Alice in Minneapolis

So I think I mentioned in my last post that I would be posting about my Halloween costume. I was Alice in Wonderland. I decided to go with a straightforward, classic, non-political (even Disney!) costume this year after my Christine O’Donnell costume debacle in 2010. Let’s just say most people must have just thought I was some sort of patriotic witch… long story.

I had the blue dress, courtesy of J. Crew this summer. All I needed was an apron, which I made from an old white sheet and some leftover lace, and a black bow in my hair–which I also made. The white knee socks and black flats completed the look. Overall, I was pretty happy with the result, even if I did have to take a year off from being “witty.” At least I still got a good craft project out of it.

The night started off well enough… (see below). Unfortunately, a trip on the sidewalks of the Minneapolis streets at the end of the night left me with a bloody chin and bruised right side.

But as Gloria Gaynor once sang, “I will survive,” and I might even have a cool scar to show for it. So, all in all, Halloween 2012 was a memorable one. I even gave Little Dipper a makeover for the week (see screen capture).

The goal of my next post will be to (finally) be able to showcase my apartment.. or maybe it will be to talk about Project Runway (all stars!) or maybe Downton Abbey (just saw a preview for season 3!)… so many choices and so little time (even though we DID get an extra hour this weekend).

Stay tuned. –Liz

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A new place to keep my pencils

Though I was able to spend a large chunk of my weekend wallowing in self pity over my employment status, I eventually overcame my gloom and went shopping. As everyone knows, laughter may be the best medicine, but shopping is the best therapy. A pair of boots and a couple bowls of homemade caramel corn later, I feel a little better.

Under construction

Adding to my personal well-being was the completion of my Spoonflower swatch project! I decided to construct a pencil case from the fabric. I must say, I am very happy with the result. I will be even happier with it when someone comments on it and my response will be, “Thanks, I made that. No, really. I even designed the fabric.” Boo. Ya. Though the fabric swatch was small, the pouch is plenty big to hold pens, pencils, and the occasional chapstick. As I didn’t get to go back-to-school shopping this fall, the pencil holder also helps fills the void that new school supplies used to occupy. And that, my friends, is as much as I think I’ll be able to say about a home-sewn zippered wonder. Here’s another picture of the completed item.

Sorry for the one on the right being a little blurry. Just think of it as an impressionist painting.

If you need something to look forward to, I have a couple vaguely to mildly exciting things coming up. First, something that is actually a little exciting, is the second installment of the Little DIpper interview series. On Friday, I will post another Q&A with Katie Schrader, Etsy shopowner and aspiring fabric designer. Check out her Wild Notions shop and Spoonflower page! Beyond that, I have been working on a series of new designs, which I will be posting over the next couple of days. If you want a sneak peek at some of the new designs and some classic LD patterns, check out my Society6 page. Once there, you can buy prints, laptop clings, and iPod cases created by yours truly. Preeeeeettttty exciting if you ask me.

Til next time, LD

Allow me to reintroduce myself, I’m Liz. And I’m back.

Can't beat fall at NU, well maybe spring at NU, but fall is still pretty great

It has been too long since I last posted. I apologize. Hopefully I’ll be better this week. Part of the reason for the delay in new posts was a trip back to Evanston to relive my college days… I’m not sure if that’s what you call it when you still don’t really feel like you’ve graduated, but nevertheless I’m still coming to terms with the fact that I am no longer a wildcat. Just an old cat now, I guess.

I’ve been filling my working hours with Caribou Coffee and job searching, while my down time has been spent mostly watching season 2 of Mad Men. Why is it that the only time I find inspiration for a blog post is times when I’m either in the shower, going for a run, or engrossed in the goings on of Sterling-Cooper while my laptop sits idly at the other end of the room?

As you probably guessed, I am really only watching Mad Men for the clothes. And Don Draper.

I think I’ve gotten weaker since coming home. No, I’m sure of it. How could you not when you suddenly have all the conveniences of living in a real home with a full time chef/maid/therapist (i.e. my mother)? I really need to snap out of it. And I’m sure I will… just as soon as I finish season 3.

During my slump, I have been doing some creative things, like breathing new life into old thrift store finds. Admittedly, thrift stores are my weakness. Where else can you get a vintage scarf for 50 cents? Or leather belt from the 80s that looks like you bought it at Urban Outfitters? Its great. This trip was especially great because everything at Arc’s Value Village was 50% off for Labor Day. (Yeah I know, I haven’t posted in a while.) This meant that I got the following items for less than $20.

Starting at top left and moving clockwise: romper, 2 scarves, earrings, and belt, button-down dress, vest, and shift dress

So normally, I might not get so many items that need to be, ermm… updated, but I was feeling pretty ambitious that day as it is fall, and, as I mentioned earlier, I am not going back to school. So I bought some dye, made some sketches, and channelled Tim Gunn to bring some of these items up to date.

I started with the romper. It needed help, but had potential. I liked the print and it came with a belt made from the same fabric that I liked a lot. First, I cut out the built in shoulder pads. Honestly, just doing that made the top fit well. Second, I ripped out the seam that created the two leg holes. As much as rompers have come back into style, I was hesitant about rocking the look, especially in a full body suit. Third, I sewed seams down the front and back converting the gaucho-like pants into a skirt. Fourth, I shortened and hemmed the garment, et voila! With black tights and booties, this look really came together.

The next project will be the vest… hopefully after a short soak in the dark brown die the teal and purple will reach more appropriate shades, less reminiscent of the early 1990s. I’ll keep you updated.

For now, I’m going to hold off on posting my most current pattern. Photoshop crashed as I was trying to work with the vanishing point tool. You’ll see why that matters soon enough 🙂 So I will now bid you adieu as I am about to get lost in the extra big Arts&Leisure section of the Sunday Times.