Wining Wife®

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Wear to Where Blog Tour Spring 2016: Baseball Game – PART I

13267892_10103408594825749_4565655765334352388_nSo, I really, really want to share with you what I made for the Wear to Where Blog Tour Spring 2016 edition! I’m super proud of myself, because my jeans skirt has turned out awesome. Like really awesome. As in I was worried about whether it would fit, whether I could pull off sewing with denim, and whether I could sew a zipper fly that looked good. Well, there was no reason to worry. It came out great, and was made of the dark fabric that you can see over to the right, behind the tank top. 

Courtesy of Kake-TV news, Abeline, KS

Courtesy of Kake-TV news, Abeline, KS

BUT, after I got my brilliant outfit made (and made a second one to boot, because come on, we’re a baseball household), the weather in Kansas decided to do THIS every time my husband was home to take pictures! (See the photo to the left). Now, mind you, the tornado wasn’t here in Wichita, but we’ve had lots of severe thunderstorms in our area over the past few days, including today. Considering I’m not interested in becoming a piece of lightning toast, I decided to stay inside. Since we’re still under a severe thunderstorm warning, it’s looking like I’m going to have to wait to have photos done tomorrow morning…before more storms come in.

Courtesy of Kake-TV, near Scott City, KS

Courtesy of Kake-TV, near Scott City, KS

So, yes. No beautiful pictures of my work for you. BUT, I’ve made a second outfit as well. I’ll be taking some fun photos…in fact, I’ll be mixing and matching the two outfits for “sports bar afterparty as well.” Seriously.  I really want to share. I’ve got this great denim skirt (Style Arc’s Sally Skirt), tank top, and shirt to share, and now a second skirt and second shirt to share. I’d love to photograph the pieces to share, but I’m afraid that flash photography will not do the pieces justice. I’ve tried. I will leave you with the above teaser, and the promise that I will have the photos and the write-up of the pieces tomorrow. 

In_varsity_uniformMeanwhile, I’ve got to talk my teenager into letting me use his baseball bat, cap, and mitt for pictures. I think that it can be arranged ! (There he is in his varsity uniform)

(And don’t worry, we’re safe, just soaked.)

While you’re waiting to see my photos, please check out the posts from the other very talented ladies on the tour. Jess at Gracious Threads has made a tailgating outfit that I envy. I mean, seriously, her shorts are AWESOME. The detail on them though!  And the jacket in scuba knit is also very well done!

 

Build Confidence in Yourself

How to build confidence in yourself Wining WifeLast year, I wrote the post, “Please, Keep Your Insecurities to Yourself” after someone who called herself a friend suggested I go on a diet following my posting of pictures of myself on my Facebook page. Mind you, I wasn’t posting the pictures and saying, “Hey, help me lose weight!” I was posting the pictures and saying, “Hey, check out what I made myself, and by the way, I think I look pretty flippin’ awesome.” That kind of feedback can make it rough to build confidence.

Well, a year has passed. I had a lot of great reactions to that post. Lots of women added me as their friends, thanked me for saying the words I said over there, and said they thought I had courage. A lot of women also said, “I wish I had that sort of confidence.” I’ve done a lot of thinking about how to respond to people who would like to build confidence. Continue reading

Pinko de Mayo: La Valentina 2014 Rosé Paired with Chicken Pesto Pasta Bake

2014 La Valentina RoséIn honor of May being the month of Rosé wines, I figured I’d pick up three wines available for under $15 to pair with food and write about. These are wines you don’t need to cellar, but you can if you’d like. It’s nice, though to have wine on hand you can open up and drink at dinner on a Friday evening. And open up and enjoy is what we did. The first of the wines I paired up was the 2014 La Valentina Rosé, Cerasuolo d’Abruzzo, and I paired it with a chicken pesto pasta macaroni and cheese dish. Believe me when I say it, this is not your average mac and cheese. You can find the recipe at the end of this post. 

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Gracious Threads Wild Rose Dress and Jumper (and Giveaway!)

Gracious Threads WIld Rose DressYesterday, Gracious Threads came out with a great dress and jumper pattern. I was able to test the pattern on my Little Miss, and let me tell you, it turned out super-cute. I got some great fabric for it while at Hancock Fabrics closing sale (yes, let’s take a moment of silence here for a wonderful store with beautiful fabric. I really should have picked up more of the anchors fabric I used the other day for my swimsuit, since so many people liked it. I digress.)

Before I get into talking about the project, I actually have some news for you before I get into my review of the pattern. In the future, my posts about pattern tests will mostly appear on the blog at my new handmade business website (though, you can still catch some of my favorites here). Have you checked it out? If not, I suggest you cruise over to Ronda B. Handmade to see what’s going on. I’m still in the process of uploading products, and I’m planning a launch party complete with prizes and a discount code. Follow my page on Facebook for more updates on that project. 

Well, after parenthetical asides, let me tell you about the Gracious Threads’ Wild Rose Dress and Jumper.  I tested the maxi-length dress. I really want to go back and make my little gal the jumper version of this as well, because it is so cute. I’ve enjoyed seeing other testers’ makes with this one. 

2016-05-12 07.02.09-1As you can see from the photograph to the right, the option I made has ruffle sleeves. All the options have a v-neck with placket and buttons or snaps (they can be just decorative on the dress version) and paperbag waist styling with a bias tape elastic enclosure. The bodice is made from a knit, flutter sleeves can be knit or woven, and the skirt or pants are made with a woven fabric. Because I’ve been particularly into birds, I *just had to* get this super-cute woven fabric for this dress. As another aside, I’m planning to use this same fabric for a camisole and a tank.

This dress makes a great addition to a summer wardrobe. It is really quick to sew up, and you can dress it up or down as much as you’d like.  

If you’d like to win a copy of the pattern for this dress (and the jumper) please enter the Rafflecopter giveaway below. I will choose a winner on Monday, May 23.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Peekaboo Patterns Blouson Top (Bahama Mama Swimwear)

2016-05-11 18.44.49While not part of my capsule wardrobe, this swimsuit is a great addition to my clothing collection. Not only is the top a great swimsuit top, but it also will be a nice top for the summer.  When I had the opportunity to test Peekaboo Patterns’ latest addition to their Bahama Mama collection, I jumped at it. I found the fabric at Hancock Fabrics’ closing sale, so it was waiting and ready to go.  Continue reading

The Capsule Wardrobe in a Week-ish Challenge

Back in February, before we moved, while I was packing, Becca DuVal of Free Notion proposed a challenge: Create a capsule wardrobe in a week. I thought this was a brilliant idea, but because my fabric needed to be going into, rather than coming out of, boxes, I had to put off participation. That didn’t stop me from thinking about how I would put together a “wardrobe Sudoku,” though. (In fact, I created a few of these).

I should probably also mention that I have very little to wear. I’m in an awkward place where clothes are too big, in disrepair, or in the case of one pair of pants, just tight enough to where I don’t quite fit back in them. So, clothes are in order. I’ve made a lot of fun things, and I should do some basics sewing soon, but I also would benefit from ready-to go outfits. Enter the wardrobe Sudoku.

Each row across, column down, and diagonal set makes an outfit. By setting up a wardrobe plan this way, it helps me to be absolutely sure that everything I make in this challenge will be interchangeable. That’s a pretty neat perk. I hopped on Polyvore, and I started with “casual.” I’m in desperate need of things i can wear when we head out of the house. I’ve also put together ideas for a workout wardrobe, a business casual wardrobe (for when I need to meet with clients), and a super casual wardrobe – for toddler and infant wrangling and working from home. It’s pretty sad that the t-shirt I’m wearing right now is barely held together by threads…but one might expect that to be the case when a shirt is nearly 25 years old.

All of that said, here’s my casual plan. I also put together a “spring/summer” casual plan, which I’ll share in a moment.

 

Soduko Capsule - 1

 

It looks pretty cool, right? Here’s an example of how the pieces might work together:
Capsule Wardrobe Outfits 1-4

 

And:  
 
Capsule Wardrobe Outfits 5-8

 

 
You get the idea. So the plan, then, isn’t to buy all these pieces, but instead, to use what I have in my and available to me to make the wardrobe. While the original challenge was to make a wardrobe in a week, I’m realistic. I have two small people who need a lot of love and attention right now, and my completion schedule is pretty dependent on their moods. However, I want to try to get this done soon. Here are the patterns I plan to use (starting at the top left):
 
The check wrap style shirt: Originally, I was thinking I’d use McCall’s 6991 for this, but it looks like there may be a new pattern coming out soon that looks much more like the French Connection shirt. I have to check my stash for fabric, but I’m pretty sure I have a similar check fabric in my stash.
French Connection t shirt
The button-front skirt also presents an interesting challenge. I actually have a vintage pattern in my stash, Simplicity 9822, that looks like this skirt. However, I need to grade that pattern up since it’s a vintage size 8, and I’m so not even a modern size 8. Frankly, I’m not looking forward to that project. It’s not that I can’t do it, it’s just that with limited time, I’d rather spend my time doing other things that are more conducive to a finished result. Thus, I’m thinking I’ll use McCall’s 7392 for the job. I have some green fine-wale corduroy for it.
 
 For the cardigan, I have some burgundy sweater knit in my stash, and I have some red sweater knit. I will most likely use the Patterns for Pirates’ Grandpa Cardi (affiliate link) for it. If I can find some really awesome skull sweater knit, I will use that instead…because skulls. If not, I’ll be on the lookout, because I must make a sweater using skull sweater knit fabric at some point!
 
Moving down to the next row, I will bead a necklace to match the one in the squares. Then, we come to the jeans. For those, I plan on using the Winter Wear Designs Real Deal Jeans pattern.  I have some denim fabric ready and waiting for me to use it to make some pants. I’ll be honest, I’m a little nervous about making jeans!
 
Then, we have a classic raglan shirt. I’m going to use the Patterns for Pirates’ Slim Fit Raglan (affiliate link) pattern for that.  That should be a quick and easy sew. 
 
Going down a row, to the cowl infinity scarf, I’m planning to crochet that based upon a pattern in the book, Crochet Red: Crocheting for Women’s Heart Health (affiliate link). I first have to figure out where I hid that book from myself, and the red yarn, after our move. But that will be a lot of fun, I’m looking forward to doing that while we watch Gilmore Girls before bed.
 
Rag & Bone palm tree print topNext is this gorgeous tank top. To replicate this, I’m going to pull some black silky fabric from my stash and use SisBoom’s Tortola Tank top. I’m actually planning to make a couple of these in other colors as well. I think the tank will make some good summer wear. Plus, it’s a pretty easy pattern to make. 
 
For the pencil skirt, I’ll use some black knit and Love Notions’ Sybil Illusion Skirt (affiliate link) pattern. I also will make a gray version of this skirt as well as a red version. I think though instead of a pencil skirt for the gray version, I’ll do an A-line skirt. I’ve already got the pencil skirt cut out. 
 
Speaking of Love Notions, I’m using the Sabrina Slims Pants pattern for the red pants. I found some great red stretchy fabric that’s nice and thick for pants at Hancocks’ closing sale. 
 
The striped bateau top will be made from black and white fabric in my stash and Tessuti’s Brigette pattern. I’ve got this pattern printed off, and almost ready to go.
 

Finally, for the chambray button down shirt, I’ll use some chambray fabric I have in my stash with the Hey June Cheyenne Pattern (affiliate link). I’m really excited about this one. I purchased the pattern back in December thinking I’d participate in a blog tour, and then it was time to have little guy. So I’ll finally get to sew this up.

I hope to have progress updates for you! I have a couple of things on my sewing agenda I must attend to first (a dress pattern test, and a couple other little things), but if I can get the tanks and pencil skirts done this week, I’ll be happy.

Have you tried to sew an entire wardrobe for yourself? How did that go? How did you plan it? Post your thoughts in the comments.  

 

I Didn’t Taste 24 Rosé Wines… Yeah, I Tasted 24 Rosé Wines

Pinko de Mayo Rosé Wines Tasting Notes By WiningWife.comIf my title didn’t make you flinch and feel taken aback, well, you must think that I’m pulling your leg. I’m not! We’re lucky to have a great wine and spirits store here that does free tastings, and in honor of Cinco de Mayo, they put on an event called “Pinko de Mayo 2016.” They offered 24 different rosé wines that fit into one of four categories: Bubbles and Sweet, Domestic, France, and Italy, Spain, Austria, Argentina. 

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Bella Sunshine Designs Vintage Grace Flutter Dress

Bella Sunshine Designs Vintage Grace Flutter Dress It’s no secret that I love how Bella Sunshine Designs’ patterns come out when sewn up. I’ve made a lot of the patterns as a tester (Bow Tie Leggings 1 and 2, Kelly’s Twirly Skirts, Coffee Shop Lace Dress, and Sweet Lilly Pintuck Dress), and I’m always impressed with the details in the patterns. So, when I had the opportunity to test the newest pattern, the Vintage Grace Flutter Dress (and top), I jumped at the chance. In exchange for honest feedback about fit and photographs, I was provided with the various versions of the pattern. I first made the top and leggings, and then I made the dress for my little gal (I promise, I’ll get around to making little guy some clothes soon!). 

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2007 Sebastiani Barbera and Orzo with Red Pepper Meatballs

2007 Sebastiani Barbera and PastaToday, my teenager played baseball, and we went to see him. It was the second game he was in, and he made it on base. Unfortunately, he didn’t get to make it all the way home before the last out of the game was called. (In his first game, he got on base, stole second, and ran in to score a run for his team.) We enjoy spending time watching him participate in his various sports (he also runs cross-country and was on his bowling team this year), but sometimes that means we get home a little later than dinner time. What happens when you want to have a home cooked meal, but it’s a little later and you don’t want to make everything from scratch? You cheat a little bit. 

I have a recipe for  you and notes on this great wine, but first, some pictures from the game!

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The Solis Dress by Sofilantjes

2016-04-24 12.19.47So we’ve all had some sort of flu/cold/plague (HAH) thing this week, and I’d planned to get this post up before now.  I love this dress! Sofilantjes (you’ve seen my Liv Skirt, Otium Top, Iridis Dresses, and Brueram Dresses) has come out with this new pattern – the Solis Dress (affiliate link). There are three different versions of the dress – a circle skirt, a pleated skirt, and a pleated tunic-length skirt. Marie-claude Bélanger wrote a post on how to make a peplum top on her blog, MCB Creations

2016-04-24 12.23.30I received the pattern in exchange for honest feedback during the pattern testing process. My little gal is thin and tall, so I made the size 12 months width while blending the pattern to the size 2y length. The best part of this pattern is the little back detail you can see to the left. I decided to use a stretch lace for the T-bar accent, both to make it stand out, and to add a little something extra. 

The dress is knit, and fully lined. I used a cotton jersey to line vintage knit fabric. I found this fabric while out and about, saw it, and thought, “This is the perfect fabric for making the Sofilantjes dress!” 

It sews up pretty quickly. You do need to be comfortable sewing with knits, and it helps if you have hemmed a curve before. You can either finish with a rolled hem, a blind hem, or do what I did and use bias tape for the hem. It made the dress kind of flare out in a cute way. It took me a few hours to make the dress, including with a few interruptions from two very very cute little ones. 

It would be a great pattern to use with knit panels. It’s also nice for fabrics you want to showcase. There were some really great versions of this dress that came out during testing.  I’ve got to think of another fabric I want to use (which will probably happen when I unpack my fabric). 

After I made the dress and put it on my gal for pictures, she needed to wear it for nearly 3 days straight. I’m taking that as a sign of success. You can purchase the pattern for the dress at Sofilantjes (affiliate link) for $8.95

Be on the lookout at Ronda B. Handmade, as I will be offering the ability to order a custom version of this dress to fit your little gal soon!

In the meantime, here are more photos. 

 

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