stitchin: frosted pewter rennie {patterning hers}

you can check out the inspiration post here

i started playing around with the faux suede that i was sent, and while perfect for  his doublet, it was too visually heavy and stiff for her dress. i attempted to source new fabric locally, but matching grey fabric in terrible fluorescent lighting is more than a headache.....{this one's too brown, this one's too blue, wahhh!} so taffeta and faux duponi fabric samples were ordered.

even though i can flat pattern and design in my sleep, there's no need to reinvent the wheel. so i dug through my newly organized pattern stash, and found this lovely Simplicity 3782. it has a low and square neckline and the corseted, cylindrical shape we're going for, so only a few {ha!} tweaks were needed. 

once i had all of the pattern pieces cut out and ironed {quite a task in itself, thank you exacto knife!}, i started in on the bodice for view a {with the shoulder rolls}. but, i couldn't wrap my head around the adjustments with the way this pattern bodice was constructed, so back to the tried and true McCall's 6097.

this pattern already had a higher back, so i made the front into a single, longer piece, reworked the waistline from front to back, and narrowed the front shoulder.  then added some channels and steel boning, and tada!

the bodice insides are done :/ pattern matching {and a lot of swearing} came next.

 otherwise, the last modification request was for a 2-piece dress. it's much easier to get in and out of a skirt and bodice combo, and much easier to construct it all in 2 pieces anyways. {ummm, you want me to gather allll of that skirt and attach it where?!?!?!??}

stay tuned, sneak peeks of his are coming soon!


doing: december 2014

kickin ass on my small biz christmas goal

decorating our {real} christmas tree

stepping on lots of needles {sewing and tree}

struggling with my monthly mileage

celebrating love #GretchenEls121314

drinking a lot of red moscato

burning woodwick's Fraser Fir candle

riding my bike to work {still!!}

getting excited for Downton Abby in january 

fulfilling bow tie and pocket square orders {online & local}

{photo from Woodchuck's Ciderbration, waaay back in august}


where do you keep your house key?

i'm very low-key {ha!} when it comes to running. i don't listen to music or carry water. i put on my shoes, watch, Road ID, and head on out. it's just me and my thoughts {watch out!}. but nothing annoys my brain more than having things jingle and jangle around. followed closely by the paranoia of loosing my house key in the woods somewhere.

so i turn to the always handy binder clip. just unhook one of the metal legs, thread your key on, and put it all back together. 

clip it to your waistband and tuck the key inside. ta-da! now if i could only get some of those awful random tunes out of my head.


what's in your filing cabinet?

it's been a while since i've organized any of my bills or other adult paperwork in manila folders and hanging files {hooray for digital!}, but there is still a lot of other paper things in my life. mostly in the transparently thin, giant sheets of uber fragile tissue paper variety. which also involves the attempting-to-return-them-to-their-envelopes wrestling match when i'm done with them. now, they've got room to breathe {and all of their "modification" friends too}, and i still have hair on my head.

i used to keep all of my patterns in one of those plastic drawer thingies, left over from my college days. while it worked well enough, {aka kept them upright and off the floor} i'd have to pull them alllll out and dig for what i wanted. no bueno. so now they're sorted by category {party dresses, purses, rennie, etc} and super easy to search through.

also, the printer paper, printable labels, scrapbook paper, and other flat "crafty" things i had laying around. but wait, who needs 10 different kinds of printer paper...?!? filed and organized my friends.

this is probably old new to some, but it's been 3 weeks and still blowing my organized mind. seriously, where have i been? under a rock?  {more like a giant pile of UFOs...} right now it is all housed in file crates and the awesome printer stand the FIL made, but i've got some grand plans for a big lateral file cabinet in the near future, fyi greg ;)

while this corner of the studio is now oh so neat and tidy....turn around and you find this....yikes!


snacking on: dark chocolate espresso beans

ummmm yum! that's all i can say. soooo good.  Trader Joe's has outdone themselves again. the roasted crunchy arabica beans are covered in a super dark chocolate {dairy-free, yay!}, and a handful of these will definitely hit the spot. but be warned, a tooth-check is needed afterwards, you don't want to be the crazy person with coffee bits stuck in their teeth.


hello december 2014

last month was a struggle with the cold and darkness, slowly but surely i'm adjusting {no other options, right?}. i got lots of stitching and running done, and this month looks about the same:

> small biz christmas: oh target, you've got me hook/line/sinker with so many lovely things, but big box stores, are the problem.  so kickin it up a notch from last years goal, i'm shooting for 75% of my gifts to be from small businesses and/or handmade {by me or others}.update: success! between wandering into small shops around town, finding fun things on etsy, lots of stitching, and stocking stuffers from Trader Joe's, only a few books were ordered from Amazon. yay!

> blog revamp: new year, new fresh and shiny spaces. that's the dream, right? well not much can change in our rental house, so i'm thinking it's time for a blog renovation instead. also, not nearly as expensive or messy :) update: i've got a {secret} pinterest board of inspiration, but so far, nothing ready to go live.

> finish rennie garb: i always forget how complicated these outfits are. mostly it is the pattern adjusting or the coordinating fabric finding that slows it down, but now that everything is in house and cut out, it's time to pull it all together. update: still working on them, and i'm oh so close to being done. it's always the finishing bits and buttons that trip me up.

> run 50 miles: ahhhhh! that's all i need to get my {adjusted} goal of  300 miles this year. i'll be super pissed if i miss it by a handful of miles. super. pissed. update: eff, eff, eff. i was going strong the first few weeks, but then a week of heavy nor'easter rain, a wicked cold, then focusing on christmas presents.....and that's where i'm going to end the excuses.


glazed pumpkin spice cookies {gluten and dairy free!}

so when it's late at night and you're making those yummy and super easy gluten free and dairy free pumpkin spice cookies at the last minute {and forget to put the spice part in} here's how to fix it:

spiced glaze
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 3 tablespoons pumpkin pie spice or:
    • 1 tablespoon ginger
    • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
    • 1 tablespoon nutmeg
    • 1 teaspoon ground allspice
mix it all together in a small bowl and drizzle over your cooled cookies. on it's own, the glaze is pretty strong {it bites back!}, but once it melds into the cookies, it's just the right combo of sweet and spiced.


doing: november 2014

taking save-the-date photos

burning WoodWick's Pumpkin Butter candle

struggling with 5pm darkness

giving in and turning the heat on

driving to the arctic in-laws for faux-giving 

stitching, stitching, stitching my free time away

keeping up on my mileage {dark and cold be damned!}

pondering next years goals

consistently getting up early {yay!}

buying new running clothes

riding my bike to work {it's really not that bad}

organizing all of my sewing patterns and paperwork

deciding on next year's one little word


stitchin: frosted pewter rennie garb {inspiration}

you can check out sneak peeks of hers here

the last masterpiece outfit i created for my mom and her hubbie was inspired by their recent wedding.  the newlyweds wanted something light and airy, romantic and soft. they choose the floral and green material, and i found the perfect, crinkly gold taffeta at a local fabric store:

this time, multiple yards of a great pewter jacquard and matching grey faux suede arrived at my front door. the very anal {ahem} detail-oriented part of my brain kicked into overdrive, and i began to plan for all of the repeat pattern matching to come....

soon, the googled inspiration photos started flying back and forth via email: 


based on the fabric that was sent, warmer, fall/winter weight outfits were quickly decided on, and with these pictures, a long, straight, low and square, corseted bodice for her. he sticks to the same waist-length doublet with full-ish sleeves. otherwise, i was free to do what i wanted {woohoo!}.

keep in mind, i'm not shooting for historical accuracy here, i just like to make pretty stuff  :)


around the interwebs: november 2014

these leaves are so pretty.

if you weren't aware already, tater tots are my fave.

are you giving your future self the shaft?

i can't decide between this festive gem or these scary beasts from Wonder Forest.

tick, tock, where's your body clock?

here's how to eat well on $4 a day.

oh, nobody likes being stuck in things.

sometimes, all you need is to pay the bills.


the lazy girls way to perfect brown rice

its been a long running joke that with having a gluten allergy all i can eat is rice and veggies. seriously, we eat a lot of rice and veggies. so much, that i make it one giant pan at a time, with no special equipment. here's the super easy way to make perfectly fluffy brown rice:

what you need:
  • 3 cups of rice
  • 5 cups of water
  • oil or cooking spray
  • spices (optional)
  • 9x18 glass pan
  • aluminum foil 
  • large pot or tea kettle
preheat your oven to 350* and get your 5 cups of water boiling. make sure the oven is up to temp before your water is bubbling; it needs to be nice and toasty and ready to go.

run some oil or spray around the edges and across the bottom of the pan, to keep the rice from sticking to the sides.

pour your 3 cups of rice into the pan and sprinkle with the seasonings.  we're a huge fan of garlic and adobo seasoning or old bay. yummmmm. keep in mind though, no seasonings if you want to make rice milk with it.

get your foil and oven mitts ready.

very, very, very carefully pour your 5 cups of boiling water into the pan and cover tightly with foil right away. then very, very, very carefully move it all to the oven.

set the timer for 1 hour.

when time's up, take off the foil and fluff! tada!


hello november 2014

this fall has been quite the whirlwind, september was busy, and poor october was jumped right over. so november, let's get some sht done:

> run 40 miles: last month was a bit of a stretch, running-wise, so this month i'm going to work on maintaining at 40 miles, not to mention the inevitable sweatpants-on-the-couch-under-a-blanket struggle when the temps drop. update: 45 miles completed, efff yea!

> wake up early: no matter what time i get up in the morning, by 9:30 pm i'm wiped. it could be 4:30 or 6:30, but as the evening wears on, i put my cranky butt to bed. i don't mind getting up early, i actually feel better when i can get some stuff done before my day starts. update: this was surprisingly easy, instead of flipping and flopping around all morning, i'd get up, have some coffee, do some reading/writing, a nice slow start to the morning

> get my biz-ness paperwork in order: bow ties are awesome and pocket squares are cool, but receipts and paperwork are not. so before the pile of papers grows larger, it needs to be tamed. oh, and spreadsheets are my jam, so no fear there. #nojudgie update: nope, all i had on my mind this month was running and stitching.

> haha, third time's the charm. that is all. update: i'm over the hump on this one, i didn't get them completely finished before the month's end, but all of the major bits are done.  check out my progress here


hello {& goodbye} october 2014

time flies when you're...everywhere but home :/ so let's do a quick recap of all the fun had in october, shall we?

> run 40 miles: phew! the last 7 miles in the last 3 days.

> switch winter/summer clothes: all of the winter out and summer packed away. still wearing shorts and a few dresses, but with next week's forecast, i'm going to haul it all to the basement today.

> register to vote & research the options: registered (i've only lived her for 4 years, oops) and still narrowing down my choices.

watching hocus pocus over and over

using agave nectar instead of splenda

counting down to our wedding day! {11 months to go}

asking myself these 7 questions as i pack the summer clothes away

being force-fed fresh veggies from our CSA {so yummy}

this is how i'm feeling today, tgif.

marathon spectating is more fun when you have a runner to keep track of:

ring-pop and harry potter bribery on the latest plane ride:

too many bowl-meals in a row + not enough dishes done = multiple meals eaten out of the measuring cup:

getting pretty skilled at self-done party 'dos:


around the interwebs

super intrigued by maggie's no tv coment

this girl is a rationalizing pro

i want to live in the country of animal pals

the hard stuff does matter most

i am sooo on board with the minima

it's gonna be cozy blankie time soon

yeas, goals are great

i've been on both sides, and performance reviews are the worst

seriously, start at the begining

have you stumbled upon anything fun lately?


hello september 2014

even though its 90* and 80% humidity in boston right now, can feel that cozy fall nesting instinct looming. so it's time to get cleaning and organizing kicked back into high gear. you can check last month's goals here, and this month:

> one got super dirty *camping* up at the lake, and the other some how ended up back on our bed. yeah, in the sweaty summer. without the duvet cover. gross. so it's time to haul them up the giant hill to the laundromat. update: there's nothing like people staying the night and wanting something to cover up with, done!

> out of all of the weddings this year, i'm in one of them, yay!  the lovely brides sent out a few example links from a super reasonably priced website, and only stipulated that the dress be a certain color and fabric. but otherwise, sleeves, straps, and lengths were our choice. time to order before i start stressing. updater: after so much back and forth about the 4 size difference between my top and bottom, i sucked it up and ordered on the 29th.

> with this super busy summer, we never did make it to the woods. so my excuse of not dealing with the camping stuff until we're done with it this season is no longer valid. even if i had dealt with it early on, it wouldn't have affected our using it anyways. but i can't handle seeing it jammed in the corner of the kitchen any longer. time to get it down to the creepy basement. update: nope, still occupying a corner of the kitchen.

>  with 2 long distance, full weekend weddings this month, just maintaining last months mileage will be a challenge. i'm also having to contend with the sun rising later, it still being hot and humid after work, and the sun setting earlier....#runninginthedarkisscary update: done!


hey there dapper dudes {and dudettes!}

just poppin in to give you an update on the shop! our lastest collection, grey gardens, is ready to ship! yay!

order a set of 'squares here

and grab a bow tie to match

friday {9/5} is the last day to use the code geekischic for free US shipping, so get it on it!

oh, i'm also giving away a pre-tied preppy plaid bow tie! head over to maggie whitley designs to enter! hurry though, it ends tomorrow!
oh boy, so many exclamation points, lol! super duper excited!!! yay!!!


my view: august 2014

before my sandals turned into a muddy mess at woodchuck's ciderbration // my *office* // the bffffffff is married! // prettiest stack of egg cartons #nojudgie // breakfast of champions at the lake // the grey garden collection is now in the shop // these neighbor's houses face each other, this is the view from the driveway in between, yikes!


how to get the stink out of your work out clothes

oh summer running......i love getting up at the crack of dawn with the sun, enjoying the cool(ish) breeze off the river, and getting one thing checked off my to do list before matter what though, still i end up a hot and sticky and sweaty mess, ugh. i guess its better than heatstroke later in the day.

with all of this sweat, things get stinky. even {especially} the fancy sweat wicking work out clothes. the smell tends to linger, even after they've been washed. but no fret my friends, i've got an easy, eco and wallet friendly way to get rid of it. and I promise you won't smell like pickles at the end. say what?!?!

oh yes, the wildly underrated, plain ole white vinegar. seriously. i promised, no pickle smell. just pour a 1/2 cup into the wash with your detergent. then another 1/2 cup into the softener dispenser for the rinse cycle. done!
i keep a plastic 1C measuring cup with my giant jug down in my creepy basement, and measure everything out as i go along. when you take your clothes out of the washer it will smell a little vinegary, but once they're dry you won't smell a thing. oh, and for the things you cant throw in the wash, The Creek Line House has a great solution.

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