Tuesday, October 30, 2012

My favorite coat

RIP, beloved blue coat.  I wore you the night I got engaged:

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I wore you on a really fun trip to Rochester to visit friends:

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I wore you to hang out with my husband:

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I wore you every chance I could get. I bought shirts and dresses to match you.

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I wore you until you looked like this:

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You started to get little rips in the lining and dirt on the collar and hems.

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The lining somehow became "ombre".

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Then I washed it and I really, really ruined it. It's from the 60's; you think someone would have washed it by now, right? The coat shrunk, but not the lining. The lining hangs out of the sleeves and the bottom. The sleeves which I once convinced myself were "bracelet length" now looked plain silly.

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She's ruined. And believe me when I say I have searched high and wide for something similar. This coat is PERFECT. The vibrant color perks me up on the dreariest days. The sleeves are perfectly slim and it fits better in the shoulders than anything I've ever owned. And the buttons! The collar! I am truly mourning the loss of this gem. But I can sew, right? This came in the mail last week:

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So did this:

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That's right kids, I'm going to sew a coat. Wish me luck.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Halloween!!

Thanks everyone for the nice comments on my last two posts!  I'm really proud of my costume and I'm glad other people like and appreciate it.

It turned out pretty awesome, if I do say so myself.

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This costume was such a treat to make! I loved researching Effie and trying to make an exact replica of something just by looking at a picture.  I learned that I am a better sewer than I give myself credit for! 

I had a little bit of a challenge with the belt, having never made one before.  I bought a covered buckle kit from a crafts website, and that was actually pretty easy.  But then I didn't know how the make the actual belt.  I couldn't find 2" wide belting anywhere.  I tried cardboard, but it was too thick and wouldn't go through the buckle.  I ended up just using some webbed belt stuff and interfacing it.  It turned out great!  Since the fabric was slippery and the belt didn't want to stay in place very well, I put some velcro on the waistband to keep it from twisting around. 

My husband went as Riker from Star Trek. I think he got more attention than I did! Everyone thought he was hilarious. No one at the party really knew who I was supposed to be. That was a little disappointing. Oh well, I loved the costume and that's all that matters, right?

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Saturday we went to a bar and I fared much better with costume recognition. I was in the finals for the costume contest but did not end up winning anything.

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My friends Lori and Dirk went as Karl Lagerfeld and his cat Choupette, which I thought was utterly hilarious. I kept telling Karl to say something scathing. Hahaha. Karl Lagerfeld is such an asshole.

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My sis went as a mermaid and got groped by an Olympic Gold medalist.  Hamm Sandwich!  Watch the hands there, Paul!

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So all in all, Halloween was an awesome night! I loved my costume so much and I seriously want an excuse to wear it again. Catching Fire premiere? Comic-Con? I'll find an excuse!

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Almost done with the Halloween Costume!

Once I had my bodice mostly done, the rest came together super easily.  It's hard to tell from the last photo I posted, but the skirt is a pencil skirt with a bubble skirt over it.  Like so:

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I used a pencil skirt pattern already in my collection, and I just winged it with the bubble part.  I wanted it to be super full and poufy, so I gathered more than two yards to make it!  It was so thick it was hard to sew through, but once I got the waistband on, it looked fine.

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The rest of the bodice was pretty easy, too. I pinned it on my dress form and cut it down the middle. Then I played around with a few collars. I used a collar piece from a dress pattern I had, and just made it longer, but it didn't really lay the way I wanted it to. It was too flat, and Effie's collar kind of sticks up in the back. So in the end I just used a super long strip of fabric folded in half. It was super easy and looks just how I wanted. From there, I pinned the collar in place, sewed it on, and then trimmed away the excess fabric from the bodice.

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Here's a closeup of the seam detail.

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And the back.

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And finally, the whole shebang.

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I am SO pleased with how it turned out. All I have left to do now is the belt and the blouse, but the blouse will be super easy. It's more like a scarf, really. The only minor issue I am having is that the bodice likes to come untucked from the skirt because the fabric is slippery. I'm thinking I can either tuck the blouse into my underwear to keep it in place, or maybe I can put a little piece of velcro or a snap on the waistband of the skirt and the back of the blouse to hold it all together.

This fabric was surprisingly not bad to work with. It shredded like crazy, but since it's really plasticy, I just used a lighter to melt the seams! It worked perfectly and I have no fraying and didn't have to use seam binding. I've got pink false eyelashes and a pink wig coming from a friend that works at a costume website, and I still have to figure out shoes. I decided that if we go to a party at someone's house, I'm wearing these:

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I don't want to risk them getting dirty, so if we go to a bar, I'm probably just going to find some thrift store shoes and paint them gold. We'll see! I really want to wear the Miu Miu's, but they're my babies and I'm not taking a chance on someone spilling on me or stepping on my foot.

Eek!  I am so excited for Halloween!