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1  OCCASIONS AND HOLIDAYS / Winter Holidays / Our Burning Man-Inspired Winter Tree! on: December 12, 2011 10:48:26 PM
One of the most memorable things for us at our first year out at Burning Man was a double decker art bus covered entirely with white fun fur over color changing LEDs. While we saw a lot of things following this concept, the bus stood out as the most ethereal. This idea came to me on the exhausting flight back home.

 I've always been a bit leery of cutting down an entire tree to just prop up in my home for a few weeks, so this is another effort in the long line of unconventional holiday tree-ish ideas. It's pretty simple. Two yards of faux fur sewn into a cone with struts made out of concentric rings of cardboard. The rings are actually supported by the tension caused by the cone being suspended from the ceiling and the lights are safety pinned to the inside of the fabric. There is a hula hoop sewn into the bottom to create shape and weight. The snowflakes centered over some of the lights were just stuck on like velcro due to their glitteriness! I love how they disappear in the light and then are backlit when in the dark.

 The struts are a bit wonky, but my husband says that it reminds him of branches slumping underneath the weight of snow Wink I can be  bit of a Grinch at this time of year (what with the twenty hours of darkness a day before the equinox hits) so it was fun to find a way to join in with hubby's usual holiday enthusiasm! Bonus: the kitties seem to not want to destroy it; it's a Christmas miracle!
2  CLOTHING / Clothing: Completed Projects: Reconstructed / "Green Hawaii" maxi on: April 30, 2011 10:27:17 PM
I found an old sarong from Hawaii in the closet the other day. While unable to sleep the other night I was pondering KylaStrong's maxi mission and this dress popped into my head. I got to use my new best friend/MORTAL ENEMY (shirring) for the back, failed to be able to shir further, put a tie on it to make it fit, draped, braided and then winged some fabric flowers to make the front a bit less plain. It's super comfy and pretty to wear (we'll see if it ever gets warm enough here to wear it) but I'm wondering about keeping the center slit.
 Please excuse the goofy photo shoot, my droopy money tree wanted to play jungle!

And, by-the-by, does anyone have a clue as to why my shirring will stop working when i wind another bobbin full ofthe elastic thread? It will bunch and just doesn't have tension. I've tried winding it with different tensions, but nothing seems to help but starting on a new shirring project. My machine is going on strike?
3  CLOTHING / Clothing: Completed Projects: Reconstructed / Modern Audrey Party Frock on: January 26, 2011 03:13:04 PM
I put this dress together from the top of an old dress and some black embossed floral fabric. The two fabrics don't match exactly in tone, but honestly, I made this dress from old scraps while other girls spent $150 on theirs, so I'm not complaining!
 The skirt is a simple circle skirt. I forgot to take the bias into account so it hangs unevenly, but please refer to the second sentence of this post Smiley I tried to camouflage this and give the skirt better movement by adding a poly lining and edging the lining with some black eyelet fabric from another skirt. The bottom of the old skirt was a multiple layered chiffon type that a converted into a petticoat.
 I felt like an absolute lady all night (until the effects of the open bar started wreaking havoc, anyway  Tongue). I got a lot of nice comments and was called a modern Audrey Hepburn, so I consider this a win!
4  CLOTHING / Clothing: Completed Projects: General / Hoodiedress/Minihoodie? on: January 26, 2011 03:03:19 PM
This is a dress that I made last summer out of a slightly stretchy grey suit material. It was my first attempt at sleeves. They turned out perfectly! I put elastic into the tops of them so I could actually move my arms. Due to my glorious layer of insulating winter fat and a cheap zip, it tends to pop open. I might have to replace it or lose a few, whichever is easiest.

 Sorry about the multiple posts today, I was limited on time for the holidays and finally took my state boards, so actually have free time enough to do this!
5  CLOTHING / Clothing: Completed Projects: General / Kitschy Retro Apron on: January 26, 2011 02:39:17 PM
I got a baking enthusiast as a secret santa recipient over Christmas. She didn't have an apron, so I made her one out of recycled fabrics. The sheets are vintage and I used lace and the cute polka dot fabric from an old dress. It doesn't use any of the old seams nor details, so I don't think I can consider it reconned.

My favorite part is the top band. Since it's made out of lace, it overlays whatever you're wearing underneath and makes it a different apron for every use!

I also embroidered a little heart on the pocket. It was my first attempt at embroidery. I just used plain thread, but it turned out okay.

 I was actually incredibly pleased with how this turned out. It's the highest quality of anything I've ever made. There are no raw seams, it's lined and topstitched and reinforced. She loved it, so mission accomplished!
6  CLOTHING / Clothing: Completed Projects: General / Expanding maternity shirt! on: January 26, 2011 02:21:54 PM
One of my coworker's baby bumps was beginning to show, so I made her  a cute top that she can wear in her small and larger stages. I used two old shirts, but used only the fabric and none of the seams.
(Creepy simulated belly)

I basted the tops of the front seams together so she can cut them as she needs more room, then sew back together when she's given birth.

 Then I sewed elastic into the back to accomodate a growing bust and the front is reinforced so she can wear without a bra.
 This top was so cute and comfy that I had a hard time parting with it, even though I have no immediate baby plans! I hadn't accounted for our different sizes, and it was somewhat too small for her, but at least it was fun to make.
7  Halloween / Halloween Costumes / Tasharella, Queen of the Universe! (Pic chubby) on: November 01, 2010 07:43:16 PM
Action shots!

I was browsing through Party Craft and found some bubblegum pink gogo boots. They became my costume inspiration. My favorite costume was made using silver strech lame and led's, and I really wanted to improve on the theme this year. I drew up some sketches with a mod sci-fi muse in mind. Barbarella, the B52's and the author's photos on the cover of Valley of the Dolls were what I had on my idea board.

  My helmet got lost in all of the, umm, excitement during the night. It was papier mache over a large balloon. I used spray adhesive to put down a layer of foil. The top was a corset style that I drafted the pattern for. The cups are just a gathered rectangle. I used some old bra cups for form and support. They tended to lay a bit funny because they were too big, but it worked out. I was really proud of the straps and the collar that closed with a jumbo hook and eye, I think they really came together well! I just traced a pair of leggings for the pants. The utility belt was reconned from an old jacket. There was a little zippered pocket for money and ID and a holster for my light-up bubble gun! The hood came about because my normal hair isn't the right style and color for the costume and the wig I wore during the day would've eventually driven me MAD! It also worked out perfectly with the helmet. It took about fifteen minutes and closes at the chin with another hook and eye. I really liked it, but I think it was a bit too, umm, futuristic for some people's tastes. The cape was super simple. Just a rectangle of the fabric held together by a light-up medallion.
Bewb detail! I know what it takes to win contests around here, teehee!

 I searched all over town but couldn't find the material that I'd worked with before and could only find this flimsy alligator type with a one way stretch. As you can see from the back shot (sorry for the VPL!) the fabric started running where my booty was apparently trying to bust out. This wasn't too much of a problem because of the cape that I had on, though.
 The gloves, boots and gun were the only things that I bought for the costume. All in all, it took about a month and a half to put together between school and work. Hubs didn't get off til eleven and by that time most people we saw out and about were a bit too sloshed to appreciate the work that went into it. I still had fun making it though, even if we did miss all of the contests!
8  CLOTHING / Clothing: Completed Projects: Reconstructed / Devolution Dress: From 90's to 50's on: September 28, 2010 04:33:18 PM

This started out as a 99 cent thrift store find. Note the unflattering baggy waist, the chaste button front, the enormous shoulder pads. One shoulder was faded and there are silly bows on the sleeves. If this dress was a word, it would be "Wugh" (shudder+"ugh").

 I turned it into a halter top, lowered it by three buttons and tightened up the waist. The belt came with the dress originally. I'll probably switch it out with a red one. I put one of the sleeve bows on the back of the neck strap (it looks like a backwards bowtie, but meh) then put a couple of the leftover buttons over the gathers that I had to do to make it fit. It took maybe an hour or so. I left the skirt alone entirely. It comes with pockets!

 Question 1: I'm graduating soon and will be looking for Hairdressing jobs. Would this be a ridiculous interview dress?
 Question 2: I like the length because it's pretty retro, but would it be more flattering shorter? And should I wear it with a petticoat?
 Thank you for looking!
9  CLOTHING / Clothing: Completed Projects: General / Comfy, Cute and Classy-A Trifecta of Party Dress.Now with tute! on: September 23, 2010 02:14:30 AM
Saw a knit on sale at Joanne's the other day and fell in love with this oversized houndstooth fabric.
EDIT: Here's my first tute! This tute is meant for people who have some basic knowledge abut dress construction. You will probably have to magnify the pages to see it (I am not computer-ly gifted).I hope you can make heads or tails of it. There are more details below in the post. If you make this dress please post it! I'd love to see it!

 This was my first time working with a stretchy fabric like this. It turns out that tailoring isn't super necessary when working with this amount of stretch. I could've sewed a bug tube and still had a cute dress! I'm glad I put the amount of effort I did into it, though.

 This was in my usual style of cut, tailor and adjust. No pattern, no mannequin (though a duct tape form is in the works). It's basically three strips of fabric cut to my bust, waist and hip measurements. The top of the skirt was gathered to fit the waist area, the bust was gathered at the bottom of each cup to fit the top of the waist and I then pleated down the center of the bust portion to create a nice fit (all of my dresses have this...quick, easy and effective!) The straps are wide strips of fabric that I pleated in the front and back. I can wear them on the shoulder as cap sleeves, pushed together at the top as straps and also off-shoulder. Results: the comfiest retro styled dress that I've ever worn!

 I'm pretty proud of this dress all in all. I conquered my fear of stretch and am also taking more care in the finishing and in matching up patterns. I have a feeling that this one is going to get a lot of use! I can't wait to use a form to create more structured dresses.
PS-excuse any crazy color saturation. I was trying to use my very limited photo editing skills to give these a vintage feel.
10  CLOTHING / Clothing: Completed Projects: Reconstructed / Peacock Party Dress on: August 16, 2010 05:45:13 PM
I went to a Birds party the other night. I only had four days to work on the costume, and only the evenings in which to work on it after ten hour schooldays. I think it turned out well. The dress used to be floor length with straps and a triangular neckline. I cut off the bottom couple of feet and used it to make a ruffled skirt. The bottom hem became the top hem. I used a freezer paper stencil to make the peaock feather with acrylic paints. I also made the peacock feather hair decoration (sorry, no pics). I had fun making my makeup and nails as over the top as possible. My eyebrows were blue! The sewing and the stencil weren't of the highest quality, but I did do the work on them at one in the morning. The party was fun and I got a lot of compliments, though!

A close-up:

And my nails...
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