Overcoming 12 Months of Insecurity

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

how to wear layers for fall via Kristina J blog
LOFT cardi | Boden Wow skirt and Breton top | Claire's headwrap
 Target watch | Eat Cake for Breakfast Graphic Tote (tutorial)

how to add layers to summer clothes for fall via Kristina J blog

So I haven’t blogged in a while. In fact, I've been afraid of blogging for about a year now. It seemed too false, too unreal, to post pictures of myself smiling when I've been in the middle of such an internal battle. You see that girl over there…the one hiding from people and avoiding conversation? Yup, that’s me.We all have our unique shape of fear and mine has been plaguing me in the big, fat form of INSECURITY.  The critic in my head speaks loudly, causing me to worry that my art is a waste of time…letting me believe that I really do have something valuable to offer but insisting that someone else can do it better.  Her question whispers those six foul words into my heart: Who do you think you are? 

Have you ever noticed how the ghost of INSECURITY seems to make so much sense? She knows everything. INSECURITY knows why I’m an idiot. She knows why my art doesn't matter, why my skill-set isn't useful.  INSECURITY can recite all the ways my ideas are recycled and my designs are un-wearable and why people think my outfits are ridiculous. She writes a song about my inadequacy and failure and weaves the sticky, little melody all around my heart. And I believe her. I stop writing. Stop the sewing. Stop the designing. Stop blogging. Stop creating. I believe her and everything just…stops. I lose sight of my truth.

I've known since I was nineteen that I wanted to open an online boutique of pretty skirts and dresses. Launching the KRISTINA J. blog while my children were babies at home was a strategic step towards that goal…creating a place where I could experiment with styles, designs and product shoots while getting feedback for what women were really looking for in their clothes.  And then came the day when all three kiddos were attending school and I was finally going to have enough time to launch a clothing line and what did I do? I freaked out, that’s what. I ran. I became desperately afraid of my inadequacy ruining my dreams instead of embracing the beauty of what I might create in the process. 

INSECURITY made a list of my shortcomings and convinced me that the eyes of a huge audience were trained in my direction, waiting for me to make a fool of myself. Focusing on the whispers of INSECURITY turned my hope-filled dream into something that was too serious and cumbersome to carry. Pursuing THE DREAM became such a big deal that instead of pursing God, I sank into self-effort and expectation.  While I should have spent this year being an image bearer with a job to do, I've become a job doer with an image to maintain.

Here’s the discovery it’s taken me an entire year to figure out. I can try to believe in myself and sink into procrastination and worry that my art is not enough…that I have nothing to offer. Or I can sink hard into God.  I choose that last one.

Though I’m not sure anyone even reads this blog anymore, I’m publicly confessing that INSECURITY took me down, but this is me, getting back up, brushing off my knees after the fall and deciding to make art even as I wait for courage.  Yes, someone else can write better, blog better, love better, design better, and sew better. Other people can construct clothes better, but that doesn't mean I can’t design and construct as well. 

Of course, even with this confession INSECURITY continues to vomit: Who do you think you are?
Who do I think I am?
I am a God-redeemed young woman made in the image of Creator God and given a specific set of skills by his creative design. I am a poem…his artwork.  No more waiting for qualifications, permissions or self-approval.
My hands are filled with dreams and desires and all I can do is respond to God where I am as I am with what I've got.  
I've got sewing machine and the skill to use it.
I've got a point-of-view and a platform from which to display it.
And I have a dream to delight others with what I have to offer.
I am an image bearer and I have a job to do.
That’s my truth. 

how to add layers to summer outfits for fall via Kristina J blog


LOVE THAT | Shades of Garnet

Sunday, September 21, 2014

love that

I'm currently in love with the rich shades of burgundy. I wear it, decorate my house with it and look for maroon colored gifts to give my friends. I can't tell if it's an autumn thing or simply the discovery of an over-looked color. Either way, I like... These are the items I'm currently crushing on in this bold shade.
1.   Anthropologie Ruched Gem Belt
2.   Trina Turk Ikat Purple Pillow
3.   Dipped Two-Tone Mugs, Set of 4
4.   Purple Small Soft Cover Notebook with Silver Initial
5.   La Chapelier Champs Wall Art
6.   Minted for west elm - Island Wildflowers No. 4
7.   Boden Kate Dress
8.   Boden Jewelled Georgette Dress
9.   Boden Isabella Dress
10. Choies Wine A-line Skirt
11.  Fleet Collection Swing Vote Dress in Acai
12.  Nine West Women's Sissy Ballet Flat
13.  NuG Every Day, Everywhere Bag in Plum
14.  AB ASIA BELLUCCI leather bag
15.  PAUL & JOE SISTER Short dresses
16.  NWT ANN TAYLOR LOFT Pink & Maroon Club Striped Crew Neck SS Keyhole Shirt

Constructing | Salt and Pepper Dress

Thursday, September 18, 2014

salt and pepper dress

joann fabric sew your style challenge via Kristina J blog
joann fabric sew your style challenge via Kristina J blog

I was really excited when I read about Joann Fabrics Sew Your Style challenge this month. The challenge was to use quilting fabric to create a project. I'm not a quilter (not at all) so I've never really taken the time to browse all the lovely, breathable cotton fabrics in the quilting section of the Joann stores. Since garment design is my thing, I was a bit worried about whether I could translate the fabric into something other than a craft. Then I had a major light bulb moment--leather!  I've been admiring Kate Spade's leather trim dress for a while and thought a leather peter pan collar would be the perfect way to toughen up the sweetness of this black and white floral print fabric. And yep, did it ever. I can't imagine this design without it. And just like that, the Salt and Pepper dress goes from crafty to wearable art.

joann fabric sew your style via Kristina J blog
joann fabrics sew your style challenge dress via Kristina J blog
joann fabric sew your style dress via Kristina J blog
joann fabric sew your style challenge via Kristina J blog


similar kristina j designs you  might like
the soo  traverse city  marquette dress  st. ignace dress

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TUTORIAL | How to Refashion a Blouse Into a Pencil Dress

Monday, September 15, 2014

how to make a pencil dress via Kristina J blog

Everybody loves a great pencil dress, which is why I decided to refashion my never-worn-in-two years cami from J.Crew and create something I would more readily grab from my closet. Using a dress from my Refashion Challenge post as inspiration to recycle my old clothes, I created this dress by utilizing some left-over fabric from The Soo dress design in my 2012 Mid-Summer Collection.  Even though it's really simple, I think it's a dress that will be super versatile, and since I was using materials I already had, it didn't cost me a dime. Score.

how to refashion a blouse into a sheath dress via Kristina J blog tutorial 

what you need
  • Blouse with side zipper.
  • 1/2 inch bias tap
  • Two yards fabric for skirt
  • 14 inch zipper
  • Pattern in your size with general silhouette of sketches below. I used McCalls 5927, which is out of print, but available on amazon.com.


 what you do
1.  Cut out skirt portion of pattern onto a fabric of your choice and assemble by instructions.

how to refashion a blouse into a sheath dress via Kristina J blog

2.   Enclose raw edge of top of skirt with bias tape and top-stitch to attach and finish.

how to make a sheath dress from a blouse via Kristina J blog

3.   Pin skirt to natural waistline of blouse and top-stitch 1/4 inch below bias tape. Leaving one inch free to fold under at zipper

how to turn a blouse into a sheath dress via Kristina J blog

4.   Fold raw edge of skirt under at side seam even with zipper and pin.

how to refashion a shirt into a sheath dress via Kristina J blog

5.   Top stitch 1/4 inch from zipper edge to finish. DONE.

how to refashion a blouse into a sheath dress via Kristina J blog
how to refashion a top into a sheath dress via Kristina J blog how to refashion a blouse into a sheath dress via Kristina J blog tutorial 2


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how to make a tuxedo skirt square two tone shirtdress daisy sweatshirt how to make a diy colorblock maxi dress tutorial via Kristina J blog sequin trim sweater tutorial via Kristina J blog

On the Dot

Thursday, September 11, 2014

how to style the black and white boden nancy skirt via Kristina J blog
Boden Nancy skirt | J.Crew top (similar) | Nine West wedges 
Target bag, wedges + watch | Charlotte Russe headwrap

midi skirt boden black and white trend
how to wear the boden nancy skirt via Kristina J blog
color red and pink together via Kristina J blog
add pink to the black and white trend via Kristina J blog

DIY PATIO EDITION | How to Make a Wood Dowel Pendant Light

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

how to make a wood dowel pendant light via Kristina J blog
how to make a diy color cord company wooden dowel pendant light via Kristina J blog
what you need
1.  15 square wood dowel rods
2.   Hacksaw
3.   Large jump rings like these from Joann Fabrics
4.   Keyhole screws
5.   Acrylic paint in three colors
6.   Rectangle wire stacking shelf like this one from Walmart
7.   Pliers
8.   Gold chain
9.   Parachute cord in three colors
10. Two pendant light kits. I used the pendant light kit in PINK from the Color Cord Company.
11. Clear protective spray paint for wood

how-to-make-a-diy-wood-dowel-pendant-light-via-KristinaJ-blog

what you do
1.   Mark the dowel rods into 9 inch sections and use a hacksaw to cut. I used 60 dowels for this project. Lightly sand ends.
2.   Insert keyhole screws into one end of all dowel rods.
3.   Paint the bottom four inches of the dowels. I painted 20 in each color. 
4.   Let dry. 

how to make a diy wood dowel pendant light via Kristina J blog

5.   Cut chain with pliers into 60 sections
2 inch section = 30 
3 inch section = 30
Attach both ends of chain to jump ring.
6.   Attach one end to keyhole screw
7.   Repeat for all dowels.
8.   Attach other end of chain to wire shelf with jump ring, arranging colors as you like

how-to-make-a-diy-wood-dowel-pendant-light-via-KristinaJ-blog
how to make a diy color cord wood dowel pendant light
how to make a diy color cord company dowel wood chandalier light via Kristina J blog

10.   Spray all dowels and chain with clear coat of glossy spray paint to protect and add shine.
11.   Thread color cord kit through wire shelf in desired location. 

how to make a diy color cord company dowel pendant light via Kristina J blog

12.   Knot cord as desired and attach to ceiling with hook or to patio canopy as I did here. Almost done!

how to make a wood dowel pendant light via Kristina J blog

13.   Wrap edge of wire shelf with three sections of parachute chord like I used for my planters to finish the edge. I just twisted all three colors together and did it all the colors at the same time.  
14.   DONE.

how to make a diy color cord company wood dowel chandalier light via Kristina J blog tutorial
how to make a diy dowel chandelier light tutorial via Kristina J blog
how to make a wood dowel pendant light via Kristina J blog


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how to make diy patio chair cushions via Kristina J blog how to make diy cement garden spheres via Kristina J blog how to make a diy hanging planter tutorial via Kristina J blog IMG_4269 how to make a geometric painted planter tutorial via Kristina J blog how to make a beaded plant hanger tutorial via Kristina J blog




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