Posts tagged ‘Summer’

August 6, 2015

Missing Pieces

Blue Polka Dot Dress with Yellow Cardigan 1 Blue Polka Dot Dress with Yellow Cardigan 5

Blue Polka Dot Dress with Yellow Cardigan 4

Blue Polka Dot Dress with Yellow Cardigan 2

cut out blush shoes

I’m so into this cutout trend right now, and I love everything about these shoes. The Oxford, the lace, the detail, the blush color. Again like my cutout boots, I have no idea what to do about the sock issue… I just sucked it up and wore the ones you wear with flats, so sorry for the faux pas yet again.

I have this nerd-fetish for libraries. I love them all. The smell and feel and quiet and solitude of them. The way that everyone leaves you alone the moment you step inside. (Well, except for this one traumatic incident in my childhood, but I won’t get into that right now.) I especially love the Huntington Beach and Newport Beach library, which are both just gorgeous places.

When I worked at this one fabric store, I used to come to this library during my lunch. It’s a gorgeous, small place in Signal Hill, so of course I went there over the weekend to check out some books.

I love pairing navy blue with yellow, especially mustard. Actually I just love the color mustard in general. I thought the blush-colored oxford flats would go well as a neutral balance to the rest of the outfit.

blue polka dot with yellow cardigan 3

:: Outfit Details ::

White Polka Dot on Navy Blue Dress (~$15 at Ross)
Mustard Yellow Cardigan (~15 from Papaya)
Blush-Colored Lace-up Cutout Oxford Shoes ($10 from here)
Handmade Crossover Body Clutch(~$20 from Etsy, but I can’t remember which store 😦 )

July 30, 2015

The Girl in the Purple Scarf

Girl in the Purple ScarfGirl in the Purple ScarfGirl in the Purple Scarf

I’m channeling Becky Bloomwood a.k.a. Shopaholic today–figuratively of course (actually, literally as well, but don’t tell Husband, shh). Except my scarf isn’t from D&G, it’s from Express. Also, I don’t have a British accent, just a boring American one, and I wish my life was half as dramatic as hers, although not really because I’m really happy with the way it is so far. 🙂

Also the dress is made by me, and I doubt Becky Bloomwood would ever make anything that she can just buy.

Girl in the Purple Scarf

Click to learn how to make this dress!

Girl in the Purple Scarf

It was cold today! Which explains the scarf. Fine, by California standards it was cold. In the morning. And then it warmed up by lunch time. So I felt like a weirdo in this scarf and cardigan standing amidst a bright sunlit park. Still, it’s lovely and I feel lovely in it, so I’m not taking it off. (Well, maybe when it gets hot, though.)

Girl in the Purple Scarf

I love reading outside, and settling down in the sun is while the weather is just right is the perfect way to spend my lunch.

This post deviates from my usual budget for Outfits-on-a-Budget, BUT I’ve worn this scarf so many times that I no longer feel bad about it. It was $40 from Express, and I bought it back in the days when I thought it was okay to pop 40 bucks on one piece of fabric. But they say you should divide the dollar amount by how many times you’ll wear it, and then decide if the purchase was worth it. Well I’ve worn this about a thousand times, which means it would cost me 4 cents every time I wear it. So by that logic, I totally deserve more of these scarves.

Or maybe I’ll just make some. 🙂

:: Outfit Details ::

Elastic-Waist Curved Hem Print Dress (made by yours truly, tutorial here!)
White Hollister Knit Cardigan (Christmas gift from my sister-in-law)
Leggings (~$6 from Ross)
Cross-Over-Body Bag (~$30 from H&M)
Brown Flats ($13 from Ross)
Purple Scarf (~$40 from Express)

July 21, 2015

10 Dresses Week Two! Crocheted Swimsuit Coverup

How to Make a Swimsuit Cover Up or Sweater DressWelcome back to the second week in our summer dresses challenge! Who made the first dress? Please send me pictures if you did!

I’m not sure what to call this, really. A cover-up? A light sweater dress? Also, the fabric–is it lace, is it crocheted?

Swimsuit Coverup

Well whatever it is, I looooooove it.

You can wear it as a swimsuit coverup as I do here.

swimsuit coverup

Or you can wear it over a simple tank dress.

Swimsuit Sweater Dress

It was pretty easy to make this especially since I left the salvage as part of the hem for the bottom and the sleeves, which meant no hemming–yay! Right behind ripping up seams, hemming is probably my least favorite part about sewing. But that’s not the reason I left the neckline raw–I just liked the effect this fabric has when it’s unfinished.

The cuts are very simple. I used a tank dress for the bodice, and then added sleeves. Voila and done. Here’s the video tutorial:

I really love this dress because it’s so versatile. As a swimsuit cover-up, it’s definitely eye-catching, and the bright color goes perfect for summer and pool-side lounging.

I really love layering clothes, so I think it also looks great worn over another dress. Or maybe as a sweater over some leggings. I sometimes think I was born to live exclusively in winter months. But then again, I love bikinis and sunbathing and beaches and pools too much to really stand by that. Actually I just love clothes in general, so never mind.

The other day my best friend and I decided to take advantage of the neighborhood pool. We popped some tiny single-servings of Sutter Home Moscato wine, snacked on frozen grapes, and had a great girls’ day. It was so nice to see her and just enjoy the sunshine.

Next week we’re working on the elastic-waist, curved-hem dress. So if you’re getting ready to sew that project along with me, you’re going to need a yard of woven fabric and a length of elastic. I used the very thin kind, somewhere around 3/8″ wide. Looking forward to seeing how your projects are turning out!

July 17, 2015

TMI Friday: Guys! I went to the mall and only spent $15!

Pink Pointy Heel Pumps and Sunglasses

And then I went to H&M the next day and spent much more. But that’s a whole other topic. For now, let’s focus on the fact that I only spent $15, which is a miracle considering that I walked the entire length of the Lakewood Shopping Center and visited all my favorite stores. This was right after an hour of swimming and no food, so I’m actually proud of myself for not caving into the temptation known as Auntie Annie’s.

(Then I went home and stuffed my face with a bowl of Ramen + egg whites + Pepper Jack cheese (it’s weird but try it!) + chicken dumplings + kale. Yeah! I know! It’s the weirdest unhealthiest + heathiest combination ever and I both enjoyed it thoroughly and regret it immensely!)

So I have been dying, DYING to get some pointy heel pumps. But I’m also very particular. I need them to be a certain height–not too low and not too high and I need the pointiness to be JUST pointy enough. When I stepped into Charlotte Russe, it was only to brave the jewelry section and see if, for once, I can find anything I like. (Nothing to do with their jewelry selection, more to do with my lack of interest in jewelry at all.) They’re having a buy one, get one for $10 sale on shoes, so I figured I’d check it out. But none of their selection really worked out, except when I stepped near the clearance section. And that’s when I spotted these GORGEOUS neon pink pointy toe pumps!

Pink Pointy Heel Pumps

I knew the moment we met that I had to have you.

I’m in love. And then I checked the price. Only $9.99. And in my size. And it’s like…this is the moment I’ve been waiting for……

Ahem.

Right now, they’re on the Charlotte Russe site for $28.99 (but as part of their buy one get one for $10 deal), so I definitely nabbed a steal there.

I’m so so happy right now. I had no place to wear them, being the lonely loser and hermit that I am currently–well it was Sunday and all I really wanted to do was stay home and read a book and maybe attempt to sew something–so I just wore them while I lounged around the house. I pretty much spent an entire afternoon drinking tea on my couch and staring at my new shoes. I know. I’m aware of how sad this sounds. I swear, I have friends. They were just busy.

Having such a round face, I can hardly find the right sunglasses. They have to be flat with rounded square lenses, and they have to be large enough to fit my strangely large head and to also make my face appear smaller. Because when I try to wear smaller frames, I look like the Hulk as he erupts with hunger, I mean anger.

I walked by these Aviators–which usually tend to make my face look like it’s droooooooping–and for some reason figured I should give them a try. And I actually love them!

Aviator Sunglasses from Charlotte Russe

They’re now my favorite sunglasses. The nose-piece elevates them slightly so that my huge cheeks don’t hit the frame when I smile. Plus, they were on sale for $3 (down from $6). Boom. You best believe I’m go’ng to buy dem shades. (That’s right, folks. You can take the lady out of Westminster, but you can’t take the Wet-min-tuh out of the AzN BbY GrL.)

Thus concludes my TMI Friday. I was so excited about my purchases, that I had to share with you guys. What are you shopping for this weekend?

July 16, 2015

What Do I Wear to See the Dalai Lama?

Lace Gathered Fit and Flared Dress Outfit 1

Lace Gathered Fit and Flared Dress Outfit 2Lace Gathered Fit and Flared Dress Outfit 5
Last weekend, I got the chance to see the Dalai Lama in Garden Grove and hear him talk about compassion and kindness. My sister knows the mayor Bao (*flicks dust off shoulders*) and he got us free tickets. I felt really special until I realized that all the tickets were free. Heh.

I’ve made the tragic mistake of Over Dressing before–but then again it’s always better to be overdressed than under-dressed. And plus, since I’m always wearing, well, a dress, I’m technically usually overdressed anyway. So who cares anymore, right?

Lace Gathered Fit and Flared Dress Outfit 6

Thus I opted for my beige stretchy lace fit-and-flare gathered dress, made by mooooooiiiiiiiiii, thankyouverymuch. (The tutorial will be released soon as a part of the 10 Dresses in 10 Weeks Summer Sewing Series.) I shall bare no arms, so I went in search of a jacket–and I am always looking for an excuse to wear my favorite mustard cardigan (I just bought some fabric to make another one!). Of course when it comes to shoes, I knew that I would be on my feet most of the day since most conventions/lectures usually mean you’re running around looking for your spot, and for the rest of the people in your group. So I wore these cute stacked sandals that I just loooove and they’re so comfortable. I could stand in them all day.

stacked sandals

I love this handmade purse that I got from Etsy, even though one of the rings is starting to break. I reattached it with an extra keyring I had lying around.

Cross Over Body Purse

My sister Vy and I were supposed to go with her friend and her friend’s friend, but Vy bailed on me because she had a last-minute engagement singing gig. (She’s a singer! Check out her YouTube when you have a chance.) But that’s okay because I was just excited to go see the Dalai Lama. This is where I need to add that I don’t believe in the whole reincarnation thing. I know he’s just another man. But it’s cool to go see a celebrity figure. And what’s wrong with hearing about compassion and kindness–don’t we need more of that in the world?

My brother Mac decided to take her place, and then her other friend also bailed, so we ended up giving away one of our tickets anyway. Go figure.

Anyway, it was cool. I got some shots of him. Tiny tiny man.

Dalai Lama Speaking in Garden Grove with Mayor Bao Nguyen

Dalai Lama Speaking in Garden Grove

Dalai Lama clapping with a bunch of Asian people

Dalai Lama SigningDalai Lama Signing

Full disclosure, I didn’t hear anything he said. Neither did my friend.

Which might explain why no one showed anything resembling compassion or kindness when we were fighting to leave the parking lot. Then again, I was in Garden Grove, the heartland of Asian drivers, so…

When I told my boss I was going to see the Dalai Lama, he gave me this Tibetan Prayer Garland. I had no idea what to do with it though. I mean, is it a necklace? A bracelet? Or do I just hold it while I…pray? I don’t know. Besides, it didn’t match my dress.

Tibetan Prayer Garland

So what I wore to see the Dalai Lama was…also what I wore to go shoot some arrows with my brother at the archery field. He offered and I said I wanted to go, and we had about an hour of sunlight left so off we went.

Van Hoang Being AwesomeVan Hoang Being Awesome

Van Hoang Being Awesome

Not too bad for my first try.

Van Hoang Being Awesome

:: Outfit Details ::

Lace Fit and Flare Gathered Waistline Dress (made by yours truly as part of the 10 Dresses in 10 Weeks Summer Sewing Series)
Mustard Yellow Cardigan (~$15 from Papaya)
Stacked Sandals ($10 from here)
Cross-Over-Body Bag (~$30 from H&M)

July 14, 2015

Week One! Floral Fit and Flare Pleated Dress

Fit and Flare Pleated Dress

Oh em gee, yo, I’m excited to post this dress. I think of all the ten I’m doing for my 10 Dresses in 10 Weeks summer series, this is still my favorite. But not really because I love them all!

This fit-and-flare, floral dress fits absolutely perfectly, but that wasn’t so much due to my sewing talents as it is to the stretchy knit fabric. It’s perfect, thick enough that I didn’t need a lining, but light enough that it won’t suffocate me during those hot 100-degree Southern California days. (First world problems, I know, I know.)

I got this fabric for half off at Joann’s, so I think it came out to about $6 to $7 a yard. Since I only need one yard to make a dress (on average, anyway, depending on the style) because I’m short, that’s definitely a steal!

The bodice is fitted, and modeled after another fit-and-flare dress I own that’s shrunken to a miniature size of what it used to be. The bodice hits me just above the waistline–though I wish I would have dropped it about an inch or two below that.

The skirt is a boxy cut, and I pleated it at the waistline. Want to know a secret? I did it wrong at first. The front pleats were facing the wrong way (inwards, when I wanted them outwards). I was too lazy to change it at first, but then it bothered me so much in the pictures that I had to go back and rip up the seams, which has got to be the worst thing ever (in sewing life, anyway). I’m so glad I sucked it up because I love the dress so much now that it’s done and just the way I like it.

Fit and Floral Pleated Dress OOABFit and Flare Pleated Dress

In the video, I’m pairing it with my black lace booties. Only because stilettos make my legs look longer and I’ll take what I can get in the vertical department. I think it would look lovely paired with some round-toed flats, some sheer tights, and a comfy cardigan for extra warmth.

Then in the summer you can tone it down to some cute sandals and a big floppy hat (to please my Asian mother and protect from the sun) and head to the beach!

So go grab some floral knit fabric and whip up this dress. I made it with half a yard, but I’m petite and wear a small to medium in most brands. If you’re taller, you might want to consider buying a yard and a half, but I still have some leftover from that yard of fabric.

Please send me pics or links if you do make this dress. I’d love to see what you come up with!

Next week, we’ll be working on the pink swimsuit cover-up (or oversized sweater dress, depending on how you look at it 😉 ), so go grab yourself a yard of a sweater-like or crochet-like fabric. I got mine at Jo-Ann, and it was half off apparel knits when I went, so my dress was around $6 to make. Good look, and see you next week!

July 9, 2015

Vivid Brights

close up

dress with purse

Strappy Blush Wedges

Dress with Purse

a line dress with blue raincoat and bright yellow purse

dress with bright purse

I was supposed to wake up super early and take a hike at Hilltop Park in Signal Hill, but of course that didn’t happen. So I went swimming instead and had an amazing hour of almost non-stop laps. My knee is still hurting from kicking wrong, but I decided to opt out of my kinesiology tape because I figured I might as well still make use of the sunshine. Also, I just didn’t feel like having it on my knee in pictures, and then subsequently having a million people ask me what it was, what it’s for, what happened, am I okay blah blah blah.

(I know they’re just being nice. I’m just having a bad week. You know, one of those where nothing goes right and just when you think you’ve had enough, you realize that you can, after all, take on just one more bad thing. Because what choice do you have?)

Anyway, I’m glad I went to Hilltop Park because this place is just gorgeous and made me feel so much better. The pictures don’t do the view any justice, so I’ll spare you my lame attempts. 🙂 People were already there bright and early to enjoy the sunshine, the nice summer air. Moments like these are what make me so glad I moved back to Southern California, even though I had to give up most of my beanies and scarves.

I absolutely loooooove my bright neon-yellow purse. It’s just so gorgeous, and when my outfit feels just a tad bit boring, this always brightens it up instantly. The only problem is that my phone is just slightly too big to fit inside of it, so I tend not to use it as much as I’d like.

Some guy was totally photo-bombing me in this picture:

dress with sweater and purse

:: Outfit Details ::

Floral A-Line Fit-and-Flare Dress (~$6, made by me as part of the 10 Dresses in 10 Weeks Summer Sewing Series, tutorial anticipated release date Sep 1st)
Blush-Colored Strappy Wedge Heels ($10 from here)
Bright Neon Yellow Cross-Over Body Purse (~$15 from Ross)
Navy Blue Rain Coat (Christmas gift from my sister)
White Hollister Knit Cardigan (Christmas gift from my sister-in-law)

July 7, 2015

Summer Sewing Series: 10 Dresses in 10 Weeks Challenge

I’m so excited to finally reveal the project I keep hinting at. It’s…duh dun duh DUN!

10 Dresses Collage

That’s right guys. I challenge you to make 10 dresses in the next 10 weeks with me. I’ve been dying to make cute floral, summery dresses, and I can’t wait to share with you what I’ve been up to. And invite you to sew with me! The best part is I’ll be posting tutorials for each dress I make, so you can sew along! Yipee!

This summer series will officially launch next Tuesday with the first video tutorial, so stay tuned and check back often both here on my blog and on my channel. Here’s the intro video for a sneak peak of all the dresses:

This is the schedule for the dresses in the video. Subject to changes. Because of life.

Week one: Fit and flare, floral pleated dress (Tuesday, July 14th)

fit and floral 1

Week two: Pink crocheted swim suit cover up (or sweater dress, depending on how you look at it) (July 21st)

swimsuit coverup

Week three: Simple elastic, curved hem waistband dress (July 28th)

elastic

Week four: Lace, fit-and-flare, gathered waistline dress (August 4th)

lace dress

Week five: Striped sleeveless dress (August 11th)

striped tank dress 2

Week six: Zippered chiffon dress (August 18th)

dress 2

Week seven: Two-toned, lace bodice over arrow print, gathered waistline dress (August 25th)

dress (2)

Week eight: Quarter-length sleeve, fit-and-flare a-line dress (September 1st)

fit and flare dress

Week nine: Empire waist, surplice bodice LBD with pink crochet-detailed straps (September 8th)

Week ten: Blue lace over yellow, bodycon dress (September 15th)

blue bodycon

You know what’s crazy? The original idea was that I’d make one dress a week for the next whole year. Yeah! When I told my friend that I might be taking on a challenge to make 52 dresses in 52 weeks, she stared at me as if I was crazy. Then I realized that she was right.

Anyone who’s met me knows how much I adoooore dresses. That’s all I ever wear anymore. Even for work, I’m in a dress 4 days out of 5 (and the one day is a Friday which happens to be casual Friday. Even though I always regret it, I can’t miss my chance to wear jeans to the office).

Plus right now I’m obsessing with florals and bright prints. I’m dying to make about a million fit-and-flare, swing, and tank dresses. Definitely going to throw in some beach-y numbers, and maybe finally get around to sewing a tailored, zippered one. I’m a little nervous and excited. I know life might get in the way some weeks, but what can it hurt to try? And in the end, I’ll have a million dresses–which is sort of a big fantasy for me. Because I’m weird.

For a while now, I’ve been neglecting my sewing and arts/crafts hobby, but I’m going to come back in full force, and taking on this huge project.

This is it guys. I’m so excited! Tutorials will be posted every Tuesday. Why Tuesday? (you ask but silently and only in my head). Because Tutorial Tuesday has a nice ring to it. And because I’ll need at least the weekend to work on the dress, and because Monday sucks. So Tuesday it is.

I’m inviting–no, I’m challenging!–you guys to be a part of this. Hey, in the end, you’ll at least have ten dresses for the summer. And now you have a good reason to go fabric shopping–not that you need one. 🙂

Who’s with me?

June 19, 2015

Joann’s Fabric Haul

I know I’ve got a serious shopping addiction, but fabric doesn’t count right? I mean, it’s more of a necessity than anything, like groceries or utility bills. Y’know? Right?

After making sure I’ve got my Joann’s coupon with me (and then promptly forgetting it in the car), I headed to the nearest store, which is this huge superstore during my lunch. I KNOW. I WORK NEAR A JOANN’S SUPERSTORE. I pretty much knew that I wanted to work in this office when I saw the Joann’s. Just kidding. But not really.

I was so happy to discover that all apparel knits were on sale for 50% off! Yipee!

Then of course, I proceeded to the cutting table, where about twenty ladies were waiting in line. This place is so huge that you have to take a number in order to get your fabric cut. Not to worry though because Joann ladies are super fast and get you in and out quickly. I had enough time during my lunch to browse fabric, get it cut, grab some extra needles, and head for the front lanes–it’s probably a good thing that I go during lunch, otherwise I’d be there forever and end up emptying my bank account into the store.

So here’s what I got:

SONY DSC
A couple lovely floral knits, both half off.

What do I plan to make with this? you ask silently in my head. DRESSES. Cute, summer dresses. Because who can have enough sundresses. No one. Not me. No matter how many times my husband says so. Or how many new hangers I have to buy to supplement my clothing addiction.

But enough about me, on to the fabric. I’m going to make some fit-and-flare dresses out of these because I’m so in love with that cut right now and it’s flattering on just about any body shape. Mostly though, I just want to re-create one of my favorite dresses:

This thing has shrunken to become more like a shirt because I’ve worn and washed it that much. It fits lovely still, but just a tad too short for my comfort. I hate to see it die, so I’m going to keep it around to make more! And maybe upload a tutorial along the way. 😉

Of course I can never leave Joann’s without buying half the remnants section. Everything here is a great deal because it’s all half off. The only problem is I go a little crazy and then I buy a lot of fabric that I willllllll eventually get around to one day some day maybe I don’t know when I have time this weekend or next year or something who knows.

Jet set knit

I love using jet set knit for lining because it’s light and inexpensive. Also, it’s one of the few knits that are extremely easy to work with.

Maybe I’ll make a tank dress out of this lovely navy blue lace, and use the yellow lining underneath? I love pairing blue with yellow. What do you think of that?

I seriously have no idea what I’m going to do with this floral print. I just really love it. I’m obsessed with floral, teal (or any derivative of aquamarine) right now so it’s no wonder that I grabbed this.

This coral arrow print was another impulse grab. I don’t know what I’m going to make with it! Someone give me some inspiration, please. 🙂

The deal is that I have to use up all of these fabrics before I can go back and buy anything else. And right now I’m dying to grab some mustard yellow chunky yarn to make some beanies. Yes, in the middle of summer. My itch to stitch comes at the worse times.

What are you guys planning to make this summer?