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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,