Have you ever noticed the distinct regional differences in certain words, phrases and sayings? Of course you have, and it’s probably no big deal to you.

To me, it’s fascinating.

Soda vs pop (it’s all Coke to me), standing ON line vs standing IN line, and my all time favorite, button-up shirt vs button-down shirt.

If I’m correct (which is doubtful), I think the correct shirt terminology lies in each individual’s actual habit of buttoning the shirt. Apparently East-coasters button their shirts starting at the top button and proceed down, and West-coasters start at the bottom button and proceed up.

I, on the other hand, start somewhere in the middle, and then proceed in a haphazard process from there. Usually resulting in several rebuttonings of the shirt due to that dreaded skipped button thing.

Moving on.

My life has been dominated by button-ups lately. I bought four of them at the thrift store last week, including a single chambray from 1970 that fits like a glove….and is light and breezy…and (get this) doesn’t need ironing…EVER! Whatever toxic material that 1970’s shirt is made from is pure heaven.

The reason I’m swimming in button-ups, is that I’ve taken on a very special project. After stumbling across this pin, I became a bit obsessed with repurposing oversized button-ups. It started with flannel, and has moved to pearl snaps and some real interesting (read: ugly) oversized women’s wear.

Check out the transformation:

This pretty puppy was a 3XL Timberland flannel. I don’t recommend trying to resize a men’s 3XL to a women’s small, but the result wasn’t terrible.

Here’s another flannel transformation, but no before photo. Sorry I’m a terrible blogger. This shirt was a men’s medium and was a much easier transformation. It literally fits like a glove. And the best thing about repurposing oversize clothes? You can make the shirts as long as you want, in case, like me, you’d like to cover up some of that junk in the trunk.

A full tutorial to come on this process! Also, some tips on where to thrift a chainsaw and workboots to complete the look. I swear I can see trends coming from a mile away.

Thank you Forever 21 for making my Tuesday a real shocker.

I can’t decide if this is karma, or just the product of shoddy sewing. Probably both.

Who knows how long I was walking around with this giant rip up the back of my dress? About five car salesman and a few servers at our local pizza joint, that’s who.

Thank goodness for flesh colored Spanx. They only thought they were getting a free show…

Guess who finally got their act together and made a pillow cover out of that amazing new wool gifted by the best best friend?

I just moved into a new place and my temporary 18 year old roommate is striving to be a fashion designer. His first sewing class was learning how to sew an envelope pillow.

“That is adorable,” I thought when he told me. Got to start somewhere, right?

Ha! Was I ever so wrong. Let me just say, the kid has some major talent. Those seams were as straight as an arrow. And his choice of coordinating, modern, masculine fabrics? Superb.

A few nights ago he showed me his sketches of a new women’s line of clothing he’s designed. My god, can this kid can draw. And that one-shouldered number sketched so delicately on his size 0, and huuuge busted model. Blown away.

So he’s 18, he can draw, he can sew, he can design women’s wear, and he’s got impeccable taste in fabric.

I, on the other hand, need three separate attempts at an envelope pillow to get it right. Of course, I didn’t tell the roomie this. Can’t let those teenage egos getting too out of control…

Behold, my envelope pillow:

I still have half of the fabric left, so I’m going to attempt to whip up a little over the shoulder purse. We shall see what becomes of this grand plan. If an envelope pillow almost killed me…gah, let’s not discuss it.

The Makerie changed my life.

I know, it sounds ridiculously cheesy. And trust me, I hate the cheese. So it has to be true.

At the Makerie I met countless people who were happy to listen to me talk on and on about my dreams post-school, and a few that are more than willing to help my achieve those dreams. Sometimes I forget in the inherent goodness of people, and if I need a creative retreat to remind me of it, then so be it.

Enough with the sappy stuff and on with my newfound passion. Shooting in manual mode. It’s difficult, frustrating, and I still can’t tell if these pictures are any good. Still, it is so.much.fun.

Blankets! In a basket!!

And Chautauqua couldn’t have been a better location. Next year, you better believe I’m bunking in one of those rustic cabins. I was so jealous of the women skipping off to their bunks to drink wine together and craft all night long.

Fun fact: Did you know that the summer lodge in the movie Dirty Dancing was a chautauqua? Also, the concept of a chautauqua is a common recurring theme in the novel Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance! Chautauquas are awesome, enough said.

The first workshop was letterpress with Allison Bozeman of Birddog Press Studios. Allison’s studio, nestled in the heart of Lyons, was adorable. She had two, very old presses and two baby presses. I am now on the hunt for a 1500 pound press from the early 1900’s. No one will ever want to help me move again.

The second workshop was learning to photograph your “craft”. I bet you can guess what I toted along to photograph.

That print will never die.

And my favorite fabric in the world. That will be made into a pillow in the coming days after a successful Ikea trip this morning.

There were no less than five different Allie’s that attended the Makerie (including the organizer). I have never been surrounded by so many of my own kind. It was confusing and amazing at the same time.

Ali DeJohn was awesome at accommodating everyone’s needs. Gluten free meals were provided for all of us intolerant peeps, and the food was to die for. Katie’s boxed lunches were adorably packaged and deliciously yummy. I swear that no detail was overlooked at the Makerie. That is the number one reason I will be back next year.

Who’s coming with?