Sunday, June 24, 2012

cutting it up ...

if you've been following along, you already know about the blue and white dress fiasco. more about that here.
i started the transformation with the collar. i just cut it in half, reversed one side and stitched it at the bottom and along the sides, folded down the top flaps and stitched on 2 buttons and added a ribbon down the center. the ribbon was a gift from a friend when we visited some museums in NYC a few years ago. it will be a convenient pouch for small knitting, crochet or stitching projects. it measures 8" x 4".

collar cut down the center and reversed


ribbon detail...knitting instruction


unfortunately the indigo seedlings are not making much progress. i've been nursing them along but i think it's a lost cause:

indigo seedlings
and wish there were more of these variegated cosmos coming up. most on the plant are just solid color but these were a nice surprise.

variegated cosmos
hope you're all having a good weekend.

Monday, June 18, 2012

peppermint crepe myrtle

my peppermint crepe myrtle has bloomed for the first time in 20 years. it is a miniature and always gives green leaves but has never before bloomed. it really doesn't get enough sun so i was very pleasantly surprised with the blooms.

peppermint crepe myrtle

and the shoots of the desert willow tree, that have come up from the ground after the tree was cut down due to it splitting right down the middle, is giving beautiful blooms this year. it's a bit wild...more like a bush than a tree but i love it.

desert willow

well...i crocheted a blue edge on the collar...added some length at the hem with an eyelet underlay...patched up the openings on either side where there were spaces since the original style was slit and slightly opened on the sides...and before i got ready to change all the buttons to give it a bit of color going down the front, i decided i'd better try this on and see how it looks. it is still way too big on the top and is quite uncomfortable ( i knew there was a reason i stopped wearing dresses). so i have decided to cut it up and make it into a bag. my challenge is to use all the areas that i embellished in the bag so that all that work will have been worthwhile, although i did enjoy the process.
here's a picture just showing some of the additions i made since my last post.

reworked dress will now be cut up and reworked into a bag

Friday, June 15, 2012

then and now...2012

the re-designed dress is nearing completion. i've used a part of a vintage linen cloth as a label and embroidered 'then & now 2012'. i still need to add a couple of inches to the length which may include some embellishment. i'll try to get a picture of me in the dress when it is actually completed.

a vintage label with 'then & now 2012' added

and here are some close-ups of the band just below the waist made up of bits and pieces of vintage linens and lace and added hand embroidery:

and the entire front and back...

i need to start thinking about which re-design i want to tackle next.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

the mending continues...

i mentioned in the last post, i think, that i purchased a size 2X dress from the thrift store that i was going to re-design so that it would fit my size 8-10 body. it's not as easy a project as i thought it would be. it took me 3 days just to take most of the seams apart and remove the sleeves. i did make a smaller sleeve and basted it on to see how it would work. it's ok but i think i'm going to redo it and make it a straight cuffed sleeve instead of the gathered look pictured here. just below the waist, there is a band that i'm going to embellish with lace and embroidered bits and pieces. it's just in pieces now and will be narrower after it's all stitched. the dress is slightly gathered in the back with a huge long tie that i will shorten and just fasten  with a home made button. here's just a peek at what it looks like so far. i'm working on this project as part of Jude's Contemporary Boro class.

the dress as purchased with long, wide sleeves that tied with bows at the cuffs.

the side seams have been taken in, and a new sleeve was constructed. the embroidered lace pieces are covering a band just below the waist...not yet stitched down and incorporated within the garment, so it will be a bit narrower.

stopped in at the thrift store this morning and 3 items came home with me...

that cap is made with a beautiful embroidered linen and it's brand new. the tags were still on it. also picked up 3 cotton napkins that will be perfect for dyeing and embroidery and a wool scarf.

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