The story of Lucille

This past Saturday, the 14th, we celebrated six years with this little furry soul mate of mine, Lucille. She’s a huge part of my life (my whole life pretty much revolves around her actually. Yeah, I’m that kind of dog lady!) so it’s only fitting that I share her story here. This story is a long one and it’s emotional for me to write, but here goes…

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Autumn is my absolute favorite season. I love the transition of weather and wardrobe, the changing of leaves, the need to bundle up, and yeah, I love Pumpkin Spice Lattes.

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After a solid week of being sick, I’m finally starting to feel better! Whatever respiratory virus I was incubating now seems to be on the outs, so after my pattern drafting class this morning, William and I wanted to take Lucille for a nice long walk. Especially since the weather was nice and I could actually breathe through my nose again.

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I feel like there’s some pressure in the blogging world to never post the same outfit twice. Do you ever feel that way? I rarely ever show wardrobe repeats because I’ve made some things that I hardly wear, and some that I wear to death. You probably don’t want to keep seeing the things I wear over and over, but today I wore two handmade items that have graced this blog before.

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Recognize the scarf? It’s the cowl I made back in February, that I predicted would get more wear by me even though I made it for William. Who would have guessed I had such foresight. Not that anyone could blame me of course because it’s a pretty cute accessory if I do say so myself.

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This dirndl skirt also made an appearance fairly recently, and I’ve been wearing it constantly since then. I find it to be super comfortable and perfectly suitable for most things, including tromping around in the woods with an adventurous dog.

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After today’s class, I decided there is no way in hell that I’m going to recreate that fancy green 1940’s wrap dress. I knew pattern drafting wasn’t easy, but after today’s sloper attempt I just want to make something I’m truly proud of and something that fits me better than anything I’ve ever made. I’m not going to be able to truly concentrate on the fit if I’m working too hard to recreate an impassible design (impassible – because nothing’s impossible – but seriously, recreating that dress would probably make me lose all my hair a second time, and I kinda really love my real hair now that’s it’s back. Ha!). So yeah, no. No fancy 1940’s dresses with ruching up the wazoo.

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I will certainly be sharing all about my pattern making process as I work through the class. I plan to put together my first basic sloper dress this week.

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Also this week: Wil and I are finishing up the Fall For Cotton finished project slideshow (finally, I know! Sorry for the delay!)! Tomorrow: Craftsy is announcing the official nominees in the Craftsy Blogger Awards, so if you’d like to nominate Lucky Lucille for the sewing category (with best photography as a specialty) today is the last day to do so. …Did I mention I’d love you forever and ever if you happen to nominate Lucky Lucille?

**UPDATE – Thanks to you, I made it as one of four official nominees!! THANK YOU!! Now the real voting has begun. Click here to vote for Lucky Lucille in the Craftsy Blogger Awards!

xo
Rochelle

Red, White, and Blue

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Happy Independence Day, America! Lucille and I are feeling awfully patriotic today and decided to flash some red, white, and blue on our walk around town.

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We chose a quiet little spot far, far away from any crazy festivities and stopped to take a few photos and sniff around. Lucille even humored me by wearing a matching vintage scarf. She puts up with so much lol ;)

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The dress I’m wearing is my most recent sewing project that I finished up on Monday night. It’s made from an amazing organic cotton sateen (sent to me by the kind folks at Organic Cotton Plus) and I can’t wait to share a full review of it. Spoiler alert: this fabric is easily the most amazing stuff I’ve ever laid hands on. Seriously, it’s that good. I love the versatility of this dress because it has the potential to be quite formal (you’ll see!), but just as easily works for a casual walk around town.

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Living in a rural college town is awesome because it becomes a ghost town in the summer. You could literally lay down in the middle of the street and not be bothered. That’s my kind of living!

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It’s been so hot and muggy for the majority of the summer thus far, leaving us with little interest in staying outdoors for very long, even when there are neat things to explore. Lucille and I don’t tolerate the heat well. We need a good rain so badly, though I don’t suppose tonight would be the most welcome night for it on account of the fireworks and all. Aren’t fireworks the best?!

Recently I found out I’m a Daughter of The American Revolution, on both maternal and paternal sides of my family, so I’m pretty much as American as they come. My country isn’t perfect but we certainly have a lot of things to be proud of and thankful for, and I’m happy to call the good ol’ U.S. of A. my home. Small Town, U.S.A. actually …very small.

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Happy 4th of July!

xo
Rochelle and Lucille

 

Lately

This is my life as of late. Taking care of that ridiculously adorable bundled face and sewing. Sewing then shipping then sewing then shipping. It’s pretty wonderful actually. Zero complaints here!

Thank you to everyone who has supported my Lucky Lucille online endeavors so far. I’m absolutely blown away! I’m working double time to try to and stock up for the craft fair AND my online shop, but towards the end of the month I’ll be able to slow down a bit and do some personal sewing. I’m definitely excited for that :)

Oh! I’m definitely excited for snowboarding too! It’s getting pretty snowy up here in the mountains of Vermont and I’m loving it! Lucille isn’t loving it so much though. She hates the cold, hence the snow gear lol. I don’t condone dressing up your dog in frivolous clothing, but Lucille has zero hair on her chest and tummy and I can’t in good conscious take her out in sub-zero temps so exposed. Ha! Who am I kidding you guys SHE’S THE CUTEST EVER in doggy clothes!! She has boots too but she hates them. I only make her wear the boots when it drops below zero. Sometimes her toes get so cold when we go out for a walk that I have to carry her back inside. Poor thing. …but yeah, I totally love when she has to wear her boots haha! ;) Poor tortured dog.

 

Doggy Poop Bag Holders!

Introducing the latest Lucky Lucille item, the doggy poop bag holder!! I can’t tell you how many times Lucille and I have been about to head out for a walk when I check my pockets at the door and realize I have no poop bags. This might not be a huge deal to people with the luxury of their own yards, but when you share a community outdoor space, the fines for abandoning dog poop can be pretty hefty.

Rather than make Lucille wait in her harness while I scramble to try to find where we last left the bag roll, I decided nix that problem all together by just making a little bag holder that attaches right to her leash. Now I always know where they are, and they will always be with us on walks!

After making a prototype and getting an awesome response to them, I decided to make them to sell in my little online shop! Lucille, William, and I did some extensive field testing to make sure they were durable enough for a typical walk with us…

That included an actual poop test. How convenient is it to actually have poop bags attached to the leash when a poop commences?

Answer? VERY!

Do the bag holders get in the way of holding onto the leash? Nope!

 Do the bags fall out if they’re dragged on the ground? Nope!

Well how do they hold up to more intense walking activities like log jumping?!

Haha! Pretty well if you ask me :)

(if only Lucille could teach her dad a thing or two about grace!! lol)

Now, these poop bags holders are not meant to be dragged around on the ground for extensive periods of time. They’re not meant to be chewed on (I hope it’s obvious that plastic bags, ripped fabric, and small metal parts should NOT be chewed on or ingested by your pets!) These bag holders are also not meant to be pulled on or beaten up severely. They are made by machine, all of the seams are finished, but they are made of regular cotton fabric. Quality cotton, but cotton none the less.

BUT! Under normal walking circumstances they do their job, and they do it well!

In other news, I got my Lucille fabric in the mail the other day and promptly made a zipper pouch out of it! I decided it would be the perfect item to send, along with some other donations, for a Bully Breed benefit event taking place this weekend in Kansas City!

p.s. the bag holder I sent is the same fabric as mine, but not the same one Lucille dragged on the ground ;) I sent a fresh one lol

Self Drafted Tunic

I made a tunic! This one is special because it’s my first self drafted garment pattern. Well, self drafted in the sense that I made it myself based on a tank top pattern and my favorite shirt. If you follow Lucille and I on instagram, you saw this pattern in the making, as well as a few sneak peek shots. Now it’s completed and I have to say I’m pretty proud of myself.

I bought this fabric a few months ago and never ended up using it for the project I had in mind. I took a bit of a risk using it for a tunic because, lets face it, large circular prints can be terribly unflattering if they happen to fall oddly on the chest area. Eh-hem. Uhhh… yeah. So I took extra care to try to line up the circles so they didn’t look like targets on my upper anatomical quadrant. I think I did well.

The shirt that inspired me to make this tunic has a super cute little button tab thingy to hike up the sides as seen above. I did my best to recreate it, and I love the way it turned out. I really like wearing menswear inspired button up shirts with leggings, but a lot of the shirts don’t cover your bum. This is a problem for me since I’m a modest goody two shoes and I don’t like my spandex clad bum to be out there for all to see. So I definitely added some length when tracing the original shirt.

I made my own matching bias tape with my magical auto bias tape maker, which some of you seemed to be blown away by! Honestly I still am every time I use it. I just push the start button and chuckle to myself as the magical bias tape making gnomes who live inside the contraption do their thing. It’s pretty awesome.

I don’t know why all of the fabric I’m attracted to looks like it should be the dust ruffle on an 8 year old’s bed. …whatever I guess.

I had been taking Lucille on shorter walks while her little legs were healing up after her recent “incident“, but now that she’s feeling better she’s been raring to go! Thank you again to everyone who shared sweet words of concern for her. It really helped me get through it. This fuzzy goober face is my baby and it was really hard for me to experience that with her, even though she wasn’t badly hurt. But, the whole thing is behind us now and we’re moving forward! The kid is alright.

other outfit details
shoes: modcloth (no longer on site)
hair: bedhead by forever young
tunic: self drafted. obviously.
leggings: old navy

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Now, those who are participating in the Macaron Sew along are probably wondering why I made this tunic and not my muslin. And the answer is (shamfully) I don’t have my pattern yet!! I know, I know. I’m the worst co-host ever! But honestly, the reason why Sarah, Erin, and I decided on the bi-monthly/super low key schedule is for exactly reasons like this. Life happens, right?

Anyways, this new tunic pattern of mine needs a name!! Right? It totally needs a name. What should I name it??

xo
Rochelle & Lucille

Walks at Dusk

Lucille, William, and I like to go for walks at dusk when it’s nice and cool. And peaceful.

We like to take our time, and Lucille likes to smell the flowers.

I’m wearing a new skirt that I made last week out of some fabric that had been in my stash for a few years now. It’s a super sheer light weight cotton of some sort. Not a lawn, and not quite a gauze. …maybe it’s a gauze. I can’t remember. It has an amazing drape though, I know that much! It’s too sheer to wear alone, so I have a little muslin dress that I’m wearing underneath it. I used the skirt piece from this pattern for the panels. I think there are 6 panels in all, brought together with elastic at the natural waist.

Sunsets are serious business.

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But there are some bad things about walking at night. Wil and I learned that the hard way on Monday night when we took Lucille out a little later than usual. We were coming out of our apartment at the same time that our neighbor and his two dogs were coming out of their house, a few apartments down. We both turned the corner at the same time and the two off leash dogs charged us full speed from 3 car lengths away. The impact immediately erupted in a furry fury of growling and fighting. I always walk Lucille on a leash and harness, so luckily I had a tight hold on her. I tried to pull her out of the fight, and I thought I had for a second, but then the dogs were on her again. I screamed at this point and Wil was trying his best to shove them off of her. The owner was still 20 ft back, yelling to call his dogs off but they didn’t listen. Finally Wil shoved them far enough back that they kinda snapped out of it and ran back to their owner. Lucille was cowering underneath me at this point. We were both so scared. I can’t believe Wil and I were not bit as we both had our hands in the fight trying to break it up. I realized soon after the other dogs moved on that Lucille was limping.

When we got back to the house I could see right away she was bleeding, so we immediately took her to the emergency clinic. (this is also the point where I started balling my eyes out! my baby was attacked!!)

She has bite marks all up and down both front legs, and a few near her armpits. I’m so thankful the bites weren’t very deep.

Poor girl was so well behaved at the Vet as always. After a quick cleaning of her wounds, some pain killers and some antibiotics, we were on our way home. Even though the wounds were minor, they could have been prevented if those dogs were on a leash. Both of whom, by the way, left the fight without a single scratch on them. Yes that’s right. My “big scary dangerous Pit Bull” got her butt kicked by 2 female black labs. She’s a trooper though, and is doing just fine.

We have since talked to the owners and are settling the matter. They have been apologetic and cooperative so I am happy for that. I don’t want any harm to come to their dogs, I just want people in our unit to obey the leash laws so this doesn’t happen again.

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 Lu and I have been chilling out watching the Lord of the Rings Trilogy extended edition, and reading Game of Thrones. (Almost done with book 5 now!) She’s not limping any more at this point, but we’re still taking it easy. I want to thank everyone who left kind words for us on twitter and instagram earlier this week. It really means a lot to me. My whole family has been super supportive too even from states away. It’s so awesome to know this dog is so loved. She deserves it :) 

On a lighter note, have you seen the new Simplicity sewing patterns?! Pretty cute stuff!!

Take care,
Rochelle

 

 

 

 

 

 

Completed: Lisette Continental Dress

I bought this dress pattern recently, but in the spirit of stash busting I told myself I wouldn’t buy new fabric to make it. (I did anyway but that’s not the point.) This fabric has been tucked away in my fabrics bin for quite some time, but I didn’t realize exactly how long until I looked at the date on the salvage… SINCE 2006!! SIX YEARS!!! That’s shameful! I also didn’t realize it’s by Alexander Henry! He’s one of my favorite fabric designers now.

I didn’t really tweak this pattern much except for a few additions. I added the little front pocket, a belt, and some ric rac to the collar before binding it. I also did a huge “pillow case” hem on the bottom.

Lisette calls this the “Continental Dress”, but I think it looks like more of a Clam Bake dress. Or a Market Fresh Sandwhich Dress. …I don’t know why but the fabric reminds me of Arby’s haha! If it reminds you of a kitchen curtain, that’s because it’s supposed to be.

It’s a good dress for a creemee date though I’ll tell ya that.

Also a great dress for a 4th of July family drive.

Lucille knows that adventure time means Indiana Jones hat time. Adventure we did!

The Lisette Continental is definitely a good all purpose dress and a suuuupppper easy project. I finished it in just a few hours, and that includes tracing and cutting the pattern first! I bought the pattern specifically for the dress, but I may just have to give the separates a try one of these days.

I have to say, I’m really loving these easy one day projects. No zippers, no interfacing, no hassle. It’s pretty nice.

In other news, I’m piecing my Hazel dress together now after a gingham fabric catastrophe. I scratched the gingham idea completely after realizing it’s too sheer and not worth underlining. Now I’m doing an ombre style color block Hazel in aqua colors! Hopefully it turns out nicely.

Happy Independence Day every one!

Other Outfit Details
shoes: Target
bag: Moresca
hat: Target (stolen from the Mr.)
hair:  Slique
glasses: Ray Ban

A Skirt and a Sunset

Finally!! This is a bit delayed seeing as how I finished the skirt like, 2 weeks ago. Whatever. My bad ;)

Sooooo without further adieu, here’s my Colette Ginger Skirt made with Melody Miller’s Ruby Star Rising.

…and Lucille of course, since she photo bombed my shoot. What a ham.

This crazy Vermont weather is not treating my face so nicely! I have a major headache and my ears and nose are half stuffed up, half soggy. Kinda gross. But anyways, I’m really not feeling so hot. After a few photos I asked the Mr. if there was at least one good one in there, since it kinda hurts my brain to smile at the moment haha! Lovely, lovely sinus pressure.

I originally got dressed to go to my friend’s Roller Derby bout, but decided to bail last minute due to this headache. :(

Since I can’t leave a blog post on a downer note, here’s a totally UN-photoshopped photo of a sunset over my house that I took a few days ago…

Pretty beautiful huh?

I hope you’re enjoying your weekend so far! I’m off to find some NSAIDs. STAT.

 

 

In my spare time…

When I’m not wearing fancy dresses to work, I’m most definitely wearing sweat pants. I don’t really have a grey area of clothing. It’s either dresses or sweat pants. That’s it. But there’s a good reason why…

Hiking! You can’t hike in a dress. Not very practically anyways, and I do a lot of hiking in my spare time. It’s one of my favorite things.

Guess who else loves hiking?!

Yeah. BIG TIME. It’s her second favorite thing next to snuggling. We did a quick two mile hike today and she wasn’t even close to tired. She could hike all day!

Over the winter I read about this cool cabin, and put it on my list of things to find as soon as the weather was nice enough. Today was the day! Mid 40 degrees and cloudy. Which is actually great hiking weather because you won’t get too hot.

Well we did find the cabin, but I couldn’t take many pictures because we caught up to another couple with their dogs, who had the exact same destination in mind. Only they got there first. They pretty much went straight into the cabin and shut the door. It was a little awkward. But whatever. There’s always next time I suppose. I definitely want to see the inside.

So back down the mountain we went!

It’s a little trickier navigating the way down. Especially with the help of gravity and a mighty little dog who could easily sprint back down the mountain and not even lose her breath. Wish I could say the same! I have terrible cardiovascular endurance for someone of my size. Either that, or I’ve developed adult asthma. I should probably look into that…

When we got to the bottom, I insisted that Lucille and I check out the little information booth. Lucille was interested at first, but then wanted nothing to do with my bright idea.

I love the look on her face! Haha!

Lucille: “Mom, I know you’re going to pick me up and put me in there. Please. Don’t make me do it. It’s not that cool of an idea…”

Me: “Nonsense Lucille! It will be so awesome! Just wait and see.”

Me laughing histerically: “Hahaha see isn’t this so awesome Lucille?! I told you it would be awesome!!”

Lucille sarcastically: “Yeah. So awesome.”

 

 

Well I had a good time at least ;)

Pssh. No dogs allowed my foot!

Back to the grind tomorrow. Which reminds me, I need to wash some dresses so I don’t end up wearing sweat pants to work.

p.s. we aren’t actually trespassing or breaking any laws despite the signs. No dogs are allowed when the ski resort is still open, which it is not. But I bet some of you thought I was a real “B.A.” for a minute there…