Thursday, March 28, 2013

Sailor Peplum

Ahoy mates! Welcome to Thursday!

Interesting things have been going on, friends, which is why my post, while still posting on Thursday, is barely making it before the bedtime mark. I'll be able to update soon on the recent interesting happenings, but I thought a teaser explanation was appropriate.

Why the "ahoy"? Well, it's only appropriate for a totally sailor inspired dress!

No surprise as to what brought this baby from rack to register - it's my color palette. I'm on some kind of "no nautical left behind" kick, I think. This one sat on my clothes rack for a while as I had no ideas on what to do with it. I at first decided to cut off the bottom for a dress, and then use the top as a (gasp) top. That just didn't scream "learn something" to me. So I browsed the internet and I discovered the peplum fad. (See here if you were as out of the loop as I was.) Adding volume around one's spare tire is usually not ideal, but apparently it's a train the general public has been hopping on with gusto. I'm nothing if not experimental, so I tried it out.

First thing I did was take of the ruffle from the bottom. The goal was to re-place the ruffle up around my natural waist, where typical peplum styles begin. At first I was a bit worried that the ruffle would be a bit short, but then I discovered about 1 inch of the blue fabric inside the dress that I could use to add a bit of length. I was pleased... until I went to remove it.

Yup. That's the big ol' hole that removing the ruffle left. Apparently, the extraneous inch of blue fabric I found in the dress was just that. Oh well. I had an idea, and it was my only one, so I rolled with it.

Once the ruffle on the bottom was removed, I took the seam ripper to the shoulder pads. All 4 of them. (Giggling ensued)

Next up was the task of making the ruffle fit to my waist. As it was originally the bottom of the dress, I had to take in a few inches on each seam of the ruffle. I've gotten into the habit of sewing a straight(ish) line where I want the hem, and then doing a zig-zag stitch near(ish) that line on the side that I plan on chopping off. The idea is that it keeps it from rolling and falling apart. Not sure if it works, but again, we're rolling with it.

Bad picture, yes. This is one of the seams of the ruffle and if you look thisclose to the picture, you may see my new seam that I did (in line with the pin). I then cut off the extra fabric to the right of it.

Next, I put on the dress and marked where my natural waist was so I knew where to start the ruffle. I then kept the shirt right side out and turned the ruffle inside out around it and pinned it up. In hindsight, choosing a striped fabric was absolutely genius because I just picked a line and pinned the ruffle to that line. It also helped when I was sewing it all up. It kept me in a straight(ish) line. Don't ask about the ish's - this is still just practice; stick straight doesn't happen yet.

Once that was sewn, I cut off the excess blue and white striped fabric underneath the peplum. I made sure to do this all in one big cut so I had a good amount of nautical fabric that I can use for something later.

Next up was the arms. At first, I just cut it to a nice shoulder-length.

Then, I put it on and discovered that the shoulder pads that I had initally cut out actually had extra fabric built into the shoulder in order to accomodate for said shoulder pads. Therefore, I had a big poof directly on my shoulder that I had no idea how to get rid of. So, as much as I said I'd stop doing this, I seam-ripped the arms right off and went the sleeveless route.

The end product is not something I'll probably wear a lot. I don't think the peplum style is quite what I would call "mine". Maybe a few more months at the gym and I'll revisit it, but for now, it was pretty fantastic practice. I especially learned a ton when I put the ruffle around the waist of the shirt. It was quite the job making sure it wasn't too big or too small that it would make the waist look weird. I'm very glad I practiced this - I see many a dresses and shirts in the future that I will put to use this new skill.

As for the final result - this is my "it's not that bad, is it?" look! Although, I think with a thin red belt around my waist where the peplum begins may be kind of kick-ass for Independence Day, heh? Right? Get me? Got it? Maybe?... Oh fine. Just check it out.