Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Retro Dress

I thought I'd start this post with an update with the blue dress - it was a success! I didn't have to break out the back-up skirt at all, and no one believed me that I made the skirt out of a dress. I guess I could probably take that as no one thought I was that creative or skilled... but I'm choosing to take it as a compliment that it looked like it was a skirt on purpose. Therefore - success.

So as you know from the end of the last post, I was excited to start on the next project for Sunday's wine tour. It was so hard not starting right away, but I really needed to think about what I was going to do and which dress to use. I finally decided on this one:
Gotta be honest - I chose this at the Salvation Army because I'm pretty sure I saw it (or something like it) at New York and Company for somewhere around 45 dollars, and the thrift store had a 5.99 tag on it, and yellow tags were 50% off. Take your 45 dollars and stuff it, New York and Company, I just got this for $3. Boom.

So then I got it home and tried it on - just to find out it was a good 2 sizes too small. This was Damn #1. So once I decided it was THIS dress I was going to do, I wasn't going to waste my $3. I was going to wear this thing, my size or not. So I brainstormed and came to the decision that if I were to put it on while it's too small, I would have blown out stretched out the seams; so why not roll with it? I decided to rip out the seams (yay seam ripper!) and put some pretty black lace down the sides. I then took my idea to my far-more-fashionable secretary and, I'm not proud to say, the conversation started with my asking "Hey Latoya, would this look too hoochie?" followed with my describing my idea. She now dreads my brainstorming, but by the end of the conversation we came to the conclusion that it's not hoochie because I'm never caught without wearing some sort of tank-top undershirt. Therefore, any see-through lace sides would be negated by my undershirt. Hoochie conundrum: solved.

So then I went to Joanne's with the intention to just look around. I promised myself that I would NOT buy anything fabric-wise until I have a set plan and time to put it to work (also known as Friday).

... so when I got home with my purchases on Wednesday - I'm a sucker who is really bad at "looking around" - I decided to get on it a full 2 days before my intended goal. First thing I did was rip out one of the side seams. The second thing I did was notice this:
An extremely well hidden zipper that was quite possibly the sole reason the dress did not fit. This was my second "damn" of this project. But, I already had half the dress ripped apart so I went with it - plus I do like that seam ripper - so I ripped out that dang zipper and ripped out the other side too.

This is when the seam ripper started to lean towards my bad side. I sewed the lace on the dress. The first time I did this, it bunched up like crazy, so I had to seam rip everything I did and start over. The second time I did this... this is what happened.
Probably not the best picture, but that is my created seam. On the wrong side of the freakin' fabric. So, I had to seam rip it again. Finally, I got the seam right. Then, without thinking, I sewed the two front sides together (as opposed to the front side to the backside, as it should be) so I had to rip it apart again. For those counting, this is the 3rd time I've torn apart the dress, 4th if you're counting my initial rip-apart of the factory seams. Finally, I got it right - front flap to back flap on BOTH sides. Although it wasn't exactly even - it didn't look half bad. When I put it on, it was still dress length and my intention was tunic, so I chopped off the bottom. It killed me to chop off the pretty flowers on the bottom, but I tossed it into the deep dark corner that I threw the blue dress balero in - you never know when someone may ask you for random flowered dress bottom!

Now, when I say I "cut" off the bottom.... something about this fabric was so hard to cut that by the time I was done it was so jagged any random person who didn't witness me cut it with scissors would have truly thought I chewed through the thing, but I guess that's neither here nor there. At first, I thought I could cheat and put a string of lace on the bottom and not have to finish off the bottom seam. That was my "lazy brain" thinking and reality was having none of it. I attempted to cheat and it came back to bite me because I AGAIN managed to get the seam on the wrong side of the fabric (insert 3rd "damn" of this project here). So I ripped out the seam of the dress for the 4th time  (or 5th, depending on your type of tally). I gave up on the lace on the bottom for 2 reasons: 1) I wanted to stop before any more dumb mistakes could ensue and 2) it added enough length that it made the tunic right back into a dress, thereby nixing all of my intentions. Another thing I probably should have thought through.

So finally I stopped fussing with it and decided to finally let it rest. It certainly is not perfect, and I don't think that I can call this a straight out success, but I hope think it'll be okay to make it's public debut on Sunday. I'm not going to give a finished project picture quite yet... I'm going to rope the girls into doing it with me on Sunday, so stay tuned for that.

Few notes on my mental checklist: 1) Get some sort of full length mirror for craft room. Although I do appreciate the exercise from running from the basement to the bedroom each time to check how I'm doing, it tends to hinder the process. 2) Craft room needs cable. 3) Right sides of fabric go together to create a seam on the intended side 4) Seam ripper is only enjoyable when you're ripping out initial seams, not your own mistakes. 5) Find out if buying dirt-cheap clothes justifies buying new shoes and accessories. I'm pretty sure I can find a rule somewhere that screams "yes"

Next up: I have a fantastically obnoxious muumuu that I can't WAIT to play with.