24 January 2011

To live a creative life, we must lose our fear of being wrong.

Ok, finally! I think I'm ready to post one more epic catch-up blog! This is the third installment, and should catch you up on everything I've been sewing for the last two months. I'll try to present these chronologically:

Warning! This is going to be epic! Feel free to just scroll through and look at the pictures!

Thanksgiving Break I decided to get a head start on Christmas crafting, so I whipped out this (still unfinished) 1950s apron for a friend! Turns out, I made it too small, so I'm going to have to start from scratch on another. It also turns out that vintage apron patterns are as complicated/time consuming as dresses, so I'm going to have to find something a little more efficient.

Next, I made the dreadful mistake of making my New Years dress much too early, not accounting for the holiday pounds I was going to put on. The result is a very cute rust velvet dress that wouldn't come close to zipping on the designated day. It's from McCalls 5094, and was loosely inspired by the red velvet dress Judy Garland wore in "Meet Me In St Louis." I'm calling it the "Esther" after Judy's character.

I knew I had several fun parties coming up, so I spent the early days of December working on Xmas themed party clothes. This wool-blend houndstooth circle skirt in need of pressing was a personal design, based on the skirt (which you can't see in this picture) Vera Ellen wore opposite Danny Kaye in my favorite holiday movie ever, White Christmas!

I imagined my fancier Christmas party dress for weeks before I actually made it. Inspired by Rosemary Clooney's party dress in White Christmas, I searched for the right green velvet, and found the perfect pattern (Vintage Vogue 1084). It was all going so well....until I tried to construct the bodice....Clearly, I had chosen a pattern a little outside of my skill set, and, after sewing and ripping out seams three times, it became clear that this dress simply wasn't going to happen. I was crushed! But I'd spent too much on the store-bought fabric to simply trash it. So, I dug through my supplies and found a pattern that I could puzzle together with my already-cut-out pieces (Vogue 8615). The final result was not at all what I initially envisioned, but it worked, sort of. I don't know if I'll ever be completely happy with it.
However, while looking for stock photos of my inspiration pieces, I happened upon a blogger who shared my inspirations this year! Yay! here's some pics of the original inspiration dress, the back view, and me wearing the "Not so Betty" dress by the "fire" at a dinner party.

After New Year (for which I had to wear a sad thrifted dress, due to the above-mentioned Esther dress tragedy, I had another event to plan for: a friend's wedding! I was feeling bloated and terribly un-sexy after all my holiday eating, so I knew I wanted something flowy and forgiving. I chose Vogue 1102, and I'm pretty happy with it, though by the looks of these pics, I desperately need to shorten the hem dramatically! I was in a hurry, as I made the dress the day of the occasion, so I'll alter it soon. I'm calling it the "Holly" dress, because, though it in no way resembles the Breakfast at Tiffany's dress, that's what I watched while making it.

After all of that event-dress making, I was still finding myself doing battle with my closet every morning. I needed some dresses that I could easily wear to work and/or out for a casual Tuesday happy hour. So, I bought some cotton prints, and dug out some easy, comfortable looking patterns (Vintage Vogue 1171 - blue and Butterick 5315 - black) and got started. Unlike most of my creations, these don't have names yet because they were inspired by necessity, not by a childhood pop culture reference or old movie. I think they feel left out, though, so suggestions for names?

I've already worn this one twice, including out for a night with the girls for a bachelorette party! Here's me, rockin' the "Shopping Cart" dance....only one of the other ladies recognized it, but, as we were in a bar playing Jersey Shore on TV, I wasn't too surprised.

Whew! I think that catches you up! Sorry this was so huge! I guess I've had too much coffee! Mardi Gras season is upon us, so watch for costume updates in the next weeks! I'll try to keep up and keep further posts shorter!

Have a great Monday!


  1. Hey Jess! I am glad to see you are still crafty. I want one of those dresses- I love White Christmas inspired (my fave christmas movie) and the cotton ones.

    Do ever read this blog? http://www.sewweekly.com/ I think you might like it.

    We miss you!!!!

  2. Lou - I DO read Sew Weekly, and, more importantly, I miss your face like crazy!!! Hope all is well up there!