Nautical embroidered sweatshirt

My mom has gotten big into embroidery over the past few years and has quite a collection of Sublime Stitching patterns. Last summer, I wanted an easy travel craft since we were taking so many road trips, so I borrowed the pin ups pattern. I embroidered an Everlane sweatshirt and I really love the quirkiness of it, despite my inability to stitch a non-wonky face. On our drive home from camping today, I dreamed up a design, so I think I’ll get another Everlane sweatshirt and make another. (I excited about it- it is a mash up of my two favorite Cali state symbols- poppies and the grizzly).
april rhodes, fabric, handmade, pattern, popover poncho, sew, sewing

Popover poncho

I love capes and the Popover Poncho was such a cute, casual cape design. I waited to buy the pattern until I found a fabric I loved. It’s a poly cotton blend that is thick and double sided (black with white designs on one side and white with black designs on the other side). My nana and I drove up to Michael Levines in LA to fabric shop and I couldn’t turn down the mint sweatshirt knit that I found for $3 a yard. The poncho pattern is single sided, but I figured out how to make it reversible. I’m really happy with it, except I wish I had used a black 1/2 inch binding instead of the 1 inch mint. I think it would have only taken an afternoon, if my machine didn’t keep jamming and if I didn’t make it reversible. I think that my machine needs a tune up, but the thickness of the fabric with the reversible design probably didn’t help. I’d like to make another one with a more colorful fabric and maybe fleeceline on the inside to make it super cozy. Slits on either side of the pocket would be good too, so that I didn’t have to lift the cape up to my hands in the pocket. Though since this is double sided, I can hide my hands in the inside pocket too- sneaky!


Photo location: our front yard
PatternPopover Poncho
Fabric: Gypsyland Jacquard from Joann. I can’t find it online, but I just bought it last Friday in the store. It also comes in teal and black and a similiar multi colored.  Mint sweatshirt knit from Michael Levine 
Alterations: made it reversible! Sewed a pocket on each side. Finished the neck edge with a double rolled over hem. Sewed the bottom edge of the cowl closed about half an inch up (with the cut edge rolled in) and then attached it to neck edge like a sandwich. I also used the sweatshirt knit for both pieces of the cowl to save up the jacquard for another project. I think I have enough left for a pencil skirt. 
Outfit deets: earrings and bracelet- Forever 21, old; velvet leggings: Target
baking, dessert, DIY, drinks, friends, Valentines

30th Birthday Celebration!

Three of my girlfriends from high school all turned 30 within a month and a half, so I had a mini celebration for them. Granted, they’re all now 33 but c’est la vie.

Courtney loves gin and tonics, so I made her lime flavored cupcakes with gin frosting and candied limes on top. In high school, Lori was packing for a trip to Guatemala and I came over to help her pack, bringing over her favorite Rite Aid ice cream- pineapple coconut. It still makes me think of her, so I made her pineapple cupcakes with coconut frosting. Erin loves coffee, so I made her caramel frappuccino cupcakes. It ended up just being me and three birthday ladies, but we managed to finish of A Lot of the cupcakes.

I choose pink, red and hearts for the decorations since my house was already decorated for Valentine’s Day. I made this fun window display with doilies, glitter and wax paper crayon hearts. It looked prettiest with the sun shining through.
A 30 and more hearts from paper from the dollar section at Target.
the birthday cupcakes
Caramel Frappuccino cupcake: chocolate mocha cake (chocolate cake mix with a tablespoon of instant coffee added) filled with coffee mousse and Trader Joes salted caramel sauce. Topped with coffee mousse buttercream (regular buttercream with a few tablespoons of the coffee mousse added) and Trader Joe’s chocolate/sugar/coffee bean grinder and heart sprinkles. I think we unanimously agreed that this was the best.
Gin and Tonic cupcake: lime cupcake with gin mascarpone frosting, topped with a candied lime and heart sprinkles.

And the individual picture of the Coconut Pineapple cupcake went missing: pineapple coconut cupcake with coconut buttercream frosting, topped with a little bit of pineapple and heart sprinkles

I used a silver sharpie to decorate some cheap paper cupcake toppers
friends for over half of our lives
I served Palomas with little tags so that we wouldn’t mix up our drinks.
my mom’s glasses with a pretty sugared lime slice and a ribbon with an initialed card stock heart

DIY, dress, handmade, new look, sew, sewing

Graduation dress

This is the other dress I sewed from my other bit of dreamy fabric from some Mood LA. I wore it for a few graduations- this is the perfect Spring fabric. I used some leftover polka dot fabric to make a sash to go with it. I really love how this dress turned out. I have tons of extra fabric so I think I’ll try to make a pair of Grainline shorts with it. 

Photo location: Occidental College 

Pattern: New Look A6020 B

Alterations: shortened a few inches

Outfit deets: flower hair pin- handmade, shoes- Payless, watch- Bulova, bracelet- Tiffany & Co

By Hand London, concert, DIY, handmade, jersey, Lady Gaga, leather, pattern, sew, sewing

A dress for Mother Monster

the card I made my sister before the concert to let her know what her birthday present was

Last May, my sister, friend and I saw Lady Gaga in concert. It seemed like the best time to learn how to sew cups and to sew with leather for the first time. Gaga’s worth it 😉 And luckily, it was far easier than I expected. I found this dress pattern from By Hand London and though it was quite an expensive pattern after international shipping, I had never seen anything else like it (*unfortunately, they are out of the printed pattern, but you can still buy it as a PDF download). It’s certainly not an everyday style, but I would love to make it again, though a bit less flashy. 

Being busty, I had to add a lot to the cups to make the dress decent. I made up my own alteration, which thankfully worked. But afterwards, I discovered that they actually had done a blog post on how to modify the cups based on your bra size. I used a purple metallic leather and a jersey floral print from Fabrics.com.

Right before the concert- super made up!

please excuse the akward pose on this one- I was channeling my inner Gaga, I think. 

I hand the stitched at the neckline as I was short on time and didn’t have time to figure out how to feed leather on leather through my machine. I also hand sewed on the straps. 

I was so worried about buying the fabrics online, but I think they worked great together. 

Fabric: Gunmetal Leather, Jersey knit (similar
Alterations: I made thicker straps and had them meet in the middle back instead of going straight down the back. Modified the bust to have larger cups. 
Outfit deets: earrings, bracelet- Forever 21 (old), shoes: Aldo (old)

DIY, handmade, mood, new look, sewing

Easter dress

Last year, I took my first (and so far, only) trip to Mood LA. It was dreamy- I had no idea that amazing fabric existed! Sewing with thick cotton blends with a tiny bit of stretch is the best. My first dress from high quality fabric: 

A selfie in front of extra fabric. I need to get better about not buying so much extra. 

Photo location: my aunt and uncle’s house in Orange County
Alterations: can’t remember. oops.
Outfit deets: earrings- Anthropolgy, shoes: Audrey Brooke, watch: Bulova, bracelet: Tiffanys