Pics of my TRENNNDAY outfit- feat. the dress I made!!

*bvv ts bvv ts bvv ts bvv ts*

That, friends is the sound of me having a small celebratory beatboxing session.

FashioNXT week followed through with everything I could have hoped for and then some. I made some new friends in the industry, got to see the work of fashion rockstars four nights in a row, and feel like I overall have a much better idea of what the fashion world in Portland has to offer and how I want to be a part of it! Some of you may know that a while back, I set a deadline for myself to engage the skills I’ve been boasting and I could prove myself by completing a design and wearing it at FashioNXT. I have been doing a lot of sewing over the past months, but mostly for class projects. That means pajama pants, tailored shirts, and sample stitches. All of these skills are important,  but if I don’t start churning out more of my own looks I’ll be burning daylight!

In the words of Elvis,

“A little less conversation, a little more action please”

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Look at that face..the man has a point. 

So when I zipped up my creation and took off for the venue, it felt like an official stepping out. This was 100% mine and what I have been working hard to feel confident enough to do for years.

What I wasn’t expecting was that I was going to feel super nervous. I got in the car to drive to the event in my dress and thought, what if it looks homemade? What if a seam pops? What if I tell someone I made it and they get that glazed/raised eyebrow look on their face that says “yeah ya did….” while their voice says “oh that’s cool…”

Irrational fears, maybe, but I had put a lot of thought and love into making something that I knew epitomizes where I feel my style is right now and exercises my growth in my sewing skills.  I splurged on the fabric months ago in NYC, I drew it and redrew it, and I did a lot of seam ripping right up to the hours before I left the house. So it is with grand excitement that I debut to you, loving readers, just another baby step in the “Dorky Chick in Lipstick” story.

OBVIOUSLY this calls for  some “trennndayyyyy” pictures from my high class studio!

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Day 4 of heels… ay yi yi….Photo on 10-12-13 at 4.51 PM #5

 

See through back….scandiiiiiPhoto on 10-12-13 at 4.50 PM

I tried to recreate the pose from the drawing….. lol

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At the event, my friend Erika, who I met working VIP, and I got to get our pics taken at the Intel Photobooth! It was a real mini runway you can walk down– we felt pretty cool.

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For the record, nothing ripped, popped, or snagged. I just wore a dress and the world kept spinning. It isn’t a big deal, but someday in the future when I have made fourtyhundredthousandmillion dresses, I’ll know that this  is one that helped me get there– and that is a great feeling.

The highlight, though, was after I took some designers from NYC to after party, they asked me if I was wearing one of Michael Costello’s pieces (a headlining designer for the week and Project Runway star). After hours of work, pin-pricked fingers, and a few F-bombs I got to respond

“No, actually, this is one of mine.”

xo

 

 

 

 

 

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Real men dress like baby girls

Handshakes are pretty powerful thing. The un-inked agreement between two hands attached to separate bodies is what has made the world what it is today. Business deals, grand ceremonies, formal greetings, and, of course, bets all require handshakes to solidify an idea becoming an event. My friends, Dan and Roxanne, shook hands a couple months ago on a particular bet that I got to facilitate… and oh boy was it fun! *insert enthusiastically villian-esque evil laugh here*

*still cackling*

(eh hem) Anyhoo, so to give you some backstory: Kyle and Rama are an awesome couple with an awesome 4 year old boy named Jaden. One night while a group of us were at their house for our Monday night gathering for “The Voice” it was revealed that come December, Jaden was going to become a big brother! Obviously the room was filled with enthusiasm at the idea of Rama having a little bun in the oven, but the question was would it be a boy or a girl?!?!

Roxanne said it would be a girl, Dan thought it would be a boy, and somewhere along the line a bet was formed. The stakes: Loser, who incorrectly guesses the sex of the baby, has to wear a grown-up sized baby costume of the for the duration of the baby gender reveal party. Said costume must be gender stereotype specific to baby being born. Winner gets to cackle.

Either way, I was in charge of making the costume!

A few days before the party, the parents got the results in a sealed envelope, which they gave to me, and I had the heart pounding experience of opening it to see the results! The only people to know were myself, the cake decorator, and the doctors–everyone else would find out at the party. I was extremely nervous to know, because I knew how badly they wanted a little girl, and I had to keep a straight face in the days leading up to the reveal.

I opened up the envelope and inside was the ultrasound picture and a note that said

It’s a GIRL

AAAAAAAHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Naturally I had a mini freakout and car-danced about it as I drove to the fabric store to buy pink fabric.

Finding out that this incredible family is going to expand in the way they had dreamed was so exciting, but the only thing that made it better was realizing that Dan has to wear a baby girl costume all. night. long. 

*more over-enthusastic cackling*

I couldn’t laugh forever though- I was headed to Seattle until the day of the party and I only had 24 hours to buy materials, create the pattern, and put it all together! I needed a plan. I knew I’d need a bonnet, a skirt, and a top. There would need to be lace, it had to be pink, and there was a special request for polka-dots. Teehee! What was more important, is that I needed a fabric that was cheap, easy to work with, and would be forgiving since I knew I was going to have to whip up this outfit like a bat out of hell.

Here’s what I ended up with:

– Felt. This is perfect fabric for short term costumes. It comes in all colors, doesn’t stretch so is easy to work with, is a breeze to cut, and is definitely affordable. Shout out to homegirl JoAnn for coupons! I bought pink and white and wasn’t really sure how much I would need, but ended up being okay. It is always better to have an extra yard. Always.

– Elastic. I didn’t have Dan’s measurements, but knew I could guess about how much give I would need to get it around his waist.

– Lace. Obviously. Making Dan a pretty baby girl was going to take extra measures. Dan, if you are reading this, I mean that in the nicest way….lol

Velcro. I ain’t got tiiiiime for no zippers! Velcro sticks right to felt and takes minimal application time.

I started with the bonnet. I looked up ideas online and ended up measuring my own head to get it just right. There are a lot of elaborate designs out there but  the quick and dirty 2 piece seemed to look just fine.

From there I went to the shirt. I mostly eyeballed the pattern piece from memory of shirt pattern pieces I had seen in the past. This ended up coming up a little short on the back, and I later had to add a panel. The sleeves, on the other hand, were something I would definitely put in the “win” category. I’ve always been intimidated by sleeves, but was able to cut out, gather, and sew in without puckers or mishaps on the first try!!! Wahoo!!

After that I made the skirt. I ended up having to cut 4 separate pieces to make sure I had enough of the pink, but ultimately I was fine and attached an elastic waistband.  If I would have had time, I would have made a dress, but instead figured that a shirt tucked into the skirt would give a similar enough effect.

Surprisingly, the polka dots were the biggest challenge. I didn’t want to hand sew, but the felt was so thick I was nervous about trying to maneuver my machine to sew them on, and I had gotten a little overeager to put the sleeves on before the dots. I decided to go for it, and one by one used a close zig-zag stitch around each dot, all while an objectively horrible Hillary Duff movie played in the background. They weren’t perfect, but they were there in all their feminine glory!

I got a chance to finish it up before the party, and I added the extra back panel for the inches of fabric that I underestimated, slapped some velcro on that bad boy, and it was party time!

I kept a poker face for a solid hour at the party people analyzed my eye movements with hungry eyes! Na na na boo boo- I totally knew! We ate some delicious dinner and then it was time to cut the cake! Mama Rama found the pink shoe baked in the cake and tears and hugs followed. Dan was dismissed to go find the costume that awaited him, and returned in my creation!

Ay bay bay!!

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*still cackling* 

There’s Roxanne smiling ear to ear knowing that she won the bet 😉

 

It fit! Which was an exciting moment for me, and I think that pink really goes well with his skin tone, don’t you?

Check out some precious moments:

Awww

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First family photo with their baby girl……. lol

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 even got a pic in with my creation!

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By the end of the night Dan’s inner Jersey baby came out….

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You lookin’ at me? Can’t a baby get a drink around hea?????

As you can tell, it was a great time and I was so grateful to get to add to the fun of the evening and celebrate with Rama, Kyle, and Jaden as they look forward to welcoming a new family member to the planet!!!

Thanks, guys!! And of course, thanks to Dan for being such a good sport.

As far as sewing goes, this was like a fun challenge to race against the clock and get to make something all my own.  It felt really good to go into a project confidently, and to come out on the other side having accomplished what needed to get accomplished.

Who knows, maybe my claim to fame will one day be a high end line of baby style menswear!

And on THAT disturbing thought, I wish you a happy Saturday…

😉

xo

P.S. Rama has a phenomenal website called Freshly Grown! When you get a chance, give her page a “like” on Facebook and check out her great website. She has a really personal testimony that has led her to a healthy lifestyle and it is incredibly inspirational!  www.freshly-grown.com

Blogress Report: Button-up Shirt and Wrap Dress DOMINATION!!! Sort of!!!!

Great news. It’s official. I am slightly smarter, slightly more accomplished, and slightly closer to crowdsurfing through thousands of adoring fans while people call my name and the trumpets sound and fireworks are exploding and Beyonce’s lipsyncing the national anthem and all there is to eat is pizza!!!!!!!!! That’s what dreams come true is, isn’t it!?

I just completed my next round of sewing projects! I took a “Perfect Shirt” class, a dress class, and also textiles! This weekend I have been doing a lot of last-minute crunching to get these suckers done.

PROJECT 1: THE PERFECT SHIRT

The “Perfect” Shirt is certainly not flawless, but this was an incredible introduction into traditional tailored garments. I made a shirt somewhat similar to this when I was back in high school, but it looked like doo-doo and was never seen again. This was a second chance for me, and it still wasn’t a walk in the park, but some serious progress was made!

Check it out!

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Eh? Eh??! I can’t take credit for just whipping this out myself, because I definitely had some guidance.That being said, I did have to finish a considerable amount on my own time since I missed some classes for my travels home.

Here’s what I learned:

-Proper plackets. The Rubik’s cube of fabric folding.

-Collar stands

– Adding structure with a yoke on the upper back.

– How to make a proper cuff

Here’s what I need more work on:

– Everything. There are a multitude of little tweaks that I couldn’t possibly think that I’ve mastered here, but all time spend working on this was incredibly worthwhile. There is little to no creative freedom in a project like this, so it is a classic example of “practice makes perfect”

PROJECT 2: THE WRAP DRESS

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Image << That’s the print up close.

This was a fun project to do because it didn’t require any zippers or buttons!!! Wahoo!! The fabric was fairly easy to work with and the garment seems to fit fairly well. It is lined with a grey synthetic, which frayed easily, but for as often as I’ll wear the thing, I think it will be fine.

Here’s what I learned:

-How to use a hemmer foot: this is a tool that wraps around the edge of the fabric and curls it as the machine stitches. This helps to make delicate hems.

-How to use twill

-A refresher in pattern manipulation

What I’ll work on for next time:

– Patience with the hem. I thought the hemmer foot would solve all my problems, but it is not a cure-all

– Measuring more accurately. It fits fairly well, but the..er.. girls ain’t gettin’ no bigger.

– Like the shirt, just overall confidence and proficiency.

I think the skill I am closest to mastering after this weekend is ironing. This is way more crucial to the construction process than I had ever imagined. I won’t try and make an irony joke here, but please know that I want to.

Well that’s all folks! I’m tired of sitting down, so I’m off!

As we say ’round here– cheers, to sucking less!

xo

Zombie Apocalypse: Now Accepting Applications!

As I slowly chip away at my roster of design classes, I’ve had some great opportunities to broaden my horizons, expand the scope of my skills, and most importantly, increase my chance of survival in the zombie apocalypse

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^^Portland zombie

It is no secret that I was the last child to complete the timed mile run in elementary school, and never got much faster…nor am I notably coordinated and have been known to mistake my finger for a block of cheese….So if I can’t hunt and gather or be a warrior, what’s left?

Translator? Nein, ich spreche nur ein bissen Deutch…plus the Germans have been learning English for decades so that’s out…

Medical expert? Oh! Maybe?  Let me look on WebMD and see….

Prostitute?   Does this look mean anything to you?

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You cray! *snap snap snap*

I was starting to face the music;  fated to meet my doom as a zombie cupcake with cherry frosting… until now!

My love of needles+thread has led me to a class where I am learning the age-old art of  LeatherworkingOkay so ideally I’d like to be able to throw together some crafty bags or shoes like any girly girl, but as I beveled, skived, and saddle-stitched from the comfort of my desk during a couple-week intensive course at my design school, I realized not all hope was lost for me! Do you think your shoes are going cobble themselves?  Ever tried bringing back enough berries to feed a team using only your two hands? Where are you going to turn when you need a new scabbard?

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Exactly.

Things are off to a solid start- just check out the belt I made this week!!

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If you look at the top left corner of the first photo, you can see the strap of vegetable-tanned leather it transformed from!

 

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Here are just some of the tools used.  An all-purpose leatherworking knife and corkboard (those things are sharp!) , a box cutter and cutting board, beeswax and canvas, and lots of paper towels! We beveled, skived, oil-treated, dyed, smoothed, molded, soaked, hammered, sanded, burnished and punched holes– all in just a few short days! I have to let my belt set for 24 hr before I can buff it, but then it will be ready to wear!  bedazzle!!!!!

(You can exhale, I was kidding)

This weekend I have to go pick up my first pigskin for a tote bag as next week’s project.  The idea of going out to buy skin is still sort of strange, but- hey, I can’t deny that it is a really important part of learning about the industry and basics of construction. And of course, vital to my survival of the pending mass resurrection of conscious-less corpses.

With that, I will be taking applications for my survival team. I still need someone fast, someone who can use a knife without slicing their finger, a translator (pig latin counts, but I’ll need references), Dr. Oz, and a hooker.

Please e-mail applications to dorkychickinlipstick@gmail.com

Deadline pending, we need to find the right people for the team.

More on leatherworking next week 🙂

xo