The Black and white challenge…and a car : )

Made the featured section : )

Let me just say that I went a “little” overboard with this challenge. Making lots of “stuff” was my way of dealing with the hard stuff. Hey, I got some useful items out of it AND cleaned out some fabric from one of my boxes : )

The Facts Fabric: Three different black/white fabrics from stash; black and white stretch cottons, white lining
Pattern: Dress loosely based on Simplicity 2648; skirt #1 based on Simplicity 2928; skirt # 2 Simplicity 2723; skirt #3 self drafted; sweater re-fashioned
Notions: 7 covered buttons, miscellaneous bits of interfacing, 3 sets hooks-n-eyes, 3 zippers all from stash
Year: 1940s and 1950′s
Time to complete
: For all 5 pieces, 7 hours
First worn: November 2012
Wear again? Yes

Total Cost: ~$23.00

Hang on to your hats, I was busy this week! I’ll start with my ORIGINAL inspiration. I’ve had this dress on one of my Pinterest boards for a while now and it keeps getting re-pinned. I didn’t design it, I just liked the graphic quality of it so why not make it?

I did : )

How CUTE is this?!

I used Simplicity 2648 for the jumping off point. The skirt, sleeves and back bodice are all cut straight from the pattern but I re-drafted the front to include that v-shaped center bodice piece, cut the neckline higher and gathered the fullness over the boobies. The collar is a long bias cut rectangle that I cut in half lengthwise and sewed white piping down the center. It folds over and is tacked with three covered buttons, the middle one holding on that little bow/flap piece. You can see the original dress here but I will warn you, they have a picture of one useless socialite wearing a version that made me nearly spit out my tea.

This is a sort-of outtake shot but what you can see nicely is the engraved bumper of this amazing motor vehicle : )

I am channeling my best Bonnie Parker here –

This MOST AMAZING car is a 1940 Packard that is BEAUTIFULLY restored! I’ve been “saving” the opportunity to use this for something really special and this is it : ) And because I’m such a lucky girl I couldn’t just do ONE outfit this week, could I?

OK, seriously…I didn’t plan on making the “extras”. This is what happened – digging through my sweater collection I came across a black cashmere that I set aside because other than it being an icky turtle neck ( I can’t stand turtle necks) it didn’t have any holes or issues. I had been wanting a lower cut sweater just to wear to work and when I found this I knew what I was going to do:

It took me a whole 20 minutes to cut the neck off and then down, cut the nice ribbing off the hem and overlock it around the neck edge, finishing it off beautifully. 20 minutes, $2 sweater, now something I will wear at least once a week. AND because I had processed this as if I were going to make a Katwise coat with it it went through the washer and dryer so it will never need to go to the dry cleaners and I won’t worry about who does the laundry : )

That became the basis for the next three skirt outfits. Why? Because I went through my box of black fabrics around Wednesday night and pulled out a poly plaid, a black cotton with white polka dots and a piece of wool houndstooth. I “save” things to make something “special” with “one day”.

Special Number One:

The plaid was in the half-off section at Joann’s last year, I paid $1.50 a yard and had three yards. I love the way the plaid looks here:

So I used the skirt pieces to cut out my skirt. I didn’t pleat the waist, I like basic gathers. The good news is I may have enough scraps left over to make a top to go with this and have a pretty party outfit.

In the future I’m going to try a petticoat under it, I just didn’t have enough time today to think about it. We were moving things along pretty quickly trying to beat both the rain and the setting sun : )

Not only did my friend John pull out his Packard and take pictures for me but he also pulled out the fabulous hat I’ve got on as well as many pairs of vintage earrings that he then threw into a bag when we were done and insisted I take home. I had a great time with someone telling me where to put my hands, what to not worry about and that I was pretty. It never hurts to hear, and at the very bottom of this post I’ll add a pic that I took BEFORE I brushed my hair and did my make-up, just after my girl friend and I planted 5 35-gallon blueberry bushes and a new locust tree in my yard. It’s never dull around here that’s for sure!

So now I run into the house, change my skirt and nylons, find a new hat and toss the bracelets. We have outfit/skirt number 2:

The houndstooth wool has been sitting in various boxes for at least 14 years, maybe longer. When we had the flood at school in 1996 I lost almost everything but I’m guessing, since there is a slight blue dye transfer here and there, that this piece might have been one of the few things that survived. It’s black and white, time to come play! I used the same pattern I used for my Autumn challenge outfit. I like the fact that the front is perfectly flat, there are no darts, and the side seams are set slightly back instead of right at the sides. There are two darts in back to help fit and instead of the side slit I moved it to the center back. I was sewing happily along Saturday night, patting myself on the back for keeping within my “If it can be done in an hour then you can make one more item” agenda, when THIS happened:

What you are looking at is the center back, with the zipper and back seam sewn on the WRONG side of the fabric! It was time to go to bed at that point. It only took me 15 minutes to pull out the zipper, un-stitch and re-stitch that back seam but it was a real head shaking moment.

Fortunately it all worked out well : ) Isn’t that car STUNNING??

Back into the house for skirt/outfit number 3:

John has an antique silk top hat. He shared : ) I’m told ankle boots are the hot trend this year, I’m not so sure but I’ll give it a go.

The black/white polka dot fabric is cotton/lycra and been in my box for a while. I didn’t realize it had lycra in it when I bought it to make a tie so I set it aside. Again saving it for “some day”. I used no pattern, just measured around my hips and cut a piece big enough to go ’round. Then I wrapped it around me, marked and stitched four darts and the center back seam which includes a kick pleat. Instead of a waistband I threw on a piece of 3″ wide elastic, no zipper and hemmed it. Took an hour. (I used the same ‘pattern’ for my Location challenge skirt, not that you could see much of it!)

And because this is the Black and White challenge I transferred a couple of the photos to black and white –

The hood ornament of the Packard is a cormorant. And as Steve said “Be careful around that thing, it’s sharp!” Yes indeedy it is, every one of those feather tips is sharp enough to cause some decent damage.

Playing around with photoshop we made a watercolor of this pic:

Finally, here is my “Driving Miss Daisy” shot:

And because I promised at the beginning of the post, here is me without ANY make-up, hair askew and dirty:

FIVE challenges to go!! What on EARTH are we going to do in 5 weeks?!

 

Two shirts and a skirt..and more on Ariel

The Facts Fabric: Two different cottons from stash, navy sueded rayon from stash Pattern: New York 1779
Notions: 10 buttons, 1 safety pin, interfacing, all from stash
Year: 1940′s
Time to complete: 5 hours
First worn: November 2012
Wear again? Yes!

Total Cost: Free

The good news is I finally went through the big pile of shredded patterns the puppies created for me while I was working on the Western challenge. The REALLY good news is my FAVORITE blouse pattern was FINE!! The less-than-good-news is I lost of total of four patterns. Two are current, Simplicity 3688 and 2648, which I can replace the next time Joann’s has a .99 sale. The other two I lost were my favorite skirt patterns (this one and this one.) There were enough pieces of the first that I think I can re-draft it pretty easily and the second one I lucked out with : ) I found a navy skirt I had cut out from the scraps left over from this dress so all I had to due was trace around the pieces and voila!

Why is this navy skirt important? Because I couldn’t make up my mind which of these two fabrics to use for this challenge…

And this stunner –

So I used both : ) And because there is blue in the second piece and I don’t have a blue skirt (until now) it seemed a really good way to clear up a UFO, reclaim a pattern AND have a nifty outfit!

Here is one outfit:

For photos this time I joined my daughter at Mills while she worked on some final projects so we’re in the painting studio. One of her friends made this photo booth so we checked it out : ) I hesitated to show the full shot because I had this FABULOUS idea just before I left to go to Oakland – wouldn’t this look great with yellow/gold tights?! I don’t have any : ( and getting to Target before I met my daughter was just out of the question…so you get the same black I wore with the other outfit. Reality…

But the rest of the outfit is great. I felt so good in it that I wore it for the rest of the day!

And let me just point out a couple new accessories I’m sporting here – you can see the gorgeous blue necklace in the photos above, it has a bracelet friend:

It looks great with my bakelite…and check out that RING!! That is influenced completely by Kazz : ) The necklace, bracelet and ring is made out of Tagua-nut, a nut from Ecuador. For the last four years I’ve gone to the Green Fest in San Francisco, a two day festival that celebrates all thing sustainable and “green”. The first year I went with my girlfriend Sue and her son Kevin and he was dismayed to find out they served only vegetarian/vegan food, no burgers, no bacon!! My daughter has gone a couple of times and for someone who can’t eat gluten, and I can’t eat dairy, we don’t feel like freaks : ) Along those lines comes jewelry like this, made from renewable resources and STUNNING. The woman from whom I bought pieces the last few years wasn’t there but a new seller was and I jumped at the blue set you see here. I don’t think I would have EVER considered a ring like this (or my yellow bakelite one I have on my other hand) without the Kazz influence. My mother thought my yellow ring was HUGE and this red one is twice its size and I LOVE IT!! The woman who makes this stuff is local and I will be buying more from her in the near future.

Now for the other shirt and outfit:

I paired this shirt with my black skirt from the Reality challenge. I mean, we keep making stuff so it should all start going together, right? I swapped out the navy and yellow bracelets for a few more red and black, kept the giganto red ring and pulled out my latest flea market find for the belt.

It’s not a buckle but a pin but who can tell? I just pinned it to the belt for something different. Cool huh?

And who is that curious fellow to my right? Brittany says that call it the “Zombie raccoon”. Painted on plexi glass, there are several of them near the art building.

You can’t help but be amused : ) And cold…it’s cold out right now. We’ve got a storm from Alaska hanging around so the high today was 61 degrees. It is NOT 61 in the shade!

I’m loving my shirts! I wear my red one with jeans, skirts and even the skirt it was originally designed to pair with. The only thing I did differently with these two was make it one inch longer so they’ll stay tucked into my pants a little better. I have two other pieces of fabric I’m eyeing as we speak…

The safety pin I listed in the notions list was to keep the waistband of the skirt closed on the navy skirt. I didn’t have any more hooks-n-eyes and didn’t know it. Doh!

SIX challenges left!! Only six! What will we DO next year?!

ARI UPDATE

We were “supposed” to do a Christmas party for Ari the Sunday after Halloween. I had a phone call asking for help decorating on Saturday and spent part of the afternoon getting the main tree in the living room festooned with as many ornaments as I could possibly shove on/in, getting the growing pile of presents under the tree and trying to be upbeat in the face of stupid cancer.

We gathered Sunday with family and friends, a table loaded with enough food to feed a small army and Courtney, dressed as a tree : )

Courtney in tinsel : )

There was the red shoe contingent:

People ate, people laughed, poor Isabella (the 3 year old ballerina in my Autumn outift post) threw up all over the kitchen and was packed off home. When it finally came time to open presents Ari was carefully arranged on the couch and five minutes later headed back to bed. There was a meltdown and Jason asked us all to leave. Having been a caregiver to a cancer patient I understand how quickly things change and so we exited quickly. Heidi and Courtney headed back to Heidi’s house with my daughter while Angie and I said we’d meet there to do the apron photoshoot.

We needed to decompress. Heidi pulled out a bottle of champagne, poured 5 glasses and we let loose (sort of…you hate to have fun knowing your friend is in the worst place she can be at that moment but then again, you also need to celebrate the people that you love and care about that are RIGHT THERE.).

Me, Courtney, Heidi, Brittany and Angie

Crystal asked us to take down our photos on facebook, it reminded her about the cruelty of the day and Ari not being able to see what was going on. I’m hoping posting them here doesn’t hurt her so if you see only words I’ve taken them down again. I was able to get a couple of photos of Ari, Elora and Crystal just before things went south but they’ll stay on my computer for now. Before we left I was able to go say good-bye to Ari and get a hug.

That just can’t be the last hug I’ll get from her.

Her disease is progressing. She is barely able to move and it takes two people to get her up to go to the bathroom. Some woman with a side business selling some “miracle” pill regimen contacted Crystal and told her she should put Ari on a vegan/gluten free diet and take “her” supplements and all would be good! Crystal lit into her in a long and pretty well thought-out letter considering all she’s going through and the woman tried to say a family friend told her to contact the family. That turned out NOT to be the case, and when the woman didn’t like what Crystal said she wrote a heinous email that talked about how she had attended Ari’s wake and how pretty she looked lying in her coffin, that it was too bad she was just going to be worm food but nice that she could be buried in her favorite Giant’s shirt.

As if that isn’t bad enough she had set up another email account and had it routed through various servers in various countries so no one could trace it back to her…so she thought. Come on, we live in the San Francisco Bay Area, Silicone Valley is an hour south. You can’t swing a baseball bat without coming close to a dozen tech geeks with mad skills. One of them found out it was the same woman but sadly what she did isn’t illegal, just morally heinous. To top it off this isn’t UNCOMMON for families losing someone to cancer! Rhabdo, the type of cancer Ari has, is quite rare, only 350 cases a year are diagnosed. There is an online community that sticks pretty closely together and more than a few families have been targeted in a similar way. To have to deal with a sick child and then a sick outsider pulling this kind of psychotic stunt is just awful.

Now Crystal has all but shut down and communicates only sporadically with the outside world. I imagine this is how a lion trapped in a cage feels. The rest of us are just stunned. We’d hold them tight and keep out the real world if we could but there is only so much we can do.

My Chicken apron : )

The Facts Fabric: Three different chicken-print cottons from stash
Pattern: Self drafted
Notions: 7 yards red bias tape from stash
Year: Contemporary
Time to complete: About 2 hours, maybe more, there was Limoncello involved.
First worn: November 2012
Wear again? Yes

Total Cost: Free

This is going to be a pretty quick post (for me!). If you’ve read my blog you’ll get an idea why and let me just say that was only the BEGINNING of a long week. We’ll get through, and I’ll post more later but I’m tired and it shows.

Thank god for friends. I needed a boost, an excuse to get away and sew so Angie (my Gatsby partner) and I “made a date” to eat sushi and sew. We did just that, but Angie threw in a glass of her homemade Limoncello so there was much giggling. She forgot how to cut a curve, I couldn’t figure out how long an apron I wanted, there was burping and laughing, so hard that I had tears running down my face. We looked at pictures on the internet but I can’t remember what site she pulled up. I just said “Oh, that’s cute” and started cutting. The apron is fully lined with the white version of that black print. I’ve had the fabric for so long that I didn’t remember I made a chicken quilt until I unfolded everything at her house! It’s very cute, it should take me about an hour to finish it up and then I’ll take pictures. I had planned to get it done in time for these photos but life didn’t work out that way. Ah well….

It’s very long but I’m ok with that. I put a big pocket on it because I like pockets. I could practically wear this by itself…almost… It’s a little ruffly for my taste but hey, it’s cute, it’s REALLY nice cotton and it’s DONE! My cowboy boots are still covered with real dust from a real Ho-Down and square dancing I did last weekend : ) I’m not generally a square-dancing kind of girl but it was a very special event and I’m proud of that dirt!

See? Dirt and dust : )

HUGE thanks to Heidi for allowing us to use her wonderful kitchen. That stove with the red knobs is just plain sexy…

And because she supplied the Limoncello and bad jokes that made this project the highlight of my week, here’s Angie in her cha-cha apron:

She was never a girl scout so she wanted an apron the color of our old uniforms : ) We found some vintage yellow rick rack at the flea market this weekend that she threw on at the last minute. The patch on there is her first Farm Girl patch, we’re working on several others right now and when she gets them, instead of a sash, she’s going to put them on her apron. Pretty cute, huh? I may have to copy her.

We also had to have matching red shoes. There was a whole red shoe contingent helping out this afternoon : ) And someone came dressed up as a Christmas tree…

I love my friends.

Ariel and Elora

There are several posts I have half written. One on beauty, or the perceptions of it; more details on my Western dress and the event I wore it to; a tribute to Mila, more details about my Halloween outfit…

But all of that will have to wait.

When I started blogging a year and a half ago with Retro Deco Settings it was understood that if anything “bad” happened with Ariel then we would take a break. Ari had benn diagnosed with a relapse of her cancer on Valentines day. She battled through not one, not two but THREE relapses. We/I kept on blogging. There were times we stumbled but we kept on.

Now we’re nearing the end of Ariel’s fight and are so devastated that words fail me. The above pic was taken yesterday morning after Elora got dressed for Halloween at school. She is cradling her twin sisters head and you can see how closed Ari’s eyes are. The tumor (one of many) that is pressing on her brain stem is causing her eyes to close and her sight to fail.

We were hoping to get her to Halloween conscious but that didn’t happen. She was too out of it from the pain meds last night to participate. Then someone, upset at not receiving any updates on Ari’s condition (quote from Crystal ” She is my daughter, not a reality show”) tweeted that Ari had died.

Un-freaking-believable.

By the time Crystal mitigated that damage she was done. Elora and their older brother Ian went out with friends and Crystal, Jason and Ari just withdrew into their world. Today she had complications from one of her meds that caused severe dehydration. There was a short time we thought she would be admitted to a hospice facility but the team at Children’s in Oakland stabilized her and she’s home for now. The plan is to help get the house decorated for Christmas and celebrate this Sunday.

Any sewing and projects will be done around what we need to do to support Ari and her family. If the worst thing we can imagine happens then things will go dark for a while. Posts may be late or sad. It’s the way life is right now. My own daughter is struggling to help and understand since ALL we can do is love and support this family. We can’t fix this, we can’t change the outcome. Our hearts break for this family but we’ll get through it.

So I have a list : ) I love lists. I’ll get through the list of things I’d like to share. It may help to talk about something else every now and then. We’ll keep pushing forward until we have to change directions. Stay with me, I’ll be back : )

Happy Halloween from the Pumpkin Queen!

The Facts Fabric: Black cotton, black/orange polka dot cotton, orange/black polka dot cotton, orange/black harlequin cotton, black/orange striped cotton, I yard petticoat netting…all from stash!
Pattern: Self drafted skirts and corset, Style 2727 for blouse (except sleeves!)
Notions: 2 hooks-n-eyes, 24 black grommets, 22 bones, interfacing and SPOOLS of thread all from stash; 40+ yards of rick-rack
Year: Inspired by designs from La Moda Elegante 1870-1892
Time to complete: About 26 hours
First worn: October 2012
Wear again? Yes, October 31st!!

Total Cost: ~$21.00

The sketch to the right was something I drew one evening commute about 3 years ago. I had found the fabrics at Joann and bought them with nothing specific in mind so this quick sketch was my “specific”. And everything sat, in boxes, for almost three years. When I saw “Halloween” in the challenge list I figured this was a “now or never” kind of thing. So it’s “now” : )

I suppose if I were REALLY organized I *could* have started this a week or two or three ago…but I didn’t. I started last Sunday when I got home from a three year olds’ birthday party. I figured if I worked for 4 hours a night I’d be fine. It was close, there was sweat and more than a couple “What am I DOING?” moments. But I’m nothing if not tenacious and here we are.

The bustle periods are some of my favorite and one year for Christmas my dad gave me all four “La Moda Elegante” books. The one I found my inspiration in is called “Los Disfraces” which translates to ‘wear fancy dress’ or ‘to disguise oneself’. It is full of illustrations of what people wore to Costume Balls in the late 1800′s, or at least ideas of what people wore. This is what my Steampunk character, Miss Harriet M. Cochin, might wear to a Halloween Ball : )

It makes me feel a little sassy : )

There are MANY pieces that make up this outfit! You start with tights, add the shirt and then pull on the petticoat and bustle. I made my petticoat from an old bridal petticoat that I cut the top off of, making it knee length and then added a waistband. I kept the front of the petticoat flat and put the gathers around back, adding an extra ruffle of netting in back to keep the shape pronounced. The bustle is the pillow style only because I already had one. I forgot entirely to take pictures of the undergarments so if there is any interest I can do it on my blog (let me know!). Over that goes the underskirt, the one with all the ruffles, and the back over piece. The front “apron” is next and finally the waist cincher. Phew! Tired yet? Oh, and before you get the waist cincher on don’t forget your shoes….

The right side of the overskirt, or apron, drapes to show the lining. The left side is folded back. I’m a little sad that you can’t see the draping of the front very well but trust me when I say it’s there and quite pretty. The trim on the ruffles is actually bias cut striped fabric edged with orange rick-rack. Apparently the Western challenge switched something on in my brain thinks rick-rack is pretty cool.

You can see more of the back here. Again, that back piece is draped and pouffed and quite lovely.

I nicknamed the dress “The Pumpkin Queen” because of the sleeves. I did a version of “pumpkin pants” for the sleeves. They make me smile : ) Here is the full on Pumpkin Queen shot :

Amazingly, I didn’t get to put rick-rack everywhere I wanted to! I bought everything I could find this last week but still need a few more yards to go around the edge of the front apron. I’d really like to put the orange rick rack on the black and where it folds over showing the orange lining put black there.

My daughter found the most amazing mask in the donation pile at the last swap:

It’s rather *large* and not very wearable but it is SO COOL! How can you not have fun with stars and moons dangling from spider legs? We were having fun with the photos this afternoon….

The boots are from the eighties! Remember when Madonna burst onto the scene? We were all out looking for lace shirts and gloves, funky jackets and ankle boots. I saved mine : ) I used the paint left over from my Golden Gate bridge hat to paint these. My sister lent me an amazing orange stone ring that was PERFECT. Do you see it? No. I dropped it, thank goodness in the car, but we didn’t find it until we were done. My other favorite accessory – the hat! (Yes, I made it.)

The front…

and the back!

It really did take many, many hours to put this whole thing together. I was planning on wearing it to our Halloween party at work since the department goes all out and efforts at costuming are greatly appreciated. However, as I finish typing this post, our San Francisco Giants win the World Series!! And get this…the parade and general party San Francisco puts on is going to be on HALLOWEEN!!! The fact that the Giants colors are orange and black isn’t lost on me but it means that other than a skeleton crew, most of the 14,000 people on our campus will be downtown whoopping and hollering. BART will be a mess, the highways and bridges will be packed and while it will be very, very festive the Pumpkin Queen will be staying home : (

My kitties like to help. Stuart thought he was “helping” when I was trying to get all those ruffles cut out…

The “cat factor” always adds an hour or so onto my construction time but how can you argue with that face?

Happy Halloween everyone !!!!

(Can you believe we only have eight challenges left??)

Plums, Pomegranates and Persimmons

The Facts
Fabric
: 3 yards in total of three different colors of linen bought a few months ago Pattern: Simplicity 2723
Notions: 1 hook-n-eye, 1 zipper, 5 self-covered buttons, interfacing & belting all from stash
Year: Late 1930’s
Time to complete: About 3 hours
First worn: October 2012
Wear again? Yes, maybe tomorrow : )

Total Cost: ~$19.00

I will happily admit I have no idea what the “Fall Palette” is. To ME fall is the colors of the harvest – pumpkin and persimmon orange, plummy purples, forest greens, ruby reds and straw golds. To that end, in the middle of the summer, when I saw the linen colors I thought to myself “Self…those would make a fabulous fall outfit of some sort. If you DON’T buy them now when you come back for them one or more won’t be here and you’ll be sad.” So I grabbed the bolts and as I was standing in line to get them cut I remembered this Simplicity pattern.

It has taken me three months of looking in boxes, bags and various closets to finally find it and then memory kicked in – it never had the shirt pieces! I made the version on the envelope for a show at some point and had to draft the shirt pattern. This time I decided to use the pattern I used for the Western challenge. After all, this is is a basic shirt separated into three sections, easy peasy, right?  I didn’t get it quite right : )

Is it terrible? No, it’s just not *quite* right. IF I were to re-do this I’d make the middle pomegranate band about an inch narrower, thereby raising the persimmon band into better view. The problem doing it with THIS shirt is the spacing of the buttonholes, which I took great care to make sure were even both within their color block and down the front. Frankly, it would be easier to just make a new shirt.

The other issue I noticed, in the photos more than real life, is the fit of the darts. Here, ladies, is where the RIGHT undergarments are CRUCIAL! I SWEAR this shirt looked better yesterday! But yesterday I had on a different bra. I even made a mental note to be sure to wear that bra for photos. You think that would be enough.

You think wrong : ) And the end result was momentary panic in my girlfriends bathroom just before her three-year-old-daughters’ birthday party. My usual photographers were busy so my friend Heidi graciously offered to help me. I showed up at her house in a kerfluffle. Between the puppies all going into their forever or new foster homes (no more puppies), our sewage line backing up into the front yard and my Mila chicken girl dying I had no access to those mental notes. I thought I did well enough to remember nylons and shoes! The bra was a disaster so there were safety pins involved just getting to this point.

The other “fit” issue I see is the band around the upper part of the skirt, which is really the hem of the tucked in shirt. I either need to line the skirt or wear a slip. Speaking of the skirt, the pattern WAS in the envelope, and most of the pieces to make the jacket but that’s it. No shirt, no directions. I guessed at whether or not the skirt had a hem slit on one side or both (I chose one). I put the zipper in the center back because I don’t care for side zips. I think the skirt took a whole 45 minutes to make from start to hem and I really, really like it! But seriously, who were these skirts designed for? Granted, I’m only 5’4″ if I stand up really, really straight but I took 4″ off the length when I cut it out and another inch before I put in a 2 1/2″ hem! I know I’m shorter than the “average” woman but that would be one long skirt.

Because the weather couldn’t quite make up its mind today I brought my umbrella –

Same colors!! Yes, I realize the shoes are more blue-purple than the plum of the dress. I was going to photoshop them the same color and then I got tired : ) One of these days I’ll find some perfect purple wool for a wonderful dress they will match. I also have some stunning green dress clips that I’d like to use as well…

Oh my, I almost forgot two things. First, I made a little bow tie to go at the collar. The pattern shows some sort of little tie thingy and my mind just went to “bow tie”. I’ll try to get a picture of it and post it on my blog. (Mental note made…let’s see if I can find it this week.) Second, I was pretty much upstaged by adorable Isabella, who is VERY MUCH three years old:

She tagged along behind mommy as we trekked next door to use the autumnal trees : )

You can’t be sad around puppies or little girls in pink tutu’s and red shoes. I may not have the puppies any more but I can certainly visit Miss Isaboo : )