Wednesday, 25 January 2012

You Might Need Some Body

I still haven't summoned up the balls to tackle the horrific mess that is my sewing room, but I did brave the carnage for long enough to rescue my latest project, the blue baladi dress.

I'd been pondering for a while how I was going to decorate this, as I had a load of turqupise blue satin to play with, and didn't fancy making appliques or cut-outs. Then I was inspired by Shira's glorious burgundy/rose dress, but was a bit stymied by the prospect of trying to sew non-stretch satin onto very, very stretchy velvet.

Clearly the solution was to buy a dress mannequin off eBay for a cost considerably higher than all the costumes I've made so far put together (which admittedly says more about my penchent for recycling and cheapness than the cost of the dummy). I set it up in the living room when it arrived, much to the horror of the dog, who first growled at it, then barked, then tried to pee up it and was summarily ejected into the garden.

I've redraped and ruched the satin since this shot, but it gives some idea of how I wanted to arrange the swirl of fabric. It's actually quite a flattering design for an apple shape like me, as it makes me look like I have a waist (if you look closely you can see how I had to pad the mannequin with a white towel to get it to match my waist measurements!).

The satin is the bottom six inches of a cocktail frock that didn;t fit, and as it was already beaded, has saved me hours of time and effort. I've gathered it up about every seven inches or so, and I'll add some accents of fringe under each gather. The bra is still in progress- I have some of the beaded material left over so I'll gather it in the same way across the top of the cups. I'm not going to go over board with the deco on this outfit as I don't want to swamp it in sparkle. I feel like the material should be the main feature, and any embellishment should just help show it off.

Tuesday, 10 January 2012

New Year, New Start

Classes start tomorrow, and I'm looking forward to seeing everyone and beginning the arduous process of getting fit and flexible again. I did little or no dancing over the Christmas period, and lost a lot of weight, so I'm weak as a kitten. We're doing veil work this year, so I fully expect to have aching arms and shoulder for a few weeks until I adjust.

I'm dropping my Thursday classes (cabaret and advanced tribal) this term. It's a 70 mile round trip, and I get home well after 10pm, and that's really not conducive to my recovery. I'll miss dancing with the tribal girls, but hopefully come summer term I'll be back with them.

Sewing projects are currently on hold because my beloved husband had a massive clearout over New Year while I was away. The corner of the living room where I kept my 'TV sewing' now looks like this, with a couple of forlorn sequins stuck in the carpet.

My sewing table in my craft room, however, looks like this:

The blue fabric in the middle of the pile is my velvet baladi dress, still with the pins and a needle in it, and screwed up with two delicate lace hipscarves. The yellow bit at the top is the handle of a bag containing 100000000 scraps of fabric for a rags and tatters skirt, but sadly Captain Clever turned the bag upside down so the scraps are everywhere. Underneath all that is two teatowels, a selection of books from the downstairs bookcase, three foil platters, a large box for carrying cupcakes, the dog's old collar, the manual for the food mixer and a bottle of men's aftershave. Somewhere behind all this crap you can just see my poor, put-upon sewing machine Fritz, looking distinctly unimpressed by the mess!