Monday, January 28, 2013

DIY: Fulla Hot Air Frock

Oh, you know. Just another photo of me standing next to my kitchen window. In a mucho belated DIY.

You know those people that just talk and talk and talk, interrupt you when you try to get a word in edgewise, and talk some more? And it's always the same stories, isn't it? Same jokes, same "hey, did I tell you about this one time..." while you attempt to look at your watch and gauge how much longer you have to sit and listen before you can politely excuse yourself. You know the type, right?

Yeah. That's me.

So how appropriate that I'd create a Fulla Hot Air Frock.
The "before" photo on the left is from  What I Wore this Week #23 on my last day in Germany. Of course the "after" photo is the result of my most recent DIY.

 Oh, this dress. I first spotted it when shopping in Nuremburg, Germany and, even though I loved the vintage-esque cut of the dress, I just didn't spring for it. From which point on I was haunted by the silly thing. Does that happen to you? Do you ever have shoulda-shopping remorse? Well, I knew it was a mistake when I couldn't get it outta my head. Which is why when I saw it again in Amsterdam, I bought it in a blink.
And then proceeded to never ever wear it. Every time I put it on it was just too short for my taste. There's a lot of bending, reaching, squatting and crawling on the floor in the art room, believe it or not. And this dress just wasn't suited for the task.

That's why, way way waaaaaaay back in October, I decided to DIY this little number. And the first thing I did was lengthen the hem with this sweet soft buttery yellow. Do you see the yellow zipper sticking out of the top of the dress? The dress came with it and I was attempted to match it.
So, you heard me say that I began this back in October right? If you are good at math, then you know that was, like, four months ago or something. I had originally began it to coincide with my first graders Hot Air Balloons over Paris and my third graders Parisian Silhouettes.
But what I thought would be the easy/fun part turned out to be a big fat headache. I don't know why I struggled with what patterns of fabric to put together. I usually enjoy playing with pattern and color. But when this just didn't come together easily for me, I put it on the back burner until it was smoking, smoldering, burnt to a crisp and then complete ashes. At which point I thought: does the dress even need the balloons?
In true pro-Cass-tination style, I crafted these light bulb/hot air balloons while hiding from the dress in my sewing room. The Christmas tree should date these ornaments just a bit.
This weekend, with hubs gone and the cat sitting with me on my sewing stool, I decided that it did indeed. Cuz if I hated it, I could just seam rip them out, right? So using my zigzag stitch, I set to work. 

Applique is one of my fave ways to revamp clothing. I've used it on an Urban Outfitters dress, a felted floral sweater, my Rock Star apron and my 1970's art teacher skirt. Since I'm a regular pro (insert sarcasm here), lemme give you the following tips:
  • Tack your pieces down with some stitch witchery. This iron-on stuff will keep your pieces in place without pins sticking out in every direction.
  • If you can, applique light fabrics onto heavier ones. Which I didn't do in this case. And what happens is that the fabric you are adding the applique to has a tendency to pucker. You might notice that in some of my photos despite my ironing. 
  • When sewing, be sure the needle goes from the inside of the piece being appliqued to the edge of said piece. Can you see that in the photo above? Because if you go beyond that edge, the needle will pull the fabric you are appliquing onto thus causing puckers. And no one likes a pucker.
The back and front. You'll notice I did nothing to the back. I usually don't. Because I like my DIY's like a mullet cut: Business in the front, don't give a toot about the back.
Now originally I had plans of adding lines to attach the basket to the balloon but, honestly, I don't think it needs it. I also left some of the balloons basket-less. I just didn't think the fabric (or my patience) could take any more of the heavy stitching. So I skipped it and back-from-the-back-burner ashes, this dress was done.
Outfit Details: Okay, truth? That belt I scooped up at an Anthropologie sale is the real reason I finished this dress. I just couldn't wait to pair it with the dress! tights: Target; shoes: Miss Albright
And there you have it. Yet another long-winded, going-on-and-on-forever, Fulla Hot Air blog post. You can stop checking your watch now, I'm all done. 


Oh, wait! Did I tell you about this one time...(no, not at Band Camp)...

Seriously, thanks for dropping by. Chat with you soon.


  1. You are so inspirational in your fashion! I LOVE IT!

  2. Anonymous1/28/2013

    Awe.Some. And it will be great in the spring as well!

    -Dessy ( I go anonymous because Google hates me)

    1. I's not really much of a winter dress. You'll notice in some of my outside photos I've got a red nose from the cold! Thanks for commenting despite Evil Google ;)

  3. I'm still trying to get my felting on and here you come pushing applique in my life. GIRL. CAN I GET A BREAK HERE. I'm trying to copy you in every aspect and I can't keep up with your pace! :)

    1. Ha! It's easy to copy me: start several projects at once and then, four months later, finish one! Can't wait to see what you are felting!

  4. A mullet analogy?! NICE! I feel like there is no better way of explaining life than with a mullet analogy! Also, the dress is pretty cute too ;) I actually didnt notice that there was no strings to the baskets so it obviously doesnt notice. Even though it took a million years to do, I bet you feel really great about it?! You go girl! (I'm British and just made myself giggle with my Americanism!!) I seriously need to learn not to write essays on your blog....................nope...........I tried but I just cant!!!

    Jerra xx

    1. Oh I LOVE long comments, especially ones with Americanisms and appreciation of mullets ;) Well, shoot, you didn't notice the lack-o-baskets, I shouldn't have pointed them out! Keep commenting, I love it :)

  5. Love the dress, and even better, I love the fact that you NAME your clothing. One question though: since you wear such amazing stuff to work every day, how do you keep it looking so good? I pretty much lived in an apron or smock in the art room; half the time I don't even know if anyone noticed the clothes underneath, so I just wore cool jewelry. Do you end up covering ypur clothes in the classroom or do you have some sort of magic paint repellant that you secretly wear?

    1. Hey Phyl! Somehow I've gotten very good at avoiding paint splashes, glue smudges and clay handprints (although I did have one kindergarten kid pop me on the tooshie once leaving a nice mark!). I do often wear a waist apron (vintage, of course!) ... and my clothes are mostly thrifted and vintage so they are usually stained and holey. Don't I sound classy? I think I need to do an apron blog post soon, I've got a buh-zillion!

  6. This dress is so amazing! I thought the ballons were a print and I already got envious on such a wonderful vintage find when I read that you added them... such a cool idea! I do have some too-short-dresses at home and your dress is a real inspiration!

    I love your blog (:
    Many greetings from Germany,

    1. Thank you for your kind words...all the way from Germany,yay! I love adding on to too-short dresses...give it my own touch without sewing a whole new dress. And, I figure, the dress isn't getting worn otherwise so if I mess it up, no biggie, right? Thanks for reading :)

  7. I discover your blog through flickr and I just LOVE your style. So, I'll become your 300 follower :)


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