sew weekly sunday: she's gone completely batty

i don't remember many books from my childhood.  i have this awesome gene where i pretty much completely forget any media after finishing it.  i just remember if i liked it, making it possible to take it in again and again for the first time.  it's tres convenient.

actually, as a kid, i do remember drawing pictures of drinks.  drinks made with alcohol.  one drink per page, in a very pretty glass, in very vibrant hues, olive or umbrella or what have you included.


so there aren't many reads from my formative years that stuck in my mind.  but i love the kiddie books.  they are happy and bright and the best ones are kinda loud.  there are several in my current collection.  my favorite was a gift from ruggy.

stellaluna is a wee fruit bat who goes through quite an ordeal (losing her momma! eating bugs! learning to fly!). author/illustrator janell cannon's love for bats, bugs and other misunderstood creatures inspired her to create award winning programs for kids at public libraries, and now she's got a series of beautiful books.  (there's one on snakes too, i've got it.  i'm hoping for one on spiders.)  

for this week's sew weekly challenge, stellaluna was my inspiration.  naturally, i wanted to make a batwing dress. i flew to my favorite 5 buck a yard jersey shop and searched for something blue, wanting to get the whole night sky thing in.  no blue, but they had this sparkly stuff, and it looked too much like batwings to pass up.

stellaluna is not so good with her wings at first, so instead of a true batwing i used the free twister dress pattern from apfelbluete at burdastyle. and seriously, including printing and taping and cutting and sewing, this dress took thirty minutes to make.

that is, until i decided i had a little too much derriere for the slim fitted skirt, opened up the side seam and went to drapey town.  i pieced the remnants together (i'd only bought one yard of the stuff) and created some width on one hip.  then i made a sort or panel that tapered into the sleeve area... hard to get a good shot of this stuff, but i alternated sides of the material and used the curled edges...

and then of course no bat inspired dress is complete without a little extended bones.  i really wanted there to be like eighty of these curled pieces swooping down the back, so i may grab another yard next time i'm at le chic.

but for now, i'm off to the park to eat fruit.  i've loved your comments on the last couple posts and will holler at you soon!  speaking of hollering, HAPPY MOMMA'S DAY, ALL MY MOMMAS IN THE BATHOUSE!

fabric: stretch jersey with some very man made sparkly stuff thrown in ($5)
patterns: twister dress
year: 2011
notions: none!
time to complete: at first, 30 minutes. i added 3 more hours of work, because i'm bats.
first worn: today
wear again: yes, with big thin gold hoops and brown leather sandals on a warm summer night.
total cost: five buckaroos!


  1. Aww, so cute! I have seen so many fun versions of this pattern in the last few days, I think I may have to give it a try very soon. I love it when you start piecing bits in---so unique and brave :D ... Just like Stellaluna.

  2. I love what you have created - very intuitive!
    We have a Stella Ruby who I bought Stellaluna for a few years ago.

  3. love love love! i may have to copy your cool asymmetrical styles with logs of strings and pleats soon!

  4. Love it. Just love it. Love the bat-like pose in the first pic!

  5. I love love your style! Great dress! And thanks for the nice comments you left me:)

  6. OMG. THIS IS AWESOME! Love how you added 3 hours onto the project---PUNISHMENT! :-) Oh and drink book as a kid...you are awesome...I wasn't introduced to drinking until I was an exchange student in germany...hell yeah. Oh, just finished a bottle of rioja before writing this if you couldn't tell :-) hehehehehe but back to the point, awesome dress! You are rockin' these challenges!

  7. I can totally see the inspiration here! This dress is wonderful. I love the color. ^_^ I wish there were a 5 buck a yard jersey shop here.

  8. Love this! The changes you made to the skirt are awesome.

  9. I'm really enjoying your blog and am happy you're blogging often.

    Have you ever done a post of how you got started sewing? You're so fearless, I love it.

  10. I forgot to add that I really like this dress too. :)

  11. the dress turned out so cool!! love your batty post! ;)

  12. Here is irmchen from BurdaStyle:

    Just want to say: I gasped out loud when I saw your creation... and sent an email immediately to 'apfelbluete'.

  13. >> tanit-isis: this pattern has you written all over it. and you could certainly pull it off without having to add any extra, ahem, wriggle room.

    >> jody pearl: thank you, and what a beautiful name for your little one!

    >> petiterepublic: please do, i would LOVE to see what you do with it.

    >> KC: you should've seen me trying to get that bat pose, holding myself upside down or what have you for the camera timer. nuts.

    >> jacqueline: you're welcome, and thank YOU!

    >> debi: mmmmmmm RIOJA!!!! you're frigging awesome. i must admit, i didn't have so much as a sip of the stuff till i was 21. egads, right?

    >> meg n: thank you. yes, that shop do come in handy.

    >> kelly &
    >> magda : thank you!

    >> saro: thanks! i did a sort of post on it, but that's a great idea, i'll do that soon. (fearless! that makes me so happy...)

    >> grace: ah, my kinda gal. welcome to crazy town.

    >> irmchen: thank you! i'll put it up at burdastyle today too :)

  14. I agree with Saro - you are freaking fearless!

    WOW, and now I've got Q's too: how did you get those arm holes and neckline so nice? I have SO much trouble with stretch material and hemming/topstitching it right! (I'm sitting in a dress right now with an awkwardly overlocked hem, and weird topstitched sleeves!)

    YIKES this is so good!

  15. >> veronica: :)! oh, it's too simple to be true:

    i just cut it and leave the raw edge!!!

    ghastly, i know, but i figure if it's good enough for american apparel...

    actually, you must cut VERY slowly and carefully to get a neat edge (one of those armholes still needs a little TLC). unlike other materials, i find that you have to use the smallest snip of your scissors to get a clean edge on jersey. otherwise, the fabric will roll away from the scissors, and leave you with those little bitemarks at each new cut.

    as for overlocking, a lot of futzing with various tensions is in order, and then never ever stretch the fabric when sewing. if you're hemming it, you need at least an inch to fold so that it won't go curling on you.

    topstitching: i always use the biggest straight stitch possible, which for my vintage kenmore is an 8. otherwise the smaller stitches will pop and warp.

    hmm... i know more about this than i thought... maybe i should do a jersey post...

  16. Ah, a bat dress! With a decidedly batty structure and feel without being scary. So wonderful, like bats. I have a soft spot for bats (as you might remember from my 8 1/2 things about me post) and, interestingly enough, my love for them comes from a children's book, too. I think I need to get to know Stellaluna...
    I love the spontaneous things you do to your dresses.

    Your ability to forget things you've read is really interesting and no doubt useful (like, ah, you can re-read whodunnits infinite times!), but I don't think I'd trade. :D

  17. Freaking love this - you are a true blue fashionista. And it's so sparkly! I love sparkles and that you modeled your dress after an awesome fruit bat. Your additions to this dress make it a truly fabulous piece - the draping, the sleeves, the "bones" - you are too brilliant for words!

  18. thanks hana & meg g!

    hana: yes, i remember your fondness for battiness. you would love stellaluna. what was your book?

  19. The first photo of you combined with the second photo of the book cover is hilarious! You've got that bat pose down!

  20. Oh gosh, gasp. I love the fearlessness, too. This is the kind of dress that you don't need anything with but yourself--awesome. I have to find a way to use incorporate curly-cue strips like that--I KNEW there was a reason I save all these random jersey scraps;).

  21. Mine was a Czech book about a tiny poppy being... a tiny boy born out of a poppy. And one of his friends was a bat. When they met, the bat was sad and crying because he thought he had no friends, that he was ugly and nobody liked him, but the boy convinced him that he was cute and had such a lovely fluffy belly. ;-) So then the bat showed him how he could fly, and the boy loved it, and they became friends. And later the bat taught him how to fly, too, with help of a bumblebee, on the magical poppy head he had been born of...
    It sounds so weird when I write it short like this. :D It's more of a short novel, actually, with more stories.
    Well, ever since I read that book, for me bats = lovely fluffy bellies. ;-)

  22. ... with help FROM a bumblebee, I mean!

  23. Love it! Your writing always cracks me up, and your outfits are always so inspiring! Yay!

    (And now I'm gonna go check out that pattern....)

  24. >> amy
    >> amanda
    >> & amy : thanks! how harmonious of you three to comment one after the other....

    >>hana: what a beautiful story. do you still have it? i'd love to see the cover!

    >> macska: thanks! :) i hope you try the pattern, it's one of those super satisfying ones!

  25. I LOVELOVELOVE this! It looks great on you! The details on the back are wonderful!

  26. I'm all starry-eyed, I love this dress so much! Great alterations, too. Can I be you when I grow up?

  27. You have made this dress into a true piece of art! Bravo!!!


  28. This is so freaking incredible! I love it when you go to drapey town, the results are always amazing. I must visit that place sometime... I hear the topstitching is excellent there. And yay, it's a Burdastyle featured project!


i thankya truly for taking the time to comment, i love a good conversation-- and hope you know my thanks are always implied, if not always written!