Fashion Photography

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In my never ending quest to get better at all things fashion, sewing, and blog related, I’ve gotten back to practicing modeling. If you remember my Photo-Oh-No post, you know it’s an uphill battle! I teamed with my friend Duke, at his 2K1 Photography studio for these shots. If you didn’t see my previous post on some of his work, check it out HERE.

These aren’t my designs, but I did style the looks, which was really fun. Modeling is definitely harder than I would have thought, but I think with practice I’ll be able to take really good shots of my work for this blog. I’ve got dresses I’ve made that I want to share with you that I’ve held back on because my only option is the old selfie-in-the-mirror trick. It gets old. I’d really love to hear from any models and photographers out there on handy tips you’ve picked up. The hardest part for me is to not clench my jaw. The pics from this session were a little expressionless because I was so focused on the posing.

As always, I’m gladly accepting the challenge to learn something new and become great at it. That’s what life is about to me-learning and growing as people in the areas we’ve been gifted with talent or interest in. After  all we have to be willing to be bad for a while in order to become good. As a perfectionist, there are a lot of areas in life I’ve kind of bowed out on because I was too embarassed to look bad. That’s why I never played any sports. Well, that and a total lack of hand-eye coordination and general athletic ability. But I’m finding that with age, I’m gaining confidence-confidence to try and succeed and even the confidence to fail. What is failure, after all, but a step on the road to success?

I wish I had the attitude I have now when I was a teenager, but I certainly won’t let getting a late start hold me back. Sometimes I look at the 8 or 9  years after design school “wasted” that I could have spent in fashion. I think it would have been so much better to pay my dues in the industry when I was younger and to already be established now. Then when I step back from my pity party and look objectively, I think of the many wonderful people, experiences, and achievements God has blessed me with in that time. And I KNOW His timing is perfect. And I know He’ll make a way, even if that way is something totally unexpected. I spend most of my time being a complete stress case about things I can’t control, but I’m learning how to relax and trust Him for my life. As if I could ever make a better plan for myself than He can!

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Fixing Too-Loose Bobs

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Flats never seem to fit me just right. I’m really between sizes, I think, because  8 1/2’s are too small and 9’s are too loose, so I either have to wear socks with the big ones, hope the small ones stretch, or (as usually happens) not buy them at all. I did fall for these crochet Bobs over the summer, and who wouldn’t? They go with everything! I bought them right before going to a music festival, and it wasn’t  until walking around that I realized they slipped off the back of my feet with each step. Bummer! I obviously couldn’t return them, because I was wearing them at a soggy outdoor festival. Double bummer! So I did what all good seamstresses do. I complained about them for a really long time. . .and then I finally got around to fixing them.

It’s super easy to fix the fit on these. I’m sure it would work with just about any canvas shoe.

Here’s how you do it:gdz

1. Grab that old frenemy of yours, the seam ripper and take out the seam on the side (or wherever the seam is located on your pair.)

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2. Fit the shoe to your foot. Find out how much you need to take out- I had to take a scant 1/2″ off of both sides. Move the fabric over that much, pinning if needed.

 

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3. Sew the new seam. (I used a tight zig-zag stitch so it would be very secure and it doesn’t really show on this fabric.) Trim the excess.

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4. Style and Profile!

Simple, right? You don’t have to be intimidated by mending or altering shoes, especially the canvas and crochet kind that you probably have in your closet. It’s just fabric. If you have a pair that doesn’t fit perfectly, look at how they’re made and what type of material they are. You may be able to figure out how to customize them to fit you like gloves. . . for your feet! Now there’s an image. I’ll leave you guys with that. Have a great weekend!

Mix and Match Crochet Scarf

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Man, I love contrast! I’ve been meaning to take pictures of this scarf I made for my daughter for a while, but I was planning on making sure she had a good coordinating outfit on when I did. Turns out, she’s got really good style intuition. She hates the “matchy matchy” look like I do, and perfectly paired this light aqua scarf with a gray dress with a ditsy yellow flower print.
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Holiday Scarves

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Here’s my new reason for loving crochet: It makes excellent gifts! Here’s my suggestion for the holidays: Pick one design that you like, perfect it, and duplicate it in a bunch of colors so you can hand them out to everyone and the next year pick another item. This means you don’t lose track of who got mittens and who got scarves already, and you get the benefit of quick chain-style production and not having to switch gears between each gift. The real beauty of this manner of DIY gift giving is that it’s newbie-friendly. I JUST learned to crochet. I can only make a few things. This is the second type of scarf I made and I loved it, so I decided that’s what everyone would get. I don’t have to worry about learning how to make a ton of items right away. Next year I think I’ll work on those ear warmer head wraps. And maybe the year after that I’ll attempt mittens. Who knows? Maybe by year 4 or 5 I’ll learn how to send out Christmas cards instead of just buying them and addressing half and leaving them on my table until it’s too late to possibly send out. Maybe this blog just became fictional.

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These are the two scarves my daughters are giving to their teachers this year, and I must say I think it’s a good gift. They probably have more plaques and tree ornaments with rulers and apples than they can stand. I used the thick yarn and my blue plastic jumbo hook, which I love! If you want to take up crochet and have very little patience, I suggest starting with those two items. And a double crochet. It goes pretty quick that way.

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For the scarves, I chose the infinity style, obviously, because they are so popular and snuggly and cozy and everybody’s happier when their neck is warm. I used the double crochet and made them ribbed by only putting the crochets into the back part of each loop. (Can you tell I don’t really know all the terminology yet?) I will probably do a step by step picture tutorial at some point. If anyone is dying to see that soon, however, I would make that tutorial sooner if you told me to do it in what? Your handy dandy comment section, of course! (Can you also tell I’m really vying for your feedback?)IMG_1976

Here they are all wrapped up. And by wrapped up I mean jammed into a bag and topped with tissue paper because mama hates to wrap. Is it just me or does that cardinal look a bit nefarious?IMG_1974

The Moral of The Story?

Find something you want to learn how to do and dig in. Look at blog tutorials. Look at Youtube.  Don’t overwhelm yourself trying to learn everything at once. Work on making one killer item and be proud of it.  

Then, mass-produce it and stuff it down all of your friends’ and relatives’ metaphorical throats for the Holiday Season!

 

Comment Section:  Do you give DIY gifts? Which are you favorites? Which ones are well-received? Which ones bombed?

The Power of Play

 

 Shenanigans. Antics. Capers. Escapades. Frolicsomeness? (Yes, it’s a word, according to thesaurus.com. I think they have terrible judgement.)

The-very verbose- point is that creatives LOVE TO PLAY! That’s how creations get, well, created. The point of this post is to inspire you to go and freely be yourself. Express your playfulness in what you are making and wearing. Come on, you’re reading this blog, so I know you’re quirky!

   These are a few candid pictures of my creative process. It’s a very trial and error thing. (Heavy on the error, usually, which I actually like. My favorite designs are ones I stumble onto by mistake. Admitedly, however, it takes some time to see the mistake as beautiful. I traditionally have to put the piece away for a few days-after running out of expletives- and when I come back to it with fresh, no longer frustrated eyes, I can then see if it was one of those happy accidents or if I just have to grab the ol’ seam ripper.)

 

My”Brainstormies” while waiting at the doctor’s office with my husband.

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Brainstormy Close-up. DARE TO DREAMIMG_1564.JPG

 

I have barely even gotten the first two stitches in crochet down. But that’s all I need to know to begin to break the rules and play around with it in non-traditional ways.

(I think this regular yarn crocheted with the jumbo hook would be so cute as a little flutter sleeve.)IMG_1551.JPG

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And it took me no time at all to begin to play with this scarf and wonder what clothing would be like out of this chunky yarn.

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Now, I really want to hear some creative tips from you guys! What fun, quirky things do you do for inspiration?