please excuse the laundry in the background. for ruggy's birthday week, i did his laundry. he had five loads.
stacie over at the beautiful blog stars for streetlights contacted me a few weeks ago with a little challenge: make something wearable out of a scarf from her shiny new workplace, affordable scarves. i love scarves, i have a collection of about thirty, so i happily welcomed a new addition. out of all the silk and cotton offerings to be had, i picked this poly blend. it could not be helped. it measures 74 x 40. basically it's yardage with finished seams. but my brain was locked into the fact that IT'S A SCARF. refashion blockage ensued. i stared at it on a hanger for a week before pummeling my brain into submission. BRAIN, i said. REMEMBER THIS SHIRT? THIS WOULD BE THE PERFECT TIME TO DO THAT TUTORIAL.
(oona, said brain, i'll get up off my ass for that. god knows you promise tutorials and never let me seal the deal. let's not even TALK about pay it forward. have you instructed hands to pack those boxes up yet?)
take your scarf and fold it in half lengthwise, finding the mid point. slice it right down the middle, finish your new raw edges, and sew it together again about 2/3 of the way up. this is now your center back seam. i sewed it up to where the black border hits. YOU ARE NOW DONE SEWING.
see those flaps hanging down in the second picture? they basically become your back facing! flip that jammy to your backside, center seam at center back, the open part of the seam facing up. grasp the upper ends of your scarf....
and pull them towards center front. wrap the ends around the back of your neck and tie-- i like to use a pretty pin from my vintage collection instead of a knot, but either way works.
then grab the scarf at waist, or just below bust, or wherever floats your boat, cinch it together, and stitch through all layers a couple times. if you make it loose enough, you can untie the neck and easily slip this over your head, as the back sits low.
(yeah, i know i said you're done sewing. i lied a little bit. you can use another pretty pin here and make me an honest woman. a button loop closure would also be grand. doesn't help the lying, but earns you extra fanciness points.)
the amount of back displayed depends on how high (or low) you sew up the center back seam.
i kind of feel like that chick on project runway that's been sewing for four months and always floats around in gauzy me made things. it's a great easy cover up for the summer, non? you can go from picnic at the beach to lobster dinner by the water!
hmm. now that i'm writing this up, i'm thinking i may get brain to come up with a nice button loop closure for the front. but brain is notoriously lazy. we'll see.
when you are a complete doofus with your ISO settings: picnik's logo-ish feature to the rescue.
this little vintage number was part of the surprise ending that meg, debi, mena and i trotted drunkenly off to at the end of the big NY meetup. the very stiff lace is underlined in a turquoise/teal linen from baltimore's own gus woolens. (oh, baltimore.) and the bodice is lined in teal silk. cause i really hate matching.
thaaaaat's RIGHT. lace, linen, and silk. smell me.
i got all crafty and used the scalloped edge as my hemline, and really planned it out so the sides would match perfectly. they did. until i had to take it in two inches at the seams and totally fukat'ed it. so i sliced off scallops till it matched. i may have mentioned this to gertie in our sewing class. it was one of the many times i earned a raised eyebrow. her eyebrows are fabulous.
hey booooootaaaay! i wish i would have ironed the vent. ah well. the back didn't originally scoop down this far. i dove about 3 inches deeper than the pattern (mccalls, 7827). this made the straps fly out, so i threw some darts in there, you can see them if you look quite closely...
don't squint, you'll hurt your eyes! here you go. i'll tell you what, when the darts worked, you would've thought i'd just seen my face on the cover of vogue . i was all I ROCK MY WORLD. i even had an invisible zip in the stash that matched perfectly. (black is another story. i had to make a special trip downtown to get a black zip. i might have a problem.)
the palette for the evening was teal and red, and my partners in crime pulled it off beautifully for a special edition of oona does it! (see their fabulousness here). i had a thin burgundy belt, and meant to wear these plaid shoes (debi drooled a little), but after our day on the town the height was staggering...
oh, do you like them? i got them at daffy's. for five dollars.
when pairing three together, i'll pick my common color between two, then pick up a third between any two of the fabrics. in this two hour dress, orange lives in the main fabric and trim, then the purple in the trim connects the lace.
go for four! red in trim + red in print + ivory in lace + ivory in print + purple in trim + purple in main = this maxi dress. (see the first trim poking out underneath? you'll see it in the original post. although the purple shade was closer to the main fabric, the blue was throwing it off. somehow the lavender in the "beaded" trim was happier-- an analogous pairing.)
and sometimes i'll just pull a print i love, and slowly run it down my stack of stash until i hit a fabric it wants to live with. complementary and analogous colors work wonders there. here's a great link with color wheels to get you spinning!
and please, do tell if you take the leap so that i might live vicariously. i'll be living primarily in black till sunday. i've heard tell, black goes with everything.
(cupcakes don't actually make me feel beautiful, this is so not a post about body image in terms of food. i just think these are pretty; and they were made by a mom-to-be, with homemade candy toppers made by her own mom, who carried the flower sweets on a plane across the country. that's beautiful.)
i just spent the afternoon with bride-to-be on our third day of dress searching. she was already decided, although not thrilled, and we were on our way to the tailor (or seamstress, i do not know which), when we stopped off for a veil. i pulled two dresses for her to try on, just because. and got that shivery feeling when she stepped out in number two. she had it too, in spades. that whole silly yes-to-the-dress feeling. it's real! i think it comes from looking at another woman feeling absolutely gorgeous. looking at any human being feeling beautiful, what a wonderful thing to share.
and now i'm on my way to ballet class at my local gym. it's completely un-pretentious, a 180 from the classes i took in college, and i feel beautiful when i look in the mirror. just the grace of the poses and the calm that the teacher implores us to keep on our faces. it's not about fixating on weight, and i don't think for a second about my ill-fitting jeans. and i look around the room and see the regulars and complete strangers that come and smile at each other and share that feeling, and everyone leaves walking like queens and kings and princesses.
we began the day as any good day should begin, with carafes of sangria and festive flowers to frolick with. el centro played host to lunch, and they were fabulous (picture by our man jonathan, standing on top of table). from bottom left corner to bottom right, we have: vicki, daughter fish, cindy, mena, moi, debi, meg, lisette, and nettie. it was a school day, so many rsvps sadly did get tied up at work... don't worry, we drank extra sangria for you!
the extremely confusing sew weekly theme (MY BAD) lead to floral frocks and technicolor hues. oh so much pattern. i was in heaven. i wanted to put these gals in my bag. the details on the neckline of cindy's dress! miss fish's silk poppies! mena's... erm... staples!
que beautiful, no? like they have their own inner miniature sun.
we snagged marina on the tail end of lunch, and per lisette's idea, we had a pattern swap, with the impromptu locale of worldwide plaza's cement park. marina was a BIG contributor. puu joined in and brought a hefty bag of envelopes as well (her red cigarette pants were also an object of desire)...
(photo by debi-- her absolutely musical giggle lit up the day. girl, did you snag any? vintage goddess, i don't even KNOW!) i ran into an old friend and completely missed the swap... fitting, as i forgot and brought nothing to the party. yet i still managed to walk away with these beauties. BRAT.
(the notions are from SIL threads, another stop along the way. i was challenged several times for ODIs and was therefore forced to shop. some of the challenges are malicious. i'm not naming any names mena.)
bags bulging with pattern goodness, we then headed to paron fabrics, my favorite, where peter joined up. i decided i should abstain from fabric purchases as i'd have my hands full co-hosting... and then bought 12 yards of fabric at the very first stop.
check out marina and nettie. put them together: effortless chic.
speaking of chic, at our second stop, chic fabrics, the sangria caught up. miss fish had to jet in order to Sew For Other Peeps (the horror). i discovered nettie and i have the same affinity for swearing (brilliant!). marina raised her eyebrows at several questionable fabrics. it quickly became clear we needed caffeine. my first clue was finding mena laying on the bolts of fabric in the back. i believe cindy saw her flailing, then spied the hidden alley of fabrics behind her, and made a beeline over her exhausted body. was that you, cindy? was i still drunk?
so, after a tete a tete with peter on the best place to go, we headed to dean and deluca's.
at this point, i had had enough of peter, and i told him so. i believe he's reaching for a sharp implement. (photo by marina. i should have taken peter down a dark alley where there would be no evidence.)
coffee refreshed, and mysteriously sans peter, we took to the streets again... THESE DRESSES. the straps on meg's dress are exactly what i wanted, and failed to produce, on my own dress. and do you mark debi and lisette in two of my all time favorite creations? do you know how hard it was to keep my jealous hands away? i think they did it on purpose to tempt me. pink and purple. and peacock. yes please. (photo by vicki, also in pink print... pillowcases. a perfect pendrell. preposterous. peruse the next pic.)
we came close to making good on meg's bag's promise when the proprietress at 21 century fabrics decided to waffle on previously quoted prices. we won. as meg would say: OMG. we are TOTALLY not j/k. (picture by debi. i had no idea this joint had a balcony.)
after 4 more stops (map here) and 5 hours of shopping, several ladies went home happy... we saw lisette off at port authority with a bag bigger than she. thank god, somebody had to beat me and my self imposed and very much broken No Frigging Fabric rule.
we ended the night at room service, where the waitress was hell bent on wasting as much prosecco as possible. elisabeth and sandy joined up, and we did our best to get them drunk. did we succeed? i don't know, elisabeth looks properly toasty in her self stitched goodness (doesn't it go so well with debi's?), but sandy's eyeing meg's fizzy drink. (pictures by marina. there was another half to this table, including le photographer, cindy & mena, but did this co-host pull her camera out? no. i was too busy holding my drink. )
[edit: you gals will be interested to know, the bill was NOT short. my drunk ass dropped 25 bucks out of the loot and, after fisticuffs with meg over who would chip in more (she won, she has like two feet on me), sandy noticed the missing dough on the floor. i had to convince meg i wasn't trying to pull a fast one when i gave her back the extra chip in. of course sewing peeps don't short. we do math all the time.]
we parted ways on ninth avenue, the co-hosts headed to a top secret mission, and new found friends headed to more drinks.
the saddest thing in life is not pear shaped hips. it is ending a meetup with these fantastic peeps and heading into a work filled weekend. but, after the plaster fiasco of saturday morning, i did manage to snag a little extra sunday morning pre-bus coffee time with the awesome sewing scientist...
note my heroin-chic undereyes. credit goes to plaster covered floors, baby shower and bridal party duties. credit for the pose goes to tanit-isis, vicki decided it should be in your honor. would that you were here...
(our door buzzer goes off like a klaxon alarm signaling the end of the world. i hear ruggy opening the equally abrasive front door as i lie dreamily in bed, having only been under covers since 3am)
(i hear two sets of feet enter the living room)
(my eyes fly open as i fully wake: THEY MISSED THEIR FLIGHTS!!! THEY'RE BACK, THEY'RE BACK!!! I MUST POUR COFFEE!!!)
(as i fling myself joyfully out of bed, ruggy appears with coffee and tells me the repairmen are here)
(the men are still here, plastering some cracks in the ceiling that were supposed to be fixed nine months ago)
i saw meg (bearer of that fabulous bag pictured above which so perfectly fits my mood right now) & debi off last night (yesterday morning, to be exact) at around 2am, after we finished a little sew weekly surprise with mena. we stalled on stuffing their suitcases with the day's finds as long as we could. i expected to spend saturday morning coffee time uploading pics and giving y'all a recap before heading into my bridesmaid / multiple baby shower duties, but instead i'm moving furniture, and watching paint dry. literally.
it is 1:30. the men are now done. they have left behind a fine coating of plaster dust over EVERYTHING.
my saturday plans, it would seem, have changed drastically. luckily i have meetup memories to keep me happy. i'll share them soon... y'all, it was so frigging awesome. what a great bunch of peeps to spend friday with! thank you to everyone who joined us!