Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Christmas Dress! Still can't make things fit...

I made a dress for Christmas! Actually I made a dress that I mostly finished in October or early November but never finished fitting until December 24th. That way I could wear it to midnight mass to look great for my walk of shame out of the Cathedral. (Don't look at me, it wasn't my fault!) Pictures of this scandalous dress are few and those I do have are oddly lit, but hopefully you'll get the idea...
Disregard my rumples--I just got off work.
I used Butterick 6582 (the same I used for Jenn's wiggle dress that she NEVER GAVE ME PICTURES OF) and layered this ~carnelian red lace/cutout fabric hybrid--it's too sturdy to be lace but too hole-y to be a cutout fabric, is there another name for it?--with a nubby, tawny boucle-type wool blend that I shrank the dickens out of. It can't get much smaller! Here's a mega-close-up of the fabric.
Yeah! You don't know what part of the dress this is! It is like one of those pictures that you keep zooming out of until you figure out that it was a super-close-up of an old milkshake.
For a wiggle dress, it is surprisingly roomy. What that really means is that I still don't have the fit issues worked out. It might be a fabric selection issue or my determined nature to only make things in the wrong size, but it seems unavoidable. I keep hoping that I'll outgrow my mismeasuring/sewing stage. Heck, I can bike in this "wiggle" dress, that is wrong on ten levels! Also, check this out.
It's not a tumor.
What is with that shoulder lift? Looks like I need to do some minor disassembly, poke around there with a chopstick, then press that seam into the suburbs of Sacramento. Citrus Heights, I'm coming for you!

Without the protective sweater; with the protective dog.
Hopefully I'll be able to post the "2011 in review" summary soon. Stay tuned! If things get really crazy, I might even let you know what I've been doing in 2012!

Rainbow Collection: Michelle's Birds-in-Your-Head Green Laptop Bag

I need to tie up Christmas stuff! Here goes...

Since Michelle normally negotiates for clothes all year long, I decided that I wasn't going to make her a dress or pantsuit or day-glo pantaloons. She had recently purchased a laptop, meaning she could once more go out and about and compute. "Excellent!," I thought, "I'll make a super-cute bag to lure her to coffee shops and parks and discotheques! Maybe she could even bring Olive along!"
Or not...

Then this seemingly innocuous laptop bag ate up the better part of November's craft time. I was following a How Joyful tutorial re-blogged by Craft: from Sew, Mama, Sew! I read through it a time or two with the diligence of a room full of Labrador puppies and figured I'd be good to go. It's a bag. Come on. Yeah. There were some...kinks to be worked out, especially with the amount of batting to be sewn into the handles and the final cut size of the foam padding that is built into the pockets and I'd rather not recall the bear that was turning the entire bag right-side-out through a two-inch opening. It became a huge trial because that cursed bag got in my head! Maybe it was me, I don't know, but I felt like there were parts when I should have just abandoned the instructions and followed my gut. I stalled and stalled and cursed and broke ~ five needles (those handles were death on my needles!) and finally wrapped it up with cattish finality on December 1st. By that point it was all I could do to trim the loose threads. I have enough extra foam and batting to give a go at another laptop bag (or something else with foam and batting), so we'll see how mouthy and irritable I am after that.
Never buy fat quarters unless you want to make quilts or really awesome laptop bag pockets!
All deprecation aside, the good part about this project was that it finally gave me a project to use a bunch of my smaller prized fabrics on. The inner pockets were made of some of my favorite quilting fat quarters and the outer shell was this (2009?) Echino fabric leftover from Bryce's wall hanging/curtain. The yellow handles and accent pieces were remnants from Michelle's yellow playsuit.
All in all, it is a nice little bag that should provide some level of protection to Burnt Chicken (Michelle's laptop). So though I didn't make an outfit, the level of intensity for this project certainly fulfills the Rainbow Collection: Green criteria. Besides, it looks dang good on Timber.
Technophobic dog says, "Get that laptop away from me!"