Monday, December 30, 2013

Happy Week!

We had an amazing Christmas week last week! The week began with two very unexpected surprises.  First of all my brother and his wife who live in Houston came a few days early.  Because my brothers work is so demanding we had expected them to arrive late Christmas Eve, but instead they showed up at our doorstep Sunday night. He barged in the door singing "Happy Holidays" and we all jumped up and down for a while!  It was so much fun.  And then the next day we got another surprise!  My other brother and his wife, who live in New Jersey, had told us they would not be able to come home for Christmas.  But alas they showed up on Monday and surprised us all!!  Again we all jumped up and down for a while.. So SO so good to have almost everyone home (sans my little brother who is currently serving a two year church mission in Brazil).

You can see the video of my younger brother surprising us here.  Of course I'm crying.. of course the boys make fun of me for it ha!  Gotta love being the only girl in a family of boys.

I did make a few presents this year for Christmas.  My favorite being a knit jacket I made for my sister in law. I am still waiting to get pictures back of other presents I have made and sent out to friends/family!  Will post as soon as I get them!  Until then here are just a few pics from our wonderful Christmas week!

Christmas Eve dinner at Buca Di Peppo!  
                                 My beautiful sis in law!  The jacket fits her perfect thank goodness!

Our tradition.  Picture with the leg up.  Because lifes always a leg up with this girl!! Love my cuz!
I got to go feed the homeless with these amazing youth.  What a special memory for us all!

Dress I made and wore to a few holiday parties.

Checking out the Opryland Hotel with some amazing friends.
Never a dull moment in our house.  Of course we had a family boxing match.  This is my mom and her sister about to go at it!

Hope you all had a wonderful Christmas celebrating the life of our Savior Jesus Christ with those that you love!


Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Winter White.

When I was in high school if the weather channel even predicted that our little Nashville was getting snow the grocery aisles were empty and the schools were closed.  Usually to be followed by only a few fallen snowflakes and a lot of slush on the roads.  Snow days were the BEST tho few and far between!  So imagine my excitement as I am driving to work this am and a few snowflakes started to fall.. I was reluctant to be working on Christmas Eve, but that snow seemed like a little Christmas miracle.  Unfortunately snow doesn't have the same effect on work as it did school back in the day, but it put me back in the Christmas spirit.  It reminded me how beautiful this time of year is and how blessed we are to live in a city we love.  

So Merry Christmas Eve everyone!  And in honor of the few snowflakes in Nashville today (that have since come and gone), I wanted to show you a white dress that is one of my favorites.  It was made for a sweet bride to wear to her rehearsal dinner a few months ago.  I found the fabric in London and knew I had to save it for something special.  I am so glad that I could be a part of the weekend!  

Isn't she beautiful!

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Step back.

Taking a look back today on a dress that I made late this summer.  I know that everyone's hearts are set on scarfs and winter sweaters but sometimes in the midst of a winter storm its fun to step back and remember projects long past.  In August my sweet cousin got married, and so I of course had to make myself a dress to wear to the wedding.  She also asked that I make her a dress for her engagement pics, and for her rehearsal dinner.  We had so much fun designing dresses that were perfect for her cute frame!  I will blog about that next week!

For my dress I used McCalls M6754 pattern.  I only made a few alterations to the pattern.  The front bodice pattern is made up of two pieces.  Because I was using a lifted stretch fabric I opted to cut my front bodice pattern piece on the fold instead of two separate pieces to be sewn together.  

And because I was wearing it to a wedding, I added a few inches of length to the skirt portion of the dress.  In my experience the pattern fit true to size, and besides the few alterations I made, I honestly didn't have to do much to the fit of the dress. The fabric was a little difficult to work with.  I was constantly trying to make sure that the lifted pattern on the fabric was moving in the right direction.  I wanted the stripes to be vertical on the bodice and horizontal on the skirt and that did not make things easy!  But I love how this dress turned out, it was extremely comfortable to wear all day long at the wedding...and I am excited to get more use out of it soon!


Monday, December 16, 2013

Merry Christmas, Darling.

There is no busier time for a sewing enthusiast than Christmas time!  Every year I vow I will start my crafting early.. but every year I am of course, sewing down to the very last day.  Maybe its because I get too busy making Gala dresses....but I had to..I couldn't go to that Gala well.. in a store bought dress!!

Every year for work Cameron and I attend a big fancy Gala where there is usually an amazing band, incredible food and lots and lots and lots of dancing.  I call it prom for adults.  All the men wear tuxedos and the women.. well I'd be lying if I didn't mention that I pretty much go to see how incredible these dresses are!  This year I had been dreaming of making something runway carpet-ish.  And what looks better on the runway than gold right??

I started with a very basic pattern and let the inner designer within me run wild by adding length, and then a panel on the bottom that was cut on the bias.  And let me tell you, the thin stretch fabric that I used allowed for lots and lots and lots of dancing!   

My handsome date!


Monday, December 9, 2013

Sewing Ugly

We take Christmas very very seriously!  As you can tell..

 We had an ugly sweater Christmas party last weekend and I had the hardest time finding an ugly sweater!  Who knew it could be so hard to find tacky clothing!  So an hour before the party started I had the crazy idea that I would just make us some.  I used old black t-shirts that we had already had, colored felt and trim from hobby lobby.. and there you have it.. Ugly Christmas sweaters to be worn for years!!

Car salesman or Christmas enthusiast?  We'll never know......
Just had to add this picture in..Cameron is obsessed with his Christmas blazer.  He is only allowed to wear it in December or for Valentines day.. and that man NEVER EVER forgets to bring it out the very first day of the month!  So Merry Christmas from this guy!


Friday, November 22, 2013

Pencils and Gold.

Sometimes you just need a pencil skirt.  And it needs to be in gold.  After finishing some orders for a few clients this past month, I had this amazing brocade fabric left over. I had dreams of this bomb gold skirt that I could wear throughout the holidays.  And this is what came out of those dreams.  Cameron and I had way too much fun taking these pics!  Happy Thanksgiving everyone!  Here's to hoping I still fit in the skirt after next week:)

Don't know what that means.. but we thought the wall was too cool to pass up!

Still loving exposed zippers..

He makes my pics look SO much better!

Gotta take one of those hipster we're together but we are so angry right now pics. 


Saturday, November 2, 2013

Voting time my friends!

I know I am a few days late but HAPPY HALLOWEEN! Sometimes I feel like we should celebrate this holiday every six months.  Once a year just doesn't seem to be enough.  Every year I spend months just thinking about what I should be for Halloween.  With my new-found love for sewing I knew this year my costume would HAVE to be home-sewn.  And because I am an avid Project Runway fan I also wanted to do something a little outside of the box.. call it my "Unconventional Challenge" costume.  So I got on Ebay...Ordered the game Twister, and decided to make myself a dress with the actual Twister mat!  It was so much fun to make!  Definitely not the easiest material to sew on.  I quickly learned that you CANNOT back-stitch on a Twister mat!  But I had a blast creating it and I love how it turned out.  I added a bright red zipper down the back, and used matching blue bias tape to finish off the edges.  Check it out and let me know what you think!

Since Halloween, my Twister dress has been entered into BurdaStyle's costume contest!  And it is currently in 3rd place!  How exciting!  So if you like how my costume turned out will you do me a favor and vote for my dress?!  Just click HERE to vote! You can vote once from each device.  So vote from your phone, your computer, your ipad, etc etc etc!!  The grand prize is a new BabyLock sewing machine (goodness gracious I could use one of those!).  After you vote let me know by leaving a comment below or on my instagram account @bybrookedesigns.. If I win I will be randomly selecting one of you to receive a FREE #byBrooke design!  So get those votes in!  Contest goes until Wednesday November 6th.  I've got some stiff competition so every vote counts!