Tag Archive | aqua

Sparkly: expanded

I promised to tell you more about the sparkly fabric in Saturday’s photo, so let’s get to it.

I’ll begin with a little story. On Friday night, I went to a Christmas party — probably a lot of you are attending such functions this month. It’s all fun and games until you realize that your fairy godmother didn’t stop by to transform your shabby duds into a shimmering gown. That’s where I was Friday night, as I stood in my closet and looked at the faded, stained, wrong-sized, wrong season, entirely-too-casual clothes hanging there. What possessed me to eventually don a pilly brown sweater, I don’t know. At least my jeans were clean, which I can’t always say with four kids swirling around me throughout the day. But the moment I arrived at the party, my heart sunk as I saw all the ladies in their finery. Silky, golden blouses, high heels, fancy tights, sparkly fascinators in neatly-styled hair, even glitter mascara. And there I was, all brown sweater and jeans.

It’s not entirely my fault — I do know how to dress up and I actually really like it. Sadly, my life is sorely lacking in glamorous occasions at which to dress up. So that, combined with the leanness of what I dub “the cabin years” resulted in me having a less-than-glamorous wardrobe. Even though we’ve been out of the cabin for a year with Mr. Gren at his new job, we still feel like we’re recovering from that time in our lives. It’s kind of like when a tornado rips through a town — life doesn’t just resume as normal once the storm is gone; there’s a rebuilding phase, and that’s where we’re at right now. I mean, heck, we’re excited when we can replace holey socks these days, so there had been zero thought in any of our minds about fancy occasion clothes.

henry clarke 1959

How I imagine my life

Back to the Christmas party and me looking the wallflower. I thought to myself that, as lousy as I felt sitting there under-dressed for the event, I could fix this. Saturday morning, I went to the fabric store to see what I could find. And what I found was… sparkly. Sparkles and holidays go together! Even better about the sparkly was that it was pre-elasticated and it was on the half-off rack. A little mental calculating and I realized that if I got about a yard and a half of the fabric, I would have enough to make a skirt for myself out of each color and one girl-sized skirt per color.

The fabric has a wide, black elastic waistband attached to an over-layer of tulle spattered with silver stars and a satiny lining. I sewed the tulle layer separately from the lining layer so that they would hang nicely when worn. I think it took me about ten minutes for each skirt. Four skirts in under an hour? I call that a successful sewing day!

The girls were happy to model theirs. You’ll have to wait to see mine until I can sew myself a suitable top to go with them! Old t-shirts just don’t cut it.

Rana chose aqua

Rana chose aqua

Granota in black

Granota in black

Slowly, but surely

Before this year is over, I might actually have a wearable wardrobe (which is a little bit redundant because, if your wardrobe isn’t wearable, it can hardly be classified as a wardrobe)! The week leading up to Christmas, I made another blouse using the same pattern as I did for this one. I had already worked out all the tricky fitting issues with the first go-round, which made this time stress-free. And that’s a nice way to sew.

I’ve had this aqua cotton for a couple of years, intended for this purpose, but, as is the story with a lot of my fabric purchases, its incarnation into something wearable was postponed due to pregnancies and subsequent baby weight. The interfacing I used on the collar and cuffs is a little heavier than what I usually use (they were out of the stuff I like), but I think it actually works ok for this weight of fabric. I also like the subtle stripes and dots design woven into the fabric. It keeps it from looking too plain and, worked up into a shirt, looks pretty sharp.

Just like with the first blouse I made, I really took my time putting this one together. There’s a part of me that impatiently wants to churn out a garment as fast as I can. But this older, wiser me is beginning to learn that I’ll be much happier in the end if I’m very methodical in the construction process. My self-imposed deadline on this shirt was Christmas Eve so that I would have something decent to wear to church. I sewed on the buttons Saturday afternoon and was able to wear it that evening. There were no photo ops then, hence the lag time between the finished product and this post.

Incidentally, that skirt was the first thing I made after we moved back from France. It was a happy accident that the plaid of the ruffle lined up with that on the skirt because I barely knew what I was doing back then. My zipper insertion was faulty at best, but it’s still wearable. So wear it I shall. I’m thinking this outfit could use a belt for some interest, though.

It was a little cold out there today!