“Carrie” Off-the-Shoulder Dress

Back in the 6th grade when I’d have sleepovers at my friend Georgia’s house, she’d introduce me to shows on Netflix. One night she showed me Carrie Diaries, and I loved it. When I told my mom about the show, she said it was the younger version of Sex in The City, a show she used to watch. Problem was I didn’t have Netflix at the time …so I forgot about the show. It was one of the first shows I started binge-watching when we finally got Netflix a year later.

Carrie Diaries is about the life of young fashion-forward Carrie Bradshaw (played by AnnaSophia Robb). She works in Manhattan, but lives and goes to high school in Connecticut. Over the 2 seasons, you see her grow from a teenager to a young woman..and all the choices she makes along the way.

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When I was looking through pattern books at Stone Mountain and Daughter, I saw this oversize off the shoulder dress pattern (Cynthia Rowley 8124) and immediately thought CARRIE DIARIES.  The pattern was very straightforward, so I made most of it without looking at the instructions. But I had to take in the side seams (almost 7 inches) because the dress was HUGE on me. The fabric is silk with a bold floral pattern which we got at Discount Fabrics. It’s a statement-y  fabric and pattern that seemed very Carrie. I plan to wear this at my cousin’s wedding next year!

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love,
laur

“Andy” Skirt

When I asked my friend Zai what her favorite TV show or movie is, she didn’t have to think long. She knew right away–Pretty In Pink. I hadn’t watched it, but I had watched 16 Candles (same time, same main actress). So of course, I made it my homework to watch the film.

Pretty In Pink is about a high school girl Andie, played by Molly Ringwald, who is an outsider at her school, both style-wise and socially. She is stuck in a love triangle, one guy is a sweet admirer and the other a sensitive player.

pleats

There’s a lot to be inspired about in the movie. Pinks. Florals. Romance. Of course, I had to make something floral since Andie wore a lot of floral garments. I chose to make a skirt because Andie’s feminine style.

I found a heavy cotton fabric with bold florals at Discount Fabrics and made the skirt with the Burda 7016 pattern. This skirt required an invisible zipper, which I had only sewn once, two summers ago when I had a teacher to help me out. But thanks to Youtube for helping a girl out, I was able to do it…but I had to take it out twice because the stitches were too close the first time and the second time it was backwards. Oops.2017-No11-Flare-Skirt-Pretty-In-Pink-Invisible-Zipper

dancing the thizzle dance
“senior portraits”

I asked Zai to bring a button-up shirt to wear with her skirt. When she came over, I asked, “What’s that on your neck?” And she said, “A broach. My mom told me they used to wear them a lot when they were young.” I checked with my mom, and she said that she wore them, too, back in the 80s! Good thing Zai’s mom gave it to her because Andie wore them too. We completed the look with a black velvet shrug and black sandals. But actually in one picture, Zai tried out an army green cropped jacket.

My mom drove me, Zai, and our friend Brookie around the old, industrial part of our town to find a spot to take pictures. In front of an old clock tower, we saw these old vintage cars–it was perfect! But there was an event going on. Brookie was our styling assistant and our lookout. We tried to be fast because thought we were crashing a wedding…but turns out it was just a school auction with a 20s theme.

This shoot was one of my favorite shoots yet.

love,
laur

“April” Shorts

“I declare everything you are saying is stupid.” – April Ludgate

Parks and Recreation is FULL of humor and dorky-ness. All 7 seasons are amazingly funny. (It’s now Hulu and Netflix, but first aired on NBC.) I started watching this show a couple years ago, the summer before eighth grade–one episode every night with my mom and brother before we went to sleep.

April Ludgate (played by Aubrey Plaza) starts off as an intern in season 1 and over the 7 seven seasons you love her character more and more. She very relatable. She is full of dead pan humor.

Since she wears a lot of button up and cardigans to work, I put together an outfit inspired by her workwear. 2017-04-No10-Blue-Anchor-Shorts-April-Ludgate-DetailI made these tie-waist shorts the same summer I made the kimono, t-shirt dress, and romper. The fabric is from Stone Mountain & Daughter. And I added some lace trim from Fabric Depo. I used the New Look Pattern 6100 (it was part of a Project Runway collection).

When I picked out the fabric, I thought the anchors were cute, reminded me of Crew Cuts (kids version of J. Crew). And it worked out perfectly because April has a J.Crew-ish style. Who knows, maybe I’ll wear this outfit again one day when I’m an intern!

love,
laur

“Wilderpeople” Cropped Sweater

Directed by Taika Waititi, Hunt for the Wilderpeople is such a sweet and super funny movie. It’s like a cross between Moonrise Kingdom by Wes Anderson and Up, the Pixar movie.

You may not have heard of this movie because it’s a New Zealand film. I hadn’t either until I heard my little brother and my mom laughing in the living room a couple weekends ago. I went over to see what was so funny and they were watching this movie. Apparently my little brother randomly found it on Hulu and pressed play to see what it was about. The movie was so good that I ended up joining them on the couch to watch. Ricky Baker (one of the main characters) is an adorable kid–and there’s an even more adorable Ricky Baker birthday song in the movie, too.

This look is not inspired by a specific character but by the overall aesthetic of the movie. Most of the story takes place in the wilderness as the two main characters, Uncle Hec and Ricky, hide out and rough it. At one point both of them are wearing Brawny-looking plaid jackets.

For this top, I used the Burda 6850 Pattern. I originally saw the plaid wool at Discount Fabrics in Berkeley when I was buying nylon for my windbreaker. Actually both my mom and I saw it, but we had different visions for it. She wanted to make new chair cushions covers with it. I was thinking I’d wear it one day. After watching this movie, I went back to see if the fabric was still there…because I wanted to make a top inspired by the movie! I styled this look with Vans and vintage green cargo pants (J Crew).

love,
laur

“Jess” Romper

Originally I had planned to post another project, but let’s just say shipping takes forever (thanks Simplicity).

Having sewn zero things last weekend, I pulled out one of my old projects that I had finished during the same summer I’d made the “Lara Jean” Kimono. I was pretty proud when I made this denim romper in my class at Stone Mountain & Daughter.  At first, I was nervous about sewing it because it was a one piece and made of denim (I had only sewn cotton before that). I got the denim at Fabric Depo (not a typo), this cheap shop, but it’s closed now. I chose to make a romper because I was really into rompers then and I was also tired of sewing tote bags. I used the Simplicity Pattern 1355.

When it came to styling the romper for this post, I could not think of
any characters from books, movies, or shows that I knew. I asked my mom for help and she was like, “What about New Girl ?” I hadn’t seen it before so I watched a few episodes. I liked the show’s humor and how quirky Jess is (Zoeey Deschanel). I could totally see Jess wearing this romper.

To make the romper even more Jess-like, I styled it with a short sleeve button up (Zara, from my
mom’s closet), a vintage cardigan (my mom got in a thrift store in the 90s), and nude flats (Jasper & Jeera). And what better place to shoot Jess’ style than at an antique store? 🙂 In my small town, there are literally so many antique stores, so I had plenty to choose from. This particular one had a lot of mini room vignettes (think IKEA rooms, but all vintage). If Jess had her own apartment, it would                                                                                                            probably look like this.

love,
laur

“Tris” Sweatshirt

Laughing. Reminiscing. Jumping. Climbing. Remember whens. This is what happened when I was taking pictures of my friend Amaria for this post. We’ve been friends since the 1st grade, but after 8th grade we ended up going to different high schools.

For Amaria I put together a look inspired by Tris from Divergent (the series) by Veronica Roth. Divergent is similar to the Hunger Games series since both are set in dystopian worlds. In Divergent people are split into factions and when they get older they can choose a new faction or stay in the one they were born into. But people who are special and carry different abilities are considered “Divergent.”

If I had to chose a faction for Amaria I’d say she was “Divergent” like Tris. Tris was born into Abnegation (kind and giving people)–and Amaria is one of the most caring and selfless people I know. And when Tris has to choose a new faction, she chooses Dauntless. And like Tris, Amaria is strong, adventurous, and not afraid to try new things. I mean, Amaria is a level 9 gymnast!

Making the sweatshirt: This quilted sweatshirt is made with the pattern Sewaholic 1507 and fabrics from Stone Mountain & Daughter. For the most part, sewing it was easy, even though the contrast parts were stretch knit. I chose to make a gray sweatshirt because gray is the color for Abnegation and if you’re going to be doing daring things (Dauntless) I figured a sweatshirt works.

Speaking of daring things…last year for our 8th grade camping trip, we spent a week at a ropes course. On the last day Amaria and I did the “friendship walk” together, where two people climb up a tree onto a tight rope. You face each other and hold each other up with your hands and walk sideways as the tight line splits further and further apart. (We have harnesses and helmets of course!) You keep going until you can’t hold each other up anymore and just fall forward suddenly like spies dropping chest down into buildings in the movies. It was awesome.

love,
laur

“Eleanor” Turtle Neck

 

“She looked liked art, and art was not supposed to look nice; it was supposed to make you feel something.”

This is a quote that Park, a high school sophomore, says about his friend/classmate Eleanor, in Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell. He obviously likes her and she likes him too. This was one of my favorite quotes in the book because I liked how Park didn’t like Eleanor simply for looks but for who she is and how she made him feel.

I read this book back in the sixth grade. I first saw it on the “New Best Sellers” for teens table at Barnes & Noble. I know you’re not supposed to judge a book by its cover, but I got it because of the cute illustration on the cover! It was cool how every eleanor-and-park-by-rainbow-rowellchapter switches from Eleanor to Park so you could see each person’s perspective and feelings on whatever was happening. One thing I didn’t like was how it ended. I WANTED TO KNOW MORE (UGH).

Eleanor is a redhead with beautiful curly hair and Park is biracial, half white and Korean. Here, I asked my good friend Maya to model–she’s like Eleanor because of her curly hair, but also like Park because she’s biracial. But Maya’s personality is way different than Eleanor’s. Eleanor is quiet and has a hard time speaking up for herself, Maya on the other hand is outgoing and not afraid to be herself.

With Eleanor as my inspiration, I decided to create a turtleneck because it seemed to fit her shy personality. Maya wore it with a denim skirt (Buffalo Exchange) and Stan Smiths (Adidas).

Making the turtleneck: I bought Very Easy Vogue Pattern V9028 and ribbed stretch fabric at, yup, you guessed it, Stone Mountain & Daughter. Maya picked the maroon color. I was worried about sewing a stretch fabric at first, but it wasn’t too bad. The fit is kinda loose and it’s something I should  pay more attention to next time I’m sewing stretch/jersey. There’s a zipper in the back that was harder to sew for some reason too. It’s been awhile since I sewed that invisible zipper in Hazel’s T-shirt Dress. I need to practice sewing more zippers!

love,
laur

“Ashley” Windbreaker

The 80s and 90s, what a time to be alive. That’s what I always say to my mom now and she says, Yeah I know. My parents raised me on rap and r&b from that time. (I am named after Lauryn Hill.) I didn’t really like any of their “jams” at first, but starting in the 7th grade I became more inspired by the music. Maybe it was because my gym teacher Mr. Dunbar would always play “Just a Friend” by Biz Markie while we were running laps in the gym or because my English teacher Ms. Treva would play A Tribe Called Quest and The Fugees in class. These days I’m into both the music and the style from the 80s and 90s.

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Last month, I was shopping in the men’s section at Urban Outfitters (lol) when I saw a retro 90s color blocked windbreaker. When I asked my mom if I could buy it, but she said no (she does that a lot). Too expensive. I was bummed, but a week later I had a bright idea…”Why not just make it?”

Now this is the story all about how my life got flipped, turned upside down… This windbreaker is a vintage pattern by Kwik Sew, but the colors are inspired by Ashley from Fresh Prince of Bel Air. Back in the fifth grade, I came across this show and I loved singing along to the theme song. One of my favorite episodes is when Will gets Boys II Men to sing to Ashley on her birthday .

Making the windbreaker: This was made with Kwik Sew pattern 2181. (Shoutout to Etsy for selling vintage 90s patterns or else I don’t know how I would’ve made this.) The hardest part of making this windbreaker was actually finding ripstop nylon fabric in decent colors. We went to 4 different stores in Berkeley, Oakland and Albany. At Discount Fabrics I picked up teal and black nylon along with other notions. Afterwards, I stopped by my usual grandma fabric store, Stone Mountain & Daughter. They only had bright florescent nylon (ugh), but I found black ribbing for the sleeve cuffs and waist band. We went to Piedmont Fabrics (they had none), but they suggested Narain’s Outdoor Repair, which is where we found the contrasting magenta nylon. You can’t tell from these photos but all 3 nylon fabrics have  very different textures!

In all, we probably spent more on fabric and gas than the cost of that Urban Outfitter’s windbreaker – but this one looks way better and I’m so happy I made it. I wore it to school the day after I made it and got plenty of compliments!

Just for fun, I made a short ’91-92 playlist.

love,
laur

P.S. The images above were shot at a parking lot in Oakland.

“Hazel Grace” T-Shirt Dress

In sixth grade, I read The Fault in Our Stars by John Green (I mean who hasn’t?). And I’ve watched the movie plenty of times.the-fault-in-our-stars-john-green

If you’ve been living under a rock and haven’t heard of TFIOS , it’s about Hazel Grace Lancaster, a girl who was diagnosed with Stage 4 thyroid cancer at a young age. At 17 she meets Augustus Waters at a support group for kids with cancer and her life is flipped upside down. (This is a typical sick-teen love story nowadays.) Hazel Grace is a very caring girl with an amazing heart and very strong-willed.

Making the dress: This is my take on the dress Hazel Grace wore to her dinner date with Augustus in Amsterdam. It’s a blue t-shirt dress (with sleeves that remind me of something Imelda Marcos would wear). I used New Look Pattern #6145. invisible-zipperThe challenge was the invisible zipper- it was a my first time putting in a zipper too! The fabric is a blue flannel with a mini-herringbone pattern from Stone Mountain And Daughter.

I asked my friend Nayeli to model this and be the brown Hazel Grace. I styled the dress on her with a green bralette (Urban Outfitters) and beige ankle boots (H&M). Actually Nayeli didn’t like the movie as much as me. She is one of my friends I met in middle school. We couldn’t stop laughing and cracking jokes when we did this shoot.

love,
laur

“Lara Jean” Kimono

One of my favorite books is To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han. Amazon recommended this book (Thanks Amazon). My first thought was “this looks like a cute book.” 1) I like the cover because there’s a ASIAN chick on it (ok, she’s actually half Asian in the book), 2) Her room is cute, and 3) It’s written by an ASIAN author. What are the chances?

15749186The main character is Lara Jean, a petite girl who is very sweet and quiet, and tries her hardest to see the best in people. She keeps a lot of things to herself. She writes love letters to boys that she likes but never sends them out. She pours out her heart and soul into these letters to get over the boy. (What an interesting way to get over a guy. But seriously, not the safest idea.) So one day, the letters somehow reach these boys. I won’t say how or what happens next. I’m no spoiler.

Making the kimono: Lara Jean loves fashion especially girly vintage clothing (some are Asian-inspired). Personally I’m not into those girly things, but I do like Japanese fashion. So I made this kimono one summfashion-gray-white-kimono-sketch-lores-bloger in a sewing class. It was one of the first sophisticated pieces I made compared to simple skirts and tote bags. I used New Look pattern #6378 that I found online. 😉

I bought this ikat fabric at Stone Mountain & Daughter, where I took sewing lessons (the class program has been canceled though). There’s hella grandma fabrics in there, but always some cute stuff, like their tribal/ikat patterned fabrics.

I paired the kimono with some shiny black combat boots (Barney’s New York), skinny jeans and a gray top (Forever 21). I can totally see Lara Jean wearing this.

love,
laur