Mad Men Challenge

When Julia Bobbin posted this years Mad Men challenge I was excited, I wanted to make another Joan dress or two and loved this one last year. I didn’t procrastinate, it only looks like I did : )

I used a combination of the pattern I used for last years green Joan dress and my own drafted top pattern. I know most of the talk around the interwebs right now is saying the patterned part of the dress is a dickie but I also know that dickies and my chest don’t work well together so it is literally a second top (front only). And the green top is completely self lined so I set myself up to make a top with 20 darts in it. Craziness.

Let’s talk about fabrics for a minute. Wool was out, not only because of the cost but I couldn’t find the right color. My jade fabric is linen which explains the wrinkles but it feels pretty good on and I can, technically, ride a bike in it : ) That print? Can we say “settled for”? That was one ridiculous hunt, one I didn’t have the time or patience for. I have a gorgeous piece of vintage silk organza, printed with swirls of turquoise and greens I thought it would be perfect. Until I got the linen next to it and the linen became washed out and sad. THREE stores later and the best I came up with was what you see here and that was a fluke remnant! I do have a dress that is close to the Joan print but the dress is in good shape and I just can’t cut up vintage unless it has some serious issues and it didn’t. So we have a piece of cotton that reminds me of a version of a couch my mother once had, back in the late 80’s. No one else knows and I can always change those parts out if and when I find something different. The important thing here is “Done is Beautiful”!

So I posed in my bedroom by myself with a cat greek chorus looking on as the timer feature clicked away. Then I spent a couple hours with photoshop and inserted myself into Joan’s world.

There were two other Mad Men-inspired outfits I made last fall, both were quite successful:

My Peggy remake is a lot of fun to wear, I wore it to our Christmas party here at work but did NOT ride my bike in it! You can read about the construction details here. I look forward to wearing it this spring especially because I know where it is. Which leads to…

Here is my other Joan dress, which I REALLY like but have managed to LOSE. How on earth can you lose an entire dress? I mean, seriously, I can understand misplacing a sweater or a blouse but an entire DRESS?? And not just lose but LOSE. Since Joan’s hair isn’t exaclty a fast ‘do I thought it might be fun to re-do the shots from last fall since I did those pics after a long day of building a fence and playing with puppies and my arms have the scratches to prove it : )

I spent an HOUR looking through closets ( there are a total of four in my house and they were all built in 1925 so they’re not large!), looking through fabric piles…nothing…I was all dressed up with no dress, so to speak. Did I loan it to someone? Did it get mixed up in a pile of fabric? I don’t know. I even just cleaned out one closet for the swap so things are moderately organized. It’s a mystery and I’m a little sad. There is the possibility that it got caught in the middle of something like a coat and I have to un-load the closet in the dining room…the one that has the vintage dresses and odd-bits-I-can’t-get-rid-of-but-don’t-know where-else-to-hang-it closet. You know you have somewhere like that : ) I have purposely put off closet organization first telling myself I wasn’t allowed to do it until the taxes were filed and now because the weather is so fabulous I’ve got stuff to do outside. Once the garden is “mostly” planted I’ll get to them.

So there we are, a trio of Mad Men inspired outfits. There are a couple Betty re-makes that I’d like to get to as long as I haven’t LOST anything else!

I have also accepted the Me-Made-May challenge this year, what the heck, didn’t have much else going on! Here’s my pledge:

 ‘I, Loran of Loransworld, sign up as a participant of Me-Made-May ’13. I endeavour to wear at least one handmade item each day Monday thru Friday  for the duration of May 2013’

You’ll notice I was fairly specific here with the Monday through Friday thing. That’s because I wear funky boxer shorts and crappy t-shirts on the weekends to work in the yard or take the dogs for a walk. If anyone wants to nominate me for “What Not To Wear” tell them to get footage on the weekends : ) Yes, I suppose I could use this challenge to make some yard wear, and I just might. But why make funky boxer shorts when you can make cute crop jeans or a polka dotted blouse? Seriously, this is what I’ve got on my sewing table as soon as I finish up my vintage-style swimsuit for Leimomi’s sewalong and my Vicki dress…and let me tell you, both are super cute!



Time to rethink “beauty”.

Reddit Users Attempt to Shame Sikh Woman, Get Righteously Schooled

Before I post my latest Mad Men Challenge hilarity I want to talk about our perceptions of “beauty”. Every week there was a new challenge at Sew Weekly and every week I would mumble and cut and create. The point was to do the exercise, create something within the parameters of the challenge and share our process and thoughts. I am tending towards the same schedule now only because I like deadlines and schedules but I give myself a “little” more slack than the once a week deadline I kept to last year.

Every time I go to do photos I clear a chunk of time and make sure my hair, make-up and accessories are in line with my “vision”, just like the contestants on Project Runway, only without the separate hair and make-up crew : ) Heaven forbid if we aren’t all “put together” right?

(These are my own internal ‘rules’, just to be clear)

It’s all about packaging. It’s how we perceive ourselves and how we want to be perceived. I NEVER go to work without makeup on, it’s just the way I function. People tell me I’m “pretty” but I’ve never thought of myself that way. I wasn’t the cutest one growing up, I didn’t have an outgoing personality, the big house, fancy car or whatever else the vapid kids of my generation found important. I didn’t care much but it didn’t make me “popular”. I was smart and I knew in the long run that was more important but it was tough hearing “If you only….” growing up.

Last year the photo above made its rounds on facebook. Here is the story:

‘A Reddit user going by the handle “european_douchebag” posted a surreptitious photo of a Sikh woman with the caption “i’m not sure what to conclude from this.” The user’s apparent confusion stems from the fact that the woman—bound by her religion not to cut her hair or alter her body—has an abundance of dark, untrimmed facial hair. The mind of european_douchebag was SO INCREDIBLY BLOWN by the fact that women have hair on their bodies—and, yes, faces—and that some women are bold, self-assured, and pious enough not to cave to western beauty standards (and gender expectations), there was nothing for him to do but post her photo online and wait for the abuse to flood in.

But then something totally lovely and unexpected happened. The woman in the photo responded:

Hey, guys. This is Balpreet Kaur, the girl from the picture. I actually didn’t know about this until one of my friends told on facebook. If the OP wanted a picture, they could have just asked and I could have smiled 🙂 However, I’m not embarrased or even humiliated by the attention [negative and positve] that this picture is getting because, it’s who I am. Yes, I’m a baptized Sikh woman with facial hair. Yes, I realize that my gender is often confused and I look different than most women. However, baptized Sikhs believe in the sacredness of this body – it is a gift that has been given to us by the Divine Being [which is genderless, actually] and, must keep it intact as a submission to the divine will. Just as a child doesn’t reject the gift of his/her parents, Sikhs do not reject the body that has been given to us. By crying ‘mine, mine’ and changing this body-tool, we are essentially living in ego and creating a seperateness between ourselves and the divinity within us. By transcending societal views of beauty, I believe that I can focus more on my actions. My attitude and thoughts and actions have more value in them than my body because I recognize that this body is just going to become ash in the end, so why fuss about it? When I die, no one is going to remember what I looked like, heck, my kids will forget my voice, and slowly, all physical memory will fade away. However, my impact and legacy will remain: and, by not focusing on the physical beauty, I have time to cultivate those inner virtues and hopefully, focus my life on creating change and progress for this world in any way I can. So, to me, my face isn’t important but the smile and the happiness that lie behind the face are. 🙂 So, if anyone sees me at OSU, please come up and say hello. I appreciate all of the comments here, both positive and less positive because I’ve gotten a better understanding of myself and others from this. Also, the yoga pants are quite comfortable and the Better Together tshirt is actually from Interfaith Youth Core, an organization that focuses on storytelling and engagement between different faiths. 🙂 I hope this explains everything a bit more, and I apologize for causing such confusion and uttering anything that hurt anyone.

And then, THEN, something even more miraculous happened—the original poster apologized:

I know that this post ISN’T a funny post but I felt the need to apologize to the Sikhs, Balpreet, and anyone else I offended when I posted that picture. Put simply it was stupid. Making fun of people is funny to some but incredibly degrading to the people you’re making fun of. It was an incredibly rude, judgmental, and ignorant thing to post.

/r/Funny wasn’t the proper place to post this. Maybe /r/racism or /r/douchebagsofreddit or /r/intolerance would have been more appropriate. Reddit shouldn’t be about putting people down, but a group of people sending cool, interesting, or funny things. Reddit’s been in the news alot lately about a lot of cool things we’ve done, like a freaking AMA by the president. I’m sorry for being the part of reddit that is intolerant and douchebaggy. This isn’t 4chan, or 9gag, or some other stupid website where people post things like I did. It’s fucking reddit. Where some pretty amazing stuff has happened.

I’ve read more about the Sikh faith and it was actually really interesting. It makes a whole lot of sense to work on having a legacy and not worrying about what you look like. I made that post for stupid internet points and I was ignorant.

So reddit I’m sorry for being an asshole and for giving you negative publicity.
Balpreet, I’m sorry for being a closed minded individual. You are a much better person than I am
Sikhs, I’m sorry for insulting your culture and way of life.
Balpreet’s faith in what she believes is astounding.

Holy shit, internet, I don’t even know you anymore! I never thought something would come out of the seeping necrotic abscess that is Reddit that would actually make my day better, but wow. MY HEART GREW THREE SIZES THIS DAY.’

So this woman, with no makeup and merely wearing a t-shirt and yoga pants, is more beautiful than me on MANY levels. She is absolutely right – her kids will forget what she looks like and what she sounds like but they won’t forget her actions and how she’s going to change the world. She’s already changed mine a little bit.

If you want to see the original post you can see it here:

Here is another woman that is looking at society’s prejudices and photographing her experiences.

“Pictures of people who Mock me”.

As Balpreet said “by not focusing on the physical beauty, I have time to cultivate those inner virtues and hopefully, focus my life on creating change and progress for this world in any way I can. So, to me, my face isn’t important but the smile and the happiness that lie behind the face are.”

Why aren’t we, as a society, looking more at the smiles and what lies behind the face? As my daughter says, Time to evolve.


Finally…a post and a prize!


First of all I want to say THANK YOU to everyone who has stopped by or sent me an email about the events of the last week. It is comforting to know there is SO MUCH GOOD in the world when it seems like things are askew. Here’s my favorite photo from this past week:

There are so many good people out there doing tough jobs and it continues. I was thinking about all the events that have happened this week and it just made me TIRED. I can’t do anything about most of it, the continuous press coverage is mind numbing. If I could I’d unplug the tv but then I’d miss things like “Cousins on Call” and “West End Salvage” on HGTV : ) Cute guys doing fun projects, how can that be bad? Oh yeah, “The Property Brothers”, let’s throw them in there as well!

So I am finally getting to my update. Let’s start off with the wonderful photo montages that Ms. Tempest Devyne put together for the End of Bowie Sewalong:

STUNNING!! You can see her entire post about it here.

And then my OTHER favorite thing she did, all our animal assistants:

She even gave my Ashton kitty the “prize” for his assistance with my jacket painting! He was NOT happy when we wiped his kitty paws: ( And for the record – this is certainly NOT the first time a cat has “helped” with a painting project and I’m guessing it’s not the last. Most memorable are the tiny prints Stuart left behind when, as a young kitten, he ran across the floor in my sewing room, ran through the paint tray and then kept going. I left some of the prints and put a couple coats of polyurethane over them : )

THANK YOU Tempest for hosting this!!

Now for some nitty-gritty sewing.

The Facts
: Skull cotton outer fabric and red cotton lining from stash
Pattern: Butterick 5189
Notions: None!
Year: Modern
Time to complete: 5  hours
First worn: April 2013
Wear again? Every single day!
Cost – Free

Last time I made a bathrobe I had adorable cherry fabric that I have now worn holes in, it was almost embarassing to be seen outside the house. No, I don’t normally go out in public in my robe but I do have a large backyard that I sometimes take a ramble in first thing in the morning. Due to a lack of water and aging plantings the neighbors have better visual access (oh…can you tell I’m at work while writing this?!) so I need to be more circumspect. That, and I just want a new robe.

I cut this out in January. For months I’ve moved it from the dining room table aka my cutting surface, to a chair, to the top of the cat food bin, back to a chair, back to cat food bin…it was just silly. I finally worked on it last weekend, got it all together on Sunday night and sighed a sigh of relief.  It needs a few more washings before the inherent softness of cotton emerges but I FEEL better knowing I have the coolest robe around. Cross another thing off the list of Stuff To Do This Year!

 Most importantly, the cats like it. It was covered in orange Ashton fur yesterday. I also finished the new blanket/spread for my bed but as soon as I put it on the cats staked out their territory. I’d like to have just ONE picture of it so will try this weekend. That was another project I had cut out a while back that was left at the bottom of the heap on a chair.

Now if I can only figure out whether I have time to do a Mad Men dress by Monday, make a vintage-style swimsuit or two for Leimomi’s sewalong and work on my Vicki dress. I’m very excited about my Vicki dress since it will take care of TWO sewalongs at once : )


 Thank you Taracat!!

The rules do seem to vary but I’m going to do what she did and answer 10 questions and then nominate 10 fellow bloggers with less than 200 followers and ask them 10 questions. Here goes:

1. How did you get into sewing in the first place? My dad’s mom taught me. My dad was going to Cal Tech getting his Phd. and my mom was teaching so my grandmother watched me. She was a sewing teacher. (Among the MANY things she taught tailoring so I grew up with wool jumpers and silk shirts made from the scraps of her students.) The first project I remember was sewing sequins on a blue/green floral dress. She would thread the needle, I think I was 3 or 4, and then I would poke the needle through the fabric where there was a “dot”, put on a sequin, then a bead and put the needle back through the sequin and the fabric and go on the to next “dot” where the next sequin went. We would sit in her sewing room and watch people make movies outside. Her house was across the street from a very popular church that studios used for a lot of outside shots (she lived in Burbank at the time). When we were working on the sequined dress the crew was sitting on her lawn in their director’s chairs with the thick electrical cables criss-crossing all over everything. They reminded me of snakes. When someone shouted “action” a guy on a motorcycle came down the street and wiped out in front of the house. He got up quick, they put red stuff on him, and then he’d lay back down in the street. Then they all laughed and stood around while he wiped off the red stuff and the dirt. Hey, I was little, I thought it was cool. Maybe that’s why I wanted to work in movies.

2. What is your favourite make/most proud of? Hmmmm….that’s a toughie. It might be the swimsuit I did for the Olympic challenge last year. Not only did I make something that most of us dread but I photographed ME in it WITHOUT doing any photoshopping AND got back into a swimming pool. HUGE step for me. Actually, I’m also proud of the fact that I got over my silly, yet common, fear of seeing myself in photographs. That almost did me in at the beginning of the Sew Weekly year but I sucked it up and evolved. Now, when I look at what people have made, if they’re not wearing it it makes me sad. Clothing on a mannequin is nice and all but there is no life to it, no personality. I like the oufits on bodies : )

3. ..and your least favourite make? I think I’d have to go with the first one that hit the swap bag – the pink dress from last year. Good news is that it went to someone quickly at the swap who ooh’d and aah’d over it. Next to go will be the dress I did for the yellow challenge. I wore it once and meh. Almost everyhing else I’ve worn and like.

4. What has been your favourite moment since starting your blog?  When people I DON’T know commment! I knew I had a few who followed me on Sew Weekly but you never realize how many people are out there until someone pokes their head up and makes a comment! It is just AMAZING how many people are out there doing cool projects and living their lives and making wildly creative stuff. For years I felt like what I did wasn’t cool or fun or appreciated. One of these days I’ll post some stuff about the theatrical stuff I’ve done. Just being recognized form something you love to do is wonderful. The two who surprised me the most are Mary Jane Butters of Mary Janes Farm and Oona from Oonaballoona. There was squealing.

5. What proportion of your garments actually get worn in real life? About 90%. I try not to make things I won’t like and am constantly surprised by what I do like : )

6. What do you do with your sewing fails? Bin? Recycle? Refashion? Some have gone to the Swap we go to every few months, a couple have been passed on to someone who will love them and there are a couple in the “re-fashion” pile. Depending on the fabric they may go into the quilting box if they’re cotton, or the crazy quilt pile if they’re silk.

7. What would you be doing in your spare time if you weren’t sewing? Animal rescue and/or advocacy, along with gardening and house stuff. Pretty much what I do around the sewing : ) I didn’t sew for a few years, after I left costuming I didn’t have any motivation and then when I started to feel like getting back to it my husband got cancer and there was literally no time. I would do an occasional project-for-pay since cancer ain’t cheap but that gave me little satisfaction. Then Matthew Zachary gave me some great advice “Get busy living, even if it’s just for you” so I did.

8. What is the nicest compliment you’ve received for something you’ve made? “You MADE that??? HOW???” Art jacket at My daughter’s Senior Art Show. And by someone I know that hasn’t seen me in a while : ) None of what I do is rocket science but it’s nice to see the effort appreciated.

9. Do you have any aspirations for taking your sewing further, such as starting up a pattern label, opening a shop? A friend and I have played around with the shop thing for a while. We have a website, Elizabeth Rose Corsets, but I keep making things for ME. We had plans to do photoshoots that never quite materialized and then she got sick for quite a while. In that time I started, and finished, my tablesetting blog (new tablesetting a day for a year with all my own stuff, you can still find it at and halfway through that I threw my hat into the Sew Weekly ring. Now we may get back to the corset idea but even that has metamorphized. I’m drifting more towards piratey steampunk but using recycled clothing. It’s all very vague. I think I need to just sit and play but there are so many fun sewalongs that come up that it’s easy to be sidelined : ) Then an idea hits me when I’m digging through the sweater racks at Salvation Army, like doing a peacock coat with trousers, vest and shirt, that haunts me in my sleep.

10. Are you a perfectionist or a ‘get it done’ sewist? Both. I’m the one with the motto “Done is Beautiful” and it can be. But if you look in almost all my outfits the seams are overlocked, the zippers are in pretty well. I have a LOT of experience! While watching the first episode of “The Great British Sewing Bee” I had to keep reminding myself that these weren’t professionals in the sense that they had tons of education or experience like most of the Project Runway contestants. (They also don’t whine like the PR people so that was a lovely difference!). Yes, Angie and I could each make a shirt and skirt in 4 hours and between the two of us turn out 4 completed outfits a day when we had to because we HAD to. It wasn’t fun but it was useful, like the time we sewed in the dirt for an outdoor Shakespeare festival. Whenever we get together to sew, like we did for the Gatsby picnic last September, when we start to flag she’ll say “hey, at least we’re not sewing in dirt!” and we laugh and carry on.

So here are MY Liebster awardees:
Vicki at Another Sewing Scientist – when you find weird/icky looking worms in your pond its nice to have a parasitologist to ask questions, and she sews some really cool stuff : )
Lee at The Slow Steady – she’s done a couple sewalongs with me, was a Sew Weekly contributor and puts together AMAZING menus every week! I drool evertime I go to her page!
Tempest at Fanbloomingstastic. If you haven’t met her just go. You won’t be sorry.
Anne at Pretty Grievances. “When I’m not complaing, I sew…” She’s very funny and gives us a weekly update on runway fashions as well as her own travails in sewingland. And us pale skinned red heads need to stick together!
Barbara at Zibergirl Sews. Everything she makes is beautiful and classy.
Adri at Adri Make a Thing or Two. She sews, she knits, she crochets…and she makes it all look fun and easy : )
That’s it for now, I’ve got to get this post up so I can do my Mad Men post! I’ll post others later when time permits. Thank you again Tara!

 And one more thing…

Rochelle from Lucky Lucille has a nifty end-of-sewalong video! Check it out here. As an added bonus I found this article on the Doolittle raiders. If you don’t know who they are then THIS is a must-read : )

An update postponed

Hi all –

I had meant to do a lovely update on the end of the Bowie challenge, a thank-you to Taracat for the Liebster award she gave me (thank you!) and a couple other things.

The events in Boston yesterday floored me. The world has changed again, and while what happened was truly awful with three dead so far, there was an AMAZING amount of good to be seen with people not only rushing into the smoke and debris but those who completed the race running another mile and a half to the nearest hospital to give blood. Whatever your religious or political affiliations here are the words of our President this morning:

 “We also know this — the American people refuse to be terrorized. Because what the world saw yesterday in the aftermath of the explosions were stories of heroism and kindness, and generosity and love: Exhausted runners who kept running to the nearest hospital to give blood, and those who stayed to tend to the wounded, some tearing off their own clothes to make tourniquets. The first responders who ran into the chaos to save lives. The men and women who are still treating the wounded at some of the best hospitals in the world, and the medical students who hurried to help, saying “When we heard, we all came in.” The priests who opened their churches and ministered to the hurt and the fearful. And the good people of Boston who opened their homes to the victims of this attack and those shaken by it.

So if you want to know who we are, what America is, how we respond to evil — that’s it. Selflessly. Compassionately. Unafraid.”

To all of our friends in Boston our hearts are with you. I’m taking some time to shed some tears, say some prayers, hug my family and be quiet for now. Hugs to ALL.

(M) The one thing we all have in common.</p><p>Posted on the Being Liberal fan page.

The Devyne Bowie Jacket

My version of the album cover : )

Fabric: Natural cotton duck, red cotton lining, white cotton all from stash and 2 yards cotton lace
Pattern: Self drafted, based on 18th century jacket
4 bottles of paint, 2 red and 2 blue; blue paint tape, paint brush and foam brushes
Time to complete:
12 hours give or take an hour
First worn:
April 2013
Wear again?
Yes but only for Special Occasions : )
$10.93 for paint, $3.26 for lace so $14.19 total

The Original album cover

Ms. Tempest Devyne challenged us to make something “Bowie” inspired this month, so I decided on the Earthing jacket that Alexander McQueen made for him for his 1996-97 tour. Apparently he opened the show with his back to the audience, like this:

What fun, eh?

I had exactly three photos to try to figure out how the jacket went together, this is the second one:

And here is the third:

I found all three of these images on the same blog, It’s fun!

Let’s first be clear – I am NOT a 5’10” lean male. I have boobs so I knew the front of my coat and his were going to look a *little* different to begin with and that’s ok. I did BRIEFLY consider binding my boobs but nixed that idea about 2 seconds after I had it. From there on it was full speed ahead with the cutting and painting.

The back was the easiest:

Blue paint-tape taped off all the edges. For the record one of my LEAST favorite colors EVER is paint tape blue. It means something is unfinished and usually gives mediocre results. It worked decently enough on the fabric BUT you can see the way it puckered here, when it got wet with the acrylic paint I used it bubbled so as soon as everything was painted I pulled the tape off, I didn’t let it dry. That worked fine. I had a little bit of bleed-through but not nearly as bad as I do on walls.

It took about 5 days to paint all the parts and pieces, the biggest challenge was the “butt flags” that make those nifty back skirt pieces. I figured Mr. McQueen had used the straight edges of the flags and set them into the side seams, that way you get that triangular-ish piece. I painted a whole lot more flag than I needed and Miss Chloe decided to play with the excess one night : ) I think there may be an instagram pic of that.

It took a LOT less time to sew everything together than it did to do the painting! Let’s face it, there are really only a few seams in the whole thing – 1 center back, 2 shoulders, 2 sides, 2 seams for each “butt flag”, 2 seams in each sleeve, setting each sleeve in and the collar. The entire jacket is lined so I essentially made 2 jackets and then sewed them together around the outside edge. Done. I did paint the collar to match the red of the stripes:

And then trimmed it down and put it all together. I got VERY lucky to have almost the same exact red-colored cotton in my stash, VERY LUCKY, so the whole coat is soft to wear. The painted duck is stiff, at one point I was stitching the center back lining down to the vents and the coat stood up all on its own : ) The cats were FASCINATED.

Ashton liked the paint:

Until we tried to clean his feet:

Doesn’t that face say it all?

He and Stuart left me little presents, I painted around this one : ) That’s why, when you look at the back of the coat, you can see a white circle on one side and not the other. Not very McQueen but it is cute.

Once everything was put together I noticed in the second and third pics Mr. Bowie is wearing a denim shirt that seems to have some fancy lacy cuffs. I’m not a huge denim shirt fan, although I did make one for the Forties challenge last year. I decided to add just some cuffs to the inside of the coat for that bit of “fluff” so I headed to Joann’s for blue lace.

Wouldn’t you know it, after decades of tacky blue and rose lace, that I sold to hundreds of women who put that stuff on photo albums and unsuspecting little girls dresses, they’ve wised up and have NONE! I bought a couple yards of standard cotton lace, came home and found some blue dye and white cotton and plunged the whole lot into a bowl. 10 minutes later I had dyed-to-match lace and, as it turned out, hands. Next time I’ll check to see if there are holes in the gloves : )

I cut out two circles from the cotton –Turns out a Fiesta dinner plate is almost 36″ around. And the small berry bowl was about the right size for the inner cutout –

Threw a quick rolled hem in the bottom edges, slapped the lace on and hand stitched these inside the cuffs. Just like the old days of theater sewing…

Then came time to do photos. I had originally wanted to head out to the Delta, we have a couple places that look quite similar to the album cover. Unpredictable weather and a list of stuff to do around the house precluded a 4-6 hour photoshoot : ( But we headed to the open space for grass and sun and lucked out.

We tucked my hair in the coat, I wasn’t about to cut it short and didn’t have an appropriate wig. No makeup for this iteration of Bowie so I think this qualifies as the EASIEST prep EVER for a photoshoot!

Chloe came along:

And it took some coaxing for her to play. She was more interested in the ground squirrels.

But we managed : )

No, there is no lace around my collar, there was only so much of that stuff I was willing to wear…and I have no super long belt. I’m a girl, one with curves and the less stuff the better sometimes. I’m good as is here : )

You can see kitty paw here.

I feel revolutionary.

Here’s a little closer-up shot of the “butt flags”.

Sleeve and front…

…and the front : )

In amongst all my Bowie painting and sewing my daughter (my photographer) hit quite a milestone, her first Art Show : )

I Instagram’ed much of her artwork, but the photo taken of the two of us wasn’t so hot, I had my eyes closed. Fortunately we had better luck with the real camera instead of the phones:

We’re standing in front of one of her pieces and yes, I’m wearing the jacket I made for the Art-inspired challenge last year. I am VERY proud of her, her work was well received! There is one piece that I didn’t talk about that night-

She calls this “The Strongest Warrior” after Ariel. She wanted to call it “11:26”, the time that Ari died but her classmates said it was “too personal”. I’m not sure I agree with that, I don’t see what’s wrong with making art personal. Neither one of us can talk about Ari or that night without a few tears and Saturday was definitely a time for celebration.

She also managed to snap this pic of Chloe today, I think it’s one of my favorites –

Happy girl : )

And for an added Bowie bonus…

Brittany decided to do Bowie for Halloween this last year!

They were in the city for a party and it was raining. I’m guessing the blingy backdrop was on purpose!

Thank you, Ms. Devyne, for a very fyne time!! Can’t wait to see the rest of the makes. Check out her blog here. It really is fanbloomingtastic.

The Fourth, and final outfit for Sew for Victory : )

Fabric: Sale cotton from Stone Mountain
Pattern: Vogue 8728
1 yard belting & zipper from stash
Time to complete: 
2 1/2 hours
First worn:
March 2013
Wear again?
$15.00 (?)

I didn’t mean to make ONE more outfit..but I did.

The pattern was sitting there, and there was some fabric on another table that was just sitting there, and I really like the fabric so when I saw the pattern I remembered how Barbara had said this was a really easy dress AND it’s from 1946 so I figured what the heck!

This dress was even easier than the one I made last week and I’m serious about the 2 hours to make it. That extra half hour was for shoo-ing the cat off the ironing board several times so I could get the thing pressed and ready for photos. It is FIVE pieces with self-made bias binding around the neck edge. I didn’t really have time for fancy fitting so I cut the size I was according to the envelope, next time I’ll go down a size. Good to note – for those of us with larger-than-standard chests there is PLENTY of ease!

 I wrangled friend Heidi away from her kids for 15 minutes.

We braved the soggy, dripping world first thing Sunday morning, not initially remembering that it was Easter. We were dodging cars and people just trying to photograph the dress against something “tropical”, in reality the plantings at a condo complex down the street : ) I also trotted out the cha-cha shoes-that-hurt-my foot one more time. I think they’re going to have to go to a new home.

I wanted to try doing my hair like my grandmother but you’ll notice I have a red snood and large silk flower in my hair rather than the “toilet bowl” style my grandma is rocking here:

She wrote on the back “Watching the Rose Parade 1945 or 46?”. She said my grandfather preferred her hair the ‘natural’ way, that she was pretty just as she was : ) I’m in awe with how good this looks! We determined that my hair is just too long right now and yes, she used a ‘rat’ to get this look. I have plans for cutting my hair shorter, not short but enough that we may be able to do this then, we’ll have to see.

Heidi said “smile” so I smiled : ) Then I turned the tables on Heidi and she smiled:

Pj’s and slippers. She is awesome : )

So there we are, ladies. In a few weeks I made 3 shirts, 2 dresses and a skirt, all from patterns from the 40’s. I can’t believe how much FUN this was! Now I’m wanting to find patterns from each year I didn’t make something from and fill in, then do the 1930’s and 1950’s…

But first there is a Bowie challenge to finish (almost done!) and a Colette challenge to plan for AS WELL as the Mad Men challenge. Don’t forget to check out Rochelle’s AWESOMESAUCE 40’s dress where she re-created the fabric shown on the pattern envelope via Spoonflower : ) I may have to buy a couple of yards for a skirt for summer, because a couple dozen skirts is just not enough <g>