14 August 2011

214. Vogue 1179, and more

Here is a quick grab bag of updates, mostly related to my most recent trip, a super-short one to the Seattle area.

1. This dress, Vogue 1179 DKNY

If this awful yellow-room-yellow-light-phone photo doesn't scare you off, you will make it through the rest of this post!  I took this photo right after I checked into my hotel in Everett, WA -- because I'd already worn the dress several times, and knew if I didn't take a pic now it might be never given the rate picture taking is happening in my life!

It's made from this really yummy rayon-lycra knit that Kyle gifted me about two years ago.  I didn't mean to make an exact duplicate of the pattern envelope dress, but there was enough of this red in my stash and it feels really great!  With only three pattern pieces, it came together quickly.  I did end up cutting the cowl on the bias, even though I'm pretty sure instructions are to cut on the straight grain.  I always cut woven cowls on the bias and wasn't sure if it would make a difference for a knit, but I didn't want to chance it.

With my birthday coming up, I'd begun obsessing about how many loose-fitting / empire or no defined waist / I might look like a small child kind of clothes I have made for myself.  Do the clothes fit my age?  After consulting a couple of new-to-me style books, I concluded that a good rule of thumb is to focus on a more defined waist.  No more smocks.  Unless they show some serious leg.

ANYWHO the point is that V1179 really doesn't fit that need for a defined waist -- but it does feel very grown-up without being fitted at all.  Age-appropriate?  Check.  Moving on!

2.  Kinokuniya in Seattle's International District

I think sometimes I will move mountains to get to this Japanese bookstore.  I squeezed in about 90 minutes to obsess there after work was done, before I flew home.  I'd intended to purchase Drape Drape and Drape Drape 2, but it seems the yen and the dollar aren't getting along anymore, and I could not justify buying both.  Then I couldn't choose between them.  What a nut!  So I ended up going through EVERY SINGLE CLOTHING SEWING BOOK in the store.  And I unearthed this gem, which I am Very Excited about sewing from.  Even though some of the clothes are not shaped and fitted, they have details that make them decidedly more grown-up than most of my dresses from the last 5 years of sewing:

A couple of blog readers from days gone by have commented that I should write a book on refashioning men's shirts.  I am glad to report that there is already a lovely Japanese tome on the topic!  Right here:

No, I did not buy it.  :)

3. Pinterest

Here's where I am on Pinterest, if you'd like to connect.  Depending on who you ask, Pinterest is either sent from heaven or the work of the devil.  I'm currently leaning toward sent from heaven, but it is easy to see how the hours can pass when we enter the Pinterest portal.  I started using it to keep track of all the runway photos I am inspired by on Style.com, but in Seattle last week I was spending an hour before bed each night pinning attractive kid crafts.  The projects are easy to find, and after I pin them on my virtual bulletin board I am inspired and reminded every time I log in.  Because of this, I've actually DONE a couple of kid crafty projects I've wanted to try with Louis, like making Gak / slime with the least toxic materials possible, and blowing ogre-sized bubbles:

The photo is in black and white so you don't see how dead our grass is.  It is not so much embarrassing (the worst drought and heat in 60 years has done this with many lawns in our neighborhood) as it is just ugly.  So I'm sparing you.  Check out that bubble!  (And excuse my talking mouth, not looking very graceful, HA!)

The instructions I followed were really thorough but we customized a little:

  • We halved the bubble recipe (there's only so long anyone wants to stay out in 107-degree heat)
  • We added more glycerin for lasting power in this dry heat
  • I bought 12" dowels instead of 24" and they were great
  • I screwed the eye screws directly into the dowels instead of predrilling first
  • I made three bubble wands with different sizes instead of just the size recommended in the tutorial.  Actually, I made one as instructed, one at 3/4 the size, and one at 1/2 size -- and the two smaller ones were the best ones for us, giving plenty-impressive bubbles and not getting tangled nearly as much as the largest one
I'm pretty excited to work on a craft project for me this week:  the succulent terrarium.  This one isn't mine, but it's my inspiration:

I've actually been sewing a decent bit this summer!  So I'll try to post again later this week so I might have a chance of catching up.  Have a great week!


  1. Love the red dress.
    Sad we missed the big bubble and thank you for thinking of us.
    The terrarium is gonna be the shiz-nit!

  2. Looks just like the one on the pattern jacket - only with a better looking model. I've bought this pattern for our summer. Love it.

  3. The red dress looks great! I'm looking forward to seeing what you find to make in your new book.

  4. gorgeous job on that red dress! Perfect for traveling in style, I think. Looking forward to seeing the terrarium.

  5. Oh you are so cute! Love the dress. and that bubble is HUGE!! wow!

  6. love this red dress! it does look quite grown up! the neckline is wonderful.

    i'm finding that i will still wear loose stuff without a waist, but i'm more picking about general quality/finishing/etc. Like, a really nice Tahari or Theory outfit I'll wear more happily these days than the same styling in Target or Old Navy. Make any sense? I feel like you can get away with more with "polished" clothes. :)

  7. wow, the red dress is stunning! Love the cowl and pleats details.hmmm, maybe a waist cinching belt to accentuate your waist? :)..Can't wait to see your creations from your recent Japanese sewing book...:)

  8. that's exactly the kind of dress I'd want to wear all the time - comfy, non-waist-threatening and eye-catching.
    I just don't waists, cos I have none. But you could probably afford to wear a big belt around yours and get extra hourglassy.

  9. Sure some dresses can come off as child-like but this one is definitely a grownup cut. However, you have a great figure so you should show it off some!

  10. You look good in the red dress. Red is such a grownup colour. But I think you could cinch with a big belt and still look dynamite!

  11. 1.we are going to make those bubble wands today and I needed a pep talk, thank you.
    2. I think drape drape is in english now, or maybe it's the pattern magic book I'm thinking of.
    3. Just because there is a Japanese book about refashioning men's shirts doesn't mean you shouldn't write one in english!

  12. I think your red cowl dress is adorable on you!

  13. Love the dress! I have to ask you about this bubble thing.

  14. Thumbs up for the red dress! Sorry for me I haven't seen the bubbles you made!

    I also wanna share one of my bookmarked cheap clothing store on the net I recently encountered. This site aims to bring online shopping for cheap clothes, cheap dresses and other fashionable accessories.

  15. That terrarium looks awesome. And Vogue 1179 rocks. I'm doing a giveaway of it this month so if you know anyone that wants one send 'em my way.



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