Monday, September 21, 2015

Let's Play Catch Up!

September is moving along like a rocket and dragging me right along with it! Whoosh! Let me catch you up to speed (busy, bUsY, BUSY)! 

You know that Tiffany-blue cocktail dress with the white sequin mesh overlay I made for a client back in May? I was commissioned to make another, this one for a fuller-figured young woman: 


Labor Day weekend, I took my youngest daughter and niece to Bristol Ren Faire in Kenosha, Wisconsin (smack between Chicago and Milwaukee, if you've never been there). There were many firsts on this trip: It was our first time at Bristol; it was our first time as patrons to a show; it was our first time paying to get in a Faire; it was our first time dressing and undressing in a Faire parking lot; and it was our first time buying handcrafted goods rather than bartering for wares. Because the Beautiful Hubs, the kids, and I were merchants at Faire, we never had these experiences - I'm so glad we finally did! 

~On our way!~
~Hello, Chicago!~
~Helping Roxane into her corset~
~Me, Jo, and Maive~
~Cathy generously spritzing me and Roxy with a wonderful peppermint spray!~

There were costumes to make for our Bristol visit, and as any Ren merchant and devoted Renny patron knows, cotton is your friend! It hovered around 90F all Labor Day weekend. Smokin'! Don't hate 'cause I'm a wimpy northerner with hot chocolate running through my veins. Anyway, isn't it supposed to be, like, -10F in Wisconsin this time of year? *gigglesnort*

The girls told me what they wanted, they picked out their material, and I made our costumes light and easy (for construction photos, please visit my Flicker page).  

~Gettin'r done!~

We girls spent our last full day of vacation in Milwaukee at the Milwaukee Art Museum. My daughter is an Art History major and she wanted to see the museum's Van Gogh to Pollock exhibit. The museum itself is a work of art and it sits right on Lake Michigan - beautiful, beautiful! We had a wonderful day, and I loved Milwaukee. There will be another visit and there will be some serious beer tasting. After all, Milwaukee is the beer capital of the world! 

~Milwaukee Bay, Lake Michigan~
~Milwaukee Museum of Art~
~The skywalk over N. Museum & N. Lincoln Memorial Drives~
~One of the museum's gallery corridors~
~Museum's atrium~

Current projects include altering a department store cocktail dress (it needs to be taken in at the bust, the shoulder straps adjusted, the zipper sewn in correctly, and the chiffon overskirts re-aligned across the derrière) and finishing a dress from the mid-1910s that I started about a month ago but put it to the side to work on other projects...

Can you believe the first day of Fall is two days away? Countdown - forty days until Halloween!  

Blessing, my dear friends, and happy sewing!

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Making Quick Work of It

I've known about a family wedding date for months. I procrastinated on buying a dress. I browsed the department stores on occasion, but with little enthusiasm and knowing what to expect: garish gowns and dresses made from poor quality materials and blinged-up with plastic jewels like cheap party favors. Or, or! Maxy dresses and skirts, mid-thigh, skin-tight ribbon dresses, and neon colored prom gowns exploding with layers of tulle and chiffon. 

Maybe I shouldn't be so fussy...


This last Friday (the wedding was Sunday) I went out with the hubs to pick out his dress clothes and we were done in 15 minutes. FIFTEEN minutes! It took me an hour to find a strapless bra (and still no dress)! 

LIFE LESSON No. 102,364: "Just make the damn dress."  

Riding home from the mall with my husband's shopping bags nestled between my feet, my mind was working furiously, sorting through my mental file of fabrics, flipping through images of various dress shapes, and constructing a simple and flattering silhouette in the fitting-room of my mind. The moment the hubs pulled into the garage, it was mad dash to my stash! 

I pulled a poly-cotton black lace and a baby blue poly crepe

La Robe

Not bad for making quick work of it (Whew!). To view the construction photos for this dress, please click here. Blessings and happy sewing!