Thursday, February 24, 2011

A Flowery Frankendress

I love this fabric. Love love it. Its a relatively modern sheet from the thrift store, but the flower pattern just looks so vintage.

After my success with the fish dress, I decided to do something a little similar. My plan was to use the sleeves and skirt from this pattern.

and the bodice from this pattern.

Cutting was a little tricky, because I wanted to be able to conserve enough fabric to get a blouse out of it as well. (More on that in another post.) I cut out an extra skirt panel as I really wanted the skirt to be extra full. It was a bit of a geometry problem, but I managed it.

Look at how long the skirt panels are when stitched together!

It stretches from the door of the sewing room all the way to the closet. And to think I had to gather that down to fit my waist!

Construction was straightforward and simple as I've used both patterns before. I only had two major problems. First of all, the lining I used was horrid! Its a gorgeous lavender that is so pretty but it just frays and frays and frays. I attempted to finish one of my seams with the rolled hem foot but that just created weird bulk. The worst is around the waist. There were big floaty clouds of frayed polyester all around the I Fray Check-ed the whole thing. (Fray Check should come in an aerosol. Really it should.) Guess what happens when Fray Check dries? It gets scratchy! Good times. I am reluctant to put seam binding over the waist seam, as its already super thick, but I'm not sure what else to do.

The other error I made was, uh, well, I forgot to cut out the damned sleeves. I'm not sure what happened. I didn't even realize that they weren't cut until I was mostly done with the dress. I was certain I'd made sure that there was enough fabric left over for the sleeves...but then there just wasn't. I had to dig through the pile of scraps to come up with enough fabric to make sleeve facings and even then one of them ended up being cut on the bias. I hope it doesn't end up doing something weird to the way the sleeve hole pulls around my arm.

Also, I noticed very late in the process that the sheet is made of 100% is the lining. I think this will be a very warm dress and I will be sure to avoid heat and flame while wearing it.

The zipper went in beautifully, for a change, but the hem is a bit of a mess. This is probably the worst blind hem I've ever done. I just couldn't get the fabric to feed in evenly so the picks aren't consistent at all. From the outside you can see a few places where the picks just stop and then start up again a few inches later. That's because I ended up just catching the just the lining instead of both layers. It causes the hem to bubble slightly. At some point I think I will go back and hand pick the hem, but I'm just too exhausted by this dress to do it now.

It does this funny thing on one side where the waistline flips under when I move. I'm not sure why that is. I've never had this happen before. I don't know if its because of the bias cut armhole facing, or the bulk of all that gathered fabric, or something else, but its really annoying.

Still, I think its a very pretty dress

Friday, February 11, 2011

I Survived the Book Party!

Thanks to all of your encouraging comments (and free wine) I survived Book Party night. It was really nice to meet Erin and she was lovely! I got a signed copy of her book and one of her totally cool A Dress A Day tape measures!

Unfortunately though, I was still horrifically socially awkward.

I met the lovely Mena of The Sew Weekly which was a thrill, although she probably didn't think so because I was all "wait, which blog do you write?" Even though I KNOW Sew Weekly. Damn nerves! I am SUCH an idiot. Mena was sweet and she was wearing the most incredible vintage knit dress. She looked AMAZING! I forgot my camera so I didn't get a photo, but if you pop over to her blog, you will see that she has some serious style!

The book party was held at a little vintage shop in Hayes Valley called Ver Unica. They had some amazing stuff, although the dresses were a bit out of my usual price range. I am admittedly extra cheap and shop thrift stores far more frequently than vintage stores, so they might have been reasonably priced...I have no way of knowing. Anyway, the accessories, on the other, hand were within my reach and I got this AMAZING gold belt!

Speaking of amazing gold things, back in September the Long and Winding Bobbin had an 80 Followers Giveaway and I won! Not only that, I won the BEST prize: a super neato retro Olga Berg gold bag.

Thanks to the US post office having difficulty finding my house it got returned to Australia and she had to mail it again. The package finally arrived a week or so ago and I LOVE it so much. Since she felt bad that it got returned the first time she sent me an additional prize, this little had mirror! Isn't that the nicest?

The bag and my new belt go together perfectly! I am a happy gal.

Stay tuned as I now have 200 followers (?!) and am working on a giveaway!!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Its Thursday

...which means its post-day. Unfortunately, I am still unable to locate the rest of the photos for my Flowery Frankendress post. Looks like I'll have to re-take them. Grr!

In the mean-time... Look! I made a brooch from ribbon, fake leaves, and plastic grapes from the craft store.

It refuses to hang straight, probably because my hot-glue-ing talents are crap, but I like it. Grapes!!

Tonight my friend Tricia (of the faboo blog Literary Sluts) and I are going to the book party for Erin McKean of Dress a Day fame. I feel a smidge fan girl-ish and SUPER excited, which means that, in order to avoid being all fawny and annoying, I will stand in the corner and drink free wine (I hope. Book parties usually have free wine, right?) and not talk to anyone. Then, later I will regret not telling Erin how much I love her writing and her site and how inspirational she is to me. Sigh. Being shy is lame. Anyhoo...

Guests are encouraged to wear vintage. None of my "real" vintage fits me, so I'll be wearing a home-made vintage jumper.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Blogging Is Hard

Uh, sorry guys. I went away for the weekend and while I was gone my unfinished post posted. Oops. Blogging is hard.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Pretty Pretty Paper

This is the wallpaper we've chosen for our downstairs bathroom. Its called Hula Hula by Crezana designs. I love it so much! Its a bit spendier than we would like. Okay, a lot spendier. A LOT LOT. So spendy that I'm not even going to tell you the price. But its SO darned cute.

The hubs and I had a long talk last night about whether or not we could afford it. I'm in charge of the dollars and I run an extremely tight ship, moneywise, and most of the renovations and home purchases we've done so far have been accomplished on the cheap. Initially, paying so much money for a design item was hard to fathom. It's not going to support the structure of the house or cook a meal or chill beverages or run water to the house. What it will do, is sit there and look pretty and make us happy every time we see it. After much discussion and a lot of math, we decided it was worth it. Its just so gorgeous and it fits our personality so well.

It is grasscloth so it has a fabric backing which makes it a bit like a very heavy upholstery fabric. Maybe a bit less flexible, but probably sew-able. In fact, the Crezana blog shows some throw pillows made with it!

Aren't they just the ginchiest? I wonder if I could make something cute from the scraps...? A wallet maybe? Here's hoping for scraps!

So who else has gone mad and purchased something totally non-functional for your home despite the cost because you just loved it so much? We can't be the only ones?