30 Before 30

So, I turned 29 on April 10th. Not gonna lie, I was a little freaked out about turning 30! I spent my 20′s alternating between having small children and being chronically ill. I decided I might feel better about leaving my 20′s if I made a list of goals. This way, I would feel like I had accomplished something.  I broke them into groups so I could see balance.

Lifestyle

  • Visit Florida

  • Take a vacation (NOT Florida)

  • Go on a road trip

  • Make time for weekly dates

  • Weekend away from kids (with Lawrence)

  • Weekend away from kids (without Lawrence)

  • Entertain monthly

These are pretty basic, I think. The only one of these that might be problematic is going away for a weekend with Lawrence. I reserve the right the change it an overnight at the last minute, but I am aiming high right now! I have always wanted to entertain, but I have a lot of house shame that I am working through.

Personal Growth

  • Take a ballet workshop

  • Take a contortionist workshop

  • Take ariel workshop

  • Start cello lessons

  • Basic proficiency in Spanish

  • Basic proficiency in French

  • Do my Goodreads Project

This one looks insane! Okay, so for the 3 workshops, they are each only 6 weeks, so not a huge commitment. Also, fitness! So that is important. The cello shouldn’t be terrible, because I played the violin as a child. I already understand some Spanish, so I will be working on pronunciation, and as for the French, Lawrence is learning it, so we can be accountability buddies. The goodreads project is just me writing a review for every book I have read (rereading ones I don’t remember well enough)

Art and Creativity

  • Write 365 short stories

  • Finish my novel

  • Start my webcomic

  • Start multimedia project

  • Start soul project

  • Start youtube project

So I am writing a [very] short story daily, as well working on my novel (my goal is for a first draft to be completely finished. Unlikely I will ever do anything with it, but I want it done.) The next 3 are all projects that WILL see the light of day. The webcomic has been outlined, and I am working on character studies right now. The last one is a project I plan to work on with Lawrence.

Fashion and Blogging

  • Make 10 garment for each of my girls

  • Make 10 garments for myself this summer

  • Build autumn/winter capsule wardrobe

  • Build spring/summer capsule wardrobe

  • Learn hatmaking

  • Start makeover series

  • VLOG

This one is straight forward. Make garments! Build capsule wardrobes! Learn a skill (hats look so good on me.) I am thinking about vlogging because I feel more comfortable talking to a camera than I do in pictures. We shall see.

Spirituality

  • Celebrate the wheel of the year/esbats

  • Start a CUUPS

  • Write and perform my own ritual publicly

These are pretty direct as well. I consider myself a pantheist, but am drawn to the celebrations of the wheel of the year as a way to celebrate the seasons and the passing of time in general. Besides, what kid is going to complain about a holiday every 6 weeks!  I am working with my church to start a CUUPs group, and in doing so I will be more “out” than I ever have been before.

So here it is! I will be posting periodic updates about my progress, but I hope for this year to be my most exciting yet!

DailyLook Elite #1

So in my quest to build a dream wardrobe, one worthy of a woman no longer nursing tiny humans, I have tried DailyLook Elite. The idea is that you pay a styling fee of $20, and a stylist puts together a box for you based on your style profile you fill out. You get 6-8 items, and 7 days to try them all on. Just send back the ones you do not want. If you purchase anything, the $20 stylist fee is deducted from your purchase, if you buy nothing, you are only out the $20 stylist fee. When I signed up I received a 3 month trial, so I did not pay the $20 stylist fee.

So, before I get to the whole breakdown, here are some quick pros and cons when compared to Stitch Fix, a service I also use.

Pros:

  • Seems to have a larger inventory, includes shoes!
  • You have a single stylist that automatically repeats, and you can email them directly.
  • More items in each box = more chances to fall in love with something.
  • Longer time period to try things on (7 days vs 3).

Cons:

  • No discount if you purchase all of the items.
  • No visual style cards coming with your shipment
  • No return bag sent, you have to tape up the box it came in and tape the label on.
  • Items seems to be on the more expensive side when compared to stitch fix. (I have my settings set to pretty much whatever they want to send me, and I noticed my DailyLook items are more expensive than my Stitch Fix items where I have the same settings. I do not know if this is because thieir items are pricier, or this is simply the result of them having a larger inventory. Someone who has their settings set to very inexpensive would have to chime in. I am considering doing that as an experiment though.)

Okay, so it looks like I am reaching with the DailyLook cons… because I so far think that this is a superior service for my needs (I rarely, if ever, dress down) but, of course, you can’t tell after just one box.

So, for the items… I kept one item, the red patterned circle skirt (click the image above to be able to shop the items if you want.) This skirt is amazing! I have already worn it a few times (birthday happy hour, no less!) Super fun!

I really liked the full polka dot skirt and the sequined crop top, but I passed on them because I am focusing on brights for the summer. They were really awesome though, and I can tell that my stylist looked at my pin board.

The other clothing items all had fit issues. The striped shirt pulled at the bust enough that even sewing snaps in couldn’t save it. The cute blue summer dress was a bit short for my liking. As for that amazing dress and cape? Well, aside from the fact I have nowhere to wear such an amazing garment… it was WAY too short. Like, obscene. If I stood very very very still, it barely covered me in the front. No go in the back. At all. I mean, the cape covered it, but still! I joked it should have been a detachable circle skirt! The dress was not too small, it fit perfectly in the upper body. I guess this dress is not for the tall and curvy. One or the other!

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The accessories were both nice, I just had absolutely nothing to go with them. At all. I am trying to create a very cohesive wardrobe, so sticking to things that either go with things I have, or go with things I plan to get/make.

If you want to try DailyLook, consider clicking on my link here, I will get a credit when you receive your first box.

My Grown Up Dress

I tend to wear super brights all the time, but I have been wanting a less conspicuous dress in case I need to pretend I’m a grown up. The pattern is the Anna Dress by By Hand London and I just love it! The only changes I made were to shorten the bodice by 1/2 inch and to grade the dress from an 8 at the bodice to a 10 at the hips. Looking back, I don’t think I really needed too, as I would have had enough room for my hips. I do like the exaggerated A line though, so I left it.

The fabric is a now discontinued Lisette cotton Lawn that I got at Joann Fabrics. It is lovely and airy, but it wrinkles so much! Those waist wrinkles? Just from me sitting. I would also would suggest that if you are making this in a drapey fabric, you should pinch some out of the kimono sleeves. In a stiffer fabric they will stick out, but here they wrinkle as I wear it and it drives me insane! It is the only thing I would do differently about this dress.

As for construction, nothing really special. Everything is french seamed, and the zip is a lapped zipper (my favorite kind!) using this tutorial. I did use seam binding on the hem because I think it is fun.

Looking forward to wearing this now that the weather is warming up. What lovely things are you making?

I’m Back!

I missed blogging! I took an unexpected (and super long!) break due to illness. I dragged my feet coming back because of insecurity. I never really felt like I found my writing voice, like I was a very stiff and formal version of myself. I also felt like the type of blog I had was the wrong direction for me. I was trying so hard to be “super crafty fun mom” (hence my old name, “Manic Pixie Dream Mom”) but it was just not who I really was.

Being ill forced me to look at things differently. Having children in my early 20′s and then experiencing chronic illness really took up all of my time, so there wasn’t a lot of room for self care. For a long time, I convinced myself it didn’t matter, that it was over and I was a mom and a wife and not much else. It turns out it does matter (surprise!) and it was weighing on me.

My medical stuff is mostly sorted out, and I will be turning 29 in a few short weeks. My children are going to school in the fall. This blog will be my place where I figure out my purpose. There will still be pictures of my children and sewing, because I love those things. I also love shoes, fashion, art and eco friendly makeup! I love photography and dance! “Whimdulgence” is me allowing myself the fun I couldn’t have in the last decade. I hope you will follow along as I explore these new aspects of my life.

My Marion Cardigan

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Okay, so sorry you have to see the same dress as earlier, this is what happens when you own, like, 3 dresses (the other 2 didn’t go.) Soooo, this is my Marion Cardigan, and I can tell you for sure that this will not be my last knit designed by Andi Satterlund. She is pretty talented, and her small seems to fit me perfectly. I love the look of cropped cardigans because they not only look cute with dresses (my preferred garment choice) but they also don’t ride up, which is a serious problem I have with anything that hits me at the hip (unless it is huge, of course.)

The yarn is Cascade 220 in “Turquoise” and I love this yarn. It is so soft and squishy, and even though it is 100% wool, I don’t find it very hot. It also absorbs, uh, moisture? So that is nice. I found the buttons on Etsy at The Bling Bazaar and I really feel like they make the sweater pop. Love it!

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This was my very first cable project, and I am quite proud of it. Honestly, the pattern really holds your hand through the whole thing, and if you can knit, purl and understand basic shaping, you can do this. VERY straightforward knit.

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Look at the sleeve detail! I love things like that, how it isn’t simply ribbed but has cables incorporated! These things make for a fun knit. If you want to see more details then you can check out my Ravelry page for it here.

Have a great weekend everyone!

The “500 Days of Summer” Sundress

You guys! I made my first dress! Alright, so this dress has been done forever, to be honest, but I just had the most awkward time getting pictures. Still, it is so exciting to have something that actually fits my body in a way that is even remotely flattering. Seriously.

The name was picked because I was trying to get it done in time for the kick off of season 4 of Project Sewn. I didn’t make it. The theme was leading ladies, and although I had already planned this outfit before the theme was announced, I did find this inspiring image from one of my favorite films. And so it was named.

The pattern is the Lonsdale Dress, made in this Lisette Cotton Poplin that I got at Jonanns. It is on a deep sale right now too. I really loved this pattern because, being drafted for pear shaped girls (which in this case means having a generous half circle skirt) I was able to make a straight size 8, and not worry about grading for my significantly larger lower parts. I did do some little modifications, I took in some gaping by the underarm and I did a small sway back adjustment following the tutorial here. I am actually thinking now that I should have shortened the whole bodice and done an FBA, but I couldn’t tell that by the muslin, I needed to be actually wearing the dress for a little while in order to see this. It is still the best fitting dress I have ever owned. So there is that.

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I followed the sewalong almost exactly. I french seamed throughout, turned and stitched the front of the skirt, bound the back seam, and hand hemmed it with contrast seam binding. The only real change I made was the zipper insertion. I originally hand picked it, but the zipper showed too much for my taste. I then did a hand picked lapped zipper.

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I know it looks like the zipper is in backwards… but it totally is. This was a conscious decision, since my left arm is more flexible than my right, and my husband (official zipper helper) is a lefty. I had to mirror the directions because none of the tutorials had them facing this way.

See this goofy model like pose above? Yeah, that was an outtake. I would never knowingly pose like that. Unfortunately, this turned out to be one of the least awkward pictures. So, why should you guys reading print get anything less awkward than the individuals who see me in person. Seriously though, I am considering vlogging my makes, so you can see them in motion, and so I don’t have to pose. You have been warned.

All in all, I am very happy with this dress! I plan to make another one at some point for sure. What is that pink thing around me, you ask? Why, it is my Amalthea Shawl, details can be found here.

Oh man you guys, nothing is better than clothes that actually fit.

Underclothes!

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I made a bra! How crazy is that? Okay, maybe it isn’t that crazy… here is what I was working with:

  • Find bra in size 32DD
  • No underwires, no padding
  • but still lifts tho
  • no synthetics/all cotton
  • under $80

So I had to make one, because that list above is just insanity. The good news for me was that this was really simple! All of the things that make bras hard (padding, underwires, slippery fabrics) were totally not an issue in the pattern. Oh yay! I made it in about 4 hours, and that was because I kept making silly mistakes because tiny people were trying to climb me. Why? Because I’m there?

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So the pattern is the Bambi Bra by Ohhh Lulu, and it is pretty great. The seaming is a vaguely vintage shape (think subtle 1940′s, not bullet bra 50′s) and the woven fabric makes it more stable. Those combined together gave me exactly what I was looking for! I made a little etsy treasury of the supplies I used here. It is lined with jersey, which adds stability, but I just used my regular needle. I had no issues. Ooooh, bad bad blogger! Also, my cloure was smaller than the strap, so I just added a little pleat. No biggie.

So, did I like the bra? Yes. Will I make it again? Yes, but there are a few things I would change (warning, frank talk about breasts, look away if you must!)

  • Pay more attention to the elastic! I way over stretched mine… I measured the elastic to my body, and then attached it, only to discover that I needed to shorten the band for the bra by about an inch. Ugh, oops. I totally just shortened it and it still works, but when I’m not wearing it it is so wavy/ripply. 
  • Size up. Yeah, at first I thought it was just the elastic, but I need more room. I made a small, which the measurements said I should fit, but since the bra is drafted for C cups it makes sense to me to size up and just shorten the back strap. No biggie. I actually knew I would have to, but second guessed myself on the muslin. Which leads me too…
  • Reduce the curve on the top of the bra. Ugh, this is an anatomy issue. I have a curved breast bone, no cleavage for me! Not even enough to smooth out these wrinkles. I think smoothing a bit of the curve and moving the straps will make a big difference. (The curve is cute, but not for my body)
  • The adjustable band. Blergh, I will pass next time. I plan to try a vintage closure like the one shown here. No, it isn’t adjustable, but with a woven, how fast will it stretch? I would rather shorten it every 3 months than try to sew in one of those itchy pokey things ever again.

So, I love the pattern, and even with all the issues I still wear it, because it is still the most comfortable bra ever. And there will be more. You have been warned.

Princess Pajamas

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Hello everyone! Sorry I took a little time off… and by a little I mean a whole year. Ooops. I have been doing stuffs of great importance! Unfortunately most of it isn’t interesting at all. I have, however, been spending my summer being very productive. Lots of things have been made and even more are being planned. Kidlet clothes? Check. Mommy clothes? Check. Mommy underclothes? I may have said too much… oh, and cardigans for everyone!

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But today I thought I would start with pajamas! Now, confession… I made Fiona’s last month. Also confession? I made Cara’s last August. I know. At least they still fit? 

So the pattern is Oliver + S Bedtime Story and don’t let my procrastination fool you… this was a dream to sew. All of the fabrics are from the “Once Upon a Time” line by Alexander Henry. Ooooh, so cute. Nothing much to report, the instructions are impeccable as always. The only thing I did different was to french seam everything (Fiona calls it a “fancy inside” and I quite agree. Cara just loves the dragons)

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All right, so I plan to be back next week with more handmades and other such awesomeness… to earn your trust back I will include a super cute picture of the girls in their swim cover-ups (that I did not make)

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Until next time…

Spring Dresses and Sweaters

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Bad Blogger! Bad!

Okay, okay, so it took me a while to get back. I confess, as ridiculous as this sounds, that the blogging part is harder than the “do cool stuff to blog about” part. I know that sounds insane, but… truth.

Anyway, enough about the difficulties of blah blah blah, I know you want to see what I promised… that trifecta of knitting, sewing, and adorable children…

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I always keep my promises… eventually.

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Oooooh! The cuteness!

The pattern is Oliver + S Tea Party Sundress. This was a fun sew, and I think we will be seeing more of this pattern… oh yes.

Details!

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Okay, that’s not a detail shot, but I love it…

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And of course, the dresses don’t cramp their style.

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Warning, sweater cuteness!

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Okay okay, some flat shots for the garment nerds.

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Of course, I took pics of the inside (side seams turned and stitched, front and back seams pinked) but, um, I remembered to take the inside pics after they were worn… so… just know it looked neat. I don’t remember off hand who designed the fabric, so if anyone wants to know, tell me and I’ll dig up the selvages.

The sweater info can be found here for Fiona, and here for Cara.

Adorableness!

WIP Wednesday

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All right, I’m back!

I didn’t plan to take such a long break. We have been doing well, back to our old rhythm, but i just needed to get back into the habit of posting.

I’m so naughty.

So, while I get back into the grove, what better way to start than with a simple WIP Wednesday post, yes?

So, I am knitting a BFF Cowl, and this is the link I am going to be trading away. I really love the yarn. Love Malabrigo. Love love!

This is one of my favorite stitch patterns I have ever done. Look at the pretty seed pods!

I am reading American Gods by Neil Gaiman. It’s a special super long anniversary addition (but of course). This is one of my favorite books, but it has been a long time since I read it. Do it you guys.

I will be back tomorrow with pictures of the girls, sewing, and more knitting. It’s the ManicPixieDreamMom trifecta!

I am linking up in the Yarn Along at Small Things

PS, that lurid green background is my couch, and I swear it is much nicer looking in person!

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