3/13/15

Do you like Boden???

 
  

   I have never ordered from Bodenusa.com until recently...
Big NO-NO!
Now I can't stop ordering!

I ordered the Apple print dress above and a darling cropped cardi to match in the blue. The cropped cardigans are a dream come true.  They are the perfect length for dresses and full skirts.  The price is right and the colors are dreamy.
Then I just had to have these darling shoes!  Mid heel, polka dots and bows!  What a perfect shoe...T-strap too!


For good measure I had to get three of these darling Fifties Cardigans in wonderful yummy colors!

I could say that I wish I didn't start this spree but it would totally be untrue.  I am so excited to find some more darling clothes options.  Oh I also ordered these skirts....

I was able to get the longer length which makes them tea length on me.  I am so excited to have some beautiful long silk skirts to wear this spring and summer.  There is a pink one too but I am trying to restrain.  
Do you like Boden?

xoxo,
Sandee




3/2/15

New Gathered Striped Anne skirts in the shop today!





    I added some new striped Anne skirts to the sandeeroyalty.com shop today!  The Anne is a simple gathered waist skirt that is fun and flirty while still looking classic.  I am really happy to have some new spring colors to look at in the studio.  I am also happy that my new Orla Kiely shoes came in the mail from Clarks so I could wear them for the photo shoot.  Yay, all around!

xoxo,
Sandee


2/27/15

Questions to ask when doing a closet clean-out

This is my closet right after a clean out a few years ago.  
 
       When cleaning out the closet for a change in season or a change in your life, there are lots of questions you should ask yourself while sorting through the heaps of clothing.  I have found it very helpful to enlist the assistance of a close friend when you find yourself with too many things and not enough space for them.  It is hard to part with some things that you love but never wear or things that may not be as fresh as they should be.  A friend can be a voice of reason in the process and help you see yourself the way others see you.  I have also asked myself a few hard questions that help in organizing my closet.

1. What are my lifestyle categories?

This question is great because if you are like me, you tend to accumulate clothing in one particular category.  I love dressy clothes!  The problem is that the only place I can wear them is to church and the occasional dressy dinner.  When they take up half of my closet, this is not a good use of space.  I had a lifestyle change when my daughter left for college and I am home sewing most of the time instead of out and about shopping and lunching.  The category of cute housewife clothes should be my largest group of clothes.  I need to reduce the amount of dressy things and focus on those comfortable/cute outfits.  If you have large amounts of work out clothes but never go to the gym, they need to be culled down to just the best things. If you decide to start working out again, you have something cute to wear but the mounds of yoga pants won't take up room in your closet that you need for everyday clothes.  Some different categories could be: Work, Shopping, Exercise, Church, Dinner, Weekend comfy clothes and Formal-wear. 


2. Does this fit me well?

Fit is an important question because if an item doesn't fit, it should not be in the closet.  Keeping it in storage is an option if you are in love with it and want to fit in it again someday.  Alterations are also possible on some favorite things that you may really love.


3. Does this look fresh?

I have the biggest problem with this question when it comes to my favorite cardigan sweaters!  They usually only last one season because they get pill-y and washed out. I hate to part with one of my best cardigans but putting a worn out sweater over a lovely new dress is not a good choice even if it is the best color ever.   Double check your clothes for stains, worn places and faded color.  Remove those things from your closet to keep your wardrobe fresh as a daisy.


4. What organization method will I use?

This question is more advanced and more for someone who has good "closet control" and is ready for some fine tuning.  For fun in the closet, I sort my clothes into color capsules for each season or sometimes each month.  It really makes getting dressed like going to the store each morning.  If you notice in the shops, they have groups of clothing that go together all displayed together.  It looks so inspiring!  I do this in my closet so I will like my clothes more and have an easier time making outfits.  You can group things in color capsules like I do or you can group them into themes like preppy, nautical, floral, sporty etc...  You could also put all the polka dots together, all the stripes and florals and then solids by color.  You can just group everything by colors which is the easiest way to organize.  I usually keep the types (skirt, sweater, shirt etc) together no matter what method I use.  The key to a great closet is not to have too much in it so you can manage everything well.  If you squeeze everything in you will feel cramped and yucky when you are looking in you closet for what to wear for the day.

There are more questions you can ask yourself but these are my favorite and most used.  I hope that this info. inspires you to tackle your closet and get it ready for spring!

Never miss a chance to be charming!
xoxo,
Sandee

1/19/15

The 60's Smock Dress

This is my newest favorite pattern Simplicity 6386 from 1966!  The 1960's smock dress.  I am going to run it into the ground just like my shift dress pattern.  I love the many options that you can use for the trim and color blocking on this dress.  The sleeves are great too!  I am planning several dresses using this pattern that you will see very soon!


I just finished this new smock dress last night and wore it out to a church event.  I used a tiny corduroy from my local Joann Fabric's  that was super soft and cozy. I added contrast color yoke and pocket because the print needed to be toned down a little in my opinion.  I am hooked on this style now.  It is super loose and free with a cute classic look.  The peter pan collar makes it so fresh and fun.   I used to wear dresses like this in the 80's in high school and college.  Laura Ashley was one of my favorites.  This totally reminded me of one of her dresses with a 60's twist.  I opted for a shorter length to give a younger look and keep it from being a mumu.  I have nothing against mumus though. :)

    Etsy is a great source for vintage patterns and I have acquired quite a few recently.  I have had to stop acquiring until I sew some of them so that will be my project over the next month.   I will share my finds as I make them to challenge me to use the patterns that I have before purchasing more.  I am also going to use the fabric stash that I have because I am starting to remind myself of my mother who has enough fabric in her stash to open a fabric shop!

xoxo,
Sandee





1/14/15

The Amazing 1960's style shift dress


Jackie O via luck mag
    It is an iconic style that is comfortable and versatile: The 1960's Shift dress.   I am singing it's praises from the rooftops.  I have been pinning and planning a wardrobe of shift dresses for the spring and late winter.  I need some dresses to wear while sewing in comfort and cuteness.  The shift dress fits the bill without being too fitted on me!


Dress
André Courrèges, 1968
The Metropolitan Museum of Art

 This vintage sewing pattern (Simplicity 8636) is an example of the different ways you can embellish a shift dress with trim.  I prefer making my dresses sleeveless and wearing them as a pinafore in the winter with a shirt underneath and leggings.  In the summer, I just throw on a cardi to keep warm in the air-conditioning. It is easier to make too!
There are so many different ways to change up a shift!

This is the Daisy shift dress in black denim that I embellished with white bias binding and a circle pocket trimmed in white bias.  I wore it with a t-neck and boots but it will look just a cute in the summer with sandals.  I blogged about the Daisy dress the other day.  It is a super shift dress pattern that I made using my regular Anne Dress bodice pattern and enlarged it at the bust and extended it to flare at the hip. It took several trys but now I have a working pattern that you will see many many dresses made in.
This was the inspiration for the black circle pocket dress!  Isn't it darling???



I am playing around with the dress front to come up with some valentine's day themed dresses.  I have some LOVE buttons that I want to use and I am playing puzzle to see where they should go.  


This is my next project!  I am appliqueing the LOVE to the bottom of the shift and adding a faux placket with my favorite rhinestone buttons.  The fabric is a tealish denim that I love to see with the red.  It is really different.  I will post on the finished dress when it is done.   


 Do you love the shift dress as much as me?  It really is a great dress for getting older too because as my waist gets larger, the dress will still fit me!  Yay!

xoxo,
Sandee

1/9/15

The Daisy Dress- A simple shift to embellish with fun!


This is my newest creation: The Daisy dress, inspired from a dress I saw on instagram with daisies all over it!  I have more planned but the others won't have a daisy on the pocket.  The possibilities are endless! I just wanted a simple denim shift dress without facings (bias binding instead) that I can throw on anytime and look charming. It closes with a back zipper which I made an invisible zip.  The bright green denim was from Joann Fabrics.This Green denim Daisy dress was just screaming for a daisy pocket so I obliged.

This little pocket has an applique that I made by drawing a daisy shape that would fit in the rectangle shape of the pocket.  I wanted it to take up most of the space instead of just being in the middle.  More bang for my buck.  I ironed it on to wonder under and zig-zagged it to the pocket before sewing it on the dress.  I added the center circle after the petals.  I really wanted two pockets but there wasn't enough fabric left over for a second pocket.  Next time it is in red denim and I am planning on two pockets.

I found this kate spade necklace in my closet after taking my little selfie so I am wearing it with the Daisy dress.  Like Kathleen Kelly from You've Got Mail, Daisies are my favorite flower.  I really like anything with the daisy shape like sunflowers, purple coneflowers, mums etc... I am not picky.
    I am hoping to post more of my sewing projects this year, mainly to have somewhere to document what I have made.  I love looking back at things later on.  Instagram is great for that. It is fun to look at your picture feed from the year before to see what you wore or did or ate. :) Blogs require more attention but the return is great so I will give it a try.

xoxo,
Sandee

1/8/15

New Sewing Studio Tour 2015



I am super excited about my new sewing studio!  I have lots of room and storage for all of my projects.  I was able to move everything over the holiday and am ready for a reveal!

Oliver the cat loves my Ikea desk chair.  It is really comfortable because I can lean back and relax vs. a standard chair that keeps me upright.  I have found that being able to relax my muscles and change position really helps when sewing for hours on end.  The gold and white art is from the cover of a notebook that I framed.  I loved it and used up the notebook so framing allowed me to keep enjoying it.

Olivia the poodle has lots of space to stretch out in the new space.  The chandelier was an anniversary gift from my husband and he moved it from my other studio to this room.  It gives so much light!  The cutting table is from Ikea.  I have it marked with tape so I can see 1 yard easily without having to get out the tape-measure. The light up question mark is from Target as are the striped baskets.  Those are from my other space also.  The chevron mannequin is from Hobby Lobby.

The garment rack is from Ross but they sell the same on at Target.  It is the cheap one ($20) but my husband sprayed it gold on the black parts to make it more glam for me.  I also have my all in one touchscreen computer handy for office tasks and internet breaks.

The 2 desks side by side are from Ikea here . $69 freaking dollars each which was amazing!  They even have 2 drawers.  The overlocker doesn't make it shake like crazy either. I have plans to paint the bottom of the white office chair gold where it is sliver (pinterest inspiration) and get a second one for the computer.  It can be found at Ikea here . At $149 a pop, I decided to use my funds on fabric instead of getting a second chair right away.  I made a gallery wall with random gold and white prints including a $1 card from the Target dollar section.  The square prints at the top are vintage butterflies.  It looks much better in person.  The orderly squares at the top echo the desks and then I filled in randomly with the prints of white and gold in white frames.  I will be hopefully be adding another one above the monitor but haven't found the right thing yet.  

The chair is for contemplating.... it is from Ikea and the golden gem of a footstool/cube is from Ross for $12. I put a hide rug underneath the chair because someday I am putting in wood flooring and I wanted to be ready.  The little turquoise cart in the background is from Ikea also.  I love it because I can keep all my necessaries close at hand.



The studio room, which overlooks my family room, has a little wet bar and a bathroom attached.  I am using the bar for mailing supplies and sewing notions.  I got an over-the-door ironing board from Target to put on the bathroom door.  I had a wonderful ironing board but it usually served as a catch-all so this new one won't allow me to put things all over it.  I hope...

This is another view from the window area.  You can see that the room looks into the family room downstairs.  I really like this because it makes the space even larger.  I am not closed off from the rest of the world either.  This shelving unit is from Ikea.  It is the billy bookcase with doors and Lack shelving across the middle.  I would have preferred all white but I already had these and that meant that they were "free".  At least the doors are white.  

Here is another view of the little wet bar which I am calling the "nook".  I haven't really found its full potential yet but I have time to grow into it.  I do want a Kureg pot for tea/coffee and some mugs.  It has a small sink so that will be just perfect.

This mega urn is holding my large bolts of fabric to get them off the floor.  It isn't the final plan but I needed something for them and it held my Christmas tree.  My husband didn't know where to store it so I took it for my fabric.  I may paint it white but I don't know if I want it white for my Christmas decor so I will decide later.  I have a little globe on the counter where I stick stars when I mail something to other countries.  It is fun to see how many places they are wearing Sandee Royalty skirts.  

I have two shelving units for bolts of fabric that I use often to grab easily when filling orders.  I just took the shelves out of some cheap shelves from Target and they are just the right size for a large bolt of 60" fabric. I am planning on painting the black frame with my logo print tonight.  I want it to be white like the other frames.  It has been too cold for spray painting so I have had to wait a bit. 

This is where I secretly store my personal sewing fabric.  I have some on large bolts and the rest on small cardboard bolts that I made by cutting pieces of cardboard to fit the shelf.  Patterns are in the baskets on the top shelf. I am not allowing myself to have more than fits in the shelves (unless it is stored in the attic...)

I LOVE my pin board!  It is the huge chalkboard that I had in the family room, with white canvas over it.  The tissue paper flowers are from Target and I make the flag banners by sewing scrapbook paper on a strip of bias binding.  I haven't really put anything on it yet because I am just moving in.  The creative juices have all been used in making the room, not in planning and designing outfits.  Now that I am all set up...let the creativity begin!
    I hope that you liked my sewing studio tour.  I am so thankful for the wonderful space and that my husband allowed me to move everything around.  He is amazing.  This room was the media room upstairs and now the television is downstairs in the family room.  It is so much better for the empty nest that we have now.  We are enjoying it lots.  I will post a photo of the room when it is all finished.  I am still tweaking it a little to get the look that I want.  I want it to be comfortable but still a bit formal.  What would I do without pinterest???


xoxo,
Sandee

1/7/15

Tilly and the Buttons Francoise dress with kitty cat pockets




   I have been working on a new dress for the entire holiday season.  It kept getting placed on the back burner because of all of the holiday orders for skirts from my Sandee Royalty shop.  I finally finished and wore it to church on Sunday.  It really isn't a church dress but I don't hold to convention.  I just had to wear it because I had worked so hard and long on it.  The pattern is one of my new favorites from Tilly and the Buttons.  It is the Francoise dress and available for download.  Isn't Tilly just darling?

tilly and the buttons francoise dress pattern download



Francoise dress under construction at 2 am.  Olivia is sleepy because mommy won't go to bed.  I chose to make the sleeves with a heavy knit because the gold metallic fabric was heavy and itchy.  I am so happy that I did because the dress was much more comfortable and I like the lines of the contrast fabric.  I didn't put a collar on because I didn't want to distract from the amazing pockets.


These are the kitty cat pockets that I made by drawing a circle and adding ears.  The stitching is a decorative stitch on my Janome sewing machine.  I  sewed a button on for the nose, lined them and then sewed them directly to the dress with a top stitch.  There was much debate on whether to add eyes to the kitties and I chose to keep the pockets eyeless.  It makes them more "mature" without eyes says my daughter. Her big question is "what would Orla Kiely do?"  Definitely eyeless.  :)



I highly recommend the Francoise pattern if you are looking for a super versatile shift dress with a 60's flair.  I have several more planned and am excited to try some new embellishments on them. Being able to use a contrast fabric on the sleeve opens a new door for fun and games when planning new outfits. 

xoxo,
Sandee

#LillyforTarget Lilly Pulitzer is coming to Target in April


  am so excited that Lilly is coming to Target on April 19th! There will be over 250 pieces and lots of options for home, beauty, accessories and apparel.  I am going to have a Lilly Summer this year with all my new Target stuff.  I will have to save up my $$ to purchase everything that I can.  The next thing I want to see is kate spade new york for Target.  It would be amazing to see around the Holidays.  I would go bonkers.




photos via target.com


12/13/14

#SewingFrancoise New Dress Pattern from Tilly and the Buttons!

#sewingfrancoise
    Yay! I just finished my new Francoise dress pattern from Tilly and the Buttons.  I have already started a second one because I love the pattern so much!  I used a black stretch sateen and modified the collar using a vintage 60's pattern that I have had in my stash.  For flair I added a red velvet heart pocket.




I didn't follow any of Tilly's directions and the dress still went together very smoothly; which is saying a lot because I was up until 2 a.m. sewing.  I ended up having to do surgery on the dress in the morning to get the perfect fit because I had to go to sleep before I could get the top portion small enough.  I made a size 4 but ended up on my second Francoise doing a 2 on top and 4 on the bottom.  The surgery that I had to do was to cut the entire dress down the middle and make it smaller just on the top.  It still looks great and I was able to get the right fit that I needed.  The second time I was able to get a perfect fit the first try because I knew that I needed to cut the top part of the pattern smaller.



 I almost finished Francoise number 2 and have the fabric ready for number 3.  I am trying one that is collarless with knit sleeves and a heavier fabric for my Christmas dress.  I am putting on some darling cat pockets for charm.

kitty cat pockets!!  Meow!

Olivia the poodle was taking a nap while the sewing was going on.  She loves when I sit in one place for  a long time so she can catch some ZZZZs.


I would already be finished with Francoise #2 but my Sandee Royalty shop on Etsy is super busy and I am sewing skirts for everyone to wear to their holiday parties.  I am going to be finished working on the 16th so then I will be able to concentrate on my own sewing projects. I am so excited!

Never miss a chance to be charming!
xoxo.
Sandee