Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Roses for Oonapalooza!

This is my Katie Kadiddlehopper pose.

Check out my make for this month's Sewcialists theme!  I know, I'm totally squeaking in just before the deadline. Obviously, this is the dress that sparked my last blog post thought train. If it was TL;DR the gist of it was "I'm too nerdy for this kind of dress and PINK". But then there are so many other brilliant women that do. It was a silly notion, and while Oona approves of silly, I don't think she goes for THAT kind of silly.

Speaking of silly, while taking these photos I was like "I feel ridiculous". Luckily our lush vegetation gives us a good bit of privacy from snoopy neighbors. Oh, and I took these the same day I took my kitschy coo hack pictures. Isn't amazing how much a wardrobe change can make you look different? I mean, I'm wearing the same makeup!

So this is the Camino Cap from Kitschy Coo just like my other one only I made the skirt down to the floor this time. Its pretty much a straight size 8 though I did curve in for the underbust. I didn't want contrasting bands on the sleeves but I did on the neckline just to break up the pink. Both fabrics are an ITY from Fabric Mart, which I got on sale. I did a rolled hem on the serger, easy peasy. Its gotten to the point I can whip up a knit dress in two hours. TWO HOURS. Its no wonder knits are so popular with this kind of production speed.

Unlike the other dress this one gets compliments everywhere I go. With such a vibrant print I'm keeping the accessories to a minimum. Its all about the dress you see.

This is me laughing at myself for ridiculous posing.

Obligatory mouth open Oona pose, except somehow she does it without looking like she's getting tested for Strep throat. This is one of the things that makes her so awesome and vibrant even on screen, she has that light and presence that makes it work. Love you Oona, you totally deserve the spotlight this month.

I can't wait for all the roundups at the end! What I've seen so far has been fantastic.

Monday, July 28, 2014

'Real' Geek Girls Don't Like Fashion

I'm sitting at work in a recently make Kitschy Coo Camino cap maxi dress (real photos later) in many shades of bright pink, digital print roses and wondering how I got here.  And by 'here' I don't mean work, I mean wearing pink.

Since venturing into sewing for myself things other than costumes, I have also ventured into unfamiliar waters of wearing bright colors (ya know, OTHER than red) and shapes that I haven't previously been able to explore and I'm having a great deal of fun doing so. BUT, and this is where the title becomes relevant, I always have this small voice in the back of my head saying that I'm betraying my inner geek girl. 

It might be the same small voice that is in the back of many other minds, or the debate of what entails a REAL geek girl would not be a thing. Though I don't mean fandom specifically, I'm approaching this from a general experience of what it was like to be a nerd or geek or whatever-the-frak its called now, in high school. We weren't the cool kids with the in crowd keeping up with the latest fashions. At least I wasn't until I jumped head first into grunge, largely thanks to Nirvana, before everyone else caught on. Mom had, for a long time, tried to make me things that I saw in the magazines but the early 90's were total crap for people that sewed. When we moved to Georgia she basically stopped trying at all because I was making my own money and spending it on clothes for myself. It was a lot of the boho chick that I still love today but then I detoured and dove head first into Goth. OMG, I loved me some Goth but maybe because it just extended my ability to wear Ren Fair garb outside of that venue. 

So in retrospect, I was certainly into clothing and fashion but it was to the beat of my own drummer. That drummer never won me any popularity points, the biggest relief was moving to Georgia where the school was large and I mostly stayed off the bully radar. I hung out with the band nerds and what some considered "the bad kids" (usually male), but largely because they didn't scare me and they weren't so much as bad as they were acting out on crappy home lives. At some point I became their sounding board and therapist because I never jumped to conclusions and I called them on their bullshit. Two boys in particular told me after we graduated that I had saved their lives just by being there for them. I'm not sure how this tangential thought happened, so I'll digress.

What was I talking about? Oh, right, betraying my inner geek girl.

So, fast forward two decades where I'm now working in the IT industry with a very old, large corporation. Its not been around as long as its parent organization (over a century) and the technology portion of it has relaxed the dress code to Business Casual, unless the suits are popping over for a visit. But its the casual portion that I am stressing here. The GenXer's have had a great deal of influence over the years inserting a sort of disdain for the stuffy dress of our elders. The women of this very technical industry were, by and large, the awkward geek girls from high school and thanks to our Riot Grrl 90's we were now beyond fashion. We are better than that! We are all about what is INSIDE and how that counts (i still believe this) so much more than what we wear! Those fashionable girls are the enemy.

It didn't occur to me until much later that that attitude is ultimately the same thing as high school exclusionary tactics from the other side of the isle. And it hadn't occurred to me how much of this attitude and seeped into my unconscious until I caught myself thinking, and even voicing, my own disdain for the girly. Like full skirted dresses with lace, gingham maxi dresses, bright colors, and florals in general should be verbotten. Or something. I would say things on Facebook like "I'm going to lose my Goth Card for this" and even the most stoic of my friends said that was a silly thing to worry about.

I mean really, I'm a grown woman and what others think of me is none of my business. I'll wear whatever I damn well please.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Kitschy Coo Hacks: The Cowl Neck Maxi in Blue

Hello Sailor.
 y'all. Y'ALL. This is like, my favorite knit garment I've ever made, FOR SERIOUS. Its a combination of Kitschy Coo patterns that have been modified from the original. The bodice is from the Lady Skater but I used a Threads tutorial to create a cowl neck.

The skirt is the maxi version of the Camino Cap, but this time I had enough to go all the way to the floor.  The fabric is a navy blue bamboo rayon from Fabric.com, its one of their reorderable medium weights that aren't quite so clingy as other rayons. Still, if I'm going to wear it out and about it needs proper foundation garments for a smooth silhouette.  And I have, in fact, already worn this to work.  It was a bit bizarre because if ever staring was audible, it was that day. No one actually complimented the dress, but one lady on the elevator had her mouth open. When she realized I was looking at her she said 'Your hair is... amazing".

I was like "Um, thanks! Oh hey look this is my floor".  Cause I suck at taking compliments, its taken years to learn to just say thank you.

This fabric drapes beautifully,  I might add. LOVE IT. Let's see what else? Ah yes, I used clear elastic at the shoulders and the waist for stability. I did cut the bodice two inches shorter to have it hit at the right place with the weight of the full skirt. I just did a rolled hem on the serger because this is a knit and well, I was feeling lazy. Wanted to WEAR IT NOW!

This is the "Would you please do something about your dog barking all fucking day" face. Seriously people, if you are going to have a pet, don't neglect them!!

I want like, a closet full of these! I'm wearing it around the house right now and I can be active and do things in it without worrying. If I'm cooking there are aprons for a reason!  I also know that y'all are going to ask me about a tutorial, I've already mentioned to Amanda (Of Kitschy Coo) that I'm game. The kids are away with their Grandma this week going road tripping, so its been quiet and I've been concentrating on the six things already cut out. Yes, SIX. Crazy, I know. I have another hand full of things I've not yet blogged and need to share!  I've started working out again now that my pain management doctor has agreed that it will take more pain meds in the short term but be beneficial in the long term. I'm pretty determined to make that uphill journey for a second time (the first was before Mom went into hospice).

So tell me, have you ever hacked a pattern until is was barely recognizable from the original? Did you like it afterward?

Stay tuned, later this week I have photos for Oonapalooza!

Friday, July 11, 2014

Kitschy Coo Camino Cap Duo!

we're looking fierce today

Hey, Psst. You. YES YOU. Do you know what this is? If you guessed the latest pattern from Kitschy Coo then you would be correct! This latest addition to her pattern collection is purrrrfect! I was so happy I got to test from ground zero on this one. Its such a cute and sassy design wrapped up together.

The Camino Cap is a downloadable PDF (-->GET IT HERE<--) that can be made up as both a shirt and a dress. There's the contrast yoke or one piece, and it comes down and covers the shoulders very nicely. This is especially good for those of us in a work place that has two settings: beer cooler or meat locker. In any case, I made an almost maxi length for me, and I confess, did it to completely rip off Katie's wonderful version. I lengthened at the "lengthen here" line and at the bottom. But since I made Felicity one as well, I didn't have enough to reach all the way to the floor. Normally I would wear high heals but soft ground, nope.

Mama Cat and her Kitten

Yes, you read that correctly. Mother/daughter outfits. She was gracious enough to wear hers with me for photos. I'm in size eight, she's in size 1. I had to shorten the bodice for Felicity by about 2 inches, the waist is a bit low and its large at the high bust but that's ok, room to grow!

Spot the belt. GET IT? Hahahaha, I kill me.

This is the husband's favorite, cause I'm smiling.

Check it out, I didn't even need to do a sway back adjustment!

Lawd that girl, she's getting her red belt this Saturday, btw, WATCH OUT BOYS!

I love the little dip in the back, makes for a lovely show of the nap of the neck. Kitschy Coo has THE BEST necklines.

Its like looking in the mirror sometimes.

This is me basking in the glory that is this dress, and/or contemplating how many more I want to make. OH, I have even told you the BEST THING about all the Kitschy Coo patterns. They are made from the same block so most of the pieces are interchangeable. I've had several hacks stewing about and tested, and I want to make some tutorials. Maybe when the kids are visiting relatives with their Grandmother later this month.

That's all for now!

Friday, July 4, 2014

Are You Ready for Some OONAPALOOZA!?

Twitter and myself have struck again. Gillian of Crafting a Rainbow and caretaker of our Sewcialist blog footed the question "What should our next color theme be?" and when there was some back and forth I tweeted:

What about #OONAPALOOZA?

And everyone, including the Diva Herself said HECK YEAH OONAPALOOZA!!  So this month of July up to August 1rst, Oona is your inspiration. Post your makes in the Sewcialists Flickr Group. Challenge yourself to sew with bright colors and wild prints, make it in something that you've always wanted to try but were afraid of what people might think. And if you find yourself dizzy from the choices, do what Oona does and grab a cocktail and tackle that apprehension with boozy glee.

 If you don't know who Oona is, then you are missing out! Head over to her blog here and lurk her closet here. Here are a few of my favorites.

That's a BHL Victoria Blazer with the most awesome of maxi dresses.

Feather skirt. NEED I SAY MORE?

I've got a few ideas brewing in my head, please tell me yours!