Blogging · Holidays · Musings

Farewell 2014, Hello 2015!

Happy New Year, everyone! I seemed to have fallen off the blogging bandwagon a bit towards the end of last year, but 2014 was such a monumental year in terms of sewing/crafting/personal stuff, that I thought it would be a good idea to take a trip down memory lane:











  • Finally, in December, I crafted and sewed a ton of Christmas stuff (I made both the wreath and all the stockings in the photo) , but ran out of time to share these with you all due to quite a few social engagements and an increasingly hectic work schedule.


So, what’s in store for me in 2015? A return to historic sewing, more cat-themed craziness, and traveling! I’ll be attending a historic women’s fashion conference in April (!), so there will be lots of sewing in preparation for that, and we may end up going to Europe this summer . I also want to focus on sewing more everyday, usable items for my modern wardrobe, and expand some of my vintage closet to be more useful as well (I have some fabulous dresses in there, but many I have only worn on a handful of occasions, or they were a one-off for a special event). 2015 promises to be a creative and crafty year, and I can’t wait!


Blogging · Modern Sewing · Personal · Vintage

Getting back my sewing mojo


Hey readers! It appears I took an unintended hiatus after Halloween and now we’re in 2014. Oops.

I try not to get too super personal on this blog (afterall, I’m not paying you guys to listen to me talk), but the past few months have been very tough on me, both personally and professionally. There are several changes that I’m working on making in 2014 so I don’t find myself in similar situations (I’m sure there will be posts about that sometime in the future), although I will say that I feel like I’ve grown a lot in the last few months.

The one bright spot in all of this was that I started dating again (yes, I’m going to discuss my love life and it will probably be disgusting) and met the most amazing, kind, caring, handsome, and sweet Englishman named Peter. Yep, readers, I have a British boyfriend!!!!! He’s incredibly witty, does impressions of all of the Beatles (his Paul McCartney is quite good), and loves going to the fabric store with me (we also just watched The Great British Sewing Bee together, which was so good! I highly recommend it, it’s like the genteel, British version of Project Runway for home sewers). Oh, and then there’s the accent. Not gonna lie, sometimes I make him say certain words (like “schedule” and “vitamin.”).

Anyways, he went to go see his family back in England for Christmas, so I made him a mustache tissue holder and a travel bag with the bridges of Portland on it created by a local designer:


I also made my dear friend, Kady (who I’ve blogged about before), a retro-inspired apron with vintage hat fabric, as she often wears fun hats to the office.

apron 1

apron 2

Of course, I liked hers so much, I had to make one for myself!



I’ve also been doing some fun vintage events, most recently Church of Sinatra, a once-monthly event hosted by Julie of Fab Gabs. There are going to be a ton of vintage events in the next few weeks (including the Fur and Feathers Luncheon, a Gatsby Soiree, and a co-ed vintage pajama party) that should provide lots of blog fodder for you all.

Yes, that is a martini glass brooch.
 Cheers, everyone!

Blogging · Personal · Vintage · Vintage Modeling

The Adventues of PortlandiAnna

Because everyone wears Bettie Page t-strap slingbacks when they go to Smith Rock, right?

Hey, readers! Long time no see, eh? I’ve been enjoying my new home in Portland immensely, although I haven’t started growing my own vegetables or biking everywhere (I’m working on it, the cars just drive so fast!). I did, however, see a bit of the new season of Portlandia being filmed, which included Fred Armisen in a dress. Readers, there are some things you can’t un-see, and this is definitely one of them . . .

Anyways, I’ve been up to a ton of fun stuff (my social life has never been this busy!) and, unfortunately, can’t blog about all of it. I would like to share some of the highlights with you, though:


I had my 1920s housewarming party!



I love, love, love my new place, and it was so great to celebrate with friends both in and out of town, even if I was frantically making food and mixing together Speakeasy Champagne punch (which is delicious, by the way!).


Sadly, the 1920s dress I wanted to wear kept falling apart the more I tried to repair it (this is possibly vintage clothing karma, right?) and so I wore a fabulous 1920s silk kimono I got from AlexSandra’s Vintage Emporium instead, as well as a 20s headdress that I cobbled together myself out of some really neat braided cording, feathers, and a jewelry pendant. Tutorial, anyone?

Speaking of AlexSandra, I’ve been modeling more for her shop, and also did my first fashion show with her! Readers, it’s so much fun being a 5’4″ model, and I’m so grateful to her for letting me do so. And, if you’re close to my size, you’re in luck because the swimsuit I modeled is still available!

Finally, a huge “thank you!” to all of you that have stuck around. I know two months is a long time with no posts, and I have some big plans to make the blog spectacular. I *finally* got a new laptop (I’m thinking I’ll use the old HP as a paperweight) so I have big plans to post more and do some awesome video tutorials. Alright, off to go put a bird on something and call it art. 😉

* All photos courtesy of Duane Bolland of Flexible Light Photography.

Blogging · Personal · Vintage · Vintage Modeling

What I’ve been up to over the past month

Well, what I've been up to besides this . . .
Well, what I’ve been up to besides this . . .

So, I’m not dead.

Great way to start a blog post, huh? 😉

Anyways, I certainly never intended to take a month off from blogging. That’s just what happened with how crazy my personal life has been lately, and my laptop is on the fritz (seriously, I will never buy an HP ever again, and I don’t recommend the brand to anyone, unless you enjoy constant frustration coupled with drinking). Nevertheless, the past month has been quite eventful, and I’ve been documenting with the iPhone. For those interested, here is what I’ve been up to:


  • Finally bought a dresssform! I went antiquing with a friend a couple weeks back and there it was, standing outside. The best part was that I only paid $50, which I consider a steal, as most of the similar dressforms I was finding online were at least $175. Now my only problem (besides getting a cat so I can finally be a real seamstress) is coming up with a name for her. I’m thinking Lucy or Daphne, but I’m open to suggestions.
  • My best friend got married and I was a bridesmaid!!! This involved a new look for me:



  . . .  got my hair did in an amazing 60s bouffant by Kristen Behlings,  . . .


and tried on AlexSandra’s neat glasses.


Anyways, summer is finally here! I have some really neat vintage events occuring over the next month, and I’m hoping to finally get some more sewing done with the wedding over. I promise you it will not be another month before I post again, ok? Ok.

Blogging · Personal

Apparently, I’m an inspiring blogger

The lovely Anna Worden Bauersmith (Anna W-B, as I like to call her) of If I Had My Own Blue Box recently awarded me with a Very Inspring Blogger Award. Anna is amazing at mid-19th century millinery and accessory sewing, and has published several publications on those very subjects that you should definitely check out!

Anyways, the rules are to thank the person that nominated you (thank you, Anna!), and post 7 facts about yourself. Rather than 7 facts about me (because I really have nothing interesting to say on that subject, I sew and bake and watch Mad Men), I’ve decided to post 7 recent happenings/things I’ve been doing lately. Sound good? Here we go . . .

1) I just got an iPhone. As somebody who has never had a smartphone before, this is a huge transition, BUT, I have to say that I love the darn thing. It’s a really smart device and incredibly handy to have. I also finally feel like a member of the 21st century, he hee.

2) I also just signed up for PayPal. It’s also a handy thing to have, although it is *so* not helping my vintage clothing addiction . . .

3) Speaking of vintage clothing, I just bought 2 vintage swimsuits in the last week. The first one unfortunately does not fit, so I’m hoping that the second one (which is in the mail on its way to me now!) does.

4) In related vintage news (see how everything is flowing nicely? LOL), I also started swing dancing regularly again. Very good exercise, and very fun, too!

5) Speaking of good exercise (but not fun), I also started running again. I used to do this a ton when I was a teenager, but fell off the wagon. It’s a good stress relief for me, though.

6) Speaking of stress relief, I’m also in the midst of planning my summer vacation to Berlin and Vienna! I haven’t been to Europe in 2 years (and Berlin and Vienna in 4), and it’s definitely time to go back.

Eating apple streudel in Vienna, Summer 2009.

7) And lastly, I finally saw Lincoln, and I have to say that Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter* was way more entertaining. I’m sorry, but it was. In Lincoln, Abe just sat in a chair most of the time and read or talked in a deep Lincoln voice, whereas in Vampire Hunter, he twirled around a big, shiny axe with some badass background music. Still, I will say that Lincoln’s costumes were way better, but both depictions of Mary Todd left something to be desired. Hey, wouldn’t it be neat if they did a crazy Mary Todd biopic!? Now I would pay good money to see that! 😉

*I don’t know why I love this movie so much, but I do. You can read my review of it here.


Embracing the 21st century and a new look


Just a quick note before we head off into the weekend, readers, that you can now find me on Facebook and Pinterest! Of course, I’m still on BurdaStyle, Flickr, PatternReview, and Youtube, and you can find all those links on this handy-dandy page I just created here!

Also, the blog has a new look and layout! I really like it, and I hope you guys will, too! It was time to overhaul the last look and this one has a fun vintage feel.

Alright, have a nice weekend, everyone!

Blogging · Personal

Liebster Blog Award

Let me preface this post with a caveat: I’m horrible when it comes to blog awards and memes. Which I feel awful about, because I truly am grateful and really humbled by being the receipient of such lovely gestures. So, if you’ve sent me a meme or given me a blogging award and I haven’t responded to it yet, I apologize. It is absolutely nothing personal, and actually, when I receive blog awards/memes, I start thinking about how I’m going to answer the questions they typically come with, get really exicted about a post, and then life happens and those plans go out the window. I’ve decided to break this habit, and so I’m dedicating the month of April to responding and answering this blog awards and memes!

So, now that that is out of the way, the lovely Lara of dreamingofavonlea recently awarded me with the Leibster Award. Thank you so much, Lara! I’m tickled pink (and the logo is pink! he hee). Here are my answers to the 11 questions she asked:

1. If you had to describe your style by comparing it to a fictional character, who would that be and why?

Hmm, interesting question! It would have to be Rachel Berry from Glee. She wears a lot of vintage-inspired looks (well, not lately, she’s kind of into the short-shorts), and I love incorporating vintage-inspired into my everyday look. Plus, I get compared to her on a weekly basis. I mean, if Lea Michele ever were to die prematurely (knock on wood), I probably could replace her on Glee. After getting a tan, of course.
2. Do you have any other hobbies / obsessions as well as those you blog about (e.g. mine would be Harry Potter)?

Probably the Beatles. I have the biggest crush on Paul McCartney (yes, I know he’s old enough to be my grandfather, shut up) and I love listening to them in the car.
3. What is your favourite thing you’ve made / posted about and why? Remember to show us!

Probably my reproduction ballgown I wore to my first ball last month. I reached a personal goal of making a ballgown (something that has been on my wish list for ages) and I felt like a pretty princess in it. Oh, and I sewed it in a week, which even impressed me. 😉
4. And the least favourite?

Regency dress I made last year. I had high hopes for that thing, and used really good fabric to make it, but it’s just too small and too tight. It is for sale, though. 😉

5. If you could only make 3 more things and then you had to quit sewing forever, what would you make and why?

Oh, this is a toughie! I would probably make classic pieces that I’d want in my wardrobe forever and pieces that I had always wanted to make for the challenge. So, limiting myself to 3, those would be: 1) A classic trenchcoat (think Burberry), 2) an 18th century gown (something I’ve wanted to make forever), and 3) something vintage.
6. Where do you find inspiration?

Mostly old photographs. I love vintage photography. My southern grandma is also a big inspiration. I love looking at photos of her from the 40s, and she’s taught me to never leave the house without some form of jewelry on!
7. How do you feel about the whole lining vs facing vs binding debate (I may be imagining that it’s a debate)?

I’ve not heard of this debate! I will say that I’ll only put a lining in if I have to (ie if the fabric is sheer) and a facing in if I have to. Otherwise, I let my undergarments do the work. Oh, was that TMI?
8. What is your least favourite part of sewing (and do you do it anyway or cut corners)?

Fitting. And making a muslin mock-up. I’d much rather use a pattern I know will fit and go from there. But, if I’ll be cutting into fabric that is really valuable OR I know the design is not something that can easily be adjusted during the sewing process, then I will make a mock-up first.
9. How do you like your surroundings when you sew? I.e. Do you clean up as you go, listen to music, face the window, watch telly? Basically describe your sewing situation.

You, know I don’t really have a typical sewing situation. Sometimes I sew in between commercial breaks while watching tv with the fam, other times I’m in my room watching a costume drama and sewing along to that. I guess the common denominator is that I can’t sew in complete silence (so, when I’m not watching tv or a movie, I’ll listen to music).
10. If you could meet anyone, living or dead, who would it be and why?

Well, being a history nerd, this is a tough question! Probably my Polish grandmother (babcia). A lot of the relatives say I look like her, but I never got to meet her since she died about 10 years before I was born. Apparently, she was very sassy as well!
11. Do you prefer to make things for yourself or others?

Myself, definitely. Of course, when people find out you sew, they automatically want you to make them something. I’m happy to sew for friends and family, but other than that, you better be paying me some good money to spend my precious sewing time on you. 😉 Gosh, I’m starting to sound like the Selfish Seamstress, huh?

So, that’s probably more than you wanted to know about my sewing habits (and Paul McCartney crush), but there you are, kids. 😉

Blogging · Personal

Hanging in there


Just a quick note, readers, to let you know that I am, indeed, alive. Life has just been super-busy since the ball, and now, all of the sudden, I have so many sewing deadlines looming (like the Sew for Victory challenge, then the Mad Men challenge. Oh, and the application for Project Runway just came out and I’ve decided to apply for that, as well, cuz I’m a masochist. So, samples need to be made, and off course, in true PR style, they give you like no time to complete the 25-page application) in addition to catching what seems like the plague (the photo above is what I look like blogging right now, lol). Anyways, I hope to have some finished items to show you all this week. For now, I hope you all have had a nice weekend! Drink some tea for me!

1850s sewing · Blogging · Contemporary Pattern · Finished! · Holidays · Modern Sewing · Musings · Pattern · Personal · Reenacting · Reenactments · Regency era costuming · Vintage

2012 – Sewing Year in Review

I thought it would be fun to do a sewing year in review, and when I saw the Top 5 of 2012 idea  on Kim-ing (who in turn got it from Crafting a Rainbow) I knew that would be a perfect way to reflect on my sewing projects from this year! So, here we go . . .

Top 5 Favorites

photo shoot 4

1. Red suspender skirt. I wore this one twice. Once at the 1938 picnic, and then again for my vintage photoshoot. I’ve always wanted a suspender skirt, and to have one in red that I made myself from a vintage pattern just puts a smile on my face.

Lauren 1

2. Graduation dress for Lauren. This was my first modern dress commission, and I’m so pleased with how it came out. Best of all, Lauren loves it and says she got so many compliments during her party, so yay!

Regency short stays

3. Regency short stays. So proud of myself for venturing into another era in terms of costuming, and I love that I used all natural, nerdy historic textiles for this one and made my own hand-made eyelets.


4. A frock for the end of summer. I love this little dress, and when I wore it downtown this past summer, I got so many lovely compliments.


5. My sheer-yoked Macaron. Love this cute little dress and I can’t wait to have another occasion to wear it to.

Top 5 Sewing Fails

1. Rachel Berry Halloween dress. You think I would have started this one sooner, but no. In my defense, I was still adjusting to working full-time.

DSCN4535 - Copy

2. Speaking of work, my next sewing fail is the skirt I made for work. I’ve only worn it once as the fabric has stretched (that’s what you get for using a cheap poly-blend that’s on sale).

corset laid out

3. Mid-19th century corset I made this past summer. I used cheap cotton sateen from Joanns and some of the bones were too long, so they kept popping out (despite the fact that I used cotton twill tape to bind it).

4. Not altering that red vintage dress in time to wear for my Christmas party. The bodice is a bit too big and will need a bit of work, so I wore a polka-dot dress instead.


5. My Regency dress for Bastille Day. I wore this one once and it looks like I’m being choked.

Top 5 Lessons Learned

1. I don’t need to have a new dress for every reenactment. This used to be a huge thing for me, and I would stress myself out the week before a reenactment to finish a new dress. I’ve learned this year that well put-together, historically accurate dresses (like my green wool fan-front) are worth the effort and will get more wear then something hastily thrown together.

2. You can’t care somebody into caring or love somebody loving. Not sewing related, I know, but it’s one of the huge lessons that I learned in 2012.

3. On a similar note, sometimes it’s best to let things go and do what’s best for you. I know that sounds selfish, and maybe it is, but, at the end of the day, you only get one life. I guess what I’m trying to say is: don’t give up your dreams for a boy. 😉

4. Ok, back to sewing now. I’ve also learned that I have too much fabric and will never have time to sew it all into fabulous things. I’ll probably be giving a lot of it away at some point . . .

5. Sorry! I can’t think of another lesson I’ve learned (I’ll blame it on the 3-day sinus headache I’ve had). If/when I do, I’ll add it to the comments, okay? Okay. 🙂

Top 5 Blogs/Bloggers that Inspire

1. The Fashionable Past by Katherine C-G. Katherine is an amazing costumer and I’m continually inspired by her productivity level!

2. Gertie’s New Blog For Better Sewing. Basically, this is my dream. Blog takes off and you get a book deal. Oh, and Gertie is also on sewing tv shows and wears fabulous repro vintage items that she’s sewn herself.

3. Vixen Vintage. I had the privelege of getting to meet Solanah this past summer at the 1938 picnic and she is every bit as fabulous in-person as she is on her blog. Solanah dresses vintage every day and she’s been one of my big style inspirations since I started getting into vintage style back in 2009.

4. Elegant Musings. I just adore Casey (in a fellow seamstress, vintage-enthusiast way).

5. And, finally, My Friends Are Married. Not necessarily a sewing blog (ok, it’s not at all a sewing blog), but it’s so hysterical and makes me not feel so bad about being single. 😉

Top 5 Goals for the New Year

1. Finish my UFOs! This includes the Rachel Berry Halloween dress, which is currently still in pieces.

2. Host a giveaway.

3. Wear more vintage and sew more with vintage patterns. I sorta got my feet wet (so to speak) with the suspender skirt, but I have a plethora of vintage patterns in my stash that I would love to use.

4. Write/film more tutorials. I have a ton of ideas for hair tutorials, which I’m really hoping to get filmed in 2013.

5. Move out of my parents house! 😉

Finally, this will be my last post of 2012 (fitting, don’t ya think?), as I’ll be taking a bit of a blogging break. If all goes to plan, I should be back next year (which is also coincidentally next week) with a giveaway! Until then, Happy New Year!


Seriously, this is how you found me!? Vol. 1

Readers, today I thought I would offer you a “behind-the-scenes” look at the inner-workings here at anna in technicolor. No, I don’t mean all of the pinning, basting and unladylike language that goes on during my own personal sewing process. 😉 Rather, a small glimpse at what I go through as a blogger.

So, WordPress has this handy feature in their stats where you can see the exact search terms that people used to find your blog. For the most part, I get things like “1850s dress,” “sewing,” and “draping tutorial”  which totally make sense. Occasionally, I get some weird ones, and I’ve decided to share some of these with you for your amusement.*

“i want my diamond back and you will not hear from me again until i re” It stops here. I can only surmise that this person got their diamond back and therefore could stop typing.

“why is mary todd thin in abraham lincoln vampire hunter” I was wondering this too! It’s probably because she had to fight vampires at the Battle of Gettysburg. 😉

“hot reenactor” Why, thank you. 😉

“white chicken fabric yards” Sorry, I only use brown chicken fabric . . .

“cute cat dog pictures together titanic pose” Yeah, don’t know how to respond to this one . . .

“love women who wear petticoats and slips.” Really!? Are you perhaps a single 20-something British man, by any chance? 😉

“free images of corset and fire.” Don’t know why you would need this, but here ya go! I made it so that the corset looks like it’s catching on fire, hope that’s ok. 😉

“Keep out of my room posters.” Yeah, cuz I’m totally known for being a moody teenager. Well, I did just post a picture of a corset on fire . . .

“clothing with half of yard.” No. Just no.

“school marm costume.” I actually get this one a lot, for some reason.

“mens technicolor bathrobe quilt” Is it a technicolor quilted bathrobe, or a quilt made out of bathrobe fabric? I’m confused. See, this is exactly why I was wary about using the word “technicolor” in my blog name. I knew it would create confusion!

“were there cars in the 1850s” No, there weren’t . . .

“michael pitt in a dress” Ok, now this one sorta makes sense. I mean, I talk about dresses like all the time, and I have talked about Michael Pitt before. But Michael Pitt in a dress? Haven’t covered that topic! Yet. 😉

*Please note: this is totally meant to be a tongue-in-cheek post! I’m grateful for every view and comment I receive, even if the way you got here was through searching for corsets and fire. 😉