Author Archives: arosephoto

About arosephoto

I am a budding portrait photographer who spent the last 7 years as a photographer and journalist in the Marine Corps. I have always wanted to be a successful photographer outside of the Marine Corps, so I am giving it a go!

Road Trippin’ Sew Americana Style

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Road Trip!!

My mom and I decided last year that this would be the summer we take our epic road trip we have been wanting to do since as long as we could remember. And since circumstances have changed a bit since we dreamed this up,  we will now be bringing my two kids with us….it will either be awesome OR we will loose our minds. Will report back later.

We both have the travel bug. That’s how I ended up living in Ohio.

But seriously,  I love driving, exploring new places, and seeing the country (and world!).

So what could be better for our upcoming (July 5th!!!! ACK!!!) road trip than family shirts?!?!

I know right??? So fun!

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So this is the shirt. (Note: I had one all made up for my daughter with a matching skirt and guess who was just not having it?  more fun……or something)

The idea is that as we enter a new state, we will fill in the state with a fabric marker and take a picture with the state signs (the ones that aren’t horribly placed in the middle of a bridge…ahem…Ohio, West Virginia, and a few others).

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The super heavenly Cream Modal I used for my top (am my daughter’s…ugh) is from Sly Fox Fabrics. Cream is the right term too because I feel like I am just bathing in soft, creamy goodness when wearing it. Soooooooo soft on my skin!

And the super fun polka dot navy I used for my skirt is one of the very first fabrics I purchased when I fell in love with sewing years back. I knew it would be perfect for a project one day. I was NOT wrong.

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I love that I can feel comfortable AND pretty in this outfit so I can drive AND be presentable. So often on long road trips I resort to wearing the comfiest (read:grungiest) clothes I have because they are easy to wear and don’t move around all over the place requiring being pulled out of places they move to. But this skirt (from the Petite Stitchery Juliet pattern) and tank (from the Petite Stitchery Taffy pattern) will have me comfy, cool, and wedgie free for all the miles to the west coast and back!

SOOOO excited to fill in all of these states!!!

Don’t forget to take a peek at the rest of the AMAZING makers on this blog tour!!!

Monday, June 25:
Wild + Wanderful | Marvelous Auntie M | Handmade Boy
Phat Quarters | Call Ajaire

Tuesday, June 26:
Musings of a Seamstress | Sea of Estrogen | Sew and Tell Project
5 out of 4 Patterns | Little Heart Threads

Wednesday, June 27:
Middle River Studio | Elli & Nels | SewSophieLynn
Pear Berry Lane | The Eli Monster

Thursday, June 28:
Auschick Sews | EYMM | Mama & Leia
Seams Sew Lo | Stitched by Jennie

Friday, June 29:
Stylin’ Stacy | Rebel & Malice | On Wednesdays We Sew
FairyTale BT | That’s-Sew-Kari | Very Blissful

It’s All Around You

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I was having a conversation with my neighbor the other day about Kate Spade….yes….you probably know by now what we were talking about.

We actually talked about it the other day. How did she manage to do that without anybody in the house noticing? Why did she feel like that was her only way out? She had access to every possible treatment, therapy, help she could imagine. WHY??

Alas, there were children around and so the conversation was brief.

Then I woke up to a CNN report this morning of another celebrity suicide.
I mentioned to my neighbor that I sort of understand how it happened….or why…

I told her that they are rich and they seemingly have everything they could ever want and are living their dreams. They don’t have to work hard anymore if they ddon’t want to and they can, quite literally, do whatever they please. So how can they possibly be depressed? How can they expose that deepest part of themselves that the world at large surely would not understand?

And so they don’t.

And so here we are.

I realized I needed to say something…to put something out in the world.

The taboo of mental illness is not gone.

These people, they hid and burrried and likely didn’t realize how far out on a limb they were.

I read a quote today posted by a friend about how suicide comes to pass.

Essentially….it is the lesser of two evils. If given the choice of being burned alive by a burning building while you’re stranded on a high floor or jumping, you choose to jump because at least then you have the hope of being caught. If you just stay there, there is no hope…no rescue…only imminent doom. Only the most miserable path forward. And So…you jump to prevent something worse than you’re already enduring.

So why did I need to join the conversation? Why do I feel like I need to say something. Certainly I am not rich. I do not have a world renowned career/product/show/resume.

But I do deal with Depression in my life. I hide behind a smile entirely too often because…well…I. Don’t always want to share or deal with it. I don’t want a disease to be me. I want to be me fighting a disease.

I have sought treatment. I have tried a variety. I have tried medication. I have tried natural remedies.

While I was detoxing from a medication last summmer, I found myself figuratively standing on that burning window ledge. Too many times. Instead of jumping, I tried to burn myself alive….figureatively of course.

I am entirely thankful didn’t succeed.

So last night, I took some photos in a skirt I made.

I have been extra stressed lately…not the most joyful.

But nobody wants to see that and it certainly doesn’t sell anything. So I do my job, do what I signed up for because I love the people I work with and for.

I smile. I pretend. I spent too much time waiting tables and working face to face customer service. I have nailed the “your life stays off the sales floor” mindset.

So I post the pictures everywhere because I love the fabric I was using and I was excited about a new pattern. I don’t hate what I do. I Love it. I just am not always happy.

I mean….nobody is….but some days are extra blah and hard to get through. My emotions can get erratic.

But I love what I do.

And so I smile. I pretend like I’m having the time of my life….because I should be…and because despite the chemical tornado my brain sometimes is….I truly am. I am living a dream I didn’t even know was my dream because I wasn’t allowed (by my culture not my parents) to think that far outside the box.

And then people comment and tell me how full of life and joy I am and as much as I appreciate those uplifting comments, the depression gnome in my head says “how can they possibly know that from the fraction of a second snap shot on your front yard?”

So, I present to you….

The face of depression

 

I am OK. I am not in the window of a burning building anymore.

But know I am not the only one.

Be aware. Care. Ask real questions. Want to know about the people you spend your time with (virtually or otherwise). Be involved.

I need to be better about this also.

 

If the last week as taught us anything, it’s that we all do.

 

Besties, But Not

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My oldest, she is fierce and a force to be rekoned with. She blows me away day after day.

“They” say your kids your not be your friends…and she is most certainly my kid before my friend, but man she’s gonna make one seriously loyal bestie to some lucky kiddos!

For now, though, she humors me with occasionally matching clothes.

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Especially for holidays <3

Today she is actually matching her brother with a different matching set, but we had some fun in our tops too 🙂

I used the Petite Stitchery & Co. Flirt Dress to make my top, eliminating the skirt portion all together, and adding some pretty lace on the hem.

I also chopped the sleeves and cut out some teeny tiny “circle skirts” for each sleeve…because flair is fun, even when you don’t work at Fridays and are not Jennifer Anniston.

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Next year, I will have to remember that I am entirely too pale to wear very light pink in the snow in February and I risk totally blending in to the background. Oops!

Oh well, the super fun pale pink velour from Joanns was too soft and comfy not to use. I am wearing it again right now as I type this.

The beautiful mottled grey French Terry I used for the bodices is from Mily Mae fabrics. This is the second time I have used the fabric and I only want  more so I can make more with it.  It is just soft and cuddly, thick without being too warm, and it it difficult to not spend the day petting myself 😛

My daughter’s top is the Petite Stitchery & Co. Saphire. I love that pattern so much because of the endless versatility (and super cuteness!!). I also chopped her sleeves and added flounces on hers to match mine….because I’m only gonna get away with matching so many more times. Go big or go home, ya know?

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Man I love this kid!

I love you all too and I hope you have a great day!

Happy Sewing!

<3

Kelly

Please, visit all of the wonderful Sewing Bloggers on the Petite Stitchery Valentine’s Day Blog Tour hosted by Seams Sew Lo and enter win all of the patterns in the tour below!  The Prize is worth over $100 in prizes!!

  1. February 6th: Seams Sew Lo
  2. February 7th: Octaves of Color
  3. February 8th: Our Play Place
  4. February 9th: My Sewing Roots
  5. February 10th: The Petite Sewist
  6. February 11th: Aurora Designs
  7. February 12th: Manning the Machine
  8. February 13th: Cross Stitches Custom Clothing
  9. February 14th: On Wednesday We Sew

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Sunday Lately #158

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Cherishing: The concept of “hygge.” I have been decluttering with a purpose and trying to create cozy, snuggly spaces in my home. The first room I did this with just kept drawing me in….making me want to be there. It is swathed in sunbeams and just makes me happy. I can’t not smile and feel happy in there. I was so digging Hygge this week, I decided to make this cut file to share. There are PNG and SVG options <3. You can get it here.

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From cozy clothes, to relinquishing command of my favorite blankets so they can now be couch blankets and actually used, appreciated for all the comfort they bring. We snuggle SO MUCH in this house, so cozy blankets are basically necessity. It was also Warm/Fuzzy/Cozy week over at The 52 Week Sewing Challenge

Applauding: The incredible work of my teammates over at Petite Stitchery & Co.! There truly is nothing like having a team of women all working together, forging ahead through whatever is thrown their way. I have learned so much from them in such a short time and am absolutely THRILLED to get to continue on this journey with them. I pinch myself when I realize I am living out my dreams and it’s because I am lucky enough to work with them!

Singing: Entirely too much KIDZBOP because my children have recently become obsessed. Thankfully there is a station dedicated to just their music on SiriusXM because my kiddos can now listen to their favorite music without some of the seriously inappropriate lyrics that come with the songs on the “regular” pop channels. I may or not have found myself listening to the station while in the car alone on more than one occasion. Oops? 😛

I hope you are all having a great weekend. We are preparing for more snow here and I could not be more thrilled to continue creating cozy spaces, cozy clothes, and, of course, snuggling as much as possible.

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Happy Sewing!

-Kelly

 

(Butch) Cassidy and the Sundance Skirt!

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The Cassidy Sweater and Sundance Skirt are HERE! YAY!

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I love the simplicity of the Sundance, the classic lines, and vintage vibe. It is easy to wear, to dress up or down, and it’s COMFY!

Also, it’s a woven pattern…my first woven pattern! I can’t wait for  you to see all of the tester photos! Here are a few more of mine:

The Cassidy Sweater is an awesome stable for your wardrobe because it is REVERSIBLE on top of having tunic and top lengths and two sleeve lengths. It is so flattering on all the testers! While we wait to see theirs, here are mine:

I can’t wait for you guys to get your hands on these patterns and see what you come up with!!! You can pick them up at Petite Stitchery!

Happy Sewing!

-Kelly <3

Second Chances and All the Thankfulness

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So a few months back, I received the second chance of a life time!

I applied for a social media marketing position posted by Petite Stitchery

I thought it would be a great opportunity to get in on the ground floor of a newer pattern company. What was to come is the stuff dreams are made of!

Shortly after I applied, I received a message asking me to join their team as a designer instead. WHAT?!?!?!?!

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I was jumping for joy in the park on one of the last warm days of August before fall set in.

Since then, we have released FOUR free patterns and two women’s patterns. We even put out some SUPER CUTE (!!) batty bows  for halloween!

The Rory Dress and Skirt was my very first pattern (and I’m working on the girls version now!) and it was such an incredible experience.

The Lulu released with Rory and is a killer cozy sweater.

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Then there was the Swanky Tank (women’s) and the girls and babies Sweetie Leggings and Snuggle Top! I only have snuggle wear pictures because my daughter was having a rough night and the pictures all had MAJOR RBF…..like death-stare level. I will be making more soon, though, because the tank is BOMB!

 

There is sooooo much more coming too! I just finished designing my next two patterns and we have some fun Christmas freebies come also.

I truly never thought I would have an opportunity to be on a team…to work with seriously amazing ladies on creating patterns to help women feel beautiful in clothes they made themselves, clothes perfectly fitted to their bodies! It is a seriously amazing opportunity and I pinch myself daily when I realize I get to do work I love so fiercely. I am sooooo lucky. and I am endlessly thankful!

What are you thankful for?

Happy Sewing!

<3

-Kelly

Maybe My Favorite Dress EVER!

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I wouldn’t be me if I didn’t hack my own pattern. It just feels natural to take something I love and turn it in to something I love even more….even if I don’t actually have anywhere to wear it yet. 😛

So I hacked The Rory.

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Now I have to give a major shout out to this seriously hard working fabric because my I-cups are contained by nothing underneath there! Now, it was a thicker Ponte, so my serger did give me some major eye rolls a few time. We sang cumbayah, I apologized for making her work so dang hard and then explained my vision and she realized how important it was to do the work even though she didn’t want to.

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So you want to know how to make it, right?! Let me show you!

Step One:

Cut out all pieces of The Rory pattern except cut only one sleeve instead of two.

Step Two:

Lay both bodice pieces out right sides together and use a straight edge to mark a straight diagonal line from the shoulder to the bottom of the armscye.

Step Three:

Cut along the line you just drew while holding your breath and praying you don’t screw this up because you only have enough of this fabric to create one version of your vision and the vision is VERY specific and you won’t be able to stop thinking about it until it comes to life.

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Step Four:

Measure the length of the new edge you just created. To create the binding, you need to double the measurement and then multiply this measurement by .85 and cut a band to your desired thickness (I used 1.5 inches). To create the ruffle you will need to cut a strip of fabric four times the length of your measurement.

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Step Five:

Sew a basting stitch (one or two rows) and gather the ruffle to be the size of the new neckline. Finish the bottom of the ruffle as desired. I used a rolled hem to add a little bit of extra curling to the bottom of the ruffle.

Step Six:

Sew the bodice pieces together at the rides with the pieces right sides together. Add the sleeve according to pattern directions as well.

Step Seven:

Baste the ruffle to the neckline.

Step Eight:

Fold the binding in half just as you would a neck band. Pin it to the inside on the new neck line. and stitch or serge in place. Topstitch the binding.

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Step Nine:

Finish the dress according to the pattern instructions.

Step Ten:

Put the dress on and look in the mirror and look at how gorgeous you are!

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I would love to see all of your hacks, this or another version! Use #PSRory when you share so I can keep an eye out!

Happy Sewing!

<3

-Kelly

High-Fashion Hvar!

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I didn’t even know I wanted a fur coat! Here I am, though, thoroughly loving my brand new fur Hvar!

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I mean, sure, there is fur in my lungs, I had to lint-roll myself, and it looks like it snowed and a tiny white animal exploded in my sewing room, but I don’t care! When I put this Hvar on, I care about NOTHING except how seriously cozy (and CUTE!) I feel!

The Hvar is Itch to Stitch’s latest pattern and it is amazing!

Just a short while ago, the designer behind Itch to Stitch’s home was burglarized while she and her husband were on vacation. Everything was rummaged through, and her computer, camera, and so many other valuable items were stolen from their home. While her customers immediately rushed to help her via purchasing patterns, a few of us bloggers thought it would be fun to show our love for her and her designs through a blog tour, so here we are! There are some seriously incredible sponsors also, for instance, Stylish Fabric supplied many of the bloggers with their fabric for this tour, including this fur and the gorgeous silk for my skirt!

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I knew that making a major statement piece on top meant I should stick with something a tad more subtle on the bottom. Now subtle isn’t exactly my style, so I threw that out the window and went with a gorgeous royal blue Seville with an exposed silver zipper. That’s just how I roll. No, this is not the “proper” zipper application, but if I am going to have a silver zipper, I want to see all of it…..also….zippers are my nemesis and I broke the first one I installed when trying to shorten it to the proper length. There are AWESOME instructions for zipper installation in the pattern and Kennis walks you through so carefully. I will conquer them one day….this was NOT that day.

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I now immediately need to find a reason to wear this coat every wear because it is SO warm, especially here in Ohio as the cold is setting in. The fit is killer and I can even wear it over a sweatshirt! In these pictures I was only wearing a tank top underneath and I was totally comfortable despite it being less than 40 degrees out! Yes PLEASE!

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Not only is this coat warm and cozy, fur is majorly on trend right now. Seriously, if you saw me in fourth grade in my hand-me-down 80’s aerobics wear from my neighbor, you would never associate me with the word trendy. Obviously, I am a WAY late bloomer!

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One seriously great thing about pairing fur with bright blue and a silver zipper? You need almost no accessories because you already have so much going on! As somebody who is still learning to accessorize, this is major for me! I plopped on some black suede wedge heels (SWOON) and painted on a bright red lip and called it good.

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So if you haven’t checked out Itch to Stitch before, I highly suggest you do! I know these won’t be the last patterns I buy from Kennis!

While you’re on the internet and browsing around, don’t forget to check out the rest of the ladies who TOTALLY rocked this tour and don’t forget to enter to win the awesome prize packages from our sponsors!

Your ITS Love bloggers are

Monday: Sew Sophie Lynn, Merritts Makes, Sewing with Sarah, Sewing with D

Tuesday: Shalini’s Blog, Auschicksews, Rebel and Malice, Sewing Vortex

Wednesday: Replicate Then Deviate, mahlicadesigns, Sewing with D, The Petite Sewist, kreamino

Thursday: Sewing Curves, Creative Counselor, Sew Mariefleur, Fairies, Bubbles & Co, Sewing by Ti

Friday: Harper+Lu, MeMade, On Wednesdays We Sew, Heather Handmade, Bellevi, and visit by mooglii on IG

The ITS Love Tour sponsors have been so generous in support of Kennis of Itch to Stitch that we’ve been able to put together several prize packages to share with you.

First, you may enter our giveaway to win one of three prize packs:

Prize Pack #1 includes:

5 Itch to Stitch patterns

$25GC to Simply By Ti

$50 Raspberry Creek Gift Card

$50 Bella Sunshine gift card

Prize Pack #2 includes:

$50 Knit Pop GC

$25 Designer Stitch GC

$25 Chalk and Notch GC

3 patterns of choice from Coffee And Thread

2 patterns of choice from Hey June Handmade

Prize Pack #3 Includes:

$15 Thread & Grain store credit

$25 Maker Mountain Fabrics GC

Rafflecopter: a Rafflecopter giveaway
OR enter by linking up!
Inlinkz:

 

Happy Sewing!

<3

-Kelly

Rory and Lulu, Embarking on a New Journey

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It’s today! It’s today!!!

Why am I so dang excited about some random Tuesday in November? Well I’m about to tell you. <3

Ok, ok , okaaaaay….I’ll just show you!

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The Lulu Dolman was designed by Jennifer Jeremiah and The Rory Dress and Peplum is my first pattern. Together they are the first women’s mini collection releasing TODAY (!!!) at Petite Stitchery.

I am so excited to have the opportunity to share my love of sewing and style (thankfully I progresses past my fourth grade phase of 80’s aerobics wear) with all of you, now through actual patterns instead of just hacks!

In creating The Rory, I really wanted to create a style that would be effortless and classy enough for work, but could be spiced up a little for a fun night out….in the cold months (if you have them where you live) without having to hide what you’re wearing with a sweater or coat.

Enter the turtleneck….my childhood nemesis…the tops my mom loved so much she had multiple drawers (I’m NOT joking here) dedicated to them, owned them in every color and justified this by demonstrating their varying fabric weights when we begged her to thin out her collection. I actively avoided turtlenecks because, in my childhood, the crazy cat lady wasn’t a thing…..I didn’t want to turn in to my mom, the turtleneck hoarder.

And here I am today…releasing it as my first pattern….an homage to the woman who has taught me, fought for me (and with me too), and loved me despite endless “wrong” decisions…despite my constant (totally constructive) criticism of her choice of wardrobe staple.

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Not only do I get to create something fun, sassy, and modest (my husband snickers when I swear this pattern is modest), but it apparently has some sort of magic boob juice. I’m totally not joking. Nobody’s boobs look bad in this top.

When I was creating and fitting the pattern, before testers, before anything….I drafted the pattern and sewed up my first trial. I was telling the other amazing Petite Stitchery designers that I was just about to take pictures to show them the dress and prepare for testing….and my husband walked in the door.

“Hang on guys…this might take a minute…my husband just got home and he REALLY likes this dress.”

He walked back to my sewing room where I was standing hoping he somehow wouldn’t see what I was wearing, but he did and his eyes got all googly, a sly smile spread across his face.

“I just need to take a few pictures first.” 😉

I got my pictures…..and this pattern will forever be known to him as “the one with the good boobs.” 😛

I can hardly wait to see you all sewing it up for yourselves!

Happy Sewing!

<3

-Kelly

 

The Rory Dress; MY Rory Dress

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So a loooong time ago, when my daughter was three weeks old, I traveled to Maryland from Ohio for a doctors appointment at the military hospital there, and visited my friend Joyce while I was at it. I had my three-week-old daughter in tow and Joyce was giving me heaps of clothing, a swing, and anything else she could unload because she didn’t have a baby and had just unpacked long term storage after having been in Japan. Also because she’s amazing.

The biggest thing Joyce gave me on that trip, though, was a spark…a teeny tiny spark. She showed me her sewing space. She showed me a skirt she was working on for a friend’s daughter.

Then a year and a half later, I was visiting her again. This time we met in a hotel. I was again in Maryland for an appointment at the hospital. She was cloth diapering her newish baby. I had a different new baby now, a 3-month-old. More sparks went flying surrounding the cloth diapers.

A few months prior to that trip I had purchased a sewing machine, a very basic (read: piece of crap) machine, but it had yet to be removed from the box. It still wouldn’t be for at least five months.

It wasn’t until I couldn’t fathom paying somebody else to sew straight lines for me (cloth wipes) that I finally opened the dang box and made something ( cloth wipes…not with straight lines).

Fast forward to today. My son will turn five in March. There have been few days since that first that I haven’t found something to sew, read about sewing, etc. Today I finalized the details of my very first PDF sewing pattern and am preparing to release it VERY SOON with Petite Stitchery! EEK!

Meet Rory (here she is made with fabric all from Mily Mae Fabric minus the lace bodice):

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She has become my favorite dress for work and just about anything else. This week, as the testers start sneaking, you will see that she is also a peplum, long-sleeved, and sleeveless.

And because you know I can’t resist a hack, I’ve already hacked her. DUH! But, you’ll have to stay tuned for that! It may be my favorite hack to date and I swear it is not just because it is a hack for my own pattern. 😛

I really cannot thank the ladies who helped me test Rory enough! I feel so lucky to be have this opportunity and you all seriously rocked it! <3

Happy Sewing!

<3

-Kelly