Monthly Archives: May 2014

Let’s Talk About: A Crochet Tie

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I have a hard time finding things to crochet for men besides hats that I actually think men would like or wear. A tie seemed like a good idea. I’ve seen a few crocheted ties online before, but none exactly like what I was wanting – one shaped like a traditional tie, with a triangular point at the bottom.

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After a few – some slightly frustrating – attempts at figuring out a pattern and design that worked right, I found my way to this slanted rows style, worked from the wide triangular tip up. It was the only way I could get the decreases to not look so obvious or make the tie shape wacky. You can still tell a little where the decreases are, but the slanted rows help the decrease placement to vary, and I’m hoping once the tie has been blocked the edges will look straighter and more satisfactory. Other than that there are a few small things I want to alter about the pattern, but I’m pleased with this attempt and pretty excited with how it turned out. It’s definitely a start.

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I used a scrap of leather for the keeper loop on the back. I think adding this loop makes the tie look much more professionally made, and it’s also just practical, of course.

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(You can see in this picture that the wide tip of the tie is a bit wonky, something blocking might help or maybe fix, but I’m hoping to remedy with a few small alterations to the pattern on my next attempt.)

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What do you think? Would the men in your life wear this? I did have one of my guy friends say that it was, quote, “Badass,” haha, which was encouraging, I guess. I’m planning on making a few more similar to this one, and maybe trying some other stitches and styles, eventually, but I’d like to know if people would even be interested in them. Let me know what you think!

Crochet Tie: handmade by me with Caron Simply Soft and scrap leather

Have a beautiful and blessed day!

Waters Wears: Brand New Shorts

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I got these shorts Saturday morning and was pretty excited about ’em. Still am, haha. I wore them to family bbqs on Sunday and Monday, and I won’t lie, I still want to wear them next time I go out, too. I’m having fun planning things to wear with them, since the waist has such nice detail and I want to show it off.

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And I really like this shirt even though it’s the type of material that’s meant to wrinkle, which is fine with me, but I don’t know if it looks “on purpose” to other people. Haha. Oh well. It’s a really thin material which is nice for summer days, but it is pretty see-through so a tank or bralette of some sort is required under it.

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I love that these shorts have a vintage style with the row of buttons, wide waistband, and cuffed hems. I also love the detail design on the waist. The shorts are not high-waisted but they’re not low rise, either. A nice middle ground that feels comfortable to me, a person who enjoys higher waisted pants rather than lowrise.

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I twisted my bangs back and pinned them with some flowered bobby pins I made years ago, soon after I’d started getting back into crocheting. I haven’t really worn them much the last few years but they held my hair back nice and tight this day. You can see that I was sort of tired this past weekend in these pictures, and that I’ve been having allergy troubles from my red-lined eyes. Nonetheless, still a good weekend.

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Tanner had Monday off, so I took the day off, too. We slept in far, far longer than we usually do on the weekend and had a lazy day (well, I sleepily took these outfit pictures) before heading out for our second Memorial Day cookout at my Nana’s.

Shirt: Mossimo (old; passed over to me several years ago)
Tank (worn under shirt): No Boundaries (one with built-in bra)
Shorts: Beta House
Sandals: Faded Glory
Flower Pins: made by me
Necklace: gifted, I know it was bought through a fundraiser type thing, but I can’t remember the company name

Garden 2014: Update

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These pictures were taken yesterday, a week and a half since the garden was planted. Our blueberries are looking very good. I was most excited about them and I can’t wait until they’re ready to eat.

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My brother and sister-in-law live with us right now, and she’s a gardener extraordinaire. The plants in the buckets at the side of the planter box are hers. She has a few things in them, among which are some basil plants, that’s she’s trying to nurse to health.

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Overall, the garden is looking good, but there are a few plants that don’t seem to be doing as well. One pepper plant, the gimpy one in the picture above, is probably about to bite the dust, but no worries there since, like I mentioned in the last garden post, we have a ridiculous abundance of pepper plants. :)

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The other pepper plants are looking quite good, however.

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The tomato plants are still small, and we have yet to cage or stake them, but we’ve seen a few blooms beginning to sprout. We have two types of tomatoes, and one seems to be doing better than the other, but I’ve never grown them myself before so maybe the plants just look different enough from each other that it seems one is doing worse.

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We’ve had several strawberries off of our two strawberry plants already, but they are really in need of being caged so the stems have something holding them up. Right now they lay on the dirt, and I’m hoping we can fix this as soon as possible. The strawberry blooms are always lovely.

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Our cucumber, okra, and cantaloupe plants are looking a little iffy, but they did seem to look much better after a few days of rain, so we probably just need to adjust the amount we water them.

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My sister-in-law, Maegan, has also done some other planting around the yard. I joke that’s she’s basically our landscaper, although it’s really kind of true. She really is making the yard look tons nicer. My husband and I just moved into this house towards the end of last summer, and huge parts of it are still a work in progress. The yard is one of those, so Mae’s impromptu planting sprees are very welcome, and we’re really thankful. Above, she’s planted some dianthus around the base of our mailbox.

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And here, she’s planted a rose bush, some rosemary, a few verbena, and sprinkled some various “wildflower” seeds and Bachelor’s Button just under a layer of soil. If all goes well this little area should look really nice in the weeks to come. She also has a row of sunflowers and morning glories at the front of our yard, but I haven’t gotten a picture of those yet.

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And here is the natural growth of our yard. I wanted to snap a picture because we have an abundance of clover in both our front and back yard, and it looks really lovely right now. The picture doesn’t really do it justice. We also have a few buttercups here and there.

So that’s an update for now. Seeing all the little sprouts and starts of growth just make me a bit impatient for the fruits and veggies to be full and ready to eat, and excited for the flowers to start blooming and growing bigger and taller. Hopefully things will grow well and healthy, and wind up looking beautiful in the end.

Have a lovely, blessed day!

Waters Wears: A Bright, Yellow Sweater For Cold, Rainy Weather

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Do you ever put together an outfit that you’re just not sure about? Like it’s almost right, but something’s off? This one seems to have all the components of an outfit that I’d wear, that’s my style, but I just didn’t feel exactly confident about it. A reason for posting outfits on this blog was to document outfits I really liked, but I kind of felt like sharing one that’s almost right, just not quite there for me.

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We had a surprise cold weather weekend around here, thanks to lots of rain and overcast days. It did give me an opportunity, though, to wear a sweater I’ve been quite excited about, but didn’t wind up wearing before the weather got too hot. It’s a vintage yellow sweater that I got from Studio Tinsel Vintage when my sister-in-law alerted me to a sale she was having. I bought several things from this shop, and highly recommend it. The owner, Amelia Lynn, is very honest about any imperfections the items may have, and every item came clean and folded nicely in cute packaging. Not to mention the clothing items she tends to have are very cute and neat. Though I wore the purple cardigan all day, I wanted to get pictures for you of the sweater by itself. I honestly think, looking at these pictures, that I would have liked the outfit better sans cardigan, but weather didn’t permit that. :)

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Cold weather also meant an excuse to wear a hat. I made this one several years ago, and honestly decided on it after going through several beanies and not liking the look until I pulled out this one and dug how the big blue button on the back (which is just a plastic bottle cap crocheted around) looked with the outfit. The shape of this hat is more like a beret, I guess, but I’ve since adapted this pattern to what I originally intended – a more slouchy, big beanie. I also noticed I’ve become a lot more patient with construction of items over these past few years. I had simply tied the button on in two places, and it doesn’t feel secure at all! It makes me cringe, now. While I still struggle with impatience when it comes to little finicky things with making items, I’ve come a long way, and secure construction, though taking time, is important. I need to sew it on more securely sometime.

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I bought these jeans at Forever 21 about a year ago because the one pair of skinnies I’d had for years had finally bit the dust, and these were comfy and not too expensive. I was looking for a solid color pair, but I really liked the rose pattern on these, not to mention, going along with the comfort factor, the waist wasn’t lowrise. (I struggled enough with lowrise pants when they were about the only style you could find when I was in high school. I personally prefer at least a slightly higher waist. Maybe it’s a pear-shaped, big hips/small waist thing? Who knows? My sister-in-law loves lowrise pants, however. So it’s whatever people prefer.) Anyway, these have wound up being one of my favorite pairs of pants, although remembering not to wear them with certain prints, especially other florals, since they’re already very printed themselves, can sometimes be a challenge. No matter, though. I do like that I can take advantage of my short legs with these; the bottoms can either be scrunched up as shown or cuffed for a more classic look.

(Also, even though it’s of roses, I think against this bright yellow shirt the pattern looks kind of like clouds in a bright blue sky. A pretty happy thought on these rainy, grey days.)

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Even though I was iffy on this outfit, I wore it for a very fun day. We went to lunch with a couple friends and then to a family cookout celebrating a long distance family friend from Germany. He stayed with my cousins as an exchange student over 25 years ago and wound up visiting again several times, once when I was a very little baby. My cousin, Kim, that he stayed with, always babysat me, and apparently I never liked to lay back in my carseat, always leaning forward even when I was sleeping. The friend hated that and would always turn around in his seat and hold my head up. Haha “And your head is straight, see, so you can thank me for that.” It had been 19 years since his last visit, and it was a very good and happy night.

Purple Cardigan: Casual Corner Annex
Yellow Sweater: Inner Visions by Ship n’ Shore
Jeans: Forever 21 (old)
Hat: made by me
Shoes: Faded Glory

How To Dress Comfortably While Still Looking Presentable

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I’ve mentioned before how I’ve been on a comfy clothes kick lately. But because I spend most of my days in pajamas since I work at home, when I’m out and about I like to dress up a little bit. I decided it would be fun play around with what I have in my wardrobe and share some outfits I consider comfy but still “presentable”. :) These can be worn to hang out with friends, run errands, or to more dressy events. Maybe you’ll find some inspiration here!

1. Comfy Tanktop, Comfy Shorts
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I’ve worn this basic outfit before here, although this time I’ve paired it with some comfy sandals instead of my Converse. This tanktop , while a little fitted, is just loose enough and made of a very soft material. Workout shorts are always comfortable. Rolling them up is a favorite way of mine to wear them, especially as just part of an outfit and not to the gym. I’m not sure why; I guess I just like the way that looks at the moment, but it’s also nice for hotter summer weather. I’ve worn this outfit before to my brothers-in-law’s football game, and something to cover up with was nice to have as the night got cold. A thick cardigan is a good choice, and I like the pop of this purple against the bright yellow stripes.

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Another cover-up option is a lightweight button up.

Tanktop: Love To Love, Shorts: Danskin Now, Sandals: Faded Glory (old), Purple Cardigan: Casual Corner Annex (old), Button-Up: Old Navy (old)

2. Stylish Jeggings
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I’ve mentioned before that I feel jeggings have come a LONG way. These from Faded Glory or any from American Eagle are a great sneaky, sneaky way to be comfortable while not wearing sweats or pajama pants. The first tee is in a soft, stretchy material and the second is one of my favorites because it has a wide neck (I hate most t-shirt necks because I can’t stand things that tight around my neck. No turtlenecks for me. :P) I wore basically this outfit a lot in the fall or on warmer winter days, and loved pairing the t-shirt and jeggings with these grey flats. I just think they make a basic casual outfit a little more chic or maybe feminine, while still being comfortable. I like how they look with these more deck-style flats, too, this particular pair has nice padding in the insole, and I think the pop of colors looks great with the light blue jeggings.

Though my hair is still pretty short, I’ve been growing out the top and my bangs, so some days I like to find ways to pin or pull them back out of may face that aren’t too finicky. They’re finally getting long enough to play around with, and one of my go-to ways is with either a twisted or braided across the front and bobby pinned on the side.

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I have accumulated quite a few sweaters over the years, many oversized and super comfortable. Often I’d throw one of these over this outfit in the fall. This one is a particular favorite. I love the color, the knit pattern, and the way it looks over a t-shirt and skinny jeans.

Both Jeggings: Faded Glory, Blue T-Shirt: Sonoma, Grey T-shirt: Danskin Now, Pullover: Boston Traders, Grey Flats: Faded Glory, Floral Deck Flats: Call It Spring (old) Bobby Pins: probably Goody’s

3. Jersey Knit Dress
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If you have to be a little bit more dressy (or just feel like wearing a dress) one made of t-shirt-like material is always a good option when comfort is the goal. A nice, lighweight cardigan is good for chillier days.

Another way I can keep my bangs back now that they’re a bit longer is by wearing a headband with stretch and wrapping/twisting the bangs around it to hold them in place. This is a simple single strand headband with a flower that I crocheted. You can see it worn here and here, also.

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This dress from Joe Boxer is very comfortable and the bright-colored stripes and tanktop-style bodice make it a nice style for the summer months. You can make it more casual with some sneakers, or dress it up with some nice, comfy flats.

Pink Dress: Rosebud, Grey Tanktop: No Boundaries, Cardigan: Worthington (Old), Floral Deck Flats: Call It Spring, Striped Dress: Joe Boxer (similar here), Grey Flats: Faded Glory, Shoes: Converse, Headband: made by me

4. Long Skirt, Big T-Shirt
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Long skirts have always seemed a comfortable option to me, they offer more coverage, go with lots of things, and can be worn in warm or cold months. I’m wearing this one with an oversized tee that’s nice and soft. I’m big on oversized tees right now, and I’ve also been into tucking tops into skirts lately. Paired with these comfy Dr. Scholl’s wedges, wearing this outfit feels casual while giving off a more dressy, almost 70s vibe.

T-Shirt: Arizona Jean Company (pretty sure it’s a men’s XL), Skirt: Marc Anthony (old), Wedges: Dr. Scholl’s

5. Jersey Skirt
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A jersey skirt, or one in any soft material, with a wide, stretchy waistband is great when seeking comfort, and I like that this one can be worn high-waisted or lower on the hips. Yes, it is a bubble skirt, and that may be not trendy anymore, but I for one never had one when they were popular a few years ago yet always wanted one, so I’m pretty happy to wear it (and I think it looks fine, anyway.) Skirts like this are nice with tanktops, especially more strappy ones for dressier nights. This tanktop is one with a built-in bra, so if you’re bold enough to wear just it, there’s the added comfort of less layers right there. However, this particular built-in bra is really only another layer of thin material with soft elastic underneath, so if you feel there’s not quite enough coverage (like me) you can throw a super soft crop top over it. Your crop top can be much less wrinkly, though, of course. :)

Skirt: Joe Benbasset (old), Tanktop: No Boundaries, Crop Top: One Clothing (old), Flats: Faded Glory

6. Overalls
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And finally, when nothing else works, just throw on some overalls! They’re wonderfully comfortable and can be styled in so many ways.

My bangs are finally long enough to simply push back with a headband without having them stick up everywhere, so that’s what I did here. I think pairing the overalls with this chunky bow headband and these flats gives the outfit a bit of a retro look.

Overalls: L.E.I., Crop Top: One Clothing, Flats: Faded Glory, Headband: made by me (also worn here)

Those are just a few ideas and staple outfits I wear when I want to be comfy. Hope you enjoyed!

God bless and have a great day!

Garden 2014

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My husband, Tanner, and I planted our first garden last weekend. I took some pictures the following day just to start keeping a record of how it grows, and decided where better to document it than on the blog. It’s becoming a sort of journal for me, anyway.

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Tanner and his granddad built the raised bed out of cross ties, then Tanner’s dad brought some good soil over from his farm to fill it. At the suggestion of the worker at the garden center, we added lime to the raised bed, and fertilizer around each plant. The blueberries have their own fertilizer called Blueberry Special, which the nice elderly founder of the garden center got up out of his comfy-looking rocking chair to help Tanner find. :)

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In all, we planted four blueberry bushes of two breeds, four squash plants, four okra, four cucumber, two strawberry, four cantaloupe, four tomatoes and four tommy toe-cherry tomatoes, and in a slightly hilarious blunder, twelve pepper plants. We wanted a variety of colors, but when Tanner was picking them out with the help of the garden center worker, he forgot to consider how the plants come in fourpacks there. Thus we ended up with four red, four green, and four yellow pepper plants. It’s a good thing we use them in a lot of our favorite meals. Haha.

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These pictures were taken last Sunday, the day after the garden was planted. We’ve already had two ripe strawberries and more already growing, and the blueberry bushes look great. Some of the squash, tomato, and cucumber plants haven’t been looking so well, but we think it may be that we just need to water things at a different time of day. The garden is in our backyard, which gets a ton of direct sunlight. Tanner’s been watering the plants when he gets home from work around 4:45, but we’ve decided I’ll try watering them around lunchtime, just before the hottest part of the day, and see if that helps.

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I have helped pick ripe fruits and veggies from family’s garden before when they need it, but I’ve never kept a garden of my own. And although my husband grew up on a farm, he’s never had his own garden either, so all of this is a first for us. We’re using what we know and helpful advice from family members who are seasoned gardeners to care for the garden. Hopefully things work out well. Either soon you’ll see pictures of pretty blooms and healthy fruit, or you’ll get to watch as this project crashes and burns. We’ll see. :)

Waters Wears: A Favorite Skirt

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For real, though. I received this skirt several years ago when some friends’ had helped their grandmother clean out her closet and we all divided up the skirts and tops we wanted before the rest was donated. It was originally part of a top and bottom set. I love how gentle the colors are in this skirt, very pastel and soft shades of pink, blue and green.

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Sometimes I just really love longer skirts. Nice for slightly colder days, less finicky than short skirts. I often wear this one with a more bohemian look, though (I think thanks to the shoes) it had a more vintage 70s vibe on this day. I also love wearing it with just a plain tank top or t-shirt.

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Let the joyous cry of women everywhere ring from my lips, “IT HAS POCKETS!” :)

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If you remember from a while back, this is a collar necklace I made. (I made a post on collar necklaces and styling them here.) I love mixing leather and crochet, and these necklaces are fun to make. So many possibilities with different shapes and stitches.

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Wedges are a favorite shoe type of mine. I was wanting a new pair since the others I have are at least five, maybe six years old. Originally I was thinking something a little different than these, but when I tried them on they were so comfortable! The reason? Turns out they’re Dr. Scholl’s brand so the insoles are ridiculously nice. Also,the ankle straps are adjustable and since the heels aren’t very high, these wedges might actually be okay to wear walking around the city for a few hours or just for a long day out and about.

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Tank Top: Fruit Of The Loom men’s small, from a four pack
Skirt: Marc Anthony, old
Necklace: made by me
Shoes: Dr. Scholl’s

Waters Wears: Crochet Peplum Top

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I’ve been wanting to try making a peplum top for a little while, although my original idea had the top being solid and with sleeves. I’m not sure how I got to this skinny-strap, open stitch design, exactly, maybe it happened because this way of making the “cups” is my favorite right now (they work up so fast, and sizing is pretty easy this way), maybe because it’s already in the 80s outside, and we’re only at the start of summer. I can’t really remember, but I’m very happy with how it turned out.

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The colors, or really how they play off of each other, turned out really lovely. When I wore this on Sunday, the colors were what got complimented most enthusiastically by friends and acquaintances. The yarn used is Caron Simply Soft in Soft Green and Berry Blue. Most any clothing you’ll see me make as of late uses this yarn. I love that it’s a softer yarn, and that it softens up even more nicely after one wash.

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The open stitch pattern here is from a book called Crochet Stitch Guide by Jean Leinhauser and Mary Ann Frits. It’s one of those stitch compilation books that can be found at most every craft store, at least around where I live. I had been wanting it because I liked the variety of stitch patterns it had and was wanting to play around with more varied stitches for things I make, but wasn’t willing to pay $10.00 for it. Then, I found it at a local book resale shop for $5.00. Half off isn’t bad! I’ve been having fun trying out different stitch patterns; it’s nice to be like, I need a stitch that’s a chain multiple of 4, or whatever, and just look through this book to see some options.

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For the straps I used the Romanian Point Lace Cord. I followed this tutorial video from Wendy Harbaugh of Sunshine’s Creations. I make a lot of things that need straps, but the issue with crochet is that it stretches, A LOT, so I’ve been looking for more strap-making options. The Romanian Point Lace Cord seemed much, much less stretchy and I’ve been really happy with it when wearing the top. I’ve already used it in another project, and plan to use it in more.

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As a note: The widest part of me is my hips, and I’m always hesitant to wear anything that flares or ruffles out around them, so I took this into consideration when making this top – I started the peplum just above my bellybutton, and ended the peplum so the length was to just above the widest part of my hips. I wasn’t sure if this would work, but I think it turned out looking fine. If you aren’t a “pear-shaped” person and you attempt making a top like this, you could probably make the torso longer and have the peplum be over your hips, but all of this is personal preference, anyway. Do watcha’ like. :)

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This skirt was passed on to me by my sister-in-law, and I’ve been wearing it a lot. It’s high-waisted and formfitting at the top, which I really like. I’ve been wanting high-waisted things for a while because I really like the look, so getting this skirt was a nice surprise.

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I definitely plan on making more of these tops. Since you start with the “cups” then work down in the round, making different sizes should be very easy, and this way also lends itself to trying out different stitch patterns and torso/peplum lengths. I might try some like my original idea, too, with sleeves and more solid stitches. As for this pattern, there are a few things I’d like to tweak, but other than that, I’m very happy with this little crocheted “peplum” top.

Crochet Top: made by me
Tank Top:No Boundaries (one with a built-in bra)
Skirt: Old Navy (old)
Necklace: Cookie Lee (but I’ve had it since middle or high school, I think)
Shoes: Faded Glory

Waters Wears: Sunshine Stripes

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In case you haven’t picked up on it from previous outfit posts, most of my wardrobe consists of clothes given to me by friends and family after closet cleanouts. I’ve received items that aren’t my exact size in the past, but that’s led to me figuring out ways to wear them and actually influenced my style a lot (I love pairing something baggy with something form-fitting, eg. big cardigan + skinny jeans and I’ve developed a love for layering. I could probably do a whole post, or several, on making too-big items work. :P). Now if someone says, “Hey, I have some clothes I’m getting rid of, do you want any of it?” I’ll take most anything. If it’s not wearable the fabric can be used for projects and if I take something I wind up never wearing I can pass it on to the next person.

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This yellow striped tank is no exception. My friend pulled it out as she was offering me clothes to take and I was like yes, yes, I love that. I’ve been on a yellow kick for years now, ‘kay?

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This past weekend I was desiring to wear very comfortable clothes, so I paired it with some “workout” shorts. When my husband and I were in Germany I used these shorts for pajamas and lounging around, but on a short trip to Rome where I ill-packed for the much hotter weather, I needed some shorts for the train ride back to Germany, and that is when I realized I loved wearing these shorts, rolled up, in everyday attire. It’s been a while since I’ve worn them as such, but the warmer weather and the fact our Saturday would be spent at Bible study then my brothers-in-laws’ football game led me to put them on.

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A personal goal for this blog was to not only post outfits I like, but that any outfits I post have to include something I’ve made, altered, mended, etc. This would be a breeze in fall and winter since scarves, hats, and gloves are all common crochet fair, but starting with warmer weather moving in has made it more challenging. I decided to wear a headband I made a while back, which I wore in the very first post on this blog, here. I’ve been growing my bangs out, and they’re at just the length where finding ways to pin and twist them back and actually have them STAY back is difficult, so I decided to try out the headband and see if it worked. For the most part, it did pretty well.

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It was the first time my husband and I had been able to make one of his brothers’ games, and it was a good one. Although there was a lot of drama and almost fights, especially from the other team, because people get ridiculous and tense when playing football , the game itself was pretty exciting and our team wound up winning right at the end. So that was pretty cool. Hopefully we can catch some more of their games in the future.

Tank Top: Love To Love (I think, the label was hard to read)
Shorts: Danskin Now
Shoes: Converse
Headband: made by me

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