Custom Style

Sewing that's Retro, Geek, and Chic

Tag Archives: JRT

Just One More Sleep ’til Christmas!

It’s Christmas Eve… so how about one more post for 2013!

What kind of costumer would I be if I didn’t dress my dog up for Christmas?

Wensley makes a cute Christmas card. It’s the Jack Russell in him. =)

You may remember last year’s card, which was his first. We didn’t try any dress up then because we didn’t know how he would take it.

This year we pulled out the Santa hat we had for our last dog and I shortened the elastic a bit to fit Wensley.

My good little Santa dog sits well on command this year. =)

We only pulled out the front window tree with its plastic ornaments this year (I’ll do battle to protect the special glass ornaments on the bigger den tree from the dog next year).

The front window tree is an iridescent white tree with colored lights.

I love how it glows like a beacon at night!

Coming up in future posts (in no particular order): the details of the Wonder Woman cape build, some handmade Christmas gifts I stitched up, pattern testing results, and a giveaway.

Merry Christmas, everyone! May you all have wonderful holidays with good friends & family!

See you next year!

A Custom Style Christmas

Every year, my husband and I design our Christmas cards using a simple photo that always involves our dog.  I usually come up with the concept and he helps me execute it.

This year was the first year we’ve had Wensley for the Christmas card, and we weren’t sure he would be as easy to photograph as our last Jack Russell, who was an old pro at our crazy photo shoots.

Well, Wensley was amazing, and I managed to get the exact photo I wanted by take 7 or 8!  Lots of treats were given (so he was well paid) and he had so much fun playing the new “game” that he wanted to keep going long after we called it quits.  (I think 100 photos is more than enough, dog.  But thanks!)

UPDATE 10/17/13: This card is now available for sale in my Zazzle store. Can be customized.

So to my online friends whose physical addresses I do not have for sending cards, here’s a virtual version of this year’s card:

Card Front
I tied some red ribbon around our green storage ottoman to use as the “gift” prop.

Photo Inside Card
Wensley stands & sits on our ottoman all the time because he’s not allowed on any of the other furniture, so this was an easy shot to get.

Inside message:

Merry Christmas!  from the Wilkersons

“Oh, that birth forever blessed,
When the Virgin, full of grace,
By the Holy Ghost conceiving,
Bore the Savior of our race,
And the Babe, the world’s Redeemer,
First revealed His sacred face
Evermore and evermore.”

                        Of the Father’s Love Begotten – hymn stanza 2

Card Back
We usually use a funny photo or outtake on the back, but we decided on something normal this year because it was the first time some of our friends & family would be seeing our new pup.

And here are two of my favorite outtakes that were not included in the original card:

“You want me to do what? You’re crazy.”

Most people know JRTs are fast, but here’s some proof.

Have a wonderful Christmas holiday, everyone!

My Blog Turns 2 – with a Post Count Milestone!

November is a month of birthdays for my household.  Our puppy Wensley started the month when he turned one on the First.

Don’t let the cute face fool you – he’s no saint, despite his birth date!

Then I got old…er.

Then my husband had his birthday.

And now my blog ends the month with a birthday.  So with the 60th post, happy second birthday, little blog!

In some ways, I can’t believe it’s been two years since I started this blog.  In other ways, I can because it seems like I’ve been actively a part of the blogosphere forever.

Thank you so much to all my regular readers and commenters – you all make me smile every time you take a minute to share your thoughts!  I really enjoy the interaction, and I enjoy reading so many of your blogs as well!

I have a list of ideas for upcoming posts.  There will be some stories about childhood sewing and excitingly successful research about my vintage Wizard brand sewing machine to share.  I’m currently in the middle of making Gandalf the Green his own table (so there will be another sewing room IKEA hack coming up) and I have a bunch of mock-ups ready to fit after I clean up my sewing room a little.

I hope you have enjoyed how my blog has evolved over the past two years and will continue to come back.

And if there’s anything specific you would be interesting in reading about, please let me know in the comments!

Take Your D(ogg)er to Work Day

I had a job today (Nike commercial reshoots) and my husband sent me this photo from his office:

I guess Wensley just wanted to stare at him eye-to-eye while he worked, hehe.

Stars and Stripes

Happy Fourth of July!

This past Sunday my church celebrated Independence Day with an outdoor picnic after the service. We are encouraged to dress casually & patriotically for this annual event, but (call me old-fashioned) I just can’t bring myself to wear shorts & a t-shirt to worship! (Had it not been an outdoor event in the Texas heat, I probably would have worn my ’40s dress with a red headband instead of hat.)

I did, however, dress less formally than my usual church attire – I wore a casual skirt I made myself for a 4th of July party a few years ago.

My casual patriotic skirt.

I made this skirt out of scraps of denim I had left from a client’s project and a yard of patriotic stripes I bought because it wasn’t so stereotypical “stars and stripes”. I had to piece the denim before I cut the pattern out, but luckily, it is a dark enough navy that the piecing is hard to notice from the outside.

You can see some of my crazy piecing on the inside because I serged everything in ivory thread.

I used a store-bought Vogue pattern – number 8296 (it’s now out-of-print). I always liked the lines of the pattern for view A but I can’t stand raw edges on my clothes. So I did some fun point sewing, and by using two different fabrics, the style lines really stand out.

Pattern & completed skirt.
Sewing tip: when choosing a pattern, look at the style lines of the garment sketch instead of the envelope art – it will keep you from being influenced by the colors and fabric choices of the designer.

I like how the pattern’s asymmetrical seams sort of look like points on a star and how the stripes end up going in all different directions.

Side and Back view of skirt. It is nice how the slight breeze is catching the flounce so you kind of can see how the skirt moves.

I tried to make myself a patriotic outfit that wasn’t too cliché (I get bored with the garments that look like you’re wearing a flag) and I think it ended up being a fun skirt.

Wensley wanted in on the action but he wanted to get too close to the camera, so I’m having to hold him back, hehe.

I hope all of you in the U.S. have a wonderful Fourth!

Updates and My New Distraction

Right now, I’ve got so many projects going at the same time – it’s amazing how busy I can keep myself without even having a current TV/movie job!

I’m still working on inventory for my Etsy shop (I promise it’s almost open!), but I have to admit, I’m a little scared to push the “go button”. Building items, taking photos, and writing about them is the easy part! There seems to be so much general setup to do – especially stuff like writing a good shop policy so that customers don’t take advantage of me like some have in the past. And then there is learning to deal with actual shipping… I also find it a bit difficult to sew for an “unknown” person since I usually work directly with someone else (designer or client) on every project.

This week I’ve been trying to choose fabric for my version of the Ladies’ Wrap (#0291) for The 1912 Project. I received the pattern a few weeks back, but I have a new Little Distraction that has been demanding most my attention (more about that in a minute).

Titanic era Ladies’ Wrap

I requested the wrap pattern because it looked like it would be quick & undemanding, easily fit a variety of sizes without alterations, and I think the oriental influence of the design made me subconsciously liken it to a Jedi outfit – which speaks to the geek in me. Retro and slightly geeky. How could I not like it?

A page from one of my favorite books in my personal library (Dressing the Galaxy: The Costumes of Star Wars) shows the similarities between the wrap style and a Jedi:

I might make another wrap in colors & fabrics similar to a Jedi.

I started by digging though my fabric stash looking for something interesting to use for the wrap. I had many great options I really loved but not enough yardage of any of them. Drat.

But then I remembered I had a roll of fabric that someone once gave me while cleaning out their closet. (I have no idea what it was originally purchased to make, but I always accept interesting fabrics when they are free!) The fabric is a continuous brocade with a black background and metallic threads woven into flowers & leaves in peacock shades of blue, turquoise, green, gold, and silver.

You can see the wrong-side of the continuous brocade fabric on the roll at the top of the photo.

As always, I read the directions that were including with the pattern and then promptly decided to do it a different way – my typical take-a-simple-project-and-make-it-more-complicated-than-it-needs-to-be mode of operation. Curse my engineering brain!

I may have actually made a few construction details easier, but I have to carefully plan the order of steps. The end result is going to be super cool (if I do say so myself) and I will share the instructions once I have the wrap made. =)

I had the perfect turquoise fabric to coordinate with the metallic brocade fabric, but alas, I didn’t have quite enough.

I really like the texture & sheen of this fabric – too bad I don’t have just a little bit more!

So I went hunting for something else in the same shade of bright turquoise with a decent weight (almost everything I found was paper thin!), and ended up with some matte satin from Walmart (of all places!). It doesn’t have the same interesting texture, but it’s almost the same shade of bright turquoise as the fabric I wanted to use! And it was a suitable weight and only about $14 for the amount I needed. Not bad.

Swatch of original choice on matte satin fabric I bought.

So here’s a photo of all the fabrics I plan to use for this project:

And that “little distraction” I mentioned? Well, I’ll let this picture speak for itself:


We got a puppy! (Isn’t he adorable??) He’s a Jack Russell Terrier (or Jack Russell Terror, as my husband likes to say) and he is nearly 5 months old & almost full size. It’s such a huge change going from an elderly, well-trained JRT to a teething puppy, but Wensley is going to be a wonderful dog once he matures a little more and I can trust him to stay out of trouble.

I still miss my old dog but it’s so nice to have a companion during the day again. =)

Related posts:

Mock-up Fitting of a Titanic Era Pattern

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