though today should mark the completion of OWOP, i missed one day in the beginning, so you'll be getting what i consider to be the piece de resistance tomorrow.  of course, i'll be on a plane, and a plane is no place for a silk sundress in my opinion (oh yes!  c'est silk!) but it will give me something nice to do while i'm at the airport.  you'll excuse me, yes?  'kaythanksyou'retheBEST!

however!  aujourd'hui, it's my only restyle for the week, and it is MOST DEFINITELY polyester.  as it was first worn as a skirt on my day one OWOP, my right brain pondered saving it for tomorrow to close out the circle... how neat and tidy that would be...  but i wore this today in my quest for some black (or at least something in the vicinity of  black), figuring these colors would keep me happy.  so, truth in advertising, and all.

i kind of look like i'm wearing a wig.  people actually ask me that, you know.  "i love your hair."  "oh thank you."  "is it yours?"  then sometimes, as an added bonus, they pull it.  i guess i can't blame them.  quite a mop, there.

le maxi skirt becomes le strapless dress.  this spandexy stuff is quite forgiving, so it doesn't give you muffintop round the bustage when pulled up.  hooray for man made stretch!

here's some more innards porn for you.  i miss my maniacal serger!

good god almighty get that girl some hand cream.  do you beat the hell out of your hands?   how do you sewists with a fascination for polish do it?

dress:  pr's gathered sundress, bottom portion only, modified
belt:  vintage ruggian poppa
earrings:  marshall's
necklace:  the MOMA store (thanks sis!)
shoes: aerosoles (but i'd rather the yellow clarks meg has up today.)

tequila manhattan (a riff on day one's OWOP drink.  tequila is an upper!)
tequila,  2 oz
sweeth vermouth,  1 oz
bitters,  1 dash
lime wedge
in a shaker, stir with ice (do not shake) and strain into glass.  garnish with lime wedge.

ps: thanks again for the thoughts. been too busy to get back to you, but y'all rock.


(a little updated pre-script, my family thanks you for the warm and fuzzies.  i know i often confuse the issue by writing about stuff that has absolutely nothing to do with the dress i'm showing off.  i wasn't super close with my nana, but i'm hella close with my kalkatroonaans, and the miles of exorbitantly priced separation fueled my typing [see; face in shot below]. but we're all good, and happy we'll be together.  okay bye.)

i woke up one morning finding myself wanting to work with this felty black lace from my last visit to the mood remnant box.  i tried to blame it on the poly dye fumes,  on Tigress' chic eyelet mini, on the alcohol.  but really, i just thought it was cool in all its blackness.

as i was stitching, i mused: this is the kind of rift in the fabric of reality that provokes a funeral. 

so, not that i control the universe or anything, but my maternal grandmother is gone this morning at the age of 94.

we spent a maddening morning on phones and computers, operators telling ruggy the special emergency discounted bereavement fare would be $1200, online searches dangling inexpensive fares just out of my grasp. (they've got these great little dinky smarmy toolbars that'll show you the low fares other people got just the day before YOU started hopelessly searching! because it's helpful!)  i was enraged that we couldn't make some attainable airfare appear, because after all, I CAN DO ANYTHING I SET MY MIND TO.   even when i don't mean to! doesn't the universe know this?  see: rift in fabric, black dress.

(i swear to god i'm wearing a slip under this.  mount crackatoa isn't imploding, so you know i'm not lying.  but it sure as hell looks like i'm nekkid.  perhaps a colored slip next time?)

i joke, but really.  i wanted to be with my family.  not surprising.

which prompts the question: what the hell is wrong with the world?  at one point, an airline told ruggy they could have me there one day after the funeral, and oh, BONUS, after the scant five hours of daylight they'd give me at my destination, i'd need to get back on a plane, sleep in a frigging airport, and catch another plane home.  for only $700, ONE WAY.  and i lost count of how many agents told us to "have a nice day" after they were unable to help us with tickets.  to a FUNERAL.

it's not the operator's fault, but it is not the computer's fault either.  ultimately, some fellow human sets these rules.  the fact that we don't do the right thing for each other, in so many circumstances, is some human being's fault.  

you can see i started down a slippery slope.  so i stopped.  and got dressed up. 

and then felt absolutely stupid stomping around in this getup, considering the situation.  but i needed a break.  it was always my intention to look model-irritated in these, but now i just look... pissed.  

shoot over, rage still high, brother beast called, and his confidence in my persuasive abilities got me to try one more avenue.   eureka, american airlines frequent flyer program came through and released a couple of seats for me.  i told the operator i wanted to jump through the phone and hug her.  she was happy.

i think she had a good day at work.

this is my "look at my pretty hem and don't think about airlines" picture.  but really, i just look inebriated.

you wanna know about the dress?  okay.

i didn't finish the neck and armhole edges (you can see the shoulder edge flipping out say hello to the world above) because i'm not sure how i want to finish them yet.  maybe flesh toned organza?  maybe just leave it raw?

for the hemline, i cut around the design to create scallops.  when the hem refused to lie flat, i backed it with another line of scallops.  worked like a charm.

there wasn't much of this material, it said half a yard, and it meant it.  if by "meaning it" you mean "eyeballing it while intoxicated".  but the bolt had been wide, the half yard was long and skinny, and fancy cutting prevailed.  i have about a four inch square left.  lots of strips joined forces to make the gathered square skirt.

of course, there was no black zipper to be found in the west coast kalkatroonan residence. in my kaleidescope of coils, this shiny silver separating zipper was the winner.  i inserted it upside down so that the zipper head hangs down at le booty.  i thought that was fun.   the lace being quite... holy... i turned it under 1/4 inch, sandwiched a thin strip of interfacing into the ironed fold, and topstitched it onto the zipper.

yes, that's purply midnight blue thread.  WHAT.  my only spool of black thread resides in east coast digs.   it shall not have any californian mates.

OWOPS are documented and drinks ready, after all, i'm going to the land of parental kalkatroonans.  much will be imbibed.  as mama kalkatroona said, ninety-four is a big damn number, that's a lot of toasts.

(but i can't promise you i'll be wearing said outfit in public.  i sure as hell won't be wearing this to the funeral, i'll tell you that much.  Not.  Appropriate.)

dress:  PR's gathered sundress, modified skirt
glasses: etsy
hoops: vintage
shoes: zara

wine, godammit.



i used to wear crop tops all the time.

so much so, i had a friend who would greet me with "belly" instead of "hello".

i must have him on the brain, because this midrifforama was not my intended result.

though i'm not horrified...

... i'm also not sold.

top: pr's gathered sundress, top portion only
jeans:  forever 21 (Six.  DOLLARS.)
shoes:  zara
scarf:  thrifted, LA (two days ago, actually.)
earrings:  vintage, mother ruggy

take one crop top
add one bar
belly up and "ask" for a beer




top:  vintage vogue 7016, first blogged here
skirt:  bottom half of pattern runway's gathered sundress in wool
tights:  target
shoes:  fossil
belt:  thrifted in banff, canada

the emerson
gin, 2 oz
sweet vermouth, 1 oz
lemon, 1/2 oz
dark morello cherries, as many as you like, plus 1/2 oz syrup
shake avec ice (sans cherries) and strain into martini glass.  add cherries.




woo-IE!  my tootsies hurt.  must be from all the stomping around at Mood LA with ms tiger feet.  she has feline paws suited for prowling.

yesterday, Tigress sent me an innocent email asking me to come by and help her pick out some wool for gertie's starlet jacket course.  having ensnared her prey, she then picked out the very wool she had her eye on THE WHOLE TIME and forced me to buy heartily from the remnants box.  however, she could not convince me into the technicolor green lace at full price.  i was still sober at this hour of the day, and i had been practicing my game face since clio seduced me into a yard of 25 dollar a pop anna sui print.

(by the way, Tigress' suit is going to be fabulous.  for evidence supporting my statement, see the above perfect matching of her bateaux top and gorgeous edging on her eyelet mini.  and how 'bout this number.) 

we stopped at a delicious kosher bakery, appropriately named delice, and snapped a live action meetup/OWOP shot.  i'm not wearing any lipstick, Tigress lamented.  i'll give you some in photoshop, i assured.  really?  Tigress blinked.  you photoshop your photos? why?

well, for one, we look so much better as glowing angelic sewists without dumpy cars parked outside a papered bakery window.  but i've been thinking about a better answer (which, at the time was a simple and boring "yes". fabric and sugar had numbed me) as to why:

because it's awesome.

or at least, it's become awesome.  at first it was a tool.  back when i had a wee etsy shop, i used PS to transform the dinky assface grungeified sublet i was renting into an artist's airy studio.  then, when my outdated yet much loved canon was heaving its last breath, i used PS to make it look like i wanted my shots all weird and holgaesque. now, my slightly OCD and very much anal brain has realized: it's just FUN.

one day, we WILL have a lavender house.  it's decided.  ruggy has no say in the matter.

yella house.  because i am sore afraid of mount crackatoa.

lime green sherbet house?  i don't know.  maybe for the guest quarters.  or the ghostbusters.


that's calmer.  in my world.

don't worry, home swapping friend.  your house is still a lovely shade of conservative blue.  for now.

don't have photoshop?  you can still very much play in iphoto, and picasa.  just start clicking on buttons and see what happens.  that's basically what i do.  kind of like how i learned to sew...

dress:  pr gathered sundress, as per instructions
necklace:  vintage kalkatroonan nana 
bangles & earrings:  NY jewelry district, VT farmers market
boots:  miz mooz
tights:  h&m (the best tights.  whatevs.)
shirt:  thrifted forever 21

caffe latte
paired with almond croissant
sugar high then remedied by a glass of burgundy.

UPDATE: hey y'all? lemme know if you see that pissing captcha word verification when you comment!  i went to the old blogger interface to turn it off, but it appears it's still rearing its ugly and ever changing head.  i shut it off in the new settings too, holler if you see the monster!



it's raining to beat the band here in it-never-rains-in-southern-california.  my plans of hitting the wacky stores on ventura boulevard for a live action shot have been drenched.  i thought the clouds might break, but thunderstorms are on the way.  while i could throw my day two OWOP on for a little indoor shoot, my jammies are ever so much more comfortable...  so i'm gonna grab an extra day on the end, do some good old fashioned sunday lounging around, and post what i should have yesterday: a proper introduction to the wonder that is pattern runway's gathered sundress.

so you know about OWOP, yes?  tilly's mad scientist of a baby: for one week you use one pattern, styling it, restyling it, maybe making seven versions or making do with just one garment.  i first used this baby last summer, when an interview via paunnet's loverly blog introduced me to pattern runway and caused a clicking frenzy.  besides colette, this was the first indie pattern i'd ever bought (and not much since; i need to remedy that).  

let me start with the actual printed pattern.  FABULOUS.  it's a speedily delivered PDF, but do not be afraid of the tape!  it comes with a delightful grid, (pale, so as not to use up the precious printer ink) and teeny cartoon scissors leading the way to a perfect cut.  impossible to tape the thing up wrong, i tell you.

the instructions are beautifully done, complete with glossary, step by step drawings, and the hand holding of an expert.  it also comes with advice, including fabric suggestions... which i totally disregarded.  i had this thick white jersey (think hoodie material), and i can see now that the binding i was once proud of is, in actuality, HELLA bobbly.  yes, i said bobbly.  i'm okay with that.  the fabric was not an option, it called to me,  i used it for an oona does it! challenge involving burratta cheese (jump on over here if you'd like to see the dress on, and read about cheese. oh cheesy cheese cheeeeese  


i'm sorry, i lost it for a minute there.  let's talk seam allowances.  they are included, say hallelujah, at 3/8 of an inch.  i love this.  it pains me to cut away so much of a regular seam allowance, and it's just EASIER to work with less bulk.  gretchen's work husband once did a guest post about how professional sample makers will work with less allowance, and after this dress i was sold.  of course there are times you'd want more, but her sizing is so spot on, you won't need it here.  sizing!  the pattern runs small... bust 31'-39', hips 33'-41', but the gathered skirt has a good amount of ease, and it's so worth grading if you want it.

speaking of ease, can i get a whatwhat for princess seams?  IT IS.  SO EASY.  to get a fitted bodice with these puppies!  there are 7 seams in the top altogether, plenty of room to play.  and who says you have to make each bodice piece in the same fabric?  or color?  or print, even?  or ALL OF THE ABOVE?  (i don't.  i'll be not saying it rather loudly later this week.)

le invisible zip is the recommended weapon, and i ignored that as well.  (at least on this version.)  i lika the contrast zip. 

hey check it out.  I'M SHOWING YOU THE INSIDES.  I KNOW!!! i bet you thought there were no insides to any of my garments!  you know why i can show you the guts?  because this pattern is awesomesauce.  if you follow the instructions, screwing up the insides is not an option.  the bodice is supposed to be lined, but this thick stuff didn't need it, and i was too thrilled with the guts to hide them anyway.  the allowance on the center back seam could use some trimming, but i either ran out of time or pinot grigio.  who knows which at this point.

and pockets.  dig the shape of these cool pockets!  this is also from the inside, of course.  they sit right in the side and waist seam, and it's super easy to lengthen them to accommodate my gorilla hands  a nice big flask anything your heart desires.

at the moment, my heart desires OWOP's day two toast:  in honor of the hanger that wore my dress for these shots, i present the cliffhanger.  aptly named... one of these, and it's a slippery slope down a steep drop.

fresh watermelon, 1 cup
rum, 2 oz
lime, 1 oz
fresh grated ginger to taste
blend in a mixer until smooth.

dress: PR's gathered sundress, per pattern instructions
scarf: vintage, etsy
pearls: vintage and tres faux , ruggy's grandmother
hanger: wooden
keep on hanger until the sun comes out, add harness boots and corduroy jacket.



for the next seven days, tilly and all of her glorious buttons are hosting a one week, one pattern challenge (please to see the shiny new space in the sidebar just added for this kind of buttonable soiree) and i'm all in.  even when i woke up this morning and realized one of my makes won't zip up in the back.

i don't know why that could be.

i'll be using pattern runway's gathered sundress pattern, much more on that later this week, but for now it's a quick post, details be damned!  tilly explains it all!  i have things to drink do!

karen was up bright and shiny (at least on my side of the world) with an action shot.  how, i steamed, does she get these shots?  where does she find the WACKINESS?  it appears on every street corner!

well lookee here.

i give you studio city P.O.T.

we weren't out for that type of drug, but i did wear today's OWOP to the strip mall that housed that creature.  

yes, i know, i haz confused the issue on the very first day.   it's not a dress.   please reference:  morning non-fitting issue.  i used the skirt portion of this amazing pattern back in NY when i had my ellie.  matter of fact, i serged this silky stretch up the night before we left for LA, dreaming of warmer climes (and still holding a fierce jealousy for reana louise's silky fuschia maxi).

i took this shot to show you: no center back seam!  Mount Crackatoa defeated!  it would appear i was delusional.

it might be time to invest in an undergarment that is not a thong.

see the preeeeety colors?!  i love this skirt!  the little gathers are a wonderful detail of this pattern, and you'll be seeing and hearing a lot more about them this week.

but for now it's time to enjoy the drug we did choose to come home with.  oh rittenhouse rye, oh carpano antica formula vermouth (seriously, this shit is AMAZING), i hear you calling.  or is that ruggy?  it's all win at this point.


update: in my rush to crack those beauties open, i forgot outfit notes.  i've never done them and i think this challenge needs it...  AND FURTHER UPDATE!  it needz drink notes!  share the wealth, i say!

skirt: pr's gathered sundress bottom portion, lengthened, in some sort of jersey stretchy shiny spandex
top: hacked up amercan apparel tee dress (i shiver at the thought)
cardigan: anthropolgie (on sale, whaddaya take me for)
belt: salvation army
shoes: beat to hell aerosoles wedges
wee rose earrings: thrifted

the manhattan (we don't need no stinkin' p.o.t.)
rittenhouse rye (spicy and wonderful), 2 oz
carpano antica vermouth (delicious even on its own), 1oz
angostura bitters,  2 dashes
stir over ice, at least thirty seconds.  do not shake.  I SAID DO NOT SHAKE.
pour, and add a cherry or two.


another one bites the dust

an oona does it!, a mad men character... le double entendre.  wow, have the ladies over at the sew weekly ever been rocking this challenge.  to boot, mena's brought the fab four back with phasers. set. to. stun.  

this dress, like the character it was inspired by, had issues.  you might recognize the fabric from my levine haul with the C&C Factory (clio and chutzpah. lady leah, have you used your half of this yardage yet?).  i love this fabric.  it is most definitely some sort of poly, but the weight is so nice and hefty and i kinda dig the plasticky feel.

i know.

i thought you might like to see how it evolved, one sunny poolside sewing weekend:

first i threw the fabric at the dress form, placing the center fold on the center line of the body, then started pleating.

sipping my chardonnay, i decided i could eyeball the waist and sliced across.  WAY.  too high.  in all senses of the word.  but i didn't know it at the time.

then i began the skirt in the same manner, and matched the pleats with the bodice.

draped some back pieces-- just the right half of the back, then used those pieces to cut out the left half so they would be even.

the dress, as i thought it would be.  eventually it became much more wiggly, with a 2 inch wide waistband to accommodate for the supremely high waistline.  i'm not so much into the empire waist, though my scissors say different.  

(yeah, the cut was a bit sauced, but even though i cut it higher than the marked waistline, THAT mark isn't even right.  i had just spent four hours trying to get my old "uniquely you" to fit me AGAIN, and i thought i had it close. mais, non cigar.  can i just say how much i lovehate this foam form?  i've been draping like crazy since we dragged it out of storage, so there's the love, but i hate that, at the time this was so generously gifted to me, i didn't know enough about sewing to ask for a different form.  not that i'm an expert now; i am certain there's a trained professional out there looking at these process photos in abject horror, but man.  this thing is junky.  the price tag is absolutely unjustifiable.  wobbly tinker toy stand, breasts the size of mount vesuvius, and of course there are the ever protruding shoulders.  there's a reason they make 'em collapsible.  i fondled a PGM form down in the garment district the other day, and oh.  i want.  the tag is heftier, but with good reason.  and with enough saving, possible in daydreams.  and they make custom forms!  ahem.  parenthetical rant over.)

so!  there you have it, behind the scenes.  interesting at all?  have i shattered your illusions of my amount of draping knowledge?  if the drunken process is too much to bear, you can see more of the finished product (and find out what mad men character inspired the faux tie) in my post over at the sew weekly

happy friday y'all!


it's 5 o'clock YOUR where

happy anniversary, mr and mrs kalkatroona.  thanks for hooking up.  we'll be toasting you in a few hours...

ruggy's moodmaker

2 oz bourbon
1/2 oz amaretto
2 cherries (not maraschino!)
1 T cherry juice

stir please, don't shake.  it bruises le alcohol.  

but don't wait for us west coasters.  BOTTOMS UP!

(edit: i haz confused the issue.  by mr and mrs kalkatroona, i mean my folks.  tee hee, tra la.  happy anniversary, mom 'n dad!)


tongue tied

i really, REALLY want to post about my day today.  i wrote a draft.  it is, in my opinion, a hilarious romp through suburbia and the politics of household.  but i have conferred with ruggy, and i cannot.  ruggy is right. 

so i present for discussion this sticker spied on a neighborhood walk.  WHAT CAN THIS POSSIBLY MEAN. definitely a simpler approach than the tom selleck affair, but still... so cryptic... so intriguing.  and the sticker placement!  i feel, somehow, that they have chosen their street signage carefully. 

no fair googling, please to come up with your own explanation if prince circa 1979 moves you...


the extremely revealing maxi skirt.

i like the front.

i'm okay with the side.

i love the evenly spaced gathers.


ah, the things you learn on le blog shoot.