Sunday, September 22, 2013

Wearing my Art on my Skirt!

 Ladies and Gentleman....I present to you...the moth skirt!  Piece number one in my moth fabric collection, crafted by yours truly.  I am so excited about this little piece.  If you've been following my blog for a while, you probably know that I've been working on getting some garments made of my moth fabric that I designed back in late spring/early summer.  Life sort of got away from me for a few months while I was working on my practice piece (the Sundae Dress), but as soon as I got that finished I got working on this skirt.   I don't think anything is quite like making garments of a print that you painted, and then converted into fabric.  It gives you such a personal connection to the garment, and is- literally-like wearing your art!  I adore this skirt, and I think I may have found a design that is simple enough for me to start replicating in other sizes in order to make my design available to other lovely ladies.  Starting in late October to early November, I plan to have an Etsy up and running with a few skirts available for purchase!
 This has been a long term dream of mine, and I am excited to see it starting to come to fruition.  This fabric was the perfect way for me to merge my love for painting and Lepidoptera with my unwavering passion for personal style.  It is often hard to find ways to merge those three things, but finishing this garment left me fulfilled- feeling like I could conquer the world with my love of colorful moths :) 

This skirt is crafted from an Organic Cotton Sateen with a soft hand and slight sheen.  The fabric is very comfortable and highly saturated.  The skirt is gathered with a fitted waistband and panel of elastic in the back for comfort and a flexible fit.  This piece is perfect for the park, paired with a fun blouse at work, or for a lunch date out with friends.  The perfect conversation piece, spectacular for bug lovers and colorful gals of all kinds!
Each moth on this skirt is a depiction of an actual, real life moth.  Many are native to the United States, and a few are native to Madagascar!
I think my not-so-pleasant cold this week gave me that extra kick I needed to get this collection on a roll.  Thursday I stayed at home with the sniffles (and with a serious case of laryngitis, ahhh!), and it was just the right amount of time I needed to get this piece sewn. I also had time to work on some jewelry, so now I have more moth necklaces available, including a Luna Moth, Cecropia, and Imperial moth, as well as Luna Moth earrings.  My plan next is to get working on a dress out of my mint colored moth fabric, hopefully it will be done by my second Wedding Anniversary (October 16th) so stay tuned.  Please let me know how you like the design, I would love to hear some feedback.  I am hoping that there are some gals out there that love colorful bugs as much as I do! As always, thanks for reading and enjoy your day!

xo, Alyssa

Monday, September 16, 2013

A rainbow bike and a Sundae dress! :)

This was the weekend of getting things done!   Consequently, those two days flew by like they were nothing.  Saturday I reserved to meet with Daniel's grandmother and work on my Sundae dress, and we worked on it...for almost seven hours!  There were many interruptions as there was a lot going on that day, but we managed to construct (almost) the entire dress and by the time I left I was exhausted.  That night Daniel and I drove up to my friend Diana's house for snacks and movies, and in the morning I had grand plans to attack another project - my bike - by painting it into a rainbow!  Sure, I had the concept down; but I really had no idea how much effort and time it would actually take.  The painting part was pretty easy, but the whole taking the bike apart and putting it back together thing was a little more complicated.  Luckily for me, I have an amazingly handy husband, so with our powers combined we were...captain Rainbow!!!  Or something like that.. So here are some behind the scene pictures of the process (before it was so pretty!).  
1.  Well, here it is upside down- looking pretty frumpy.  First Daniel helped me to take the wheels off and lay everything in the grass behind our apartment complex.  We then bagged the parts we didn't want to spray, like the seat, pedals and handle bars.  
2.  The second step was to sand off as much rust and dirt as we could in order to have a fresh surface for the spray paint!
3.  Daniel and I lined up our spray paints in order of color and discussed placement of each color and then took turns spraying away (him on one side and I on the other) it really helps having one person on each side to spray the spots you can't see.
4.  We waited a half hour and then applied a second coat of paint and touched up spots that still needed to be done.   We also sprayed the inside of the tires and let them dry before putting them back together.

And then, we took her for a stroll around the neighborhood and snapped some photos!!  
And boy, does she look magnificent!
 I actually found this dress in my grandmother's hallway closet in my grandfather's house.  She passed away about a decade ago now but my 92 year old grandfather still lives in the house, so a lot of her things are still around.  I was ecstatic when I found it and a slew of other really beautiful vintage garments.  It really means a lot to me to have some of her things to remember her by.   I believe this one was actually something she purchased for my Aunt back in the day, as it appeared to be from the 70s and still contained the original tag and everything!  It was a maxi, but I knew it would look great as a mini, I am really glad I found it and did the hem before the end of summer!  Fall is quickly approaching...

 Dress:  Vintage, Grandma's closet, Pin & Necklace: Vintage, Tights: Target, Shoes:, Bike:  Newark Bike Project, self-painted! 
And now the Sundae Dress...I am so excited about unveiling this!  I have been working on this dress for so long, bit by bit over time, and I finally hunkered down and got it done last night.  I am so happy with how the dress came out- and so glad that I saw it through.  Now I can really begin to focus on my own textiles, and complete more garments.  It will not be fast (or easy) but now I have the confidence to push forward and get it done.  I can not thank Daniel's grandmother enough for all of her help!! (Especially on the zipper, which I had quite a time with!)

I am really in love with this fabric.  Polka dots and Sundaes, does it get any better?!?
Sundae Dress:  Self-made, cardigan: Forever 21, Headband: Claire's, Necklace: TopShop, Shoes:  ModCloth
These are the flats that I swiped from the Cabin Fever Sale on a few weeks ago.  I have already gotten SO much wear out of these puppies, and they are holding up wonderfully! (I have lost one stud, but that's not bad considering how clumsy I am!).  They seem to go wonderfully with so many of my outfits, the colors make them pretty versatile! 

I have gotten a little behind on blogging these last few weeks, and am developing some sniffles (eeek seasonal cold coming??) but I will be sure to check out all of your blogs and get back to commenting soon.  As always thanks for being wonderful friends and for reading my post!  Have a lovely rest of your Monday!

xo, Alyssa

Friday, September 6, 2013

Remixing a wedding piece, and photos from my wedding!

Wedding pieces are so special.  They have such sentimental value and meaning attached- they are the things you keep and pass on to your children (and them to theirs).  As precious as wedding items are- there are things from the wedding that you'd like to use again and again.  I mean hey- you spent all of that money and time picking things out- shouldn't you be able to re-purpose or reuse a few things in some way?  I am so thankful that I did my wedding on a pretty conservative budget, so I don't have as much of that aching feeling of "geesh, I spent all of that money on a dress I'll never wear again" or "wow, I blew so much money on one day".  Yes, it is a beautiful day and you should wear whatever you like!  But sometimes it's nice to get things you know you'll use again, too. The wedding shoes I chose to get married in I've used to the point where the heel is wearing down (I wore my Irregular choice flats with red bows for the wedding procession, and heels for the reception) and although I'll likely not find another occasion for my wedding dress is was a pretty lucky find online, a dead-stock vintage dress (probably from the 80s) that barely cost me over $100!  I have to tell you, picking your wedding items out this way is so rewarding!  I loved everything I wore that day, but it's wonderful that I've been able to use a few things over again.  Even if it's just a few jewelry items or a scarf, it feels wonderful to reuse an item from the wedding just to remember how wonderful and beautiful the whole day was.  And of course, it's a wonderful keepsake to pass along (or use up till it's completely worn through)!
So on to my headpiece!  This big floral peony hair comb was the headpiece from my wedding reception.  I wore a super fun flower applique dress by Minuet, a green Kate Spade Cardigan, my green gingham and polka dot Irregular Choice heels and my coral pink necklace, I totally garden partied it up!  I found this gorgeous piece as well as my wedding crown on from the Gardens of Whimsy Shop, which is seriously chock full of floral delights.  In person, the comb was a little bit bigger than I was expecting, but it made for an awesome statement and it looked so great with my dress!  I felt like a nature fairy the whole day- it was great! But after the wedding, my two headpieces became like museum specimens.  They signified a beautiful day in history that I absolutely loved, and I couldn't possibly find another occasion to do them justice.  But recently I discovered this bold floral dress on  Century Girl Vintage and I knew just the piece to compliment it perfectly, so I pulled it back out, dusted it off and voila!  It was a remix made in heaven :)
You never know which pieces in your wardrobe will end up finding each other!  It's almost like the purchase was "meant to be" when you have those "aha!" moments, of perfect pairing chemistry.  It just has to be fate! ;) 
And I am SO in love with this fly bracelet I found at Target this past weekend- it is my new favorite accessory!

So in lieu of my recent wedding piece remix, and my upcoming Anniversary (in October it will be two years since I got married, I can hardly believe it!)  I decided I would share some of my photos with you from my special day.  I realized that I hadn't yet done a post of my wedding on the blog, since of course that event had already past when I started this site last year.  Daniel and I had SO much fun with the wedding, and we hope you can see that through these photographs.  The theme was "rainbow floral", we had a rainbow colored cake, and all of my bridesmaids wore different colored floral dresses made from vintage fabrics and constructed by Bec of Naughty Shorts (what an icredibly talented seamstress!).  My dress was altered by Daniel's grandmother and her friend, we added multicolored rosettes to the bodice and a pink, yellow and blue tulle train to the back.  The wedding was outside under a large pavilion, and the reception was held inside Ashland Nature Center- a local nature center that I practically grew up in.  Daniel and I used Etsy for soooo many things, making it a mostly vintage and handmade wedding, and I wouldn't have changed a thing!  Enjoy :)

All pictures taken by my friends Sandra and Debra Wiley of Sandra Wiley Photography

I think the biggest compliment that we got from our friends and family was that our wedding was "so fun!" Sure we loved getting complimented on the colors, the decorations and the fun little details, but what really meant the most to us was that everyone raved about what a great time they had, and that truly was the best thing we could've heard.  What did you enjoy most about your wedding, or if you haven't had one, what do you love most about weddings in general?  I have to admit, though I loved actually getting married, I had such a great time letting loose and dancing with my friends!  And being whisked away by the photographer to have pictures taken alone with Daniel was refreshing too, it really eased me into the whole experience (which can get overwhelming!) I hope you are all having a fantastic Friday and thanks SO much for reading! <3

xo, Alyssa