July 31, 2012

Nautical Maxi Dress

I've been forcing myself to make time to be creative.

Working 40 hours a week and applying for jobs keeps me busy, and it's easy to get bogged down in the day to day.

So last week I was looking through my fabric stash and I came across this lovely navy and white striped jersey that I'd bought in the garment district a few months ago. I had two yards of a 60" wide fabric, which was enough to make a maxi dress, which I decided I needed immediately.

This was so easy. Shirring is a bit time consuming, but I just put on some TV while I worked. And shirred jersey is very forgiving, so I didn't have any fit issues at all. The straps have some elastic in them too (since I didn't want to bother with adjustable straps) so the dress is pretty much one size fits all.

The contrast hem is my favorite part, which is funny because it was an accident. I cut the dress a bit too short at first, so I decided to lengthen it with stripes going in the other direction.

I think it turned out pretty well, don't you?

July 30, 2012

Tuxedo Blouse Refashion

A few months ago I was visiting home and came across a pile of clothes that my mom and brother were going to donate.

Sitting on top of that pile was a brand new crisp white man's button down shirt that just didn't fit my brother so he was giving it away.

My creative wheels started spinning and I knew I could make something out of it (it was enormous) so I snatched it up. As I should have known, it sat in my "To Do" pile for months.

Finally this summer I decided I needed a new simple white blouse and I got to work making this tent of a shirt into something cute I could actually wear.

I started by cutting off all the parts I didn't want anymore (collar, sleeves, pocket)

Then I decided I wanted the buttons in the back of the blouse, so I turned it around and started ironing pleats onto the front (what used to be the back of the shirt)

I sewed down one pleat and ironed in a new one.

And then sewed down the second, third and fourth pleats 
(about 1/2 inch each with the same amount of space in between them)

I decided on a total of five central tuxedo pleats. 
I also ended up scooping out the neckline, but I don't have a photo of it. 

I cut up the sleeves to make some bias tape to bind the neck and arm holes. 

Homemade bias tape is incredibly time consuming, but well worth it. 

Pinning the bias tape around the neckline.

And voila`! A finished tuxedo blouse,

with cute little buttons up the back! 

July 29, 2012

Weekly(ish) Photo Essay: The Epic Lobster Roll Adventure

Last Saturday my friend Will and I went on an epic Brooklyn Lobster Roll adventure.

We we hungry, so we started in the Mexican quarter for some sustenance (delicious Al Pastor tacos) for our upcoming long afternoon walk around Brooklyn Chinatown. 

In Chinatown we saw all sort of wonders. 


The longest green beans in the world!

Dr. Seuss gourds:

Some (live) humping frogs:


Back in Will's neighborhood (Bay Ridge), we found the friendliest grocer in town: 

Where we bought a tray of delicious figs:

We made a fig and cheese appetizer plate to snack on while we cooked:

First I whipped up some homemade mayonnaise in two different flavors, 
black pepper and cumin, and garlic and dill:

We infused some butter with asian herbs (thai basil, cilantro, lemon grass and pink pepper corn):

And chopped up some sweet potatoes to fry up:

Half way through the evening my roommate Amanda joined up with us, so while the water was boiling to blanch the potatoes, we took a little break and went to enjoy some prosecco on the roof to watch the sunset. 

The beautiful Verrazano Bridge:

Back downstairs, the lobsters came out of the freezer, ready to get steamed:

We had a little flambee drama while sauteeing green onions in cognac:

Our hefty steamed lobsters (Harold, Maude, and Sebastian--yes, we named them) waiting to get turned into delicious lobster salad:

Finally our meal came together! 
Herbed butter lobster salad on toasted potato rolls with a side of spiced sweet potato fries with two mayonnaises for dipping:

It was one of the best meals I've had in my entire life! 

All in all it was an epic day--we started grocery shopping around 4 and didn't eat until 10:30--but the company, the cooking, and the meal were all well worth it! 

July 27, 2012

Return of Fill in the Blank Friday!

Lauren, over at The Little Things We Do, was taking a little break from Fill in the Blank Fridays.

As a result, I was too.

But they're back!

Why not jump back on the Blank Bandwagon?

1. I am  a good balance of contrarian and reasonable, I think.
2. I have always     been very attracted to the ocean and living on the coast. I call it geographic claustrophobia (I don't like being landlocked)    .
3. I hope to  get a real job that I love (and that uses my degree) very soon. This whole post-grad in between thing is starting to grate on my last nerve. Although I can't complain about enjoying NY in the summer!
4. I can      not, for the life of me, whistle. I've always wanted to learn how and I just can't. It's infuriating .

5. I dream of   owning a rustic villa somewhere in the Tuscan countryside. I want to wake up and smell the lavender while overlooking a lemon grove, feasting on fresh figs and cheese .

6. The way to my heart is     a sharp wit and a clever sense of humor. Some people call it butterflies in the stomach, I call it Witty Banter as Foreplay .
7. I am passionate about    making the world a better place. I know it sounds corny--and idealistic--but I wouldn't have invested the last two years (and a lot of money) into getting a degree in Human Rights Advocacy if I didn't think it would make a difference.


Feel like filling in some blanks? You should, too!
Don't forget to link up!