Sunday, November 27, 2016

Fifty Dresses Fifty - Choir Dress Wrap up

If it's Autumn, it's choir dress hemming time!

As the dresses for Northwest Girl Choir "Fresca" group age, more of them come in the fall to be hemmed and repaired. Last year 40, this year 50.

I don't have photos from the fittings, because these are 10 and 11 year old girls, and they're not my kids. 
They are really funny. Yes, these dresses are party dresses but maybe not the one you would have picked. At some point, one girl will exclaim how ugly she thinks they are. And at some point, two or three of them will be wearing them in the room at the same time, and then: They Get It. A uniform makes you look alike.

 And the skirts are swooshy and you can make a lot of noise with them. And they do.

The key to fitting little girls is making sure they know you are here to make the dress work for them. "That dress looks good ON YOU", not "You look good in that dress". And if the first dress doesn't work, we can find another. 

Because every inch of you is perfect, from the bottom to the top.

So I take in and I let out and I steal fabric from one to add to another. And I've saved all the scraps all these five years, which paid off big time this year.

Pulling long hem thread injury: I know thread cuts, but I was in a hurry. And after this, I kept the bandage on.
I hang the dresses from the ceiling of my very short room

They are two layers: poly taffeta and poly chiffon. The taffeta is a quick job; after five years I've got them all marked evenly and corectly, and I can just mark from the current hem.

The outer later  is badly cut and offgrain chiffon, which needs to be hung to be marked. Each and every one.

Now and then one of them needs to be recut on the taffeta skirt
 Hemming the taffeta is easy peasy. I trimmed a ruler to make this part swifter.
I cut off the extra bit of the plastic ruler to bring it up to the beginning of the measurement

Hem needs to be let out 3 inches: I line the ruler up on the 3" on the old hem line

I fold the hem over the ruler

And I pin with glass head pins (so I can iron over them)
 Fifty dresses and a handful of black two inch velvet ribbon belting (just try to find that stuff on short notice)

Added a sleeve gusset or two. 

I had to take one of the bodices apart and resew the neckline from the inside. That was a fun day; I tried many new techniques to undo/remove serged seaming, and have nothing definitive to report. Just give yourself too much time and some really sharp pointy snips.

This American Girl has her own custom made dress. She's a raffle prize for the winter fundraiser.
 They're done. Other stuff was sewn. Lots of fail.

 I've been better on Instagram than here this week, but here's where I get to think about stuff with words, and words are still my best friends.

This blog will be back to a regular schedule next week, and I'm revisiting the YSL exhibition, with extra camera battery.

Monday, November 14, 2016

The proof of concept that proves it was a poor idea

I love this photo, I look like I know what I'm doing

The picture jeans that were a fun sew. 
One piece pattern jeans that really work; they fit really well. 
They LOOK like hell, but cookies aren't my friends. 
This  Marcy Tilton denim panel print is just.....not flattering at all. It may turn into something else, as $54 a panel is a lot to walk away from.

After all the coats of paint (this was only coat#2), they squeak horribly.

Not shown: the lack of a facing piece in the back of the neck making this Vogue 1258 Miyake top very uncomfortable to wear. I've drafted one and added it since.

The cocoon coat does not fit everyone the way they had hoped it would

The toiles for a Chanel style jacket will get their own post later. They still make me cry.

The ant puppets were invisible on the dark set and the black clad actors, and were ruined by the second performance.

On the bright side:

The dresses are done and leaving tomorrow.

The American presidential election went on for years, dropped to new lows in divisive and vindictive 'conversation' (if you can call screaming a conversation) and has created more turmoil than I can possibly describe. 
Out here on the Left Coast, we feel pretty removed from the machinations of the parties, and the after-election "what ifs" seem ridiculous and self serving from all sides. All we've done is toss a brick through a window and start a riot.
I'm a mom. I have kids. I know a lot of different people. Many of them have been villified by our new president.
Tell why this is going to be better for all of us, if it's only better for some of us.
Peace out.

Monday, November 7, 2016

When I Make Lists, You Shall All Quake With 1)fear 2)amusement 3)knowing this post is content-"lite"

There should not be tiny hems in chiffon. They should be normal sized hems because why do we hate ourselves so. Unless you are into that stuff, but don't make me do it.

Bintage: spent too much on vintage. Ouch.

When in doubt, interface.

When in more doubt, interline. Underline? Add a layer of softness.

Only wear things you'd have next to your skin. Fiberglass? Right out.
Stainless steel? Nope.

The World of Wearable Art is still at EMP, and I like it less and less the more I see it

( I am seven dresses and two puppets from being done, so this is what you get this week.)
Okay, the puppets are done.

We will speak more of these later, action photos next week featuring fidgety actors type cast as ants, and I will concoct a dramatic presentation on my work for Emily this last year, from the StarWars burlesque through the steamship hat to the ants. 

It's been a blast, lady. Let's make some more fun stuff!