This weekend was deemed a “stay-at-home, be productive, and basically regroup” weekend. Eighty to ninety hour school weeks have made me…a little less than pleasant to be around. Some alone time was much needed.

I scored below average on the “be productive and regroup” part. But I scored above average, and some might even say excellent, at the stay at home part. Being a natural recluse played no part in this whatsoever.

I attempted to sew a dress and failed miserably. I designed a modern, felt legal pad folder for upcoming interviews that looked like a five year old was behind the sewing machine. (FYI: ripping seams out of felt is something I will now have nightmares about). And…I assembled my new screen printing table (finally, success!!).

But most importantly, I thrifted.

A local thrift shop was having a bag sale, where everything you could fit into one bag was $5. Obviously, there wasn’t a question about whether I would attend. I didn’t have any sort of project in mind for this thrifting adventure, which is usually results in a full on shopping spree, or a disappointing empty-handed trip home. This trip, I scored big.

Usually, I just browse the clothing racks. Yesterday, I left no stone unturned. Seriously, I think I was in the store for almost two full hours.

I picked up these beauties from the donated cards bucket. At .49 a piece I couldn’t pass them up. They’re brand new in the plastic! The designer is Sanna Annukka…my new favorite printer.

This one, especially, made me a little emotional. Reminds me so much of my cabin. We have a big Ponderosa Pine that sits on the point of our beach. This whole scene is a folksy little rendition of my childhood.

And it comes in a colored print!

I may have squealed a little when I saw this duo. I have a special place in my heart for ferns. My Nana’s name is Fern, and ferns line the perimeter of my grandparents’ cabin. At this point, I was near tears.

And this one, I thought was just adorable. I can’t wait for one of my friends to get sick.

This thrifting adventure was not without some store drama, of course. An attempted theft (of a $5 bag of goodies), made for a humorous addition to my afternoon.

Three pieces of clothing were also purchased, but are currently sitting (probably mildewing) in my washing machine. I should take care of that. They are all perfect as-is (no Big Love frocks this time), and you will certainly see them in a separate post.

My favorite part about Pinterest is looking at what I’ve pinned over the months, and realizing how specific my taste is for certain things. For instance, I have more flouncy knee length skirts pinned on my fashion board than I care to admit. And my “DIY Home” board is almost entirely made up of projects that incorporate wood. Little wooden buttons, large birch trunk candle holders…a tree trunk colored pencil holder (obviously).

In short, I have a thing for wood accents. I love white washed walls and modern interiors, but I need an element of natural in there. And of late, I’m all about birch.

Check out my favorites:

I figure these can’t be that hard to make. In fact, its on the top of my dad’s list of things to teach me this summer. (shhh…he doesn’t know yet).


Those beams! That track lighting! Those nano (nana?) doors!


One teeny, tiny wooden lamp. And air plants. Sigh.


Industrial shelving, white washed walls, and strategically placed pops of color. Me likey.


Love that bench at the end of the bed. Anybody know what kind of wood that might be?


Houzz had a great “Woods and Whites” diddy. Check it.


Let the printing begin…

Over a relaxing, Hawaiian Thanksgiving break I stumbled across an amazing pattern. This little summer frock looked comfy and cool, but also completely out of my skill range as a dress making newbie. I bookmarked the source, and moved on with my life, and tried to forget that beautiful, jersey dress.

Until…I entered the thrift store a few weeks ago and found the 1980’s polyester copy-cat (possibly…if you squint your eyes really tight) of my inspiration. We shall call her…Fuschia.

I liken Fuschia to my high school choir robe. Shapeless, matronly…something out of Big Love, if you will. The first thing that caught my eye about this piece were the awesome skirt pleats that looked something like this. Gorgeous, perfectly spaced, neatly pressed pleats. It turns out that when you machine wash a piece of clothing that says “Dry Clean Only” in huge letters on the tag, those pretty little pleats wash right out.

A quick image search of Karin Stevens apparel yielded some pretty freaking fantastic results. Check out these vintage gems on Etsy!

And now, I present to you…the infamous shoulder pads. I’ve had one of these stuffed in my winter coat pocket for about a week after toting it to the fabric store to find matching thread. I feel a weird affinity for them now. They will not be thrown away! Though I have yet to think of a clever repurpose for them.

Since this is my first tutorial, I’ll be the first to admit I forgot to document several important steps. It might have something to do with the fact that I hastily ripped the arms of this little gem off in a fit of rage in the wee hours of a Monday morning. Seam ripping is the best therapy.

Since I was attempting to imitate my inspiration piece, the arms (and shoulder pads) obviously had to go. Then, the back had to become the front and the front had to become the back. This would require some neck tidying.

I added a 1/4″ topstitch to the fraying neckline to clean things up. Easy peasy.

Next, it was time to sew up those arm holes. Now this part is not pretty, and I welcome any insight you have about transforming a sleeved piece into a sleeveless piece. This is my second attempt at removing sleeves, and it seems the arm holes always look a little wonky afterwards.

To do this, I folded the arm holes in towards the inside of the fabric once about 1/4″ and then again over itself to create a nice inner seam. I carefully sewed around the edge with about a 1/8″ seam allowance.

The last step would require a fair bit of fabric to come off the bottom of this sucker. Karin and Steven designed this little lady to hit just about mid-shin. Flattering.

I cut about 2.5″ off the bottom with my rotary cutter. Then, I folded the fabric over 1.25″ and pressed, and folded over again and pinned. This time I sewed with about a 3/4″ seam allowance. Now, the dress falls above the knee.

After taking so much length off Fuschia, I had plenty of fabric to whip up a little belt. Because the elastic waist is completely stretched out, I needed something to suck it all in. To make the belt, I simply sewed the raw edge of the extra fabric towards the middle, keeping it in a loop. It’s a bit strange to tie, but it creates a neat little bow-type thing in the back. For me, it works.

I have to say, I don’t totally hate this look. Not quite the inspiration dress I was going for, but certainly wearable.

It was a sunny day in Boulder, imagine that. Hence, the eyes stay shut.

And one totally dorky picture for good measure.

I hope you enjoyed! Any feedback on my tutorial skillz is gladly welcomed.

We’re moving on up!

In the coming days, you will see Meadow Rue on its very own website. This involves things like domain names, web hosts, and my very technology-averse self having a near panic attack.

 Stay tuned!

 P.S. The thrifted fuschia dress with sky-high shoulder pads is finished! Tutorial to come very soon…

I have 34 days to make a vintage/modern garment. That’s 34 days to prioritize (i.e. neglect school work and possibly sleep) what has become an already quite hectic schedule.

All to create a modern version of this beauty.


Is it terrible that I love this dress the way it is? The pattern I will be modernizing, is a little…ahem…cryptic. Certain details will be changed, embellishments added, and considering the deflation of dress sizes, I will most likely be buying twice the material it calls for. This booty certainly was not a size 6 in the 1958.

Who wants to partake? Click on the picture below for more information!

I’m so doing this…

03. February 2012 · 1 comment · Categories: Uncategorized · Tags:

Boulder, Colorado has shut down. No school, no work for most, and some mighty treacherous roads. Over a foot of snow fell while the Front Range slept last night, but what a beautiful sight to wake up to!

The funny thing is, growing up in Montana, I still don’t remember a single snow day. I also don’t remember the name of my second grade teacher, so that’s not saying much. 

I can’t say I mind having an excuse to curl up inside a heated apartment. This a multiple mugs of tea sort of day.

For a 13 inch Beagle, 12 inches of snow is no joke. Our morning entertainment was watching Buckley run like a mad man through a field of untouched snow. He resembled more of a rabbit than he did a canine.

After snow tunneling lost its appeal, Buckley proceeded to finally end the slow suffering of his toy Beagle.  Was it wrong for me to buy him this toy? I’m getting mixed reviews. When he violently ripped the last of the stuffed dog’s fuzzy ear off, I asked him how he would feel if I chewed his velvety ears off. He gave me a blank look and a head tilt. He’s an unfeeling cannibal, I tell you.

I’m supposed to drive to Denver tonight to spend the weekend in Vegas with my family. I’m hoping that positive thinking will be enough to get my plane off the ground. Wish me luck!