Tuesday, May 3, 2011

the rain in spain… (SYTYC round 5)

i admit it...freely. i love dresses. i love costumes, i love gowns--bridal and otherwise. i couldn't care less about the royal wedding or the academy awards or any other celebrity-studded event...except, that is, for the dresses. oooh…the dresses.

when i watch project runway--i'm ALWAYS rooting for the gown maker--the christian siriano, the laura bennett, the austin scarlett. (even though they rarely win).

so the upcycle challenge last week at SYTYC was just the excuse i needed to get my gown-sewin' on. yup, i went into the challenge already knowing what i wanted to make--and searching out the supplies necessary for it.

it’s truly one of my all time favorite movies, movie scenes, and movie costumes. the entire scene is gorgeous—the costuming, the choreography…everything. (seriously—if you’ve never seen it, GO WATCH NOW)

when i pulled up photos of the black & white dress audrey
hepburn wore in the ascot races scene of my fair lady i realized it's major components were not that difficult to list: lace, black & white stripes, big bows, big hat.

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the hat...well, i'm no hatter--mad or otherwise. it was a challenge. and it's fortunate that there was so much stuff on the top of it (the better to conceal errors with, my dears).
i started out (as usual) thinking that i would photograph the entire process for a potential tutorial.
yeah, right.

basically, for anyone who cares:
it involved three wire hangers, cut and bent into circles (two joined together to make the large outer brim, one smaller circle in the top of the hat). i made big fabric circles and sewed a pocket to slide the wire into, and put a black bias tape (homemade from scraps of course) around the edge. the 'hat' portion is a reinforced tube with a lid, sewn to a hole in the large outer brim. i made the lace cap out of another tube, sewing elastic to the bottom and handstitching it in place to the underside of the hat in a couple spots to secure it. the lace cap and a couple of bobby pins are really all that held it on--and believe me--that bad boy was HEAVY.

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initially i thought it the large black and white poofy things were feathers. but i ended up using a making big yarn tassels attached to dowels, and i think they have just the right look! the "bow" on the hat is one of the sleeves from the shirt--just cut it off, sewed one end shut, stuffed it with some scraps, and sewed the other end shut.

i admit...i did buy the flowers at the $1 store. i just don't have any {ugly} fake flowers sitting around the house. ;0) but the grassy stuff...well, that i "upcycled" from my neighbor's lawn...hehehe.

once i got all my hat pieces made i took my trusty glue gun, my photo of audrey's hat, and my poor daughter and started glueing. that was really the most stressful part of the project. that hat has such a huge impact, and because i was using white fabric and hot glue--i basically had one shot to make it work.
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now on to the dress

the lace i got from a friend (thanks Patty!)--lace curtains she had in storage. i bleached them to get them a bit whiter, and then used every single piece of the two panels.
(a dress made from curtains??? that’s totally the wrong movie!! hahahaha)

the stripes were more tricky. i thought for sure i'd be able to find something suitable at the thrift shop. but it really wasn't happening. all the stripes i found were too skinny or not vibrant enough. boo.

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and then i stumbled upon the referee shirt--perfection! that too i used almost every bit of. i had one sleeve and the zipper left at the end.
(and i have to say how sad the googiedaddy was to see that shirt get chopped up. he really, really liked it. i think he was hoping i'd lose the week before so i wouldn't have to use the shirt and he could keep it.)

i made my own pattern, and then pinned it right on girlfriend girl to ensure a really good fit.

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we headed off to philadelphia park, hoping for some horses?
maybe? but there were no races that day :o(

it was fun to parade around and get shots at the racetrack though!

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(those marker thingys in the background…maybe that’s where they got the whole black & white color scheme? ya think? i don’t know if that’s a universal “horse track” thing. i’ve never been to one before!)

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as a final touch, i grabbed an old curtain rod that was lying around and cut it to size with a hacksaw. then i gathered all the white fabric i could find in my stash and rubber-banded it to the curtain rod.
ta-da! instant illusion of an umbrella! (say that 10x fast)


SOOO…i guess i should talk about the fact that i would have been out for this one? unfortunately a fellow contestant’s mother passed away, and so she resigned from the competition. so i’m still in.

but i got the fewest votes…
and you know what? i really, truly, honestly would have been fine with that. i had SO MUCH FUN making this dress. it was worth it. i’m excited to still be in the competition, but i’m sorry for how it had to happen.

well, that’s it. if you’ve made it to the end, i’ll give you my usual spiel—did you vote yet this week?
it’s SUNSHINE week! head over to vote (for me, obviously) at SYTYC!


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