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Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Saturday Night Fever at the...Luau???

No, John Travolta is NOT vacationing in the islands this time of year.  'Tis the season....for celebrating, rejoicing, fruitcake, and of course the company Christmas party!!!  Having spent all of my shopping budget buying gifts for everyone else this year (better to give than receive, right?), I couldn't justify buying a new party dress.  Still wanting to look fabulous however, I enlisted the aid of these two cast-offs:
an ill-fitting purple top from Victoria's Secret,
and a smocked maxi that my hubby nicknamed the "Disco Nights" dress due largely in part to, and I'm quoting here,  "the pattern's kinda funky, but not in a good way."
Thanks honey....I think....
 Enlisting the help of one of my store bought maxi dresses, measured and cut a 14 inch by 8 inch rectangle, transforming the "old" hemline of the purple top into the top seam of the new strapless bodice.
Stitched up the sides with a 5/8 seam allowance using a zigzag stitch (the top is jersey, after all)
 Wanting to utilize the preexisting gathering that the original elastic smocking of the dress provided, I snipped about 1 inch above the waistline. 
 I then placed the strapless top on the dress, right sides together, and stitched together at the empire waist.  And that's the skinny...easy peazy, lemon squeezey.
 The result?  A super comfy (and glamorous) party dress that my husband is no longer embarrassed to stand next to.
Can you dig it?

The hubby and Little Guy relaxing before hitting the pool.

 One of the many entertaining numbers performed by the luau's hula troop. Love the colors.
The Little Guy was especially impressed by the fire dancing.
Wishing you a warm and merry holiday season!


Monday, December 5, 2011

Let Them Eat Cake...

And who wouldn't?  Especially a chocolate ladybug cake as cute as this:

Made especially for my buddy Laren's baby shower using two 9 inch chocolate cake rounds, buttercream icing, fondant, gel color, a pair of googly eyes, and a whole lot of time & patience.  Of course with a fabulous baby shower to attend, I would need an equally fabulous ensemble.  Unfortunately, time management was not one of my strong points this weekend and with no "easy" button in sight, had to improvise with this little ditty:
I picked up this bright sundress at a church garage sale for a whopping $1, and was immediately drawn to the colors and the cool knotted detailing in the front.
This dress reminded me of a BCBG top I purchased about a year ago (for way more than $1, I might add) and although I could've worn as is...was looking for a new top to add to my wardrobe.
Okay, onto the 15 minute refashion...
Seam ripped the straps at the back..was NOT feeling the criss-cross action.
Uncrossed the straps and pinned back in place.
 Using my favorite refashion (found here) as a guide, snipped some length off the bottom.  Folded all the raw edges in...
...and stitched it all up.
And with a whopping 1.2 minutes to spare, a new ladybug worthy babydoll top is transformed.
  Just enough time to get the cake and the Little Guy in the car and over to the shower.
 The guest of honor Laren, with said bun in said oven, was so pleased with the cake she wanted to pose with me.  No really, I didn't have to threaten her or anything.  Seeing the cake and refashion side by side, came to the realization that the colors coordinate..insert Twilight Zone theme at your own risk.
Even Little Guy was impressed.
Well, with the 3D movies anyway.

One Dollah, Make you Holla
*woot woot*
I would like to formally thank (read:  legally cite) Wikipedia for confirming that the title of this blog is indeed a quote.  Google it!!!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

A Handful of Roses, A Pocketful of Dreams

The holiday season is here.  The season to spend cherished time with loved ones, cook fantabulous (read: high caloric, carboholic) meals, shop til you drop, and party, party, party.  Add all of those together and you'll need a very versatile holiday dress...amiright?  Enter rose dress:
When I saw this dress, I immediately fell in love with the print.  1/2 part "Lily of the Valley", 1/2 part 80's lounge dress, it also had a built in tie-back (essential element to the refashion) and loads of fabric.  Would you believe that this was sized as a medium?  I'm thinking that that was either a)a big mistake or b) the 1 hour Turbo Fire sessions are really paying off....bwahahahaha.  I can dream can't I?
 The first step was to ixnay those shoulder pads and sleeves.  Seam ripper, how I've missed you.
I was planning on keeping the scoopneck for the dress, but needed the back to be a little lower.  Using the neckline of the dress, traced onto the back and snipped.  Folded in the raw edges of the armholes & back and stitched.
 Placing the dress on my dressform, took in the straps about 2 inches and
took in the dress at the sides by sewing up each of the side panels.
Trimmed and hemmed the bottom a bit.
I know what you're thinking, doesn't look much different right?  Well, once I utilize those built in back ties...
by bringing them to the front and tying a cute bow, a fun, flirty, empire waist dress emerges.  Worn as is with strappy sandals or paired with a black cardigan and boots, it is a welcomed addition to my holiday wardrobe.  As an extra bonus, there is just enough draping in the front to totally camoflauge the "post pig-out" tummy.
And the Little Guy approves.

Happy Holiday to All!!!

Monday, October 31, 2011

Ghouls & Veronica Lodge

Halloween has got to be one of my all time favorite holidays.  The orange, purple, & black decor, the CHOCOLATE, the haunted houses, scary movies, the CHOCOLATE, and of course, the excuse to dress up in costume all day and not have to worry about someone calling the psych ward.  As previously stated, I am an Aries and find any old excuse (no really, ANY excuse) to dress up, but Halloween is always special because my Little Guy loves it almost as much as I do.  Case in point:
Unfortunately for me, I have a training function off island during Halloween this year, so no coordinating costumes for me and the Little Guy *tear*.  With that bit of bad news, I was determined to celebrate Halloween in my usual fashion.  I am going to be in Waikiki after all, the mecca of party cities (here in Hawaii, anyway), and I knew that I would be in great company.  My only problem...what to wear?  Since I'm planning to take only a carry-on (God help me!) I needed a costume that was compact and didn't require a whole bunch of accessories.  Of course my instinct was to go as a Honeybadger (insert Beavis & Butthead laugh here), but didn't want to be mistaken as a skunk.  Not wanting to be one of the many Lady Gaga or Nicki Minaj impersonators, I decided on the following:
Black & white polka dot skirt=$0.50 garage sale
Red T-shirt sale rack at K-mart=$2.50
Black tie belt=free from clothing stash
Little Guy posing redneck chic complete with popsicle=priceless

With this awesome color combo and my lack of packing space I thought that a Veronica Lodge costume would be perfect.  Who is Veronica Lodge you say?  Only 1/2 of the ancient vintage comic Betty & Veronica.  
I remember LOVING this comic when I was younger and often dreamed of being as glamorous (read:  rich) as Veronica.  Of course like most, I related more with Betty.  Middle income family, girl next door, always crushing on the high school jock.  *Sigh* Did I mention I love Halloween?
 The easiest and most fabulous transition for the skirt is to turn it into a strapless dress.  The elastic band was a wee bit stretched out so I took each side in about 1 inch at the side seams.  Dress complete.
I folded the red T-shirt in half and using one of my cardigans to measure, snipped a bit off the length of the shirt.
I then measured straight down from the tip of the v-neck... 
and snipped again. 
I folded all the raw edges under, and stitched.  Cardigan complete.
Now for the piece de resistance, the monogram "V" which I freehanded (not too shabby huh?) on a piece of scrapped velvet felt.  Snipped it out..very carefully. 
Then placed and stitched it onto the red cardigan.
Put it all together and what do you get?
Veronica Lodge and her faithful sidekick Iron Man.

Happy Halloween everyone!

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Star Wars and the Lucky Liz

I've had this little ditty in my closet for a while now, waiting patiently for its moment to shine (insert collective "Ahh!"). 
Joan Cleaver, meet Liz Claiborne....circa 1982.  Although I was immediately drawn to the color (hello pink!) and the print, had a moment when I thought it may be TOO much and almost put it in the "go back" pile.  That was until I found a treat...$3.00 stashed in one of the hidden side pockets.  Taking this as divine intervention, placed my reservations aside and took the discarded Liz home.  It also helped that this dress was only $3.99 and after the surprise cash a mere $0.99. 
Shameless REENACTMENT starring my Little Guy
(and yes, he is obsessed with Star Wars) 
Not sure exactly where I was gonna go with this (hence, the long wait), and decided to start by trimming the top from armpit to armpit.  Use the force Luke....

Ideas now forming and enlisted the aid of my ever patient and understanding dressform.

Using the dressform as a guide, sketched a new neckline. 

Wanting to try my hand at princess seams, used my tape measure and marked a diagonal line from each shoulder to waistline. 

Cut out the modified neckline.

Measuring 1/2 inch on each side of the diagonal marks previously made, formed 2 long darts from shoulder to waist and stitched. 
Placed dress back on the dress form and folded in the neckline and seams.  Stitched and took in the sides about 2 inches.
Placed the dress right side out on the dressform and using some pink double fold bias tape I had in my stash, made straps starting from the waistline..followed up the princess seams, over the shoulders and all the way down the back to the waistline.  Repeated on other side.

Stitched both ends of each strap to secure and repeated bias tape process around entire waistline.  
And the Lucky Liz reemerges victorious as a flirty sundress.
Minus the Little Guy, who wanted to help the hubby take the pic.

Close up view of neckline and princess seams..not bad for my first attempt...
Do or do not, there is no try.

May the force be with you,