Monday, March 26, 2012

I'm Alive!

I really admire bloggers who manage their lives and their blogs with so much care and grace. At some point, I really started prioritizing other things, and though I know it's possible to do it all (my goodness, I've seen it done!), I know that now isn't the right time for me. So, my little blog, I apologize.

Anywho, I did want to break my silence to share something I'm really proud of: the first garment I've made in almost two months!

A bit of background info...Every year, my school holds a fashion show to showcase student work in design and merchandising (I'm part of the committee that plans the show, too!) Students can show large or small collections, or individual outfits. Originally, I wasn't planning on entering anything because I didn't think I had anything "runway-worthy". And I was content to contribute to the show by being behind the scenes. Eventually, my biggest motivator was John, who encouraged me to enter something. He said he would be disappointed if I didn't try, and I'm really grateful he cared enough to say so. I don't know if I would have pushed myself so hard if it wasn't for him.

Now, I need to be honest: this dress concept was not my original idea. I was inspired by Chie of Vivat Veritas, a seamstress and Etsy shop owner I really admire. Chie created a woven-bodice dress in blue which is absolutely beautiful! I attempted my own version--using Chanel's iconic quilted handbag, little black dresses, and love of pearls as additional inspiration.

And finally, here is what I submitted for the fashion show. I think/hope it made the cut!



I spent about four different days cutting and sewing it, translating into maybe 20 hours of actual work. The most time-consuming part was sewing all the little fabric strips! The pattern is mine, based on this dress pattern. It's not perfect, but I'm really pleased with myself, especially since I finished it just in time for the due date.

Thank you for taking a look! And please check out Chie's website!


Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Oh, Hey, I Know You

This post is my humble attempt to get back to blogging.

It's been a busy couple of months with school, work, and the holidays, but now with things starting to calm down again (and with two weeks of vacation remaining) I hope I can pull myself together and start posting things again.

Today I wanted to share a couple projects that kept me busy during the month of December.


This is a dress I "made" by attaching thrifted pink fabric to a lace blouse I never wore. I now love the dress and plan on doing more projects like it.

I also wanted to share two of my final projects.


This was my final board for my Illustration class. The assignment was to design and illustrate a small clothing collection. I illustrated a collection of special occasion dresses, specifically for a summer daytime wedding.



The name of the collection, Bloom, was inspired by my vision of wedding guests as "flowers in a bouquet". In my defense, I was pretty stressed and sleep-deprived at the time.

I also decided to make another set of illustrations for the final project for my History class.


This was my interpretation of 1920s "flapper" style.

So that was a small peek at my schoolwork from this past semester. Eventually I'd like to share more once I get myself a little more organized. Thanks for taking a look, especially after my long absence!

Take care and best wishes for a new year!



Saturday, September 17, 2011

Taking a Breather

To show my neglected blog some love...
It has been way too quiet here lately. I wouldn't say that I have been any busier than usual, but with school and other things, I've found myself more mentally preoccupied than before (if that makes any sense). I just haven't had the time or attention that this place deserves.

I'm by no means calling it quits here. I love blogging and I have found so many interesting and inspiring bloggers through this wonderful little hobby. I've reasoned that perhaps blogging has fallen by the way-side at the moment because Love Makes the Girl was my project to satisfy my interest in fashion and sewing, but now that I'm studying full-time--which has been amazing so far--that need is more-or-less fulfilled. I don't want to give up blogging, but I might need to re-evaluate what I would like this place to be.

I've realized with some sadness that inactivity hurts my blog's growth and readership, but this has always been for me and for the moment I'd like to step back, not worry about not posting, and decide how I would like to proceed here. I hope that when I come back, I'll be as good if not better and that you will come back as well.

I'm also making it a goal to comment more, so even if you don't see me here, I hope to find a presence in your comment boxes.

Have a wonderful day, I hope to see you all soon!

love, jane

Monday, September 5, 2011

Made Monday: This is What I Do in School...

Crayola Colored Pencils, 50 Pack

The last two weeks in class are probably the most fun I have had in school since my grade school days--probably because some of that time was actually spent drawing and coloring just like in kindergarten. Can you believe that this first picture is homework? Our first assignment for my Illustration class was to make gradient swatches of our colored pencils.

 This wiggly-doodle was an in-class "contour line" exercise. The instructions were this: draw a fashion figure in one continuous line without looking at the drawing. The results are a little...surprising...but the exercise is meant to improve hand-eye coordination.


The most recent homework assignment was to draw a few "technical flats" which are basically clothing blueprints. In the industry, patternmakers may use these technical drawings (perhaps along with more artistic fashion renderings) to draft patterns for the actual garments. Therefore, flats should reflect important construction details like seams, fastenings, etc.

These are a couple samples for my sewing class: corner & curve sample, patch pocket, and side hip pocket (I put a pair of scissors in this one to show that it's a pocket). Our first garment project will be a pair of pants (cut like a pair of jeans), so we have been developing techniques that will be important for pant construction.


And just for fun, I'm throwing in this little doodle I made for a good friend who's flying towards bigger and better things on the other side of the country. She said she liked it, so mission accomplished!

So I hope you enjoyed a little peak at what I've been up to lately! Enjoy a beautiful Monday!

love, jane

Sunday, September 4, 2011

What Do You Think?

It's been quiet here lately, but I'm still here! Reading and cherishing your comments, reading your blogs, even if I haven't been dropping comments like usual.  For those out there reading (hello, thank you for sticking with me!), I was hoping to catch an opinion or two... I was thinking that for Made Monday tomorrow, instead of sharing projects which I haven't been making (ugh), I would share some of my school work--doodles, sewing technique samples, and the like. Would that be interesting?

I hope so, please check back for that tomorrow!

And for those of you who are off, I hope you enjoy a wonderful holiday! Labor Day sales, anyone?

love, jane

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

How I'd Wear This: Caramel Colored Boots

How I'd Wear This: Caramel Colored Boots

The weather has been rather warm lately, but I couldn't help but start thinking about dressing for the fall and winter seasons right around the corner.  And it might not make perfect sense, but thinking about this topic almost always makes me think of shoes first--sandals and open-toed shoes, of which I have plenty, just don't seem right.

So this year, I have on my shopping/wishlist a pair of neutral boots, preferably in a light brown/caramel color which I think works with a variety of colors and garments, from denim skirts to floral dresses. The outfit I styled with these boots is fairly simple but very appropriate for school and other everyday activities. I chose a moss green cardigan because although it's not a color I wear often, I think it would look good with the golden caramel hue of these boots. A pair of fun-colored or funky-patterned tights would also be a cool idea to spice up this outfit.

What kinds of items are on your cold-weather-wardrobe list?

love, jane

Monday, August 29, 2011

Made Monday: Dress Your Age


Confession: it's been two weeks since I've made anything new. That is why today's Made Monday features something that has already appeared on the blog, hopefully made more interesting by the addition of a silky, dotty bow tie.

I was actually inspired by Elsie of A Beautiful Mess to style a collared dress with a bow tie at the neck.
This is the only dress in my closet that has a collar, so I borrowed this sash from my Polka Dot Skirt, made a bow, and safety-pinned it on. The bow is kind of floppy, but it definitely makes this outfit more interesting!


To explain the title of this post, this dress has a childish charm which makes me reminisce about the days of recess, snack time, and coloring books. I don't remember ever having a dress this color when I was younger, but I'm pretty sure I had something similar in light blue with a white collar!


I hope your Monday is the beginning of another wonderful week! Thanks for stopping by for Made Monday!

love, jane

Friday, August 26, 2011

Fantastic Female Friday: Heidi Klum

Welcome to my new regular feature, Fantastic Female Friday. True to form, I opted for an alliterative name, but this is something that I've been wanting to do for a while--creating regular posts about women (and men, I shouldn't discriminate) who inspire me. I haven't decided whether this will be a weekly or bi-weekly monthly (whoops) thing, but at the moment, I am challenging myself to post at least three times each week for my features: Made Monday, How I'd Wear This Wednesday, and now Fantastic Female Friday. Hopefully, this will encourage me to post more often, so I hope you will read along!

This week, I chose Heidi Klum for my feature. I was watching Project Runway on Lifetime, albeit not paying that much attention since I was working on an Illustration assignment, and it occurred to me that I have always admired Heidi Klum. Not only is Klum a beautiful and graceful woman, she is a woman of diverse interests and talents. I'm using Wikipedia as my source for this article, and I am extremely impressed by her extensive and colorful resume. I can't promise to do perfect justice to Klum and her life and accomplishments, but I would like to share a couple of things about her that I find the most inspiring.

Heidi Klum (now legally known by her married name, Heidi Samuel) is probably best known for her career as a fashion model and Victoria's Secret Angel, but in recent years she has been successful as an actress, businesswoman, television host and producer, and fashion designer. Her numerous projects include being spokesmodel for various names; appearing in popular sitcoms, successful films, and video games; designing jewelry, clothing, shoes, and fragrance for her own and various other brands; and serving as the host, judge, and producer of Project Runway (she was also involved in the hosting, judging, and producing of Germany's Next Top Model)--and there is more, I assure you! For a more in-depth look, I encourage you to check out the article for yourself!

Another thing I really admire about Klum is the publicly-known success of her 6-year marriage to her English musician husband, Seal. The couple have four children together, and although the oldest, daughter Leni, is not biologically Seal's child, he was present at her birth (Seal and Klum started dating when Klum was pregnant) and legally adopted her. According to Klum, "Seal is Leni's father." I don't know about what others think, but I think this little story says a lot about Seal as a man (to agree to raise and adopt another man's child as his own), and I respect Klum even more for marrying a man of good character. Also, in all the interviews of Klum I have read, she always speaks highly of her husband and her family life, and in the media, the two seem to share good chemistry, as observed through their positive body language.

Overall, I respect Heidi Klum as a good role model and a strong woman. I think it's important that her success, though initially having the advantage of fame through a successful modeling career, has been the result of intelligence and charisma and not just good looks, which she indeed has. She also carries herself with great confidence while still maintaining charm and humility. In my opinion, I think one of the greatest and essential challenges as a woman is to find the right balance of confidence and modesty--too self-assured is cocky, too humble is self-deprecating--so I admire women who can manage a healthy self-esteem with humility and grace.

Anyway, in another form of kismet, I have been flipping through old fashion magazines (as another task for my Fashion Illustration class) and consequently found an article in November 2009's issue of Glamour titled "How to Have Confidence In Who You Really Are". In this article compiled by Tracee Ellis Ross, several women offer advice for confidence in different areas of life. Heidi Klum shares her insight on having confidence "In Your Own Style". She gives simple and sincere advice that I personally fully believe:

"The first step to having fashion confidence is simpler than you think: Know yourself. Don't follow the trends; follow your instincts. A fashionable woman wears the clothes; a fashion victim lets the clothes wear her!"

To conclude, in a world that loves a pretty face, I'm happy that Heidi Klum is a beautiful woman who has made it her life's work to be more than just that. I hope that this article has been informative and not too biased, and I also hope that perhaps it has inspired you to think about women you admire and why you admire them.

Who do you consider an inspiring or "Fantastic Female"? I'd love to know why!

I hope you will check back for more posts about inspiring women!
love, jane

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

How I'd Wear This: High-Waisted Jeans

How I'd Wear This: Jeans

It's mildly ridiculous of me to select a pair of pants for this week's How I'd Wear This feature given the fact that I haven't worn jeans in two years and consequently have no idea how to style them anymore (if I ever did!)

So I present this simple 5-piece set as a challenge to myself to re-learn how to wear this very wearable garment, even if it might be some time before I ever actually pull on a real pair myself. I've always thought that if I had to wear a pair of pants, they would probably be high-waisted and flared for a kind of cute '70s look. The teal polka dot top brings a cute, girly touch and I like the idea of a muted yellow cardigan to bring out the color of the blouse. A cluster of bracelets usually works for a lot of simple outfits, and I like these lace up wedges in a neutral color which would be great for other looks as well.

Also, I suppose I have jeans on the mind because that will be the first project in my sewing class. I wish I could tell you that I'm not worried, but this will be the most complicated garment I will have ever attempted to sew! Of course there will be a lot of practice and sewing exercises leading up to that point, but I look at my simple little dresses and can't help but think oh. my. gosh.

Anyway, happy Wednesday! How's your week going so far? Are you wearing jeans by any chance today?

love, jane

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Happy Food

Vegan Spring Rolls
For the record, I'm not vegetarian. But, I adamantly prefer not to eat meat and in fact don't (with some exceptions). I do eat seafood and eggs, and though I've managed to avoid it thus far, I am willing to compromise this preference in the event that no other option is available.

So, in other words, I may just be complicating things. Though I may aspire to vegetarian practices, I get nervous about calling myself "vegetarian" because I really am not. In reality, I've just become a really picky (and sometimes really hungry) eater.

It's somewhat a long story, so I won't ramble on about it, but I did want to mention that this choice makes me happy. I won't pretend to know and understand all the wonderful reasons for vegan- and vegetarianism, but for me, this small act of refusal is a good decision. I do worry about my protein intake and I do enjoy and miss certain foods, but I honestly am not missing much.

Now that being said, it's been a fun adventure looking up suitable restaurants on Yelp. It hasn't been easy locating places within a certain distance or price range, but fortunately John and I have discovered a wonderful vegan restaurant called the Loving Hut. Each Loving Hut is individually owned, but all share the goal of providing an appetizing, vegan menu at a reasonable price. We've eaten there twice already, and I'm so happy that John enjoys it as much as I do!

In addition to the spring rolls in the first picture, we shared these dishes during our last visit:

Loving Tenders (soy protein "chicken" tenders)

Spicy Cha Cha (breaded soy protein "shrimp")
Lucky Chow Mein
We also shared a slice of German Chocolate Cake that was so delicious-looking and tasting that I didn't even get a chance to snap a photo!

All of these dishes are delicious and are highly recommended. Since making this dietary change, it's been interesting to sample different kinds of meat substitutes, and the "sea nuggets/shrimp" and the soy protein "chicken" are quite tasty--*perhaps* not passable for the real thing, but still wonderful in their own way (and I personally don't mind anyway). If you are curious, I would encourage you to visit a Loving Hut in your own area!

Would you be interested in dining at a vegan/vegetarian restaurant?

 love, jane

P.S. I just installed Disqus for my comment moderation. Hopefully it'll help me to manage and respond to my comments more easily! Please let me know if you have any difficulties :)