Sunday, November 1, 2015

A Portrait of Frida

When I'm in the blues I like watching Frida's paintings. The representation of her pain in her paintings is so powerful that reconnects me with my reality and makes me see how fortunate I am. Despite some of my dreams haven't come true -yet- at least I have everything I need to keep fighting for them: air to breath them, healthy back and legs to chase them and, of course, the love of my family.

I spent almost two weeks deciding my halloween costume this year. I wanted something special, but I wasn't feeling very well inside hence, inspiration and creativity didn't show up for a while.

And then came Frida.

I searched Frida on Pinterest and realized that she was not only an art but also a fashion icon. The color of her dresses, her magnificent braids and her attitude... girl that's the attitude: always self-sufficient, secure and confident, I loved her even more!!. So I decided this year, my costume was going to be a tribute to my heroin. 

I started off looking for the perfect skirt in the thrift store but I couldn't find one... but two: one indigo and the other one was a lace tutú. I had to pay $10 bucks for them... pretty expensive ha? considering that it's a thrifty store! but anyways! being arty ain't cheap lady!

At home, I started to adjust the indigo skirt to my size. Because of the idea was joining both skirts to create the typical colorful Frida skirt with lace at the bottom, I had to take the elastic out of the tutu and add it at the end of the indigo skirt. Then, the pinning began.

Afterwards, I sewed the skirts together following the pins with a straight line. It was a challenge to find a threath with the exact same indigo color, so I decided to go with the opposite one: Fucsia, which happened to be the same color of the pashmina I was planning to use to complete the Frida outfit.

After I joined the two skirts, I felt it needed more colors, more shapes and patterns, it's Frida! it's Mexico!!. So I thought it was a great opportunity to try the 'embroidery' features of my sewing machine. Bam!

At the end, I finished my decorations with some colored studs.

I put together my costume with a very mexican shirt and the most important things: the braids and the flowers in my head... and obviously, my joint eyebrows! Perfect for the ocassion!

Friday, April 17, 2015

Spring 2015 has sprung!

Finally! It was a harsh winter in the Maritimes this year... as you can see. Shoveling the snow kept me quite busy, no time to show off the pieces I had been preparing during January and February.

But now, snow is melting away with the rising temperatures so... I threw away the shovel and came back to the computer to update the blog, and I'm proud to start with this nice long skirt...

It was originally a dress with an 'empire waist'. I didn't quite like que shape of the top so I decided to cut it off. Then I cut more fabric... and more fabric... because you know, I'm a mini person, hobbit size.... and this dress was soooooo long that I bet it belonged to Galadriel, the Cate Blanchett Elf in The Lord of The Rings.

When I finally got the right measures for me, I made the low hem with the same Cut-Iron-Sew method I talked about in a previous post.

I did the same for the upper portion to shape the waistline but in this case I left a small openning to insert an elastic band previously cut according to my waist measures. I used a pin to get the elastic through the 'tunnel' and once it reached the openning again, I sewed the ends together and sealed the small openning with some more stitches.

I couldn't wait any longer to wear it... It was a really, really long winter!

Thursday, December 18, 2014

The Blue Fish Dress

I never thought I would laugh so hard in my life at a dress. One can find funny hideous things in the second-hand store but... a fish? oh my God! A dress that make you this happy for $2 is definitely something you need in your closet.

I didn't quite understand what the designer was thinking when making this dress. This is too small and not so flattering for a plus size but enormous and shapeless for a petite. Even for somebody with the "standard" measures... it was just awkward.

I spent quite a while in the fitting room figuring out how to put this on me. The dress had too much hanging fabric... spandex to be exact, which made me wonder: who in his/her insane mind wants this much hanging spandex ? the point of this type of fabric is to be tight on you, show off curves or at least make you feel fresh and comfortable. If you want a dress hanging on you to fall nicely on your figure you use chiffon or crêpe or silk... not spandex!

Fashion Designers: this is why you need to actually know about fabrics and cuts!

And don't even make me start with the fins and the neckline... please don't!. The only good thing about this dress was the color, so I put myself to work as soon as I could.

The obvious first step was cutting off the fins and some length. Then adjusted the silhouette and finished the hem.

At this point I had a nice simple summer dress, with a fresher and better look. The only additional think I had to adjust was the neckline, it was to wide and open for my so I sewed some centimeters in each shoulder.

Tried on again and looked just fine. Just fine... just plain fine [sigh]
Let's add some drama please! And mr spandex... you're supposed to... expand, right? So I pull a pinch of fabric from the front, a little bit from the back and sewed together to the right side so I could do some ruffles.

Finished the ruffles with some nice gold studs. You know me, I love decorating my clothes.

And that was my fishy refashion tale!. I know I'm not a mermaid but at least, I kept my human shape with this dress.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

The Silk Blouse

I was a lucky girl that day!!. I found this blouse in the second-hand store, but it was brand new. It had the tags from the original store (except the original price) and a spare button attached. I loved the colors and the print of the fabric... oh AND the fabric! pure soft, delicate silk... as soft as my baby boy buttocks!!

Even though the silk is a precious material to wear, its maintenance is a nightmare. You can't just throw it in the washer and don't even think about the dryer. You can't put it to direct sunlight, you have to be careful with rough surfaces and its mortal enemy it's red wine... which is not very compatible with my personality but... still, a girl needs at least one piece of clothes made out of silk.

So I decided to work carefully on it, trying not to pull too much the threads and making nice and soft cuts when detaching the long sleeves. I used the finished sleeve hems as ribbons to attach them to the waist so I could join them in my back.

But the plan of joining them in the back didn't work as expected because there was too much shapeless fabric. My derrière looked like I had a pony tail... I could even make a parody of the Kim Kardashian "break the internet" picture.

So my plan b was joining the ribbons underneath the blouse. Just like this picture. For this, I had to make two big button holes in the back of the blouse, parallel to my spine. Once the buttonholes were finished I could pass the ribbons through them and attach them together with buttons.

The last step was finishing the hems and the size of the arm holes.

I have to confess I liked the final result. It's a fresh brand new blouse to go out and grab some martinis with my husband... because... you know... silk doesn't like coffee either.