Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Black and White

I love black and white stripes, prints, geometric shapes, etc!  I always seem to be drawn to them when I visit the thrift shops.  Check out these fun retro black and white numbers from the 60's.  I love them!

Well, the other day at the thrift shop, I noticed a 2XL dress that was really speaking to me.  It was saying, "Come on, for only $2.50 you can pick me up and make a retro-inspired mod dress!"  I couldn't ignore the voice, so I purchased it!

I loved the black and white striped pattern.  I didn't love, however, the fit, the bulky gathered skirt, and the uneven sewing on the waistband.  I put my 60's playlist on and dedicated the evening to sewing.  After a fair amount of tweaking, I was happy with the results.

It was little cold outside, so I wore it with boots and my black wool jacket.

See what I meant about the waistband?  It was completely uneven before.

I was able to cut a new one from the extra skirt fabric.  I think it's much better now!

Every mod dress needs some big, white, mod sunglasses!

Here's a brief tutorial of what I did.

I began by detaching the sleeves, the waistband, the skirt, and since the shoulders needed to be raised, I unpicked part of the neckline.

I put the bodice on my dress form and began pinning where it needed to be taken in, which was the sides and the shoulders.  I also took in the front and back bodice seams.

Once the shoulders were taken in, I restitched the neckline and facing.

Once the bodice fit the way I wanted it to, I recut the sleeve openings for a better fit.

I placed a gathering stitch along the top of the sleeves to give it some wearing ease.

After taking in the sleeves, I reattached them to the bodice.

I cut a new waistband, added interfacing, and then attached it to my bodice.

Next step was to cut the new skirt which was also sewn to the waistband.

Once I was happy with the fit, I finished the inside by lining the waistband.

All that was left was reattaching the bottom half of the invisible zipper in the back.

I'm happy with my new retro-inspired mod dress!

Thanks for looking!
I like to link to these great parties!

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

A Cowboy Christmas

This year for our church Christmas party, we decided (actually, I strongly lobbied) to do a Cowboy Christmas party.  It had me scouring the thrift shops for cowboy boots, 
hats, blankets, wooden crates, pots and pans, and anything else that seemed to fit the theme.

I hope y'all have fun viewing the pictures from the event!

To start, I downloaded various clipart from the web and put together an invitation using photoshop.

The lettering for the welcome sign was cut using my Cricut.  It was displayed on a rustic easel I used previously at my daughter's country wedding.  A few extra props rounded out the scene.

The stage was decorated using a variety of props.  I painted a simple backdrop on some thin black fabric, then pinned it to the curtains.  Some weathered fencing was used to make the fence posts and rails.  A string of Christmas lights made it more festive.   A variety of barrels and crates were used to make a podium for the performers.  Jasper, the donkey, made an appearance again as he had at several other parties.  In fact, he has been to Jerusalem, Nauvoo, and South of the Border!

I made a tripod from some rustic poles and hung a kettle over the faux firepit. 

The performers did an excellent job singing favorite cowboy songs and quoting cowboy poetry.

The table centerpieces were silk poinsettias and greenery in cowboy boots sitting on top of neckerchiefs.  

A variety of lanterns, greenery, and pinecone flowers were also used.

Even the children's table had a child size boot centerpiece.

Each place setting had a little paper denim pocket stuffed with a napkin and utensils.  I cut the pocket shapes using my Cricut, then stitched two of them together to form the pocket.  I glued on a star and "rivets."  I had to make about 150 of these, which I did in the evenings while watching movies with my husband!

The perimeter of the room was decorated with cowboy silhouettes, and mason jar lanterns.

The Waterin' Hole was a big hit.  We served lemonade, water, rootbeer, and creme soda.  

I built some stands from weathered fence boards to elevate the beverage dispensers.

 The photo corner was decorated with old barn doors, rustic metal stars, a trunk to sit on, and various crates and props.

I think my favorite part of the decorations was the chuckwagon.  I used a 6' folding table for the base.  I built a box from weathered barn wood and fit it over the table so that the edges of the table were hidden.  I only had one wagon wheel from an earlier activity, so I had to build a second one to match.  The wheels are fastened to the legs of the table by a wooden dowel "axle."  The ribs of the covering are 1/2" pvc pipes.  The covering was made from a king-sized sheet.  It was fun having it all come together!

I filled it full of crates, baskets, pots, pans, lanterns, and handmade flour and sugar sacks.

While the buffet tables on either side of the chuckwagon served pulled pork, baked beans, baked baby reds, and coleslaw, the chuckwagon served the biscuits and individual apple crisps.

My adorable parents, who have always been so supportive of me and my adventures, dressed up in their finest western wear and came to the party.

My dad even carved a wooden gun to carry in his handmade leather holster.  He was our sheriff for the night.  Although, my mom had some doubts that anyone actually felt safer with an 81 year-old sheriff and his wooden gun!

I even got to dance with my dad!

It was a fun evening and well attended.  As always, a big thank you to the many people who helped with setup and take-down.  Also, the willing performers and Megan with her wonderful food committee!

One extra bonus with this activity...we had a young couple get married a week later and guess what theme they wanted for their reception?  A western theme!  We were able to utilize many of the decorations for their reception, tweaking them a little to make them more wedding-like.  It was great!

I like to link to these great parties!

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