Tag Archives: Jiffy

The Matchy Matchy Dress

Okay, so I was clearly not able to post twice last week, which was an almost instantaneous fail. But to be fair, I was without internet access, for the most part, in Puerto Rico, from whence I have only just returned.

I have been going to Puerto Rico my entire life. I have a lot of family still living on the island, and my parents ended up buying and renovating a house in Viejo San Juan several years ago, so, you know, I’m acquainted with the island. I’ve seen its many absurdities over the years, I’ve walked down city streets only to find myself competing with chickens for sidewalk space. I’ve accepted the insanity of day-to-day living, the fact that sometimes basic things are just not available in the one and only grocery store (though there is always rum. Never fear). But I tell you, I was just on the island for the San Sebastian Festival, and boy oh boy, was that something else. It is best described as Puerto Rican Mardi Gras, though that’s too tame a term to deem this four-day drunken bonanza that pollutes the city of San Juan with drunken Puerto Ricans begging for one more beer and screaming in the streets and playing music at all hours of the night and in general making my life more painful than I had thought possible.

Really, the truth is, I’m glad I went. I mean, I wouldn’t go again in a hurry, and next January you can find me far away from San Juan around this time, but it was fascinating, and it’s worth experiencing, if you are into Puerto Rico at all. However, my love for the island couldn’t possibly compete with my hatred of people. It fought a good fight, but in the end, loathing always beats love in my book. Still I got some good photos out of it:

BDD 9BDD 5BDD 4BDD 3

So when we got a chance, my mother and I snuck off to the beach. And my wonderful mamala wore something I had made for her which I had not previously photographed, namely, this dress:

BDD1

It’s Simplicity 8955, a vintage pattern I’ve made before. My mom liked the one I made, and asked for one for Puerto Rico. I was more than happy to make her this cover up/lounge wear, and I thought, why not make it match out house? So I did…

BDD 2Looks good, no? Now, picture a plethora of drunk teenagers wandering in front of that. Not so nice, now, is it…

BDD 8My mother tried doing the soulful “look to the side” thing.

BDD 7Nice, right? I love this material, and I think it matches our house perfectly.

We had a lovely day at the beach that day, it was probably the only quiet spot in all of San Juan!

This is an extremely simple pattern, by the way, and I love it. I cut the back in two pieces but otherwise I made no changes, and I really cut the back that way for fabric efficiency, which is my kind of thing… Other then that, it’s just the pattern as written. Cute, no?

See, it all looks nice right now, does it not? Little do you know…

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Filed under Clothing, Simplicity Patterns, Travel, Vintage

The Don’t Ask Me Why Dress

While I make every effort to know myself as well as possible, getting to know the me in me, as it were, there are times when I am inexplicable even to myself. I think most of what I do is ruled by logic, reason, hunger and the desire for a nice glass of wine, you know, the standard reasons people do what they do. But every once in a while I just make weird choices. Like when I moved to Madrid and used non-roller suitcases. This was a poor choice. Or when I recently threw a party and didn’t include potato salad. That was a questionable choice. Or when I fed my cat to the point of fatness. That was an interesting choice that has led to adorableness, but also poor health (I assume). I’m a mystery, wrapped in an enigma, with layers like an onion. I’m a metaphor spliced with a simile. What are you going to do.

So recently,  I went out of my way to buy a pattern that I knew, I just knew, wasn’t anything all that special. I don’t know why I did that. I first encountered this pattern, Simplicity 4977, in an Ebay lot, which I actually lost out on. I don’t know about you guys, but I hit a limit with Ebay sometimes, I just can’t justify going beyond a certain price point. Sigh. My ebay habits aside (I….need to get off Ebay. It’s a problem) I just really liked this pattern for some reason. I. DON’T. KNOW. WHY. Check it out:

This pattern is nothing special. It is a muu-muu. With a dart. COME on. Why did this pattern attract me so deeply that I  sought it out on Etsy and paid, like 7 dollars for it!?! What happened here? I just don’t know. Don’t ask me why. Still, I think I made something pretty damn cute, if I do say so myself, and it wasn’t hard, I just had to change everything about it….

Okay, so this thing looks MUCH better with a belt, but whenever I say that people are like, no, its fine, so I wanted to SHOW it to you without a belt, to PROVE to you that I’m RIGHT. I inserted elastic at the waistline, a big thick piece which I had gotten as part of a grab bag of lace and stuff for 2.99 at the PA Fabric Outlet. God I love it there. I will miss that….

See? Isn’t that better? Yes, it is, elastic or no the belt helps. I just need to resign myself to the fact that belts and I are BFFS.

The fabric is from Spool a quilters cotton that I just fell madly in love with and had to buy, despite the fact that I’m trying not to buy any fabric, let alone of the quilters cotton variety. That being said, Tilly just wrote a very interesting post about sewing with this controversial stuff. I sew with quilters cotton all the damn time, let’s be real about life.  She mentions that sleeves should be avoided with this fabric, but this pattern has kimono sleeves, so I think it’s pretty good.

What else did I change? I shorted it a few (8) inches and I inserted pockets. Like I do.

GOD I love pockets. Fun fact, these don’t even fit my whole hands. Yeah, there were some struggles with this project. Aren’t there always?

I also tried to lower the neckline. I did lower it slightly, but it really just made it a boatneck. Struggle. It’s everywhere.

Yeah, I photo edited this. Deal with it. But how cute is this fabric? The pheasants. They just got me.

A little back shot.

Honestly? I’m going to wear the heck out of this. I wore it last night at the dinner party I threw, it was a hit. (RIGHT, GUYS?) It’s cute, it’s easy, it’s comfortable, but I know it’s not the best thing I’ve ever made. It’s nice on the inside, french seams and bias binding, and I do like it, but I have NO idea why I felt so deeply compelled to make it. What can I say?

As I type this, all I can think about is that Billy Joel song. I don’t even like Billy Joel. Don’t ask me why.

By the by, I took these photos my own self, with my tripod! I even figured out how to do jumping shots! Of course, it took some tries:

But then I figured it out:

It’s not as much fun to jump for a timer, but I bet you I will get over that. Or will I? I don’t know, man, sometimes I don’t know myself at all…

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Filed under Clothing, Sewing, Simplicity Patterns, Vintage