Aaaand waited. After a few months, I complained to the seller, contested the charge on my credit card, and generally made a stink. Then the darn thing showed up! Sometimes you just have to be the squeaky wheel!
Way back in 2015 I took it into my head to make Teens Era dresses for myself and my sister, so we could have a "Titanic Tea" together in costume. The process started with a shared Pinterest board where we batted around ideas and identified our favorite elements of various dresses. Then I collected fabrics in the color schemes I liked: green and gold for myself and purple and burgundy for her.
For each dress I started with muslin and made a self-draped bra-bustier contraption (to approximate the bosom support that the Edwardians would have achieved with a long line corset). Then I draped the dress on top. However, as this was a few years ago, and I had neither blog nor camera at that time, you only get the finished pics.
My housemate and I like to watch Say Yes to the Dress, a TLC reality show about brides shopping for their wedding dresses. There's a New York, NY version and an Atlanta, GA version. Each has the same format: a bridal shop stocked to the rafters with white satin, tulle and lace; a female head of shop with an extravagantly gay male* assistant; various bridal consultants arrayed in black (so as not to compete with the brides, I guess); and brides who come in with their "entourages" and interesting needs/demands. The brides try on different gowns, people react. There's a vignette about whatever part of the bride's past is most likely to raise a tear, fabricated angst about the mom not approving of the daughter's choice... then piano music, the "bridal moment": the girl gets to wear a veil and cry, and she buys the dress. Oh, contrived, first world problems... such a guilty pleasure.
*His gayness is an important part of the formula, since it's more about his fashion acumen and closeness to women than his sexual preferences. A straight man in the bridal shop is always portrayed as a fox in the henhouse.
To make our guilty pleasure more of both, every time someone says the word "princess", my housemate and I can eat a piece of chocolate! That's our rule. "Princess style", "princess seams", "I feel like a princess"... chocolate, chocolate, chocolate! And oddly enough, one woman's "princess dress" is another woman's dowdy nightmare. There seems to be no correspondence between all the different visions of a princess; the only thing everyone agrees on is the desirability of looking like one.
The past few times I've been online, my browser has recommended the following article: "What you don't do affects you more than what you do — and it's the secret to getting anything you want in life". A ponderous title, but an interesting article all the same. The author highlights Daniel Day-Lewis as an example of someone whose success comes from intense focus, and the habit of choosing carefully what to focus on, and eliminating the rest. I've talked of this before, when I mentioned the "specialist" choosing to focus their efforts, and so achieve excellence. But this article makes an interesting distinction between how most of us approach decisions-- "what to do"-- and how Daniel Day-Lewis approaches them--"what to cut".
In my life recently, I've suffered the consequence of lack of focus. The internet doesn't help: I open my browser and it instantly recommends articles I might like (case in point: the article that inspired this post). My favorite bookmarks are arranged along the top, so I can open tab after tab and see what cool art my sister has made, what The Dreamstress is up to, et cetera. Even if I logged on with a goal in mind, I "just quickly check" all the other things, and there goes my focus.
But if the question is not "what should I click on" but "what don't I need in my life right now", then the internet itself goes right out the window. Truth is: I've got a backlog of posts on my blog that I can schedule to post twice a week for the rest of the month, without me. And I don't have any email-related business to deal with, either. I could close my lap-top and slide it under my bed, and this blog (heck, the whole Internet) would chug along quite happily without me. While I'm at it, I could cut sleeping in and watching NetFlix; they're not serving me well!
In fact, I think I will. See you next year!
Remember this from May 2017, my post about draping a peplum top?
The hem of the peplum is a skinny Calvin Klein hem, so called because at one point Calvin Klein garments used it a lot, not because Calvin Klein invented it. (I'll do a tutorial soon on the Calvin Klein hem, since I'm rather fond of it.)
Well, "soon" has become "today"! I was recently working on hemming a wedding dress, and decided to use the Calvin Klein hem for the sheer silk overlay. The biggest advantage, for me, is that the hem is thin and inconspicuous. It also looks professional, not Becky-Home-Ecky. I got some halfway decent photos, so here is the process in pictures!
Today's post is about Yoko Saito's artwork, and about a skirt I made recently, from the same stash and pattern as the A-line of last week. It includes a strip of bias-cut wool in very soft taupe colors, appliqued onto a darker wool using Yoko Saito's instructions, so I've taken to calling it my Yoko Saito skirt!
Yoko Saito is a famous quilter. Her work is very Japanese in its sensibilities: subtle colors, subtly combined, with impeccable stitching and attention to minute detail. There are three elements which come together to make a Yoko Saito quilt really distinctive to me: the taupe colors; the complex and often layered applique; and the hand-quilting. Doing an image search for "Yoko Saito" will give you a pretty good idea of her aesthetic; it's the kind of work that rewards close study. Be aware as you look that Saito has many students and followers who replicate her style, so not everything you see is definitely made by her; but it represents her school of quilting.
It has been so long since I've worked on this gift for my brother that it's no wonder if you've forgotten all about it! (My brother probably thought I'd forgotten about it!) Allow me to refresh your memory.
In Fall, 2016, I came up with the idea of making a camp shirt for my brother, using the Islander #208 pattern and a Robert Kaufman batik in my brother's preferred colors. He was enthusiastic.
So I made a mock-up and sent it to him, only to find that, like many commercial patterns, the shirt had far too much ease. Though the pattern envelope said my brother's measurements were a Medium (with a Large neck!), in reality, he was probably a small. At any rate, it was a ton of work with a disappointment at the end, so the wind was taken right out of my sails. The project slipped to the bottom of the pile until...
April 2017, when I found an older Aloha shirt at a vintage shop and rubbed off its pattern. I sent the original to my brother, and he confirmed that the fit was good, so I cut out the batik pieces...
And got distracted by other, paying, work, until August 2017, when I gave myself a stern talking to and put the shirt project back on the top of my to-do list for the fall!
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