Wednesday, May 15, 2013

School Marm

Hey y'all! Sorry about last week's hiatus - as I had mentioned in my last post I was mentally tapped. However, now I'm back and in action!

Here's what I was working with that has posed the biggest challenge for me thus far.

I'm not proud of this face, but unlike other weeks, I only took one before picture to choose from. Lesson learned.

So when I bought this, I decided that I was going to take off the vest part and just have a clean white button-up shirt with a teal skirt. Everything was a cool clean linen so it would have been a good summer dress. Then I started ripping it apart....

The first thing that I discovered was that the vest, shirt and skirt were all sewn together. Therefore, when I seam ripped the vest off the entire front and back of the dress disconnected from each other. As you can see above, the only way to keep them together was to pin the sides back together as I was seam-ripping, making sure the vest was out and the front and back were together.
Then, I discovered that the "vest" was actually just a fake panel in the front. The back of the dress was the teal color (not what I wanted the final result to be). So I did the only thing I could think to do - I took off the back panel. Since the waist was elasticized, I cut the panel about 2 inches above the elastic and folded it down over the elastic and pinned it. This made the edge cleaner instead of just the raw edge that I cut. I thought this would be a nice, backless number that is now pretty popular in Hollywood lately. What I had forgotten was... I have a chest. When I tried on the dress, I was showing a bit more on the sides than I had anticipated. As working the corner isn't my style, I needed to harvest extra fabric from somewhere. So I did what I do; I removed the arms. (Sorry, Mom!). I removed pretty much all of the fabric right up to the collar on the neck, essentially making the collar into a halter top.

Try not to judge the complete disaster that is my craft room. Ever since I brought in all that fabric (!) I have been having some spatial issues. Until I figure out storage... organized chaos is what it'll have to be.
I now had to figure out what to do with the back to cover up the side exposures. This is also when I decided I needed something on the back to cover up an eventual bra back. It just wasn't optional. I seam-ripped the arms so they were one flat piece of fabric (instead of an arm tube) I first put the arms on in a way that created a key hole back, as such:

I was actually very, very much in love with this look. I pinned everything up and prepared to sew it up.

Then came the realization: I can't get it off Sophie.

There was no way to pull it over the head, and there was no way to shove it down the hips. It was stuck. Therefore: not able to get it off of Sophie = never being able to put it on myself. I had to think of another option. Although zippers and such were an option, I really don't yet have the tools (read: zipper foot) to do that. I know I could sew it in by hand as well, but I'm just not there yet.

I turned it into a true halter top. I took both sleeves and sewed them together in a way that created an entire panel, then I pinned it to the sides of the halter top and to the top of the skirt. The only thing left to do now is to purchase some more elastic to make the top of the back snug to my back so it will stay up. I don't have any elastic left in my craft room and have yet to do my craft haul, so I can't sew it all up yet. Save for a bit more sewing - this dress is done, and I'm super happy with the result.
And you know I'll jack it up when it's all said and done. I even have my accessories picked out...

Thanks for being patient with me on my hiatus last week. For those that are interested, I ended up signing up for that 3.5 mile run. So, starting tomorrow I will be adding yet another task to my jam-packed days - going to the gym to train. At least it's got me motivated? As always - you will hear how it all goes!