Are you brave? Or are you trying to be perfect?

Last night I had the pleasure of listening to Reshma Saujani, Founder and CEO of Girls Who Code, talk about her latest book “Brave, Not Perfect”. She wrote the book after having massive success speaking on the topic in her TED talk. Saujani crafted this talk after observing the behaviors of the girls in her program. Not one would raise their hand at the end of her lessons to ask questions. She knew that if these girls were boys, however, their hands would be shooting up into the air.

Saujani concluded that girls are raised to be perfect and make no mistakes whereas boys are raised to take risks and be brave. A lot of the things she said last night really resonated with me. Here are some key ideas:

🔑 The reason we can’t say no, as women, is because we want to be liked.

🔑 You can’t be brave if you’re tired- so don’t be scared to tell people no!

🔑 At the core we are all girls stuck in the 8th grade who still just want boys to like us. Why else would we be baking the banana bread and planning the company Christmas party?

Do you resonate with any of these points she made? I know I do. Even though I am confident in myself and push outside of my comfort zone I still get scared to ask a question in fear of sounding dumb. I still get scared to input my opinion in a group of older males. This irrational fear  is something I work on fighting against everyday at work.

 

I have yet to read the book but will be sure to report back on what I think of it. Overall I love the message and believe it has a lot of great ideas for women to think about.

Dear 20-Something Girl (7)

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Sewn by Me: Denim Bustier Top

Have you ever seen a clothing item on Instagram that you absolutely love and want to buy, but don’t necessarily want to drop hundreds of dollars on it? This is the question that spurts most of my creativity with sewing. I love having the ability to see something and make it my own, at a much more affordable price point.

Simplicity #8130

In the beginning of the summer I saw Reformation post a picture of a lace-up denim bustier top. I loved it but knew it wasn’t wearable enough to spend $200 on. What do I do when this happens? I make my own and I make it even better!

I’ve had Simplicity #8130 in my stash for a while and figured I could alter it to mimic the silhouette of the Reformation top. I used view D of the pattern as a base for the top and then added on different features to make it more unique.

sew a bustier top

The first thing I altered in this pattern was the front of the top. Instead of sewing the front seam together, I left the two pieces unattached, but with finished edges. I then added rows of grommets down each side in the center of the front pieces. While grommets are a pain in the butt, they add a really cool detail that retailers really make you shell out the big bucks for. Grommets are only $3 a pack, and other than them themselves, all you need is a hammer and a little bit of elbow grease.

After hammering the grommets onto the front of the top, I created a string to loop through them. I decided to go with a light denim fabric I had laying around my sewing studio in order to add a little contrast. I think it adds a fun little detail that the Reformation top doesn’t have.

IMG_5757.jpg

In addition to the grommets, I added 4 lower panels to the crop-top, in order to give it that flared look on the bottom. The top part is very fitted but then the bottom panels flow out, creating a peplum like effect. I simply measured the length of each of the top pieces and widened the bottom edge of each piece. I then made these into trapezoid-shaped pattern pieces. The trapezoid shapes will create the peplum when sewn together.

The top should naturally open up under the grommets due to its shape, exposing the perfect amount of skin.

sewing with denim

Lastly, I added an exposed zipper to the back in order to match the silver metal and light denim lace-up design in the front of the top.

My favorite way to wear this top is with a lighter denim bottom. These shorts match perfectly with the light denim details on the top, creating the coolest look. I also make sure to pair it with silver accessories because of the silver hardware all throughout the top. This look is seriously the most casual-cool summer look for concerts, coffee, or even going out!

trendy young sewer

Similar Looks: Madewell Denim Bustier Top, Cropped Denim Top, Nordstrom Denim Top

Now that summer is coming to an end, I’m beginning to brainstorm ideas of what to sew for the fall season. I already have a few ideas but if you have any suggestions, please leave them down below. Let me know what you think about this top and if you’ve sewn this pattern before.

If you enjoyed this post, be sure to read Sewn by Me: I AM GIA-Inspired OverallsSewn by Me: Zimmermann-Inspired Floral Mesh Top, and Sewn by Me: Cutout Jumpsuit.

Hidden Gem of DC: Oki Bowl

I don’t know about you but during the winter all I crave is a warm bowl of soup. There is nothing more comforting than this during the cold months. This being said, when I was visiting Washington D.C. in the 10 degree weather, all I wanted was some authentic japanese ramen. Luckily, I was able to hunt down the perfect place.

Oki ramen georgetown

Oki Bowl caught my attention through Instagram when someone posted a picture of their ramen. Not only did it look delicious, but the atmosphere looked like a one-of-a-kind experience. The ceilings were covered in cool lamps, flowers, and random knick-knacks. The walls had funky, colorful wood panels and floral designs.

Oki Bowl ramen dc

While the dining area of the restaurant is pretty cool, the coolest part of Oki Bowl is by far its bathroom. The bathroom is glowing in neon lights, flowers, and sparkly arrangements. There is even a glow-up tank with jellyfish inside! The bathroom is something pictures cannot even justify; you simply have to experience it for yourself.

best ramen in DC

I ordered the tempura kale ramen with crispy tofu. The broth for this ramen was made from coconut milk and lemongrass, making it soothing and sweet. I had never had tempura kale and was delightfully surprised by its taste and texture. I mean, tempura makes everything delicious, even a leafy green vegetable!

After walking around Georgetown for the day, exploring art galleries and book stores, Oki Bowl made for the perfect place to stop for dinner. I would highly recommend checking it out if you are looking for a warm treat in winter or just some really good ramen!

If you enjoyed this post be sure to also check out Hidden (Vegan) Gem of Edinburgh: Paradise Palms and Hidden Gem of Amsterdam: Toastable.