Last night I attended my friend Tina’s surprise birthday/painting party, and it was a total blast! She loves dressing up so everyone was to show up in cocktail attire for the occasion. This of course made me excited because I just finished my chevron “zig zag” dress, and I was itching for a reason to wear it. I found this retro inspired polyester material at our local Hancocks and I couldn’t leave the store without it, even though I generally avoid working with this type of fabric. I decided to make McCalls 6115 which is about as an easy of a dress to make especially with this finicky fabric. Its pretty much two panels with a channel to run the straps through. I did my darndest to match up the stripes, however this dress is a pretty big sack when its all said and done so I had to take it in quite a bit. Matching up the stripes became less of a necessity and more of an impossibility. I ended up belting the dress anyhow so I don’t mind it too much.
I really love how it turned out, I think this dress may be coming with me on my trip to Europe. Bonjour!
While at the party, we all had to cover our sophisticated outfits with aprons to avoid getting splattered with paint. It was well worth covering my dress, I forgot how much I enjoy painting. I used to do quite a bit of oil painting, but when I started school a couple years ago I just didn’t have the time for it anymore. It can be a very time consuming hobby! However, now that I will have the summer off and I finished graduate school I plan to get in at least a little painting time! The theme for the painting party was the Louisville skyline with bubbles floating about in the sky. I decided to deviate my theme because I wanted to hang it in my sewing room, so instead of bubbles I painted spools of thread.
It turned out kind of meh, we had to finish within a limited time frame as it was a painting party and it ended up a little sloppy and kindergartenish as a result. I may go back and try to fix it up later on, although this was done with acrylic paint. Here are all the other painters’ finished masterpieces, they all turned out great and we had so much fun!
I really enjoy painting natural scenery and using a lot of texture when I paint. Here are a couple of paintings I have done that are hanging up in my house:
All this art is really getting my creative juices flowing, I’m really getting excited to start creating this summer! Oh and on a completely unrelated side note, check out who I met at a local art fair recently- Gunnar from project runway! He was so friendly and kind, he didn’t even mind me asking for a creeper fan pic
Love local celebrities!
As soon as I finished my first Laurel I knew that I wanted to try my next one in an eyelet fabric. I have never used eyelet fabric before and this dress is so simple and perfect for it. No way to screw it up! I had this vision of bright turquoise eyelet material and I finally found this, the las on the bolt in just enough to make this dress. It was fate!
Now there really isn’t much to say about this dress, it is very plain and simple but that is what I was going for with this one. I plan to wear it to work (last 7 days of school count down has begun!) with just a jean jacket thrown over and some flats. The less fussy my wardrobe is the better, I am dealing with 6th graders! I wanted it to fit more like a tank dress, so I didn’t add the sleeves… although they would’ve been really cute, maybe later on eyelet Laurel 2.0. I also lowered the neckline on this one.
The blue fabric that I lined the dress with is slightly lighter than the blue in the eyelet fabric but I like how it highlights the pattern. I have some Marc Jacobs plum floral eyelet from Mood which I think is calling Laurel’s name. It may or may not be too grandma though. But grandma is totally in right now, right??
I found this pattern while perusing a local Vogue pattern sale, and I loved view B with the spaghetti straps minus the mullet hem. I don’t know what it is but I just hate the high low hem trend right now, especially on dresses. I had bought this slippery polyestery type fabric in the clearance bin for super cheap so I decided to try it out for this dress. It turned out ok, but with the elastic waist I think the top ended up a little blousy. I took it in a bit but ultimately that is the style of the dress.
I think my dress is pretty dead on except I definitely evened my hem out. IMO, the only way these mullet dresses can work is if your fabric is printed the same on both sides, and other than some home spun fabric and plaids in my stash there is nothing that would fit the bill. Even in the hand drawn picture her fabric doesn’t look like a double print, wtf? It looks tacky. (If you love these mullet dresses I apologize for my rant, we are all entitled to an opinion)
The dress was easy enough to make, however the double straps were a little tricky. I get irritated easily if my straps keep falling down and with these I had 4 times the likeliness of dealing with fallen straps. I ended up discreetly attaching them together to keep the look of a double strap without the annoyance. I think I would also take off an inch of length to the bodice to eliminate some of the billowing.
Although the suggested fabrics for this dress are Voile, Georgette, Crepe de Chine, and Faille, I think it could work with the weight of a knit. I may try this in the near future… we shall see.
I just finished making this dress, Simplicity 1878. It was a pattern that I picked up in a $0.99 sale, and I just now decided to try it out. It is a simple shift dress style, but has an open neck style. I made this with this Michael Miller bird print, it seemed cute and whimsical to me at first, but now I’m thinking it may be a little juvenile. Oh well, it will be an easy running around town dress… no judgement at the grocery store!
This was a very easy dress to put together. I like that the style is straight up and down so it is easy to throw on and wear. I opted to omit the interfacing around the neckline, because good Lord I hate interfacing… However, if I make this again I do think it needs it, the neck is open but it really needs a bit of stability to stand up. Mine kind of flops over a bit, boooo.
Overall not a bad pattern, I would make this again with some minor changes. It kind of has a bit of a 70′s feel, like something Twiggy would wear.
Yesterday was the famous Kentucky Derby, and as a local Louisvillian I felt compelled to host a Derby party. I used to attend the Derby in the infield in past years, but for those of you not familiar with the infield antics there is usually lots of drunken debauchery including topless ladies and public urination… nothing but class! That ship has sailed for me, and unfortunately the next step up from infield is box seats, millionaire’s row and such- a bit outside my price range. Though I hope that we will get to go and do Derby right someday, I would love to make a big fabulous dress and wear and awesome hat!
It was also a rainy day, so the comfort of my own home seemed like a great alternative! Of course I had to make a Derby dress for the occasion, and I found this vintage neon print of a horse racing scene and I was super pumped. There was only 1.5 yards of this material available from the seller, so I snatched it up and went back to my old faithful Simplicity Passport dress. I’ve made it a million times and its so easy to wear, I figured with only a yard and a half of fabric I had no room for mistakes. I think it turned out really cute!
It was a tight squeeze getting the dress to fit a yard and a half and still showcase the print, but I somehow managed. I had no construction problems, but I do think I could take the waist up a bit. I plan to wear this dress to the race track at some point so I’ll fix it before then. Check out our fabulous mascots for the evening, I named them Kriss Kross in honor of the fallen 90′s artist. May his backwards pants forever live on!
The party was a blast, Chris smoked ribs and pork butt, and I made Derby pies and lots of yummy appetizer. Two of the big hits were my mini hot brown bites (think mornay sauce, turkey, tomato, bacon, and parmesan cheese… (delicious ridiculousness! recipe here) and shrimp orzo salad. I have had a major obsession with orzo pasta lately, this recipe is great. It makes a ton and it is a nice light side dish. I was hoping there would be some left over so I could take it to work for lunch this week, but no such luck!
True to the spirit of the Kentucky Derby, we had much gambling throughout the day and night. We watched each race and sold each horse for a dollar out of a deck of cards by number, winner taking the pot. I only managed to win one race on a horse named Stephanie’s Kitten… $8 whole dollars! However, my winnings were quickly confiscated when the dice started rolling for a never ending game of Philly three’s. It is highly addictive… not sure I can recommend it on a clear conscience.
Our friend Joey’s perfect roll of the evening… that dog.
Despite the rain, we had a super fun time with great company. Even Harper enjoyed herself!
Happy Derby everyone! Looking forward to next year
The beautiful (but stinky) bradford pear trees are fully in bloom on our street this week so I couldn’t resist passing up a photo op in my new ombre dress. Hurray for spring!
This dress is Simplicity 1873 by Cynthia Rowley. I love how big and poofy the skirt is, but man oh man did it end up being short! I usually am pretty modest with my hemlines, and being as short as I am it is unusual that I don’t have to take it up 3 inches (let alone being 3 inches above my knees to begin with). I can’t imagine how short this would be on anyone of average height, yowsers! My husband did say that he liked how well it fit, and that the length was very sexy. I guess this will be a date night dress!
I know I may be a little late on the ombre trend, but after I saw this ombre dress pin on pinterest, (picture below) I was really inspired to make one of my own. The dress in the pin was actually painted on with textile paint and because I don’t have the patience for that sort of crafting I just hunted down some ombre print fabric. I found this bright blue faded to light on Etsy and was sold.
The dress itself was a rather easy sew, I chose not to line it as it is already starting to get on the hotter side here and the cotton isn’t very sheer. The skirt piece was super long before sewing in all the pleats, but I am loving the full effect. I think it ended up as short as it is from matching up the ombre on the seams, but even so there wasn’t too much to take up when it was said and done. I think next time I try this dress I’ll make sure to add a couple inches of length.
Happy Spring time y’all!
Ah yes, I have caught the latest bug going around… Colette Laurel! I love this pattern, it is a roomy shift dress with endless possibilities. I like that it isn’t too fitted, it gives it more of a casual feel and of course comfort. Around where I live people don’t get too gussied up unless it is for a special occasion, so some of the dresses I have made are sadly sitting in my closet waiting to be taken out for a night on the town. This dress I can easily wear to work or dinner or drinks without the feeling of being super overdressed amongst the jeans and tees.
The dress is an easy sew. It consists of just front and back panels, and sleeves if you desire. I cut a straight size 6 and still had quite a bit of ease to take in the back. I also lowered the neckline down an inch or two because it felt a little too restrictive and nun-like. Additionally, the sleeves were a little too long for my taste so I took those up a bit as well. I used bias tape around the neckline, and I was going to include it on the sleeve hem but I decided it was an overkill.
The fabric I used was a nice linen blend with a lime green, brown, and orangey-red ikat print. The linen is pretty dense, however it was still a little too sheer for my taste so I made the version with the underlining. I generally try to avoid lining with our hot summers, but it was necessary on this one.
I am loving how it turned out. I have been seeing some really cute versions of the Laurel made with beautiful eyelet fabric and I really want to try it out. I have never worked with eyelet material, but since this dress is so simple it will make the perfect guinea pig piece.
Until then I think I’ll have fun taking Laurel out on the town!