Sunday, May 31, 2009
For some reason, when you sit on the sidelines as a parent you feel exhausted at the end of the day. Maybe it's nerves. Maybe excitement. Maybe disappoinment. But when I got home at 7:30 (picked up two pizzas before arriving home), I was very tired. I *thought* about helping DS#1 with his school project but deferred the work until today.
If I'm lucky, I will cut out a muslin top. First things first, laundry and cleaning. Baseball practice tonight. Somehow get dinner done too.
Addressing other issues, in my previous post I talked about this great bra in my drawer. Sherril posted the response:
"I know why you're keeping that old bra. It's so you can cut it apart, steal the underwires from it and take the back hooks. You already know the underwires are your size and no reason not to re-use them."
Isn't that an awesome idea!!! That never occurred to me. Funny how the obvious always seems to elude me.
Kim also posted:
"If you model your bra when completely, you will have my utmost respect for life! I wish I could model a bra, but you look like you could pull it off."
I've been wrestling with this. Headless shot for sure. Hands strategically placed to hide wrinkled post-baby belly skin ;) . Actually probably two separate shots. We'll see Kim, we'll see LOL. Haven't decided on that yet.
On the prom dress post, Kim asked:
"...I have to ask you, did she stuff her bra, because all the little girls at my daughters prom were rearranging their well endowed areas before every photo! LOL! To be young again...... "
This is funny one. That fave Frederic's of Hollywood bra? When I bought that many years ago, I also bought those stick-on bra cups for special occasion dresses and tops. Never used them though. So I told her to use them for that dress. There was a hollow area below the boobs (teens are WAY too perky!) so when she was modeling her dress, I told her it just didn't look quite right. I manually took the fabric with her boobs in it and rearranged them to show them how they *should* look to fill out dress. She was saying, "Mom! What are you doing?!?!" I told her you have to push and angle your boobs just the right way for the dress. Then I brought out the stick-on cups and told her that's what she should use.
On prom day, I'm taking pics, then videos. Before the video I told her she had to peel off one corner of the cup as it was noticeable from a side angle view. Then while I'm taking a video (she didn't realize it at the time), she walks over to me and starts correcting her wardrobe malfunction. Gee girl! Give me a heads up so I can pan away!
She told me after the prom, she and this other girl peeled them off halfway through and threw them away. Someone else was wearing the stick-ons as well.
Yeah, Kim, to be young again...and not have to worry about support either ;) .
Well, it's a bright and beautiful day in the Pocono Mountains! And I'm off to spend it indoors cleaning. I hope everyone else is doing something wonderful...like sewing!
Friday, May 29, 2009
However, things are in the works. A muslin summer top is about ready to be cut out, swimsuit fabric ordered, bra and panty patterns and notions ordered, a dress is in the planning stage so when I get some time, I can make a move on things. I'm looking at that pattern making website someone posted about at Patternreview where I can input my measurements and create a custom swimsuit pattern. Here's the link: http://www.patternschool.com/ . There's some really great info/great reading on that site.
I'm very excited about sewing a bra! I love the pattern I ordered (Elan B540) shown below as it reminds me of this great Frederic's of Hollywood bra I bought years ago. It's simply too old to wear anymore, but it was a great-fitting bra and pretty too. Still in my drawer in fact. It's just darn hard to part with a good one, and there's no reason for me to keep it but it's there, right in the back getting my admiring glances from time to time.
I have yet to catch up on blog reading. Just when I think there's going to be time, it disappears. Then I wasn't feeling well for several days, had stomach rumbling and lost my appetite for a few days. That's pretty rare since I love to eat. Guess that wasn't a bad thing 'cuz when I put on my summer dress I made last year, I found out that no shapewear was necessary!!! It's a great feeling when those powernet panties can be left in the drawer.
Which reminds me. I was a "victim" of gym member's poor etiquette today. I was on the elliptical today, the lady in front was on the recumbent bike with her headphones. Then...she starts belting out the tunes! (One of my pet peeves!). PLEASE...you're not Beyonce, not Taylor Swift, nor Kelly Clarkson so SHUT UP! My reminder to myself, "Must bring own ear buds...must bring own ear buds...(repeat 10X) ".
Then, another lady reads a magazine and hogs up a piece of gym equipment for no less than 10 minutes! It's the only machine I'm waiting for, too, before going home. So when she's finished, I jokingly said (in a friendly way), something about her warming up the machine for me. She looked at me like I had two heads. So I said it again (she had ear buds), and again, she gives me a drunken stupor look. Is it me? Yes, I was wearing deodorant today ;) . Maybe it's a full moon. Who knows?!
My last "issue" of the day? I spent the entire day mulling over bra notions at Sew Sassy. So I finally finish putting things in the shopping cart, enter all the info, click on Submit
Saturday, May 23, 2009
Here's DD#1 modeling her stole and purse:
The stole and purse were the perfect accessories for the dress. As mentioned before, the dress was RTW to a tune of $350! I pitched in $50 so that guarantees me one wearing of the dress ;) . I went to JoAnn's and purchased the white/silver brocade for the stole and purse. Again, the stole pattern was provided to me courtesy of Mary. (Again, many thanks to you, Mary!) She forwarded me the link.
In my previous post on the stole pattern, I mentioned my displeasure of the original length. So the front slit became an embellished pocket. I added a button/buttonhole closure and an inside snap so the one side would not collapse or cave in and cause an uneven front hemline. I could tell when DD#2 first tried on the stole, it was met with an admiring glance aka her "seal of approval". I thought the fabric and revamped style of the stole would be a perfect match for the dress, both in color and style, and it was.
On the front, I added crystal buttons with buttonholes placed at an angle down one side of the front. The other side are "faux" buttons, however, the snap is placed on the inside to keep the stole layers together. The underlayer would have collapsed without it and dropped the hemline on one side.
I did light alterations to her RTW dress as well. I cut the lining 8" higher so she wouldn't trip/fall over it. It was very long. Just did a rotary cutter slice too (knit dress so no fraying issues). No hemming--no one is going to see the lining. The back had a long train as well. I pinned it up as she desired. Yes, the side seams are swinging back. There's no way around that. But I told her it almost looks like a design style. It looked nice anyway. I added an extra crystal button from the stole below the back design and cut a loop from the extra lining piece that was cut off. Voila! A new design on the back which she loved.
The purse was made from one of my fave books by Emma Brennan on Vintage Handbags. So much better than any storebought clutch IMO.
I'll take closeups later today for the details.
I leave you with pics of the charming couple. She's even wearing my wedding jewelry (necklace and earrings).
Saturday, May 16, 2009
The fashion fabric made the style more difficult. The tucks were too poofy. I converted the tucks to gathers. More acceptable but still too poofy. I removed some width at the upper side seams to reduce the gathers on the skirt portion of the dress. The tulle overlay and fashion fabric sewed up like a dream, but less gathering is a must with the fabric I used.
What would have worked better? Princess seams with a touch of gathering on the halter top piece. Far less gathering on the front skirt piece. Also, I realize now the edge of the halter strap next the arm/armpit should have been cut deeper. It's too high. I think this also contributed to an excess of fabric a/k/a fabric folds on the final dress. I even added batting in the bust area where the gathers are located to fill out this area. Think sleeve heads? I created "bust heads".
I did finish the dress on time with 45 minutes to spare. When DD#2 got home from school, she tried on the dress right away to make sure it fits. Only to hear, "Mom, can you take in the side seams at the waist a little? I want the band to be a closer fit." (Sigh) "Okay. That will take me an hour." That required me to open up the lining, restitch the side seams, seam rip the halter side seam due to my construction process, then reassemble. I could not alter the halter top within the time frame, so I created a tuck on the side seams of the halter portion. This was acceptable and not that noticeable. It worked. However, it contributed to too much fabric in halter. Here's a pick of the side seam tuck above the midriff band.DD#2 is an A-cup. I tried to get her to "stuff" the halter. She wouldn't hear of it. She was happy "as is". For that I'm thankful. But from a fit perspective, the fashion fabric threw things off for me. If I had been on the ball with things, I could have cut a new halter front and replaced it on the dress. But it's just a terribly busy time of year. You can tell my C-cups are are working the dress a bit better.
There were a few things I liked doing that made the dress so pretty IMO. One was the centered zipper with hand-picked seed beads. There is no way I'd use an invisible zipper on this close fitting dress. I find invisible zips don't stand up to the stress of a dress like this. Lots of dancing and stress on the CB seam makes the zipper area ripe for malfunctions IMO. I like all-purpose zips for this reason.
Overall? The dress was okay. Another learning experience. Certainly not the best dress I've made by far, but good practice and knowledge learned for eventual prom dress constructions. I need to make more fancy dresses to get more practice with fancy, synthetic fabric again. Moving on to the stole and purse this week. It's Prom Weekend 2009!
I leave you with a pic of the dress on the couch right after I finished it. I think that's exactly where I like this one best ;) .
Friday, May 15, 2009
It pains me to be a slow sewer, but I accept it. It's who I am. My house is a disaster because of it, and pizza will probably be ordered for dinner tonight.
My son's baseball coach stopped over Wednesday afternoon with 5 minutes notice with a birthday gift for him. And my house was far messier than usual. Talk about embarrassing.
Here I go...heading down home stretch. Pics forthcoming tonight.
A big thank you to Kim and all other bloggers for their prayers for my MIL. She is doing better and will likely be transferred to a rehab hospital today. She probably won't be staying there long and will be able to get home within a reasonable amount of time. Can't keep a good woman down! She was finally out of her bed walking around yesterday.
Wednesday, May 13, 2009
Sunday, May 10, 2009
My Pick of the Week goes to Kim's beautiful prom dress she created for her daughter. She looks like a million bucks in this dress! Truly an exquisite creation!!!
(Sorry for missing previous Pick of the Weeks. My MIL is not doing so well. It's been a rollercoaster ride the past two weeks. Our worries are not over unfortunately.)
Saturday, May 9, 2009
Truth in Advertising. That's what it boils down to for me. What is the fine line between paid bloggers and infomercials on TV? We could say, "Well, I'm letting you know they paid me or sent this to me to review."
However, is there a psychological component to this? If a company sends a blogger something, does he or she feel in some way "obligated" to say something nice about the product? Perhaps like an unwanted gift that is received at Christmas? I mean, we thank the recipient and try to be all nice about it. But when everyone has gone, we can vent our true feelings to our family members. Does a blogger have a subconcious desire to say something nice out of...proper social etiquette?
I think I classify blogs two different ways--a business blog and a personal blog. I do not want my personal blog to be clouded by subconscious thoughts. And for me, it would be. I'd be thinking, "Well, Company X sent me this nice little product and although it's not my fave, maybe I should at least say *something* nice about it." Because, after all, they were nice enough to send me this complimentary gift. On a personal blog, I need to feel free. Unencumbered by any type of "loyalty" to any company, any product. If I mention a product and rave about it, it's because I REALLY like it and highly endorse it. From my personal viewpoint as a home sewer.
On a business blog, I simply would not review a product I didn't like. Even if Company X sent it to me for free. Working on the principle that if you don't have something nice to say, don't say it. I simply wouldn't promote a product I don't use, nor believe in. And of course, if I was given "compensation" or the product for free and raved about it, as other bloggers have stated, would let the reading public know up front. This is just plain, ethical behavior.
Ann's blog post was up front. You know she's the real deal and if she recommends something sent by company X, she let's you know that. She's one blogger I trust to let me know if a particular product might be worth my while to purchase it. The problem is, for the other thousands of bloggers out there that we don't know well enough to trust, where is the truth in advertising? When you read a person's blog and they rave about a product, it makes you wonder if there is some other underlying promotional factor going on--the "infomercial factor".
I don't like that. The cyberworld always has new issues cropping up and this is another annoyance for me. For the handful of bloggers that I trust, there are hundreds that make me question their praise and/or endorsement of product X and wonder if they're getting paid to promote.
Just a thought on this Mother's Day, 2009. And BTW, have a happy one!
Friday, May 8, 2009
I received the Bossy Chick's (aka DD#1) Seal of Approval tonight. She was trying on her prom gown, tried on my wedding jewelry, and put on the stole. I wanted to double check the fit. Usually if it fits me it will fit her, and it does. Notice the updated pic has the buttons (attached with pins at this point) that I'm going to use. I'll take a trip to the fabric store tomorrow to get the same button in a smaller size to create a train loop for her dress.
It really looks lovely on her and the stole is perfect for it. The dress is slim fitted with a low back and the length of the stole just covers the dip in the dress back. She needs a little help in the boob area to create the right angle for the dress cups so I gave her the stick-on cups I bought from Frederick's of Hollywood eons ago. Told her, "I hope they still stick!" We certainly don't want any, uh, "wardrobe malfunctions".
Also, I cut out the new dress muslin for DD#2. That was all I was going to do, but actually was able to sew almost the entire muslin. Just need to attach the front to the back and insert a temporary zipper. Things are moving along and progressing smoothly, but very busy with little downtime.
It's been a long day, time for bed!
Monday, May 4, 2009
I checked out this link, and what I found there is so dumb for two reasons:
1. A return to modesty is some school districts and,
2. Using Victoria's Secret-like models for prom dress fashions.
Addressing No. 2 first...since when do high school students mostly have C or D-cup boobs? I have also found this to be an issue when DD#1 (B-cup) was trying on prom dresses. To fill out most prom dress styles appropriately, a C-cup would be just about right. A D-cup in the right bra style would provide for one heck of a view in regard to cleavage.
Most high school students I know (that would wear many of these slinky styles) are not cup-spilleth-over kind of girls. My feeling is many of these models are surgically enhanced, while most high school teens are not.
On to No. 1, our public school district has adopted a "uniform" dress code. More like uniforms really. Set colors, set styles. Little variation. The semi-formal dances at school require all dresses to have straps and no cleavage. At the present time, this does not appear to apply for the prom which is held elsewhere. So many of these styles are strapless, including the shorter ones. I feel very sorry for the big-boobed girls. They are going to have such a hard time finding nice styles with no cleavage. I told DD#2 that is not something she has to worry about. Nosey DS#1 (12 years old) asks, "What is cleavage?" I was wearing a low-cut top so I smooshed by boobs together and said, "THIS is cleavage." Boys are so funny that way. Clueless on girly things. I mean, they know what it is, but don't know these things have names. I have met boys that have NO idea what a barrette or bobby pin is.
Anyway, DD#2 tried on her sister's dress that was purchased last December. She really liked the style and wants me to copy it for her. It's strapless with a draped piece of fabric over one side of the front and a fabric flower on the other side. This brings me to my recent aggravating issue.
She says, "Can you copy this dress?" I sure can. The little drape and flower too. Then she says, "Can you make it halter style?" (I thought she wanted just little skinny spaghetti straps on it.) Okay. Did we not agree on the original style? That would mean no drapey piece and flower. She's just not getting it. I think the problem is she never really knows what she wants.
I have 12 days! 12 DAYS!!! Enough to make me sweat. I hate deadlines. But I'm doing what I can with the purse and stole and getting the little things out of the way.
Back to work.