Commercially Alternative: 2015

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Bible Journal: 1 Corinthians 15:51-55


1 Corinthians 15:51-55

51 Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed,
52 In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.
53 For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.
54 So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.
55 O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?

I just love anything in scripture referring to the rapture and end-times prophecy. I find it fascinating. So of course these verses popped out this week.

I believe we are very close to all being fulfilled and accelerating towards that end at a terrifying rate. It could happen any time; now, a few years, or even one hundred! Nevertheless, there is nothing that needs to be fulfilled before God removes His bride, all those who have accepted Jesus as their Savior. Every day I look forward to the rapture and spending all of eternity in the presence of Jesus Christ my Lord.

For the record, I believe in a pre-tribulation rapture.

Whenever I read verse 52, “In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound,” I think of the Feast of Trumpets or Rosh Hashanah. It is the fifth feast of the year and the next in line that Jesus has not fulfilled yet. I could be wrong, but I find it an interesting connection.

Two passages refer to the rapture: I Corinthians 15:51-58 and I Thessalonians 4:13-18.

Pastor Wayne Turner of Bible Track gives us the details as follows:

  • Jesus descends from Heaven (I Thessalonians 4:16) (but he does not come down to earth at this time, this isn’t the Second Coming)
  • The dead in Christ rise first (I Thessalonians 4:16)
  • Living Believers rise next (I Thessalonians 4:17)
  • Not everyone will die, but all Believers will receive a glorified body (I Corinthians 15:51)
  • The process is instantaneous (I Corinthians 15:52)
  • From that time forward Believers will never again be separated from Jesus Christ (I Thessalonians 4:17)

Here is a Prophecy Timeline graph from Bibletrack.org from a Pre-trib view:


Questions for my readers:

Do you believe in the Rapture? Have you accepted Jesus as your Lord and Savior? Or do you believe in something completely different?

If you have any questions or comments about anything, don't hesitate to leave a post in the comment section or send me an email through the Contact Me page above!

Monday, July 27, 2015

The Ultimate Dress Form Fitting Pad System Review

When I purchased my professional dress form with collapsible shoulders from The Shop Company. I ordered The Ultimate Dress Form Fitting Pad System by Fabulous Fit through them as well. 

The box arrived in good condition with all the pads, covers, and instructions. A detailed measurement chart was also included in with the instructions. However, I ultimately just used measurements from my sewing books rather than follow it step by step.




The Fit

The places I needed to pad were my shoulders, thigh, hip, and rear. The shoulder pads were perfect for my needs and my dress form now mirrored my square shoulders. The rest… not so much. 



If I used all three pad types for my lower half, the dress form would be way too large for me. There was far too much padding for each area to use all together. When only one area was used, the measurement was spot on. I decided to use only the back hip pads. Thus, my dress form’s front thighs and side hips are a little more slender than I am. Moreover, the form has a little more going on in the back than I do. I also felt the rear hip pads were shaped oddly. I would have expected a more gradual padding than what it is.



 I hope I can account for this discrepancy in my sewing and it doesn’t affect my garments. If it does, I might have to DIY my own solution. I hesitate to cut or alter the pads should I need them as-is in the future.




Conclusion

In the end, I’m not sure The Ultimate Dress Form Fitting Pad System was worth the money. The shoulder pads were just what I needed. Also, the covers are perfect and I’m glad I didn’t have to make them myself. I’m just not sure that the convenience covers the cost and how little of the system I ultimately used. On the other hand, I may be glad to have these pads in the future should my weight and shape change from having kids, age, life, etc. (Though hopefully not too much!)


The Shop Company Professional Dress Form Review



Friday, July 24, 2015

Bible Journal: 1 Corinthians 10:31-33


Over the years, I’ve tried various ways to help me regularly study the Word of God with mild success. Mostly, while I succeeded in my goal of reading regularly, I rarely understood or learned anything from it. In my search to understand what I read, I discovered Bibletrack.org by Pastor Wayne Turner. I am always very cautious when I look into Christian matter online. Many things can seem like truth, but are ultimately unbiblical upon further inspection. I looked at his church website and statement of beliefs and it seems to align with my own beliefs. I’ve been reading bible commentary there for a couple of years now and, so far, nothing has seemed amiss. This has been amazing for my understanding of the Bible. 

Now I would like to further my study. While perusing Pinterest, I stumbled upon the blog post 4 Simple Steps for How to Start Bible Journaling. It seems like an easy plan to keep up on a regular basis; Read, Choose a Verse, Copy the Verse, and Write About It. I’ve been reading the New Testament this year and I’m at Corinthians now. I thought I would share some of my entries here. Maybe not all of them, but some of what I’m learning and wondering about. 


1 Corinthians 10:31-33

Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.  
Give none offense, neither to the Jews, nor to the Gentiles, nor to the church of God:  
Even as I please all men in all things, not seeking mine own profit, but the profit of many, that they might be saved.

In this chapter of Corinthians, Paul is discussing whether it is a sin to eat meat offered to idols or not. It’s an interesting argument. My understanding is (with the help bibletrack.org), ultimately, don’t participate in any way that would endorse or encourage the practice of offering meats to pagan idols. If you don’t know that the food was used in a pagan practice, it’s not contaminated, it’s just food so don’t offend anyone. If you do know, don’t partake as this can harm your testimony and others may see you as accepting this practice.

I feel we can apply this argument to many areas in modern life.

The conclusion of the idol offering discussion, quoted above, is what I’m thinking about today.

The first verse is a wonderful goal and summary for Christian living. Do all to the glory of God. 

What about the next two versus? According to Pastor Wayne, “Paul’s talking about projecting a testimony here. Mature Christians are willing to limit their liberty in Christ to project a positive testimony.” He goes on to say, “When [Paul] was around those who might take offense to certain aspects of the liberty he experienced in Christ, he limited his liberty for their sakes.”

How do I do apply this in my own life? I want to live as an inoffensive example, a testimony, of a life walking with Christ. However, in a world where merely quoting from the bible is seen as offensive (and can get you jail time in certain countries), how do I spread the gospel? What is the balance between standing up and declaring the truth, boldly sharing the gospel, and not offending? 

Monday, July 20, 2015

The Shop Company Professional Dress Form Review

I have a whole slew of sewing projects lined up to kick start Commercially Alternative back into gear. However, my first post back (for real this time) will be something that I’ve needed for a long while, a dress form!

After getting married, it was hard to find time to just sit and sew. When I did, I no longer had my mom as my fitting assistant. My husband tried his best, but it was very hard to direct him with fitting in the back. It would be so much easier and quicker if I had control over the fitting myself. Thus, I began looking for a dress form.


The Search

The problem was I have a long waist and nonstandard measurements. My first thought was to buy an adjustable form from Joann’s. Unfortunately, the prices were very high and the reviews were miserable. I didn’t want to spend a lot of money on a product that made me unhappy and wouldn’t last long. 


DIY?

Next, I started looking into DIY options. Duct tape, plaster, you name it I looked into it. I searched blogs, YouTube videos, and I scoured through Pinterest. Nonetheless, the perfectionist in me only saw the flaws, multiple ways the project could go wrong, and lack of available resources and skill. 


The Shop Company

I was toying with the idea of modifying and padding up a cheap mannequin, something used for display rather than tailoring. I was also thinking of finding a polyurethane form to follow this dress form tutorial. I found a cost effective mannequin for the padding option with a very attractive wood base at The Shop Company. That’s when I discovered their professional forms. Wow. They were so pretty. How I wished I could have one of those. I pushed it from my mind as I thought it wouldn’t possibly fit my measurements. 

While finalizing my mannequin plan (materials, cost, process), I kept coming back to those professional forms. They looked so nice and the price was amazing for the quality. In addition, the measurements weren’t too far off. A little short in the back length measurement, but was it that big a deal? The reviews were good. Even Gertie had a glowing review of their product.





Actual purchase!

I bit the bullet and purchased The Shop Company’s Professional Female Dress Form with Collapsible Shoulders. If I was going to do this, I wanted to spend my money on a good, long-lasting item. I also purchased The Ultimate Dress Form Fitting Pad System by Fabulous Fit through The Shop Company as well. 

The dress form finally shipped about a week after I placed my order and the fitting pad system shipped a couple of days after that. Once the items shipped, they arrived quickly and in good condition. The box was a little heavy for my noodle arms. My husband carried it up the stairs for me. The professional dress form instructions were clear and I set it up in all its glory within minutes. The linen seemed very clean and pleasing to look at. There were a few scuffmarks on the armhole plates, but I feel I may be able to clean them. The base was heavy and sturdy. The wheels would probably roll nicely if my sewing space wasn’t on deep carpet. Thus, moving the dress form was a little ungainly for me.





Measurements and Problems

The decisive moment came when I compared my measurements with the form’s measurements. Regrettably, I had lost some weight between my initial search for a dress form and when I ultimately acquired one. Now the waist measurement was spot on, maybe a smidge large. In addition, the bust measurement was spot on. That was a HUGE bummer as my cup size was still larger than the dress form. When I checked the upper bust measurement? Yup, about 1.5 inches, maybe 2, bigger. I had no idea my rib cage was so much smaller. Maybe that’s why I have such issues fitting patterns in that area. I am a little concerned right now how this will affect my sewing. Is it too large and nothing will fit me correctly? Can I fit patterns skin tight to the dress form in that area and it will have the right amount of ease when I wear the garment? Will I be able to display my finished outfits as I had planned? 

I don’t want to return, as a smaller size would have an even shorter back length measurement. I cannot afford to go any shorter. Moreover, I would have to pad everything rather than just problem areas. With the padding system, I can get accurate shoulder and hip/thigh measurements as it is.





Overall

Great service from The Shop Company. They responded to my emails quickly and my product arrived in good time and condition. The product is good quality, but I wish they included upper bust measurements when buying. I hope that it all works out.

The Ultimate Dress Form Fitting Pad System by Fabulous Fit Review


Question for my readers:

How do you fit patterns? Do you have a fitting assistant? Or do you use a dress form? If so, what kind do you have and what are your thoughts on it? Is there a dress form on your wish list?

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Renaissance Festival Costume: A Corset

Last Spring semester, during my sewing class, I decided to devote my time to corsets. The purpose of the class was to go beyond basic techniques and use fashion materials. One of my projects was a Victorian corset, although I never did a post about it. The other was an Elizabethan corset. 





I wanted a more correct period silhouette than my previous costume attempts. For a pattern, I used the Elizabethan Corset Generator and it really couldn’t have gone easier or quicker. Although, if I do another one, I would mess around with the input measurements such as length. It's a little too long. I used two layers of cotton duck canvas from Hobby Lobby and heavy duty cable ties from Home Depot. The fashion layer is some home decor fabric from Joanns that was on sale. I was really glad to find something so pretty that was mostly cotton. The lacing is double faced satin ribbon. (I wish I got a picture of the back laced up!)





I wanted to get this done quickly to get it in on time for my sewing class (and the Renaissance Festival was quickly approaching as well!). So I didn’t want to bother with binding tabs. Big mistake. It was so uncomfortable and sat on my hips painfully. Thus, I quickly whipped up some rectangle shoulder straps. I believe they are one layer of duck canvas and 2 layers of the fashion fabric. 






With the shoulder straps it’s quite comfortable to wear. I received both an A in the class and a lot of compliments at faire. Also, I've decided to add a waistband to the skirt. It is much too heavy for the elastic and was near falling down the entire time. 




I hope you all like it! 

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Wardrobe Architect: February - Clean Out Your Closet


Goal:
De-clutter, get rid of old, unwanted, ill-fitting items. Take inventory.

This month I continued with Coletterie’s Wardrobe Architect series. We were given the task of cleaning out our closets and taking inventory. That was about all I did this month. I seemed to get sick every single week with various illnesses. Not much sewing was done. I do have a project just itching to be finished. All it needs is a hem! Although, that is proving tricky as I need my husband to help me mark the hem and it’s been hard to pin him down for the task. 

I’ve never had trouble cleaning out my closet. It’s always nice to pull out all those old things that pile up in the back. I actually already did this part last year before I was married and moved in with my husband. What was left was a huge pile of maybes.

The first thing I did was sort my closet. This was the first time I’ve ever done this. Usually, I just put recently cleaned items up front and eventually the things I always wear are up front and things I never wear wind up in the back. It really limited my choices. Things were constantly lost or forgotten in the organized chaos and I wound up only wearing about a fourth of my closet. I divided it into work shirts, work pants, slacks, polos, t-shirts, date-night shirts, skirts, dresses, sweaters, and miscellaneous (this consists of mainly costume pieces). 

Of those sections, I pulled out my maybes. As it turned out, I actually tossed almost every item in the maybe pile. Sometimes it was a good fit, a good look, but made in a wretched material I never wore. Others were good basic wardrobe pieces that fit poorly I kept around “just in case.” Well, I don’t want that “just in case” to become a reality, so out they went. While others were good basic wardrobe pieces that fit well. However, they were never my style and I never used them.

It felt very satisfying to look at my organized closet.

Then I took inventory and discovered something. My outfits are so boring! It was like an elephant in the room. All my work shirts were the same, just varying colors. Same with my work pants, polos, t-shirts, and even dresses. If we got rid of every duplicate item in my closet, I would have one work shirt, one work pant, four t-shirts, and three dresses. It’s sparse, yet the number of duplicates fills my closet! Seriously, I have about nine sheath dresses that are the exact same dress in varying colors and patterns. I have a problem people.

However, there is a reason for my problem. It is so rare that I find something that fits me. (Although I admit, I’m rather particular about fit) When I do find something that fits well enough, I buy it in every color and stop, tired of trying on everything in the store. 

I am excited to sew clothes that I can actually wear and made for my proportions, other than costume garments. When I build up enough items for a stylish varied capsule wardrobe, my closet will go through a more complete overhaul. 

On the plus side, I'm figuring out this whole pinterest thing and figuring out my style and sewing goals.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Wardrobe Architect: Week 4 - Building Silhouettes


Goal:
Create a set of balanced silhouettes.


This week was much more challenging than previous weeks. Leading up to week 4, I have filled out the required worksheets and happily answered questions about myself. Now, I needed to use what I've learned to create silhouette formulas. 

The exercise was to look over my shape ratings from last week and start combining them to create 5-10 silhouettes that would make good outfit formulas. 

Going through this exercise, I realized how weak I am in creating coordinates. I had trouble finding pictures of actual garments. I would get hung up on the color or material. Then I would spend far too much time searching for the correct accessories and shoes. In addition, what little I did find looked like a mess, unrealistic, or something that wasn't really me.

I needed to simplify. What was my goal for this project? Was it a complete wardrobe overhaul? No, it was a capsule wardrobe, a collection of a few essential items of clothing that will not go out of fashion, which can then be augmented with seasonal pieces. After looking over my previous worksheets, the answer was clear. 

My goal was to sew retro inspired dresses that I will actually wear for work or play. My descriptor words were classic, practical, elegant, natural, and feminine.

To further simplify matters, and not get bogged down by the rest of the coordinate, I looked at only the line drawings from patterns. This actually doubled as another exercise for the month of January, design or collect 20 pattern ideas that reflect your core style and preferred silhouettes. I found 15, but I think each fits my goal rather well and quite a few have different options for necklines, sleeve length, and skirt length.



Dresses with full skirts and defined waists





Dresses with straight skirts and defined waists
Sheath dresses




Full skirts




Straight skirts




Shirts

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Wardrobe Architect: Week 3 - Exploring Shape


Goal:
Determine what shapes make you feel comfortable and happy, and which feel foreign and wrong for you.

This week, the Wardrobe Architect Challenge provided a worksheet where we rate our feelings on various garments' fit and shape.


This exercise didn't take too much effort to think about. I've been well aware of what basic shape elements I look for in clothes for a long time now. I like modest necklines and lengths, full skirts, and a good structured/tailored fit that's not baggy or skintight. Although, a few items were difficult to rate because I can like or hate a given element based on a particular garment. For example, I love sleeveless dresses, but it's rare that I like sleeveless shirts.

The trouble for me comes down to finding clothes that actually fit and knowing what looks good together. I can love everything about a dress I find in a store; boat neck, defined waist, full skirt. However, when I try it on, the waist will be too high/big and the skirt will be far too short. Another problem I run into is creating outfits or coordinates. I just don't have the skill to know what looks good with what. What kind of top looks good with this skirt? What color should it be? Texture? Pattern? Material? Accessories? Shoes? Hair? I struggle pulling it all together. Thus, I typically opt for a t-shirt and jeans. As you can tell, I'm already struggling with next week's exercise, Building Silhouettes.

And how in the world do you all even find cute clothes for your fancy polyvore and pinterest boards!?

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Wardrobe Architect: Week 2 - Defining a Core Style



Goal:
Uncover the styles that make you feel like yourself and attach words and images to them.


When you are wearing your favorite clothing, how do you feel (e.g. confident, sexy, poised, powerful, etc)?


My favorite clothes make me feel pretty, tall, elegant, and glamorous. Like I stand out in a good way and turn heads. In my favorite clothes, I feel like a model. Right now, I’m thinking of my metallic leopard print sheath dress from Ann Taylor. Or my little black with white polka dots sheath dress I wear with my bright pink pumps to church. Or my full and fluffy, with my perfectly defined waist, wedding dress. (The last one gave me an overwhelming desire to twirl wherever I went) Poised and confident can also be words to describe my feelings. When I wear my favorite clothes, I actually feel like running into someone I know. (Though you never do. You only run into people you know when you are at the pharmacy counter at the grocery store in your hoodie with no makeup and you’re coughing a whole bunch) 





When you’re wearing something that is not quite right, how do you feel? What are the feelings you want to avoid about the clothes you wear?


Soggy. Frumpy. Chunky. Too busy. Over done. Like a tart.


Who do you consider to be your style icons? What is it about them that appeals to you?


Grace Kelly - She is all elegance and glamour. Her fashion choices and poise are classic.




Audrey Hepburn - Audrey is sleek and fun. She can go from chic slim pants to elegant party dresses effortlessly. In addition, I love how she pulls off a pixie.




Fanny Rosie - I sigh every time I see her post an outfit. Her style is classic, cute, and pretty. She has mastered the use of muted and royal colors. 


Source
Jennifer Lawrence - She has a sexy look to her while remaining quite elegant. I love edgy short haircuts and she does them extremely well.




What are some words that describe styles that you like in theory, but are not quite you?



Unstructured, baggy, loud, bright, bulky, bombshell, polyester


Look over your answers from last week on history, philosophy, culture, community, activities, location, and body. List at least 15 words that you associate with your answers. Think about descriptive words, moods, and feelings you associate with these things.



Retro, Vintage, Modest, Pretty, Professional, Comfortable, Easy, Cool (temperature wise), Classic, Structured, Elegant, Not Worldly, Natural, Tall, Minimalism, Appropriate, Mature


Are there other words you would like to add to this list? What other words describe your core style?



Glamorous, Feminine, Variety



Look over the answers to all of the questions above. If you had to narrow your list to only 3-5 words to describe you, which words would you choose?



Classic, Practical, Elegant, Feminine, Natural



Friday, January 9, 2015

Sewing News - Gertie’s Grand Giveaway!

Gertie from the well-known Gertie’s Blog for Better Sewing has just made an extremely exciting announcement. She is releasing a line of apparel fabrics to be available at Joann’s this March! Here’s what she says about the line:
"It's a collection of 17 designs on apparel fabrics: cotton sateens, cotton poplin, rayon challis, Swiss dot, chambray, and more. 
The designs range from classic vintage florals to 40s- and 50s-inspired novelty prints (cherries and strawberries and bows and poodles!). There are also some super fun novelty weaves especially intended for retro dress patterns. 
The idea was to create special vintage prints that are hard to find, produced especially on apparel fabrics. (Retro kitty cats on a textured chiffon, for instance!)"
Retro prints in cotton sateen and cotton poplin!? I am dying with excitement. Just look how cute it all is!


To celebrate the announcement, Gertie is having a contest. Create one of her patterns available at Butterick before January 31, 2015 for a chance to win one bolt of EACH of the designs!


There are quite a few patterns to choose from


I’ve had my eye set on 6094 since it came out. However, I’m not sure if I want to do the flared skirt or the straight skirt.


I’ve never entered a contest before. Could I even complete such a task before the 31st of this month?

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Wardrobe Architect: Week 1 - Making Style More Personal

I have been brainstorming ways to get back into blogging and regularly write and sew every day. Instead of getting clearer, things seemed to get out of hand. 

I want to make so many things. However, will I really wear them? Does each of the individual garments have anything to do with each other? If I make this skirt, do I know what top to put with it? Etc.

I want to write more. What topics should I cover? Do I write tutorials when there are probably better ones somewhere else? Won’t finished garment posts get redundant? 

Then there’s time and motivation. Can I sew enough to get regular posts posted? Can I still keep my social life and be active with my husband and friends? When and where do I take pictures that people actually want to look at? Do I really truly care enough about these projects to see them to completion? Will I grow bored and drop the whole thing?

Then today, The Coletterie posted their Wardrobe Architect 2015 challenge. It is a monthly challenge to ultimately define your core style and build your wardrobe with sewn garments. It seemed rather large and daunting when I first read it. Surely, I’m not ready for such an endeavor. I’m still a beginner seamstress; I can’t keep up with this. However, an hour or so later, I went back to the challenge. I’ve never been happy with my wardrobe. I can stand there, looking at the full racks and drawers, and find nothing to wear, day after day. When I clear things out yearly, and give what I don’t wear anymore to Goodwill, each item seems to have a necessary purpose. Yet, I haven’t worn most of them for a very long time and cycle through the same few shirts every week. I needed this.

I was relieved to see that each month’s challenge was broken up into a weekly post and a worksheet to fill out or a goal to accomplish. It seemed more possible, very useful, and maybe fun!

Every Thursday I hope to post my results from the challenge. I am very excited to begin and I hope you enjoy this series. Wish me luck!




Week 1 - Making Style More Personal

HISTORY: How has your personal history informed the way you dress? When did your tastes crystallize? Have they changed over the years, and why?

Growing up, I watched a lot of old TV shows, movies, and period dramas with my mom. I’ve probably seen the entire series of “I Love Lucy” ten times over. Every Christmas, my family watches the BBC version of Pride and Prejudice. And that doesn’t mean we don’t see it multiple times throughout the year as well! Thus, as long as I can remember, I have loved dresses. When I was little, if we were at home and didn’t have people over, I had some sort of frilly dress on. I loved dressing up in my best dress every Sunday for church. I was definitely born in the wrong fashion era. However, whenever I went out I always dressed in what was practical or comfortable. By middle school, I was solidly in jeans and t-shirts. It didn’t help that anything other than knit T’s and jeans didn’t fit me well at all. Now that I have sewing knowledge, I want to be able to express myself through fashion and how much I love fashion. 

I would say that my overall tastes haven’t changed since I was a little girl; vintage dresses are still my calling. However, I would say smaller tastes have changed based on what looks good on me; certain necklines, skirt styles, etc.


PHILOSOPHY: How does your philosophy, spirituality, or religion affect your aesthetics and buying habits? Or, what aspects of those things would you like to see reflected?

My Christianity has led me to a more modest aesthetic. Things can’t be too short or revealing. This is hard to do when you are tall. Most dresses, though fine on their own, instantly become indecent. Even with the modesty, I still want to feel glamorous and sexy. At least not at all frumpy. 


CULTURE: How has your cultural background shaped the way you look? How did the aesthetics and values you grew up with affect your tastes as you got older?

This one’s a little tricky. What is my cultural background? I really got into nerd/geek culture in college and there are many nerdy/geeky t-shirts in my closet to show for it. Mordorable anyone?

I guess this goes a bit with my Christian background as you dress appropriately for the occasion. Your best dress for church and flip flops are only for the pool. 


COMMUNITY: How are you influenced by the people around you, including friends, family, and other communities you’re involved in?

I met my friends in an anime club in college. I think that says more than enough, but I’ll expand. In college, we pretty much wore what was comfortable and what got you to class on time. If your shirt was nerdy/geeky like a shirt from a video game or online comic, you got bonus points. My classmates were male engineers. Quite often, I was the only girl in the class. For internships and work as an engineer, I wore jeans and polos, professional and functional. Thus, I would say my IRL communities really hinder me in my expression of style. The people I’ve met online have let me develop my tastes to this point. 

Through the anime club, I became aware of Lolita. I joined online communities and made friends with the girls interested in this alternative fashion from Japan. It rekindled my love of dresses, especially when I discovered the subgenre of classic Lolita. Now that I’ve been out of college a few years and have matured in my tastes, Lolita doesn’t have the draw it once did. However, it did start me on the path of learning to sew and learning what it is that I like in fashion.


ACTIVITES: How do your day-to-day activities influence your choices?

I always go practical. For work, I dress professionally in slacks, flats, and a button up top. It’s actually about two styles of top in about five different colors each. For every day, I wear tennis shoes, jeans, and a cotton t-shirt. Again, it’s about three or four different styles in a variety of colors each. (Plus, aforementioned nerdy/geeky T’s)


LOCATION: Does the place you live inform the way you dress? How does climate factor in?

It’s hot. It’s always hot. Everything I buy is cotton or mostly cotton.


BODY: In what ways does body image affect your choices in clothing? What clothes make you feel good about the body you live in? What clothes make you feel uncomfortable or alienated from your body?

I’m comfortable with my body. Sure, I have my insecurities and things I would change. Overall, I like how I look. However, I am tall and slightly busty. When I go shopping, nothing fits right. The waist of every dress is just below my bust. Long sleeve shirts are more like oddly proportioned 3/4 sleeves. If a shirt fits me at the bust, I look boxy with no waist. Shirts always show my stomach. Pants show my ankle or aren’t available in my size in a tall. By the time I fit my thighs in pants, the waist is enormously too big. Etc. Etc. Etc. Shopping is no fun. Thus, my t-shirt and jeans wardrobe. 

I feel most comfortable in a well-structured dress, like a sheath or something that emphasizes my waist. Things that are sloppy, baggy, or with no waist definition make me feel uncomfortable and soggy. 

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Happy New Year! And a Tea Length Wedding Dress

Hello, readers! Happy New Year! I feel I am finally ready to continue blogging once more. There was actually a good reason I disappeared last year…

Yup! I got married! It is crazy how planning a wedding consumes your whole life. The wedding turned out amazing and I am so happy with my new husband.

The dress I wore was Justin Alexander 8706

It was definitely my dream dress, but I sure had to work hard to find it! I must have gone to every bridal store within 50 miles of my house. Nothing was what I was looking for. Given, I had very strict requirements; no strapless and had to be tea length or could be altered to be tea length. Such a thing didn’t seem to exist! They were all strapless mermaid gowns. It got so bad I was working with my sewing instructor on how to make my own gown. That stressed me to the limit. I just couldn’t do it. Then my mom found the Justin Alexander dress online and we drove an hour away to the only store near us that carries that brand. They didn’t have it in the store to try on. That was the dress though and we ordered it. Yup, I never tried on my wedding dress before I bought it. We were super lucky as it fit perfectly with no alterations needed. Well, it fit when we got it. By the time the wedding came around I had lost so much weight from stress it was a little big. Fortunately, it wasn’t strapless so it didn’t matter at all.

The wedding was small. We had about 50 people, which was just right for me. I’ve always dreamed of a small wedding. The ceremony was held in a little chapel in the morning with the sun shining in through the lovely stained glass. The reception was at a pretty golf club down the road where we served brunch. My husband and I love breakfast foods. Can’t go wrong with french toast and cinnamon rolls! Everything went perfectly. The only complaint I had was that the chapel was far too warm. The poor boys in their black tuxes were burning. Fortunately, the ceremony wasn’t long and we were off to the reception in no time.

People keep asking me how it is to be married. It’s really hard to answer. You just can’t imagine how different your life is after getting married. Laundry seems to have multiplied 10 fold. There’s always something that needs doing; dishes, grocery shopping, cleaning, work, etc. Yet, there is nothing like the wonderful feeling of waking up next to your best friend. 


Since it’s the New Year, let’s see how I did on my resolutions for 2014.
  • Complete my Victorian corset - Yes! It turned out lovely. I never made a blog post on it, but I did post a picture on my tumblr here. It needs some work, but I am more than pleased with it for my first corset.
  • Complete my steampunk bustle skirt - Nope. I got it all cut out, but no matter what needle I used, my taffeta fabric would snag and run. So I gave up
  • Sign up for a sewing class in the Fall semester - I did do this. I signed up for pattern drafting, but with the wedding being in the fall I was so busy I had to drop the class before even beginning.
  • Wear a costume to Comicon - Nope. Comicon was super lame this year as well. Big disappointment. There weren’t even any lolita panels!
  • Exercise at least twice a week - Not at all! Strangely enough, lost a whole lot of weight due to stress though. Not exactly healthy…
  • Blog twice a month - Yeah… no on this one as well.
  • Learn how to use a serger - *sigh* This one I’m really disappointed in myself to say I have yet to use my serger. It still sits, never been used. I just did not have time this year.
One out of seven. Oops!

This year, my blog will be a little different. While I still like lolita, I just don’t really have any interest in trying to wear it anymore. I will still reblog plenty of classic lolita outfits on my tumblr if anyone is interested. Thus, Commercially Alternative will become a sewing blog for my outfits and costumes. It makes me a little sad to say, I had hope Commercially Alternative would be the site I longed for when I first got into lolita. A place that would find good commercial patterns for lolita use, and give instructions on how to alter them. However, I still want to blog about my growing skill in sewing. I hope you all stick with me! 

My goals for 2015


  • Complete a 50s style dress - I got a fluffy light pink Malco Modes 582 petticoat for Christmas this year! It really needs a dress to go with it.
  • Complete an Italian Renaissance dress - Probably not going to be historically accurate, but it’s something I would like to try.
  • Blog twice a month - I hope to accomplish this by planning out my projects better so I have something to right about without huge dry spells
  • Exercise twice a week - Got to get healthy! I have been eating nothing but fudge and eggnog since the wedding.
  • Complete 3 additional garments - to be determined
  • Learn how to use a serger