Friday, May 22, 2020

Moving Day!!!

Good afternoon to all you lovely people! I have moved, and I am so excited for my new space! I have begun posting regularly again, and I would love to see you there. Go check out my new website at You can also find my Etsy shop here: Vintage Perfect Design. Thank you all so much!

Friday, March 27, 2020

Rosie the Riveter Overalls

I have completed a grand, no, a monumental task! I have sewn together a pair of overalls. Now, it really depends who you are whether you agree that this is a monumental task. But in all seriousness, it’s really more about the mental hurdle when it comes to denim and pants. I was so afraid they wouldn’t fit me correctly! Especially since my measurements have been fluctuating recently (stress, am I right?). Fortunately, they came out just about right, perhaps a little snug, but definitely livable! 

I was thrilled when Simplicity 8447 for these 1940s style overalls went on sale at Joann’s, and I promptly bought it. The shocking thing is that I also went back for fabric about a week later, and then I actually started work on them! I doubt that there is much that is more unsettling than not procrastinating on a project. I knew that I wanted to start trying my hand at needlework, so I also picked up some needles and embroidery floss and whipped out a simple flower on the pocket. I used the super sophisticated approach of printing a picture of a flower and then stitching the outline right through the paper onto the fabric. It actually worked, which was perhaps the most surprising part of the whole experiment. I did a chain stitch for the pedals and French knots for the center. It’s imperfect, but that fits the style of the garment, so I was content with the result. I chose pretty floral wood buttons to tie it all together.

The biggest irritation with this project was cutting out. The fabric was terribly off-grain. I love Joann’s, truly, but my goodness their fabric is off-grain more often than not. But hey, coupons cover a multitude of sins! As I purchased the fabric back in August, I am not sure of the price any more, but I want to say that I spent somewhere in the vicinity of $30. I didn’t want a synthetic mix, and I definitely didn’t want the denim to have any stretch. Pure cotton, if you please. I eventually was able to wrestle the darn stuff into submission, though truthfully I just cheated the grain some on the legs and called it a day. There comes a point when perfection is no longer the goal and completion becomes more important.

It was at about this point in the project that I began to be beat up by life stuff: leaving jobs, starting jobs, leaving again, costuming a cast of 35, unexpectedly moving again (roommates are a treasure), then came the holidays with a wedding following on their heels! But somehow, I found time in the middle of December to sew them up. I was originally planning on trying to finish the seams with an old serger I rescued, but getting said serger to perform reliably was not in the books or in my patience levels. So I opted to simply pink the seams and pray for favor. In the end, the fabric hasn’t unravelled at all, despite multiple washings, so I am at peace. After all, I am the only one who ever has to look at the inside! 

I had a scare when I put the bib together and tried it on, because the sides seams met without any overlap to allow for a closure! I had a panic and seriously considered how I could quickly lose 3” off of my torso, but then I remembered that I hadn’t sewn on the underlap yet! This immediately transitioned me into realizing how perfectly they would fit, and corsetry and crash diets were abandoned. This is for the best. I was impressed with how well and easily they came together. I have read reviews of extant patterns for pants where the inseam sits way too low and has to be adjusted higher, but these did not have any such issue. I am not sure if they were redrafted or not, but I love a pattern that I don’t have to adjust. The buttonholes gave me headaches, but this was due to my machine more than to the pattern. My poor buttonholer didn’t know what to do with 2-3 layers of denim. It was trial and error to get an end result, and truly Error is only really hidden by the existence of my buttons. Let it be simply stated that the buttonholes are ugly. But I have come to terms with this and filed them away with the pinked seams to be ignored for the greater good of the overalls. 

I will definitely be making up this pattern again, though next time I believe I will make up the trousers themselves, and perhaps include a zipper instead of buttons. I also am in love with the hooded blouse option. It makes me think of Paulette Goddard in “The Women” as Miriam. She’s wearing a similar hood on the train to Reno, and I have always loved it!

Let me know in the comments what you think! Have any of you sewn denim and/or trousers before? I would love to see your pictures!

Much love!

P.S. I wrote this post before all of the current world events started to take place. It occurs to me that the perfect time to make the world a little brighter is during a difficult time like this. Please join me in remembering that the world is still beautiful and worth saving. It's time for us to all be superheroes!

Monday, August 28, 2017


"Why, Hannah, why ever are you spending your free time making an apron? You could have bought one." Ah, but it's ever so much more fun to make a pretty thing and think to oneself, "If I didn't exist in this world, neither would that pretty thing." I suppose it brings a sort of meaning and purpose to life, however small. Not to mention the great functionality of a good apron in a home. I have been living without one for four months in my little home now, and it is simply too much. Aprons are a requirement for a lovely life.

Creating things has always been a big part of my life. Thanks to my mother, who taught me the joys of crafting from a very young age, and to my sisters who have always shared their joys of creating, I have grown up with the mentality that if I want a pretty thing, I can probably make it. It is liberating to have that kind of creative power.

Now, back to the apron.

I wanted to make a fun mismatched apron that would be functional and pretty. I think these fabric choices work well because they allow for messy cooking but don't betray their extreme functionality. I also wanted it to match the already existing kitchen, and I think it does very well, especially hanging next to the bread and butter. I really must do a tour of the apartment sometime soon.

 I am *gasp* rather old-fashioned, so the yellow and blue toile with the red and blue gingham suited me very well. I put this together in a fury of inspiration last night. There's nothing quite so nice as a project that comes together quickly and nicely. It's almost the same as instant gratification. At least, I consider any project that can be started and completed in the same day to be so.

Did I forget to mention that I cut bangs? I haven't quite decided my stance on them yet, but I am willing to give them a fighting chance. Really, it comes down to whether I look more like Hermione or a carefree French girl. Regardless, I must persevere and wear the bangs! Else they might wear me, and we all know that that is the true tragedy of any haircut.

I am thinking of whipping up some more aprons and putting them for sale, perhaps with matching (or complementary) napkins as well. Comment to let me know if you would be interested!

But for now,
Au revoir, mes amies!

Monday, August 14, 2017

I'm Back!

Well, well, well, look who decided to come out of the woodwork! That's right, I am back to blogging once more! If you are still following me, I want to thank you for your extreme dedication. As a reward, I will fill you in on the changes that have taken place in my life in the past two years (yikes, what an absence!)

I did not make this dress, but it is testament to
the wonder that is Modcloth. Also bubbles bring
me so much joy.

The first really crucial bit of information is that I am no longer a college student! I have actually managed to graduate with a degree and everything (well, there is a small disclaimer of an online class I have yet to take). I am proud to say that I graduated with honors and was recognized by my department as the Outstanding History Graduate for the year. My name is now immortalized on a plaque and it feels pretty good. I think my parents were a little proud or something.

That being said, the summer is nearly over and I have begun to realize that life requires some purpose and goal. As such, I am revitalizing my blog and I will also be starting an Etsy Shop! I intend to sell items specific to the individual. This is slightly more complicated to post, so if you or someone you know would like to buy a handmade item from me, please shoot me an email or comment below or on Facebook and I'll give you all the dirty little details. I have a nice little compilation of photos following to show some of the clothes I have previously made, as a refresher for my faithful old followers, and for the benefit of those who didn't even know I own a sewing machine. Naturally, the beauty of custom made dresses is that you can pick any fabric, pattern, and material you choose.

I don't think I will ever get tired of this dress. It is from a Vintage
Vogue Pattern (below).

This is my lovely sister, Rachael, modeling
a circle skirt I made many years ago. As the
nature of a circle skirt lends itself well to this,
I intend to focus my shop on them as a start.

As I have recently lost some weight, I may very well
be selling this exact dress in the near future.

Two pieces are the best, as they allow
for multiple looks.

A more formal take on the two piece dress, I
have worn this so many times!

The newest dress in my collection, this is one of
my new favorites!

My favorite part about seeing all of these together is just realizing how often I change my hair! Sheesh, there must be some consistency. As of right now, however, my hair is long and I have no intention of cutting it off... yet. 

In other news, I am just so happy to be working and existing. God has been so good to me and I am surrounded by good friends. I have moved into my very own apartment (with roommates), and I am beginning to feel like a real-life adult, sans the calls to my father every time my car has low tire pressure or to my mother when I am feeling ill. My first trip to Urgent Care alone was just last week, but I braved through it and got the antibiotics necessary. Thankfully, they worked and I am once again myself. All of my family is inching closer to me and I get to see them all on a much more regular basis. I am also going to be an Auntie very soon, and I cannot wait to meet her! Perhaps I will delve into the world of baby clothes in the near future as well. 

Well, that's it for now. Stay tuned for updates to the blog and on Facebook! I think some new bios and pictures are well overdue!

Au revoir, mes amies!

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Alive and Well: Life Throws Curve Balls from Time to Time

My dear, lovely followers,
It has been, to my utter shock, an entire year since last I posted here (optimistically touting that I would resume my regular schedule in the near future). Well, I suppose you may be wondering what in the world could have happened to me to cause such prolonged radio silence. It boils down to pure business in the Spring, and multiple life changes over the rest of the year.
     2015 was, by far, one of the most topsy-turvy years of my existence. As you may have known, I forget whether I mentioned it or not, I was asked to be the stage manager for "Annie Get Your Gun" last Spring semester. This entailed far more than I ever could have imagined, but I would not trade the experience for anything. I was enrolled in 18 credit hours, I worked 8 hours a week, and I spent at least 40 hours a week on the show. Needless to say, I was not in possession of any free time to be spent on blogging. The show was a tremendous success in the end, with all three performances sold out and lifelong friendships formed. I left for home that summer without the slightest realization that I would not be returning again.
     I may have mentioned before that my dad is a pastor. He had been at the same church for 8.5 years in Colorado, but God saw fit to open a new door for my family. In May, he was voted into a new church, two weeks later my sister, Rachael, got married, and two weeks after that we moved to California. It was about this time that I started thinking about my education. This move more than doubled the distance to be traveled to school. I began to consider transferring to my dad's alma mater, which is a mere 3.5 hours from my new home. Everything snowballed faster than I could blink, and by late June, I was enrolled in my new university.
     It was one of the hardest things I ever had to do, and the goodbyes were painful, but I am so blessed to be where I am now. Last semester was bumpy at times, but that was to be expected. It is never a smooth process to completely change your life. In fact, nothing in my life is the same as it was a year ago. Kimm and her husband Johan moved into the States, though it was a tricky process due to bureaucracy. Kimm ended up coming to live with us for a couple of weeks because of the entire mess, which wasn't a bad deal for us, although she rather missed her husband. Rachael and her husband, Jared, also had a career change and moved from their first home. I suppose they thought getting married was not enough of a change for them. The main point being that life brings changes, and sometimes they are all at once.
     We were blessed to have everyone with us for Christmas, and we all went to Disneyland like the grown up children we are. It was marvelous to be in fifty degree weather in the middle of winter. This is one thing I am definitely enjoying!
     It is a brand new year now, and I am sure that life will continue to surprise us, twisting and turning in unexpected ways. Frankly, I wouldn't have it any other way.

Happy New Year to all!

Friday, January 2, 2015

A New Year and a Fresh Start

     Well! This is quite shameful, and I do apologize. I can't believe that I haven't posted in over two months! I promise I have not abandoned my little blog. Truth be told, I have very little in the way of excuses, except that I got into the pattern of not blogging and it was nice to sit still for a while (especially during finals, though that was ages ago now). More and more I realize the freedom that comes from silence online. It is amazing how much the internet can control your life if you are not careful. I have never loved social media, but I have been drawn in by it on occasion. I am beginning to realize that memories are sometimes more special if they are unrecorded and live only in your mind. Then you are free to share those things with whom you will and there is meaning behind it. However, there is also a balance. I have said before that I love this blog for the purpose of recording my life. I think of it as more of an online diary (properly guarded, since it is in the public eye, from too many specific details). But, overall, that is what I love about this space. This is a place where I can share without imposing myself on others. Thank you so much for sticking around and caring about what I have to say, it really means a lot to me. Perhaps in this year I will even manage to organize myself!
     I have been quite busy doing nothing these past few weeks. The last weeks of school were very busy for me. I am the stage manager for our upcoming musical, "Annie Get Your Gun," and as such I was part of the casting process. This on top of finals made for a busy, albeit wonderful last few weeks of school. I am really going to enjoy this role. Although it may be difficult to see from my blog, I thrive in positions that require organization and problem solving. I am so excited to work on this production with some wonderful people. "Pygmalion" was a great success, and I only wish that it had lasted longer. I was Mrs. Higgins, as you may remember, and it was such fun! I managed to make it through without any forgotten lines, and I was quite pleased. I was blessed to have my family come to see me as well.

     I have been home now for about two weeks, and it is really quite shocking how quickly time is going. Every Christmas that I spend with my family is more special to me now. My oldest sister is married. So far, we have been able to see them every year, because Johan's family lives so far away. But now that Rachael is engaged, things may quickly change around here. Of course, we will always see them every other year, but the off years will be strange. For now, I am simply grateful to be blessed with such a loving family, whom I will miss when they are elsewhere.
     This break has been filled with card games, food, trips to the movies, and one very special trip to the ballet to see the Nutcracker! I have a special place in my heart for ballet, and yet I had never seen the Nutcracker live before. It was just as magical as I hoped it would be, and there is talk of a new Christmas tradition. I can't say I would be opposed!
Now, to one and all, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year, although I am a bit late in wishing them!
Lots of Love

Friday, October 24, 2014

A Fairy Tale

     Once upon a time there was a College Student. It was Fall time, and since this was her favorite season, she was very happy. Until the day that the storms came. For an entire week the sun did not come out and the rain poured relentlessly down on her; and since she did not own an umbrella, she spent a very soggy and miserable week. All during this time, she kept wishing that she had waterproofed her pretty ankle boots, but she had not got around to it yet, and was forced to wear her waterproofed white sneakers most of the time. Then, at the end of this week, the sun came out again. It was warm and beautiful, and in celebration, she had to wear a summer frock. Of course, it was still quite chilly outside, so she paired her sundress with a maroon sweater. After a week of sneakers, it was beautiful to wear her maroon heals as well.

      Around this same time, the College Student was very much in need of a new school bag. The bag she had been using was simply not practical. She wanted a pretty leather bag that wasn't too big or to floppy. With this in mind, she went to the thrift store on one of these rainy days, and was thrilled to discover a bag that perfectly matched her description and, since it was only $6, she couldn't pass it up. Some things are meant to be. And it was on this sunshiny day that she was finally able to use her new bag; and everyone was much happier in the end.