Monday, December 20, 2010

Glitter and Grit - December 18th continued

I decided to split this post up since it would have resulted in one distractingly long post if left otherwise. After the ballet on Saturday I had a little time to hang out before heading out to my next event. I got a little work done on another one of those Pixie baby hats that I made, since I've got another pregnant friend to make a gift for. I'd like to get his finished for her for Christmas so I've been scrambling to get it done. I'll share some pictures once I get it all together.

Anyway, Saturday night my best friend and her beau had their annual Christmas party, Glitter and Grit. Perfect name for it. I couldn't go last year (I don't remember why) and I almost missed it this year. I was supposed to go to another party, but the ballet set me behind and I was going to have to drive by myself, 30 minutes plus both ways, and just really didn't feel like doing that so instead I went to Laura's party. I'm very glad I did too because I got to spend time with some of my dearest friends that I hardly get to see anymore. I headed over a little early so I could get a parking spot right out front and I figured they could maybe use an extra hand with final preparations. I was right, and was more than happy to help finish up chopping and arranging.

Sean even decorated the kitchen with ornaments and such! There was tons of delicious food and Sean really outdid himself on the decor.

Santa served as the backdrop for a makeshift holiday photo booth. 
Watch out Martha! You've got some competition.
There's a better one of these on someone else's camera. Stephanie got a little blocked in this one. 
Candy girls. I technically don't work there anymore, but after 8 years I think I deserve to maintain the title.

I discovered later that night that not only is this dress amazing to begin with, but it also has a pocket! It does only have one on the right side, which I thought was a little funny, but one pocket is better than none. It's buried down in the pleats which is why I never noticed it before. It was a great party and we all had a wonderful time. There was plenty of delicious food, lots of dancing and good conversation and just enough craziness on the dance floor. You really can't beat an elf breakdancing to Lady Gaga, and what Christmas playlist is complete without the Antoine Dodson remix? I had not intended on staying out late since we had an early morning on Sunday, but I ended up getting home about 1:00. It was well worth it though. I love my friends and had so much fun. A great big heartfelt thank you to our two wonderful hosts! Love you both!

December 18 - Day 124

Saturday was my annual trip to see the Nutcracker at the ballet. My aunt has been giving me a season ticket to the ballet for my birthday and Christmas for years. We always go out to lunch and then to the Saturday matinees. It's really fun, and it's been neat to see the way they have adapted some of the ballets over the years. This year was the second time they've done the newly revamped production of The Nutcracker. I really like what they've done to it also. This was also the first year that my cousin's little girl got to go with us. She'll be five in a few months and she was in absolute awe for the first act. She sat there in her new Christmas dress with her mouth gaping open at the magic happening on stage. She was getting a little tired by the second act, but she behaved really well.

(Please excuse the mess behind me. A lot of that is stuff that's been in transit the past week.) I really wanted to try and switch up my outfits this year, so I decided to rotate what I wear to which event a bit more. I wore this dress of Dot's to a Christmas Carol last year, but I didn't have a crinoline to go under it yet. I finished this one over the summer and the dress definitely benefits from it. This was not one that Dot made, but it's really fabulous. I was ecstatic when I pulled this one out of the bag. It's got a fun, all over strawberry print with black velvet accents on the dropped shoulders. The belt actually belonged to my grandmother, Nana, but it matches this dress perfectly, almost like they were made to go together. I twisted my hair up into a simple twist and put on my polka-dot stockings and my patent leather pumps. I wore Nana's mink coat with it too, since it was so cold out, but I wanted you to be able to see the dress to full advantage.

The shoulders have rhinestones under the velvet trim also, which is part of the reason Nana's belt matches so well.

I'm lookin' a little shiny in this one (I didn't have time to take pictures until I got home and really should have powdered off before doing so), but I did a pretty simple eye and a really bold lip to go with my vintage inspired holiday look. I just recently found this tutorial from the girls at Pixiwoo. I've used a lot of their tutorials for inspiration and I'm really impressed with them all. I really loved the lip in this tutorial though and decided to try out something similar.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Wishful thinking...

I've been noodling around on the internet a lot recently ogling various pairs of shoes and other lovely things that I want. While I never put together an actual Christmas list per-say, and even if I did most everything on it would occupy a merely fantastical place on the Christmas list anyway, here a just a handful of the things I've been drooling over recently.

The first is this lovely pair of 1920s evening shoes from Remix, the Ritz.

Now we move on to another pair of their shoes, Myrna. Isn't she beautiful?

And then there is Rita...

I don't really care for the yellow, but the red, pink and black, etc are all wonderful.

The pleated toe wedgies are really cute too. I love the red ones!

Well, enough with the shoes already. I also found a few books recently that I'd love to have. The first one is thoroughly nerdy; a book about the effect of politics on fashion in post colonial Argentina. It's called Couture and Consensus and sounds really interesting.

I also really like this copy of Amado Nervo's El estanque de los lotos. I included a poem from it in my post a couple of days ago. The copy I have is on loan from the University of Arkansas Library and it's a 1927 edition. It's lovely and I'd really like to find a similar early edition somewhere. I found a few with relatively reasonable prices at

I've also been itching to get the new Bruce Springsteen boxed set The Promise. I have the CD, but I'd really like to have the DVDs and such. It's got the best version of Racing in the Street ever! I was really tempted to buy the whole set when it came out, but it was just a bit steep. I'm really loving the CD though, and very glad I went ahead and bought it.

In other news....

the fabric for my Poiret outfit got here on Friday afternoon. I can't remember whether I already told you all or not. It's beautiful! It's a bit lighter weight than I had anticipated, but it's going to be lovely. I also got several new patterns in the mail Friday. They were very on sale so I had to go ahead and get them.


I've been thinking about getting the first Claire Shaffer jacket pattern for a while, and now that it was on sale I jumped at it. The other was just so interesting I opted to just get both. The Vintage vogue dress pattern is another that I've been wanted for a while. I really like the reversible swing coat and the fit of the sheath dress. The hat pattern is another we didn't have, and the coat pattern is the perfect winter coat. I'd love to make a nice heavy one, maybe in a plaid, who knows. The two evening gown patterns really were just a frivolity. I think they're both so pretty, and the one with the trumpet hem and the big bow is just too fun. I never have anywhere to wear anything like that and I don't hope to have any occasion to wear either of them anytime soon, but I just love them both and they were cheap so I went for it. Maybe some day I'll have a fancy, black tie event to go to (but I'm not going to hold my breath).

I'd better get back to this paper, but I hope you're all having a wonderful weekend!

Friday, December 3, 2010

Blue Wool Dress

First of all I want to thank you all for your sweet compliments. I had a lot of fun working on this dress and and am very happy with it, and it makes me happy to know that other people like it so much as well. Several of you have been asking about the pattern for this dress. I did use a pattern as a base, but altered it quite a bit to suit my design. It's an original 1950s Butterick pattern that I found several years ago. There's no date on it, but I'm guessing it's probably early '50s. If anyone has information to confirm or contradict this I would appreciate it! Anyway, this is the pattern.

This is not a picture of my pattern envelope. Mine is a size 12, but it's Butterick 8476. I eliminated the peplum, widened the neckline 2.25" on either side in the front and altered the back pieces to create the two-piece crossover. I also shortened the hem two inches since I'm a bit on the shorter side. I didn't the first time I used this pattern, and I still like it, but it could have been shortened just a bit. I also fully lined the dress. Several of you have also asked about the sleeves. They are comfortable and, despite the weight of the fabric, do not feel bulky. The armhole is cut low enough that the fabric doesn't all bunch directly under the arm. It's a bit more evenly dispersed.

Y para mis hispanohablantes...en cuanto a las mangas, no son incómodas. Me quedan bien, sin fruncirse (no estoy segura si es la palabra correcta), a pesar del peso de la tela. Espero que eso os ayude.

I think that should answer everyone's questions, but if not please let me know and I'll try and help with any more information I can. You can see my finished version here, and some of the progress here. I hope that all of you are having a great week and enjoying these first few days of December!
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