and practiced our super hot catwalk strides.

The set was done up to look like a snazzy hoedown, and we (the models) basically lined up on one side so as to emerge front and center on cue!

See?! That's my "sexy cowgirl" walk!

See?! That’s my “sexy cowgirl” walk!

My look was described as "date night" or "romantic rodeo" because it involved that super awesome lacy dress!

My look was described as “Cowboy Sweetheart” or “romantic rodeo” because it involved that super awesome lacy dress!

Also I had some GORGEOUS jewelry to show off!

Also I had some GORGEOUS Erica DelGardo silver and turquoise jewelry to show off!

Plus that super cool purse!

Plus that super cool purse!

As you can probably tell, I had some fun with this.

Here's a shot from backstage! It really shows off the "behind the scenes" aspect!

Here’s a shot from backstage! It really shows off the “behind the scenes” aspect!

I had so much fun modeling these lovely clothes, and promoting some local shops! Everyone was amazingly kind, helpful, supportive, and my fellow models were/are all fabulous!

Don't we all look so great?! Deborah was also rockin' the suede fringe, and super hot boots!

Don’t we all look so great?! Deborah Duncan was also rockin’ the suede fringe, and super hot boots!

Check out the clip to see all these fab looks in action! I’m model #4, but each of these ladies looks is adorable, and seriously perfect for the Rodeo! (Pro Tip: DO NOT go into the Petting Zoo wearing fringe. You think it’s just the goats you’ve got to worry about, but they all want a yummy piece of that.) If you are looking for some Rodeo Houston inspiration, accessories, boots, or any beautiful items, hit up 19th Street ASAP because the fun officially starts tomorrow!

Are you going to the Rodeo this year? Do you know what you’re gonna wear?? Do you have a favorite/collection of a specific “Western wear” item(s)?

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I Saw Bigfoot!

At least, I saw A Bigfoot. It was on display last night, courtesy of dedicated showman/Bigfoot murderer Rick Dyer, at the Alamo Drafthouse, at a sold out event that included a delightfully insane episode of the Six Million Dollar Man, and viewings of the beast!

Here's Hank! One of two "Bigfeet" killed by cowboy hat enthusiast and blatant opportunist Rick Dyer.

Here’s Hank! One of two “Bigfeet” killed by cowboy hat enthusiast and blatant opportunist Rick Dyer.

Obviously, this was a media-worthy event, and somehow I was featured on the Channel 2 Houston news coverage! Check it out!

While this has little to do (directly) with fashion and/or design, I was wearing a super cool skull scarf my friend Alicia made, AND there were some amazing Bigfoot themed shirts being sold last night. It was a night of silly scenarios, ridiculous Q&As, and suspended belief. WORTH IT!

New Dress! Retro Butterick 5880!

Woohoo! I’ve got a new dress, and it’s gorgeous! In a continuation of my life being photographed in vintage and vintage-style dresses, here are the results of about 8 hours of sewing fun!

Here's the pattern, a vintage reprint from Butterick (B5880), and the crazy cotton fabric I found!

Here’s the pattern, a vintage reprint from Butterick (B5880), and the crazy blue cotton fabric I found!

As I’ve said, I love working with fun cotton fabric, because it tends to be less expensive and so easy to work with. This particular fabric was chosen due to the changing of the seasons. I thought it would be a lovely late winter/early spring print that would make the transition nicely. Also, I don’t have nearly enough blue things to wear!

Here's a close up of my fab hair (it did what I wanted it to do!!!), and the super neat neckline! It's got two little "v"s to keep things interesting.

Here’s a close up of my fab hair (it did what I wanted it to do!!!), and the super neat neckline! It’s got two little “v”s to keep things interesting.

It also works super well with my vintage blue starburst brooch! I did not plan this, however, one of the bursts in the fabric ended up in the perfect “brooch place” on the bodice! Splendid serendipity!

Here's the final product! Isn't it stunning?!

Here’s the final product! Isn’t it stunning?!

Another confession: The lovely swag across the front was *supposed* to be lined, and because I didn’t have quite enough fabric, I just hemmed the raw edge instead! It lies beautifully, however, since the fabric isn’t double-sided, I’ve got to be careful not to let the underside show. When I make another version (which I’d like to do immediately), I will probably choose a solid color, and add a contrasting fabric lining!

I'll also take this opportunity to introduce my pocket pup: Abe Lincoln!

I’ll also take this opportunity to introduce my pocket pup: Abe Lincoln!

Isn't he the cutest?!?!

Isn’t he the cutest?!?!

So, that’s the latest sewing project of mine! It was really special because it was my first dress at the smallest size I’ve ever sewn! I only made my standard adjustments to the waist (for petites) and the hem length (super petite!), and it fits so well! As many dresses as I’ve made, it still feels like a gamble with a new pattern, and I’m so glad this one is a success!

Are you working on a new dress pattern? What made you choose it? Which fabric(s) do you like working with?

Valentine’s Day Soirée!

Someone like myself, who prefers Halloween to all holidays, watching documentaries about diseases, sharks and/or massacres, as well as the generally macabre aspects of life, may not truly appreciate the saccharine, heart-shaped miasma that is Valentine’s Day. I do, however, love a good theme. One I can really run with, like the goddess Diana, through a beautiful forest of decorating possibilities!

Given this fact, and Valentine’s Day being on a Thursday last year, I decided to host a fabulous Valentine’s soirée! I thought it might be much more enjoyable than a “fancy” date night at some restaurant, surrounded by a bunch of desperate strangers, with outrageously high expectations, eating overpriced steak and mediocre desserts.

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So yummy!

Again, because I have doting parents who are willing to help me, and provide excessive amounts of table settings, decor and silver pieces, this party was an over-the-top success! Not to mention, the house lends itself extremely nicely to this color scheme, given the vintage pink linoleum covering the kitchen, pink curtains in the dining room, pink sectional sofa and dramatic peacock feathers in the foyer. I invited so many people that we had all three tables set up (one in the Library/Study, Dining Room and Breakfast Room). Each was set with a different combination of colors, all of which featured pink heavily.

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Fancy folks in the Dining/Cherub room!

The Breakfast Room! (My favorite table cloth, the vintage net and sequined felt!)

The Breakfast Room! (My favorite table cloth, the vintage net and sequined felt!)

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Sophisticated romance in the Study!

I served Mexican food, mostly because you can cook a lot of it at once without too much effort, and it has less staining properties than Italian fare. (Red sauce and white table cloths DO NOT mix.) So, I opted to make 40+ enchiladas, with chicken and veggie options! Never before attempted, but they were delicious! I bought rice and beans from Chuy’s (they were SUPER gracious about it), and a couple of my friends provided the (totally necessary) crock pot queso.

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My mother, and guests, were very helpful!

Not sure how I got away with not wearing an apron. (ALWAYS wear an apron!)

Not sure how I got away with not wearing an apron. (ALWAYS wear an apron!)

We also had a pink champagne punch (OBVS), with a frozen juice/blueberry-filled heart to keep it cool, and make my great grandmother’s punch bowl look even more fabulous!

Gorgeous in all the ways!

Gorgeous in all the ways!

For dessert (along with the many amazing guest contributions), I made what my family now calls “Strawberry Collapse Cake.” So named because of an incident in my childhood involving my mother, covered up to her elbows in pink, strawberry/coconut icing, weeping and babbling incoherently while what was once a layered cake slowly oozed sideways and simultaneously imploded. Being a relentless problem-solver, she decided to put the “cake” in an antique trifle bowl. Alternating cake, icing, sliced strawberries and cool whip, she created a beautiful dessert, and effectively masked it’s inherent instability.

*Somehow the desserts went unphotographed, however, if you have any pictures, please let me know!*

The decor for this party was absolutely incredible. Seriously. We’re talking gold lame swags, punctuated with my mother’s (seemingly endless) supply of heart-shaped candy boxes, in the living room. A silver epergne (pronounced: ay-pern), adorned with piles of hearts and cherubs, not to mention the ever-present pink cow hide rug, and pink and green sofa.

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So many golden swags! (It’s all one long piece, btw.)

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Silver epergne and pink cow hide rug. So classy!

Pink sofa! And the gorgeous flowers Boyfriend bought just for me!

Pink sofa! Plus, gorgeous flowers!

We added some hearts to my mother’s antique wall-o-drawers piece in the Breakfast Room, plus some hanging on her stick arrangements, for good measure.

My friend's camera had a color filter! We USED it!

My friend’s camera had a color filter! We USED it!

The cutest!

The cutest!

My father’s Study/Library was made more festive with two enormous Styrofoam hearts, on loan from my maternal grandmother. I used one of the three hearts as a background for the “photo booth” we set up in the entry way! This was also a big hit, especially for those who donned some of the “costumes” provided: feather boas, oversize pearls, ladylike fans, and the token mustache guy we inherited from my grandparents’ furniture store.

So demure!

So demure!

Perfect friends!

Perfect friends!

Also meant to be!

Also meant to be!

Or does Matt love this guy??

Or does Matt love this guy??

Nope. It's this pretty lady!

Nope. It’s this pretty lady!

Adorbs!

Adorbs!

So happy!

So happy!

My anti-Valentine's friends came too!

My anti-Valentine’s friends came too!

Since we are a pretty crafty group, I also set up my mother’s craft room as a place for people to make their own Valentine’s Day cards and/or paper bags to collect goodies! (Like the Spanish conversation hearts my mother managed to accidentally purchase!)

Te amo!

Te amo!

I collected some pre-made Valentine’s cards, along with paper, glue, scissors, stickers, GLITTER, doilies and so much more! Giving people something to do before and/or after dinner encourages creativity and conversation. Plus, if you haven’t put together gift bags, they have something to take home that will remind them of how much fun they had!

Brian was super excited about his Valentine's bag!

Brian was super excited about his Valentine’s bag!

Craftin!

Craftin!

And lookin' good!

And lookin’ good!

Also, for this event, I decided I needed to create an ensemble that would be memorable and gorgeous. Thankfully, my mother has a pattern collection that would rival that of Vogue or McCall’s, so I quickly found a pattern that NEEDED to be real.

Isn't everything about this incredible??

Isn’t everything about this incredible??

So, Mom also had this fab silky red fabric that happened to be a shade darker on the “wrong” side, which was PERFECT for this dress, and I didn’t have to line the peplum! It was one of my first attempts at dealing with boning (re: buy boning that hasn’t been wrapped in a circle for 20+ years), and sewing this particular pattern. It went pretty well, though, and the final product turned out to be quite the conversation piece!

Dramatic in red! (Look at my pink cheeks!)

Dramatic in red! (Look at my pink cheeks!)

Worn with my PEACOCK FEATHER BOA!

Worn with my PEACOCK FEATHER BOA!

This party was a wonderful way to spend Valentine’s Day! Everyone had a wonderful time, contributed so much, and were able to wallow in the evening’s romantic theme.

Have you been to a Valentine’s Day party? Do you and your other celebrate Val-D? Do you have an anti-Val-D tradition?

Vintage Hat & Modeling Brunch 2.0

As promised, here’s a gorgeous sampling of my fabulous models in these dresses I made! These are some super great lookin’ ladies, and I’ve tried to match up the original pattern pictures to give y’all an idea of how amazing these dresses look IRL!

Vogue 8489 - So low cut you'll be embarrased all day at the office!

Vogue 8489 – So low-cut you’ll be self concious all day!

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Laura looked so super hot in this dress I made her take it home!

McCall's 6462 - This is SUCH a fun pattern! It's super fun, flattering and crazy simple to make!

McCall’s 6462 – This is SUCH a fun pattern! It’s super fun, flattering and crazy simple to make!

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I love this dress, and I totally added pockets! Not that anyone could look at the dress when Catherine’s making the best face ever.

Butterick 5748 - I LOVE this dress so much I made it twice! Once in lovely black linen (with bow, and pockets, obvs!) and once with a white eyelet!

Butterick 5748 – I LOVE this dress so much because it’s simple, doesn’t take a huge amount of fabric, and is super flattering. I made it twice!

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This is the first version, made of black linen, with bow and added pockets!

Version #2 - Fabulous white eyelet! It's fully lined, and so easy to accessorize!

Version #2 – Fabulous white eyelet! It’s fully lined, and so easy to accessorize!

Butterick 5603 - Fabulous retro reprint pattern that's got several choices for different bodice styles!

Butterick 5603 – Fabulous retro reprint pattern that’s got several choices for different bodice styles!

This is such a great pattern, and I adore the fabric! It looks like a 1960s wallpaper: buckin' broncos and all! It's also perfect with my red petticoat!

This is such a great pattern, and I adore the fabric! It looks like a 1960s wallpaper: buckin’ broncos and all! It’s also perfect with my red petticoat!

Vintage Vogue 2960 - Requires lots of fabric, like all Vogue patterns, but it's a lovely dress, and totally worth it!

Vintage Vogue 2960 – Requires lots of fabric, like all Vogue patterns, but it’s a lovely dress and totally worth it!

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I made this dress out of a pretty pink linen, added pockets, and closed the front opening, despite the button-closure, upon the advice of another seamstress who made the pattern first. Pro tip – if you can make a pattern after someone else, and they can help you at all, take any notes they have to offer.

Butterick 5247 - A really simple pattern that I made when I was still in my early learning stage!

Butterick 5247 – A really simple pattern that I made when I was still in my early learning stage!

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I chose the “tunic” option, and it was really simple, as well as flattering! I made it out of a silky fabric with a super bold pattern. Next time, there will be pockets!

Vogue 8409 - With some prompting by the fabulous Gertie, I made this dress as a simple sheath to accessorize and wear to work!

Vogue 8409 – With some prompting by the fabulous Gertie, I made this dress as a simple sheath to accessorize and wear to work!

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The final product is stunning! I chose a pink jersey that is heavy enough to go un-lined, and light enough to be worn in any season!

Vintage Vogue 8812 - An early 1940s pattern, this is a great simple summer dress!

Vintage Vogue 8812 – An early 1940s pattern, this is a great simple summer dress!

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I chose a fun green print, with dark green accent for this dress! The bodice is flattering, and the length could be reduced depending on how much summer fun you plan to have! Or, it could be made into a cocktail dress with a slinky fabric!

Vintage Vogue 1171 - A lovely early 1950s reprint pattern, it's simple, but can be made with so many different fabrics!

Vintage Vogue 1171 – A lovely early 1950s reprint pattern, it’s simple, but can be made with so many different fabrics!

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I made this dress specifically for the 4th of July! It’s got red buttons with little anchors on them! It’s also perfect for picnics!

Vintage Vogue 2787 - A Lovely pattern, easy to work with, but it still includes some unique details!

Vintage Vogue 2787 – A Lovely pattern, easy to work with, but it still includes some unique details!

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If you recall, I made this particular dress not too long ago! I had to make a couple of simple adjustments, but it was a great way to jump back into garment sewing after a post-holiday break.

Simplicity 5403 - Despite, or perhaps because this is a costume pattern, I love it dearly! It's a handy circular skirt pattern, and I've made it twice - so far!

Simplicity 5403 – Despite, or perhaps because this is a costume pattern, I love it dearly! It’s a handy circular skirt pattern, and I’ve made it twice – so far!

This, the first version, was made out of black and white Elvis fabric! It's glorious, and somehow subtle. The second version is less so, and made out of giraffe print! To be worn exclusively with wooden and ivory jewelry.

This, the first version, was made out of black and white Elvis fabric! It’s glorious, and somehow subtle. The second version is less so, and made out of giraffe print! To be worn exclusively with wooden and ivory jewelry.

McCall's 6083 - So, I tried the pink version of this pattern and it was not awesome, but clearly the "blue" version is WAY better!

McCall’s 6083 – So, I tried the pink version of this pattern and it was not awesome, but clearly the “blue” version is WAY better!

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Obvs Lora knows how to rock the hell out of a jumpsuit! I made this out of a silky fabric so it would drape more ’70s-like, and because I have like 20 yards of that fabric. (Always use what you’ve got!)

I am completely in love with every single lady in these photos!!! Thanks for making my dresses look so fantastic, and thanks again for coming out and modeling! And another big thank you to our photographer, Walter! We’ll do it again soon, I promise, and hopefully even more fab ladies will be able to make it. It’s a wonderful incentive to sew more, and I cannot wait!

Do you have a favorite pattern? What made you pick it? Is there one you’d like to make? One you’ve already made?

Fabulous Vintage Hat Brunch!

Thanks to a delightful selection of the gracious people I’m fortunate enough to call my friends, I was recently able to host a super successful vintage hat/modeling brunch! It was not only totally fashionable, but also expertly recorded for posterity! Future generations, be aware that we were gorgeous and amazing.

First, we gathered in the “craft room” to evaluate the mountain of hats available:

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You can count on Lee to be contemplative regardless of how many faux flowers are on her head.

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It takes a unique lady to pull off this hat! Way to go, Nikki!

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A classic yellow suede hat! This one was a particular favorite!

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Looks great on everyone! Especially with Jill’s grey dress!

Britney's the cutest! LOVE this fur hat!

Brittany’s the cutest! LOVE this fur hat!

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Laura’s a smoldering temptress.

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Lee was the only one to pull off this enormous pink hat!

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Fun times with feathers!

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Do it! Put on that turban, Laura!

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The craziest of hats!

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Lovely pink picnic hat, Michelle!

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Fabulous lady captain!

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Lora’s not sure about this one.

No worries, ladies! Much like men, just because you try it on, doesn’t mean you’re required to keep it! (Or be photographed with it, for that matter.) So, here are the “official” photos of each lady with her favorite hats!

The fabulous Brittany:

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She’s so damn snazzy!

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Shades of Audrey Hepburn, am I right?!

The marvelous Michelle:

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I adore this hat! Michelle looks so fab in feathers and polka dots!

The endlessly effervescent Jill:

Rockin' the cloche!

Rockin’ the cloche!

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Really loving this bonkers beret!

The petite lady with tons of attitude, Catherine!

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Throwing shade in a classic black hat with funky feathers!

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Keeping warm with this amazing white fur hat!

My favorite duo, and their too-long-in-coming reunion – Laura and Nikki!

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Just two ladies musing together.

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Inspiration at last! *haughty, self-important laughter*

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She’s so provocative!

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I’m pretty sure no one is supposed to be this adorable.

This funky, fresh lady is not only gorgeous, but literally the coolest: Lora!

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Amazing combination of white tux coat and this straw hat with green feathers!

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Didn’t I say she’s the coolest?? Rock that hat, you mad woman!

Another of my favorite ladies, Lee’s doing everything best!

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So cute, yet elegant and approachable in pink and green!

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Not too approachable though. Don’t mess with women wearing bears on their heads.

Thank you again to everyone who came out and modeled for me! I’ll add the dress photos later this week, as they are equally amazing. Another big thank you to our photographer Walter (Wally) Rodriguez, who was gracious enough to brave a ladies’ brunch so I could have pictures taken with a real camera. (He also ate like 15 delicious cookies.) Clearly the combination of beautiful people and vintage hats is a win all around, so we’ll be doing this again soon, and I think a picnic is in order!

Which hat is your favorite? Why? Would you model vintage hats? Do you have a favorite style?

Apologies!

Sorry for the delay! I’m going through a minor life transition at the moment, but have seen Elvis Lives, and been on a super fun girly weekend in the Texas Hill Country, so anticipate some awesome posts later this week!

Delighful wackiness shall return ASAP! xoxo!