Friday, December 26, 2014

#79: Leopard, Vested Teacher Dress

Merry Christmas!! I hope you all had a great Christmas, and are looking forward to the new year. Over the past week, I spent lots of time with family, went to a wedding, and even began some new traditions with my husband on Christmas Eve! I was also desperately craving some machine time, so I busted it out, and got to sewing! Today's post brings you this little number:

Side slits!

Check out those side slits! This crinkly leopard-print dress with attached non-matching half-vest was NOT the business. It reminded me of something a 1990's teacher would wear. I can't even remember where I found this, but I heard it screaming out for a transformation. 

Before: Leopard-print Teacher Dress

Before: From behind

My Facebook often has advertisement banners for clothing stores. I was super inspired by a dress I saw on an advertisement, and it served as my inspiration for this dress remake (check out the original here). 

My inspiration dress at

So to make a look-alike, I began by giving it a good iron to smooth out the skirt, as the fabric hug was not flattering my lower half. 

Iron away!

Next, I sewed closed the side slits on the skirt. I followed that by removing the unflattering half tie-vest. I had to remove almost all the seams in the top portion of the dress to get it out.

Removing seams, removing the vest!

Once that was gone, I had to re-sew the seams at the sleeves and shoulders, and took in the dress under the arms until about halfway down the skirt.

Taking it in at the sides

Once I had the seams done, I began working on the slit pictured in the inspiration dress, though I didn't want it as high. I cut the slit a little less than a foot long.

Cutting a new slit

Then I took some of my black scrap fabric, sewed long strips, and pinned them down from the waist, along both sides of the slit, and around the bottom hem.

Pinning a sewed strip from the waist

Prepping the slit

Once I had sewn the black strips in place, I slightly opened the waist seam, tucked in the top portion of the black strip, and re-sewed the seam at the waist.

I intended to make the dress form-fitted, and add a side sipper to get in and out, but I accidentally broke my only black zipper, so I decided to leave the waist a little large, and added a small strip of elastic to the inside back of the dress right at the waist seam to make it more fitted.

Pinning the elastic

With that last step, the transformation was complete!

Here again was my original dress:

Before: Leopard, vested teacher dress

Before: From behind

Added some accessories, and here is how it looks after the transformation!:

After: Sexy leopard slit dress

After: From behind

Let's check out some side-by-side action!:

Side-by-side from the front

Side-by-side: From behind

I think I did the inspiration piece some justice. Whatd'ya think?

I next plan to post a creative and functional Christmas gift I made for my mother-in-law. Now that Christmas is over, I don't have to keep it secret anymore. Check back soon for the post!

I hope you continue to enjoy this time of year. As Winter gets colder, try to stay warm out there!

Until next time, blessings :)

Saturday, November 1, 2014

#78: Birthday Week, Costumes, and Halloween Surprises!

Celebrate good times, come on! :)

This has been a fun and busy week for me. Last Wednesday was my dating anniversary, which we celebrated at a Masquerade Murder Mystery dinner.

Masquerade Murder Mystery Dinner

 And I won best costume!

Best Dressed!

I also had a Harvest Festival at my work at which I buzzed about! I found all the materials at a thrift store and the 99 Cents Only Store totaling less than $7.


A lovely bee!

This Wednesday was also my BIRTHDAY! For that, my husband surprised me with dinner and some time at miniature golf where the original Karate Kid was filmed, and a video game arcade!

Golf 'n Stuff

Birthday girl!

I didn't have enough power behind my swing...

He had too much power behind his swing!
Queen and King of the castle!

Mario Kart!

Super fun arcade!

We had lots of fun. I felt like we were teenagers again!

Last in this busy, fun week was Halloween! I decided to make my costume again, and had it in mind all year. I'd be going as the Batman villain Poison Ivy.

Original comic Poison Ivy

Modern Poison Ivy

I decided to go with Uma Thurman's Poison Ivy look from the Batman and Robin (1997) film.

Batman and Robin (1997)
Uma Thurman's Poison Ivy

I bought the materials throughout the month, and began by gathering artificial leaves.

Leaves galore!

I took a leotard I owned, and hand-stitched/glued the leaves on individually. If I could change anything in this process, I would have adjusted this, maybe by hot-gluing them directly onto the leotard, or getting a green leotard so I could use fewer leaves. This was WAY too labor-intensive and time-consuming.

Sewing on the leaves

For the hair, I found a matted up red mermaid wig at a thrift store for $2.

Matted mermaid wig

I painstakingly used conditioner, detanglizer, and a comb to straighten out the wig, then pin-curled the bottoms. This was also very labor-intensive, and I would have been better off spraying my own hair red, but my husband didn't want it to rub off in our car.

Straight and smooth

Poison Ivy wears 2 distinct outfits in the movie, and each outfit has a corresponding hairstyle.

Long and twisted top

Long with hair-horns

I thought the leaf bodice was more iconic of Poison Ivy, but the (what I call) hair-horns look is also more iconic. So I decided to mix and match. To make the hair horns, I took paper cups and painted them red.

Trying 2 sizes

I went with the smaller cups. I bought 2 hairbands from the Dollar Tree which had light red and dark red hair attached, sewed them together, and sewed the cups on top. I carefully spiraled the hair around the cups, using bobby pins to pierce through the cups and hair spray to keep it slick.

Makeshift hair horns

I also added some extensions to make it longer.

Poison Ivy has some interesting leaf-things over her eyes, and I found a magnificent mask at the 99 Cents Only Store which I thought would suit the job.

Leaf eyes

Elaborate mask

I carefully and strategically cut out pieces of the mask and painted it green.

(Painting my husband's claws in the background)

I also wanted to make a cape like the one she wears in the picture.

Red/green cape

I found a green crinkled curtain at a thrift store, and I cut off the rings, shaped and sewed the neckline, and dyed the bottom with red dye in the stove top method.

Dying the bottom of the curtain red

Lastly, I bought a pair of short heels and painted them green too.

Paired with dark green tights, my look was complete!

Here's Uma Thruman's Poison Ivy look:

Poison Ivy's hair-horns

Poison Ivy

And here's my Halloween costume!

Poison Ivy costume

From behind

Closer up

Closer up

I enjoyed walking around Hollywood Boulevard, but was overwhelmed with the masses of people. I must have seen 10+ Poison Ivys out there! It's not a creative costume, but I think I did well in the details.

And my husband went as the Wolf who ate Red Riding Hood :)

The week has been so busy, that I'm ready for a vacation from the fun!

I hope you had a safe, fun Halloween. 

Until next time, blessings :)