Day 5: Huntington Beach

The “Suit”

I’ve been pretty excited about posting this bathing suit because I am just obsessed with it! The color, the fit, design…everything! I love the feeling of achievement when I can wear something I personally made. After 2 kids, I feel pretty good about wearing a bikini made to custom fit my mom bod. I’ve been seeing this “wrap” design a lot lately and decided to create my own pattern.

I don’t know about other people but, I can speak for myself when I say, clothing shopping gets harder the older I get. I am much more picky about how things fit now that I have become more familiar with my body shape and learning how to dress it. Bathing suit shopping has ALWAYS been a struggle. When the top fits, the bottoms don’t. When I like the top but hate the design of the bottom. When I find the right size in the bottoms I like and there’s no top to go with…sigh.

I will say, though, I wish I hadn’t waited until day 5 to feature this suit because I like to eat, especially when I visit new places. Modeling a bathing suit after gorging on food is a probably not the greatest idea. Haha. Oh well.

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Here I am in all the tie dye glory!

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Standing in my true awkward form…

One of the best parts about this bikini is the coverage in the top. I also made the bottoms to have extra coverage in the front and just a touch cheeky in the back.

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I used a pair of string bikini bottoms as my pattern and with some modifications to the fit, I got the result I wanted. I self drafted the top using a bralette as a guide to make a pattern. While I was in the LA Fashion District, I picked up several yards of various swimsuit fabrics to get a tutorial out soon! Stay tuned!

*a huge thank you to my brother for hosting my stay and being my photographer for the week!*

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Day 4: Hollywood/LA Fashion District/Santa Monica

Hollywood Hike

Day 4 was a big day and included two separate outfits. In the morning we did the Hollywood Hike to view the sign. It was literally a “hike”. Four miles to be precise and we didn’t even make it up right next to it! I had made a two piece outfit of pink crushed velvet that my husband so lovingly calls “funeral fabric”. Kind of morbid, but it also motivates me to make more velvet clothing to wear around him just so I can rub up against him in my casket clothes. Haha.

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Over the 2 piece outfit, I paired a reversible mesh tank and my favorite kicks for a more “athletic” look.

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Getting under the mesh, you can see the actual outfit even down to the accessory…yup, made that too! I have several photos of me from the late 90’s sporting the scrunchie on the wrist in case of a ponytail emergency but mostly because I thought it was cute. Still do. I made this outfit thinking it felt like a very “LA” style, whatever that is because I am from no where near Los Angeles. I’m just a sucker for velvet. Once I matched the shorts to the mesh shirt, I needed something to go under it and voila! there came the matchy tube tank!

Now, disclaimer on my photos, this is a pretty raw depiction of myself and my body. I’m not perfect, neither are my photos or modeling skills. I roped my brother into my being my vacation photographer which he was absolutely thrilled about *insert sarcasm*. So I’m kinda of left to do it all, be the seamstress, model, photographer-ish and editor. Maybe one day when I am legit and stuff, I can have a real photographer. Haha. But for now…

Walk of Fame

Now listen, one of the main reasons I wanted to visit the Walk of Fame was inspired by a photo of Katy Perry posing next to an empty star before she was ever famous. I’m a well known Katy Cat but I am little embarrassed that I didn’t do my research and came to find out my girl doesn’t have her own star yet. I guess I will have to come back for my long anticipated photo with her star another time. I did get a cute snapshot with Miss Minnie Mouse who was recently inducted this year and just so happened to be awarded her star by Katy Perry herself.

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For the Walk of Fame, I am wearing polka dot leggings which I made to pair up with various vintage style shirts and shoes. I am obsessed with this fabric. Its a brushed matte jersey and every time I go to the fabric store, I buy it. I don’t know why I haven’t bought a bolt by now or several because I am always keeping it on hand. It makes the perfect leggings and yoga pants and is also the same type of fabric I used to make the yoga shorts pictured in my Day 3 blog post.

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I had been dying to bust out this muscle tank to wear and I had been saving it for my trip. I bought it from a pinup artist on Instagram, meljo_jojo. Check out her work! It matched my leopard print mary janes perfectly. Yes, another pair of Hot Chocolate Shoes. I am telling you, they are gold! On my wrist is a zombie pinup wristlet clutch that I made as well. The hoop is also removable. Bonus.

LA Fashion District and Santa Monica

For the rest of the day, I wore the same outfit as the Walk of Fame. With the order of plans, I wasn’t able to wear the 2 piece to the Fashion District like I originally planned. The fashion district was so crowded, I wouldn’t have even been able to snap photos of what I was wearing anyway. The lack of selfie stick didn’t help. But after 3 hours of exploring, I was able to get my hands on some fabric!

We ended the day in Santa Monica, eating on the pier at The Albright. For dessert, CANDYTOPIA where all my sweet dreams came true! It is literally an art gallery made of candy and they give you candy. If it was 2010, it would have been a Katy Perry heaven.

Day 3: The West Coast

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Okay, so this day is kind of a wardrobe cheat. Before you start throwing tomatoes, hear me out! I planned this vacation to include as many handmade pieces as I could make and bring in ample time. For this day, I brought shorts I made but not shorts I necessarily made for this trip exclusively. One of my hubby’s and my hobby is disc golfing. We go nearly every day and cart our two boys around with us. It’s usually how we spend “family day”. So, while visiting my brother in Huntington Beach, which is home to the very first disc golf course, I obviously had to get him out for a round! I posed in front of the pro shop, wearing a pair of black yoga shorts I made, holding a brand new Innova Leopard disc. Eeek!

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Originally when I had made these shorts, the first few pairs were actually maternity shorts. I got into making my own maternity clothing during my last pregnancy because holy cow, maternity wear is so expensive and after going through one pregnancy already, I knew what I did and didn’t enjoy wearing. But that will be a whole separate blog post down the road! So back to this pair… I took the maternity shorts and drafted a new pattern. I brought the waistline back up in the front and shortened the waistband to a regular height. Other modifications were made to the fit and length of the shorts since I no longer needed to fit my pregnant body. My motivation for making these shorts was for the sole purpose of exercise. If I could motivate myself to make my own workout attire, then I would certainly be hopping to it and actually working out. So I did!

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The rest of the day was spent eating delicious food at local eateries and strolling up the coast to view the Pacific. Treasure Island is where I finally dipped my feet into the salty ocean water!

 

Day 2: Arizona

The fabric behind the garment I chose to wear in Arizona was actually inspired by the desert itself. I had picked up a remnant bundle of fabric at a local fabric store. The color reminded me of sandstone, making it the perfect color palette to choose a piece to wear visiting the Mojave Desert. Our first stop was to see the infamous Hoover Dam!

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I actually had 2 pieces to choose from to wear. I ended up going with these drawstring shorts. They are the perfect blend of cotton and stretch. I wore these in the car for several hours and the material didn’t lose it’s fit at all! That made these shorts my new favorite.

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Kingman, Arizona was our next stop. My brother and I stopped to visit with our grandparents for the day. We had a tasty dinner at a local steakhouse. Good thing the shorts have some give for all that food!

To make these shorts, I took a pair of my favorite comfy shorts and used them as a guide. I made a few modifications to get a better fit and added the drawstring. I think the drawstring really pulled together the look I wanted from these shorts. The cut and color of the tank, I feel, complimented the shorts as well. I could bear the desert heat just fine in this outfit and it would not be complete without my favorite pair of Teva flipflops for all the walking!

Day 1: Arrival to LAS VEGAS!

I originally did not have an outfit planned for Vegas to incorporate a handmade piece. I own tons of garments that could have been worthy for the occasion but, at the last minute, I remembered I had this harlequin knit fabric stashed away for a cool project. I thought a tube top would be perfect for the retro look I like to go for and the keeping the Vegas heat in mind!

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To use as a pattern, I took a tube top I already owned and copied the construction. This top also has a shelf bra sewn in for extra support and a more flattering fit. I top stitched the chest line and hemmed the bottom using my cover stitch machine.

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Piecing the front and back panels together.

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I paired the top with my super cute stretchy denim sailor shorts along with my tattoo print mary janes by Hot Chocolate Shoes. Seriously, check out these shoes! Adorably cute and comfortable!

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For one only night in Vegas and only having time to strut around the strip, I was overall quite comfortable and feeling vintage cute and confident in this outfit! It was a great last minute fashion decision!

Day 1: Departure to Chicago/Las Vegas

20180626_082801-02.jpegMy big girl vacation is finally here! I feel so fancy! Today I will travel from Kalamazoo to Chicago and depart from Chicago to LAS VEGAS! And the first of many “firsts” to start this trip off with…

A train ride! I’ve never rode on a train! Before I hopped my ride, my hubby snapped the first photo of me officially on vacation. I then sat in the train station for 45 minutes anxiously waiting for the train to arrive. Hearing it chugging in, choo-chooing, got my chest all tight with excitement and it was hard not to crack a little smile. The doors finally opened and everyone forms a line to get on and pick a seat. I’m pretty sure the hardest part about traveling solo is deciding which stranger to sit next to. Instead of choosing the stranger, I took a gamble and picked the seat with the earbuds and phone lying on the tray without the occupant. Luckily, he was friendly and stuck the earbuds in for the ride.

IMG_20180626_145956_783.jpgSo while I’m getting comfortable on the train, checking my phone and flight status, I realize my flight has been canceled! It’s my first trip and of all the things to go wrong, this would be it. I call the airline and work it out with a new flight. The only hangup was pushing my flight back 2 hours. At least I didn’t have to worry about not having enough time to navigate to the airport. So what does a person do with 2 extra hours before a flight? Curl their hair in the terminal and use their webcam as a mirror. Probably my favorite public “peacock” moment. It was pretty resourceful considering there weren’t any outlets in the bathrooms but I can’t explain that to every passerby staring. *shrug*

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So finally on to the outfit…

Pictured, I am wearing a yellow tie-dye hooded tank top that I made from scratch. The material is thin, stretchy and form fitting. I love that it has a yoga look and feel. I paired it with leggings and sandals for a comfortable travel outfit.

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It is finished with ribbing as the trim on the armholes and hood. I used my triple stretch stitch on my sewing machine to top stitch the armholes and hood also. The bottom edge is finished off with a thick waistband.

Above, you can see the top stitching to the collar and hood. I took the hood piece and overlapped the ends to fit. If you attempt a neckline style like this and want to add a hood, make sure your hood is really tall to accommodate for the smaller neck opening. I personally like more drape-y type hoods.

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Overall, I was really happy with this finished top. I don’t think I could have chosen a more comfortable shirt to travel in!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My Vacation Challenge

A couple of months ago while I was mentally planning my vacation, I kept thinking about what I wanted to wear to all of the places I would be visiting. This days away vacation is such a huge deal to me because, as an adult who has been adulting for long enough, I have never been on a legitimate vacation. I guess you could count Disney World in 1995 but that vacation is vintage now. Literally. So, I am just a Mitten girl heading to the West Coast to finally dip my toes into an ocean. Yes, I said an ocean because I’ve never seen one. I know, right? I get a lot of thunderstruck reactions. But it doesn’t stop at ocean…I get to personally see the Mojave Desert, Las Vegas, Arizona, The Hoover Dam, Hollywood, San Diego, LA, and log some road trip hours in between. I am beyond excited; like a kid in a candy shop and if you know me, it’s no secret that I love sweets. So, while I was shopping around for things I thought I might want to bring, I said hold up! Why don’t I just make clothes to bring!?

*forehead smack*

After completing the first couple of items, I decided to give myself a “challenge” to see how many pieces I could make and bring with me to wear. Some pieces are just simple and casual, others are a little more funky. Building from this challenge, I will be blogging on each specific piece, why I choose it, and where I am wearing it! I am really geeked for this part to really kick off my blog!

Golden State, here I come!