29 August 2008

The girl who looks like a boy but is really a girl

I've been out of the loop!  Not a lot of sewing going on, and no picture-taking of the sewing going on, so no sewing post yet.  Later this weekend I'll post a photo of the latest shirt refashion.  But for now, an update on what's kept me away from Blogland for so long...

Louis started Kindergarten Monday!  I spent last week fretting and preparing.  When Monday morning came, we were set and Louis was a champ.  He walked straight in the classroom and settled right in.  No tears from either of us, though I felt nauseous a couple times.  And he had a really, really great week!  Success!

Louis came home that first day and said, "There's a girl in my class who looks like a boy but is really a girl."  I asked if he knew her name, and he didn't.  

The next day, after school, he recalled an encounter with said girl on the playground: "Mom, I made it to the third monkey bar on the playground today.  But the girl who looks like a boy but is really a girl?  She made it all the way across the monkey bars by herself!"  I asked if he knew her name yet, and he said no.  So I suggested he find out the next day.

Wednesday, after school, I asked Louis if he found out this little girl's name.  He said, "Which little girl?"  At which point I had to respond, "The little girl who you say looks like but boy but is really a girl."  To which he replied, "No."

I'd seen this little girl, and for the record, she neither looks nor dresses like a boy.  Her hair is a long pixie/ almost shag, super-cute, but she's pretty feminine.  So I asked Louis, "Why do you think she looks like a boy?"  And he said, "Her hair is short."  I pointed out, "My hair is shorter than hers.  Do you think I look like a boy?"  Louis said, "No.  But she's really strong."

WHAT?  Chauvinism is permanently etched on that Y chromosome from the point of conception?

I said, "Yes, but I'm really strong and I'm not a boy."  He fell silent.  No other logic to rationalize his instinct.  Today I finally asked Louis' teacher what this little girl's name is.


15 August 2008

For shame!

Well, not so much shame as disbelief:  Has it been a whole week since I've posted? And about a week since I've sewn??? I haven't been here recently enough to see that Blogger/ Google has changed the dashboard we see when we log on to post! That's too long.

I realized tonight that all has not been lost: Even though I haven't been sewing much I have definitely been (inadvertently) planning out my next moves. I plan to finish 4 more shirt refashions before the end of the month. The first two will be similar to each other and the final two will be made from the same pattern, with one a tunic version and the other a dress. At least, this is the plan.

My friend Stephanie grabbed a few neglected shirts from her husband's closet this week for me and it finally got my creative juices flowing again! I wanted to post some cool pics from Wardrobe Remix over at Flickr, but apparently the four favorites I wanted to share don't want to be shared. So I'm moving onto Plan C for my post...

Do you remember my beloved Chie Mihara woven leather shoes?
n, period. I have loved shoes in the past, but these are my true love, from a very pure and unconditional place. (I would LOL here, but I'm almost completely sincere! Not much irony!)

Well, I saw today that Urban Outfitters is carrying a knock-off of these perfect shoes at a much lower price point and a much higher heel. I really don't know if I will ever in my life wear a 4" heel, but I might be curious enough to wander down to my local UO to try them on...

07 August 2008

"Republic of CocktailLand"

Say what you will about Michael Kors, but I confidently proclaim that the man has a great eye and is generous about bons mots, such as (referring to this shiny number at left):

"I don't know... she's from... the Republic of CocktailLand?"

Oh, my. That sound bite will certainly make it to some mash-up retrospective during the reunion episode at the end of the season.

And isn't Michael Kors' belly laugh just the most contagious thing ever? I bet his mother still smiles when she hears it to this day!

Not sure I am keen on Blayne's overall aesthetic, but I love the contrast between the fully covered shoulder and arm and the fully exposed shoulder and arm. I don't normally dig asymmetrical bodices but I like this and I would consider wearing something like that.

I thought there were pretty strong contenders for winners last night. All of the top 3 designs were cool, esp. Terri's full wardrobe ensem. I am especially amazed at how FAST she can put her garments together! I might have been able to finish one of those three main pieces in the same amount of time she completed the whole outfit.

You can't see much detail from the picture at left of Leanne's creation, but I really liked this one and thought maybe it would be a top 3. Not only could I see myself wearing something like this, it's close to a few ideas I've dreamed up in my head. I like the empire/ almost natural waist emphasis and peplum. In fact, I think after I'm over the ruffles the peplum is my next obsession.

All photos from Bravotv.com.

03 August 2008

Summer Dress #4: Trifle Ruffle Denim Dress

ruffled collar denim dress frontI've taken a short break from refashioning to sew down my stash and a long-brewing idea from my head. About 6 months ago, I sewed the Motocross Minidress. That was the day before it got hot in Austin, so I wore the dress once on a trip to Canada, where it was still snowy, and then tucked it into the back of my closet where it remains until we get below 80 degrees again. I'd thought then about sewing a sleeveless version of this dress, but didn't get around to it until these past few days. And as I've shared before, I have A LOT of denim in my stash to use.

ruffled collar denim dress collar detailOf course I needed a ruffle. Who can't use a little ruffle in their day? The Motocross Minidress collar wasn't the right shape so I re-drafted that mandarin collar, and I bias cut a 1-inch-wide strip of denim almost twice as long as the collar to ruffle. It is just so hard to gather denim, even if it's lightweight like this stuff, and with the ruffle being cut on the true bias there should be minimum frayage. It might actually get that worn-but-not-destroyed look that I love about some of my older jeans!

Some lessons learned and preferences realized from the Motocross Minidress... The Motocross a-line has a nice sweep but with sturdier fabric like denim, sitting down gracefully ends up being a fussy affair. I changed the hemline of this pattern to a straight skirt shape to avoid that... I wanted in-seam pockets, which I would have sewn into the Motocross version except I was impatient and didn't want to mess with them. I actually used the rest of the sleeves from the Refashion 5 shirtdress for the pocket fabric in this dress. I should show a detail shot of that, too, come to think of it... The bottom of the placket still skews the dress a bit, and I know why but I am not sure how to avoid it. I'll have to try this on a light cotton and see if it's a simply a choice issue...

ruffled collar denim dress button detailDidn't know what to do about closure. The dress is so monochromatic that buttons with personality wouldn't put this over the top. I wasn't hip on buying more at the store, so Louis and I went through my button stash. My BFF Emily gave me a few sets of neat buttons as part of my Christmas present in 2006, and I didn't really have the right project for these until now. They're technically too big at .75" on a 1.25" placket, but who's standing next to me with a ruler measuring anyway?

Unfortunately, the heat here has been too much even for this dress -- 105 degrees yesterday and 106 today. I started out in the Rock Me Amadeus white shirt, grey slacks, and black heels. Now that business meetings are done for the day, I am in a tank top and knit shorts. Anything else is TOO HOT. And so the latest creation waits for at least an under-100 degree day.