The Easiest Fancy Hairstyle . . . Ever!


Recently I attended the VFT Spring Retreat in Spring Hill, TN at the Violette Field Threads studio.  During the retreat we sewed up two dresses, Mila and Paige.  I was photographing our Mila (link here) yesterday and needed a quick yet fancy hairstyle for Hadley.  This one is super easy and looks like you put alot of time and effort into it!

First you need a headband . . . it really works with any type of headband with elastic.  I’ve actually found several cute ones at Walmart and also at Icing recently.  We start out parting the hair in the desired place and putting the headband on like so . . . FullSizeRender-7

Starting from this point I’ve uploaded a quick video tutorial . . .here.

Here are some pictures of what it looks like completed . . . easy peasy right?

So there is our brief tutorial on an easy, yet elegant hairstyle!  Enjoy!



The #toptester Challenge


Hadley and I are always up for a good challenge and as I’ve mentioned before we LOVE testing patterns.  Last week Made for Mermaids posted the details of an upcoming contest which was designed to help participants understand the pattern testing process as well as a bit of competition by completing each task well and completely.  If you are interested in reading more about the challenge here is a link to the Made for Mermaids Top Tester Challenge Blog Post.

The first step was deciding which pattern to use.  We own several Made for Mermaids patterns but as we looked at all the options we fell in love with Isla from the new dreamy collection.  The link to the pattern is here.  Isla is DREAMY.  Simple bodice design with limitless options for adding lace, embroidery or other trims to jazz it up a little!

Now that we had picked Isla, we had to pick fabric.  This was the hardest step for us!  We narrowed it down to two of our favorite Art Gallery designs.IMG_4932

We decided on the first one.  A favorite of our from the Fleet and Flourish collection.

Next we began assembling the dress and deciding on trims.  We opted for a simple lace trim across the top of the bodice and a contrasting piping along the bottom V curve!


When we were finished, we added a bit of matching lace to the bottom of the dress as well.


The straps we made out of the same contrasting material as the piping because . . . well because we liked the way it looked and in our mind contrasting pieces should come in threes (2 straps and the piping).


After the dress was assembled we took fit pictures.  This is an integral part of the testing process because it ensures that the final pattern fits the specifications given and allows the tester to make small adjustments to ensure a perfect fit.  The fit feedback is of utmost importance to the designer.

You will notice that this wasn’t my final strap placement.  Again, as I mentioned above, the fit pictures allow for small adjustments so in these pictures my straps are simply pinned in place.

Another piece of the challenge was the proofreading challenge.  In this part of the challenge we were given a sample pattern to read through and identify spelling and grammar errors as well as omissions within the instructions.

We wanted to style this dress really well since it was a contest.  We thought it would be fun to highlight some of the the blue in the dress with our coordinating pieces.  Together, Hadley and I selected blue moccasin sandals and a floppy hat.  We added a bit of contrasting fabric around the trim of the floppy hat for an extra punch of color.  I also asked my local florist and friend Amber to put together some flowers that would coordinate well with the dress.  If you want to read about the blue chair we used in our photos, the link is here.


Finally our favorite part . . . the final photos!  We love photographing the dresses we make almost as much as we enjoy making them!  I think I have a particularly cute model and she does a lot of testing with me so in general she is accustomed to taking final photos.

Here are a few from our final shoot:


Overall, we had a great time participating in the #toptester challenge!


The Blue Chair


One thing that Hadley and I love to do is test patterns.  In fact, sewing up new patterns and taking photos for pattern testing is one of our favorite pastimes.  I often feel as though I can easily get stuck in a rut with my photography using the same places, same props and same poses over and over again.  I really wanted a new prop for an upcoming photo shoot and in my mind I was envisioning a vintage style turquoise chair.

Enter this beauty . . .


My dad found this old chair in the barn out at the farm and though well loved it seemed perfect for my vision!

My friend Rachael (who is a bit more adept with power tools than myself) helped me out!  First we sanded down the chair.  There were several layers of old paint.  Some of it was quite crackled and distressed looking which was perfect.  Other areas needed more sanding to prevent splinters.  There were a few stray nails that we pulled out for safety’s sake!  We used a power sander on the seat to make sure it was nice and smooth and sanding sponges on the rest of the chair.


After we took a damp rag and wiped off the saw dust we started with the fun part . . . PAINT!  The best part of this project was nothing about it needed to be perfect.  That was great because we had a couple of three year old’s helping out also!


We let some of the old yellow pain on the dowels peek though for a more vintage and weathered look.  One light layer of paint dried quickly and my chair was ready for photos just a few hours later!