Tag Archives: Becca

The Make It Work Dress

As surprising as it seems, I have never seen Project Runway. Yes, I know, its about sewing. Yes, I know I sew. No, I don’t care. I’ve never seen The Wire, either. I’ve also never seen The Real World or The Jersey Shore. We’ve all got our stuff, okay? Have you seen every episode of Pushing Daisies? Or been to China? No? I’ve done both of those things. So shut up. The point is, even though I’ve never seen the show, I’m aware of it, and of Tim Gunn’s famous phrase, “make it work”, which, given that I have no context for it, I assume is in reference to people making something work. In terms of clothing. That’s logical, right?

So recently I was in a situation where, in fact, I couldn’t make what I was making work. Now, normally, who cares, right? It’s a bummer but life, she goes on. But this particular dress was for my friend Becca’s wedding. Now, I understand realistically no one cares what I’m wearing to this wedding, because I am not the person in white, but nevertheless, I love Becca, I didn’t want to look terrible, and besides, I have a reputation to uphold! People expect things of me and my sewing machine! I had to make it work!

So, despite the late hour and an early morning of teaching 9 year olds how to sew the next day, I cut and stitched a new dress. Because being exhausted is a great way to deal with 8 small girls and their incessant and well-considered questions that I have no idea how to answer, despite knowing how to sew. (This is interesting, how is it that you can do something but have real trouble explaining how things work to a beginner? I will be honest, I have totally resorted to, it just works, okay? when getting a hard question about stitching.) But I simply had to make it work. The wedding demanded a new dress! (Literally no one demanded this. I did all of this to myself.) And you know what? For something that I threw together, I completely love this dress!

MIW 1Turned out nice, right? I grabbed my bodice block, gathered the skirt, lined the bodice in a blue silk taffeta I got for free from a dressmaker looking to unload her stock. (THANK YOU!). The fabric comes from India via Mr. Struggle, and it has a lovely sheen to it, which I thought might make this appropriate for this black-tie-optional affair. The fabric is actually quite quite lovely, and I got scores of compliments on this dress to prove it. Well done, Mr. Struggle!

MIW 2Yes, I had to admit that he did something well. Yes, it hurt.

MIW 4I joke, I joke, he’s wonderful. The neckline of the dress turned out to be an excellent frame for the truly gorgeous necklace my new in-laws gave me to celebrate our marriage. It was a very India-centric outfit, as it turns out, which was of course totally appropriate for a Brooklyn wedding. The ceremony was truly lovely, and the girl in the white dress looked insanely gorgeous, not to mention happy. Hmmm, I wonder why?

MIW 6I didn’t get any amazing back shots but that’s okay, life goes on.

MIW 5 Oh, those shoes. So cute. So painful at the end of the night. How do women wear stilettos? These are thick chunky 1940’s style pumps and they still made my feet bleed. Thank goodness I picked a profession when I spend most of my time in my pajamas writing barefoot on the couch.

MIW 7After the disaster that was the first attempt to make something for this wedding (slippery silk did not participate or play well with others) this was super fast and basic, I’ve made this pattern many times before and there are no surprises, just lots of darts. I altered the neckline a bit but otherwise, boom. Nothing crazy. The only crazy part was ME.

MIW 3Jenny, my friend who took these lovely photos after the ceremony (so I’m smiling really hard to hide the fact that I’ve just been sobbing, weddings are emotional!) taught me this pageant pose which makes your waist look tiny. Thank you, Jenny! I will forever be grateful.

It was just a lovely wedding, and I was so happy to be there, to celebrate with my friends, and, of course, have a new dress, the most important part. Sometimes, regardless of your desire for sleep, you just need to make it work. Becca likes Project Runway, so I knew she would approve. Congratulations to an amazing couple, and stay tuned for an upcoming post on the dress I made to ANOTHER wedding of another amazing pair! I promise I will stop making party dresses, guys, for real. After all, it’s fall soon, right? Back to wools and heavy knits and pants! But first, a little more icing, cool? Get excited.

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Filed under Friends, Life, Sewing

The Practice Makes Perfect Dress

For some of us, it takes a long time to find the right person. But for some of us, we know right away. For some of us, we live in doubt for years, wondering if we will ever find anyone we can tolerate, let alone love. For some of us, we wonder if we can tolerate the person we love forever. Sometimes these states even exist simultaneously, which is bizarre and might make you feel like you are in some kind of odd house of mirrors where your ideas of reality distort from room to room.

I personally came to the state of existing with another person rather late, and then, you know, I married him. This is a rather precipitous turn of affairs by any standards, though of course one that makes me very happy.  It is impossible not to compare and contrast yourself against other couples, other ways of life, at least, within my own experience, however dangerous that is. Because the truth is, at least in my limited experience, that ever couple creates its own community, its own rules and ways of thinking and language between the two parties involved, and trying to gauge yourself next to someone else’s union is like trying to compare two different countries to decide which is better. Not that people don’t do that, too. And yet I have often looked at the people around me, especially my friends who have been in long-term relationships, and compared myself and my life and, later, my time with Mr. Struggle, to them, as unfair and fruitless as that is.

And the person who always prevented me from doing this, the person who reminded me how foolish and unproductive this is, is my friend Becca, who recently tied the knot herself. Becca and Derek have always taught me that love, just like life, takes practice, and time, and patience. But whether that practice has been for a few years or a few months, it doesn’t matter. It’s just important that you know that’s what it’s going to take. So, having been with her own partner for 12 years, she and Derek got engaged last fall, which was of course signficant because of what I wore. Just like everything else, these life events are wonderful showcases for my sartorial choices. I was so thrilled to celebrate their engagement, just as I was overjoyed to watch them get married, and of course, I had to bring my A game with my sewing decisions. But as it turns out, A game is a hard thing to bring to the party when you’re moving/getting married yourself/dealing with your own existence. Oy with this summer. Still, looking good is worth a few late nights hunched over the sewing machine, right? Right? So focus on the dress, not the under-eye circles, deal?

Here we go, the first of two dress posts created exclusively for Becca and Derek’s wedding! Sewing dresses to post on my blog. It’s the greatest wedding gift of all, right, guys?

PMP 1For the rehearsal dinner, I whipped together (literally, I finished this thing three hours before the dinner, Mr. Struggle thinks I’m insane. Way to get the memo late, dude) a Cambie dress, my second one in a row! This pattern is so great. I love the sleeves and the way they get inserted, though the one thing I would change for next time would be to place them a little bit towards the armscye, as they cut a little oddly right now and reveal that little bit of plumpness around the upper chest. The bane of existence.

I cut a 10 for the bodice and graded down to an 8 for the waist and skirt, as I did before. I love the fit, and I love the fill skirt, but I think I should probably try the other for the fall, I love the sleek slimmer option. It’s great for that office job that I….don’t have.

PMP 3Still, I adore this dress! It’s a bit wrinkled in these photos as I actually had my friend Jenny who came in for the wedding take them the day after the rehearsal dinner. The dinner itself was such a blast and so busy I didn’t have time to awkwardly stand around getting photos of myself taken, and then we ended up stuck in the rain waiting for a cab in Chelsea. Aka in hell. So there are some wrinkles. What can you do.

PMP 4You gotta just laugh it off an enjoy the time with your friends. Jenny and her husband Marty got married two years ago, and I dutifully made dresses for those events in Chicago, so it was lovely to be able to host them as we watched Becca get married, and have Jenny act as my fashion photographer for the day. She’s so good at it, don’t you think?

PMP 5Oh, yes, it has pockets. Obviously. The fabric is a Nani Iro double gauze which is to die for, and Mr. Struggle bought it for me at Purl Soho under my supervision because he is nice and knows how to make me happy with Japanese fabric. He’s a keeper.

PMP 6Nice, right? I see a stray thread, sigh. That’s what speed sewing gets you!

PMP 2And there it is. The first of two dresses for Becca and Derek’s beautiful and fantastic wedding. This one only had to stand up to a meal. The other one? Had dancing to do. More on that later!

 

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Filed under Life, Sewaholic Patterns, Sewing, Uncategorized

The Elephants See Manhattan Dress

One night thing about sewing is that you can always make yourself a new outfit for an occasion. This is also a very dangerous thing about sewing, because you can just make new things all the time, so your wardrobe can become populated with dresses themed to specific events and therefore limited in their use, and also, if people know you sew, because you’re like me and you proudly declare it to every damn person that you meet who doesn’t really care about your weird hobby but is just trying to buy some coffee so great, thanks, bye, then people start asking you if what you are wearing is a new outfit and then you feel some kind of compulsion to make something new for every occasion and then even more stuff finds its way into your closet but your life in New York, a land where closets are an endangered species, so you end up getting rid of a lot of stuff all the time which is why you might someday see a homeless person wearing a dress I made. And thus, the cycle of life continues.

As discussed in posts from previous years, I really love my birthday. But this year, I suppose, my birthday and I hit a bit of a rough patch. We’re dealing with it, we’re talking it out, we’re getting to a good place, I have every hope for the future, but honestly, this year? My birthday was basically cancelled. I had big plans to make a new dress, have drinks with all my friends, enjoy the evening in the company of people I love and wine that loves me back, and yet, it was not to be. I caught an awful and debilitating summer cold, which arrived in my chest and spent several days there, before deciding it wanted to see more of the world and traveling up to my head. This cold, a sociable fellow, called it’s business associate, a fever, over for tea, and the two of them kept me company instead of all my friends. It’s always nice to meet new people, but this was outside of enough. When the two finally departed and I was back to feeling like my normal, unoccupied by illness self, I had already cancelled my birthday plans and honestly, it just seemed silly and after-the-fact to try to do anything else. So there you go. No birthday for me. I didn’t even get to finish my birthday dress! The biggest tragedy of all.

But, on the upside, I was lucky enough to have another event on the horizon that was dress-friendly and worth something special, and that was my friend Becca’s bachelorette extravaganza. So I figured, no one had to know that this was a birthday dress, right? Except…all of you. Who I am telling right now. Oh, well…

As the day included a variety of activities, from mimosas and wine-glass decorating to trivia games to dinner to 80’s tribute dance party, the dress had to include comfort, style, and pockets. And you know what? I think it does!

ESM 2.jpg

And, happy bonus, elephants. And of the many things Becca and I both love, elephants are very much among them. Elephants are amazing, the most precious and perfect of pachyderm. Sorry, rhinos and hippos! Rhinos, you are basically dinosaurs, and hippos, you look really cute but you are mean. Elephants are gorgeous creatures and so astounding. Their trunks have over 40,000 separate muscles, and that’s just the beginning of the amazingness of their trunks along. Find out more here. And their babies? Are the damn cutest. Look. Look at this. Come on:

and look at this:

They are wonderful animals and yet they are abused and slaughtered all over the world. There are many amazing charities to support elephants, and I like this one a lot, if you are interested.

At any rate, the elephants on my dress enjoyed adventures in Manhattan to celebrate the end of Becca’s non-married life. But before all that, I had a chance to force my friend Jenny, who was in town for the event, to snap some photos. The best part was that the last time I got to see Jenny was her OWN wedding, where she and Becca and our friend Lisa and I enjoyed the event and the chance to have a reunion. Seeing all these amazing women in the same room again for the first time in two years made me happier than an elephant in a mud pit.

Which is really very happy. I can assure you.

ESM 3.jpgThis fabric, while appearing Indian in nature, is actually faux-Indian, or Findian, which is a new word I’ve recently invented and feel I might be using a lot in my life. (Mr. Struggle is Indian, for those who hadn’t picked up on the clues.) I actually bought this fabric three years ago at the Pennsylvania Fabric Outlet, aka one of my favorite places on earth. I didn’t know what I wanted to do with it, but I loved it, and I bought it, and I buried it in boxes and storage containers over several moves and cycles of warm weather, loving it, taking it out and touching it, thinking about it, and then putting it away again, unused. But this year, I was ready, and I think I used it well, if I do say so myself.

ESM 4.jpgI used my trusty bodice block. God, that thing. I cannot thank my friend Liz, who drafted it with me, enough for this. It had changed my life. I altered the bodice to be a square lower neckline and sheared a little off the back bodice pieces at the neck to make it almost a boatneck on the back.

ESM 5.jpgYou can’t really see that here. Sorry. But I loved this photo, Jenny kept making me cry with laughter as she directed me like a fashion photographer and told me to pop the leg. Vogue should hire her. It’s a shame she wants to be a doctor, sigh, she’s really missing her calling.

ESM 6.jpgThe skirt was just a gathered rectangle. Or rather, three gathered rectangles, as there had to be seams to accommodate the pockets. I used a vintage metal zipper I had in my stash, in a nice teal color. I hand-picked the zipper and hand-stitched the hem. Otherwise this was very simple to put together. Other than the 16 darts in the bodice, 8 in the elephant fabric, 8 in the lining, it all goes very fast. Or it would, if I hadn’t gotten that cold in the middle. Sigh. Clearly this dress wanted to be used for a higher purpose then my birthday.

ESM 7.jpgPockets like these are really good for holding your phone during 80’s night and having it handy for quick photo opportunities of the bride-to-be in all her drunk dancing glory.

ESM 8.jpgA little close up of the fabric for you. How cute are those elephants? Another friend there, Kira, wore elephant earrings. Clearly it was an elephant kind of day.

ESM 1.jpgI can assure you that this dress, of the many I’ve made, is guaranteed to be a frequent flyer in my wardrobe. The elephants would protest, otherwise. And they would be correct in doing so. They deserve to see the world, don’t they?

 

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Filed under Clothing, Fabric, Sewing

The Well The Point Is It Happened Coat

Guys, sometimes sewing is hard. You get to a point where you’ve been doing something for a little while and you forget that, you get a little lazy, you get a little arrogant, you think you know what you are doing and then you make something and you just think, man, this is not quite what I had in mind here. And that happened to me recently with a big project. My instinct is of course to hide such things from the world, to pretend they never happened and that everything I make turns to gold but not in a bad way, like Midas, like not all the food I eat or my family or anything. Also if the clothing I made turned to gold that would be awfully heavy not to mention limiting, color palate wise, so let’s just forget about that, okay? Cool. The point is, I’m showing this project because it didn’t turn out perfectly, but I still like it, and most importantly, I like that I made it. It was a lot of work and something new and a challenge and I learned things and remembered things and the end result is wearable, if not sheer bliss, so there you go.

What is it, you ask? It’s a coat, I really wanted to make one so I did. I loved Deer and Doe’s Pavot Jacket so I was very excited to make it for my first ever piece of outerwear. That being said, I cut this thing three months ago and sort of didn’t deal with it. Was I frightened of such a big project? Intimidated by trying something new? Hahaha, no, I seriously just didn’t want to deal with underlining. FOR. REALS. I used a coating I got from FabricMart.com for 1.99 a yard, a wool nylon blend, which I liked a lot, but it was much lighter-weight then I had thought it would be, so I underlined it with cotton flannel to give it some weight and eliminate some of the drape. But having cut out the many-pieced pattern three times (I also added a lining) I found myself totally bored and overwhelmed by underlining each of the many pieces. So I just….didn’t. I let the project sit on my table, a rarity for me, for over 2 and a half months until my co-worker Griffin made a coat over a weekend, and it was the best thing ever, and he looks so amazing in it, and he was like, didn’t you cut a coat three months ago? How did that go? And I remembered that it hadn’t, and felt extreme sewn shame. Seshame, if you will. So I had to make it! Damn you, Griffin!

And so I sat down and just made myself underline the damn thing. And then I started putting the pieces together and remembered that AFTER the underlining things get really fun! Preparation for sewing can make you forget that actual construction is really enjoyable. All told, in sewing time, this thing probably took me about 15 hours, but also in some ways it took me three months. Time really is relative. Thanks, Einstein! (He…probably wasn’t talking about the time it takes me to make a coat, was he? Probably not. Probably.)

And then the coat was finally done. And I don’t know what it is, the underlining and the lining, the fact that the company makes things for pear shaped ladies, my own errors, but it’s a little snug in the bust, sigh. I even cut it two sizes bigger then my actual size and yet, ah well, some tightness. And as a result of that I’m a little, sigh, meh, ah well about this project. BUT. I made it. I made a coat. It happened. And that’s pretty cool. Well, I’ll let you be the judge:

WIH 2To be fair, it’s a bit wrinkled in this photo. And in ALL the photos.

WIH 1Part of the irony of waiting so long to work on this was that by the time I had finished it it was too cold to wear it, even with the underlining it’s still a light coat. But then we had two weird warm days in New York so I brought it to brunch in Long Island City and forced Becca to photograph it for me. And our friend Kira held my bag and pretended to throw it into the East River. Team effort!

WIH 3Oy, these photos are so wrinkled it makes the hem look off, I want to cry. Sigh.

WIH 4Look, it’s not so bad in this one! Yay! It really is a cute coat, I do like it!

WIH 6The details are great.

WIH 10I adore the collar, I feel like Madeline.

WIH 11And it’s got pockets, because all things should.

WIH 8And I put in this lining, which I love.

The construction was very easy and I put in the lining without problems even though there are no instructions in the pattern, I just made a lining version and stitched it into the coat and then stitched the facings over it. The fabric didn’t LOVE being ironed but it didn’t do anything crazy, and the underlining makes this a really nice coat weight for fall or spring, or weird warm December days.

WIH 12That look on my face is a celebration of pockets. Look, I honestly think that though this isn’t perfect, I do like it, I will wear it and I’m glad I made it. I’ve made a coat now! And it wasn’t so bad or scary, and I think the next time I make one it will be better, which is all you can hope for, really. The point is, it happened.

WIH 13We took these photos on the water in Long Island City, isn’t it stunning? Kira and her fiance Joe and most importantly their two cats look at this every day. Lucky bastards….

So there that is, a coat I made that, well, my favorite thing about it is the fact that it happened.

I hope you all had lovely Christmases! I’m about to take a family trip to Ireland literally tomorrow, so I might be off the grid for a while, but I will do one more sew-along post before I go and be ready to make little things for little people in January! I wont be back stateside until the 6th but feel free to start on the 1st if you like and stay tuned for exciting things, just as soon as I figure out what they are!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Filed under Deer and Doe, Sewing

The Color Me Shocked Dress

Hello hello! Graduate school seems to have swallowed up my life lately, like a boa constrictor who, having enjoyed a tasty snack of live goat, now sits in the sun allowing it’s stomach acids to break the animal down. So in this analogy, New York University would be the boa constrictor, and I would be the live goat, or any of these other animals. (Seriously, that link is not for the faint of heart, and yet I could not look away. Also, side note, who is letting their goats get so damn near boa constrictors? I mean, come on, that’s a fallacy of logic right there, boa constrictors are going to eat goats, it’s just how it goes. And to that end, how did that even happen, what is the evolutionary impulse for snakes to eat the largest animals possible? Can’t they just content themselves with a light bite? Small meals through the day! Limited protein! One giant meal every other month? That can’t be healthy. No dietitian would recommend this.)

At any rate, when the stomach acid of NYU ISN’T corroding my body and destroying my emotional well-being (we were joking today in my TV class about how you don’t just pay tuition at school, you also pay in mental health. Apparently you get it back with you diploma but I’ll believe that when I see it.) I have had a chance to make something things, but if I didn’t have time to take photos BEFORE, holy hell do I not now. Between working at the costume shop (oh my god we’ve been doing Ragtime and it’s amazing and the actors are adorable and stupid talented and wildly great and it’s been fun and EXHAUSTING!) and all the work for school and Cadfael and trying, with limited success, to maintain a social life, plus, you know, fall TV, I mean, it’s a lot, guys! So many pilots! So little time! But I promised myself that this year I would be better about making and posting things, so I’m trying, people! I’m heading to San Juan next week with a couple of things to photograph, so let’s see how that goes, shall we?

But in the meantime, here is a thing I made recently:

CD 1This was unbearably simple to make. I really just used the Renfrew pattern, one I use almost monthly at this point, and lengthened it into a dress. A very SHORT dress. I really did not think it would be so short….

CD 2But it is. Really, a basic rational thought process calculating the amount of fabric I had (a yard) and the amount of fabric needed to cover my body (more than a yard) could have saved me from the surprise of finding myself in a dress shorter than some shirts I own, but who needs RATIONALITY or LOGIC, I go to clown college.

Of course, part of why this feels short to me is that I don’t really go in for short hemlines on a regular basis (…or at all), but I think I can get away with this with black tights or leggings. I was a bit self-conscious wearing this, but my friend Becca went on hemline patrol and let me know any time I was moving from “cute dress” to “Miley Cyrus downward spiral”. It’s good to have good friends.

CD 5See, pretty short….sigh. Well, if it shrinks I can always use it as a top.

Speaking of Becca, she also took these photos on her terrace! And she gave this dress its name, albeit unintentionally. You see, Becca got engaged, and told me about an hour before these photos were taken! I went over to her house to make her and some other people dinner (a braised beef tagliatelle, if you must know), and when I walked in the door Becca, who I hadn’t seen for a week, declared that she was engaged! Actually, point of fact, I think she said something like, Derek proposed! And irreverent jerk that I am, I’m pretty sure my response was, wow, what did you say? See, the joke there is that Becca and Derek have been together for 11 years now, and approximately zero percent of people who know them DIDN’T think that that thing was going down with a large cake and a lot of flowers. So of course Derek asked and of course Becca said yes, because when you like it you throw a ring on it, right?

CD 3And then, because she is a rockstar, after I got dinner started and cooed at the ring, and we put a dvd on to soothe the boys who were both amazed and vaguely concerned by all the screaming, Becca valiantly took photos of my new dress. I can’t even hide how happy I am for them, I’m trying to look normal in these photos and failing so horribly.

Becca has also been swallowed up by graduate school boa constrictors, and her reptile is the Art Conservation program at NYU, so she wont get to the actually wedding part of this story for a little while, but it’s just wonderful and given that I was ALREADY there to cook them dinner, it worked out pretty damn well if I do say so myself.

CD 7Their view is so lovely, especially in the evening. This photo is in Greenpoint looking out onto Manhattan, which is just how I like Manhattan, far away from me, seen from Brooklyn.

CD 8Construction details? Dude, it’s a knit dress, it took me about an hour cutting to hemming. I lengthened the bottom and omitted the sleeve bands. Done. The print is pretty wonderful, though, and perfect for an evening in Greenpoint, perched as it is above Williamsburg:

CD 6I got it at Girl Charlee, duh, obviously, where else does anyone buy knits?

And that’s about it, folks. I made a simple rather leggy dress, and my amazing and lovely friends Becca and Derek got engaged. Saturday night. Not big deal.

CD 9Why anyone would want to see the view without my astounding form is a mystery to me, but I suppose SOMEONE might want such a thing, so there you go.

I shall endeavor to free myself from the strangling grasp of the graduate school snake in the future with more regularity. It’s hard, guys. Does anyone have a machete?

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Filed under knit, Life, Sewaholic Patterns, Sewing

The Father’s Day Blouse

I didn’t even THINK about this, because I’m a terrible and ungrateful child, but I made this shirt from one of my father’s shirts and then it was Father’s Day! What the WHAT? But I suppose it’s a fitting tribute that I would make this blouse and wear it in San Juan, on of my father’s favorite places in the world. Because I just got back from PUERTO RICO, people. Yeah. What can I say? In between Buffy the Vampire Slayer marathons and chat sessions with my cat, I lead a glamorous life.

No, I kid. But I did go down to San Juan this past Thursday for a long weekend vacation/reward for finishing my first year of graduate school/reward for my friend Becca (hi, Becca!) getting INTO graduate school. And I did wear this blouse, though not on Father’s Day, and I did call my father on the day itself, so we’re all good. And Puerto Rico was lovely and relaxing and we did absolutely nothing at all. Paradise. I NEVER do nothing. It was quite a revelation, I can tell you. Do you know what I’ve found out? Booze really helps….

And so does vacation clothing! I don’t know if this qualifies, though the two other things I made Becca photograph (sidebar, Becca was SUCH a good sport about taking photos of me. I told her she would need to do it and she looked at me like I was insane and said, of course! Becca is good people.) are a lot more like the kinds of things people wear in the Caribbean. Additional sidenote, why do people wear things on vacation that they wouldn’t wear at home? Go brighter if you are a subdued dresser but for reals, people, your hemline doesn’t NEED to shift in proportion to your distance to the equator….or does it? Did a memo go out about this that I missed?

Enough of my 75 year old lady judgement. The garment!

FDB 7I made those shorts, too, never documented, don’t even worry about it.

FDB 2This thing, I kind of just winged it. I really did. I know I have said that in the past, but I am not kidding or exaggerating or anything of the sort in this go around. I just grabbed another cast off from my Papi (gracias, Papi, te adoro!), cut off the sleeves and collar, flipped it around (I had this idea of a button back blouse) and went to town.

FDB 1It gaps just a bit in the back at the waist, sigh. A swayback adjustment would be nice, I sometimes think but never do it…

I added two inch tucks on the front and back pieces, and darts at the bust. I lowered the neckline and finished the neck and sleeves with bias tape. The result? I love it! And Becca loved it too, she even wanted one for herself! The HIGHEST POSSIBLE COMPLIMENT, don’t you know.

FDB 6I love it! I do. I think it looks a little Grecian, a little vintagey, a little classic. A little of everything! Which is fitting, because in my family they call me little Leah, my father included.

Becca and I had the best time in San Juan. More posts about this will follow, but I did have a chance, even in the first day we spent in Puerto Rico, to demonstrate how I feel about being there:

FDB 5And also:

FDB 4And also, very much:

FDB 3See what happens when you improvise? It can work! For someone who fears a life without planning, that can be nice to remember. But not that nice….point is, vacation is all well and good, but I still love sculpting order out of chaos. Much like my dad!

FDB 8It’s okay to be jealous. A lot of people are.

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Filed under Refashion, Sewing, Travel

The I’m Really A Dog Person Skirt

Shocking confession time: Until about three years ago, I would have said I was a dog person. WHAT? I know. I KNOW. BETRAYAL.

I actually grew up with dogs. We had a HORRIBLE cat when I was young, Nadia, and like most horrible things she just lived for flipping EVER. My mother adopted that mean calico in college and the animal just would not die. Horrible cat. Horrible even to my mother, her savior. Horrible. But that’s cats for you, ungrateful, selfish, never kind. Right?

Mom, how could you say such things about me and my kind? I’m so upset I’m just going to have to sleep for 9 hours to deal with these emotions. Excuse me.

So we had dogs. Sweet stupid wonderful dogs filled with doggie happiness. I love dogs, I really do. My school mascot was a dog, in college, and I actually got to meet the fellow. Here is how I felt about meeting Handsome Dan in real life:

Right? In my disposition I’m actually quite dog-like. I’m cheerful, I pant easily, I love food, I enjoy getting my belly rubbed, it’s all there! I’m literally a person who is like a dog.

But somehow along the way, these devious plotting fuzzy jerks (i.e. cats) have crept their ways into my life. And what can I do? I love them. They are cute! They are interesting! They are consistently weird and funny! They’ve got tails and they chase bugs! I’m into them, what can I say….

So I made a skirt. As an ode to these creatures who have infiltrated my life and show no signs of leaving.

Ha, I forced Becca to take these photos in Target near O’Hare Airport. Yeah. I did this whole “oh, I’m shopping, are you taking a photo, how surprising!” thing. Super cute.

The fabric is the Tammis Keefe for Michael Miller line which came out, I don’t know, 2 years ago? But somehow I JUST discovered it and HAD to have it so off I went to le Ebay to spend some cash on new fabric, which is NOT what I’m supposed to be doing right now. Remorseless spendthrift that I am, I got it, I cut it, (thank you, Vivet Veritas’ free half-circle skirt pattern!) and I made it. Additionally, Remorseless Spendthrift is 100% going to be my indie rock band name.

Still, a woman complimented me as we boarded the plane back to Philadelphia, so I consider it money well spent.

Cute, no? Certainly crazy-cat-lady approved.

The fabric is really adorable. Take a look:

How adorable are these cats? Even loving dogs, as I do, I just can’t help it. SO. CUTE. They all look so happy with themselves. Of course, cats always do…

Of course, I could do as much jumping as usual, us being in public and all. Still I made some spinning happen, at least…

I don’t know that you REALLY need a back view of this very simple very easy to make skirt, but just in case, here it is.

I know it’s not my most exciting project ever, but it was fast and easy and fun and makes nice use of this ADORABLE fabric, so I’m pretty into it. And sometimes, you really just need something fast, fun and easy in a gorgeous fabric that celebrates an animal you haven’t ALWAYS loved, but can’t help loving now…

And as a final image, please enjoy this photo of Becca’s cat, Eloise. Eloise is a MEAN cat. Still, she’s pretty cute, right?

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