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November 26

Designing my Dream Kitchen

Knowing that we’re not going to move into our new-old house right away, we’ve been trying to figure out what our priority will be now that we’ve started working on it.  Felix is most excited to have an awesome shared work space, as am I.  But the other 50% of me is excited to have a cute, fresh kitchen.

After talking more with my folks, who are our #1 go-to for all things home-related, they confirmed that the kitchen is one of the most painful renovations to undertake.  So it makes sense that we pour our energy into tackling this one room first, especially since we’re currently not inhabiting it.  I mean who cares if I don’t have a working sink, oven, or fridge unless I’m living there & cooking?!

I’ve had some basic ideas of things I love, but I’ve been thrown head first into designing my dream kitchen really quickly.  Thanks to pinterest & google images I’ve been able to gather my ideas quickly and was able to walk them through with Felix (the Saturday morning our car was in the shop) & then run all of my our ideas by Bob to make sure they would work in our space.

This is our current kitchen:

Our kitchen has awesome birch cabinets – which I’ll be stripping and repainting white.  But the fridge barely works, and the stove is inoperable.  Basically the fridge, stove, dishwasher, and microwave are placeholder appliances as none of them really function – and the little that they do, I don’t trust.

I started off with my dream scenario, complete with a cute colorful smeg refrigerator.  Seriously, don’t we all want one of those?!  But after doing loads of research on appliances, I’ve decided I’d rather have a cohesive-looking kitchen rather than a little bit of this and that.  So, sadly the smeg had to be taken off the list.

The kitchen isn’t quite large enough to be an eat-in kitchen.  So we’ve decided to cut that out entirely, and we’re reconfigured nearly everything, including the cabinets, door and window, in order to maximize counter top space.  If I don’t have a separate kitchen table, I NEED lots of counter top space to work on.

Okay… enough with my chatter and how about some pictures of all of my grand plans.

Apron Front Sink:

I love these basic, apron front white sinks.  I’m also in love with these grey & white marble counter tops (since forever), not to mention the curved open shelves right next to the sink.  *Love*

I have so many cabinets, most are too high for a 4’11″ girl like myself.  Even with a 6 foot ladder, I bet I couldn’t reach the uppermost ladder.  So what’s a girl to do?!  And please don’t say “call your husband to help” because if there’s one thing I hate is not being able to do something myself.

That’s where this comes in:

Kitchen Ladders!  Is this not the coolest idea ever?!  Sure, it’s going to be impractical  when I want to get in front of it.  But I have high hopes of making it removable from the track so I can store it neatly behind our kitchen door like so:

The ladder is one of those fun, wonderful things on Pinterest – but seem really frivolous to do in our own places.  BUT  I actually NEED this if I’m going to ever store stuff in those cabinets.  I just can’t think of any better solution since I don’t want to have to haul a 9-foot ladder from the basement every time I want to get up into those cabinets.  #Short Girl Problems

Large Windows:

Our current kitchen window is shot.  It’s completely bad and has to get redone along with the inside and outside sash.  This being the case, we’ve decided to move the window AND the door in our kitchen.  So I’ve had to start thinking about windows along with everything else.

I don’t think I can get quite this large of a window in my house, but I like how open and bright this looks.  So I want to attempt to get as large of a window as possible in order to get the most light in the back of the house.

Colorful Ceiling:

All of my small appliances are exactly this shade of aqua.  My kitchenaid mixer, my garbage can, my dishes, etc.  But pretty much all major items in the kitchen will be white (cabinets, appliances, walls with touches of black).  This has made me think out of the box on how to incorporate more color, and I’m loving these bright ceilings to tie in my love of aqua.  Honestly, I probably will be painting my ceiling a very close shade to the image above since it will match all of my small appliances, too.

Let’s talk about appliances:

I love baking & having a double oven has always been at the top of my wish list, right next to that smeg fridge.  Well… after shopping for appliances, the double oven I love is like… 10k.  NOT going to happen! Soo… I’ve been thinking out of the box to come up with a solution and this is it:

This is a Smeg cooktop, Piano Series that I want.  It’s so vintage looking, but with modern-day performance.  It’s fancy… but the price tag isn’t terrible which was surprising.

Over top of this cooktop, I’m thinking I could go for something like this:

Yeah, it’s a bit 60′s but it’s really cute.  I haven’t decided if I like it better in white or in the stainless steel…  that’s a decision for later anyhow.

And as you see, there is no oven yet… so this is what I’m pairing with it.

I’m having two of these puppies, side by side underneath the counter!  This is the whirlpool Gold convection oven, which is not only reasonable, but also THE best rated built-in oven, via consumer reports.  *Swoon*.  Being a researcher, I have to research all appliances and whatnot before making any purchases.  Knowing that this stove is a great performer makes me very happy.  There’s not a lot of white stoves that I like out there, but this one is the one I do like.

I’m aiming for the under-counter oven to look kinda like this, next to the white cabinets:

Why white appliances???  Well…..I’m the crazy, weird person who doesn’t like stainless steel.  So I’ve been on the hunt for white appliances I’d be happy with.  While this Whirlpool oven is a bit on the modern-looking side for me, I like the stainless steel details as it will pair nicely with the Smeg cooktop.

I’m most likely going to get the refrigerator and dish washer to match (since Felix likes the fridge).

I have oodles and oodles of more pictures and ideas for the kitchen – we haven’t even gotten to hardware & lighting yet.  So let’s just call this part 1 of my Dream Kitchen post.

Cheers & have a lovely Thanksgiving!

November 22

Pattern Freebie: Pair of Fair Isle Mittens

I am totally stoked today to start sharing with you several new knitting patterns that recently came in my possession.

Out of the blue, I got a message on Ravelry from Anne (Agenta17) who found me through my Stitchcraft pattern freebie posts.  She said he has tons of Stitchcraft magazines and offered up her duplicates for yours truly – in hopes that I can scan them for you all since she has been to busy to do so herself.  Vintage magazines for, moi??  As you all know, my gain is your gain!

I plan on sharing many lovelies from these magazines from Anne all throughout the winter months.  And to start us off right, I have 2 fair isle mitten patterns from Bestway today.

Perhaps a perfect pattern for Tasha’s Knit for Victory knit-a-long, no?!

If you love them, be sure to leave your “thanks” in the comments for Anne!  :)

Click on the following link to download the free pdf: Bestway Fair Isle Mitten Patterns.

Add these mittens to your Ravelry Queue.

What’s nice about these patterns is that they each comes with the written directions as well as a chart to reference.

Of the two mittens I prefer the Norwegian mitten pattern – but that’s because I love things Scandinavian – perhaps it’s just in my blood.  So we’ll start with that one.

Norwegian Mitts:

Huh!  That’s interesting…  The first sentence in the pattern states:

These roomy two-colour mitts are designed to wear over gloves.

I’m not sure how I feel about that, but that’s got to be a great, warm solution for the really cold days.

Tension (over fair isle pattern) is 8.5 sts and 9 rows to an inch.  And over the stockinette stitch it is 8.5 sts and 11 rows to an inch using a US size 2 needle over the pattern.  (US size 1′s are used for the ribbing at the wrist).

This pattern uses W.B. Melody Knitting Wool, 4-ply.  Knowing the 3-ply weight is a fingering, I’d approximate a heavy fingering or even a sport weight yarn for this pattern.  Pairing the thicker yarn with US size 2 needles will yield a very tight-knit fabric, which is perfect for blocking out the cold.

Floral Mitts:

These mittens are fitted, and not intended to be work over gloves like the Norwegian Mittens.  I’m not sure why, but these floral ones, at first glance remind me of acorns.  Do you see it too?

A fingering weight yarn is used for these mittens: W.B. Melody Knitting Wool, 3-ply.  The tension over the fair isle pattern is 9 sts and 10 rows to an inch, but over the plain stockinette it’s 9 sts and 12 rows to an inch.  This is done using US size 2 knitting needles (and US size 1 needles over the wrist ribbing section.)


With all of the glove & mitten patterns I’ve been posting lately, you can imagine that I’ve been debating making some gloves for myself this winter.  Unfortunately, I have a few projects in the Queue before I get to these…. but soon.  :)

Thanks again Anne SO SOO MUCH for sending me all of these patterns!  I love them and can’t wait to post them all up.

November 21

Homeowner Diaries: Day 1

After closing on our house (YAY!) on October 30th, I finally got in to get to work on the place this past weekend.


Felix and I have been focusing on packing up our apartment the last few weeks, which we thought was the priority vs. getting started on our house.  But as it turns out, getting renters in to pick up the remainder of our lease has proved more difficult than we imagined.  While half of our house is packed up with no new renters in sight for December, we decided to stop packing and dig in on the house.

Felix has gone to the house and has made more plans with my step-dad, Bob than I have.  So for me, Saturday was the first day I was doing actual work over there.  We had planned to meet my parents at the house bright and early (9am for me since I like sleep).  Felix and I got the car all packed up when *nothing* happened when we turned the keys to start the car.  We popped open the hood and saw lots of corosion near the battery – which was my first guess as to why the car wouldn’t start.

Luckily, there was a nice passer-by who gave us a jump.  We got some coffee (priorities amiright?!) and then drove over to the dealership where we got the battery replaced and stuff.

What was lucky is that my parents were running late, too.  We gave them spare keys a while ago, so they were able to go right into our house and unload while we were wrapping things up with our auto troubles.  We finally got to the house around noon, so we just went and got some lunch before starting in on the real work to be done.

Job #1: Cleaning out the Attic

The previous owner of the house was a bit of a hoarder, from what we were told.  The house sat unoccupied for close to a year while people were cleaning it out – there was that much stuff.  Someone had started cleaning all the trash out of the attic but they had given up – which was clear when my mom and I saw the empty trash bags up there.

I didn’t know what I was getting myself (& my mom into) when we decided to clean out the attic.  I mean, I knew there was trash up there and I knew there were squirrels up there… Bot woah!  In short, the attic was SCARY.

My mom and I donned Tyvek suits, gloves, and a mask to protect ourselves from the fiberglass insulation.

I’m in the middle, my mom is hiding on the right.

We quickly came to realize that we needed the most protection from was the mouse poop and pee and the horrible stench that was in our attic.  YES, I kid you not!  It was really disgusting up there.

Yup, that’s me with the headlight on my head.

Our main objective in the attic was to clear out all of the boxes & rubbish that was tossed in the attic.  We worked inch by inch, hauling down boxes & sweeping up packing peanuts that had gotten *EVERYWHERE*.  You’d think they were using packing peanuts for insulation, given how much we found.

I don’t want to gross anyone out more than I have to, in order to get the point across that our attic was dirty.  So I’ll just let your mind wander as to how slippery it was on certain wood boards we were standing on due to “something or other”.

After sweeping and cleaning up there for close to 5 (or 6) hours, my mom and I came down the ladder.  We could not get those tyvek suits off fast enough and wash our hands and faces!  It was such a relief to get out of that attic and get washed up.

The tyvek suits kept our clothes and shoes really clean, but there is no air circulation inside of them, so we were also a heap of sweat.  My mom had on latex gloves with a cotton glove liner (for her latex allergy) and her fingernails were still black underneath those 2 layers!  Luckily we were pretty clean otherwise – underneath the wonderful tyvek layer.

I’m happy to say, my work in the attic is mainly complete and my work up there is done!

We still need to block the hole where the squirrels are coming in from (which will be done on the exterior of the house) along with setting some mice traps.  I’m just happy I’m not living in this house yet since it’s imperative that we not haul in food to attract any more pests before we get the holes taken care of.

My next order of business is to begin stripping the woodwork on the first level.  While this also will be a messy task, it will be far better than the attic ordeal.

My mom has also had squirrels in her attic before and is the owner of a house built in 1910 that once had shag carpeting in the kitchen…  And she still said that my attic was the grossest thing she’s ever had to contend with.  Thanks mom for helping me!  And I can’t express just how happy I am to say that – having done the grossest thing I’ll ever do – is far behind me.  :)

November 19

Completed: Aqua Waves Jumper

I’ve been working on and off again on this jumper for 2 years now –  but I’m happy to say it (was) worn quite regularly this whole summer and I’m in love with it.

The completed Aqua Waves Jumper!

Here’s the link for the Aqua Waves Jumper Pattern pdf so you can make one for your very own!

What took me so long to complete it?  Well… long story short, I didn’t cast on the correct number of stitches for the sleeve ribbing.  The good rule of thumb is cast on 2 stitches for every 3 stitches you come across.  I knit the sleeve ribbing up twice – and failed.  I stuck true to this golden rule the third time with great success.

My favorite part of this jumper (besides the color) is obviously the main design feature: the waves & surplice neckline.  How could it not be?!

The pattern is written to include a short wavy neckline, this was knit flat and seamed together both at the center back and also seamed around the back neckline, just to the shoulder seam.

I really didn’t make too many alterations to the pattern.  I remember I raised the armholes (done by working the armhole increase stitches later than pattern stipulated) and altered the eyelet pattern so I could work in the round.

Directions for changing the pattern to work in the round, can be found on the original pattern post here.

I used cascade heritage yarn in the merino-silk blend in ‘aqua foam’ for the body and ‘snow’ for the white accents.  The tiny bit of silk (15%) gives the jumper a lovely sheen, a bit more stretch, and lightens this up for summer wear.

Yes, I did wear this jumper, happily in the summer!  No, it wasn’t on 90 degree days, but I was very comfortable when the weather was 75 degrees.

Since I’m wearing a high-waisted skirt, I folded down the jumper at the top of the ribbing section.  But it can be worn folded up or pulled all the way down.  (I went back and forth, depending on what I was wearing on my lower half.)

While I did wear a white camisole underneath this jumper, the eyelets are probably small enough that I don’t have to worry too much about being to ‘risque’.

This is one of my favorite knits now!  It’s too bad I can’t wear it all year long.  Another knit project happily completed!

November 1

Pattern Freebie: The Panelled Cardigan

Today’s pattern freebie comes from a Bestway publication during the 1940s.

Click on the following link to download the pattern as a pdf: Panelled Cardigan Pattern

Here’s the link to add this pattern to your Ravelry Queue or Favorites.

A few weeks ago, Kerry of Kestrel Makes posted about some vintage knitting patterns for sale.  Knowing me… I was all over that and bought several of them from her!  And this couldn’t be better for you guys since I just go and post them all for you anyhow now that I’ve packed up all of my other vintage patterns.  heh

This Bestway pattern #2002 isn’t dated, but was published sometime in the 1940′s.  I think it’s a great, lovely staple cardigan pattern with just enough going on.

This pattern is drafted for a 36″ bust and a 38″ bust.  The tension stated is 8 sts per inch and 10 rows to an inch using US size 2′s (3.00mm) aka vintage needle size 10.  This pretty much equates to a fingering weight yarn.

So… I know there are many of you reading that yawn at the idea of using a fingering weight yarn for any of your knitting projects.  Well.. don’t let that stop you from making this up!  The lovely Tasha of By Gum By Golly has been sharing her 1940′s pullover design series in October about how to go about knitting your favorite vintage pattern with a different weight yarn.  She shares her step by step process of how she goes about making the required changes.  Be SURE to go have a read if you haven’t already!

Keeping this post short and sweet, I hope you like today’s pattern freebie and have a wonderful weekend!

October 31

It’s Official

Felix and I bought a house!

We signed lots of papers, handed over a fatty check, and we are the proud new owners of OUR home.

It’s kind of surreal.  We’ve spent 8 months looking for our home & it’s hard to believe we just bought one!

Our Realtor, Seth was at the closing with us and he had a surprise waiting in his car after we got all the papers signed:

He went and bought us tools.  It’s like he knows we’ll be working on the house or something! heh

Seth Captain of Captain Realty


And you can contact him on his site directly here too.

But really, it was so incredibly kind of him.  He’s been the best Realtor we could have hoped to work with.  He never once pushed us and gave his advice when we asked for it.  He was always careful to reserve his own thoughts as not to sway us but was a great guide when we needed it.  He was patient, honest, fun, and full of integrity.  Thanks so much Seth!!!

Right after signing all of our documents, Felix and I drove down to the house for the first walk through.

Felix holding the one magical key to the front door.  (This was the one image I’d been waiting for… the keys!)

After doing a walk through & getting freaked out by loud thuds and rustling in the attic (hello squirrels) we went out for a celebratory drink and meal.

While walking through the house, it was eerie.  We were of course very excited to have bought our first home – yet it was still strange.  It was as if we were walking through someone else’s house and it isn’t quite ours yet.  Felix and I had the same exact feelings about it.  (He’s written his feelings far more elegantly than I have here.)

Last night was the first time that Felix and I were alone in the house; we’d always been accompanied by the Realtors (ours or the seller’s).  And coming from renting apartments all of my adult life, it’s strange that we’re the only ones in the building.

Once we start doing a bit of work and once we move in, I’m sure this feeling will change.  And slowly the house will feel like home the more we’re in it and making it ours.

Cheers everyone & thank you again so much for all of your helpful advice last week!  Felix and I have read and re-read all of your comments – they are so helpful and kind.  You guys rock!

P.S.  Happy Halloween!


October 29

Completed: A Cozy Grey Shawl

I just completed my Sugar Maple Shawl in time for the chilly autumn we’re having here in Chicago.

I used Malabrigo Worsted (Aran weight) in Polar Morn for my shawl.  It’s a dove grey, but it has undertones of lilac and it was such a dream to knit with.  With constant use, I fear this shawl will pill- but so far it’s wearing great.

The ruffle section is what took me so long to complete.  Being new to shawls and lace work, it’s customary to pick up stitches around the border of the main section.  Well… we’re talking over 300 stitches to pick up for the ruffle, 325 to be exact.  I had to use 2 circular needle sets, one a 28″ length and the other a 36″ length.

Being the crazy gal I am, I knit this during the commute – the whole 5 and a half feet of it.  The main lace pattern took 1 skein and the ruffle took nearly 2 whole skeins of yarn.  That’s how long and dense this little 4″ ruffle truly is.

It’s so cozy warm!  While I’m using this as a shawl at work, it could work as a wide scarf too since it has the same rectangular shape, not triangular like most shawls.

So far it’s stayed over my shoulder, but I think I may hunt for a shawl clasp so I’m able to secure it.  I was just gonna go look on etsy.  Do you guys have any specific recommendations on that score?

To Conclude:

This shawl is versatile & cozy.  I’m happy to finally have it completed after working on and off for 2+ years.  But now I’m going to have to find another airplane project – one I can take anywhere and stop/start anytime.

P.S.  A few more photos on my Ravelry Project Page.

October 25

Pattern Freebie: Pink Embellished Gloves

You guys really love these glove patterns!  I’m posting for the third week in a row, a glove pattern from the Glove and Mittens Publication.  This time I’m sharing the little pink beaded/sequined ones in the upper left-hand corner.  If you’ve missed them, I’ve shared the Norwegian Mitten, bottom left, and the yellow cable-knit glove, bottom right.

In detail:

Click on the following link to download the pattern as a free pdf: Pink Beaded Glove Pattern

Click here to add to your Ravelry Queue or Favorites.

This glove & mitten booklet is chalk full of great patterns.  I do have to say… this cover image only shows about half of the patterns here.  There’s a whole bunch more that are offered on the inside.  And I should state… If I get more request for gloves I’m just gonna scan the whole document for you guys so you can have them all!  :)

Pattern Details:

This pattern is written using US size 0 knitting needles with a fingering weight yarn, that gets a gauge of 9 sts per inch and 15 rows per inch in stockinette.

The pattern is listed as a size medium.  Looking forward into the pattern, I calculated that this medium size equates to a 6.6 inch hand circumference, without the thumb, taken near the base of the thumb.

Additionally, this pattern calls for 66 sequins and 66 pearls for “Trimming”.  The trimming of the gloves is the last step on the pattern & the pearls/sequins are embroidered using the image as the guideline.  What this means is that this would be a great, basic glove that can be frilled up and trimmed as you see fit!

And lastly (but not least)…

Thank you all so much for all of your ‘congratulations’ and advice on the house!  Be sure to check back on that post, as I’ve made a comment at the bottom of the post for you all.

October 23

I’ve Got Some Big News

It’s gettin’ real peeps!  It seems everything has aligned and in one week’s time I will officially be a homeowner – a first time homeowner to boot!

Felix and I have been keeping house chat on the down low since there were many ways the deal could have fallen through from when we had our offer accepted.  But we’ve gotten the clear to close from all parties and per my Realtor when I asked him what would prevent us from closing at this point he responded back with:

Things that would prevent close:

Nuclear attack
Tsunami (south side only)
Left wing radical arson at property

If you clear the financing, and the bank gives you the “clear to close”, the scenarios are too seldom to even get into. Just don’t lose your job this month or make any major purchases.

So as long as I don’t quit my job or buy a Porsche with my credit card… I should be all good.

Here’s the 1885 Hyde Park house we’re purchasing (pending south side Tsunami) in one week’s time:

It doesn’t look like the prettiest house on the block, but I’m hoping that with time (and money allowing) we can get it looking back like it once did when it was built:

Why yes, I did manage to find an original line drawing of the house from 1885!  heh  I’m a clever researcher that way…

Isn’t that original drawing so much better than what it currently looks like?!  I think so.

Felix and I are headed to home-remodel territory in such a short time.  I don’t think I talk about my history very much on here but I grew up in a constant work-in-progress house that was built in 1910.  I never had air conditioning and I never had a shower growing up.  It’s an amazing house though:

I couldn’t find any recent images of the exterior, but this was taken a few Christmases ago.

I’m no stranger to brushing my teeth at the kitchen sink or doing dishes in the bathroom sink.  But I’m fairly certain this is going to be a whole new deal actually being the homeowner since it’s been a good 10 years since I’ve acclimated myself to renting & not having to fix anything, ever.

I officially started packing up stuff this past weekend too.

So much is happening so fast….

In short, this news will impact so many things, both on the blog and off!  I want to say we know what we’re doing – but we such newbies that it’s most likely a very naive statement so let’s just say: I don’t think we fully comprehend what we’re getting ourselves into but we’ll learn.  heh

We do know the first thing we’re going to tackle (and by us I mean trained professionals) is the electrical, some plumbing, and the furnace – so that things are livable.  After that we’ll be seeing how much $$$ we have left over and then do things accordingly.

I’m going to be working on my knitting projects, like always, and for the next month I’m hoping to find time between packing boxes to wrap up some of my WIP sewing projects – but we’ll see how that goes.

Once we officially move – things are going to be spotty on the site since I don’t know if I’ll have a computer or internet or even my sewing machine.  Not to mention – all I’ll probably have time for is working on – thinking about – dreaming about house remodeling.

I’m sad to move out of Logan Square – my home for nearly 6 years.  But I’m also excited/nervous to start this new chapter aka adventure with Felix.

Any good advice for a newbie homeowner???

I’ve read though all of your great-wonderful-happy comments & THANK YOU so sooo much!  Felix went and read them all too, bwt.  The one thing I kept reading over and over is not to rush.  This one piece of advice was the thing I took to heart most.

You see, when we were last walking through the house with my dad (hvac genius), he was asking about all sorts of things we hadn’t though about yet, such as knocking down walls, placement of such and such… This left Felix and I were feeling like we had to have all the answers immediately and we felt a great amount of pressure to make these decisions.  We don’t know what we want quite yet and after reading through what you guys had to say – I now feel alright about this.  Felix and I are going to take it down a notch and let the house tell us what it wants/needs!

We’re now planning on NOT making any major decisions until we move in since we don’t want to be in such haste that we regret major changes later down the line.

Thank you so much; you guys truly rock!  :)

October 21

Completed: The Picnic Dress

This dress post has been a long time coming, but I finally managed to go out and take some photos of the completed Picnic Dress this past weekend.

Yes… indeed it was a bit chilly outside but not terrible; it got up to 60 degrees today.

Before I delve in too far to the details, I have to share with you again the inspiration behind this creation:

Stephanie of Girl with the Star Spangled Heart blog made up this dress after seeing another 50′s design using this print on Bernie Dexter’s shop.  The Bernie Dexter dress is lovely.  Stephanie’s dress is even more so, since she created it.  I too fell in love with this fabric after seeing hers and scoured online for the Michael Miller BBQ print to create one for my very own.

I couldn’t find more of that bbq print on, but I did find this mod bbq grill one instead.

This summer especially, I’ve kept finding Stephanie creating dresses that I too had wanted to make but never got to.  I’m thinking mainly of her patio dress which I’ve been longing to make something similar in a cotton gauze since I got a pattern for in 2012.

I find it’s a fine line between recreating a look for your very own and hacking the design – and it all comes down to credit: Give credit where it’s due.

Creating (whether it be sewing or knitting or anything) is a personal and fun process.  I really think it’s great when a gal will write a comment to me that I’ve inspired her to go out and get the same pattern or the same fabric/yarn to make a garment for their very own too.  It’s truly one of the greatest compliments I can get as a seamstress and makes me tickled that you’d like it so much to make one for your very own.  :)

I’ve never felt like my dress was ‘stolen’ as long as it was made known – which is how I feel most of us bloggers & sharers of projects feel.  So Stephanie “Thank You” so much for inspiring me to make this cute 50′s picnic dress.  If you ever visit Chicago – we have to wear it together and be twinkies for the day.  :D

First of all, I would like it known that this is most likely the first time you’ve seem my shoulders!  heh  I’m sooo NOT fishing for comments but I really don’t like my chunky upper arms.  My shoulders are fine – but there’s a shall we say…. thickness to my arms.  Now I’ve been working out a ton and can do 30 lb. shoulder presses and even dead lift 115 lbs.  But my arms have remained “looking” the same no matter what.  So here they are…  I just have to get over it I guess and this is step one.

This angle is fine…

This angle is less than fine….

I went with a black detailing at the straps and piping at the under bust since it really breaks up the busy print so well.

When did I get so freckly??  huh  Okay… moving on.

I had a hard time getting the fit of the bodice just right.

I have such a petite upper bust that I was trying to add elastic to the top bust gathers and even that wasn’t working to prevent gaping.  I ended up removing a good 4-6 inches of width at the bust and doing less gathers there to try and help prevent gaping when I bent over.  It’s a tiny bit tight when I stand straight up but even so… when I bend over there’s still a slight gape.  Hopefully I can figure it out for next time – if there is a next time with this pattern.

I went and added in two side back panels of shirring onto the bodice of the dress using Gertie’s directions here.

I have to say, shirring this dress was the best decision I made; It’s fitted yet oh so comfortable to wear!

And this is how I can pull of wearing this dress to work:

This little cropped jacket does wonders for many of my dresses that aren’t necessarily work-appropriate.

My favorite part of this dress, besides the shirring & the print is the skirt.  It has these wonderful tucks on either side of the center front – it makes for a perfect fullness at the hem while remaining trim at the waist.

I followed the pattern instructions mainly & the only altering I did was to add that back shirring panel and reduce the bust gathers.  All in all, this was an easy summer dress to make.  And thanks again Stephanie for the inspiration to make this for my very own!