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!

Dress Up This Town Tour

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Hi all!!!

I am so excited to be on Sewing By Ti’s Dress Up This Town tour this month!!!!

It’s no secret that I love a good dress, so an excuse to make another was awesome!!!

I decided to take this opportunity to recreate a dress I have just been lusting after on Pinterest for months. I have tried to pin it so many times and always get that dang “you’ve already pinned this” notification πŸ˜›

Who knows which dress I am talking about??

Oh yes…it’s this bad boy right here!

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The fabric had people all up in arms for a few months before it gradually began to flow in to a few of the shops I purchase from. Pretty Posh Prints had a fast fingers sale and I scored big time with this fabric. I knew exactly what I needed it to be, but it sat on my shelf for a while anyway….I needed to be sure….maybe I would change my mind or it would tell me it wanted to be something else. Nope!!!

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I am now even more eagerly (is that possible?) looking forward to fall. Long sleeves and gorgeous floral maxis with adorable booties and flats, sipping a latte and snuggling up on my hammock with a cozy blanket and a warm infinity scarf.

Yeah…I can’t picture that AT ALL! πŸ˜›

I used the Patterns for Pirates Boundless Dress pattern with 3/4 sleeves, natural waist, and maxi skirt. This gorgeous dress in the softest and coziest double brushed poly is practically begging me to take it to a cooler climate immediately!

Anybody want to sponsor the dress’s vacation (with me wearing it….I cannot be stuffed in to a suitcase!)?

How about now?

Well….it was a worth a shot πŸ˜›

I hope you all get to make your Pinsperation soon!!!

Happy sewing!

<3

Kelly

 

PS!! Don’t forget to enter the raffle for the chance to win some awesome prizes and check out the rest of the awesome looks from the tour!!!

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/share-code/ZDljMDU5MTExOWM4OTM2ZTgxODhlMmQ5NTU0Nzc3OjI1/?

Week 1: July 1st-8th

1- Sewing By Ti (Intro) ***You are here. πŸ˜€ andΒ Stitching At Night

2- Me Made

3- Tenille’s Thread

4- Sewing By Ti

5- Seams Sew Lo

6- Anne Mari Sews

7- Sea of Estrogen

8- Lulu and Celeste



Week 2: July 9th-15th

9- Living in Twinado Valley

10- Ma Moose

11- My Heart Will Sew On

12- Seams Sew Lo

13- Kate Will Knit

14- Creative Counselor

15- Sewing With Sarah



Week 3: July 16th-22nd

16- Stitching and Making

17- That’s Sew Lily

18- Sprouting Jube Jube

19- Auschick Sews

20- Anne Mari Sews

21- Lulu and Celeste

22- On Wednesdays We Sew



Week 4: July 23rd-31st

23- Stitching At Night

24- Sewing Curves

25- My Heart Will Sew On

26- Indulging Mum

27- That’s Sew Lily

28- Adventures With Bubba and Bug

29- Capture, Craft Cook

30- Sewing By Ti

31- Sew Like a Sloth

Little Lounging Lady

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The new Little Loungers pants pattern from Patterns for Pirates have arrived!!!

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My kiddos HATE jeans from the store. My son actually calls them “hard pants” and generally refuses to wear them, so I am seriously excited to have this pattern to make them “jeans” for school this fall!

My daughter doesn’t protest quite as much, but she is MUCH more particular about what she wears these days. She prefers mama-made…not matter if it matches or not πŸ˜›

She is probably going to get a few more pairs of these pants for back to school and in to the fall because they are just the perfect (AND QUICK!) pants for my sweet girl πŸ™‚

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The detailing on the patch pockets make the pattern super easy to make more feminine for this self-proclaimed princess.

This super soft Chambray made for the perfect flowy pant that will keep her cool in the late summer heat and warm in the early fall crisp mornings.

I hope you all love these sweet pants as much as my girl does!

Happy Sewing!

<3

Kelly

Holding (Royal) Court

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If you haven’t heard of the Do It Better Yourself Club, you need to hurry up and check it out!!! Jessica has more life and purpose in her than I imagined was possible. She is also incredibly sweet an freaking awesome at what she does!. I tell you all that because she is in the process of creating an amazing skirt pattern and she let me test it! The incomparable Sarah of Sewing With Sarah blogged about one version of it here.

I have the pleasure of introducing you to The Duchess. She is glorious!

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If you haven’t heard of the Do It Better Yourself Club, you need to hurry up and check it out!!! Jessica has more life and purpose in her than I imagined was possible. She is also incredibly sweet an freaking awesome at what she does!. I tell you all that because she is in the process of creating an amazing skirt pattern and she let me test it! The incomparable Sarah of Sewing With Sarah blogged about one version of it here.

I have the pleasure of introducing you to The Duchess. She is glorious! I mean, just look at her!

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This version is the maxi with a conservative slope. It covers a bit more, more appropriate for day-time shenanigans and the like. I used this gorgeous brushed poly from Sly Fox Fabrics for this version and I’m in LOVE with the colors and how elegant it looks!

Β I also made a maxi with a dramatic slope and WOW does it bring the drama!

This version I made with a double brushed poly I bought from knitpop over the winter (I think). This is one of those fabrics that looks pretty when you fold it and put in on your shelf, but then you make something from it and you jaw hits the floor because it is so much more beautiful made than sitting there.

More pictures for fuzzies? Why, of course!

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So keep your eyes out for this amazing pattern!!!! I will also make sure to post all over the place when it does because it would be a shame to miss out on!!

Happy Sewing!

<3

Kelly

Sew Americana

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sew sneak

I am so excited that I was able to participate in the Sew Americana blog tour this year!

Sometimes, when I get in to theme sewing, I can get a little out of hand and end up with items my kids and I won’t be able to wear AFTER the themed event is over, so my goal here was to create items for my kiddos and myself that we will be able to wear now and anytime in the future when we are feeling extra patriotic πŸ™‚

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When the family of Jogger patterns came out over at Patterns for Pirates, I made the whole family a coordinating pair. I decided to take a note from my own playbook and make Baby Bear Joggers for the kiddos and Mama Bear Joggers for me in this amazing distressed double knit denim-look fabric from The Fab Clique.

The kiddos shirts are both Archer Tanks from Stitch Upon A Time with lace added to my daughters for a bit of a feminine touch….and because she’s as mad for lace trim as I am. πŸ˜›

My top was made with beautiful watercolor stripes from Wonderground Fabrics and I used the Favorite Tee from Patterns for Pirates and hacked it into a tunic tank. To jazz it up a tad, I added red lace trim on the hem and bound the neck and arms with red fold-over-elastic. I also added a super fun red glittery vinyl design using a cut file from Thread and Grain.

I thought it would be super fun to play with sparklers while we took pictures…My daughter agreed, my son was a bit concerned about holding fire πŸ˜›

I hope you all enjoy celebrating the independence of our country this weekend!

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Happy Birthday America!

<3

Kelly

Our Amazing “Sew Americana” Tour Lineup:


Monday, June 26: Wild & Wanderful | Handmade Boy | The Wholesome Mama | Marvelous Auntie M | Sew and Tell Project
Tuesday, June 27: EYMM | Middle River Studio | SewSophieLynn | Phat Quarters | Call Ajaire
Wednesday, June 28: Simple Life Pattern Company | Sewing By Ti | Auschick Sews | Nu Me Nu You | Swimming in a Sea of Estrogen
Thursday, June 29: Adventures with Bubba and Bug | Musings of a Seamstress | Elli and Nels | Spindle and Seams | Stylin’ Stacy
Friday, June 30: Very Blissful | Stitching and Making | Wild & Wanderful | On Wednesdays We Sew | Fairytale B&T


We would like to give a special thanks to our generous sponsors!
Love Notions | EYMM Modern Designs | Rebecca Page | Patterns for Pirates | Simple Life Pattern Company | Thread & Grain | Designs by Call Ajaire | Simply By Ti | Made for Mermaids | Petite Stichery & Co.

Winter is Going Summer!

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Olaf would be so excited right now!!!

Winter Wear Designs has created the Tidewater Tee, the quintessential summer tee!

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I was lucky enough to finally get in on testing for WWD and I made the shallow neck and tulip sleeve version. I was in love with the detailing in this top AND that I can wear a bra with it!!! I hate bras, but they are sort of important.

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This top is easily one of my favorites. This fabric from Sly Fox Fabrics totally upped the ante too!! I am over the moon!

With this super cute tulip sleeve, I feel uber feminine. There are so many other options too! A scoop neck and a cold shoulder option mean this top has a ton of versatility!

Personally, I love the tulip the best so I made a second shirt with the same options πŸ™‚ I tend to avoid scoop necks because boobs, but the versions I have seen are seriously beautiful!

Please do not miss out while this pattern is on sale! Just $7.50 through Sunday 6/25!!

Happy Sewing!

<3

Kelly

When is Enough Truly Enough?

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When is enough enough? For me, I just pray that moment will come. 

My self-worth has never been tied to my physical appearance. I “blossomed” much earlier than my peers and I always felt awkward, but far before that I knew I was different. I knew I didn’t think like other people. I knew I was not seeing the world isn’t he same way. I could never put my finger on it, but I knew the things that seemed to make them happy, things they appeared to enjoy, I wanted nothing to do with those things. 

I never understood parties, cliques, getting ready for dances with friends. I enjoyed reading books alone in my room, doing my homework, and pushing myself as hard as I could. Well….I didn’t so much enjoy it, but I needed it. I didn’t give myself a choice. There was no option. I set impossible standards for myself over and over again, continuously setting myself up for failure. I had an amazing ERA as a pitcher on my varsity softball team, but my nearly 4.0 GPA put me at just under the 50th percentile in my class. Not good enough.

I went off to college knowing I was going to have to work hard because I had slacked off my senior year of high school (read: finished all of my requirements early and only needed to take a math class my senior year….and I didn’t even need that, but I wanted to play softball in the Spring, so I had to fill my schedule with something). I did not have the financial support of many of the girls in my dorm suite. I was dead-set on being a Bio-Chemist and create new pharmaceuticals to help kids with autoimmune issues. My Freshman year I decided to take 19 units my first semester and then I needed to get a part time job so I could pay for my phone in my dorm room and incidentals like printer ink and tampons. I still didn’t understand parties. I stayed in on Friday nights doing homework and spent my weekends in the Botany lab making sure I knew everything there was to know. I took notes for other students to earn extra pocket money. I sent my mom pictures of slides I made. It was not enough. 

I dropped out after two months in to my second semester.

I was not exactly sure why, but I fell into a depression, an eating disorder, and therapy. I met an emotionally abusive boyfriend. I went to geology classes with my mom and helped her ace all of her tests that spring. Then came AmeriCorps.

I packed a suitcase and emptied my bank account. I flew to Georgia where I would be picked up at the airport by an incredible woman who I will always reguard myself as lucky to have encountered, though I knew none of that at the time. I had a year to complete 1750 hours of community service with a local Habitat for Humanity affiliate. I made sure I would never get back together with that abusive boyfriend via means I would not recommend to anybody. I went bowling in a bikini. I fell in to and eventually climbed back out of a massive wasting disorder that had me lose my periods. I volunteered my time at my church, teaching children’s choir. I met friends I will cherish forever. I ate exactly two meals out every month and the worst Mexican food I have ever tasted. I could have stayed there, but it wasn’t enough. I was looking for more.

I moved in with a friend in Rhonert Park, California and enrolled at Santa Rosa Junior College. I took a class with a professor I will never forget. He explained the first day of class that few people ever get an A in his course because they don’t put in the work to have the understanding of the subject matter to earn an A. I demolished that class, finishing my final in 45 minutes. Straight A’s. I still have those blue books to this day. It was never enough. I wasn’t even sure what would be enough…what that would look like.

I, again, dropped out of school just a month in to my second semester. I briefly pondered joining the military. Some jerk in my history class told me to not join the Marine Corps because it was way too hard. I joined the Marine Corps. Obviously. I blew the whistle on my recruiters. They rushed me off to boot camp, where I went to bed every night with a big ol grin on my face. I had found enough. I found the place where I could be pushed physically, mentally, and any other way you can imagine. I was achieving things I didn’t know I could. 

Fast forward 8.6 years. I was medically separated from the Marine Corps. I felt like I was back at square one. In the four years since my son was born, I finished my Bachelor’s, my Master’s, sat on a steering team for a local MOPS group, learned portrait photography, sewed myself an entire wardrobe many times over, renovated a bathroom, cared for and found homes for two liters of puppies, coached basketball, coached softball, learned the sport of wrestling, learned Zumba, tried my hand at making all of my families food including breads and crackers, been diagnosed with a seemingly endless barrage of diseases, and now here I am…breaking again…wondering where and when enough will come again. 

It is deeper this time, though. Silence has become piercingly painful. I need to be busy. I need to be learning more, I need to be quenched. I don’t know where that satiety exists. 

I had a moment this evening as I was getting ready for bed. My husband is out of town and the kids and the dog were sleeping. A thought popped in to my head…when am I going to be enough for myself?

All of these years, it was never about doing enough, achieving enough. I’ve been giving myself a pass, telling myself, “that’ll do for now,” but never truly feeling like I am measuring up. Why am I not testing more patterns, writing more blogs, creating more beautiful/engaging/dynamic digital art/photographs? Why am I sleeping instead of doing those things? Why have I not mastered and overtaken the world of sewing, fabric design, and pattern making in the three years I have been sewing? This is my headspace. This has always been my headspace. 

I have looked to God and everywhere else. I haven’t found answers. 

I will not apologize for my brokenness. I will continue to search for enough. I will now do so with a new lens, though. A lens where I am learning to remind myself that I am enough, that I always have been, that I always will be.

A Trip to the Mountains….sort of :P

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If you have seen my fabric stash, you know I am totally addicted to hoarding fabric…it’s just reality and I totally admit to it. I try my best to share this glorious world of fabric with as many people as possible as often as possible, hence strike-off sewing! Not only do I get to sew to my heart’s content, but I get to share that love and help other people find the gloriousness.

This time around, I’m sharing some seriously beautiful (AND SOFT!!!) cotton/lycra from Midnight Mountain Fabrics!

I didn’t realize until moving to my current home that I am a major fan of cold weather. I considered for a brief period moving to Alaska and dream of living somewhere in northern Canada where the snow is abundant and there would be little for me to do outside of sewing, reading, and playing in the snow. So…the moose…and those more northern animals are near and dear to me. This moose sweater makes me deliriously happy! I wore it to a long day of doctor appointments the other day and everything was so soft, I just kept petting it. The solid black C/L is also from Midnight Mountain Fabrics and was just as amazing as the prints!

My daughter was toooootally not having pictures and just wanted to go play with her friends despite getting to pick out her own outfit (I gave her a color range to stick with :P). Then I asked her to twirl…

The purple on these prints is so vibrant! I’m madly in love!

MY very favorite, though, will continue to be the moose πŸ™‚ Easily one of my favorite things I’ve made!

So go check out the round open at Midnight Mountain Fabrics!!!

Happy sewing!

<3

Kelly

Babe! It’s The Long-Awaited Crossover Sweater Tutorial!

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Babe! It’s The Long-Awaited Crossover Sweater Tutorial!

So long long ago….okay…just last fall (?) I hacked a sweater pattern to be the ever-popular cross-over style. I promised you all a tutorial. A promise is a promise, right?! I am FINALLY going to make good on that promise!

Drumroll please………

I happily present to you The Babe Hoodie from the do It Better Yourself Club hacked in to a crossover sweater all from the amazing fabric over at Sincerely Rylee!


Yes…it even has a hood incorporated! Can you say new favorite?!

Okay…..soooooo….here’s the DL on how all of that happened.

In all honesty, I had this Babe fully sewn up and had to cut bits off and what not to make this, but I am going to tell you how to do it from the start. Thank goodness it worked because I would have been seriously sad to ruin all this glorious Sincerely Rylee Fabric!!!

Ok…here goes πŸ™‚

Step 1:

Cut out the pattern as directed for whichever version you are making.

Step 2:

Cut the front bodice piece in half directly down the center.


Step 3:

This step is technically optional, but this hack works best if you cut curves into the bottom center pieces of your front bodice so the band will hang better when you are all done.


Step 4:

Sew The Babe exactly as directed except DO NOT sew the hood lining together in the front!!!! You will just have to cut that seam off later if you do (it is what I had to do :P).


Step 5:

Measure from the very middle top of the hood down the center front and all the way down to the side seam. You will cut two bands at this length minus 2. Next measure the bottom of the back bodice and cut one band at that length minus 2. I do not provide a width because you can make the band as thick or thin as you want! I love wider bands for a slouchier look and a SERIOUSLY cozy sweater!


Step 6:

Sew the two long bands together and connect those bands to ONE end of the short band. Pin or clip the open ends together right sides together. You will leave this seam open until the VERY end because your band will twist and it is soooooo much easier to keep track of this way.


Step 7:

Place the seam where both long band pieces meet at the top and begin pinning/clipping down one side until you get to where you want to crossover (I try to keep this point as close to the middle of the sweater as possible, but you can crossover wherever you like). Whe you get to the crossover point, you are going to twist your band so it is right sides together with the other side of the front bodice piece. When you get to this point, I find it best to go back to the top and work the other side down to the crossover point as well. This will create what I call the “top circle.”


Step 8:

Now you will do the same pinning to create the “bottom circle” as you work your way around to that open seam from both ends. When you get to the open seam, untwist the fabric and place the ends right sides together and stitch or serge. Fold the band back up and pin or clip in place to the bodice.


Step 9:

Sew both circles and get as close to the crossover point as possible. I like to start and stop at the crossover point, but that is preference and you can start or stop wherever you like. sewing in two circles really is the easiest, though. I promise!


You’re DONE!!!!


See! Super easy! Now go sew all the crossover sweaters and shirts!!!

OH! and the INCREDIBLE Jessica Hooley has so graciously provided us with a 20% coupon through the 15th with the code SEWWEDNESDAYS. Amazing!!!

Happy Sewing!

<3

Kelly

I Feel a Heat Wave Coming On!

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I’m going to preface this post by letting you all know that I don’t remember the last time I comfortably wore shorts of any sort. I am pretty sure it was some time in high school or immediately thereafter when I had an eating disorder and weighed 100 pounds soaking wet. Even then…I was surely not comfortable…I was starving myself.

Ok….so I tell you that to tell you that Kristi over at George and Ginger made me love shorts probably for the first time in my entire life outside of infant hood. I joked with her during testing that the last time I loved a piece of clothing so much was when I tried on my wedding dress.

You want to see them??

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Here’s the kicker….These Heat Wave Hot Pants help me to love my body instead of criticize it! This is one of the major reasons I transitioned to making my own clothes instead of shopping for them. I don’t know of a single time in a dressing room where I really loved how I felt in the clothes I was trying on….save that one time in my wedding gown, which I never ended up wearing (anybody need a wedding gown? it’s still i my closet!).

These shorts (and so many other items I have added to my wardrobe) make me feel beautiful and look at my body it a positive way because they fit correctly and were designed by a woman FOR a woman’s REAL body.

Our bodies are REAL.

Our bodies have CURVES. Β See?

Too few mass-market designers take that in to consideration when designing clothes for women. The Indie PDF designer world has revolutionized this and making my own clothes means I can customize the size and adjust the curves to match the ones on my body. And I have curves for days!!!

These shorts epitomize that process and I will wear this pair and many more to come all summer long!

Thank you Kristi!

Happy Sewing!

<3

Kelly

It’s Getting Hot, Hot, Hot!

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I’m going to preface this post by letting you all know that I don’t remember the last time I comfortably wore shorts of any sort. I am pretty sure it was some time in high school or immediately thereafter when I had an eating disorder and weighed 100 pounds soaking wet. Even then…I was surely not comfortable…I was starving myself.

Ok….so I tell you that to tell you that Kristi over at George and Ginger made me love shorts probably for the first time in my entire life outside of infant hood. I joked with her during testing that the last time I loved a piece of clothing so much was when I tried on my wedding dress.

You want to see them??

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Here’s the kicker….These Heat Wave Hot Pants help me to love my body instead of criticize it! This is one of the major reasons I transitioned to making my own clothes instead of shopping for them. I don’t know of a single time in a dressing room where I really loved how I felt in the clothes I was trying on….save that one time in my wedding gown, which I never ended up wearing (anybody need a wedding gown? it’s still i my closet!).

These shorts (and so many other items I have added to my wardrobe) make me feel beautiful and look at my body it a positive way because they fit correctly and were designed by a woman FOR a woman’s REAL body.

Our bodies are REAL.

Our bodies have CURVES. Β See?

Too few mass-market designers take that in to consideration when designing clothes for women. The Indie PDF designer world has revolutionized this and making my own clothes means I can customize the size and adjust the curves to match the ones on my body. And I have curves for days!!!

These shorts epitomize that process and I will wear this pair and many more to come all summer long!

Thank you Kristi!

Happy Sewing!

<3

Kelly