Monday, August 31, 2015

Falling for It

I am a scorpio. I don't particularly like hot weather. I prefer sweaters to swim suits. The sound of rain makes my soul happy. Do you know what I'm getting at? Fall!! My favorite season of all is almost here. I was a bit preemptive, it is, sadly, 90 degrees outside today, when I decided to make this wool dress, but I couldn't help myself. 

This lovely dress was constructed using vintage Vogue #7637, and new 100% wool fabric in espresso brown. The wool isn't quite crepe, it's not quite gabardine, I'm not sure what it is. It hangs beautifully, has a nice amount of body and was an absolute dream to sew with.

This pattern features a fantastic neckline, and a full almost circle skirt (constructed of 4 panels).

I fully lined the entire thing with a 100% cotton voile to prevent any excess itchy-scratchy-ness. 

And because I'm always proud when my garments look as nice on the inside as they do on the outside, I have to share this!! Weeeeee! 

I see this dress paired withs scarves, blazers, jackets, and everything from flats to boots in the coming colder weather. I kept the design simple and avoided any extra color or textured on the exterior in order to create a good, warm, staple piece for this winter. What winter projects are you working on? I'd love to see other seamstresses wool dresses, too! 

Monday, August 17, 2015

Happy Birthday, PDG!

Hello there!

Five years ago I got an idea in my head that I could use my novice sewing skills to start a business. Five years ago I spent hours setting up an Etsy store, a blog, an email, and I even bought an official domain name. I knew nothing about online marketing or sales. I knew nothing about blogging. I knew nothing about running a business, or accounting, or using social media for business, or PayPal. Hell, I barely knew how to sew.

I've always told myself that when I embarked on a venture, even if I knew nothing about what I was doing, I was probably doing something right. There is something courageous in effort, right? But what makes me proud is that here I am five years later, and this little business of mine is still around. Today, I'm just figuring out how the heck Instagram can work for a business, and I'll be honest, my accounting skills are still weak. And although that domain name I bought has yet to be used, I can say that my business skills have evolved as much as my business has. After years of sewing, and teaching others how to sew, I am proud of the skill set I have built. I can ship an Etsy order with one hand behind my back (or most times, just holding a coffee cup), things like html for blogger don't scare me anymore (in fact, I think it's kind of fun now...who am I?). When people ask me what I do, and I respond with "I'm a small business owner", I can't help but grin from ear to ear as I think to myself "Small business owner?! ME? Hah! That's so weird to say out loud...". 

So, to celebrate the 5th birthday of Palindrome Dry Goods, I thought it might be a good time for a *GIVEAWAY*! One lucky winner will receive this cosmetic case, handmade by me!

Confirming your entries in the box below, simply leave me a comment on any Palindrome Dry Goods blog post of your choosing, follow me on Instagram and in a week, I'll choose the lucky winner!

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Thank you so much to everyone who has helped keep PDG alive all these years. Every comment, follower, and customer makes me burst with pride and joy!

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Feathers and Linen

Like the Daisy Top featured in the Flashback Friday post, Marie Clark of Permanent Glimpse Photography photographed this top for me several years ago. I love this piece so much, and I'm happy to be able to share it to you! In fact, I love this piece so  much that I braved my storage unit when we went home to California, to dig it out and bring it back to the east coast with me. 

I used New Look #6902 (for the front) and #6696 (for the back)

This linen fabric is by Anna Maria Horner's field study line. It is an awesome weight, nice and cool and is everything quality linen should be!

I love the shirred back from this pattern. No zips, no buttons, no plackets, no hooks and eyes. Woot woot! I often combine pattern pieces from different patterns to get the silhouette or design that I'm looking for. Seamstresses, what is a pattern that you find yourself using over and over again, either by itself or in combination with other pieces? 

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

The Golden State

I grew up in California in a farmhouse built in the late 1800's, about an hour north east of Sacramento. My mother fell in love with this house in the 70's, when she used to do the paper route for the Sacramento Bee and drove by it every morning. One day, she drove by and the top story of the house had burned. The house was old, overgrown, and under-loved. But beneath the weeds and the peeling paint and the ash, she saw it's beauty. 

Her and my father purchased the house (and it's accompany 2 acres) in 1980 and immediately began restoring it. Lucky for my mother, my dad is an incredibly talented carpenter. They took years to rebuild and restore as much of the original house as they could. If an old house or hotel or business was being demolished, they would take as many of the original doors, bricks, windows, hardware, flooring, trim, moulding, shelving, as they would be allowed. 

They found multiple "dump sites" on the property and my mom spent days digging and sifting through the rubble. The above bottle collection is just a fraction of the goods she found. There were forks, the soles of leather shoes, fragments of china, pieces of porcelain and metal toys, perfume and prescription bottles, beer and alcohol bottles, tin cups, plates and bowls, cast iron pans and pots. 

They've never had a dishwasher, and they still don't. Our Christmas dinner is cooked on this little stove every year (and then we spend an hour and a half washing the damn dishes by hand...).  It's a small kitchen, but it contains some of my fondest memories, and (as is the case with many homes) finds itself packed with too many family members at our get togethers.

They hacked back the blackberry bushes and discovered a creek and a spring (my mom tells of how they could hear the water, so they knew it was there, they just didn't know where). They uncovered pear trees, apple trees, and grape vines as old as the house.  

Daniel and I are getting married on my parent's property in May and I could not have thought of a more perfect place. My childhood home is a lovely symbol of the hard work my parent's have put into their life, their marriage and their children and that is something I can only hope to reflect throughout my life. 

Monday, July 6, 2015

Dotted Swiss, Why You do Me Like This?

The fiance and I are headed back to California in a couple short weeks and I am SO. HAPPY. One of my life long best friends is getting married and I'm counting down the days until Dan and I will be surrounded by friends and family and the joy of a union of two wonderful people. While we're home, we're also having engagement photos taken by Marie of Permanent Glimpse Photography. I already knew I was going to wear the rayon dress I made in this post, but the other outfits I put together just weren't quite right. When I discovered some vintage dotted swiss in my fabric stash, I was pretty excited to combine it with Simplicity 1607, by Cynthia Rowley. And by time I'd finished it, I knew it would be perfect for our little love-bird photo session. 

I had made this dress previously and it turned out about, ohhhhh two and a half sizes too small. I shed a few tears for the vintage fabric I'd used to make it, and then angrily packed the pattern away. This time, I was determined to make sure it fit. I also knew I didn't have the time or patience to deal with the complicated (albeit, awesome) criss cross straps, so I made some major alterations to the top 1/3rd of the pattern and forged on. 

It is fully lined with 100% cotton muslin and enlarge by about 1 1/2" everywhere. 

And it fits beautifully. Thank goodness. The dotted swiss was, admittedly, a bit of a pain to work with. It just kept shifting, and fraying and I think it has a bit of polyester in it because my iron didn't seem to like it very much. Anyway, I did my best to finish the seams so that they wouldn't all unravel, and I'm overall very pleased with how it came out. I can't wait to wear it for pictures!

So, here's to successful summer projects, and only a handful of days separating me from warm California nights with some of my favorite people on the planet. Cheers!

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

The Very Inspiring Blogger Award

Happy Tuesday, y'all! Trish from Trishstitched nominated me for The Very Inspiring Blogger Award, and gosh, am I flattered. Thank you, Trish!

Here’s how the award works!
Award Guidelines:
1. Thank the person who nominated you and add a link to their blog.
2. Display the award logo in a blog entry
3. List the award guidelines so your nominees will know what to do
4. State 7 hidden facts about yourself OR 3 things that inspire you.
5. Nominate other blogger friends for the award.
So, I'll choose option 3 and tell you a little about what inspires me, and my creative process. It's easy for me to find inspiration in most things, pictures from magazines (and Pinterest, 'cause let's be real, that site is inspiration overload), other people's work, things I see at Target, spools of thread, just about anything, really. If I had to narrow it down to three specific things, however, I would say that nature, my Mom, and old stuff are the three things that I draw the most from. 

1. Nature

I have a pretty healthy love for plants and nature as it is, so I often find myself soaking in the beauty of the natural world whether it's a single leaf or of those little mushroom that grow on the football field where I walk the track in the morning. Color is always an enormous inspirational factor that I find in nature (look at the color of that Zinnia! #nofilter), but there are such beautiful patterns and emotions to be taken from nature as well. 

2. My Mother Dearest

Sigh. What to say about my Mom? Well, she's simply the most incredible person I know. She is an absolute powerhouse of creativity. She spins, she dyes, she weaves, she sews, she woodburns, she beads, she paints, she writes, she felts, she photographs. She can turn stinky seaweed into the most beautiful baskets, and she is the queen supreme of making new wood look old. My Mother (and my sister) own a business in Northern California called The Tin Thimble, and you can find more about her and their business on their website. My Mom can read a sentence in a book, see a coral color rick rack she loves, and build a whole children's clothing line out of it like *THAT!*. I can't even imagine my Mother's creative process, but damn is it inspiring.

4. Old Stuff

"Old Stuff" is sort of generic, I realize. But I mean that old things in general are inspiring to me. Old, dilapidated houses, shards of vintage Pyrex, sewing patterns from the 1930's, Sears & Roebuck catalogs from 1904, atomic-era pink tile bathrooms, victorian undergarments, and photographs from just about any era older than myself. 

Lastly, I would like to nominate Jenny of A Domestic Wildflower for the award. She's a Northern California girl like myself (we even went to the same university) and I think her blog is just lovely. Please take a moment to check it out!

As always, thank you for reading and have a lovely week!

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Life in Bloom

Happy Wednesday, Everyone! I put together this top sort of on a whim and I am so, so happy with how it turned out. This voile is by Amy Butler, and you can find it at The Tin Thimble's Etsy store. I originally planned on lining the top, but with the recent humidity (it's been 100% a few times lately. And NOT raining. I didn't even know that was possible.), and the heat, I ended up just leaving it a single layer and finishing the inside with a combination of bias tape and french seams. 

The original pattern was for a dress, but I knew I wouldn't wear it as much, so I cut about 3 feet off of the skirt and decided to gather the peplum, as opposed to pleating it like the original.  I added extra gathers in the back to give it more shape, and added a small keyhole above the zipper. 

I love, love, love it when a project goes off without a hitch and turns out to be something I can wear often. The husband-to-be and I went on a date the next day and I proudly wore it out!