Just a quick post, today! Sometimes it's fun to make a little change that makes a big difference: this wedding dress was quite a statement five years ago, but had spent too long in the closet, and the lovely lady who owned it wanted to take it out for some more events.
Talking with a family member the other day about how people curate their online content to create an alternate world where they always look nice, their house clean, their work polished, I realized that as much as I value integrity and honesty, I also "put my best foot forward" when taking pictures for this blog. If there's stuff on the table, I move it so you only see my pattern pieces, not my dirty plates. If I take several unflattering pictures and one flattering one, guess which one I post? This is natural, and not entirely a bad thing. (After all, do you really want to see my dirty plates?) But there's a downside to the illusion of perfection. When all our friends and family look so perfect online, we might get discouraged or feel shame for the world of dirty dishes we have.
Since the Kluge Job was a dud, today I'll highlight one of my favorite early successes! I made it from an embroidered yellow cotton I bought at the Mill End Store and a salvaged white cotton skirt with lace insertions and ruffles which I bought at the Goodwill Bins. (The skirt had two layers: the outer layer was stained, but I used the inner layer for this project.) I call this dress my highlighter dress because of its color scheme, like a yellow highlighter used on white paper.
I never officially learned to darn... I simply figured out my own method after I learned some needlelace. My method is simple: first I used a doubled thread to outline the hole, giving it wide margins. Then I fill this outline with a Corded Brussels stitch. Where there is cloth, I sew the Brussels stitch through it, thus thickening the fabric. Where there is a hole, I just sew Corded Brussels stitch right over it, putting a layer of new cloth where there was none. When I'm teaching someone to darn, I use contrasting thread, but generally I match the sock color.
Several months ago, I had in my stash two slivers of cream-colored poly-satin. If I had to guess, someone made a wedding dress with a gored skirt, and these skinny triangles were the leftovers. I also had a few scraps of another satin, but this one less shiny, in the same color. From these, I intended to create a shirt that would match my tulip skirt, and thus be a valuable addition to my wardrobe. As to the actual result, well... it was educational!
Admit it, you've been dying to see this "stash" I'm so often sewing from! Go on... you know you want to...
I so enjoy wearing my bonsai dress that I decide to make another version! This time instead of green rayon, I use a happy, sunshiney yellow cotton, with a soft hand and very fine details: a woven grid and a print of abstract chrysanthemums. The fabric is a remnant from the discount section of Fabric Depot, and is a gift from my friend who was shopping with me that day! The pattern is Simplicity 3631, view C, but I only use the bodice pieces and improvise the skirt.
Or should it be "self-made underwear"? Or does that sound like the underwear made themselves?
Much like camisoles, underwear use up tiny amounts of fabric and satisfy the urge to sew something even when I'm not feeling like (or am putting off) a big project. I first made my own underwear several years ago, when I was living off of sporadic temp work: I could not afford the money to buy new undies, but I could afford the time and scraps to make some.
I should note that this post contains no pictures of me in my underwear, so if you clicked from prurience, no such luck!
So remember the romance of gloves? Remember the talk about modesty and how people treat you in different clothes? This post relates to those.
Recently, I've taken to wearing the white mesh gloves I have for summer. At first I thought they'd make me more hot, but not so. The mesh allows air flow and the white actually seems to make my hands cooler. (I'm reminded of Civil War re-enactors of my youth, who when asked how they could bear to wear "all those layers" in blistering summer heat, would respond in character "How can you bear to show all that skin to the sun... you must just be roasting!") So when I have a pretty summer dress and cool summer hat, I also put on the pretty mesh gloves and feel quite put-together. What's been especially interesting, though, has been a change in how people treat me.
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