Sunday, February 24, 2013

Aimin' to Please

Some pretty fantastic things have been happening lately. Most recently, one of my projects just managed to win a Top 5 spot on a popular refashion blog :) This was a pretty proud moment for me, as I never anticipated being anywhere near the top 5. It was a "Link Party", which basically means that you post one of your blog posts on their website and people can check it out. I submitted my own, so I can't say they "chose" me... but I did have one of the Top 5 clicked links, so I'm gonna go ahead and call it a win. You can check it out here.

Secondly, I totally got some major props lately. First off, I should say that my parents are always always always supportive and they tell me all the time how much they enjoy reading the blog. During one of the conversations, my mother brought up the question "why do you always chop off the arms?". My initial answer to her was that I do that because I don't know how to do arms and they're hard to do. As we hung up, I realized it was a cop out - I started this blog for practice, so what am I doing saying "I can't"? The other props that I got was from one of my high school friends. She had some pretty fantastic things to say about my blog that made me smile. She also had some pretty fantastic critique that ran around the lines of "your mirror pictures are horrible!" And I totally, fully agree. These mirror-pictures were pretty bad, but I didn't want to take the time to get out my real camera with the self timer, transfer it to my computer, blah blah blah. This lead to my second "what am I doing by saying 'I can't'?" Now, you may be asking - why do I like people saying negative things? That's because it's not negative - it's constructive critism and tells me that people care about my blog enough to tell me how I can make it better. It's totally welcome (and encouraged) by anyone! So... here I am taking my criticism and hopefully turning them into good things for the future of this blog. Ya know, becasue my goal is to quit my job and do this all day, everyday. HA!

Hey there, self timer.

This one was a cotton black dress with an awkward length, long sleeves and gold details at the neck and around the arms. My initial idea when I bought it was to chop off the sleeves (surprise!) and to shorten it up into the infamous "Little Black Dress". However, keeping my mothers's critique in mind, I decided I was definitely going to keep the sleeves.

... just not the full length that they were.
I chopped off about 6inches of the arm to make it a 3/4 sleeve. I pinned it up and sewed it up - and I was right, arms suck. It's just such a little opening to go through a machine! I did manage it though. It wasn't straight, and I swore quite a few times at my pins getting all stuck up on each other, but it happened and the arms have a new hem. Althought it's not straight, the 3/4 sleeve wrinkles a bit at my elbow so it's not obnoxiously obvious. I think.

Also, I found out what I was doing wrong with my bobbins. I downloaded a new app on my phone called Craftsy that had a troubleshooting video of machines. Come to find out, I had been putting my bobbin in all wrong - and when it was right and I didn't have issues, it was by complete mistake luck of the draw. Turns out, it has everything to do with "minding your p's and q's".

This is the "q". This is how I need to put my bobbin into my bobbin case (because mine is underneath). If I had a fancy drop in bobbin, I would flip it around so it looks like a "p". I often put my bobbin in in a "p" position and that is when I got the clunking, the uneven stitches, and my bobbin falling out. Good thing it only took my 5 months to get this down....
Initially, I wanted this dress to be one of those high-low hems that you see in fashion nowadays. I figured for my short stature, keeping it higher (read: knee length) in the front and lower in the back would make me look taller. I pinned up the front a few inches, as such...

Truthfully, I'm so glad that I tried it on before I sewed this up. This looked HORRIBLE. It made the front pucker out a bit in a "she's pregnant" kind of way. Not what I'm going for. So I unpinned it and just did a regular ol' hem, bringing the hem up about 3 inches so the original awkward length would hit me just above the knee.
 Once I tried it on, I felt like it needed something else. I didn't want to get rid of the gold details, so I knew the neckline had to stay. The dress already had elastic at the waist to bring it in, so it didn't need a belt. I couldn't figure out what it needed. Until I turned it around. The gold detailing went around the back of the neck, but usually when I wear dresses I wear my hair down, so it wouldn't be noticed anyway. Images of all those fantastic deep-v backs that are often seen at Grammy and Oscar award dresses kept on flying into my head. So - it was decided - I was going deep-v in the back. Well, maybe not that deep of a V. I didn't want to get too racy. And I wanted to still wear a bra, and that certainly couldn't show. Okay so maybe a slightly-deep-v back. (That was literally the entire internal conversation with myself.) So I had my husband pin the back of the dress while I was wearing it to about 1/4 inch above where my bra sits on my back. I then measured to the middle of the back, and used chalk to draw a line from the top all the way down to the pin that my husband put in for me.
I then got out my handy scissors and slit that baby into a slightly-deep-v neck. I pinned the corners down and sewed it up.
Here's the final result:
This was also a self-timer fail, because I had the camera in the wrong place and cut my head off. But the dress was shown pretty well - so I rolled with it.
This is my attempt at doing the 3/4 turn, look over your shoulder pose of the aforementioned Oscar/Grammy stars. This attempt is pretty much a a fail too, but at least you see my back slightly-deep-v result.
I also do have to mention, I couldn't resist doing a mirror picture. I just could not get the camera set up well enough to show everyone how I jacked this up. These are both accessories that I bought that I had NO idea what to wear them with. They were cute, therefore they were an impulse buy that had to be mine. Lo and behold - I've created a dress that puts a use to both:
Gold shoes and a gold asian-printed clutch? Too good to be true!
I have also discovered something else about this dress. *Parents and Children*: Avert your eyes now.
It totally is two dresses in one! If I'm feeling risky (and have a good amount of double sided tape) I can flip the dress around and have something a bit more... flirty.
And... done. I didn't chop off the arms, and I didn't take mirror pictures. Well, I took one... but it was really necessary to show you the shoes and the bag. Really necessary.