//Sunday Best// Paper Parosols & Perfect Projects

Monday, August 10, 2015

Well how about an Alliteration title to start things out! So glad to be blogging once again, but I must warn you that this post is going to be quite short (thus enjoy the pictures while you can). 
However, for a little introduction to the post this was the ensemble I wore to church this Sunday (yesterday). I had made this dress back at the beginning of July but haven't gotten around to blogging about it until now (typical). Can I just say I am so in LOVE with this dress! I created it from two patterns, a 1940's reproduction blouse pattern and a modern dress pattern. The results were exactly what I was looking for in a 1940's house/day dress. Plus, the simple cotton fabric in a light shade of blue with dainty pink flower buttons made it all the better :) 

Dress:Made; Shoes:Old Navy; Belt: Minnie's Menagerie; Parasol: sisters

I stole this parasol from my sister! She picked two of them up at a garage sale years ago and today was the perfect day to use it for pictures. There is just something a little extra about throwing in a parasol or umbrella into photos.....I don't know? 
However, while we are on the topic of photos I have realized that I need to become more familiar with my camera and its multiple settings! I have a Cannon EOS Rebel T3 (which is super nice), but until I become more versed in using the settings to my advantage I am going to continually be slightly disappointed with the shots I take. I am just a little obsessed right now with those pictures that have such a magically blurry background (no matter the background setting) and that look absolutely FABULOUS! Then of course when I try to take pictures like those it never quite works like I want it accept in head shots (like the one below). 
I suppose I need to kidnap a friend one day and force them to be my model for an hour while I play with my camera more? Or I could watch a few videos online.....or read a few books????? Whatever the case, that is my current dilemma that I hope to soon work through (if you have any tips please pass them on...hehe).
These were the two patterns I used to create the dress. Left pattern was for the skirt and Right pattern's top right blouse was used for the bodice.

Well I suppose that is all I have time to right. However, I have a number of exciting posts planned (if they go according to plan) that I can't wait to get started.
Until next time dear readers!

Do you like Parasols?

Do you have any tips for perfectly blurry backgrounds?


  1. Love the dress! We girls are actually using that peplum blouse pattern for some new performance ensembles!

    And as to camera help: the blurry background that you're after is controlled by the aperture of your lens. The lower the aperture (it's the setting with the F in front of it), the more blurry the background. For our girls outfit photos, I usually have it on 2.8, with my 50mm 1.8/F lens. Typically with zoom lenses, you get a blurry background for close-up photos (usually a 3.5 or 4), and then a more in-focus background with more widely-cropped images (like the long outfit shots of you). Hope this helps!


  2. The dress you made is absolutely darling! I wish I had more time to devote to sewing. I'd love to make dresses like that. :)

    On another note, I have a few links/suggestions for your photography problems! (I'm a fairly new photography enthusiast, so I'm still learning myself, but hope I can help you with what I've learned!)

    First of all, you said you love the blurry, glowing backgrounds-I do too. :) Perhaps you already know this, but the setting that helps you achieve that look is the aperture-if you use a larger aperture it blurs the background. :)

    Here are some links that have been helpful to me-the first is a collection of different posts on a photography website I found interesting:

    And here's a specific post on aperture:

    And, since you shoot outfit photos, perhaps this fun post will help you:

    Hope that was helpful and not "stuff you already know"! ;)

  3. You look lovely Madison! It's funny, when I first saw your dress, I thought that the neckline and sleeves looked familiar, so when you said that you used that 1940s repro blouse pattern I wasn't surprised! What an ingenious pattern hack!


    the Middle Sister and Singer

  4. Very pretty outfit! :D Your parasol is just right! It's such a delicate, feminine look.
    As has been said before, a large aperture is important for getting a blurry background. A lens that has a larger aperture capacity can give you an even blurrier background than what you can achieve with a kit lens. I have a Nikon D3100 (which is about the same level as your camera) and used just the kit lens for over a year. Recently I bought a used telephoto zoom lens, which has a /much/ bigger aperture, and gives me beautiful blurry backgrounds! :) In modeling, I also have to make sure I stand farther away from my backdrop. Hope this helps!

  5. I absolutely love your outfit! Hopefully someday I will get to the point in my sewing where I can sew a beautiful dress like yours! :)


  6. Love your dress! And the parasol complements it wonderfully for these photos!! I haven't been brave enough to combine patterns yet, but your execution of it is impeccable!!

  7. Terrific pattern combining. This dress is sweet, lovely, and every inch the 1940s look - helped all the more so by this timelessly pretty parasol.

    ♥ Jessica

  8. So so pretty! The parasol is such a great prop! Very romantic look.

  9. I love that blouse pattern, and the fact that you turned it into a dress is just perfect! Plus, the cutest fabric ever!! Such a simple, yet chic summer look. The parasol really does add that perfect finish too. :) ❤

    bonita of Lavender & Twill