Author Archives: jenniferrzasa

the barking crab

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Ahhh, another summer memory.

Our friends Sara (In a Nutshell blog) and Cody love a restaurant by the seaport area in Boston called The Barking Crab.  Dave is obsessed with seafood, so of course he was down.  I, on the other hand, don’t like crabs or lobsters (the restaurant’s specialty), but it seemed like a great opportunity to wear my new(ish) Lindy Bop dress!

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The boys were extremely excited to split a platter with lobster and crab, along with an extra Dungeness crab on the side.

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I was excited to pose with the lobster:

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Now, this wasn’t the first time I wore this amazing dress.  The week prior I went to a family reunion in Maine, and the theme was….Lobster!

Here’s a pic from that event.  It seems as though my “thing” is to pose with lobsters in a lobster dress, but not actually eat them:

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Aren’t Sara and I the cutest? I love how coordinated her whole outfit is.  Even though we don’t match, we both accessorized with red.  Love it!

The boys have a bit of a bromance thing going on themselves, so I made sure to document the love:

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So let’s talk about the dress for a sec.  I was quite upset when I got it, because even though I purchased the smallest size available, it was HUGE!  Not just a little big/loose, but ridiculously large.  On the website it said something about a “comfortable fit,” but the model looked good in hers so I didn’t think it would be an issue.

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Luckily, I know how to sew, so I could easily alter it.  I ended up cutting out around 5 inches (!) of fabric from the bodice and skirt, and sewed a new back seam.  The waist has elastic, so I didn’t need to insert a zipper.

It wasn’t the best way to take in a garment, but I didn’t want to take the whole thing apart.  There are pockets in this dress, so taking fabric out at the side seams would mean I would have to move those too.  The back seam was a quick fix that I was okay with.

However, when I cut out all of that fabric from the center seam, it shifted the location of the straps, so now they angle towards the center.  It doesn’t look bad, but I might go back and move them to a more appropriate location.

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I accessorized with a cute little fork pin that I got at the SOWA open market (Greenway location) a few summers ago.  I love how it’s headed right for that crab!

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08-27-17

Dress Lindy Bop ‘Bambi’ Turquoise Lobster Print Swing Dress
BeltModern Millie Shop (brand unknown, similar here)
Shoes:  Montego Bay Club Pina High Wedge Sling via Payless
Pin
:  Purchased at SOWA (brand unknown, similar here)
Sunglasses:  Isaac Mizrahi via Burlington Coat Factory
HeadbandForever 21 Wire Bow Headwrap

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first day of summer vacation

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It’s funny going through these photos, since they were taken back in June. It was the first weekend of summer vacation, and I had just said goodbye to my amazing students the day prior. (Including a very emotional hug with a 5th grader – we had really connected over the past five years, and she was sad to be leaving me to go to the middle school! So sweet!)

The first day of summer vacation is always bittersweet. I really love my job, and tend to get this empty feeling inside. Do any other teachers experience this? I also wonder, “What will I do every day while Dave is at work?”

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But then that quickly fades when I realize how awesome it is to sleep in late, make my own schedule each day, work on craft projects, travel, and enjoy the sunshine/warm weather!

I like to take time in the summer to recharge and come up with new lesson plans too. I don’t think any teacher is 100% content with how they do their job, since there is always room for improvement!

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I also like the summer since I can wear clothes that might be slightly too short for the classroom, like this adorable mint green polka dot halter!  At first I thought the bow details might be too youthful, but I think it all works.

I can’t believe that this is my first blog post in these wedge sandals, since I practically live in them.  I got them about a year ago at Marshall’s, and I’ll bet you won’t be able to guess the brand!

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Dr. Scholl’s!

I couldn’t believe that a brand I associated with old lady shoes has some really cute styles.  And the best part is that they are SO comfortable! (hence the fact that they are my go-to shoes in the summer)

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Just sneaking in a photo of Dave before I wrap up the post – it was a test shot, and I think he looks really cute! (even though it kind of looks like he is about to sneeze, hehe).

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Plus, he’s wearing a sweet Metroid shirt from Uniqlo!  BTW, I currently can’t stop playing Samus Returns on the 3DS – though it’s not surprising, since I always tend to obsess over Metroid games.
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Hope you are all having a fantastic week!

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06-24-17

Dress: Hell Bunny Mint Jolene Halter via Hot Topic
Sunglasses: Charming Charlie Backpacking Surf Rider Shades
Shoes: Dr. Scholl’s Mashup via Marshall’s (also available here)
Hair: Forever 21

diy pixel dress

I think this is the best garment I have ever made.

I still consider myself on the beginner side of intermediate when it comes to sewing, since I have followed commercial patterns and not much else.  But I felt as though my skills got a little more refined with this one, since I adapted a pattern, and had to deal with print matching (a new concept for me!).

It all started when I found this incredible pixel fabric, and knew it would be perfect for a dress to wear to PAX East (on our non-cosplay day).  For some reason, I see it as a floral print – but maybe I’m just imagining things? 🙂

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I used my favorite Simplicity 1419 pattern, but didn’t think the peter pan neckline would really go well with the pixels.  My first thought was to make a pixelated peter pan collar, but when I sewed one I couldn’t get it to lay flat or match up with the squares on the print.

My next idea was to do a pixelated v-neck, and was so happy when it actually worked out!

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Ahhhh…the way the pixels match up along the zipper seam makes me SOOOO happy! (This project made me and my perfectionism a bit crazy, but it was worth it!)

I’ll add some process photos to the end of the post, so keep scrolling if you want to see how it came together.

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Although I debuted this dress at PAX, I have worn it SO many times since.  It’s so comfy, cute, and just my style!

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I didn’t hesitate when selecting a purse. My amazing Jump From Paper bag was clearly the right choice:

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We took these pics in Harvard Square.  It was pretty crowded, so we had to really get our timing right to avoid having people in the background.  Dave would be like “Wait for it…wait for it…NOW!!” and then snap as many photos as possible before another group walked by.

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My pixel bow from ThinkGeek was another obvious selection.  I just adore how this whole outfit came together!

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05-20-17

Pixel Dress: made by me 🙂 (Simplicity 1419 pattern and Michael Miller geometric fabric via Cotton Candy Fabrics)
Purse Jump From Paper Cheese
Jacket:  Candie’s via Kohl’s
Belt: made by me 🙂
Hair: ThinkGeek Mini 8-Bit Hair Bows
Shoes:  B.A.I.T. Black Roni Heel via Modern Millie Shop
Sunglasses: Charming Charlie

Ok, and now a bit of info on sewing the dress…

Unfortunately, Simplicity 1419 is no longer available.  It’s such a bummer, since it is such a versatile pattern, and easy to sew with a great fit.  I have sewed it 4 times now, and know I will do more in the future.

When sewing it with the pixel fabric, I wanted to be conscious of the print, making sure to  match it up on all seams.  In order to do this, I had to make a few adjustments, starting with the darts.   To keep them symmetrical, I folded the fabric along one of the vertical lines in the print and marked the dart with a piece of masking tape (which I actually do on ALL darts when I sew, it makes it easier to keep a straight line!).  They didn’t end up in exactly the same place as indicated in the pattern, but it worked out beautifully.

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The neckline was a bit scary, since I had to veer farther away from the original pattern.  I started by sketching out the neckline I wanted on the back of the fabric with a pencil.  I originally intended to sew just outside of the pixels themselves (hope that makes sense…you can see below that my pencil marks don’t align perfectly with the pixels).

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Then, I interfaced a piece of black fabric to use as my facing and pinned it to the bodice.

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When it was time to sew, I changed my mind and did not follow my pencil marks. Instead, I followed the lines of the pixels.

(I actually totally regret doing this, and wish I stayed with the original plan – you’ll see why later in this post)
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Here’s how it looked before turning:

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I clipped my seams and turned it right-side out.

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Now, it’s impossible to avoid having a bit of bulk at the corners. This is why I wish I sewed juuust outside the lines.  The fabric on the inside prevented me from having the sharp look I was going for – you can kind of see it below:

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I’m sure not many people will notice that they are not perfect right angles, nor will they care…but it bothers me! lol.

I knew I wanted a full skirt, and that the pleated one in the pattern wouldn’t work well with the pixel print.  Since I needed the bottom hem to be cut straight across, I had to go with a gathered skirt.  Good thing they are easy to sew!

Below are the two back pieces, and the front piece.

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Since every good dress has pockets, I cut nice deep ones out of the same pixel fabric.  And you better believe I matched the pixels…because I’m crazy like that.

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Thanks for stopping by!