pattern play

pattern play pattern play pattern play pattern play pattern play pattern play pattern play pattern play pattern play pattern play We took some basics from Old Navy, these sneakers and this swing dress, and added simple patterns to them. We just used black fabric paint and the girls were quite giddy about painting on some of the clothes! Everyday, they are always asking for projects to work on. So far summer has been all about lots of play and projects and no one has contested that. We have yet to turn to our iPad, though I’m sure there will be plenty of that too. True wanted to draw eyes on her shoes, just like my eye-dress, and then Soul and True wanted to make cacti on Soul’s dress. Brave wanted red sneakers to make her own Spider-Man shoes, but they were out of stock when I ordered the white ones. They are back in stock now, so maybe I will surprise her with them later.

Brave picked the dress with the palm print because she said it looked “vacation-y,” and when True got her maxi dress, she said, “Oh I like this, it looks like a mom dress.” HA! The big girls are getting ready to go to Texas to be with Ben’s mom for part of the summer, so vacation-y and mom dresses it is! They need light and airy for the Texas heat they are about to face.

Our days here have been pretty hot lately, but we don’t have any humidity to contend with. Our way of beating the heat is to indulge in ice cream. Let’s be honest though, I’ll eat ice cream rain or shine. Anyone else with me on that?!

on true: striped maxi dress and sneakers, c/o old navy. on brave: palm print dress and sandals, c/o old navy. on soul: swing dress and sneakers, c/o old navy. on glow: romper and flower jellies, c/o old navy.

This post is sponsored by Old Navy. I really appreciate the time you take here to support this space and the brands I partner with! 

 

 

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long denim skirt

denim skirt denim skirt denim skirt I found a long, button-down denim skirt at the thrift store in Texas when we were there for Christmas, but it is just a teeny bit too small (I passed it on to my sister). I’ve been keeping an eye out for one as I visit thrift stores, but most of them have been newer denim skirts. I was so happy when I came across this one (for $2!) a week ago. There were belt loops, but I didn’t want them, so I took them off with a seam ripper. My top is a vintage linen one I’ve had for years.

I’ve been hitting the jackpot at the thrift store with some nice vintage pieces. I do a happy dance when I across a vintage piece with a label that says, “Made in the U.S.A.” They just don’t make them like they used to.

Anyone been around long enough to when Rachel and I used to do our “Vintage Here, Vintage There” series? That was a fun way to encourage and inspire each other to get dressed up. We both got busy and I got pregnant (with Glow) and we slowly stopped. I used to wear a lot more 50′s and 60′s style dresses (the fit and flare type), especially shirt dresses. Those fit my then body type well, and made breastfeeding a whole lot easier, but then a year or so after having Glow, my body changed and those styles didn’t work well on me anymore. I still much prefer vintage over new, but now I gravitate to more loose, flowy, and shift style dresses. If my outfit wasn’t thrifted, more than likely, I probably sewed it. I’ve only bought a handful of new things this year, one of which was this jumpsuit, a striped dress from Zara, this dress from Old Navy, and an Everlane tee. Shoes though, that’s a whole other story; shoes are my weakness.

top, vintage (similar new, similar vintage). skirt, vintage (similar new, similar vintage). shoes, seychelles (long ago; similar new, similar vintage). bag, flea market (similar new, similar vintage).

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the wildly co. tour

learning about opportunity threads learning about opportunity threads learning about opportunity threads learning about opportunity threads learning about opportunity threads learning about opportunity threads learning about opportunity threads learning about opportunity threads learning about opportunity threads learning about opportunity threads learning about opportunity threads learning about opportunity threads A couple weeks ago, I ventured off to North Carolina to meet the duo behind Wildly Co. and see the behind the scenes of how their clothes are manufactured. Wildly Co. is the fifth child of Mike and Hayley Morgan; their first four children are all boys. Insane, right?! Their boys are similar in ages to my girls, so I can (and can’t) imagine what their world is like. Anyhow, I had the privilege of seeing where and how they clothes are manufactured.

They work with Opportunity Threads in Morganton, North Carolina, and I was just blown away by Opportunity Threads. They are a worker-owned company, and they have worker ownership model to build up the company; they pair fair wages, and do things to give back and grow the local community, which was once a bustling place to manufacture clothing. Companies like Levi’s, Hanes, and many others used to manufacture their items in this textile town before they all took off overseas for lower costs. We met Molly and she introduced us to the other employees and owners of the company, saw the factory where all the cutting and sewing goes on, and got to hear her heart for the community and bringing the textile industry back to North Carolina. She explained how all employees potentially have an opportunity to become owners in the company, and it’s not just one person at the top making all the dollars, and all owners gets paid the same (there are now 6 owners in the company). We also got to have lunch (I had sweet tea for the first time!) with the folks over at the Carolina Textile District, and learned more about the ins and outs of the textile industry. I was so intrigued by it all and the hows of getting a textile product manufactured, especially because I love to sew and make clothes. Several years ago, I had an idea for a product, but didn’t know how or where to start to make it happen. Had I known about the Carolina Textile Industry at the time, I might have pursued it. If you ever have a textile product idea, keep Carolina Textile District and Opportunity Threads in your back pocket.

Back to Wildly Co., I’m always interested in couples that go the entrepreneurial route together to pursue a dream because Ben and I always talk about various business dreams and ideas, but we are way too conservative to leave the comforts of the corporate world. Thus, I was eager to learn how Mike and Hayley make it work with 4 kids in tow. Hayley and Mike make such a good team and you could feel their passion for their product, but most importantly they love the people they work with to bring their product to life. It brings them joy to be able to work with a manufacturer that really compensates their employees well, so that these people can earn a living wage for their specialized skill.

The essence of Wildly Co. is to provide ethically made children’s clothing, and they want you to know about the people they partner with to help sew their clothes. They say it perfectly on their site, “We’re not perfect people and Wildly Co. will not always be perfect. We’re working in an industry that has historically been all about the bottom line, at the expense of laborers… we’re working upstream and it’s not always easy. But we want you to hear the heartbeat of this business will go beyond profits and losses, it will always be about people and families.” I love that it’s not about making the buck for them, but mainly about being able to also partner with a company that pays craftsman fairly in their trade, so that those people can also support their families. I think of them like an Everlane (if you don’t know about Everlane, read their “about page”, their bottom line is awesome), but for kids. Wildly Co. providing a quality product at a fair cost for all those involved, from the first person that creates that first pattern, to the person who cuts, then sews, and then to the Morgans who get it packaged off and sent to your door (their kids are involved in helping package things up!).

CAMPFIRE_COLLECTION copy Besides, having a great heart for their business, their clothes are really cute and well-made too! I even got to see their shirts being sewn, and for this girl who loves sewing, that was so exciting to me. Currently, Wildly Co. has a special “Campfire Collection” going on with some cool goods to get your kids ready for summer (I’d wear that sweatshirt if it came in my size). It definitely looks like the outfit to wear for those lovely summer days of endless play. Also, don’t forget to check out their site for some of the other Wildly Co. staples.

It was only 3 short days in North Carolina, but I left so inspired and my mind spinning with ideas. Not only that, it was so great to get to know others who came along for the Wildly Co. tour, and I was blessed by hearing about their different stories too! I loved hearing the heart of Mike and Hayley’s business, but also was so encouraged by the women at the Influence Creative Women’s Summit. The whole plane ride home I was doodling ideas that were popping up in my head, and then when Ben picked me up from the airport, I word vomited all my ideas on him. HA! When I’m ready to share, I’m sure I’ll word vomit some of those ideas here.

 

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denim kimono jacket

denim kimono jacket denim kimono jacket denim kimono jacket I got the sewing itch to make something like this, but in denim, and then I went hunting for more inspiration and came across this one from Ro & Ro General Merchants. I merged the two together in my head, and went to drawing out some patterns. I used a kimono I had as a guide (this one), and tweaked things here and there. I had about 1 1/2 yards of this denim fabric, and I knew it would be a tight fit to figure this out. I wish I had 2 yards, because I could have made the collar strip one continuous piece, but with a little tinkering, I think it came out just fine.

My jacket is 3 main pieces (1 back, and 2 front pieces), with a 5″ strip (folded in half) to go around the collar and down the sides. I’d like to tinker some more and try making another with some black linen. I don’t have any on hand though, so that project will have to wait. This is the perfect lightweight jacket for the summer and spring months. It will probably work all year round since I’m in Southern California. This would have come in handy last week as I was traveling; the airplane rides were a bit chilly.

When it comes to sewing, I just go, so even though I made a pattern, it’s not perfect, thus I’m not quite ready to share it. I’m a cut and sew on the spot kind of person, it just goes faster for me that way. If I ever get a pattern just right for this, you bet your bottom dollar I’ll share that here!

If you’re a buy instead of make kind of person, this one from Madewell is similar, or you might like a sweater one from the Gap. If you want something with more coverage, here’s this one from Free People. Don’t forget this cool one from Ro & Ro General Merchants, it might be my favorite one with the Madewell one in second place!

 

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all dressed up

mother's day 2015 black crochet dress black crochet dress mother's day 2015 mother's day 2015 We went to a wedding a couple weeks ago, and it was a nice to get a little bit dressed up. Ben was trying to convince me to let him wear a denim shirt with jeans, and I told him that wasn’t dressy enough. His reply, “But it’s a Canadian tuxedo!” I just had to laugh at his cleverness, but my answer was still no. On the other hand, he was excited to wear have an occasion to wear his tie from Forage Haberdashery.

My dress for the wedding was thrifted. I seriously did a happy dance when I came across this gorgeous vintage piece at the thrift store ($7!). I’ve really been having such good thrifting days of late. There were two more crocheted dresses there, a purple and brick colored one, but I passed on them. I kept thinking about the brick colored one later that day, so I went back to Goodwill a couple days later, but they were both gone. Oh well, the black one was by far my favorite, so I’m thankful that I was the one who snatched that up. I paired it with my favorite pair of heels (I got in London over 10 years ago)! The ankle strap has a tear, but I’ve sewn it together with a little piece of leather. I’ll be so sad if it ever breaks.

The girls picked out their fanciest dresses, and I think they looked absolutely adorable in their little party frocks! I love how their personalities come out in their style.

on me: dress, vintage and thrifted (similar here and here). shoes, miss selfridge (years go, but similar here). bag, vintage (similar here). on true: dress, tutu du monde. jelly shoes, fab kids. denim jacket, c/o schoola. on brave: dress, c/o fab kids (last year, similar here). doc martens, shoes.com. on soul: dress, c/o fab kids. jacket, vintage. slip-ons, c/o old navy. on glow: dress, vintage. shoes, old navy (last year).

 

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i miss my flea market days

flea marketing flea marketing flea marketing Once upon a time, Ben and I were going to the flea market almost every Sunday. Second Sunday would be Rosebowl, third Sunday was Long Beach, and fourth Sunday was Santa Monica. We would either get there really early, and then head out in time to get to church gathering, or go right after church. We knew lots of vendors and they knew us and our girls. Our jaunts to the flea market slowed down a few years ago because we just didn’t need much anymore (and my interior style has remained the same), so I really do miss those days of hunting for old things.

With the bathrooms almost done, I was in need of a mirror. I had been saving two vintage ones that I got a few years ago, but while one will work for the half bath, we decided with needed a bigger one for the full bathroom. Thus, right after church gathering, we headed out to the Long Beach Antique Market. We were cutting it close to closing time, and I’m sure I missed out on lots of goodies going so late, but treasures were still found nonetheless. Ben stayed in the car with the girls and they had fun hanging out in the parking lot (we didn’t want to pay admission for everyone just with an hour left to go), and I whizzed up and down every aisle as fast as I could with my eyes wide open for things I was looking for.

Mainly, I was looking for a mirror and two patio chairs. I did stop at a couple places to check out (and try on) some antique jewelry, but then I was like, “Focus, Ruby, focus.” I did scoop up a couple $5 baskets, and when I saw an olive bucket, I had to get one (for more plants of course!). An olive bucket was something I had been wanting, but I didn’t remember until I saw it. There were a lot of other things I loved (oh the vintage dresses and indigo fabric), but I was trying to stick with my mission and not get sidetracked too much (and stick within a budget), especially since a lot of vendors were already packing up. And as I was walking down the last aisle, I was just about to give up on finding a mirror,  and that’s when I spotted one. It’s just a basic round one, but it’s pretty close to what I was imagining. I probably could have bought a new round mirror, but you know, I just like old things better.

I told Ben my Mother’s Day request is to spend the day at the flea market!

on me: dress, thrifted (I slightly altered it). hat, flea market. sandals, piperlime (sad they are closing up shop.). rag rug bag, get instructions here.

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