Tag Archives: bias cut

The Don’t Be Impressed Dress

I have said this before, but I love Halloween, like, epic levels of love for Halloween, which makes the sense, don’t you think? After all, I’m a writer, specifically a dramatic writer, and what that means is that all I do is play pretend, and Halloween is an opportunity to play pretend by dressing up as someone else and getting rewarded for that, instead of thrown in a mental institution, with candy and, as you grow older, booze. I love the fall feeling in the air, I love the children’s costumes, I love when people make something impossibly clever (Example: my friend Ben who always always has the best Halloween ideas, is volunteering right now in Vietnam so he went to a party as a kind of Eat Pray Love parody. How awesome is that? Ben wins.) But I honestly have concluded by the ripe old age of 26, that I’m not personally great at Halloween. I just have the worst time thinking up costumes!

And you would think that now that I sew it would be easier, but I have recently realized it only makes it harder, because I’m unwilling to make something I will only wear once, so my costumes have to have some future life/use, and that is NOT the way great Halloween costumes come to being. Great Halloween costumes must spring from guts and glory, not a vague need to fill out one’s fall wardrobe. Great Halloween costumes are born, not made, they spring from the head of Zeus, fully formed, like Athena! Man, I need to make friends with Zeus, guys.

So despite wracking my brain and coming up with a  handful of silly girly vaguely interesting ideas that I didn’t bother to buy patterns or fabric for, that’s how motivated I was, I was in a pickle, with a party to go to last night, school deadlines all week so no time to sew, and no idea what to wear. Not wearing a costume is, of course, totally unacceptable and a fate that should be punishable by death, or at least having to be strapped in a chair and watch documentaries about government for no less than 24 hours on end. So what was I to do? Well, I’m not proud of this, but I did the second worst thing you can do after not wearing a costume. I recycled.

I’m all about recycling in life. Like, creepy into recycling in life, I compost. But recycling a costume? That is as disgusting as many people thing composting is. Such people can also join in on the documentary thing, composting is awesome, but that’s an argument for another day. The point is I had no choice! Graduate school is difficult! Life gets away from you! What was I supposed to do, BUY something? That’s insane! Madness, I say! Don’t hate me! (Sob, sob, sob….)

When I was in college this awesome girl named Rebecca Arzoian, who, by the way, remains very awesome, came to a party dressed as a Freudian Slip. She wore a black slip and had a nametag that said “Penis Envy” on it. I honestly thought this was the coolest flipping thing I had ever seen, and four years ago I threw on my own slip and went to my friend Ben of the brilliant costume’s party. He was a Canadian millionaire, having fashioned a tailcoat and top hat out of denim. It was amazing. People loved my slip, and I contented myself with a job well done.

So when this year I was strapped for ideas, I did it again. I know. I know. The horror! But at least I made it!

TBDID 2Apologies for the yellow indoor photos, I tried to color correct but there is only so much you can do about indoor evening shots. Still, I was thrilled to get them, thank you, Emily! My roommate Emily snapped these before our party. The theme was Dr. Who villain so, yeah, I just failed on all levels here, didn’t I?

TDBID 3The pattern is Colette Patterns Cinnamon Dress, the same one I made for Emily for the Jazz Age Lawn Party. The fabric is actually from a poly-cotton blend bedsheet, which I got on ebay to make curtains for our apartment, and I still have tons of it even after the curtains and this dress. It has very faint lines on it, which now are diagonal because this dress was cut on the bias so it slides over your body.

TDBID 4As slips go, this is a great pattern, and I would love to make it again having gotten the hang of it. I would make the straps thicker, though, that’s the only thing I’m not wild about.

TDBID 6Of course, it’s not really meant to be worn with a bra, I guess, but still. This could be a very cute dress for every-day wear, honestly, I love the drape of the bias-cut skirt and the way it flows.

Okay, I’m about to do an extreme chest close up so you can see  my Freudian name-tag, fair warning:

TDBID 5In case you can’t read that or don’t want to examine my, er, assets quite so closely, that reads: Hello, my name is Elektra Complex. Hmm, I wonder if that’s why all those older gentleman were flirting with me all night? Kidding! It was a Dr. Who Villain’s themed party, people were so disgusted I didn’t stick to the theme they barely gave me the time of day.

TDBID 1So there is my Halloween costume, don’t you dare be impressed by it, even for a moment. I wont allow it, I don’t deserve such a thing.

Oh, I thought you might like to see a progression of photos when I told Emily to stop taking photos, but she didn’t want to:

TDBID 8TDBID 7TDBID 9Ah, the woes of blogging, I am so very put upon, don’t look at me and my shame!

I hope you all had a lovely Halloween and, perhaps, did better than I did. What did you go as? Do you like Halloween or perish beneath the pressure? Do you recycle costumes? Make me feel better here, internets!

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Filed under Clothing, Colette Patterns, Costume, Sewing

A Nautical Bias Outfit

First off, I want to talk about prejudice. Specifically my own prejudice against people who don’t like the things I like. I can honestly admit that I have actually (much to the disbelief of many) gotten more tolerant over the years. As my mother says, “You’re tough”, and that’s true, I am. I used to believe I ought to have free range to slap people who say further when they mean farther. I know now, having read Locke and Rousseau, having studied and understood the concept of a social contract, that while I might still think I should be ALLOWED to slap such folks, voicing it in public is a questionable idea. But I don’t think I will ever get over yelling at people who don’t like Parks and Recreation.

Parks and Recreation is amazing. I love it. My MOM loves it. It’s simply hilarious, and I think if you haven’t seen it you should stop what you are doing and go watch it. And if you DO watch it, I present you with this:

Click here, experience infinite drunk Ron Swanson.

You’re welcome. Feel free to enjoy that for a while. I’ll wait. No rush.

I know. It’s amazing. Shhhhh, let it wash over you, it’s fine.

That’s from one of my favorite episodes, and Drunk Leslie says to Drunk Ann “Sometimes if I don’t push you, you’ll end up standing still”. Which is why I even bring this wonderful show up. Because sometimes if I don’t push myself to make new patterns, I’ll end up making the same one over and over again. And that’s a problem. Because I have a lot of patterns. So when I decided to make Simplicity 5196, it was a controversial move for me, a new pattern, from one of my LEAST favorite decades? And yet, and YET, I think I love it! (But what am I so afraid of? I’m afraid of what I’m not sure of. A love there is no cure fooooooor…..)

See? Look how happy I am in my swishy bias cut skirt from the 70’s! Yay! Thank you, the Leslie Knope that lives inside of me. You’ve steered me well. Can I get some snake juice now?

So this is piece one and two of my Spring Palette Challenge! Woooo! I know, I know, I have 5 things I made that need to be photographed and instead of dealing with any of that business I made a new outfit and I’m writing about that. WHATEVER. The skirt, as you know, it’s Simplicity 5196:

Very very easy, and quite efficient, fabric-wise, it took a bit over a yard of 60 inch wide fabric. And I really like it!

I had imaged something fuller, in fact, I wanted to make Simplicity 3688, which I’ve made before, but I told myself no, push through the fear, try something new. It’s actually fairly full at the hem, but because it was cut on the bias it skims over my hips (thank you!) and looks sleeker then it is. Which I like! Yeah, it’s more Downton Abby then Foyle’s War but hey, that’s okay.

I cut out the two skirt pieces and the waistband, and let them hang over a few days, allowing the bias to stretch. Then I sewed it up and hemmed it by hand (four inch hem, what’s UP 70’s patterns? You were made for tall girls, I guess) late last night. Why so late? Well, I live next to a Russian Orthodox church and today is Russian Orthodox Easter (Happy Russian Orthodox Easter!) and I could hear every single minute of the midnight mass. EVERY. SINGLE. MINUTE. And the bells. The flipping bells. All night. And people say the shofar is loud.

Now to the blouse! The blouse is Colette Patterns Jasmine, a bias cut blouse for a bias cut skirt!

I  cut a size 10 (by the way, sizing is just crazy talk. I have worn, comfortably, three different sizes in Colette Patterns. You just don’t know until you try), and I did a full bust adjustment. I had heard horror stories about the armsythe and the back, so I went for a larger size and I must say, it’s rather blousy but very comfortable, and I like the look.

How much do I like the ties? THAT much. Crazy-person grin much. I took the hem out so you could see the length, if you care about such things.

One cuff came out quite nicely. The other did not. So you can’t see it.

All together, I think I look like an Edwardian lady sailor.

And how do I feel about that, you ask?

(This is the preparation)

And also:

Yeah. I like this outfit. It might be a bit whimsical, but then, so am I. And we must credit my lovely photographer, Emily:

Thanks, Emily! You are the best!

Oh! And I should mention that I randomly generated a number and the winner of my giveaway is Gail of Today’s Agenda! She’s a lovely lady and I’m totally thrilled to discover that she’s got LOADS of tips about the Miette Sweater, which I’m totally making right now! Thanks, Gail, and let me know where I can send your packet of vintage goodness!

Oh, and if you are into Parks and Recreation, go ahead and google “Cats that look like Ron Swanson” and/or Tom Haverfoods. Have yourself a great time.

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Filed under Challenge, Clothing, Colette Patterns, Sewing, Simplicity Patterns, Vintage