a woven life

a parenting and lifestyle blog


Photography Styling Challenge|Fashion

Photography Styling Challenge Fashion

I have no qualms with admitting that I experienced great apprehension about this month’s Photography Styling Challenge.

You see, I vacillate a lot about the role of clothing in my life and the effects garments have on my perception of well being. I generally maintain a very functional attitude about clothes; they protect from the elements. This doesn’t mean that I haven’t some degree of personal style in my life, I just strive relentlessly to prevent my sense of identity from becoming consumed by my wardrobe. I believe it to be spiritually imperative that we take a step back in our culture and ask ourselves why clothes are important, where they come from, and how they impact our abilities to feel right within ourselves.

Mini-lecture aside, I believe in the power of bodily decoration, I have a closet crisis at least quarterly, and I have deep respect for well-made and beautiful clothing. I lust for things I can’t afford but try to corral that in healthy ways. In my world view, it is completely acceptable to have the hots for a $150 pair of hiking boots because the sole is flopping off the current pair you own. Maybe hiking boots don’t constitute fashion and this is tip-toeing into rant-land. I’ll stop myself for you.

The following pants are from Oren’s handmade collection of funky stuff. I gain so much satisfaction from seeing him toddle about in handmades. The dress being the exception, as Oren does not wear dresses, although if he wanted to one of these days I would sew them so happily for him.

Upcycled Pants

In my sewing I utilize many fabrics that are already laying around my house. I maintain a mountain pile of worn out clothing in need of upcycling. The pants above belonged to Michael, I cut off the legs below the knee and made these pants based on Oren’s measurements.  The pants below were created from a very roomy pair of stretch knit pants that I lived in towards the end of my pregnancy.

Upcycled Sweats.

This romper I created for a friend’s daughter in honor of her third birthday. I was so happy to be sewing a little girl’s dress! You’ll notice that Oren has plenty of home-made pants but few tops. Dresses are so simple to whip up, if only I had a daughter as well. This dress was sewn using a vintage McCall’s pattern, number 5473.

McCall's Romper.

The pants pictured below are another clothing refashion. The flannel of these pants was salvaged from a large men’s flannel shirt and the woven cotton is from a vintage bed sheet. These pants are so cozy-warm. I love the yoke detail of this pattern and they are reversible to boot! These are the Quick Change Trouser from Anna Maria Horner’s Handmade Beginnings.

Upcycled flannel pants.

This final pair of pants are my absolute favorite of Oren’s wardbrobe so far. They are for this coming spring season and I lovingly dub them his Cabana Pants. I love making these pants, the pattern is easy to follow and absolutely addicting. I made pair of pants using Growing Up Sew Liberated’s Pocket Pant pattern by Meg McElwee. The fabric is a rare treat, purchased from Sarah’s Fabrics in downtown Lawrence. I almost can not go in there, in fact rarely can I afford to. The trim for the waistband, pockets, and cuffs are from a vintage bed sheet. Love that vintage sheeting. 

Cabana Pants.

On the “styling” side of things, I knew right away that there was going to be no way I could convince Oren to model these pants for you. So I opted for interesting backdrops around my home. And just as I construct this prior sentence, I look over and realize Oren is wearing something I’ve made. Today’s house outfit for this chilly winter day:

Oren PJ Cape.

Mister Cheese. Goodness. Here Oren is rocking some jersey knit leggings I made. On top he is wearing what I call his PJ cape-jacket. This number was upcycled from a pair of footed fleece pajamas. The zipper gave out on them completely and rather than replace it, I turned it into a cozy house coat. And the Ninja Turtle tee shirt was papa’s when he was a little guy. George has also asked me to mention that he is pictured above as well. Poor attention deprived diva-cat.

If fashion fixes and fantastic photography are your cup of tea, please explore some other posts!

And a special welcome to two new participants this month,


Photography Styling Challenge|Patterns

PSC Patterns

For this month’s Photography Styling Challenge, I had to look no further than my kitchen pantry.

Just reading the word “pattern” in this month’s prompt took me back to elementary school, forming arrangements with plastic geometric tiles. I loved this activity; creating flowers and houses and nameless other configurations. I was pretty thrilled at the prospect of this post and spent days chewing on the subject. Should I photograph a cut sewing pattern laid out? Should I head outdoors seeking naturally occurring patterns over staging?

I opted for a small arrangement of items from my home, we have so many small things.

My pantry yielded legumes, nuts, dried herbs, pasta, and grains.






To explore more patterns in people’s lives:


Photography Styling Challenge|Bedroom


Hello November. Greetings beginning of a new month (even if you are one of the worst months). October zipped right on by. How can the best month be so closely situated with the worst month? Ponderings aside, the first of the month brings with it the Photography Styling Challenge. This month we are focusing on the bedroom. I greatly wanted to style Oren’s room for this challenge, because it needs the face lift anyway. However, his bedroom has one North facing window, I couldn’t bring myself to work with this. So my bedroom it was.

I focused less on styling than I did on lighting. The day I shot these photos was cloudy. For some of the photos I reflected light off of poster board. For some closer-up photos I used a hand mirror to play with light. Both of these actions being no easy feat since Ogie-Bogie pants took off with the camera base for my tripod. I’ve not seen the base in weeks. I didn’t have the easiest time capturing cloudy-day shots that were well framed without the assistance of the tripod. I carried on anyway and came up with the following about this space:

The day begins and ends in this room. Nighttime reading, curled under down. Morning toe-stubbing and curtain pulling. Goodnight and good morning uttered on breath minty with paste or stagnant from sleep. A space to cradle dreams. Soft; like when the sheets are clean and the closet is freshly organized. Chaotic; like when the closet is puking and the dresser is weeping socks. Life; like a newborn babe sighing it’s first day of breaths or throwing back the sheets while the world tumbles and rolls around you in hangover. We’ve called this room the bedroom, but I would like to argue that just as much living occurs here as in other rooms of home.



A place where vintage linens can mingle with antique tapestries.



Where collections find home.





Where piles occur like it’s a law of the universe.



Where a wine-rack can be a nightstand, which in my past may have actually been loaded.



Where Chief Joseph is both on the wall and in bed next to me on the back of my husband.

And because I can’t resist showing off the other corners I love:

If you are here killing time, you might want to check out the other participants in this challenge:

I would like to welcome and say howdy to the new participants this month:
Until next time,
Nini Coco