Sewing and lifestyle blog of a wannabe "full-time vixen"

Tag Archives: sewing

Now why is it I have a blog again?

Hello again to the world wide web! But honestly mostly to friends and families reading this post from a link I posted on Facebook. I’ll try not to ramble but it’s going to be difficult since I have a lot of thoughts swirling around in my head. I just need to word vomit this into the void, even if no one reads it. I will make a separate post with an update on how I have become a professional seamstress and costumer in the film industry.

To keep everyone who is actually going to read this from becoming too bored, I will pepper this post with images of sewing or knitting projects I have yet to blog about.

TL;DR of it all in list format:
– headaches from trying to regain access to my blog after not posting for 4 years
– anxieties about having paid an additional one year access to a theme from a defunct company? (I’ll need to migrate everything at some point next spring/summer and just not worry about it now, focus on the positives of writing new posts again)
– new anxieties about the design and layout of my blog in a post-smartphone explosion world, definitely some coding I need to tweak
– musings on how much I don’t really care to become a part of the “influencer” world
– missing the home sewing community and being a part of it
– trying to “edit” my life to be the way I want it to be
– stop being a workaholic and slide out of the mentality I had in my 20s (scared of turning down opportunities, obsession with building my career)
– learn to say “NO!”
– I haven’t sewed anything for myself in 4 years so I need to rediscover the joy of sewing for myself (I also need to knit a sweater for myself…I finally knit a hat for myself last winter but still need to block it :P)
– start sewing, knitting, and creating for myself again

I knit a Rue Shawl from Quince & Co with linen yarn last summer for my boyfriend’s mother.

I’ve been wanting to dive back into this blog for a long time. I kept putting it off and now after 4 years since my last post, I’m here, poking my nose back into my WordPress dashboard. I had to figure out how to gain access to my admin dashboard again by going through my web hosting cpanel and all this techy jargon. Dealing with updating my theme to the latest version but now anxious that I’ve sunk my money into another year of a company that seems to no longer really exist. I have been using Headway Themes since I migrated from Blogger to hosting my own site. Seems the company is pretty defunct…But my blog still looks and works the way it should so I’ll leave it for now. I need to find an alternative by next year though. That’s going to be REAL fun, migrating everything to a new theme or some other alternative. I’m SOOOO looking forward to it. (slather on thick layers of sarcasm please)

The entire blogging and social media world has changed too. People generally browse things on their smartphones and I know the mobile version of my blog isn’t the most optimal. I’ll have to see what I can do to change that. These are all challenges I know I can deal with. My goal is to have a simple and accessible looking blog. Nothing fancy but also reflective of my personality (I don’t want a sterile minimalist blog which is all the rage right now!). I’d like to commission some artwork as a new banner one day. I used to teach myself HTML code when I was a teenager so these are all realistic goals for myself!

I took Tambour Beading classes with a traveling couture tailoress from the UK in Feb 2018…I still need to finish this piece. D’oh!

Now to bring it all back to me…DO I EVEN CARE? Since I’m a perfectionist, a part of me always wants to do everything properly. Whether that’s washing the dishes, getting straight A’s in school, or running a humble blog that hardly anyone reads. I have no intention of becoming a world famous “influencer” (god this term makes me gag a little). I realized long ago that I haven’t an entrepreneurial bone in my body. I find it overly tedious and boring to have to run a business and especially have no interest in marketing myself. I have no issues with being employed by someone for wages I can count on. I’ve never wanted to be rich or famous. I enjoy being paid to do a job based purely on technical skill and to have employers who are willing to recognize that skill and pay a fair wage for it.

I do recognize that there is a lot on the line when people go off and start their own business or brand. It is a really difficult undertaking and one which requires a certain type of discipline and aggression for the endeavour which I just do not have. I’m also a workaholic so I know starting my own brand or business would absolutely consume me in a bad way. I also NEED to work with a small team of people. I am an introvert who hates working alone and I love having reliable colleagues to work together as a team towards a defined goal.

So why do I still have this blog up? Why do I return?

I miss having a platform with which to connect with people about sewing! I remember how encouraging and positive the home sewing community is overall and I miss it. I also miss having a platform to share things with real-life friends and family who are ever curious about the creative things I do. I do have a very empty Instagram page but I also prefer writing longer posts than is allowed on Instagram. I’m planning on integrating the two in a way that works for me.

Knit a hat for my boyfriend last March!

My Cantonese tutor, who I’ve been taking classes with since February this year, had a great thing to say to me one day when I was seeking some guidance on an issue, and to paraphrase: “I wish someone had told me how important it was to learn to edit your life the way you want it to be.”

It’s something I’ve been thinking about since she mentioned it to me. You see, I’ve spent a lot of time in my early 20s building up personal capital: saving up thousands of dollars on my own to go back to school, going to costume school, then emerging from school and trying to get established in the costuming world. I’ve always been a workaholic. I put off going on vacations while I saved up money for school and often worked every day, sometimes at multiple jobs.

When I went to costume school full-time, I was fully committed to it. I was working 15 hours a week as well and aiming for straight A+ marks. I had no social life. I burned out every semester (luckily there were only 4 in this two year program!) but I learned a lot and pushed my skills to the limit.

I made this ruff entirely by hand (wig was a rental) for a community theatre play I costume designed in Jan/Feb 2018

I graduated from costume school in 2016 and was anxious about finding work in my field. In 2017 I got my first real gig on a paid television show, which led to another, then to gaining full membership in the film union. I’ve never had difficulty finding employment since! I keep making more connections in the film industry, networking with more and more people, and my skills are constantly in demand as Vancouver’s film industry is booming. It’s a comfortable position to be in.

So now I’m 29 and I can work whenever I feel like. I also started teaching at a private fashion school part-time since May 2018 which definitely fell right into my workaholic tendencies again. I love teaching and mentoring people so I’ve learned so many more new things about myself as a teacher. It’s definitely a goal of mine to slide into teaching in my middle-age. However, I’ve had to teach 2 to 8 additional hours a week on top of working 40-55 hour weeks and it’s exhausting working so much even if I love teaching.

I made this scarf for my boyfriend as well and finished in Dec 2017…after starting it Dec 2016 but ran out of time as a Christmas gift!

I do actually need to force myself to slow down, recover, and have time to reflect on myself and my creative needs. I wanted to say spiritual as well but I’m not a spiritual person at all. I just need authenticity and I feel as if I haven’t been truly authentic with myself.

In a roundaboout way, I’m trying to say that when one is younger, one tends to focus on accumulating education, training, skills, knowledge, professional contacts, resources, and any advantage possible so one doesn’t get “left behind” in their career. This is what happened to me in my 20s. I have to learn to say “NO”. So many people want me to work for them and now that I don’t need to worry about money or filling out my resume with work experience, I need to focus on myself again.

I helped costume design for a community theatre production of Ibsen’s Ghosts in Fall 2016. I had to re-dye this dress in my bathtub to take it from an ugly peach to this dusty lavender.

Lately, I’ve been finding myself with a bit more breathing room but no real motivation to sew projects for myself. My relationship with sewing has changed since I became a professional seamstress and I need to rediscover the joy of sewing for myself again. I haven’t sewn anything for myself in 4 years. It’s pretty sad but just how things are when you work 10-12 hour days in the film industry!

So! It’s time to deal with my bad habits of being a workaholic and rediscover how my relationship to sewing keeps evolving. I have some ideas on how to explore all these things and I’m excited to share them with everyone! Above all, I think blogging is a great way to feel like one is held accountable to their goals, ideas, thoughts, and intentions.

Summer Sewing

Sneak peak of the current project I’m working on. Just taking a bit of a break with garment photoshoots which will resume next week.

I’ve been REALLY productive this week in practically all aspects of my life. My boyfriend has been/is away for a week and I decided to take advantage of his time away to do two things: sew like the dickens and start exercising again.

I’m proud to say that I’ve managed to do both! I enjoy both activities quite a lot and now I find myself looking forward to my next “fix” of either activity.

I also started keeping a log book of hours spent sewing right on the table where my sewing machine sits and it helps greatly in achieving my minimum goal of sewing for 7 hours or more a week (so at least one hour a day). So far since Monday, I have sewn for 7.5 hours already, spread out among four days.

I think part of my new-found vigor is due in part to a book I’ve been reading titled “Get Out of Your Own Way” by Robert Cooper. The book is about explaining some of your brain’s less productive habits through neuroscience and then giving methods for overcoming such brain obstacles so you can be more productive. Some of the advice doesn’t really apply to me (such as working in teams on a business project) but I still find those sections interesting and a little bit useful since it gives me insights into workplace politics and such.

I also watched Moonrise Kingdom this week by myself before it the theatres in Vancouver and enjoyed it superbly (I have this fondness of watching films by myself if it’s the right film. I watched Black Swan by myself and it was amazing). I totally have a costume crush on Suzy and all the costumes in the film. But specifically Suzy of course.

Check out this website for more examples:

I have been wanting to make dresses like these for at least a year or more now. I really need to get on this! They’re simple and classic and oh so girly. *swoon* I especially want to make a red dress with a Chelsea collar!

So here’s a hip, hip, hooray! for getting back on the sewing bandwagon. It has been a frustrating spring so I’m glad I’m over my slump.

My Sewing Studio!

So it’s been a long time again and I apologize for that. My goal from now on is at least one post per week. For my next posts, I’ll take pictures of the projects I’m working on in my classes – Haute Couture Pattern Drafting, Fashion Illustration, and Sewing Level One.

For this post though I took some pictures of my sewing studio. Sure it’s really just a room but I like to think of it as my studio, it’s got EVERYTHING I could ever need in one room. The only qualm would be a larger table for fabric cutting but the one I have in there right now is quite adequate. No more cutting on the floor!

These are my two dress forms! The one on the right is Peggy Sue, my duct tape double/clone and the one on the left is unnamed at the moment but if you have a suggestion I’m open to one. I named the duct tape one Peggy Sue because I was listening to Buddy Holly one time and I just really loved how he mentions this girl named Peggy Sue in a couple of his songs. The red one is an adjustable one I got from Dressew for $125 + tax which is 50% off the original price! Whooooooooooo! It was during Dressew’s 50% off Everything in the store due it being their 50th anniversary recently.

The adjustable one is great for me because I’m not very “shapely” and I actually only need to adjust the waist a little larger, the bust and hips are just fine. Peggy Sue (duct tape dummy) is problematic because she’s a whole inch or two larger everywhere due to the nature of duct taping. Also, she’s not pinnable. But I can’t seem to think of where to put her or if I should just dismantle Peggy Sue. The base is a Christmas tree stand and I used a PVC pipe from Home Depot to mount her. My sewing studio is not very big so she might have to go!

The curtains I made! Wooden dowel is from Home Depot, fabric and lace from Dressew. It’s difficult to see due to my poor photography skills but that is mint fabric with white and pink lace. I love the colour combination of mint and white or cream right now….

My horde of patterns…..I also have a goal of getting through EACH one at least two or three per month after my classes for this term end. Must obtain cute clothing….

Serger! I love her so so much. I think she might need a tune-up although the other day when I was using her, she wasn’t doing so bad.

AND THIS PRETTY BABY! I sold my other machine on Craigslist and actually made a little bit more money than I had originally paid for it. And then I put that money towards this sweet pea. She’s a BEAUT. The machine of my dreams, does I think 5 different buttonholes, including the highly coveted (by me) keyhole buttonhole.

And my fabric and cone thread stash. I am also starting a mini spools of Gutterman thread stash. My fabric stash is actually not as large as other sewists mostly because I like to work on one project at a time and buy the fabric with a specific project in mind. This means I don’t waste money on fabric too! But alas, I cannot control my pattern stashing.

So that’s my sewing studio and I love being in it! It’s a room I’ve rented out from Brianne who lives 8 blocks away from me, it’s a nice jolly little 10 min walk from my apartment! Very convenient, it’d be more convenient if Mr Vixen and I just moved into a two bedroom but we’re kinda attached to our current apartment (despite its many downfalls) and he just doesn’t have the money to move.

Finally, an update!

Hello again! I really apologize for having not updated this for so long, it’s been months. This is because Mr Vixen’s camera broke and I didn’t really have enough money for a new one. I bought a new camera a week or two ago and these are the first batch of photos since the new purchase.

These photos were taken before my first shift at Two of Hearts, a little shop here in Vancouver on Main St. The clothing and accessories sold at this store are almost all (save a few items) made locally and the two owners of the store also design the clothing and run a studio in Vancouver. They are a very little store right now and just opened up in 2008. The recession has been hard on them though but I am glad for them to be here! I am only working there during the weekends until Dec 21 because they are going to be a bit busy with a show they are participating in.

But back to my outfit, the jacket in the photo is something I sewed in high school as my final assignment one year. I am very proud of it, I got 100% on it! I will take better photos of it later when I have more time and show all the little details, like top stitching and the beautiful purple lining.

The little heart medal I’m pinning on the jacket is from Modcloth, it opens up and is a locket. Very military cute!

This dress is my new favourite dress! It was a splurge from an online store called Ruche. The necklace is also from the same store. You can’t see it well but here is a picture from the store:

And now for the shoes! I saw them first on Ruche but they didn’t have my size to begin with so I bought them from and had my friend help me get them to Canada (they would only ship to a US address.)

Product photo here:

They are quite amazing! I love these shoes! I am developing quite the shoe collection so more shoes to be seen in the future!

Alright, that is all for now. I think I will manage to get a new post up next weekend after all my schooling is done. I should be doing readings right now but……..yea.

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