Friday, February 20, 2015

Ariel


WOOO first Disney Princess that I was alive for! Barely alive. Like 1 year old. The first Princess with a tail, Ariel! She was the first angsty princess too. "But daddy, I LOVE HIM!" Girl was 16 and in love with a prince she saw, like saw as in zero interaction, for like under half an hour. But love at first sight I guess. And hey, first redhead! I loved the Little Mermaid. Mostly because of the songs. I think this is the first Disney film Alan Menken wrote the songs to. Under the Sea? Kiss the girl? Such a riot. Also, y'all all know you were instantly Ariel as soon as you got into the pool. Flippin' yo fins. I remember going to the river when I was little and busting up onto a rock Ariel style. Chest out. Maybe even tossing my hair around? Don't lie, you all did it too.

Ariel has quite a few outfits to chose from. Unlike the previous Princesses who have a very set "Princess" outfit, Ariel has a bunch. Her promo outfit as a Disney Princess is a sea foam green concoction that doesn't even exist in the film. Not sure how that happened. Google it, it's odd. So I just went with what she wears most often and is most easily recognizable, the seashell bra and tail combo. Classic Ariel.


So I guess this isn't really a dress. It's a pencil skirt and bustier. I wasn't trying to go full on Selena bra top, I needed a little more coverage. So it's a long bustier and a high waisted skirt. I also went with separates because the Little Mermaid came out in 1989, so I feel like the style and these bright colors kind of fit that time. It's like a power suit. But cuter.

I used Burda 6970 for the top and Simplicity 2154 for the skirt. The top is made out of fairly simple purple poplin.The skirt is made out of outerwear fabric I found on clearance. I added a lining because I wasn't sure how jacket fabric would work as a skirt, but it's actually super great! Really comfy. Both these things fit me like a glove and were sewn with much more precision than Aurora's (yay stable fabric!), so that was refreshing. And forgive the photos for lying to you, both the purple and green are much brighter in real life. The dusky light didn't do me any favors.



Too bad my hair isn't still bright red, eh? Overall I'm pretty dang happy with how this came out. It was fun and easy to put together. And comfy. I love comfy. I think I'll get a lot of use out of both pieces, together and/or apart. The top will be super fun this summer! Or, you know, in February. Because it's Texas and I was definitely not cold taking these photos.

And now for the usual weirdness, me acting like a fish? Because that makes sense?



????? After taking these Brendon was like, "yeah, Ariel wasn't a fish." Shut up. Speaking of Brendon, he is finally home from his first of six workweeks away and I'm thrilled. The Hogans don't do well apart.


I'm sorry, I just had to. Missed that creep.

Next up, we break into the nineties! Check out the rest of the gang here!

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Thirteen months of running

So at the beginning of 2014, I made four resolutions. I've never made resolutions before ever (and didn't make any this year) and I did okay with three of them. But I knocked one of them out of the park. Run more. Y'all, I ran more.


Freckle face from the summer sun. After our first ten miler.

I can't remember the exact reason why I decided to start running seriously. I know I wanted be a runner, I blame you Austin. You and all your healthy people. Since moving here I would "run" occasionally. We ran a couple 5k's, but by ran I mean walk/run. I couldn't run a 5k. I could run like a mile and a half before stopping. At the beginning of the year I had just wrapped up my first few months as a vegetarian and solved my chronic stomach pain issue, so I was feeling pretty good. I think this was a big part of deciding to run. Before that, standing for a long period of time meant pain, so running was pretty much out of the question. Once I felt normal, I felt like I could take on anything. Like truly, feeling normal I felt like one million bucks. And I was 25. Young, but not real young. And not really unhealthy, but not healthy either. I wanted to start a good fitness habit before it got too late and it got harder. So crazy obsessive project style, I guess I decided to really run.

The original goal was to run a full 5k, 3.1 miles without stopping. I started running 3-4 days a week. (Brendon tagged along through all of this of course, in far better shape than me. He is a champ, and always carries our water. Love that boy.) And we kept that average for the entire year. Except December. That was a weird month, we'll talk about it later. So at first I ran and walked and ran and walked and it sucked and it was hard. I remember after giving up halfway through a run, telling Brendon there was no way I'd ever make it three miles. And then seriously, that week, on February 4, 2014 I went for a run alone after work one day (this whole running thing has been made exponentially easier because I live and work so close to the trail. God bless the trail!) and I ran a full 5k, in under 30 minutes. I did it! I felt like two million bucks and I was addicted. Once I knew I could do what I thought I couldn't, running got easier. No, that's wrong, not easier. Running is never easy. It got... obtainable. Adding distance wasn't so crazy. We slowly added miles all spring. I accumulated more sports bras than regular bras. That 5k goal was long gone and I set my sights on a half marathon. My toes got used to having constant blisters on them. We bought a watch just for running. And a running water bottle. On some random run in May we ran the whole trail, which is the tiniest bit over 10 miles.

And then summer came. Oh god running in the heat. It sucks so bad. It knocks you down and humbles you and makes you feel like you've never run in your life. Adding distance was out of the question. My goal for the summer was just to keep running, to not stop. Forget the mile times and forget the distance, just keep running. And I did. I didn't give up. I learned how to run in the heat and just focused on that first cold front, which eventually came. Once it cooled off we officially started half marathon training. Like using an actual plan. We finished the program at the end of November with a 12 miler. This is the training plan we used and I highly recommend it. If you stick to it, you will have no choice but to become a better runner. It whoops your butt, but it works.

Anyway, December. So December was weird. We took pretty much the whole month off. I think I ran 4 or 5 days? The whole month. December is always crazy anyway, but we also went out of town on two different trips, we both got sick on separate occasions, and Christmas happened. It was a nutzo month. So training continued in January and we did the last few weeks of the training plan again. The other night we knocked out 13 miles, our longest run ever. The half is this Sunday. The Austin Half Marathon is notoriously hilly and I'm a little nervous. We haven't done many hill runs since we started really training for the half, but I'm hoping that we'll conquer it nonetheless. My goal is just to run the whole thing. I have no time to beat, I just want to do it. Taking December off set us back a bit, so if I can just finish the dang thing I'll be thrilled.

But as nervous as I am, I'm mostly excited. I've worked really hard for this. I altered my life for this. Devoted hours and days. Went on runs after working for twelve hours and never regretted it. Ran when I was tired, sick, grumpy, crampy, and no regrets. My Saturdays became about long runs, and recovering from those long runs. The idea of running a half seemed ludicrous in January of last year, but by March I was already scheming and dreaming of 13.1 miles. Running, running, running. And no more "running". No training just for a race, running for a week or two and then giving up, no more walk-running. Real running. Painful, wonderful, running all year long. 3-4 days, every week. Except those few in cursed December. Sunny, dark, cold, hot, dry, humid, windy, rainy, you name it. I ran in it. Because I don't believe in treadmills, not in Texas anyway. I stayed up late to run and I got up early (on my days off) to run. I had good runs and bad runs and all sorts of mental and physical battles with myself. I ran hundreds of miles and went through two pairs of shoes. I watched (and felt, always sore, reminding me that I am not as young as I think) my body change and get stronger. Oh man you guys, when my legs got tight instead of soft, so much awesome. I learned that calories are your friend, and you need them. It made me look at food in a new light (food is fuel!), and I definitely learned what NOT to eat before running. And that water is your best friend. Seriously. Drink all the water. But most importantly I learned that you are always capable of more than you think. Your mind is your worst enemy and your best ally. You can do it, you just don't know it yet.

Wish me luck Sunday. I can do this.

Friday, February 6, 2015

Aurora


Round three, y'all. Aurora, from Sleeping Beauty. Did you know that she's got the shortest screen time of any Disney Princess? That movie is more about those fairies and Maleficent. And Prince Phillip. This is the first Disney Prince with a name. And personality. I had such a crush on him when I was a kid. Aurora is a stunner though, she's got fabulous hair. I've been watching each movie as I'm making the dresses and the first thing Dr. Hogan said when he saw her was, "she's got really nice hair." I mean, right?? Fabulous hair.


Sleeping Beauty came out in 1959. She's got the first slinky style dress, no big ball gown skirt for her. Her dress alternates from blue to pink via dueling fairies, and honestly I think during the film it spends more time blue, but she's always seen in the pink dress outside of the film. So I made a pink version! Because it's almost Valentine's Day, and I just did blue with Cinderella. I kind of wanted a mod style feel to her dress since the film was made at the end of the fifties. I'm so interested in how current fashion of the time effects costume design, especially when they're replicating a certain era. NERD ALERT. So for a modish vibe I picked a (very slight) drop waist pattern, Simplicity 1715, and free handed a pattern for a little collar (I love collars). I used some sort of mock-linen for the sleeves. I wanted the dress to be kind of rustic... even though it's pink... I mean, Aurora grew up barefoot in the woods! She and I have that in common.

The fabric for this dress was kind of crazy. It's a shimmery, spongy poly blend from the clearance section, and I used the wrong side of it. The face side is a metallic silvery pink. The back of it is a rich dark pink, with just the teensiest bit of shimmer from the face side. It's definitely not the softest thing in the world and it has a lot of stretch to it, but the color is fantastic and it drapes and pleats well. It just seems to pull every which way, especially when you're sewing. Straight, even seams... nah.




Goofball photo number one... but I love the waistline! And that fabric moves so well! And it totally matches my hair, which is now a fun shade of magenta.

Real quick, we've got to discuss this pattern. It's an "Amazing Fit" pattern, which I've never used before. Turns out, they're kind of silly. I eventually completely disregarded the instructions because they are full of all kinds of extra steps (putting the dress together with a one inch basted seam allowance, marking your adjustments, taking it apart, and putting it back together? WHAT?). I guess it's good if you're learning to adjust patterns to your size, but ain't nobody got time for that. I'm the world's most impatient sewer. I'm all about doing things the quick way. And cutting corners. And paying for it later. As you do. But anyways, I will probably be staying away from "Amazing Fit" patterns from here on out. Or just disregarding the instructions.


I'm pretty happy with it. I think I'll wear it on Valentine's Day while I consume all the carbs for the Half Marathon. And smooch on my husband.

Aaaaand I leave you with this:


Disney Princess of Awkardness. Brendon told me to dance with an imaginary prince like Aurora does while singing Once Upon a Dream. Why are my hands so big? And where my owl, birdies, and bunnies at?

Until next time, y'all. Who do you think is next? Hmmm??? See the other Princesses of Disney here!

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Cinderella

First of all, a big ol' thanks to all of you sweet folks who said nice things about this project and the Snow White dress. Y'all are the best. Thank you for fueling my insane fire. (Pardon the breeze blowing my skirt around in the following photos, nature was not cooperating.)

"Something simple, but daring too. Oh, just leave it to me! What a gown this will be!"


So, on to the next one! Cinderella! Sort of appropriate since the live action movie comes out soon (I CAN'T WAIT AND OMGOMGOMG unrelated, but EMMA WATSON AS BELLE?!?! EEEE!). So Cinderella has always and forever made me think of my sister. Because she's blonde? Endlessly good natured? I don't know, but in my mind, Julie was always a Cinderella. I never really identified with Cindy (although I'd love for some chatty mice to come help me sew!), but I love the story. In it's many forms... Ella Enchanted, Ever After, A Cinderella Story, but of course, Disney's Cinderella was my first. So, this is my version of The Blue Dress.


Cinderella came out in 1950, so I was thinking of a slightly retro off the shoulder style dress. I used Simplicity 1418, and used two types of polyester fabric in cornflower blue. The skirt and sleeves are a kind of poly crushed silk-esque thing, and the bodice is more of a suiting fabric. I went for this blue in particular because it made me think of the dress from the upcoming live action movie (which comes out on my momma's birthday, holla!). It's also relatively reminiscent of the 1959 Cinderella, but I feel like that one was more of an icy blue, or white, depending on the shot. Oh dear lord, stop me now. I can talk about color for days.


WOO, SIDE ZIP ON THAT B. Seriously, zippers stress me out and side zippers give me hella anxiety. But I did it, and I have to say, having a seamless back is kinda lovely. I thoroughly enjoy this dress. It's fancier than Snow White's, but hey, Cinderella's wore that getup to a royal ball! This dress fits me like a glove and it's quite comfortable. My only qualm with it is that it's an off shoulder dress, which means a strapless bra which means, BUHHHH. Ladies, y'all know. But I love the blue, the fabric almost glows. And I even made myself a little sash to tie around my head. Not bad for no fairy godmother!


So we were taking pictures, and I had the usual problem of what do I do with myself? So I thought, what would Cinderella do? I don't have her ability to summon mice and birds, so we googled Cindy and found an image of her swishing her big blue dress around, thus these awkward photos happened:



Yep. Someone give me a prop next time. And by the way, how hilarious is it that Cinderella's stepmother's cat is named Lucifer? Bold move, Disney. Also, the romantic king who's obsessed with grandbabies? Cute.

Cinderella was fun! I'm seriously loving this. I've gotten the fabric for the next one, and man, it's going to be a doozy. It's going to be difficult to make it not look like a costume. But the fabric is real pretty! Wish me luck!

And here's Snow White if you missed it!

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Disney Princess Dress Project - Snow White

Okay okay okay okay, so flashback about a month ago, we're at Disneyland. And there's like a gazillion little girls dressed as princesses, all the stores sell teeny princess dresses, and you can even get made over princess style in a tiny little child sized salon. But what about the adults? What about the grown up princesses? You can get a t-shirt with a princess on it. So I was like, the heck? This is a market someone needs to cash in on. We adults (I swear, it is not just me) want dresses too! A month or so later, boom, I've got my next ridiculous project. The Disney Princess Dress Project. DPDP. Like double Doctor Pepper. I'm making a dress for each Disney Princess. Because I want them all and no one's selling them. And I'm going in chronological order, because I'm a freak. Starting with my dearest, Snow White.

Snow White has never been my absolute favorite princess, but I've always had mad respect because she was the first. Circa 1937. And animals love her. And she sports a primary colored dress like no ones business. Plus she's the only Disney Princess with short hair. You go girl.


You like that princess pose? The wind seriously started blowing just as we were taking this picture, thus, fabulous hair. So, these dresses are not costumes (although, I have been Snow White before). I mean, not for me anyway. I will rock a dress on the reg though. They'll be made out of regular apparel fabric, made to be worn whenever. They're inspired by Disney Princesses, however they're not replicas by any means. Because I don't want to look TOO ridiculous in public.




Snow White is a German fairy tale, so I went with a dirndl-esque top. Plus, duh I love dirndls. I wanted it to be relatively casual and sundressy, since I mean, Snow White runs off into the woods in this dress. Just a regular almost get your heart cut out by a huntsman and meet a ton of woodland creatures plus seven little men dress. Nothing too fancy.

To keep it simple, I made it out of quilting cotton in fun prints (the sleeves have butterflies and flowers on them!), and it is extra comfortable. The sleeves have elastic in them... seriously comfy. I'd clean the house while singing and then take a nap in this dress. I used Simplicity 1803 (which I've made here and here) for the bodice and skirt, and I stole the sleeves off of McCall's 5619. Since this was basically the third time I've made this pattern and I was sewing on cotton, it came together easy peasy. And I love love love it. It will be perfect for frolicking around Austin this spring! With all that free time I have.

And in case you live under a social media rock, I have red hair! I dyed it a little over a week ago and it's still pretty dang red! It's a semi-permanent dye (this one if you're interested) over mostly my natural color and what's left of my ombre. And I love it. It came out much brighter than I thought it would and it's lasting longer than I thought. I've been washing my hair at the last minute during my showers and only using cold water, which is not so fun when it's cold outside, but it's helping the color last!


So this is my new project. Don't judge me. Or do, I don't care. ;) There are a lot of Disney Princesses, so I'm hoping this keeps me busy for a while. I've already started the next one, and y'all, I'm having the time of my life. Can I just make princess dresses for a living?

And big ol' shout out to the future good Doctor Hogan, who took time out of his busy day to take pictures of me pretending to be the Fairest of Them All.


Love you, boo. Thanks for encouraging my princess complex.