Monday, July 17, 2017

A Very Jazzy Lawn Party

The Jazz Age Lawn Party on Governor's Island is something I've wanted to do since I was a freshman in high school, so, of course, when I moved to NYC I was determined to MAKE IT HAPPEN!
The first time I went was last August. THE HEAT INDEX WAS ONE HUNDRED AND FIFTEEN DEGREES. 
We made it through without getting heatstroke, and were crazy enough to come back for Round 2 this year (although this time, with our newfound wisdom, we chose to attend in June instead of August. We keep growing wiser with every Lawn Party, as we learned this year after taking naps on the packed dirt that we should bring some darn lawn chairs next time.)

Not pictured: Our hunky dates. I also made my friend Kate's green dress! 
I was excited about making my own dress before I even bought my tickets, without really even knowing what I wanted it to look like. I remembered a 1930s reproduction pattern I'd bought from theVintage Pattern Lending Library, and its fabulously ruffly skirt that sort of faked a drop-waist without the drawback of actually BEING a drop waist (Actual 1920s silhouettes don't look good on my shape and I'm just too vain to wear clothes that don't flatter me.) I thought a nice white day dress would be a nice, period look, and decided to give up my dreams of making a chemise a la reine out of this fabric I bought from JoAnn. 

I had well-begun the arduous task of making that oh-so-ruffly skirt before I figured out what bodice pattern I wanted to use: it finally occurred to me that the only logical choice to go with all those flounces was a bodice that involved ANOTHER FLOUNCE, as I found in Butterick 6052, option A. 

If I had it to do over, I would have definitely added an inch or so to the waist of the torso, as the pattern is for a pretty high-waisted dress, but I was foolishly not thinkin' before I was cuttin'. 

You can really see the too-high waistline here, but, that's what belts are for. Covering up poor sewing decisions.

The magic gold glitter shoes are from B.A.I.T. and were my Christmas present a couple years ago!
The hat is by San Diego Hats and I bought it at The Nitty Gritty in Louisville.
Overall, I definitely veered into more of a 1930s look than a 20s one, but am mostly happy with the dress and am excited to wear it again! The sheerness, the specks of metallic gold, and the flounces really do make it feel dreamy and floaty. I need somebody to invite me to a tea or a garden party or some suitable occasion. 

Sewing Techniques I Practiced: 
Narrow hems
French seams
Being patient (SO. MANY. HEMS.)

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Sweater Vest Gift Wrapping Tutorial!

         Usually, I am a pretty boring gift wrapper (I just use cute paper and call it a day) but I have been doing lots and lots and lots (and lots) of crafting lately, and the crafting brain juices spilled over into my gift-wrapping this morning! I was trying to figure out what to wrap my brother Wesley's present in (I only have flowery paper, which would not be his cup of tea) when I remembered the wrapping paper that had come in my ModCloth order.
        "That would be perfect, because it looks like a sweater and he loves sweater vests!" I thought. Then, I had a BRILLIANT EPIPHANY: "What if I made the wrapping paper LOOK LIKE AN ACTUAL SWEATER VEST!?"
And so I did! And here's how I did it!

(If you're reading this, Wesley,.... SURPRISE! MERRY CHRISTMAS)

1. Cut enough white paper to wrap your gift normally, but with extra paper at the top. (I had about 4 inches of extra paper.) Wrap your gift as you normally would, leaving the long end of the paper free.
2. Fold the long end over twice, creasing each fold.
3. This is what Step #2 should result in.
4. Cut into the paper, up against the folded-down section, about 2-3 inches, or enough to leave a reasonable amount of paper in the center to connect the flaps you're making to the rest of the paper. Repeat on the other side.
5. Pull the flaps you've created around the the front to make a collar shape.
6. Fold the extra paper in the front towards the back. Don't worry about how it looks, the vest will cover it up!

1. Wrap your present normally in your sweater vest paper, once again leaving extra paper at the top for folding over.
2. Cut a slit down the center front of the vest paper as far as you'd like its neckline to go. (You can experiment with depths... I ended up making mine deeper after I took these photos.)
3. Fold the paper in at an angle, forming the neckline. Make sure the angle isn't too steep, you're going to need to cover up those shoulders!
4. Trim down the paper that's sticking up in the back, but leave the front paper long. You fold that over what you just trimmed and tape it down.
5. Adjust the collar to how you like it and paste the corners down over the sweater vest.

1. Cut out felt shapes like the ones in the photo to the size you want your bow tie to be. My oval-ish thing was about 3.25"x1.25", and my skinny rectangle was about 2.5"x0.75"
2. Pinch the center of your rounded rectangle to give it a bow shape.
3. Wrap the long skinny piece of felt around the part you pinched.
4. Paste in place, making sure the overlap is at the back!

Paste your bow tie onto your collared shirt. I added little buttons as well, I thought it looked a little bare without them!

TA DAAAAAA! My very first tutorial! Please let me know if you have any suggestions of ways to improve my tutorial skills! And if you use this tutorial, I'd LOVE to see a picture of your finished product!

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Kentucky Derby Party

The only Kentucky bourbon we could find for sale in Brussels, all dressed up for the occasion! 

Bourbon balls! They're my new favorite thing to make!

Belgian version of "ham and biscuits"