Tag Archives: engagement

The Lots To Celebrate Dress

Ah, the 4th of July. What a holiday. Who would have known that when a bunch of slave-owning white man got together and said, you know what is the worst, paying taxes to other white men who speak our language on a tiny island far away, let’s deal with that in a long and elaborately worded “Dear John (or George, as the case may be) letter”, we would, some three centuries later, be celebrating that half-assed international mailing with fireworks, beer and awful displays of jean-short madness? Also, quick side-note, given that overseas mail took signficantly longer then, that must have been the most anti-climactic break-up ever. That’s like sending an “it’s over” text via carrier pigeon.

Look, I’m just kidding, I’m a huge fan of the founding Fathers of the United States, specifically Benjamin Franklin who gave us firehouses, public libraries, bifocals, and the best children’s book ever.  My father is probably Franklin’s biggest fan, and you can’t help but be a bit of a groupie if you grow up in Philadelphia, Franklin’s adopted city. He was actually from Boston, and was apprenticed to a candlemaker until he escaped and…you know what? You should read his autobiography. I did. At the age of 13. Because my father made me. And then you can come to Philadelphia and see his home and his grave and the University he founded and the museum named after him and you can cry to your dad that you don’t WANT to read more about Franklin and you like John Adams because Principle Feeney played him in this movie and besides he seemed like a cool guy who respected women and oh my god I need a moment a lot of my childhood just flashed back excuse me. Sob.

ANYWAY.  I even love celebrating July 4th.  Who doesn’t love freedom? Specifically a freedom only granted to landowning White males of a certain income and education level? It’s a great excuse to grill a bunch of things, drink a bunch of wine (I don’t CARE if it comes from Europe, it’s freedom juice to me!) and enjoy some time with my family. That’s worth celebrating, right? It’s certainly worth a new outfit….

And with no further ado, may I present to you the latest in a long line of Plantain and Plantain hacks, my Lots To Celebrate Dress? Don’t mind if I do!

LTC 2

Ah, I love this dress! And could it BE more patriotic? My cynical ramblings are totally negated by this dress, aren’t they?

So, yes, Plantain. To this. How,you say? Well, I took the top part of the top, that is, above the waist, and used that to cut the bodice. I then slimmed it on the front and back pieces by about two inches, and used the sleeves as they were, and the neck binding. Then I just cut and gathered the skirt. Gathering a knit is the damn worst. I don’t recommend it. It’s dumb. Still! I like this.

LTC 4

 

The fabric I got at my beloved Pennsylvania Fabric Outlet for literally 1.98 a yard. Because, Philadelphia. I got two yards and I still have enough to make a tank top. Luckily it stretches in both directions because the vertical stripe and I are good friends.

LTC 5Although I do think that it is deeply hilarious that the stripes look bigger on the bodice because of my, um, front area. Sigh. Whatever. Franklin would have appreciated this. He loved himself some ladies.

LTC 3A little rear view for you. This dress was insanely easy to sew. I have made this pattern 10 times now and it only gets easier. And it wasn’t hard to begin with. Make this pattern. It’s awesome. That’s all I can say about it. It’s easy and fast and free. What else do you want on July 4th?

LTC 6Obviously these photos were not taken in Brooklyn, but rather at my parent’s house in Philadelphia where we had a lovely BBQ to celebrate the holiday. Not that we are so into it, but, honestly, any excuse to grill…

LTC 8Obviously I left Cadfael in Brooklyn but that’s okay, I wasn’t lonely:

LTC 7Cats gotta be a part of everything, am I right?

LTC 9We made some excellent slaw from this excellent blog. Try that today, too.

So, obviously, celebrating the United States and it’s weird and wonderfully awkward revolution is important. But it’s also important to celebrate personal things too, like this dress, or the slaw I made with my mom, or, you know, getting engaged. Which I also did. So there’s that.

LTC 11Yes. Sharp eyed readers will have noticed this new piece of jewelry making it’s first appearance on the blog. And in my life. As it turns out, what’s-his-face was not just hanging out with me for the sewing tips, and he proposed to me recently. So in honor of that event, and because my mom is unhappy with the moniker “what’s-his-face”, my gentleman caller is being upgraded to Mr. Struggle. I don’t know that you will ever see him on this blog, as he is shy, but I do know that I will be documenting all of my wedding-related makes here, so it seems only fair to tell you why all the white all of a sudden. And why I have a lot to celebrate. He took these photos of me. Maybe that’s why I look so happy? Hard to tell. It’s probably just dreaming about Ben Franklin….

LTC 1Yeah. That’s gotta be it.

I hope you had the best 4th of July possible if you live in the United States, and if not, I hope you had a lovely Friday that had no other meaning to you. I know I did. Thanks, dead white guys!

 

13 Comments

Filed under Deer and Doe, Life, 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?

11 Comments

Filed under knit, Life, Sewaholic Patterns, Sewing