All my freelancer friends were filled with advice when I started working from home. “Don’t sleep past 9am”. “Have a shower every day, no matter what. No seriously – EVERY DAY”. “Don’t even think about skipping breakfast”. And my favourite, “Don’t wear jogging pants. Ever”.
Well my friends, RULES ARE MEANT TO BE BROKEN. Yes, its true; grody paint-stained jogging pants you’re still wearing even though you broke up with the guy you stole them from 10 years ago are not appropriate for channeling the entrepreneurial spirit. But you know what is? Beautifully designed track pants made from the softest marle grey French jersey you ever did see.
These are, of course, the Hudson Pants by True Bias. When I was fabric shopping in Mood I headed straight to the fleece section because I was desperate for a pair of cozy, comfy pants that I wouldn’t be embarrassed being seen in when I walk to get my thrice a week Banh mi sandwich at lunchtime. I zeroed in right away on this fabric – I’ve never worked with French terry before but it is delicious – so soft and springy (unfortunately it’s not available online). I also got the little waist tie in NY at Pacific Trimmings.
These pants are so fun and quick to make, as is the case with most knit projects. Kelli’s instructions are clear and well written. The only change I made was to lengthen them by 1 1/2″ – I thought maybe I would skip the ankle cuff and just do a folded hem but I got voted down on instagram. In the end, I’m quite happy with the cuff. I think they look pretty awesome with a pair of heels, and this is exactly what I wore when I went to meet a friend for coffee last week. I paired it with a self drafted t-shirt that I am still working the kinks out of. It’s surprisingly tricky to get the perfect drape versus clingy factor; I wish I had bought more of this baby bum soft organic cotton at Mood. It’s like being caressed with angel eyelashes.
Construction wise I just serged all the seams. The terry was a little thick in places, especially when I was sewing the pants, pocket and waistband together, but my serger was a total champ. It probably took 3 or 4 hours from start to finish, so yes, I will be making a lot more this fall. Though let’s be honest, heels will probably not be making an appearance every day.
In my sportswear ode to Run DMC, I pulled out my favourite blingy gold necklace, a commemorative souvenir form the 1976 Montreal Olympics. Boys in my town always go nuts when they see this thing and try to steal it. Speaking of boys, these pants are very close to being unisex. My monsieur tried them on and wouldn’t take them off for the rest of the night, even though they were a little wide in the hips and short in the crotch. Kelli, I think that’s how you spell success.
Hey y’all. I think a few of us have been drinking from the same well since I’ve seen a few great photography posts this week while I’ve been working on a few of my own (Sew Well talks cameras here, The Cashmerette shares some great photography tips here).
Today I thought I’d talk about something I haven’t seen covered too often, and that is the organization and editing of photos. I’ve tried a few systems over the years; organizing by album on PC, iphoto on mac, a few different freeware photo organization tools. And then I watched my boyfriend using Lightroom and it was like lightning striking.
Lightroom is an Adobe product which is the de facto tool most photographers use. Why? It is incredibly intelligent about how photos are organized, and there are countless ways you can categorize things. There a million ways to view, flag and delete photos as well, which makes it much better than anything else I’ve tried for editing 150 shots down to the 5 or 6 I’ll show on the blog, not to mention managing 10 years of digital photos.
My favourite element of Lightroom is the built-in editing suite. If you don’t need to do any touchups or real Photoshop manipulation, it’s a snap to colour correct, add contrast, convert to black and white etc. etc. And all these changes can be saved into “presets”, so you can apply the exact same changes to a gallery of photos. It took my photo editing time down to under 30 minutes, compared to the hours I used to spend. There are tons of free and inexpensive presets available around the web, so if you’re nervous about playing around with settings, chances are someone’s already done it for you.
Here is a photo from my Coco post with 4 custom presets applied to it so I can compare:
The other great thing about Lightroom is that none of these changes are permanently applied to your photos. It always keeps the original image and merely logs the changes you’ve made. Finally, it makes it super easy to export your images in whatever format and size you want without modifying the original image.
I know there are a few free Photoshop-esque services out there like Pic Monkey, but I will always be a dyed in the wool Photoshop user. It’s an incredibly powerful tool, especially if you want to make great graphics for your blog. It’s very easy to import your Lightroom edited photos into Photoshop to continue editing them; this is generally what I do when I want to add text to photos, or when I need to make graphics for my online store. It has a lot more options for manipulating photos; with a few google tutorials you can easily remove pimples, blur backgrounds and overlay photos in interesting ways. The Photoshop equivalent of Lightroom presets are called Actions, and again, there are tons out there if you want to play around with your photos. I generally leave all my photo editing to Lightroom, but the two programs when used in conjunction are formidable.
FORMATTING PHOTOS FOR THE WEB
To each their own, but my favorite blogs generally have big photos that match the width of the written content. Visually, it’s just easier to look at. Take a look at your blog layout and make a mental note of your content width. This is generally a number between 500 and 800 pixels. That is the width you want to save your photos at.
There are a lot of factors to keep in mind when saving photos, but once you have a rhythm it’s pretty simple. First of all, consider your image quality. Most digital photos are quite large; you don’t need to save your blog photos at the same size because monitors won’t recognize the change. In Lightroom I save everything at 750 pixels wide (the width of my blog content) with a quality of 80 out of a 100 which creates a good quality image that doesn’t take up a ton of space on my hard drive or server (this is for web only; if you want to print your image, you won’t want to change the pixel width, fyi).
Images should be saved as a jpeg in sRGB colourspace. Not to get too confusing or technical, but there are a number of different colour formats; sRGB is the one that will make all of your photos look the same across browsers and systems. If you’ve ever noticed your photos look different on your blog than they do on your screen when you are editing, you may not be saving them in an sRGB format. I think Photoshop uses Adobe RGB as its default which shows up differently than sRGB, so please use the “Export to Web” function under the file command to ensure it’s exporting correctly.
Whatever you use to edit or export images, try to always keep a master file of your image in its original size. Sites like Kollobora ask for images with a minimum pixel size of 2000 pixels if you want to be featured on their homepage banner. Keeping the original image and then exporting to the sizes you need ensures you’re not accidentally downsizing your image permanently. Trust me, I’ve learned from experience.
Finally, don’t be confused by dpi. This setting is really only important for printing. Just make sure your jpeg quality is high and it will look great on your blog.
The only problem with using Photoshop and Lightroom is that they don’t come for free. Adobe has moved away from standalone licenses towards a cloud system. It’s $10 a month for both programs (with discounts for students). You can check out their plans on their site here. I managed to get both programs before they started the cloud system, and after looking around I found out you can buy standalone licenses on Amazon. Lightroom 5 runs at just under $140 here, but a standalone license for Photoshop is almost a thousand dollars (which is why signing up for the Cloud version is probably a good idea). You can also get a free 1 month trial to see if it’s worth an investment.
Hopefully the exporting/formatting info is helpful regardless of what editing software you are using. Jennifer at Workroom Social suggested I package some of my custom Closet Case Files photoshop/Lightroom actions. If anyone is interested in that let me know, and I will work on putting that together!
This is not a sponsored post – I just really like these products, fyi.
I’ll be back next week with another photography post, this time about the gear I’m using. In the meantime, are there any photography editing tips you’ve picked up along the way? I love hearing about how other people work.
Happy Sunday friends. Hope you’re enjoying the weekend as much as I enjoyed hula hooping in Maine this summer (shot on B&W film by my fella last month). I’ve been sewing my face off since I got back from NY. Major energy rejuicement.
I also sent out a pattern testing request to a few of the couple hundred or so people who filled out the form. I was so blown away and touched that so many of you would be interested in testing the next release. I got a chance to try it on a few ladies this weekend (thank goodness that went well!), but it’s a pretty complicated pattern and I really appreciate the additional help. I had to resort to entering everything into an excel sheet, and grouped everything by various criteria. I tried to choose a well rounded group of newer bloggers, non-bloggers, past testers, all at various sizes and skill levels. If you didn’t hear from me, chances are I may call on you sometime in the future since everyone is interested in sewing different things and I like the idea of switching it up. Now, on to the linkage!
I had the chance to meet Carolina in person this weekend. She totally rocked some 90′s setacular vibes with her two piece black velvet Nettie crop top and pencil skirt.
I love fashion challenges; I always play along while watching Project Runway, imagining what I would make out of bottlecaps or an old man’s suit. I think they should definitely add a fat quarter lineup to their roster of episodes. I’d like to see them beat Devra’s adorable Rainbrow Bright outfit or Jennifer at Workroom Social’s striped shift.
The new Pattern Parcel is out and for the first time ever, I wish I had a gang of little boys so I could make them all tiny hipster outfits.
If you follow Crafting a Rainbow on Bloglovin’ she switched her site to WordPress and it wasn’t transferring traffic to her new site. You can refollow her here.
Has anyone picked up Fashionable Selby? It’s on my Amazon wishlist; looks like you could lose a day lost in its pages.
This article about the North Pond Hermit from Maine was one of the most interesting long-form articles I’ve read in a long time. He lived without detection in a tent in the woods for almost thirty years. “I did examine myself,” he said. “Solitude did increase my perception. But here’s the tricky thing—when I applied my increased perception to myself, I lost my identity. With no audience, no one to perform for, I was just there. There was no need to define myself; I became irrelevant. The moon was the minute hand, the seasons the hour hand. I didn’t even have a name. I never felt lonely. To put it romantically: I was completely free.”