Oh shirr…..

Did you know, my living room is a great location for spotting UFOs? I would post a picture to prove it, but I may get in trouble and risk having my blog shut down.

Of course, UFOs being Un-Finished Objects and the mess that is the living room is quite embarrassing, and doesn’t need to be forever emblazoned on the Internet. Ryan gets on my case about having so much craft stuff all over the place, and I agree. But if I clean, then the UFOs will forever hover. My goal over the next month (coinciding with not washing my hair-HAHA) is to finish projects and put away my crafting supplies.

First up? That damn dress! A year ago (7/13/2013), I got caught up in the April Rhodes’ The Date Night dress hype. I thought it was fab and all the bloggers that had an opportunity to make it swooned over the fit and ease of assembly. It got me excited. Like leave work, go shopping for fabric, and start sewing excited (I didn’t).

Tangent: One time, I made a navy blue knit dress. It was from a tutorial, so I was drafting my own pattern. The knit was transparent, so I figured why not just double it up? It added so much bulk, I wore it once. Another time, I made matching tops for myself and Ella. The arm cuffs were too tight, so we only got one use out of those as well. It seems I can sew better for kids, as I’ve made many dresses, pants, and costumes, but when it came to sewing for adults, I’m only successful at hospital gowns. Eek! That’s depressing.

Back to my story, I’m excited about making this dress. One problem: I live in Hawaii. The only places to buy fabric are over-priced, touristy, or do not carry the right type. Oh, and good luck finding any new collections that you see pop up in mainland fabric shops. For instance, there is a store on Oahu that happens to sell voile, for nearly twice the price as the mainland, but had only two “new” prints. Even then, they were from a collection a year before that was no longer in print. Frustrating! Ordering online is the way to go, except it takes a few days, shipping to Hawaii is costly, and you don’t get to see/feel the product until it gets here. Needless to say, I was less excited at this point.

Before I realize, it was November. I was periodically checking fabric sites for something that caught my eye, slowly losing hope that I’d ever make the dress. Then…SALE! I love that word. It’s a curse word, I’m sure. Husbands universally cringe when it’s used in conjunction with craft supplies. Three yards of a pretty voile on its way!

Slowly, it started looking like a dress. For a long time it didn’t have sleeves, then it was even longer before there was a finished neckline. It wasn’t until maybe April(?), when I finally finished the hem on the sleeves and bottom, after finding a hem template. It worked great for the most part, but the laser toner didn’t like the heat from my iron and rubbed off from the paper onto the fabric. Ugh!! Luckily, my mother-in-law had a metal one I could borrow.

At last! I was done! But there was yet another problem. It looked like a hospital gown — face palm. The print that I chose, though pretty, and worked well in other dress designs, in this arrangement was just unflattering hospital garb.

I tried to dress it up with different belts, but nothing would remedy. My dress form wore it for months with a wide belt that was so two years ago. Then it struck me, if nothing quite matched it, why not shirr it?

I was nervous. I had never shirred before and my sewing machine can be wonky. The last thing I needed was to have my $30 + labor gobbled up in the feed dogs. I wound the elastic thread on a bobbin, practiced on a scrap, then just went for it.

It’s still quite sterile in appearance, but paired with a neutral cardigan, it works for me. Ryan says it must be the sleeves.

I even wore it to work …gasp! Funny that I was worried about busting a seam or any other wardrobe malfunction, when in reality, it is probably better constructed than most of the store-bought stuff in my closet. It has French seams, a reinforced pleat, and properly tied off threads!

Well, that’s one UFO crossed off the list. (Hands on hips, head turn) “I got this!”

*Have you seen ABC Family’s Young and Hungry? It annoys Ryan; totally my kind of show.


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