That’s What I Like – Special Sewing Edition

Hey sweeties,

You might not be able to tell by what I actually post on the blog, when I actually post on the blog, but I do more than just play with planners.

Shocking, I know, but with all that I have to do it sometimes seems as if planning is the only thing I get time for anymore.  I do want to change that though, and start doing more of the things I love, like sewing, knitting, crafting, scrapbooking, cardmaking and dressing up, because I really miss all of that.  So that being said, I have been looking into new projects I can do in my spare time and I decided on updating my winter wardrobe with some new, hand sewn items.  That led me to the websites of the Big 3 sewing pattern manufacturers, Simplicity, McCalls and Butterick, to look at their Fall/Winter 2017 patterns.

I was so inspired by all the beautiful things the pattern companies had on offer that I thought I would do something different for this week’s THAT’S WHAT I LIKE.  Instead of a recap of the week’s headlines that I found interesting,  I’m sharing my favorite Fall/Winter 2017 patterns from the Big 3 pattern makers.

Obviously I can’t make all the things that I like, time, money and ability are certainly gonna limit that but I’m definitely buying all the patterns, just as soon as JoAnn’s has another one of those sales where patterns are $1.

So, here are the patterns I liked, organized by company but in no other particular order.

Simplicity

 

  • 8456 – Vintage Petticoat and Slip
  • 8458 – Vintage Skirts
  • 8460 – Vintage Dress and Jacket
  • 8461 – Vintage 2-Piece Suit and Dickey
  • 8462 – Vintage Blouse, Skirt and Lined Bolero
  • 8473 – Capes
  • 6535 (New Look) – Capes

As you can tell, I love the Simplicity vintage patterns.  I own almost all of the currently released Simplicity Vintage and this Fall’s releases are going to join my growing collection.  Hopefully I actually cut into some of them because I’m presently hoarding the ones that I have.

McCalls

  • 7621 – Knit Dresses
  • 7622 –  Knit Swing Dress
  • 7624 – Banded Dress

The McCall’s designs I’m into are surprisingly urban, modern and young.  I don’t usually gravitate toward things that are trendy or current but for some reason those two knit dresses are calling me and I really love the idea of an autumnal maxi dress, especially since where I live it’ll still be pretty warm through most of the fall.  The right fabric, for any of these dresses could easily make it a Spring or Summer dress also, which means their versatile, an added bonus.

Butterick

  • B6476 (See & Sew) – Unlined Jackets
  • B6485 – Retro Dresses
  • B6487 – Tops
  • B6497 – Jacket and Coats
  • B6499 – Nursery Blanket, Quilt, Mattress Cover Crib Skirt and Basket
  • B6500 – Pillow Covers

I think this is a good mix of vintage, modern and practical, so go me.  That dress will be amazing for, pretty much everything I do, same with the coat and the jacket, the blouse, well t’s gorgeous and I’m sure in the last year of law school I can find some business attire situation where it’ll be perfect.  Or, I could just wear it whenever I want, who knows. And I know I said I was looking for patterns for updating my wardrobe, but I couldn’t resist the nursery patterns for the baby’s space and I’m a sucker for home decor patterns, even though I rarely, never, do decorative projects.

Let me know if you have a favorite out of the pattern released this Fall.  Any patterns I missed?  Any indie pattern makers you love that you think I should check out?  Let me know.

DeeDee

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Hello September

Hey Sweeties,

Can you believe we’ve made it to September?

So much has been going on since the last time we talked, I started my last year of law school (yay!) and I gave birth to my son (YAY!!!!!) but life is finally calming down again so I’m back.

There aren’t any big plans this month, all I want to do is spend time with my son and recover from childbirth, but I miss the blog when I’m away and I just had to get back.

I have a ton of blog posts I want to get up this month even though I’m not doing anything too terribly interesting.  We’ll see how that goes though, won’t we?

Anyway, to start the month off on the right track,  I have new weekly kits available on the Planner Printables page of the blog.  I made two simple, fall colored kits to help get your mind right for the changing season.

Be sure to tag #pbnprintable and @himeblackonyx if you use the stickers and share them on social media so I can see how other people use my stickers.  And check back here later in the month to see how I use the printables as well.

Well, that’s all for now, I’m going to get back to snuggling my sleeping infant, and totally spoiling him too.

Until next time,

DeeDee

Adventures in Finishing Projects …

Hello Sweeties,

I could have called this what it actually is, a recap of my latest knitting project, the first one I have 100% finished in, and I am not exaggerating, 5 years but honestly I’m so unused to finishing the things that I start, like all the way, completely finishing, that I had to memorialize that.

When I say this is the first “100%, all the way, completely” finished project I have done in 5 years, I don’t mean the first usable or wearable thing, I mean the first thing I have walked away from not needing to do any more work on.  If you remember, for example, my Barrister’s Ball gown from a few months ago, I wore it to the ball, it stayed on all night and I got lots of compliments on it, it was great but I know, and you know, that that dress wasn’t hemmed, it was missing the lace sleeve and the back didn’t have a closure.  Sure it was serviceable, even pretty, for the night, but I still have to go back and finish those little things before I can say that it is finished.  The same is true for some, many, most of the things that I make.  It’s a vicious cycle of being excited about starting a project, procrastinating and then binge-working to get it done on time and finally burning out from having to work so hard and so fast so I stop as soon as I am able, and never picking the project back up again.

Not the case with this though.  It might be because this is the first thing that I made for my son, it might be because I didn’t have a deadline and could work at my own pace, it might be because the project was so simple and easy or it might have been because the finishing was so simple, either way I did it!

Gradient Garter Baby Blanket

So, let’s get into the project.

Gradient Garter Baby Blanket

I found the pattern on Ravelry (of course).  It’s the Gradient Garter Baby Blanket by Darlene Dale.  I rate this pattern 5/5.  It is a simple garter stitch pattern, knit every stitch so I would say it is very easy.  If you want a good project for a beginning knitter that wants a tiny challenge (the pattern is knit with two threads of yarn and there is a gradient made by dropping and picking up one of the threads) then this is a good, practical pattern for you.  It knit up so quickly, two weeks from cast on to bind off.  Not bad, if I do say so myself.

Gradient Garter Baby Blanket

 

The yarn is Bernat Softee Baby in solids.  I used the colors Antique White, Mint, Pale Blue, Soft Lilac and Pink.  I got mine in store at Jo-Ann’s when it was on sale because I prefer to shop in-store.  I like to feel things like fabric and yarn, and I don’t trust product pictures, sorry, not sorry.  I would give this yarn 5/5.  It is very soft and holds up well.  I carry my knitting around with me everywhere when I’m working on a project and this yarn stayed in its skeins and didn’t unravel, like so many other yarns can.  It’s 100% acrylic, which some people don’t like, but that doesn’t bother me because it’s for the baby so it needs to be a little more durable.

Gradient Garter Baby Blanket

 

What I will say is the pattern calls for WAY more yarn than you need.  I bought to skeins of every color, as the pattern instructs, and I have a half of every skein left.  I could have definitely gotten away with just buying on skein of every color and probably still would have still had some left over.  Don’t worry though, I’ve already started my next baby project using this same yarn.

Gradient Garter Baby Blanket

Speaking of my next project, it’s being knit on US 3 AND US 5 knitting needles.  The blanket was knit on US 13.

Lil Minty Baby Sweater

 

Do you see the difference that the needles make?  The yarn looks so much fluffier in the blanket (and I know there are 2 strands but still).  Knitting never ceases to amaze me.

DeeDee

A Most Major Life Update

Hey Sweeties,

So, my life is changing in the MOST MAJOR way.

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I’m having a baby!

 

 

 

I know crazy right?

So, back story, even with how terrible a blogger I am this is something you would think I would have shared right?  Well if I has known, I would have.

Seriously, I went MONTHS not knowing I was pregnant so when I finally found out, it was SO late in the game.

I got pregnant in November of 2016, unbeknownst to me.  Then I spent the Christmas holiday with family.  In January I took my first pregnancy test, which came back negative.  I went to a doctor once I got back to law school and after an inconclusive test she told me I wasn’t pregnant.  A few weeks later, when I kept feeling strangely, no morning sickness or other pregnancy symptoms, just the feeling that something was not quite right, I went to another doctor who assured me I wasn’t pregnant and that my body was undergoing pregnancy-like changes, due to a chemical reaction like pregnancy but without an actual fertilized egg to grow into a fetus.  Yeah, the human body is weird and medical science is confusing but who am I to question a doctor, and honestly, I didn’t want to be pregnant so I more inclined to believe a negative diagnosis, even one that was a little convoluted.

That being said, in May when I went home for summer vacation my mother took one look at me and sent me to a doctor for a blood test and an ultrasound and sure enough, there was my bouncing baby boy, with five months worth of baking already on him.

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Not going to lie, I was scared out of my mind.  I’ve never had a baby before, obviously, and I will be raising this baby mostly by myself.  Mr. Boyfriend lives in North Carolina, so he won’t be with me baby and I as often as we would like.  We’re obviously going to visit back and forth as much as possible but that still leaves me and baby alone together for much of the time.  Plus, I’m still in law school.  Yes, it is my last year, which is a blessing.  Can you imagine if I was going into my first year of law school and having a baby within a week of school starting?

But, that being said, I couldn’t be more excited.  It’s the oddest thing where I alternate between fear and anticipation.  Like I don’t think I’m ready to be anybody’s Mommy, but, at the same time, I’m over the moon that the baby will be here soon.

Pregnancy AnnouncementOh, if I didn’t mention, I’m having a baby boy.  His name will be Master Lorencio Dewayne Connor, which I think is a perfectly handsome name for a little man.  Master Lorencio is due August 25, 2017, so he’ll be here soon.

I’ll keep y’all updated about him once he gets here but I don’t think I’ll be sharing too much about him online, just because he’s a baby and I want to maintain his little infant privacy.  I will share his nursery, and my baby shower and of course all of the adorable little baby things that I get for him.

I guess, more than anything, I wanted too tell you all how excited I am for this journey.  How scared I am that I’ll make a mistake, but how much I’m looking forward to the process.  I’ve never considered what kind of mother I’ll make because it’s always been something that was gonna happen in the future not something with a date that was guaranteed.  Now that he’s coming I can’t imagine life without him but I know my life is gonna change in more ways than I can even imagine.  It’ all about him now, making him happy, keeping him safe, maintain his health.  That means I have to change my life to give him the best life possible.  It’s such an awesome responsibility, one that I don;t take lightly.

I just felt the need to share with someone, the pressure and the anxiety, but also the expectation and excitement.

I’M GONNA BE A MOMMY!

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By the way, I hope you enjoy the pictures from my maternity shoot.  My favorite photographer, Wil Norwood of Photo Anomaly, took the pictures for me. He’s the best!

DeeDee

Planner Peace

Planner Peace … for now at least

Hey Sweeties,

So, as the title suggests, I have found temporary planner peace and I couldn’t be happier.

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In my last blog post I showed my Recollections spiral planner and the Cherry Limeade planner sticker kit that I used to decorate it.  That kit is available as a free printable here on the blog, if you’re interested.

Planner Peace

At that time my plan was to use that planner as my main planner, the one that I carried with me and referenced all day but I also had the bullet journal I started back in January and the personal sized Recollections Creative Year binder from last year that I carry around with me everyday.  The Recollection spiral planner lives in my school bag, the bullet journal in my purse and the Creative Year binder just floats in whatever I’m carrying.  So I found myself rolling 3 planners deep, all day, every day, and still not getting anything done.

This created a problem for me.  I love my planners, obviously, obsessively, but if I’m not actually being organized/getting things done/getting places on time/remembering appointments/benefiting from having them are they really worth it?

I had to stop and take stock of what I was doing and why and come up with a more beneficial system of planning if I was going to allow myself to keep investing time, effort and especially money into planning.

And from there my new system was born.

I decided to implement my new system at the start of the new month so I could have 30 days to do it regularly so I could make it a habit before August comes and my life is not my own anymore (#lastyearoflawschool #goodbyesleep).

Here’s how it works:

Recollections Planner set upMy Recollections spiral planner is my pre-planning planner.  Saturday night I sit down with everything I have to do for the next week, all the appointments, all the tasks, all the chores and all the recurring activities and fill them in where they go or where I want them to go.  Like this week I have to turn in some paperwork on Monday, rent is due Wednesday, Thursday I want to drive to my Aunt’s house, Friday I want to clean my bedroom and bathroom, Saturday I plan to plan and Sunday is for cleaning the kitchen and meal prep.  I put the blog posts I want to post and checklists for my top 6 tasks of each day.  The goal is, Saturday night, when I’m done pre-planning I have a complete idea of what I WANT my week to look like, what I WANT to do and WANT to accomplish.  It’s my “pipe dream” plan.

Personal Planner set upThen, in my Creative Year binder, I have my Creative Blerd Paperie Week on 2 Page personal sized inserts.  Similarly to my main planner, I pre-plan on Saturday, everything that is nailed down goes in the inserts.  That’s stuff like bills, appointments, holidays, things that are outside of my control so I have to do them.  I also put a checklist on everyday, but unlike in my main planner, this checklist is empty.  Every day I fill in this checklist with the things that need to be done that day, things I’m rolling over from the day before, things that popped up that day, either way, this is a snapshot of my day, from above, giving me a fresh perspective on my day, with respect to the day before and taking into account the needs of the current day.

Bullet Journal set upFinally, I have my bullet journal.  Being that it is the smallest and most mobile of my planners it lives in my purse and I have it for constant updating.  It’s a real time look at my day, as the day I happening.  I tried in the past to use the bullet journal how I use the main planner but I would forget to check it everyday, even though I was carrying it everyday.  Or, I wouldn’t even set it up for the week and go in blond trying to remember everything.  In my current system, I set up my bullet journal for an entire month at a time.  The last week on June I did my July set up, one spread a day until it was all done.  That way you don’t get burnt out drawing lines and making spreads and it all gets done before you need it so there’s no rushing or forgetting.  The bullet journal is excessively real-time, only the things that I actually do go into in.  There’s, for example, time trackers each day.  I fill in when I wake up, when I eat meals, when I’m at an appointment or working around the house.  The most important part though, is that I only put in my day the things I did that day.  If my main planner says send PR kit, and my inserts say send PR kit, but I don’t send the PR kit, then “send PR kit” is not in the bullet journal, simple as that.  It requires me to take stock of my day, what I get done and what I don’t, while keeping me honest about how I use my time.  The bullet journal is also where I keep my detailed habit trackers.  I have habits in the sidebar of my main planner but those are a focus for that week, not the activities I’m trying to make life-long habits, like taking my vitamins and cleaning the house every night.  By having my habit trackers in the planner I have to look at constantly, I’m reminding myself what my habit are and forcing myself to acknowledge when I miss one.  It’s a lot more effective, for me, than a monthly, or yearly habit tracker tucked off in the front of the journal somewhere where I can ignore it.

So, that’s my system, constantly reinforcing the plans in a style that goes from idealized to actualized.

Like I said, I have present planner peace and I’m gonna hold on to it as long as I can.  I’ll let you know if things change.

What about you?  Have you found planner peace?  Still searching?  Let me know how you use your planner or planners.

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By the way, the planner sticker kit I used in my Recollections Spiral Planner and my personal planner is from my shop, Creative Blerd Paperie.  It’s the Independence Day full kit that has enough stickers for me to use across two spreads.  If you want to get your hands on it, or any of my stickers or planner products, head to my shop Creative Blerd Paperie.

 

DeeDee

Recollections Planner Plan with Me

Hey sweeties,

I’m back from vacation and it’s time to start hustling before school starts.  Summer school started last week, and the summer program I work starts next week, so there is no time for lazy.

That means I’m back in my planner, planners.  Yeah, I’m one of those horrible planner girls with multiple planners.  In fact I have three.

20170611_201944

I’ve got my bullet journal, my A5 inserts and last year’s Recollections spiral planner.

The A5 inserts I’m using this month are available for free to download here on the blog, over on the Printables page, if you’re interested.  Next month’s will be available for purchase in the shop, Creative Blerd Paperie, in multiple sizes and layouts.

In my Recollections spiral planner I used the Cherry Limeade kit available for FREE download on the Printables page.

The kit has full boxes, half boxes, checklist flags, To Do, Today and Lil Bits headers, page flags, mini icons, circle, time dots, appointment labels, bill dues, and sidebar boxes.

I incorporated Scotch Expressions glitter washi tape, because when the Office Depot near me closed all the washi tape was on sale for like $1.50 and I bought all the colors of glitter washi, 15 rolls!

I might have over done it a little bit, but I was really excited by how well the washi matched the stickers and I couldn’t help myself.

I just pre-plan this early in the week, Saturday night of the week before, and then I plan as I go during the week, which works for me.  But that means Saturday I’ll update the finished layout on Instagram (@himeblackonyx) if you want to see how it changes.

If you use the printables, stickers or inserts, let me know.  Tag me or the shop (@creativeblerdpaperie) in your social media pictures.  I would love to see how others use them.

DeeDee

 

Home, Sweet Home

Hey Sweeties,

I’M HOME!

Oh my goose, it is so good to be home.  I have missed it so much, and not just because my Yin and I don’t have TV at our apartment.

Anyway, I just wanted to say hello from the arid heat here in Goodyear, Arizona.  Side not, the parents of my girl crush, Gertie Hirsch, also live in Arizona.  That’s not creepy-stalkery though, she has posted about it on her blog before, which I have read, extensively.  That’s not weird right?  Well, it’s not like I’m going in search of them or anything, I just thought it was a cool little coincidence.  Ok, it might be creepy, but whatever.

My sister has graduation this week, Thursday and Friday, which we are all looking forward to, the whole family is coming in!  I’ll let you know all about it, after this weekend, of course.

Until then, I’m going to watch Sports Center and make some tea, sweet freedom.

DeeDee

That’s What I Like

Hey Sweeties,

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I guess, technically, it’s already May now, but I couldn’t resist!  And who could blame me?  It’s iconic.

Anyway, moving right along, let’s get into the weekly round up.  As you know, this list could include TV, movies, fashion, nerd culture, gaming, crafts, beauty, DIY, anything my little heart desires.  And without further ado, here it is:

RoundUp430


 

-via ibtimes.com

  • Have you heard about this new Netflix show 13 Reason Why?  It’s causing quite a stir on the internet about the way that it depicts suicide.  I’ve read a few conflicting opinions about it.  One side thinks it’s a frank depiction of the horrors of suicide.  The other side thinks it’s an unhealthy glorification of suicide that can (and will) lead others to attempt it.  What are you’re thoughts?  Have you watched the show?  I haven’t and I don’t intend to, I don’t believe in inviting those types of thoughts into my spirit but the conversation is interesting.

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  • Another show I’ve been hearing about and obsessing over is Netflix’s Dear White People.  One article in Rolling Stone asks if Dear White People is the most controversial comedy of 2017, and it’s only May.  And, apparently, the show sparked a Netflix boycott.  The show is based on 2014 satirical film notable for it’s Indiegogo campaign.  I never saw the movie, because I don’t g to many films but it did set the domestic box office record for a crowdfunded movie.  The controversy surrounding the show is that it promotes “anti white discrimination”.  What a crock!  I mean, you should watch the show for yourself and make your own decisions instead of believing what anybody else says, including me.  I’m watching the show, and I came into it with an open mind.  I think if everybody did there wouldn’t be a controversy now but what do I know?

Met Gala worst dressed

  • In case you missed it, Monday night saw all the stars come out for the Met Gala.  The Met Gala is the annual fundraising gala for the Metropolitan Museum of Art benefiting the Costume Institute of the Met.  Every year the guest are expected to dress to fit the theme of the Costume Institute exhibit that is on display that year.  The theme this year is Comme des Garcons/Art of the In-Between by Rei Kawakubo.  The big deal with the Gala is the outfits.  Everybody has their best and worst dressed list like the NY Times, FoxVogue, and Daily Telegraph, so I wanted to share mine.  I’m not a big fan of the more avant garde outfits, like Katy Perry and Rihanna  or the super sexy outfit like Kendall Jenner and Bella Hadid.  I did really love Blake Lively’s gown, it was pretty amazing with the feathers and the gold link chains.  Miranda Kerr, with the wide skirt hem and the texture and the length, it was all good and her makeup, her styling, I liked all of that.  Katie Holmes looked like an absolute DIVA in her off-the-shoulder structured gown, her necklace was sparkly gorgeous as well. What are you Met Gala picks?Met Gala Zoe and Rita

Guardians of the Galaxy 2

  • Who saw Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2?  I saw it last night with my Yin before I went home for graduation.  Let me just say, no spoilers, IT WAS HEART BREAKING.  But watching it with my roommate really it got me thinking.  We were both driven to tears by this film, which is saying something for a Marvel superhero extravaganza, but what got was the reasons we were so bothered.  For her, it had to do with the character Groot and how the marauders treated him while he was a prisoner.  For me, it was the relationship between Yondu and Star Lord and how that played out in the film.  I was startlingly for me, litening to her after the movie how she could completely divorce herself from that plot line for the other, and how uncomfortable I was listening to her lament Groot while I died inside for Yondu and Star Lord.  But that’s just me.  Check with me later this week and I’ll have a spoiler-filled op-ed on the subject, if you interested.  For now, have you seen Guardian, Vol. 2?  How did you like it?  And what are your thoughts?

A Gown for a Ball

Hey Sweeties,

I promised in my last post to tell all about the making of my Barrister’s Ball dress and here it is.

Like I said in that other post, the dress is still a work in progress, and it was unfinished when I wore it to the ball, but I plan to finish it this summer.

SULCball-9869


First is the materials.

I bought all of the materials at my local JoAnn’s store, scalloped edged lace and satin.  The fabric is from the Casa Collection which makes several different types of fabric in matching colors to make coordinating project easier.  I bought a peachy-cream color in both fabrics, though it photographs more champagne/white than it looks in reality.

 

My first step was a create a pattern using muslin.

I tried my hand at draping because I wanted a flowing, soft looking dress.

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But that was an epic failure.  Girls on Instagram make this draping thing look way easier than it actually is, do not be deceived!

No, really it’s my fault.  I was ready Gertie’s blog (which I mentioned in my weekly round up post last week) and thought I would try something I’ve never tried before.  But don’t worry, I have a book in my Amazon shopping list that’s all about how to drape.

 

Anyway, at this point, I turned to my pattern collection and found patterns that were similar to what I want and then spliced them together.

I made a mock up of the lining dress with muslin.

I didn’t mock up the lace over-dress because I didn’t have a comparable fabric that I thought would replicate the way lace drapes.

The dress came together slowly but surely.  I worked on it every night for a little over a week.

When the dress was almost entirely made up I realized I hadn’t made the back wide enough to get over my butt so I had to add a panel in the back to get the darn thing to close.

But in the end, it all came together well.

The dress is sleeveless, now, but I plan to make one lace sleeve.  The other armscye is already finished.  The neck is a little lace standing collar but it doesn’t stay up as well as I would like so I’m going to have to replace it.  The dress has a boning in the lining which I’m going to have to replace because the boning channels are black and shadow through the dress in certain light.  Oh yeah, and I have to hem the darn thing!

But, even with all that, I’m really happy with what I put together at the time.  I will be fixing all the things that I have planned because I want to make it perfect, even f I never wear it again.

SULCball-9870

So, any questions, suggestions?

DeeDee

Barrister’s Ball 2017

Hey Sweeties,

Here’s the next event I’ve gotten into this year: Barrister’s Ball

Barrister’s Ball is like law school prom.  It is when awards are given out, there’s dinner, dancing and dresses.  Everything my little heart desires.Scan

The theme of Barrister’s Ball this year was “Cheers to 70 Years” celebrating 70 years of the Southern University Law Center.

The ultra handsome, super suave, extra delicious Mr. Boyfriend came to be my date for the night.

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Doesn’t he look delectable in a tail coat?  MMMMMMMM, yes!

Everyone from law school, faculty, staff and students, all come to the ball.

The new Student Bar Association officers are inducted at the ball.

Look at my study group!  Aren’t they just darling?  It’s Gary, Bri, KiKi and Xavier.  Our friend Robin, who is graduating, also looked lovely.

And then there’s me.

I made the dress I wore to the ball.  I actually had to sew myself into it because I just ran out of time.  I made the whole thing in about a week, from the pattern up.  There’s some things I HAVE to fix, like I didn’t hem the thing, but it was good enough.SULCball-9869

I’ll be back later this week to tell you all about how this dress came together.

DeeDee