New Refashion!

Once upon a time, I had a red dress that I LOVED. It hugged my curves and was possibly the first red anything that I wore as young woman. It was attention getting. I was/am not an attention seeker. But in this dress, I was.

Enter childbearing (x4). Enter more pronounced hips…and belly. Enter the dress in the never-to-be-worn-again pile. This picture is the only one appropriate to post online. It’s so tight, showing anything lower falls into the indecent catergory.

I cut off that fabulous wide yoke, put it to one side and pondered what to do with the rest of it. Inspiration came from many places and ideas came and went. I ultimately decided to try out an idea for a shirt that I wanted to practice first. I don’t have much of the jersey I wanted to make it from. So this is my wearable muslin.

Me and my Lady

I used Ichigogirl’s Anna Top from BurdaStyle for the bottom part. For the top, this is the part I wanted to practice, I cut a long rectangle on the fold and then folded that in half again to cut the neck out. It was good that I practiced (and that this purple material was dirt cheap) I made the neck opening much too wide the first time. Attaching the two pieces was the other thing that I wanted to practice, it went better than I expected. I love the finished top, even though I don’t think I’ll repeat the bust detail the next time around. For that section, I cut the seam allownace off, since the bust size of the pattern was larger than my own.

Don’t you love all of Mrs. Doonan’s fancy dials? My little son calls this my dressmaker ;o) They are all very excited about it and even draped a project on it (several scarves) the day after it came home. You can see the difference in size between us two. I’m happy to say, I think the shirt looks better on me than her.

My creation

Kids Clothes Week*: Cowls for Sisters

Let me start by saying that my boys are feeling some kinda way about all this sewing not happening for them ;o) Why are boy projects so boring/difficult?


This was made employing the same technique of using an existing shirt as a guide like my own cowl top. COMPLETELY on the serger. Zip, zip, zip.
It fits her so well!! I am so excited about actually having a use for the rest of this fabric. I have about 6 more yards of this (100% cotton pointelle knit). Oy. At $1.95 a yard, this shirt cost a little over 2 bucks. Can’t beat that. I had to get creative with the sleeve finishing. I have continually underestimated her size when buying clothes and I didn’t want to risk the sleeves being too short. This worked out perfectly.

This one was made slightly different. I wanted to experiment with making drop shoulder style sleeves. I like it okay for this but I probably wouldn’t make my own tops this way too often. This cowl also sits differently because, in a bonehead move, I cut the necklines the same in the front and back. It doesn’t make a huge difference. My girl certainly doesn’t mind. She’s just thrilled to look like her big sis. Because of their difference in age it’s impossible to buy them matching things like I can do with the boys who are practically the same size. I was able to fold these over without worrying about them being too short. I was pretty sure that this was going to be slightly large on her. This was the only thing done on the sewing machine. Both have simple serge finished hems.

I still have the rest of today to make my boys something. I want to try some simple elastic waist pants like these. I have some nice black corduroy I can use. But it attracts lint like a magnet….not so good for boys who LIVE on the floor.

*Kid’s Clothes week as organized by Elsie Marley.

Kid’s Clothes Week*: Skirts for sisters

Kid's Clothes Week: Skirts for sisters

These are for my girls.
Obviously one is much older than the other ;o)
For the brown one I used a pattern from the 8/2009 issue of Burda Style (in which practically everything is wearable and classic) and no pattern at all for the red one. It’s essentially two squares serged together with the two ends finished on the serger. Whack on a hem and make a casing for the elastic and you’re done. I used this insanely helpful tutorial to make my first ever slant pockets. *wipes a tear* :o)

They are being helpfully modeled by Mrs. Doonan, my new dress form.
Mrs. Doonan
I got her off of Craig’s list for $30 bucks! My very nice hubby picked it up for and braved the prospect of being emasculated while traveling on the bus with it to bring it home. In Brooklyn. As if that weren’t enough, he googled bookstores near the pick up locale so that he could bring me a copy of Mockingjay. I had just finished Catching Fire and I was absolutely dying to get the next one but stuck home with the kiddies. Nice hubbies rock.

Named for Simon Doonan, he of the Barney’s window dressing fame and author of my current read, Mrs. Doonan and I are not exactly the same size. It’s really a shame that I didn’t contact the seller in time to get the larger one that she had. She’s about right in the bust region but my waist, though small for someone with 4 children, is not nearly this tiny. And the hips/ass area?

Mrs. Doonan's diminutive rear

Forget about it!

*Kid’s Clothes week as organized by Elsie Marley.

The Beautiful People

Last night, I dreamed that I was hanging out with Simon Doonan and all of the beautiful people. I was the beautiful people.

I’m reading Doonan’s Eccentric Glamour: Creating an Insanely More Fabulous You and I am happily drowning in a sea of British humor, biting sarcasm and gay wit. I became aware of Doonan as a writer when I fell in love with the BBC2 series The Beautiful People based on his book Nasty: My Family and other Glamorous Varmints. This show makes me laugh so hard that I don’t even watch it while the kids are awake. I want everyone I know to watch this show so that we can use Kylie’s mashed up slang.

What I didn’t realize when I started watching the show, I already knew who Simon Doonan was! He is the man that referred to a contestant on Top Model as “Dull slash very dull” an assessment that still makes me roar with laughter every time I think about it. I had, of course, seen Doonan in other circumstances and places throughout the fashion world. But as I am fashion industry clueless, I never knew his name.

Well, this has rightfully been corrected. I am devouring this book and have Nasty all set to start when I’m done. I borrowed these from the library, but I will have to buy them to live alongside other British faves that pull me out of the duldrums. Books like Rachel’s Holiday and the Georgia Nicolson series. They work a treat for instant roll on the floor like an insane person laughter and I cannot think of a better addition to that club than these books.