May 30, 2014

Living Local: Iron Hill Brewery

So, I don't know what I was waiting for when it comes to this post.
This has been sitting in my drafts since January!

I decided it would be fun to add a new category to the blog called Living Local.
I have committed myself to making a greater effort to shop small and eat local.
And while doing that, I might as well take some pictures and tell you about some of my favorite local places. Today we are starting off with Iron Hill Brewery. This is a company that got its start in Delaware and is now a popular chain with restaurants in South Eastern Pennsylvania, South New Jersey and Delaware. They opened one right here in Lancaster, PA. So of course Josh and I had to try it out! We stopped in on our way to a Bed and Breakfast where we were heading for "winter break." Here are a few pictures from our adventure:
Tasty food! Josh ordered loaded nachos and I had a delicious burger.
I just loved the vintage-inspired mural.
And it was a nice place to kick back for a peaceful lunch!

Check out their website for more information and locations!

May 29, 2014

That 70's Chair: Pt 1

There is something about this chair I just fell in love with when I saw it by the dressing rooms of my local thrift shop. They don't normally carry furniture, and I assumed at first that this was just a chair for the dressing room. I cozied up on it while I was waiting for Josh to try on some pants and as I was telling him through the dressing room door how much I liked this particular chair, I noticed it had a plastic bar attached to it that was missing the price tag. Low and behold, this looker was for sale and only $10. 

It was not the color of this chair that caught my eye, but the shape. It was sleek, classic, and surprisingly comfortable. I dwelled on what fabric I would use to cover it. At first I thought I would make it apple red. And then I thought that was too room specific, and with plans of moving in with Josh after our wedding in the near future, I decided on a black and white chevron. Once we moved in and I knew where I was going to place this chair, I changed my mind again!
I finally decided on a black velvet. Why did I not think of that from the beginning?! Of course this chair is meant to be covered in velvet!

I decided to cover the chair with a fitted slipcover that will need to be sewn shut under the arms.
I began to make a muslin for the chair so I could get it as close as possible.
I draped some muslin over the chair and pinned it, smoothing the fabric as I went along.
I made separate muslins for each section, the back, front, and seat. 

I marked the draped pieces with a marking pencil following the curves of the chair and cut the shape out of the muslin. 

Once I finished my muslins, I pinned them to my velvet and cut out the pieces, allowing seam allowances on all sides. 
I am going to sew the front, back, and seat together leaving an opening at the bottom of the arm. The opening has to be long enough that I can slip the covering over the chair. 

This is just part one of the process, but I wanted to give you a quick preview of what I am working on!
I am hoping to have some time to spend on this project this afternoon. I would love to have it completed by this weekend since I have several more chair projects on my list!
Catch ya soon!

May 27, 2014

The Weekly

This past week was full of mini-adventures.
I tested some new recipes, new donuts, and even gave myself an artificial nail manicure.

Top left: I visited Shady Maple Farms Market on Monday and picked up a half dozen fun flavored donuts for Josh and I. We had s'more, caramel pretzel, cappuccino, blueberry filled, and my personal favorite, bacon and chocolate covered donuts. So now you know, I seriously love donuts.

Top right: My friend Courtney and I decided we were going to bake our way through the Hummingbird Bakery Book. So far we made the classics, Vanilla and Chocolate Cupcakes. Next up: Red Velvet Cupcakes and Chocolate Brownies! Yum! (And the work out plan starts again!)

Bottom left: I treated myself to some new nail polish while running some errands. I also decided to pick up a nail kit so I could do my own artificial nails. Going to the salon can add up! I bought the kit for about $5 and it comes with a dozen nails for each finger. So I can pamper myself or invite the girls over for a manicure and a movie. A quick tutorial will be coming soon!

Bottom right: I have been trying out a bunch of new dinner recipes lately, the most recent being Maple Salmon. It was a nice change of pace since I normally use some citrus and herbs to season my fish. This made the fish sweet. But really, how could you ever go wrong with adding maple syrup to anything?

This week I finished my cousin's wedding gown!
Her wedding is Saturday, so pictures will follow. 
I love the way it turned out and I think she will look stunning in the gown. It is so vintagey and romantic! 
I have no idea what I am going to wear, however!
Time to whip up something new!

May 24, 2014

Olivia Pope-Inspired Dress + Aussie and the Fox

So, it's been long over due, but the Olivia Pope-Inspired Dress I have been telling you about is finally here! Yep! I finished it and wore it last night for date night with the Hub! It felt like the perfect occasion.

I used Burda Pattern # 7232
The pattern was pretty complex with the way the back attached all together and then to the skirt. But once I took a good gander at the pictures in the pattern it went together rather quickly.  I would recommend making some additional markings for yourself when you cut out the back pieces. It was a bit challenging to figure out the direction the points were going. 

The inside it completely lined with no exposed seams. I used a white stretch cotton sateen I picked up at Fabric Mart in the clearance section for $2.00/yd. I used the cotton to line it as well because I wanted the dress to hold its shape and I knew I would not be able to wear a slip with that back! Or a bra for that matter!

I purchased a stick-on backless bra from Target. I was rather nervous about the bra situation. They kinda have the same stickiness of a mouse trap... My first thought was "will my these come off?!" "Am I going to have sticky boobs afterwards?!" But no worries. They came off and all is fine and well! Rest assured.

So yeah, here is the dress!
And a nice view of my front yard. #livingthefarmlife
I used buttons that look like pearls to close the back.
The front is also not very bra-friendly. But it sure looks hip!
I sewed all of the "pearl" beads on by hand. (I purchased a little bag of them at Joann Fabrics.)
Probably while watching a marathon of some terrible show on TLC that Josh would not approve of, like Hoarders or Extreme Couponing. Both shows which make me feel super-charged afterwards making me want to scrub every cranny of the entire house and run to the store to buy 100 bottles of toothpaste that will last me 50 years but were free just so I can say I did.

We decided to celebrate our dating anniversary this year at a new restaurant in Lancaster that I have been wanting to try since my birthday, last October...
But after spending 5 years together and almost one year of marriage, it seemed like a good time to finally go out on the town. So we drove into the city for our late night dinner reservations at 8:45 pm. It was definitely a stretch for this girl considering I like to be on the couch under a blanket at that time of night. I don't know what happened. Being married has made me old. But I was going to prove the night wrong and show it I am young and alive! 
(Not mentioning the couple seated next to us at the restaurant were probably in their mid-50's...)
Aussie and The Fox is a mix of classic staples with an Australian flair.
The menu offered a unique burger, tasty pasta, roasted chicken, fancy fish, and a popular pork loin. 
I tried the Aussie Burger, which was surprisingly delicious. I was a bit concerned about this egg and beets business. I'm PA Dutch. I like what I like and I like potatoes. But this was certainly something different and Josh and I both really enjoyed it. Definitely putting this on the list of things to eat again. I think trying new restaurants is pretty exciting. I love dressing up, going somewhere new and trying as many new and interesting things that I can in one evening. 
Especially when it gives me an excuse to wear an awesome dress I just made!
I will leave you with a quite a lady at a fabric store once told me:
"Don't make the dress for the occasion, make an occasion for the dress!"


May 21, 2014

First Video!


Today I have something fun and new to share with you! 
I finished my first video blog! 

It's pretty self-explanatory so I won't do a big description and I will let you go ahead and watch it.
I feel a bit silly in front of the camera. Yet, I felt that adding videos to my repertoire would not only help you get to know my products, but help you get to know me a little better as well!

So I hope you enjoy this beginner-attempt video of What's currently in my bag!
Suggestions are welcomed.

Thanks for watching!


Wallets: Target ; Blue Wallet ; Brown Wallet

Phone Case: Vista Print 

Sketchbook: Amazon 

Chapstick: EOS 

Make Up: Mark ; Lip Gloss

Hook Up Mascara & Perfume are discontinued

Blouse: Vintage from Thrift Shop

Adele: Right as Rain

May 19, 2014

In the making...

We are busy working on planning what is next for A Girl Named Katie.
We have some big long-term goals in mind and what we want the business to look like 5-10 years down the line.
I might have mentioned here and there how much I would enjoy designing clothing as part of  A Girl Named Katie. I have been working on sketching lately and am feeling passionate about bringing my vision to life.

We would love to hear your thoughts on this topic as you are our customers and always who we have in mind when creating.
Help us out by answering this quick 10 question survey about shopping.
It is anonymous, so please be honest with your answers. We won't judge.

Feel free to comment with any additional thoughts not answered in the survey.
When you finish the survive, share the link with anyone you like.
Your feedback is important to us (as it shows interest in the future of our clothing line) and we appreciate your time and dedication to our brand!

Thank you so much!
Click here to answer the survey

May 17, 2014

Giveaway Winner!

Thank you so much for filling out my survey. I loved reading all of the responses and they are making a serious impact on the next collection. 
I thank all of you for your support and dedication to my brand. 

As you read in yesterday's post, I have a lot of changes in mind for our fall/winter bags as well as how I am going to continue blogging. My first video will be up next week and more sewing projects are on their way! 

May 16, 2014

It's time for Coffee!

Hey there!
Gosh we haven't had coffee together in a while!
So let's do this! Grab your cup and let's chat.
What are you drinking today?
Now since the whether is warmer I have been craving coconut flavors in my coffee. I love getting a chocolate coconut frappe at our local Sweet Spot. I feel like I have seasonal go-to flavors. Summer is definitely a coconut kind of time. Or white chocolate raspberry, which is probably my all time favorite.
Or chocolate covered strawberry anything.
By now you probably think I have really weird taste...

Moving on.
Currently we are coming to the end of our spring shows. Our last two are in Ardmore at Clover Markets on May 18th (this Sunday!) and June 22nd.
I am resting easy this week and in the meantime finishing up some projects I have been working on here and there during the whole show season madness.
One of my projects is my cousin's wedding gown. She wanted something romantic and classic. We picked out a vintage-inspired top pattern that fit the image she had in mind. And from there I turned it into a floor length wedding gown in head to toe lace. 
Here is just a sneak peek! I don't want to spoil it for her wedding day! 

I am really enjoying the whole process of making this dress. From muslin fittings to final fittings.
It is going to be gorgeous on her!

So other than that I have been making some videos for the blog and I have some more ideas up my sleeve, including a few more giveaways coming up soon.
After notes from the show season, we are planning a new fall collection that will feature a different look for our handbags that we are pretty excited about. We are going to work all summer on this new line and it will be ready by the fall show season.
We also have some new products we are going to be adding to our shop soon, including cloth napkins and pouches. Check out previews of them on our instagram in the sidebar!

Also a new logo and design is in the works and you will get to see that all mid summer! 
Our little business is growing like a spring flower!

That's all I am going to tell you for now!
See ya!

May 12, 2014

Giveaway Time!

Hey there!
I hope you had a fabulous weekend with your mommas!
Josh and I had a good time in Philly, enjoying some sun and meeting everyone who came out.

So today I am back in the studio and ready to finally work on my Me Made May projects.
On the cutting table are some polka dot skirts and sugar pop tops using Sew Caroline's new pattern.
I am hoping to check off a lot on my sewing to-do list this month!

But now for the important part:

We are continuously trying to improve this little business of ours. But we can't do this without you!
We want to hear from you about what you are looking for in a handbag and where you want to find those handbags. Therefore we are hosting a Giveaway! 

We appreciate everyone's support and love for our products, so to show our appreciation, 
we are going to give away a $50 gift certificate to one randomly selected winner!

To enter to win all you have to do is complete our simple and quick survey based on your honest opinions and past experiences.  (only 2-5 mins of your time!)
Just follow this link:

Thank you and best of luck!

May 11, 2014

Happy Mother's Day, Mom!

My favorite thing about my mom is how she is one of my best friends.
She supports me, sews with me and is always there to talk to.
We challenge each other to be better people and grow in Christ.
She has a magical power of always being able to find what I thought was lost.
 She never gives up on me and she made me who I am.
She is a strong, beautiful woman.
She means more to me than I could ever find the words to say.

I love you, Mom!

May 6, 2014

DIY: Quick Vintage Bench Revamp

Here is a super quick DIY project I recently did to an old bench I bought from a thrift shop.
I bought this bench to put in our breeze way so my husband could put on his work boots and take them off again when he returns home.
I was looking for this shape specifically because I like the mid-century look. 

I found this bench for a couple bucks, and while I like the shape and legs were in good condition, I was not a fan of the brown vinyl. I tried to enhance it by throwing a fur on top but it just didn't do anything for me.  

I decided to cover it with a vinyl I picked up for cheap in a color I liked and would look better with the fur I wanted to use.

So I quickly pulled out my handy dandy staple gun and got to work.

So there it is! All finished.
The bench is a fresh mix of vintage and modern.
Unfortunately I lost the piping in the covering process, but I like this color so much better!

I have a few chair remodels I am currently working on.
Check back to see how I revamp "that 70's chair"

Also, if you are in Philly this weekend, we will be at Penn's Landing for the Art Star Craft Bazaar.
Come by to check out our bags in person! We would love to meet you!

May 1, 2014

Me-Made May Pledge

Today I am making my Me-Made May '14 pledge. 

Some of you are probably familiar with this challenge by now, but for those who are not here is the lingo. For the duration of the month of May you are to challenge yourself with either making pieces for your wardrobe or make it a point to wear your handmade items.

Last year I wanted to pledge but was swamped with preparing for our wedding, moving, etc. etc.
But this year I am jumping in with both feet!

I, Katie, of a girl named katie pledge to create pieces to fill in the holes of my wardrobe by making more cake and less icing for the duration of May 2014. 

Let's narrow that goal down a bit to something more specific.
Since leaving my day job to pursue my dream job I have noticed that I have a very limited selection of fashionable tops and skirts. At work I wore a lot of old tshirts, warm "granny" sweaters (as my husband refers to them as), and jeans. I was always cold. Year round.
Any shirt you wore into the place was bound to get holes.
Eventually I just gave up and called it a day.

Recently I have been sewing some fun projects that frankly, have no purpose.
My Olivia Pope dress is awesome, but I have absolutely no idea where I am going to wear it.
But as a wise woman in a fabric store once said "you don't make a dress for the event, you make an event for the dress."

So, loaded with cotton and some tried and true patterns I am going to make some simple blouses and skirts with fun prints for summer. I already pre-washed the fabric!
My goal is to make 3 blouses and 3 skirts.

Are you doing the challenge this year?
What is your pledge?