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Date: Monday, 12 May 2014 11:00

Hello, friends! It has been far, far too long since I’ve posted here. I’m not even sure where to start with all the changes and things that have happened since my previous post in July. But somewhere in there I did some serious soul searching. I still deeply desired to blog, but truly felt I have outgrown the “Elegant Musings” moniker. I’ve explained it a bit if you click through the link below, but after much thought, I have decided to permanently move operations to another platform (easier for me to administer since my “tech time” is in short supply these days) and write under my real name.

Believe me: this was not an easy decision. I agonized over it for months. I am so thankful for all the support and community I’ve made here over the years. It’s hard to start fresh someplace totally new after 8+ years. But it needed to happen. I will be transferring much of the old content here to the new space over the next few months, as well eventually creating an auto redirect. So don’t worry–the “best of the best” from Elegant Musings will continue to live on!

I would be delighted if you came by to take a peek at the new spot, and maybe stay around to see what I’m up to. It’s pretty sparse at the moment (I’ve just begun the tedious task of moving tutorials), but I do have the first “real” post scheduled for later today.

Thank you again to everyone who made these years at Elegant Musings truly enjoyable, enlightening and a blessing! It has been really a honor to get to connect with so many through this blog.

Please come follow me at my brand NEW space Casey Maura!

Author: "Casey" Tags: "misc"
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Date: Friday, 19 Jul 2013 11:59

Do you ever make samples before starting on your actual garment?

I know, you’re probably thinking “Really, Casey?! Not another thing I’m supposed to do before I start the fun sewing!” I get it, I really do! (Especially now that I have a wiggly baby who vies for my sewing time.) I promise this kind of sample making isn’t like making a muslin (though those are still a good idea for certain designs). But these quick little trial-run pieces might just save you a headache further down the road and can really help improve your technique and accuracy as each fabric behaves differently. After years of sewing samples, it has become second nature and in some ways a lot of fun!

Case in point: this dress I made last summer which featured bound buttonholes. While I usually just pull out my Dritz Bound Buttonhole Tool, the fabric was linen and a loose enough weave that it shifted around easily–making using the Dritz jig a little too indefinite for me. I decided to go ahead and make the buttonholes the old fashioned way, which I hadn’t done in awhile and needed a refresher. I tried a couple different methods (including Gertie’s–which I love, but produced a buttohole that was just a tiny bit bulkier than worked with the linen) and also used the method that the vintage pattern I was working with outlined (worked, but I could improve it!). I used scraps of fabrics for making the test buttonholes–which proved just as well because I managed to mess up one of the samples. Like sewing the buttonhole lips on the wrong way messed up. But imagine if I hadn’t taken the time to make up those buttonhole samples and instead sewn, cut and then discovered my backwards buttonhole on the fashion fabric! I don’t even want to think about how heartbroken I would have been.

Samples can be useful for so much more than just a reminder on working bound buttonholes:

  • Help determine the correct tension, stitch length and needle size for your fabric.
  • Make sure the tension is balanced for your serger and is correctly forming along the edge of your fabric.
  • Double check the correctness of the interfacing weight you’re using: is it too heavy or too light for the application?
  • Work out a new (or not often used!) technique like bound or corded buttonholes, eyelets, etc.
  • Assist in choosing the correct seam finishing technique for your garment by testing the compatibility with the fabric weight and whether it prevents raveling.

So before you toss that pile of odd scraps after you cut out your next project, remember to keep a few for working a sample or two!

Author: "Casey" Tags: "sewing, sewing workshop"
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Date: Wednesday, 17 Jul 2013 11:11

There are some vintage sellers/bloggers whose enthusiasm is always catching and inspires me to no end. Sammy of Sammy Davis Vintage is one of those gals. I’ve collaborated with her in the past, and when she asked me to take a look at a new eBook she published–100 Best Vintage Shops Online–I knew I couldn’t say no!

One of the frequent emails I get is along the lines of “where can I find vintage clothing to buy? I don’t have any vintage stores locally!“. Believe me: I know how confusing it can be with the myriad of purveyors of vintage online–which are the best? Fortunately, Sammy has done the digging for you on the web’s largest retail hubs (Etsy, Ebay and indie shops) and connected with some of the best out there. A newbie to buying vintage online? She also has taken some of the guesswork out of things that tend to stump one from time to time: measuring yourself for fit, common vintage terms, styles and niches to consider when buying, etc. It’s the kind of guide I wish I had access to 10 years ago when I started buying vintage online!

I have to admit: I’ve been hanging around many of these vintage hotspots for years, and I still managed to find some shops that hadn’t crossed my radar yet alongside some of my longtime favorites! (Which meant that while I was reading this eBook for review, I spent a lot of time also browsing shops!) Additionally, each shop is divided into a category of the main hub (again: Etsy, Ebay or indie shop), ranked in that category, with decades specialized in list as well as general pricing and an overview of the shop. For someone who is visual like myself, I especially love the use of images from the shop’s stock next to the text. And because it’s an eBook, visiting the virtual vintage store is only a click away in each listing! Sammy has done an excellent job of collating all this information into a neat and tidy package–and for a great price too!

If you’re new the the world of buying vintage online, or maybe a veteran like me, I think 100 Best Vintage Shops Online is a fantastic starting point for finding new (or rediscovering) online treasure troves of coveted vintage. Interested in previewing 100 Best Vintage Shops Online before you buy? Sammy has a free excerpt available here.

Sammy is trying to further her research that she did for 100 Best Vintage Shops Online and achieve an even better picture of vintage buying online. Right now she’s doing a survey, that she would love to get some additional feedback on. All survey responses are entered to win one of 3 $50 Etsy giftcards–but hurry! The survey closes July 22. You can take the survey by clicking here.

Find me here: Facebook | Pinterest | Instagram

The eBook reviewed here was sent to me complimentary for consideration. Opinions expressed in this review are solely my own.

Author: "Casey" Tags: "misc, ebook, review, sammy davis vintage"
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Date: Friday, 12 Jul 2013 12:22

    Casey is wearing: plaid shirt: thrifted | white shorts: made by me | bracelet: vintage, estate sale | earrings: Forever 21 | platforms: ASOS | sunglasses: Target | diaper bag: Storksac
    Audrey Leigh is wearing: gingham dress: thrifted | headband: local consignment shop

Let’s talk about these shorts, shall we? I made them in June 2012 and never showed them off here (I actually made a few summer ensembles that never made it to the blog because things were busy last summer, and then my waist started to grow because of Audrey!). They were inspired by some sailor style shorts I’ve seen in pictures of movie startlets from the 40s, and I adapted a pattern I custom drafted for myself years ago. I think I’d make a few tweaks if I were to make them again (mainly altering the angle of the drop front opening–it’s a teeny bit tight to pull over the hips!), but overall I love how they look. And that is saying something because I don’t really consider myself a “shorts girl” and mostly live in light cotton skirts throughout the summer. I’ve been wearing these a lot with plaid shirts–inspired by a picture of Audrey Hepburn–very 50s style!

In other news: Audrey has been graduating from 0-3 to 3-6 month clothes, which is both exciting (she’s growing!) but a bit sad (we’re done with the newborn stage). This dress is one I thrifted over the winter, before she was born, and was so excited to finally pull out and have her wear! (It’s got cherries! Somehow that has become a theme in her wardrobe…) She typically wears rompers on a daily basis, but if we’re going out to meet with some friends, I usually put a dress on her for fun. Although at this point she’s discovered that she can pull the hem of her dresses up to chew on… hehe!

Find me here: Facebook | Pinterest | Instagram

Author: "Casey" Tags: "outfits + wardrobe, 2013 outfit, m&bss, ..."
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Date: Tuesday, 09 Jul 2013 11:59

Hello, friends! Firstly: thank you for all the fantastic entries for the pattern giveaway last week. A winner was randomly selected and has been contacted. Keep your eyes open for another pattern giveaway in the near future–I think maybe one of these a month would be fun, don’t you?

I’m in the middle of a little sewing marathon (well, naptime sewing marathons! lol.), and have been a bit obsessed about dreaming up vintage ensembles. One of my favorite sources for inspiration (besides vintage magazines and old Hollywood photos!) is paper dolls. I picked up these lovely ladies a couple years ago on Etsy, and although they were obviously played with and loved, they have some pretty swell fashion! I’d love to, if I ever have time, to digitally repair these and print them on new cardstock for Audrey to play with when she’s a bit older!

Aren’t these cute outfits though? The 1940s really had the best paper dolls, in my opinion (I might just be biased though since I tend to favor fashion from that decade!). I especially love the winter snow ensemble! If I had something that cute to wear out in the snow, I might not mind it so much… hehe!

And check out those overalls (dungarees to some of you) ! I have a soft spot for 40s overalls, though I’m not sure I could pull the look off. But patterns like this one from Wearing History always tempt me. I do have an actual 40s pattern for overalls in my collection… Seems like it’d be a cute look for doing chores around the house or gardening (though who am I kidding?! I have a black thumb and can’t grow anything! lol.).

If you’d like to see more paper doll fashion, check out this post last year about the Hedy Lamar paper dolls I thrifted last year!

Author: "Casey" Tags: "vintage inspiration, 1940s"
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Date: Wednesday, 03 Jul 2013 10:49

I was recently able to go through the stash of vintage patterns I raided at my grandfather’s a couple years ago again. I ended up taking a neat little bundle–including a few I wondered why I hadn’t snatched up in the first place! I was especially delighted to find a handful of vintage girl’s patterns–one day perhaps Audrey will wear a few garments made from these! Ah the sewing possibilities… My imagination is running wild with all of these!

I have to admit: I have an awfully hard time keeping something this good to myself! Which is why I think it’s high time for a giveaway–don’t you agree? To spread some of the pattern bounty I’ll be giving away a little duo of patterns (shown below): McCalls 6312 (a cute, Mad Men era sheath dress and a proportioned pattern) and Vogue 7916 (which I think would make a cute wrap to wear with McCalls 6312). The Vogue pattern is one size, while the McCalls dress is for a bust 32″. But have no fear if you’re not those measurements–there are lots of handy hints on resizing patterns.

To enter:
1. You must be 18 years or older, or have a parent’s/guardian’s permission to enter since I will need to collect your mailing information.
2. This giveaway is open to readers around the globe!
3. Leave a comment in this post telling me where you’d wear this ensemble, and what fabrics you’d use.
4. The contest will be closed to entries on July 5 at 12pm EST. One lucky winner will be drawn at random and contacted directly.

Best of luck to everyone!

I also want to wish all my fellow American readers a happy and safe Fourth of July! We’ve got plans for a good, old fashioned cookout and soaking up some sunshine. Don’t think we’re going to take in fireworks this year though–Miss Audrey’s bedtime is far too early! :) (Ah the joys of being a new parent! lol.)

Author: "Casey" Tags: "vintage inspiration, giveaway, patterns"
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Date: Friday, 28 Jun 2013 11:14

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Circle skirts seem to be following me home lately! I found a modern taken on a 50s style circle skirt at Goodwill last week, and another in the treasure trove of vintage and antique goodies at my grandfather’s (he and my grandmother were antiques dealers for a number of years). Coupled with the three I already own, it seems like my closet has a little trend going on… I’m finding they are perfect for pairing with tank tops as well, making them mom-friendly (for me at least!) and great statement pieces (without being fussy) for the sticky, hot weather we’re having. Of course this means my thoughts have also been turning to sewing another (make it an even half-dozen to populate my closet!), especially as they are quite easy to whip up!

I’d been going back through the Circle Skirt Sew Along I hosted here a couple years ago to refresh my memory, and in the process found some new inspiration I thought I’d share with you! I have several yards of a gorgeous, textured black cotton I think I’m going to use to make myself a circle skirt. But of course I’m itching to fancy it up a bit with some sort of embellishment! The question is: what sort? There is applique, ric rac, lace, embroidery, palettes… So many possibilities!

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Author: "Casey" Tags: "sewing, vintage inspiration, 1950s, circ..."
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Date: Monday, 17 Jun 2013 11:24

It seems that everyone is having babies lately; there seems to be a case of Baby Fever these days. Which means that one is always in need of good baby gifts to whip up! I transcribed this 1925 baby knits pattern before Audrey made her debut, and I kind of wish I had knit it up for her. But I’m sure someone else will find it useful–for either someone they know or for their own tiny babe. The pattern includes three pieces: thumbless mitts, booties and a cozy bonnet. I hope you enjoy!

Download the free pattern here.

Author: "Casey" Tags: "knitting, 1920s, baby diary, freebies, t..."
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Date: Friday, 14 Jun 2013 11:03

Sewing. That activity I have had precious little time for in the past two months; aside from a few things I’ve whipped up for Audrey and lots of clothing alterations for me. But this hasn’t stopped me from dreaming a bit about what I could sew (if only the house would clean itself and maybe I could get an extra hour or two of sleep! lol.). I took advantage of morning naptime last week to dig through my vintage pattern stash and pick out a few patterns that caught my eye. I dare say these are entirely overambitious, considering everything else vying for my attention these days, but a girl can dream!

Who doesn’t love a good circle skirt? Did you know you can also make variations of fullness; a 3/4 or 1/2 circle skirt are popular (though I’ve seen 1/4 in some of my pattern drafting books). Simple–and super easy to make! | I’m also loving button front dresses, for the obvious reason that nursing Miss A. makes it necessary to wear things that can open (or easily be pulled down). I love the idea of contrasting yoke and hem sections on this Advance pattern!

I adore this blouse–it looks like a halter neckline but isn’t! The pattern is going to need some serious grading (it’s a tiny 32″ bust, I believe), but this style looks like it might be a good wardrobe staple. | I need to make the tiered view of this Simplicity pattern! Preferably in red with black trim, because I’m susceptible to color scheme suggestions.

I’m slowly wiggling back into my pre-pregnancy shorts, but the ol’ waist still isn’t there. I’d love to make the pleated view up in a soft cotton/linen blend (perhaps in Kelly green?). | This later McCalls pattern caught my eye because again it sports a front opening. I love the playsuit view! Maybe made in a matching fabric to go with that 1/2 circle skirt for a complete ensemble?

I also have a little sewing tip for you! I’ve used large, flat metal washers from the hardware store for years as pattern weights. But have found with some fabrics (like knits or tissue weight silks) that they are just too lightweight to really hold the pattern paper in place. I recently picked up a handful of 3/4″ hex nuts at the hardware store, and have found those to be far more useful (and heavy) than the flat washers. These are a great alternative to the more expensive weights marketed specifically as “pattern weights” from sewing suppliers; I think each hex nut cost $0.50. So for about $6 you could have a dozen pattern weights–which are extremely handy to have in your sewing toolbox!

I hope y’all have a lovely weekend–and maybe have some time to sew! (I know I’m hoping I will!)

Author: "Casey" Tags: "sewing, vintage inspiration, vintage sew..."
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Date: Friday, 07 Jun 2013 11:48

I had another post planned today, but decided to post this instead. I was very sad to hear that Esther Williams passed away yesterday. I always loved watching her movies when they were on TCM and have collected pictures of her over the years. She truly had a classy style, and you can’t beat those fancy swimsuits she got to wear in her movies in the 40s and 50s! I always get a bit sad when another icon of Hollywood’s Golden Era passes. I grew up watching mostly movies from the 1930s-60s, so in many ways I’m far more familiar with the movie stars of my grandparent’s day than mine! :) I hope you’ll enjoy these pictures I pulled from my files…

Author: "Casey" Tags: "vintage inspiration, 1940s, 1950s"
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Date: Wednesday, 05 Jun 2013 12:08

    Casey is wearing: cotton circle skirt: 50s vintage | blue tshirt: Boden, thrifted | shoes: Rita pumps, Remix | belt: thrifted | bracelet: Forever 21
    Audrey Leigh is wearing: romper: vintage, thrifted | striped onesie: thrifted | headband: handmade

I keep meaning to capture outfits that are the super comfy ones: long jersey maxi skirts and the like. Something that is very postpartum friendly. But in the past week the vintage bug has bit hard, and I’ve been finding I can squeeze into some of my favorite vintage and retro pieces at last! (Well, sort of: a waist cincher has been helping with certain garments! lol.) So cue the pinup hairstyles, high waist skirts, fluffy petticoats and snazzy heels. Yes, I really did wear this for an entire day (in fact two; though not consecutive). Errands, playing on the floor with Audrey, cleaning, and a few baby messes. Dressing in a vintage or vintage inspired manner can be done when you’re a mama!

Thank you all so, so much for your comments on last week’s (lone! ;) ) post. I’ve not had a chance to respond to a couple questions, but I’ll try to later this week!

Find me here: Facebook | Pinterest | Instagram

Author: "Casey" Tags: "outfits + wardrobe, 2013 outfit, baby di..."
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Date: Wednesday, 29 May 2013 12:54

I think it’s my childhood adoration of the Little House on the Prairie books, and my interest in pioneers and the westward expansion. (One of our favorite games as children was to “hitch” our bicycles [aka "horses"] to the back of a neighbor’s pickup truck and play “covered wagon”. Sometimes our pioneer sagas would last for days!) Even as an adult, I still love the old-fashioned look of sunbonnets. (Though I haven’t worn one in many, many years…) A few months ago Christy from Little Betty Designs sweetly sent her baby sunbonnet pattern for me to sew up for Audrey Leigh. It’s taken me a bit, but I finally got it finished recently (thank goodness for morning naps!)–and just in time for the sunshine and hot weather we’ve been having!

This bonnet pattern is in .pdf form to allow you to print at home, which I love for little projects like this. I picked out a medium weight quilting cotton in two prints for my version, and used a stiff sew-in interfacing for the brim. This pattern is made up of just three pattern pieces and goes together seamlessly. Even in my slightly sleep-deprived state, I didn’t manage to mess anything up and was delighted with how well the pieces fit together. The only change I made was to make narrow “spaghetti” tubes for the bonnet ties, rather than use ribbon as suggested in the pattern. I made the smallest size which is approximately 0-6 months, and it fit Audrey (who is 2 months) well, with enough room to grow and fit her the rest of the summer! (There are three sizes included in the pattern, ranging from 0-6 months to 12-24 months.)

If you’ve got a little girl of your own–or one you can sew for–I’d highly recommend taking a look at the Little Bonnet pattern. You can visit Christy’s Etsy shop here, and her blog here.

Note: This pattern was sent to me free of charge, but the opinions expressed are my own.

Author: "Casey" Tags: "sewing, 2013 sewing, review, sewing for ..."
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Date: Friday, 24 May 2013 13:12

[ a few images from my Instagram this past week ]

Every couple weeks I want to share whatever has been catching my eye. As I’ve been going through my blog reader (and Pinterest), I realized there is so much I want to share! Everyone was certainly busy being creative while I’ve been preoccupied. hehe! So I hope you’ll enjoy some of these things that have been making me look twice.

  • I love the look of peek-a-boo bread–who knew it’s so easy?!
  • A good thrift store refashion always catches my attention; I love Solanah’s dress redo.
  • Would love either of these 1940s summer outfits in my closet!
  • Simple, loose-fitting tops have been making rounds in my daily wardrobe, and I love this DIY for a more fancy version.
  • Tasia explains another variation of the waist stay she discovered while sewing a vintage pattern
  • This new 1940s overalls pattern from Wearing History is calling my name…
  • Love wrap skirts but hate how exposing they can be? Megan explains how to create a stay to keep things neat!

Hope all my US readers have a great Memorial Day weekend! We have family coming into town (my inlaws, who haven’t seen Audrey since right after she was born; can’t wait to see their reaction to how big she’s gotten!), and lots of plans for fun and a bit of relaxation. Can’t wait!!!

Find me here: Facebook | Pinterest | Instagram

Author: "Casey" Tags: "links"
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Date: Wednesday, 22 May 2013 11:19

One of the new features I couldn’t wait to introduce after Audrey Leigh was born was the Mama & Baby Style Series. Like my old outfit posts, but with a very cute little miss by my side. (There will still probably be solo outfit posts too!) Not only is she starting to wear more interesting ensembles now that she’s out of newborn sizes, but I’m beginning to feel a bit more confident about how I look and dressing my still-recovering figure. ;) (Thank goodness for thrift stores–it has certainly made dressing my postpartum figure affordable!) I’ve been wearing a lot of outfits that fall into the “casual rockabilly” category, or conversely sporting a minimalist hippie look. In other words: I’ve been having fun with my clothes, while keeping things practical enough for the daily realities (especially since Miss A. has a way of getting messes on me!). I haven’t owned a denim pencil skirt in years, but it’s a nice break from jeans!

    Casey is wearing: plaid shirt: thrifted | tank top: Target | denim pencil skirt: thrifted | wedges: ASOS | purse/diaper bag: Jessica Simpson | earrings: vintage, thrifted | turban: made by me | lipstick: MAC “Russian Red”
    Audrey Leigh is wearing: raspberry romper: thrifted | socks: Carter’s | turban: made by me

Yes, we are wearing matching headbands–doesn’t everyone? lol. I admit, I harbor schemes of eventually (one day!) making us matching summer playsuits! Or dresses… Matching mother-daughter dressing may be so 1988, but I don’t really care!

Look who photobombed (as usual!). He is so curious about the baby–and I’m pretty sure just a wee bit jealous of all the attention she gets. He’s so gentle around her though (usually; unless he’s being wild); we do have to keep a very close eye on him when he and Audrey are together since he has no idea how big and heavy he is! (Let’s just put it this way: he still thinks he’s a little puppy and tries to sit on our laps!)

Find me here: Facebook | Pinterest | Instagram

Author: "Casey" Tags: "baby diary, outfits + wardrobe, 2013 out..."
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Date: Monday, 20 May 2013 10:12

Good morning friends! Gosh, I was away a bit longer than I intended. Not for lack of desire to blog but I’ve just been enjoying soaking up these first weeks with Audrey that I somehow kept putting off returning to the blog. hehe! But I’m back because it just seemed like I couldn’t keep away any longer! Thank you all so much for all the lovely notes and emails the past weeks–and hanging in there while I took a break! I hope you’ve had a lovely April and May–I’ve missed you all and our fun together here!

Motherhood has been the most rewarding, frustrating, joyful and exhausting thing I have ever done. I had somewhat idealized visions of easily slipping into this new role and making things I did prior to Audrey’s birth fit seamlessly with my new life. What a beginner’s mistake! hehe. I have since learned that having a meticulously clean house is not as important (and man can I clean quickly when I do have the time! haha!), sewing gets done in 15 minute snippets (and some weeks not at all; the Laundry Monster trumps that!), and cuddles with a little cutie is more fun than spending 30 minutes on a perfect pinup hair do. ;) I’m slowly making some of my favorite pre-baby things mesh with this new lifestyle pace, but it’s a learning process–and a humbling one at that.

[ above: Audrey and I when she was two weeks old. ]

Audrey will be two months old this Sunday! I feel like I blinked and went from a sleepy newborn who I worried over constantly, to a chubby little baby who is extremely curious about the world around her (and doesn’t want to sleep!). She recently discovered her loud voice (aside from crying–we went through a really awful colicky period of about two weeks, until I figured out through elimination that it was a few foods in my diet causing problems. Since then the crying has subsided quite a bit, thank goodness!), and has been startling Maverick with her sudden and ear-piercing coo. I feel like everyday brings something new. Many times I’ve wished I could have a camera following us around during the day to catch every face she makes and new discovery–because these days are just going too fast and I want to soak them up forever.

So what is on the horizon for blogging? I’ve pretty much ascertained my goal will be posting three times a week. Outfit posts, hopefully a few DIY’s here and there, homemaking, link roundups and of course vintage inspirations will probably be standard. I have some darling 1920s knitting patterns I transcribed while I was pregnant that I can’t wait to share with y’all, as well as some reviews and mother-daughter outfit posts! I dare say that learning to fit blogging in with things is going to be fraught with a few hiccups, so please bear with me as I get my sea legs!

Find me here: Facebook | Pinterest | Instagram

Author: "Casey" Tags: "life, baby diary"
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Date: Monday, 01 Apr 2013 17:21

SH and I were very excited to welcome miss Audrey Leigh into the world in the wee hours of Tuesday morning (March 26)! She weighed a petite 6lbs. 10oz., and had a very quick entry into the world. (Weeks of those darn fake labor contractions made me think I wasn’t in the early stages of labor Monday evening!) We’re very thankful that God has blessed us with this precious girl and that she had a safe delivery and both she and I are doing well. SH and I have been spending a lot of time cuddling with her, marveling over her tiny toes and fingers, and learning something new hourly about parenthood. We’re just eating up every moment of these early days! I feel like I can’t remember what life was like before she arrived–motherhood is proving to be very agreeable (though not without it’s challenges and hiccups!).

Sorry to keep this so short, but I have a cute little girl to go cuddle with… Be back in a few weeks! ♥ ♥ ♥

Author: "Casey" Tags: "baby diary"
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Date: Wednesday, 20 Mar 2013 11:03

Hello, everyone! These past few weeks have been full to the brim; last-minute dates for SH and I, socializing with friends, and trying not to focus too much on when Miss Blueberry will appear. Her “official” due date is just days away, but she seems intent at this point on staying past and enjoying her last days of peace and quiet. lol. I go between moments of frenetic energy cleaning the house and trying to get things set up and prepped for the baby, and wanting nothing more than to lay on the sofa and nap (or watch season 1 episodes of my newest BBC drama addiction: Call the Midwife). Exciting times, I tell you! lol.

[ Random snapshots from my Instagram (username: elegantmusings) over the past few weeks. Look at that belly! ]

I am so excited spring is (finally!) officially here! Last winter was such an opposite of this: warmer than usual and far less dreary days. I do not do well with dreary, cold weather. We’ve had a few teaser days of unbelievably warm and sunny weather (in which I remember why living near the coastline is so fun!), and I can’t wait for it to truly warm up so we can start spending more time outside as a family (without me turning into an icicle!). Of course, today is characteristically cold and dreary. But I’ve been seeing early spring flowers popping up in front yards and the songbirds have been singing from morning until late in the evening, so my favorite season is truly just around the corner!

Lastly, I just wanted to let those know–who haven’t heard–that Google Reader will be shutting down as of July. I am really quite sad that my favorite feed reader is going away, since it’s the one I’ve used the longest and felt worked best for me with how I read blogs. It also seems to be the one that most of you, my dear readers, use as well. I went ahead and switched all my feeds over to Bloglovin’, so I don’t forget in the impending haze of new motherhood. But at least you have a few months to test out and decide on a new blog reader. There was a great comparison of three of the most popular readers on The Crafty Cupboard, for those still not sure which reader to make the switch to. Of course, if you’d like to follow Elegant Musings on Bloglovin’, you can find it here.

This will be my final post for the next month or so. I am really hoping Miss Blueberry comes sooner rather than later, and I have been ordered by SH to start taking it easy. hehe. While I will be on a short maternity break from blogging, I’ll be back by late April or the very start of May at the latest with new and exciting things! Thank you all so much for your encouragement and sweet words throughout this pregnancy; it’s been so fun to be able to share little peeks into it with you!

Author: "Casey" Tags: "baby diary, life"
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Date: Friday, 22 Feb 2013 13:07

Ah… Downton Abbey… Here in the US we just finished season three, and what a season! I’m still not sure how I feel about the turn of events throughout the season; especially the final one (I shan’t spoil it for you if you haven’t caught up on things!). But let’s talk about something on a lighter note, shall we? One of the appeals of the show is the gorgeous clothing. While I adored the elegant styles of the 1910s, the early 20s is one of my favorite periods in fashion history (after the 40s and 50s that is!). The styles were such a radical departure from previous eras, but still maintained much of that feminine charm in detail and trim. I wanted to share some of my favorite scans that I’ve shared previously here, just in celebration (or mourning…) of the end of season 3 of Downton!

09.04.09 {1920s

09.26.11 | 1920 fashions

06.19.09 {1920s serviceable styles}

09.17.09 {1921 catalog advertisement}

Thank you for all the sweet inquiries of late about mine and the baby’s health! We’ve both been getting excellent reports when I’ve been to see my midwife, and I’m now 36 weeks along (nearly full term!), which means the end is near. SH is going to help with the last of the nursery set-up (I can’t reach to hang pictures quite as well as I used to… lol.), and then I’m hoping to get some decent snapshots to share with you in the next week or two. Let’s just say there is a lot of vintage influence (surprise!) in the space, loads of vintage floral prints, and soft colors. Heck, I want to live in there! hehe.

Have a lovely weekend!

P.S. I’ve posted some lovely 1920s inspiration previously that you might want to take a peek at!

Author: "Casey" Tags: "vintage inspiration, 1920s"
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Date: Thursday, 14 Feb 2013 10:56

Whatever your feelings about this holiday, I couldn’t resist sharing a few darling vintage Valentines from my collection with you! Wishing you all the sweetest things today!

I’m still alive and kicking–and working through these last weeks of pregnancy (five weeks to go!), taking care of things that need to be done before Miss Blueberry arrives. The nesting instinct has hit with a vengeance, and it’s meant you can find me up and about at all hours tinkering, organizing and cleaning. It’s more than a little disconcerting how much energy I have at the moment (I know–enjoy it now!). But that means Miss Blueberry’s nursery is nearly finished (finally!), and the last touches on a few outfits I’ve been sewing for her are being made. Not to mention the house is getting cleaned and reorganized from top to bottom–which is never a bad thing when you’re a bit of a pack rat like me. hehe!

Author: "Casey" Tags: "holidays"
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Date: Thursday, 31 Jan 2013 13:39

sweater: hand-me-down | tank top: NEX | jeans: Motherhood Maternity | belt: thrifted | necklace: vintage (really a bracelet!) | scarf: vintage | shoes: Blowfish

My tongue-in-cheek nod to pin up poses! lol. Hey–got to have fun and a little laugh at myself since I am starting to feel more like Humpty Dumpty these days and less like my old self. hehe! I wore this over the weekend, right as they were predicting snow for the region. Something warm and cozy to curl up under a blanket with, but also presentable enough to go out (which I had to do). Lots of knits these days–which is weird considering how much I used to eschew knits and elastic! I have changed my tune quite a bit. hehe!

I really love how easy this scarf ‘do is; I think it’s going to become one of the ones I work on getting down to second nature over the coming weeks so I can use it to cover up when I haven’t been able to wash my hair for days once Miss Blueberry arrives! It’s better than a ponytail every day, which often just gives me a headache since my hair is so long and thick…

The baby shower my sister is sweetly throwing for me is coming up soon! I am getting so excited… Partly because this means the baby’s arrival is drawing closer, and my sister chose an Alice in Wonderland/Mad Hatter tea party theme for the event! I’ll be sure to take loads of pictures to share with y’all! (Especially as a lot of the decorations are very DIY-friendly.)

Author: "Casey" Tags: "baby diary, 2013 outfit, maternity style..."
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