Friday, May 16, 2008

Gotta Catch ‘Em All!

That was my attitude when I saw these adorable gingham bracelets online at for $1.99 each. I bought one in every color. It’s not like I have anywhere to store them, so they sit on top of my jewelry table, tempting me to wear them. They are pretty, aren’t they? As soon as I finish my giant backlog of projects (my stash is getting out of hand) I think I’ll be making some gingham dresses!

Monday, May 5, 2008

Hot Tamale

Remember this cactus fabric?

I used it to make up this pattern.

It went together well! I was particularly happy with the super short sleeves. With a lot of patterns, the sleeves end right at the bottom of my breast and this is NOT good for a busty girl like me. I never seem to realize that the sleeves are too long until after the dress is finished. Then I end up having to hack them off at the desired length and finish the raw sleeve ends with bias tape. Classy! These were the perfect length from the get-go and that made me really happy.

I didn’t have any major problems except for my usual I Hate Zippers thing. Discount Fabrics had no invisible zippers that were the right shade of yellow so I used a standard (visible?) one. I don’t know how to lap a zipper (there were instructions, but I panicked) so I sewed it in the same way I would for an invisible. (I suspect I put my invisible zippers in wrong anyway, but since it works, I try not to think about it too much.) The fabric sticks out a little on each side of the zipper but since it’s under my arm, it’s not very obvious.

I am proud of the cummerbund. It adds a little spice and the dress looks good with or without it. I had some leftover brown poly from this dress and I thought the cummberbund would be a great way to use it up. I’m always looking for non-quilt-related ways to use up my odds and ends.

Unfortunately, I didn’t have enough fabric for the full double-decker cummerbund so I made half instead. It was a little tricky figuring out how to make just the one section, especially since I only had a teensy bit of fabric and could not make a cutting error.

The cummerbund fastens in the back with a pants connector thingy instead of a row of four hook-and-eyes as suggested by the pattern instructions. I think I still may have to add a hook-and-eye or two. I’d hate for it to go flying off while I’m dancing.

There will most definitely be dancing in this dress - Tex-Mex joyful Western swing dancing, if I have my way. If I can convince MD to visit San Antonio for our vacation next year, you bet this will be in the suitcase. This is the perfect dress for eating puffy tacos and drinking Shiner Bock (and tequila)…and maybe even dancing on a bar.

I think it came out well and I love the yellow rick-rack center stripe on the cummerbund. I originally intended to add rick-rack at the hem and neckline to make the dress look a little more country. After I’d gotten the rick-rack pinned on I decided that it was way too busy.

Even without the cumberbund, I think the dress looks Western in a subtle way. I mean its cactus print for Pete’s sake! It doesn’t get much more Western than that. Yeeeeehaw!

Now I just need some brown and yellow cowboy boots… Back at the Ranch has some great styles. Too bad they are waaaaaay out of my price range.