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Saturday, March 26, 2016

(Bad) Luck of the Irish

Last year, I had this nice green dress to refashion for St. Patrick's Day. It was an 80s, knit number with a cool button detail I was trying to salvage. I don't have a picture of the dress, but I do have this picture from the internet which pretty much explains the way I view a sewing machine.
LOL it's got a "cryhole." Ooh, and a flux capacitor. A bloomin' onion ha ha ha...but seriously, that cryhole was filled with my tears in March of last year due to the dress.
It was impervious to needles...It just wouldn't be sewn. I mean that literally, the material just wouldn't accept thread from the sewing machine. I messed with the settings, I changed the needle and I changed the thread. Each time I put it through the machine, the loopy seams were pulled right out with the tug of a thread.
Here's St. Patty's dress '16.
It's not like I had any drinking events to attend. It's just for work and for blogging about. Got it at Goodwill and it's a spandex-y material. Also, there was something wrong with it.
It was all messed up. Like, the seam was torn, but it looked like it was never sewn together properly to begin with. As I've learned through this hobby, even if it looks easy, everything is so damn difficult.
It looked worse in real life. Look at that mangled mash of thread and fabric. That fix will need to be fixed.
No on the seam ripper, I'm gonna need the scissors for this mess. Oh wait; but first, I used the seam ripper to get rid of the collar thing.
So as you see, I'm now left with a hole. I was in need of a good coverup.
The bib portion of that adorable but too-small-to-be-appropriate top. I've been meaning to take that thing apart.
Nope. The Pride and Prejudice style detail didn't work with the particular dress. Next, this:
That little knotted rope design looks practically Celtic. That's practically perfect.
JK, it wasn't. That's cool, removing those things meant that I just had some more stuff to add the scrap pile. (I kid. That's not cool. Waste of time!)
I'm sorry, I'm not wasting time on taking good pics of my materials. At some point during the week, there was a 50% off sale at a thrift store and I looked for a shirt to fill the void I needed. See that article of clothing up there? See what I see?
A beautiful, bejeweled patch! Now to work on the terrible fit! Even though it has a side zipper.
See how I cleverly I pointed it out for you? I did not work and the dress still seemed "off." Zipper be damned, I took it in on the sides anyway. It's a stretch material, no unzipping needed. Just in time for school, I finished and had this:
That's my curtsy pose. I added a thick belt by the way, cuz that's how I do. By the way, I did not get any compliments on this one! Yes, I do this for compliments. 

Thursday, March 17, 2016

If I could save time in a bottle...

Then I guess I would have it saved in jars for times when I needed more of it? Which is all the time. I would surely use "extra" time for blogging.
Hey, I made a big step in a refashion. I connected two pieces of clothing.
One of them is that blue dress and the other is that striped shirt. They are one now. Anyway, I think one of the reasons I don't post as often as I'd like to is because I put it off, thinking I have to make a big production with it. I think I have to "write" all about each experience. I don't.
The dress almost looks like it fits in that picture. For some reason, this plain and boring thing was marked as part of the Halloween clothes at Goodwill last October. At then end of the season, I decided that $2 was a decent investment for this piece. Because:
-Material is a thick cotton for warmth.
-Color works for me.
-Would probably be easy, like this purple dress from last year.
Remember that one?
For the most part, those bullet points were true. So, without any extraneous photos or writing, here's what I did: Took it in from the sides, cut a few inches from the bottom then hemmed, made it a v neck, and made a sash from the extra fabric.
Then, I put it in the drawer and didn't wear it. Because:
-No sleeves; would have to wear a shirt under it or a sweater over it.
-Didn't want to do that because it was already kind unsexy/boring and layering it would not have helped.
-V neck looked stupid because it had a matching fabric "piping" that I didn't remove, just cut a little away to lower the neckline.
Because I apparently thought that for once I should finish something that clearly needed more work, out of the drawer it came! First, that neckline...
I used my seam ripper and detached the "casing." (Seriously, I'm not sure what it's called.) That extra fabric on the sleeve hole--that's what I took off the neck hole. Then I took it off the sleeve hole as well. Much better.
I normally like to keep my refashions as simple as possible. But...what if I tried adding sleeves? It actually shouldn't be hard. I wanted to make this task worth the while, so I thought it would be cool to add stripes instead of just plain black. When I didn't have any striped sleeves in my collection, I actually bought two new shirts. By "new" I mean two cheap thrifted shirts.
I went with the black and white as it matched the dress better. That Superman top actually looked pretty good on me, and no I didn't keep it to wear as is and I'll tell you why in an upcoming post. For now, the tale of the easy sleeve surgery.
I pinned "right" sides together and sewed the first sleeve with ease. Then I did the other sleeve and turned it right side out to see how that one looked. It looked like this:
(Sarcastic LOL) The sleeve is inside out but the dress is not. Yeah, somehow I managed to do that. Ugh...ok, I'll just take the messed up sleeve off and try again later when I have time. Wait, you'll love this part. I re-sewed the sleeve on and...
Jebus tap dancing Christ. Really?! I made a ridiculous mistake and then did it again? It's as if I'm some sort of monkey with a sewing machine but not nearly as intelligent.
Well, I sure as shit wasn't going to waste my time going for a three-peat. To hell with that visible seam that's only on one side, this dress is now asymmetrical. And I may as well go forward with that concept.
The original blue sash that I made from the hem was nice but not very long. A sash from the striped fabric would be cool, but I'd have to sew several strips together to get something long enough. Unless...
I cut some of the length from the bottom of the shirt and made a tiny sash that would never tie around an adult's waist. Unless...
 Ha ha, they're not even the same width. I attached both sashes together. When tied around me, that meeting place seen in the picture is under the knot. Let's see this thing!
I assure you that I am pleased with the finished result! Before you say anything, I realize that I got dressed and then noticed that I forgot to iron the new seams. But what was I supposed to do, take the thing off and get out the ironing board? I didn't think so.
You can't tell from the pictures, but sadly the new neckline is now just a little bit low for work. Even so, I still planned to wear it last week for one of our school theme days. March is Dr Seuss month and Friday was "Red Fish, Blue Fish." I was going to show off my creation along with my red boots from my last post.
I really should be wearing said red boots in this picture.
So, a theme in this post is "not enough time." Also, remember when I said that this dress was a thick, cotton knit which would be nice and warm?
Well, whaddya know; early March in New England and already around 60 degrees. This dress would probably not be a good choice for work in an active kindergarten class. I guess it's springtime now.
Before I put this long-winded post to bed (and this is why blogging takes so long) I wanted to ramble about something.
I had to say goodbye to my little angel. He's the boy written about in My School Story and if you read it, you'll understand that "angel" is unlikely word choice. To sum up, I met him in September of 2012 when he was a five year old kindergartner that I was charged with helping as he had special needs. We formed a close bond and I cared about this child through the years. I was assigned to work with him during the '14-'15 school year which went ok. However, by May I was beginning to think that we, as a school were not going to be able to meet his needs. His violent outbursts were very concerning.
Finally, he was accepted into a program for children with emotional issues at one of the other city schools. This is what I knew he needed and he knew it too. By now my "baby," as I teasingly called had just turned nine years old. I wrote up a short letter, telling him how much he meant to me and put it in a folder of black construction paper on which I used a white crayon to draw a skull and crossbones and the words "I will miss you".
He gave me a big kid hug and he left school for the last time. This will be so much better for him. I sure am going to miss that "jerk." His word, not mine!
While looking for some important document or something that week, I came across this in a stack of papers.
The coloring isn't even finished! I remember that he had a jack o' lantern shirt and seemed to like the color orange. Therefore, I started calling him "pumpkin." When music class was done, the kids were told to put their papers in their cubbies. Not wanting to walk across the room, he passed it to me and smiled, "uh, I made this for you!"
Sure you did, B. If only you were still that five year old...Goodnight Sweet Prince! (LOL, that's a meme. And not one that applies at all in this situation. I just like saying it.)

I made a big production of this post. Let's wrap this up.