Vogue 8556 Part II

The bra cup idea was actually Mr Snorks, as I was prowling JoAnn's, looking for things I might need, and things I would never need but that are on clearance, therefore impossible to walk past without at least considering. 

I hadn't even considered if the back of the dress is high enough for a normal strapless bra.  I could get away without, but I like the bra cup shape and looking like I'm the sort of person who wear a bra.
Then it turned out it takes half hour to pin a cup into some lining.  Who knew.  After 8 failed trial and error episodes, where I pinned cups to lining, ran to the mirror, found out they sit 2" below my boobs, rinse repeat with varying (all unsuccessful) results,  the idea bulb finally went off.  I put on the front piece backwards, placed the bra cups on top of what is the lining in a way I thought was flattering (debatable), traced the outline with chalk, and then pinned the cups to lining before crossing my fingers and  sewing them on.  Temporarily placing a peach inside to keep the fabric curved the way I needed it.  For some reason 'more flattering' included flipping the cups upside down from the package illustration.  

I used the thin, foam cups.  Next time JoAnn's is sending out their 50% off coupons, I'm buying out the whole shelf of them and sewing them into e v e r y t h i n g.

I'm a fan. 

In an unrelated story, this fabric would make an awesome swimsuit.  I hope to have enough remnants left over to fashion something like that.  Or panties.  How awesome is it to have a dress and MATCHING panties.  Some ruffles and a quick flower headband out of the same remnants and I could totally dress myself like a 3 year old.


Vogue 8556 Part I

I'm super excited about this pattern, so I thought I'd try it, even though I should *really* be undoing and redoing my curtains with blackout fluff.  (They are currently unattractively see-through).  But, there's a pretty back strap involved, and I got sucked in.

First draft of the chest piece required a lot more boob than is available, so I read a few tutorials on Small Bust Adjustments.

I really liked someone called Gertie doing a tissue pinching thing, and coming up with a beautifully fitted bust.  I considered it, cause she made it look so good.  Then I remembered I suck, and if I pinned my tissues together and onto me, they would end up shredded before I could find my pencil, and I would be reduced to a pissed off, TP'd version of me, looking to go buy a new pattern (no longer on $3.99 sale, no doubt)

We'll call it the ghetto SBA.  I clipped, snipped, and overlapped with abandon, shortened the neckline, and the second draft was more pleasing.  It appears I also have to move the pleats two inches to the outside, either because the new pattern piece, or my shape. Original pleats are no good.  I also hacked away a half inch at the widest, in an arc in the middle to make more of a V shape. 

This doesn't include everything I did, but it looks like I know what's up with drawing fancy lines and overlapping stuff, so I'm posting it. 

Then there's interpreting the illustration on the pattern envelope as it relates to bodice length.  It appears it extends over the hips.  But when I extend 3 layers of fabric, one of them gathered, from my boobs to my hips, I lose my waist entirely and start feeling like a hippo.

I shortened the bodice piece a little, and that seemed to help a tiny bit.

Or not?  I need to start drafting muslins in a more flattering black.  In a related story, I am NOT a Vogue size 14. 

Doesn't look good for 16 either, if I ever wanna sit.  Measuring fail.  Check out the back strap situation though?! 

In a related story, I was pretty excited to find an actual model picture on Vogue site. The cartoon drawings are awesome, but then I get really discouraged when what I come up with just doesn't look the same and cause I'm not 6'3".  They ought hire someone else to do pattern caricatures.  I want to see 30" bust and 40" hips on the envelope, thanks, Vogue. 

And, finally, the two fabrics I have with enough yardage:

I'm thinking Door #2.  The red is shiny, and I don't know that I can handle shiny and slippery just yet. 
YEEP!  The project goes on.


Vogue 8552, Sack-ness, and Cute-ness.

Affectionately known as The Sack.

I think it could be super cute, on someone with lesser hips than mine. I was in love with the pockets, and overall sack-ness of it, but, turns out when I wear a sack – not SPECTACUAR. My mom would say that it's good for selling potatoes at Moscow's Central Market.  The cartoon chick on the envelope pattern does it better. Certainly not because she’s drawn on a scale of 5’11’’ height and a 10” waist.

The other problem is that inevitably, I am drawn to colours, and sparkles, and big bunches of pink. It’s like I think I might expire out of boredom, if I used a sensible, solid fabric. But, I think this dress would do well in a solid fabric, may be with some contrast topstitching, to bring out the pockets. That way they might not look like a flowery extension of my butt.

However, I made it, so I LOVE it.

Not to mention, it was my birthday, and for the Most Thoughtful, Cute Gift EVER, Mr Snork got me these:

Tell me you didn’t just fall over, overwhelmed by the adorableness. I feel overwhelmed just typing about it.  My very own labels.  I feel very Gaultier-like. 

Some other developments for this dress:

I figured out how to use an ancient “Buttonholer”.

I'm not even sure how it works, it all happens so fast.  I think it just maniacally rattles the machine, which in turn sews a buttonhole out of sheer terror.  That's what it seems like, anyway.  Although it’s entirely a crapshoot on whether it’ll make a buttonhole or chew up and spit out your fabric mangled – I bravely made a buttonhole (attempt 2). Complete with tiny, cute, glass rose buttons courtesy of JoAnn’s. I also spent a half hour with my seam ripper on ButtonHOLE Attempt 1, but I don’t like to talk about it. I will say, that is a LOT of stitches in a small area. A bit of an FML moment. But, it can’t be blamed – It came with the sewing machine I got at a garage with a receipt from the 60’s.  It’s a wonder it didn’t just crackle and fall apart. 

I decided to forgo the zipper, mostly because I wanted to use a buttonholer, and I put in two small darts in the front, under the bust. The ruffles on top translated into a ‘belly pouch” area that I found unattractive and in need of being eliminated.   It's a little evident in photo below, but its after I put in on, having eaten a loaf of bread with olive oil that it really thrives and stands out.. It would make a fantastic Maternity Sack.

The best part came in after I washed it, for the first time ever, because I forgot to preshrink.  It’s now a much shorter sack. Luckily, I kept shaving off the armholes, until I had taken off nearly an inch, because it seemed I either have behemoth arms, (I don’t) or they were cut for wrists. I worried that an inch made them too ‘gapey’. Not to worry though, the shrink job took them right back up. Speaking of armholes, I thought those sleeves would look stupid and flappy, but they’re flappy and CUTE!


Pooping Predators, and The Case of the Sad Mint Plant.

So, I bought this mint plant at farmers market, because I like mint in my tea.  I always get the $1 bunch, which lasts me a week or two, but I had visions of a giant mint bush, like my father has outside his house in NorCal.  At tea time, the children go pluck some leaves, and, voila!  Either a nice minty tea, or some mozarella/lemon/mint plate. 

Anyway, back to my plant.  So, I happily plucked some leaves on days one and two, but then it went downhill.  It got sickly.  Figuring it was too young a plant for leaf plucking, I thought I'd leave it be for a while. 

It kept getting sicklier.  Something was eating the leaves (and not me, the person who paid $5 for it!).  We moved it inside.  We watered it.  We tried sun.  We tried no sun.  Mysterious black clumps littered the leaves..  Like, bug poop.

Sad Mint Plant With Mysterious Illness:

Finally, Mr Snork warned me to stay away from it, cause he'd spray it with some bug murder spray.  It was either going to die, or recover, but otherwise, something else was gonna finish it off and poop on the remaining bald stalks.   :(

Last night, we laid in bed and wandered if whatever was eating it is nocturnal and springs up from the ground.  Cause we haven't seen anything, and there are only, like, 7 stalks to keep track of.  Severely balding stalks.  We considered sneaking up on the mint plant, to see if IT has emerged. 

But the we fell asleep, before we had a chance to ambush the plant eater. 

This morning, I went to see the (even balder) mint plant, to see if it needed water, or something, and noticed that the bug poop is now obscene.  Something has shat on my plant, shamelessly, and the leaf is weighted down by the clumps.  Whatever it is, it's getting bigger.  The shit clumps are now bigger than an ant, so it rules out ants, those tiny green bugs, or, really, anything tiny

(Note the half eaten leaf).  And, then, THEN, either because IT moved, or my gaze was shifted by the audible CHEWING, I SAW IT.   (Right above the poop)

Perhaps a closer look, the way it appeared in person:

I almost fainted.

Look at the size of that thing's eyeball!!!!  Check out the spiky, (probably poisonous) Freaky Hairs.  And it's stupid, clever coloring.  It could be cast in a Harry Potter sequel.  Look at how it's shamelessly eating, even as it's being discovered and camera flashes are going off like mad in its face.   It didn't even stop to consider me.

Fighting my instinct to call Mr Snork (at work, for an hour now), and scream, "OMG THERE"S A CATERPILLAR IN THE HOUSE!!!!!!!!!!!! COME NOW" (tragically, his work arrangements are not such that he can come and go, to heroically fight rodent-bugs at the house.  Dammit.) I circled the living room in panic a few times, thinking about waking up one of the neighbors. 

I got some paper towels, to grab the THING, but then I thought the hairs might puncture the paper towel, AS it turned around and bit me.  I swear it LOOKED at me, threateningly, and anyway, I do not like being bitten or slithered upon, let alone, with something surely poisonous. 

I considered Windex, cause it does a number on ants.  But this thing lived through a hard core bug spray and came through just fine, downright famished, and pretty regular in its bowel movements.  I consdered taking the entire plant outside, until Mr got home, but at the rate THING ate and shat, not much might be left in 8 hours. 

Finally, I held the mint plant with biggest tweezers I could find, wishing I could maneuver well with BBQ tongs and carefully snipped the stem with my best sewing scissors, carrying the infested stalk to the trash, wimpering, all the while.  I kept an eye on it, while I washed the dishes, cause it looked like something that would slither out and straight across my kitchen to reclaim its pot.  Then, I'd have to leave the house, and admit defeat.  Fortunatelly, it seemed unbothered, and ate the rest of the mint stalk happily, eyeballing me, no doubt, with contempt.  All the way until I took it downstairs to the trash.  Where it's probably kicking ass as we speak.

Stupid slithery hairy side eyeing worm bugs