Tag Archives: girl charlee

The Easy Being Green Dress

Ever since I started sewing, Black Friday has taken on a strange feeling for me. I’ve never been all that into Black Friday, honestly, my family doesn’t celebrate Christmas because….Judaism, so I never needed to take advantage of the sales to make sure I have gifts for everyone. But since I started sewing, even though I got into it because it seemed fun, I think quite differently about consumption and buying and the impact of my buying choices. Of course, some might say that I’ve shifted my commerce from clothing to FABRIC but these are lies, lies I say! No, I am trying not to buy fabric unless it’s for a specific project, which is HARD, people, I swear. Anyway, regardless of my fabric consumption which depending on who you talk to is minimal (me) to out of control (Mr. Struggle, foolish silly man, he should know better than to get between me and my fabric…) I just don’t really buy clothing anymore. The rare sports bra or a piece of outerwear, perhaps, but nothing more. So when I see all of the sales and the flurry of activity on the Friday after Thanksgiving, it’s interesting to me but I see it from far away, like I’m watching a movie. Which is probably bad, because there are things I should buy, but I can’t bear to be a part of that experience, honestly, it just seems awful and exhausting and besides, the idea of undressing and trying on a bunch of clothing in dress-room lighting after a huge meal the day before sounds about as fun as a root canal. Without drugs.

I know there are people who love this holiday, Black Friday, that is, and you always hear about crowds lining up earlier and earlier outside of large stores waiting for their deals, but honestly, I can’t imagine that. And then you always hear about people who get injured in some way trying to fight someone for that amazing bargain and you have to figure, holiday gifts, expensive, a trip to the hospital over a pair of designer jeans? Priceless. That being said, if Mood Fabric had a Black Friday sale I would probably end up killing someone, straight up, so I shouldn’t judge, right?

So instead of doing any shopping, I spent the day hanging out with my family, writing, and of course, taking a Pilates class to try and deal with the meal situation of the day before. And instead of buying something, I wore a dress I made. Like I do. And I DID buy this fabric on sale almost six months ago in a sweater knit close-out from my beloved Girl Charlee, so, hey, look at that!

EBG1

This is another Sewaholic Renfrew. I’ve made so many of this pattern I can’t even count them. I probably should stop documenting them but OH well, you’re welcome.

The sweater knit was easy as pie to work with, and I even managed to match up stripes which is surprising as I really didn’t have a ton of this fabric with which to work! This is a deeply simple pattern. If you haven’t made it, you probably should. That’s just all I have to say about that. EBG3I’m not usually a stripe person, because of my propensity for eating large amounts of bread most of the time, but I think these kind of work, the thin stripes with the thick ones, it’s a little kinder, don’t you think?

EBG4Ohhhh, blurry. Sigh. Cold weather and early sunsets really don’t help my sewing photos, do they? Indoor photos, meh.

EBG6A little side view where you can admire my awesome stripe matching right there. That’s another thing about Black Friday, once you start sewing and you see what a mess of a lot of discount clothing is, you kind of just roll your eyes like the snob sewing makes you and sigh, impatiently, over mis-matched stripes and plaids and other such nonsense.

EBG2And there we go. Another lightweight sweater dress photographed by my lovely mother and a nice substitute for anything I could have possibly bought.

Ultimately, I think it comes down to money versus time. Right now, I have the time to make things for myself, and so I do, and I can, and that changes my relationship to consumerism. But if my life looked different and my time was differently allocated, maybe I would NEED those Black Friday sales, because I wouldn’t have the time to sew, buying clothing would be a necessity. So it’s easy for me not to participate in shopping culture because I have the time to find an alternative. If I didn’t, I just don’t know. But I hope I keep making this a priority, because I really don’t want to get stabbed at a Target someday….

 

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Filed under Clothing, Sewaholic Patterns

The In The Pink Dress

I wouldn’t consider myself a girlie-girl, per se, though my mother might disagree, because compared to her I’m Imelda Marcos meets Marilyn Monroe meets Shirley Temple. And that’s just because I enjoy a ruffle or two, while my mother once turned to me and said, stop sewing with ruffles. It’s too many ruffles. Take a break. And, as usual, she was correct. That woman knows her ruffles. I do like a floral, and a shimmery eyeshadow, on occasion, I enjoy le Pinterest, and I have been known to order the rare fluffy cocktail, although not as much as what’s-his-face, who never met a fruity cocktail he didn’t like. So maybe I’m somewhere between my mom and him on that scale. That’s a fun thought….

But generally I would like to think that I’m more womanly than girlie. Girlie is like Polly Pocket (which, sidenote, remember Polly Pocket? Why did anyone think that was good for small children? It has so many choke-worthy parts! Can you even buy that anymore? I had, like, 4.) Womanly is like Mae West. At least, that’s what I’m telling myself…but I honestly can’t remove, by surgery or otherwise, my enjoyment of pink. I like pink. Especially bright pink, the brighter the better. Maybe that’s the adult way to like pink, in fact, as a fierce bold color, not a pastel insipid one. Maybe liking pink is the daring choice, especially in New York, where black is the new black is the new black. Maybe pink can be a feminist statement, not a Stepford-Wife aspiration, saying that I’m comfortable enough enjoying such a pretty-pretty-princess color while still maintaining my adult (well….semi-adult, let’s be real, 26 years and a master’s degree does not a complete grown-up make) sense of self.

At any rate, anxieties about adulthood aside, I recently was puzzling over a pink fabric purchase from months ago, two yards of magenta jersey from, where else, GirlCharlee.com, and thinking what would be the best use of it. A wrap dress? I’ve made so many. A few tops? I’m kind of sick of overbuying jersey and having three shirts in the same color. And then it hit me, a maxi-dress. I’ve wanted another since my first attempt, and I knew I wanted to use the Mission Maxi for the bodice, while having a fuller skirt on the bottom. I also knew I wanted sleeves, albeit little kimono ones. These desires fresh in my mind, I went to work, using a highly unscientific method of making it up as I went. I cut, snipped, and hoped for the best. And you know what? It turned out pretty wonderfully!

ITP 2.jpgOh, dear, that expression looks really painful but I promise this was a really fun day! I wore this dress to my department graduation, where what’s-his-face and I both were lucky enough to hear the most amazing speech from the truly astounding playwright, Anne Washburn, and then we enjoyed lunch and a boat ride with what’s-his-face’s family. As it turns out, a maxi-dress transitions well from place to place, and boy does it work well in New York in warm weather and then out on the semi-open seas. And the color? I can only speak for myself, but I think it works.

ITP 1.jpgThere we go, that looks like a better face, right? Much more reflective of the day. Tour boats might seem touristy, but actually they are the most fun, especially when the weather is lovely. Manhattan looks lovely from afar, where you can’t smell the garbage so strongly, and New Jersey even looks attractive, woodsy and well groomed. I would heartily recommend it, for tourists and natives alike.

ITP 5.jpgI have to tell you, I’m deeply in love with this dress. I got more positive feedback on it from my classmates at our department graduation than I did on any of my work over the past two years. Which is….sad, now that I come to think about it. No, I’m just kidding. My classmates are amazing and I have been so lucky that they all support my writing AND my sewing.

ITP 4.jpgThe construction of this was extremely simple, just like knits always are. I gathered a large rectangle into the skirt, and stitched up the bodice with a neck binding and a simple turn and stitch hem at the sleeves. I actually left the skirt un-hemmed because it was the perfect length and I didn’t want to mess with that. I know, I know, sloppy, sloppy, but whatever, I can live with that.

Just to prove to you that these boat trips are fun, check out some views:

ITP 6.jpgNot too shabby, right? One more:

ITP 7.jpgIf only there weren’t so many PEOPLE in the way. Damn the world…

ITP 3.jpgOne final happy boat shot. This is totally going to be my go-to summer dress, I can tell right now. Pink and all, girlie or womanly, it’s me, and that’s what matters.

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Filed under Clothing, Jamie Christina Patterns, knit

The What Does The Fox Say Dress

I would be the first to admit that I can be a bit behind trends. Or maybe I wouldn’t be first, because I would behind the trend of knowing that I was behind the trend. I think part of this comes down to the fact that I get most of my pop culture news from my friend Ben, hi, Ben! And Ben only sends me things that have to do with Game of Thrones or cat ladies dying alone, I guess because he feels like those are my two major interests. And, hey, he’s not wrong, per se, but it does mean that I saw the Rebecca Black Friday video way later than everyone I’ve ever met. And I still haven’t seen any of the Miley Cyrus stuff, or the Gangnam Style Video. But that might be a conscious choice on my part, I’m okay with my existence as it is. I HAVE seen this video with kittens doing the Lion King, so, you know, I think I’m doing pretty well. Though if those people would do kitten Shakespeare I would seriously lose my mind with happiness. Meow is the winter of my discontent made glorious summer, AM I RIGHT?

Ahem. As you enjoy that splendid joke in all it’s glory and admire my brilliance, let me tell you about my latest dress, which I have named after a new internet Meme (well, not THAT new, as I explained) that my friend Ranjit introduced me to (THANK YOU, Ranjit. Ben, step up.) Basically it’s this video. And it’s weird. And scientifically inaccurate.

763a1ba9552164ff69a0c079a0e47b34Foxes actually sound like this. Except in England where they probably sound like “STOP HUNTING ME FOR SPORT YOU COMPLETE AND UTTER TOOLISH PRAT!” It’s England, they say prat there. But the point is, that video is super weird and I can’t get the song out of my head. Also, there is an awesome SNL parody of this with the incomparable Kerry Washington who I would love to be my best friend and we could drink copious amounts of wine and talk about how pretty and talented she is. I feel that this could happen. If you see her, do let her know about this plan, I’m sure she’d be on board.

So, this song implanted itself in my consciousness, which is probably another reason I let youtube video trends pass me by, because I get WAY too into them and influenced by them, and I went ahead and bought some fox themed fabric. Like you do.

WDTFS 3.jpgAnd I made a dress! Please enjoy my face filled with laughter and delightful closed-eye photo. The pattern is the Hope Wrap dress which I have now made 4 times. When I like something….This time I made it a faux-wrap by stitching the whole thing together. I have to say, I love this style, I know a wrap isn’t for everyone and I respect that, but it really works for me.

WDTFS 2.jpgThis is me, thinking seriously about what the fox says. The foxes on MY dress just tell me I’m pretty.

WDTFS 1.jpgMy boss took these for me at work and I got lots of posing advice from her and my co-worker, Martin. This three-quarter turn with the Miss America arms is all them. Can’t you just see me telling everyone what I want is World Peace? Cue the “cupping a bird” wave.

WDTFS 5.jpgThe fit of this is pretty nice, I think. I mean, knits make all that so easy, and this jersey shrank a tiny bit in the wash but also softened a bit, becoming a little heathery, and the stretch is nice but not too drapey, so it holds the shape well. I should just tack the wrap part at the bust, I have it kept together with a safety-pin now like the class act I am.

WDTFS 4.jpgThese indoor photos make the color look duller then it is, it’s actually a deeper blue and a truer brick red. I got the fabric from Girl Charlee, duh, and while you can’t find the dark blue there anymore, they have the same pattern in a lighter blue, if you want to go foxy as well.

WDTFS 7.jpgThese foxes are so cute. I love them. I love wearing this dress! Seriously, this pattern is great and so easy, I would recommend it heartily to anyone, especially someone new to knits, because it’s simple and flattering and quick and looks good on everyone I’ve seen make it. There are tons of wrap dress patterns out there but this one is FREE.

WDTFS 6.jpgYou are never lonely if your clothing is covered in friends! Fantastic foxy friends. So I’m pretty sure what the fox REALLY says is, awesome dress, Leah!

Also, in holy cuteness news, Foxes apparently wag their tails when they are happy. AND IT’S AWESOME.

You’re welcome.

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Filed under Burda Style, Clothing, Fabric, knit, Sewing

The A-tisket A-brisket Dress, and giveaway winners!

First of all, I’m sorry for the gap in posting! It was actually easy for me to write posts on vacation in Ireland then it is here in Brooklyn. Go figure. It must be all this pesky graduate school writing I have to do. They keep giving me deadlines and I’m like, um, but, 30 pages by next week? Don’t you know I have blogging to do? Strangely enough they don’t seem to care, the cretins. Don’t they know what’s most important in my life? Selfish, is what they are, very very selfish.

As always the problem lies not in clothing production but in documentation. I swear, I should just carry my camera around with me all the time and smack strangers around and make them photograph me. I wear my own makes all the time, ALL. THE. TIME, and yet I have the hardest time getting them photographed. I am the worst. Sigh.

Okay, so first of all, giveaway winners!

For the yarn, that goes to Crafty Little Bugger!

The simplicity patter goes to tamalyn1,!

And the McCall’s pattern goes to Maryall!

So, ladies, do let me know where to send your patterns by emailing Leah.Franqui@gmail.com, and thanks for entering! There will be more giveaways and round-ups soon, I promise, and I’m even going to do the flickr thing, for reals.

To the outfit!  I did get my roommate, Jordan, to take these shots of my new Deer and Doe Plantain Dress after the Brisket King Festival last night, after which I was pretty thrilled about the loose nature of this garment…worth it. Worth every minute of self-hatred and stomach-ache. BRISKET. I must have tried ten kinds, including at Korean brisket hand roll, but what’s his face and I agreed that the best brisket came from Duck’s Eatery, not only because of the meat, which was astounding, but because of the SAUCE. I could take a bath in that peppery smoky wonder. My Jewish grandmother would be very offended by this, but it might be the best brisket I’ve ever had, though a close second is Morgan’s, an amazing place in my hood and also well represented, and they gave me a plate of just the crispy ends, so, you know, I kind of just want to hug everyone there. But a comfortable loose knit dress was clearly the right choice for such an event, can you blame me?

TB1So, when Deer and Doe released this free pattern, the Plantain top, I couldn’t have been more excited. I’ve already made it four times, and almost finished a fifth for my mom. I am basically making a plantain plantation. That’s happen. Get into it.

TB 4

I love the fit and the neckline, and I am so happy Deer and Doe, a company whose designs I love, released a free pattern. The generosity of pattern companies never ceases to amaze me, it really made sewing possible for me when I first started and I always appreciate it, especially one this nice.

I got the fabric from Girl Charlee (like I do), and simply lengthened the original hemline. It turned out a little looser then I thought, and I would make it a little closer fitting next time, but it’s nice to have something that is supremely comfortable and still looks good while being squished by brisket aficionados and trying to get another cocktail in Chinatown.

TB5It’s a bit lightweight for a winter that has been so cold but I’m hoping that an incentive for spring to come, because obviously my clothing dictates to the weather. It’s a very comfortable fabric, though. Cadfael likes it:

TB 2

There is nothing complicated at all about this pattern and if you haven’t yet made it, deal with yourself and just do it. It’s free. It’s great. It survives brisket. So far, it’s survived Cadfael, what more can you ask for?

TB3Nothing! So make it. It’s nice.

I promise I have more stuff to show you, and I will harass all those around me until I have decent shots. As god is my witness, I’ll ruin all my relationships to show you what I’ve made!

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Filed under Clothing, Deer and Doe, Sewing

The Dynamic Duo Outfit

Some things just go well together, like steak and fries, or Barbie and Ken, or wine and I, or bacon and …everything (shush, I know I’m Jewish, you let me worry about that, I had a nice long chat with Elohim and he was like, Yaweh or NOway, and I was like, yes, but try this, and he was like, this is amazing, what was I THINKING when I made this trafe? And I was like, we all have our off days. And then we ate ALL the bacon and laughed and laughed and laughed and talked about how everyone in the Torah was in bed. Spoiler alert, Issac was pretty kinky. Sigh. How I wish this was true…. maybe I will write this, a la Salman Rushdie, and have a fatwah put out on me. That’s how you know you’ve really made it, when large groups of people are calling for your head. Joan of Arc was, like, so famous.) Combinations are important, I believe. As a child I always loved this plastic plate my mother got for us that had little compartments for different parts of the meal. I still love this, to be fair, show me a bento box and I will love you forever, this is a fact. I know it’s all the same to my stomach but I am a segregationist when it comes to food. But when it comes to making things, that’s another story.

So, a few years ago now, my, how time does fly, I saw this outfit on Mad Men:

jane-hollowayI love this, and not just because of Christana Hendrick’s super sassy expression, but because it’s such a lovely outfit, and in a lot of ways is super modern, couldn’t you just see this in a modern office? I loved this image and I filed it away as inspiration to some something similar. And then I….didn’t.

The thing is, some outfits inspire you not just because of the individual pieces, but because of the combination of factors. Why must all things be a choice? Why are we suffering under this oppressive yoke of election? Can’t I have everything at once? Can I have bacon AND Judaism? Why do I have to limit myself to one piece of inspiration or the other? Can’t I copy an entire outfit without feeling like a loser? Well, regardless of how I felt, I still made an imitation outfit. So step right up and judge me, internets, I don’t even care, because I love this very much:

DD 2Obviously it’s not quite as Joan as Joan can be. First of all it’s a faux-wrap top, which I made from the Hope Dress Pattern, a free Burda Style download (FREE PATTERN!), and Girl Charlee fabric and it’s lower cut than Miss. Holloway’s top, which is funny, I don’t think I’ve ever been LESS modest then Joan before… Not that I’m casting aspersions on her honor, here, I love Joan, I respect her, I’m not a Jaguar executive (ooooh, it’s still too soon to joke, isn’t it? The Other Woman is one of the best single stand alone episodes to television ever. Fact.)  Second of all, it’s a sort of dark teal peacock color (not as it looks in the photos) not red. But that being said, I think the tweed pencil skirt/wrap top thing works pretty well! I’m thrilled with it, anyway.

IITSFOF 2

See my odd grimace? Nothing says happiness like grinding your teeth together so hard you start to feel powder between them!

IITSFOF 3There is sort of a drop-shoulder thing going on with this pattern which is fine, but I don’t know that I would include it next time I make this. I’m thinking about doing a slim-fitting faux-wrap dress in red. Thoughts? Seriously, if you haven’t tried the Hope Pattern, do it, it’s free, it’s one size but easy to size up or down with a knit, and I actually really love the neckline, it’s a nice shape and quite flattering.

To the skirt!

IITSFF 1Oy, that invisible zipper is a little visible. OH well. Whatever. Why did I use an invisible zipper? Because that’s what I had. Factual. The pattern is my beloved pencil skirt, Simplicity 4529, a godsend, a dream, a wonder, the one of 10 darts and one seam and all my devotion. I used a yard of grey tweed wool from the Ebay, and a china silk lining from Mood, so that’s 20 darts in total. 20. Darts. Holy hell, this thing is a dart monster. Worth it! Look at that fit! Love it. I know I’m asking the internets to enjoy the view of my posterior and I don’t even care, such is the majesty of this skirt pattern. Back vent! I think Joan would approve.

The waistband button looks like something off a Sailor’s Peacoat, no?

DD 1I love skirts like this that let you use up all those single buttons in your stash. Delightful.

DD 4Channeling Joan with the sassy pose, though she probably would have preferred a nice pump to the boots I have here, but I can’t be Joan all the time, guys! I have to live my own life!

As you can probably tell, these photos were taken at work by my lovely co-worker, Christopher, who is an amazing sewer and costume design student. And a peach. He put up with all of my demands, like, okay, more, but make me look better, would you?

As a parting gift, enjoy this photo of Cadfael, who is the best part of any combination:

image-2I’m happy to have made a skirt that finally matches him. At least all the cat hair will just blend in this way! Ha, unintentional genius moment, well done, self! And yet, somehow I know he will find a way to assert himself, he always does….

 

 

 

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Filed under Burda Style, Clothing, Sewing, Simplicity Patterns, Vintage

The Beach Blanket Bingo Bikini

Real talk? I much prefer Gidget to the Beach Blanket movies, but I will really do anything for alliteration, so…. besides, I don’t know that Gidget ever even wears a bikini in the movie, even if that’s what Moon Doggie would have liked to see, because Gidget is a GOOD GIRL and a SERIOUS SURFER and that’s what’s most important and, more than that, what gets pinned! The ultimate goal of all things!

You don’t know what I’m talking about? What’s Gidget, you say? ARE YOU OUT OF YOUR MIND? It’s only one of the best movies (worst movies) ever made, all about surfing and attracting men and being yourself and attracting men and the dangers of parties and did I mention it’s actually 100% about attracting men? Through surfing? And being yourself? But mostly changing yourself completely to attract some guy you barely know. Which, you know, feels like the right thing, doesn’t it? Basically the plot goes a little something like this, Gidget, aka Francie, a young lady on the verge of womanhood, has no interest in boys, or doing her hair, or anything the girls around her are into. Instead, she gets into surfing, and boy, does she have a fun time of it! But most of it is about attracting this young surfer who only has eyes for more conventional girls, which, as soon as Gidget (that’s girl plus midget, duh, because she’s like 5’5″, practically Thumbelina, and making fun of midgets was socially acceptable then, I suppose) imitates, he can appreciate. But she almost gets sexually assaulted because it’s the 50’s and it’s a party and I guess that was less threatening than, and then, silver lining, she gets Moon Doggie’s pin. So, you know, it’s pretty much the surfing version of Citizen Kane.

What does this have to do with sewing? Very little, honestly, but I’m pretty into this franchise because of how weird I think it is and also I secretly deeply love it and it’s 1950’s purity and bizareness and the costumes are fun and the music is awesome and her name is FRANCIS, who can turn away from that? and the fact that I have watched Gidget every March since I was 15, so, you know, it had to all be said. But also, this swimsuit I recently made put me in mind of Gidget, so there you go.

Of course, this might be a bit too daring for Sandra Dee. After all, a faint amount of midriff is showing!

BBBB 3Ahhhhh more photos of my body in a swimsuit on the internets ahhhhhh! Ah, well, I do this to myself.

This was actually supposed to be a one-piece suit, but I think I put it together incorrectly because when I tried on my creation it was adorable, and far too short, like, it only came up to the edge of my bosom. So I’m pretty sure I might have over-gathered the sides because I lined it all up with the length of the back, but really I shouldn’t have done that, because the back of this amazing pattern (The Bombshell, duh!) is shorter than the front, it’s supposed to hit right at the waist, so if you gather the front to that length….well, you get the idea, sort of only works on a topless beach. And I really didn’t think Gidget would approve of that sort of thing, so I had to figure something else out.

BBBB 2I was a little panicked initially, because I wanted to finish this and another suit for my mom (which went fine, don’t worry, everyone just CALM DOWN OKAY!) before coming to San Juan, because I’m not going to use a swimsuit in New York any time soon, so I was rushing and it was late at night on Tuesday and I had to leave Thursday night and I was like, ahhhhhh what do I do! So I decided to go to bed and figure it out in the morning, and then I tossed and turned, because sewing anxiety keeps me up at night, and finally thought, what if I make a top? So I did!

BBBB 5I used the Bombshell pattern top and just sort of cut it off below the bust line, and then I stitched it to the lining, put in bra cups, put a double line of elastic at the bottom band for support because those things don’t just hold themselves up in the air, added side ties, gathered the front down, and called it a day! Ninja-stitching. Like a boss.

BBBB 4There is the bottom. I like it a lot, I really like the high-waisted thing. It feels fun like a bikini, but gives a lot of coverage, which honestly, is nice! I’m just not a teeny-bikini person, and now that I can make my own I don’t have to suffer under the oppressive yoke of small spandex ever again! Bahahahaha! Freedom!

BBBB 7A little back view for you. You can’t really see the back ruching but trust me, it is insanely flattering.

BBBB 1

I didn’t get any photos of this on the beach but I did swim in it and it survived, which is important, for a swimsuit, don’t you think? I bought the fabric online at Girl Charlee and I have to say, mistakes and all, it kind of worked out that it’s a bikini because I think its just so cute!

So there you go, my second suit! I did manage to make one for my mother, too, and I left it in San Juan for her, and spoiler alert, she loves it! How could she not, this pattern is the best! I am filled to the brim with gratitude to Heather who made this pattern, because honestly, it’s just the damn best. Heather is so nice to us, don’t you think? Of course, she has to be, she lives in Canada. Man, you could hate Canada if it wasn’t so nice!

BBBB 6But I wont hate Canada, because I’m too busy loving this suit!

The irony is, I honestly feel more covered up in this suit then I did in my last one, and this is a two piece! What a world.

Okay, I promise, no more summery stuff for a while. Let the fall festivity begin! Flannel ahead, I promise you.

 

 

 

 

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Filed under Closet Case Patterns, Clothing, knit, Sewing, Travel

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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