Wednesday, April 20, 2011

From Muumuu to Mrawr!

I'm going to a party on Tuesday night where I need to dress to the theme of "animal instincts." I don't have anything in my wardrobe that fits, so I went to Hobby Lobby for inspiration. They had some great animal print fabrics for $9/yard. Not bad, but not good either. 

I headed over to Ross, but couldn't find anything until I went into the intimates section. I stumbled upon this $9 gem, which gave me about five yards of fabric to work with. Or so it seemed. :) 

Here's the same shot from the teaser post of what I'm working with:
Tiger and cheetah print...the best of both worlds. 

Inspiration shot. Please notice that I'm wearing my remaining rainbows.

This sewing project took exactly three hours from start to finish.

 First, I measured where to cut the sleeves and length. I laid it out all flat-like:
This looks like those old magic eye pictures from the 1990's. No hidden image, sorry. 

Takin' it down to Deborah-size.

For the next step, I needed to cinch the sides so it wouldn't just be a mini-muumuu.

I thought about sewing the sides to form to my curves, which I discovered from my cocktail dress is very difficult. It involves a lot of putting on and taking off of the dress. Plus you need a tailor-assistant, and Zane wasn't home.

I also discovered from my shirt dress that this type of fabric frays like a beast. I couldn't make too many cuts, or I'd run out of fabric for an inseam.

I still had some elastic bands leftover from my fitted sheet project, so I tried a new (for me) sewing technique: sewing elastic straight to the fabric.
I anchored the elastic to either side seam and stretched it out as I sewed across the fabric. 

The elastic worked for cinching, but it was too low on my back, pulling the fabric around my waist. I needed it to pull right under my bust, so I added another piece:
Ta da!

I used my new [to me (thanks, Mrs. Tome!)] dress form frequently throughout the project. However, It didn't eliminate trying on the dress several times. I still needed to see exactly how it would hang on me.
I hemmed the bottom and the sleeves. This fabric doesn't iron well, so it's still a little puckered, but I did what I could. (Do you say "hem" for sleeves?) 

It still needed a little something, so I added some old bridesmaid dress straps, from my tea to cocktail dress, for frontal adornment. Here's the final product:

Mrawr! Hey there, tiger! 

That last statement was directed at Zane. Please do not respond if you are not Zane. 

Right before we left for the party, and before I added a feather to my hair. Notice I'm workin' those awesome WHBM shoes!

At the party with my lovely Art Sake ladies! Love these people!!

All in all, I had a lovely, creative time making this dress and a fabulous time wearing it while celebrating the end of another fantastic acting semester with wonderful people!

That was long sentence with a lot of adjectives!
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