Montlake testing FOR THE WIN

DISCLAIMER: I actually used my real camera for these pictures; yet they are the worst pictures I’ve posted on this blog yet. I waited until Kenny got home from work, and it turns out that it was too dark and cloudy then, but this is just my real life. And isn’t that one of the things I swore I would do with this blog? Be real? Not just give you the pretty version of everything? Well, here it is: my real grainy photos. Please have patience with me. ūüôā

Since I was a little girl, I would get ideas in my head and need things to be that way. It sounds all great, like, “wow, Holly, you’re so decisive.” Except that no one else lives in my head, so making these things a reality is not so easy. Mostly this applies to clothing, shoes, and textiles issues. You should have seen my search for the perfect fabric to recover the seats of my dining chairs. I spent a good five years searching for the perfect riding boots (I think I just liked this idea a little too early because now you can’t walk into a store without tripping over like five pairs of awesome riding boots).

But this is one of the reasons I love sewing: the creating of something unique. I have the ability to dream up something awesome and crazy, and then MAKE IT HAPPEN!



Last weekend I had the incredible privilege to be a tester for the new Montlake Tee pattern from Straight Stitch Designs. I don’t sew just to make my own clothes. Y’all, I sew to customize my own clothes … to make them reflect who I am. And this pattern is the perfect base for this.

The Montlake tee is truly simple fashion.

It’s simple because there aren’t any unnecessary bells and whistles. It’s not gimmicky; there are no funky parts to it. It’s basic and simple in the most complimentary senses of those words.


But with just a little creativity, it can be turned into fashion. Add a contrast fabric. Change the sleeve length. Make it in a color that POPS. Create something beautiful.


It was a pleasure to get to work with Kimberly on the final tweaks of this pattern. Her attention to detail to make sure this was a perfect product was incredible. I am so grateful for talented people like her who make it possible for me to create.

At its base, the Montlake Tee is a scoop-neck t-shirt with four potential arm lengths and a swing hem. Swing hems are my favorite because, well, I’ve had two babies already. I made pattern alterations for mine to fit over my baby bump as it grows. I will do a more detailed tutorial on how I did this soon.

Outfit Details (If you’re interested in that kind of thing)

Outfit #1:¬†Top – pattern: Montlake Tee by Straight Stitch Designs; fabric bought on clearance at Hobby Lobby / Pants¬†–¬†J Brand Mama J maternity jeans bought on ebay; similar cut here … less expensive¬†here / Shoes – bought off Zulily; similar here¬†or here / Necklace – Stella+Dot Engraveable Bar in Gold / Earrings – Stella+Dot Mondrian Ear Jacket

Outfit #2: Top Рpattern: Montlake Tee by Straight Stitch Designs; fabric bought at Chic Fabrics in NYC / Pants РHue jeggings  / Boots РAriat Heritage Western X Toe / Necklace РStella+Dot Essential Fringe in Silver / Necklace РStella+Dot Wanderer Necklace in Silver / Earrings РStella+Dot Deja Vu Stone Studs in Howlite


All links to Straight Stitch Designs and Stella+Dot are affiliate links. The rest are just to make your shopping easier if you like that kind of thing. You’re welcome.

On being fancy.

I have never thought of myself as a fancy girl. Like, ever. Before I left the away-from-home workforce, I worked for Young Life which meant that I basically wore jeans every single day to work. So I was always casual girl.

Then I became a mom, and my wardrobe just didn’t really change. As much as I’d like to wear yoga pants daily, it’s just not me. It feels really inauthentic for me … mainly because anyone who knows me well knows I’m definitely neither headed to or from yoga. (I’m not anti-yoga or anti-exericse … it just sadly isn’t a part of my life).

So I end up being the fancy girl. The fancy girl who wears fur vests. Last year I found this really pretty faux fur in the clearance bin at Joann. So I obviously bought it. I used a free vest pattern from Purl Bee as my template and lined it with some colorful striped fabric I bought from my favorite etsy shop.

Add to all that faux-fur-fanciness the incredible Warby Parker* frames I want to buy. Kenny thinks they look like safety goggles. I’m ordering a second home-try-on set with all kinds of crazy colors and styles so that he sees just how adorable and not loony these are.

I forgot to put on lipstick. Forgive me … it was before 9 am when I took this picture.

Because who doesn’t need a faux fur vest lined in rainbow stripes??? Although, I must give a warning to anyone who wants to try this: cutting faux fur makes your house look like you’re a bunny murderer. It sheds like nothing I’ve ever seen before.

Erin, your Anneliese would love this, amiright?

Anyway, as it turns out, party of my fancy persona is that I love, Love, LOVE accessories. Like, I feel naked when I’m not wearing jewelry. When people are all, “I’m not really a jewelry person,” that’s equivalent to someone saying, “I’m not really an oxygen person” to me. (Perhaps a slight exxageration.) So it was a natural step to finally, after years of waffling, sign on to be a Stella & Dot Stylist.

I mean, I already wear a ton of their jewelry. I have adorable charms with my girls initials that I wear on a chain with my grandmother’s wedding ring. The Rebel pendant? Please … it’s close to perfect. Oh, and let’s talk about these earrings that are gorgeous and seriously as light as air.

Let’s all pretend that the sun streaking over my face is intentional and artsy, shall we?

Oh, and I actually have silver charms, too. So that my children won’t feel slighted if I’m in a silver mood, evidently. I have been eyeing the Pave Chevron necklace for months before snagging it … it can be worn like 27 different ways or something!

I know this isn’t a great picture. Bless my phone’s heart … .it couldn’t figure out what to focus on here. There’s a lot going on with all the fur.

Anyway, here I go jumping into the world of being a sales-ish person. If you’re interested in checking out more about Stella & Dot, just click on the tab at the top of the page here. Or come by my house Saturday if you’re nearby … I’m having a little party for my fancy jewelry.


*This is not a paid sponsorship of Warby Parker. They neither know nor care who I am. I just really love their glasses.