Archive for March, 2010

Conquering silky fears

Clearly I’m scared to cut the purple silk dress because I keep inventing other things to do instead of it.

Like posting this fitzfab tracing technique on Burdastyle. Drafted some more posts about all the red and white dresses I thrifted for spring, how to fix a brown print dress so it looks like me. Totally getting stuff done. Just not the one thing I should be doing.

Now I tell myself Mister’s taking up the kitchen — the only spot in the house where I have enough space to cut —making chili.

How do you conquer your fear of ruining fabric and just dive in?

Silk and tacos

The weekend snows reminded me of how happy we were to have a day of 48 and sunny a few Sundays ago.

And it was supposed to be that for long enough that Mister and I called up everyone we knew to make a taco tour of the Maxwell Street market. Starting with Lenchos.

First Lenchos of 2010

One friend (who happens to love fabric more than almost any man I’ve ever met), was totally in, so was my Teeny Friend and his dad.

You’d think a steady drizzle might shrink the line at the Lencho’s stand. Alas.

Didn’t scare away the copper pot vendor either.

Copper pots

Or the creepy clowns.

Clowns, Maxwell style

We had a couple tiny carne asadas each.

Taco options
Boys ate an al pastor.

Pastor of the future

All had a stunning quesadilla finale on tortillas the ladies were making on site by hand.

I bother with all this because the taco market’s south end is right at Vogue Fabrics. I had poked through my stash Saturday night to see what could line the purple dress. I typically like to cut and sew a lining first * just * in case.  And I already have some purple-y polyester that could have done in a pinch. But why not peek into the Vogue to see if the sale rack couldn’t offer something amazing?

They still had the purple silk — but I wanted something softer. Enter magenta washed silk, soft as the stuff I used to line my wedding dress, and what a dream that was.

silk for purple dress with magenta lining

It’s not purple, I know, so it could show along the neckline or inside the sleeves once the dancing really gets going. I’m going to have to find a quick way to make a sort of facing in the dark purple, and rely on the magenta for inside the body.

Which means… my chicken self is going to have to cut the actual dress first.

Another little green sign of life

I swore I had killed this little guy. A lovely prayer plant, with red-spotted green leaves that folded up every night. He was living in a pot with an umbrella plant. And today, while wiping the umbrella’s leaves with rubbing alcohol to push back the scale, surprise!

this umbrella plant saved his friend's life

Little pokey, little droopy. I think that saved his life. Because instead of chucking him, I kept taking care of his friend. See those tangles? That was the last of the prayer plant.

surprise! i thought it was dead

And then, amid the March snows, up he popped.

surprise! that plant's still alive

I was the jumping up and down kind of happy about it.

Great, just great

I mean that for real. Because despite 60+ sunny temps all week, today it is snowing like a banshee.

March misery

My garden pots are coated with snow.

My garden so far

Not a dainty snowfall, either. It’s a proper storm.

Snows of March

What a day to cut and baste?!

Silk and hilarity

Husband’s best man in his friend’s wedding.

And I happened upon a stunning eggplant silk at an absolute steal.

silk for purple dress

I’m deadly serious. $6 a yard at the Vogue in Chicago. Spotted it over Christmas, ended up going back for three yards. I let it sit, waiting for a dress shape to come to me.

Then I remembered this Very Easy Vogue pattern I had bought as a wedding dress possibility.


Loved the mermaid shape, the low square neck, the wide set straps. Hated the puffy or frilly sleeves, but those seemed an easy fix. Did * not * love the high back and couldn’t confidently figure out what to do about it.


I’m now going with the short one, since Mister asked me kindly not to show up the bride. Really, though, a long skirt won’t show my shoes. Really, really, I only have three yards of the stuff.

So last weekend I cut out a muslin from fabric (printed especially for JoAnn) so ugly I might like it now.

V8416-muslin fabric

V8416-muslin layout

Lengthened the sleeves a teeny touch. And I’m moving the slit to one side instead of the center back. Will deepen it a bit to vamp it up. Since the muslin needs no more alterations, I might try using it as the lining for a version in medium gray.

My curvy self has been waiting by the phone a long time for a dress this shape.